Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Book Summer (Via Goodreads): Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Book Trailer:

Book Review:
Ok, so I will honestly say that I love this book. The beginning swept me into a colorful story of a girl who leads a double life of sorts. She is mysterious and lovable. She has blue hair and consorts with curious otherworldly creatures. The ending was equally intriguing. I was swept back in time to a mythical story of angels and demons and creation. It is a heartfelt story that I will already want to revisit again. Where this story falters is in its middle. Instead of gracefully connecting and intertwining elements of the two stories, I read a muddled section that seemed to pass time instead of further developing the story and its characters. Once I got over the middle "hump," I was blessed with the ending story as mentioned above. Taylor created a magical world, where anything is possible. She created a vivid picture through both description and character. I can not wait to visit this world again! Even though I take issue with the "middle" of this book, the rest of Taylor's writing more than makes up for said muddled section.

Favorite Quote:
“She had been innocent once, a little girl playing with feathers on the floor of a devil's lair. She wasn't innocent now, but she didn't know what to do about it. This was her life: magic and shame and secrets and teeth and a deep, nagging hollow at the center of herself where something was most certainly missing.” 

Cover Art Commentary:
I love LOVE the colors of this cover! The mask has significant meaning to the story. This would definitely be a book that I would buy based on its cover alone!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Spooky Reads!

 With Halloween rapidly approaching, I wanted to list my top "spooky" Halloween reads!

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

I recently just read this book, and it had many good creep factors. Definitely a solid Halloween read!

Graveminder  by Melissa Marr

There were many spots in this book that gave me goosebumps! Melissa Marr definitely has a knack for delivering a good, spooky tale!

The Shining by Stephen King

Oh, man! This is the ULTIMATE scary read for me! There were several parts of this novel where I had to stop reading and look over my shoulder! It got to the point that I had to stop reading this book before bed!

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Yovanoff definitely created a dark, eerie underworld reminiscent of Tim Burton. Definitely a spine tingling tale that is perfect for this time of year!

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

This story has dark and omniscient overtones that are perfect for a good Halloween read!
Choker by Elizabeth Woods

This psychological thriller will keep you up long after you've finished the last page! I still think about this story from time to time!

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

The beginning of this story always sends a little chill through my spine when I read it! Great for kids and adults alike! :)

A rather sinister story indeed! Shirley Jackson has a flair for writing dark, out-of-the-box stories! This is one of my favorite stories by Jackson!

The Witches by Roald Dahl

This was one of my very first "scary stories" I read as a kid! I still like to revisit it from time to time!

I am Legend by Richard Matheson

Perhaps the scariest aspect about this book is that it could ACTUALLY happen! Great movie as well!

So what books do you consider good, spooky Halloween reads?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Book Summer (Via Goodreads): The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Book Trailer:

Book Review:
Wow. Oh. Wow. I was completely swept away in the world Erin Morgenstern created when she wrote The Night Circus. A beautiful, mysterious tale of forbidden love and magic. There are are two main characters that drive the story. Marco and Celia are bound to partake in a challenge that they don't fully understand. The circus serves as their playing field. The assembly of characters provides further understanding as well as a dash of color and intrigue into the story. I have never read anything like The Night Circus, and honestly can't imagine reading anything akin to it again. Morgenstern has taken the unimagined and pushed the envelope. She is definitely on my list of to-read authors. I look forward to other works she will produce in the future. In one interview, she said she already has another story in mind. One that is quite different from the mystique and magical world of The Night Circus.

Favorite Quote:
"You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift."

Cover Art Commentary:
Um...have you seen this cover? It is simple, elegant, and inviting. You WANT to know what story lies behind this mysterious black, white, and red cover!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: So Gorgeous!

A feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This weeks topic: Top Ten Books That Whose Titles Or Covers Made Me Buy It:
"We've all been told not to judge a book by its cover. But we all do it. We also judge books by their titles. I know that a lot of work goes into cover art - and so I think it's an acceptable factor in your decision to spend $15-$20 on a book that it cover and/or title be pleasing. So here are 10 12 books that I've judged and bought based on their cover art and/or title. And whether or not that judging led me astray."


