Because who can afford books in this economy?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Hey everyone, I'm just posting to thank everyone for getting me to 50 followers! Wow, I really have no idea why anyone would want to read what I think about books when there are so many amazing blogs out there that you could be reading instead! Thank you guys so much, I really appreciate all of you and your comments! No giveaway this time, but maybe if I get to 100?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison

Title: Taken by Storm
Author: Angela Morrison
Published: March 2009
Source: The library
Synopsis from goodreads:
Leesie Hunt has many rules: No kissing. No sex. No dating outside the Mormon faith.

When Michael Walden—a deep-sea diver who lost his parents in a violent hurricane—arrives in town, Leesie sees someone who needs her. They fall for one another, even though his dreams are tied to the depths of the ocean and hers to salvation above.

Will their intense chemistry be too strong to resist?

Leesie and Michael must make the hardest choice of their lives: whether to follow their beliefs or their hearts.

Readers will be swept away by this tale of forbidden romance told in online chats, Leesie’s chapbook poems, and Michael’s dive log. It’s as steamy as Twilight and just as clean.

Taken by Storm is unlike any book I've ever read. It's told through Michael's journal-like dive log, Leesie's poems, and online chats. One thing that really surprised me was that reading Leesie's short poems gave me just as much insight into her character as reading the longer, more detailed accounts in Michael's dive log gave me into his.

Now, I'm not a religious person, I'm not even sure what my beliefs are, so the fact that one of the characters is a devout Mormon could have been a deal breaker. But it wasn't. Leesie's religion was part of her character, just like Michael's non religion was a part of his. I never felt like I was being preached to, or that the author was trying to convert me, which could have easily been the case.

The romance between Leesie and Michael was a whirlwind, and very, very complicated. She couldn't do more than kiss with both feet on the floor, he didn't think that there could be love without sex. That led to some interesting scenes. They definitely weren't perfect by far, but they worked. Michael grieving his parents death was a big part of it too. He needed her to help him through it.

The storyline is great and the characters are real. I finished it last night and I'm still thinking about it. The one time I had to walk away from it I couldn't focus on anything else. I would highly recommend this book to fans of romance.

Characters: 10/10
Plot: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 8/10
Overall: 47/50 A
Title/Cover: 3/5 I like the title, but the cover just doesn't do it for me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In My Mailbox (10) VLOG!!!

Okay, so I did my first vlog this week, and I decided that though it could probably have been better it's not a total failure. Anyway, I would greatly appreciate any thoughts, comments, or suggestions as to how I can improve my vlogging skills. Here goes:

Yeah, I cut the end off a little short. It's supposed to be "That's what I got, what did you get?" but the end was chopped off. Oh well, the question still stands!

Books Mentioned (all links to goodreads)

A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson
My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison
Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer
Deadly Little Secret by Lauri Faria Stolarz
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
Epitaph Road by David Patneaude

From the Library:
Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors (review here)
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy
Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
Leftovers by Laura Wiess
Numbers by Rachel Ward
The Empress's Tomb by Kirsten Miller
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Snow by Tracy Lynn
I know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin
Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork
The Mark by Jen Nadol
Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison
The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

Title: Coffeehouse Angel
Author: Suzanne Selfors
Published: August 2009
Source: the library
Synopsis from goodreads:

From the author of Saving Juliet comes a romantic comedy that is good to the last drop. When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down.  Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be . . . 

Coffeehouse Angel was a really cute, light read. It didn't take long either. I'd been wanting to read this one for a while so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that my library had it. I love romantic comedies with heart and this one fit the bill perfectly.

Katrina, the main character, was very real. I didn't feel like her emotions or actions were fake, or that she ever did something that no teenage girl in America would ever do. I liked how she was tall too, a lot of the girls in YA are tiny. Selfors did a good job with the characters, and I was fond of a lot of them by the end. Malcolm was definitely my favorite. He was just so...odd, but in a sweet way. The relationship development between him and Katrina went well also.

You would think that a book like this would be pretty predictable, right? Well, I sure didn't think so. There were some elements that I could see coming, but a lot of them were surprising. A lot of things happened that made me change the way I thought it was going to end, then change it again, then again.

