Thursday, December 27, 2012

Character Interview: Jase from the Timber Wolves series


So, you might know I am a big fangirl for Tammy Blackwell's Timber Wolves series. My reviews of
DESTINY BINDS was one of the first ones I wrote on this blog way back when (and by the way, the editing and cover art issues I mentioned are a thing of the past now). And then I freaked out some more for TIME MENDS. (It is so sad I didn't know about gifs at this point in my bloggy career because I would've done so many for these reviews. So very, very many.)
When Tammy put out a call for bloggers to do character interviews, I signed right up.

Here's my interview with Jase Donovan, who turns out to be kind of an awesome guy even though at the end of the first book you will probably not think so ;) Trying not to be spoilerfic here!

Me:  Clowns: horrifying, obviously. But why? What makes them so freaky?

Jase: Dude, have you not watched It?

Me: Did you ever have any suspicion that Scout was a Shifter, or had an supernatural abilities at all? Liam got a sense that she wasn't entirely "normal" the first time he met her, and he could tell she was Dominant right away.

Jase: Of course I knew. What kind of moron do you take me for?

*the sound of Talley talking in the background*

Okay, okay. Fine. I didn’t have a clue. But it should be pointed out that Liam is the Alpha, so his sense of smell is way more advanced than the normal Shifter. And she’s my sister. I’ve known her my whole life, so to me she’s always smelled like Scout. How was I supposed to know that Scout smell was also female Shifter smell?

Me:And since brothers love to talk about stuff like this, what is Scout's most embarrassing moment?

Jase: She would probably say the time she lost her bathing suit top after diving into the lake, but the only people around that day were family. No, I think the time she tucked the back of her skirt into her underwear at church and made it through the rest of the service before Mrs. Jessup noticed and took pity on her was much more embarrassing.

Me: Now yours!!

Jase: Me? I’ve never done anything embarrassing.

*more Talley sounds from the background*

Good grief. Fine.

There was this one time at a party. This chick was whining about how much her feet hurt and how if guys had to wear high heels they would be outlawed. I took offense and said if guys wore high heels we wouldn’t complain about them all the time like girls do. The argument continued until I found myself stuffing my feet into her shoes and walking around in them. The problem was, I was so focused on our conversation, I hadn’t realized that even though we were alone in the dining room, everyone outside could see us through the sliding glass doors. I had girls giving me pointers on how to walk correctly in stilettos and guys complimenting my shapely legs for months.

Me:
  Talley is such a fabulous girl, but you obviously know that! Can you remember the moment when you realized you had feelings for her?

Jase: I’ve always had feelings for Talley. Good feelings, even. But if you’re wondering when those feelings started to include the urge to push her against a wall and have my wicked way with her, then the answer is prom. I’ve always known that Talley was pretty, but in that dress... Damn. I saw her and my mind immediately went to the gutter. And then it went somewhere even worse when I saw her with that loser.

*pause*

You know, she and I kind of have this agreement to never talk about that night, so I’ll just stop now.

Me:  How did your friends from high school react to y'all getting together? Even though you were already out of school, Timber is a small town and I know you still see people from your class at Wal-Mart and that kind of thing. And I bet they had opinions about your relationship. I'm from a little Southern town, too, so I know how this works :)

Jase: People are idiots. When we were still in Timber and just faking at being together, it was like the redneck paparazzi. The moment we showed up somewhere together people would whip out their phones. Covert and not-so-covert pictures were taken. Texts were sent. Calls were made. A few concerned citizens tried to tell Talley I was just using her, and a group of my so-called friends had an intervention where they explained I was driving my rep straight into the ground. We don’t really talk to any of those people anymore.

Me: Are there any other kinds of Shifters besides wolves and coyotes living in the US? Or anywhere overseas, for that matter?

Jase: Not that I know of.

Me: And since this is a standard-issue question for people your age: do you have plans for the future? College? Career?

