Monday, July 30, 2012

Shelfmates #10

Some covers just work together...and some, not so much. I've decided to start up a semi-regular feature called Shelfmates to showcase series covers. I love getting the sequel to a novel and putting it up next to the first book so I thought this might be a fun way to do that on my blog! So here are some series covers and my opinions on how they look as a couple (or series...)!

I'm not sure these covers are anything special but I do like the way they look because they are different than a lot of what's out on shelves now. The first novel looks like a big warning sign with it's bright yellow and the second looks so forlorn. I think separately and together these are pretty solid if not a little dull.

We're dealing with a cover change here. I know the opinions for The Name of the Star hardcover were split. People either really liked it or really didn't. I was one of the people who liked it so I'm a little sad to see the change. However, I think these new covers are really interesting. There isn't really anything new about a girl's face on the cover but it's the cracked skin that makes this unique. I like these a lot together too. The second cover is just different enough but they look good together.
We've got another cover change here for Tempest and I've got to say that I'm really not too wild about it. I loved the first cover and this one is sort of cheapens the first one in my opinion. I mean, it's okay and it works well with the second one but I'm just not a fan of these after knowing what it used to look like. I do think the backgrounds look really neat though and I love the color usage.
My favorite of these covers by far is Kiss of Frost because it feels beautiful and magical. I'm really not a fan of the first cover but the thrid and fourth are alright. Overall, I feel like they don't necessarily fit together very well. The first and second covers look like they belong in their own separate series and the third and fourth look like they work together. It's no contest for me which cover is the best in this series!
So these books are the prequels to the Nightshade series. They look a lot like the new Nightshade covers but I like these a lot better. They both have a lot of drama and look like they are part of the series. My only compliant would be that the girl on the Rise cover looks drawn whereas the girl on Rift looks like a photograph. I just wish they were a bit more consistent together but I still like them.

I think my favorite of this bunch is most definitely Shades of London series but the Nightshade Prequels are a close second. What do you guys think?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

In My Mailbox 86

In my mailbox is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren that encourages other book bloggers to share what they bought, won, begged for or borrowed. It is usually held on Sundays!


From Simon & Schuster:
I also bought a few funny shirts this week but none of them came in yet for me to show you. It was a pretty slow week for me but that's cool since my TBR pile is insane. I do want to thank Simon and Schuster for sending me these finished copies!

What did you get this week?

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Fairy Tale in Photos- The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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, we've got everyone's favorite gypsy dancing through the photos! Take a gander at these The Hunchback of Notre Dame photos.

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ChocolateDecadence
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Endleria
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milanteren
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mikan-takaumi
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Canadian-Rainwater
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Baka-neechan
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AlexPianistka
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Liz24601
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AlexPianistka
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Endleria
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ChikiCosplay
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NeverQuothTheRaven

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Xaeldz
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MoonPuppy4eva
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So there are these. I was actually pretty impressed with the emotion in all of these photos. There are a lot of really good faces. I'm loving the one of Frollo gripping the scared Esmeralda and the tiny dancing feet. What do you guys think? Which is your favorite?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Once by Anna Carey Playlist and Giveaway

Today, I'm lucky enough to post a playlist for Once on the blog straight from Anna Carey. Check out some of the music will you look over my review and enter to win a copy of Once!

Once Playlist

Bon Iver, Skinny Love

The novel opens with Eve living in Califia. She’s spent months thinking about what happened to Caleb, wondering if he’s alive and where. This song reminds me of that churning, torturous place she’s in—wanting to be with him, but hating the pain of the situation.

Ani DiFranco, Swan Dive

There’s a moment in the beginning of Once when Eve sets out to find Caleb. This song perfectly captures the risks inherent in loving someone. Eve knows it’s dangerous, but cares about him more than she does herself.

Jose Gonzalez, Crosses

The imagery in this song reminds me of the first night Eve goes to meet Caleb in the City, how the streets are dark, how there are shadows in the windows above. His is the reassuring voice that sees her through.

Ryan Adams, So Alive

This song is all energy. There’s a scene in Once that takes place under a bridge, and I could nearly hear this song playing as I wrote it. It speaks to how exhilarating it is to be in love.

Passion Pit, Sleepyhead Acoustic version

Sleepyhead was originally one of my favorite dance songs, but when I heard the acoustic version it nearly made me cry. Slowed down it’s so tender and intimate, and the lyrics capture this simple, private moment between two people.

Iron & Wine, The Trapeze Singer

Eve makes several painful decisions throughout the course of the story. In one, she says good-bye to Caleb indefinitely. This song is one of the most painful and beautiful love songs I know. “Please, remember me” is repeated eight times.

