Monday, January 31, 2011

Month In Review: January 2011

I dare say this has been a successful month for me! As a start to the new year I've done pretty good on following my new year's resolutions. I've posted every day and I started doing discussion posts and some cover posts.

I read 14 books this month (3 of which were debuts) and reviewed 16. I had an interview with Jeanine Cummins and even managed to have an epiphany.

The following books are books I read this month.

  1. Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison 
  2. Forget You by Jennifer Echols 
  3. Remedial Magic by Jenna Black 
  4. My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent 
  5. Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl 
  6. Shadowspell by Jenna Black 
  7. My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking 
  8. XVI by Julia Karr (debut) 
  9. Immortal by Lauren Burd 
  10. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta 
  11. The Matchmakers by Jennifer Colgan 
  12. The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins 
  13. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (debut)
  14. Warped by Maurissa Guibord (debut) 
Unfortunately this month has also brought with it a reading slump. For about the past week and a half I just haven't been able to get into any books. Hopefully this will pass soon though! 

I hope you all had a wonderful January and a great start to the new year!  

Sunday, January 30, 2011

In My Mailbox (21)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie


Switched by Amanda Hocking
Forsaken by Keary Taylor 


The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (ARC)
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn**

*Thank you to Random Buzzers and Random House.
**I already own the e-book version, but I won a completed copy back in November and it just got here! You can see my review here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I've had an epiphany!

That's right my friends I have finally realized something and I thought it was worthy of being deemed an epiphany. 

It all started yesterday in the middle of my chemistry test. All of a sudden I realized that I really love contemporary YA fiction. Now some of you guys are thinking, "Kathryn, you specifically wrote on the blog that you like contemporary fiction. How is this an epiphany?" And this I shall explain. But to properly explain we must go back many years ago to a younger Kathryn (a seventh grade Kathryn).

When I was in seventh grade a very popular book series about sparkly vampires came out. Yes that's right...Kathryn was a twihard at one time. I will admit that after reading Twilight, and the rest of the series, I was a bit...obsessed. That being said I reread it many a time. This eventually led me to seek out books with similar plots in the paranormal genre.                                                                                                                                                     
I have, in fact, gotten over my obsession with the Twilight series. And here is where the story of my epiphany begins. Most of the books I like to read are paranormal books. That's because, as I mentioned earlier, I wanted to read more from that genre after reading Twilight. For a while paranormal books satisfied me, and they still do for the most part, but then I stumbled upon a book blog that had a review of a Sarah Dessen book. 

I had never heard of Sarah Dessen, but I did some research and saw that she had a new book coming out so I decided to buy it. (In case you're wondering it was Along for the Ride.) In a nut shell, I loved it. I realized that this book made me feel more of a connection with the characters because I could actually see these things happening in real life. 

Now you're thinking, "But Kathryn that book came out a while ago and you just had your epiphany the other day." This is because although I loved the new genre I had stumbled upon I was still more willing to live in the world of the supernatural. I liked the feeling that there could possibly be these weird creatures living around us. Now of course I knew full well they weren't real, but it's like hoping Hogwarts is real. You know it's not, but you wish it was. 

And now we are finally to the point of my epiphany. If you've noticed on the blog I've been reading a lot more contemporary fiction. These past few months I've discovered some amazing YA contemporary authors who have helped me to see that the grass just might be greener on the other side. And here's what my epiphany was really saying, it's not so much that I don't like paranormal/fantasy books, because I still do, but that I would much rather read a good contemporary book. If you had asked me a year ago I would have chosen a paranormal book any day. But then again reading tastes can change. Who knows, in a few months I could be writing about how much I love biographies (this is very unlikely though). 

Just so we can turn this into an actual "discussion post" instead of my story about an epiphany in the middle of chemistry I thought I'd share what I like about both the genres mentioned in this post. And because I'm a lazy person (even though I just wrote this entire post) I'm going to simply make some lists.

  • The fact that it's a contemporary novel makes it feel like these things could actually happen to me ad allow me to better connect with characters. 
  • They make me feel like I can be a different person. (This makes me sound very weird. I promise I'm not.)
  • I promise you there is much more than the two bullet points above as to why I love contemporary fiction, but it's late and I can't think.


  • It's nice to be able to zone out for a few hours with a book that lets you pretend you're in a different world.
  • Some paranormal creatures can be pretty awesome.
  • Paranormal books usually give me this idea that I've got some power that's been hidden my entire life and I'm going to become an extremely amazing supernatural being. (This usually leads to strange dreams and people thinking I'm weird.) 