Jase: I’m not really much of a planner. Talley and Scout, however, have the entire rest of my life mapped out with interactive graphs. I’m sure they would be thrilled to tell you all about it, but I don’t really have time to get into right now because I have to go to the public relations class my Alpha and Vice Alpha made me sign up for.

You can get the final book in the series FATE SUCCUMBS right here and just brace yourself: things do NOT end how you think they will. Seriously.


And AND AND...There's a short story told from Jase's POV under the "At First Sight" tab over at Ms. Tammy's blog. So head over here to read about the first meetings of several of the Timber Wolves characters.

*Don't Forget my giveaway of REACHED by Ally Condie!! Over HERE!
sarah

Monday, December 24, 2012

Best of 2012 Giveaway!

I think you all know how I felt about REACHED by Ally Condie. If not, here's a gushy, gif-filled, fangirly review right HERE



So, if you want to win my hardcover copy, just fill out the rafflecopter! a Rafflecopter giveaway And check out the other blogs giving away their favorite reads of 2012!

























sarah

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

GUESS WHAT I HAVE???



An ARC of SCARLET by Marissa Meyer!!!!!






image

image


That is all.

Carry on.

sarah

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #4: Ink by Amanda Sun

*Y'all, 12/12/12 was my birthday. I just wanted to share because I think that's cool, despite the fact that I have a brutal head cold that makes me contrary, and my sassy daughter caught it and Lord have mercy, we have butted congested heads today....
Anway! I had a draft of this post written long ago and I remembered it just now.


INK by Amanda Sun


I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.


On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.
(Summary from Goodreads)
Release date: June 25, 2013 
 
People, can we talk about how amazing this book sounds??
 
I KNOW!! It could be because I have a fondness for "drawings that come alive" scenarios since reading "Saavy" by Ingrid Law. (It's an MG title, and really, really good!) Maybe it's the cover art. Maybe it's the unique setting. Whatever it is: I am excited about this book! I want to know more about their world.
 
So what are you waiting on this Wednesday?





sarah

Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: The TURNING by Francine Prose

Sorry I've been AWOL lately. Thanksgiving kicked my butt, and then the stomach virus that swept through my house stomped on me and left me for dead in the bathroom floor.

But I'm back now.
And I have a confession: I've been in a reading slump.
 I can't even remember all the DNF's I've had recently. It's like nothing holds my attention, or I get annoyed with the characters, or just flat-out lose interest. I've considered doing a post of Books I Didn't Finish and why I put them down, but to tell the truth, there have been so many I don't think I could remember them all. Does anyone else ever have these spells of readerly apathy? I used to force myself to finish a book, even if I didn't like it, but now I've realized that life is short and by George, I don't have to read anything I don't want to read.

On to a review of something I actually did finish!




This is a modern YA retelling of "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, which I have never read. So I didn't know what was coming, which is good, because I hear this is a pretty faithful retelling as far as plot goes.
The book is told in letter format, as Jack writes home to his girlfriend Sophie and his Dad about his summer babysitting job on Crackstone Landing.
(I think there's something wrong with me, but I found the name "Crackstone" unintentionally funny. Like something from the Flinstones.)
Jack's babysitting Miles and Flora, two orphaned kids whose guardian has them living on this island in a family home with no TV, internet, or any connection to the outside world.
Weirdness and mystery are afoot. The kids are creepy. Jack is freaked out. It's all nicely atmospheric and I could even *almost* overlook the unrealistic narrative voice that sounded nothing like a 16 year old boy.
And then it ends. Things were just getting nicely dark and sinister when suddenly, the book was over. There were lots of questions left unanswered, lots of time spent building up a feeling of dread or suspicion toward different characters, but nothing came of it. Having never read the original, I can't say if this is how things were in the James' story. I guess the point is to wonder what exactly went on, how much Jack imagined, what really happened with the kids and the people who lived on the island before. But there were so many hints and allusions to things that had happened before Jack arrived, it really felt unsatisfactory to me to never have a resolution to the questions. The ending felt really fast, and Jack's mental unraveling played out in just a few pages. I was thinking, "Alright! Here we go...this is getting good." But sadly, the book stopped right about then.
I think the book was fairly successful for what it was: a short novel about paranoia and ghosts and a boy questioning his sanity. But I wanted more plot and more answers. However, it's a fast read with nice atmosphere and it's a change of pace from most YA books out right now. It wasn't my favorite, but it did have good points.

sarah

Monday, November 26, 2012

Novel Thoughts #1 and Gratitude Giveaway Winner!

