Saturday, May 28, 2011
- An ARC of Hourglass by Myra McEntire and a KTeenBooks USB bracelet with excerpts etc. from a Twitter contest (Thanks !).
- 3 Escapee bracelets & 3 signed bookmarks from Mary E. Pearson, author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles (Thanks Mary!)
So there you have it, the contents of my mailbox lately. What about you, what literary goodies have you gotten?
*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren
**The winner of the recent contest for First Daughter & Blood Trust was Erinberry - congratulations!
Friday, May 27, 2011
Oh, I don't know, kind of like The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer sort of familiar. So of course, I went and pulled up the book cover, and 'lo and behold, it was the same clothing! Having a personal interest in photography, and photographers whose work end up on covers, I set out to investigate further.
As it turns out, this was shot by Heather Landis, who shot a whole series of photos in this theme. (A few of them are displayed below.) Definitely pop by her website if you have time, there's tons of really awesome artwork over there.
And just some basic info about the book - The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin will be released on September 27th, 2011 by Simon & Schuster. Having heard a ton of great early buzz about it thus far, I'm definitely very excited for this one!
Have you found any other awesome photographers who've shot recent YA book covers?!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School.
And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy.
Ghosts, an exotic locale, a mystery... Lisa Cach's Wake Unto Me has all the trappings of a deliciously dark story well worthy of its creepy cover1.
There's a lot of controversy in the literary world regarding prologues, usually against them. But Wake Unto Me is one example, I think, in which the prologue works quite well. Cach starts out the novel on an ominous note, which from the very get-go leaves the reader curious about the tone of the rest of the story. The fact that the majority of the story takes place in France is very cool indeed, lending it an added layer of mystique from being foreign. Although I get that people from numerous countries are kind of requisite with the setting, the inclusion of numerous languages and comprehension thereof is something I'm a little on the fence about.
Wake Unto Me certainly explores a number of paranormal elements in a fresh way. The "Screechers", the timelines, the transcendental lives... Cach puts her own unique spin on each aspect. Overall, the mystery element was nicely done, although parts of it were more predictable than the characters seemed able to put together.
The scenes of the climax and denouement are artfully written and satisfying. The resolution, alas, is slightly less so. It tests the limits of credibility, and the way it came about (and the sheer lack of acknowledgement thereof) is rather disturbing.
With Wake Unto Me, Cach has written an intriguing and Romantic ghost story that shimmers of mystique.
1 Is it just me, or is there something really bizarre about the guy's hands on the cover?
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Enclave by Ann Aguirre is a fast-paced, action-packed futuristic/science fiction read. With a plot that really moves and a haunting dystopian world, Enclave is an entertaining quick read that can be finished in a sitting or two.
For the most part, Enclave is fairy enjoyable, as far as entertainment derived from reading goes. The futuristic world that Aguirre lays out here is relatively similar to our own - enough so that it is relatable and credible. Heavy on the action and neutral on the cover, Enclave is the type of book that would have more appeal with the reluctant and/or male reader segments, especially considering its short length.
Enclave appears to be the first in a series (Razorland) - and it shows. The world-building progresses fairly nicely, the setting is put into place, and the backstory is explored - but as a standalone, there are a number of weaknesses. There seems to be a fair amount of expectation for [readers] to accept things as face value, lacking adequate explanation. Some of the plot points read like deus ex machina, a little too convenient. At times the writing seems almost as if there's a misconceived notion that the narrative needs to be watered down in order to cater to "younger adults".
In spite of all that, Enclave is still a fairly fun read. The world-building is well done and action is well placed (which is more than can be said for a lot of mammoth novels these days with lots of exposition and lack of action). It's also very refreshing to see a female leading lady who's well able to hold her own and kick some serious butt. Brave and bold, Huntress Deuce is far from being a damsel in distress.
All in all, with Enclave Aguirre has crafted an engaging read that will be quickly devoured by readers like Freaks devour raw flesh.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
*May 23rd, 2011 Houghton Mifflin
Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.
Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.
In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.
From the sounds of the synopsis, there's certainly a lot of potential here to explore the implications thereof, should our society continue down this path of technology-reliance. I guess we'll have to keep waiting to see how Kacvinsky explores the depths of humanity vs. technology here.
And what're you waiting on this Wednesday?
*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine
Also - don't forget to pop by and enter to win First Daughter and Blood Trust here!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
She nods at me, still looking down. Her eyes flicker up to my face, and then return to their previous position, a small frown etched around her lips. “Are you newly Independent, Dom?”
“You better hurry,” she says, cutting me off. “You don’t want to be late.”
“Late?” I ask, not recalling anything instructions about activities tonight.
“For reporting to work,” she clarifies. She nods at my bag. “You should probably get that dropped off and get to it.”
“Um...” I’m honestly not sure what to say. This is my first real interaction in which our designation system has really come into play. I’m a little embarrassed that she thinks I’m lower tier, but I’m also a little ashamed for thinking that way. I play with the SmrtPad in my pocket a little, debating how to respond.
Lane’s eyes dart side to side, gauging whether there are any other people in our vicinity. Satisfied that the coast is clear, she leans in closer. The top of her head barely reaches my neck. Her breath is warm against the base of my throat. “You’ll want to make a good first impression,” she says nervously, like she’s telling me something she shouldn’t be. “It’ll matter.” Done with her good deed for the day, she leans back and shrugs. “Congratulations,” she adds, and then shuffles away.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
` Graveminder by Melissa Marr
` Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
` Die For Me by Amy Plum
(Thanks, Harper, for the above!)
` Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Thanks Zeitghost & Macmillan!)
and from a Twitter contest:
` When You Were Mine by Elizabeth Noble (Thanks Penguin!)
And that's my mailbox for the past two weeks. What've you gotten recently?
*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren
**While you're here - don't forget to enter the giveaway for a copy of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and a set of buttons, as well as the giveaway for a copy of First Daughter and a copy of Blood Trust, both by Eric Van Lustbader!
Friday, May 13, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.
Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.
With Wither, Lauren DeStefano has crafted an masterpiece that's achingly beautiful from cover to cover.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
` being a blog follower
` linking to the contest
` commenting on a review or interview
` totaling up your entries