November 29, 2009

Hooked on "Hush, Hush"

"Hush, Hush"
Becca Fitzpatrick


Synopsis: For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

"Hush, Hush" had me hooked from start to finish. I listened to the audio of the book in the car and soon found myself blaring my computer speakers in order to hear it over my washing of dishes. I never listen to audio in my apartments because my TV and movies are there, but I ignored my TV to listen to "Hush, Hush". There was a lot of mystery in this book and I'm not just talking about Patch's history. Fitzpatrick kept me at the edge of my seat trying to figure out who was harassing Nora and whether or not Patch could be trusted. Beyond the mystery I found the fallen angel plot to be very interesting. I have to say I've never really been one of those people who found angels to be interesting in the least, well besides Angel as in the character David Boreanaz played, but Fitzpatrick has me wanting more! Luckily I hear there is a sequel coming out next fall called "Crescendo", that is definitely going on my list. If a plot full of twists and turns isn't enough for you, then there is always the crush worthy Patch who is the perfect mysterious bad boy.

If you like romance, paranormal, mystery, and dark handsome men then this is DEFINITELY the book for you. If you are a fan of at least two of the previously described themes then you will should check out the book. Simon & Schuster have an audio clip of an excerpt of the book as well as a couple of the first few chapters. Preview those by clicking here. If you are still unsure about reading the book, then maybe this amazing trailer will convince you.

November 28, 2009

Review: "Witch and Wizard"

"Witch and Wizard"
James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet


Synopsis: The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?

This was the first book by James Patterson that I've ever read and even though I was impressed by the plot, I was not a huge fan of the writing style. The book was fast paced, but the super short chapters and the multiple point of view was kind of annoying. It took me a while to get used to the switches. Luckily, I really enjoyed the plot about witches and wizards not being aware of their powers and how this new government took over and started imprisoning all of them. It almost seemed like WWII with witches and wizards being the target of genocide instead of the Jews, gypsies, Communists, and homosexuals.

The major thing that I think Patterson and Charbonnet did right in the book was how they portrayed The New Order. The organization is terrifying already and I have a feeling this is just the beginning. For a group that is so fervently anti-witchcraft, it appears that they use magic when it serves their desires. It seems as though there are many layers to The New Order and that we are just getting a glimpse into their true purpose. I really want to read the next book because I want to know what will happen with The New Order and the prophecy.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys action, fantasy, sci-fi, alternative realities, paranormal, or is just looking for a quick read. You can also download a free e-book version from Barnes and Noble by clicking here. This is a limited time offer, so I don't know how long it will last.

November 27, 2009

2010 Debut Author Challenge

Now that I'm finishing up school I will have time to do a lot more reading. One great way to make sure I stay on task is to sign up for challenges, so I am signing up for the 2010 Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren.
  • Kristy is challenging us to read at least 12 debut YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels.
  • The challenges runs between January 1st 2010 to December 31st, 2010.
  • You don't have to be a blogger to participate.
  • The books need to be released in 2010.
Click here for more information about the challenge. Kristy has listed some websites to go to when choosing your books for the challenge. These books can change throughout the year so don't worry if you feel like reading books that aren't on your original list.

Books I plan on reading:

Bleeding Violet- Dia Reeves (January 5th)
The Secret Year- Jennifer Hubbard (January 7th)
The Iron King- Julie Kagawa (February 1st)
Dirty Little Secrets- C.J. Omololu (February 2nd)
Forget-Her-Nots- Amy Brecount White (March 2nd)
The Body Finder- Kimberly Derting (March 16th)
Three Rivers Rising- James Richards (April 13th)
The Red Umbrella- Christina Gonzalez (May 11th)
Sea- Heidi R. Kling (June 10th)
A Love Story: Starring My Dead Best Friend- Emily Horner (June 10th)
Tell Me a Secret- Holly Cupala (June 22nd)
Other- Karen Kincy (July 1st)
Paranormalcy- Kiersten White (Fall)
Freefall- Mindi Scott (Fall)

November 26, 2009

Bitten by "The Forest of Hands and Teeth"

"The Forest of Hands and Teeth"
Carrie Ryan


Synopsis: In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

I picked up this book because I heard that it had zombies that would scare the pants off me and I was not disappointed. This alternate reality where zombies have taken over the world was pretty terrifying. It kind of reminded me of a cross between the movies "The Village" and "28 Days Later". I expected zombies to be tearing apart people, but I did not expect the chill I felt when reading about "The Sisterhood" making it more than just a book about monsters. Ryan has created a story with depth through her portrayal of human emotion and survival instincts. Mary is a wonderful main character for this book because she has unfaltering faith in a seemingly hopeless situation. Her hope pulled me through situations where I would have given up.

