Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Chopsticks - Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Such a sweet picture and I love the text layout. )
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: February 2, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: 272 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Glory and Frank are now neighbors. Glory is a piano prodigy with a dead mother and a demanding father. Frank is a Mexican immigrant doing poorly in school. They fit together though and everything is okay. Until Chopsticks. They both become obsessed with the song and Glory accidentally plays it when she's not supposed to. Over and over again. They need to find their sanity. They need to find their place in the world. All they need is to be together.

It's a little tricky reviewing a book with hardly any words in it, but I can say that this was breathtaking. Much like a book written in verse, so few words hold volumes. The pictures and illustrations were well done and told a story of struggle and love. They seem like such a sweet couple. The only problem with this storytelling, is you feel very outside the loop. It's almost like finding someone's journal and looking through it. You are completely engrossed and don't want to stop until the end, but you know that it's not your life, and that it has all already happened. The story has already been played out. I did love it though. I took my time, but read it all in one sitting. This is definitely a book you'll want to purchase, that way you can look through it again and again. I would love to see more books like this, their better than graphic novels because they are so much more intimate. It just feels like you're seeing someone else's private moments. Pick this book up, you have no excuse, it's such a quick read.

First Line:

Favorite Line:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox #119

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

Brave Story - Miyuki Miyabe
Young Wataru Mitani’s life is a mess. His father has abandoned him and his mother has been hospitalized after a suicide attempt. Desperately he searches for some way to change his life—a way to alter his fate. To achieve his goal, he must navigate the magical world of Vision, a land filled with creatures both fierce and friendly. And to complicate matters, he must outwit a merciless rival from the real world. Wataru’s ultimate destination is the Tower of Destiny where a goddess of fate awaits. Only when he has finished his journey and collected five elusive gemstones will he possess the Demon’s Bane—the key that will unlock his future. Charity, bravery, faith, grace and the power of darkness and light: these are the provinces of each gemstone. Brought together, they have the immeasurable power to bring Wataru’s family back together again.

The Kingdom of Childhood is the story of a boy and a woman; sixteen-year-old Zach Patterson, uprooted and struggling to reconcile his knowledge of his mother's extramarital affair, and Judy McFarland, a kindergarten teacher watching her family unravel before her eyes. Thrown together to organize a fundraiser for their failing private school and bonded by loneliness, they begin an affair that at first thrills, then corrupts each of them. Judy sees in Zachthe elements of a young man she loved as a child, but what Zach does not realize is that their relationship is, for Judy, only the latest in a lifetime of disturbing secrets.
Loory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people–and monsters and trees and jocular octopi–who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys and girls fall down wells and fly through space and find love on Ferris wheels. In a voice full of fable, myth, and dream, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day draws us into a world of delightfully wicked recognitions, and introduces us to a writer of uncommon talent and imagination.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - Guillermo del Toro
(Didn't realize this was based on the movie. I'll have to watch it soon.)

An illustrated novel that dives into the world of the 2011 Miramax film “Don’t be Afraid of the Dark.” The movie, a thriller written and produced by Guillermo del Toro, starring Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes, is about a young girl sent to live with her father (Pierce) and his girlfriend (Holmes). They move into a historic New England manor, which is secretly inhabited by a brood of small creatures. These creatures seem, at first, to be playful figments of his daughter’s imagination, but they quickly turn into a very real and very deadly threat. The illustrated novel takes place a hundred years before the movie begins. It chronicles the travels and adventures of Emerson Blackwood, a young nature scientist who begins to understand there’s more to the world than science understands. He travels across the globe, learning more and more about the world of secret and dangerous creatures. The book will have two components - the sections that tell the story of Blackwood's travels through the world, the people and creatures he encounters, and the increasing peril he finds himself in; and another set of sections which will show the illustrated "Field Guide to Dangerous Fairies" which Blackwood is creating.

So that's what I got this week. What did you all get?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Weetzie Bat: the movie

Alright, before you all freak out. There is no movie...yet.
I did stumble across a reading at a bookstore though, of a screenplay that Francesca Lia Block wrote.

"In September 2010 actors, including Chelsea Staub and Corbin Bernsen, read the Script for Weetzie Bat and the Dangerous Angel in bookstore with Block. Part 1  Part 2 Part 3  YT videos about 11 min each. "

I thought it was slinky and awesome and wow. It was weird seeing Noel Kahn(Brant Daugherty) as Dirk though. I would absolutely love to see this made into a real movie. Hey hitRECord get to it ;) But seriously. Weetzie Bat is the greatest love yourself and people role model. Sometimes she struggles, but she's so cool anyways. 

