Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

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

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Expected publication: September 18th 2012
Publisher:  Scholastic Press

 “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon

 Title: Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale
Author: Carolyn Turgeon
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Rating: 3 Stars
Princess Margrethe has been hidden away while her kingdom is at war. One gloomy, windswept morning, as she stands in a convent garden overlooking the icy sea, she witnesses a miracle: a glittering mermaid emerging from the waves, a nearly drowned man in her arms. By the time Margrethe reaches the shore, the mermaid has disappeared into the sea. As Margrethe nurses the handsome stranger back to health, she learns that not only is he a prince, he is also the son of her father's greatest rival. Sure that the mermaid brought this man to her for a reason, Margrethe devises a plan to bring peace to her kingdom.

Meanwhile, the mermaid princess Lenia longs to return to the human man she carried to safety. She is willing to trade her home, her voice, and even her health for legs and the chance to win his heart... -Goodreads

This book feels very much like the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christan Andersen but it gives a more in depth look at the characters and fleshes out the story. Of course, the story does take on a life of it's own separate from the original but, like I said, it feels the same.

The relationship between Margrethe and Lenia was beautiful. They are both royalty, one a princess of land the other of sea. They are in the same situation yet they would trade places with each other in an instant. Unfortunately fate is not so kind, they must play the hand they are dealt. Lenia longs to be with the prince that she loves and will sacrifice everything to be with him. Margrethe is in awe of Lenia, meeting her was her chance to experience magic and she loves the the world the Mermaid princess comes from. Reality is never as sweet as fantasy, Lenia must go through much pain (physical and emotional) to reach her dream and even then a happily ever after is not guaranteed. Margrethe, unable to reach the sea, focuses making peace between two countries. I can't say I liked the prince but he served a purpose in the story, providing tension and many other high emotions for the main characters.

This was a good retelling of The Little Mermaid and I did enjoy it, although I cannot remember even one cheerful part in the book. The story pulled me into both the world, on land and also the one below the sea. Overall it was a good book.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page (no spoilers)
  • Include title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists.

     "Kat had often heard it said that asking a good thief to stop thinking would be like asking a shark to stop swimming, so she couldn't help herself as she walked away from the park that day, through the coming dusk of the city streets.
     But that didn't mean she didn't try." 
                ~ pg.90, "Uncommon Criminals" by Ally Carter                                                                                                                                          

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Title: Revolution
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
Rating: 3.5 Stars
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.-Goodreads

 The voices of the main characters in this book were strong and real and they pull you into their worlds. Andi especially felt real, despite being a jerk a lot of the time you can't help but hope that she'll make it out of the story alive. Her whole life fell apart when her brother died and when her father takes her to Paris she finds Alaxandrine's dairy and it becomes and her obsession. Even though they lived centuries apart their lives are connect and there's the feeling that if something happened to Alex, Andi would feel the effects just as deeply as the girl who lived through it.While Alex's story was interesting Andi's story was what I really cared about.

It was a well written book. I imagine it must be difficult to write characters that are from two different time periods but Jennifer Donnelly made it look easy. The way Alex's diary was written felt appropriate for the time period while Andi's first person was fitting for the 21st century. Each character had their own styles and distinct voice.

I really enjoyed this book but the last hundred pages were...odd. It was too big of a change too late in the story for me. It just felt odd and completely out of place. It was interesting, no doubt, but weird and shocking despite it being told that it would happen in the summery. Sadly, it's what made me decide to give it 3 stars instead of 4. Overall it was an interesting book with characters that make you invested in their outcome.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Raven Boys Book Trailer by Maggie Stiefvater

Here is the amazing trailer for the highly anticipated new series by Maggie Stiefvater called The Raven Boys:


Title: Insurgent (Divergent #2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Rating: 5 Stars
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.-GoodReads

I loved this book. I read the first two chapters at Walmart because I figured I would be getting it in at the library the next day, I was hook from the first page. Unfortunately, the book did not come in at the library the next day and I had to wait until after Memorial day for the library to open back up again... and it still didn't come in. I was going insane, I couldn't read anything else while I waited. I needed Insurgent. When I finally got it I opened it up and finished it that night. It's been a year since I read Divergent and my brain had tricked me into believing that it really wasn't as good as I had remembered, Insurgent helped me remember everything I loved about the series. There was action and drama and tragedy, people jumping on and off of trains, betrayal and friendship. Who wouldn't love a book like that.

Insurgent also gives us a closer look at not only Amity (the peaceful) and Candor (the truthful) but also the Factionless. I love how detailed each group is. They're all beautiful in their own way, yet scarily flawed. I was hoping that the Factionless group would have a bit more depth but I imagine they will come up more in the currently untitled 3rd book so there is still time, I'm sure they have a role to play.

I love Tris's character, she's grown so much since the first book. She's a strong kick-ass character who would rather take the risks herself than let anyone else. She has to make many hard choices and then deal with the consequences of those choices. She is brave, she is smart, and she is selfless. SHE IS DIVERGENT... wow, that was dramatic.... moving on.

The book is fast paced with many twists, turns, and lots of drama. The ending will leave you shocked and wanting more. Let us hope that Veronica Roth writes quickly.