Friday, December 31, 2010

My Complete 2010 Booklist

So it's the end of another year. Wow, that went by fast, didn't it? So lots of stuff went on for me. In January I started this blog. In fact my blogaversary should be coming up in a few days (I have to check and see what exact date). So here is the entire list of books that I read (sorry flist, this is quite long). A majority of them were pretty good, a few duds here and there but for the most part, I think this was an excellent year for books. Please note, some of the early ones are not reviewed here as I read them before I started this blog.

January 2010
Sookie Stackhouse Book 3: Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
Quantico by Greg Bear
Nikki Heat Book 1: Heat Wave by Richard Castle
Murder Takes the Cake by Gayle Trent
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya Light Novel series Book 2: The Sigh by Nagaru Tanigawa
Farsala Trilogy Book 3: Forging the Sword by Hilari Bell
The Midnighters Trilogy Book 1: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfield
Half Magic by Edward Eager
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (personal favorite)
Chalice by Robin McKinley
Sookie Stackhouse Book 4: Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
Discworld-Tiffany Aching Book 1-The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (and thus started my plunge into Discworld)
Percy Jackson Book 1: The Lighting Thief by Rick Riordan (personal favorite of the year)

February 2010
Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling
Wicked Lovely Book 1 by Melissa Marr (personal favorite)
Blue Heaven by C.J.Box
The Unicorn Chronicles Book 2: Song of the Wanderer by Bruce Coville
The Wizard Test by Hilari Bell
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Mortal Instruments Book 2: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Door Within Trilogy Book 1 by Wayne Thomas Batson
The Looking Glass Wars Trilogy Book 2: Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
The Queen of Cool by Cecil Castellucci
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Book 1 by Heather Brewer
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

March 2010
Sookie Stackhouse Book 5: Dead As a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (this one took FOREVER to get through. I had to renew it TWICE! I almost never have to renew books
The Gilda Joyce Series Book 2: The Ladies of the Lake by Jennifer Allison
Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot
Percy Jackson Book 2: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
House of Night Book 1: Marked by P. C. and Kristin Cast (one of those series that starts off okayish but then quickly becomes untolerable)
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (personal favorite)
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke (personal favorite)
Knight and Rogue series Book 1: The Last Knight by Hilari Bell (personal favorite)
The Faerie Wars Chronicles Book 1 by Herbie Brennan
Sookie Stackhouse Book 6: Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner (personal favorite)
Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies

April 2010
Nightlight: A Twilight Parody by The Harvard Lampoon
Foundling Book 1: The Monster Blood Tattoo by D. M. Cornish
Airman by Eoin Colfer
Percy Jackson Book 3: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
The Darkest Powers Trilogy Book 2: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong (personal favorite)
Inkheart Trilogy Book 3: Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke (personal favorite)
The Books of Pelinor Book 1: The Naming by Allison Croggan
Harper Connelly series Book 1: Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
Sookie Stackhouse Book 7: All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris
Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
A Gathering of Faerie Book 1: Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
Knight and Rogue Book 2: Rogues Home by Hilari Bell
Gilda Joyce Book 3: The Ghost Sonata by Jennifer Allison
Evernight series Book 1 by Claudia Gray (personal favorite)
Nobody's Prize by Esther Friesner
Sookie Stackhouse Book 8: From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris
Vampire Academy series Book 1 by Richelle Mead (personal favorite)
House of Night Book 2: Betrayed by P. C. and Kristin Cast
Sookie Stackhouse Book 9: Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris
Airhead Trilogy Book 2: Being Nikki by Meg Cabot (personal favorite)

May 2010
The Faerie Path series Book 1 by Frewin Jones (annoyed me)
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Wicked Lovely Book 2: Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Vampire Diaries Book 1: The Awakening by L. J. Smith (another that annoyed me)
Evermore Book 1 by Allyson Noel (hated it)
Evernight Book 2: Stargazer by Claudia Gray
Demon Underground Book 1: Bite Me by Parker Blue
Tiffany Aching Book 2: A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
Theatre Illuminate Book 1: Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev (personal favorite)
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Book 3: The Sorceress by Michael Scott (personal favorite)
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Lily Bard Book 1: Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris
Killer Unicorns Book 1: Rampant by Diana Peterfreund (personal favorite)
Wolves of Mercy Falls Book 1: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (personal favorite)

June 2010
The Kingdom Keepers Book 1 by Ridley Pearson
Need Trilogy Book 1 by Carrie Jones
Beauty by Nancy Butcher
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard (for some reason I dislike the books but I love the tv show. Go figure)
Aurora Teagarden series Book 1: Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
Stephanie Plum Book 1: One For the Money by Janet Evanovich
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner
The Curse Workers Book 1: White Cat by Holly Black (personal favorite)
Dream Life by Lauren Mechling
East by Edith Pattou
Wicked Lovely Book 3: Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson
Vampire Academy Book 2: Frostbite by Richelle Mead
The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
Wake Trilogy Book 1: Wake by Lisa McMann

July 2010
Last Survivors Book 1: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (personal favorite)
Gilda Joyce Book 4: The Dead Drop by Jennifer Allison
Insatiable Book 1 by Meg Cabot (personal favorite)
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
The Poison Eaters by Holly Black
Never Trust a Dead Man by Vivian Vande Velde
Women of the Otherworld Book 1: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Women's Murder Club Book 1: 1rst to Die by James Patterson
Suddenly Supernatural series Book 1: School Spirit by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Hunger Games Trilogy Book 1 by Suzanne Collins (personal favorite)
Discworld Book 1: The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
The Caster Chronicles Book 1: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margeret Stohl (personal favorite)
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

August 2010
Wolves of Mercy Falls Book 2: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Alice, I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landou-Banks by E. Lockhart
The Agency series Book 1: A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee (personal favorite)
Vampire Academy Book 3: Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
The Musician's Daughter by Suzanne Dunlap
The Iron Fey series Book 1: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (personal favorite)
Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell
Hunger Games Book 2: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
House of Night Book 3: Chosen by P. C. and Kristin Cast
Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman
Ruined: A Ghost Story by Paula Morris
Vampire Kisses bindup Books 1-3 by Ellen Schrieber
Mistwood by Leah Cypess
Fever Series Book 1: Dark Fever by Karen Marie Moning
Hunger Games Book 3: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Mortal Instruments Book 3: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
Kate Daniels Book 1: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (personal favorite)

