Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 2/29/12

MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin

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.

This cover still looks stunning, but in a significantly darker way. Like I am almost afraid to touch it. But with that premise, how can I resist? It seems like there is a lot the synopsis is leaving out, and I look forward to diving into the story to find out what else is going on.

Release Date: April 24, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bound by Book-To-Movie Law: Hugo

Book-to-Movie Law states that once you have read the book, you are bound by the media to go see the movie based on said book, and therefor compare to two.

WOW. This movie was TERRIBLE. Or just slow maybe. Painfully slow. Tortuously slow. I think this is largely to blame on Asa Butterfield, who had only two expressions the whole film and who delivered his lines so slowly that I had to pinch myself to stay awake. I was also disappointed in Chloe Moretz, who played Isabelle. She so totally rocked in Kick-Ass, but rushed her way through this movie, and then waited for everyone else to catch up. The only entertaining part with with Sacha Cohen, who was funny and spot on as the Inspector. Good thing there was the spectacular sets and costumes to make up for the acting. I loved looking at the beautiful details in the clocks and dresses and train station. Well done! But again, for a book that was so powerful and quick to read, this movie dragged on much too long.

Bottom Line: The book! Omigosh the book was WAY better.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fever by Lauren Destefano

Wow. Talk about a novel that has me in it's grips! I think I barely came up for air while reading this book, staying up late into the night to finish it. Not that I was surprised, since I loved Wither so much.

First of all, this book picked up right where the last one left off, and it took me no time at all to catch up. This is what a good series should feel like. That even though it has been roughly a year since I read the first book, I can jump right back into the story again without feeling lost at all.

Oh, how nice it was to be back with Rhine and Gabriel! Quite harrowing at times, but these two characters are so sweet together. And I absolutely loved Madame's carnival. Lauren DeStefano truly excels at world building, capable of describing whole scenes with a few choice adjectives. Color, smell, and taste are her favorite ways to describe the scenes, and I found them to be extra vivid from such sensory words. Just be warned not to read this book while eating! Sickness is a main theme in the story, and it gave me the stomach rolly-pollies on more than one occasion. But I think it takes a lot for a story to revolve around illness and still be interesting enough for the reading to stay enraptured in the plot.

The characters are so fantastic, as well. Rhine is so fortunate to meet the people she does while on her journey. Lilac and Maddie at the carnival are just two of so many lovely folks along the way. Then of course there is the horrifying Vaughn, who makes my blood run cold. The characters, the descriptions, the whole world in general... all of this make the Chemical Garden series so amazing. As long as the book was open in my hands, it literally felt like I dissolved into the story. Stunning and beautiful.

One last thing to mention is the cliffhanger ending. How could you, Lauren? I must have the next book, like, now!!

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 2/22/12

THE RIGHT & THE REAL by Joelle Anthony

Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right & the Real from the start, especially when the Teacher claimed he wasn't just an ordinary spiritual leader but Jesus Christ himself. But she was too taken by Josh, the eldest son of one of the church's disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh was the most popular boy at school, too, and the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But getting her dad involved in a cult was not part of the plan when she started dating Josh. Neither was her dad's marriage to the fanatic Mira or getting kicked out or seeing Josh in secret because the church has deemed her persona non grata.

Jamie's life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won't be easy, but when her dad gets himself in serious trouble, will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgive him?

I totally loved Anthony's first book, Restoring Harmony. It had the perfect mix of realistic future and contemporary teen issues. This second novel looks like it will be equally full of power and impact, if not more so. I have a feeling this will prove itself to be an important book for teens to read. This is an author that I will be sticking with for sure, and can't wait for this book to come out!

Release Date: April 26, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fear Street Flashback (25)

Why? Because FEAR STREET was like, my favorite series growing up.

Originally released in June, 1993.

Ahh, a sunburn. A feared element of all summers, even without murderous accidents happening all around you. I liked this piece of the Fear Street series, even though it did not technically take place on Fear Street. I liked the beach-house-without-parents setting, and the four girls were fun to hang around with! Well, fun except for one, but I will not ruin the surprise. The vacation getaway seemed so enjoyable, and the scary parts didn't really take away from the summer atmosphere. The addition of Daniel the ghost is classic Fear Street, which I was very pleased to see. I don't really have much more to say about this little book. It was quick, it was cool, it was tense, it was good. Definitely don't leave this one out of your Fear Street collection!

Fear Rating: 2 out of 3 Screams

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Grown-up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

Jackson has done it again.

I am a long-time fan of Joshilyn Jackson, as is noted here and here. Her writing takes me away into the worlds in her book, and the characters always feel so instantly like I've known them my whole life. Would it be weird to call her books "comfortable"? Because right from the prologue of this newest novel, I knew I was going to be stuck in my chair until the end.