There was something about it that made it less than perfect though, and I'm not really sure what it was. Maybe a slight disconnect with Katrina? Or maybe just with the whole book? Some things were a little bit confusing as well. The book was still really enjoyable though.

This book is super cute, less predictable than you think, and has a lot of heart. I really liked it.

Characters: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Plot: 9/10
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 44/50 B+
Title/Cover: 5/5 The cover models fit Katrina and Malcolm well, and the title fits the book.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Firespell by Chloe Neill

Title: Firespell
Author: Chloe Neill
Published: January 2010
Source: Bought from
Synopsis from goodreads:
As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face…

When Lily’s guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she was shocked. So was St. Sophia’s. Lily’s ultra-rich brat pack classmates think Lily should be the punchline to every joke, and on top of that, she’s hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building.

The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird—she keeps disappearing late at night and won’t tell Lily where she’s been. But when a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout running from a real monster.

Scout’s a member of a splinter group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, who’ve sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers, magic users who’ve been corrupted by their power. And when Lily finds herself in the line of a firespell, Scout tells her the truth about her secret life, even though Lily has no powers of her own—at least none that she’s discovered yet…

Firespell has a lot of my favorite things in it: boarding school, kick ass heroines, magical powers, and hot guys. And it did them justice. The book is full of action, suspense, some mystery, and a touch of romance. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would, and I'm glad that I picked it up.

I really liked Lily as a character. She was strong willed, but not brash, and new how to handle herself. But she also had real emotions that we all could relate to. I think that Scout was my favorite character. She's the rebel with the nose ring, but she's not mean and she's really funny. In the beginning she's rather mysterious, sneaking out at night and not telling Lily where she's going, but I never got the feeling that she was doing anything bad.

The part of this book that makes it not just another boarding school book is very original and compelling. It's well thought out and makes sense once you wrap your head around it. There's never a dull moment, and with a few more twists added in it's one heck of a read. It goes by super fast, and now I can't wait for the others in the series to come out!
Characters: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Writing: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 44/50 B+ 
Hooked: pretty fast.
Recommend to: Fans of boarding school, magic, and mystery.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My WoW this week is:

Synopsis from
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

I thought that I would do this this week since the cover was just unveiled. Speaking of, WOW, what a cover! It's stunning! I loved the Mortal Instruments, and I'm really looking forward to this one.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Forest Born by Shannon Hale

Title: Forest Born
Author: Shannon Hale
Published: September 2009
Synopsis from goodreads:
Rin is sure that something is wrong with her…something really bad. Something that is keeping her from feeling at home in the Forest homestead where she’s lived all her life. Something that is keeping her from trusting herself with anyone at all. When her brother Razo returns from the city for a visit, she accompanies him to the palace, hoping that she can find peace away from home. But war has come to Bayern again, and Rin is compelled to join the queen and her closest allies—magical girls Rin thinks of as the Fire Sisters—as they venture into the Forest toward Kel, the land where someone seems to want them all dead. Many beloved Bayern characters reappear in this story, but it is Rin’s own journey of discovering how to balance the good and the bad in herself that drives this compelling adventure. 

Once again, Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale brings readers to a world where great friendships, unexpected plot twists, and a little dose of magic make for incredible storytelling.

I am a huge fan of Shannon Hale. The Goose Girl is probably one of my all time favorite books. Sadly, this one didn't measure up. I love the world that The Books of Bayern are set in, and I love the characters but this one just didn't do it for me.

The main thing was that I really didn't feel connected to Rin, the main character. Not like the other characters in the books. A lot of her thoughts were confusing, and I was aggravated by her sometimes. I did like how Hale kept the returning characters true to their respective books. They didn't go through any dramatic personality changes or anything, which I liked.

I really liked the writing. I was sucked into the story, and could see everything happening. The magical aspect is great too, and also original. The plot fell a bit flat for me also, and moved rather slow, which I didn't really like. The end left me wanting more as well, and not in the good way, in the "there's something missing here" way. But that might just be me.

I still love Shannon Hale, and I still love the Bayern books, I just didn't love this book. I think part of it is because of my high expectations.

Characters: 8/10
Writing: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 7/10
Overall: 42/50 B

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Naughty List by Suzanne Young

Title: The Naughty List
Author: Suzanne Young
Published: February 2010
Synopsis from goodreads:
As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility!

Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty!

When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

This book is perfect if you're looking for something fun and cute, with some serious issues thrown in. How awesome is the thought of cheerleaders spying on cheating boyfriends? I must say that it would be nice if there was an SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens) in my school! And the cheerleaders aren't stereotyped as mean! Or ditzy! I love it!

Tessa wasn't a bad main character. She feels a need to be perfect, perky, and polite all the time. If she's not she feels really bad about it, which is something that I can kind of relate to, being a perfectionist. I'm not always perky or polite though ;). She's trying to be the perfect cheer captain, leader of SOS, girlfriend, and daughter. Which is a lot to have on your plate. It really starts to burn her out, which you can see throughout the book.

The other characters weren't completely developed for me, however. At times I also felt a bit of a disconnect with Tessa. There were a few things that she did that I didn't really understand why. The plot is great though, and I loved the little SOS reports in between the chapters.

Characters: 7/10
Plot: 9/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 44/50 B+
Cover/Title: 5/5 The cover is great. I love the way that you're looking in through the window. The title fits too.
Recommend to: girls everywhere =D
Hooked: early on

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

I didn't get much this week:


Fang by James Patterson (Review here)

I also got a very nice signed card from Julia Hoban, author of Willow (review here) thanking me of my support of her book. Thanks Julia!

What did you get this week?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mini Review: The Summer I Got a Life

Title: The Summer I Got a Live
Author: Mark Fink
Published: November 2009
Synopsis from goodreads:
Andy Crenshaw’s summer just went into the toilet. His father got a new job and cancelled their dream vacation to Hawaii. Andy and his older brother, Brad, are shipped off to a farm in Wisconsin to stay with an Aunt and Uncle they hardly know. Brad has little use for Andy, except to torment him.
What begins as a minor disaster turns into a life-changing experience. Andy discovers a whole new world and has his first blush with love in the person of Laura, a piano prodigy and town celebrity. Laura is a remarkable girl, who, despite having to deal with a major life trauma, is funny, resilient, full of life, and to Andy’s delight, just a little crazy.

Andy’s adventure includes chasing a pig through a mall, surviving a near-death driving lesson, and coming face to face with his first dead guy. He also has a side excursion with his brother that will redefine their relationship forever. 

Another mini-review because, well, how many of you have heard of this book before? Yeah, me either. You're not really missing much. I mean, it's a cute read, but not anything special. I liked how it was from an average guys pov, a nice change from my usual average girl pov.  Andy was a pretty cool guy. He was funny and didn't take himself too seriously. His relationship with his brother was nice to read about too. But a lot of the story was predictable and corny, which isn't always a bad thing, but for this book....The author has written for shows like Full House and Saved by the Bell, and I think that maybe he should stick with that. 3/5 stars.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fang by James Patterson

Title: Fang
Author: James Patterson
Published: March 2010
Synopsis from goodreads:
Being a kid with wings--constantly on the run--has never been easy, and Max and her flock are getting tenser than ever. First, on a trip to Africa, they meet a mysterious billionaire whose intense scrutiny of the Flock makes her fear the worst. Then, a cryptic message from a young girl arrives, warning them "The sky will fall." And as if an impending apocalypse weren't bad enough, canny birdkid Angel makes a dire prophecy about Max's soul mate: Fang will be the first to die. Max's desperate desire to protect Fang brings the two closer than ever. But can the team weather the storm, or will the turmoil rip them apart for the last time?

This book was a HUGE disappointment. I'm a really big fan of the series, especially the first three, but this book just didn't cut it. I really didn't feel connected to the characters, which I usually do. I mean, I still love them from previous books, and I want to know what happens to them, but I didn't feel the connection.
I thought that there were some pretty drastic character changes too. Fang certainly said more in this book than probably all of the other books combined. Max didn't seem so...Max-like. I don't really know how to describe it. I guess she was more bossy, less motherly, and way more concerned with herself. Angel was just...whoa, where did THAT come from? The other three main characters, Iggy, Gazzy, and Nudge, weren't as central to the story as they usually are either, which bothered me.

I thought that Patterson was making them way too adult. I understand that they've gone through a lot and that's made them grow up, but this was too much. There were a couple parts where I was like, "Really? You're only 7/9/12/15!" Some things just didn't add up.