September 2010
Vampire Kisses Book 4: Dance With a Vampire by Ellen Schrieber
Vampire Kisses Book 5: The Coffin Club by Ellen Schrieber
Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
Shade series Book 1: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready (personal favorite)
Kate Daniels Book 2: Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
How to Train Your Dragon Book 1 by Cressida Cowell
Vampire Academy Book 4: Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Morganville Vampires series Book 1: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
Fever series book 2: Blook Fever by Karen Marie Moning
Charlie Bone series Book 1: Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Tiffany Aching Book 3: Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
Sisters Grimm series Book 8: The Inside Story by Michael Buckley (personal favorite)
Kate Daniels Book 3: Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Need Series Book 2: Captivate by Carrie Jones
Sookie Stackhouse Book 10: Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (personal favorite)
Prophecy of the Sisters Trilogy Book 1 by Michelle Zink (personal favorite)

October 2010
The Dark Divine series Book 1 by Bree Despain
Evernight series Book 3: Hourglass by Claudia Gray
Vampire Kisses Book 6: Royal Blood by Ellen Schrieber
Paranormalcy by Kierstan White (personal favorite)
Kate Daniels Book 4: Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Morganville Vampires Book 2: The Dead Girls Dance by Rachel Caine
Mercy Thompson series Book 1: Moon-Called by Patricia Briggs
Bewitching Mysteries Book 1: The Trouble With Magic by Madelyn Alt
Nikki Heat series Book 2: Naked Heat by Richard Castle
The Mark by Jen Nadol
Knight and Rogue Book 3: Players Ruse by Hilari Bell
Heist Society by Ally Carter (personal favorite)
The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle
The Parasol Proctorate series Book 1: Soulless by Gail Carriger (personal favorite)
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves (hated it)
Killer Unicorns Book 2: Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman
Morganville Vampires Book 3: Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine
Millaneum Trilogy Book 1: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (personal favorite)
Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison
Finnikin of the Rock by Melissa Marchetta

November 2010
Gallagher Girls Book 1: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (personal favorite)
Kane Chronicles Book 1: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (personal favorite)
Theodore Boon: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham
Hush Hush Trilogy Book 1 by Becca Fitzpatrick
The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler
Vampire Kisses Book 7: Love Bites by Ellen Schrieber
Gallagher Girls Book 2: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Incarceron Book 1 by Catherine Fisher (personal favorite)
The Fool's Girl by Celia Rees
Annexed by Sharon Dogar
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
Iron Fey series Book 2: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Ghost Handler Book 1: Haint Misbehavin by Maureen Hardgrave
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
The Haunting of Charles Dickins by Lewis Buzbee
Gallagher Girls Book 3: Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover by Ally Carter
Wicked Lovely Book 4: Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Anita Blake series Book 1: Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton (hated it)
The Wide Awake Princess by E. D. Baker
The Caster Chronicles Book 2: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margeret Stohl
Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst

December 2010
The Lying Game series Book 1 by Sara Shepard
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (personal favorite)
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Benson
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Schulman
The Looking Glass Wars Book 3: ArchEnemy by Frank Beddor
Zombies VS Unicorns Anthology by various authors (personal favorite)
Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner
Women of the Otherworld Book 2: Stolen by Kelley Armstrong
The Goblin Gate by Hilari Bell
Empty by Suzanne Weyn
Infernal Devices Trilogy Book 1: The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (personal favorite)
Touch series Book 1: Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Not bad, I read quite a lot more than I thought. Hopefully I'll be this prolific next year as well! That said, happy New Year everyone! I'm off to watch Doctor Who now (blame Netflix on Wii, they've gotten me hooked on Torchwood as well).

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Book/Blogger Resolutions

So here are my resolutions for next year concerning this blog and books.

For Blog:
1) Be more active in commenting on other's blogs and friending and whatnot.
2) Get a new layout for the new year.
3) Try to edit (I've noticed I missed a few typos in past posts. My bad guys.)
4) Look into these contest things. I haven't done contests because I have no clue how to go about them and I'm not near a post office to actively mail stuff. I'm going to try and see about getting that done this year and maybe having a contest or two in the summer. Can't gaurentee anything though.
5) Participate in more memes and BE CONSISTANT with it.
6) Start those features you thought up. For those wondering they were weekly ones that were these:
TV Weekly chat (that I promise will be kept up to date with this time!)
Random Book Topic of the Week-Where I will talk (or rant about depending) on a topic that is of interest during that week. It may be anything from movie news, to book news, to issues like that publishing thing involving the I Am Number Four book, or just something among YA world that I've noticed that bugs me or I want to chat about.

For book reading:
1) Read more books. I've read about 215ish books (I haven't done the grand count yet as I'm still reading one right now and will probably finish before the end of the year). For 2011 I'm going to aim for 250.
2) Keep more up to date on newer books. Now that I have Net Galley and my library is starting to get more recent books in, I may be able to actually keep up this year!
3) Continue to read those books that you've been meaning to read for awhile. Up for this year:
Fallen by Lauren Kate
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (all fired up and ready to read on my Kindle!)
Gena Showalter
Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
Sarah Dessen
Jodi Piccoult
Sweep series by Cate Tiernan
Garth Nix
Thirst series by Christopher Pike
Water for Elephants (hopefully I'll get it done before the movie comes out)
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (yes, I've finally convinced myself to read itO
4) Finish up some of those series that you began this year. For instance:
The Parasol Proctorate series by Gail Carrigan
The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong
The Millaneum Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
5) Read the books you missed on this year for instance:
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Reckless by Cornelia Funke
Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev
The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Book 4 by Michael Scott
Airhead Trilogy 3-Runaway by Meg Cabot
The Darkest Powers Trilogy Book 3: The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
6) Get a case for Kindle so you can actually, you know, carry it around like it's meant to be.
7) Continue to read books outside of your comfort zone like last year. For those wondering, I normally would have never have picked up stuff like Briggs, or Larsson, plus I've been reading a few classics that I haven't reviewed here because I figured that by now everyone's probably said whatever I have to say about them so why bother?
I also would have never have bothered with a bunch of the vampire books but my previous resolution last year was to go through all the vampire books that I scoffed at before and I'm glad I did because otherwise I would never have discovered Vampire Academy, Sunshine and all the other ones that I mistakingly lumped in with Twilight.
8) Go through the Angel books this year. It surprised me how I actually somewhat enjoyed Hush Hush. So this year I'm going to give this subgenre a try. So you can expect reviews of the second Hush Hush book, Personal Demons, Halo, Fallen, and so on.

