Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness - February Wrap-Up

Book Soulmates
RAK is a monthly meme hosted by Book Soulmates. You can find out more and join in on the fun HERE.

My February RAK

When I was selecting who I would send a RAK to, I went by who was having a birthday this month. It's my birthday month, too, and who doesn't like random gifts? I found two ladies (one international, one US) who were also blessed with February birthdays and sent them goodies that I found on their wishlists.

I saw this on Kat's list, and I had to buy it for her immediately. This is one of the cutest books that I've read in a long time. Stephanie Plum is such a fun character, and I hope Kat enjoys the book as much as I did.

I personally do not read much Contemporary, be it young adult or otherwise, but I chose this book from Tee's wishlist because of the positive reviews I have read on it and its frequent appearances on wishlists. I will say that I was sweating a little bit about this choice, but I got such a sweet email from Tee after she received her book. It made my day.

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Author: Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: April 24, 2012

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her. (via Goodreads)

Let me first say that I absolutely love Edgar Allen Poe. If this book is anywhere near as dark or gruesome as the original short story, I am going to be over the moon. I have been squirmy-excited about this since I first caught wind of its existence. Yes, there is going to be the love triangle business happening, but I'll allow it if the writing and world-building is good. *winks*

Which book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cover Reveal: Starling

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Title: Starling
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: August 15, 2012

Love is just the beginning... of the end.

When Mason Starling rescues an unconscious young man from the ravages of a terrible storm—and he rescues her from the otherworldly creatures lurking in that storm—little does she know her whole life is about to spiral dramatically, mystically out of control. Someone is trying to kill her, someone else is trying to use her, and the only one who seems willing to help her is the tantalizing, dangerous stranger who can’t even remember who—or what—he is. All he remembers is his name: Fennrys Wolf.

What Fennrys doesn’t know is that, thanks in part to his past actions, a crack has appeared in the barrier between the mortal world and the Beyond Realms. The crack has opened up a nexus of dark energy in the middle of the East River and it’s attracting the attention of powerful entities on both sides of the rift.

Because of that, a longstanding truce involving the members of several ancient underworld cartels is now in jeopardy. Mason, Fennrys, and the students of elite Gosforth Academy—a neutral-ground “safe haven” for children of the Families—soon find themselves caught in the crossfire as the servants of the warring pantheons fight to see whose gods come out on top...and whose demons go down in flames.

Set in New York City, with all its dark, gritty sparkle, the STARLING saga explores the spaces between the worlds and the realms of the ancient gods… only a heartbeat beyond. It’s a tale spun from ancient mythologies—Norse and Greek and Egyptian—filled to the brim with adventure, danger, and romance, and played out against the backdrop of a city with its own siren-song.

From the universe of Lesley Livingston’s WONDROUS STRANGE, a new series and captivating heroine make their exciting debut.

Isn't this cover awesome?! I, personally, cannot WAIT to get my hands on this one. What about you guys?

Random Buzzers

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I recently joined the YA community, Random Buzzers. It is a fun teen book community where you can score free books, chat with authors, share reviews and more – all of which earn you Buzz Bucks. You can cash in those Bucks for all kinds of prizes like books, movies, gift cards & more!

I am enjoying checking out the site so far. I posted a question for R. J. Palacio about Wonder, and it was answered fairly quickly! Maybe it's not as interactive as Twitter, but it's the best site I'm yet to find.

It sounds good right?! If you are interested in joining up, I would really appreciate it if you used this little link down there and say that I referred you!

-----> Click Here to Join! <-----
My User ID: kaylabeck

I hope you join and add me as a friend!

A Little More About Me, or I Am Quite Strange

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Since there are more of you hanging about (if you don't mind, I'll pretend it's not the the giveaway and blog hop), I figure I should tell you a little more about me. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is what my birthday cake looked like three weeks ago.

And yes, it was delicious. Next year, I'm going to put in an order well enough in advance to get a specialty cake in the shape of a Dalek. This way anyone who says anything about what our lying government and incorrect records department ALLEGE my real age is can be exterminated.