Wow, was the drama in this story heavy! And powerful, like a punch to the stomach, or a terrible image you accidentally stumbled upon on the internet. I completely loved the characters. Poor Mosey and her search for who she is, her turmoil over being a teenager with a dysfunctional family. She was so realistically wise beyond her years. Big was another I enjoyed immensely, as a mother who is trying to protect her children and her heart amidst an unspeakable crime. And whoo-boy, the dialog that came out of Lawrence's mouth weakened my knees! Once the clues started falling into place, I found myself feverishly turning the pages for more. A fantastic story by a much loved author.

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 2/15/12


For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Again with the gorgeous dresses and breathtaking beauty on the cover! This one sounds like it both a clever twist on an old tale and a refreshing new topis yet to be discussed in YA books. I am hoping it will not be too over-the-top with glitz, as those books tend to alienate me from the charters. But I will definitely be giving this novel a shot!

Release Date: April 24, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pure by Julianna Baggott

I am not sure I can fully explain why Pure is such an exciting and awesome book. I feel both at a loss for words and at the same time I feel like I am brimming with the desire to talk about this story.

The post-apocalyptic world Baggott has created is horrific and gruesome, and yet oddly poetic. People being fused to the things they were holding or touching at the time of the Detonations is as ugly to imagine as it is tantalizing in the way it brings additional aspects to being something more than human. It felt as though I were traveling through a world filled with car crashes - appalling sights that I couldn't turn away from and drove far too quickly past. She mentions in the back that she did a lot of research from WWII Japan, and after finishing the novel, I am encouraged to read into some of the survivor stories myself.

Pressia and Partridge are astounding characters to follow through this world. Survivor doesn't seem to cover all of what Pressia is. I do want to say that I felt disappointed in a few of her actions, but she works sincerely to correct the wrongs she did (and was forced to do) and as a reward becomes much wiser and stronger. With alternating chapters, the reader gets to see both life inside and outside of the Dome, but it is outside the Dome that is far more interesting. I liked how both Partridge and Pressia were naive to each other's world, while at the same time so familiar with their own. Bradwell and El Capitan were also some of my favorite characters, surprising me at every turn with their actions and reactions. If I found myself outside the Dome, I would definitely want to be on El Capitan's team.

This is the second book I have read by Baggott, having loved Girl Talk when I devoured it one night in college, and I am proud to say that she has genuinely outdone herself with this one. The next book in the installment is called (slated for 2013) and I know the characters from Pure will still be strong with me when I can finally pick up their continued story.

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

Friday, February 10, 2012

Inspired to Art (3)

Two girls I know and love, Allison and Judi, recently got new Nooks for Christmas. One of the first books they chose to read was Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld. As soon as they were finished, I just knew we had to get together for book club. That book was amazing! One I recommend to everyone who hasn't read it and one I won't soon forget. But instead of just the three of us talking about the book, what better way to go through a novel than by making an art project?

The first step for my project was to cut apart some of my childhood Barbies. Barbie faces exemplify the perfect "pretty" that exists in the Uglies world. See Tally and Shay. I knew I wouldn't be able to make an Uglies project without doing something to represent the hoverboards over the broken down roller coasters. Which I put on the back of the box.
Add a few hands to represent Tally and Shay's friendship, and I was finished. Judi made a representation of the wall-com systems, starting with Tally's profile. And Allison picked out her favorite passage from the book, with directions into the Smoke, and created the map. I love the person in the black hole with rocks, and the calendar!
A fun way to do book club! Perhaps we will meet again when they read the other three books in the series. There are so many art projects we could do with these books!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 2/8/12

ILLUMINATE by Aimee Agresti

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything changes when she is awarded a prestigious internship at a posh Chicago hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous strangers: the powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

Besides having a gorgeous cover and stunning font treatment, does the synopsis sound oh so tantalizing? I am just a sucker for a mysterious book! I'll admit that some of the plot sounds like it might be a little predictable, but I am going to keep my mind open!

Release Date: March 6, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Underwater in February

Ahhh... I love it when I can pull together all of the merfolk-type books coming out in the near future and look longingly at their covers. Here are some of the upcoming water-people themed books that I am looking forward to diving into!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 2/1/12

PIECES OF US by Margie Gelbwasser

Two families. Four teens.
A summer full of secrets.

Every summer, hidden away in a lakeside community in upstate New York, four teens leave behind their old identities…and escape from their everyday lives.

Yet back in Philadelphia during the school year, Alex cannot suppress his anger at his father (who killed himself), his mother (whom he blames for it), and the girls who give it up too easily. His younger brother, Kyle, is angry too—at his abusive brother, and at their mother who doesn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, in suburban New Jersey, Katie plays the role of Miss Perfect while trying to forget the nightmare that changed her life. But Julie, her younger sister, sees Katie only as everything she’s not. And their mother will never let Julie forget it.

Up at the lake, they can be anything, anyone. Free. But then Katie’s secret gets out, forcing each of them to face reality—before it tears them to pieces.

This book does not sound like it is for the emotionally weak. I have a feeling there may be a tear or two from my eye while I read this. Yet Flux has yet to let me down, and I am very much looking forward to spending time with this book and the characters within.

Release Date: March 8, 2012