Wednesday, February 29, 2012

RTW: Best Book of February


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing or reading related question and answer it on our own blogs.  You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This weeks topic:
What was the best book you read in February

                So this is a hard task picking a favorite book of February.  I have only read 6 (7 by tonight) but they were all so good.  I did just finish the Dark Swan series which got inside my head so much I couldn’t help but write a short add on fanfiction piece.  Then the unexpected joy of the world of backpacking, that made me want to travel even more.

                Those were all good but I have a tie and it seems many others did as well so bear with me.  They were both just so different from one another but I couldn’t put either of them down and found my thoughts drifting to them even upon completion.

                So first we have Starters a new world science fiction where there are only elders and children and the elders pay good money to rent out the bodies of the younger generation.  Que the creepy music.  Amazing book.

                My second pick is Graffiti Moon a modern day story that takes place in the span of a night.  A girl looking for a guy she’s never met but is sure will be perfect for her because of his art.  But the guy she ends up spending the night with looking for her mystery guy turns out to be a pretty great guy as well considering their not so pleasant past.

                So there are my two top picks for February.  I hope you all will give them a shot, I really enjoyed them.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dark Swan Part 2: Iron Crowned & Shadow Heir


                Previously I read and reviewed the first 2 books in the series by Richelle Mead (Storm Born & Thorn Queen).  Then however I was so lucky to receive some ARC’s of other books I felt I needed to read them first.  Plus these books although I love them and can hardly make myself put them down had really gotten under my skin.  See I’m the type of reader who gets worked up about the stories.  When things happen I feel it.  That’s why I love to read.  I love that feeling where even if you know what will happen you can still become involved.

                That being said I still have a ton of books to read but for now I had to read the last two in this series.  First up is Iron Crowned.  I’ll go ahead and warn everyone that I don’t normally do spoilers but the whole premise of books 3 and 4 are based off things that happen in the previous books, major things so be warned.  Also like the other books in this series this is not my usual YA type book and thus darker content and lots of sex.

                Eugenie Markham is back and struggling with the aftermath of what happened in book 2.  When we left off she had been the Queen of Thorn Land a title she never even wanted and the subject of the prophecy that says the daughter of Storm King (her father) will give birth to the son who will conquer both worlds.  Just her luck.  Well after many people trying to take advantage of her and be the one to father such a conqueror one failed but in his attempts sealed his own fate.

                Book 2 ends with the worlds of the Otherworld at war.  Eugenie and Dorian’s lands against the Rowan lands (pissed off mother of the ignorant son).  Eugenie doesn’t want a war but she doesn’t have a choice.  Her consort and lover Dorian is a very helpful asset in the war and other things.  Although he seems more aloof from the loss of men than Eugenie he also likes power and taking it from another while defending his actions seems just fine with him. 

                That is until someone tells Eugenie about the legend of the Iron Crow.  A crown, that if she were to wield it would force all to back down and end the war without more bloodshed.  An amazing thing and something Eugenie will try for but it’s not something easily gotten, although I do concede that it wasn’t as hard to get as I’d have thought given it’s significance.  Along with her on this quest is Kiyo, half human like her so able to be around Iron unaffected, and also her ex-boyfriend.  It seems getting the crown isn’t the hardest part but dealing with the multitude of betrayals from every direction.

                So much happens in this book and I admit I had a few questions about things.  Logic type questions but I really like the series, even when it makes me mad, and was willing to overlook them.  Eugenie is still the same bad ass as in the other books, she still gets hurt emotionally and physically, and makes rash decisions that she should have thought out more.  But that works for me.  When emotions are reeling sometimes people don’t make the best decisions, they screw up and then have to deal with the consequences.  And let’s face it Eugenie has a lot to deal with. 

                Overall I liked it and was very happy to move right into Book 4, Shadow Heir, which will be reviewed now.  Again keep in mind spoilers follow that if you haven’t read books 1-3 you might not want to continue.  Fair warning.

