Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Book Birthday to Wings of the Wicked!

Wings of the Wicked, sequel to Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton, is coming out in stores TODAY! Have you gotten your copy yet? Are you pacing at the door, waiting for the mailman to arrive? Are you running to the store now??

You should be.

If you have not started this series yet, read my REVIEW ON ANGELFIRE and check out my guest post with TEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD READ ANGELFIRE on my friend Momo's blog Books Over Boys! She loves this series more than I do, and she had a whole event for it! Be sure to check it out!!
Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire, #2)Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.  Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

She’s been warned.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

She’ll be betrayed. Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Best MG Books of 2011

I love middle grade books. MG and I? We go waaaaaay back. We'd be hanging every day after school.... I'd be procrastinating and not doing my homework just to spend time with him...

Yeah. So, Amazon has shared the top 10 middle grade books of 2011. This is from their sales, I presume? I have only read one book on this list. And to that one, I give you my best recommendation. Because Rick Riordan is the shiz, and Percy Jackson is awesome.

I also own Wonderstruck. I need to get to that soon. I know my sister gave it a thumbs up (metaphorically).
Okay for NowMidwesterner Gary D. Schmidt won Newbery Honor awards for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boys and The Wednesday Wars, two coming-of-age novels about unlikely friends finding a bond. Okay For Now, his latest novel, explores another seemingly improbable alliance, this one between new outsider in town Doug Swieteck and Lil Spicer, the savvy spitfire daughter of his deli owner boss. With her challenging assistance, Doug discovers new sides of himself. Along the way, he also readjusts his relationship with his abusive father, his school peers, and his older brother, a newly returned war victim of Vietnam.
WonderstruckFrom Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.
     Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.
Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.
     Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.
Every Thing on ItA spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken threads and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,

Like crumbs of thought and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years . . .

Like crumbs of thought and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,

And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years . . .

Have you ever read a book with everything on it? Well, here it is, an amazing collection of never-before-published poems and drawings from the creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up. You will say Hi-ho for the toilet troll, get tongue-tied with Stick-a-Tongue-Out-Sid, play a highly unusual horn, and experience the joys of growing down.
     What's that? You have a case of the Lovetobutcants? Impossible! Just come on in and let the magic of Shel Silverstein bend your brain and open your heart.
The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, #2)Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring and bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem - when the Voice took over he mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for and evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery - although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely - enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.
Close to Famous
Foster McFee dreams of having her own cooking show like her idol, celebrity chef Sonny Kroll. Macon Dillard's goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. Foster's mother Rayka longs to be a headliner instead of a back-up singer. And Miss Charleena plans a triumphant return to Hollywood. Everyone has a dream, but nobody is even close to famous in the little town of Culpepper. Until some unexpected events shake the town and its inhabitants - and put their big ambitions to the test. Full of humor, unforgettable characters, surprises, and lots and lots of heart, this is Joan Bauer at her most engaging.
The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1)Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.
     Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.
     Until now.
     Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.
     The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday. With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.
The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the TalesAn inspired collection of short stories by an all-star cast of best-selling storytellers based on the thought-provoking illustrations in Chris Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.

