Thursday, February 23, 2012


A ton of links!
Hope you get some eggrolls, hippy love, and good books this weekend,
See ya next Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


October 18th, 2007 - Razorbill
Synopsis: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.

Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the world over. It's an unrelenting modern classic.

Instead of going on some mondo-tirade about why you should read it, with paragraphs and gushing, I'll list thirteen reasons why.

1. You will laugh.

2. You might cry. (I almost did.)

3. The writing is so beautiful, and so real.

4. The turns.

5. You're overcome with billions of different emotions as you read.

6. Even though you already know she's already gone through with suicide, you have hope in the end.

7. The characters: Love them. Hate them. Adore them. Want to bludgeon them.

8. That ENDING!

9. How it doesn't jump between scenes, but is one continual story being told, save for the first and last chapter.

10. You love Clay. He's such a sweetheart, and you feel his pain.

11. Although it's heartbreaking, it's such an amazing look into the mind of a spiraling teen.

12. You had to guess how the next story was going to get possibly worse.

13. Hannah.

See ya on Friday,

p.s. Tickets can now be pre-ordered for THE HUNGER GAMES movie. I love going to midnight showings, so I think I'm going to buy mine soon. Also, to piggyback onto the ticket sales opening, the music video for the Taylor Swift (feat. The Civil Wars) song, "Safe & Sound", which I adore and have listened to a ton of times. I think it's probably going to play in one of the cave scenes... The album has been released, and it's entitled "The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond".

Here's the line-up for the soundtrack, which has been taken from (which is a fantastic review site!):

1. Arcade Fire “Abraham’s Daughter”

2. The Secret Sisters “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder”

3. Neko Case “Nothing To Remember”

4. Taylor Swift “Safe & Sound ft. The Civil Wars”

5. Kid Cudi “The Ruler and The Killer”

6. Punch Brothers “Dark Days”

7. The Decemberists “One Engine”

8. The Carolina Chocolate Drops “Daughter’s Lament”

9. The Civil Wars “Kingdom Come”

10. Glen Hansard “Take The Heartland”

11. Maroon 5 ft. Rozzi Crane “Come Away To The Water”

12. Miranda Lambert “Run Daddy Run ft. Pistol Annies”

13. Jayme Dee “Rules”

14. Taylor Swift “Eyes Open”

15. The Low Anthem “Lover Is Childlike”

16. Birdy “Just A Game”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

LEGEND by Marie Lu

November 29th, 2011 - Putnam
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths--until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

I had a B&N gift card from Christmas, and with much decision, I finally purchased this a little while back. It got pushed beneath other books in my TBR pile, and didn't come up until recently, but it finally did.

I've heard so much hype about this, and I was really excited, especially since the author is rep'd by the literary agent Kristin Nelson, whose blog I stalk obsessively, and you should too. So basically, I was happy. I sat down, took the jacket off (I do that because I'm OCD when it comes to books, and so I don't let "le precious" covers get dirty/scratched/pooped on by birds/burned by dragons/etc.), and prepared to read. At first I was like:

It was an off world, where America was a republic, and was severed between east and west. In the east, the good ol' Republic, and in the west, a rebel movement called "the Colonies". Immediately, I was caught by the author's political side to the story (a war torn America where rations of food, water, and electricity are at the bare minimum). But I also thought it was a little ridiculous that this was (yet again) another dystopian where there's a virus ravaging the nation. Now, I'm all for zombie-viruses. I mean, look at Carrie Ryan's THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH series. That's cool and all. But this isn't a zombie novel. It's supposed to be a realistic dystopian. So I was a little ticked with that. But I moved on, because I thought it was going to get better. Just one cliche, right?

Then the perspective moved from Day, the criminal, to this girl, June. I really liked her voice, but I felt that her situation was so cliche, as well. Her parents happened to be killed in a car crash years earlier, and she was getting in trouble at her school, and her uptight, who's super protective, comes to get her. What ensues is his taking her back home, during what seemed like a very forced conversation. It was also, again, cliche. It went something like this:

Older brother: "I was worried sick about you."
June: "It's fine. Come on."
Older brother: "I was at my job that I'm now going to give too much of a detailed name to, so the reader knows where I work and what I do, when I suddenly got a phone call from the school. Why do you keep on getting in trouble."
June: "I'm sorry. I love you. Don't be mad."

