Friday, July 30, 2010

Fantasy Cast-- Vampire Academy

Have you been keeping up with the Vampire Academy producers on Twitter or Facebook?  Well, if so, you already know how proactive the producers are being at getting the fans input on the movie adaptation of the Vampire Academy series. It got me thinking-- who would I cast in the Vampire Academy Movie... Take a peek below!

Emily Browning (credits: Series of Unfortunate Events, Sucker Punch) as Rose:
Okay, she's got a new haircut and color now, but still she could totally pull off Rose.  She has a unique look that I think is a requirement for the character.

Ben Barnes (credits: Prince Caspian) as Dimitri:
It's no lie-- I totally dig the long dark locks on this guy.  He has the build, look, and attitude to totally rock the role of Dimitri!

Eliza Bennett (credits: Inkheart, Nanny McPhee) as Lissa:
So, she doesn't have that many credits.  Big deal.  I think she brought Meggie to life pretty darn well in Inkheart and think she could do the same for Lissa.

Skandar Keynes (credits: The Chronicles of Narnia series) as Christian:
Skandar could so pull off Christian.  He has the look and from what I've seen in the Narnia movies, the attitude. 

What about Adrian? I don't remember him being in the first VA novel, so I decided to leave him out. 

So what do you think of my fantasy cast?  Who would you like to see in the title roles?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Genre: YA, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, romance
Format: ARC
Release Date: November 2010
Perfect for:  those looking to read about an interesting world with mind-boggling practices in place

In this dystopian society, love is not a spur of the moment thing.  You are 'matched' with your perfect mate via a video screen during a grand ceremony.   Cassia has always followed and believed in what the Society has wanted her to do, until she puts in her data card with her match information and sees not one, but two faces.  She knows her original match, her best friend Xander, would give her the life she's always dreamed off, but Ky...  Ky could give her so much more.  Faced with decisions she never thought she'd have to face, Cassia uncovers secrets about her Society that make her question not just matching but their practices as a whole.

Oh, 'Matched'...  How I loved reading thee.  Seriously, I loved the mysterious society Ally Condie created in 'Matched'.  'Matched' has a good mix of romance, quirky dialogue, and mystery. The Society is an intriguing thing to read about.  I found it really easy to slip into Condie's future.  I was never confused about the goings on and never felt like her world was 'too' futuristic.  Just like baby bears porridge, this story set up is just right.

As for characters, I loved them.  They're likable and fleshed out.  Cassia, in particular, has a unique perspective and is a great narrator.  Some heroines come off as selfish when dealing with love triangles, but that is not the case with Cassia.  You can see via her narration that she isn't using either boy.  She clearly can see a future with each.  Until she finds she must choose one or the other.

Xander is your typical boy next door, dependable as ever, sort of guy.  He could be considered stereotypical of other boy next door characters, but is one step above, I think.

Ky, well, first off, I love his name.  Condie has a great sense for naming characters.  Ky totally lives up to his name.  Just like Cassia, I looked forward to scenes with Ky.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for guys with good names and a mysterious past!  And Cassia's grandfather, the Obi-Wan of the story, I loved the role he played, as well.  Condie did a great job at creating characters who you actually care for.

'Matched' is the first book in a series and officially comes out November 2010.  There are cliff hangers-- big ones.  It's a great book for those who are sick of supernatural romances or who loved books like 'Birth Marked' or 'The Eternal Ones'.  I predict 'Matched' will gather a fan following very quickly!  (Actually, it already has from the stuff I've seen on other sites!)  Take a look at 'Matched'!  It's highly recommended!

NaNoWriMo In August?

Yes, well, kind of.  For me, at least.  November has never worked out well for novel writing.  I've decided to give it a try in August.  Wish me luck!!!  I've never succeeded at this before, but I like the idea I woke up with this morning, so I'm running with it.  With 3 days of July ahead of me, I am working hard on the outline.

Don't worry... I won't be putting this blog aside or anything.  I just wanted someone to know that I'm taking the challenge to complete novel in a month (or so).  If anyone wants to join me on this adventure, the more the merrier!  Also, I ask that you bug me about my word count every now and then.  Procrastination gets the better of me a lot and if you keep poking me, I'm sure I will succeed this time round!!!