Book Review: Deadly Little Secrets

TITLE: Deadly Little Secrets
Book 1 in the Touch series
AUTHOR: Laurie Faria Stolarz
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: paranormal, mystery, romance
PREMISE: Camelia meets Ben and her life turns upside down.
MY REVIEW: Honest, I'm a bit split about this book. Part of me dug it. Kimmie and Wes were hilarious, the author had a nice suspense thing going, her parents were cool (and she actually ;gasp; appreciated them!) and for once, the high school life was accurately portrayed, a few stereotypes here and there aside. Also, yay for stalking NOT BEING ROMANTIC. Thank you, Stolarz.
However, it was also really cliche. It had the tendancy to feel like a Twilight rip-off (but as always with those rip-offs, was better), and it was melodramatic. Especially where the romance between Camelia and Ben were concerned. I also didn't care for the use of present tense because I saw no need for it and again, I hate present tense.
Ultimately I think it's a decent book. But it's one of those that will appeal to a certain few or if you're in the mood for a light suspense romance thing. A must read? Not much.
WHO SHOULD READ: Twilight fans, those that like fluffy paranormal romances
MY RATING: three and a half out of five roses

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Movie Review: Tangled

TITLE: Tangled
DISTRIBUTED BY: Disney animated studios
PEOPLE INVOLVED: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi (aka Chuck), Donna Murphy
RELEASED: November 2010
PREMISE: In Disney's 50th (!) animated feature, they redo Rapunzel with some slight twists to the tale.
MY REVIEW: I was not sure why Disney chose to do Rapunzel in the beginning because frankly to me, she was always the most boring of the princesses. She was the eptiome of the "sit and wait for your prince" princesses that I kind of hate. But Disney managed to take a boring princess tale and make it interesting. Not a easy feat.
First off I'll talk animation. This movie is GORGEOUS. Some people complained that they went back to CGI and I must say I find it ironic that people are complaining about CGI now. Because in the beginning when Pixar started everyone WANTED CGI and complained about the hand-drawn stuff and said it was out-dated and hence why Disney stopped doing them after Lilo and Stich. Now suddenly CGI is bad we want what we had before. My how the tables have turned, no? Anyway, this complaint is stupid because they made the decision to do it in CGI before Princess and the Frog came out and everyone suddenly remembered they loved hand-drawn animation so hush up and enjoy the pretty people. Besides which, Disney has said they'll be doing a hand-drawn movie every two/three years now anyway. Next up is Winnie the Pooh (for some wierd reason). So animation is awesome, now onto the movie itself.
I loved this take on Rapunzel myself. For one, Rapunzel had PERSONALITY. Granted she was still Sueish as was Flynn but that's always the case in these animated flicks because you don't have much time to fully flesh out characters like you do in a two and a half hour movie. But for the time we got, I think we got a pretty good sense of who all these people were. Especially with the animal characters. Pascal and Maximus stole the show in my opinion. It always amazes me how Disney can take animal characters like this, not have them speak at all, yet give them such personality that you end up loving them. It's nice nod to oldish characters like this such as Dopey in Snow White, Figaro from Pinnochio and so on.
The story itself was also interesting, particularly when concerning Mother Gothel. She was a awesome villian, I must say. Donna Murphy was perfect for her (she also had the best song, in my opinion) and played her really well. It was interesting having a villian like her because she wasn't so obvious about being a villian. She was a manipulator and managed to keep Rapunzel under her thumb and locked up through some really messed up mother/daughter phsycology stuff. In a way it made her more scary then previous ones who were more obvious about their villianry like Cruella de Ville and so on.
This is not without it's flaws. The romance, while sweet, is a tad rushed like all Disney romances tend to be, and once again, sueish characters, and the ending felt a bit rushed and convenient. But overall? Really good and I approve of these new Disney Princesses who don't sit around waiting for their prince. That said, I'm confused about why Disney has decided not to do any more for now. I mean, how stupid is that? Especially when you look at their next couple of flicks: Mars Needs Moms (I've seen the trailer, and boy is it a downgrade from Tangled), Winnie the Pooh (again, WHY?) and even Cars 2 looks a bit lackluster to me (Cars is my least favorite Pixar film, I'm more excited about The Bear and The Bow personally but we have a year or two to wait for that unfortunately). How much you want to bet that in a year or two when these (not including Cars) don't make money Disney will change their mind?
WHO SHOULD SEE: Disney freaks, kids of all ages
MY RATING: Four out of Five animal sidekicks

Monday, December 27, 2010

Book Review: Clockwork Angel

TITLE: Clockwork Angel
Book 1 in the Infernal Devices Trilogy
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: urban fantasy, romance, historical fiction
PREMISE: Tessa Grey comes to London at the request of her brother and finds herself swept up in a magical world that she never knew existed...
MY REVIEW: For me the Mortal Instruments series is the ultimate guilty pleasure series. Is it super fantastic? No, not really. But it is very very entertaining and enjoyable so I have no problem with the series like a lot of other people seem to have with it. Infernal Devices is no different. I enjoyed it a lot. Great? No. It's a tad predictable, none of the "twists" are really surprising, some of the prose get a tad cringe worthy. It also has the tendancy to feel a bit like a remix of the first Mortal Instruments.
But...I don't care. I got into it. Tessa was more enjoyable then Clary, I'll give her that. I also found Will and Jem really interesting. I even am genuinely stumped about what Will's deal is though I'm betting half-demon/angel whatever has something to do with it if I know Clare. It didn't hurt that the books were set in my favoirite time period to read about: Victorian England. What my deal with this era is, I don't know. I just know that this factor made this actually a little better then Mortal Instruments for me.
If you've read Clare before, you know what to expect from her and this is honestly more of the same (though I will say her pacing/suspense is getting better as she goes on). If this is your first venture into these books, enjoy it. Don't nitpick, otherwise you won't have fun reading them. They aren't great works of literature by any stretch of the imagination. But Clockwork Angel is at the very least very entertaining.
WHO SHOULD READ: Those that read and liked Mortal Instruments
MY RATING: Four out of Five clockwork devices

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Best and Worst of 2010 Books

So it's that time of year when everyone comes up with these kinds of lists. Sorry if you're tired of seeing these ;) I read a combination of books published in 2010 and in previous years so there will be some old books in here mixed in with new ones. Enjoy!

