Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mackenzie Blue winner

And the winner of the three Mackenzie Blue books is ...


I'll send you an e-mail.  

Thanks everyone for entering.

July Wrap-Up

Books read:

Insatiable (Cabot)
Sleepless (Balog)
Nocturne (Harkrader)
Shadowland  (Noël)
Dark Flame  (Noël)
Mackenzie Blue (Wells)
The Secret Crush (Wells)
Friends Forever? (Wells)
Incarceron (Fisher)

 Audio books finished:

The Girl with the Mermaid Hair (Ephron)
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg (Levine)
Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand (Levine)

Nancy Drew read:

Mystery at the Ski Jump (#29)

No challenges joined or completed this month.

This was such a slow month for me although I did do a lot of reading for the upcoming Once Upon a Week.  My favorite book was a toss-up between The Eternal Ones  and Incarceron, both very different books from each other.  I really liked the Fairy series by Gail Carson Levine on audio.  It was just precious.
What was your favorite book this month?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand (audio) by Gail Carson Levine

The Neverland fairies are in trouble.  Soop, the mermaid, is sending a flood to Fairy Haven until she gets the wand she was promised.  So Rani, Tinker Bell and Queen, Clarion set off to the palace of the Great Wanded fairies to get one for her.  But wand madness takes over all of them and they can't stop making wishes to their detriment.

Another cute book by Levine about the Disney fairies.  I thought it was precious though there were parts that weren't quite explained enough (the Rani-bat).  It's an age old moral: be careful what you wish for and it applies even to fairies as they make wishes that don't always work out for the best.  I did find this one to be more abrupt than the first one and because I was listening to it I had to stop a few times to make sure I hadn't skip a chapter or something.  But despite that it was a very sweet story.

Rosalyn Landor is the narrator for this story and she does a great job.  Sometimes when a series changes narrators, it throws me off, but I didn't mind this one too much.  I think I liked Hannah Gordon, who narrated the first book, better but Landor has the right soft spoken voice for this series as well.  Both are easy to listen to.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg (audio) by Gail Carson Levine

A new fairy arrives in Fairy Haven named Prilla.  But Prilla doesn't know what her talent is which is very unusual for a Neverland fairy.  When a hurricane blows Mother Dove's egg (which keeps Neverland young) away, Prilla and some of her fellow fairies set out to get Kyto the dragon to put it back together, but first they must gather three items with which they hope to tempt Kyto.

This was a precious book.  It was so sweet and fun and I love the little fairies.  Hannah Gordon the narrator brings a soft gentleness to the story and does an excellent job narrating it. I think the book has illustrations, but since I decided to listen to it, I haven't seen them.

I love the idea of taking Tinkerbell and exploring her life outside of Peter Pan and Levine has created a beautiful and enchanting story.  All the fairies had such great personalities, all very individual.  It was a simple quest story, gathering three items and taking them to the dragon, but it was cute how much more ingenuity that fairies had to have given their size.  I love the ending and how it hearkened back to the original Peter Pan story.

Hogwarts: Care of Magical Creatures

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Incarceron (#1) by Catherine Fisher

Finn is trapped in Incarceron, a sentient prison designed to be a perfect place but that has disintegrated into a hell.  Claudia is on the Outside but trapped in her own prison as her impending marriage to the Prince moves her closer to the fake trappings of palace life and all its political intrigues.  Each finds a key to Incarceron and each finds obstacles as both the Outside world and the Prison seeks to stop them from opening Incarceron.
Only her stubbornness would keep a knife out of her father's heart.  She knew he was her enemy, her subtle foe, her cold opponent over the chessboard.  But he was still her father.  p.302
I'm actually really sorry I didn't read this sooner because I really liked it.  It moved at a great pace that kept me reading along and I had to resist the urge to stay up all night long to read it.  I even put the audio version on my Zune so I didn't have to stop with it when I couldn't read.  It was amazing how creepy both sides of the world were.  Incarceron is a hellhole of a prison where the actual prison is alive and thinking and watching, always watching.  It throws up obstacles and messes with the prisoners and generally screws with their lives for it's own amusement.  And on the Outside, the world has been put into a self-imposed stasis, hearkening back to a sort of Victorian Gothic Era, in order to belay violence and disorder in the world.  So the two words are vastly different and yet very similar in a way.

