June 27th, 2010

Sad... Rainy...

Help me, please! I forgot the title...

I know it sounds stupid, but... Well, about six months ago I wanted to buy one book, but I didn't buy it because it was definitely a reading for summer. Now it's finally summer and I intend to buy the book, but I completely forgot the title and the name of the author! =(
I do remember that it is a chick lit. 3 or 4 girls (best friends of course) going on a summer trip together. But the thing is.. there was a prophecy that one of them (unknow who) will be dead before the summer ends.
The cover was very bright - mostly blue. There were some kind of funny bright-multi-coloured umbrellas, seen from above. The girls were under these umbrellas, sitting in some little boats, I suppose, like in gondolas...Ad you can't see the girls - only umbrellas.

Does anyone know this book? Please, anyone?
labyrinth // book

Twilight Review

Title: Twilight { Book 1 of the Twilight Saga}

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Ideal Age Range: 14- Up

Synopsis: A clumsy self-sacrificing girl named Bella moves to the rainy town of Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, so that her hair-brained Mother can travel with her new husband. In doing so, Bella becomes the New Girl and seemingly along with that title comes the affection of all the boys in school, even though she thinks little of her looks. Once there, and rebuffing all the attention of the other kids at school, she draws the scrutiny of the secluded Cullens, especially Edward, who turn out to be Vampires, but the good kind (AKA Vegetarians read: eat animals not humans)! Edward and Bella cannot stay away from each other as he draws her in with his debonair good looks and brooding murderous intent for her that he restrains, and he can’t stay away from her “heroin”-like smell. Soon his desire for her blood turns to a desire to protect her from everything and everyone else. Bad vampires show up and they want her too! There’s a fight to the finish and Edward has to make a decision to save Bella’s life.

My Rating:(★★★) I read Twilight right before the Eclipse book was to come out. I resisted a long time. I read and heard all the hype before going into it, I read some bad reviews, heard people raging against the clichéd storyline, and how lots of people think that the story promotes unhealthy relationships in teens. I also have witnessed the absolute adoration of the book as well. And absolute adoration of Edward.

What’s my response to that? It’s a story. It’s not real, and Edward isn’t real. I found it to be a fun read, albeit not the next Gone with the Wind or anything. But I love books about Vampires. I love books about the Supernatural. I didn’t even really mind the fact that the reason the Vampires in Meyer’s books can’t go into the sunlight is because they – sparkle.

“His skin, white despite the faint flush from yesterday’s hunting trip, literally sparkled, like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface.”

Seemed a little silly at first but I mentally shrugged my shoulders and let it go, I would probably have never thought of such a reason for them to not be able to be out in the daylight. So, she used creative license in that respect, kudos to you Mrs. Meyer.

What did I like about the book? Mainly I liked the fact that it was so “normal” for being a Young Adult Fantasy book. I do admit that a lot of the super romantic things that Edward says to Bella had me torn between earnestly wishing a boy would say that kind of stuff to me and gagging with the cheesiness of the lines said.

I didn’t like the ease with how I could see the danger of their relationship being a dependent/abusive relationship. I understand, it is different because of the supernatural element, but if you took that out of the story? It definitely would be one of those relationships. That isn’t something that I want thousands of young impressionable girls to desire!

But like I said near the beginning, it is a work of fiction, only a tale, just like Harry Potter is only a story about a school of witchcraft and wizardry. Nothing to get up in arms about and spout “devilry!” at. Fiction. Fantasy. Equals not Real. I even capitalize the Real. As long as we all keep that in mind, I think we will be a-ok.

Quotes: “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.” –Edward, Twilight


My Rating System:

★ = didn’t like it

★★ = it was ok

★★★ = liked it

★★★★ = really liked it

★★★★★ = it was amazing

More of my Reviews here at my Blog.
Kitty: Angry Calico

Elrod, P.N.: Dark and Stormy Knights

Dark and Stormy Knights (2010)
Edited by: P.N. Elrod
Genre: Short Stories/Urban Fantasy
Pages: 357 (ARC)
Disclaimer: free from publisher via LibraryThing
Release Date: July 20, 2010

The premise: cheesy, but ganked from Amazon.com: They’re the ultimate defenders of humanity—modern day knights who do dark deeds for all the right reasons. In this all-star collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors bring us thrilling, all-new stories of supernatural knights that are brimming with magic mystery and mayhem.

