Monday, November 29, 2010

S.O.S Book of the Week

The S.O.S Book of the Week is where I let you in on what new releases I'm looking forward to! S.O.S comes from the term 'Strict on Sale'. It's bookseller speak for a title that you can't sell before a specific date-- think Harry Potter. While the books I have here may not be S.O.S titles specifically, they are all new!

The S.O.S. Book of the Week is:

Taken from Goodreads, "When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember."

With a release date of February 2011, 'Angelfire' is looking more and more like one of those books that is going to shine. It has good reviews so far on Goodreads and I've seen it in many a 'In My Mailbox' posts here in the book blogging world. (I only wish I was one of those bloggers! :p) Why do I want to read it?  Because angel fiction (apart from one horrible crossover between angels and vampires) has always interested me.  I predict that I'll enjoy this title!

Are you looking forward to this title? Why?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What the BBC Thinks You Should Read...

You must have seen this meme floating around somewhere this week. Under the cut are my answers!  I've finished 12 of these 100 books and started/stopped 6 of them.  Am I surprised by this low number?  Nope.  Of the 12 books I have read, I really only enjoyed 6 of them!  How do you rate?

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Click 'READ MORE'!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Book Blogger Hop/Updates

Hi readers! I hope all those in the States had a great Thanksgiving and awesome Black Friday! To those who didn't celebrate this week, I hope you had a great week in general!

On the non-blog related happenings, I've started re-watching that fantastic TV show 'Roswell'. My goal is to get through all three seasons within the next month and a half. I don't know about you, but 'Roswell' is one of my favorite tv series. I only wish they'd had a fourth season to really give it a big bang finish.

Being Black Friday, I headed out to do some much needed shopping Thursday night and this morning. Together, my mom and I ventured out to Walmart and Target and picked up a few good deals. We almost went to Toys R Us, but the line was far too long for 20 Degree weather!!! The deal I'm most proud of getting is Vampire Diaries Season 1 for twelve dollars on That's practically a 70% discount!!! Did you score anything good this past few days?

On the blog end of things, it's been a pretty busy week! There's been some reviews, some Star Wars chit chat, and more!

Star Wars Fans Unite! A Message For Katie
Review: Monster High (Dolls, Pilot, Book)
SOS Book of the Week-Demonglass

As for the hop...
Book Blogger Hop
The question of the week is:
What is your favorite book cover?

My Answer: I am a sucker for a good cover. Here are three of my favorites.

I love the cover work done for this Young Jedi Knights series written by Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. (For those who don't know, the image above is a picture of Han and Leia's Twins Jacen and Jaina, and Chewie's nephew Lobacca.)

And how can you not love this cover for 'Prophecy of the Sisters' by Michelle Zink. It's eerie/pretty at the same time.

I most recently picked up 'The Girl Who Could Fly' because of it's awesome cover. I just love the artwork on this!!!

Thanks for hoppin' by the blog today and I hope to see you again soon!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

I wish you and yours a fantastic day of family, food, and fun!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

S.O.S Book of the Week

The S.O.S Book of the Week is where I let you in on what new releases I'm looking forward to! S.O.S comes from the term 'Strict on Sale'. It's bookseller speak for a title that you can't sell before a specific date-- think Harry Potter. While the books I have here may not be S.O.S titles specifically, they are all new!

The S.O.S. Book of the Week is:

From Goodreads"Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?"

I LOVED 'Hex Hall'. In fact, 'Hex Hall' is a top contender for best YA novel of 2010 (in my opinion). Everything-- action, romance, storyline-- just fit together SO WELL! 'Demonglass' (or 'Raising Demons' for UK readers), due out February 15th, 2011, has a lot to live up to because of that!!!

Reviews are already in on ARC's that a few lucky folks received and so far, though I haven't read any of the reviews in detail, it seems author Rachel Hawkins has another hit on her hands with 'Demonglass'. (Thank goodness!) 

Me, I can't wait to get my hands on this book and if for some reason I don't get it in ARC form, you bet I'll be in the bookstore February 15th looking for it!!

Are you looking forward to this novel?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Monster High (Books, Dolls, TV pilot)

Have you heard about 'Monster High'? Some would call it a super cool line of dolls out by Mattel. Others would say it's a fun new book series by Lisi Harrison. Another would exclaim that 'Monster High' is a fantastic cartoon aired on the web and on Nick. All three would be right. Mattel has done magic with this 'Monster High' line.