So pretty much my epiphany has led me to the realization that I really love contemporary YA fiction. I still love paranormal (some of my favorite books and books I can't wait for are paranormal), but contemporary has found a place in my heart. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (3)

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books and is a fun way to find new blogs. Every week The Hop runs from Friday to Monday and there's always a book related question to answer. This week's question is:

 "What book are you most looking forward to seeing published in 2011?  Why are you anticipating that book?"

My Answer: I am super excited about Veronica Roth's debut novel Divergent. I've only seen a few reviews, but most of the people who received an ARC say that it's amazing. It's got a beautiful cover and the summary makes me think a bit of The Huger Games, which I loved. Plus it just looks like an overall interesting book. 

Cover Reveal: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Yesterday the cover to Myra McEntire's debut YA novel was revealed. And my was it a pretty one. Go ahead...take a gander.


"Since the age of fourteen, Emerson Cole has seen strange things – dead things – swooning Southern Belles, soldiers, and other eerie apparitions of the past. She’s tried everything to get rid of the visions: medication, counseling, asylums. Nothing’s worked.

So when Emerson's well-meaning brother calls in yet another consultant from a mysterious organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to give it one last try.

Michael Weaver is no ordinary consultant. He's barely older than she is; he listens like no one she's ever met before; and he doesn't make her feel the least bit crazy. As Emerson ventures deeper into the world of the Hourglass, she begins to learn the truth about her past, her future--and her very life.

A seductive time-slip novel that merges the very best of the paranormal and science fiction genres, Myra McEntire’s Hourglass is a stunning debut from an author to watch."


Now we all know that it sounds amazing. So let's talk about the cover. 

I will admit that it took me a second to see that she's actually standing on the wall and she's facing the floor. That alone would make me pick up this book. The model's position is great and although the colors are subdued they still stand out. I think it's safe to say that this cover is gorgeous and, if anything, has made me want this book even more. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cover Talk (2) Hardback to Paperback

Cover Talk is a post I do periodically to show off and talk about pretty covers I've found. I decided to do one about paperback reprints of books. Some of these have been out for a while and some have just come out recently. The original hardcover is to the right and the paperback reprint is to the left.

The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore 

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (20)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Summary from goodreads!

Crush Control by Jennifer Jabaley
June 23, 2011 

In CRUSH CONTROL, the daughter of a famous Las Vegas hypnotist learns the consequences of using hypnotism to make boys fall in love with her.


I'm sure there's a longer summary to come, but just that little bit has me intrigued. Plus this cover is BEAUTIFUL. It reminds me of Jennifer's other novel Lipstick Apology (which I still need to read!). 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

Title: You Wish
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Published: August 5, 2010 by Razorbill 
Pages: 284/Paperback 
Overall: 3 out of 5

Summary: Kayla McHenry's sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla's secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin' do.

Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year's supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla's wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride . . . but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend's boyfriend.

Review: You Wish was such a fun book! It was fast moving, had great characters, and it had a wonderfully original plot.

This is the first book I've ever read where birthday wishes actually come true, and the originality of the book alone made me love it. I wish there had been a little more explanation as to how the wishes were granted as well as a little more character development, but overall I loved this book.

Kayla was so funny. I enjoyed reading all about her adventures with Nicole and loved the fact that their friendship was realistic. It had its problems and they grew apart a bit, but being the friends they are, they made it work. I wanted to know more about Ben. He was in the book quite a bit, but I didn't feel any kind of connection to him or like I knew him at all. 

I think it took Kayla a bit longer than necessary to figure out what was going on, but hey, magically having your wished granted wouldn't really be that high up on my list of possible explanations for weird things happening. 

Over all this was a very fast fun read. It had a bit of everything: romance, friendship, family, and magical birthday wishes. It was well written and paced and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fast funny read. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: Warped by Maurissa Guibord

Title: Warped
Author: Maurissa Guibord 
Published: January 11, 2011 by Delacorte Press 
Pages: 254/e-book for Nook 
Overall: 4 out of 5
Source: My personal library
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge 

Summary: Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.

Review: This book has a little bit of everything: dragons, tapestries, witches, and a lot more. Unfortunately it wasn't as developed as it could have been.

I loved loved loved the concept of Warped. It was original and was truly something that I've never seen in YA. It took about half of the book to get to the plot, but once it was there it was awesome. There was almost constant action, but it was a bit choppy. It seemed like one thing would happen and then it'd skip to something else happening. 