****Note on Gratitude Giveaway: The Winner of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo as determined by Rafflecopter was....
Kelly M!
Winner has been emailed and if she doesn't respond in 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. Thanks to all who entered!!****
 
 
 
 
 
I was really excited to be invited by  Chey, Inky, and Megan to participate in the second outing of their new Novel Thoughts meme! They're featuring my question this week. I'm flattered *blushes, shuffles feet*
You can see their answers to the Question of the Week below....Just click the links:
 
 
 
 

 



What is Novel Thoughts? Every two weeks, a bookish question is asked and answered. The goal is lots and lots of discussion, so please COMMENT AWAY! :) I really do want to hear your answers:

QUESTION:  If you could live in the world of any book, which would it be? And which fictional world would scare you the most if you woke up there tomorrow?

ANSWERS:
First, I want to live in a post-Deathly Hallows world. I wouldn't want to drop right into the struggle between Voldemort and Harry where Death Eaters are running around and all that scariness. But after all that was settled? I would love to be a witch. (Obviously, I don't want to be in the Harry Potter world if I'm just a muggle...) The first magic thing I'd really work on learning would be housekeeping spells. You know when Mrs. Weasley is using spells to get things ready around The Burrow before Fleur and Bill's wedding?? I guess it shows my age and that I'm an overwhelmed at-home mom and terrible housekeeper, but I remember thinking: That is the most wonderful thing I've ever read! lol!


As for what fictional world would scare my socks off?? A lot of them, actually, since I'm a big 'fraidy cat. But I'm going to go with the post-Apocalyptic bad-angel filled world of Angelfall by Susan Ee. Not only are there angels terrorizing humanity, but--as it is prone to do--humanity is terrorizing itself as well! If you're not in danger of getting kidnapped by angels for nefarious purposes (I'm trying not to get spoilerific with this!) then you're in danger of roaming gangs of people wanting to do you harm in various forms.  And what happened to  the kids???? People who have read this book, I KNOW you know what I'm talking about. Those who haven't, if you have a strong stomach and a pretty high horror tolerance, read it. The book is marvelously paced, the characters are complicated and engaging, and I don't know when I've read a book that played out more vividly in my head, like I was watching a movie. (Sometimes, I wanted to close my eyes I was so freaked out, but sadly, one can't read with closed eyes...and I was desperate to finish and see what happened!)

Alright, comment time! What fictional worlds would you love to live in? And which ones would scare you to death??



sarah

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review: REACHED by Ally Condie


 
Y'all, REACHED....
 
 
 
 






 

image
 
So stinking pretty. Just... I'm gonna give coherency a shot. I'm making no promises.

 Here we go!

 Ally Condie wraps up the MATCHED Trilogy using three POVs: Cassia, Ky (we've heard from both of them before) and Xander.  The Society is struggling, the Rising is on the move, things are not going quite as planned for anyone, and, oh: there is a plague. Big giant plague, which I think we can all agree is never a good thing.
Cassia, Ky, and Xander all have important parts to play in helping pull this new and unstable civilization back from the brink of collapse.  How each of them view the Society, the Rising, the Pilot, the plague, and their misgivings about the future is interesting to see, since they are three very different people. All the questions we had are answered, and there are a few nifty plot twists.

I realize this isn't much of a plot summary, but I'm terrible at those kind of reviews. I just want to talk about ALL THE FEELINGS. (As evidenced by the gifs...this is how I operate in life also. Even I find it hard to be around myself sometimes!)