It was really annoying.

To give some backstory on how I read, I'll explain.... I swear I was born to be a tough literary agent or editor or something like that, because I'm a tough reader that don't take no crap. If a story/story's writing grabs me in 10 pages, I keep reading. If it doesn't, I put it down. I go until page 30, and if it lets go then, I put it down. I go until page 100, and if it lets go then, I put it down. After that, I don't stop until it's finished, unless it becomes like a STAB-MYSELF-THIS-BOOK-IS-SO-HORRENDOUS book. This book was an exception to my rule because I'd just heard so many good things. I was excited.

But I had to keep forcing myself to read. I read many books at a time, and the story just wasn't grabbing me, nor the writing, and so I went on to other books. I kept reading in short stunts, until I just stopped at around page 100, and realized.....

I really don't like saying bad things about books, especially when the book is a debut, but I really am kind of angry that this book has gotten so much praise. I don't understand it. Liked I said, it was full of cliches, the dialogue felt forced, but there were other things too. There was barely any description of the Republic. There was light grazing of the cityscape, and then there was some description of a school, but there was never any real gripping information about the world they lived in. One tiny tiny tiny thing that also annoyed me, was how June's brother Metias is killed. I think in the book, it says that a knife was thrown at his shoulder... Wait a second. He's supposed to be a BA lieutenant kind of guy for this war-monger society, and he dies from a shoulder wound?

Alright, well, my negative rant is over. Again, I don't like saying mean things about debut books, but I seriously do wonder how in the world it got so much acclaim.

See ya on Friday!


Friday, February 10, 2012

New Capitol Pictures + Beautiful Creatures + Old Publishing News

Hey y'all! So, I saw this picture of the Capitol from THE HUNGER GAMES movie:

In other news, the book BEAUTIFUL CREATURES is being adapted into a film (you can read my review of it here). Well, the character Amma has been casted. Viola Davis, who played Aibileen in the movie adaption of THE HELP (my book review, here), was chosen. This kind of works because she's a maid in BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, and she's a maid in THE HELP. Weird.

Alright, so some news I saw on, old and new...

October, 2011 - Holly Black signs deal for a "single, fat stand-alone book" about vampires. Synop: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is set in the not-so-distant future, where the vampire population has surged, resulting in the establishment of Coldtowns, quarantined cities of vampires and humans where predator and prey coexist in a never-ending blood party of revelry. These isolated meccas of debauchery are the pillars of pop culture, with vlogs, live feeds, and YouTube videos constantly streaming from the endless parties at vampire mansions. Drawn into this bizarre and dangerous world is Tana, who willingly enters Coldtown with an infected ex-boyfriend on the brink of turning and a mysterious vampire with a tortured past intent on seeking revenge.

February, 2012 - (In case you hadn't already heard) Maggie Stiefvater has revealed the cover
and synop of her the first book in her new four books series called "THE RAVEN CYCLE". Synop: Filled with mystery, romance, and the supernatural, The Raven Boys introduces readers to Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey, III and Blue Sargent. Gansey has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on the hunt to find Glendower, a vanished Welsh king. Legend has it that the first person to find him will be granted a wish—either by seeing him open his eyes, or by cutting out his heart.

Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there—known as Raven Boys—can only mean trouble. When Gansey and his Raven Boy friends come into her life, Blue realizes how true this is. She never thought her fortune would be a problem. But she was wrong.

Maggie finished up her NYT bestselling series THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS series last year, and her standalone book, THE SCORPIO RACES, came out not long after. Also LOVE the cover.

February, 2012 - Lemony Snicket is returning to the book world with a new 4-book series chronicling his odd childhood. Synop: Drawing on events that took place during a period of his youth spent in a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, Snicket chronicles his experiences as an apprentice in an organization nobody knows about. While there, he began to ask a series of questions—wrong questions that should not have been on his mind. Who Could That Be at This Hour? is Snicket’s account of the first wrong question.

Alright, see ya on Friday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WONDERSTRUCK by Brian Selznick

September 13th, 2011 - Scholastic
Synopsis: From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.

Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

I really, really, really enjoyed THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET (you can read my review here), because it was enthralling and it had twists and turns, and I just felt so wonderful being in a 1930's Paris train station. The magic of silent films, the clockwork in the walls, the automaton. *Sigh...* The movie was also fantastic, and so if you haven't seen it, I also suggest you do.

