Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sweep-ing through Again

After reading Sweep Volume 1 by Cate Tiernan, I of course went and got and read Sweep Volume 2. In this volume we find Dark Magick, Awakening, and Spellbound. I can't wait to get Volume 3. I need to stop buying books to add to my reading list already.

In this volume Morgan learns the truth about her first love, and not a good one at that. She learns about her birth parents, and connects with them through her magic and her mother's book of shadows. And Morgan finds her true love, and learns just what it means to love someone.

I really like this series, I find it an excellent, fast pace mystery. I recommend it for anyone looking for a fast pace series to read, that likes the supernatural and some historical facts.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Be swept away by Sweep

Like magic? Mystery? Startling revelations? Then I recommend you come get swept away with the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan. I just finished reading Sweep Volume 1, which includes the first three books, Book of Shadows, The Coven, and Blood Witch.

In this volume you meet Morgan Rowlands as she is just basically meeting herself.  She meets a new guy at school, discovers Wicca, loses a best friend, finds out the truth about her hereditary, and turns 17. And falls in love for the first time. Meanwhile Morgan is being watched by some witches that are giving her the creeps and sneaking around her house in the middle of the night.

Sweep is a fun little mystery series with a paranormal twist. Enter the world of Sweep, and be swept away. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Welcome to the House of Night: The Fledgling Handbook 101

If you haven't guessed already I'm a vamp girl. I always have been, always will be. I started reading the House of Night series by PC Cast and Kristen Cast a while back. I fell in love after the first book Marked. (But that will be another blog post.) But The Fledgling Handbook 101 recently came out, and I gobbled it up in one sitting, still waiting for the money to buy it, but Barnes & Noble knows I'll be there to buy it and other books.

The Fledgling Handbook 101 is what is given to each student upon entering a House of Night school after being marked. Now to give you a bit of a background, in the House of Night universe Vampires are real. They are marked when they are teenagers by the outline of a crescent moon in the middle of their forehead. Once marked they need to be brought to a House of Night to be around adult vampires, otherwise they get sick and can die from their body rejecting the change. The vampires also worship a goddess named Nyx, the personification of night.

Now all of this information and much more, plus some "history" of Vampires can be found in The Fledgling Handbook. The handbook is suppose to be a introduction to a marked teenager to their new life as a fledgling, and as long as they survive the change their life as an adult vampire.

Now if you love vampires and the House of Night series then I definitely recommend picking up The Fledgling Handbook 101 it is definitely a great addition to the series. Makes me want them to start publishing all the textbooks, would be interested in reading the Vamp Sociology textbook.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another Compelling Ellen Hopkins Book, Burned

Unlike in Crank, Glass and the conclusion Fallout, Burned by Ellen Hopkins is about a normal, average, Mormon girl. I found this to be an addictive and compelling, just like I find all her books to be. I honestly just love her story telling, poetry style. Makes it hard to put the book down.  Behind the style though, I think she hits the hard to talk about topics and hits them with just the right amount of force.

Burned focus on Pattyn, not Patty definitely not Pat, the eldest daughter of six in a Mormon family. For most of her life she's been a good little Mormon girl, but she starts questioning things. Like is she really some man's property? Does she really need to follow her father's rules, a man that beats her mother? Will she die a virgin and forever roam the earth without a body because she lacks a Mormon husband to bring her to heaven? Is the Mormon way really her way?

She meets a boy and starts her downward spiral, according to her father that is. He packs her off to his sister's house for the summer as punishment. Not mention her mother is finally pregnant with a boy. Out in the foreverland Pattyn becomes a strong, confident, loved young woman. She also becomes pregnant by her one forever love.

I don't want to give too much away, but this story will definitely make you cry and smile. (Or maybe that's just my pregnancy hormones.) But I think it's a great story of love and finding yourself.

I would recommend this to anyone who thinks they might just be "too plain" to be loved. It definitely reminds you that someone out there loves the light you shine.