Although the storyline is often grim, it's also beautiful. Condie's writing reminds me of Robert Frost's poetry. It's spare, almost simple, yet somehow so evocative. Images stick with you. There's nothing flowery or showy about the way she writes, but it just tears me up.
Example:
If you let hope inside, it takes you over. It feeds on your insides and uses your bones to climb and grow. Eventually it becomes the thing that is your bones, that holds you together. Holds you up until you don't know how to live without it anymore. To pull it out of you would kill you entirely.

 I just dig her writing style.

Something else I liked: the resolution to the Cassia/Ky/Xander thing.
 Hear me out, love triangle haters! Because I, too, usually want to start slapping people when I read a love triangle. But this one was wonderfully written. There was a point in her life when Cassia could have made a completely different choice than what she did. Xander and Ky both have wonderful qualities that would make either of them good partners for Cassia.
 But here's the kicker: Once she decided, SHE WAS DONE. No "oh, maybe I wanna make out with you over here, you're so hawt, no wait, what about you again...." nonsense like in some books.
 No. Condie does not play those games. I think the message here is: Life offers you alternate paths, different ways to proceed into your future, and any choice you make automatically shuts the door for other choices. Pick a path and keep moving forward. I found it refreshing to see such a mature attitude toward life from fictional teenagers.

And on the subject of moving forward: Xander. Oh, I loved the path his character takes in this book. I love seeing real, hard-earned growth. Another true-to-life fact woven into the plot of this book: you can't undo the pains and losses life hands you, but you can learn from them and grow. Any world is imperfect, but there is beauty and love to be found anywhere if you are brave enough to look for it and create it. I'm so happy to have met Cassia, Ky, and Xander and shared their journey.

Anyone else read this?? What did you think?



**I'M GIVING AWAY A COPY OF "SHADOW AND BONE" by LEIGH BARDUGO**






sarah

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gratitude Giveaway: SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo



*I'm posting this now because there's a good chance I'll forget tomorrow and autopost and I aren't getting along right now...**


This nifty blog hop sponsored by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.


I really am so grateful for each and every follower! It's a big boost for a new blogger to see the Follower count going up. :) Plus tt helps me feel like I'm not talking to myself on this blog, because really, I talk to myself enough in real life anyway without doing it online as well! :)

So to say THANK YOU! to all my awesome followers, I'm giving away a copy of

SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo!





**If you'd like to know more about the book, I just noticed Amazon has the first five chapters for Kindle free right now...so you could get a pretty good preview that way!**


SINCE THIS IS A FOLLOWER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS FOLLOW MY BLOG TO ENTER!! a Rafflecopter giveaway



Contest runs through November 25, 2012. US ONLY! This is a hardcover book and shipping outside the US would be too expensive. :(



























sarah

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

CINDER Winner and something else...

Thank you to EVERYONE who entered the 100 Follower/New Blog Design Giveaway. Y'all are fabulous, you know that, right??

AND the winner as selected by Rafflecopter's random selection feature is....


****JUSTINE****

Winner has been emailed. If winner doesn't reply in 48 hours a new winner will be selected.

For those who didn't win, take heart! I'm hosting a stop on I Am A Reader, Not A Writer's
 Gratitude Giveaway Hop that runs November 15-25.
 Whoot!!! A post detailing my giveaway will be up sometime Wednesday.

And my other really big news of the night: I am in posession of  REACHED by Ally Condie. I anticipate much poetic dystopian goodness in my near future, people.
 Anyone else get it today?? Anyone else fired up about it?? :)


sarah

Friday, November 9, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday




Q: Do you mind books with similar ideas to other books? Similar concepts, backgrounds, retellings or pulled-to-publish fanfic?


