Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (4)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine to spotlight a blogger's eagerly anticipated new books.

For this Waiting on Wednesday, I picked Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore.

Release Date: October 25th 2011

Book Summary: "For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren—the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood—a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air."

My Thoughts:Well, the storyline reminds me slightly of The Little Mermaid and the Tom Hanks movie "Splash", but in a good way. I think Alandare's character sounds very unique for a mermaid story. Between the Sea and Sky has the makings of an interesting story indeed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (3)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine to spotlight a blogger's eagerly anticipated new books.

For this Waiting on Wednesday, I picked Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu.

Release Date:September 27th 2011

Book Summary:"Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest wth a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," BREADCRUMBS is a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind."

My Thoughts: I love the story of The Snow Queen! This inspired version sounds very intriguing to me. Here in the hot summer, in the hot city, I wish I was the girl on cover. Some snow would feel good about right now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (2)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine to spotlight a blogger's eagerly anticipated new books.

For this Waiting on Wednesday, I picked Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.

Release Date: Sept. 29, 2011

Book Summary:"For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, the outfit - more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door."

My Thoughts:Ah, I wish this book was out already! It seems like it'd be a great summer poolside read, fun and sweet. The couple on the cover are too cute. I love the chick's (Lola's) purple hair. I wish I was brave enough to try that.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Vampire Academy (#1)

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


At first, I was honestly afraid I wasn't going to like this book. But I kept reading and the plot thickened, and I found that the world of Vampire Academy is interesting and easy to get hooked on.

The main character Rose Hathaway and her best friend, Lissa, are St. Vladimir's Academy runaways (secret school for vampire kids), who are caught and dragged back to school as the book begins. Rose and Lissa aren't your normal runaways. Lissa is a Moroi Vampire Princess and Rose is a Dhampir training to be Lissa's bodyguard. Why they ran away from a high school where they had all the freedom of college, remains a mystery until nearly the end of the book. Did they want a more human life? Did they hate something about St. Vladimir's? Is St. Vladimir's unsafe? The book kept me guessing all of those questions.

I initially didn't like Rose's character and that fact made me worried I wouldn't like the book. Rose seemed very overprotective of Lissa for no reason and their friendship appeared almost one-sided to me. I probably wouldn't have jumped to that conclusion if the book had shared more of Lissa's perspective to begin with. Anyhow, for me, this one was one of those books I had to stick with to get the whole picture. And I'm very glad I did! I look forward to catching up on the other novels in this series.



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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (1)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine to spotlight a blogger's eagerly anticipated new books.

For my first Waiting on Wednesday, I picked Emerald by Karen Wallace.

Release Date: July 7th 2011

Book Summary: "Emerald St. John is in trouble. She has been condemned to marry a man she hates. Her enemies are conspiring to have her pet bear Molly torn apart in the baiting pits, and the man she loves is far away on the high seas. And she has stumbled into a web of spies with a plot to poison Queen Elizabeth I. To save herself and the kingdom, she must beat the spies at their own game - which means transforming herself from a country girl into a Court lady. Can she do it in time? Set against a detailed and vivid recreation of a great Elizabethan manor house, EMERALD will bring to life a world where the most sophisticated rules of etiquette went hand in with brutality and superstition."

My Thoughts: Emerald sounds like a great adventure. And possibly a romance if her high seas love comes back. I know I shouldn't judge books by their covers, but honestly, I love this cover. Her green dress is to die for! I'd love to wear a dress like that for a Halloween/costume party. I've been on a big British and British history kick since the royal wedding, and a fictional plot to poison Queen Elizabeth sounds intriguing. I haven't seen any arc reviews on Goodreads for Emerald, so guess I'll have to wait until the book is released to know more.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: The Historian

The HistorianThe Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Read for a bookclub in May)

With so much vampire romance out there nowadays (even though I love it), reading a suspenseful, non-amour story like The Historian was very refreshing. Mystery and suspense readers, classic Dracula fans, and those in the camp that believe that vampires should be strictly horror figures, will enjoy this novel.

The story initially follows a mature teenage girl in the 1970s, as she slowly learns that her academically-rich, multicultural family has a long, complicated history with Dracula. Through stories, letters and flashbacks from her father, grandfather, and mother, a complex and eerie tale of their continuing struggle against the count unfolds.

The story is very tedious at times, with the narrator telling the story, then a character telling a story on top of that and then one of the character's characters telling a story, there's lots of layers. There were times that I completely forgot about the narrator and her present struggles, because the storyline focuses so much on the memories of other characters. I was eager for them to hurry up and face-down Dracula.

Overall, I enjoyed the mystery and suspense of this book. It would probably appeal to classic Sherlock Holmes fans as well.



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Friday, June 3, 2011

Heart of Eden Short Story Contest: Vote!

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I recently entered a story into Immortality and Beyond's Heart of Eden short story contest. Mine's a quick fairy-tale style story that I finished right before the deadline.

Please check out all the entries and vote for your favorite at Immortality and Beyond.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Splash Into Summer Giveaway Winner!



The winner of our Splash Into Summer Giveaway for either $10 in book money from amazon.com or bookdepository.co.uk is:

Karla Vollkopf

Congrats Karla!

And a huge thank you to everyone that entered our giveaway! I hope you'll stay with us for future giveaways!

Review: Between Shades of Grey

Between Shades of GrayBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: "Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart."

My thoughts: I learned a lot from Between Shades of Gray. Beforehand, I didn't know anything about Lithuania, muchless that some Lithuanians were taken into work camps in Siberia during WWII by the Soviets.

The story follows Lena, 16 years old at the time and a budding artist, along with her mother and younger brother, as they are forced from their home, loaded onto a train car, and made to work in one of the camps. Lena's character comes alive off the pages, she's very real and very strong.

I enjoyed the story, even though at times it was heartbreaking. I kept hoping it would end happier than the true life Diary of Anne Frank.

I feel that this story is a must read for historical fiction fans. I would have given it five stars, however, (and I hope this is not a spoiler for some) the actual story ends before anyone is liberated. I, personally, wanted to know how the people who did survive got home. So, other than the abrupt ending, Between Shades of Gray is a good read.


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