You would think, well, this is a a book blog. Let's see the book review. Well, to be totally honest, I tried to review just the book and failed. Miserably. I kept referring to all the other elements involved in Mattel's crazy (fantastic) marketing plan. So, here is my solution to the problem. I've split this up into three portions and will be sharing my thoughts on the entire 'Monster High' universe.

The Dolls:

Just like 'Jem and the Holograms' dolls were the inspiration for the hit cartoon, the 'Monster High' doll line is the inspiration for everything 'Monster High'. Without the dolls, we would have none of the awesome 'Monster High' thing we have now. The idea around each dolls is simple-- they are all children of monsters. Frankie Stein is Frankensteins daughter, Draculara is Dracula's daughter, Lagoona is the child of a sea monster, etc.

The original doll line, officially launched in July 2010, featured 6 dolls (5 females, 1 male). Although a second wave has been released (Dawn of the Dance- including three re-release dolls) and a new beach themed line (Gloom Beach) is on the way, the original wave is still hard to find in stores.

I personally own only two of these dolls--Frankie Stein (the exclusive hard to find grey-scale version) and Lagoona Blue. Complaints? None. Well, no, that's not exactly correct. My only complaint is that they're so hard to find in stores. Merciless ebay sellers (*cough* scalpers *cough*) are buying these up and selling them for way more than Mattel intended us to buy them for. They're nearly impossible for the target market (girls and collectors) to find!!!

I love lots of things about these dolls. First off, the design/character development. Each doll has a clearly defined character. You know who's friends with who, what they do out of school, and even who they are 'crushing' on. In the same respect, each doll has very unique features and face molds. Lagoona Blue, for example, has really popping eyes, I mean, slightly 'fish bowl' eyes. Frankie has scars and bolts all over her. Clawdeen, daughter of the Wolfman, is clearly designed to have some wolf like qualities. None of the dolls in this line can be mistaken for any other unless you really don't know much about the horror genre.

Their bodies are long and thin and are designed so that limbs can pop off, making it easier to change outfits. The bodies are definitely not suitable for those under 3, but like most Barbie type dolls, they are not recommended for those who might still chew or bite their dolls. While they model unrealistic body types, I don't feel this line (or any doll line for that matter) needs to be 100% realistic. (Dolls shouldn't be teaching kids about body image-- parents should... But that's a whole other can of worms!)

I have to give these dolls 5/5 Stars. They rock, truly rock. To quote Jem (of the Holograms), they are truly outrageous.

The Pilot- 'New Ghoul @ School':

On Halloween, Nick had a special 'Monster High' event and aired a thirty minute 'special' starring Frankie and the gang. Now, at thirty minutes, it's clear to me that this was not made to only be a one off-- it was totally a test pilot. A few years back, I worked in the 'research' division at Warner Bros. One of our main jobs was to review test pilots. As an intern, I didn't do much of the actual 'research', but I did get to see the whole process. It was actually pretty darn cool. Anyway, I can pretty much see a pilot coming and the 'Monster High: New Ghoul @ School' special was definitely a pilot.

Again, the character design (this time for the screen) was fantastic. From what I can tell, the animation was some sort of flash/CG thing. It was nice, bright, and smooth. The voice acting was spot and the voices seemed to fit the character design quite well!

Were I to rate the special, I'd have to give it 3/5 stars. It was a cute 28 minute pilot and was a good introduction the the concept, but I would have loved to see a bit more story (more like the shorts)!  I would totally DVR this series.

The Book- 'Monster High' by Lisi Harrison:

From Goodreads, "They prefer to call themselves RAD (Regular Attribute Dodgers), but some call them monsters. So far, the "monster" community has kept a low profile in Salem, but this year two new girls enroll at Master High School, and the town will never be the same.

Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and cheerleading. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters who might be stalking the halls, Frankie finds that life in the "normi" world can be rough for a chic freak like her."

I've never read the famous 'Clique' novels so I can't compare 'Monster High' to those. I found 'Monster High' to be entertaining in a 'fluff' sort of way. Negatives? I don't think Lisi needed to add the human girl Melody to the story or even needed to bring in the 'monsters in hiding' aspect. The story would have been super if she'd just kept the whole 'high school for monsters' sort of thing. Frankie would still have the problem of fitting in, I would assume, because she's pretty unique (being Frankensteins child).