For more than twenty-five years, the illustrations in the extraordinary Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg have intrigued and entertained readers of all ages.      Thousands of children have been inspired to weave their own stories to go with these enigmatic pictures. Now we’ve asked some of our very best storytellers to spin the tales. Enter The Chronicles of Harris Burdick to gather this incredible compendium of stories: mysterious, funny, creepy, poignant, these are tales you won’t soon forget.
     This inspired collection of short stories features many remarkable, best-selling authors in the worlds of both adult and children's literature: Sherman Alexie, M.T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Cory Doctorow, Jules Feiffer, Stephen King, Tabitha King, Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire, Walter Dean Myers, Linda Sue Park, Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka, Lemony Snicket, and Chris Van Allsburg himself.
     Van Allsburg's Harris Burdick illustrations have evoked such wonderment and imagination since Harris Burdick's original publication in 1984; many have speculated or have woven their own stories to go with his images. More than ever, the illustrations send off their eerie call for text and continue to compel and pick at the reader's brain for a backstory—a threaded tale behind the image. In this book, we've collected some of the best storytellers to spin them.
Liesl and PoLiesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.
     That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable.
     Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.
     From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.
Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. They had been best friends since they were six, spending hot Minneapolis summers and cold Minneapolis winters together, dreaming of Hogwarts and Oz, superheroes and baseball. Now that they were eleven, it was weird for a boy and a girl to be best friends. But they couldn't help it - Hazel and Jack fit, in that way you only read about in books. And they didn't fit anywhere else.
     And then, one day, it was over. Jack just stopped talking to Hazel. And while her mom tried to tell her that this sometimes happens to boys and girls at this age, Hazel had read enough stories to know that it's never that simple. And it turns out, she was right. Jack's heart had been frozen, and he was taken into the woods by a woman dressed in white to live in a palace made of ice. Now, it's up to Hazel to venture into the woods after him. Hazel finds, however, that these woods are nothing like what she's read about, and the Jack that Hazel went in to save isn't the same Jack that will emerge. Or even the same Hazel.
     Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind.
Blurbs and images from Goodreads. Click on images for Amazon page links. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox (31)

In My Mailbox is a meme designed by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie to promote blogger interaction and put new books on the radar. 

Not a huge haul these past few weeks, but that is okay!! I'm trying to get caught up with all these other books I have...
In my actual mailbox...
Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard bookmarks (for giveaway)
Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin (for review)

From NetGalley...
Goddess Interrupted by Aimée Carter
Various Positions by Martha Schabas
Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers

Purchased from Amazon...
Cross My Heart by Katie Klein (Bought it after a rave review from Confessions of a Bookaholic)

Thanks to...
Jennifer R. Hubbard
Putnam (Penguin Group)
Harlequin Teen (who auto-approved me on NetGalley squee!)
Macmillan Children's (who also auto-approved me yay!)

What did you receive in your mailbox? Leave a comment and let me know!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Follow Friday and The Week In Review (39)

It's Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read! Please comment and link your blog! I'd love to check it out!
This week's question is:
Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why?
Horror. LOL. I'm a scaredy-cat, okay? I definitely will not watch horror movies, either. Roller coasters? Don't even. Obviously I'm not a thrill type of person.

Author Interview:
Daniel Cohen, Masters of the Veil

Current Giveways:
First Blogoversary Swag Giveaway - US only, ends in two days!!!
Daniel Cohen Author Interview Swag Giveaway - US only

Upcoming Song of the Week:

Have a fabulous weekend! Happy Reading!!
P.S. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and friend me on Goodreads! And check out my Facebook page!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: Daniel Cohen

Please give a warm welcome to Daniel Cohen, author of Masters of the Veil!
Hey Ya’ll (I say “Ya’ll” because I just moved to Austin, Texas and I have to practice), My name’s Dan and I’m a rock and r&b saxophonist.

I play Tenor saxophone: the BEST type of saxophone. My apologies to Kenny G.
3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models, whether in writing or life in general?
I actually started to writing out of extreme boredom. I had a summer job selling 
cars at a dealership and there was an extraordinary amount of downtime in between customers. Instead of entertaining myself with videos of kittens in mittens (which took a lot of willpower) I decided to keep my mind from going mushy by putting an idea I had into story form. Two years later I had my first novel, “The Ancillary’s Mark.”

My literary role model is Patrick Rothfuss. And if anyone out there hasn’t read his work, PLEASE go out and purchase, “The Name of the Wind.” It’s ‘Harry Potter’ meets ‘Lord of the Rings’ meets ‘Everything you could possibly want in a fantasy novel*’