Forgetful demigod, uses Roman terms, it's The Lost Hero

After reading the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan I was counting the days to when I could buy The Lost Hero, the first in his Heroes of Olympus series. I mean I really am hooked on this whole modern mixing of the Greek gods. And who can deny feeling like a misfit during the teen years, and wishing there was some special reason for it?

Now we open on a young hero named Jason in The Lost Hero, who doesn't remember a thing but fights with gold and uses the Roman terms for the gods instead of Greek. Annabeth comes along with Butch, son of Iris, looking for Percy who is missing and instead finds Jason sizzling and missing a shoe. The oracle, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, sent Annabeth there saying she would find Percy, instead she finds the clue, Jason.

We do find upon Jason and his friends, Leo (son of Hephaestus) and Piper (daughter of Aphrodite), that the gods have been keeping their promise to Percy and claiming all their demigod, kids. Leo gets claimed right away, Piper gets claimed when the claiming would be most dramatic, and Jason they find have been claimed already, just not in a way they are used to, or that Chiron is willing to explain.  

Either way the three embark on their quest to save Hera, apparently Jason's patron, a gift from Zeus for (surprise, surprise) fathering two children with one mortal. Jason meets his sister, Thalia, along the way and explains part of his missing memories. He just remembered she was his sister. The twist is that Zeus was Zeus when he fathered Thalia, but he was his Roman aspect, Jupiter when he fathered Jason. And guess what? There's a whole another demigod camp out there in California for the Roman demigods. Apparently the Roman and the Greek demigods have fights, big fights, all out wars with each other.

We also find that Hera had taken away Jason's memories and that he was part of a trade of leaders, to bring peace. Guess who the other leader was? That's right, in the next book the Camp Half Blood demigods sail for California to find Annabeth's missing boyfriend in Son of Neptune.


Again, I just can't say enough how much I recommend these books to everyone. But then I'm a big Greek mythology nerd. But either way they are a funny, great, enjoyable read. That I definitely think will get kids into Greek mythology.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Last Olympian

So like I said I've been said last time I've been reading the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. I think I've read these faster than anything else lately. I'm such a sucker for the Greek Gods.

In the last book of the series The Last Olympian, Percy and Nico, son of Hades, undergo a journey to the Underworld, and then the campers at Camp Half-Blood lead by Percy and Annabeth wage war again the Titan Kronos in no better place than Manhattan, filled with sleeping mortals. Since Mount Olympus is onto the Empire State Building, don't you know.

 I really loved the ending on this book, the Gods offer Percy immortality for his bravery which Percy turns down in order to be with Annabeth. Instead he requests that the Gods recognize all their kids. And not just the main 12, he wants all demigods to be claimed. Since Kronos wouldn't have been able to get so many demigod supporters if they had felt they got the loyalty of their Godly parents.

The Last Olympian referred to by the title is Hestia, goddess of the hearth. She calls herself "the last Olympian", saying that when all the other Olympians leave she is always left to tend the fire. She also gave up her chair on the council to avoid another fight.

I truly do recommend this book to anyone that tends to feel left behind or forgotten. And as I said before I recommend the whole series to anyone with a taste for the Greek Gods.

 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Are you a demigod? Cause Percy Jackson is

So I have been reading the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, I'm kind of addicted. You can ask my mom I've always loved Greek mythology. We used to sit and watch Hercules and Xena together. The series is about a kid Percy Jackson who finds out that he is the son of Poseidon, god of the sea. He goes to Camp Half Blood, a place where young demigods go to train to fight the monsters that are drawn to them.

I just finished reading The Battle of the Labyrinth. I really love how Rick Riordan pulls classic Greek myths into the modern day. Makes it very easy to relate to, especially for younger teens. I loved how in the labyrinth they run into the (most exemplary) Sphinx and instead of the usual riddle she tries to give Annabeth a standard test. It's almost a let's poke fun of today's lowered standards. The find the way through the labyrinth with the help of Percy's friend, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, who can see through the Mist that normally hides the gods, demigods, and monsters from mortals.