This book is great for anyone who likes books about alternative realities, horror, paranormal, love, or just someone who likes to read survival stories. The next book "The Dead-Tossed Waves" is coming out in March and I can't wait! Learn more about this book on Carrie Ryan's website.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! If you don't celebrate Thanksgiving... then have a happy day! This year my parents, my brother, and I are just bumming around the house and eating lots of great food. My dad always cooks a great breakfast and my mom follows up with the insane amount of classic Thanksgiving food. I try to help out where I can, but I don't know how to cook and I like to watch the parade.
This year I have a lot to be Thankful for:
I am finishing up my MLIS in 2 weeks
I have a fantastic boyfriend
My family who has been immensely supportive this year. I couldn't have gotten through this year without them.
All you guys following my blog, which is great especially since I haven't been able to post as much as I would like to. Just stick with me for a couple of more weeks!
All my friends for their understanding and patience.
My cozy apartment that has become my escape from the craziness of it all.
My car for still running after 10 years.
And of course all the authors out there who are writing all those fantastic books!

Feel free to share your Thanksgiving traditions and what you are Thankful for this year.

November 10, 2009

Moved by "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"

"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"
John Boyne



Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" is a book that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Even though I knew that it would be a heartbreaking story from the very beginning of the book, it was still a wonderful book to read. Bruno is such an innocent boy who is experiencing the horrible circumstances of the Holocaust and relaying it to the reader. He doesn't always understand what he is seeing, but his descriptions were not lost on me. Even though some of the facts about Auschwitz were changed in the book, I still found it to be a useful book for starting a conversation about the Holocaust. Since it is not a historically accurate account, Boyne describes it as a historical fairy tale instead of historical fiction.

My only complaint about this book was that I found the music in the audio to be annoying. If you read the book you will not have this problem, and maybe I am just being picky about the whole music thing. I just find it to be distracting and unnecessary. It is read beautifully and I don't need ominous music to set the tone of the book.

The story is not just about the Holocaust, it is also about friendship, family, and growing up. I don't think you have to be a fan of history to enjoy "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas", this book is for anyone who loves a good fairy tale. In true fairy tale form, there are things to be learned and there are aspects of the story that are twisted. It may be a little more disturbing because instead of fantastical monsters, it is based on horrible events that happened to real people.

R.I.P. IV Challenge Wrap Up

My first book challenge is over and I am overall pretty happy with my results. I did complete "Peril the First", which was finishing 4 books, but I did not complete the "Short Story Peril". I only got through 3 Sundays of Short Story reviews. Out of my original list I completed:
"Shiver" by Maggie Stiefvater
"From Dead to Worse" by Charlaine Harris
"Forest of Hands and Teeth" by Carrie Ryan

I also finished:
"The Monstrumologist" by Rick Yancey

"Dead and Gone" by Charlaine Harris
"Betrayed" by P.C. and Kristen Cast
"My Soul to Take" by Rachel Vincent
"City of Glass" by Cassandra Clare
"A Dirty Job" by Christopher Moore

Here is a list of short stories that I read:
"Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark":
"A New Horse, Alligators", "Room for One More", and "The Girl Stood On a Grave"
"Harry" by Rosemary Timperley
"W.S." by L.P. Hartley

I really enjoyed doing this challenge and I hope to participate in more once this semester is over. I will be looking forward to doing this challenge next year and I won't have school as an excuse if I fail again!

Secret Santa

It is that time of the year again, time to begin making holiday plans. I came across this really neat Secret Santa book swap on a couple other book blogs and thought I'd let everyone know about it. The Neverending Shelf is hosting this Secret Santa, so check out her blog for more information. Sign ups end the 15th of this month, so be sure to hurry over.