Archive for December, 2010

Book Blogger Hop! Dec 10-12

6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Community Events

Book Blogger Hop

Guess what! It’s time for another hop. This week’s question:

“What is the thing you like most about reading book blogs? Is it the reviews, author guest posts, articles, giveaways, or something else entirely?”

Honestly, I’m here for the reviews and exposure to books that I’ve never heard of. I find that book bloggers are a very diverse group of people from many different places, and we all get our books somewhere different. That means, that a book that may be perfect for me is something you found on your local library’s (or bookstore) shelf and I would never have seen it in a million years if it weren’t for you. This is especially true for lesser known authors (who still write amazing stuff). At the rate that I go through books (when school isn’t killing me, that is), without a constant stream of suggestions, I run out. This means much more time spent in the library, usually picking up books that are mostly mediocre, with one or two really great ones every couple months.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a giveaway as much as the next person, and author interviews can be interesting (though I usually only read them if it’s an author I really love, or someone I have burning questions I want answered). But the reviews are what keep me reading. A great big THANK YOU to all of you for keeping me reading interesting books! =D

How about you? Why do you read book blogs? Hop on over to Crazy-for-books, if you want to join in =)

All I want for Christmas!

2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day

This is a meme sponsored by A Tapestry of Words, and I think it’s a great idea, so I’m going to join in the fun! According to Danya, the idea is to “choose a book each week leading up to Christmas and say why it’s made it onto my wishlist.” As my blog isn’t just books, I’m going to allow myself three choices each week, one in books, one in DVD’s (or other film media) and one in music.

So firstly, my choice for books:
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde.

In the good old days, magic was powerful, unregulated by government, and even the largest spell could be woven without filling in magic release form B1-7g. Then the magic started fading away. Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for soothsayers and sorcerers. But work is drying up. Drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and even magic carpets are reduced to pizza delivery. So it’s a surprise when the visions start. Not only do they predict the death of the Last Dragon at the hands of a dragonslayer, they also point to Jennifer, and say something is coming. Big Magic …

Doesn’t this look AMAZING?! Granted I’m prejudiced, having extremely enjoyed everything Fforde has ever written (with one exception and I didn’t hate that one). There was, of course, a tense moment there when we weren’t sure if it would be published in the US, but there is hope! Of course, it’s unlikely this one will show up under my tree, as it doesn’t come out here for… well who knows how long. But the Book Depository carries it, and there’s always the off-chance, right?

On to DVD’s. My first pick is:

Doctor Who: Series 5 released by the BBC

I don’t feel I need to say why this is here. Those of you who get it, get it, those of you who don’t – go try a few episodes, and then see if you get it.

And finally in music:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Soundtrack written by Alexandre Desplat

I HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET SO PLEASE NO SPOILERS, though I suppose as I’ve read the book that in itself is a spoiler, but I don’t want my first viewing changed by anyone else’s opinion please. Even though I haven’t seen it yet, I know I want this soundtrack 1) because it’s Harry Freakin’ Potter and 2) because Alexandre Desplat is awesome (and yes, I do know I’m a dork).

So, there are my three picks for the week. What do you want to receive this holiday (whatever you may celebrate)?

Book Review: Infinite Days

0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
Infinite Days Infinite Days by
Series: Vampire Queen #1
Published by in 2010
Genres: , ,
Pages: 336

"Throughout all my histories, I found no one I loved more than you... no one."
Those were some of Rhode's last words to me. The last time he would pronounce his love. The last time I would see his face. It was the first time in 592 years I could take a breath. Lay in the sun. Taste. Rhode sacrificed himself so I, Lenah Beaudonte, could be human again. So I could stop the blood lust.
I never expected to fall in love with someone else who wasn't Rhode. But Justin was... daring. Exciting. More beautiful than I could dream. I never expected to be sixteen again... but then again, I never expected my past to come back and haunt me.

My Review:

I was so excited when I discovered this book on another book blog. This is what I have wanted to see ever since Twilight made vampires the “Next Best Thing.” I wanted someone (me, if necessary, though probably only in fanfiction) to write about how to cure vampires, not just about how they can pretend they’re not by being vegetarians and whatnot. That said, this book was slightly disappointing for me. This is probably, in part, because I had such high expectations. I’ve wanted a book like this for so long that probably nobody could have written it the way I wanted.