*I hope. There are a lot of you out there.
3LB: Describe Masters of the Veil in 5 words or less.
Magic. Adventure. Mystery. Danger. Football.
3LB: Are any of your characters or scenes based on people/events in your own life?
I have a character named Glissandro Thicket who is a mute, but speaks through music (magically, of course). He’s based on my favorite type of person. He’s full of so much love, friendship, and wisdom, but he’s cursed with being too shy to truly shine. In my opinion, he’s the best character I’ve ever created but I don’t want to tell you any more about him because I’d rather you meet him in the book. He makes quite an impression. I love him.
3LB: Was there any scene or part in your book that was difficult to write? If so, how did you get through writing it?
I was battling some pretty nasty personal demons while writing the first book, and some of them came out in the reenactment scene. I was actually alone climbing a mountain while I put that scene together. There were a lot of things in this book that hit very close to home with me, but it felt good to breath some of my own issues into the characters. For solidarity I guess.
3LB: Do you have anything that you need to have around you when you write, such as a specific playlist/radio station in the background, coffee, a desk in a quiet room?
Writing is a lonely profession, so I like to write around people. If any of you are in Austin and like to write, come on by and keep me company. Seriously.
3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
Well, “Masters of the Veil,” is the first in a trilogy so I’m working on that. I do have, “The Ancillary’s Mark,” which was published November of 2010.
3LB: If you were to go live on an island and could only choose 5 books to take with you, what would you choose?
  • The Name of the Wind 
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 
  • The Giver 
  • The Alchemist 
  • How to Build A Boat Using Nothing but Island Materials 
3LB: Do you have a favorite mythical creature?
I would have to say a grotlon. It’s in the second book of the series, “Children of the Veil,” and it’s really awesome. All I’m gonna say is NEVER under ANY circumstance should you get in between a grotlon and jelly-hive.
3LB: Finish this sentence "I can't live without..."
Kookaburra Liquorice. The red kind.
3LB: If you had to recommend just one book to me, which would you recommend?
“Name of the Wind,” by Patrick Rothfuss. I think I may be obsessed. If any of you are friends with Pat, pretty pretty pretty please get me an autograph. I’ll pay you.
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
I hope you don’t mind but I’m gonna close things out with a story instead. I didn’t have any connections in the publishing business, so after spending years on my first novel and shopping it around with boyish excitement, I received over sixty rejection letters before it was finally picked up. Every single one of them stung, but I didn’t give up. I know there are a lot of struggling writers out and I just wanted them to know that even if they’re getting a slew of rejection letters they shouldn’t lose hope, because all it takes is one yes. So stay determined and keep up the hard work.
Thank you, Daniel! For more information about Mr. Cohen and his books, visit:
Check out this free short story written by Daniel Cohen, The Every-Mother Knows Best!

Pre-order Masters of the Veil, available March 1!
Masters of the VeilLife can't get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player. every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer.Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who's the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot.As it becomes clear Sam's meant for power magic-the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery-people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown. but all humankind.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Clockwork Princess Teasers

I love Cassandra Clare's books! I finished Clockwork Prince at the end of last year, and I absolutely cannot wait for Clockwork Princess. Cassie shares the occasional teaser with us, and they sate my thirst, but only for five minutes!
"Would you?” said Gabriel to Will, hotly. “If it was your family?” His lip curled. “Never mind. It’s not as if you know the meaning of loyalty —”
     “Gabriel.” Gideon’s voice was a reprimand to his brother. “Do not speak to Will in that manner.”
“He began it,” Cecily said, jerking her chin at Will, though she knew it was pointless. Jem, Will’s parabatai, treated her with the distant sweet kindness reserved for the little sisters of one’s friends, but he would always side with Will. Kindly, but firmly, he put Will above everything else in the world. Well, nearly everything.
Jem knotted his fingers in the material of Will’s sleeve. “You are my parabatai,” he said. “You said once I could ask anything of you.”
Jem drew the bow back and let the arrow fly; it struck the creature in the side. The massive demon worm writhed in agony, undulating as it swept its great, blind head from side to side, uprooting shrubbery with its thrashings. Leaves filled the air and the boys choked on dust, Gideon backing up with his seraph blade in his hand, trying to see by its light.
     “It’s coming toward us,” he said in a low voice.
     And indeed it was, the arrow still protruding from its wet, grayish skin, humping its body along with incredible speed. A flick of its tail caught the edge of a statue, sending it flying into the dry ornamental pool, where it shattered into dust.
     “By the Angel, it just crushed Sophocles,” noted Will. “Has no one respect for the classics these days?”
And the gold of her ruined wedding dress.
That last one sure delivers a punch. I hope it isn't Tessa's wedding dress! Team Will!