                Now for Shadow Heir, the final book in the series I have to say I have mixed emotions.  We pick up shortly after book 3 ends which has a lot happening.  Our always vigilant and strong Eugenie is stuck in a difficult place; pregnancy.  This is new and scary for her and an even greater challenge always being one to jump right into a fight.  People are still trying to kill her, to prevent her from fulfilling the prophecy making her usually complicated and busy life even harder to get by.  Ruling two kingdoms that need her attention, doctor visits in the human world and everything can be rather a big deal.

                Well as it turns out her having the grandson of the great Storm King isn’t the Otherworlds biggest problem.  A blight has set on the lands, even the ones who are trying to kill her.  Differences put aside for the time being an uneasy alliance is formed putting Kiyo back into her life as they set out on a journey to try and save all of their kingdoms.

                The changes in Eugenie are wonderful.  With each book she grows a little bit more and still she makes rash decisions but this time she has more than herself or even her people to worry about, she also has her twins.  We also see more of both her lovers whom she has been with both in each book it seems, Dorian and Kiyo.  Now in this book her emotions are all over the place but she is sure about a few things and being with Kiyo is not up for debate.  Then again when he changes the way he did then it’s sorta clear to the reader.  We also see great change in Jasmine and most of all we see more in Dorian.

                Now I admit I have a knack of seeing things coming way before they happen and thus was the case in both of these books.  Little words or things I see and know they are to be important later and usually I’m right.  I won’t give away the end of the book but if you have paid attention throughout then you should as well.  But I still enjoyed reading them.  They were fun and a quick read.  Honestly I have a kink in my neck from being huddled over reading the last few days. 

                I did say that I had mixed feelings about this book and it’s end.  Although I enjoyed the ending I was also perplexed by the decisions made.  Part of me, the part that likes to dream up alternate endings, enjoys the open ending so I can imagine what I want.  The other part of me is upset that I didn’t get a definite closure.  Oh well I know how it ended in my head.  Now any of you who have read the books please hit me up I’d love to discuss this series with you. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wanderlove- Kirsten Hubbard



                So I’ve finished another great book.  This one is called Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard.  I received this book early from Random House Children’s Books on NetGalley.com and just finished reading it. 
               
                Wanderlove is a story centered around 18 year old Bria Sandoval.  After a breakup with her boyfriend and her passion for drawing seemingly lost Bria decides to book a trip to Central America and see the world.  This impulse leads to a guided tour that isn’t at all what she expects and hardly the key to self-rediscovery.
               
                Then in town Bria meets Rowan, a real traveler, a backpacker who knows how to really travel authentically along with his sister Starling she seizes the chance to ditch the boring group and go off the beaten path.  At the start of their threesome journey Starling has to leave and sticks Bria and Rowan to travel alone.  It’s clear that Rowan has secrets and a past that is full of shadowy secrets.  Bria must come to terms with why she really ended up there and how to find a way to move on because you can’t run from your problems forever.

                I must say I’ve always sorta fantasized about backpacking with a group of trusted people through countries and seeing the real stuff, not just the tourist traps.  But alas I am a creature of technology and comfort and never thought I could hack it as a true backpacker.  Still the idea of Wanderlove, the theory/idea discussed in the book, is captivating.  This book though, it depicted what I really think it would be like to be there.  The good, the bad, and the crazy.

                The setting changes with each passing place on the journey but each one comes alive.  The waters so clear and beautiful I want to dip my toes in.  The towns, streets, hostiles, all described so realistically I could see it in my mind and feel like I was there because that’s as close as I’ll get.  I like daily hot showers, just saying.  Then there are the drawings.  Bria is an artist and even when she isn’t drawing she still thinks about it, describes it in her mind as if her hand held a pen. 

                Each character has their own unique attributes that make them their own.  Some may have things in common, some are stereotypes but that’s life.  I feel that if I ever were to get over my aversion to the lack of amenities that I would want to travel with someone like Rowan and Bria. 

                This book too me on a journey and honestly put something new on my bucket list.  This wonderful book comes out March 13, 2012 and I hope you all will check it out.  Let me know what you think in the comments.


 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

RTW: Words to Love and Hate


                Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing or reading related question and answer it on our own blogs.  You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This weeks topic:
What words do you absolutely hate?  Which ones do you adore?


                Now I have went through and seen a bunch of others posts for this and many made me smile.  Everyone has their own likes and dislikes about words and as writers words are our foundation.  That are what we use each and every day to tell a story for others to take part in reading.
               
