Archive for April, 2013

Wanted: A Sidekick Protagonist (Guest Post)

11 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!

Everyone, say hello to Briana from Pages Unbound! She’s stopping by today to let us know what she wants to see happen in future novels:

I love reading fantasy. It’s always exciting to enter into a new world where anything can happen and where people can possess incredible powers. It is a place of mystery, wonder, and endless possibilities. However, sometimes the people are just that—incredible, or hard to believe. If you read a lot of fantasy novels back to back, you begin to notice something. Everyone is special. Everyone is chosen. Everyone is the greatest warrior/wizard/king of their time. It turns out all their friends are super-special, too. For an example, you can check out all of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books. They’re amazing, but I can never decide whether it’s too much, or just completely natural, that all the extraordinary people in the kingdom know each other. What I want, then, is a fantasy book with a protagonist who is not special, or rare, or the most talented at his or her particular skill. But I don’t want an “Everyman” either, because of course that has been done, as well. Check out J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I want a novel about the sidekick, someone sort of talented who knows all the cool chosen people but is still somewhat on the sidelines. Like Harry Potter told from Ron’s point of view. Does such a book exist? Can it work, or will readers wonder why the book isn’t about Harry? ~ Briana

Thanks so much for joining us Briana!

Are there things you wish more authors would do or use? I have a guest post slot with your name on it! Email me through the contact form, and we’ll set something up!

Book Review: Illuminate

1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Book Review

Illuminate Cover

Title: Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1)

Author: Aimee Agresti

Summary: [from GoodReads]

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

My Review

This was one of those rare books that I hadn’t heard of before picking it up off the shelf at the library. I didn’t really know what to expect – the blurb I saw hardly gave anything away. So I was delightfully surprised to find Illuminate was one of those books I just could NOT put down.

Read more »

Media Monday: Adventures of Tintin

1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Media Monday
Adventures of Tintin Poster

Image belongs to Paramount

Title: Adventures of Tintin
Media Type: Feature Film
Director: Steven Spielberg
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Genre: Children’s movies
Summary: [from IMDB]

Intrepid reporter Tintin and Captain Haddock set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Haddock’s ancestor.

My Review:

I never thought I’d say this, but I think I’m getting a little too old for animated movies.

The first thing that attracted me to The Adventures of Tintin was the fact that Steven Moffat was writing. I generally like his writing after all, and it sounded like the kind of movie I would like anyway (who doesn’t like a quest for missing treasure, right?)

Unfortunately soon after the movie started my analytical brain kicked in and, well, that was that. What are the odds that someone ransacking an apartment wouldn’t notice the very thing they were looking for, even after moving what it was under?! I thought. More than once I rolled my eyes at the stupidity of the characters – even the ones that weren’t supposed to be stupid!

Now that I think about it, probably what was wrong was I figured out the mystery way before I was supposed to. Usually I beat them to the punch, but only by a little. I almost never guess before they give us any clues. So, since my brain wasn’t occupied with trying to figure out the mystery, it went to picking holes in the plot instead.

But the thing that irritated me most was Captain Haddock. I’m not usually a prude, but I really didn’t like that he “needed” alcohol to tell his story (even if they made a point of mostly sobering him up before he could remember it). Plus, I just couldn’t suspend disbelief enough to believe in him as a character.

That all makes it sound like it’s a terrible move – it’s not I swear! It just wasn’t made for my age group, so it makes sense that I didn’t like it much. Even so, I don’t think I’d recommend this one to anyone.

Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 34

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)

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Weekend of Awesome Goals and Updates

6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Community Events

Weekend of Awesome button

Are you ready for a Weekend made of AWESOME? Then you’ve come to the right place!

From the announcement post:

A cross between Bloggiesta, a Read-a-thon and a Write-a-thon, Weekends of Awesome are all about doing ALL THE THINGS. Each day of the weekend of awesome is devoted to catching up/getting ahead in a different area: blogging, reading and writing.

If you want to join in, you’re welcome to put together a goals post and feel free grab the button for your sidebar. You can also join in spur of the moment on Twitter by following #WeekendOfAwesome. Either way, let us know in the comments if you’re joining us so we can look out for you!

