Friday, June 29, 2012

Awesome Tiger Lily News!

So you all know that I gave a rave review to Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. It still tastes bittersweet on my tongue and it has been a few months since I read it. It's one of my favorite reads ever.

Well, HarperTeen wants you to get a taste too! They've added the first half of the novel. All you have to do is go here and start reading so you can discover the magic and beauty awaiting you. It's only up from 6/29-7/1 so act fast.

A Fairy Tale in Photos- Peter Pan

I'm looking for something fun to do on Fridays and I figured that this might be something interesting. As you all can probably tell by the theme of this blog, I really love fairy tales. I've been looking through Deviantart and thought it might be fun to pick a fairy tale and showcase pictures I like from it.

This week is all about Peter Pan!

The Meeg
What I love about Peter Pan is that perfect blend of boyish adventure meets innocence. I think it's awesome hoe Pan is both caring and thoughtful and childish and cruel in the same breath. I think my favorite photo of this batch is the fifth one down that had Peter and Wendy in it. Very cute!

Which photo do you like best?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer S8: No Future For You

Buffy the Vampire Slayer S8, V2: No Future For You by Brian K. Vaughan, Joss Whedon & Georges Jeanty

Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics; 2 edition (June 11, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159307963X
ISBN-13: 978-1593079635
Series: Season 8: Volume 2
Stories: No Future For You: Part 1, No Future For You: Part 2, No Future For You: Part 3, No Future For You: Part 4, Anywhere But Here
Source: Purchased at Books-A-Million
First Sentence: "Oh! The places you'll go!"

Mini-Review: Maintains the same feeling as the show while widening the scope of Season 8.

When a rogue debutante Slayer begins to use her power for evil, Giles is forced to recruit the rebellious Faith, who isn't exactly known for her good deeds. Giles offers Faith a clean slate if she can stop this snooty Slayer from wreaking total havoc--that is, if Buffy doesn't beat her to it.

As a Buffy fan, I'm not too wild about Faith but as an Angel fan, I've started to get her appeal. She is Buffy's darker side. She goes bad so Buffy doesn't have to and now that their struggle is over, she wants to find redemption. I was pretty stoked to find out that this second comic was all about what happened to my favorite dark Slayer and the story inside didn't disappoint.

Like with the first volume, No End for You is able to capture Faith's essence. She is all about the struggle and is tested big time yet again. After watching her get mentally abused by Wesley in Angel (and rightly so since she was physically torturing him), it was nice to see Giles being kind to her. For so long, everyone has treated her like a second class citizen so I really liked watching her form a bond with him. In the end, Faith and Giles aren’t all that different and I’m glad their similarities are addressed. I’m excited to see where this newly found friendship is going.

Also, giving Faith the mission of being a lady in disguise and trying to assassinate a rogue Slayer was awesome, especially after Faith spent time with her and started to realize how similar they were. Because Faith has been misguided before, she is in a unique position to understand her target Slayer which makes it that much harder to follow through with her mission. People that Buffy might just brand as “evil” Faith sees in a different light. I love that the writer chose to explore this aspect of Faith’s character and I was glad to see Faith confront her dark side and chose against it (something she was never able to do in the show). There is this magic scene where Faith and Buffy fight and Faith is holding Buffy underwater. They are mirror images and this perfectly depicts their relationship.

As far as plot goes, this collection didn’t seem to have a lot to do with the overall arc that was building in the first volume accept that it finally shows us what Twilight looks like (we don’t know who he/she is, just what they dress like and their face is covered) and what Twilight’s goals are.

I found the same gorgeous action shots, the perfect blend of comic and character in the drawings and the unique placement from the first volume. I also happened to spot a seemingly throw away panel which I thought looked an awful lot like the Tenth Doctor and Rose from Doctor Who. Upon some research, it turns out that it WAS a nod to Doctor Who which made me ridiculously giddy.