I didn't feel a connection with any of the characters, but they were still good for the story and helped move things along. The different perspectives also allowed for a little more knowledge as to what was going on. I do wish that there had been more development on the Fates and the Wyrd. Will and Tessa's (I'm having having Clockwork Angel flashbacks) relationship was also not as developed as I had hoped. I could tell that they had a connection, I just wish it had been shown better. Opal was an amazing best friend. I really wanted more of her in the book. She was funny and was a great companion to Tessa. 

I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. It seemed to me that Tessa accepted everything too easily. But then again she had been dealing with it throughout the book. I gather from the epilogue that there's going to be a sequel and I must say I'm looking forward to it. I really want to find out if Tessa holds any power as a weaver. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (20)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie

For Review:

Red Moon Rising by Pete Moore
*Thank you to Disney Publishing Worldwide


Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (my review
Eon by Alison Goodman
The Matchmakers by Jennifer Colgan (e-book)
Warped by Maurissa Guibord (e-book) 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Published: January 4, 2011 by Harper Teen
Pages: 435/Hardcover
Series: Unearthly #1
Overall: 5 out of 5
Source: My personal library
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge

Summary: Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Review: One of the best things about this book was the fact that going into the book Clara already knows she's part angel. We don't have to read half the book to see her realize what she is. And Clara herself is an amazing character. For most of the book she's training mentally and physically to fulfill her purpose. At first she's not very strong, but she perseveres and that's one of the things that I love about her. Also, at first it seems like she's going into her purpose blind, but she refuses to stay in the dark. When she has questions about something her mom's not always a fountain of information, but she still refuses to let it go. 

This leads me to her friends. I loved how Clara had a normal friend and then an angel friend. It let her experience normal life and also learn more about her angel-blood abilities. I wish we had learned more about Christian but he still seemed well rounded as a character. And Tucker, oh Tucker. If this becomes one of those book series with teams I am going to have to be team Tucker. He's so sweet and just overall adorable. 

The plot itself is very interesting. It puts a new twist on angels and doesn't go with the old cliches. The plot is mainly about Clara finding out what her purpose is, and also about her making friends and her relationships with Christian and Tucker. I was definitely thrown for a loop when her purpose finally came and you find out what the outcome of it was, but I was happy with the ending. It was, to say the least, satisfying. You're left kind of confused like Clara, but not unbearably so, and it makes me very antsy to get my hands on the next in the series. 

Overall this was an AMAZING book. If you haven't read it then you need to...NOW. Plus, look at the cover! It's such a pretty cover! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

(summary from gooreads)

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, a boys' school that's pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom.  Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an an impossibly dorky accordion player.  The boys are no better, from Thomas who specializes in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.

Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, along, and without an inkling who she really is.  Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.

Review: Now, granted, this is only the second book of Melina's that I've read, but in my eyes she can do know wrong when it comes to writing. That being said, it's safe to say that I adored this book. 

All of the characters, even if they weren't the main ones, had personalities and were amazingly written. I felt like I could go to an Australian Catholic school and meet all of these people. It's amazing how Melina's characters can have a perfect balance. They can go form laughing and having fun to being put in a serious position and it all seems natural. None of it comes across as forced or fake. 

Along with the characters being balanced, the plot was also nicely balanced. There was enough romance, but no too much, as well as a good amount of family intrigue. The emotions in this book were also wonderfully written. Let's just say that they definitely fit the situations. And no I didn't cry, but I did come close.

Overall this is yet another astounding novel from Melina Marchetta and if, for some reason, you still have not read her work you need to go and do so immediately. 

Source: Local library

Published: May 9, 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Author Interview: Jeanine Cummins

Jeanine Cummins

The Outside Boy
A Rip in Heaven


Ireland, 1959: Young Christy Hurley is a Pavee gypsy, traveling with his father and extended family from town to town, carrying all their worldly possessions in their wagons. Christy carries with him a burden of guilt as well, haunted by the story of his mother's death in childbirth. The peripatetic life is the only one Christy has ever known, but when his grandfather dies, everything changes. His father decides to settle down temporarily in a town where Christy and his cousin can attend mass and receive proper schooling. But they are still treated as outsiders.

As Christy's exposure to a different life causes him to question who he is and where he belongs, the answer may lie with an old newspaper photograph and a long-buried family secret that could change his life forever...

When did you realize you wanted to be an author? 

I always knew I wanted to write.  I wrote my first book when I was about six years old, about a little girl who skateboards across America.  But when I was little, I also wanted to be an archaeologist, a veterinarian, and architect, and a jockey, among other things.  In high school, I started to realize that I had some potential as a writer, and I decided to pursue it in college, but I still didn't think I would be able to do it for a living.  Working in publishing for ten years made me realize that it wasn't a total pipe-dream, that people actually do write books for a living.  So that was the experience that made me feel like I could really BE an author.