Also, something that's been bothering me for a while. In the fourth book, The Final Warning, Patterson introduced something new: We knew that Max had to save the world, but did we know that she also had the environment! Yeah, you read right. Part of the most recent books has dealt with the environment. Not really something every kid wants in their action packed bird kid adventures. I feel like Patterson was just like, "Hey! I really want to help the environment! How about I have Max help the environment too, so then a bunch of kids will help also!" I really don't think that it's going as planned.

Well, this review is getting long enough. Basically: I love the series, didn't love this book.

Characters: 6/10
Plot: 7/10
Originality: 8/10
Writing: 7/10
Ending: 9/10 (some will probably disagree)
Overall: 37/50 C
Cover/Title: 3/5 The title fits, but I'm not a big fan of the guy on the cover. The colors are good though.
Recommend to: fans of the series
Hooked: immediately.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My WoW this week is:

 Synopsis from goodreads:
The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwod.

But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty--because without it, she may be his greatest threat.

Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

This book looks great! It kind of looks a bit like Graceling, and in my opinion that's a good thing! I've seen some good things about it, so I can't wait to get my hands on it!
What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mini Reviews: Blood Promise and The Awakening

Hey all! I don't really like reviewing sequels, especially if I haven't reviewed the first one. So I thought that I'd do a couple mini reviews! Hopefully I won't give anything away...

Title: Blood Promise
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: April 2009
How far will Rose go to keep her promise? The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them. . . including Dimitri.
He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

Okay,! Just like the others in the series, I could NOT put this one down. They're not the most well written books, but they're definitely addicting. I really, really, like Rose as a main character. She's probably one of the strongest female characters out there and I love that! She made some hard decisions in this book, but she was still strong. I really don't know what to feel about Dimitri, and Adrian, and I can't wait to read the next one! I loved it! 4 stars, because the writing isn't spectacular.

Title: The Awakening
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Published: May 2009
Synopsis from goodreads (WARNING: Contains spoilers for previous book!):
If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.
Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying. 

I'd had this book on hold FOREVER! The day I got I was was ecstatic. This series is just so good! The characters are relateable, the plot is pretty out there, but not so much that it's completely unbelievable. That's the thing, I could believe that this was actually happening somewhere. There are parts of the book that read like a horror movie, and it's awesomely gross. There's danger around every turn, and I really couldn't predict who was good and who was bad. It's just great: 5 stars!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Well, I didn't do too bad this week!


 From the library:
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead (Reading now-wow!)
The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
I put all of my other library books on hold when I got these!

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (!!!)
Willow by Julia Hoban (Just because I love it so much)
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder (LOVED the Study series, so I had to get it)

The Naughty List by Suzanne Young 
from Sarah at YA Librarian Tales.
Thanks Sarah!

Next week I should be getting a book that I'm VERY excited about...

 What was in your mailbox this week?

Friday, March 12, 2010


Hi everyone. I haven't had time to really read since Tuesday, and I won't have time today or tomorrow either, so that means no reviews anytime soon. To fill the gap between yesterday and Sunday when I do IMM I thought that I would do this. In case you haven't noticed, I get all of the information on my books from (date published, synopsis, links), so I'm obviously a member. I was wondering if any of you guys are members. I would love to see what you're reading and what you think of the books. So if you have an account go ahead and add me as a friend. My name is Taylor McBroom. I'll accept, I promise =D.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Say the Word by Jeanine Garsee

Title: Say the Word
Author: Jeannine Garsee
Published: March 2009
Synopsis from goodreads:
The world expects perfection from seventeen-year-old Shawna Gallagher, and for the most part, that’s what they get. She dates the right boys, gets good grades, and follows her father’s every rule. But when her estranged lesbian mother dies, it’s more than perfect Shawna can take. Suddenly, anger from being abandoned ten years ago is resurfacing along with Shawna’s embarrassment over her mother’s other family. As she confronts family secrets and questions from the past, Shawna realizes there’s a difference between doing the perfect thing and doing the right thing.
Shawna’s honest and relatable voice will draw readers in and hold them until the last page in this coming-of-age story. Jeannine Garsee has delivered a compulsively readable second novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Hmmm...I'm not really sure what to say about this book. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. I always wanted to pick it up and read more, but when I actually was reading it wasn't so great. The family dynamics were basically the whole novel: Shawna's mother left her and her father for a woman. Her mother dies and she has to deal with Fran, her mothers partner, and her sons in ways that she never imagined. Her father is a controlling jerk, and Shawna tries to be perfect for him. It's all about the relationships.