Though Faith’s struggles managed to make me feel for her, it was again the last story in the comic that got me the most. This time, we follow Buffy and Willow as they go to visit a demon in another dimension. At first, I thought it was going to be a silly installment as they talk about their fantasies but the end does what all good Whedon works do… it hits hard. The demon plays with Buffy and Willow’s insecurities and makes them both confess things they never thought they’d say. Even though they want the world to think they are close, there is a final panel that shows them walking away very far apart which is stark contrast from the earlier ones where Buffy is clinging onto Willow as they fly. I smell trouble in Bullow-dise.

In the end, I enjoyed this one just as passionately as the first installment and now that I have a better understanding of how to read comics I feel like it is only going to get better. I think the choice of following a different character through their journey really helped build the scope of the Buffy universe and flesh out a wider story arc. Keeping the same great dialogue from the show and packing in as much drama, Volume 2 is still going strong in my book. Can’t wait to dive into Volume 3!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happily Ever Endings... Eve by Anna Carey

Happily Ever Endings... was born out of sheer frustration. You know how when you read a series and you love it but the last book takes a little while to come out and then you sort of forget parts of the novel? That's what these posts are going to serve to remedy. Happily Ever Ending... is a short post about what happened at the ending of each book that is going to be in a series for people who need a quick reminder of what happened in the previous installment. I hope this saves someone else the frustration that I went through!

Eve by Anna Carey
The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. 

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
Click "Read more" to read the ending of Eve so you'll be ready for the next installment of the series!   

Book Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (July 3, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062003259
ISBN-13: 978-0062003256
Series: No
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Cover: I'm not sure what type of cover would fit this novel. I'm not sure if this is the one though. I think there should have been elements of a crow here since that plays a symbolic part. Regardless, I would have picked this one up because I'd recognize the name from Peter Pan. And I'd have been right to grab it too!
First Sentence: She stands on the cliffs, near the old crumbling stone house.

Mini-Review: Completely unforgettable.

15 year old Tiger Lily, proud and fierce, wild and misunderstood, doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland, and immediately falls under his spell. Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, big-hearted but hard to reach, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything - her family, her future - to be with the haunted, hunted, courageous boy who loves her. When - as a punishment for her rebellious ways - she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter. With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

I had a lot of expectations when I picked up this book because the story of Peter Pan is one tale that I keep close to my heart. But this novel blew every single one of them out of the water in the best possible way. Bittersweet and wild, Tiger Lily has everything in a story that will make it stick to your heart like drying mud.

Being a huge fan of the Peter Pan fairytale, I wasn't sure how a Tiger Lily and Peter Pan love story was going to work. I mean, it's always been Peter and Wendy. They're perfect for each other. Now, I've always liked Tiger Lily but not as a love interest for Peter. What Anderson did was completely recreate Tiger Lily into this complex girl that you can't help but love. Tiger Lily's cold exterior is formed from years of teasing and a quiet but unyielding persistence to get through it. As her legend in the little Indian community grows, so does her solitude and her restless feet. At first, I wasn't sure it was possible to like such a cold and calculating character. Tiger Lily cared deeply for certain people though she would never admit to anyone--including herself. But as she ventures out more and lets her curious feet explore, you start to see cracks in that venire. And because she is so calm and strong, it feels special. You feel special for starting to see how deeply she cares, how trapped she is in her body and routines and before you know it, you care so much for the girl with the raven feathers in her hair that you ache when she aches.

But Anderson doesn't stop with just recreating Tiger Lily. She breathes new life into every well known character. You know Captain Hook? The guy who is scared of crocs and seems completely okay with his hook of a hand? Yeah, not in this version. He's an extremely intelligent man when he's sober and a roaring angry and paranoid guy when he's drunk. The Lost Boys as a group of cuddling little kids who are just looking for a mom? Well yeah, sort of. But they are also known to be the most vicious and terrifying people on the island of Neverland. Whether this is just a rumor will be up to you to discover. And then there is the man himself, Peter Pan. As Tiger Lily grew close to him, I held my breath because I felt like I was standing next to a legend. How Anderson was able to create and animate such a complex character who is simultaneously so full of life and completely empty at the same time will never cease to amaze me. The care with which the author took to make all of these well known characters seem just enough like their legendary counterparts while making them something completely new is one of the best parts about this novel.