Positives? Surprise, surprise, I loved Frankie's perspective. It was just plain fun! Also, I loved the RAD meetings. Getting to see the monsters in their element was great reading. For those who haven't read about the dolls or watched the pilot, the characters will keep you guessing. There are hints spread throughout the novel on who might be what, but the text will keep you guessing until the big reveal.

'Monster High' gets 3/5 stars. Add a star if you love the Mattel doll line. Melody's storyline bored me a bit, but the young monsters rocked.  I'll be continuing this series and hope to see more of the monsters and their families more in upcoming novels.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Star Wars Fans Unite: A Message for Katie

Recently, a blogger on ChicagoNOW wrote an entry on her daughter, a young Star Wars fan, getting bullied because she used an R2D2 water bottle in school.

Here's a quick excerpt from the article:

"But a week ago, as we were packing her lunch, Katie said, "My Star Wars water bottle is too small. It doesn't hold enough water..."
I was perplexed. "Katie, that water bottle is no bigger than your Star Wars one. I think it is actually smaller."...

I kept pushing the issue, because it didn't make sense to me. Suddenly, Katie burst into tears.

She wailed, "The first grade boys are teasing me at lunch because I have a Star Wars water bottle. They say it's only for boys. Every day they make fun of me for drinking out of it. I want them to stop, so I'll just bring a pink water bottle."
The idea that bullying is going on in a first grade classroom really makes me wonder whats happened to schools these days. Were I this girls teacher, I know what I would have done. I would have gone out to the store, bought a Star Wars themed water bottle and displayed it on my desk to teach the students that nothing is 'just for boys' or 'just for girls'.  And the other reason?  Because, I really do love Star Wars!

To Katie, I'd like to say that I am a huge Star Wars fan and have been since I was as old as you! I'm in my twenties now and can't remember a time when I didn't love the Star Wars universe! I still watch the movies, quote the movies, read the books, and even collect some of the toys! Star Wars fans come in all genders, shapes, and sizes. You shouldn't feel ashamed of anything you like just because some silly boys don't understand. Me, I think it would be awesome to have a Star Wars water bottle to take to work! Keep your chin up, Katie, and may the force be with you! :)

Female Star Wars fans from all over have been commenting, tweeting (under hashtag #maytheforcebewithkaite), and posting messages to this young Star Wars fan all over the web to let Katie know she's not alone! If you are a SW fan, I invite you to add your thoughts to the newest article, your tweet page, or blog!

As a side note-- if you haven't been to Her Universe to check out the female friendly Star Wars clothing line,  I recommend you do!  I own two t-shirts and a sweatshirt and LOVE them!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Blogger Hop/Follow Friday/Update

Hello to all my new and old visitors.  Thanks for stopping by!  Here's a look at what happened this week here on the blog!  Looks like this year (so far) I've read 61 books!  That's around 5 books a month, if I did the math right.  Geez Louise!  I'm a bit disappointed in that number, but I have a month and a half left to pick it up!

How Long Have You Been Blogging?
Answer:  Only counting the months that I actually kept up with posts, I've been blogging almost a year!  Time sure flies when your having fun!!! This is the first time I'm participating in FF.  I hope to make it another weekly staple here!

Book Blog Hop 

Book Blogger Hop

"Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, let's use this week's Hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our holiday traditions are!"
My Answer: On Thanksgiving, we always eat a huge family dinner.  Usually, my grandfather and uncle's family come (which includes 3 kids under 5!).  This year, we are eating at my other grandfather's house, meaning we'll have around 15 or so people with us!  Geez Louise!

Review: Avalon High Movie (With Spoilers)

Good news!  Come December, I'm looking to host a contest (open to US and Canada)! Here's the deal, though. My goal is to hit 95-100 followers to make that happen.  That's only around 20 shy of what I have now.  Details are still in the works, but I invite you to take a peek at my blog and if you like the content, 'follow' me.  Make sure to make note of it in a comment, so I can check your blog out, too!

Also, my friend recently opened up a blog herself.  Check it out here!

And lastly, if you haven't checked out the 'Dream Bigger Reinvention' contest, I suggest you do so now!  

