Thursday, March 31, 2011

Exciting Stuff!

First, I would like to make it known that I am collecting followers. With a bribe.
See, once I hit 57 (I like more random numbers) followers, then I will give away (for free!) a signed opy of Jackson Pearce's As You Wish.  This is a good book, and you want to win it. I highly recommend you start following so you can enter to win, once I figure out how to set it up (or make my computer genius husband to do it for me like I normally do).

Second, I'm getting a signed set of Iron Fey books by Julie Kagawa soon (sorry, I'm not giving those away at the moment; I'm way too pumped about it).  This has inspired me to finally read the books, and so far I am having a good time.  Looks like Harlequin Teen wins again. Right now I'm in the middle of The Iron King .  So I will be reviewing this series soon.  Thus far, what I can tell of Julie Kagawa is that she has a lot of the same interests as my husband, which makes me feel a bit confused.  The only difference is that she writes books about fairies and my husband has this idea in his head for a graphic novel which has no fairies in it (I will not divulge the details of this graphic novel because I do not want anyone to steal it so that he will always be free to write it).  Oh, and he's male and she's female, and she's not an Irish/Cherokee from Podunk, GA. BUT OTHER THAN THAT . . . it's very odd.  They'd probably be friends if they knew each other.

Third, and while this has nothing to do with books, I found out about this:

This means that all those paper cranes I make for stress relief will do some good in the world!  I highly encourage anyone else who likes origami to join in.  While I sell art, origami, and jewelry on etsy and am currently donating part of the profits to the Japanese relief effort, this is cool because each crane is worth $2.  So if I send them 200 cranes, and they get $400 for Japan!  I'm going to have like the BEST karma!  And since I can't stop folding the cranes, this could be the best ever.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Masquerade- Melissa De La Cruz

So after reading Blue Bloods, I wasn't sure if I'd read any more of this series.  The constant designer name dropping was kind of annoying, Mimi was awful, and I was disappointed that Charles Force wasn't the evil one.
But then I all of a sudden had this urge to read book two, Masquerade, and it turns out that book two is about 1000% better than book one.
In this book, Mimi still exists, which is annoying, but it's quite clear that she's a total bitch and even her friends think she is, and then you get all these interesting revelations about her which will make you LARF with the ironic joy of it all.
Schuyler is developed more, and you get to know way more about her family background what with the appearance of another family member.  The prior plot of the Silver Blood attacks on the vampire angels is continued into this book, and it appears that people are beginning to listen to Schuyler about it! 
Now, I will say that this book reminded me of Harry Potter.  You know the whole, 'there's an evil plot element that's come back, and no one believes main character except for a few close friends and some wise older people,' which also happened in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.  However, Harry Potter was not a vampire angel.
Another similarity between this book and Harry Potter is the fact that some people are disgusted by Schuyler's 'half-blood' status. And of course, most of the Blue Bloods think Red Bloods are beneath them.
But that's not really the main part of the book.  The main part has to do with discovering what evil is lurking around, trials, an undercover agent, modeling gigs, uncovering the past, dark magic, Venice, how shallow people can be, angsty teenagers, and deciding whether or not it's morally repugnant to drink the blood of people. Which makes for a book that you just can't put down, and now I'm all, "yeah, I am SO going to read the rest of these books!'

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sweetly- Jackson Pearce

She has done it again.
You know, written a  totally fabulous book. Plus, this cover is AWESOME.
Jackson Pearce's latest, which you can pre-order since it's not out til August, is really good.
See, it's based on Hansel and Gretel, only iy has werewolves in it, meaning she'd have to really mess things up not to make that good.
Sweetly is the story of Ansel and Gretchen, whose sister Abigail disappeared in the woods when they were children.  Since then, they've lived in fear of the woods and wondered what it was that killed their sister.
Of course, it was a werewolf, only they think it was some sort of witch, and when their father dies and their stepmother kicks them out, they move to South Carolina, where their car breaks down, so they can't really get anywhere else.
They end up living in a candy shop with a pretty candy-maker, surprisingly enough.  Gretchen, a fearful, timid 18-year-old  who still misses her twin sister and hasn't exactly grabbed life by the horns, comes into contact with . . . more werewolves!
Now that she knows what it is that killed her sister, she wants to make it stop.  She doesn't want anyone else to disappear, and this is where Gretchen finds her strength.
She and Samuel, local werewolf hunter extraordinaire, start practicing shooting.  She wants to overcome her fear and she wants to make the disappearances stop.
This is what makes the book so good.  Gretchen's character is written so well and so believably, that you can feel her fear and you can feel her getting over it. You can see something of yourself in Gretchen, even if you have no problems with werewolves attacking (which honestly now, you probably don't), because most people have some sort of fear that they have to get over, at least at some point in their lives.
Since I felt Gretchen's fear so strongly, I actually got scared and didn't really want to go near the woods for a while.  THAT IS HOW WELL IT IS WRITTEN.
I like this book EVEN MORE than Sisters Red, because in Sisters Red, the two main characters are both already strong huntresses, whereas Gretchen has to learn to become one, and I think the transformation of a character throughout a book makes it better. Personally. The whoole coming-of-age thing, you know; that's why YA is so popular according to all the people whose theories I read while doing my dissertation.
So personally, I think you should read this book.  It's fab.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Numbers- Rachel Ward

"No, it never happens.  Happily ever after.  It's a lie, Spider. It doesn't happen to people like us."- Jem, NUMBERS.

What would it be like to see the date of everyone's death, right when you looked into their eyes?

A charlatan would use it to make money, but most people would just get depressed by it.

Poor foster child Jem certainly dislikes it.  Ever since she figured out that the numbers she saw when she looked at people were the dates of of their deaths, and she was powerless to do anything about it.

So she stays as far from people as she can.  She knows when they'll die, so she doesn't want to get close.

But you know how life can be, and she does get close.  Spider is a lanky black boy in her class, and his number's coming up.  Somehow, they still become friends, and Jem starts to hope that maybe she can stop his number from killing him.

They end up on the run after being suspects in a terrorist attack in London, the whole time Jem knowing how much time Spider has left and wondering how he's going to go. She never wished as hard that the number was wrong before this.

This book is REALLY good. Jem's character is believable and unique.  Her relationship with Spider is complex.  In fact, she thinks at first he's a stinky dumb tosser who is not at al attractive in any way.  But as they grow closer, yeah, she changes her mind.  She even starts to like his stench! Even though he doesn't believe in washing! And honestly, that is really common in high school boys; I don't know why books always make them out to be nice-smelling and handsome at first sight.  It's just . . not . . LIKE THAT in high school. The guys are NOT all gorgeous.  And most of them stink. So this is probably the most realistic high school boy I've read about in a YA novel.

I mean, imagine if Bella Swan thought Edward Cullen was ugly and smelly. IT WOULD HAVE CHANGED THE ENTIRE STORY.  I mean, can you imagine her going, 'God, why does that ugly smelly creep keep looking at me?  Why won't he just GO AWAY?!'

You probably can't.

And even though HE believes in happily ever after, she doesn't.  She has proof.  She knows exactly how long they have to be happy, and she can't do anything to change it.

While seeing everyone's death date is not a realistic character trait, it does make for a good story, especially because the rest of it is so realistic.  The people are ordinary.  They get in trouble.  They don't have much. SO you team it up with the impending doom of knowing when they'll all die, and you get something rather heart-wrenching.

Oh, and there's a SEQUEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!