As for this year, I was a happy nerd. See?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

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Author: Lia Habel
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: October 18, 2011

Dearly, Departed is the exciting and thrilling young adult debut novel of Lia Habel. It is a delightful mashing of dystopian, science fiction, paranormal romance, zombie, Victorian, and steampunk, despite being set in the year 2195. It has a lot going on, but still manages to pull off being, by far, one of my favorite reads for 2011.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

Although this book is advertised as being a romance novel, it was much more than that to me. Sure, there was a love story, but there was so much action and adventure going on around the blossoming romance between protagonist Nora Dearly and the dashing undead, Abraham Griswold. There are also several other characters who provide their points of view – in addition to the two lovers – to the story: Nora’s best friend, Pamela Roe; her father, Victor Dearly; and our villain, Wolfe. Once again, there was a lot going on in the book, but it was never tedious or confusing and allowed the story’s flow to stay interesting.

I was on a cruise when I read the book. Instead of playing in the pool on deck or hanging out in the bar, I was sucked into the lives of the characters. Lia Habel’s descriptive writing made me feel as if I was in Central/South America in the fantastic world that she had created, instead of being on my rocking ship. I could not step away from the story, because I needed to know what would happen on the next page. Chapters were not always a good stopping point since the POV changed so often, and I had to find out what had occurred since I left a character two or three chapters previously.

I loved the book, and it is definitely going to be one of my “Librarian Recommendations” to my young adults and adults who are young at heart.

*To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way affected the outcome.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review: Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells

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Title: Silver-Tongued Devil (Sabina Kane #4)
Author: Jaye Wells
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: January 1, 2012

This review contains spoilers if you have not read the previous books in the series.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Best Escapist Book Locations (3)

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Wizarding England

I was (mostly) an adult when I started reading Harry Potter. London and England both had always held a certain appeal for me. However, when J. K. Rowling's masterpiece planted the idea in my mind that there may be more, I was read to drop everything and find my way out of the Muggle world.* 

Of course, everyone dreamed about receiving that magical letter inviting them to attend Hogwarts. The castle is an amazing world in itself, consisting of moving staircases, rooms that only sometimes exist, ghosts, and a Forbidden Forest that just begs for shenanigans. While I would love to learn to use magic there, I found many of the teachers terrifying. (I'm looking at you Professor McGonagall.)

I would also love to take a shopping trip on Diagon Alley. I think I could while away a fortune at Flourish and Blotts bookstore. Other points of interest to me would be Gambol & Japes joke shop, Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor, and the Magical Menagerie. And who can forget Weasley's Wizard Wheezes? I would be lying, though, if I told you that the main reason I went was not to sit and stare for hours at the various wizardly passerbys. 

So, wizards of world, you may not exist and your world may be just a fun fantasy. However, I still imagine that one day you would open a position for me at the Ministry of Magic. I am quite happy being a Muggle, and I think I could do a superb job as the Ambassador for the American Muggles. I would even let you call me a Yank**.

*Hey, I said I was mostly an adult. We can all fantasize.

**Unless you're a wizard, don't call me a Yank. I'm from the South, and we don't care much for that label down here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Young Adult Paranormal Activity Giveaway Hop (INT)


Young Adult Paranormal Activity Giveaway Hop
February 24th to 28th

Up For Grabs:
These are books that I really want to read, but haven't had the opportunity yet. Instead of throwing one on my TBR pile, I'm passing it on to you! So you can choose Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood OR Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber.

So without further ado, get on this Rafflecopter thing!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be contacted by email after the giveaway ends and has 48 hours to respond. If s/he is terrible about checking email, a new winner will be chosen after the time has elapsed.

If Rafflecopter (or the blog administrator, but let's not say that) is terrible, please message me and let me know. Also, please don't put any personal information in the comments. Ways to contact me can be easily found in my About Me section. Now the time has come for you to hop elsewhere, as much as I have enjoyed your visit. Safe and happy hopping!

Cover Reveal: My Heart Be Damned

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Author: Chanelle Gray
Publisher: Knight Romance Publishing
Release Date: July 15, 2012

If you're a Hunter, there are only three things you must know about the Damned. The Damned can't lie, can't live without a body, and can't leave you alone.

Amerie Carter has the blood of a Hunter, unfortunately. She is one of a rare line of women who, upon her sixteenth birthday, will come into extraordinary powers used to hunt the Damned; escaped souls from Hell who take up residence in human bodies. It's supposed to be her sweet sixteen, but Amerie has never dreaded a day more, and her worst fears are confirmed as the celebration turns tragic when her mother is killed.