The two main characters of Finn and Claudia were very strong, very interesting characters.  They were both very clever and wily in their own ways and I liked how they each solved the puzzle of the prison.  There was more action on the side of Finn, but then he is stuck in a prison.  Claudia was much more clever and had to deal with more political maneuverings than anything. 

Conceptually, this was a great one and I really think that Fisher pulled it off.  I can only hope that the sequel is a good as this one.

Hogwarts: Charms

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Gone

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
Grab your current read
Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

It's quiet and the lights are low as Janie and Cabel push through the double doors into the ICU patients' hallway.  Janie feels the faint pull of a dream from a distance and she combats it immediately, impatiently.  

p.33 Gone Lisa McMann

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekly Round-Up 7/26

Weekly Round-Up is my wrap-up of last week's activities and includes what I'm reading this week, reviews I've posted, books in the mail and anything else of interest plus From the Library, my weekly listing of what I've checked out from the library.
This week I'm reading The Clue of the Velvet Mask (Keene), Karma Bites (Kramer, Thomas) Gone (McMann) and Sisters Red (Pearce).  I'm listening to Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Wand (Levine) and then back to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling).

Last week I read Princess of Glass (George) and Incarceron (Fisher) and I listened to Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg (Levine).

Won from Cornucopia of Reviews
Plus by Veronica Chambers (ARC)
"This is the unbelievable story of how I went to college, gained twenty-five pounds, got dumped by my boyfriend, failed physics and became a worldfamous supermodel."

So begins the Cinderella story of Beatrice Wilson, whose life changes overnight when she’s discovered by a scout for the oldest, most prestigious modeling agency in America—for their plus-sized division.

Now she must find the confidence to vanquish skinny rivals, fend off sleazy photographers, and banish scheming frenemies in her rise to superstardom, all while trying to get her ex-boyfriend back. But Bea learns that to win prince charming, you first have to find a way to love yourself

Publish Date: August 5, 2010

From the author
Karma Bites by Stacy Kramer, Valerie Thomas
Life seems to have it in for Franny Flanders.
Her best friends aren’t speaking, her parents just divorced, and her hippie grandmother has moved in. The only karma Franny’s got is bad karma. Then Franny gets her hands on a box of magic recipes that could fix all of her problems. It could even change the world! Finally, life is looking up. But Franny is about to learn that magic and karma aren’t to be played with. When you mess with the universe, it can bite back in unexpected ways.
Publish Date: August 16, 2010

From Library Thing's Early Reviewer
Gool by Maurice Gee (Salt Trilogy #2)
The gool cannot be seen, not properly, but Xantee, Lo and their friends sense its evil presence. It lurks in the jungle in rock clefts, an enemy from outside nature. And now, a fragment of Gool holds Hari by the throat, draining the life from him. They can hold it back with the force of their minds, but for how long?

Xantee, Lo and Duro set out on a perilous mission to find the Dog King Tarl, Hari's father, and the ruined city of belong. Can he help them find the source of the gool? Will they find it in time? And do they have the strength to destroy the mother Gool and rid the world of this life-sucking force?

Gool, the thrilling sequel to Salt, is another extraordinary fantasy adventure from the master writer Maurice Gee.

