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Showing posts from December, 2009

Best of 2009

You can check out my best of the year category rundown over at The Book Smugglers, but today on New Year's Eve I'm posting my Best Books of 2009 list. Best of 2009 (in order of publication)
Bone Crossedby Patricia Briggs Silent on the Moorby Deanna Raybourn Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork Magic Strikesby Ilona Andrews The Language of Beesby Laurie R. King Bad to the Boneby Jeri Smith-Ready Tap & Gownby Diana Peterfreund The Demon's Lexiconby Sarah Rees Brennan The Bride's Farewellby Meg Rosoff Heroes at Riskby Moira J. Moore Catching Fireby Suzanne Collins Balladby Maggie Stiefvater Fireby Kristin Cashore Girl in the Arenaby Lise Haines FYI, that's 3 urban fantasies, 6 YAs (2 contemporary, 2 urban fantasy, 2 scifi/dystopian), 2 mysteries, 1 contemporary, 1 fantasy, and 1 historical.
Best New Discovery of 2009 Megan Whalen Turner aka MWT, The Turner, the fantabulously gifted, clever, smarter-than-me author of the all kinds of awesome Queen's Thief series, and cr…

The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

It seems as though The Demon's Lexiconhas been on my radar for ages now. I can't remember where I originally heard about it, but I've had a good feeling from early on, ever since I heard it was about two brothers who fought dark forces. What can I say? I'm a sucker for brothers. It's a relationship you don't often see done really well. Or not as often as you'd like. I really hoped this one was done well. As the reviews came rolling in, they all certainly seemed to indicate Sarah Rees Brennan's debut novel was spectacular. I'm only sorry it's taken me so long to get around to it. I was happy to find it nominated for a Cybils award and looked forward to it coming up in my towering nightstand stack. A note on covers: I've posted the UK cover here because I am just so in love with it. That is what Nick looks like. Dark and confused and angry, with the silhouette of ravens and the city behind him. Not like the model dude on the U.S. cover. Sunlit …

Evening Stops

Just wanted to drop a few links this evening for your browsing pleasure. The Best of 2009 lists are popping up all over the place and, until I finish trimming mine down, I wanted to highlight just a few of my favorites thus far. Be sure to check out Michelle's list over at See Michelle Read. Her categories are great, including Best Throwback, Best Author Discovery, and Best YA...Period. Unsurprisingly, I'm with her in every particular. Pamela over at The Discriminating Fangirl has posted her Top Ten of 2009 list and it's solid. Some I've read, some I haven't, a shout out to the new Star Trek movie *love*, and even a Shallow Honorable Mention category. Hehe. Amy of My Friend Amy has put together a rather fun, awfully sweet list entitled 2009--Blogs I Have Loved, in which she highlights bloggers who have touched, challenged, and entertained her this year. Definitely give it a read-through.
And last but certainly not least, if you haven't dropped by Ilona Andrews&#…

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

I know, I know. There's been a huge gap between my reviews of the first three Vampire Academy books and this review of the fourth one. All I can say is it's been insane this month with the holidays and the Cybils reading, my little boy's birthday, and my anniversary, etc. On the bright side, it has all combined to give my thoughts time to percolate somewhat on Blood Promise. I had been warned in advance that, give my reactions to the first three books, this one might not be my favorite. At the same time others encouraged me with the promise of a measurably higher Adrian quotient in this installment, which might well factor into shoving the Siberian chunkmeister that is this book to the forefront of the series. Either way I was very interested to find out just how Rose handled the fallout from the painfully messy end of Shadow Kiss.A WARNING: beyond this point lie unavoidable spoilers for the series. Proceed at your peril.
Rose is leaving St. Vlad's once again, this time…

And To All A Good Night

It's late Christmas night here and we're all cozy and warm and ready to turn in for the night. I hope yours was merry and bright and full of wonder and good books. Merry Christmas!

Hangin' with the Book Smugglers

Today I'm guest blogging over at The Book Smugglers as part of their 2nd annual Smugglivuscelebrations. This is my second time posting for Smugglivus and once again I'm handing out awards for my favorites of '09 and talking about what I'm looking forward to in 2010. I hope you stop by and say hi!