I would really recommend this to anyone that loves Greek mythology, or just likes really about the supernatural. I would also recommend to any parent who would like to pass on their love of Greek mythology to their kids to buy them these books.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Twenty Boy Summer" A Must Read

As I said in the previous post, I had bought and was going to read Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. Now I know the I went a bit of a rant about the "wack-job" last time, so I'm going to try and avoid that now. But I will say that one of his problems with Twenty Boy Summer was that "the title sounds promiscuous". This book is anything but that. To me it's obvious that he reads a title, skims the book, and picks out parts to suit his judgemental decisions on a book.

But I digress. This book is a powerful and emotional read on a teen girl going through the loss of her first love. I think we can all relate that, even if our first love didn't die, we still can relate to the loss of them. To the loss of innocence.

This book is about grief, plain and simple, it is not about what to go do on weekends, or how to hook up with twenty boys in a summer. It is about two teenage girls learning how to live after losing someone they both loved.

I think anyone that has lost someone, whether in a tragic accident or not, would find something to relate to in this book. I definitely would recommend it. Just fair warning, have a box of tissues near by, you will cry.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Always #SpeakLoudly

While looking through my Twitter feed one day, I noticed a new hashtag and Twibbon called #SpeakLoudly. I looked into it, read some blog posts on it, and was amazed at what I was reading. Now I have noticed from time to time Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson in my many trips to Barnes & Noble, but I never really picked it up. As you know I'm more of a faerie tale, supernatural, fantasy reader. But after reading all this information I had come across from #SpeakLoudly, I had to read this book. I was appalled even before picking up Speak at what this professor was saying. If you haven't read about it, this I'm sorry "whack-job" wants his local public school to ban Speak, along with Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (which I also bought) and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (which I haven't decide whether I'm interested in or not). But it was this supposedly intelligent man, since he is a professor at a college, and his comments towards Speak that hit home with me. He, so wrongly, called Speak "soft pornography" for the rape scenes it describes. How anyone could associate rape with pornography is beyond me. Pornography is suppose to be something people find sexually stimulating, rape is a violation, and usually violent, and by definition something that someone does not want. 

I can now say after reading this book, just how wrong this man was. First it isn't even very graphic, trust me I heard more graphic language from my friends in high school. There was nothing in the book that I would even remotely associate with "soft pornography".

The majority of Speak, to me, was about this young girl, who could have been anyone of my friends in high school including me, working through depression. Feeling like she had no one to talk to, turning into herself, not talking more than she needed to. Losing all her friends, at a time when she needed them most. Having to confront her inner torment and find a way to live again, to "Speak".

I have always found it disturbing how many people brush aside rape victims. How they feel like they can't tell anyone, that it was somehow their fault for what happened. I found Speak to be a compelling read, one that I think anyone who has ever been depressed for what ever reason, would be able to relate to. Who might be able to find the courage to #SpeakLoudly about what is happening with them, what has happened with them.

Not only that, I think that it is important for high school students, the age that Melinda the main character is, to read this. This is about things that they are being confronted with. Everyday. It might not be a rape or rapist they are dealing with but a bully or a rumor that made their friends abandon them, or being depressed. It may help them notice something in a friend that has changed or become withdrawn.

I recommend this book not only for teens, especially those in high school, but for their parents, for middle school kids, for girls, for boys, for men, for women, for anyone, for everyone. Though I do say that if parents are concerned about the subject matter to read it and then decide.

I have decided that I will always #SpeakLoudly. I connected with Melinda, I felt those feelings, thought those thoughts. I have been silence. No more. As scary as it is to say it, to admit it, to send it out for people to see, I was raped. I encourage you to also #SpeakLoudly.