To Feel Stuff by Andrea Seigel
(There's a roundabout way I got to this book.  Suffice to say, I'm using this for the Take Another Chance Challenge because the author has the same name as me.)
Meet Elodie Harrington, college student and medical anomaly. From chicken pox to tuberculosis, Elodie suffers such a frequent barrage of illnesses that she moves into the Brown University infirmary. When charismatic Chess Hunter enters the infirmary with two smashed knees, he and Elodie begin an intense affair, but Chess is only a visitor to Elodie's perpetual state of medical siege. As he heals, he moves back to his former life. Elodie heads in the other direction and begins to see a ghost. When Professor Mark Kirschling, M.D., gets wind of Elodie, he's convinced he can make his professional mark by cracking her case but he's entirely unprepared for what he's about to encounter.

Ivy's Ever After by Dawn Lairamore
Once upon a time in the kingdom of Ardendal there lived a spirited princess named Ivy, who had no interest in being rescued by Prince Charming, and an undersized dragon named Elridge, who was better at solving word puzzles than breathing fire. Sailing into this world on a ship made of whale bones came Romil, a handsome prince with dastardly designs on Princess Ivy and her kingdom. Ivy and Elridge, both disappointments to their families, join forces to try and thwart Romil's evil plot. In the process these traditional enemies become fast freinds, discover hidden strengths, and earn the respect of all who know them. Full of humor and high adventure--and plenty of slightly skewed fairy-tale motifs--this frothy fractured fairy tale is sure to delight young readers.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dark Flame by Alyson Noël

*SPOILERS for the series so far*
Ever is dealing with the fall-out of her latest decision, saving the life of Haven and making her immortal.  Added to that is the effect of her last spell gone wrong, now she is bound to Roman instead of he to her and as she finds herself drawn to him in all the wrong ways.
"You're blond, blue-eyed, tall, fit, gifted, oh, and to top it all off, the sexiest guy on the planet just happens to be madly in love with you."  She sighs, wondering how I can possibly be so blind to her truth.  "I mean, let's face it, you've got the kind of life other people can only dream of - and yet, you make it look like the road to Suck City."  p.11 ARC

Amazing how little compassion Ever has for anybody despite the fact that she has effed up in about a million different ways.  I was so annoyed with her for three-fourths of the book because she is dumb as dumb.  But the ending was almost redeeming and I have hopes that the next book won't make me want to kill her like the last 2 books have.

On the positive side, Dark Flame moved along faster than Shadowland and there was finally a little action.  I liked Ever's changing character and I think she's taken a step in the right direction to getting a little brains in her head.  Good for her that Damen and even Jude are so freaking patient and nice.  I wish there would be a little more of Damen in the rest of the books.  He has barely appeared in the last couple of books.

Provided by Traveling ARC Tours
Hogwarts: History of Magic

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Princess of Glass

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
Grab your current read
Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

The crowd parted before her, making her escape dramatic and also quite fast.
     Which was good, because as the clock ticked closer to midnight, something was happening to her shoes...

p.103 Princess of Glass ARC
Jessica Day George

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekly Round-Up 7/19

Weekly Round-Up is my wrap-up of last week's activities and includes what I'm reading this week, reviews I've posted, books in the mail and anything else of interest plus From the Library, my weekly listing of what I've checked out from the library.
This week I'm reading The Clue of the Velvet Mask (Keene) and Princess of Glass (George).  I'm listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) and The Red Pyramid (Riordian). 

Last week I read Dark Flame (Noël), The Mystery at the Ski Jump (Keene), and Sleeping in Flame (Carroll). 

Other Reviews posted:
Shadowland (Noël)
The Eternal Ones (Miller)
The Girl with the Mermaid Hair (Ephron) (audio)

From Traveling ARC Tours
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other’s countries in the name of better political alliances—and potential marriages. It’s got the makings of a fairy tale—until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way.

Charlie Bone and the Red Knight (audio) by Jenny Nimmo, read by Simon Jones
Charlie and his friends take on the most powerful and dangerous magic in Book Eight of this extraordinary series. As wicked forces come to a head at Bloor's Academy, Charlie and his friends must use all their magic and all their might to fight the evil and save Charlie's parents.
In his greatest adventure yet, Charlie must discover the fate of his family, the evil intentions of the Bloors, what has become of Septimus Bloor's will, and, most important, the destiny of the Red King's heirs. But are the Children of the Red King strong enough to defeat the darkness to find the answers?
Join Charlie and his friends as they race to unlock the mystery of the Red King in this final chapter. . . .