Grief-stricken, Amerie vows to never hunt a day in her life. She's determined to hide behind normalcy, attending school, hanging out with her friends and working an after-school job at The Hut. All Amerie wants is to be left alone. But try telling the Damned that. The harder Amerie tries to ignore her powers, the more the Damned come looking for her.

When an attack leaves one of Amerie's friends in the hospital, and endangers the lives of her fellow students, she knows she has no choice: Hunt or Be Hunted. Thankfully, the gorgeous, secretive, and so-off-limits Marshall offers to train Amerie to take out her supernatural enemies. But training with Marshall means leading lying to her friends, her family, and confronting the mysterious circumstances surrounding her mother’s death.

Amerie soon discovers she’s not the only one with something to hide, Marshall's secrets might kill her before the Damned get the chance. 

So what do you guys think of the cover?

Thenadays (5)

For the sake of trying something different here at Bibliophila, Please, Thursday is now Thenadays.

Author: Anne Rice
Publisher: Ballantine Books (I believe)
Release Date: 1985

Since I feel so utterly guilty about being unable to finish The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice, I find it necessary to share something that I do love about this author. 

I will admit that I did not read anything by Anne Rice before Interview with the Vampire came out at the movies. I was obsessed with Brad Pitt, and I somehow finagled my way into seeing this movie. Let me assure you, I was NOT anywhere near old enough to see this at the theater. Still, I managed it. Though it satisfied my adoration of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, I found myself wanting more. I pulled some strings and managed to get my hands on the novel upon which the movie was based.

I hated it. Louis was a sniveling, whining brat. I could hardly abide him. I suppose the beauty of Brad distracted me (and still does) in the movie. I thought I was done with vampires and Anne Rice. I would have never looked back and spent the rest of my formative years reading high fantasy if my mother had not thrust The Vampire Lestat into my hands.

I fell in love with Lestat. I loved reading his history, seeing him fight for survival and against loneliness. If I could pick one phrase to describe him it would be "I do what I want" because he embodies it perfectly. Although he is a delicious bad boy, he does do some good things. But you know what they say, "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions". (Am I speaking in riddles? My apologies.) He is exactly what a vampire should be in my opinion. He's brutal, a killer, self-absorbed, out of touch with humanity, attached to his loved ones, a great lover of beautiful things, a great lover of beautiful mortals, a rule breaker, and so much more.

I'll stop here before I give too much away, but just writing this reminds me that it is time that I go back and reread The Vampire Chronicles. I miss "the Brat Prince" who began my addiction to the vampire genre.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Croak
Author: Gina Damico
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: March 20, 2012

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t
supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in? (via Goodreads)

I have seen this book floating around the blogosphere for some time now. When I finally got around to checking out the description, I knew that it was for me. The fact that there is absolutely no mention of a hot guy in the summary hooked me. While I do not mind reading romances, it sometimes annoys me that a female character cannot be a strong, amazing heroine unless there is a guy watching. While I understand how valuable romantic relationships are to many teen readers, it is equally important for young people to see they can accomplish things and be awesome for no one but themselves. I really hope that this book is an example of that. I cannot wait to find out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 Fascination Award Nomination - and Giveaway!

Today I received an interesting email. It is as follows:

Hi there,

An article you wrote in 2012 titled Waiting on Wednesday (2) has earned your blog anomination for a Fascination Award: 2012's Most Fascinating Librarian blog.

The comments posted in response to your post prove that your content
 not only inspires your audience, but it also creates discussion around your posts, both of which are requirements for the nomination of a Fascination award. 

As a nominee of this award, you have full permission to display the "Nominated" emblem on your website. To learn more about the contest, the rules, or the prizes, click here: 2012 Fascination Award Rules and Prizes.

To get started: 
  1. Accept your nomination by replying to this email by Thursday February 24th (11:59 PM EST).
  2. Claim your "Nominated" badge to display on your blog: Nominated Badge 

Voting begins February 27th at 12:01 AM (EST). The blog with the most votes by March 5th at 11:59 PM (EST) will win the grand prize, a $200 restaurant gift card. 

Good luck and thank you for your participation!