Going beyond the recreation of beloved characters, the author is also able to explain away all the problems that go along with putting a fictional land where people don't grow old in the real world. People just don't grow old on Neverland and the Englanders that come to the island just have an "aging disease". I liked thinking of this story in two ways--part old world exploration story and part magic fairytale. It sounds odd but the two blend almost effortlessly.

I think the blending of these two works so well because of the prose. The story is told with the storybook-esque narrative. We are told things are going to happen before they do but by the time the events fold out, it still comes as a surprise. The simple narrative combined with beautiful prose and a sort of jovial "I-told-you-so" that one finds in fairytales makes Tiger Lily unique onto it's own and so very special. I was all ready to dive into Tiger Lily's consciousness so it was a complete surprise when Tink ended up taking the story over. I liked that we got to see her feelings and thoughts about what was going on and she was the perfect narrator since she couldn't speak to the other characters and interfere with how the story was going to play out. We saw how all sides were crashing into the conclusion and how it all would end but we could do nothing (besides the odd bite and ear pull) to stop it.

Tiger Lily is as bittersweet for me as the tale of Peter and Wendy. Their love is doomed from the beginning yet you still see them running in head first though you know what's coming. Watching Tiger Lily grow, come to terms with what love means (not just with Peter but with the other members of her tribe too) and having her heart broken will tear you up in the best way possible. This story grips onto those things you loved as a child, those ideas that you still hold sacred today and shreds them so it can makes something all new. I have a hard time finding words for how much this book affected me. All I can say is it's getting a special place in my bookshelf just like it carved a special place in my heart.


Favorite Lines:
The forest would eat him alive, even his bones.
--Pg. 7 of an ARC of "Tiger Lily" by Jodi Lynn Anderson
They'd brought their language with them and given it out as a gift...
--Pg. 10 of an ARC of "Tiger Lily" by Jodi Lynn Anderson
"But you have to be careful who you meet," he said, stroking a pipe thoughtfully. "You can't unmeet them."
--Pg. 11 of an ARC of "Tiger Lily" by Jodi Lynn Anderson
She guarded herself like a secret.
--Pg. 21 of an ARC of "Tiger Lily" by Jodi Lynn Anderson
If there had been one symbol to define the mind and hearts of London of that time, it would have been a question mark.
--Pg. 59 of an ARC of "Tiger Lily" by Jodi Lynn Anderson
"You're just a piece of yourself right now that you don't like."
--Pg. 69 of an ARC of "Tiger Lily" by Jodi Lynn Anderson
I liked the way they looked together. They both kept one ear on each other, an one on the forest around them. And yet, there was something almost peaceful about them standing there. Maybe the way he seemed to vibrate made her stillness less glaring, and Peter seemed calmer.
--Pg. 86 of an ARC of "Tiger Lily" by Jodi Lynn Anderson
His [Peter's] mouth settled firmly in a frown. "But you'll be back. I know you will. You won't be able to let us go now."
--Pg. 103 of an ARC of "Tiger Lily" by Jodi Lynn Anderson
It was her freedom and silence sewn into a dress.
--Pg. 157 of an ARC of "Tiger Lily" by Jodi Lynn Anderson
But sometimes, when she sat there watching him, she recognized that he was wearing someone else's face.
--Pg. 229 of an ARC of "Tiger Lily" by Jodi Lynn Anderson
...This is the picture that is most stamped into my soul. It's the two of them, jumbled up and broken apart into confused pieces, and not really understanding themselves, what they are doing.
--Pg. 278 of an ARC of "Tiger Lily" by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Waiting on Wednesday: Revel, Linked and Unravel Me

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where you can post about upcoming books you're looking forward to. This is a wonderful chance for blogger to show off what's coming out soon that they are excited about! Every week my wishlist balloons thanks to this awesome meme.