***Remember 20 more followers and contests will start!!!  Get your friends to sign up to follow me and maybe you'll both win a book or two!!!***

Sunday, July 25, 2010

News: More Sweet Valley High?

I wouldn't be doing my book blogging duty if I didn't comment about the news I just found out.  Author Francine Pascal is writing a new book about twins Elizabeth and Jessica.  This new book has been dubbed 'Sweet Valley Confidential- 10 Years Later' and is set to be released March 2011.

I read many a Sweet Valley reincarnations as a kid and even remember watching the TV show (and then rewatching it when it came to the library a few years back) that ran for four seasons.

This new title intrigues me.  This is what I think Ann M. Martin should have done instead of her prequel.  The idea of seeing the characters we grew up with now also all so all grown up... Well, I like it.

According to one site...
"The twins are 27 and still drop-dead gorgeous. Elizabeth...moved to New York after a bitter break-up and has been on the east coast for eight months. She's lonely and living in a tiny, dingy apartment.
Back in Sweet Valley, Jessica is in the midst of a divorce and apparently has done something unforgivable to her twin, who refuses to speak to her."
 If you head over to the main site for this new book release, add your e-mail to their mailing list and you should be sent the first chapter of this release.  I haven't received mine yet, but when I do, I'll let you know what I think of it!

Also, in case you weren't aware (like me), a movie adaptation is in pre-production. I'm sure the CW will be picking up a pilot next.  :p

As a side note, lots of info can be found at 'Shannon's Sweet Valley High Blog' on not just this, but the entire series.

What do you think of all this?

Bookshelf Update!

Hi All!

Just a quick update for those who don't keep up with my GoodReads. Look out for a review of Mary Hoffmans 'City Of Ships', Stacey Kade's 'The Ghost and the Goth' and Shannon Delany's 'Thirteen to Life'.  All three were quite entertaining.

My next read is going to be Cornelia Funke's 'Reckless'.  I've been putting it off, but finally have the time to really dive into it!

On a sidenote-- anyone else wishing they were at San Diego Comic Con or the National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention this past weekend?  I sure was.  Next year... Next year...

Also, we're at 20 followers on this blog!  Fantastic, guys!  Thanks for deciding to keep up with 'Brooke's Box of Books'!  Originally, I said I needed 60 followers for a contest, but I'm lowering that to 40.  Just another twenty more and then I'll be able to unload some books on you! 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Question

The question Book Blogger Hop posted this week is:  
What book do you desperately need to get your hands on now?

My answer?  I'd love to be reading 'City of Ships' by Mary Hoffman.  'Mockingjay' is a close second!  And in the far FAR future, I'd love to get the sequel to 'Hex Hall' in my hands!!!

BBOB's Got An Award!!!!

Found a comment today on my Nook post saying I received an award from a fellow book blogger! Here it is for all to see!!!

This award comes with some rules, so here ya go!

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
I received this award from 'It's All About The Books'.  Head on over for some awesome reviews on a variety of books!!!

2. Share 7 things about yourself.
1- I've worked with books most of my life!
2- I typically listen to music that those my age don't-- The Monkees, Chicago, Showtunes, Barry Manilow, some K-bands...  I like some Evanescence and Within Temptation, too.
3- One of my favorite summer things is going to the Ren Faire or Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament!
4- One day, I plan to have my name appear in the opening or closing credits of a TV show.
5- Also, I'd like an IMDB page.
6- I collect dolls of all kinds.
7- I love traveling and would love to get a chance to go to Wales or back to Italy!!!

3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason!

4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award! I’m sure they’ll be thankful ;-)
Will do!