Director of Public Relations     
Accelerated Degree Programs

At first I was flattered, but then I realized that there wasn't very much of a discussion on that post that would merit such a nomination. I mean, you guys are great, but a five comment conversation doesn't seem like something that would put me in the running against some fantastic blogs. That caused me to do some research. Reading three blogs I found on Google (TYWKIWDBI and then to Quantum Progress and dy/dan) helped me decide that it would probably be in the best interest of my followers (I love you guys) and myself to respectfully decline this nomination.

Even though I am taking myself out of the running, it does not mean that a celebration is not in order. Isn't it always said that it is an honor just to be nominated? Well, I think it's a load of malarkey in most cases. People want to win! Oh yeah, I think someone needs to win something after all of this nonsense.

So, Leah gave me some Awesome of a Lifetime sweetness (it won't really be real until I see the book), and I want to give one of my US followers a copy of A Touch Morbid*. (Sorry International Awesome Squad, the next one includes you, I promise.) Time for some Rafflecopter fun!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Review: The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice


Author: Anne Rice
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Release Date: February 14, 2012

The Wolf Gift is Anne Rice’s literary return to her horror roots. She became famous with her Vampire Chronicles and The Mayfair Witches books and returns to the darker, paranormal themes with her latest novel.

Reuben Golding is a San Francisco reporter who travels to a mansion on the California coast to do a story on it for its owner, heiress Marchent Nideck, who was hoping to sell it. She inherited the house from an uncle who disappeared twenty years previously. After a terrible bloodbath at Nideck Point the first night in the mansion, Reuben finds that his entire life has changed.

I absolutely love Anne Rice. The Vampire Chronicles are some of my favorite books, and I even named one of my cats after a Mayfair witch. I grew up reading the mistress of horror, and she is one of my all-time favorite authors. The writing in The Wolf Gift is beautifully descriptive and exactly what I expected from Mrs. Rice. Unfortunately, I had trouble connecting to any of the characters. Reuben is an arrogant man-child who is offended by his own youth and beauty. His girlfriend and family are equally distasteful in their own rights. Rice’s books are always fraught with immoral and reprehensible characters (Lestat himself was deliciously terrible), so I was able to look past them. I was even excited about the Man Wolf superhero. The background crimes were engaging. However, this book is not for me.

I am embarrassed to admit that I could not finish this book. There are few things in a novel that I cannot stomach, and bestiality (even implied) is one of them. The situation leading up to it was also extremely unbelievable. I still think Anne Rice is one of the most talented story-spinners that I have ever had the pleasure of reading, and I am sure that The Wolf Gift continued just as absorbing as it began. I can even happily recommend this to others who enjoy horror or extremely dark books. I, sadly, cannot continue it myself, and I write that with a very heavy heart.

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for free through NetGalley from the publisher. It in no way affected the outcome of my review.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: The Black Circle (The 39 Clues)

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Author: Patrick Carman
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: August 11, 2009

The Black Circle is the fifth installment of the multi-author collaborative series, The 39 Clues. These middle-grade books focus on Amy and Dan Cahill's race to find the thirty-nine clues their ancestors have hidden across the world, after the death of their grandmother. This novel was written by Patrick Carman, who has written more than twenty books.

Dan, Amy, and their au pair, Nellie, are still in Cairo following Beyond the Grave. As the children search out a hidden message, they find themselves caught in a whirlwind, time sensitive mini-treasure hunt. Since they are forced to leave Nellie in Egypt, Amy and Dan find themselves in Russia at the mercy of their secret helper (who may be leading them into a trap). They must form alliances with former opponents for the clues in order to find their fifth clue before their time runs out.

I really enjoyed The Black Circle because of the extensive character development. We are given a more positive insight into the Holt family, as well as Irina's relationships with other members of the Lucian branch. I would have enjoyed seeing more of Nellie and the Kabras, but Irina Spasky and Hamilton Holt are now two of my favorite Cahills in the series. I am still in love with these books, and I began In Too Deep immediately after this one.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thenadays (4)

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For the sake of trying something different here at Bibliophila, Please, Thursday is now Thenadays.

Title: Ariel
Author: Steven R. Boyett
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: December 1, 1983

At four-thirty one Saturday afternoon the laws of physics as we know them underwent a change. Electronic devices, cars, industries stopped. The lights went out. Any technology more complicated than a lever or pulley simply wouldn't work. A new set of rules took its place—laws that could only be called magic. Ninety-nine percent of humanity has simply vanished. Cities lie abandoned. Supernatural creatures wander the silenced achievements of a halted civilization.