Have a dream or new years resolution you need a bit of help achieving?   All you need to do is write up a quick paragraph on your dream and you'll have a chance to win tons of really great prizes.  Me, I want the butterfly necklace most, but who could pass up all the life coaching prizes involved in this giveaway?!  Enter away!

I stumbled upon this the other day on YT.  I think it's one of the best book related videos I've seen on YT for a while!  For all you Hunger Games fans,  it's worth checking out.  If you haven't read the book, it includes very big spoilers surrounding Katniss and Rue.  I suggest Kleenex if you are at all emotional! *NOTE* Watch on YT if the layout cuts off the right side of your video!***

Thanks for peeking at BBOB's and have a good hop, guys!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review: Avalon High-- The Movie (With Spoilers)

(This has spoilers, mainly on the changes made to the story.  You've been warned.)

Published in 2005 by Meg Cabot, 'Avalon High' is one of my favorite books.  Originally when Disney picked up the rights, I was excited.  Now that I've seen it, I think Disney missed the mark a bit.  'Avalon High' was a decent Disney special, best watched by those who haven't read the book.
The Synopsis (From Disney Movie Guide)--

Avalon High at first appears to be a typical American high school to Allie Pennington, a transfer student, but soon the perception changes. Allie begins noticing unmistakable similarities between her new school and the legendary Camelot, and as the story progresses, Allie becomes obsessed to the point that she is convinced it's up to her to solve the mystery lest history repeat itself."

The cast-- All in all, I liked the cast.  They were all believable in their roles, even down to main character Allie's quirky parents. The two leads Brittany Robertson and Gregg Sulkin  (as Allie and Will respectfully) played off each other well and were pretty similar to what I pictured while reading the book.  

My only real qualm was Gregg's accent.  He slipped into his native London accent a few times.  I almost would have preferred if he had just used his actual accent.  (Yes, he's supposed to be an all american footballer, but no one said an all american footballer couldn't have spent his preschool years overseas and never lost the accent.)

The story--  All adaptations have changes.  I understand that.  And 'Avalon High'?  Well, in the beginning, I was okay with the changes.  The addition of Miles, the Merlin of the story, was fine with me.  The foreshadowing in the dreams about what was to come?  I was okay with that, too.  And with those minor changes, they also hit on some key factors of the book.  Running through the woods, seeing Will in his 'spot'-- loved it.  (I would have loved to see scene where Will unexpectedly arrives at Allie's house and surprises her on 'Spider Rock' and the confession scene in the woods, but alas, we weren't treated to those!)

The part that hurt this adaptation?  The last 15 minutes.  That is when the story went from a decent adaptation into 'what the heck were they thinking' territory.  I should have seen it coming and half of it I did.  I knew that Marco wasn't going to play the same role as he did in the book and I had the teacher pegged from the beginning, but when it comes to who the true reincarnation of Arthur turned out to be?  Shocked.  (See more below on my opinion on that...)

My Final Verdict-- It was turning out so decently until the end.  If you haven't read the books, I think you might enjoy this movie.  It wasn't up to par with the greats-- Halloweentown, High School Musical, or Brink-- but was watchable.  If you've read the book series, be prepared for major changes.  My rating: 3/5 stars

I'm all for girl power, but the story had a good amount of girl power as originally written. There was no need to make Allie the reincarnation of Arthur and Will no more than a knight.  If we are meant to believe Allie is playing Arthur's role, than the famous love triangle of Lance, Gwen, and Arthur plays no real role in this.  Changing the Arthur reincarnate character down grades the story-- a lot!

What did you think of the movie?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fantasy Cast: The Host

Now that the Twilight movie franchise is almost complete, it's time to look to another Stephenie Meyer title-- 'The Host'. 'The Host' is one of my favorite books and I really hope they do it justice on the silver screen.

For you enjoyment, here is my fantasy cast for 'The Host'.

Ian Somerhalder (credits: Vampire Dairies, Lost) as Ian:

Ian is perfect for the role of, well, Ian. He has the look and the acting chops!

Matt Lanter (credits: 90210, The Clone Wars) as Jared:

Matt is under-rated as an actor. Take him out of the 90210 environment and I think we'll see a lot from him. Jared is a tough character to cast because he has to be a semi-likable jerk through most of the movie. Dress him up like the 26 year old he is and I think Matt could accomplish that (and win a few hearts while doing it).