Review: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Title: Halo
Author: Alexandra Adornetto

Release Date: August 2010
Format: ARC
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance,
Perfect for: those who are tired of vampires and want a little more of an angelic read

Bethany and her two companions Gabriel and Ivy are angels sent from Heaven to help a small town that seems to be in need of angelic intervention.  The job is simple-- pretend to be humans and slowly spread joy throughout the town by working little miracles.  Gabriel and Ivy have worked on Earth before, but for Bethany it is her first time in a human vessel.  Because she is the youngest of the three, her charges are high school students. She runs into a bit of a hiccup, however, when she falls hard for a human boy. Will she be able to balance her mission and her newfound romance when darkness is on the move and aiming straight for her town?  'Halo' is the first in a planned trilogy written by young writer Alexandera Adornetto.

The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. I know, I know, don't judge a book by its cover and all that, but seriously, this book has a fantastic cover. I love the sunlit silhouette they decided for 'Halo'.

'Halo' is actually a really good book. The story is unique in the fact that the heroine is the angel, not the male lead. Bethany has a more grown up point of view, which is a nice change from some of the whiny, heroines we get periodically in YA titles. Her questioning ways kept Bethany from becoming flat or predictable. Her friends, fellow angels Gabriel and Ivy, are great secondary characters. I loved how alike, yet different they were from Bethany. They are parental units in this story, as well as confidants to Bethany. And the mortal boy in question, Xavier, falls a little flat, but overall plays his role well. You know how some main male leads just fall short of the other characters, Xavier felt a bit like that. Maybe he'll play a bigger part in the sequels...

The storyline had one main problem, I think. It's a problem that lots of YA books seem to have these days. It suffers from being too long! The book clocks in at 484 pages. I've read books that are longer that are just fine with their page count. 'Halo', however, looses its steam in the middle and takes a while to get it back. I think it could have been at least 50 pages shorter, if not more. Author Alexandra Adornetto takes time developing connections, which is fine, but she almost takes too much time. I repeatedly found myself thinking 'can we move this along, please'.

Overall, you should take a peek at 'Halo'. It has its problems, but is a good start to what could be a great series. 'Halo' will be on store shelves starting August 2010.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Review: Barnes & Noble Booksellers 'Nook'

With E-reader devices running a price marathon, trying to be the most affordable, many people (myself included) seem to asking the same thing: Is an E-Reader for me?

 I recently had the chance to play with the Barnes & Noble Nook Wi-Fi/G3. Truth be told, it's a pretty handy device. (Pun intended!) It's about the size of a mass market book and is comprised of an e-ink screen and a color touch screen. You can turn pages by using the four buttons (two on each side) or by flicking your finger on the touch screen. The e-ink has a nice, smooth look to it-- it looks as close to a real books pages as I've seen on one of these devices. I don't mind the fact that it isn't backlit. I'd rather not be reading a screen that is reminiscent of my computer screen!

There are two different versions out-- The Nook Wi-Fi and the Nook Wi-Fi/G3.  I was using the Wi-Fi/G3 Nook and let it connect to the online bookstore via G3 my entire time I used it.  The books downloaded within a minute and were instantly sent to 'My Library'. Once in my Library, all I had to do was 'Show Covers' and open my book! While reading, you have size options from small to extra extra large and three different fonts to choose from. You can't change the brightness of the screen (as it's not backlit). You can also bookmark pages, look up words, and write notes.

When it comes to extra's, I must say the browser leaves much to be desired. Since I don't need another web browser, it isn't too much of a deal breaker, but don't buy this for *just* web browsing. I like the fact that you can upload MP3's and add memory. Wouldn't want audio books clogging up my ebook space. (By the way, the Nook has 2 GB of memory.)

To test the Nook, I first decided to buy 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone'-- only to find out that JK Rowling has yet to give Ebook rights to any of her work. Thanks a bunch, Mrs. Rowling. (Why am I not surprised by this?) Next, I tried 'The Grey King' by Susan Cooper. It's one of my favorite books and I wanted to see if reading the ebook felt different than my usual paperback. I missed being able to flip ahead easily or to skim quickly through pages, but the ability to change the size and font was neat. This is silly (I know), but I do miss the ability to make the memories that come naturally with a physical book. It's hard to describe, but it seems hard for a paragraph on an ebook to make an imprint like the same one would with a physical book. Weird, I know.

