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Showing posts from February, 2011

Review: Trapped

Trapped by Michael Northrop
Out now, Goodreads
Review copy from Star Book Tours (I love these guys)
4/5 Stars

While this would have been the perfect read during the crazy storms of Jan. 2011 I enjoyed it in the non-snow time too. I am forever looking for books to recommend to teen and pre-teen boys and this one is now tops on my list.
To sum it up: During a freak (18 feet!) snow storm, 7 teens are trapped in their high school. The power goes out the first night, the water pipes burst, and the school bully is one of the seven.

I thought Trapped was very successful. The sense of isolation was well done, the characters were realistic (I especially loved Scot's voice), the dangers were real and the plot was fast moving.
That said, a reader will find themselves screaming at the book "Why don't you try this?"
Safe to say that the characters in this book have not read as many survival novels I have, so they are a little clueless.
I would have holed up in the library, created a stove…

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of Blessed and Iron Queen is: #28

Kayla M.

Kayla, I have sent you an email (look in your spam just in case!). Send me your address and I'll get the books in the mail.

If for some reason I do not hear from Kayla by Wednesday night, I will pick a new winner.
Thank you to all of your awesome comments and for all my new followers on Twitter. Check back in March because I will be doing another giveaway around St. Patty's Day!

Review: One Hundred Candles by Purnhagen

One Hundred Candles will be published: Feb. 22, 2011
This book is the second in a series. See my review of the first book here.
5/5 stars

First, I love this series. I love Charlotte. She is very smart and quite courageous. A one-sentence recap of the story-so far: Mom and Dad hunt ghosts and Charlotte is better at attracting deadly demons than hot guys at school.

I have never heard of the one hundred candle game (ritual?) that begins this book. I did, being a librarian, investigate some more online and there are variations on how to play but it sounds like fun. And here I had thought me and my friends had covered all of the usual sleep over party games: light as a feather, Ouija board, frozen bras....

Poor Charlotte has, this time, attracted something "worse than" a demon, a cute football player, and a bunch of hauntings at school. I thought the pacing of this book was great. I also adore how, even though Charlotte is dealing with many things, the minor characters r…

Review: Darkness Becomes Her by

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Goodreads link
Published 2/22/11
egalley from gg
4/5 Stars

I really liked this story. One, it took a bunch of elements I have seen a million other places and put it back together into a brand new story. Loved the gothic setting. I do wonder if Keaton had me entranced because of her writing or if I loved this so much because I have been to New Orleans and recognized almost everything in the book.
Ari is not a blushing flower of a heroine. Think instead: a slightly less mad Lizbeth Salander. I gave super points for this being a first novel, and I am assuming this will be a series. So I want more character development and more exploration of supporting characters in the next book. I love the little cast of outcasts surrounding Ari. Crank, especially, could be our first-ever elementary school steampunk hero! Henri has no personality at all, and Dub needs some background, but I love them already.
The world building here is great, but I would love to know a few…

Review: XVI

XVI by Julia Karr Out now, Goodreads Review copy, personal library 4/5 Stars I bought this one back in January when it came out, but you know how it is with books you own. Between the review copies and the library copies, the ones you own keep getting put on the bottom of the pile. To Sum it Up: In the future, girls are tattooed with the number 16 on their wrists to signify they are ready to procreate. Nina fears being marked, fears for her mother's safety with her abusive boyfriend, and is about to find out her family's past is way more involved than she thought. I really liked Nina. In fact, I liked all of the characters (with a special shout out to Gran and Pops who were super great). The plight of poor Nina finding herself kind of gets over shadowed by the Resistance movement, but it is in there. That being said, the world building in this one could have been better. Cars are "trans", soda is "sparkle" and fridges are "chillers". Whoa, futuristic. W…

My First Ever Giveaway!!!!!

It is time to give back, my friends! I've been plotting this one for a while and the time is here. I give you:

My First Giveaway!!!

Here's what's up for grabs:
One autographed copy of Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith and one advanced reader copy of The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa.

I know! I'm excited too!!!
Here are the rules:
1. Open to US peeps only (sorry! Broke grad student here)
2. The giveaway is open from 2/13/11 to 2/20/11 because I hate long giveaways.
3. I will email the winner on 2/21/11 and they will have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
4. will pick the winner.
5. No extra entries (everyone is equal in my eyes).
6. Fill out the form to win!!!

Following and comments are not required for the giveaway, but sure are appreciated!


Awesome Author Signing!!!

