Archive for February, 2012

Media Monday (3)

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Hey guys, this is just going to be a really short post, I promise. As you may (or may not) know I am currently involved in a non-book related collab blog. This week’s assigned topic was TV shows, and since Monday is my normal day to post, I thought I would direct you all to that post for my usual Media Monday ramblings.

Thanks for sticking with me :) See you all soon!

Weekly wrap up

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Confession time! Sadly, I didn’t read this week. I know, I’m an awful blogger. But I was just too busy! The first part of the week I was stuck at work trying to convince customers not to murder each other over who got the last of their (or, heaven forbid, their WIFE’S) favorite kind of chocolate. The second part of the week was spent trying to make up for the fact that when we left Tuesday night, our showcases were completely cleaned out. I’m not even exaggerating that much. By the time I got home from work all I really wanted to do was veg in front of my computer with either Buffy or HIMYM, so I just did.

BUT! I am back in the game, I promise. I’ve started Legacy by Cayla Kluver recently and I’m speeding my way through that, so hopefully by the end of next week I’ll have some interesting reviews for you. Until then, happy reading everyone!

Media Monday (2)

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I know I’ve discussed this before, but I am positively in love with Once Upon a Time. For those of you who don’t watch, the premise is that a bunch of fairy tale creatures have been transported to real life and are living as real people. They don’t even know that they have these second lives. The main character, Emma, has to figure out a way to break the curse, but of course first she has to decide if she really believes it. To some people this may sound kind of lame, but to me it is the best new show out there! This is honestly the first time I’ve followed a show from the very beginning as it’s on every single week. It’s that good people.

And this is the point where those of you not watching have to stop reading and go watch it. I’m going to talk about last night’s episode, and you will not want to be spoiled, trust me.

I’m pretty sure this week’s episode will be my favorite of the entire season. I have no idea how they will manage to top it. First of all, Beauty and the Beast was always my favorite fairy tale, and I was extremely excited to see what they would do with it when they retold it. I never expected them to make Rumplestiltskin the beast. I think it was a wonderful twist though, and it will certainly add to future twists!

Secondly my absolute favorite character is Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold. He drives me insane with his mysterious demeanor and all the strange comments. But at the same time I feel so sorry for him! I am certain there is a tiny little bit of humanity left in there somewhere. I’m even more certain of it now that I’ve seen the most recent episode!

All of that to pretty much say I want the next episode, ASAP! I almost wish I had hoarded this one like I do all the rest of my shows, just so that I could watch it all at once. This watching every week thing is torture! I don’t know how the rest of the world deals with it!

Book Review: Mairelon the Magician

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Title: Mairelon the Magician (Mairelon #1)
Author: Patricia Wrede
Summary: [from GoodReads] Kim doesn’t hesitate when a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into the travelling magician’s wagon in search of a silver bowl. Kim isn’t above a bit of breaking-and-entering. Having grown up a waif in the dirty streets of London-disguised as a boy!-has schooled her in one hard lesson: steal from them before they steal from you.

But there is something odd about this magician. He isn’t like the other hucksters and swindlers that Kim is used to. When he catches her in the act, Kim thinks she’s done for.
Until he suggests she become his apprentice. Kim wonders how tough it could be faking a bit of hocus pocus.

But Mairelon isn’t an act. His magic is real.

My Review: I had so much trouble deciding what to review today! Both of the books I read this week were so great, but I thought since there’s been a lot around the net lately about Maria V. Snyder and her books, maybe this week I should feature the less obscure book.

Patricia Wrede has been a favorite of mine ever since I first read the Enchanted Forest series. I have obsessively read pretty much everything else she has written, so I was surprised when I came across one that I hadn’t heard of. This one was published before I discovered her, so perhaps that’s why I missed it. But, whatever the reason, I was so happy to find out I had one more to read! Anyway, the point of all this is that my absolute favorite thing about any Patricia Wrede book is her style. She has such a unique way of creating mysterious but lovable characters. She gives voice to those characters you think you’d never relate to, because they’re so different, and yet you feel like you know them better than your own self.

This particular novel was very interesting to me because of the blend between history and fantasy. Some authors do really well at taking a historical setting we know and rearranging it to fit magic in the middle. This one reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones’s work, and Jones is one of my favorite authors of all time.

If you haven’t tried anything by Patricia Wrede, then shame on you! But please, give this one a try!

