Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: The Spindlers - Lauren Oliver

Where I got it: Finished copy from publisher for review
Rating: 4.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (It's lovely and whimsical.)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 256 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

One day Liza wakes up and her brother isn't her brother. Liza knows that it was the Spindlers that stole his soul. Her parents want to hear none of it though. They tell her to stop telling stories and leave them alone. Liza knows that she's the only one who can save her brother because she seems to be the only one to notice he's gone. Liza grabs a broom (Spindlers hate them) and gets ready to head below. Then she lands on a rat. This rat decides to help Liza find her way to the Spindlers Nest, it can get tricky to find your way in the below. Liza is about to encounter many new sights, some glorious and some completely terrifying. She can't give up though, because her brother need to be saved and it's a job only Liza can do.

Just like with Liesl & Po Lauren Oliver delivered another fantastical middle grade tale. I loved all the puzzles and folklore that she wove in throughout this novel. It was a short book, but the adventure was complete and absorbing.

I loved how as a reader you can never be quite sure whether this is all in Liza's head or not. You are left wondering if she just has a crazy imagination. He rat companion was an interesting touch. I loved the world below with all it's eccentricities. The characters and the world building were just fabulous. Everything was so majestic.

This was a really delightful adventure story and one you should not miss. I think Lauren Oliver just has the best stories in her head and I can not wait to read more of them.

First Line:
"One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake-loving younger brother, who irritated and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not."

Favorite Line:
"The noise made her think of children abandoned in barren places without enough to eat; and open graves; and dark, bleak winter nights when through the thin air came the sounds of cars skidding and crashing of Route 47; and the squeak of a gurney's wheels on a hospital floor."

This is a Middle Grade Monday Post feel free to link your middle grade reviews/news below :) 
(doesn't have to be posted on a Monday)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #72

This week's Teaser Tuesday is from The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver. I have loved Lauren Oliver's books, and so far this one is no disappointment. I really enjoy her middle grade writing.

(page 111)
"Liza squinted. There was a bit of pale light that descended from above—from where, she could not have said, as they must have been miles and miles underground—just enough to make out the enormous silhouettes of the trees, and the ist clinging to them like moss."

Teaser Tuesday is brought to us by Should be Reading. Rules:
1) Grab your current read
2) Open to a random page
3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
4) BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
5) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stuff I Got This Week

From the Library:

The Elementals is on one level an intriguing coming-of-age novel about a young woman, Ariel Silverman, facing the challenges of her first years away at college in Berkeley, California, while her mother battles cancer at home in Los Angeles. But the book takes on deeper, stranger meanings when we realize that Ariel is haunted by the disappearance of her best friend, Jeni, who vanished without a trace a few years before, closing Ariel's heart and changing her forever. Ariel wonders if she will ever be fully alive, until she meets three mysterious, beautiful and seductive young people living in a strange old house in the Berkeley hills. Through them Ariel will unravel the mystery of her best friend's disappearance and face a chilling choice.

When their parents disappear in the middle of the night, young sisters Summer and Bird set off on a quest to find them. A cryptic picture message from their mother leads them to a familiar gate in the woods, but comfortable sights quickly give way to a new world entirely—Down—one inhabited by talking birds and the evil Puppeteer queen. Summer and Bird are quickly separated, and their divided hearts lead them each in a very different direction in the quest to find their parents, vanquish the Puppeteer, lead the birds back to their Green Home, and discover the identity of the true bird queen. 

The Infects - Sean Beaudoin
Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an “Inward Trek.” As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of “infects” shambles, moans, and drools behind. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They generate “Zombie Rules” almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back. 

Burn for Burn - Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister. Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay. Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him. Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

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

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cool Bookish Things You Want

Zipmark Bookmarks You can purchase it here.
tel aviv-based peleg design studio has developed 'zipmark', a bookmark made in the shape of a zipper. the thought process for the creation is influenced by the re-interpretation of 'opening' up a textile bag, into the idea of opening your book. produced using polypropylene, the small page-marker comes in blue, red and green colors specifically conceived to fit most types of book sizes and thicknesses.