Best New Series Started in 2010:
God this one is hard because there were so many good looking ones started but I'm going with Incarceron series by Catherine Fisher (I'm going by started in the US, I know it was released before it came out here and that some of you lucky people over the pond have already read Saphique ;is not jealous;).
Honorable mentions: The Curse Workers by Holly Black, Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
Best Debut book in 2010:
Another one that is so hard cause there were some really good ones this year (that I actually ;gasp; read!) but my choice is Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Seriously, this is the author's FIRST BOOK?! Can't wait to read her next one, Delirium, coming out in Spring 2011.
Honorable mentions: Paranormalcy by Kirsten White, The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Favorite Conclusion of a series in 2010:
Hands down, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Please note, I have not read Last Sacrifice or The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet's Nest yet.
Favorite newly discovered YA series not published in 2010:
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Been a long time since I've gotten into a series as much as I have with this one. I still need to read books five and six and then I'm done! Tied with Vampire Academy for me is The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I read the first book a month or two before Mockingjay and fell in absolute book lust with the series. All three of the books were awesome and I can't wait to see what Collins has in store for us with her next series.
Honorable mentions: Wicked Lovelyby Melissa Marr, Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater, Theatre Illuminate series by Lisa Mantchev, Last Survivors by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
Favorite continuation of a YA series in 2010:
The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.I'm currently reading this (and yes, it totally counts as a continuation, it's a prequel to Mortal Instruments after all) and I'm loving the heck out of it! Shadowhunters in victorian times! Awesome!
Honorable mentions: Evernight series Book 3-Hourglass by Claudia Gray, Wolves of Mercy Falls Book 2-Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Favorite newly discovered middle-grade book series not published in 2010:
Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan-If you haven't read this by now, do so!
Favorite middle grade series started in 2010:
The Kane Chronicles: Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (yes, I know there's a theme here, sorry)
Favorite continuation of a middle-grade series in 2010:
Sisters Grimm: The Inside Story by Michael Buckley
Favorite adult book published in 2010:
Insatiable by Meg Cabot-There's a sequel coming out in the Summer guys! Rejoice!
Honorable mention: Kate Daniels Book 4 by Ilona Andrews
Favorite newly discovered adult series not published in 2010:
This one is hard because I found myself diving into the world of adult Urban fantasy this year so I discovered a lot of wonderful new series to read. But I'd have to go with the Parasol Proctorate series by Gail Carriger. Everything about this book I loved, even if it's maybe not perfect. I will be reading the next two as soon as I can.
Honorable mentions:Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, The Millanium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
Favorite continuation of a adult series published in 2010:
Kate Daniels Book 4 by Ilona Andrews. Cannot wait till Book 5, I swear this series gets better as it goes on.
Honorable mention: Sookie Stackhouse-Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
Most disappointing book in 2010:
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain-With all the praise this book got, I was expecting amazing. Instead I got average, bordering on boring, lackluster characters and romance that I didn't even like, and to top it off it preached at you. It has potential to be good, which is why I'm going to try and give the sequel a chance if my library has it but honestly it just reads like a preachy Twilight rip-off.
Worst YA book in 2010:
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves.-Seriously, I'm still scratching my head over this book. What was it trying to accomplish anyway? I saw no point, I hated the characters, the writing was amatuerish, and the plot...I'm not even sure what the plot was. Creative, maybe but the author failed in execution.
Most Boring Book in 2010:
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Benson. This book was just one big snooze. Boring character, boring plot which made a somewhat interesting idea totally boring. To top it off, the author didn't follow proper writing rules and that was very annoying.
Most disappointing series not published in 2010:
You know when you start a series that's always recced and then go read them and you're like "why is this so hot? It's not that great?" Well, I had a few of those this year. I have to go with Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine. I'm sorry, I just think this series is kind of ridiculous. I was able to put aside some of the flaws in the beginning because the premise is kind of interesting and I liked the characters. However, as I got about halfway through the books, the flaws became harder to ignore, characters didn't change, and plot pretty much got thrown out the window. It's not horrible or anything, it's just that with all the praise it got I was expecting a lot better then what it actually was.
Honorable mentions: House of Nightseries by P.C. and Kristin Cast (wow is this series bad), Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton (don't get me started), Charlie Bone series (Harry Potter rip-off that is dull, dull, dull).

So there you have it. Overall I had a good book year I think. I read more then I did last year, kept more up to date with the new releases, discovered a whole bunch of series to continue with into next year. 2011 looks like it's shaping up to be an excellent year as well. I have so many books I'm excited about I'm not sure where to begin.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Book Review: Empty and Merry Christmas!

TITLE: Empty
AUTHOR: Suzanne Weyn
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: science fiction/dystopian
PREMISE: In the near future, the world is running out of oil and effecting lives.
MY REVIEW: I've finally figured out why it is that although I find Weyn's books immensely interesting and thought provoking, I can't say they're excellent. Number one reason: they need to be longer. Seriously, she sets up these great detailed worlds that I want to know more about especially as she makes it so you can believe all this will happen but then she quickly runs through plot because the books are so short and I'm left with that "but...wait!" feeling that leaves me dissatisfied. Second: She needs to work on making her characters as interesting as the premises/settings that she sets up because in all honesty her characters are boring and uninteresting and a majority of the time, irritating.
If Weyn would work on this, I'd be singing her praises because she has the makings of a great author. She's creative with ideas, she writes well, I love the settings she comes up with (even if they're mildly scary because they just might happen someday). But due to a rushed plot and boring characters, these books just don't click for me like say Life As We Knew It or Hunger Games or any of the other fantastic dystopian stories out there.
So I have to say that once more, an average book from an author who I think could do a lot better. Dystopian novel enthusiasts may be more interested in this one though.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of The Bar Code Rebellion, dystopian future novel fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five engines

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Happy Holidays to everyone out there! I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas or enjoys whatever you happen to celebrate.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Book Review: The Goblin Gate

TITLE: The Goblin Gate
Sequel to the Goblin Wood
AUTHOR: Hilari Bell
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: fantasy, adventure
PREMISE: Tobin and Makenna deal with problems on the other side of the gate while Tobin's brother deals with the fallout of his brother leaving.
MY REVIEW: This is the first time I've been disappointed in Bell's work and it honestly doesn't have much to do with how good the book is. It's just mostly that when I wanted a sequel for Goblin Wood, this wasn't actually what I had in mind. I wanted more focus on Makenna and Tobin because I find their relationship the most interesting. I honestly could have cared less about Tobin's brother.
But, apparently I'm supposed to care about him because a majority of this book is in his point of view. I will say it helped me understand his character a bit more so I liked him a lot more then I did in Goblin Wood where I found him quite annoying. But still, I wish Bell had focused more on Tobin and Makenna instead. Oh well, maybe in the next book?
Dispite that, it still has Bell's usual quality writing, interesting characters, thoughtful ideas, and quirky humor. So it wasn't that the book was bad. It's just that it's not what I was expecting or wanted for Goblin Wood's continuation. However, it looks like there's going to be another so maybe that one will be more interesting then this one.
WHO SHOULD READ: Those that have read The Goblin Wood, Hilari Bell fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five goblins

