Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

   Description from Goodreads.com
What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left


I have to admit, I live in Utah. All things Polygamist kinda interest me. I was not going to pass up an opportunity to read this one. I was lucky enough to win an Advanced Reader's Copy from the lovely Wastepaperprose on a Twitter giveaway late one boring Friday night. So thank you wastepaperprose!
I want to start off by mentioning this cover. It's really a wonderful thing with cover art that they are putting on the Young Adult novels these days, such a huge improvement and this one is to die for! The amazing colors and artwork (and the model that looks like Mandy Moore) is worth the money in itself. It's beautiful and looks beautiful on my shelf. 
Now on to other things:
I gave this one a 5 out of 5. I took my time reading this one because I really wanted to absorb into this world.  Here, after a huge disaster North America is the only continent to survive and people are dying younger because of a new disease. There are some people fighting for a cure and some that say mankind was meant to die off and fight those wanting to find a cure. Rhine's parents were on the side of wanting a cure, and die in a very unexpected and saddening way. So Rhine and her twin brother are left to feed and take care of themselves, finding jobs here and there and stealing. They are completely dependent on one another and one day Rhine is kidnapped, put in a van and driven far away. Turns out she is chosen to wed the son of a very wealthy man and taken to his mansion to be one of 3 other young wives aging 13-18. 

Next enters Linden, their new husband and Rose, his wife who is sick with the disease and is slowly dying. This disease is horrific, painful, skin eating gross and a very awful way to die. Rose and Rhine become close and Rose passes on her knowledge of Linden and how the Mansion is run. So this is really our first real introduction to the story and Vaughn. Vaughn is a doctor who is trying to find the cure and also Linden's father who resides in the Mansion as well. He is what is known as a first generation and older than the time the disease began so has lived to an older age. 
      The Mansion is very well protected, large yard, gate, trees all surrounding the house. The girls have to earn their "freedom" to spend time in the yard, they are not allowed on the other floors of the house without supervision and spend most of their time sitting in the Library. 
      Things that stuck with me after reading:
        1. What they do to the girls in the van that were not chosen as wives
        2. Are the girls the only ones not fully aware of their surroundings and their situations
        3. Dr Vaughn and his creepy basement lab
        4. Linden and everything about his family and life.
        5. Would it be so bad to be pampered over the rest of a very short life
        6. How Holograms are completely awesome and now I want one! 
I loved this story, I never thought it dragged, it never disappointed. The new stories and twists were all brought in at the perfect times and it really kept the story rolling. I was saddened that it had ended and very happy that it will be a trilogy because I would really like to see what might happen next. 

Extras added to website! View a map of the mansion as well as other interesting under the Extra's button You can also read an Excerpt!  here: http://thechemicalgardenbooks.com/wither/ 

Amazing, thought provoking and heart breaking. There were times that I literally gasped out loud while reading.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Top Tuesday Picks















I know that it's only March, but so far I have read over 38 books in 2011 and wanted to make a post about some of them that I do not regret picking up and would recommend others to try. Some I have not posted reviews on just yet because I got early copies from NetGalley and the review will be posted closer to their release dates. So in my opinion keep your eyes out for these great reads



    




                                                                           


                                     














                                       
                                                                       









     


         
      















                                                                   


              

   I Think I will do similar posts to this every couple of months throughout the year, thanks for stopping by the blog =P

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

   A Touch Mortal

Eden didn't expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.
Yeah.
So long, happily-ever-after.
Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.
She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own.
And that's only the beginning of the end.


Hey guys today I am blogging about a giveaway Leah Clifford is holding of her book A Touch Mortal. This one has been on my wishlist since I saw it on a In My Mailbox post a couple months ago and now we have the opportunity to win a SIGNED copy and I'm totally in! So check out my video here  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se54IoqeAJY

YARebels video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODGWh-zM3Y0

and the Author's website directly for entry is here http://leahclifford.wordpress.com/a-touch-mortals-assortment-of-awesome-contest/

You can follow me also on twitter or her on twitter @leahclifford
 
Oh! And Don't Forget to Be Awesome

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge

The Iron Thorn (Iron Codex, #1)
Description from Goodreads.com
In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft's epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day.

Aoife Grayson's family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different.

