Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trailers on Thursday: Shadow Hills

Here's the trailer for Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus (and I just have to mention that she was the very first person to become a follower on my blog when it was brand spankin.' Plus she has really great hair = ) I obviously have been wanting to read this one for awhile =) July 13 is the release date so we are getting there!!

Visit the author's website here (REALLY cool website by the way, check it out cause it ROCKS!)

Trailers on Thursday: The Tension of Opposites

The first featured trailer is for The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride which will be available in stores on May 25. No, there aren't any vampires or werewolves, but this looks like it's going to be an intense and emotional read and it's definitely on my wishlist!

You can visit the author's website here can enter to win swag here

Monday, April 26, 2010

Does Your Man Read??

So, a miracle pretty much happened last night...

I got my boyfriend to read.

This is a man who, as far as I know, has read ONE book since high school. He spends his free time playing World of Warcraft and watching really bad action flicks. (On the bright side, this frees up a LOT of time for me to pursue my hobby...reading...without feeling guilty about not giving him all my attention.) I've wanted him to read for the longest time because it's (obviously) such a passion of mine that I would like to be able to share it with him, at least a little bit. And yes, I did give World of Warcraft a shot. I got to level 70 and really enjoyed the game but it was taking up WAY too much of my time. Same reason I gave up Farmville =)

Anyway, I debated for the longest time about what book I would suggest he read and finally settled on City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Why? Well, it's the genre I love for one. Second, it starts off with a bang and the action never lets up. I knew the story would have to hook him fast to catch his interest. Luckily for me, he DOES like vampires and the like (we share a love of True Blood and Vampire Diaries) so I also knew this book would have elements he likes.

He read eight pages (hey, it's a start!) before putting the book down so he could sleep. I asked him (nervously) what he thought and he said...

"It's frickin' awesome."

Mission Accomplished!!! (If it was up to me, EVERYONE would read and love books as much as I do =)

So how about you??? Does the man in your life or your significant other enjoy reading?? Do you read the same books? If he doesn't, does he give you a hard time about reading or does he encourage and support your habit???

Saturday, April 24, 2010

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

After much searching and a lot of trial and error, I finally figured out how to make a button!!! It's over there at the bottom of the left hand column, feel free to grab one for your page and let me know if you do so I can return the favor!

And if you wanna make one for yourself, this is where I went...

And since I already survived the process, I'd be more than willing to help out if you need me to =)

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

From Goodreads...
In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future - between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?


The Forest of Hands and Teeth is the first selection by the real life book club that I am a member of (I MIGHT have had something to do with the selection :) We haven't had our meeting yet so I can't tell you if the other girls liked it but I can give you my thoughts...

This book was very well written!! The story is told in Mary's voice and didn't disappoint. If a story is gonna be in first person, I wanna know what is going on in that person's head...I wanna know their deepest and most secret thoughts, fears, hopes and desires. So many first person narratives fail in that aspect and just tell you what the character is seeing or doing. And I think that is why I don't connect with some books that are otherwise great stories.

I warn you...this is not a happy, happy, joy, joy book. It's Dystopian and it's dark. And bad things happen and people die. But ultimately it's about finding your own path, about questioning what you have been told to believe and following your heart's desire. And so despite all the sadness in the story (and wow is there sadness) I still felt a sense of hope and possibility for Mary and her future.

I also absolutely must mention how lovely Carrie's writing is, the beautiful wording a stark contrast to the ugliness of Mary's world. There are some lines of dialogue that brought tears to my eyes. I cannot wait to read the rest of this series, it is a definitely a standout in the genre and I highly recommend it!

*5 FANGER!!*

This is the book trailer...

Friday, April 16, 2010

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

From the back cover...

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left-the most important decision she'll ever make.


I started reading this one last night and finished it up this morning. Some books are like that, you just zoom right through them because they grab hold of you and don't let you go until the very last page.

A little personal info here...I have 2 daughters, 23 and 16 and guess what?? We get along great. Not only do we love each other, we LIKE each other and I think that's actually the case for a lot of kids. But you wouldn't know it to read a lot of YA books. Parents are practically non-existent in so many and the ones that do show up are..well...kinda clueless.

Not in this book!! Mia likes her parents and her parents are cool people...with brains and feelings and respect (given AND received) and I LOVED that. It was one of my favorite things about this book.

If you think from the synopsis that this sounds like it might be a tearjerker, you are indeed correct. I cried through the last few pages and I'm pretty sure most people who read it will. This one has already been passed along to my daughter's friend Jessica (who loaned me The Last Song) cause I just know she's gonna love it.

