Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #9 - The Brides of Rollrock Island

This is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paper!

On remote Rollrock Island, men make their living--and fetch their wives--from the sea.

The Witch Misskaella knows how to find the girl at the heart of a seal. She'll coax a beauty from the beast for any man, for a price. And what man wouldn't want a sea-wife, to and to hold, and to keep by his side forever?

But though he may tell himself that he is the master, one look in his new bride's eyes will transform him just as much as it changes her. Both will be ensnared--and the witch will look on, laughing.

In this magical, seaswept novel, Margo Lanagan tells an extraordinary tale of desire, despair, and transformation. With devastatingly beautiful prose, she reveals characters capable of unspeakable cruelty, but also of unspoken love.


So basically, this book was mind-boggling on all accounts.  I haven't really done many books with revengeful themes before, so I wasn't sure what to think when I started it.  All I knew was: COVER COVER COVER.
And....that it had an intriguing plotline.  Promise, I wasn't totally shallow. ;)
But then, I LOVED it.  It made me think and ponder and it was written so beautifully it made my heart ache. Any book this well-crafted must be put on my shelf.
Wanna read my review?
Here it is.

Released:  September 11th, 2012
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

What are YOU wishing for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Frustrating Characters Ever

This amazing meme is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. ;)

Most frustrating characters ever...oh man this is such a great theme!  Ok, here goes:

10.  Who?  Dylan
What from?  Maximum Ride by James Patterson
Why?  I dunno...I liked him, for the most part, but then in the last book he started acting all ridiculous!  I couldn't even handle it.  I wanted to shake him, and then I wanted to yell at him, and thennnn I wanted to squash him like a freaking bug.

9.  Who?  Elijah
What from?  Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Why?  STOP CUSSING ALREADY.  I DON'T NEED TO HEAR THE F-BOMB 50,000,000 TIMES IN 300 PAGES.  I liked him as a character, a lot actually, but I really wanted to cut off his tongue.  Haha!!!

8.  Who?  The Leaders of Nollop
What from?  Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Why?  Obviously, they're the reason we have a story in Ella Minnow Pea, but the entire time I was reading it I wanted to stomp in and take over their little "fictional island" and be like, "Quit destroying the alphabet, you morons!" But obviously, Mark Dunn made a wonderful story out of their stupidity, so I can't really complain.

7.  Who?  Emily March
What from?  Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Why?  She was cute, I'll give her that, but she just kept making mistakes over and over again and it seemed like she didn't learn anything till the very end.  It was one of those cases where the reader can see what's going on but the MC can't...which is infuriating!  I did enjoy the book though. :)

6.  Who?  Count Olaf
What from?  The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Why?  Because he never changed.  He did the same thing, over and over and over and over again, for 6 books, until I lost all interest.  Sure, his disguises were funny, but he bored me in the end.  I dropped the series at book 6.

5.  Who?  Morpheus
What from?  Splintered by A. G. Howard
Why?  I didn't hate him, but by golly he was so confusing and irritating.  I wanted him to stop instigating things and thinking about himself, but he never did.  Stupid bug dude.

4.  Who?  Mal Gorman
What from?  The Whisper by Emma Clayton
Why?  I absolutely HATE when bad guys become weak and easily defeated in the end.  When Gorman turned into a child and suddenly wasn't the problem, I was angry.  He was such a great villain in The Roar, and I was hoping he'd have his grand almost-triumph and crushing defeat!  None of this book made sense, though, so I think it was just an overall mistake on the author's part, who I know can write brilliantly.

3.  Who?  Rose McBride
What from?  Fair is the Rose by Liz Curtis Higgins
Why?  Oh my gosh this girl.  I actually wanted to kill her MOST of the book.  I liked her in the first book all right...but in Fair is the Rose, I could have strangled her with my bare hands.  Sure, there was a huge misunderstanding with her would-be husband and her sister accidentally marrying him, but then she's asking her sister for advice on how to please her husband, when she knew her sister was married to her husband previously and was grieving over the fact that they had to be parted and he had to marry her sister.  I mean, excuse me, you're not the ONLY PERSON ALIVE ON THE PLANET.  The whole story was messed up, though.  (Can you tell?)  It absolutely ruined the Biblical story of Jacob and Rachel and Leah.

