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Showing posts from October, 2011

One Book, Two Book, Three Book, Four . . . and Five!

I actually don't remember the last booky meme I filled out. And so when I ran across this fun (quick!) one over at Read the Book, I decided it looked like just the thing.
1. Book I am currently reading:Cinderby Marissa Meyer
I love everything about this idea. I'm about 80 pages in right, and so far so good!

2. Last book I finished:Untying the Knotby Linda Gillard
Linda writes some of my very favorite contemporary adult titles. This is her latest and, as usual, I fell right into it. Review to come.

3. Next book I want to read:The Shadow Readerby Sandy Williams
Entirely because of this review. I can only hold off a trip to the bookstore for so long. It must be mine soon.

4. Last book I bought:Mastiffby Tamora Pierce
Because even though I wasn't crazy about the previous book in the trilogy, this is the third and final book, and I find I do want to see how Beka's story turns out.

5. Last book I was given:Imaginary Landsby Robin McKinley
This unexpected gift brought tears to my …

Retro Friday Review, Halloween Edition: Sunshine by Robin McKinley

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. I look forward to this season every year because it means I get to reread Sunshine. This is one of my few solid seasonal reads. I revisit it every year for so many reasons. Because it originally came out in October. Because it absolutely encapsulates autumn for me. And Halloween, of course, what with all the vampires and the midnight outings and the smell of fallen leaves and cinnamon rolls in the air. And because it's just one of the biggest Angie books there is. I remember being almost apoplectic with excitement when I heard Robin McKinley was writing a vampire novel. The whole notion filled me with tingles. And imagine how happy I was when it turned out to be better than I could ever have imagined. I know people have strong feelings on this book, one way …

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Mecame across my radar purely through the blogosphere. I'm fairly certain I wrote it off initially based on the cover alone. Having read it now, I'm even less of a fan of the cover. In fact, I vastly prefer the plain white cover of my ARC. It retains the slashed title (which I love), but otherwise it is just a field of white. The final cover sells the book short, in my opinion, especially Juliette herself. The model, her expression, and the dress are just too froufy and faux intense for Juliette and for my taste. I feel like the story deserved a starker, more ambiguous cover. So what encouraged me to check out this debut novel was definitely not the cover, but rather the collective heart attack it seemed to be giving a slew of my favorite bloggers. I heard "beautiful writing" and "awesome dystopian" and I hoped. But I made sure to go in with carefully measured expectations, because I've had a few of those "beautiful writing awesome dystopia…

Retro Friday Review: Mad Kestrel by Misty Massey

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. I decided to pull this one out not long ago, because I've been feeling like pirates lately. Sometimes you just feel like some good piracy, don't you? The boy has chosen to be a pirate for Halloween this year, and so the various accouterments and necessities have been swirling around the house, and so the whole thing has been on my mind. I ran across Misty Massey's debut novel somewhere over three years ago on the shelves of my local bookshop and the cover pulled me in right away. It's wonderful, isn't it? So many possibilities in it . You don't know whether it's historical fiction or steampunk or fantasy or a combination of all two or more of those. I love it when a cover allows you to avoid genre stereotyping like that for a little wh…

The Fault in Our Stars Cover

And here we have the cover for John Green's upcoming book The Fault in Our Stars, due out January 10th. I like how simple it is (yay for simple these days). I like that there are no people on it. And I like the chalk writing. It's a little hard to fall utterly in love with, however, because of the countless unbelievably awesome fan-made covers sent in. Happily, they impressed his publisher so much they're holding a contest for fan-made covers for the next edition of An Abundance of Katherines. I cannot wait to see the results! For now, I'm off to go pre-order my signed copy of tFiOS. 

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

I wasn't really planning on reading Virtuosity. I'm not sure why, because I'm actually often drawn to stories featuring prodigies or people with highly regimented lifestyles due to their skills/abilities/life choices. Also, I like the title. But, the cover doesn't do a whole lot for me (it looks more paranormal than contemporary). Nothing wrong with it, but I will say that it would help if she was at least holding a violin. Then a galley floated my way, and so I went on the hunt for a few reliable reviews. And wouldn't you know, I found them (see links below). Enough of them to prod me to see for myself. I actually started Virtuosityright after finishing another book, somewhere in the vicinity of midnight, and I was absorbed quickly and deeply enough that I just read it straight through. I kind of feel like it's one of the ones best read that way, one of the ones that benefits largely from a quantity of undivided attention and a lack of breaks throughout.

Carm…

November Cakes

For those of you who've read The Scorpio Races, you'll know what these are. And for those of you who haven't yet (it's due out tomorrow), you'll soon be in for a treat. Reading about the November cakes was like reading about the Cinnamon Rolls as Big as Your Head from Sunshine. You just want one Right Now. Served at the local bakery and festival around race time, the description of the November cakes made my mouth water while reading. And then Maggie went and posted her very own recipe for them, and I just had to try making them for dessert yesterday. I had to grin as I ate one, picturing Finn smiling as he placed one in Puck's hand and Sean and Puck munching on them quietly as they sat atop the cliffs gazing out to sea.
So, here's the recipe: And here's what it makes: Yum.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I love a good surprise. And Maggie Stiefvater pulled off an excellent one this year by surprising her readers with not one, but two books. The one we'd been expecting for a year, the other we had no clue was even in the works really. And so when the cover of The Scorpio Raceswas released, my mind went in a hundred different directions at once trying to parse out the possibilities behind such an interesting title and such an absolutely lovely cover. The truth is, I didn't want to know that much at all. This was a surprise book, and as such I wanted to go into the first page uninformed as to the particulars. So I stayed away from synopses, snippets, even the trailer (and I adore her trailers), because I didn't want to go in with any kind of preconceived notion. Unable to attend BEA this year, I bemoaned the fact that I would miss out on the stacks of ARCs I knew would be available there. Fortunately, someone who knew I would be suffering went and picked me up a copy and pop…

Retro Friday Review: A Separate Peace by John Knowles

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.

Did any of you ever struggle with American literature in high school? I did. In fact, I developed a strong British bias early on as a result of being forced to read the slogging, long American works before any of the mind-blowingly awesome ones. I continue to feel this was a failed strategy. I mean, I still cringe whenever I think about The Grapes of Wrath, and it took all the way till college to discover that Steinbeck was actually awesome, when my professor slapped a copy of "The Chrysanthemums" in my lap. Same goes for Hemingway. Who knew his short stories were incredible? When it came to high school, it wasn't until they handed us The Catcher in the Ryeand A Separate Peacethat things got interesting. And then Fitzgerald came along and it was li…

Bitterblue Cover

It's here! It's here! I'm so excited, I have nothing else to say. Except for this--576 pages! Music to my ears. Kristin Cashore, I love you.  May 1st, you and I have a DATE.

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

I originally heard about Graffiti Moonaround about the time I read Raw Blueand thought to myself, is every Australian YA author crazy talented or what? (The answer, by the way, appears to be an unequivocal YES). Then some of the UsualSuspects read and reviewed and loved it, and so Cath Crowley got noted down on my mental TBR, despite the fact that it, too, was not published in the U.S. yet. Then a little while after, it showed up on NetGalley and there were no more excuses to be had. Graffiti Moonwas originally published in Australia more than a year ago. Fortunately, Knopf Books for Young Readers has picked it up and is publishing it here in the U.S. this February. I know it's a ways away, but I really enjoyed it. And I figured if you're in desperate need you can go ahead and order it from Oz, depending, of course, on which cover is your favorite. I'm not incredibly fond of the stark yellow spraypaint can, so I think I'll hold out for the U.S. edition to add the phys…