February Books + Spotlight

I totally flaked and missed talking about February books! Skipped right to March. Probably because in February I only 2 books! I read Frozen by Melissa De la Cruz  & Michael Johnston and First Born by Lorie Ann Grover (this one was an ARC provided to me at the ALA midwinter conference).

So let’s talk about Frozen (not to be confused with the Disney animated movie).

Genre: YA dystopia/fantasy/Price: $17.99/ISBN: 978-0399257544/ Page Count: 336/Series: Yes, book one in Heart of Dread series.

frozendelacruz

The premise is that the world collapsed due to freak weather and now we are in a semi ice age.  There are two main characters Nat and Wes. And you guessed it, they have a complicated romantic tension. Romance is a huge hitter in the series. The journey for the story and how the two are thrown together is this, Nat is looking to get out of Vegas and Wes happens to be a smuggler/criminal and the only one cocky enough to try and get her to “The Blue” (a mystical land of promise).

This could be considered straight dystopia if not for the sideways fantasy weaved into the storytelling. But by the end of the novel fantasy has become to main conflict and how the two authors transition to that is great.

What I appreciated about this book was that there are no love triangles (I really get burnt out by that in YA) and that it isn’t just one genre. I will be giving the rest of the series a read once it comes out, or rather when I can get my hands on them.

 

April Books+Highlight

I swear I will totally get on top of these monthly book updates, but until that day, here are my April books! I read 12 books in April! Doll Bones by Holly Black, Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley, Ebooks and the School Library Program: A Practical Guide for the School Librarian by Cathy Leverkus and Shannon Acedo (professional book yay), The Problem Child by Michael Buckley, Once Upon a Crime by Michael Buckley, Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, Raven Flight by Juliet Mariller, Chocolat Volume 8, Wizard Undercover by K.E. Mills, Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.

I read a ton of really great books during April. My top 3 would have to Michael Buckley’s Sister’s Grimm Series, K.E. Mill’s Wizard Undercover (are you looking for a funny high fantasy book, because this is a perfect blend of humor, urban fantasy, mysteries, and high fantasy, read it), and Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Okay. So I totally want to do blog posts to properly highlight K.E. Mills and Michael Buckley’s series but Holly Black’s book is April’s highlight because it blew me away.

Genre: YA Vampires/Price: $19.00/ISBN: 978-0-316-21310-3/ Page Count: 419/Series: Not that I am aware of (but I so wish it was).

coldgirl

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is about a girl that ends up traveling to the city of vampires with her infected ex boyfriend and an insane vampire.

The premise of the book confused me every time that I read the dust jacket, but the main idea is that the world knows about vampires. And while some people see vampires as sexy romantic characters, the general population see it as a disease that must be quarantined into Coldtowns (vampires are cold, don’t you know).

Tana is in high school and was at a party. She wakes up in the morning hung over and pretty much wandering where everyone is (she passed out in the bathroom) only to find everyone dead. Vampires came into the party and ate everyone. Except when she goes into a bedroom she finds a chained up vampire and her ex boyfriend.

The crazy journey starts there. The three of them travel towards Coldtown (where vampires live and where the infected people-in transition can go-).

This book is Holly Black at her BEST. It totally engrossed me and I couldn’t put it down the whole time I was reading the book. The ending was perfect in that the story was resolved, but not really. You were left satisfied but it was open to interpretation, but not in the annoying way that other books have been (I’m looking at you Sunshine). 

I seriously can’t rave about this book enough. Everyone needs to go buy it, but not from amazon because it’s still a shit storm up there. Go to your local indie store! Or better yet, buy it from the store and then donate it to the public library. JUST READ IT (if you like complicated characters and relationships with vampires thrown in there as a big ass metaphor).

 

 

New books

New books! Some new books to look forward to reading! Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. With an amusing story and gorgeous newillustrations I know I will be able to use in the classroom. Probably pair it will a nonfiction book about sleep or animals.

The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst, I found this on goodreads and the idea of a woman lost in a town on the edge of the desert with a bit of magic thrown in really appealed to me so I am looking forward to reading this one.

The last book is The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson which I bought after hearing her speak on a panel at Book Con. Dystopia set in a futuristic Brazil where a man becomes King for a year then is ritually killed. Should be an interesting read!

March Books+Highlight

In March I read a total of 8 booksBeautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede, Pawn by Aimee Carter, Ghost Train to New Orleans by Mur Lafferty, Resistance by Jenna Black, Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop, Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott, and Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley. On of my favorite reads of the month was Pawn by Aimee Carter (which will be reviewed, who could have guessed that).

Genre: YA Dystopia/Price: $17.99/ISBN: 978-0373210558/ Page Count: 352/Series: Yes, book one in her Blackcoat Rebellion

pawnaimmecarter

Pawn is set in a world where your life is set by a test that ranks you in a number hierarchy. Kitty longs to get the average number, but instead is forced into the III after her results are given back. She is confronted with the choice of living as a III or changing her life by becoming another to join the ranks of IV.

Kitty has to become Lila and stop the revolution that Lila was starting with her charm and political rallies, but Kitty starts to wonder, should she stop this revolution to overthrow the ruling family, or should she risk everything to continue it?