I have lots to get done in the reading and blogging areas so I’m going to focus on those. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my act together well enough to be able to participate in Camp Nano, so I won’t be writing – instead, I’ll be splitting what’s left of the third day between Reading and Blogging. Read more »

Book Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars

4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

For Darkness Shows the Stars Cover

Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #1)

Author: Diana Peterfreund

Summary: [from GoodReads]

It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth–an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret–one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

My Review

My goodness it seemed for a while there that everyone and  their dog was reading and loving this book! And who can blame them? A sci-fi retelling of Jane Austen sounds awesome!

While I wouldn’t say I loved the book quite as much as some people did it was really good. Read more »

Bookish Bucket List: Inkheart

3 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.

Inkheart cover
Title: Inkheart

Author: Cornelia Funke

Summary: [from GoodReads]

Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.

Bucket List Entry: Read aloud to someone (and be read aloud to) Read more »

Book Review: Raven Boys

7 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

Raven Boys Cover

Title: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Summary: [from GoodReads]

 “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My Review

Maggie Stiefvater is one of those authors that I have a kind of love/dislike relationship with. Every time I read a synopsis for a book she’s written it sounds like the most awesome book every and I am dying to get my hands on it. Then, when I finally do read them I’ve hyped them up so much that they seem kind of mediocre. I’d been burned a little too often so when it came to The Raven Boys I just kept putting off reading it. I shouldn’t have been worried though – finally I found one that lived up to its fullest potential!

Read more »

April Book Bingo Check-in

1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Community Events

Can you believe it’s April 1 already?! I know I can’t! (Of course the weather hasn’t helped much.)

2013 Bingo Challenge!

Book Bingo:

Hello to everyone joining in on the Book Bingo Challenge 2013! It’s time for your quarterly update – don’t worry, it should be quick and painless! If you’ve done a post with your updates, please put your link in the linky below so we can all come and say hi. If you don’t have a post, that’s okay – just leave us a comment with how you’re doing! Please note: The linky is the same on both blogs, so you only need enter ONCE.

If you’re new to the challenge, or would like a refresher on how this works, please see this post. It’s not too late to sign up!

Don’t forget you can also make updates using #2013BookBingo on Twitter!

A few reminders:

The FREE SQUARE is NOT a free square! You must read a book recommended by someone else participating in the challenge! If you’re looking for a recommendation, feel free to post your request below, or by using the hashtag on Twitter.

If you’re joining the challenge late, any of the books you’ve read since January 1st can be used toward the challenge.

Just a reminder on how to use the board: the first line across you will read one book per category, the second line across you will need to read TWO books per category, etc. all before you can mark that space as being complete. The only exception to this is the free square, where you will only need to read ONE book. If you have any questions about this, let us know!

And some housekeeping:

This is the inaugural Book Bingo challenge for us! We hope to bring it to you next year, so I ask: how are we doing? Is there anything you would change about the challenge? 

And most importantly, we hope you are all having FUN with the challenge!

My Progress:

I’m actually doing fairly well on this one! I have crossed off 13 squares so far, with one win by a line (the easy one, of course). Unfortunately, I’m struggling in two of the categories – 2013 releases and Everyone but Me. So, I’m looking for suggestions. I’d love it if you would leave me a comment with one book you think EVERONE has read and/or one book you loved or are really looking forward to in 2013.
You can see all of my progress on this page.

Weekend of Awesome button

Aren’t Kristilyn’s design skills awesome?

Weekend of Awesome:

Since both Kristilyn and I have lots of catching up to do (and we’re guessing some of you might too) we have decided to make this weekend (4/5-7) a Weekend of Awesome, and we would like you to join us! A cross between Bloggiesta, a Read-a-thon and a Write-a-thon, Weekends of Awesome are all about doing ALL THE THINGS. Each day of the weekend of awesome is devoted to catching up/getting ahead in a different area: blogging, reading and writing.

If you want to join in, you’re welcome to put together a goals post (I should have one up with my goals Friday morning), and feel free grab the button for your sidebar. You can also join in spur of the moment on Twitter by following #WeekendofAwesome. Either way, let us know in the comments if you’re joining us so we can look out for you! (The linky is NOT a sign up for the Weekend of Awesome. Book Bingo updates posts only please.)

The next Weekend of Awesome will be held soon after the next check-in – stay tuned for official dates!


The next quarterly update will be July 1 – good luck everyone!

Many older posts are currently under reconstruction. Please excuse the inconvenience.


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