Archive for March, 2013

Bookish Bucket List: Austenland

Mar
20
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Bookish Bucket List
Bookish Bucket List Banner

Thanks to Kristilyn from Reading in Winter for designing the banner!

Have you ever finished a book and said “Man, I wish I could ________ like that?” Bookish Bucket List is a semi-regular feature for the things I’ve put on my bucket list and the books that made me do so.

Austenland Austenland Goodreads

Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?


Bucket List Entry: Participate in a reenactment weekend. Read more »





Book Review: Revolution

Mar
19
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Bookish Bucket List

Revolution Cover

Title: Revolution

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Summary: [from GoodReads]

 BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

My Review

Oh wow was this one depressing! Not in a bad way though – I learned a lot from this book and really enjoyed reading it. It just really wasn’t what I was expecting.

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Media Monday Audiobook: Starclimber

Mar
18
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Media Monday

Starclimber Cover

Title: Starclimber (Matt Cruse #3)
Media Type: Audiobook
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Studio: Fullcast Audio
Genre: Sci-fi
Summary: [from GoodReads]

“Mr. Cruse, how high would you like to fly?”

A smile soared across my face.

“As high as I possibly can.”

Pilot-in-training Matt Cruse and Kate de Vries, expert on high-altitude life-forms, are invited aboard the Starclimber, a vessel that literally climbs its way into the cosmos. Before they even set foot aboard the ship, catastrophe strikes:

Kate announces she is engaged—and not to Matt.

Despite this bombshell, Matt and Kate embark on their journey into space, but soon the ship is surrounded by strange and unsettling life-forms, and the crew is forced to combat devastating mechanical failure. For Matt, Kate, and the entire crew of the Starclimber, what began as an exciting race to the stars has now turned into a battle to save their lives.

My Review:

This was a really interesting experience for me. I picked Starclimber up looking for something to keep me company on a 4 hour drive over a weekend, without realizing it’s actually the third in a series. OOPS! I listened to the majority of it before looking on GoodReads and noticed it was actually part of a series I’d been meaning to read anyway. Oh well!

The nice thing is that I really didn’t notice. Sure there were a few references to things I didn’t understand, but that happens in books, so I just passed it off as something they would explain later. The characters were all well introduced and fleshed out, and the storyline grabbed me and drew me in immediately. I liked the tension between Matt and his girlfriend Kate, caused by their difference in social class. And I especially loved the steampunk-ish flair. Who would have thought of a spaceship climbing a cable attached to an orbiting rocket?! Probably it’s impossible, but the story was so well crafted that I believed every second of it.

I also thought that the reading was very well done. I hadn’t listened to a full cast audiobook yet, and I have to say it was a much better experience than some audiobooks I’ve listened to. It was very easy to tell the difference between each of the characters, because they were all voiced by different people. There were a few with difficult-to-understand accents, but after a while I got used to them and was able to follow the story well enough that it didn’t much matter if I missed something.

All in all, I would say that this audiobook made for a very entertaining car trip – I was certainly in a much better mood than I should have been after a bunch of completely stopped traffic on the way there!





Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 31

Mar
17
1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Clock Rewinders

Clock Rewinders banner

Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge is where Tara @ 25 Hour Books and Amanda @ On a Book Bender shamelessly plug each other, share the fantastic posts, giveaways, or whatever else we’ve found and loved by other awesome bloggers (or authors!) during the week, and talk about the books we plan on reading in the coming week. [Description and banner borrowed from On a Book Bender]

The Corner Newsstand
(This week on Creativity’s Corner)

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Discussion Day: Schedule or wing it?

Mar
15
17 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day

Discussion Day

After the fiasco that was last week’s discussion post (which it turned out NOT to be, thanks to you guys! The comments last week ROCKED!) I started thinking – do you prefer to schedule your discussion posts in advance, or do you like to write them just a few days ahead of time?

So far, I’ve mostly been a pants-er: I wait until a day or two before the discussion is supposed to go up, pick a topic that’s currently on my mind and sit down to bang out a few hundred words as fast as possible. Unfortunately this strategy has bitten me in the butt a few too many times – I’ll either not get anything ready and therefore not have a post or have a mental meltdown and end up with something like last week. I’d like to get around that, and my best idea is schedule my discussions ahead of time too.