5 Star Review
Sometimes I come across a book where I want to put up a review that expresses my enjoyment of having read it. But then when I sit down to write the only possible word that I want to repeat over and over is AWESOME. But as I am sure some people may come across the word of awesome and not descriptive enough for them to attempt to read it. So let me try my best to describe in which the way I picked up the audiobook, was mesmerized by its tale and did not want it to end. As it's going to be a series I get to enjoy more of this world at a later date, but who knows if I may be able to make it until the next book is released before losing my mind!
            Aoife (ee-fa) our main character is strong-willed, hard-headed, scared and compassionate. She witnesses her mother going more crazy by the day, her brother who tried to kill her has ran away and she has only her best friend Cal who sticks by her side in a school where girls are scarce. 
           I have to admit that when I first saw the cover, with all the fairy stories traveling the young adult shelves these days I was curious as to a fairy story steampunk novel. This book was so much more than any fairy story I have read. I read and loved the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, but compared to those books this story was dark, dirty and bloodier and when the fairy appears for a short period, he's dark, sinister and dangerous. It is really difficult to say this book is a fairy story because it's so much more, the mechanical creatures, magic and the city make it more than that.
          The engine that is below the city, the proctors who run the city, the strange dirty/gothic feel you get from the setting and Aoife's travels makes this story dark and haunted. Aoife travels to her fathers house with her best friend Cal and their guide Dean to try to find her brother who has sent a message that only reads "Help" at the house that looks abandoned they find a maid hiding in one of the rooms who tells them that Aoife's father and brother have been taken away, both by different types of creatures and she is alone. The house has magical powers of its own and soon Aoife is meeting strange creatures, communicating with the house and taken into strange lands enshrouded by mist.
          Overall this amazing story was evenly paced, well developed and leaves the imagination open to imagine several ways in which the author may take this story into the next books in this series. I for one hope that this Iron Codex Series lasts for as long as possible, there are so many twists, people, creatures and worlds yet to explore in this world and I hope that it takes the author several more books to get us through.
The Iron Thorn (The Iron Codex)
I have noticed that Tynga has a wonderful author interview with Caitlin Kittridge about this book and herself I think you should check out. http://tyngasreviews.blogspot.com/2011/03/psb-interview-giveaway-with-caitlin.html

Friday, March 18, 2011

She Said/She Saw by Norah McClintock

Description from Goodreads.com
Tegan was in the backseat when her two best friends were gunned down in front of her. Was it an argument over drugs? An ongoing feud? Or something more random? Tegan says she didn't see who did it. Or know why. Nobody will believe her. Not the police; not her friends; not the families of the victims; and not even Kelly, her own sister. Is she afraid that the killer will come back? Or does she know more than she is saying?

Shunned at school and feeling alone, Tegan must sort through her memories and try to decide what is real and what is imagined. And in the end she must decide whether she has the strength to stand up and do the right thing



My thoughts through most of this book were "why is she not seeing a therapist" and "what about hypnosis" Although only one of these questions I had were touched upon, I spent most of this book thinking that her going back to school almost immediately after witnessing a double murder,and her mother and sister mostly exhibiting an uncaring attitude towards the situation was somewhat unrealistic.
The interesting part of this book is that it switches perspectives between the sisters in rotating chapters. Tegan's story is written in a normal novel format but Kelly's chapters are written as a reality show script type of writing. I have never seen anything like this before and found reading it was a very unique experience.
Overall this short novel was full of intense drama, interesting writing style and the constant question until the last page "what did she see?"

   Publishers Website http://www.orcabook.com/contributorinfo.cfm?ContribID=140
Additional Books by this author http://www.web.net/~nmbooks/books.htm

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cover Reveal Crossed by Ally Condie

CrossedSo I'm sitting here reading my twitter feed and d'oh! Ally Condie posted her cover reveal yesterday and I
missed it! Here is the cover she posted at her web site http://www.allysoncondie.com/2011/03/the-cover-of-crossed/



She also said on twitter that it's available now for pre-order   Crossed

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Author Interview: Margaret Peot & GIVEAWAY!

Inkblot




Today I had the pleasure of asking Margaret Peot about her book :
Who was your major influence with your love for inkblots, your parents or a teacher?


My mother saved the inkblot book I made when I was five years old, and presented it to me when I told her that I was writing an inkblot book. Then, in high school, my art teacher, Ardis Macaulay, showed me how to draw into inkblots. I have made inkblots since then—for thirty years—for inspiration, for comfort, for meditation, to generate artwork and ideas for artwork. My paintings and woodcuts include a lot of creatures, and sometimes they are derived from a creature that appeared at first in an inkblot. Later, when I started to write more, I used inkblots as a springboard for writing—to describe what I saw in an inkblot, what kind of creatures, if they were interacting, what they might say to one another.


Age 5


Who is your intended audience for this book, kids, parents, teachers?

The best combination of students I ever had in an inkblot class, was a small class that included three mothers and their teenage kids. It was not in the class description, it was just coincidental (I think I told the organizers that the class was appropriate for ages 13 and up). But the fact that all the different ages of people were at the same level—making and interacting with their inkblots, joking around with each other, seeing what the others saw and made—it was magical. So, while the focus of the book is kids—I think it would be cool if they did some inkblots with the adults in their lives.



How often do you find yourself using the inkblot strategy to get a creativity spurt?

I make inkblots at least once a week. Sometimes I make a short stack of small ones to take with me on the subway to draw into, sometimes I make several big round ones. Recently, I have been making 20 x 20 inch squares that I pour dirty (painty) water on, dab off, drip ink onto, put on the floor and drip water into that—then let dry, and use those as surfaces to draw into—planet-like things. The jellyfish-looking thing in this planet picture is also a small inkblot that I collaged onto the paper.


Jellyfish Planet


What is your favorite inkblot method and why?