Pete Garey has survived the Change and its ensuing chaos. He wanders the southeastern United States, scavenging, lying low. Learning. One day he makes an unexpected friend: a smartassed unicorn with serious attitude. Pete names her Ariel and teaches her how to talk, how to read, and how to survive in a world in which a unicorn horn has become a highly prized commodity.

When they learn that there is a price quite literally on Ariel's head, the two unlikely companions set out from Atlanta to Manhattan to confront the sorcerer who wants her horn. And so begins a haunting, epic, and surprisingly funny journey through the remnants of a halted civilization in a desolated world. (via Ariel's Website)

This is the first post-apocalyptic book that I can remember reading - back when I didn't even know anything about these so-called "genre" things. All I knew was that it was a book with a unicorn on it, and I was all over it. You guys already know I'm weird, so I'll go ahead and admit that I used to be obsessed with unicorns. I've calmed it down over the years, but I'm still drawn to them. But you're here about the book, right?

Ariel was one of my first ventures outside of the high or epic fantasy genre that wasn't required school reading. I was tricked by the cover, and by the time I read the first two or three chapters, I was irrevocably hooked. It is a beautiful story of a boy and his quasi-horse who has a potty mouth, who are trying to survive in a world that neither of them really understand. Pete grew up in a world with the normal, scientific rules and experienced the horrors of what humanity is capable in disaster. Ariel was a baby when Pete found her not long after the Change - in a world where she was only a myth before.

Ariel is one of my favorite literary characters. She is not some angelic creature who sprinkles love and rainbows across the land. She is obsessed with peppermints to a fault, loves Don Quixote, and is constantly on her toes to keep Pete out of trouble. Oh, she is also extremely jealous and curses like a sailor sometimes. (No strong language, so don't worry.) Ariel is very human, except for the fact that she is a unicorn. And who wants to walk around all wobbly on two legs anyways?

I am not going to spoil anything for you, but I do my infamous Ugly Cry every time I read this book. Every. Time. Without fail. Oh, it's bad. But the book is so, so good.

Steven R. Boyett released Elegy Beach, a sequel to Ariel that only took twenty-five years to come out. I bought it immediately, but I have not read it yet. I do not know if Ariel is in it or not, and to be honest, that's why I read the original book. Pete is fantastic, but he's no unicorn.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: A Perfect Blood
Author: Kim Harrison
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: February 21, 2012

Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cincinnati, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in to help investigate by the FIB, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth--a would-be creator is determined to make his (or her) own demons. But it can't be done without Rachel's blood, in this latest blockbuster by a "New York Times"-bestselling author. (via Goodreads)

This series has been around forever, but it is consistently good. (I loved Pale Demon last year.)  Rachel Morgan has grown a lot and changed dramatically since I first read Dead Witch Walking, as well as each of the supporting characters. They've faced various demons, both inner and outer, and Kim Harrison has kept it as true to life as an urban fantasy novel can possibly be. Sure, Rachel is infuriating to watch from time to time. However, she has this sort of "realness" that makes her relatable. We all make mistakes, we don't always learn from them immediately, and sometimes we're too damn stubborn to get off of our own destructive paths. Luckily, Rachel has friends like Ivy and Jenks to support her and sometimes set her in the right direction. So here's to hoping that this book is as good as the others, with no Sookie or Anita-scale dragging.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday at Krazy Book Lady

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This week I chose the Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart a Little. As usual, head on over to Krazy Book Lady to see my picks!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Not a Proper Introduction, or I Am Quite Strange

I have been hanging around here for about a month and a half now, and I have realized that I have never properly introduced myself. I suppose I can see where something like that is important. And let's face it, my About Me section is very vanilla. Unfortunately, I do not do proper things very well. But do not fear! Here's a little more about me in my own queer way.

Brace yourselves! It's story time.

I am a huge nerd and always have been. I preferred books to people growing up because children are mean. I read so much that whichever grown up in my family had possession of me at the time would have to take away my books and lock me outside. Just so I would play. I had friends, but they always found me to be quirky and strange, and they picked on me (not cruelly, mind you). I could not quite fit in with them, but I was loyal. And I did homework for cash.