Check out my review for Clockwork Prince.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Follow Friday and The Week in Review (38)

It's Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read! Please comment and link your blog! I'd love to check it out!
This week's question is:
What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get your hands on any particular book?
See, I don't usually do crazy. I read Harry Potter after the entire series came out, so I missed out on all that hype and those crazy lines. It kind of sucks. I just preorder books and wait for them to arrive at my door. Yep, boring old me.

Howl's Moving Castle directed by Hayao Miyazaki

First Blogoversary, US Only

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton Teasers

Upcoming Song of the Week:

Have a fabulous weekend! Happy Reading!!
P.S. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and friend me on Goodreads! And check out my Facebook page!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)

Standalone or Series: Standalone
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Contemporary Romance, Humor
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
Source: Purchased (eBook)
Buy it! (Currently $0.99 as an eBook!) Amazon|Barnes and Noble|The Book Depository
2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3), "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub" (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn't-have-done at a time.
This book is something like your typical coming-of-age where a girl explores her life and tries to find her meaning in it. Also, she wants to feel grown up and when given the opportunity to do so, really takes advantage of it. And I mean really. This book is so heavy in drinking and sex and the like, I'm not sure if it's supposed to be humorous or taken as a warning. Since I have the convenience of a Kindle, I will now count how many times the word "sex" is used, simply because I'm curious. 113. *whistles*

I found this book really funny. Dean was hilarious. Dean and Vi together were even more hilarious. Vi was an interesting character. She had an impressive GPA and was an amazing student, but managed to be a party animal at the same time. It was... kind of weird. I guess it's always nice when somebody goes against the stereotype. (Honestly, I want to know how she had the time. I'm always up to my chin in homework. And that's when I'm standing.)

I had an issue with April. She might've been funny, but her voice was immature and she whined like a middle schooler sometimes. Her parents trust her and give her this huge ticket to freedom, and she takes advantage of it like no other. And in the end, she gets away with it. What is the message behind this story? She annoyed me and made stupid decisions. She was given many signs from Noah. Pretty obvious signs, I would say, about how he was no longer that interested in her. While reading, I'd be telling her to break things off. But then later he'd be the one that didn't partake in the partying or drinking, and I had to respect him. Because underage drinking is baaaad. So he was confusing. And Lucy was creepy. Really creepy. How did she manage to know everything that April and Vi were doing? Ew. I wish there was more Hudson in the story, but I guess I saw enough of him to like him enough.

I liked the author's writing style, with her way of breaking up each chapter into sections with quirky titles. The book bounced between the happy but awkward story of a girl growing up, and the sad, angry tale of a girl who had been wronged by her parents and was struggling to learn how to not be like them. There were a lot of flashbacks, and the timeline was all kinds of messed up, but you could easily follow it and the flashbacks enhanced the story.

Overall, this was a story that I enjoyed, but didn't particularly stand out in a fantastic way to me. It also contained a lot of bad images and messages that I wasn't sure how to take. Anyhow, I may be taking this too seriously. It's a funny book, and it falls under the category of chick lit fluff that we all (whether publicly or not) love.

First Line:

I bolted awake. A siren.

"You're late," the school secretary said, handing all four of us tardy slips.
"Doreen, we apologize profusely," Dean said, nodding solemnly.
"It was my fault," I said. "Car died."
"The funeral will be after school," Dean added. "It would mean a lot to all of us if you could make it."

Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wings of the Wicked Teasers

I was going through my email inbox, cleaning out the whole thing (don't ask... I'm kind of OCD, haha) and I came across an old email from my friend Momo at Books Over Boys that contained a few teasers from the upcoming novel Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton. You may have heard of it. Probably not. ;)

These teasers are from a giveaway a looooong time ago that CAM did on her blog. It involved commenting... a LOT of commenting... Anyways, enjoy!
I caught a glimpse of Will out the corner of my eye. He was doubled over with one hand on the wall to hold himself up, his eyes squeezed tight and mouth open in physical agony—as if someone had slammed him in the chest with a hammer. I stopped in the crowd, staring at him as he struggled to right himself, Ava’s hand on his back, her expression full of worry. But he pushed her away and forced himself to stand tall as he searched wildly over the heads of my friends and classmates, looking for me. Then he barreled through the crowd, spinning and turning in every direction, calling my name in a fearful voice. I studied him, perplexed, and the truth of what I’d just witnessed hit me like a truck. He always knew when I was upset or in pain. Our bond, the magic that I put into his tattoos binding him to me, our bond that allowed him to know what I was feeling… He always knew I was in pain because my pain caused him to hurt. The agony I felt at that moment spilled into him, making him feel through pain what I felt emotionally. I did that to him. I caused him pain. I was cancer, a disease on everyone who knew and loved me.
He leaned over me until I was drowning in him. “Ellie—”
     “I know why you won’t be with me,” I said, straightening myself against the wall. “It’s not just that you’re afraid of Michael. It’s because the only way we can stay together is for me to die over and over again.”
     Will closed his eyes and tightened his mouth without a response..Rules, he could break. Michael, he could fight. He was most afraid that if he let down the wall he built up between us, then it would hurt too much to give in and love me as much as he ached to. If he did, I would still die regardless and he would finally break.
     I took a step back from him and he let me go without protest. I didn’t look away from him until I was inside the bathroom. The door shut behind me and I locked it. My back hit the wall and I slid to the floor and cried. I heard his fist pound once on the wall in anger just outside the room. I didn’t want to end the night crying on the bathroom floor. It was so hard for me to see him every day and want him so badly, but yet again I forgot about how much it hurt him to feel the same way. It was so painful for us to be apart, but I didn’t know if either of us was strong enough to be together.
He lifted me off the floor and onto the counter, shoving the plates away and knocking over the glass of orange juice. When he pushed my knees apart, hands running up my thighs and sending a strike of lightning desire up my spine, he crushed his body against mine and I forgot about the mess entirely. His mouth and tongue were hot against my neck and I buried my hands in his hair as his arms wrapped around me and his fingertips raked down my back. One of his hands found the point of my hip and his teeth nicked the bend of my neck. I dug my nails into his shoulder and my head fell back, something wild in me craving him. My fingers grabbed a fistful of his shirt and I ached to tear it off of him, to do anything to break down the thin, aggravating barrier of cloth between our skin. I fumbled with the buttons, gasping for breath when his mouth wasn’t on mine, and I pushed his open shirt over his shoulders, my eyes capturing his muscled chest and tattoos spreading up his arm and the side of his neck.
     “I’ve wanted you for so long,” he murmured against my throat between kisses. “Every time I look at you I feel like I’m about to explode, no matter how still I try to stay around you. Inside I’m like a hurricane. Everything you do… you drive me crazy.” His mouth returned to mine hungrily. “The way you play with the little curls in the ends of your hair.” He kissed me again, his hands squeezing my sides. “The way you wring the hem of your shirt with your finger and make that little face when you’re deep in thought.” Another kiss and a small, secret smile. His thumbs glided under my shirt just an inch and the contact made me gasp and dig my nails into the back of his neck. “Where you touch me it feels like I’m on fire.” Again, he kissed me, long and deep and leisurely.
*fans self* Is it me, or is it hot in here?

Wings of the Wicked is in stores January 31st!

Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.
She’s been warned.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.
She’ll be betrayed.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay.
Check out my review on Angelfire

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox (30)

In My Mailbox is a meme designed by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie to promote blogger interaction and put new books on the radar.

Sorry, the video is tilted. Bad camera placement.

Books Mentioned...
Slide by Jill Hathaway
Buried by Linda Joy Singleton
So Over My Head by Jenny B. Jones
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
New Girl by Paige Harbison
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
Daughter of the Centaurs by Kate Klimo
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Also, I got 100 mini-cards from moo.com thanks to a Klout perk! They're so cute!