2.  Who?  The entire cast
What from?  New Girl by Paige Harbison
Why?  I hated every character from this book.  The MC had good moments, but for the most part, she didn't appear naive, just stupid.  And Max and Becca irritated the snot out of me.  Totally lame and full of themselves and incapable of being normal human beings.  Blech!

1.  Who?  Nine
What from?  The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
Why?  He's the absolute WORST.  He brought out the worst in one of my favorite characters ever, John (or Four) from I Am Number Four.  Nine made Four look like a baby, a weak boy, instead of the man he had become in the last 2 books.  I know it was Nine's presence in the book because as soon as Nine was gone and Sarah and Four were back together, Four was the same as he'd always been: a wonderful young man who may have faults, but is dedicated to becoming a better man and always doing the right thing.  Nine's instigating and irritating and agitating and buttload of nonsense made me so mad.
Excuse my rant.  He is my #1 most frustrating character ever. yah.  That's my list.  Leave the links to your TTT this week - I wanna see what everyone else has on their lists! :)

Happy reading! :D

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pint-Size Review: The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin (#1)

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin (#1)
Pages:  319
Release Date:  April 24th, 2012
Date Read:  2012, June 7th-9th
Received:  Library
Rating:  4/5 stars
Recommended to:  16+

Araby lives in a world where sickness and disease are rampant.  Not owning and wearing a mask will kill you - that's exactly what happened to her twin brother.  Now she visits the Debauchery Club with April by night, and tries to keep safe with her mother and father by day.  She meets Will, a  young man who works at the Club, who lives with and provides for his siblings.  And she meets Elliott, April's brother, who's planning something, something wild, and he wants Araby to be a part of it.  Both boys may be in love with her, and both boys have something to give.
But when Araby's family is threatened by Prince Prospero himself, and a new disease begins to spread, Araby may need to make some daring and possibly disastrous decisions to save the ones she loves.

What a neat book!  It's nice - I didn't expect anything more or less than what this book was, and in the end got exactly what I wanted.  I was a bit confused at first (Griffin's writing is good, but description is lacking, so I had a hard time picturing it all).  But, by the 50th page or so, I was immersed!

Araby is so unusual.  Not sure I loved her, but definitely didn't hate her.  The more time I think about her, actually, the more I like her.  She has an interesting perspective.  I'm intrigued by how stark her character was, that's for sure!

The boys, Will and Elliott, were hard to choose from at first.  Will is so responsible, the total good boy, which I love.  But Elliott...  Six months have passed since I read Masque of the Red Death, and I've realized very plainly over this time that Elliott is my man.  I believe this is one of the first times I've preferred the bad boy over the good boy.  Elliott was presented int he most unusual manner...and that scene where he meets Araby in the garden - WOW!  Such fantastic imagery, full of mystery and bad-boy-ness... ;)

The story twists and turns very excitingly!  It often had me surprised and got my blood pumping.  Intense and dangerous, it made me want more.  Prince Prospero's evil plans (he kind of reminded me of the Adderhead from the Ink-trilogy), Elliott's secrets, the masks and the new disease...again, WOW!  So interesting!

This book reminds me of...
Poe (obviously)
Brave and daring adventures
Cold tombs
Running toward the light outside a dark room
Red and silver (like the cover)

For the Parents -
I think there was brief swearing but I can't be too sure.  This book is very dark and has some disturbing scenes.  Mention of Araby taking drugs at the Debauchery Club.  People there do more than that.  Sex is common (obviously - it's a club), and often in public.  Araby mentions the "wild abandon" of the couple in the corner.  (I had my 15-year-old sister skip that page.)  Mention of rape.  Lots of violence, some gore.  Recommended 16+

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Your opinion?

It matters.  Which is why you should vote on my poll.

Which VS post should I write next?

You can find the poll to the left, top of the sidebar.

Thanks in advance! :)

Happy Reading! :D

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Buys - the I've Been Waiting Edition


The lovely favorites Brodi Ashton and Julie Cross have been torturing me with the year-long waits I've been put through to finally read Everbound and Vortex.

Well, my wait has finally been ended - my copies came in the mail so I can start them any day now!!  I have a few books that are in line first, unfortunately, so these will have to wait.  BUT OMG I CAN'T EVEN WAIT!!!!!!!!!!

