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Showing posts from May, 2011

A Random Present

This arrived in the mail this week. It did not come with a letter, or note, but the return address said Random House. Well, thank you, Random Person! I will wear my buttons (especially the "I'm Incorrigible!" one) with pride.
Thank you, randomly.

Review: Divergent

Divergent by Veronica RothOut: now Goodreads link
5 out of 5 stars

Oh, my. I loved this book. Now, to give a review without gushing (much).
I am always leery of books that have so much hype as they consistently disappoint me (see: Matched). I was super happy to grab a copy of Divergent from a coworker, and took my time before starting it (I had just finished Blood Red Road -review here-and did not want to merge the books in my mind).
This is one of those hard to describe plots. In a futuristic Chicago, folks split themselves up into factions. Beatrice knows she does not fit into the faction she was born into-she just isn't sure she fits into any of the other factions either.
The world building is incredible, I never once questioned anything Roth had to say. The characters were all realistic, given the situation. And the best part is that Beatrice, like Katniss (you knew the Hunger Games comparison was coming) and Rhine of Wither is super strong-we as readers know this, but watching T…

Review: Awaken

Debut novel from Katie Kacinsky.
E Galley from netgalley
4/5 stars

If, like me, you have walked into a coffee house and witnessed four people sitting together but not actually speaking to one another just staring at their cellphones, well then you know where this novel is going. In a world in which we upload videos to smaller screens so that kids can watch movies while we shop or drive, instead of you know....talking to to our kids, well then you know where this novel is going.

In Madeline's world, everything is done online. School, work, exercise, dating, etc. Crime is down, but no one remembers how to live. Que the rebel with a cause, Justin, who just might shake Maddie's world up if she decides to "awaken" to reality.

There are some really great scenes in this book. The relationship between Maddie and Justin takes a nice, reasonable time to develop. Maddie's world may come crashing down, but a new one is waiting there for her and it has been there the entire time…
Sharks & Boys by Kristen Tracy
Published: June 28, 2011
arc from NG (thanks)
4 out of 5 stars

I read this in one shot last night. It was not at all what I expected, I was expecting a simple drama-filled teen romcom. Heck no! This is a survival story, one so good I couldn't put it down and could not flip pages fast enough.
Here's the deal: four sets of twins who are all buddies from "twin studies" are stuck in the Atlantic on a raft-the Coast Guard may or may not have been called. The raft is surrounded by SHARKS!
I really loved that each of these characters is super smart, some of them borderline genius, and it can be a little confusing in the beginning to remember who is the twin of who.
Enid is also going through some major family drama, and her usual analytical nature-that comes in so handy in science, is turned to looking at each detail of her relationship with a microscope. As an effect, it is driving everyone away from her.
This is a refreshing book, so different f…

Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl in the Steel Corset
By Kady Cross
4 out of 5 stars
Published: May 24, 2011
arc from publisher for review (thanks!)

There are not a lot of steampunk titles for YA, so I was super glad to hear of this new series. Finley Jayne has a monster inside of her and the strength to throw a man through a wall. In Victorian England, a rag-tag band of "extraordinary" teens join forces to fight The Machinist-a mad man bent on creating horrors of the cyberman-kind.
Overall, this was a really great adventure story! I think the writing was good, but I never got fully sucked into the story. There is not one, but two love triangles. What I really enjoyed was the technology mixed with the real aspects of the time. Some of the inventions were Jules Verne-worthy, and the details were fun. Jack Dandy, for example, is a real figure and not just a style of dress.
Picture Jekyll and Hyde mixed with Hellboy and you have the picture. So far, my favorite characters are Emily and Jack Dandy.
I think it b…

Review: Blood Red Road

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Published: June 7, 2011
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
arc from ssgg (thanks!)

Of all of the books I was most looking forward to this year, this book was at the top of the list-right above Divergent.
What can I say about this story? It is better than great. But why? Let's break it down. We have a family, far from the rest of civilization, isolated and protected, and something happens to trigger a quest of almost epic proportions. I was amazed while reading it, there is very little here that I have not seen before (I read a great deal of dystopian lit). The magic comes in how Young pulled all of these elements together. Sometimes, the book felt as though we were in ancient Rome. Sometimes, the Wild West. The effect is one that feels familiar, but seen through new eyes.
As a kid who grew up on Mad Max, we see many of the same elements here: brutal and primal human behavior. At the same time we see our kindly Western heroes, our Amazon princess warriors, and throug…


My poor, neglected blog-how I love thee. I am so crazy busy with work, school, NJLA, planning for the Steampunk World's Fair, and BEA that I barely have time to do anything. I am, however, still reading away.
I did not get many Netgalley titles read :(. I did finish Ultraviolet, and I started but could not finish Spellbound (I just could not get into it). Ditto Starcrossed. Sorry, I look forward to Netgalley July. Here is the link to the challenges. I should have more time this summer, as I am taking a break from grad school (and will finish up in the Fall).
Anyhoo, I promise more later, including my review of Blood Red Road, several author signings, and my little wishlist for BEA (I'm also curious what everyone who is going to BEA will be "hunting" for-maybe you know of a title I missed?
Back soon, I promise.