Runner up for Jared: Eoin Macken (credits: Merlin)

Jason Behr (credits: Roswell) as Kyle:

I wanted to find an actor that looked like he could be related to Ian. Jason bears a bit of a resemblance. I think this movie could thrive as an ensemble piece as long as it's not cluttered down with 'blockbuster' actors. Jason worked wonders in his 'Roswell' years working in an ensemble and could do the same here as Kyle.

Jeff Fahey (credits: Lost) as Jeb:

It was hard picking Jeb! I went through so many-- John Goodman, Treat Williams... But I think I have my favorite. Jeff Fahey played the pilot on Lost during the last few seasons and he kind of looks like the Jeb I was looking for. Plus, along the same lines as Jason, he works well in an ensemble!!!

William Sadler (credits: Roswell) as Doc:

I don't know about any physical description, but I always pictured doc older and skinny (not built). William Sadler would be perfect. He plays emotional well and has good comedic timing. Most importantly, he has a friendly persona that comes off swimmingly on screen!

Jemima Rooper (credits: Hex)as Melanie/Wanderer:

I found it really hard to pick Melanie/Wanderer's actress. I'm not 100% happy with this casting, but I think Jemima Rooper might be a good pick.  That being said, who would you place here?

So there you have it. My fantasy cast for 'The Host'. How does it compare to yours? Who do you think should play Wanderer? What characters do they need to get right for you to watch this adaptation?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

S.O.S Book of the Week

Typically, I post these on Thursdays, but I missed last week.  Enjoy!

The S.O.S Book of the Week is where I let you in on what new releases I'm looking forward to! S.O.S comes from the term 'Strict on Sale'. It's bookseller speak for a title that you can't sell before a specific date-- think Harry Potter. While the books I have here may not be S.O.S titles specifically, they are all new!

The S.O.S. Book of the Week is:

"The fourth book in this electrifying vampire series has all the romance, suspense, and page-turning drama that have made Claudia Gray’s Evernight books runaway successes.

Having become what they feared most, Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality. They must return to Evernight Academy, Lucas as a vampire and Bianca as a wraith. But Lucas is haunted by demons, both personal and supernatural. Bianca must help him fight the evil inside him, combat the forces determined to drive them apart—and find the power to claim her destiny at last.

Readers have fallen in love with Bianca and Lucas, and they will be thrilled to read this exciting conclusion to their romantic adventure."

Claudia Gray's 'Evernight' series is one of those that I just fell into.  Funnily enough, it was my mom that kept me reading it.  She just plain enjoyed them so much that I had to continue.  I'm glad I did.  This series has turned out to be a great read.  It will come as no surprise that I'm looking forward to the conclusion, 'Afterlife', due on store shelves March 2011.

What do I expect?  I honestly couldn't tell you. At this point, the characters have taken so many paths I didn't expect that I've given up on guessing.  My fingers are crossed that the ending is happy and that we see more of Balthazar.  (He happens to be my favorite character of the bunch!)

Are you looking forward to 'Afterlife'?  Are you jealous of those who received ARC's?  (I am!)  What do you want to happen?

Review: Vixen by Jillian Larkin

Title: Vixen
Author: Jillian Larkin
Genre: YA, Historical, Romance,
Perfect for: readers who need a break from 'current day' reads

Format: ARC
Release Date: December 14, 2010
Star Rating: 3/5 Stars

Taken from Goodreads:

"Jazz... Booze... Boys... It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?
Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . . 
Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry..."

Usually, a novel with the 'good girl gone bad' vibe doesn't catch my interest. Thanks to the historical nature of 'Vixen', however, this one did. To put it simply, I enjoyed reading 'Vixen'. A lot of the enjoyment came from the decade in which the novel is set-- the roaring 20's.  I've never read a novel set in the prohibition days and schools, well, they don't do a great job at teaching that era of US history. 'Vixen' was a nice chance to at least read a bit about the era, however romanticized author Jillian Larkin wrote it!

'Vixen' also touched home a bit for me because, while not a flapper, my great grandmother was a young adult in Chicago during the time period in which this novel took place. In 1923, my great grandma would have been twenty-two and was already married with child, but even for those who didn't 'party hardy' in speakeasy's, it must have been a neat time to live (albeit dangerous if you crossed the wrong person)!