There is one time in particular that I can look back on and wonder how they ever put up with my eccentricities at all. When I was in the fifth grade, our class was a part of a parade. We were supposed to dress up as endangered creatures. I showed up dressed as a bookworm. Even the teachers were momentarily caught off guard. I was completely oblivious as to why no one "got" my costume. After we were adults, one of my friends recalled that incident and teased me for it. At first, I did not get it because hardcore readers seem to be a rarity. Then it occurred to me - all of these other children were dressed as elephants, lions, and other beloved creatures, and I showed up with high pigtails on either side of my head and thick, black glasses. My friend and I both agreed that the only thing that kept me from getting beat up was my size (I'm very short) and my homework business.

As you may be able to tell, my reality was quite different from everyone else's because I thought deep down that the "real world" was a terrible practical joke. Perhaps I still do. When the world sucks so bad that I just want to scream, I know that I can pick up a book and have it instantly transport me away from my troubles. So as long as I'm still alive, there will be one bookworm left in the world.

I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Book Blogs.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thenadays (3)

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For the sake of trying something different here at Bibliophila, Please, Thursday* now Thenadays.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

I know it may look like I am targeting children's books, but I swear it is not intentionally. The fact of the matter is - some of my favorite reads from "thenadays" are the beautifully written, imaginative works aimed at the wee people.

When I was a junior in high school, one of our books for required reading was The Lorax. Since I began reading at such a young age and mostly skipped over picture books entirely, I had never heard of it. (Do not worry, I knew about Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat.) I figured that it would be something along the lines of The Seven Lady Godivas, which was my favorite picture book as a child. (Rest assured, if you have not read The Lorax - it is not.)

The teacher, Mr. P., was a very smart man and knew that we would probably not read it on our own. (I would have, but all copies were checked out from the library, so do not get all judgy about me. Sheesh.) When he pulled out the book in class, everyone was surprised. Me, because I figured that it must be some sort of adult book and everyone else because that man was about to read a children's picture book to a room full of teenagers. However, when he opened the gateway into the World of Seuss, we were transported to the land of the Bar-ba-Loots, Swomee Swans, Humming Fish, and Truffala trees. Mr. P. guided us through the Once-ler's destruction of this beautiful landscape, against the advice of the activist Lorax.

I will admit that I did not understand in the beginning why The Lorax was relevant to a high school classroom. However, I soon realized that the young people in the room (myself included) would be the ones making the decisions regarding the world in which we all live at some point in the future. Mr. P. used the book as a tool to show us that what we did had a direct impact on the world around us. I should also note that he never went on a soap box about big oil or the evils of industrialization or any of that. It was just a book about consequences and redemption (through hard work), and when it comes to that, sometimes teenagers need pictures.

Fast forward (not too far!) to today. It is one of my favorite books to read to my daughter. She is not old enough to give a hoot either way about the message in the story, but she loves the rhyme scheme. And we both love the pictures.

*I really did have this planned out for Thursday, but work got crazy. So here you go - "Thenadays" on Friday.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: A Touch Morbid
Author: Leah Clifford
Publisher: Greenwillow
Release Date: February 28, 2012

Eden won the battle - she saved her true love from the darkest evil. But the war has only just begun. With secrets swirling around her, powerful allies unraveling, and life - and death - as she knows it eroding, Eden and those she loves tread dangerous ground. Can she trust anyone? Will her unearthly powers be her salvation or her downfall? A sweeping, dark, and sexy paranormal romance that will haunt readers with an inventive mythology and a cinematic New York City filled with shadows and longing.

I make no secret of the fact that I absolutely adore Leah Clifford. (She made my Top Books of 2011 with A Touch Mortal.) Even more, I really enjoy her writing. The world she built is dark, sexy, and delicious. I cannot wait to go back and pick up where ATM1 left off. When my computer allows, I torture myself by listening to Leah tease her stalkers (yes, I am one of them) on her BlogTV show. (This is not very often because I own the most terrible computer in existence.)

Anywho, I preordered this book months ago and impatiently await its arrival. I have been able to get my hands on quite a few ARCs lately, but I never really put forth an effort with this one. When it comes to the books that I really love, savoring the wait is part of the experience. There is a level of fun in cracking open the cover for the very first time, and smelling that new book smell while breathing the characters into the imagination. On February 28th, I know that I will be holding my own personal copy of this sexy, green beauty. (And maybe trying to wrestle it out of the hands of my Eden.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday at Krazy Book Lady

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If you're interested in my picks for Top Ten Tuesday, be sure to head over to Krazy Book Lady! (She is so much fun to work with!)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review: Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan

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Title: Fractured Light
Author: Rachel McClellan
Publisher: Cedar Fort/Sweetwater 
Release Date: February 7, 2012

This book counts toward the completion of my participation in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge.