Anyway, if your a fan or a newbie, make sure you check out those clips and read the books. Seriously.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Pink Smog - Francesca Lia Block

Where I got it: ARC from Amazonvine
Rating: 4.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 4.5 stars (PINK! It's great it goes lovely with the new cover for Dangerous Angels.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 185 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Meet Louise Bat, newly a teen and starting her transformation to Weetzie Bat. Weetzie has to start a new school, where she doesn't have any friends and there are girls meaner than mean. Her father recently stormed out of the house and hasn't been back since, but Weetzie thinks that her creepy new neighbors may have something to do with it, if they even exist. Weetzie feels all alone in the world—under the pink smog of L.A. Hopefully she can get some help and find some friends to help her get through this rough patch and become who she is supposed to be.

What fun this read was. After having read and adored the Weetzie books for many years, it was awesome to take a look back and see how it all really started. To see how Louise became Weetzie. If you haven't already read Weetzie Bat, I would definitely start with this one. Then you have the wonderful experience of watching her change and grow. If you have already read and loved it, make sure you don't miss this one; just as magical as the others. Weetzie walks the line between reality and fiction, sometimes not even sure if she is the one imagining things. I love her whole world, how everything is beautiful and lots of things hurt. It's so real, even when the unimaginable happens. Guardian angels, weenie dogs, voodoo and coincidence all make an appearance in this novel. If you've never read Francesca Lia Block, you can't even begin to imagine the joy that awaits you. This is a lovely story for anyone who's ever felt alone or out of place; a story for someone who wants a little magic in their lives. 

First Line:
"The day after my dad, Charlie, the love of my life, left, and an angel saved my mom from drowning, I woke up with a slamming headache and a wicked sunburn."

Favorite Line:
"I imagined him coming into my room in the dark and sitting at my bedside stroking my forehead with his hand, whispering fairy tales the way my father used to, his blue eyes like night-lights."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith

Where I got it: From my collection
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4.5 stars (Cute and fitting. What a long title!)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 2, 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Page Count: 236 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Hadley realizes just how much can change when you're four minutes late. She misses her flight to England, to her father's wedding. Hadley did not want to go to the wedding at all, but showing up late would almost be worse. Thins are just miserable until she meets Oliver. Oliver is British and helps her carry her bags and keeps her company. Then they find out that they are seatmates on the flight over, the one that Hadley had to change to. Oliver is charming and funny and cute. So much can change in four minutes and so much can happen in twenty-four hours.

This was a super sweet story. I loved Oliver. I would not mind being stuck on a plane with him for seven hours. Hadley was a bit childish in the beginning especially, but she got better as the story progressed. My parents divorced and my dad and mum both got remarried. I never felt too miserable about my dad getting remarried though. My mum could have picked someone better though. I've never been on a plane, but if I could be guaranteed a trip next to a cute British boy, I might book a flight right now. This whole story centers on the idea of love at first sight. Hadley automatically opens up complete to this boy that she just met. She could just be a talker, or it could be kismet. I definitely have to read some Dickens now though, it sounds splendid. If you are looking for a quick, thoughtful love story then make sure you pick this one up. There were plenty of fantastic characters in this novel, and I wouldn't mind some companion novels in the future. This is one you won't want to miss in 2012.

First Line:
"There are so many ways it could have all turned out differently."

Favorite Line:
"It's a feeling like falling, like forgetting the words to a song."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Truth - Julia Karr

Where I got it: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: 3.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (It's much easier to read than the cover of XVI and I like that they match somewhat.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 19, 2012
Publisher: Puffin
Page Count: 299 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Sequel to XVI

Nina's life will never go back to normal. Now that her mother is dead and she killed her stepfather, she and her sister are living with their grandparents. Nina also has to deal with the fact that she has a nice fresh XVI tattooed on her wrist which offers her up as fair game to any sexual predators. When things start getting out of hand, it's up to Nina to figure out what to do to bring everyone back together and keep them safe. All eyes are watching now though, just waiting for a slipup, any excuse to take people away.

This was an interesting sequel to XVI. I though this would be the final book, since it says companion instead of sequel, but alas there will more than likely be another one. Truth sort of felt like a transition novel between books 1 and 3. The timeline just seemed brief, but with a lot happening.  Nina once again shows her strength when she's forced to make a whole lot of very tough decisions. Experimental surgery, spying, life and death are all things thrust into Nina's hands. We see and he more from the resistance in this novel as they slowly rise up with the new information that Nina obtained in XVI. We also get to see and hear a lot more from Nina's sister, Dee. All the tragedy that has befallen the girls really speeds up the growing-up process. I'm anxious to read the final novel, because this one ended sort of crazy. It was a good ending, but my curiosity is certainly piqued. I do wish I had reread XVI before starting this one, because I know there are things that I forgot that would of helped make Truth even better. Make sure you check this one out if you enjoyed XVI, it will have you eagerly awaiting book 3.

First Line:
"I was contemplating what would happen to me if anyone discovered that I'd killed Ed when Mr. Haldewick's voice broke through my brooding."

Favorite Line:
"We must have been floating up to the stars."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox #118

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren
Won from Read It Foward:
This book is a bit silly and Twilight-y, but there are some fun and cute patterns inside ;)
If you're feeling the full moon calling to you, wear this quick-to-knit hat to expose your inner wolf. Or, make one for the little pups in your life! With 5 sizes, this pattern can fit the entire family.