From the website:
"Here's a wonderful gift idea for the booklovers! These bookmarks are placed between the pages of a book to mark the reader's place. The creative design featuring words that appear on the fore-edge gives the marking an extra special meaning. The bookmarks come in the following captions: TO BE CONTINUEDBE RIGHT BACK PAUSE GREAT BOOK! YOU ARE HERE"

These are bookmarks that go along with some classics reads. They are pretty much perfect. I would love to see more, like a Cheshire Cat tail or a piece of rye.
You can find out more about them here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

RevIew: The Dead Girls Detective Agency - Suzy Cox

Where I got it: From the library
Rating: 3.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (It sets the tone of the book nicely.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 355 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Charlotte isn't sure how she ended up in this strange hotel at first, then she meets Nancy, who explains it all. Charlotte is dead—murdered to be exact—and she is stuck in this sort of limbo until she figured out who wanted her dead. The hotel isn't all bad, besides being dead. Nancy and Lorna are pretty nice and totally into helping her solve her murder. Tess isn't quite so charming though and then there is Edison...Charlotte isn't sure what to make of him. So now Charlotte has to spy on the living and figure out what, in her mostly invisible life, would make somebody want to kill her. She'll find out who her true friends are, and who she never really knew all that well.

This was a fun little read. You would think a heavy topic like, a girl's own murder would drag the book down but it didn't. Suzy Cox made a light mystery that had plenty of fun parts amongst the depressing. It was mostly just sad that Charlotte would never get to be human again, but she didn't seem all that upset about it. I don't know if she was the most realistic character, but I appreciate her coming to terms with being dead rather quickly.

The love aspects of this book, and sort of the mystery itself were a bit predictable but the story was still a good read anyways. There were secrets about the other characters that I couldn't figure out and so that was a great reason to keep reading. This book was so light and fun though, I feel like it could easily be a book even for older Middle Grade readers. There were a few skank sort of remarks, but I think they would enjoy the story.

This was a fun little mystery that was never too heavy, but all sorts of fun. I enjoyed the characters, even the less pleasant ones. They seemed like a sort of parody of themselves. Regardless, if you are looking for a light mystery, make sure you check this one out.

First Line:
"Pop Quiz: What would you do if you only had one day left to live?"

Favorite Lines:
"'Hey, as everyone who's had one knows, the 'fun' in 'funeral' is something of a misnomer.'...'Do you just sit around at night coming up with these lines? Waiting for new dead girls to show up so you can try them out?'"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: Fathomless - Jackson Pearce

Where I got it: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (It's okay...I don't love it and I don't hate it. I wish they had stuck with the original themes for these covers. These ones probably appeal to more teens though.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 291 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads
Loose sequel to: Sisters Red and Sweetly

Celia, Anne and Jane are triplets that have powers. Anne can see someone's future, Jane can see their thoughts and Celia, their past. Celia thinks hers is more awkward than useful though. It's hard pretending you don't know things about a person, and how could it help them. People remember their past. Lo doesn't though. Celia isn't sure what Lo is, but she was a haunting dark past that contains a scream like in nightmares. Lo doesn't mind how things are now, but there's a slight pull to remember her past. When a boy falls into the ocean and Lo and Celia both help save him. That's when the connection between the two girls starts. Maybe Celia's power was given to her for just this reason. The only question for Celia is can she trust Lo? For Lo, she has to decide if something so dark is worth remembering.

This story pulled me in almost immediately. I love a good underwater tale. I felt like I should have reread The Little Mermaid before reading this so that I could have seen the similarities and contrasts better. I really enjoyed the character of Lo. Her battles and her mind were just very fascinating. I love when a character needs to sort of rediscover their past.

The thing I really love about these fairytales retellings by Jackson Pearce is the subtle way they are all connected. With each new addition to the collection you get to see a little more of the interconnecting storyline. She gives the reader just another hint at what is going on behind the scenes in each tale.