A: I don't mind similar ideas. I read PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL and ENTWINED very close together, and they're both retellings of the 12 Dancing Princesses fairytales. That said, if I read books based on similar ideas, one will always be "better" than the other in my mind. I think comparison is just inevitiable when reading books with obvious similarities.
Retellings: Yes! I'm a fan. If they're super-creative, all the better. I think that's why I loved CINDER by Marissa Meyer so dang much.
 (BTW, I'm giving it away. Enter if you haven't already!! Button that links to the Giveaway page is at the top under my header!)
Fanfic: No. I once read where JK Rowling said something like reading fanfic of her work reminded her of coming home and finding all her furniture rearranged. (Can't remember the exact quote, but it was something like that!) I guess I feel the same way as a reader. Just leave things like they are so I don't trip over a chair when I'm trying to find my way around! :)



sarah

Friday, November 2, 2012

Feature and Follower Friday: Dealbreakers




Feature and Follower Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee where book bloggers gain new followers and answer a bookish question. This week's topic for discussion:

Q: What is a deal breaker for you in a book? For example, do you abhor love triangles? Or can't deal with bad editing?

A: I don't like books with profanity and strong sexual content. It's part of my religion, and just who I am. I realize other readers don't have this issue, but I no longer feel the need to apologize for it like I used to. So now when people say things like, "Oh, my goodness, you have GOT to read 50 Shades" I just tell them no thanks, that's not my kind of book. :) And I always appreciate when a review also has a bit about the content, so I can know if it's going to be something I want to read or not.



**NOTICE THE BUTTON AT THE RIGHT OF MY HEADER?? I STILL HAVE A GIVEAWAY GOING FOR "CINDER" BY MARISSA MEYER IF YOU WANT TO CLICK IT AND ENTER!!**



sarah

Monday, October 29, 2012

ARC Review: Dust by Devon Ashley

So, this is my very first ARC tour, hosted Megan, AKA The Book Babe.
ARC Tour Sign Ups: Dust by Devon Ashley
First, what I found interesting and different about Dust was the main character, Rosalie. The cover art is gorgeous, but pretty deceiving. Rosalie is a pixie, but not like the pixies in Carrie Jones' Need series. She's more of the Tinkerbell variety I guess, because she is six inches tall. Oh, and she has salmon pink skin. That threw me for a loop at first. But once I got my mental pictures adjusted, I was fine.
Rosalie is kind of hippy pixie, all into Nature and being laid back and free spirited. The world of the pixies is beauitfully described and creative. Once she's captured by fairies as a pixie dust making slave, the pace of the book picks up.

I especially liked the last half of the book after Jack, Rosalie's jailer, is introduced. It goes without saying if you read any of my reviews that a budding romance is a key plot element for me. :)

Things I didn't really enjoy: I felt the book needed better editing. Some readers aren't bothered by this, but I caught several typos and mistakes. There were also a lot of repeated words, such as when dialogue tags were reused repeteadly (characters "huff" a lot). I can't help it. I just notice when words are reused in books.

I would say overall I liked the book, but didn't love it. It is a clean YA fantasy, without bad language, sexual content, or any type of drinking or drug use. However, the faeries who capture Rosalie are quite brutal in their treatment of her and the other pixies.

"Dust"is the beginnig of a series (Of Dust and Darkness), and ends with a setup for the next in the book. I hope in coming books, Rosalie will find a way to wreak a little havoc on her captors and free the other pixies. There's a lot more of her story left to tell!



"Dust" can be purchased on Amazon .
Devon Ashley's blog is right here.



***Don't Forget to Stop by MY GIVEAWAY! :)***

sarah

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Review: The Shadow Society byMarie Rutkoski



Release date: October 16, 2012

Darcy Jones doesn’t remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse. She has never really belonged anywhere—but she couldn’t have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn’t happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.

Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at her high school, and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn’t thought possible. But Conn’s interest in her is confusing. It doesn’t line up with the way he first looked at her.
As if she were his enemy.
When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can’t rely on anything—not herself, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him. Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades’ latest terrorist plot. What she finds out will change her world forever . . .



I chose this book from my library for two  reasons:
1) The opening line of the Prologue: "Knowing what I know now, I'd say my foster mother had her reasons for throwing a kitchen knife at me."
 I mean, come on! How could I not want to know what that was all about?
AND
2) The girl's boots on the cover. I have serious boot envy.