Plot wise, I like the historical elements in the story. They were new to me and quite engaging. Larkin did a good job describing the prohibition period, as well as the novel's basic local's. The romance felt a bit weak, coming off forced or at least under-developed. I would have loved to see some scenes that 'built up' the relationship between romantic leads Gloria, white society girl engaged to be married, and Jerome, black jazz pianist, as opposed to the instantanious love connection we received in 'Vixen'. That being said, I like the pairing.

The characters are likable and interesting, though picky readers might find them to be a little flat. The main POV's of the novel are Gloria, Clara, and Raine. Each has their own storyline that nicely weaves together into the main one. Yes, certain elements of each seem too easy, but nonetheless, they're fun to read.

One of my favorite things about this novel? The language! I love the lingo that was used in this period piece. It kept the novel's writing fresh and gave us readers a bit more insight into the era.

For those worried about 'Vixen' having adult themes, don't worry. For all the drinking mentioned in this series, it's not as bad as you might assume it to be. Do the characters drink? Yes-- they're in a speakeasy, they can't exactly decline. Do they do anything that I think would be traumatizing for a 14 year old? Nope, not that I read. Compared to other popular series (think 'Gossip Girl'), this is nothing.

Should you pick up 'Vixen'? I think so. Forgiving the slightly under-developed elements, it is a good departure for those of us who don't always want something set in the typical 'present day, present time'.  It's a solid 3 out of 5 stars from me!  'Vixen' hits store shelves December 14th, 2010.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

This Weeks Question is:

"If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series, do you always start with the first title?"

My Answer: Well, usually I do. Actually 99.9% of the time I do! There has been only one occurrence where I did read out of order and that was with the Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper. I read book 4 and 5 ('The Grey King'/'Silver on the Tree') first. I was just really drawn to cover and blurb of 'The Grey King'. I'm glad to have started out of order with it, however, because the last two books are the best. :-)

At the bookstore, I always recommend that customers read book series in order. It's quite a common question, believe it or not! Even with series that are numbered, further emphasizing that you should read them in order!!!

I had a woman buying books for a young girl the other day and she was looking for suggestions. I suggested the 'Emily Windsnap' series and for some reason, even though she wasn't sure if the girl had read the first book, she bought the third! I really tried to get her to buy the first one, because honestly, I had (and still have) no idea why she bought the third book in the series when she really does need to read the first one at least to understand the series...  But, as you in retail know, the customer is *always* right.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Holiday Movies 2010 (Adaptations)

Christmas is quickly approaching and with Christmas comes a great selection of big box office movies. During my youth, it was a common habit to go to a movie on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why? Because usually there are some majorly hyped movies coming out around that time. What do we have to look forward this holidays season in terms of books turned movies?

*NOTE: This layout cuts off the right side of YT clips.  Click the clip to watch directly from YT if you have trouble!*

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollow: Part 1 from Warner Bros./Release Date: November 19th
We all know this is going to make a ton of money for months to come after it's November release. It's Harry Potter, for goodness sake. This movie will mark the beginning of the end for our favorite teen trio and it's probably just in time, too.

To be honest, I'm looking more forward to Part 2 (release date: July 2011) than this first part, because I happen to have found the second half of 'Deathly Hollow' far more interesting than the first part. That being said, I wasn't a huge fan of the 'Order of the Phoenix' in book form and enjoyed the movie quite a bit... :-)

'Tangled' from Walt Disney Studios/Release date: November 24th
Based on the story of Repunzel, 'Tangled' looks to be a winner and will surely find an audience come Thanksgiving! The Brothers Grimm version of this iconic tale (published in 1812) was originally based on a 1698 story entitled, "Persinette". Goes to show that fairy tales are never really forgotten.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader from Walden Media/Release Date: December 10th
Originally published in 1952, 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' is finally getting the silver screen treatment. The cast has returned to bring the third Chronicles of Narnia book to life. Hopefully Walden has learned from their mistakes on the almost disastrous 'Prince Caspian'.

What movies are you going to see this holiday season?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review: The Haunted by Jessica Verday

Title: The Haunted
Author: Jessica Verday
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance, slight Mystery
Perfect for: those who loved Caspian in 'The Hollow' Series
Star Rating: 3/5 Stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
"After a summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget Caspian, the boy she fell in love with by the bridge where her best friend drowned - the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead - Abbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, determined to leave the ghosts of her past behind. 