The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
Book club pick for this month!  I'm absolutely LOVING it!! :D

Everbound by Brodi Ashton
I sound like a Disney commercial.  But this is worthy.

Vortex by Julie Cross
More !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Dark City by Catherine Fisher
I loved this book.  And the 2nd one. Fisher.  She will blow your mind.

Anywho...short post today...but you're all so forgiving. ;)  Enjoy!  Link me up to the books you got this week! :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Bookshelf Dilemma: Episode 6

So folks.  This is what happens when you decide to bring in boxes from the garage and out of the closet and really really TRULY unpack.

I'm being a very transparent person by showing this to you.  I HATED that my room looked like that.  Like, it SUCKED.  I was like, ABSOLUTELY NO FRIENDS MAY COME OVER AT ALL.

They didn't.  Trust me. (HA!)

But eventually things started thinning out:

And before I knew it, I was painting my wall and my dresser!!

And with this short post, I will leave you hanging, awaiting my next suspenseful Episode...

Has anyone else done some recent makeovers to their rooms and/or bookshelves?  For me, it was the entire makeup of my room.  It's messy right now, because I'm still unpacking.  But by golly it's gunna be BEAUTIFUL when I'm through with it!

Catch ya next time! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
Pages: 381
Release Date:  August 1st, 2011
Date Read:  2012, April 9th - May 8th
Received:  Audiobook from library
Rating:  5/5 stars
Recommended to:  10+

Peter Nimble is nothing but a blind thief.  He steals from pockets, purses, and shops.  He is light on his feet and smart with his fingers.  He has a gift for thievery, and that's all he's ever done...
But when a strange man appears in town, showcasing something marvelous, and blackmails Peter into helping him, Peter finds himself whisked away on the greatest adventure of his life.  And what is in the box, the one the strange man was showcasing?  It might hold the answer to all of Peter's questions.

I was so shocked and surprised by the mastery of this book.  I thought it would be your average MG novel, but it was so, so SO much more.  The writing, for one, is exemplary.  Completely and utterly gripping and beautiful and it just flowed so well.  It had a fantastical element to it that really went along with the theme of the book.  It was perfect.

I read this book nearly a year ago (or listened to it via audio, I should say), and I honestly have no complaints about it at all.  It left only the fondest memories of the story and the most beautiful ideas in my head.  Inspiration is still abundant when I think of this story.  Someday, I will have it on my shelf.  I will read it to my children.  It's just that good.

Peter Nimble is no ordinary boy.  He may look like one on the outside, but inside he has courage and love and all the capacity for adventure that an avid reader could every hope for.  He is one of a kind, also.  He may have elements of the character we all want to read about, but he's his own person - totally a unique creation.  I loved him so much.  It was the perfect narration because, although he could not see, he described things based on how they felt or sounded or tasted, and it really added so much to who he was.

The other side characters were also excellent.  Especially Sir Tode.  OMG I loved him so much!!  The narrator's voice for him was perfect and it made me laugh!  Sir Tode had the best one-liners, hands down.  There was also an old woman, a whale-like sea creature, thieves, and an evil king.  There were orphans and bugs and monsters and all sorts of other characters to keep the reader glued to the page.  (Or the audiobook, if you prefer.)

But honestly.  I can't say enough about how glorious these characters were!

And if the characters were glorious, wait till I tell you about the story!  Good golly, it was absolutely out of this world fanTAStic!

Totally amazing.  All the fantasy elements were there, plus so much more that makes it its own unique fairy tale.  The execution was just as brilliant as the idea, too, which is saying something.

I loved absolutely every moment that included the magic box.  I won't tell you what's inside of it - that's just half the fun - but I can't help but mention it.  The imagery was stunning.  I just...I don't even know how to explain how I'm feeling right now without giving it all away!

Besides the box, I loved every setting and place that Peter Nimble found himself in.  It was all ingeniously written and had such a grand scope.  The ideas were so brilliant that some settings I normally don't particularly enjoy reading about - such as the desert - became absolutely the most interesting thing I'd every read about.

Annnnd on top of that - the ending.  It was so perfect and heartwarming and fairy tale and lovely.  It leaves the reader wondering and imaginative and excited and ready for adventure.  There's no end to how magical it all was!

In short, this book had it all.

And what else is there to say, without giving it all away?  You read it for yourself.  You'll understand.