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Book Review: Stolen

TITLE: Stolen
Book 2 in the Women of the Otherworld series
AUTHOR: Kelley Armstrong
GENRE: Urban fantasy, adventure, romance
PREMISE: Elena is doing her duties as a pack member when she gets kidnapped and learns that there's a whole other world of creatures out there besides just werewolves...
MY REVIEW: Okay, NOW I'm on board with this series. I discovered Kelley Armstrong late last year when I finally sat down and read the first Darkest Powers Trilogy book and fell in love with her ideas. I finally decided to pick up the first book in her more well known Women of the Otherworld series a few months ago and while I liked it, I wasn't really feeling it as much as Darkest Powers. Now, after reading the second book, I now love this series.
Major reason I think is the first book is in many ways a prequel to the rest of the series and Armstrong's writing/pacing also improved much more between these books so it's more resembling of the writing in Darkest Powers. Plus she introduces much more interesting characters this time around. It also helps that Elena has gotten over her "I hate myself" thing she had in the first book which was kind of annoying. Now that she's accepted herself and her pack I like her a hell of a lot more then I did in book 1.
While this is maybe a tad predictable at times, it's still a interesting series now with inclusion of the other species and I look forward to reading the rest. Especially as she apparently switches the story over to Paige in the next book and Paige was the most interesting to me and I can't wait to read what the witches are like in this series. Next year, I'll be trying to get completely caught up on this series along with Brigg's Mercy Thompson series. So keep a look out for those reviews in the future (as well as some Gena Showalter as I'm going to try and read her next, soon as I figure out which book was her first...).
WHO SHOULD READ: Those that read and liked the first book, Darkest Powers Trilogy fans, urban fantasy fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five witches

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Review: Thief Eyes

TITLE: Thief Eyes
AUTHOR: Janni Lee Simner
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: mythology, fantasy, adventure
PREMISE: Haley's mother disappeared in Iceland a month ago and now she's in the country, determined to find her. However, finding leads her into crazyness involving thousand year old Iceland legends...
MY REVIEW: I will say this for the author: she is creative. I love when authors are creative. That said, I was a little lost reading this but I think that mostly has to do with not really being familiar with this myth that Simner is using. Plus, it would have been nice to have character development and what not.
But for the most part this is a decent book and much better then I was anticipating. I didn't have much expectation as I don't know the myth, I've never read the author's more popular series Bones of Faerie (though I now am intrigued enough to try it out) so I wasn't expecting greatness. But it was a pretty interesting book. As I said, the author was creative, it was a refreshing change of pace from the vampires/werewolves/angels/faeries scene that is basically YA fantasy now, and I even found myself liking Haley even if I wished now and then I could get a feel for her personality more. Ari was also adorable but then I have a weakness for musicians. Particularly musicians who like Star Wars ;)
So a spectacular book this is not. It also may help you better if you're more familiar with the myth Simner is using. But if you're tired of the average fantasy going on right now, this is a nice a change of pace from that.
WHO SHOULD READ: those familiar with norse mythology, fans of Simner's other series Bones of Faerie
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five coins

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Book Review: Zombies VS Unicorns

TITLE: Zombies VS Unicorns
AUTHOR: various authors
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: fantasy, short stories
PREMISE: This is an anthology of short stories that features either zombies or unicorns which is designed to help you decide: Team Unicorn or Team Zombie.
MY REVIEW: For the record, I'm neutral when it comes to the whole zombie vs unicorns thing. Mostly because I sort of find the arguement dumb. Both creatures are cool and have their merits, who cares which one is better? But I liked a majority of the authors in this collection (a rarity in short book collections where I usually only end up liking two or three and thus the book isn't worth my money) so I picked it up for fun quick reads. I wasn't disappointed either. One or two of the stories lacked and I wish some could have been longer but for the most part, this is a solid good short story collection.
My only major complaint about this collection was the Team Zombie head Justine Larbalestier. While some of her comments were funny and I understand snark, I do it myself sometimes. I sort of felt her arguements were a) poor. Mostly she was just: zombies are cool just because they're zombies! What more do you need? and b) I felt she was unneccessarily rude to Holly and some of the authors on Team Unicorn. Look, you can disagree with someone about unicorns but there's no need to dis a story simply because it involves unicorns or say it's bad when the author probably worked really hard on it. You could at least acknowledge a good author like Holly would do with some of the Team Zombie stories. For the record I've never read any of Larbalestier's books, hell have never even HEARD of her before this collection. Frankly her rudeness in this book leaves me with no desire to read any of her books, whereas the other authors in this book I haven't read before I am going to be checking out now. I'm sorry I just felt her slightly mean snark was unneccessary and brought down the fun of a otherwise enjoyable book.
So whether you're Team Unicorn or Team Zombie or like me don't give a damn, this is a fun collection to try out.
WHO SHOULD READ: unicorn fans, zombie fans, fans of any of the authors in the book
MY RATING: Four out of Five unicorn vs zombies battles

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Movie Review: Inception

TITLE: Inception
DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan
ACTORS/ACTRESSES: Leo!(who has totally justified me swooning over him in my teen years by becoming a awesome actor), Michael Caine, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon Lewitt (another teen idol I may or may not have had a crush on in my teen years), Tom Hardy, Marion Culliord
GENRE: action/adventure, suspense
PREMISE: A man assembles a team to go into people's dreams and steal thoughts/ideas or implant ideas/thoughts.
MY REVIEW: I have many different takes on Inception but most of what I've heard is that it's awesome. After a viewing I have to agree. The main reason I loved this so much is that finally, we are given a movie that doesn't pander to its audience or treat its viewers like we're dumb. Much as I like my mindless action movies (I'm a fan of Transformers for crying out loud) I also appreciate it when intelligence is shown. Lets face it, intelligence is sorely lacking in original movie scripts nowadays. So I loved the philospical questions that the movie asked and the fact that the movie was mind trippy and knew it and figured that people were intelligent enough to keep up.
On top of the interesting premise and storyling there's the really interesting characters, particularly the character of Cobb (played excellently by Leo who better get a freaking Oscar for this) and Ariadne (who I wished they'd went into more background on but she is a supporting character so maybe in the rumored sequel). Everyone acted well, action/special effects were awesome, and again: creative storyline.
There's talk of Oscar buzz for this movie and I hope it's true. I also hope that they don't get screwed like Dark Knight did when it got nominated and that Christopher Nolan finally gets that Oscar he should have gotten a long time ago. I will say the jumping around in the begining was annoying but I understood why they did it. It's dream world, dreams are fragmented scenes mostly so they had the scenes be like that too. It's genius when you think about it. Even if it's again, a tad annoying. To those that have seen it I ask you: do you think Cobb actually woke up for real or not? I'm thinking not. My theory is that he's in a coma and these are his dreams within the coma and that it's his mind's way of trying to break out of the coma. Why Inception then? He's a government agent of sorts in the real world and was working on way to do Inception when his wife was killed somehow or other and then something happened to him (car accident, what have you) and thus the Inception. Yes, I've put way too much thought into this.
WHO SHOULD SEE: Anyone who's inclined
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five guns