But first, let me discuss the many things I think Maizel did right. For one thing, I applaud her for going against the grain. Vampire novels are all the rage right now, but this isn’t quite a vampire novel, is it? Mostly it’s about a human person, albeit an ex-vampire human. I think Maizel captures that really well. It is absolutely terrifying to think of writing a 500+ year-old teenager. How do you deal with the memories that age most people, and yet keep Lenah youthful? She does a wonderful job of balancing the two, and I am impressed!

I also liked Tony. I’ll admit, I don’t generally go for the bad boy types, so it’s not really a surprise that I was rooting for Tony all along. Tony provides a good foil for Lenah’s relationship with Justin (though I was strongly reminded of Twilight’s Jacob/Edward paradox just on a human scale). I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I will definitely be interested to see what she does in the second book – I don’t believe anything authors tell me in this kind of subjective novel. First person is just an excuse to fool the audience into believing something without having all the facts. Not that that’s not fun. I’ve done it myself in the occasional novel. But let’s just say I have hope.

But despite all the things I liked, I was a little disappointed. Lenah becomes human at the very beginning of the book, and then it is the story of a human teenager. My problem is, well, there are no problems. Lenah speaks 25 languages. She’s top of every single one of her classes. She gets a job in the library without even trying (in my day, pulling a job in the library required a close friendship with the librarian and showing up at 5 am on sign up day to make sure you were at the front of the line). In my school days, we had a word for these people – Nerds (or Geeks or Dorks or whatever). I don’t mean this in a derogatory way – believe me, I’ve been called every single one of these, plus more – but lets face facts shall we? The school daredevil doesn’t just happen to fall for the new really nerdy girl who has a crush on him. I kept waiting to find out Justin was in the pay of her coven, or better yet, was part of another coven (because, come on, three – quintessential number for coven, along with 5 – daredevil brothers in a novel? There’s got to be something else going on there), but it didn’t happen. Lenah’s story is distilled down to: the only problem in my life is the possibility of my former coven hunting me down.

I don’t want anyone to get the impression that this ruined the book, because it didn’t. I still might recommend the book to friends looking for YA vampire novels, because it really is a different, interesting way of looking at the trope. I most definitely will be reading the rest of the series, because like I say, I don’t believe anything an author tells me in first person, and I desperately hope some of the things I talked about will come about later. But this was not a favourite, at least not yet.

And I believe I will leave it at that, as Charlie Brown Christmas is on in 10 minutes and I missed it last year.

Have a nice day =D

Discussion Day: Comfort Books

3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day

This is the first in a new series for this blog. In this series, I pose a question or discussion topic with my thoughts on the topic (book related, obviously). Then YOU, my dear readers, can comment with your answers or thoughts. I’m really excited for this series – all of the questions/topics I have so far are things I’m really interested in, and I can’t wait to hear your answers. (Also, if anyone would like to submit new questions or topics in the comments, that would be great!)

Today’s Topic:

Comfort Books

Let me explain. My mom and I like to say that when you’re sick, very stressed, or it’s cold outside, all you want to eat is comfort food. This is usually your favorite foods, so for me it’s anything with lots of carbs – pasta is best! I know it’s not good for me to eat all pasta all the time, but if I’m sick, that’s what I want.

I was thinking about it about a month ago when I was swamped with everything, and I thought: I do that with books too! At the time I had about 10 books out of the library for the occasional moment when I had a few seconds to unwind, and instead, I picked up something off my shelf that I must have read 100+ times. I just wasn’t interested in the new stuff. I wanted my old familiar friends, dog-eared, warped and all. So, the actual question (for those of you that work better like that):

What is your comfort book and why?

Mine is difficult – it’s a tie between two. The first is Jingo by Terry Pratchett. This is gonna sound cheesy but it makes me laugh at the world when all I want to do is cry. As to why this one and not some other Terry Pratchett book, I’m not sure. It is one of my first of his, though not thefirst.The second of my two comfort books is The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (I always thought his name was ironic, is that just me?). This one feels like coming home whenever I read it. I’ve had it forever – I only vaguely remember buying it with my Christmas gift card back when the mall had a Walden Books (so you know it was forever ago.) It’s so old that it’s difficult to read because the ink from the opposing pages has rubbed off on each other, and the cover is almost falling off, but I pick this one up regularly, just to read until I feel better, or get over whatever’s bothering me.

