Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Peculiars

Just recently, I joined NetGalley mostly out of curiosity as to what it was all about.  Turns out, it's about publishing companies allowing librarians and bloggers and all to read upcoming books from their company.  I requested a few books, not expecting to be allowed to read it, but there they were.  Three emails to me saying that they would love for me to read their books.  Awesome!!!  Instantly, I downloaded the first book, The Peculiars, written by Maureen Doyle McQuerry. 
I've heard about this book quite a lot for one that hasn't even come out yet.  (It comes out May 1st!)  The synopsis interested me a lot:
On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.
It's set in the past, mid-1800s, or somewhere around there, and it's steampunk.  I have to say, steampunk is one of my favorite genres.  It's just been one of those genres that has fascinated me for a while.  Maureen definitely did her research with this book.  It's accurate for the time period and she brought a plausible twist to it. 
The story overall had me fascinated and hooked from the start.  It wasn't something that is usual on YA bookshelves nowadays.  It's all vampires and weres and all, but this is all 1800s and goblins.  Yeah.  Goblins.  Not something you hear everyday, is it?
I give this book four stars.  The story was incredible and I enjoyed reading it, but in the beginning, it was a bit slow and a lot of things didn't make sense.  I kept on rereading paragraphs and all because I didn't understand what was being told.  Things did clear up, thankfully, towards the middle of the book.  Another thing was that I felt as if there wasn't enough description for the characters or the setting.  I got a very vague gist of it all, but there were moments where I was confused because there wasn't enough imagery to show me what was going on the book.  And trust me, a lot goes on in this book.  There's a lot of awesome adventure on mostly every page.  It was exciting, but I struggled to imagine it all.  I still have no idea what Lena looks like, and she's the main character!  Jimson, I got a better image of, same as Mr. Beasley, but everybody else was a blob of color in my mind.
Overall, this was a great book that had me hooked from the very start.  There wasn't any mushy romance--which I liked--and it was believable.  I'm excited for this book to come out for others to read.  It is something people of steampunk and the all things weird will enjoy.  So, all of you steampunk junkies and paranormal suckers, go get this book or preorder it on Amazon!
Thanks NetGalley and ABRAMS!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Hello, fellow people!  Today, I'm here to talk a bit about a blog.  As you can tell from the title of the post, this blog is Omfg!Books.  She's got an awesome blog and she also has blue hair.  Isn't that cool?  Go over to her blog,, and enter in her giveaway and get a book!  It's an international giveaway!  So, everybody go, go, go!  And may the odds be ever in your favor! ;)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Things That Are Wrong In This World

Okay, so the title may be a little dramatic, but I thought I'd do some type of attention grabber.  So now I'll give you my little introduction:
Before Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon ever even came out, I discovered it on Amazon, read the synopsis, and went, 'Whoa, that sounds like one really, really good book.  I must read it.'  I then told my book friend that has recently traveled with me to book signings about this book and about how great it sounds.  I even told her that I'd compare this book to the awesomeness of The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross.  We still both gush about how that book is the greatest of all great.  Mind you, I hadn't even read that book at that time.
Then, not too long after the discovery of it, I went on Amazon and looked at all the reviews and I was horrified.  'Why,' I asked myself, 'could these people be so harsh about this book?  It sounds so awesome!  The book can't be that bad.'  Seriously, people were giving this book one-star ratings and such.
Fast forward to January.  I had just bought ten books on Amazon and Carrier of the Mark was included in that lot.  They arrived on my doorstep and I promptly ripped open the big box and arranged the books in the order I wanted to read them.  I put CotM in the middle because I thought it'd put some excitement in my reading experience.  Then I read it.  And loved it with all my heart.
Mind you, I read this book even though people gave this book all these bad reviews.  I was determined that the book couldn't be that bad.  Just look at the cover, for Pete's sake!  It just cries out for people to love it and cherish it!
For example, people were saying that this book is related to the likes of Twilight and the stalker-ish-ness of it.  First of all, Edward really didn't have a reason to be creeping up on Bella while she slept.  Adam, on the other, did, and he wasn't even the one that did the creeping!  It was a bird!
People were overall just dissing the book, saying it was a waste of their time and that all Megan was in the story was a complaining, plain, boring, and annoying girl, and that all she did was swoon over her boyfriend.  All I have to say to that is, NO.  No.  I thought that Megan was actually very strong and was not all swoony over her boyfriend.  She definitely had a mind of her own!
In all, I thought I'd get my brewing thoughts about Carrier of the Mark.  I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend other people to read it.  It was intriguing and I finished reading it in one sitting.  I couldn't put it down and I hope other people out there couldn't either.
Whew!  That felt good!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A New Spell that Has Been Cast


