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Showing posts from January, 2010

Retro Friday Review: Locked in Time by Lois Duncan

Retro Fridayis a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc.
So we've talked about my Joan Lowery Nixon phase here before. I actually think I discovered Lois Duncan right before Nixon, but the two will always go hand and hand in my mind. Together they perfectly satisfied my twelve-year-old thirst for a light blending of suspense and the macabre. And no Duncan book did that better than the deliciously creepy Locked in Time. I enjoyed all of her books and they all succeeded in giving me the chills at one point or another. My old copy of I Know What You Did Last Summeris definitely showing its age and my love, as I loved revisiting those characters the most. But Locked in Timeis the one that truly scared me. Not just chills, not just anxious anticipation, but the real deal, had me setting the book down long enough to calm…

Demon's Lexicon Gets a New Jacket

Sarah Rees Brennan has revealed the new cover the U.S. paperback of The Demon's Lexiconwill be sporting come April. It represents a significant shift, I think, in style and focus from the hardback cover. I definitely like it better, though the UK cover remains my favorite. I can't help it. I even ordered my own copy. Love The Book Depository! But at the end of the day they all three have their appeal and how lucky, honestly, for such an awesome book to get three such covers? So here they are, from left to right: UK, US hardback, and US paperback. Which one's your favorite?

Love is in the Air

It's not even February yet and love is in the air around the blogosphere. Feeling a little cabin fever, are we people? A few of these posts caught my eye and are worth a mention here.

*sigh*

A week or so ago the wicked funny Sarah Rees Brennan put together a post entitled The Best Couples in Books Ever! Lol. In this post she outlines the six literary couples she deems the best ever, given the rules that the series they're in (if there is one) is finished and that at the end of it they are, in fact, together. I've read four of the six books/series and would put two of those four on my list, no question. Take a look at the list and see if you can guess which two! And while you're there, make sure you scroll down to the hysterical summaries of each relationship Sarah kindly put together. Though beware spoilers if you haven't read the books yet. I'm still breaking into giggles over them days later.


Next, my friend Michelle over at See Michelle Read is hosting a Litera…

Fey Pretties

Don't these three look like they belong together? I was struck by the similarities in font (particularly with the two on the right) and just the general style and feel. I love how they look together and I am anxious to get my hands on all three.

The Poison Throneby Celine Kiernan
The first in Kiernan's Moorehawke Trilogy, The Poison Thronefollows young Wynter Moorehawke as she goes from a life of peaceful anonymity to a life of exile with her father and back to her homeland once more. In the five years of her absence, she finds her home changed beyond recognition and herself thrown into the middle of a kingdom tearing itself apart. I have the impression this was previously published in the UK and is now making it's US debut. Due out April 7th.

Merlin's Harpby Anne Eliot Crompton
I am a very large sucker for all things Arthurian. What can I say? I'm always on the lookout for that perfect retelling, adaptation, what have you. Merlin's Harpwas originally published in …

Mistwood by Leah Cypess

Mistwoodhas been on my radar for close to a year now, if you can believe it. I've been monitoring its status updates on Amazon and GoodReads and checking Leah Cypess' site regularly for any news. There have been tantalizingly few details about this book floating around the verse. I knew it was YA fantasy. I knew it was about a girl who was a shifter. And I knew it took place in a kingdom in trouble. The back cover copy proclaims it:
For fans of Kristin Cashore's Graceling and Fire, Tamora Pierce, and Megan Whalen Turner's Attolia books
Ahem. That combination right there is only like the holy triumvirate of YA fantasy awesome. And so it was with unmitigated glee that I pulled my ARC out of its box a few days ago. I started reading it that night.

She has no memory. No concept of an existence before the moment they came riding into the Mistwood to drag her back to a castle full of high walls, dark secrets, and the suffocating need of its prince. They call her Isabel. The Shi…

Retro Friday Review: True Confessions of a Heartless Girl by Martha Brooks

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc.













A little over two years ago I came across this book. At the time I thought it had been published just recently, but I realized later it was originally published in Canada in 2002 and then a little over a year later in the U.S. I can't even remember now how I first heard about True Confessions of a Heartless Girl. But I remember that the fact that it was set in Canada and written by a Canadian was part of the draw. That and the intriguing storyline. I'm mystified as to why we seem to rarely get wind of some of these gems from our northern neighbors. Heartless Girlwas the winner of the 2002 Governor General's Literary Award and if this is any indication of the quality of the winners of that award, I will be paying attention to future winners and nomina…

Bibliocrack Review: Practice Makes Perfect & Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James

Okay, as you all know I am not very well-versed in the romance genre. I took my first dip in last summer when The Book Smugglersdared me to read Loretta Chase's Mr. Impossible. While I had a great time completing the dare and reporting on it, the book was not my cup of tea and I wasn't so taken with the experience that I wanted to repeat it again just yet. I have, however, casually been keeping my eye out for my next attempt. Based on my reactions to Mr. Impossible, Ana recommended giving Julia Quinn's What Happens in Londona shot, but every time I go to the library it's been checked out. This is probably a good sign. And so I figured I'd just wait for that one to come back in and give it a go. Then, as part of the Smugglivus Feats of Strength, Thea read and reviewedJulie James' Practice Makes Perfect--one of Ana's favorites of '09. And it was like the this is the next one light went on in my head. I think it was Thea's comment: I was a little nervou…

Adventures with Alanna

Today I'm guest blogging over at Tempting Persephone. We're kicking off her Pursuing the Lioness challenge and I'm talking about the first time I read Alanna and my experiences re-reading it over the years. I do hope you'll stop by and join in the fun.