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Book Review: Arch Enemy

TITLE: ArchEnemy
Book 3 in the Looking Glass Wars Trilogy
AUTHOR: Frank Beddor
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: fiction rewrite/mash up, fantasy, adventure
PREMISE: The war continues in Wonderland with Alice and Redd joining sides against Arch.
MY REVIEW: For some reason I wasn't as happy with this one as I was with the other two books in the series and I can't put my finger on why. The writing and characters were the same, nothing had changed. I think it may have had something to do with a rather predictable ending and not much focus on the most interesting characters to me: Molly and Hatter.
Overall if you liked the other two books, you know what to expect with these. The writing is average (and sometimes not good), the plot is fast paced so not much room for character developement, but that's not really why one reads these books. For me, at least, the appeal is this vast interesting Wonderland that Beddor has created. I would seriously LOVE to see all of this on screen, particularly if they get a fine actress to play Redd. I'm thinking Susan Suranden (who can totally pull off crazy diva queen, see Enchanted), Angelica Housten (see Ever After and Addams Family), or Helena Bartem Carter (I personally think Beddor modeled this character after all of her crazy lady performances such as the girl in Sweeney Todd, Bellatrix Lestrange, Corpse Bride and so on).
So while I may have been disappointed in the predictable ending. I do still like this series and recomend it to all Alice fans (who aren't purists and don't mind their characters messed with, otherwise you'll HATE it) and those looking for a good action series.
WHO SHOULD READ: alice in wonderland fans, action/adventure fantasy fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five card soldiers

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Review: The Grimm Legacy

TITLE: The Grimm Legacy
AUTHOR: Polly Shulman
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: fantasy
PREMISE: Elizabeth gets a job at a repository hoping to make some friends and some cash. She finds more then she bargained for because this collection of items is more then it seems...
MY REVIEW: I have mixed feelings about this book to be honest. Part of me loved the whole premise and idea of it. A library that is actually items? Not just items but historical items and magical items from fairytales? Awesome! That aspect of the novel I loved. I also liked Elizabeth a bit and found the romance with her and Aaron cute. There were also some hilarious scenes that just made me grin.
However there were some flaws. Characters weren't wholly fleshed out, Much of the adventure part is random and a bit confusing at times, and I wished more details could have been added such as how did this collection get started in the first place? That sort of thing.
But overall it was enjoyable. If you're a fan of fairytales like I am you'll like this one. This seems tailor-made for a sequel (hint hint, author) and I certainly wouldn't mind one.
WHO SHOULD READ: Grimm fairytale fans, fantasy fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five fairytale shoes

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Movie Review: Eat, Pray, Love

TITLE: Eat, Pray, Love
PEOPLE INVOLVED: Ryan Murphy (dude who is involved in Glee), Julia Roberts, Haviar Bardem, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup
RELEASED: Summer 2010
BASED ON: book by the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert
PREMISE: A lost woman goes on a journey through Italy, India, and Bali to find herself.
MY REVIEW: I had low expectations in starting this movie. I've never read the book, and I frankly am trying to talk myself into reading it because it just doesn't sound like something I'd get into. So for once, I'm seeing a movie with not reading the book beforehand. My bad, guys. But I do know the basic story and the major arguements for and against the book so hey, that's something right?
So first off, my low expectations? Met and didn't really exceed it. Granted, there were a few nice moments. Some really great lines ("American women only want one thing here in Italy. Pasta and sausage!"), and I did get a kick out of the side characters. Plus the cinimatic photagraphy in this movie is GORGEOUS. Also, Havier Bardem who is enough for me to see a movie frankly. Yes, I'm that shallow sometimes, although I didn't think there was enough of him in my opinion.
The problem however lies in the main character and the storyline. Frankly, both are boring. The storyline is utterly predictable and the character wasn't that interesting to be honest, in fact I kind of found her...annoying? Which believe me is a first for a me watching a Julia Roberts movie because she has this tendancy to make characters that I'd normally dislike and make me like them (see Erin Brockovich). But this character...I don't know she irked me. I think it was maybe because I couldn't really relate to her (how did she get the money and time to do this? Makes no sense to me, especially seeing as how they said she was broke after the divorce...)and found her whiny and kind of selfish. It kind of got to the point where I'd wish the movie would cut her story out completely and just focus on the scenary (did I mention it was gorgeous?).
So is it a great movie? Not really. Is it a horrible movie? No. Best I can call it is mediocre.
WHO SHOULD SEE: those that have read (and liked) the book, Julia Roberts fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five bali dancers

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

TITLE: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
AUTHOR: Aimee Bender
GENRE: drama
PREMISE: Rose discovers at age nine that she can taste feelings in homeade food.
MY REVIEW: This is the first book of this author's that I've read and I have to say, I'm not impressed. First off, I HATE the author's writing style. For some dumb reason she decided it would be cool if she had no quotation marks whatsoever so any conversation that takes place looks like this:
Hello? I said
What are you doing? he said.
No, really. I hope this is not some new trend that is going to pop up like that annoying present tense stuff. Seriously, quotations are used for a REASON. Not having them is not stylistic, it's confusing and makes it look like you didn't take English class. Future authors, I beg of you to work on actual writing skills before you try and mess with english writing rules that have been around for hundreds of years.
Now I can forgive lousy writing style if the story is good. Unfortunately in this case the story wasn't really. It was mildly interesting for maybe the first five chapters or so but quickly became boring when the author just didn't do anything with this great magic gift idea she came up with. Seriously! Tasting people's feelings in food is a awesome thing and all the author does is have the kid discover it, test it out with her friends and then she moves on with her life. Okay, she discovers a secret or two but those secrets never really effect her. She never tries learning why she has this gift, she never tests the limits of it or even uses it in real life situations. It's like it's a hobby or something "oh, I taste people's feelings in their food, no big, pass the rolls?". Are you kidding me? It doesn't help that the gift is basically the only thing remotely interesting in this book. A vast majority of it is devoted to family problems and melodrama that involve selfish and uninteresting characters.
This is supposingly part of a new sort of genre that is apparently getting started called "magical realism". If this is an example of what magical realism is then I'll pass. Why have this awesome magical gift idea and then ignore it in favor of a boring storyline and boring characters? It makes no sense to me. Now I will say there was some beautiful writing in it (the part that wasn't the messed up dialogue) and as I said, the idea of the magic gift was awesome. But that doesn't make up for the fact that this book is just...dull. Which is sad, because there was no reason for it to be so dull. I mean, the author didn't even have the decency to add in a sweet and cheesy romance! That's how boring it is. If you like melodrama a la Lifetime Movie channel of the week, then maybe you'll like this. I however just think it's a really dull book. I will probably not be reading any of the author's other books either, especially if this quotation thing is her trademark.
WHO SHOULD READ: those that like family drama books
MY RATING: Two out of Five cakes