I found the Nook to fit well in my hands and the weight didn't bother me. It is pretty purse friendly and commuters may find this to be quite the saving grace. I'm impressed by Barnes & Noble's Nook. While I'm not ready to make the move to e-books, the Nook is a nice device. Readers of E-books should enjoy this e-reader. Head over to your local Barnes & Noble or go to to learn more about the two devices!

UPDATE: I tried to download 'City of Ships' by Mary Hoffman last night, but that, too, is not out in e-book format.  *sigh*

Also, I decided to see what manga choices were available for the nook.  The Nook is not for manga/comic readers.  I didn't see any titles from major manga/comic publishers when I searched the 'Store'.  Everything I found was pretty adult-- not my taste. 

Last, I forgot to make mention of the battery life (per charge) of the Nook.  Booksellers say 4 days with the wi-fi on, 10 days without wi-fi.  I've found the battery life to be a tad shorter-- more like 2 to 3 days with the wi-fi turned on.  I didn't test it with the wi-fi turned off. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review: The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

Title: The Eternal Ones
Author: Kirsten Miller
Genre: YA, Romance, slightly Supernatural
Format: ARC

Release Date: August 2010
Perfect for: Readers who love 'fated' romances

"Have you ever fallen in love at first sight? Do you long for a place you've never been? Are you often overcome by the sensation of Deja-vu? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, you may have expirienced a previous life."- The Eternal Ones

Since childhood, Haven has been riddled with images from another life-- specifically from a past life where she was known as 'Constance' and in love with a man named 'Ethan'. The residents of her sleepy, religious town, grandmother included, don't understand her blackouts. The only one Haven knows she can trust is fellow outcast and best friend, Beau. Over the years, Haven has pretty much figured out how to block her flashes, but is shocked when rich playboy Iain Morrow appears on the television. She instantly knows that he is her Ethan. She also knows that she needs to find him to feel complete.

Ahhhh, 'The Eternal Ones'... I enjoyed reading this book. The reincarnation storyline interested me right off the bat. 'The Eternal Ones' definitely concentrated more on romance than what I typical read. There is a bit of a mystery involving Constance, Ethan, and the Ouroboros Society (a society for those who remember their past lives) to add to the romance, but it is heavily a story about two people finding each other. Still speaking on the story, it could have easily become corny, but thankfully strays away from that. Overall, 'The Eternal Ones' flowed well.

The characters Haven, Iain, and Beau are likable and fleshed out. Unlike a lot of heroines, Haven knows how to keep her cool and is as likable at the end of the tale as the beginning. Iain, well, he's a fantastic leading man. And Beau, as the best friend, isn't as annoying as best friends tend to be in YA titles.

As far as I can tell, 'The Eternal Ones' is a standalone. I have to thank author Kirsten Miller for writing a standalone in a world where we usually only see trilogies. It's a very welcome change!  EDIT: It has now come out that this IS part of a trilogy.  *sigh*  I stand by my word that this could be a great standalone novel.

Overall, I liked 'The Eternal Ones'. If you are looking for a story based around the idea that love truly never dies, then this title is for you. Check it out!

On a sidenote-- be sure to check out Millers' Blog!  And read about this webmistresses' past life, as read by Miller!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Michelle Zink Contest Update- Blog 2

The most recent blog announced to be hosting awesome Michelle Zink swag is 'The Story Siren'.  Head on over and enter to win some cool stuff!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Quick Review: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Title: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
Author: Tom Angleberger
Genre: Juvi, humor, school
Perfect for: Those who enjoy Wimpy Kid type books

Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of any Wimpy Kid-esc story, so giving 'The Strange Case of Origami Yoda' two stars out of five on my goodreads is still pretty good coming from me. I enjoy the Star Wars artwork throughout the book and love the cover. The book design was really nice, too. If you have a kid who loves 'Wimpy Kid' or 'Camp Confidential' books, plus loves 'Star Wars', this is for you! (Just not for me-- though I'll still be trying my hand at making my own Origami Yoda!)