Utterly gorgeous!  In every way!  I'm so stunned but the magnificence of this story and can't wait for more and more people to read it!  I've been telling everyone I can about it.  It deserves to be read over and over again!

For the Parents -
So clean and sweet, and not too graphic so young readers can enjoy it as well.  Recommended 10+

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Buys - The Trade Edition

You all know, based on my recent post, that I absolutely ADORE the YA Book Exchange.  Becca and Krista rock my world with their awesome skills at making websites and brilliant ideas.

So this Friday Buys includes 3 of the books I received through YA Book Exchange when I traded with some of the ladies involved.  I'm so pleased with the books I got and can't wait to read them!

Darkwater by Catherine Fisher - B&N purchase
I basically did a fangirling jig in the middle of Barnes & Noble when I saw this.
Catherine Fisher is in my top 5 favorite authors ever.
So, basically,  THIS BOOK.
I bought it IMMEDIATELY.

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
I traded a book for this lovely paperback copy of Eulberg's first novel.  I read Prom and Prejudice and adored it, and now I can't wait for this one!
And the lovely blogger who traded with me?  Megan @ The Book Babe!  She's super awesome and super sweet and just...super.  Definitely check out her website!

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison
I also traded for this book - it's a brand new hardcover and I can't wait to read it!

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
SQUEEEEE!!!! I have been wanting this hardcover for, well, ever since I read it!  I now have it in my hands, thanks to a lovely trade!  I can't wait to read it again.  But for now, you should read my review HERE. ;)

Here it is, ladies and gents.  The perfect Trade Edition for Friday Buys.  I'm just so in love with this week!  HAHA ;) to school.  Link me up to your lists! :))


Monday, January 14, 2013

Blog Tour ~ Review + Giveaway: Salvation by Anne Osterlund

Salvation by Anne Osterlund
Pages:  288
Release Date:  January 10th, 2013
Date Read:  2012, December 31st- January 1st, 2013
Received:  ARC via author
Rating:  4/5 stars
Recommended to:  15+

Salva Resendez has his life together - or so it seems to everyone else.  He's student body president, smarter than most, and popular among all.  But what people don't know are this struggles: his hardships with his father, arguments with his siblings, and his broken heart because of his mother's death.
And then there's Beth, a girl he's known since 8th grade, and someone who he now finds himself drawn to during their studying sessions.  He would never expect "the walking disaster area", as he named her years ago, to be so open, so willing to listen and understand....  When feelings between each other grow stronger - and tragedy strikes, will Beth be the one to save Salva from the things that make him fear?

I truly and absolutely love Anne and her books.  I will be a die-hard fan until the very end, no matter what.  I will read every book without fail.
As I have read and loved three of her previous novels, I knew one day, the time would come when one didn't quite measure up.  That day has come.

If I'm being entirely honest, Salvation wasn't the 5-star, out-of-this-world novel that Anne normally writes.  BUT, since she's Anne, it is totally still worth reading and buying and loving.  Because this book still delivered and promised more goodness in the future.

Anne's characters are always relatable.  I find them all tugging at my heartstrings, one by one, making me fall in love.  While Salva and Beth were slightly less "real" to me than Aurelia or Robert or any of the others, I still loved them.  The literature/writing geek in me looooved Beth; and Salva was such a hard worker and so great at speaking up that I couldn't help but learn from him.  On top of that, I loved both family dynamics, Beth's mom and Salva's immigrant family.

Most of the supporting cast was awesome.  Char, Pepe, and Tosa especially.  Nalani was hard to grasp; I know she doesn't have a huge role, but as Beth's best friend, I wish he'd been more...there.

I think the thing that bugged me most about this cast...the dialogue...  I dunno, maybe I was just missing it, but I don't think it was totally in tune to how teens talk.  It felt forced half the time.

But overall, this cast of characters will stick with me for a long time - especially because of that ENDING!  GOSH!

Speaking of which...  By golly!  This story builds so well, in the are of intensity.  It starts out...and then all of a sudden Salva and Beth are studying together...and BAM!  You're flying through those pages to reach - THE CLIMAX!  Holy crap.  That was unexpected until right before it happened, and then I was like, "Oh no, there's no way..."   And oh yes, way.