Frannie in Pieces (audio) by Delia Ephron, read by Danielle Ferland

What does you in—brain or heart?
Frannie asks herself this question when, a week before she turns fifteen, her dad dies, leaving her suddenly deprived of the only human being on planet Earth she feels understands her. Frannie struggles to make sense of a world that no longer seems safe, a world in which one moment can turn things so thoroughly for the worse. She discovers an elegant wooden box with an inscription: Frances Anne 1000. Inside, Frannie finds one thousand hand-painted and -carved puzzle pieces. She wonders if her father had a premonition of his death and finished her birthday present early. Feeling broken into pieces herself, Frannie slowly puts the puzzle together, bit by bit. But as she works, something remarkable begins to happen: She is catapulted into an ancient foreign landscape, a place suspended in time where she can discover her father as he was B.F.—before Frannie.

Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg by Gail Carson Levine, read by Hannah Gordon

Seasoned fractured fairy tale teller Gail Carson Levine provides the captivating back story of Tinker Bell and Co. in this lavishly illustrated addition to the Neverland canon. Freckled and eager to please, Prilla is a brand new fairy, born of a baby's laugh. Upon her arrival to Neverland, she is dismayed to discover she has no talent for any of the fairy avocations. Tinker Bell (a pots-and-pans-talent fairy) takes Prilla to see Mother Dove, whose single blue egg holds the secret of the island's eternal youth. But before the wise bird can advise Prilla, Neverland is shaken by a terrible hurricane. Mother Dove is thrown off her nest, and the precious egg is shattered. Immediately, Neverland folk begin to age. The island's only hope is for some brave fairies to take the egg pieces to Kyto the dragon and ask him to restore it with his fiery breath. But first, the fairies must collect treasures with which to bribe the evil dragon. Mother Dove chooses Prilla to be part of the fairy team to undertake the quest for the egg. Can one little no-talent fairy help save Neverland from certain doom? While Fairy Dust is unabashedly based on Disney's Peter Pan, Levine's companion version feels wonderfully fresh and original. The charming maxims of Levine's fairy world (fairies say "Fly with you," instead of "Pleased to meet you," and need dust made from Mother Dove's feathers to fly) along with David Christiana's sumptuous illustrations breathe new life into a beloved classic.

Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand by Gail Caron Levine, read by Rosalyn Landor

 "Beware a mermaid's wrath!" the mermaid Soop warns the water-talent fairy Rani. Soop has grown tired of waiting for the magic wand that Rani promised her in exchange for her help saving Never Land. And though Rani would love to fulfill her promise and bring Soop a wand, Mother Dove, the wisest creature in Never Land, has forbidden it. Her patience at an end, Soop sends a flood to destroy Fairy Haven. Now the only thing that can save the fairies' home is the arrival of the wand.

Rani, Tinker Bell, and the fairy queen, Clarion, set off on a perilous quest to find a wand, a journey that takes them across an ocean, to the palace of the Great Wanded fairies. Many obstacles stand between the Never fairies and their desire for peace in Fairy Haven, not the least of which are their own secret dreams. For a wand can easily tempt a fairy into making a foolish wish, with terrible consequences.

In this thrilling sequel to Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg, Newbery Honor-winning author Gail Carson Levine and illustrator David Christiana have conspired to spin a riveting fairytale about the dangers of dreams come true.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sleuthing Sundays - Nancy Drew 29

Mystery at the Ski Jump (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #29)
"Suppose we see if this girl detective can solve the mystery of the locked cabin with both her hands and feet tied..." p.158
SPOILER She can.  Well at least she's smart enough to stay alive until Ned and the gang arrive.**
Nancy is on the trail of some fur thieves!  After a woman sells fur pieces to various women around River Height, including Hannah, along with some stock, Nancy's suspicions are arouse and she is off to uncover the truth.  Tied along is Mr. Drew's case involving an inheritance by a young, handsome ski instructor.  Amazingly enough the two cases barely intersect but Nancy gets it solved anyway.