 When I started "The Shadow Society," I was worried it was going to be a rehash of a LOT of Young Adult novels I've read over the past few years.
 There were some pretty standard tropes happening:
We have a girl, Darcy Jones, who feels like she doesn't really belong anywhere.
Cue the arrival of a mysterious new guy at school, Connor  McCrea, who apparently either likes or loathes our heroine. It's surprising how many books for teens have this, "I am attracted to this guy who either likes me back or quite possibly wants to kill me" dynamic going on.
Despite this, she is irresistibly drawn to him. Of course.
They're paired together for a class project.
Wait, haven't I read this book before? I didn't have high hopes.

 And then Rutkoski hit me with the poetry. Specifically, T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Conn and Darcy work together on an English assignment centering based on this poem.
Y'all, I have a deep and abiding love for Prufrock. There was no way I was going to give up on the book after that sad little man showed up.
I'm really glad I didn't, because after a slow start, the book really started to grow on me. The characters started to grow on me. Darcy is a pretty angsty girl, and hard to warm up to at first. But she is also fiercely loyal to her friends, passionate about her art, and determined to find out about her past and figure out exactly who she is.
Conn turns out to be a more complicated character than we first believe, too. As Darcy's best friend Lily puts it, "You two sound like a pair of misfit toys who are going to end up breaking each other."
The secondary characters had some of the best lines, especially Jims, who serves up the comic relief. And every now and then, there would be a funny sentence that made me smile. Like this one by Darcy's friend Raphael, talking about Conn: "And, speaking of putting on acts, how's Mr. I Wear A Cologne and It's Called Mysterious?"

There are some things that did nag at me a bit. The way the Great Chicago Fire caused the dimensional rift between our world and the reality in which Conn and the Shades live is never really explained.
 Another thing that didn't exactly ring true for me was the outcome of the big climatic scene. It was a little Breaking Dawn-ish, since the climax was pretty anticlimactic. However, I do appreciate what Rutkoski was doing, giving us characters who solved problems with words and not violence.
 And since I only read books without strong language and sexual content, I also appreciate that this was a "clean" read.
If you go into the book ready to push past the slow start and not expecting a lot of wham-bang action Shade vs. human action (there's not any), I think you'll enjoy this book. It's a well-written novel with a vividly described setting and characters discovering who they are, where they came from, what they want, and what matters most in their lives.
There was a lot to enjoy, and despite my initial misgivings, I found myself thinking about the book for days after I finished it. For  me, that's always the sign of a worthwhile read.


 **Dear lovely readers, please don't forget to enter MY NEW BLOG DESIGN/100 FOLLOWERS GIVEAWAY!!!***


sarah

Friday, October 26, 2012

NEW BLOG DESIGN/100 FOLLOWERS GIVEAWAY!!!


 People, I am SO ridiculously excited about my new blog design by the fabulous Lucille at Poppies Blooming. Excited to the point that I am beginning to wonder about my own mental stability...fellow book bloggers, I think y'all will understand this.

 AND!!!!!
 100 Followers!!


That means it's GIVEAWAY TIME!




 

 Summary: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…. Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. 

 Here's the deal: I didn't want to read this when it came out. I was of the opinion that cyborgs and I wouldn't get along. I just couldn't imagine relating to a cyborg heroine. I think I had something like The Terminator in mind.
So wrong! Cinder is smart, resourceful, determined, tough with just enough vulnerability and I LOVED her. I rooted for her throughout the book and I can't wait for the sequel.

*People, this has nothing to do with anything about the Giveaway, but I have to tell y'all:
 Marissa Meyer retweeted this Giveaway and THEN tweeted me @sarahsyablog...and I died of joy overload. That is all*
 

How to enter? Fill out the Rafflecopter below! a Rafflecopter giveaway



 Giveaway runs until November 13. 
**US Entrants Only...I'm sorry, my international peeps. I'll figure out something to do that includes y'all soon, I promise! **

sarah

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #3




Q: What writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book? For example, if an author employs an omnipotent narrator that is sometimes considered bad form.