I never really connected with Shawna, which I though was a problem. A lot of the stuff she did I really didn't understand. A lot of the things that she said I didn't understand. I thought some things were out of the blue and just put there for more drama. Shawna's relationship with Arye was a little weird too. One second they hate each other, the next they don't.

One thing that I did like was that it was set in Ohio, which is where I live. And Shawna has her mind set that she is going to go to Kenyon College, a private college that's very hard to get into and very pricey. And, incidentally, is the place where my band has band camp. So when she talked about it, I knew what it was.

Like I said in the beginning, this book wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. If you like family drama, this is definitely the book for you.

Characters: 7/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Overall: 40/50 B-
Title/Cover: 1/5 Not a fan of the cover, and I really don't see what the title has to do with the book. On a side note, it's the same cover model from North of Beautiful, a book that I LOVED.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My WoW this week is:

Summary from goodreads:
Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.
I love the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, so I hope that this one is just as good! It sounds interesting. I really don't know much about Egyptian mythology, so I'll probably learn a lot. Too bad it doesn't come out until May...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ash by Malinda Lo

Title: Ash
Author: Malinda Lo
Published: September 2009
Source: the library
Synopsis from
In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

I'm generally a fan of Cinderella retellings ( Ella Enchanted and Just Ella are at the top of my list), and this one deserves to be up there with the best of them. There a lot of traditional elements, and just as many non traditional ones. It all adds up to one great book.

I really don't want to say too much because I think that the best way to enjoy this is to discover the similarities and differences on your own. I am going to say that the Evil Stepmother is indeed evil, and sometimes I really just wanted someone to hurt her. I liked Ash. She was impulsive and reckless at times, unsure and shy in others, which balanced out nicely.

One thing that I noticed was absent from the book was character description. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, just different. I got a hair color here, an age there, maybe some height thrown in, but never the whole picture at the same time. It was interesting, and sometimes a little annoying, but most of the time it didn't really affect anything.

I really liked this book and thought that it was beautifully written. The story telling was gorgeous, as was the story. It was similar enough to Cinderella that you could see the parallels, but different enough that it was entirely its own story.

Characters: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
Originality: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Overall: 49/50 A+
Title/Cover: 5/5 The cover is beautiful, and the title works well.
Hooked: early on.
Recommend to: Fans of fairytale retellings. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

This week I got:


From the Library:
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (Review here)
Ash by Malindo Lo
Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan
Say the Word by Jeaninne Garsee
Nothing by Janne Teller
Aftershocks by William Lavender
The Purple Emperor by Herbie Brennan

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

What did you get this week?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Published: June 2009
Source: The Library
Synopsis from

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

Wow. This book I don't even know what to say, other than that I loved it. It's about so many things: Love, death, friendship, family.... It's just amazing. I was sucked into the story and couldn't get out until I finished it.

Anna is a really good narrator. She's like your best friend, only sadder. Frankie was kind of annoying; all that she really cared about were clothes and boys. But that's after her brother Matt's death, and when someone dies it changes people. Anna has never really been able to get over Matt's death. She kept their relationship a secret even after he died, as it was her last promise to him. She feels terrible about keeping it from Frankie, but she thinks that she has to.

Ockler does an amazing job with characterization. I was slightly annoyed with Frankie, but I think that she wanted it to be that way. My heart was also broken many times throughout, but it was always put back together again. I don't know how she made me care so much about a character that I knew for maybe 25 pages, or how she managed to make me feel whatever Anna was feeling, but she did.

Basically, this book is great, you should read it.

Characters: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 47/50 A
Title/Cover: 5/5 LOVE the cover. The sea glass is perfect. The title is great too.
Hooked by: the first page
Recommend to: Everyone.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My WoW this week is:


Synopsis from
Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.

Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.
This book sounds AMAZING! I've heard such awesome things about it, too. Suddenly the 23rd is just too far away...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn

Title: Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Published: April 2009
Source: The library
Synopsis from
Science, spiritualism, history, and romance intertwine in Suzanne Weyn's newest novel. Four sisters and their mother make their way from a spiritualist town in New York to London, becoming acquainted with journalist W. T. Stead, scientist Nikola Tesla, and industrialist John Jacob Astor. When they all find themselves on the Titanic, one of Tesla's inventions dooms them...and one could save them.

Well, this book was...different than I though it would be. With a title that has the word Titanic in it, I was thinking that they would actually be on the Titanic for most of it. Instead they're only actually on it at the very end, the last 50 pages or so. Not to say that the Titanic wasn't central to the story, because it was.

Instead of an epic drama set on the Titanic *cough*movie*cough*, I got an interesting novel about Spiritualism in the early twentieth century, Harry Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Nikola Tesla. Oh, and of course, the five Taylor sisters. Jane, the second oldest, is our narrator. She tells about her life, beginning when she was four and was caught in an earthquake unintentionally caused by Tesla's invention. He makes quite and impression on her and throughout her life she collects newspaper articles about him.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that her life is living in Spirit Dale, a psychic community, with her maybe psychic mother who makes a living by telling people's fortunes, her older beautiful sister Mimi who she's always in the shadow of, her twin sisters Amelie and Emma who might actually be psychic, and her youngest sister Blythe. Needless to say, she wants out. So when she has an opportunity to enter a journalism contest that might land her in New York, she's all for it and knows exactly who her article is going to be about: Tesla.

It all really starts when she goes to interview him, and from then on you meet familiar historical figures and witness events you'd only read about. It's quite and adventure. A well written adventure to boot. It's told as a kind of flashback, which makes it interesting and different. Jane is very likeable as well, the way that she's very down to earth. I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would and I'm glad that I picked it up.

Characters: 10/10
Plot: 9/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Overall: 44/50 B+
Title/Cover: 4/5 The cover is very haunting, but beautiful. The title is okay, not great.
Hooked: a few chapters in.
Recommend to: Historical fiction fans, people who like the story of the Titanic.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley

Title: The Stolen One
Author: Suzanne Crowley
Published: July 2009
Source: Bought from
Synopsis from
No one wanted you. But I did. 

Kat's true identity is a secret, even from her. All she has ever known are Grace and Anna and their small village. Kat wants more—more than hours spent embroidering finery for wealthy ladies and more than Christian, the gentle young farmer courting her. 

But there are wolves outside, Grace warns. Waiting, with their eyes glowing in the dark . . . and Grace has given Kat safety and a home when no one else would. 

Then a stranger appears in their cottage, bringing the mystery of Kat's birth with her. In one night, Kat's destiny finds her: She will leave. She will journey to London, and her skill with the needle will attract the notice of the magnificent Queen Elizabeth—and of the wolves of the court. She will discover what Grace would never tell her.

Everything will unravel. 

The Stolen One was intended to be a cure for my Tudor England Historical Fiction withdrawal, one of my favorite genres (started by Carlyn Meyers Young Royals series in middle school), but it disappointed me. I had expected more drama, more intrigue, more romance, more than there was in this book. The first third is devoted to her life in the country with Grace, the woman who's always taken care of her, and Anna, who's deaf but like a sister. I found that to be boring.

The rest is about her time in Queen Elizabeth's court, where she tries to unravel the mystery of her birth and who she really is. It was dramatic and intriguing, but I wanted more. There were quite a few instances where characters were introduced and then...nothing. They didn't have a role, or if they did it was small. Or she would build something up and then nothing would come of it. It was frustrating.

I didn't like Kat much either. I guess it's because she is so much different from myself. Instead of staying in her nice little country house she runs away to London and brings poor Anna with her, and when she's there she doesn't do what Grace told her, she does whatever she likes. It frustrated me, the way she wouldn't listen. The historical facts in this novel were very interesting though. She must have done quite a bit of research to get the gown's and the hair and the jewelry correct.

It wasn't a terrible book, just not as good as I expected.

Characters: 7/10
Writing: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Ending: 7/10
Overall: 39/50  C+
Cover/Title: 4/5 The cover is gorgeous and stays very true to the book, down to the pear in her lap. I think that a different title might have fit better though.
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