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Book Review: Before I Fall

TITLE: Before I Fall
AUTHOR: Lauren Oliver
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: drama
PREMISE: A girl has to relive the last day before she died over and over again.
MY REVIEW: Before I go into the one issue I have with this book I will say this is actually as good as everyone has been saying. Good writing, complex characters, a actual ACCURATE portrayal of high school life (although oddly enough, no one's on Facebook or Twitter...), and it's actually thought provoking which lets face it, is a rare breed of book in YA. The premise isn't very unique though and it's a tad predictable but all in all it's an excellent first book.
Now, on to my issue with this that is entirely personal and had no say in how the book was rated. My issue is the bullying angle. I appreciated that Oliver tried to get us to see things from both sides of the spectrum but I sort of felt like it was making excuses for bullies and I did not like that. I'm sorry, I'm aware that not everything is black and white but there is no excuse for cruelty, particularly the kind of bullying that Lindsey put Juliet through. Now this strong feeling probably comes from my own school experiences. I was never heavily bullied like some in this book, but I was most certainly picked on and teased by self-entitled popular kids who did it just because they knew they could get away with it. Lindsey reminded me strongly of these kids and that's probably why I detested her even at the end.
So, while I may not have agreed with some of the things and I found it a tad predictable, I still say this is very good book and the praise it's been getting this year is well deserved. I encourage all teens to read this especially. I can't wait for the author's next book that comes out March or so of next year.
WHO SHOULD READ: anyone interested in it, teens
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five cell phones

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

New Releases: December 2010

Sorry for the delay on this list. I've been a tad busy at work and it totally slipped my mind till yesterday when I looked at the calander and went "opps!". As always, this list features random books released this month that I think people reading my blog may find interesting, I'm interested in, or just plain look interesting ;) All the links go to the book's Amazon page if you want more info on them and if it has this next to it: (!) that means I'm excited about it and you can expect a review of said book on this blog in the future. Without further ado I give you the noteable December releases:
Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau. Paperback, released Dec. 1rst.
Wish by Alexandra Bullen. Paperback version, released Dec. 1rst.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Hardcover, released Dec. 2nd.
Rosebush by Michele Jaffe. Hardcover, released Dec. 7th-I loved the Bad Kitty series and while I'm sad those books seem to have stopped, I'm super excited for this new mystery from Jaffe.
Vampire Academy Book 6: The Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead. Hardcover, released Dec. 7th (!!!) Unfortunately I'll have to wait to read this as I have paperback versions and I have this thing about having my series books I won't be able to read it till either my library gets Spirit Bound or they both come out in paperback, whichever comes first.
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves. Paperback version, released Dec. 7th.
Candor by Pam Bachorz. Paperback, released Dec. 14th.
Need series Book 3: Entice by Carrie Jones. Hardcover, released Dec. 14th (!)
The Flappers: Vixen by Jillian Larkin. Hardcover, released Dec. 14th (!)
The Cadence of Gypsies by Barbara Casey. Hardcover, released Dec. 21rst.
The Drake Chronicles: Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey. Hardcover, released Dec.21rst.
Liar by Justine Larbalestier. Paperback version, released Dec. 21rst.
Morpheus Road: The Light by D.J.MacHale. Paperback version, released Dec. 21rst-written by the same author who did the popular Pendragon series.
Blue Bloods: Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz. Hardcover, released Dec. 28th-am going to be reading the first of this series this month.
Dark Divine Book 2: The Lost Saint by Bree Despain. Hardcover, released Dec. 28th (!)-I wasn't crazy about Dark Divine but if my library has a copy of this, which I'm sure they will, I'll take a look.
Incarceron Book 2: Sapphique by Catherine Fisher, Hardcover, released Dec. 28th (!!!) I just read Incarceron last month and was blown away and can't wait to read the sequel.
Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland. Paperback version, released Dec. 28th-the cover on this all kinds of adorable.
Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber. Hardcover, released Dec. 28th (!)-I have the ARC ebook for this from Net Galley, will have a review of it up soon.
The Hope Chest by Karen Schwabach. Paperback, released Dec. 28th (!).
Touch series: Deadly Little Games by Laurie Faria Stolarz. Hardcover, released Dec. 28th.

As always there are also a bunch of manga coming out including new ones for Vampire Knight, Ouran High Host Club, Skip Beat, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach and so on.

In My Mailbox (25)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren that tells people what books we've gotten over the week. All the links in this post go to the book's amazon page if you want more info on them. Kind of a small haul this week:

From the library:
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender-Sounded interesting when it first came out so I thought I'd give it a try.
Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

Just bought manga this week, including Tsubasa: Resevoir Chronicle 28 (the final volume guys, can you believe it?!) and xxxHolic 16
Blue Bloods Book 1 by Melissa de la Cruz-Wasn't going to buy this but they had it at bargain price so I figured why not? That way if it's as bad as I suspect it is, it won't matter as much. This is also the last of the vampire books I'm trying out. This is the last major one out there I believe, and I'm frankly tired of the genre now. But I have read all the major ones I planned on so I did pretty well this year I think.

That's all I got this week. What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Book Review: The Reformed Vampire Support Group

TITLE: The Reformed Vampire Support Group
AUTHOR: Catherine Jinks
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: vampires, werewolves, drama, adventure
PREMISE: Being a vampire isn't all it's cracked up to be. Just ask Nina and her friends in the Vampire Support Group.
My REVIEW: I've been going through the vampire books this year as you can probably tell so I'm a little burnt out on them. After this one I'm reading Blue Bloods and Crusade and then I think I'm cooling it with the vamp books for next year. As far as these vampire books go, this was definitely one of the most original ones I've seen in awhile. It was refreshing seeing a vampire's life NOT GLAMOURIZED. Finally!
Best way I can think of to describe this book is quirky. The characters all are interesting and not your usual vampires, the take on vampirism was different, and it was fun seeing vampires act like people and have actual problems that didn't include who to date. In fact, there was no high school in sight! The book was also rather hilarious if a bit confusing at times.
I will say it sort of dragged at the end and felt a bit random at times, but overall it was an okay book. Definitely an interesting take on the vampire lore which is something that's been sorely missing in the genre. There is a sequel coming out in December apparently and I'll probably end up reading that as it's about the werewolves that get introduced.
WHO SHOULD READ: vampire fans, you like quirky books, fans of Jink's other books
MY RATING: three and a half out of Five sullen vampires