I love the elegance and simplicity of the single-fold inkblot—the kind we know from Rorschach fame—drip ink and water, fold in half, unfold. I think they are gorgeous. And I love that, despite the seemingly random mark-making process, that the inkblots look like their maker made them—each is as distinct as each inkblot artist.

 Round

My blog is focused towards Young Adults, do you have any further advice or info you'd like to add?

Not counting the ones I made when I was five years old, I have been making inkblots in earnest for thirty years! If someone had told me when I was a teenager that I would be making them for that long, I would assume they had lost their marbles. I learned a lot of art-making techniques over the years, but the one that has stuck, that I keep coming back to, is the one I learned when I was your age.

Keep an open mind, try lots of things in your art-making and life, make things, and don’t be bound by other people’s ideas of what art is, or what good drawing is. Most of what makes good art is the ability to see and assess what is in front of you.

Book's Website http://www.theinkblotbook.com/   
Author's Website http://www.margaretpeot.com/
And Thank you Margaret for taking the time to answer my questions!

I hope you enjoyed reading the interview and found the art work as beautiful as I did. I have to say my favorite is Jellyfish Planet. Do you see yourself practicing this type of artwork to boost creativity? The book is available now for purchase. Inkblot
Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of INKBLOT to giveaway to one random lucky commenter on this post, US and Canadian mailing addresses only please. Just leave your email in the comment (Giveaway closes on March 25th at Noon) (NOW CLOSED)

          Congratulations to Kelly! (Butterflyboo) 
                                                       I have sent you an email!  




Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Getting the Pretty Back by Molly Ringwald

   Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick  Here's another go at the chicklit challenge hosted by http://chicklitplus.com/    and FYI I would 100% recommend this book to her, Samantha this book seems right up your alley and I think you should pick it up!


The iconic Molly Ringwald shares intimate stories and candid advice in this fun, stylish, and sexy girlfriend's guide to life

To her millions of fans, Molly Ringwald will forever be sixteen. As the endearing and witty star of the beloved John Hughes classics Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink, Molly defined teenage angst, love, and heartbreak. While remembered eternally as the enviable high school princess Claire, or the shy, vulnerable Samantha, Molly has just celebrated her fortieth birthday. Facing a completely new, angst-inducing time in her life, she is embracing being a woman, wife, mother of three, actress, and best friend with her trademark style, candor, and humor.
In Getting the Pretty Back, Molly encourages every woman to become "the sexiest, funniest, smartest, best-dressed, and most confident woman that you can be." She shares personal anecdotes and entertaining insights about the struggle to get through the murky milestones and identity issues that crop up long after the prom ends. Whether she's discussing sex and beauty, personal style, travel and entertaining, motherhood, or friendship, Molly embodies the spirit of being fabulous at every age, and reminds us all that prettiness is a state of mind: it's "the part of you that knows what you really want, that takes risks."
Lavishly illustrated by Ruben Toledo, Getting the Pretty Back is sure to charm women of all ages with Molly's unforgettably personal, refreshingly outspoken take on life, love, and, of course, finding that perfect red lipstick. . . .
   
While I did grow up watching Molly Ringwald's films, I chose to give this book a try for the challenge because she's also in my biggest guilty pleasure tv show The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I flip-flopped on how I felt about this book. I felt that some of her talk on makeup, clothes and dinner parties was more common sense than anything, but she does share some interesting and good thoughts on the subjects as well. I have to say my favorite part was her discussing the difference between making time with friends and family to actually meet up face to face over just sending text messages and twitter.
    She enjoyes cooking and Paris, both of which I really did not know that about her, so I did get to learn more about the person behind the tv screen and her surviving the entertainment world as a child star into adulthood. Overall a 100% chick lit book.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A girls guide to falling in love with a Zombie by Richard Denney


Description from Goodreads.com
Rebecca Willis is a 17 year old survivor of a zombie pandemic who’s still in love with her high school crush Lance Tanner, who just happens to be be a zombie. But when things begin to threaten her ties with Lance she must choose over saving her own life & the lives of her friends or saving her zombie.(With a pop of comedy, horror, romance & suspense! Debut Author Richard Denney takes you to a new zombie-level with the first book in the two part series!) 
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10173092-a-girl-s-guide-to-falling-in-love-with-a-zombie 


My friend and fellow youtuber Richard Denney was nice enough to send me a signed copy of his novella. It's only about 40 pages long and I got a chance last night to finally pick it up to read before bed. It was cute, humorous and entertaining. I of course finished it asking myself "what happens next" but I know the story will continue in book 2 and will have to pick it up soon. 
    As some of you know I have not had much luck with Zombie stories, I have not found one that I really enjoyed, also I usually shy away from any kind of romance. This story of course contained BOTH. I have to say that I am giving it 4 stars because the fact that it was short. The action kept rolling and there was enough drama and things going on that it did not drag or have time to lack in story or pace. 


Here is a link to Richard's Youtube channel, he also does book hauls (In my mailbox) and book reviews of other books he's read. http://www.youtube.com/user/DevvourBookReviews 


He has many more short stories coming out this year and it would be great to have all his stories put into an anthology one day. So check it out!