Basically, Anne has the "master-of-suspense" thing down like a pro. What I thought needed improvement...  Oh, I hate saying this....  Was the love story.  Until the play Salva and Beth do together, I just wasn't feeling the chemistry.  It was best friend worthy, but not romance worthy.  Then, after the play, it felt a bit rushed.  There wasn't really that tormenting transition period I was hoping for....and that I genuinely felt it needed.  But in the end, as always, the love story was grandly topped off with awesomeness.

Salvation really explores some touchy subjects, particularly immigration, rights, speaking up for the right thing in tough subjects (something I think our society desperately needs to do more often), and family hardships.  It blew me away how seamless this was and how Anne really presented both sides of all these issues well.  I wanted to read more just about these things, because they were discussed so well!

Well-done!  Even though it wasn't a 5 star, I was absolutely enthralled with Salvation and highly recommend it!

For the Parents -
Some kissing; mention of a teenage boy making "rude sexual gestures".  Some faux cussing ("What the H" and "F-you").  One middle finger shown (as a joke, if I remember correctly).  Teens talk of not wanting to "screw up".  Other teens sleeping together, only mentioned.  An intense scene during which 3 teens are involved in an accident, some detail of blood and...well, grossness. Recommended 15+

Now who's ready for a giveaway?! :D

The rules:
  • You must live in the U.S.
  • You must be 13 or older
  • You must be a GFC follower of both Yearning to Read and Anne Osterlund
  • The giveaway ends on February 4th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Buys - The New Years Edition

YAY!  First Friday Buys of the year! :)

This is a collection of the books I got for Christmas, received around Christmas, and bought after Christmas.  I had so much fun! :)

Austenland by Shannon Hale
Bought with GC.  Can I just say how much I love this book?  It was pretty much the best. :))

Splintered by A. G. Howard - hardcover received from publisher
I had already received an ARC from Abrams, but they sent me another hardcopy!  So excited!

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
I can't wait to read some Hemingway for the first time ever!

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Again, can't wait!

A lovely journal from my mama and a reader's planner from the bestie!  They're amazing! :D 

How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend by Janette Rallison
$3 paperback on Amazon - I love their bargain books!  And I've been needing some more Rallison very badly!

Wildwing by Emily Whitman
Hey guys!  Remember this post?  Well, I BOUGHT IT!  Whoohoo!!  And it was only $7 for this brand new hardcover on Amazon! :)))

Cinemagogue by James Harleman
A Christmas present form a dear friend - who knows my love of movies and their art, and trying to find a Gospel message in movies!  This book is PERFECT for me! :)

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
I need to write my review...for this book...which I read a year ago.  SHAME!  But it was really brilliant!!!!! <3 p="p">

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens 
(Lot's of love going on here.)

Ward No. 6 and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov
I'm madly in love with Russian lit, and I've been wanting to read good short stories lately, because I'm not a big short story person and only a few (coughPoecough) are worth reading to me.  So this should be good!

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
ARC received from the publisher.
I already read it - it was very good and my review will be up soon!

Some fun SWAG I received with the book below...

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
Guys guy guys guys guys I just traded one of my unwanted books for this AMAZING brand new hardcover copy of The Iron Thorn.  GORGEOUS.

Tartuffe by Moleire
School reads ;)

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
More school reads ;)

An Enemy of the People by Henrik Isben
Annnd more school ;)

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
I am not sure what to do with this...I found it for cheap and bought it to get a 10 books for $1 I want to read it but I'm not sure.  I've heard so many mixed things.  Anyone want to add their thoughts? Let me know what you thought of it!

The Esspressologist by Kristina Springer
Cheap - $5 on Amazon - and looks adoooorable! :)

Salvation by Anne Osterlund
Received from author for review - my review comes up on Monday - WITH A GIVEAWAY!
The book was awesome and you should totally come back and read the review and enter the giveaway ;)

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
So, New Years Eve I was feeling kind of a weird mood...and when I went to the bookstore I was really wishing Laura @ A Work of Fiction could be with me.  But she lives in Australia, so she can't.  So I bought one of her favorite books and sat and hugged it and pretended she was there.
What else can I do when I'm missing my bestie who lives halfway across the Universe?!


So there it is, friends!  What have you got these last few days/weeks/months?  Link me up below!  I wanna see what you got for Christmas!  Those are always my favorite IMM's ;)