Sia, Breathe Me
There’s a scene at the end of Once where Eve is in intense pain, and can’t fully comprehend what just happened to her. This song articulates that confusion and loss.

Florence and the Machine, Seven Devils

This song builds to a slow, simmering rage, and reminds me of the last chapter in Once. I can’t say more than that for fear of giving too much away…

Giveaway Time!

One lucky US winner is going to get their hands on a copy of Once. Just check out these rules and make sure to fill out the giveaway form!

Rules:
  • Must be 13 years or older
  • Must be in the US
  • May only fill out form once
  • Must enter before 8/9/12

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: Once by Anna Carey

Once by Anna Carey

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (July 3, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062048546
ISBN-13: 978-0062048547
Series: Eve #2
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Cover: This is a cover that I'm not wild about on its own but I've discovered that when it is paired with Eve actually looks really good. I get why the cover is the way it is, I'm just not as in love as I was with Eve's cover.
First Sentence: "I started over the rocks, clutching a knife in one hand."

Mini-Review: Once combines splendid settings, high stakes and a story full of twists.

Summary:
When you're being hunted, who can you trust? 
For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America. 
But her safety came at a price: She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America. 
Trapped inside the City walls, Eve uncovers a shocking secret about her past--and is forced to confront the harsh reality of her future. When she discovers Caleb is alive, Eve attempts to flee her prison so they can be together--but the consequences could be deadly. She must make a desperate choice to save the ones she loves . . . or risk losing Caleb forever. 
In this breathless sequel to "Eve," Anna Carey returns to her tale of romance, adventure, and sacrifice in a world that is both wonderfully strange and chillingly familiar.
Review:

Once proves that all the glitters is definitely not gold in the City of Sand. Combining splendid settings, high stakes and a story full of twists, it is an easy read that will keep its audience glued to the last page.

I like to think of Eve as a fairy tale gone wrong. It's an epic love story set against a decayed background that shows the worst of people. I'd mentioned in my review of Eve that the Americas truly felt like a character on their own and Once stays true to this form, only it is in reverse. We've got the fairy tale setting with lush gardens, glittering building and pretty dresses but it is a story of love being splintered apart and crammed back together all wrong. While Eve and Caleb feel in love amongst the rotting shambles of forgotten homes and crashed helicopters in Eve, Eve is trying to be forced into an unwanted marriage amongst gorgeous flowers and lavish feasts in Once. It reminded me a lot of one of Fitzgerald's stories since glitter among trash was one of his favorite themes.

While I enjoyed the setting immensely, I did have a minor problem with Eve. After being forced through so much in the first novel and growing leaps and bounds from the girl who was frightened of boys, I expected a stronger Eve. She was seasoned, she'd been touched by love and had it ripped away from her once. So I didn't understand why she was so passive when reasoning with the king. She kept reminding herself about her friends stuck in the birthing houses and kids like Caleb being forced to work for nothing but she never really pushed the king to do anything about it. Even when she was at her most desperate, she didn't even fight and I wanted to see that so much. Eve had so much spirit in the first novel but I feel like she was weakened in this one for no apparent reason. However, I was glad to see that she was still very clever and bold when it came to sneaking around.

I'd have loved to see more interaction between Eve and Caleb, especially since I really love them together. I did understand that the plot didn't allow it but I'd have welcomed a few more embraces. The time they did have together wasn't wasted and I believed in them as a couple which gave me enough to hold on to for now. However, in the novel Eve bargains for Caleb's life by agreeing to marry another but I wish I would have had more push from the king before she went and offered. I mean, I knew the king wanted her to marry the other guy but it was only mentioned in passing one time and I wish it had been mentioned a lot more before she makes the bargain. It sort of felt out of the blue the way it was put in the book now.

As far as secondary characters, the City of Sand offers an entire new cast of players. I enjoyed exploring the city with Eve's charmingly bratty cousin Clara and those tender moments with Eve's new maid Beatrice. Charles was a little predictable in his being there but I like that there is more to him than meets the eye and I'm interested to see where his loyalties are going to lie when the time truly comes. The king is a larger than life character and the author did a good job crafting him as a complexly emotional character but giving us glimpses of who he really is.

It's the plot that is the real star of this book. There is a turn about 80 pages in that I really didn't see coming but that I loved. The entire book is full of enough twists and turns that it's hard to see where it is all going until the very end. And speaking of endings, Ms. Carey, what the heck are you doing to us? Seriously, I am dying (and so is someone else possibly) to figure out what is going to happen to these characters and I am not at all certain of their futures at this point.