It’s not a bad idea. I’m all for scheduling ahead on most things. I usually have my features scheduled at least a month ahead (unless it’s toward the end of the month… I’m lazy!) and I schedule reviews ahead whenever I can. But with discussion posts, I kind of like to have my topics be something that I’ve been thinking about recently. For me, discussion posts are the ones to really get excited about, no matter the topic, and it’s harder to get excited when I’m getting comments and saying to myself “now what did I schedule a month ago to post for today?”

So, I’m curious. Do you schedule your discussion posts ahead? If so, how far? Do you have to remind yourself each week what you posted, or do you get just as excited no matter if your topic is 2 months old (for you) or not?





Book Review: Splintered

Mar
14
6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

Splintered Cover

Title: Splintered

Author: A.G. Howard

Summary: [from GoodReads]

 Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

My Review

So many people have said such good things about this book, and yet going into it I somehow had no idea what I was in for. Splintered is a modern “sequel” to the classic Alice in Wonderland. Alyssa, great-(great?)-granddaughter of the original Alice must go back and fix everything Alice screwed up the first time.

One of the things I really loved about this book was the inventive re-imagining of the original. I have never read it, but now that I think about what I know of it from the movie (which was probably Disney-fied) it makes sense that the things she did were incredibly destructive from the point of view of Wonderland’s people. I never really noticed it before, because the original is from Alice’s point of view, and the focus is on her confusion, panic and fear

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Wanted: Unusual Shifters

Mar
13
9 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Wanted
Wanted Button

Thanks to Kristilyn for designing the button!

Have you ever wished you could find that one book that was about _____? Have you ever found yourself wondering what a book with a certain kind of theme or message would be like? That’s exactly what “Wanted” is all about. A semi-regular feature, I use “Wanted” to talk about all those books I wish I could find that nobody seems to have written yet. If you happen to know of some books that fit my criteria, I would love for you to send them my way through the comments!

Have you ever noticed that almost 90% of the paranormal shifter population in books are werewolves? Then we’ve got, like, 8% devoted to some kind of cat, 1% to bats (to cover all the vampires) and that leaves most of the rest of the animals out of it. Where’s the fun in that?! As Amanda (On a Book Bender) will surely tell you, giraffe-shifters could be incredibly useful people! And just imagine what it’d be like to be able to shift to, say a rhinoceros? Or an Alligator? OR! A killer whale and be able to just swim across the ocean wherever you needed to go!

Another opportunity that gets lost by leaving out other shifters is the chance to explore animal politics. If there were a society of shifters but everyone shifted to a different animal, which animals would be on top? Which would be considered useless? Which would be picked on, and which would be feared? There’s a whole society to explore there, and I’m surprised nobody’s written it yet! (Or if they have, I haven’t heard of it – point me in the right direction please?)





Book Review: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)

Mar
12
7 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

Scarlet Cover

Title: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Summary: [from GoodReads]

 The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner

My Review

You know those books that you know will keep you up all night reading, and it’s 10 pm, but you start them anyway? Yeah. That. I had been on the waitlist for this one at the library for a few months before it came out and I was so excited when it came in that I dropped everything I had started reading and devoured it in the space of 24 hours.

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Media Monday: Stargate

Mar
11
5 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Media Monday
Stargate Poster

Image belongs to Centropolis Films

Title: Stargate
Media Type: Feature Film
Director: Roland Emmerich
Studio: Centropolis films
Genre: Sci-fi
Summary: [from IMDB]

An interstellar teleportation device, found in Egypt, leads to a planet with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra.

My Review:

Hoo boy, am I on a sci-fi kick right now! I got this one out mostly because I want to watch the TV series eventually (Robert Carlyle!) and because I felt like a bad sci-fi nut for not having seen it. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised! For a 90’s film this one’s pretty good! Read more »





Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 27

Mar
10
4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Clock Rewinders

Clock Rewinders banner

Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge is where Tara @ 25 Hour Books and Amanda @ On a Book Bender shamelessly plug each other, share the fantastic posts, giveaways, or whatever else we’ve found and loved by other awesome bloggers (or authors!) during the week, and talk about the books we plan on reading in the coming week. [Description and banner borrowed from On a Book Bender]

The Corner Newsstand
(This week on Creativity’s Corner)

Read more »





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