Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Winter's Respite Read-a-Thon 2012


If you would like to learn more about this challenge then check out The True Book Addict for info HERE

Mini Challenge #1:

Reading List:


Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Hardcover, 320 pages
April 24th 2012 by HarperCollins Children's Books

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.


Havoc (Deviants #2) by Jeff Sampson
Hardcover
, 1st Edition, 352 pages
January 24th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Emily Webb thought life would return to normal after the death of the man who attacked her and her fellow “Deviants.” Or as normal as it could be, after discovering that she has nighttime superpowers . . . and she’s a werewolf. But when Emily awakes one night to find an otherworldy Shadowman watching her, she knows the danger has only just begun.
So Emily and her pack-mates set out to find the people who made them what they are, and why. But as they get closer to the truth, they realize they aren’t the only ones in town with special powers: The most popular girls in school might just have a secret of their own–and they might just have it out for Emily.
With shadowy beings stalking them, a mysterious company doing all it can to keep the truth hidden, and the secrecy of her new identity in jeopardy, life threatens to spiral out of control for Emily. Soon these dangers will come together in one terrifying confrontation that may force her to make the toughest choice of her life . . . so far.

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Paperback, 350 pages
July 26th 2011 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: New Girl by Paige Harbison

New Girl by Paige Harbison


Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (January 31, 2012)


Goodreads Description:


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.

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New Girl is a modern YA version of the classic book Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (which is one of my favorites). I've been hoping for some time now that an author would retell this story and when I came across this book I was excited to read it. My standards were set very high since Rebecca is a story I love and I was worried that I would be overly critical because of that and not enjoy the story. Although I felt the story could use some improvements here and there, overall I was impressed. There were many little details that really tied in to the original story so well. For example, one of the character's names is Dana Veers (a play on the original character's name, Mrs. Danvers). It took me a few chapters to really see a similarity in plot between the stories but it got there eventually and was really a great modernization of it with young adult characters.

There were only two problems I had with the story. The main issue for me was that the main character's name (the "new girl" Callie) is known and used throughout the story. In Rebecca the main character's name is unknown and the reason for that is meaningful. In New Girl I think that this should have been carried over. It could have easily been done. The only other problem I had was that the story skipped ahead so often. Sometimes months would be skipped and it just didn't feel seamless...it felt more like there were holes in the story.

The location and the characters make up for any faults I found with the story. A boarding school was the ideal location and Manderly Academy has an oppressive and slightly eerie atmosphere that is perfect for this book. Some of the characters were obvious match ups to characters in Rebecca and it was fun figuring out who was who and how their personalities compared. The main character was okay but for me it was all about the supporting characters. Dana was my favorite character in New Girl. She was obsessed, creepy, and crazy which made for some interesting reading. I loved how this story played out and I wish I could read more about the characters and what their lives are like after leaving Manderly Academy.

4/5


CymLowell

I received this for review from Netgalley. Any opinions expressed are my own.


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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Spiral by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: The Chicken House (May 1, 2012)
Goodreads Description:

The 5th book in the Tunnels series. The Styx have surfaced. The only ones to stand in their way is Will and his friends, and a rag-bag team of retired commandos.
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Years ago when I first discovered this series it instantly became one of my faves and I eagerly anticipated each books release. Every book has been amazing, but when I received Spiral and dove into the story I felt like something was missing. This story definitely has a different feel to it than the others. It wasn't bad, the story was pretty interesting actually, but it just wasn't what I had anticipated.

If you have been reading this series you will know about the Styx and their evil plans. Spiral is an in depth look at HOW they plan on executing their plan to obtain their goal. Will and his cohorts must find a way to foil the Styx's plans. The most interesting thing about the story is learning more about the Styx...their history, physiology, etc. It is all very unexpected and extremely different from any thought I have had about them. That and the fact that the story almost exclusively takes place above ground is probably the reason why the tone of the book is so different from the others.

I will still be awaiting the next book but I will be keeping my fingers crossed that the focus will switch back to underground (although I have a feeling that won't be the case). Usually I buy the UK release because it comes out much sooner than in the US, but because of the direction Spiral took I will probably just hold out for the US release. I don't think I will be quite as eager for the next installment as I typically would have been. A lot of fans of the Tunnels series will probably share a similar view of the story with me, but just as I will continue reading this series, so will they. Not a bad story, but certainly does not exceed expectations.

3/5

CymLowell

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I'm Back!!!

It has been a loooong time since I have posted and I apologize. Between the holidays and being out of town for a few weeks I just haven't really had the time (or motivation) to post. I'm back now and I would like to thank those of you who have stuck around. I'm going to get back on track and will hopefully be posting regularly. Thank you!
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