What was the inspiration for The Outside Boy? Was it all your time spent in Ireland? 

Certainly living in Ireland piqued my interest in the travellers.  I was always fascinated by their culture - they seemed like a people so full of anomalies.  As a sub-culture, their relationship to the larger, surrounding population was interesting to me as well.  It's a precarious balance, living the way they do.  But ultimately, what drew them to me was their foreignness - the fact that I didn't fully understand them.  After writing my first book, A RIP IN HEAVEN (which was a memoir of a violent crime), I needed to write something with some emotional distance.  I chose gypsies in Ireland because I thought they would afford me that distance, but of course, as happens in writing fiction, that emotional distance soon dried up, and those characters became as real and close to me as family.

Did you have any real life inspiration for your characters? 

Sure, lots.  None of the characters is based on a single individual in real life, but most of them are amalgamations of people I know.  My main character in particular, Christy, has a lot of my own psychology.  Even though he's an almost-12-year-old gypsy boy living in Ireland in the 1950s, he's also me.  He shares many of my fears and my griefs, and even my triumphs.  I think it's impossible to escape that, in fiction.  No matter how you dress up the characters, you still end up writing the kind of humanity that's familiar to you.  The psychology and relationships of the writer's emotional landscape always show up on the page.

 Do you have a specific place, like an office, where you do your writing?

Yes, I have a home office, and I'm usually holed up in there three days a week, though I do take breaks to breastfeed my 5-month-old.  I'm lucky to have childcare in my own home, so I can still do that during the day.  Sometimes I'll go to a cafĂ© or a library, to escape the Powerful Distractions of the Internet.

 I know that you also have a memoir, A Rip in Heaven. Did you have a different writing process for your novel than for your memoir? 

Yes, very much.  Writing the memoir involved a lot more weeping.  But writing the memoir was easier in some ways - I didn't have to worry too much about plot, for example, because the story already existed, I just had to find a shape and a voice for it.  But emotionally, it was much more difficult - I had to learn things in my research that I didn't want to learn.  And then there was a lot of emotional fallout for my family, with that book - everyone has different memories, and different coping mechanisms for dealing with their grief (mine being writing).  So it was hard for some of my family to endure the publicity of that publication.  The novel was a lot more difficult to craft, but the writing process for fiction (while still emotionally trying, at times) involved a lot more JOY.  Writing fiction is a liberation. 

 If you weren't a writer what would be your ideal job?

It's funny how often people ask this question, and I still can't manage a satisfactory answer.  I think I would enjoy being Pope.  I'm mostly kidding, but I am Catholic and, as any thinking person would, I have some problems with today's church.  But Catholicism is still part of my cultural identity, and I (unlike many people) have had mostly good experiences with my faith.  I feel like being Pope would give me some magical powers of restoration, and I would be able to fix all of the hearts that have been broken by religion.  If I was Pope, I would give away free cupcakes and liquor at mass, and I would offer pony rides for children, and I would not discourage people from being gay or from wearing their football jerseys to church.  I would be a very happy and inclusive Pope.  Plus, I'd be the first girl-Pope.  Rock on.

 If you could have any exotic animal as a pet which would you have and why? 

Oh, gosh.  Definitely not a koala bear.  I hear they're mean.  Perhaps a monkey of some kind?  But that's probably everybody's answer.  Hmmm.  I would like to have a mermaid,  even though they are half-human, and therefore, probably don't qualify as pets.  And I would only really like to have one if she was able to transfer to me the temporary ability to breathe underwater, so that I could go to the bottom of the ocean and visit her exotic underwater city.  That would be terrifying and awesome and fun.

Thanks for the interview Jeanine!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (19)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Summary and cover from goodreads!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
September 27, 2011

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a 
hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. 

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember 

that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is. 

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been 

through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.


Does a book with a cover or summary like that really need a reason for why I'm waiting on it? 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review: The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins

(summary from goodreads)

A poignant debut novel of an Irish gypsy boy's childhood in the 1950's by the author of the bestselling memoir A Rip in Heaven.

Ireland, 1959: Young Christy Hurley is a Pavee gypsy, traveling with his father and extended family from town to town, carrying all their worldly possessions in their wagons. Christy carries with him a burden of guilt as well, haunted by the story of his mother's death in childbirth. The peripatetic life is the only one Christy has ever known, but when his grandfather dies, everything changes. His father decides to settle down temporarily in a town where Christy and his cousin can attend mass and receive proper schooling. But they are still treated as outsiders.