But the weird is.... I liked this more. It seemed to have so much, as we jumped from 1927, to 1977. Not only was it so cool that the 1977 part of the story was told in only words, and the 1927 part of the story was told in only pictures, but there was actually a big reason for it. There's something about these characters (I can't say what, lest it ruin a big chunk of the book) that makes it so that the medians that are used for each of their stories, the only kind that could be used. It'd make sense if you read it.

I loved seeing the 1920's story because it was so interesting, and the pictures were just so GORGEOUS!!!! But the 1970's story was so detailed because it was writing, so I loved that.

I can't say much, but I will say that the story is about 1920's talkie films, museums, city dioramas, and finding your place in the world. It was a really sweet and wonderful story. It's really good, and I definitely recommend it, even if you're not into middle grade, or even picture books, or 'finding your purpose books'. But I'm not really, either, but I still loved it.

Alright, see ya on Friday,

Friday, February 3, 2012

THE HUNGER GAMES Trailer Number Dos

Oh, wow. This new trailer really just affirms my thoughts that this is probably going to be the most accurate book-to-movie adaption everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. LOOK AT EVERYTHING! WOULD YOU JUST LOOK AT IT!? Everything is exactly like the book! Number dos:

I love how you see more of the Reaping, more of Caesar, and more of the Capitol!

Happy Hunger Games,
See ya on Wednesday,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins

August 24th, 2010 - Scholastic
I would include the synop, but it has such big spoilers!

Wow.... The series is over for me. There are no more books to read in the world of Panem.... This is an extremely odd feeling.

Because I can't say much about the book without dropping spoilers, I'm going to state some very vague opinions, and then I'm going to write my real, spoiler-filled opinions at the bottom, so if you want to read them, scroll, scroll, scroll!

Well. This book. Was. Different from the rest of the series. Of course, the book was amazing, and, of course, I loved the characters, but I kind of felt that Katniss was a little whiny throughout it all. Towards the end, her whininess felt justified and I actually liked it, because instead of just whining, she was actually in a situation where her cynicism counted, and she had to doubt all possibilities in order to fight.

It was sad. Duh.

Now, anyway, here are my spoiler-filled comments:


OMG. First of all, the book wouldn't have been as good if Prim hadn't died. Or if Finnick lived, or if anybody that died lived. I never actually cried, but got very close when the kids right before her died. I already knew that she was going to die, because friend's had been little bratty spoilers. I also love how fast the ending is. I loved the way that when the second bomb, which kills Prim, goes off in the Capital Circle around President Snow's mansion, it knocks out Katniss, and she basically misses the crescendo of the war. I don't know why, I just really thought that was a great and interesting take on it.

But here are my problems with this book- IT'S SLOW!!!! Sure, stuff happened before they got to the Capitol, but it all happened under the same circumstances and either in District 13, or in some gray ashy battlefield. Nothing interesting really happened until they got to the Capitol, and only then, when they finally set off the first few pods. That's when it got exciting! Travelling between colorful apartment buildings as crazy pods are set off. Running through sewers with a man who can't speak as your only guide. Genetically mutated lizard-things that smell of roses trying to decapitate you! And then the second bomb went off. It was going, going, going. The story was going a 1,000 MPH, and I loved it! And although President Coin needed to die, I thought that the way they just threw Katniss into her old room at the Training Center was boring. And then it gets even more boring as she goes off again as she's sent to live in District 12. Sadness, grief, annoying gray stuff. It's not until the epilogue that it's even interesting again.

I will give this to Suzanne Collins though: That epilogue was so amazing. The last line was the absolutely perfect finale for THE HUNGER GAMES Trilogy. I love the last line:

"But there are much worse games to play."

See ya tomorrow,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

INKHEART + RECKLESS by Cornelia Funke

September 23rd, 2003 - Scholastic
Synopsis: One cruel night, Meggie's father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART-- and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever.
This is INKHEART--a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Dare to read it aloud.

I'd be pretty surprised if you liked middle grade or YA books, and you didn't know who Cornelia Funke (pronounced "foon-ka"). She's a German children's books writer who always writes this big fantasy stories filled with magic.

