Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

I'm not sure where to start talking about this book. You see, I started reading it on Friday night last week and reached 1/3 of the way through very quickly. At that point, I was still questioning whether I liked the story or not. Weird, right, that I wouldn't know one way or the other? Well, it's true.

By Saturday, when I delved into it again, I was better able to understand what it was that had me initially confused then, ultimately, enamored with Mara Dyer and Michelle Hodkin. The author has you in the present, then in the past. She has you in Mara's head, which is a touchy area considering her mental faculties are seriously in question. You never know what is real and what is imagined. It is this back and forth feel that keeps you mesmerized, waiting for final clarification of what exactly is happening to this poor, messed up girl. (And did I mention I finished this 450 page book on Saturday?)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Could you date a man with wings?

It's almost time for the release of the much anticipated third book featuring Nora and Patch, Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick. As the date draws closer, Simon and Schuster Canada has cooked up a few features to tide us over till then (including a link below to an awesome contest).

Nora and Patch have had a rocky go of things through the last two books, and in Silence we get to see how/if it will work out for them. Patch has the bad boy image down pat but he's also an angel, so there's a little (a lot of?) good in him too. Nora has touched the scars where his wings were attached, and if you look at the countdown widget to the right, you'll see a stunning black and white image of Patch in his full feathered regalia (the feathers do not deter from previously mentioned bad boy-ness, right?). So my big questions is this: Could you date a man with wings? The first step to finding out is heading over to the Facebook app here, uploading a picture of yourself, and seeing how great you look together :)

Hopefully, the contest, app, and countdown widget will help to while away the hours until more Patch is available to us all....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sneak Peek! The Iron Knight is coming soon....

I've been reading the Iron Fey books faithfully this year and with the ending to The Iron Queen still fresh in mind, I'm very anxious to read The Iron Knight! So, it gives me great pleasure to be able to share a wee clip on the book trailer here on my site (thanks to Larissa at Harlequin for allowing me to be part of this exclusive group!)

Without further ado, check it out here:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BBAW Interview Swap featuring Janicu's Book Blog

I want to give a big welcome to Janice, my BBAW interview swap partner. Janice and I struggled a bit over the questions to ask, striving for a certain level of originality/creativity, but I think what we came up with gives a great look at our blogs, plus a little bit about ourselves. So, without further ado, I present the blogger also known as Janicu:

1. Tell us about yourself and your blog. 
Hello. I'm Janice, although I go by Janicu on my blog (pronounced Janice-oo). My blog is Janicu's Book Blog, although I'm seriously considering renaming it.  I live in Westchester, NY with my husband and our naughty cat. I started my blog back in 2007.  It all started because I had a new years resolution to read 100 books, and since I have an awful memory, I wanted to keep track of the books I read.  I mostly review speculative fiction, often with a romantic slant (I love happy endings), but I also review young adult and romance too (my favorites of these are the contemporaries).
I usually work on my blog in my spare time (end of the day, weekends). Probably in a given week I can spend 10-20 hours reading and working on the blog. Even when it's a couple of reviews, that's a lot of time, but I enjoy it. It gets kind of cathartic to have my thoughts on a book worked out and posted, and I always have that mental list of books I need to write a review for. I don't really do memes, but that's more because I am not sure I could keep doing it consistently than because of anything against them. I really, really suck at book challenges and have yet to complete even one. On the other hand, I love readathons. :) The best thing of course is the other people. I am sure everyone says this, but it's true. Meeting other book bloggers (or just plain book nerds - recognizable because they are excited to see you holding a book they liked), it's like Meeting Your People.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Review: A Midnight Dance by Lila DiPasqua

Inspired by the tale of Cinderella, Lila DiPasqua weaves a steamy historical romance that offers a glass slipper, a dangerous deception, and an impoverished beauty determined to find her handsome prince…and make him pay. 

Born into wealth, Sabine Laurent and her twin sister lived a life of luxury, their father’s prestigious theater frequented by royalty and aristocracy alike. And Sabine dreamed of her own prince charming—the devastatingly handsome Jules de Moutier. 

That was before the loss of her sister and her family’s fall from grace—a disaster Sabine blames on the Moutier family. Now, with her father’s death, she’s inherited his sizable debt and the responsibility of caring for his spoiled long-time mistress and her two wastrel daughters. But with the help of Sabine’s eccentric friends—the balance of her father’s acting troupe—she plans to get very close to her old infatuation, seduce the rake—and make away with a fortune. 

Resisting Jules’s skillful mouth and tantalizing touch is not as easy as Sabine supposed. And soon she must decide whether her desire for vengeance is greater than her desire for her one and only prince…

Available at Amazon, Book Depository, Chapters

I had heard great things about Lila DiPasqua's previous books: short stories based on fairy tales with a definite adult twist. So, when I heard about her latest release, I jumped at the chance to review it. It was also an added bonus to discover that she's a Canadian author; I really enjoy featuring "local" talent on my blog.

With the story being based on Cinderella, you know there will be a rags-to-riches feel about it. This story kind of went in reverse, with Sabine on the verge of losing everything dear to her. While Ms. DiPasqua kept many of the familiar elements of the original story within her version, I really enjoyed the spin she put on things like the glass slipper, the ugly stepsisters, etc. There were times that I almost missed the associations, only to think back and see how skillfully the author had inserted them.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

The first book in Richelle Mead's brand-new teen fiction series - set in the same world as Vampire Academy. 

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning. 

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.
I want to preface my review with a little background information. I have heard great things about the Vampire Academy  series, so much so that I purchased all the books. But, I haven't read them yet. I went into reading Bloodlines, knowing that it was somehow related to the former series, but not knowing how much I would be missing out on because I haven't read them. Mel at He Followed Me Home recommended that I Wiki the series to get some of the details to help me with reading this. Of course, I didn't (she loves telling me "I told you so" when I don't listen to her advice ;). So, I read this book with no prior knowledge of the characters or Richelle Mead's world. I was hoping this would serve as an objective way of reading, to see if it would stand up to the test of a "stand alone" novel.

With the above disclaimer in mind, I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. There was enough world information to make the story flow smoothly and character description to sort of give a heads up on what had happened up till now. I liked that it features Sydney Sage, an alchemist, as the main character. It's funny, alchemists have been popping up in several of my recent reads, in one capacity or another. This makes me wonder if alchemy is the next big thing, as opposed to the formerly popular vampire/werewolf/fairy themes? (Though Bloodlines  does contain vampires with the alchemists working to prevent their exposure to the unknowing humans.) Alchemy, I think, has a flexible quality about it, giving a writer lots of room to work with  chemistry, and not just the idea of changing lead into gold.
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