John Marcone sets aside his plans to kill Harry Dresden to go head-to-head with a cantrev lord in Jim Butcher’s "Even Hand". Kate Daniels is called upon for bodyguard duty to protect Saimen, a shifter she trusts less than the enemy in Ilona Andrews’ "A Questionable Client". Cormac must stop a killer werewolf before it attacks again on the next full moon in Carrie Vaughn’s "God’s Creatures". And in Vicki Pettersson’s "Shifting Star", Skamar gets more than she bargained for when she goes after a creature kidnapping young girls--and enlists the aid of her frustratingly sexy neighbor.

When everything’s on the line, will these knights complete their missions and live to fight again another day?</b>

My Rating

Worth the Cash: yes, I got this for free, but if I'd paid for it, I'd be happy with my purchase. My ARC did have some things that I hope get fixed in the final print run (darker ink in the author bios, fixed typos, etc), but overall, that's my only real complaint. I really thought this anthology (based on the cover and title) would be more paranormal romance stories than straight up urban fantasy, but of the nine stories, only two have a paranormal romance flavor, and even in those cases, the paranormal romance isn't the focus. So if any of you were hesitant because you're more urban fantasy than paranormal romance, never fear: you'll be FINE. For you paranormal romance readers, your reading of this anthology solely depends on how much romance you require to enjoy something and/or whether or not you're a fan of the contributing authors.

On the whole, it's a very solid anthology with stories that stand on their own two feet even if they're set in established universes. The only story set in an existing universe that kind of spoils events of that universe's series is "Shifting Star" by Vicki Pettersson. Everyone else's stories read as stand-alones and are great intros/yummy nuggets to the author's established series. Hands down, the best story was Rachel Caine's "Even a Rabbit Will Bite," which was truly a stand-alone story. That's not what made it totally awesome, but it really helped. The Andrews, Jim Butcher, Pettersson, and Vaughn stories were also good, but I'd rate the Vaughn and Andrews much higher than the Pettersson and Butcher. The Shannon K. Butcher story was not bad, and I just didn't care for the Elrod, Knight, or Saintcrow pieces. But overall, great odds for an anthology, especially considering what bad luck I have reading anthologies in urban fantasy/paranormal romance. This one's worth it for any fan of any of the contributing authors, and if you're not a fan of these authors and are just looking for a sampling to see if you'll even like them, then I have to say: it's a solid sampling of authors in the genre. Well worth the cash.

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Review style: I'm going through each story with brief thoughts and my verdict on said piece and whether or not it makes me want to read more of the author's work, or in the cases where I'm already reading the author, how it fits into the chronology of the existing series and whether or not you'll be MAJORLY SPOILED if you read the story in this anthology out of a certain order. No spoilers, because that would be evil, so feel free to read the full review at my LJ with no nears. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)


Happy Reading!


Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

June: Sunshine by Robin McKinley
July: Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff
August: Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente

Book Funk

Do you ever read a really great book and find everything else afterwards to be incredibly lacking? I keep picking up several books, read a few pages, and put them down again. It sucks.

I just finished reading The Bartimaeus Triology by Jonathan Stroud, followed by Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, and I really enjoyed those. I've read most of the things that people have recommended, such as: The Book Thief, (amazing...top three favorite books ever) The Time Traveler's Wife,(blech) most Jodi Picoult. I've read a lot of Stephen King, some Robin McKinley, pretty much everything and anything fiction I like. But I'm even stuck in the middle of The Stand, and I can't get into that. I can't tell you have many times I have picked it up and put it back down in incredible frustration. He just gets so wordy! I've never been tempted to skip pages of a book before, but I'm seriously considering it. I also bought The Passage on my Sony Reader (I love post-apocalyptic/mass infection stuff, but I've read most of it), but I can't get into that, either. I've been suggested Robin Hobb and George R.R. Martin, but where should I start?

Please suggest some books to get me over this funk. Something that you can pick up and don't want to put back down again. It can be fantasy, horror, chick lit, whatever. I just want to get out of this funk!