Fractured Light is Rachel McClellan’s debut and a young adult science fiction novel set in present day. The focus is on an orphan named Llona, who is facing the typical teenage struggle: how to be normal while figuring out who she is and who she wants to be.

Llona is different from other girls. She is pretty (and can be sweet when she chooses), but goes out of her way to avoid building relationships with other people. This is because Llona is an Aura, a being of Light that consists only of females and passes from mother to daughter. While she is able to manipulate light and other awesome perks, she also has an entire race, the Vykens, who will kill her if they ever find her. To Llona, this means she must choose between living a normal life with friends or facing a gruesome from those who would see her dead.

This novel is a very inventive and imaginative read. The mythology is bright and the two races, the Auras and the Vykens, do not fall under the classification of any current paranormal beings hanging out in popular literature. They are a new interpretation of the forces of good and evil. There are also two other groups (one paranormal) introduced, one of which is represented by a fantastic supporting character who can potentially play a big part in future books. The abilities of these races are fascinating, but the Vykens do show a few characteristics typical of vampires.

I was completely surprised by this novel. When I downloaded it from NetGalley, I thought that I would be reading a science fiction novel set in an alternate universe, focusing on the struggle between Auras and Vykens. I found instead is Llona as she tried to find the balance between survival and living her life. Much of the book explores her relationships with her friends, as well as her remaining family. The one problem that I had with this was how quickly and easily the characters solved their problems. However, as fast-paced as the novel was, something had to be sacrificed. If it was not for the eventual battle between Good and Evil, I could almost call it contemporary. (And the semi-horror parts, but I will not ruin that surprise.)

Overall, I found the book to be a lovely debut for McClellan. Other than the minor issues with character development, the book is a good read. I look forward to reading more of her work, and this series, in the future.

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for free through NetGalley. It in no way affected the outcome of my review.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Local Book News (TTYL by Lauren Myracle) -- Her Response

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By Fred Childers

Julie Camp wants the book TTYL removed from her daughter's middle school library. The story, written in instant- message style, addresses female adolescent angst and sexual curiosity among three high school girls.

"I've been accused of being Satan, I've been accused of being Satan's hand maiden, I'm neither," said Lauren Myracle.

In fact she's a Sunday school teacher who lives in Colorado. Myracle is the author of TTYL and has seen this criticism before.

And the only criticism of her book she seems to take exception to is from those who haven't fully read it. She says there's more to it than girls talking in detail about sex.

"There is also a girl who is very Christian, her spirituality is very important to her, who says to the girl thinking about having sex hold on think about what you're doing," said Myracle.

The author is familiar with the stories we've aired on the controversy surrounding her book here in the Ark-La-Tex.

"Do I find it valuable and life enhancing to read a book like TTYL? Heck yeah, or I wouldn't have written it, because I love kids. I've got kids of my own," said Myracle.

And while she says she's sympathetic with Camp's position as a parent, she disagrees with having the book removed from the middle school library.

"She gets to choose what books are appropriate for her daughter not for every kid in that school," said Myracle.

Camp admits to not reading the entire book, but is glad that her daughter didn't either.

"It had absolutely no point," said Camp.

But the author says it's there, you just got to look.

"If there is a message to this book, it's be strong be true, find your tribe and stick to the truth of who you are," said Myracle.

Camp has the option of filing a report with the school district. Then a committee will review it and make a decision. But the book is also available at public libraries across the Ark-La-Tex.

Copyright 2011 KSLA-TV. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Authors After Dark 2012 Reading Challenge

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Sometimes, a lady just has to get away from everything. What better place to do that than the Big Easy?! My lovely friend, Mindy, and I will be attending Authors After Dark convention in August. (We registered last night - SQUEEE!) I couldn't be more excited! When I saw Midnyte Reader's Authors After Dark Reading Challenge, I knew that I had to sign up. I'm familiar with quite a few authors, but this is a great opportunity for me to prepare to fangirl on even more!