So, what books have you bought solely based on their covers?!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Away by Teri Hall

Book Summer (Via Goodreads): After crossing the Line, Rachel finds herself in a world where survival is never guaranteed - a world where bizarre creatures roam the woods and people have strange abilities. Everything has gone to ruin Away and the survivors have banded into warring clans. Rachel finds her father being held prisoner by a tribe of Others, and she and her new friends set out to rescue him. But when they cross back over the Line, Rachel and Pathik make a foolish decision, bringing them into further danger that can only be resolved with an unthinkable sacrifice

Book Review:
Ever since I turned the last page of The Line, I have been anxiously awaiting the follow-up, Away. Away takes you on a journey to the other side of "the line." Rachel discovers a life stripped of convenient comforts. One where the people "left behind" try to pick up the pieces of society left forgotten, and make a new life for themselves. Rachel discovers that there's more to life than her accustomed comforts, as she embarks on the next stage of her life. Out in the wilderness left forgotten, people have formed societies of their own, some barbaric, and others more civilized. It reminded me of a milder version of Lord of the Flies. While the story takes an interesting and necessary turn, I found myself not quite as engaged as I had been in The Line. In this new frontier, Rachel is constantly questioning herself as well as her new found cohorts. I enjoyed embarking on this journey with her. The pace was smooth and steady, and the plot held my interest. The overall story did seem somewhat familiar. However, I am curious as to where things will go from here, as the final notes ended on a cliffhanger.

Favorite Quote:
“Even the weak and the foolish feel love. They just don't know how to make that matter to someone other than themselves.” 

Cover Art Commentary:
I love the contrast of color compared to the first book in the series, The Line. The shattered glass and barren land gives a very distinct distopian feel.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Book Summer (Via Goodreads): When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer—one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack—and the man—she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive. 

Book Review:
I was very eager to start this book, as I thoroughly enjoyed Nightshade. Sad to say, I was rather disappointed. I almost stopped reading it altogether. Several reviews I read on goodreads had mentioned that the book starts off slow, but then gets better towards the end. So, I stuck it out and sure enough, about halfway through the book, I started to enjoy the story more. Still, it wasn't enough to give this book anything higher than a 3. The constant banter between the searchers grew annoying, fast. Also, I found the manor in which the searchers information and history was presented to be rather confusing. Shay and Calla's relationship grew weary on me. I am more interested in what will happen with her and Ren. I guess overall, I had this sense of unease during the first half of the book. I did enjoy the story once Calla was reunited with her pack. It brought back a sense of comfort and belonging. Admittedly, I did enjoy the searchers a bit more towards the end. Perhaps because Calla is more at ease around them. All in all, the next book will determine if I continue on with this series or not.

Favorite Quote:
“Staring at the wreckage of the life we could have had, I knew it wasn't about love or Shay or the Searchers now. It was about sacrifice and redemption, loss that could have new meaning.” 

Cover Art Commentary:
Sadly, I really dislike the new covers. I really loved the Nightshade cover and the old Wolfsbane cover.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Reading Reflections: September 2011

Books Read:
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake
Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst

Total Number of Books Read This Month:

Total Number of Books Read This Year: 48

Most Anticipated: Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst

Biggest Let Down:

Favorite Read: A cross between Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst and The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Highest Rank: 5

Lowest Rank: 4

Overall Reflection:
Seriously, what an amazing month of reading! It started off strong with Starcrossed, a beautiful love story and a retelling of the Fates. Anna Dressed in Blood was a wonderful ghost story in which a boy finds strength to overcome his greatest fear. I can't wait for the sequel! Drink, Slay, Love was a delightful story about a young vampire who's world goes upside down once she is staked through the heart by a unicorn. The Help lived up to its hype. An unforgettable story about the black maids of the south during the civil rights movement. The month ended with Enchanted Ivy, a delightful coming-of-age story about a girl who finds there's a lot more to Princeton than books, professors, and classes. All in all, a fantastic month! I enjoyed every single story and got my 5 books in! :) Here's to hoping next month is just as great!