In INKHEART, you immediately feel for the characters. You feel for Meggie and her love for books and her father. You completely understand the mom-shaped hole in her heart, despite how wonderful Mo is at being a father. He shares the love of reading-even more intensely. In fact, it's his profession: Travelling places and taking the old books that were once leatherbound beauties and giving them new spines and covers and hinges and heads and tails, and makes them new again.

The story is wonderful, as well. It's filled with so much magic, and every page seems to have some underlying theme enchantments and spells. The guns, the fairies, the writers, the German hideout, the castle, the words, etc. All of it is just fantastic. But I can't help but focusing on Cornelia Funke's writing. In fact, all of her books have this really descriptive (but not overly descriptive) flowy writing that could be read at a poetry club meeting, but this series specifically is re-enforced with extra prose-beauty. I think it's because these books are about the power of words and stories, and so she decided to hone in on that. Also, if you're not one for flowy writing, at least take a look at the beginning of each chapter, where she starts it off with a great quote from classics like THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Really, this is a classic. You should definitely read it if you haven't already.


September 14th, 2010 - Little Brown
Synopsis: Ever since Jacob Reckless was a child, he has been escaping to a hidden world through a portal in his father's abandoned study. Over the years, he has made a name for himself as a finder of enchanted items and buried secrets. He's also made many enemies and allies--most important, Fox, a beautiful shape-shifting vixen whom Jacob cares for more than he lets on.

But life in this other world is about to change. Tragedy strikes when Jacob's younger brother, Will, follows him through the portal. Brutally attacked, Will is infected with a curse that is quickly transforming him into a Goyl--a ruthless killing machine, with skin made of stone.

Jacob is prepared to fight to save his brother, but in a land built on trickery and lies, Jacob will need all the wit, courage, and reckless spirit he can summon to reverse the dark spell--before it's too late.

This book is very different from every book I've ever ever ever ever read. It's just so different. It's really amazing though. I felt like I was reading an insanely beautifully written screenplay for a Tim Burton film. It was exactly like a Tim Burton film: An enchanting fairy tale with mind-bendingly dark twists. One thing I typically don't like in books is when it says, "This person has this happen to them" in the jacket flap, and then you already know what's going to happen, so you have to wait for, like, 50 pages for it to happen, and when it finally does happen, it's really drawn out.

Well, Mrs. Funke doesn't do that.

She literally goes like this:
Prologue-Young, sad Jacob discovering mirror-world for first time. He decides to keep it a secret and start exploring.

Chapter One-For about a paragraph it's explained that Jacob's a treasure hunter (btw, he ain't no average Indian Jones-he goes for enchanted roses, magic handkerchiefs, and witchs' secrets), and then it goes into what's happening now, which is that Jacob's younger brother Will has already been attacked and is agonizing pain. Four sentences later, Jacob's like, "Let's go on a crazy adventure to find a cure for this dark fairy curse!"

The novel breaks all bounds that you could've thought a story like this has. There are a bagillion villians, thousands of deaths, crazy dark fairy tales, and alluring magic. Also, one of the things that I adored is that in most high fantasy novels, the magic world is all medieval-y, well, in this world, it's like America in the middle-to-late 1800's. Like muskets, and steam engine trains, and political shifting. This brings up another thing: I ADORED HOW MUCH IT HAD TO WITH GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS. Oh, it was so cool. It gave so much depth to a world that could've been like all other fantasy novels. 'Eh, we don't have to have a realistic ruling system. Let's just call ourselves queens and kings, and then we'll rule without any rebellions except for that ultra evil person living right around the corner who's probably going to declare a big battle on us. Magic can solve anything.'

.....And this is coming from a guy who loves THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. This world is realistically like a Civil War-American Era, but with magic. We've got an empress, a dying human population, a growing Goyl population, a crumbling economy, treaties, battles lost, political marriages, assassination plots. Like seriously. This junk be cray-cray.

The ONLY thing I had a problem with.... Is the ending. This would be in one of my top five favorite books ever if it weren't for that ending. Sure, it made me wonder about a few things, and I loved the characters and the world, so I'll buy the sequel whenever it comes out. But it was just kind of annoying. It was so awesome. And then the ending hit. Ugh. But you should still read it, because, ending aside, it was such an amazing book!!!!!!!!

See ya on Friday,
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