Buy the book, read it, discuss it, recommend it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Is your number up? "I Am Number Four"

Such an interesting read, I really didn't want to put it down. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore tells a sad tale of an alien planet that was destroyed. Nine children with the Lorien Legacies managed to be safely taken off the planet. These children are all that is left to save their race, and ours.

We read as John aka Number Four moves to yet another new town, to escape the aliens that destroyed his home planet. He and his guardian are constantly moving, always on the look out, making sure to stay a few steps ahead of their enemies. 

This new town though John likes, he starts getting stronger, he makes friends, and most importantly is getting tired of running. He wants to stand and fight. 

I cannot wait for the next book to come out. This is definitely going to become a favorite series of mine. There is so much I want to write, to tell you about, but honestly I think its more worth the wait to read it yourself. So go buy a copy and get reading! 


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Are you prepared for the "Fallout"?

So I don't know if you are familiar with either Crank or Glass or Ellen Hopkins but you should be. Ellen Hopkins writing style is addictive, story telling in poetry form. The first two books in trilogy, Crank and Glass, describe a teen girl's, Kristina or Bree, descent and walk with the monster known as crystal meth.

Crank describes how she fell for the monster, how an innocence trip to her absent dad's starts her journey downward. We see her fall in love for the first time, go from a good girl to an addict. We see how her parents struggle to keep her head above the water. The story ends on her still fighting the monster even after having her son.

In Glass we see how Kristina has tried to be the good girl again, only to fall into step with the monster again. This time she falls harder in with the monster. She abandons her family, her son. She loses everything only to find again that she is with child. She promises, in prison lock up to stay clean for her new unborn child.

With Ellen Hopkins' conclusion, Fallout, we hear the narrative through Kristina's children. Hunter, Autumn and Summer tell their tales, of their mom, her addiction, and what it has done to them. Each one of them fights their own problems, in a way their own addictions, they try to learn to be themselves. Each never really knowing their own mother. But seeing in the end, that they can see a bit of themselves in her.

I really do love this trilogy. Not only is it an addictive read, you seriously just can't stand to put down her books. (I secretly love when there is more than one narrative, gives me the illusion of a stopping point.) I finished Fallout in a day, and am itching to read it again, and Crank and Glass. To me these books are more than just an interesting story, a kind of don't let this happen to you moral. Though the books are mostly fiction, they are based around a true story. That to me makes this story, these books, all the more worth the reading. But even if you don't find the story line so attention grabbing as I do (which I find impossible to even think of) you will find Ellen Hopkins' story telling poetry attention grabbing and addictive.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Just Like Clockwork

Every since reading the Mortal Instruments I've loved Cassandra Clare's writing. So, as to no surprise when Clockwork Angel came out, the first in the Infernal Devices series, and the prequel to the Mortal Instruments, I just had to buy it. Last night I finished it, late into the night, saying just one more chapter.

Cassandra has a wonderful way of pulling together the world as we all know it and her Shadow World. Clockwork Angel was delightful in it's historical accuracies and her little twists and tweaks.

As in the Mortal Instruments, we get to know a brave heroine Tessa, who doesn't really know what she is. Tessa has come from America to, as she believed, live with her brother in London. But the moment she steps off the ship, she starts realize that things are not what she thought. Constantly Tessa is finding that what she believed to be true or thought isn't real. She struggles to learn the truth of things, and to find what this new power, gift, or curse that she has is.

Part of what I love is Cassandra's who likes who, who will get who, that is going on and in a Shadowhunter's Institute with Jem, Will, Tessa, Sophie, Jessamine, and a dash of warlock Magnus Bane thrown in it does get quite interesting.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loved the Mortal Instruments, and also quite a few who haven't. What's not to like, vampires, werewovles, Shadowhunters, warlocks, and faeries? Join the world unseen with Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

To Dream, to Live

I recently read Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev, I had read the previous book in the series, Theater Illuminata, Eyes Like Stars. As a fan of Shakespeare I fell for her twists and turns of his plays. It's not simply a twist of the plays, or a view of what he didn't write, it is his characters come to life.