So, I've really enjoyed the first two books in the series.  I have absolutely loved Sophie's sarcasm and her banter with Archer, the little swoon-worthy guy he is.  And I've always been fond of Cal and Jenna, her friends.  I couldn't wait for this book, and it killed me that I had to wait a whole year.  Good thing I love Amazon and its ability to pre-order books!  And then, there was an opportunity for me to meet the lovely Lady Hawkins at Harlysville Bookstore in good ol' Harlysville, Pennsylvania.  It was a two hour ride, but, man, it was worth it!  Meeting Rachel Hawkins was just awesome and she's got a great sense of humor, and she doesn't even have a Southern accent.  (She's from Alabama.)  But that didn't bother me.  I was much more interested in just the whole meeting her part, and my very great friend also came along for this event.  Yay, book nerd friends!
Now, back to the review.  I'd give this book a solid five stars, partially because I am biased about her works and automatically love them, but I also give Spellbound a solid five because the book was really that good.
Sophie has been through a lot in the past year or so.  She moved to Hecate Hall--a reformatory school for magical delinquents--and had to deal with a bunch of stuff.  In the first book, Hex Hall, she discovered she was a demon and solved a mysterious murder that occurred at her school.  As you know, if you've read the book, it was her dead, British-sounding grandmother--or great-grandmother?--Alice, that had killed the two girls and had seriously injured the other two.  She just so happened to be a demon.
That summer, she went along with her demon father, James, to London, thinking she was going to go through The Removal, a way for her to rid herself of her powers.  Mind you, her father is the head of The Council, and not only did this distant father convince his daughter to not undergo it, but he taught her things and also connected with her.  Demon Glass is my favorite out of the three because I really, truly loved the father-daughter bonding, and we got to see more of Cal and Jenna.  (Cal's my favorite out of the friends.)  And also, they were in London, and I absolutely adore London and everything about it.  And the big shocker was that the Cassnoff sisters were evil, demon-raising weirdos.  And the fact that since Cal and Sophie are technically betrothed, they had a small Steamy Times moment.  *Sigh*  Oh, and Sophie got her powers trapped somewhere inside of her because the now evil Council attempted to get rid of her magic, but luckily Thorne Abbey set on fire.  (Even though that doesn't sound remotely lucky.)  And that's kind of where all Lady Hawkins fans were left off.  You can see the predicament I was in, if you read the books.  It was a terrible year without Spellbound.
And then it came!  Woo!
Spellbound starts off with Sophie finding where the Brannicks are because Cal said that's where she had to go at the end of book two to find her mother.  She finds her mother and as predicted, Cal and James Atherton, Sophie's father, return from the burnt down Thorne Abbey.  The plot then progresses with Sophie and her band of friends and family trying to figure out ways to not only get Sophie's powers back, but also stop the Cassnoff sisters and their demon-making shenanigans.
This book was an emotional roller coaster for me.  Honestly, I hated this book because of all the events that happened and how truly evil the Cassnoffs were.  It really irked me, but that was the reason why I really loved this book.  I loved this book because I hated it.  Weird, right?  In the book, practically everything that could go wrong did, and Sophie and her awesome sidekick friends persevered and kicked some witchy butt. 
As I've mentioned, I really enjoyed Sophie's sense of humor.  She's always cracking a witty joke.  I happen to not be an awesome joke-making person.  I suck at it.  So, maybe I can learn a thing or two from our friend Sophie here.  Another thing that showed up in this book is that Cal actually has a sense of humor.  Who would have known?  It's not big, but it's there.
The only problem I had with this book was that Archer's got quite a dirty mouth.  As in, he likes his curse words and stuff, but Sophie never mentions them, she refuses to say them.  Honestly, I'd rather keep it really open about swearing.  Sophie isn't the most sweet mouthed herself, so why limit the others' ability to?  It's happened in the other books, too, but not as much as it is used in Spellbound.  Though, that could be because this book is labeled as 12+.  Then I could see why there's some censorship.
But other than that, I had no problems with this book.  It was a wonderful book overall and a great end to the adventures all fans gave experienced with Sophie.
And just to add to the emotional roller coaster, I must proclaim that I cried at the end of this book.  Legit crying.  The only other book series that has made me cry was The Hunger Games.  Rue's death, because she was just so innocent and sweet, and Prim's death because she reminded me so much of my sister.
But on a happier note, I loved, loved this book with all my heart, and I highly suggest that people read Spellbound.  It was highly entertaining and there was plenty of action.  Just lovely!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another Cinderella Story and Some Other News