Thanks to...
HarperCollins Publishers
Flux Publishers
HarlequinTeen Publishers
Random House Publishers

What did you receive in your mailbox? Leave a comment and let me know!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Movie Review: Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki, Diana Wynne Jones (novel)
Starring: Jean Simmons (voice - English version), Christian Bale (voice - English version)
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking home.

My sister received this for Christmas, and right after she ripped open the package, screamed "LET'S GO WATCH IT! NOW! IT'S LIKE MY MOST FAVORITE MOVIE EVER!" Okay, maybe not those exact words, but she liked the movie. And she had no problem with watching it twice in the same week (after I wanted to see it the second time with her).

This is the third of Miyazaki-san's films that I've watched, the first two being Spirited Away and Kiki's Delivery Service. Honestly, I can't even describe his films in words. I'm sure there are more eloquent reviewers than me, but I've never been good with word choice (sorry, diction). All I can say is, his movies are magical.

Howl's character has many layers. I swear he only appears like three times in the film (okay, maybe a few more), and we see him as a self-absorbed, selfish, scared wizard who really cares for nobody except himself. Time passes by, and we see him suddenly turn into a good-natured, more loving human. (This is said with some sarcasm. My true rating for this film was a 4.75: the plot was kind of confusing at times, with several holes and parts that weren't explained well. Watch it a few times, and you'll understand more each time.) 

Sophie is the heroine, another of Miyazaki's strong-woman protagonists. She's been cursed to become a 90-year old woman, but we see a young girl's heart within her and she represents the goodness and brings it out of everybody. Calcifer is a very powerful fire demon that's been somewhat subdued by Howl. He's a quirky character and provides a lot of humor with his sarcastic dialogue. My personal favorite was Turnip-Head the scarecrow, who could not speak. I just found his bouncing around and obedience (the significance of that will be revealed when you reach the end) really cute. Speaking of cuteness, young Markl was also an adorable character, voiced by none other than Josh Hutcherson (yes, bread boy of The Hunger Games).

The voice work for this film was really good. The challenge of matching English words with the original Japanese images! Glad that wasn't my job. Also, I find it really amazing that they used the same actress for old and young Sophie in the original version (talk about skill!), rather than the use of two actresses (Simmons and Emily Mortimer) for the English version. Next time I will watch that with English subtitles.

With just the right parts of humor, romance, and scary, this film is another animated wonder (That scenery- breathtaking!) from Miyazaki that I would definitely recommend for everybody. If you have not seen any of his films before, you are seriously missing out. As in, you should throw away whatever you're doing and go watch Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro or Castle in the Sky now. (I haven't even seen the latter two. Shame on me, I know.)
I was not allowed to embed the trailer, but it's on Youtube here.

Synopses, images, and quotes are taken from the Internet Movie Database. (imdb.com)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Follow Friday and the Week in Review (37)

It's Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read! Please comment and link your blog! I'd love to check it out!
This week's question is:
Q: Many readers/bloggers are also big music fans. Tell us about a few of your favorite bands/singers that we should listen to in 2012.
Why so specific? 2012? Music is timeless. I for one... can't just recommend one or two or three or even ten groups. Unlike with books, I find it difficult to name favorite singers/bands or movies. It's weird. But you can always take a look at my list of 2011 favorite songs!

It is HUGELY important that you notice the message that I have at the top of the blog. To me, that is. :) Blog readers, I have changed my url! My old one no longer works. I like the new one, because it makes more sense for the blog. But the change is confusing and I don't want people to think my blog is gone! IT IS NOT! So yeah. No worries. *breathes*

Reviews: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Weekly Memes: First IMM vlog of the year and iLive, iLaugh, iLove, iListen

Current Giveaways: Blogoversary Swag

Other Posts: My comprehensive list of books for boys. I feel like we need more male readers, simply because I feel like there is no excuse for you not to read!

Upcoming Song of the Week:
Have a fabulous weekend! Happy Reading!!
Pretty sure I bombed my math test today.
P.S. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and friend me on Goodreads! And check out my Facebook page!


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