Due to Once's engrossing plot and vivid setting, I'm definitely recommending this sequel. I feel like it excels in places Eve might have fell a little short but it isn't without it's minor shortcomings. Overall, it is such an easy and pleasant read, I can't imagine many not enjoying it. And Once truly does glitter.

Rating:

Check back later today for a giveaway of ONCE!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Unremembered, The Art of Wishing and Spellbinding

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.

Unremembered by Jessica Brody
The only thing worse than forgetting her past... is remembering it. 
When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe. 
Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world. 
Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them. 
Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget? 
From popular young adult author, Jessica Brody comes a mesmerizing and suspenseful new series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.
Unremembered it out March 3rd 2013 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (BYR).

How trippy does this novel sound? It really does look like a great mystery and I can't wait to see what's going on between the pages!

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar
Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the part she wants in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie’s ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn’t know what to do. Especially since Oliver – not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless – can see more than what she’s willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn’t know she wants. 
But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo’s ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him – someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him. 
A whole lot more.
The Art of Wishing is out March 21st 2013 by Dial Books For Young Readers.

How stinking cute does this novel sound? I need it in my hands right now and I am so in love with that cover!

Spellbinding by Maya Gold
Salem is the bewitching backdrop to this lush, fast-paced tale of one girl discovering the source of her powers. 
It is during a routine school project that Abby Silva--sixteen and nearly friendless--makes a startling discovery: She is descended from women who were accused of witchcraft back in 1600s Salem. And when Abby visits nearby Salem, strange, inexplicable events start to unfold. Objects move when she wills them to. Candles burst into sudden flame. And an ancient spellbook somehow winds up in her possession. 
Trying to harness her newfound power, Abby concocts a love potion to win over her longtime crush--and exact revenge upon his cruel, bullying girlfriend. But old magic is not to be trifled with. Soon, Abby is thrust headlong into a world of hexes, secrets, and danger. And then there's Rem Anders, the beautiful, mysterious Salem boy who seems to know more about Abby than he first lets on.

A reckoning is coming, and Abby will have to make sense of her history--and her heart--before she can face the powerful truth.
Spellbinding is out  April 2013 by Scholastic Point.

I love stories about witches, especially when they tie into the Salem witches. This is definitely on my radar.

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday 27: Most Vivid Settings

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 Most Vivid Settings
1) Wizarding World of Harry Potter (JK Rowling)- I was thinking of just saying Hogwarts but I quickly realized that Hogwarts doesn't even begin to cover what I love so much about Harry Potter's world. I love the idea of a train platform that is 9 3/4, thinking about what it would be like to stroll through Hogsmeade in the winter when the snow is following and to explore Diagon Alley. All of these things rolled up into one make the enchanted world that Harry lives in right under our nose. Hogwarts is a place I could never get enough of and will always be on the top of this list.

2) Divergent's world (Veronica Roth)- From the moment I started reading Divergent I was hooked. Thinking about the world splitting into 5 different factions that valued different things was absolutely riveting. I was hooked by this setting when Tris entered the Dauntless headquarters and I could just see the carved stone snaking its way around the compound. 

3) A Great and Terrible Beauty's Victorian London (Libba Bray)- Like with Harry Potter, I couldn't resist the allure of living in a world where magic was hidden around every corner. Beautiful ballgowns and stifling conversation fill Gemma's oppressed world but at night among the wild woods of her big old boarding school, she and her friends wove magic into the air and were transported to another place. Every page of this trilogy is filled with beautiful things but there is always an edge of danger and wrongness to them that is addicting.

4) Eve's America (Anna Carey)- I've just finished Once and was delighted to see a different type of place than we got from Eve. Eve paints the Americas after the plague as a dark place where food is scarce and their is a wild sort of beauty among the broken things. I loved this wild natural world which is made all the more real next to the City of Sand which we see a lot of in Once.

5) Poison Study's Ixia (Maria V Snyder)- Poison Study gave me a world of magical and mysticism. I saw vast deserts and bustling medieval cities and circuses and palaces folded into one amazing series. It gave me everything I could want in a fantasy setting and more!

6) Touch of Frost's Mythos Academy (Jennifer Estep)- I must like a good magical boarding school because this is another one that ranks high for me. I love how mythological creatures are woven into the filthy rich in a seamless manner. From it's glorious library filled with marble statues of the gods to its lush lawns and fancy dining room, I can't get enough of the location!

