Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Curl up with a Book...and a NOOK Contest!

Anya Bast and Lauren Dane are teaming up for a super contest giving away a NOOK! How awesome is that?  Click on the Spout below for details!

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Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty

Author: Libba Bray
Published: July 2005
Hardcover: 416 pages
Reading Level: YA
My copy: Received as a trade on
My rating: 4 out of 5 wicked stars


 It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to? 

My thoughts...

A Great and Terrible Beauty is the first in a trilogy by Libba Bray.  The book starts off in India where the spoiled main character, Gemma, is constantly complaining to her mother about wanting to live back in London.  Gemma soon gets a wake up call in the form of a vision that shows her mother dying, and it turns out to be true.  She is shipped off to London and boarding school, and it isn't all that she wished it would be.  She continues to have the visions and is torn between wanting to believe the stranger that shows up telling her to avoid them at all cost...and the glorious spirit world.  Throw in some peer pressure and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

I really enjoyed it this book, it flowed nicely and I wasn't lost or over-burdened with useless facts.  Gemma started out a spoiled brat, and still had the tendency to be that in various parts of the book, which got old.  There were times when you could see that she was turning into the character that you wanted her to be, and I hope to see more of that in the following 2 books of the trilogy. Overall, I would recommend this book to those looking for some fun, teenage drama with other-worldly flair.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Review: Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Title: Crazy Beautiful
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Hardback: 193 pages
Reading Level: YA
My copy: Received as a trade on
Rating: 4 out of 5 wicked stars



In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.

Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her.

But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.

Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

My thoughts...

I have to admit that I didn't know much about this book before reading it, I am not sure I even read a review on it.  I think I read about it on and thought it sounded like an interesting read.  I expected boy meets girl, boys has competion aka love triangle, and the drama it takes to get girl...but what I didn't expect...humor...of all things.  This book had me busting out laughing at times (and my husband looking at me like I am crazy..but that's another story).

Okay so they say this is the contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but I am not sure I would have thought of it that way had they not pointed that out.  This kid, Lucius,  blew off his hands and has two hooks...on top of that, he is starting a new school, how's that for a stressful first day?  That is where the humor came in..Lucius has the greatest, although dark and twisty, sense of humor.  Some of the things he says and thinks had me cracking up.  I love those unexpected surprises.  This story is told from alternating view points, Lucius and Aurora, and flows quite well.  It is a quick read at only 193 pages, but I recommend it if you want a little humor, romance and drama.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Title: A Certain Slant of Light
Author: Laura Whitcomb
Paperback: 288 pages
Reading Level: YA
My copy: Received as a trade on
Rating: 3 of out 5Wicked Stars


In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: For the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen--terrified, but intrigued--is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

My thoughts...

Helen is a ghost destined to exist alone.  For reasons unknown to her since she cannot remember her previous life, she is required to go from host to host to keep from going back to the horrible place she came from.  Everything changes when a guy in her host's English class actually looks at her, this has never happened to her since she has been a ghost.  After talking to the boy, she realizes that have more in common than she first knew and this takes her on a journey that she could never have imagined.

I found this book interesting enough to keep my attention but honestly didn't get **can't put it down** good feelings about it until the very end.  The story is good and fairly interesting but the plot seem thin and meandering, I wasn't sure where it was going.  I will say I was a little surprised at how things turned out in the end, but it was a nice, satisfying ending that made this a better read than I thought it would be about half way through.

The cover is nice and spooky so of course I liked that, ha ha, and there are some critical moments of the book that center around bathtubs so it is appropriate also.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Review: Ruined - A Ghost Story by Paula Morris

Title: Ruined - A Ghost Story
Author: Paula Morris
Reading Level: YA
Hardcover: 304 Pages
My copy: Obtained from the local library
My rating: 4 out of 5 wicked stars


Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads Tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of the city.

My thoughts...

I really enjoyed this book and thought it well written.  It has a nice mixture of history, romance, suspense and ghostly tales. Rebecca is a likable character that is not short on personality that has a tendency to get into trouble. I did find it odd that she didn't put forth more of an effort to make friends in her new school, she is fine with being alone everyday.  Anton, the hot guy that is interested in her, much to his friends dismay; is mysterious up to the end of the book.  Of course there are those mean and snotty kids at school that make the story more interesting, ha ha.

The author gives you background on New Orleans history, Mardi Gras and culture of the area that is pretty extensive.  I actually got a little lost and had the tendency to want to skip over some of it because it was so in-depth and foreign to me (even though I live in the south). This history does play a big part of the story but even with my skimming, I understood it all later on in the book. So no worries if you don't want a history lesson part of your ghost story :)

You are pretty much kept in the dark of what is actually going on until the end and I was not disappointed with the ending too much.  I guess I am a series girl, and was wishing there would be a sequel, but if there is, the authors page does not mention it.

The cover is awesome but doesn't really depict a part of the book, at least the ghostly, scantly -clad woman walking.  It does show the graveyard which does play a huge part in the book.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

100+ Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog

I am going to go for it! I actually have no idea how many books I read in a year, so this will be a good way to keep track!  You should join with me, here are the rules:
1. The goal is to read 100 or more books. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.

--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post.

2. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Library books, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.

3. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

4. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Books started before the 1st do not count.

Sounds fun huh?  Go HERE to sign up!

Here is my list so far:

1. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
2. Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
3. Tantalize by Cynthia Smith
4. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
5. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
6. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
7. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

More to come!  I will make a post on my sidebar listing all the books I am reading in the challenge, wish me luck!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Megan Crewe's Awesome Giveaway!

I am sure you have heard of Megan Crewe's book Give Up the Ghost that came out in September. Well, she is having a great contest giving away 3 books (Fortune's Folly, Wondrous Strange, and Lament) OR, for you writers out there, she will critique three chapters of your novel manuscript.

Here is the trailer to her book Give Up the Ghost

Go HERE to find out more about her great contest!

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Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.  The book that I cannot WAIT for this week is Captivate by Carrie Jones.  This is the sequel to Need.

Zara and her friends knew they hadn’t solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it—the king’s control over his pixies gets weaker every day. So when a new, younger pixie king shows up, there is war in the air. The new king, Astley, claims he’s not evil. Zara believes him, but Nick—not so much. Then Astley tells Zara she is fated to be his queen, and suddenly the stakes get even higher.

I loved Need, you can see my review here.  Carrie Jones actually has 3 sneak peeks of Captivate on her website created for the books:   It comes out January 5th, so plenty of time for you to read Need and be primed for Captivate.    Woods, Werewolves and Pixies...oh MY!

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Dark Faerie Tales Big Holiday Blowout!

Dark Faerie Tales is a having a HUGE Contest giving away 10 books to 4 people! Check out these prizes:

Book Selection:

They will select the following:
1 Grand Prize Winner (4 Books)
1 First Place Winner ( 3 Books)
1 Second Place Winner (2 Books)
1 Third Place Winner (1 Book)

So RUN, don't walk, over to DFT and enter this awesome contest.


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