A: I'm not so much irritated by this as kind of bemused, I guess.  I've read some books so good that I've overlooked it...but I've noticed a lot of YA characters lately have an immediate "electric" attraction to one another. 
Right off the top of my head, I can't think of which books in particular have this, but I know several I've come across have that whole, "their hands/lips/whatever touched and she/he felt (something to do with electricity, sparks, a jolt, or similar.)"
Sometimes, this happens the very first time the two characters meet. An accidental meeting of the hands and we've got *bam!* an electric sensation. So instead of Insta Love it's like Insta Zap, maybe? :)
***Look! 100 Followers AND a Snazzy new blog design: Giveaway Time!! Click to find out how to enter!
 


sarah

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #3: The Madness Underneath (Shades of London 2) by Maureen Johnson



Summary:
After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Devereaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends. But Rory’s brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she’s become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades—the city’s secret ghost-fighting police—are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone, but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it’s too late.
In this follow-up to the Edgar Award-nominated THE NAME OF THE STAR, Maureen Johnson adds another layer of spectacularly gruesome details to the streets of London that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

I just finished "The Name of the Star" (here's the review ) And I really enjoyed it. It didn't end on a cliffhanger, which was nice for a change. But Johnson did set up a new book on the last pages.
So a little Googling turned up the next in the series and it comes out Feb. 26, 2013

The Madness Underneath: Book 2 (The Shades of London)
Amazon has this cover, and I'm not sure if the top one is UK and this one is US or what??
 A little research would clear this up, but I've got a toddler taking a nap and I really, really need to be doing laundry right now. But the lure of book blogging, it is irresistible!
 I'm not totally crazy about either cover really, but both are better than the cover of The Name of the Star, in my opinion.

Also: I want that lipstick the girl on the top cover is wearing.

Click Here to See my SNAZZY NEW BLOG/100 FOLLOWERS GIVEAWAY!! :)



sarah

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johson



 I've been going into the library and grabbing a few books without reading the back cover or checking out reviews beforehand. This  pick was another example of me judging a book by it's cover and having a completely wrong idea of what it was about....and being delightfully surprised by my wrongness.

I thought it was set in Victorian London. It's not.
And I thought it would be kind of serious and gloomy.  Nope.

The Name of the Star full of humor, quirky but not outrageous characters, an interesting murder mystery, and best of all: a boarding school.

Y'all, give me a British boarding school and I am such a happy camper. It's probably some of my residual Harry Potter obsession that I will never, ever get over completely.
Not that I would want to, obviously.
By the way: I want this shirt!

if you get this reference, comment and we will be automatic bff's
Anywhoot, Maureen Johnson pretty much hooked me on page one with this quote:

In my town, Benouville, Louisiana (pronounced locally as Ben-ah-VEEL; population 1,700), hurricane preparations generally include buying more beer, and ice to keep that beer cold when the power goes out. We do have a neighbor with a two-man rowboat lashed on top of the porch roof, all ready to go if the water rises--but that's Billy Mack, and he started his own religion in the garage, so he's got a lot more going on that just an extreme concern for personal safety.

(Maybe it's because I live in a tiny town in the rural Deep South, but that paragraph just delighted me to no end. The Southern way to say that is: y'all, that tickled me to death!)

I was instantly a fan of Rory, the protagonist. She's smart, but in a realistic way. Her inner commentary sounds like an intelligent, funny, witty sixteen-year-old and not an adult trying to sound like a witty teen. There's a difference.

Rory describes her new world at school with interesting but not overwhelming detail. Her friends were likable, and I thought they were pretty three-dimensional characters. Although Jerome is kind of flat for me, but really, he's not that big of a player in the plot once it gets rolling.

I can't resist...Here's another great quote:

I looked at the stained-glass image of the lamb in the window above me, but that only reminded me that lambs are famous for being led to slaughter, or sometimes hanging out with lions in ill-advised relationships.