So what is your comfort book(s)? Is the cover hanging on by threads? Has it been dropped in the bathtub? (I’ve never been able to get myself to read in the tub, even though it sounds heavenly. I’m just too afraid of water that near to my precious books) When did you buy it/ how long have you had it? You get the idea.

Can’t wait for your responses!


Book Blogger Hop!

9 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Community Events

Book Blogger Hop

Finally, I have time to join in the book blogger hop again! I really enjoyed it back before life got crazy and I’ve really been looking forward to getting back into it =D

So! This week’s question:

“What very popular and hyped book in the blogosphere did you NOT enjoy and how did you feel about posting your review?”

You know, I honestly don’t know that I’ve NOT enjoyed any really hyped book ever, or possibly any book ever. (Actually, there’s one, that shall remain nameless, that I was forced to read for AP English, that I seriously wish I could burn, because I hated it that much. But that’s only one.) That’s not to say I LOVED all of them. There are several books that I put down because I couldn’t stand the style. I still think Twilight has so many things wrong with it that it’s (almost) not worth the paper it was printed on, and that was so hyped! But, at least the first time through, I did enjoy it, and I can see why people like it (even if I don’t agree with most opinions on why people like it). I try to have an open mind about everything – whether a book has been hyped or not shouldn’t influence anything about what I like or dislike about a book, and it shouldn’t influence whether or not I post a review. I’m justified in my opinion, but I also try to be logical about it and explain why I didn’t like a book. And if I don’t have justification – I simply don’t like the book – I’ll say that too. But, usually even if I don’t like a book, I can find good things about it. I feel as long as I try to be fair, explain what I don’t like, and find a few good things to mention, then it’s a fair review, and my readers may benefit from it, no matter what their own thoughts on the book are.

What do you think? Leave me a comment, either telling me your thoughts, or a link to your blog hop post! I’ll try to return all visits (though I may not be able to make the rounds within the week, I’ll stop by sometime!)

Upcoming events:
I’ll be introducing once-a-week discussion posts with the first one “Comfort Books” tomorrow.
Next Review: Wicked Lovely by Marissa Marr
Please join me!

Book Review: The Night Angel Series, books 1 & 2

1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Book Review

I’m baaaack! Did ya miss me? =P LOL

While the semester isn’t quite over, I think (I think) I have enough time to post semi regularly now. I mean, yeah, I have an exam in about 4 hours that I have yet to study for, but hey! This is more fun right?

So, first things first, I’ll be revamping format a little bit. With so much time off, my book count is going to be way off, so I’m going to take a break from that and start back up again in January. I’m also not going to be reviewing absolutely everything I read. I’m not sure how I’m going to chose which to review, because I don’t want to only review the things I think are fabulous, but I found it difficult to keep up with just because of the volume of books I was reading.

I’d also like to make the blog a little more interactive. To that end, I’m hoping to make regular posts (say at least once a week at first) where I introduce topics for discussion. The first is already planned, and I’m planning on having it up on Saturday, so please join me! =D

And finally on to the review:

The Way of Shadows and Shadow’s Edge by Brent Weeks

I’ve been working on these for a very long time. A friend of mine lent them to me to read just after I got back, because the library was shut the week I got back, and I was desperate for something. I am so glad she did!

The novels follow the story of Azoth aka Kylar Stern, who is training to become a wetboy – an assassin so good he doesn’t even call himself an assassin. That in itself I find an interesting concept. It is so very rare that we see a protagonist who is so easy to judge negatively. Why would we want to sympathize with a murderer? We don’t condone murder, and we’re not murderers so it should be very difficult. Yet at the same time, Weeks explains how and why Kylar makes his choices, and we can understand why he becomes an assassin. We even begin to relate to him in some ways. He falls in love against his master’s direct orders, and we feel so very sorry for him when his master finds out. In fact, that little love story is so cute!

But this series is no light romance in the face of adversity, and it is most definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Firstly, Kylar’s job just about guarantees enough gore to turn even the most hardened reader’s stomach. Second, this is most definitely a high fantasy, kings, wars, despotic and deranged bad guys and all. It was something I needed, and in the mood I was in, I just loved it.

So, I would definitely recommend this one to anyone up to the challenge of a high fantasy on the lines of the Wheel of Time series or The Lord of the Rings. On the other hand, if your taste in fantasy is all Harry Potter, all the time, then maybe not such a good idea.

Thanks for sticking with me through a too-long hiatus, and hope to see you around the blogosphere =D

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