The Gift of Books

Daughter of the Flames by Zoë Marriott

I've had my eye on Zoë Marriott's second novel, Daughter of the Flames, since I read Chelle's review lo these many months ago. So I was happy to see it pop up on my Cybils reading list. I've read several books lately that have had an Asian/Middle Eastern flavor to them and was surprised and very much pleased to find Daughter of the Flames did as well. This was my first novel by Ms. Marriott and I was both looking forward to giving a new author a shot and in the mood for some more traditional fantasy. It's also worth it to point out the rather lovely cover this novel sports. The flames and curlicues are swirlingly lovely, enough so that the fact that Zira doesn't look quite as I pictured her isn't any kind of stumbling block at all.
Zira is a trained warrior. A novice with a face full of scars and a forgotten past, she perches right on the cusp of her sixteenth birthday. At the same time she anxiously awaits her superior's decision on whether she will joi…

New Sevenwaters Book Title

Just a quick post to note that Juliet Marillier's next Sevenwaters book--the sequel tothe wonderful Heir to Sevenwaters--now has a title! Seer of Sevenwaterswill be out December of next year (!) and will feature Clodagh's younger sister Sibeal. If you're like me, you've been waiting for Sibeal to get her own book ever since Child of the Prophecycame out. *rubs hands together*

Red & Black Pretties

Three (actually, four) authors I absolutely love. Three red and black covers to drool over. They all write and work in different ways and I am very much looking forward to their latest offerings.
Will Grayson, Will Graysonby John Green & David Levithan Brought to you by the author of Looking for Alaskaand An Abundance of Katherinesand the author of Love is the Higher Lawand co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Will Grayson, Will Graysontells the story of two boys with that same name who are about to meet one night in Chicago. Told in alternating point of view chapters, this collaborative novel has been in the works for awhile. And with these two authors at the helm there are two things guaranteed: I'm going to laugh and I'm going to care about these characters. Absolutely cannot wait to read it. Due out April 6th.
White Catby Holly Black Ever since I closed Ironside, I have been impatiently waiting for Holly Black's next Big Thing and White Cat--the first i…

Pssst! A Conspiracy of Kings... In. The. House. *dies*

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst

As soon as I heard about Sarah Beth Durst's retelling of the East of the Sun, West of the Moon fairy tale, I felt that old familiar tug. I've read Edith Pattou's Eastand Jessica Day George's Sun and Moon, Ice and Snowand enjoyed parts of both of them very much, though neither captured my imagination the way I really wanted them to. You see, as it is basically a Norse version of Beauty and the Beast, I've always felt I ought to love this fairy tale more than I do. But I've been vaguely but persistently dissatisfied with every retelling I've read. I'm beginning to think this is a problem with the source material, a mismatch between us if you will, and not necessarily with the retellings themselves. As I've talked about before, it's a problematic storyline in many ways and particularly difficult to pull off in novel form, I think. Yet somehow I eagerly anticipate each new attempt, hoping this one will be the one.
Cassie loves ice. She was raised on …

So the Cybils reading...

...has been keeping me insanely busy lately. Werewolves and banshees and selkies, oh my! But I promise to have some reviews up this week. In the meantime I'm leaving you with a couple of buttons I managed to whip up in my "spare time." You know, in case you wanna slap one up somewhere. Now you can pick your poison:
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In which I require a holiday read

I love the line in 84, Charing Cross Roadwhere Helene writes to Frank telling him, I require a book of love poems with spring coming on. Do you ever feel that way? You can feel a particular season or time approaching and you start to itch for a certain read you always associate with that time or season. It happens to me regularly and last night I realized I require a holiday read with Christmas coming on. I evaluated my shelves and discovered that I don't have a specific book I read every Christmas season or even every winter. This is clearly Not Okay. And so I'm putting the question out there, asking for your recommendations. What are you favorite holiday reads? Because I'm craving a good one.

Tuesday Giggles: New Moon Version

I knew it wouldn't be long after the New Moon movie came out before the highly talented Cleolinda would have her New Moon in Fifteen Minutes up for public devouring. So for this version of Giggles, hie thee to Cleo's place and laugh yourself silly over her rundown of the latest offering from the Twilight verse. While you're there, check out her other hysterical recaps, including Twilight! And while you're here, did you see the flick? I did. What did you think?

Magic Bleeds Cover

Here it is! The cover for Ilona Andrews' fourth Kate Daniels novel--Magic Bleeds. I am seriously aching to get my hands on this one. As you know, Magic Strikes(the 3rd Kate book) knocked my socks off and I can only imagine what the contents of the next one will do to me. What do you think of this cover? I love all the snow. And His Furry Majesty, of course. And Slayer. Ilona has written a post addressing some readers' concerns about what will happen in Magic Bleeds. She talks about trusting the author to know what's best for her characters and her world and it's just the most fabulous post. I highly recommend you go read it. In the meantime I'll just be here admiring the pretty cover and vainly wishing it was May 25th already!