I didn't really love Celia as a character, and her sisters weren't featured enough to really get a good sense about them. I felt like her sisters faded into a snobby background. Celia was just sort of mildly annoying. I'm not sure what it was about her, but she was just a bit too eager or something like that.

If you want a different kind of fairy tale, or a different kind of mermaid story definitely add this one to your list. I still need to read Sisters Red, but I seriously recommend reading both Sisters red and Sweetly before this one, just so you can see that connection between the stories that is just so intriguing.

First Line:
"There are lights at the surface."

Favorite Line:
"The house, the twilight, the scent of rot mingling with something sweet cooking on the stove."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

This week's topic is:
Top Ten Books You'd Want on a Deserted Island

Probably my favorite book(s) ever. Would definitely need this.

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (series) - Louise Rennison
So maybe it's cheating to add a series, but these I could re-read non-stop for awhile. If I could only pick one book I might just pick the first one...or maybe the longest.

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
This book was just simply wonderful, and if I'm stuck on in island I want to dream of boys with swoon-worthy accents :)

Beauty Queens - Libba Bray
I'll need a book that show me that things could be worse, but not quite as bad as Lord of the Flies.

Harry Potter (series) - J.K. Rowling
I don't think I really need to explain this one, but if I could only pick one book from the series it might be Prisoner of Azkaban. 

Invincible Summer - Hannah Moskowitz
If this is your first time to my blog, just know that this book = on every one of my lists ever.

Looking for Alaska - John Green
Need a John Green on this list obviously.

The Hunger Games (series) - Suzanne Collins
If I could only take one from the trilogy it might be Mockingjay a lot happens.  Maybe just The Hunger Games though because it was amazing.

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
This book is just wonderfully, magically, amazing.

This book is just wonderful.

The Broke and the Bookish is a group of college aged and twenty somethings that have an unhealthy obsession with reading and would spend every last penny on books even if it meant skipping a few meals. We are the people who lurk in the library, buy handbags based on how many books can be stashed in them, and who refer to characters in books as if they are personal friends.
We sought after other bookish college students to share in our love for reading and were brought together by the College Students group on Goodreads that was created in September 2008. Our desire to share great books with each other in and our tendency to be opinionated and passionate about all things book related naturally led to the birth of The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Middle Grade News

"Victoria Schwab’s new middle grade series about a mysterious, whimsical young guardian spirit who helps her new friends through difficult, and sometimes dangerous, situations, to Aimee Friedman at Scholastic, in a three-book deal, by Holly Root at Waxman Leavell Literary Agency (world)."
I was super excited to hear about this. I loved The Near Witch and can't wait to see what Victoria has up her sleeve for Middle Grade. You can check out her full post about this book deal here.

Now I'll share some great book trailers I've discovered lately. Enjoy!

This is a Middle Grade Monday Post feel free to link your middle grade reviews/news below :) 
(doesn't have to be posted on a Monday)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stuff I Got This Week


(Fairytale retelling? Yes!)
Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling (if silly) curse, and anyone who ends it will win a reward. Reveka, a sharp-witted and irreverent apprentice herbalist, wants that reward. But her investigations lead to deeper mysteries and a daunting choice--will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?

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

Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: Nerve - Jeanne Ryan

Where I got it: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (It's pretty crazy. I wish there was at least one other color though. )
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 13, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books
Page Count: 294 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

A game of truth or dare when the only thing you can pick is dare.
Vee just wants to do something different. She wants to change herself from the quite behind-the-scenes girl, to someone who gets noticed. She wants to be the one that guys fall for. To accomplish this she signs up to do some dares with NERVE. A broadcasted dare game that people all of the country play. The perks are huge. Things you've always wanted by couldn't get on your own. It's pretty easy, make a fool out of yourself in public and then you win prizes. Seems easy enough at first, but the dares quickly get harder and harder for Vee to face completing. Surprisingly though, Vee manages to get through dares and make it to the final round. There though, with the other contestants things get too deep. Some of these people will do anything to win and how far is NERVE willing to push them for a good show? Vee has to quickly find out who she can trust and how she can escape the dares...alive.

