November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope those of you in the US have a wonderful time celebrating, and that those of you elsewhere have fun too!

I am thankful that I have been able to maintain this blog and meet so many people. Part of the joy of blogging is the community.

I am thankful that the semester is almost over.

I am thankful that the book I read last night was so good it kept me up until three a.m.

I am thankful for the chocolate covered espresso beans a friend gave me.  Delicious.

Now, I'm off to play with my niece and nephew.  I'm thankful they're in Texas right now instead of North Dakota.

November 23, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (on Tuesday)

I just bought VAMPIRE ACADEMY by Richelle Mead. I've heard good things and read a teaser that convinced me it would be a fun read.

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, Book 1)

But I have read Mead's first two Dark Swan books. I'm excited that the third will be released on February 22nd or March 1st. (Mead's site disagrees with Amazon.)

Iron Crowned

Here's the blurb for IRON CROWNED, from Mead's site:
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land’s queen, she’s fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful gentry fear…

Who Eugenie can trust is the hardest part. Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda for aiding her search. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her along the way. To control the Crown’s ever-consuming powers, Eugenie will have to confront an unimaginable temptation--one that will put her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal peril…

I'll have to reread the first two in preparation!

November 22, 2010

Review: Invisible Things

Oh my goodness. You guys, I turn in my thesis on December 3rd. My finals are the week after that. Then I'm a graduate. I'm getting job and other applications together, but my plans aren't set in stone yet. It's hard to believe that I will soon no longer be a student, since that's been my identity for a long time now.

I've gotten a raise at work! I intend to keep my current job until I do find something better. Both the owner and the managers told me I'm the best closer, which is a little sad since I haven't been working there long. But it makes me happy because I prefer working closing to the day shifts. (Day shifts get to restock, which is hard on one's back.)

But on to content! Sorry I haven't been updating lately, but I prefer to be silent then bombard ya'll with crappy posts I haven't spent any time on.

Invisible Things

Available tomorrow from HarperTeen
Review copy

This review is part of a Traveling to Teens tour. Jenny's last stop was The Neverending Shelf and her next stop is The Hiding Spot.

I unfortunately wasn't able to read THE EXPLOSIONIST first. I dislike starting with a sequel, but sometimes it's fun to see how well the book works when you don't start familiar with the world. INVISIBLE THINGS did manage the set-up well. I liked that it was set in Denmark and other places that aren't often seen in English literature. Plus, the places were new to Sophie, who came to Denmark by way of a school in Scotland, so new readers wouldn't be lost there. The details of the steampunk world took awhile to unfold, but one paragraph in particular played catch-up nicely:
When would the dynamiteur Alfred Nobel send word that he was ready to see Sophie? . . . When Nobel did finally reach out to her, would the message be brought by her old chemistry teacher, Mikael's older brother, Arne? Would Mikael - but Sophie could hardly stand to thing about it, the idea so thoroughly and confusingly excited and shamed her - ever want to kiss her? (ARC, p. 20)
The rhetorical questions felt like someone testing out different scenarios in their mind. It also brought in things that had happened while still focusing on future action, which prevented drag.

Unfortunately, drag did occur elsewhere. Due to my current focus on my thesis, I read INVISIBLE THINGS in bits and pieces, spare moments snatched during bus commutes and waiting for water to boil. Thus, I may not be doing full justice to the book. At the same time, I just never felt compelled to sit with it longer. I'm behind on a term paper outline because I picked up Jim Butcher's DEAD BEAT and didn't put it down for 200 pages. Jenny Davidson never managed to make me forget other responsibilities waiting.

Davidson's writing, mechanically, was lovely. The prelude to the story is atmospheric while managing to pack in some action. But it seems like the action parts got lost sometimes. Part of this is due to Sophie's intelligence, which sometimes translates as pretentiousness. She tends to think about things in ways that can be lovely, but don't create forward momentum.

I enjoyed INVISIBLE THINGS, but I somehow though a novel that revealed dark secrects, featured an eve-of-war setting, and began with an assassination would be more of a page-turner.

November 3, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday: All Just Glass

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a meme began by Jill of Breaking the Spine.

All Just Glass

ALL JUST GLASS, coming out on January 11, 2011, is the sequel to SHATTERED MIRROR, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes's third novel.

Book Cover

SHATTERED MIRROR came out in 2001, and I thought it was open-ended enough for a sequel then. I'm excited to see how it will turn out even if I'm no longer in junior high.

Here's the summary from Amazon:

Sarah Vida has given up everything for love. From a legendary family of vampire-hunting witches, Sarah was raised to never trust a vampire, to never let her guard down, and to avoid all tricky attachments of the heart. But now Sarah IS a vampire—changed by the boy she thought she loved. Her family has forsaken her, and Sarah herself is disgusted by her appetite for blood.

Aida Vida is Sarah's older sister, the good, reliable sibling who always does her family proud. But when Aida's mother insists that Sarah be found and killed, Aida is given the one assignment that she may not be able to carry out.

Taking place over just twenty-four hours, ALL JUST GLASS tells the story of a game-changing battle that will forever change the world of the Den of Shadows. And at its center is the story of two sisters who must choose between love and duty. Dark, fully-imagined, and hard to put down, ALL JUST GLASS will thrill Amelia's fans—old and new.

November 1, 2010

Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature Award

I read on Jezebel today that the American Library Association is adding an award to recognize children's and young adult fiction with LGBTQ themes. The Stonewall Awards are not new, but this category is. I'm excited, as I am with most anything that increases visibility. Jezebel also ran a story today on bullying. These types of suicides are not new, and kids who are alienated from their peers need access to novels that can help them realize they aren't alone.

The Vast Fields of Ordinary

The 2010 winner is THE VAST FIELDS OF ORDINARY by Nick Burd, which I recommended here.

I think YA is far better at inclusivity than adult lit, and I hope that trend continues and spreads.


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