Monday, February 22, 2010

Book Meme-- Countdown

This week, check back for a review of the Lightning Thief and Shiver.  For now, here's a meme I found on the bookmeme LJ.  Enjoy!

Name five fictional characters that you would invite to a tea-party.
1- Meggie (Inkheart)
2- Jane Drew (Over Sea Under Stone)
3- Barney Drew (Over Sea Under Stone)
4- Alice Cullen (Twilight)
5- The Cat in the Hat (The Cat in the Hat)

Name four fictional characters that you would you want with you on a long sea voyage.
1- Harry Potter (Harry Potter)
2- Edward Cullen (Twilight)
3- Adrian (Vampire Academy)
4- Bran (The Grey King)
*NOTE:  Did you notice how I chose eye candy?*

Name three fictional characters that you would you want to spend a day at the zoo with.
1- Will Stanton (The Grey King)
2- Jacob Black (Twilight)
3- Ron (Harry Potter)

Name two fictional characters you would like to put against a wall and shoot (or if you're non-violent even in memeland, two fictional characters you'd like to narrow your eyes at, and mean it).
1- Dmitri (Vampire Academy)
2- Cam (Fallen)  *Thanks, Angela*

Name one fictional character that you'd like to have living in your house for a year.
1- Any good House Elf would do! (Harry Potter)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Article: Percy Jackson and the Olympians- The Lightning Thief Box Office Update

According to Box Office Mojo, Percy Jackson made $31,236,067 in its opening weekend placing it in the number 2 spot for ticket sales and has currently made $43,460,392.00 in the US alone.  Not too shabby for something that has only been out for a week!

While I haven't seen the movie on one of the 3,000+ screens showing it yet, have you?  What did you think!  Remember to keep spoilers to a minimum.  (I haven't finished the book yet!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Forever Favorites: Heirs of the Force by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta

We all have our favorite books, books we can't imagine not reading over and over again.  Here's another one of my 'Forever Favorites’...

Title: Heirs of the Force
Author(s): Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta
Genre: YA, Star Wars, Sci-fi
Perfect for: Star Wars fans young and old

Originally published in 1995, "Heirs of the Force" by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta is another of my 'forever favorites'.  I'm a huge Star Wars fan and of all the expanded universe novels, the Young Jedi Knights series is my favorite.  "Heirs of the Force" is the first in that series.

Fourteen-year-old twins Jaina and Jacen Solo are off to Luke Skywalkers Jedi Academy to be trained by Uncle Luke and other jedi masters in the ways of the Force.  The twins are force sensitive in different ways-- Jaina with mechanics and Jacen with animals. The twins quickly make friends in Lowbacca, Chewie's nephew, and Tenal-Ka, a Hapen warrior.  While practicing in the jungle, the four stumble upon an old Tie Fighter-- and its pilot who's been living in the woods since the crash!  Will the Young Jedi Knights be able to convince the pilot that his ties to the Empire don't matter anymore after all those years of surviving the jungle waiting for his call home?  Read "Heirs of the Force" and find out!

As mentioned above, I love the Young Jedi Knights series and this book is a great introduction to the characters and setting.  You don't have to be a Star Wars wiz to understand the books.  You don't even need to have watched the movies, though it would help!  "Heirs of the Force" is aimed at 10 and up, though younger and older Star Wars fans should enjoy this book and the following eleven books in the Young Jedi Knights series.

All the books, including "Heirs of the Force", have a great mix of action, adventure, humor, and life lessons.   The characters are interesting to read about and the plenty of characters from the movies pop in, as well.  The best part of the Young Jedi Knights series is that they read like a popcorn flick--  nothing you have to think on too much.  All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the adventures the Solo children and their friends find themselves in.  Highly recommended!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines Day Reads

Happy Valentines Day to all my readers!  I hope the 14th brings you laughter and joy-- or a least a box of chocolates!

Need some sappy, beautiful, hilarious titles that are perfect for Valentines Day?  I thought you might!  Here are some of my favorite romance'y titles to read!  Enjoy my Valentines Day Reads!

1- "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer: Regardless of my opinion of the sequels, "Twilight" is awesome chick lit.  It is full of sappy romance, which I frankly don't mind in the least!

2- "Certain Slant of Light" by Laura Whitcomb:  This ghost story has a great deal of beautiful, lyrically written romance that I love.  The story follows two ghosts as they discover love again, as well as work on why they are stuck on the ghostly plain.  Beautiful story!

3- "Hana Yori Dango"/"Boys Over Flowers" by Yoko Kamio:  This shoujo manga series is good for any age group, be it YA or adult.  The love 'square' is one of the best I've read in a manga series so far.  The story follows Makino, a poor girl who attends a rich school, as she encounters the gorgeous and rich 'leaders' of the school known as F4, and slowly finds her life increasingly entangled with theirs.