                That being said my answer is easy.  I don’t have any words I absolutely hate.  Sure there are words that I always misspell or like say/saw I know the difference but sometimes my fingers and brain disconnect.  Still I have no real problem with them.  Each word has its place.  I live in the South and I hear ya’ll to often than should be allowed and while it makes me twitch when I hear or read it I still find it acceptable it is after all something unique to certain areas and therefore authentic.  This being said I still cringe at ‘git er done’.

                Now there are so many words that I adore.  I find myself drawing a blank when it comes to any specific words.  I do have a slight fascination with echo and hooker but those I blame on my former shift partner.  Twelve hour shifts spent together in a small room leads to a lot of inside jokes and those words have them.  Said person liked to call people ‘hookers’ as a term of affection.  If you did something to please her or upset her you would be called a hooker, or a variation we created hooket.  As for echo, well lets just say this same person had a serious moment.  You know how going green is eco-friendly.  Nope not to her its echo-friendly.  Yep a simple slip but hours upon hours on entertainment for myself.

                I guess I just think all words are good.  They are what we use to express ourselves as writers.  They are like any other thing in humanity, they can be used for good or bad.  You can make someone happy with a few kind words or bring them to tears.  That’s my thoughts anyways.  What are yours?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Starters- Lissa Price



                I finished this book last week but had to wait to post a review until closer to the books release date.  I got this book from NetGalley.com it’s published by Random House Children’s Books and here are my thoughts on it.

                This book is futuristic fantasy.  It’s a world after The Spore Wars.  Wars that wiped out everyone between the ages of 20-60.  You have children/teens (Starters) and elderly (Enders) who by the way easily live to be 200.  The main character Callie is an unclaimed starter which means that because she is basically screwed.  No rights and no ability to get a job (it’s illegal) but she has to take care of herself and most importantly her sick little brother Tyler and even their good friend Michael.

                Always scraping by they hear about a place that isn’t exactly legal but is a way for starters to make money.  Prime Destinations.  A creepy place, a body bank, where rich enders can pay to rent out bodies of starters so they can feel young again for a time.  Desperate for money to keep what’s left of her family safe she agrees to be a donor.  But the chip implanted in her brain malfunctions and she wakes up during a rental living the life of her renter.  Though she soon finds the woman renting her body had more in mind than simply partying and having fun and that Prime Destinations’ plans are more evil than Callie could have imagined.

                Are you really intrigued?  I know I was reading the summary and let me say the book itself kept that feeling.  I was so mesmerized by this world the author created, where young adults if they weren’t claimed they had to live like stray dogs.  A world where someone could decide they had enough money and too much free time that they could simply take over someone else’s body and be young and skilled again.  I felt like I was there. 

                The characters were amazingly well fleshed out.  Our main character Callie is struggling with so much through this book.  Fear, confusion, loss, defeat, guilt, excitement, everything is there and it’s so easy to understand through the character there is no question about why she feels the way she does.  Even the Enders who Callie meets along the way, those she’s spent the last few years fearing they’d turn her into the institution, we see multiple sides and layers to almost all of the characters.

                I was completely caught up in the book and the fact that it took me so long to read with life getting in the way made me want to read it more.  Now I am anxiously awaiting it’s sequel Enders.

                Starters comes out March 13, 2012.  Check it out.  Tell me what you think in the comments.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

RTW: Jinx That's My Idea


             Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing or reading related question and answer it on our own blogs.  You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This weeks topic:

What SNI were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?

                This is a good question.  Considering I was thinking this same thing last year.  When I got my idea for my story I’m currently working on it just came to me when I was laying in bed on night.  I had a bad day and someone had really gotten on my nerves and I think that’s what inspired my mind to go all dark.  I had it all planned out when I woke up. 

                I was so excited about my new idea that was all shiny and new and never been done as far as I knew.  I wrote on it as often as possible and sent the first 10 pages to be critiqued at a writers conference.  The deadline to send your submissions was close and I sent it and felt this amazing sense of pride and nervousness.  I loved this so much what if no one else liked it?  What if they hated it and told me I should give up?  But I stayed positive. 