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. 
Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes of the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

Bulfinch's Mythology - Thomas Bulfinch
The stories are divided into three sections: The Age of Fable or Stories of Gods and Heroes (first published in 1855); The Age of Chivalry (1858), which contains King Arthur and His Knights, The Mabinogeon, and The Knights of English History; and Legends of Charlemagne or Romance of the Middle Ages (1863). For the Greek myths, Bulfinch drew on Ovid and Virgil, and for the sagas of the north, from Mallet's Northern Antiquities. He provides lively versions of the myths of Zeus and Hera, Venus and Adonis, Daphne and Apollo, and their cohorts on Mount Olympus; the love story of Pygmalion and Galatea; the legends of the Trojan War and the epic wanderings of Ulysses and Aeneas; the joys of Valhalla and the furies of Thor; and the tales of Beowulf and Robin Hood. 

So that's what I got this week. What did you all get?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: Try Not to Breathe - Jennifer R. Hubbard

Where I got it: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 3 stars (meh. I like the ARC cover better)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 19, 2012
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Page Count: 233p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Ryan gets out of the hospital after a suicide attempt and finds out that everyone knows. No one really knows why though. A neighbor girl, Nicki, meets him one day and starts asking him to help her. Her father killed himself and she wants to figure out why. She thinks that Ryan holds the answers. Ryan is still trying to figure things out for himself. Trying to piece  himself back together. He's in love with a girl who will reject him and his parents don't know how to treat him. Both Nicki and Ryan have a lot to learn but maybe together the trip will be easier.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It was that depressing for a book about suicide and life. I really appreciated Ryan's character. In most novels the character that attempts suicide acts depressed and/or has a really shitty life. Ryan's not really like this. He has a pretty dang good life and he acknowledges this. Sometimes depression just sneaks up on you. The fact that this took place after he got out of the hospital gave the book a completely different atmosphere. Ryan has to face the "what happens next" part of his treatment, which I imagine can be a lot more difficult than just trudging along the hospital corridors. The growing friendship between Nicki and Ryan was nice, she was sort of annoying but he apparently didn't mind. Nicki just asked a lot of question forcing Ryan to open up; maybe this was good for him. I loved the waterfall and all it represented to both Ryan and Nicki. It was a place for both of them to go, a place that called to them and for very different reasons. Ryan's other friends seemed to be there mostly for contrast. They seemed a bit more unhinged than Ryan, so it was easier to see that Ryan was getting better. I think that fans of Jennifer R. Hubbard's The Secret Year will really enjoy this one too. Another great novel about dealing with grief and life and learning to live and trust again.

First Line:
"It was dangerous to stand under the waterfall, but some kids did it anyway, and I was one of them."

Favorite Line:
"The steamy weather wrung the sweat out of me, but somehow my mouth was dry."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reivew: Still Waters - Emma Carlson Berne

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Gorgeous.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: December 20, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: 212 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Hannah doesn't know for sure if she loves her boyfriend Colin. The pressure is on her to say it though, since he's already said it a few times. Each time she says she has to think about it or that the moment has to be perfect. Hannah just wants them to be alone, really alone so that she can know for sure. She decides to surprise him with a trip to his family cabin for the weekend. Colin isn't thrilled about going there, because he doesn't remember liking it but he reluctantly agrees. It's way off the beaten path though, hidden deep in the woods. Hannah gets a very uncomfortable felling, but tries to let it go. She just wants this too be a nice weekend before Colin goes off to college. When more strange things start happening, the trip goes from fun to scary. Hannah and Colin don't know what's going on, but this is not the trip they had planned.

If you like Psychological Thrillers, snatch this one up right away. This book really creeped me out. I read it in one sitting, right before bed and could feel the cool lake air drifting into my dreams. I loved the imagery and attention to detail in this novel. Emma Carlson Berne, can certainly paint a picture with words. I knew exactly how everything looked throughout the novel, which lent to the creepy feel. One thing that threw me off though is the use of the word "rear" instead of "butt". Rear just seems out of place in YA and makes me giggle, because it's a silly word. Is this just me maybe? The ending was completely unexpected which I thoroughly appreciated. There were a few things in the end that kind of seemed like they were a little off. The mood changed dramatically all of a sudden, which was a little off-putting. There was a nice creepy vibe with your heart pumping and then there was just mystery and recollections. It was just sudden. Neither of the characters have too much background revealed in the beginning of the story, but they still felt like good solid characters. Their feelings were very tangible so that helped. If you're looking for a good intense read, make sure you don't pass this one up.

First Line:
"Hannah Taylor leaned her finger on the doorbell of Colin's house, listening to the silvery chimes echo inside the sprawling Victorian."

Favorite Line:
"The pine boughs scraped the truck on either side, like reaching fingers."


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...