4- "Full Moon [W]o Sagashite" by Arina Tanemura:  Another shoujo manga, this title is about a girl who has cancer who has always wanted to sing.  When two shinigami enter her life and grant her the chance to live her dream with the time she has left by changing her into a teenage pop star, she leaps at the chance.  While the description doesn't make it seem romantic, this title really does have one of the cutest relationships I've read in manga form.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Review: Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Title: Guardian of the Dead
Author: Karen Healey
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance
Format: ARC
Perfect For: Those looking for a different mythology in their supernatural romance

Inspired by New Zealand myths, debut author Karen Healey has crafted a story  packed with mythology, romance, action, and a bit of theatrics in "Guardian of the Dead".  Ellie attends boarding school in New Zealand.  When she unknowingly stumbles into her crush, the mysterious but not completely human Mark, he accidentally opens Ellie up to her own  hidden powers.  Not completely sure of what is going on, Ellie relies on Mark and quickly learns that myths and legends are all based in truth-- the good and the evil.   

"Guardian of the Dead" proved to be a worthwhile read.  The inspiration, New Zealand mythology, was a pleasant break from the current vampire and fallen angel trend in YA books.  Let's start with the characters... While main character Ellie reminded me a bit of Dru (Strange Angels) and Rose (Vampire Academy), she still had an interesting voice.  The fact that she has a 'girl power' attitude, yet still has body image problems should resonate with YA readers and bring them closer to the character.  Mark is your typical male lead, mysterious and endearing enough that readers will fall in love with him instantly. 

The story flowed nicely and the myths were explained in a way that read fun and not textbook.  The story is unique and is sure to please readers who are tired of the same old 'vampire story' found on bookshelves today.  I had trouble with the last fifty pages.  I'm unsure why-- it might have been rushed or maybe the mythology had finally gotten the better of me.  All I know is that the last bit didn't hold as much attention as the first 75% of the book.

With that said, I would recommend this book to YA readers, especially for those looking for something with a new, less predictable twist.  "Guardian of the Dead" comes out April 2010 and is available to preorder online and at your local bookstore!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Quick Update!

Sorry I've been MIA this past week.   Next week, I'll be back on my usual schedule.  As you  can see, I posted a review for Guardian of the Gate today.  Expect a review for Guardian of the Dead later this week, too!

If you follow my Goodreads, you'll notice that I'm finally reading The Lightning Thief!  I've sold enough Percy Jackson books to kids at the store and with the movie coming out, well, I think it's about time I read them!

A quick note-- I love followers!  Don't forget to click 'follow' on the blog to get up to date reviews!  (Also, followers mean hits which mean contests!!!)

Review: Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink

Title: Guardian of the Gate
Author: Michelle Zink
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance, Period
Format: ARC
Perfect For: those who read "Prophecy of the Sisters" or like historical supernatural pieces like "A Great and Terrible Beauty" by Libba Bray

Lia knows it’s essential to find the missing pages of the prophecy her and her twin sister are woven into.  With Alice still aligning herself with the darkness, Lia is working towards ending the prophecy and closing the gateway to hell on earth before the need to open the gate consumes her.  With two human key’s missing and pages of important text missing, Lia goes on a quest that takes her to the mystical city of Altus, home to her magical bloodline, of the Sisters who know her cause, and the protective, yet authoritative Brothers of the Grigori. 

*Note: Slight spoilers on future romantic entanglements—You've been warned*

Sequel to the fantastic “Prophecy of the Sisters”,  “Guardian of the Gate” does not disappoint.  I devoured this book.  It’s been a while since I read “Prophecy…”, so I was a bit worried about jumping into this. Thankfully, the transition between “Prophecy” and “Guardian of the Gate” was pretty seamless.  

Where the first book was based heavily on character development and setting, “Guardian of the Gate” was purely story driven.   The action/adventure elements were present throughout but were never over done to the point where I would usually start skimming.  Like the first book in this trilogy, it read like a movie—I could see the scenes in my head.

The writing style is as lyrical as “Prophecy…” and the romantic scenes between Lia and Grigori Dmitri are perfect. The emotions Lia faces when thinking of James, the beau Lia left to save him from her troubles, and Dmitri, the protective companion who willingly accepts to stay by her side, are realistically portrayed and believable to the reader.

Overall, I really enjoyed “Guardian of the Gate”.  It is a page-turner you’ll want to clear an afternoon for.  “Guardian of the Gate” hits store shelves August 2010, but you can pre-order it online or at your local bookstore now!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Book Meme -- General Information About Me and Books

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest? 
Hard to say.  A lot of my books are childhood favorites from 3rd grade on!

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?
Current: Guardian of the Dead
Last: Guardian of the Gate
Next: Linger

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?
 'Catcher in the Rye' or 'The Great Gatsby'...  Too hard to choose between those two! Oh, and then there's Tolkien...

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
'Little Women'.  I really do want to read it one day, though!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Question of the Month

The concept behind the Question of the Month is simple. I ask a question and you chime in with your responses! Not too complicated, but always fun!

The Question of the Month is: Have you ever picked up a book because the 'book trailer' made it sound neat?  Have book trailers become something you look for before purchasing a book?  

I'm a big fan of The Vampire Diaries on the CW.  Last week between oogling Damon and Stephan, I was happily surprised to see a book trailer for "Fallen" by Lauren Kate during the commercial break.  While I've never had a book trailer sell me a book right off the bat, I do enjoy viewing them and think they'll be getting better and better as the book trailer industry grows.