  • Although AAD 2012 takes place in August, this challenge will run from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012.
  • Books must be read and reviewed in 2012.
  • You can join at anytime during the year.
  • Anyone can join (not just book bloggers).
To Join:
  • Write a post about this challenge on your blog with a link back to this post.
  • Include a list of the AAD 2012 books you hope to read in 2012. You can check out the authors on the AAD 2012 website HERE. (Then click on the authors link.) Please note that your list is not written in stone! You can change it at anytime.
  • Grab the button and add it to your post or sidebar.

To Post a Review:
  • To link up your Authors After Dark 2012 Reading Challenge reviews click HERE. When you write your review it would be great if you could mention that it is part of the AAD 2012 Reading Challenge.
  • If you don't have a blog: You can link to Goodreads, Amazon, Shelfari, etc. OR, instead of linking to a review you can leave a comment over there with your thoughts.

What I Plan to Read:
  • House of Comarre trilogy by Kristen Painter
  • Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
  • My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland (It has been on my shelf FOREVER!)
  • Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson
  • Black Dust Mambo by Adrian Phoenix
  • Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
  • Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
I'll probably come across more, change my mind, or some other nonsense. Either way, I am STOKED and cannot wait until August!

    Thenadays (2)

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    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

    Yes, I am well-aware that you folks are sick unto death about hearing about this book. I've been talking about it a lot lately. I'm telling you guys, it is one of the most magical books ever written. I'm currently reading it to my daughter (as if I would let you forget that one, too) for the first time. Bug has never cared about the movie, so she is a complete blank slate when it comes to the book. She does not have Disney's images implanted in her brain. This is all completely new to her, and she is captivated by the Pevensie children - Lucy especially.

    There is no way for me to truly describe to you how wonderful it is for me to chaperone Bug's trip through the wardrobe to you. It is almost as if I am discovering the magic of Narnia myself, all over again.Watching her face as the plot unfurls is better than any gift Father Christmas could have pulled out of his bag for me. My child, who never lets me tell stories "from my mouth" (what she calls it), is obsessed with a book that has only very few pictures. It is thrilling.

    I promise that I will be leaving Narnia before too much longer, as we have almost finished the book. (I lost most of my voice last week, so we are behind schedule.) Last night, Jadis did her sacrifice to the Old Magic on the Stone Table. Hopefully, by the end of the week*, I will have a daughter who is excited about exploring the magical world of classic children's literature on her own.

    Okay, maybe not next week. I'm just ready for her to learn how to read!

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Random Acts of Kindness - February

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    Book Soulmates
    RAK is a monthly meme hosted by Book Soulmates. You can join in on the fun HERE.

    For those of you who don't know, a RAK is a Random Act of Kindness*. People sign up with their wishlist and then can look at other people's wishlists and send them a Random Act of Kindness. It is really simple, but here are the rules:

    • Please read carefully & follow all rules! Thank you!
    • Please sign-up each month that you can participate (and by participate, we mean give as well as receive).
    • Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button (code is in the right sidebar of the Book Soulmates page).
    • Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog, etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
    • If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger directly for their information.
    • Once you receive a RAK, send us an our new email to [rakbybooksoulmates @ gmail . com] so that we can update the Google Doc. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SEND EMAILS TO THIS ADDRESS!
    • E-book participation is limited to files being gifted directly to a person from the e-book store. Amazon's Kindle Store is set up to allow this, as well as the Kobo store and we believe Barnes & Noble with Nook as well.
    • At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K by making a "RAK Wrap-Up" post. This post should include who you SENT gifts to as well who you RECEIVED gifts from.
    OPEN TO EVERYONE including all our International brethren!
    Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

    *If you're feeling the urge to splurge on a girl in her birthday month, here is my WISHLIST!

    Waiting on Wednesday (2)

    Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

    Title: New Girl
    Author: Paige Harbison
    Publisher: Harlequin Teen
    Release Date: January 31, 2012

    They call me 'New Girl'...

    Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her.

    Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault.

    Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be.

    And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

    Ever since I saw another blogger's review of this book (I'll post who when I remember who it was), I knew that I was going to have to read it. Rebecca by Daphne du Marier is one of my all-time favorite books, and I am really interested to see how Paige Harbison reinvents it.

    The book was released yesterday, but I'm so far behind on reading that it will be at least a month before I can get around to it. Until then, I will anxiously await.