Recently (as in two days recently), I bought Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  At first, I discarded this book off my list of wants because I wasn't into the whole dystopian, in-the-future stuff.  But then, not only did I hear wonderful praise about this book, but I found a lovely and descriptive review about this book.  And that's when I found out that this book was a rendition of a famous fairy tail, and I just so happen to be a sucker for retellings of our favorite childhood tales.  I don't know why, but I love them.  Why, might you ask, had I not made the connection earlier on that it was a retelling of Cinderella?  Honestly, don't ask me.  I have no idea.  Not even to kid around, I just discovered last night that Cinder kind of sounded like Cinderella.  Sad, isn't it?
To the review!
If I were to rate this book, giving it some stars, I'd say it was a 4.9, to be precise.  The reason why is because I just really am not a fan of hovercrafts and metal extremities.  But, that's the only reason why I believe this book is a 4.9.  Other than that, this book was perfect.
So, there's this girl--16 years old--who lives with her evil stepmother and her daughters, Pearl and Peony.  I have to say, Adri, the mother, was a lady I did not like, and that's how the author wanted things to go, and I believed her evilness.  Adri finds ways throughout the book to nitpick at poor Cinder--the fact that she's a cyborg (Oh, did I forget to mention Cinder's part robot?) or how all unfortunate happenings are Cinder's fault.  Cinder, not once, does she retaliate with screaming and yelling and she doesn't complain about it through the book, which I liked because I hate when that's all the main character does.  *Cough* New Moon *Cough*.  Not that I can name a specific book or anything....
And then there's Prince Kai.  He's a young, gorgeous one.  I believe he's only nineteen.  But, he's got a burden to bear; his father is plagued by the infamous letumosis that's been wheedling its way into society all over the world.  And not only that, but he also has to worry about the terribly frightening Levana, the Lunar queen, that rules the Lunar people on the moon.  Cool, right?  Moon and all....  Not really.  She's one scary momma you do not want to mess with under an circumstances.  But back to Kai.  He's the swoon-worthy boy in this book.  He's got the money, the looks, and the charm.
And then there's Cinder.  She's the most talented mechanic in all of New Beijing.  She lives a mostly normal life, besides her annoyingly evil stepmother.  And as aforementioned, she is a cyborg, and in this book, people don't take too kindly to those who have metal body parts.  I felt really bad for her throughout the book, though.  All she's ever wanted was to be normal, but her mother and her cyborg-ness never allowed that to happen.  She wears gloves because she knows people will look at her differently if they knew she wasn't all human.  Who wouldn't feel bad for her?
So how do the lovely Prince Kai and Cinder cross paths?  All I will say is that there's a market day, and the Prince needs something mechanical fixed.  See where it's going?
I'll keep my promise and not spoil anything, but I will say that all the twists and turns that happened in this book gave me headaches as my adrenaline spiked with the events that happened through the book.  That does not happen a lot.  The only other book that was capable of giving me a pesky headache was The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting.  (Another great read, btw!)  I can't wait to learn what happens next in the next installment of the Lunar Chronicles.

So here's the other news I was talking about.  I worked my way over to the scant book selection Walmart had to offer, as I always do because I'm drawn to them like a magnet to a fridge.  And--bam!--The Hunger Games was everywhere.  Posters, books, displays, the whole shebang.  And as I skimmed the shelves (where I happened to find Cinder), I came across this tiny, tiny book called......
The Hunger Pains!

Okay, I had heard about The Hunger Pains vaguely here and there as I surfed the web, scrounging for other books to read.  I didn't take it seriously and even watched the 'Official Video' out of curiosity, and I died laughing.  What I didn't know was that it was actually a book!  In book form! 
Sorry to bore any of you out there who have not read The Hunger Games or does not like it, but I thought I'd share it.
And here's something to laugh at:

Have fun storming the castle! (An inspirational tidbit from an awesome teacher of mine.)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In Which I Show You What I Find to be Inspirational and The Hunger Games and Other Stuff

Okay, so I haven't been able to read anything AT ALL since I've been busy with the usual and the fact that most of the books that I want to get come out in the next month or two.(Not Rachel Hawkin's Spellbound, though!  It comes out NEXT WEEK!  Squee!)  Anyway, although I have no review for a book, I thought I might as well post something.  And that something happens to be pictures and the Hunger Games.First off: Pictures that inspire me.

 I made this one^ on my iPod.

Don't they just get those creative juices flowing?  They do for me, at least.
And now for some Hunger Games talk.
I recently read the books over the summer for my summer reading.  As you know, I'm not a big dystopian fan, but everybody kept telling me how awesome it was.  So, I borrowed it from a friend and read all three of them in about three days' time.  They were just that awesome.  And as most of you all know, The Hunger Games is going to be a movie.  (It's coming out this month!)  So excited.  But then, I came across this:
Yes, this is indeed The Hunger Games nail polish.  I want it sooo bad!  Just look at all those colors!  I'm absolutely in love with Smoke and Ashes and Luxe and Lush.  But then, I did a little more research of HG memorabilia and found an entire etsy store dedicated to The Hunger Games.  Check it out. 
And here's another thing to check out.  This is a book called Croak written by Gina Damico.  Lookie!  It's absolutley hilarious!  Plus, I cannot wait for this book to come out!  Not only does it look awesome, but I read the synopsis for it, and it sounds like a great read.