Much appreciated in advance.
  • quippe

The Dead by David Gatward

The Blurb On The Back:

Lazarus Stone is about to turn sixteen when, one night, his normal life is ripped to shreds by a skinless figure drenched in blood. He has a message:


Hell is full, and they have found a way through to this world.

Now Lazarus is all that stands in their way. To fulfil his destiny, he must confront not only the dark past of his family, but horrors more gruesome than even hell could invent – with only a winged angel and his best mate to help him. And it all begins with the reek of rotting flesh ...

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The Verdict:

A YA horror that mistakes gore and violence for thrills and chills, this book failed to make an impression on me. Lazarus Stone is a cookie cutter character who left me blank, the set-up was meh, there was little tension and the cheap cliff-hanger ending certainly hasn’t left me hungry for more.

THE DEAD is published in the United Kingdom in July. Thanks to Hodder Children’s Books for the ARC.

I am doing a giveaway of ARCs for 3 YA horror novels - THE DEAD by David Gatward, WITCHFINDER: DAWN OF THE DEMONTIDE by William Hussey and Crawlers by Sam Enthoven on my RL LJ here.

Cross-posted to cool_teen_reads and yalitlovers.

Review: The Giver

The Giver
Lois Lowry
Published: 1993
Genre: Fiction- Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia

Synopsis (From back of Book): Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Everyone is assigned a role in the Community.
When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from the Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of true pain and pleasure of life. Now it's time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

Rating: 4.5/5

Read my review here!

#56 The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. LeGuin

The unthinkable has happened in Earthsea. People are losing their magic. The young prince Arren asks Ged, now The Archmage, to help him discover the truth behind this loss. The two begin a journey on the seas to many islands of the archipelago, the home of dragons, and finally to the land of death itself.

The Farthest Shore is the third book in The Earthsea Cycle, and the final book in Jawasreadtoo's June portion of the Summer of Series challenge (I did it!). It takes place several years after the second book, The Tombs of Atuan. Here, Ged has grown much older and has even taken on the role of Archmage. Much like in The Tombs of Atuan, Ged plays a secondary role, although he is more present in the overall story this time around. Our young hero is Prince Arren, who is a very different character then both Ged and Tenar. Arren lacks the issues involving pride that the two previous protagonists had, although he has his own faults. I found that I warmed to him quite quickly, enjoying the near-hero worship he exhibited for Ged earlier on in the book.

As far as enjoyment goes, I was not quite enthralled with this book as I was A Wizard of Earthsea, but I on a whole, enjoyed it about as much as I did The Tombs of Atuan. One thing that really surprised me is while I found myself missing Ged in the begging of The Tombs of Atuan, I found myself missing Tenar in much the same way. The Farthest Shore feels like a return to the world established in A Wizard of Earthsea. We get to see snippets of the wizard's school again, the plot is once more revolves around traveling, and there are dragons (yay!) once more. Despite it's adventurous edge, there is also a heaviness to this book. One of the biggest themes in accepting the inevitability of death, and the consequences to those that fight against the natural order of things. The result of this is several lengthy scenes of back and forth dialogue between Arren and Ged that touches upon the nature of death. Under any other writer, I felt as if these sections would have really dragged the book down, but LeGuin writes them so exquisitely that instead I found myself rather jealous of her writing abilities (once again). The final scenes that take place within death are really intense, although I suspect that I will have to read this book once more to fully understand all of the issues brought up here. I won't spoil the end of the book, but I do find it really interesting to examine the ending in light of some of the themes brought up during the book.

The Farthest Shore is a worthy third book in The Earthsea Cycle. To be honest, I also thought it was a worthy end to The Earthsea Cycle, which makes me very curious about where the series goes in it's final three books.

Rating: four stars
Length: 259 pages
Source: paperbackswap
Challenge: This book is part of the Summer of Series Challenge and the 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge
Similar Books: For other fantasy books that focus around quests, both The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy are must reads. For other fantasy books that examine death, I would have to recommend Garth Nix's Sabriel.
Other books I've read by this author: A Wizard of Earthsea (my review), and The Tombs of Atuan (my review)

xposted to temporaryworlds , bookish , and goodreads