But Abbey is never going to truly be able to move on from Caspian and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side: for Caspian is a Shade and Abbey is his destiny. The two are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow and the famous legend that binds their fates - a legend whose true ending and dark truths they are only just beginning to guess..."

I found reading 'The Haunted' by Jessica Verday very similar to reading 'The Hollow'. I still stand by the concept of 'The Hollow' series. I love the overall plot of this series. It's fun, inventive, and not commonly seen in YA fiction! And this is all coming from a person who hasn't read the books inspiration, "The Headless Horseman".

'The Haunted' brings us a few months into the future. It's summer and main character Abbey has been 'recovering' from her delusions of seeing and faling in love with a ghost. She's almost convinced herself that Caspian is a figment of her imagination until she returns home. We watch as she tries to keep her life 'normal' and not delve back into the happenings of the year prior, but slowly she is drawn back into the shadow world-- Caspian's world. Once there, she can't let go and can't keep lying to herself about the boy she loves.

I'm a huge fan of Caspian. I like him. Thankfully, much of this book revolves around learning what he truly is and what his limitations are. His interaction with Abbey is always entertaining and quite surprisingly, the sexual tension is written superbly! I say it's surprising, because, well, as a ghost, he can't exactly touch her or she him. A few scenes, even without them touching, made me blush a bit!

Abbey is back narrating this tale and we get a lot of what we got in the original tale-- normal life. We see family dinners, part time jobs, and get a few science lessons. All in all, though, I didn't mind it. I love the parts that involved her mixing scents for her perfumes and discussing her future shop. As far as YA characters come, Abbey's a pretty good role model for teens.

Without going into spoiler territory, I love the new big bad introduced in this novel. I'm looking forward to learning more about him and how he's connected to Abbey. Also, the new creepy khaki kids-- love them! (At least I think! I need to read book three to know for sure!)

If you read 'The Hollow' you know it ended with many questions and little in terms of answers. 'The Haunted' answers some of those questions-- mainly about Caspian. It also brings a whole new slew of questions to the forefront. I really wish the novel had ended at a different point.

Like the original, 'The Haunted' is l-o-n-g. Almost too long. It would have been nice if the book were 75 (or so) pages shorter, but that's just my opinion. I'm a clear believer that page count doesn't necessarily mean better. The main plot takes a while to get into and the real action doesn't start until the last third of the novel. I would have loved for the main plot to start earlier and the action to come more towards the middle.

Overall, this gets 3 stars out of 5. I love the characters, cute romance, and overall plot, but just wish the main plot points would have come into play earlier than the very end.  Definitely a novel you want to check out!

Here's a quick look at the book trailer for the series:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

This weeks question is:
"What are your feelings on losing followers? Have you ever stopped following a blog?"

My Answer: Honestly, I feel if you follow a blog, you are saying to the webmaster, "I like your stuff and plan on checking back". Myself, I've never stopped following a blog, but I don't just follow any ol' blog, either. I try to only follow blogs that I think I want to revisit-- which has turned out to be a bunch of YA review sites, author sites, and Doctor Who related stuff!

When I lose I a follower, it's a bit disheartening, but I'll find another one eventually. Would I like to keep all my followers? Of course! But those that stop following my little home sweet home here on blogspot, I get it.  :-)


On a happier note-- I just received an ARC for 'Queen of the Dead' by Stacey Kade!!!  It's the sequel to her debut novel 'The Ghost and the Goth'.  Hands down, Stacey is one of the kindest authors I know!  Stacey, you rock!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy November!

It's that time again! Welcome to November 2010. Only 54 days till Christmas, by the way! Time to start shopping!

Down the Rabbit Hole is hosting some great guest posts in honor of their 'Love Triangle Week'! Head on over to the site to join in on the fun and to cast your 'Team' vote! Books included in this love triangle week are 'Hunger Games', 'Matched', 'Uglies', and more!

To be honest, I haven't been able to pick up my current read at all this past week. I'll be back with my regularly scheduled book review next week.

I'd like to extend good luck to any bloggers who are NaNo'ing this month! I always have good intentions, but never finish! I plan on starting later this week. :-)