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.
He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.
Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her targets like a natural born Killer.
Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?
 And guess what?  It comes out this March 20th!  Like I said earlier, all the books I want to read have yet to come out.  What is this madness?  As a sidenote, I have to say, being a book lover gives you great patience.  Lots and lots of it.
Another book that I'm having a hard time waiting for would be The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross.  If you have not read the first book(The Girl in the Steel Corset), I suggest you do.  It's steampunk awesomeness at its best.  Also, Rift by Andrea Cremer.  That looks--I know it's just going to be amazing.
Well, there's more books, but I don't feel like boring you all with it.  Is there any books you'd like to read, but hasn't come out yet? 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Breathless Tour

So as I promised, I said I'd talk a bit about The Breathless Reads Tour in New York.  Let me just begin by saying that it was such a lovely experience and an honor.  I have never been able to go to a book signing, but finally, fate shined down on me and told me "Hell yeah!  You're going to this event rain OR shine!"  Well, that's how I imagined how fate would talk to me...Well, anyway, back to the point of this post.I might as well begin with how accomidating and prepared Books of Wonder was to behold such an event.(Later on I figured out that they do stuff like this all the time.)  But seriously, as soon as I walked through the door, I was greeted by a bright and cheery worker and asked if my friend and I were here for the event.  We said we were and we were showered with passes and posters and a few extra books to bring home with us and treasure for the rest of our lives.
We also happened to be, like, the first people there.  They didn't even have the chairs and tables ready for the event.  And as of then, I believe the only author I spotted in the store was Beth Revis.  My fangirliness is kind of pathetic when I look at the big picture...
Then came the time when both the chairs and authors had arrived.  Since we were early to arrive, we had the ability to choose any seat we wanted.  We thought, "Hey, how about front and center?"  Then we thought, "No.  No, we're not going to do that; it's took fangirly and we'd look like complete dorks."  We chose to do the latter, and chose seats second row from the front on the left.  Not much of a differnce, I know.  We thought we were playing it cool at the time.
We sat through all of what the authors had to say about their stories, and I even asked a question!  For the entire event, I was in a complete state of bliss.  It was lovely.
And now for some pictures:
 I originally went to go meet Andrea Cremer becasue she was the only author whose books I've read.
 But then I remembered discovering Jessica Spotswood's book on Amazon and I had put it on my wishlist.  So I impulsively bought her book and had her sign it.
I also bough Marie Lu's book and got her to sign it, but I didn't get the opportunity to take a picture, but I really wish I had.
Anyhow, that was The Breathless Reads Tour for me!  It was amazing and a dream come true!  Oh, and I plan to go to more of these in the near future.  Did anybody else go to one of these Breathless events?  If you did, tell me how it went!

Friday, March 2, 2012

And So a New Legend Begins...

Not the best pun, I know.  But, just recently I finished reading Legend by Marie Lu and I can't help but think of some corny pun for the title.
So just like Jessica Spotswood, I met Marie Lu at the Breathless Tour.  She was a very creative and artsy person(Oh, and I checked out her blog and art gallery, so that's why I know.)  Anyhow, I thought this book was just as amazing as Born Wicked.  I'm not one to go for dystopian books because I feel like the world the characters will eventually turn into reality and it scares me.  But with this dystopian book, I didn't get the "WE HATE THE GOVERNMENT" feel because the one character, June, actually lives within the Republic, and she aspires to be a genius super-fighter for them. 
And then there's Day.  He's the other half of this book, and we get to see what the world is like through his eyes since Legend has an alternating point of view.  He's only fifteen, but he's a boy whose got a lot of crimes behind him and his masterful criminal mind.  He lives in the slums of the Republic.  He lives out on the street, even though his mother and brothers are alive and they have a home and all.  But he's got his friend, Tess, to accompany him throughout his adventures.
The books starts off with Day the suspected murderer of Metias, June's older brother who works for the military.  Out of anger and vengeance, June begins her search for him out on the streets, disguised as any other 'street con'.  Things get complicated, though, and since this is a romance novel, I think you can put the rest together.
But overall, the book really wasn't what I expected it to be.  I have to admit myself, I am one of those that will judge a book by its cover.  It's hard not to.  We all make judgements based upon looks, no matter what the situation is.  I'm glad I did pick this book up.  Super, uber glad.  This was a book with lots and lots of potential, and it has a great story to tell.  There were surprises around every turn, and I found myself seated at the very edge of my chair, my body stiff, as I read.  It was not what I expected, especially not from a debut author, but I think it's a good thing that I didn't expect certain aspects from it because it left me stunned and craving for more.  I can't wait until Book Two of this comes out.
Thank you, Marie Lu for your awesome book!
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