Retro Friday Review: The Gryphon Trilogy by Andre Norton

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted here at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. I remember the day I first discovered science fiction grand dame Andre Norton. I walked into our favorite used bookstore in San Antonio, Texas. The same used bookstore where I first ran across so many othergems. This particular trip I was looking for something unusual and different and my eye caught on the cover on the left above. I liked how angular the art was and the look of the two companions traveling through what appeared to be an extremely bleak, almost sinister landscape. So I picked up The Crystal Gryphonand took it home with me. I was intrigued by the title as I had absolutely no idea what a gryphon was or if a crystal one was exceptional in any way. Shortly after returning home I blew back into the shop, hoping against hope they would have the two seq…

Adam and the Wonderful, Beautiful, So Good, Very Pretty Header

A couple days ago the very kind J. Kayegave me a blog award and I've been meaning to thank her ever since. It was the: I'm really tickled! But I really can't take any credit for it, being no kind of artist at all. And then it occurred to me that today is actually the artist's birthday (kind of a big one, too), and since many people have commented on my lovely header I thought this would be a nice time to highlight its creator--my brother-in-law Adam.
I don't talk about my personal life very much here on the blog, but I'm an only child. And, as fate would have it, when I got married I married the oldest of five. At first that many siblings made me nervous, but it didn't take long before I fell in love with them hook, line, and sinker. Five lovelier siblings you could hardly hope to find. Three boys and two girls. Together they run the spectrum of talent and personality. There's an audiophile, an actor, a writer, an artist, a hairdresser/cook extraordinaire…

Willow by Julia Hoban

I had, of course, seen Willowall over the blogosphere when it came out last April. It got tons of good press and I suspected it was a pretty solid read. But I admit I stayed away. In part, because of the subject matter. I'm a bit of a lightweight when it comes to self-harm or abuse in all their forms and cutting (Willow's specialty) is a particularly visible and grisly form of self-harm. At the same time, I can and have read several books featuring one or both of these topics and absolutely loved them. It's all in the approach, I suppose. That and how deft a touch the author has and how well the characters are drawn. And then Harmony featured it in her Top Books of 2009 post under the category of My Second Favorite Book of 2009and something just clicked. I reserved it at my library that day and, when it came in just a few days later, I went and picked it up.
Willow is not okay. Seven months ago her parents died in a car crash with Willow behind the wheel. And it's been …

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

My lovely book-gifting mother gave me a nice, healthy stack of books for Christmas and among them was The Sugar Queen. I read and lovedSarah Addison Allen's first novel, Garden Spells, last year on the recommendation of my good friend Michelle. Incidentally, I actually gave my mom Garden Spellsfor Christmas so there was some fun karmic reciprocity goin' on there. Garden Spells was the perfect autumn read and I finished it itching to get my hands on Allen's second book, which, as it turns out, is the perfect winter read. I love it when my book and the season serendipitously mesh. Set in a small ski resort town in North Carolina with magical snowflakes falling and the smell of peppermint in the air, I had no interest in resisting its spell. I just sat back and let The Sugar Queencarry me away for a couple of wintry nights.

Josey Cirrini loves candy. And I mean Josey LOVES candy. Sweets, snacks, baked goods of any kind. She keeps them in a stash in her closet and retreats ther…

Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine

This one has been on my list for a long time now. But for some reason I was under the impression it was YA urban fantasy, which is actually not the case. The main character Allie is fast approaching 30 and, though the impetus for most of the action in the novel took place when she was a fair bit younger, her main concerns and musings are those of an adult--albeit an, at times, admittedly charmingly immature one. The author, Anna Katherine, is interestingly the pen name of Anna Genoese and Katherine Macdonald. Together these two publishing industry insiders created a snarky, lighthearted, fast-paced urban fantasy debut.
Allie used to live on Long Island and never wondered where her next dime was gonna come from. Her two best friends, Amanda and "Stan," were the height of shallow and together the three of them lazed around their posh estates indulging in pretty much whatever debauched activity took their fancy. But then Allie's mom runs off, her dad fades away, and Allie i…

The Lioness & the Lexicon

A couple of noteworthy items for you this evening:
My friend Chelle over at Tempting Persephone is hosting a wonderful challenge called Pursuing the Lioness. This event is a chance for those who have not yet discovered Tamora Pierce's phenomenal Alanna books (the Song of the Lioness quartet) to read one or all of them and post about the experience sometime over the next six months. And for those who know and love Alanna already, Chelle is asking for guest posts about your favorite book, character, or memory associated with the series. Most of you know what a pivotal series this was for me growing up and so you can guess how much this event gives me the deep tingles. I'll be helping kick off the festivities with a guest post on the 18th. I hope you'll take part as well. See you there!
A few days ago I was over on Twitter rhapsodizing about my love for The Demon's Lexiconand all things Alan & Nick, when the Ana-half of The Book Smugglers hinted I should head over to Sa…

Cybils Finalists

As you have probably noted, the Cybils finalists have been announced! I served on the first round of judges for the Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction category and let me tell you it was a ton of work. My eyes still glaze over a little bit when I think about it. But I had a great time and most of that was the fact that I got to work with six other amazing panelists: Sheila, Gwenda, Steve, Nettle, Sami, and Tanita. Our final discussion chat was an absolute hoot, as well as being a stimulating and challenging discussion on the merits of each and every one of the nominated titles this year. I found myself wishing I knew these people in person and could meet up in coffeehouses and chat with them on a regular basis. They're that smart and that funny and that into reading. It was a rocking good time and I feel like we narrowed the long list down to seven absolutely solid books. And here they are, complete with blurbs written by one of us seven judges:Young Adult Fantasy & Sci…