Oh, Maureen Johnson...can we hang out somtime??

I also love how the paranormal aspect of the plot takes a long time to show up. You don't know for quite a while that anything supernatural is going on. It's just Rory and her attempts to fit in at boarding school, then a murder mystery, then BAM! creepy stuff!
For me, this is a bonus. I like when the paranormal shows up later, once you've been lulled into thinking you know what's going on, then you find out there's way more happening than you thought. That's one thing I enjoyed about Nevermore by Kelly Creagh. (Which, by the way, would make an excellent Halloween read.)

Content: One thing I wasn't crazy about was the drinking in the book, which is an accepted part of Rory's life at school. At least no one got down and out drunk, just tipsy, but still I wanted to note that in the review.
There was not much profanity and nothing beyond a few kisses. It's unusual to come across a YA book that doesn't feature a heavy-handed romantic subplot. Sure, Rory and Jerome are a couple but they don't think they're soulmates destined for eternity together. They're a couple of kids who like and spending time with each other...and kissing each other. Personally, I'm pulling for her to end up with Stephen in future books in the series.

As for the Jack the Ripper aspect: eeeekkkkk!! I do NOT read scary stuff, but I was hooked on this book and couldn't put it down. It wasn't too terribly scary, although the peril did kick up several notches in the last hundred pages or so.

I'm on a roll with my Random Library Trolling. Check back soon for a review of The Shadow Society, another book I picked up knowing nothing about it beforehand and ended up liking quite a bit.

*****CHECK OUT MY NEW BLOG DESIGN/100 FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY!*****


sarah

Friday, October 19, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #2


Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read


Q: When you step out of your USUAL genre what do you like to read? Best books in that genre?

My genre of choice is YA (as you can probably tell from my witty and immensely clever blog title, right?). Specifically, I like paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian YA. Not so much a fan of historical or contemporary though.
When I'm not reading YA, I usually read Christian nonfiction. Oh, and anything by Terry Pratchett. His Discworld series is my go-to when I need to laugh and need books where everything will turn out alright.

***Hey, y'all...I've got a Giveaway planned for when I hit 100 Followers. So if you would like to Follow me, please do! **
sarah

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #2: "Clockwork Princess" by Cassandra Clare


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features each blogger’s most anticipated books.


Summary from Amazon:

Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close. If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it? The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose. Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment. Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.
Release Date: March 19, 2013




Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)



I haven't written reviews for the first two books in The Infernal Devices series (Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince) yet. I read Clockwork Prince when we were in Ukraine, before I started blogging again. But anyone who knows me has probably heard me talk about this series, harass them to read this series, speculate about the outcome of this series, and generally fan girl all over the place about it.

I'm anxiously awaiting Clockwork Princess, but at the same time, I kind of dread it. Why?
 Because Cassandra Clare has made me adore two characters who are in love with the same girl. Normally, I am NOT a love triangle fan. In fact, the vast majority of the time, they make me angry.

Super angry.

But both Jem Carstairs and Will Herondale are so well- written and human and heartbreaking, I just want them both to be happy. And I like Tessa as a heroine in this series.  I want to know what her origin story is at long last. What IS she, anyway?   What's the deal with her angel necklace? There are so many unanswered questions.
But I am predicting Dickensian levels of tragedy in this book.
This can not end well, people. I do hope I'm wrong though!



sarah

Monday, October 15, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday(but on Monday!)



Sorry I'm late to this party!
Here's the weekly Feature and Follow Friday Question:

Q: What book do you think would make a great Halloween movie? Please explain in graphic detail of goriness...

There's no WAY I could watch a movie of "Angelfall" by Susan Ee. I can read some pretty freaky stuff, but even mildly scary movies mess my stuff up! After reading this post-Apocalyptic dytopian novel, I was so horrified I had to make someone else read it just so I could have someone else to be traumatized with! I want to know what happens, because Penryn and Raffe both have really compellng stories, but I'm kind of scared to read the next one when it comes out. :)



sarah
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