So, I had not heard anything about this book when I recieved it in the mail. The cover doesn't really reveal much about the novel either, but the tag line "To survive this game, choosing dare is the only option" certainly had me intrigued. The book starts off a bit randomly, but I was interested from the first page. Then we meet Vee. She starts off as this quiet girl who hides in the shadow of her best friend. It was incredible to see her transformation throughout the novel. It was infuriating to see her not notice the boy who was clearly in love with her though. That's alright though because at least we have another guy for her to fall for. This wasn't a love triangle though, so...YAY!

The game itself is completely crazy, and the people who run it are intense. They know every little thing about you and it's kind of creepy. On top of that, there are Watchers who record your every move for the dares. This is an incredibly neat concept, but also so weird.

This books was completely awesome though and kept you guessing what was around the next corner. I wonder if there might be a sequel to this somewhere in the future, because there are certainly things that could be in a second book. This one was great on it's own though. If you haven't heard much about this one, let me tell you it's worth the read. Pick it up as soon as you can.

First Line:
"It took three days of waiting, but at four a.m. on a Sunday, the street in front of her home finally emptied of all Watchers."

Favorite Line:
"The game has ruined my life and now it wants to soothe my feelings by sounding like some twinkly music from heaven?"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There - Catherynne M. Valente

Where I got it: ARC from publisher for review
Rating: 4.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Love the illustrations and this one is particularly splendid.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Page Count: 258 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads
Sequel to: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

September has been left to pine away for Fairyland in her quiet town. All she wants is to be reunited with A-through-L, Gleam and Saturday. It doesn't seem like anyone is coming to get her though, so September heads to Fairyland herself. What she finds there is vastly different from what she left. Her shadow-self is now Queen of Fairyland-Below and is stealing shadows to populate her land. September knows that all this is her mess to fix, luckily she has A-through-L's and Saturday's shadows to help. They aren't quite the same, but close enough so that September doesn't have to go it alone. She will face many challenge and have quite the journey to fix things, but September can't leave Fairyland a mess.

I don't think I much like Fairyland-Below and the Shadows of people either. They were different in all the wrong ways, that left you unsure how you felt about the characters. The Shadows were there with the bodies the whole time, but by themselves they are something quite different. Besides that though, this was a fantastic story still. I loved it almost as much as the first one. There seemed to be something a little less magical about this one (there's a good reason though). I loved the stories of the two crows, wasn't quite as great as the keys but still a great time.

September is growing older, and with it comes all these knew feelings which I loved. You could really see how things are changing with September and I adored the ending on this one. This doesn't mean that I don't want more adventures in Fairyland though.

I don't think you necessarily have to read the other book first, but it helps flesh out some of the contrasts between Fairyland during and after the Marquess. This book is 100% worth the read and you should definitely check it out and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making too!

First Line:
"Once upon a time, a girl named September had a secret."

Favorite Lines:
"For though, as we have said, children are heartless, this is not precisely true of teenagers. Teenage hearts are raw and new, fast and fierce, and they do not know their own strength."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Book and Blog News

Over at Read Now Sleep Later Alethea wrote up a great post about the shame and stigma that revolves around YA books and how some authors take it hard being categorized for Young Adult when that was not their intention.
Nicole at WORD for Teens did a great post on illegal ebook downloading and why things aren't always black and white. If you haven’t paid for a book and it isn’t available in the public domain, downloading it without paying is wrong. You’re stealing. That’s what I think. But my easy-breezy, beautiful black-and-white ethical pronouncements get grey if you’ve paid for the book in one form and expect to get it in another form for free when the industry hasn’t caught up with your changing reading habits yet.
Publishers Weekly has released their Best Books of 2012. There are some great titles on their list so you can check that out here.

It's time for this year's GoodReads Choice Awards so go cast your vote. Vote Now

And while you're in the voting mood, don't forget that if you live in the U.S. and are 18+ you should vote tomorrow!!! November 6th!!! All the cool kids are doing it ;)

And in case you haven't caught up with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries yet... DARCY!


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