In My Mailbox (2)

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IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and it’s a chance to show off all the books we bought, borrowed or won in the past week. Most of mine will be borrowed as I have an AMAZING local library with a fabulous inter-library loan system (I can essentially get any book I like within a week at the most) so unless otherwise noted, just assume borrowed.

I ended up with another huge pile from the library this week, and I am so excited to get started reading them (as soon as I finish the ones from last week, of course…)

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman – Not my usual, but I’ve heard some good things. In fact, it’s the unusual-ness of this story that drew me to it in the first place.

Geektastic edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci – I’ve been wanting to read this one since it came out but just kept forgetting to put it on hold.

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder – I just finished the second in the Study series (Magic Study) and I loved it so much that I needed to give this one a try.

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs – This one was on my original to-read list for last year’s Debut Author Challenge. I ended up reading so many extra debuts that this one got missed, but that doesn’t mean I’m looking forward to it any less!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White – I really need to start just ordering things when I think of them, because this is another I’ve been desperate for for ages and just never got around to putting on hold.

Clarity by Kim Harrington – It wasn’t until I started to hear people talking about anticipating the second book in this series that I really started wanting to read this one. I’m still a little iffy on it – I’m not sure I’d have picked it up on my own – but enough people have encouraged me to try it that I’m willing to keep an open mind.

That’s it for this week. Not quite as many as last week, but I still have a few left over, so that should keep me going for a while :) Happy reading!

Weekly wrap up: Jan 30 – Feb 4

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For those of you who missed my post outlining the new blog schedule, the weekly wrap up is a chance for me to say a few sentences about the few books that I’ve read in the week but don’t have time to review. If there are any that you’d like me to expand on, just leave a comment and I’ll write up a full review.

The first book I read this week was Cinder by Marissa Meyer. You can find my full review of that here.

Then I picked up Don’t Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough. Thoughts: Definitely a fun one, mixing together fairy tale and high school drama in a fast and easy read. Recommended for fans of Alex Flinn, fluffy romances and fairy tales.

After that, I decided it was time for something different, so I started Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Thoughts: I loved the way he incorporated the real photos into the narrative. I found it much less creepy than I expected, but that’s a good thing as I’m not much one for horror stories anyways. Recommended for fans of The Emerald Atlas, Lemony Snicket, and the His Dark Materials series.

Since then I’ve picked up Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder, and while I’m already loving it, I’ll reserve judgement till I’ve actually finished. Also, for those of you who don’t know, I’m taking a class in literary analysis of the Harry Potter series, so I have been working my way through the series for that. I’m currently about halfway through book four, and while I won’t be reviewing it this time around, you can find my thoughts from the last time through it here.

Book Review: Cinder

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Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Summary: [from GoodReads] 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.

My Review: *WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead* I am such a sucker for fairytale retellings. I’m also a huge sucker for Steampunk (which this isn’t quite, but it’s close), so this is a formula that should have worked for me. Boy did it ever! I want the next book like NOW! Of course, it doesn’t help that it ends on a mega-cliffhanger – if you don’t want to be annoyed for the next year while we wait for the second book to come out, I’d suggest holding off on this one. But don’t forget about it, because it is an AMAZING read that you don’t want to miss out on!

The first thing I loved was how relatable Cinder was. I think Meyer balanced the fact that Cinder was a cyborg and therefore distinctly not like us, and the fact that she really was more like us than any of the other characters wanted to admit very well. Our access to Cinder’s thoughts made us see how prejudiced the other characters were towards her. While some might call this a genre book (you’ll have to imagine the distasteful tone the literary snobs would say that with) I think that the way it deals with prejudice alone makes it an important read for “teens” of any age.

What makes Cinder a favorite for me, though, isn’t any of these things. What makes it, is the fact that this book never had to be a fairy tale retelling. I mean, sure, Cinderella is culturally encoded into all of our brains and nobody is going to read this without noticing the ways the two stories are connected. But instead of changing her story to fit as closely as possible with the original Cinderella tale, Meyer warps the Cinderella story to fit the needs of her story. Instead of a carriage made from a pumpkin, Cinder goes to the ball in a rust orange, ancient Jeep. Instead of losing a shoe, Cinder loses an entire mechanical foot. I could see the following books continuing the story without any reference to fairy tales, and not being disappointed in the slightest (though I have read somewhere that they are each based on fairy tales as well, which I’m sure will only enhance the reading experience).

Bottom line? All those good things people are saying about this book are true. But don’t take my word for it – read it and find out for yourself!

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