I loved this book because it was smart and more about Kitty than her relationships. There was romance, but it wasn’t the main focus of the plot. There were twists that seemed to come from no where, but worked for the book overall. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys dystopia and a female protagonist who while confused, does her best to make things right.

 

Book Con 2014

So I seemed to have forgotten about my blog here, due to the awesomeness that comes from having a full time job, going to Book conventions, and packing up my life. Coming up will be the books read from March-May. Let’s talk about Book Con!

Empty Book Con 2014 This was my first experience for BEA so I signed up for the Saturday event. This turned out to be a mistake. BEA changed it so now they have a special day for non-professionals called Book Con (which is crap because I am a librarian). The exhibit floor was very poor if you were looking for free books (I was), but the saving grace from the Con was the panels. I attended AWESOME Panels.

Graphic Novel Panel:

This was pretty good for people just getting interested in graphic novels. Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile and Drama, was one of the people on the panel. Nothing outstanding happened in the panel, but you could tell that each of them were excited about the topic and had a lot to share on the world of graphic novels.

Stan Lee

Stan Lee Zodiac

Stan Lee had a panel at Book Con to promote his new juvenile fiction book called Zodiac. The book features a young male protagonist that has the ability to go through various powers connected to the Chinese Zodiac. Stan Lee was hilarious and his panel was actually really interesting. He talked about getting into publishing and how he moved up in the company. At the end of the panel they gave everyone a sneak preview of his new novel and each copy was signed! Great panel!

Epic Reads with 3 YA authors:

This featured 3 popular YA authors, Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Cassandra Clare. I will admit that I really wanted to go to this panel for Maggie Stiefvater and Holly Black. Holly Black was one of my favorite authors when I was a teen (oh so many years ago) and Maggie Stiefvater blew me away with her Raven Boy series and The Scorpio Races. Out of the three authors Maggie Stiefvater really had the most clever and charming personality on the table. Cassandra Clare seemed

Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, and Maggie Stiefvater

Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, and Maggie Stiefvater

really gracious with her fans and Holly Black seems extremely dedicated to her writing. All the people who attended the panel walked away with ARCs of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black’s new collaborative novel and Maggie Stiefvater’s companion book to her Shiver series.

 

Dystopia:

The dystopia panel was moderated by Veronia Roth, author of Divergent series, and had three YA authors, Danielle Paige, Marie Lu, and Alaya Johnson. They IMG_1515talked about world building, characters, and their individual works. I must say that after hearing Marie Lu talk about her Legend series I was motivated to finally finish the last two books (and I was blown away). I had already read Danielle Paige’s book, Dorothy Must Die, (good but a bit unsatisfying at the end) and ordered Alaya Johnson’s book The Summer Prince (should be here soon).

Overall the Stan Lee and Epic Reads were the best panels, but they were all great. Way, way better than the exhibit hall. I have learned my lesson for next year, go to the Friday sessions instead of the “Book Con”.

January Books+Highlight

Hello~this is an overdue post! In the month of January I read a total of 6 books, Celtic Moon by Jan DeLima, Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews, Written in Red by Anne Bishop, The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason, A Study of Silks by Emma Jane Holloway, and The Song of the Quakerbeast by Jasper Fforde. I want to take a  deeper look into my favorite read of the month, Written in Red by Anne Bishop.

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Bishop, A. (2013). Written in Red. New York, NY: ROC.

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy/Price: $26.95/ISBN: 978-0-451-46496-5/ Page Count: 433/Series: Yes

Meg Corbyn is a woman on the run. You encounter her as she is near death and stumbling into the forbidden compound of the Others. By a mysterious kindness, Simon Wolfgard, the semi-official leader of the compound’s business side hires her to live and work within the community. What they don’t know is that Meg is running from her masters, who want her for her blood and the ability she has to predict the future, for Meg is a cassandra sangue (blood prophet). Through Meg’s kindness and innocence she is able to become a trusted member of the Others society and when danger threatens to take Meg away, they all will rise to defend her.

What Bishop does extremely well in this story is the multiple points of view. So many novels employ the same practice of changing povs to make a point, but Bishop does it well. I always knew who the main character and ‘hero’ of the story was, and the changing of povs never dragged the story down, but actually enhanced the appreciation of the characters and stories.

Even though the novel itself can be a bit daunting due to the page count, each part of the book is needed. It can run a bit slow in the parts where Simon had to leave for a conference, leaving Meg alone in the city without the alpha she has grown to know and perhaps trust, but it is necessary for him to leave (for reasons to be known once you read the story). The descriptions of the different Others is fascinating (vampires, werewolves, elementals) as well as the fact that they can all live in one compound or rather town.

The book is an exciting read and luckily the sequel, Murder of Crows will be out March 4, 2014.

2013 Books

During the 2013 year I read a total of 107 books. Made the goal of 1oo books, but my secondarily goal of 110 was missed. For 2014 my goals are 100 books, second goal of 110 books, and third goal of 130 books.

My top 5 favorite books for 2013 are:

1. Archived by V.E. Schwab

2. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

3. The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty

4. Replica by Jenna Black

5. The 5th Wave by Rick Lancey