Question of the Month: Eclipse

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: The third book in the Twilight Saga came to the big screen recently.  What did you think of 'Eclipse', the movie?  Was it better than the book?  Worse?  What was your favorite (or least favorite) bit? Share your thoughts!

I didn't mean to see Eclipse opening weekend. Actually, I was dead-set against it. As mentioned multiple times, I'm a recovered Twi-hard, keyword: recovered. My aunt, however, is a little more obsessed. When she and my (reluctant) uncle asked if I wanted to go to the theater to see it, I couldn't really say no. They were my only hope of seeing it as part of a group! (I don't like seeing movies by myself. I will, but it's always more fun with people you know!) So, long story short, I saw it opening day.

Overall, I enjoyed it more than the first two. I still don't think I'll be buying it on DVD anytime soon, but the fact that we weren't so inside Bella's head in the movie version of Eclipse helped the story a lot. Also helping Eclipse is the fact that Rob Pattinson smiles! I like seeing happy Edward! Charlie was priceless and always funny. He's always a welcome sight in these movie adaptations. And as for the Cullens, it was nice getting to see Jasper for more than a minute, though his accent sounded odd and a bit distracting. So, like I said, overall it may be the best of the movies so far. It's not anything I need to re-watch tomorrow, but it wasn't a complete waste of my money.

There's my answer-- now for yours!

News: Happy July, Folks!

I'd like to wish a Happy July to everyone!  I hope it brings some good reads into your hands! (I sure hope it does mine!)

On another note, keep the followers coming! I have a ton of books that I don't plan on re-reading and can't give them away until I have a large enough readership!!! I'll do my part by posting more reviews and trying to catch more of my typo's quicker, but need at least 60 followers before I can giveaway anything.

Feel free to comment, too! Comments make me happy (unless they're spam :p)!!! Trust me, you'll be doing your good deed of the day if you leave a fun comment on this little blog!

Big 'Thank You!' to all those who stopped by so far, especially the authors who have commented or tweeted my posts. You all rock!

That's it for now. Until next time, my friends!

Review: Black Heart by Justin Somper

Title: Black Heart
Author: Justin Somper
Genre: Juvi, Supernatural, Action
Perfect for: Reader who have read the first three titles in the 'Vampirates' series.

Connor and Grace have seen and done a lot since that fateful night in which they found themselves rescued by different ships. Where Grace has found a deep connection to the Vampiriates' ship, Connor has fallen just as much in love with being a pirate. Now, with their mothers ghost alive and walking, the twins learn the answer to the question they have asked themselves since the beginning-- What is their connection to the worlds they are becoming more and more attached to and what does that mean for their future? Major revelations are revealed that will draw you even further into the 'Vampirates' series!

'Vampirates', as a series, is one of my guilty pleasures. I just really enjoy the characters, dialogue, storylines, and settings-- which is funny, because I typically don't read 'pirate' books! 'Vampirates', somehow, has sucked me in from book one, page one. Book four, 'Black Heart' is no exception. In fact, I think this is one of the best in the series-- especially when you get into the second half of the book.

As usual, the chapters are broken up so we see an equal amount of Grace, Connor, and secondary characters. Also as usual, I loved Grace's storyline. You can definitely see how different the twins really are as this series grows. Grace's storyline had a good mix of revelations, action, and romance.  Lorcan is fantastic, as always.  He and Grace's relationship has evolved well over the series thus far and I am interested in seeing it evolve even more.

Connor's storyline, in the beginning went a bit slow for me, but picked up toward the middle and sailed smoothly along to the end. This didn't surprise me, as I usually find Connors storylines a little bit less engaging. I was surprised at the fact that I was so drawn in to Connor's storyline towards the end of the book, however. I wasn't shifting pages to see when I'd get back to Grace's storyline, like in the previous books.

I don't want to spoil, so I will only say that I love the fact that we finally know who's connected to who and why Connor and Grace are so special. The revelations make me wish I had the money to order book 5, 'Empire of Night', right off of Amazon UK, but I think I'll just have to wait till the US release date of August 2010.

Enjoy the read!!!  And if you haven't picked up this series at all, look for 'Demons of the Ocean', book one in the 'Vampirates' Saga.