Revel by Maurissa Guibord
There's an island off the coast of Maine that's not on any modern map. Shrouded in mist and protected by a deadly reef, Trespass Island is home to a community of people who guard the island and its secrets from outsiders. Seventeen-year-old Delia grew up in Kansas, but has come here in search of her family and answers to her questions: Why didn't her mother ever talk about Trespass Island? Why did she fear the open water? But Delia's not welcome and soon finds herself enmeshed in a frightening and supernatural world where ancient Greek symbols adorn the buildings and secret ceremonies take place on the beach at night. Sean Gunn, a handsome young lobsterman, befriends Delia and seems willing to risk his life to protect her. But it's Jax, the coldly elusive young man she meets at the water's edge, who finally makes Delia understand the real dangers of life on the island. Delia is going to have to fight to survive. Because there are monsters here. And no one ever leaves Trespass alive.
Revel is out  February 12th 2013 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

An island guarded by people keeping a secret and real monsters? All I need to know! I'm sold.

Linked by Imogen Howson
Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere.

Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes.

Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed.

Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world.

Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human.
Linked is out 2013 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing.

I love a good twin story and this concept is just brilliant.

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
No summary yet.
Unravel Me is out February 5th 2013 by HarperCollins.

Gotta have this one because I loved Shatter Me. It was one of the best books I read last year and I can't wait to dive back into the world and words Mafi has created!

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (26)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, they post a subject and the goal is to answer the question with your top ten picks. Once you've done it, link back to The Broke and the Bookish and check out what other bloggers have to say!
Top Ten Character Who Remind Me of Myself
I'm going to cheat a bit since I'm not very good at picking out me or people I know in books. Instead, this is my list of top ten character traits that I'd like to have.

1) Hermione Granger's (Harry Potter) cleverness- Hermione was really the heart, brains and soul behind the Harry Potter crew. It is always her ability to think that gets them out of situations. Whether she is the library, burying her nose into a new book or out in the real world applying that knowledge, her cleverness is definitely something I'd like to possess.

2) Katniss Everdeen's (The Hunger Games) determination- Sure Katniss was tough and smart, but what really got her through The Hunger Games was her determination to win them. She knew that if she could just survive, she'd build a better life for her and her family. It was through sheer will that she survived all the obstacles thrown her way.

3) Tris Prior's (Divergent) courage- In Divergent she had the courage to choose Dauntless over her home Faction and survive it. But it is in Insurgent that Tris truly proves her courage by taking the hard road even though it may cost her everything. By daring to defy the man she loves for what is right, Tris is one of the most courageous characters I know.

4) Juliette Ferrars' (Shatter Me) viewpoint- The thing that stunned me about Shatter Me was the beautiful writing that lay inside. Because of Juliette's situation, she saw the world in a completely different light. Sure, oftentimes it was terrible and frightening but it also held such beauty. It was in those moments of beauty that made everything else worth it.

5) Bella Swan's (Twilight) ability to love- I know I'll probably get some flack for this but I found Bella's ability to put everything else on hold for the one she loves to be beautiful. She loved fiercely and with everything she had. Had she been a stronger character or been allowed to be stronger by Edward, I think people would have admired her more. But she was a human holding onto a little sliver of the sunlight and she never let it go, even when it would have been easier to. I think that is beautiful.

6) Mara Dyer's (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer) witticism- I loved Mara because she was such a dry and sarcastic character. She's like the well-scripted characters on t.v. and movies that we like to think we are. She made me die laughing every time she opened her mouth or thought something back about another character. I'd love to have that ability in real life!

I know that's only six but those are the ones that jump out of me. I'd love to see who you chose!

Cover Alert: Sever by Lauren DeStefano

Today, the final book's cover in the Chemical Garden Trilogy has been released onto the web. Check out Sever and tell me what you think.

This is a fascinating choice. I'm not at all sure what to think of it. For some reason, the green background really threw me off. I like that it keeps the same elements of the last two covers and that it has lines to the bird and ring. I'm also glad to see that the bird has escaped it's cage. I'm not sure if this cover is as beautiful as the last two though. I think it might have something to do with the color of green. It looks like a green screen to me and after the rich deep blue of the first book, I think I'd like something darker.

Here are the covers together:

What do you think?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume 1

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus: Volume 1

Authors: Joss Whedon, Christopher Golden, Dan Brereton, Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza & Paul Lee
Artists: Paul Lee, Eric Powell, Drew Geraci, Keith Barnett, Joe Bennett, Rick Ketcham, Cliff Richards & Will Conrad
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Dark Horse; Dark Horse Omnibus (6x9 inch) edition (July 3, 2007)Language: English
ISBN-10: 159307784X
ISBN-13: 978-1593077846
Series: Volume 1 of 7
Source: Purchased at Books- A-Million
Cover: I think this art looks a lot like a younger Sarah Michelle Gellar which is nice. I like the simplicity of it.
First Sentence: "Beijing China. June 18th . 1900."

