Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review Entwined By Heather Dixon

Synopsis : Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.


The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.


But there is a cost Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in [the] web until it is too late

Entwined is a revisionist tale of The 12 Dancing Princess.  I wasn't familar with the fairy tale so I read the synopsis on Wikipedia, so I'd have something to base my reading on.

In the novel Dixon keeps to the basics of the classic story, but fleshes it out with magical and dark details.

The novel falls somwhere inbewteen  historical fiction and  a fairy  tale. It  takes place in the fictional land of D'eathe where the twelve sister encounter an old form of magic when they need it most. Lead by thier eldest sister and our herione, Azalea, the sisters quickly learn that there is more to magic than they thought possible.There is also a sprinking of action, romance and drama along for the ride.

For a novel with 12 protagonist, Dixon does a good job of giving the girls different personalities. Naming the sisters alphabetical  in age order, also makes it easier to keep track if who is who !


I think this novel with be most at home with Jane Austen fans, there is a little action and a lot of talk of arranged marriages, sisterhood  and true love. Despite the somewhat dark moments the book comes across with Disney-esque plotting.

This was a quick simple read that was enjoyable, overall nothing new or groundbreaking.

Dixon is also an artist and her site has some cute drawings to accompany the novel, including Princess Azalea Paper Dolls 

Currently the Kindle edition of this book is .99 cents. You don't even need a Kindle to purchase it, you can read in The Cloud ! 



Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Review : Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


“Find me a cure for these tears, I'd really like to exhale for the first time in my life.” 



Synopsis : Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. 

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. . . Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 


The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things  . . . Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war.  Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now. 

I didn't really know what to expect going into this novel, I was aware of all the hype, but I wondered what kind of story could be told about a girl with a deadly touch. From the first chapter the reader is thrown into the Juliette's  isolated imprisonment,but when she gets new roommate she soon finds herself running for her life in a world on the brink of destruction.


The characters in Shatter Me were pretty spot on. You have the The Girl, The reddeming himself Hero, Funny Sidekick  and The Villian. Mafi writes a compelling villian. I found Warner to be very unique from the usual nameless and faceless dystopian villains. I just kept thinking "OMG, he is super creepy".

I liked the structure of Shatter Me and the way Adam and Juliette's past are weaved into the present. However,The writing of Juliette in the novel has a tendency to be  flourished with something close to purple prose. Mafi uses this writing style as apart of Juliette's character. However, for me  it started to become a little grating and hard for me to take seriously. For example

“Hate looks just like everybody else until it smiles. Until it spins around and lies with lips and teeth carved into the semblance of something too passive to punch"

Yes, this novel does have a superhero-vibe to especially towards the end,  and I think the pacing was just right for it. Shatter Me would make a great graphic novel. It relies heavily on visuals and action scenes. It will be interesting to see how this series works to set itself apart  from this superhero movies compariosn, if it even does at all.

In the end This novel felt more to me like a prequel or origins story, I just wanted there to be a little bit more story and less like "this is how I came to be". It's one of the few novels that I think has the potential to be serialized very well.


I really enjoyed this books and can't wait for the next one. Can I at least get a title ?!?
















The YA Couple That Really Gets Around

I'd like to introduce you to two people :

Pepe Toth



and Sztella Tziotziosz 



Do they look familiar ?




How about now :


You've probably seen them gracing the cover of you favorite YA novels. These Hungarian model's 2009 photoshoot has been popping up everywhere, they even have a Goodreads listopia.



Most people know them as the couple on Jennifer Armentrout's Lux novel covers




You can find also them on  the new covers of Simone Elkeles  How To Ruin series.



or Abbi Glines Existence

The Discovery Channel Sicence of Sex Appeal DVD  (2009)























Do have any favorite book covers featuring Pepe and Sztella ? Have you seen them popping up anywhere else ?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review : Across The Universe


“A leader doesn't make pawns - he makes people.” 
― Beth RevisAcross the Universe


Synopsis : Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to awaken on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged. . .
Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense.Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

I was a little nervous about starting this book because I've always been wary of true to form sci-fi, and my previous adventure in sci-fi "spaceship" YA fiction didn't go very well. However, Across The Universe has changed my mind completley.

Amy is a teenage girl about to go on a 300-year road trip with her parents while frozen-in-time. But while Amy sleeps nothing is ever what it is set out to be. Elder, the teenage second-in- command leader of the ship, world changes when Amy wakes up a few years to early and turns his life around.