7) The Demon Trapper's Daughter's Atlanta (Jana Oliver)- Atlanta is crawling with demons and most people are living in broken down hotel room's converted into apartments. Necromancers and witches have set up a section of town where they can roam and you can get your secondhand goods at a huge market set up in an old park. Want coffee at school? Well, that's not likely to happen but your school room could very well be an old Starbucks. It's gritty, dirty and demon infested but it's home to Riley and it has never looked better.

These are a few of my favorite settings. Which made your list?

Teaser Tuesday 86: Wake by Amanda Hocking

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:

-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page

Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that pageBe careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others!Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles!

Wake by Amanda Hocking
Out there, among the stars, the water seemed like it went on forever. The bay met the sea, which in turn met the sky, and it all blended together like she was floating in an eternal loop.
--Pg 4 of an ARC of  "Wake" by Amanda Hocking

I'm not too far into this book but I have to admit that the writing is a million times better then Switched. I think this novel is going to be awesome just a few pages in and I can't wait to dive in!

What's your teaser?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Exclusive Venom Trailer Teaser!

Hey everyone! Today I've got something super exciting to show you. Ever heard of a book called Venom by Fiona Paul? Well today I've got an exclusive teaser from the upcoming trailer. First, check out what Venom is all about and make sure to add it to your reading lists:

Venom by Fiona Paul
Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancĂ©, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape. 
When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancĂ©, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco? 
Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.
Venom is out October 30th 2012 by Philomel.

You've got to fall for a book in the Renaissance set in Venice. Sounds breathtaking, right? Well, check out this teaser trailer shot:

Wouldn't you kill to have a mask like that? I definitely know I would. To check out all the trailer teaser from July 24-30, you can look at the schedule below:

July 23: Amber in Blunderland
URL: http://amberinblunderland.blogspot.com

July 24: Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf
URL: http://laurenscrammedbookshelf.blogspot.com

July 25: Perpetual Page Turner
URL: http://www.perpetualpageturner.com

July 26: The Compulsive Reader
URL: http://www.thecompulsivereader.com

July 27: The Elliot Review
URL: http://elliottreview.blogspot.com/

July 30: The Book Smugglers
URL: http://thebooksmugglers.com

July 31: USA Today’s Happily Ever After Blog [FULL TRAILER REVEAL]
URL: http://books.usatoday.com/happyeverafter/index

To learn more about Venom, here are some extra goodies for you to check out:

VENOM is a Fall 2012 Breathless Read! Like Breathless Reads on Facebook [LINK:http://www.facebook.com/breathlessreads and follow them on Tumblr [http://breathlessreads.tumblr.com
Become a fan of VENOM on Facebook! [LINK: facebook.com/venombooks
Follow Fiona Paul on Twitter! [LINK: http://twitter.com/fionawritesYA

Definitely give the author a poke and let her know what you think about the first teaser still!

DNF: Fated by Alyson Noel

Fated by Alyson Noel

I'm not going to go into too much detail with this but I did want to talk a little bit about why I didn't finish this book. The thing I want to get across is that there was nothing really wrong with it. The writing was good, the characters and concept were interesting and the setting was vivid.

My biggest problem with this novel was that I just couldn't get into it. The writing was beautiful but it felt thick to me. Every paragraph seemed to take a lot of time to sift through and I was having a hard time connecting with the main character even though I was interested in what was happening to her.

I just couldn't get into this one though I'm not even sure why. I've been having trouble focusing and this book wasn't helping matters so I put it down. I may try it again later but for now this one is a "did not finished" for me.

If you are a fan of Noel's other work, I'd definitely say to go for this one. I'm just not sure it was right for me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In My Mailbox 85

In my mailbox is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren that encourages other book bloggers to share what they bought, won, begged for or borrowed. It is usually held on Sundays!


From Simon and Schuster:
From Scholastic:
From St. Martin's Press:
I want to thank all the publishers for providing me with some awesome reading material. What did you guys get this week?

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Fairy Tale in Photos- Pocahontas

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, we've all things Pocahontas from dream catchers to the girl herself. Enjoy!

iDreamInWishes
Sk-W
ninjanick
fenyxdesign
pheobe125
Chingrish
AnjaRoehrich
AnneLysa
DisneyLizzi
H-SAMABlog
Eiaolaf
thephotogrumbler
zantaff
AnaRosemary
Snugle
Sk-W
What I found most interesting about these photos is that most of them are taken with earthy colors. Not the lush greens found in Peter Pan or Robin Hood but browns, yellows, beige and oranges. It's just interesting considering when I think of the earth, I think of greens and blues. My favorite of this bunch has to be the girl in the field holding the dream catcher and Pocahontas throwing the leaves.

Which do you like best?
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