The main star of the show here is Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, Bertie as she prefers to be called. Bertie has lived at the Theater for as long as she can remember but unlike her playmates, the mischievous faires Peaseblossom, Moth, Mustardseed, and Cobweb from A Midsummers Night's Dream, and her two romantic interests, Nate from The Little Mermaid and Ariel from The Tempest, and the odd Ophelia from Hamlet, Bertie is just a human girl, as far as she knew till the end of Eyes Like Stars.

*spoiler alert for Eyes Like Stars*

In of Eyes Like Stars Bertie is told that she must prove that she is useful to the Theater or she will be cast out. She decides to put on a show, she re-works one of the plays, changes up the setting. But it quickly changes into a piece that Bertie had been working on, How Bertie Came to the Theater. Something that Bertie had been toying with to try and remember how she came to live with them. Here we learn Bertie's secret, she is Ophelia's daughter, and she is also the Mistress of Revels and Teller of Tales. She finally finds her place at the Theater.

But for woe she has a job to do, one that she only insists on doing that is. She must go and find her Nate. In the midst of everything in Eyes Like Stars, Nate is kidnapped by the sea goddess Sedna. Of course Bertie feels that she is to blame since she accidently called Sedna. Not to mention Ariel trying he's tricks to make Bertie forget Nate.

In Perchance to Dream, we open on Bertie, Ariel, and those mischief loving fairies traveling on the caravan. They pick up a few friends along the way to finding Nate and the sea goddess, Sedna. We also find out who the Mysterious Stranger (aka Bertie's dad) is. I found this to be a great read, full of twists and turns, mystery and romance. Be what I loved the most was watching as Bertie learned how to be herself. That there is a part of her that is just her's. I felt that I watched her grow into herself.

I would definitely recommend this series to any young reader and a few older ones looking to renew their love of Shakespeare.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Talia & Jack, a whim, a kiss, true love

After reading Beastly by Alex Flinn, there was a excerpt for A Kiss in Time, I was hooked. I wanted it. I guess you could say I am a tad obsessed with fairy tales, but after The Little Mermaid I would rate Sleeping Beauty as my favorite fairy tale.

Now as with Beastly, A Kiss in Time is a modern twist on Sleeping Beauty. Talia is the beautiful princess cursed to prick her finger on a spindle. Jack is a modern kid from Florida, whose parents sent him on an European museum summer trip. Jack gets bored and decides to ditch to the beach with a friend, only they get lost in Belgium and stumble upoEuphrasia, the kingdom of Princess Talia's father. It's a bumpy ride as both teach each other lessons on life and each other.

I loved how this was a twist but not too much of one. More like just shedding some light on the fuzzier spots. Expanding the 100 years sleep to 300 years, bringing the story to our time. Something that makes it easier to relate to. Definitely a story that teaches to you to look beyond the surface.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Do you ever feel 'Beastly'?

So, my boyfriend pointed Beastly by Alex Flinn to me one day at Barnes & Noble. Its odd the books I look at almost every time I'm there but don't always pick up to read. But this is one of those times that I was so glad he showed me it, I just loved Beastly. He had seen the trailer and wants to see the movie, after showing me it, I was hooked and wanted to read it right then.

When I finally did get the books, I didn't want to put it down. I stayed up way too late to finish reading it. Beastly is based in NYC and focused on a "prince" of sorts, Kyle Kingsbury. He's your typical spoiled, rich, pretty boy. Till he meets and angers a witch. She curses him, turns him into a beast. But gives him the chance to escape, if he can find his true love.

I personally think that a book like this was way past over due, and not just cause I'm addicted to faerie tales. But I love finding updated version of faerie tales. Not just from a different point of view but actually giving the younger generation a way to connect to these tales. It's a modern day Beauty and the Beast.