The plot hits the ground running, and we are thrown into the futuristic and dystopian world of the Godspeed.  250 years into its 300 year old voyage. 

The plot of the book is really fascinating if not nightmare inducing. I did notice that the  narration had a lot of spoon-feeding in it, in which characters narration would explain every mystery and little thing that was happening in the course of the novel and this really took me out of the story.

I understand a lot of criticism for this book comes from how unrealistic the science is, and maybe because I have a "seems legit" attitude about science fiction I can easily hand-wave it.

When the tagline says "A spaceship fueled on lies", they are not kidding. The ending of this novel was gripping and ingeniously plotted, I have to give it to Revis my mouth was hanging open at the end.

As I like to state in a lot of my reviews this is not a  romance focused novel, despite what the hardcover edition synopsis says. This is really a story of power, truth and what it means to survive when it's just you and the stars.









Thursday, January 26, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop ! ! !




We at Books and Sensibility love Kindles. so for this hop we are giving away 1 of 3 Kindle E-Books ! 

**Remember You don't need a Kindle to read the e-books, you can read it in The Amazon Cloud on your PC or Smartphone**

To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below ! . . .And May The Odds Ever Be In Your Favor !


Win One Kindle E-Book of Your Choice 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a hop, so hop on !



Author Event : Meeting Miranda Kenneally



"Write what you know, and some will be able to relate"
- Miranda Kenneally




On Saturday Kat and I supported our local bookstore and went to an event featuring Miranda Kenneally, author of Catching Jordan.

Kennally had a great presence, she discussed how Catching Jordan was about breaking down gender stereotypes. She wanted to show that girls can do just about anything boys can.

We even learned a little bit more about her next books; Stealing Parker and A Bad, Bad Thing which deal with sexuality, abortion and religion. They sound really complex and original I can't wait to read them !

She also told us that the rival schools in Catching Jordan were named after malls in Tennessee, so she wouldn't hurt any other school's feeling.

If you want a signed copy of Catching Jordan from the event, you can purchase one at Fountain Bookstores Website for only 8.99 !

What was most memorable was meeting other book lovers and future YA authors at this event.







Book Review : Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

G

“I squeeze his hand. “You know what I think about dreams?” 


Ty smiles slightly. “What?” 


“That if you spend too much time dreaming, you’ll stop actually doing. And when you actually do stuff, there’s a good chance things will work out. 
We make things happen by attacking, not by sitting around dreaming.”

 - Catching Jordan, Miranda Kenneally
 
Synopsis: What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate

I was so excited for Miranda Kenneally's debut novel Catching Jordan.  It has a great premise, cute cover and reminded me of the MTV show Two-A-Days. 17-year-old Jordan Woods has big plans--plans to win her schools football championship, plans play college ball in Alabama,but what she doesn't plan on is love getting in the way.

 Jordan Woods is a refreshing female heroine in a world of female protagonist who usually aren't in command of their own story. This isn't just a story about her and a boy it's a story about her. I found Jordan to be a sensible character and I really enjoyed her personality--even if it is a little rough around the edges.

My favorites parts where the simple, repetitive scenes between her and her harem of male football team mates. It made the book feel comfortable and really brought me into the world.

 Every character in this book has their issues and problems that makes them perfect and imperfect. I think we can all relate to how all the characters are afraid to do anything that may change how others perceive them. I think perceptions, expectations and the barriers we create for ourselves are major parts of this novel.

 I did feel like Jordan's main romantic relationship wasn't handled with enough finesse to make it feel real enough. It actually bordered on something that wasn't exactly insta-love, but more insta-like.I really wanted the new love interest Ty to be a better character, but he was kind of "meh" to me.

Catching Jordan  is a solid start for a debut author. It was a book that was easy to get into and had me  racing to the end. I can't wait to see what Jordan Woods gets up to in her appearance in the companion novel, Stealing Parker.






Saturday, January 21, 2012

IMM Vol. 14

Here are some e-books I've added to Bookworm (aka my kindle !)

Won  

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (Geeky Book Blogger, bout of books 3.0)


Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.



I want to read more contemps and the plot of this book sounds unique. I won this during bout of books 3.0 were I finished 2 1/2 books, thanks Felicia !


Purchased

Life's A Witch by Brittany Geragotelis (2.99)

Hadley Bishop is the descendant of the most powerful and famous witch of all time—and as the most popular girl at Astor High, it appears as if she's gotten all her best qualities. But when Hadley's mother is kidnapped and killed by the same evil coven that betrayed her great, great, great Grandmother during the Salem Witch Trials, Hadley swears to get rid of the witches once and for all. 