I just came back from meeting Cynthia Leitich Smith! She was in my local Barnes and Noble, and I hightailed it over to meet her (and to pick up a copy of Blessed). Cynthia is one of those people who it is a genuine joy to be around, she had us laughing and "performed" some of Tantalize for the crowd.
There was much love all around!! This is why I go to author signings. First, how great is it to hear a book being read by the person who wrote it. Second, I have never met an author I didn't like, but it is so great to put a face to the prose. Plus we usually get some sort of background on the creation process that I find interesting. Cynthia is awesome. Check out her website-several members of the audience seem to know her already because she is super great about communicating with her fans.
Now, I'm only halfway through Eternal but I really like it (I wanted to have the first two read before the signing, but it didn't happen).
Three more great things:
1. Every…

Review: Outside In by Snyder

First, let me just say that I have loved Maria V. Snyder since Poison Study and always look forward to a new title from her. That said, I liked (not loved) Inside Out. It was better than okay, but not great. I liked Trella, but the best part of the book was the surprise ending which I did not see coming.

CAUTION: You will see the word "love" many times in this review.
Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
Goodreads link here
4.5/5 Stars

Here is the second book in the series. It will be published on March 1, 2011. I loved this book. Maybe because the first book was a lot of set up, and now that we are all on the same page this book felt like the adventure really began. I read this in one night! It's so action packed, I could not stop reading. I feel like Trella really grew up in this story. I only hope there is more.

I think the character I have most grown to love is Dr. Lamont. I loved her, hated her, despised her, and then loved her again. I felt Trella's pain on that end.

This b…

Just have to share....Show and Tell

I won an Across the Universe water bottle by making an ass of myself on facebook. So many people have come up to me at work and church and said "Kristie, what is up with you and the water bottles?" Well, it was hard earned, but I love it. Thank you Beth and Razorbill!!!!

The mail came today and I have won some awesome swag and the book Kiss It from Melissa over at YA Bookshelf. Thank you so much! I love autographed bookmarks. I am such a dork, I ran out and bought an album to put them in (blame Beth Revis, the first one in my collection was from her). You don't want to use them! They are autographed! Am I a crazed fan? Probably. The book is signed as well. I am a big fan of Melissa's blog, I check it daily. Right now she is doing a great series on book trailers. Very cool.

Mom made these great Cake Pops (cakepops?) that are shaped like footballs for the Super Bowl. I had to share, they are so cute!! There is a Cake Pops book out there, and I may just have to grab it fo…

Review: Choker by Woods

Choker by Elizabeth Woods
Copy from the library
3/5 Stars

Quick recap: Cara is having some major issues at school: She is being bullied by the in-crowd, has a crush on a guy out of her league, and she feels friendless and alone.
Enter her best childhood friend, Zoe, who has resurfaced after doing something bad. Cara agrees to hide Zoe in her room in the hopes that they can reform the close friendship they enjoyed as kids.

Spoiler Free Review:

Choker is a good first novel. The pacing is page turning, the plot is interesting, and there are some genuine shivery moments. My only issues are with the characters. They are highly undeveloped, and that leads to a disconnect for the reader. If you are not invested in anyone, then the story just plays out without emotional attachment.
Large chunks of time are not reported. Something had to have happened in between events.
Cara is unlikeable-she barely speaks to anyone, and as a friend she sucks. If a friend of mine showed up in my room, I …

Valentine's Day Fun

Program: Valentine's Day Ages: 5-12 Ah, Valentine's Day, how I dislike you. Yes, the crafts are cute, but if you love somebody-tell them everyday. So, now that my party-pooper true self has left the building, see what we made at my V-Day craft yesterday!! As I have no idea what gorillas or frogs have with love, I chose Robot valentines to recreate into awsome name badges. We began by reading Unloveable by Dan Yaccarino (which I love because it is about loving yourself for who you really are, not what the cat thinks about you). Then we made boxes to look like ourselves (and to store valentines in) and then I put out tables spread with goodies like colored paper, wooden cut outs, buttons, stencils, doilies, etc and the kids made valentines (good old fashioned ones). For a giveaway, I made Valentine's Day bark, which I found here. My version had pretzels, m&ms, white chocolate, and heart sprinkles (white, pink and black). The bag labels came from a free printable I found here. …

Review: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
egalley from netgalley
Set to release: 2/15/11
3/5 Stars

I really wanted to like this book, but alas....

What is going to sell this book will be its cover.

Angelfire reads like an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer minus the humor, spunk, personalities, and magic. Okay, I take it back. Ellie is no Buffy.
I really did not like Ellie or relate to her in anyway. She is the Slayer, er, I mean Preliator.
The fight scenes were not bad, if confusing in points, and the monsters seem original although interchangable. The book does not do a very good job of setting up the history of The End of Days. I really felt like the average reader, who has not read books like this before, would have to do some side research to really understand what was going on. Here's an unanswered question: Why are the "bad" angels trying to bring about the war?

The story may have been better from Will's POV. It might have been more effective with some flashbacks that exp…