Mini-Review: If you are a fan of the series and want more Buffy, this is for you but be warned it starts off just a little rocky.

The definitive comics collection of all things Buffy starts here. This first massive volume begins with "The Origin," a faithful adaptation of creator Joss Whedons original screenplay for the 1992 film, along with three more stories.


Since I decided I couldn't get enough Buffy, I went on ahead and grabbed a Buffy Omnibus. These cover stories that happened before or during the show's life. The first volume combines a Spike and Drusilla story as well as the original script that Whedon wrote for the Buffy movie, Buffy in Vegas, a Dawn story and covers Buffy stint in a mental hospital. This is definitely for you if you are interested in Buffy's past before she got to Sunnydale but be warned that this series lacks the Whedon charm and doesn't understand the show the way it should.

Golden has a forward at the beginning where he states that he didn't watch the show and didn't know that much about Buffy when he started writing these comics. Whedon has (to my understanding) no input in these comics and you can tell. It lacks the charm the show has and suffers from some seriously bad writing in the beginning. I found this particular evident in the Spike and Dru story where they feel the need to repeat things over and over again that they just showed. I mean, if they are vamps going on a feeding spree in a fair I don't need them to tell me that they are "evil, naughty vamps on an evil rampage of evil evilness evildoing (evil, evil, evil)" because I just saw them murder three people in the prior panel. I'm exaggerating, of course, but there is a lot of "duh" dialogue that truly doesn't need to be going on there. As the stories continue, they become increasingly better and feel more like the Buffy I know and love.

As far as the artwork goes, I'm not as big a fan of this as Season 8 but I did start to enjoy the simplistic style. There weren't as many creative ways the panels were put together but it was very clear who was speaking. I never understood what a square box around the words meant but these stories helped me to understand that it is a character narrating. They even made each character have different text when they were narrating which really helped clarify who was speaking.

I'd like to look at each story individually:
"All's Fair"- This is the Spike and Dru story which I felt was the weakest in the bunch. I wasn't all too crazy with the artwork because it didn't look much like that characters and the dialogue felt too literal. It told too much which really didn't work since the artwork was showing the same thing and do a better job of it. This stinks since I was looking most forward to this story.
"Buffy: The Origin"- This is a retelling of the original script for Whedon's Buffy movie. The artwork looked a lot more like the characters in this one and the feeling of Buffy started to come into play. Some of the dialogue felt like it could have been in the show and they seemed to get Buffy's character a little better. It was still a little corny but better than the first story.

"Viva Las Buffy!"- For me, this is where the comic started to get good. This follows Pike and Buffy as they go to Vegas to kick some vampire booty. It's told completely in Pike's point of view and I liked getting to see how he looked at her. I was also happy to see Angel show up in this story as it filled in some of his background. The dialogue got loads better and it even gave me some laugh out loud moments.
"Dawn & Hoopy the Bear"- This is perhaps my favorite comic in the bunch. It's a short one following Dawn's adventures with a cursed bear. Dawn was charmingly cute (before she became all "no one EVER understands me EVER, go away and leave me alone *cue door slam*) and it's nice to see how Buffy disappearance effects her.
"Slayer, Interrupted"- This comic depicts Buffy's stay in a mental hospital as she tries to decide whether she can accept her role as a slayer. As story goes, this one felt the most like a Buffy episode and similar to what we are getting in Season 8. The artwork was a lot better for me and I loved seeing Buffy as Alice in Alice in Wonderland!

If you're a Buffy fan, this is definitely for you. However, it isn't as good as Season 8 and starts off a little rocky. I definitely think the Omnibus finds it's swing a little less than halfway through and it is really fun to see Buffy's adventures pre-Sunnydale. I'll definitely be continuing on with these collections. In fact, I already have Volume 2 on order.

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