                My story is about a girl.  She witnesses her parents murder and is put into witness protection for her own safety.  She is a bright girl, good head on her should and all but when the person responsible for taking away her family gets away with it she can’t take it.  Something snaps.  She needs to avenge what was done but knows she can’t until she is 18.  So she spends 1-2 years working out a plan and trying not to get distracted by the new life she is having to create.

                I share my idea with you so that this next part makes sense.  Not a week after I sent my totally original never seen anything like it idea did I see a commercial for the TV show on ABC called Revenge.  I youtube’d it.  And sure enough I was amazed that the same concept was there.  It’s not nearly the same story but it was close enough to make me worry that people would read it and think I’d gotten the idea from it.  Could I really give up on it?
               
                As it turns out my writing conference was amazing and no one seemed to connect them which eased my worry.  It’s a story about revenge, and yes I had to title it something because sending it out as untitled didn’t seem right so I used a temporary title Vengeance, was similar.   Then I thought about how many different series I absolutely love that have vampires in them, or angels.  There are so many and each is completely different, their own take on it.  So because there is romance and vampires are they stealing an idea?  No.  So I could write about revenge and not be stealing from another. 

                So to wrap this mind jumble up I think you can have the same basic idea, revenge, vampires, witches, angels, etc. but it has to have it’s own spin.  You have to make it your own and make it unique in it’s own write. 

                What do you think?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Graffiti Moon- Cath Crowley



                So it’s review time again.  I know I’m on a roll but I have a bunch of amazing books to read and review its crazy.  I received this book from Random House Children’s Books on NetGalley.com on my Kindle and just finished reading it.  First the summary curtsey of goodreads.com:


It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.

His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.

Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.

But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.




                I adore this book.  I couldn’t put it down once I started.  Very addictive.  The story takes place in the span of one night and it flowed wonderfully always something going on keeping the reader entertained and intrigued.  The book takes place in Australia, and aside from a couple of phrases and things I didn’t know or understand right away but easily could understand through the rest of the story, it was great.

                The characters are all flushed out and really solid.  I could see them in my mind, see this adventure unfolding before my eyes.  I as a reader felt like I knew these characters and I became invested in them.  The description is beyond my words, they wouldn’t be able to do it justice.  As you can tell by the title there is art involved and the way the art and scenes are described visually is so beautiful and vivid.

                I highly recommend this book.  It was a treasure that I look forward to re-reading again in the future.  This book comes out 2/14/2012 so check it out.  It was a really kick arse book.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Halflings- Heather Burch


Halflings- Heather Burch

                I received this book from Zondervan on NetGalley.com on my Kindle and just finished reading it.  First the summary curtsey of goodreads.com:


After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

          
      Now my thoughts on the book.  I enjoyed reading it.  Angels.  There are tons of angel books out right now but this one has a different take and I didn't find myself thinking I had already read this.  To me the book stood out.

                The internal struggle of the main character Nikki was well thought out and very intense at times.  We also see it with Mace and Raven too but in smaller doses, as the majority was through Nikki.  I as a reader felt like I could feel what Nikki was going through by the insights into to what was going on in her head and what makes her unique.

                The whole story also has beautiful imagery as well as indulging the other senses.  From the stench of hell hounds and the peculiar scents everyone and everything gives off.
 
                This is the first book in a series and I can’t wait until the sequel comes out so I can continue on the journey and find out more about Nikki and this world.  I recommend it.

RTW: Best book read in January


Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
What was the best book you read in January?

                Ok so this month was semi slow for me.  I didn’t read but 5 books.  I read the Beautiful Creatures series and the first two books in the Dark Swan series.  Of those I really can’t choose, yes it’s a cop out but they are different categories.  The Beautiful books are YA and amazingly fun and compelling.  While the Dark Swan books are Adult and have a different feel.  While I can enjoy both types of books equally, I don’t know how to choose between them.  To me it’s like picking apples and oranges.  I’ll just say that I have enjoyed them all and recommend both series, but as I still have 2 more books in the Dark Swan series left to read and they are sitting on my kindle just waiting my for eyes to look upon them they may inch ahead…after all I can enjoy more right away and not have to wait and that always gets some points.