Have you seen the PW article on her ? Another self-published success story. The cover is also very fashionable.










What did you recieve in your mailbox ?


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book Review : Remembrance by Michelle Madow





“What we have is strong enough to transcend time. I've never trusted anything more in my life.” 
                                                                                           - Michelle Madow, Remembrance





 Synopsis: New Hampshire high school junior Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet. 


Remembrance is the debut novel in Michelle Madow's Transcend Time Saga. Since I started book blogging, I've heard a lot about Michelle and have been very impressed by her success. So, when Michelle put the Kindle version of Remembrance on sale for Black Friday I couldn't resist.

Remembrance tells the story of Lizzie Davenport, a junior in high school who feels an instant attraction to the new guy in school, Drew Carmicheal. It turns out their love is a blast from the past about to make Lizzie's life a lot more complicated.

I had such high hopes for this book, the plot sounds pretty amazing, but overall I was let down. This book falls into the insta-love category. I mean you could argue its because they are destined, but it was still off-putting.

The way the romance came about reminded me so much about Twilight and not in a good way. It started with Lizzie seeing Drew and falling in insta-love,  him being a jerk to her in class and he tells her to stay away from him because he's dangerous. Drew didn't come full circle for me and he reminded me of the "Ya know your mood swings are kinda giving me whiplash" line in the Twilight movie.

The whole reincarnation story line takes a huge backseat.It wasn't used as much of a major point in the story as it could have been and I was so disappointed. I was expecting these epic flashbacks filled with mystery and slowly unraveling the story, but we got more telling than showing. Reincarnation is a relatively new idea and I wish we spent more time exploring that.

All the characters came off as paper thin and one note. Lizzie's personality only seemed to be shaped by the people around her and she was very replaceable.

I will say, Michelle has a pretty good writing style and I love how she connects with her fans and includes all kinds of "behind the scenes" stuff on her blog. You can see a post on Michelle's dream cast for Remembrance, pictures of places where key scenes took place and a guide to the cars of Remembrance. I have to say these images in the dream cast  were exactly as I saw the chatacters.

The book is a part of what she calls the Transcend Time Saga and I'm not sure how this story is going to play into a saga. A saga is supposed to be an epic story and with a novella and one more book coming out, I'm not sure how much of a saga this will be. The book seemed pretty cut and dry, it  could have been the end. I will probably read more to see if Madow's storytelling  evolves more.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Review : A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray



"We're all looking glasses, we girls, existing only to reflect their images back to them. .  . Hollow vessel of girls to be rinsed of our own ambitions, wants and opinions, just waiting to be filled with the cool tepid water of gracious compliance. . . a fissure forms in the vessel. I'm cracking open."                                                                        

- Libba Bray, A Great and Terrible Beauty



  A Great and Terrible Beauty is a witty, dark and funny novel that pulls readers into late 19th century England and the  misadventures of Gemma Doyle.

After losing her mother under mysterious circumstances Gemma, an expartiat in India, is sent to London to attend Spence Academy, a finishing school for girls. Soon  she stumbles into a mystical and magical realm that is both dark and inviting.

The novel is slow paced and really focuses on telling the story of Gemma and her schoolmates and places only sporadic emphasis on the action.

My favorite character was resident mean girl,Felicity Worthington, seriously  she could give Regina George a run for her money.

At its surface the novel is entertaining and intriguing. Bray does a wonderful job of giving the girls insecurities and anxieties that binds them in friendship, we get to see a different side of these 19th century girls.

What really makes this novel stand out is the underlying idea of gender and what is clearly a metaphor for early feminism.In the Q&A section Bray mentions that the novel was inspired by how groups of  powerful women have struggled against and had been demonized by patriarchy.

 The girls in the novel  are becoming restless and tired of being proper English roses.  Throughout the novel they began to think, challenge and look past their expectations. They began to think freely, question the morals and values they have been taught all their lives.

I look foward to reading the other two in the series. I hear the third one in over 800 pages ! Ack !









In My Mailbox Vol. 13


This is one of the biggest hauls we've had in a while !




Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
These were purchased with that awesome 50% coupon from last week !

The Name Of The Star by Maureen Johnson
Shine by Lauren Myracle
Library books FTW !


The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Kat ordered this way back in July


Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

This just came in from my local bookstore

What did you get ? Leave links.

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