As Christy's exposure to a different life causes him to question who he is and where he belongs, the answer may lie with an old newspaper photograph and a long-buried family secret that could change his life forever...

Review: What initially drew me to this book was the fact that it was a historical novel and that it had family secrets. Family secrets are always fun. What I found was amazing for completely different reasons. 

The Outside Boy started out slow moving and stayed that way for most of the book, but the characters were what kept it moving along. This was truly a character based book and without them it would not have been as good. Christy is the main character and has a lot of internal thought and monologues going on. The reader truly sees what it's like to live as a traveler in a society where travelers are shunned. Christy's friends added humor when needed but also served as serious characters at times. His family really showed the reader what his life is like and how they deal with work and living as travelers. 

I was truly shocked by the revelation of what happened to Christy's mom. I think that, besides the characters, the ending really said something about the book. By finding out what happened to his mom Christy had to make a choice of how he was going to live the rest of his life. That's a pretty big decision for a 12 year old to make, but through Jeanine's amazing writing you see that as a gypsy Christy has to be more mature and learn how to deal with life, and this, at least for me, shed some light on why he made the choice he did. 

Overall this was a great historical novel. It was sow moving throughout but give it some time and you'll be happy you did.

Source: Finished copy received from publisher

Published: June 1, 2010 by New American Library 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

(summary and cover from goodreads)

London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza's dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady's maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant's world below-stairs as well as the trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen?

Meticulously based on newly discovered information, this riveting novel is as rich in historical detail as Catherine, Called Birdy, and as sizzling with intrigue as The Luxe.

Review: If you like historical fiction you will love this book. It was wonderful! One of the best historical fiction novels I've read in a while. 

I loved Liza! She had a hard time adapting to her being a maid which made her easy for me to connect with because it gave some real emotion. She came from upper society and was privileged. But when that was taken away she had a hard time adjusting but she did it because she had to. Also, she didn't back down from tough situations. She knew what was right and was going to fight for it. 

Inside Boy was a wonderful little guy. He added some humor to the story and also helped to show what it was like in the palace when no one knows you're there. I felt like Will was in the story but at the same time it felt like he wasn't. His character didn't seem as developed as it could have been, So when he was mentioned or was in a scene I felt more like he was just being mentioned than actually being there (I know, I'm confusing). 

The great thing about this book was its historical aspect. Michaela did a great job with her research, and I particularly like the journal entries from Liza and Victoria. One thing that really endeared this book to me was the romance. I liked that it didn't dominate the story. The princess's problems were in the forefront and the romance was a bit of a side story. But even being a side story it seemed very well developed, for being a courtship in the 1800's, that is. I was definitely not expecting the ending as far as who was helping Sir John and the Duchess. 

So overall this was a very well written historical fiction novel with well pretty rounded characters and a great plot that never seems dull.   

Source: My personal library

Published: September 1, 2010 by Chronicle Books 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (19)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

For Review:

The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor (finished copy)
Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly (e-ARC)
*Thank you to Disney Worldwide Publishing, Candlewick, and NetGalley

From the Library:

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta 
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review: Shadowspell by Jenna Black

(summary and cover from goodreads)

On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

Review: I really liked Glimmerglass so I was happy to to finally read Shadowspell. It was just as good, if not better, than the first.

This one had a lot more action in it. Glimmerglass was mainly just Dana learning about her dad and a lot of faerie political stuff. In Shadowspell Dana seemed a lot more independent and strong willed. I'm still not sure how I feel about Ethan, but by the end of the book I think he found a place on my good side. My favorite father son duo were back! I don't know why but I love Finn and Keane. They are by far my favorite characters in this series. The Earlking was a nice addition to the cast of characters, although I'm not sure how I feel about his bargain with Dana, or how she's going to take care of it for that matter. 

I also love the cover for this one. It has a lot more to do with the actual story, unlike Glimmerglass, and plus it's just really pretty. I'm not really sure about the title though. I didn't see the word "shadowspell" once in the book, so I don't really see how it relates. 

We also get to learn more about Dana's powers in this book, but not much. So I'm really hoping the next (is it the last?) in the series will give some more insight into it.

Overall this was a great continuation of the story and I can't wait for the next to find out more about Dana and her deal with the Earlking, as well as all the other fabulous characters.

Source: My personal library (e-book)

Published: January 4, 2011 by St. Martin's Press 


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