My only complaint is that I still kind of felt like I didn't REALLY know these characters as fully as I wanted to once it was over. It was a good read and I really liked it, but I just feel like it could have gone even further. I would have liked to get a little more into Mia's head as I almost got the sense that she was holding back with her emotions somewhat. I feel like we only got the surface stuff so when it came to other parts of the book that should have hit me hard emotionally, the impact just wasn't there. It was a good book, but I just can't say it was great.

Final Score: 4 outta 5

And as a footnote, music plays a huge role in this story, so if you've read the book, here's a little treat...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Books!

Oh, the lies we tell ourselves...such as "I'm only going to buy ONE book per paycheck for a couple of months cause I have a huge TBR pile already and I think (somewhere in a rarely accessed area of my brain) that actually saving some money might be a good thing." This would mean one new book every two weeks.

Epic fail.

Here are the 5 new books I got this week...

From Goodreads....
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

From Publisher's Weekly...
The last normal moment that Mia, a talented cellist, can remember is being in the car with her family. Then she is standing outside her body beside their mangled Buick and her parents' corpses, watching herself and her little brother being tended by paramedics. As she ponders her state (Am I dead? I actually have to ask myself this), Mia is whisked away to a hospital, where, her body in a coma, she reflects on the past and tries to decide whether to fight to live. Via Mia's thoughts and flashbacks, Forman (Sisters in Sanity) expertly explores the teenager's life, her passion for classical music and her strong relationships with her family, friends and boyfriend, Adam. Mia's singular perspective (which will recall Alice Sebold's adult novel, The Lovely Bones) also allows for powerful portraits of her friends and family as they cope: Please don't die. If you die, there's going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school, prays Mia's friend Kim. I know you'd hate that kind of thing. Intensely moving, the novel will force readers to take stock of their lives and the people and things that make them worth living

From Goodreads...
A prodigal son

A dangerous love

A deadly secret . . .

I stood back and watched his movements. Daniel had that way about him that could shut me down in an instant. . . . I kicked the gravel a couple of times and worked up my courage again. “Tell me . . . I mean . . . why did you come back? Why now, after all this time?”

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.

From Goodreads...
All that stands between her daughter’s life and death is a tenth grade education, a zealous group of Baptist ladies, and 1.8 million Google hits.

If faith is all her daughter needs to be cured, Babs is sure the church and her family have more than enough. When twelve-year-old Ashley falls into a coma and is diagnosed with diabetes, everyone in their small Texas town deals with it the way they deal with everything else: food, friendship and prayer. But when Ashley develops a rare and deadly allergy to insulin – the only medicine that can keep her alive - Babs turns to the Internet and science instead of friends and God to find the cure the doctors say isn’t there. What she discovers is an answer no one wants to hear: a risky stem cell operation that pits her against her husband, her faith, and the conservative church that’s been their biggest support.

From Goodreads...
Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now, along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I’m on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We’re hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We’ll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we’d left behind and to take out the Edison Group . . . or so we hope.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

From Goodreads...

#1 bestselling author Nicholas Sparks's new novel is at once a compelling family drama and a heartrending tale of young love.Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alientated from her parents, especially her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels--first love, love between parents and children -- that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them.

Oh man, I've never been much of a Nicholas Sparks fan so to be perfectly honest, I didn't really have high hopes for this one. My daughter's friend, Jessica, sent it home with her for me to read so I gave it a shot. And guess what???

I liked it.

I know, I know!

I liked it because it did what it was supposed to do. I ended up actually liking these characters (as opposed to Savannah in Dear John whom I could not STAND)and I was rooting for them and their happiness. I wanted a happy ending for these kids.
I liked it because I cared enough to cry at the end.
I liked it because sometimes a sweet and simple story of first love doesn't have to be anything other than just that.

I do have to admit I knew pretty much what was going to happen by the time I was a couple of chapters into the book. But then again, it's a Nicholas Sparks book. You kind of know what's going to happen before you even crack it open =)

And I HAVE to mention a couple of things that bothered me while reading...

1. The "bad" group of kids are described as being somewhat in the goth clique, however two of the guys breakdance. I suppose it is possible, but I have never seen goth kids breakin'.

2. Sparks refers a couple of times to Ronnie's use of "dark mascara" in his passages where he is trying to convey her rebellious appearance. I sincerely think he meant eyeliner. Because EVERYONE wears dark mascara. Lush lashes are not a sign of rebellion.

3. Ronnie is a vegetarian. Will takes her to see some endangered loggerhead turtles at the aquarium where he VOLUNTEERS on their first "date" and then...he takes her FISHING. This made absolutely no sense to me for two people who supposedly care about animals. "Let's go look at endangered sealife and then afterwards let's go stick some barbed hooks in some other sealife." Didn't sit well with me.