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Movie Review: The Last Airbender

TITLE: The Last Airbender
DISTRIBUTED BY: Nickolodeon, Paramount
DIRECTED BY: M. Night Shamylan
ACTORS/ACTRESSES INVOLVED: bunch of unknowns aside from the dude who played Jasper in that god-awful "vampire" movie I won't name and the guy from Slumdog Millianare.
RELEASED: Summer 2010
PREMISE: Based on the hit tv show Avatar: The Last Airbender, Katara and Sokka find a boy trapped in an iceburg who ends up being the long lost Avatar.
MY REVIEW: Okay, Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my favorite shows, in fact it's on my top ten list of best shows ever (for those curious, this list includes Buffy, Stargate, Gilmore Girls, and a couple others). So I was eager for the movie adaptation. Then the previews came and then the reviews came so I decided to wait and rent it instead. Now doubtless, many of you have already heard of the complaints against it: bad acting, cheesy effects, bad pacing, the whole white-washing scandel etc. Those are all legitament complaints believe it or not because this movie was bad. Granted, the action was good, I do actually think the way they did the bending was well done, and the design of things was accurate (aside from everyone's race being wrong). My main complaint however is how they utterly destroyed the characters and thus destroyed the story because Avatar works well because of story, characters, and humor. For you fellow fans, I will lay out what they did wrong (this post may get a tad long. Sorry):
Aang: first, they pronounced his name wrong (annoying). Then there's the fact that he was a little angst bucket in the movie. Aang is supposed to be fun-loving, he supposed to be constantly moving and rather hyper at times because oh yeah, HE'S TWELVE YEARS OLD. Also, there was never any rule about the Avatar not being able to have a family and even if there was Aang wouldn't have cared CAUSE HE WAS TWELVE. Didn't you writers watch the show? Aang was actually okay with being the Avatar, what he wasn't cool with was how differently people treated him after learning he was the Avatar and how that effected his fun and also how the monks were about to take away the closest thing he had to a father.
Zuko: Actually, Zuko may be the most accurate portrayel in this, but I give credit to the actor (the lead from Slumdog Millianare) not the writers because I think he actually understood who Zuko was. But still it was a tad wrong. Zuko is supposed to be loud and angry a lot, particularly in the first season. While he did get the angst right, I don't think he got the anger and loudness across that well.
Sokka: God I was beyond ticked with how they ruined Sokka, who is my favorite character on the show. No sarcasm? No foot in his mouth? No clumsiness? No epic fights with Katara? No big plans which generally lead to trouble? I don't know who this puppet in the movie was, but it was in no way the Sokka I'm familiar with.
Katara: She was kind of ruined too. This Katara was seemingly perfect. If you watch the show, Katara has a lot of flaws such as a stubborn streak, a temper, and she kind of hates being told that she's wrong. Plus she can be kind of bossy. But she was also kind and was pretty a bad-ass water bender in her own right and I got none of that from the pretty girly Katara in the movie who never had any awesome fight sequences accept for the one where she fights Zuko and loses.
Appa and Momo: Design was right but you didn't even bother telling people Momo's name, and they had basically no scenes and were actual pets instead of actual team members like they were in the show. LAME.
Iroh: Iroh is my second favorite character after Sokka and like Sokka he was RUINED. The beauty of Iroh's character is that he genuinely looks like a harmless senile old man. He was small and pudgy, had a beard and obsessed about tea and mahjong and had a very zen like personality a lot of the time. So people would underestimate him and then would be shocked when they learned he was a former general and actually could kick some serious butt. But the Iroh in the movie? NOTHING like this. I didn't get the strong bond between him and Zuko, and he looked bad ass so it wasn't really surprising when he kicked butt. Plus no tea and mahjong?
Emperor and Zhou: God, these guys were wusses compared the actual Emperor and Zhou on the tv show. They are supposed to be intimidating, and scary guys! I didn't get that at all from them. This Zhou was an outright WIMP.
In short this movie was a disaster. For the love of god do NOT make a sequel please. I can't bear to see you guys destroy my third favorite character Toph as well. Heaven knows what you'd do to Azula and the girls. If you even put them in there. By the way, you have the Kiyoshi statue but no Suki and Warriors of Kiyoshi? LAME, LAME, LAME! So my fellow Avatar fans, avoid this movie at all costs. I myself am rewatching the show in order to try and forget this travesty.
WHO SHOULD SEE: No one, avoid.
MY RATING: One out of Five flying bison

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Book Review: The Lying Game

TITLE: The Lying Game
Book 1 in the Lying Game series
AUTHOR: Sara Shepard
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: paranormal(ish), mystery, drama
PREMISE: a girl discovers she may have a long lost twin and goes to meet her only to discover long lost twin has been murdered and she must put together the pieces of what happened to her as she poses as her twin, not realizing her twin's ghost is following her around as she investigates...yes, I'm serious...
MY REVIEW: I went into this book with slightly low expectations. I didn't really enjoy Pretty Little Liars (the books mind you, I'm ashamed to admit I've gotten addicted to the tv show) so I wasn't expecting much with this even though the premise sounded promising. I admit I was pleasantly surprised. Is it mind blowing? No, not really. Lying Game sometimes feels like a remix of Pretty Little Liars, you still have some pretty selfish hateful characters, and it doesn't take a lot of mind power to read.
But like Pretty Little Liars the strong part of this series is the mystery aspect. I literally couldn't guess who it was that murdered Sutton. After the end, I still have no clue. I know I don't really want it to be the foster sister but I'm not ruling her out either. I actually am stumped for a change. It's nice having a mystery that genuinely stumps you. Shepard's strength is not really her writing (though I have to say it's vastly improved since the first Pretty Little Liars) but her ability to set up a good story and mystery and in buiding suspense. It also helps that this time around I actually LIKE some of the main characters whereas in Pretty Little Liars I found all the girls insufferable at one point or another and kind of ended up WANTING A to win because they needed a big wake up call.
Shepard is making this a series (good thing because that cliffhanger is EVIL) and the next book apparently comes out in April. The Lying Game will be available on December 7th. I for one can't wait to read the second one. If you are maybe tired of the somewhat annoying girls in Pretty Little Liars, this series may appeal to you.
WHO SHOULD READ: Pretty Little Liars fans, mystery fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five prada bags

12 by 12 in November
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