4. I got a little creeped out by one of the teen character's constant references to Ronnie's "tight little body." No teen boy I know uses phrases like that (I have a teen daughter so I am around teen boys!)It sounded more like what a creepy older guy would say when talking about a teen girl. Which made me feel a little creeped out about Mr. Sparks. I know, I'm sorry!!!! It just bugged me!!!

That being said, I WOULD recommend the book to anyone who wants a simple story of love that is pretty much guaranteed to pull your heartstrings. And not just in the ways you might expect from a love story. There's more than one kind of love...there's also the love between friends and the love between family and this books explores love in all those ways and more.

Thanks Jessica, I'm glad I read this one.

Those of you who have read the book will get the significance of this amazing video I found of loggerhead turtles hatching....enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Real Life Book Club

Not too long ago my friend Tamara started a group page over on Facebook called Gotta Love Books...we thought it would be nice to have a place to talk about the books we're reading and leave links etc since we were doing that so much anyway. Our little group has since grown to over 60 members (feel free to join, it's a nice friendly place to talk books :)
Anyway...last night was the first real life meeting of our little group. Granted, there were only three of us who showed up, but we kind of have to take the blame for that since we neglected to send out reminder messages. OOPS!
It ended up being a really nice night anyway...hadn't seen these girls much in the past couple of months and they are a couple of my favorite people in the world so that was awesome! We sat and talked for a little while, catching up on life in general and then we could not resist the siren call of the shelves any longer and we went to browse :)
I ended up with The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong (thank you Tamara!) City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare and an awesome vegetarian cookbook called Veggie Kids that was in the markdown's filled with full color pics and yummy SIMPLE sounding recipes!
Oh, and we picked our first official book club read...The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan! Can't wait to read it and can't wait to get together for our next book club meeting.
Tell me, are any of you book club members, either real life or online?? What have your experiences been with book clubs??

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Chapter in the Twilight Saga...

In case you hadn't heard, there will be a new novella by Stephenie Meyer coming out on June 5th...
Novella means it will be quite a bit shorter than any of the books in the actual Twilight series, but still a good read at 192 pages.


Description from Goodreads...

"Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion."

Monday, April 5, 2010

City of Bones comic!

Just saw that City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is going to be adapted into a comic book/graphic novel series! AND the artist is a woman, Nicole Virella, which I think is fantastic. There is a whole untapped market out there just waiting for this kind of book. I know lots of girls (and women) who love YA and I know lots who love comics...the marriage of the two is long overdue! I know there have been many times I've been reading a book, like City of Bones or Beautiful Creatures, and thought to myself how incredible it would if it were also illustrated. I think the fans are going to eat this up!!

Here's what the cover for the free comic book day version is going to look like...


And yes, that means you can get issue #1 FREE! Free comic book day is the first Saturday in May. Call your local comic shop and ask if they will be participating!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Just stumbled across this awesome trailer for the book "Wintercraft" by Jenna Burtenshaw, wanted to add it to my Amazon wish list but could only find it on Amazon UK, hope it will be available here...

American Vampire


When most people think comic books they think superheroes...Batman, Spiderman, Superman...and while those are great, to be perfectly honest I'm really not that big a fan of reading them. There are just far too many titles and too many storylines for me to be able to jump in and feel like I know what is going on storywise. What I DO love to read though are comics that are horror/supernatural/paranormal based.

A perfect example is the brand new title "American Vampire." This is like a dream come true for me because it combines two of my favorite things...vampires and Stephen King! That's right, he's one of the writers for the series and I am just thrilled because he is one of my favorite writers. Ever.

The first half tells us the story of Pearl Jones and is written by Scott Snyder, who came up with the idea of doing American Vampire because he wanted to "make vampires cool again." Pearl is an aspiring actress in the 1920's, working a bunch of dead end jobs to make ends meet while trying to break into the big time by working as an extra in films.

Stephen King takes over the writing duties for the next half and takes us to the days of the old west with the story of Skinner Sweet, a bank robbing bad guy who is nabbed and on the train with his captors to go back and face trial. Only things don't exactly go as the good guys planned. Sweet is destined to be the patriarch of the American Vampire hierarchy and this series will focus on him and his victims throughout the ensuing decades and the evolution of vampires and their powers and abilities.

What I LOVE about comics is that they combine the best of two worlds...I get to read incredible writing AND be treated to amazing artwork. And the artwork of Rafael Albuquerque is indeed amazing. And what's really cool is that he adapted the style of his drawings to each story. The art in the 1920's story has a distinctly different feeling from the Old West storyline. Brilliant!!

All in all, a great introduction to what looks to be an amazing new series, can't wait for issue #2!

5 out of 5 Fangs!