Also the whole fur thing left a bad taste in my mouth.  I know that this was the 50's and so that was fashionable and ok, but now it seems creepy and more than a little horrible.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Girl with the Mermaid Hair (audio) by Delia Ephron

Suki is a beautiful teenage girl.  She is obsessed with her image though.  When her mother gives Suki her grandmother's mirror, she is warned that the mirror will be "her best friend and her worst enemy."  And it is as Suki uses it to imagine a better life and a better Suki.  As Suki delves further into her fantasy life in the mirror, she begins to understand the truth of the people around her and herself. 

I was completely ready to hate Suki from the get-go.  And I kind of did at the beginning.  By the end, though, I felt so sad for her.  She is so lonely and clueless and her mother is a ridiculous person.  And so is her father, for that matter.  It's easy to see how it's going to end for the people in her life, but I was shocked by some of the actions by the so-called adults.  It was sad to see Suki pretending that she had it all together only to see it all fall apart.  I wish there had been a little more confrontation at the end.  But it reflected a more real life situation rather than the ideal one of a novel.

This book really wasn't what I expected and I was impressed by the turn of events that lead to the end.  I think that Sarah Drew, the narrator, really sold this book.  As the narrator she struck the right nuances and tone that made Suki bearable until she actually became bearable.  I loved Drew's witty and frank interpretation of the text.

Hogwarts: Muggle Studies
Take Another Chance

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

From Goodreads:
What if love refused to die?

Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

The very first night she heard her parents arguing, she had whispered one last goodbye to Ethan and then set to locking him out of her head.  p.24 ARC

If this isn't the best book I've read this year, then it is at least one of them.  While I'm not a believer of soul mates and destiny, this book made me want to believe and I love the idea that people will be drawn to each other in every life that they live.  I was really struck by the idea of the Ouroboros Society and how people can remember past lives and even bring skills over from them.

The mystery surrounding Haven and Iain was a good one and I liked the tension Miller built into the book surrounding the two of them and the Ouroboros Society.  Haven was a good strong character though I did have one problem with her that I will discuss in the spoilers section that was resolved nicely.  It was more my impatience to find out the truth than a fault of the book itself.  This book is definitely the must read of the year.

*(highlight for) SPOILERS*
Haven and Iain are so sweet and I was rooting for them throughout the book.  I was really intrigued by the idea of the Ouroboros Society and how people can remember past lives and even bring skills over from them.  I love that Iain always remembered Haven in every life and looked for her.
Throughout the book, I kept thinking that Haven was really wishy-washy and, frankly, stupid because she would be with Iain and everything would be fine and then she would go out without him and immediately begin doubting him.  I'm pretty sure this was the influence of Rosier who I wish had been explained more.  I guess that is the point of his nature, but he was the one true immortal in this story, the one who never changed or aged or died and I wanted to know more about that.  Was he really the devil or an agent of the devil or chaos embodied?  I didn't expect his character to turn out like that and I really enjoyed the idea of it.*END*

Provided by Traveling ARC Tours
Publish Date August 24, 2010
Hogwarts: Arithmancy

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shadowland by Alyson Noël

Ever begins her quest to fix her mistake from Blue Moon so she can be with Damen at long last. But Roman stands her in way as well as her undeniable attraction to her new boss, Jude. 
But I just stand there instead, determined to keep it together.  Gazing at my ridiculously gorgeous boyfriend of the last four hundred years as though it's the first time we've met.  p.40
Oh Ever, still as dumb as a rock.  What a waste of an Immortal given her inability to make even a smitten of the right choice.  At least her intentions are good, but she never wants to listen to anyone.  Always convinced that she is the exception and knows more than the people who have been around a lot longer than her.  Damen is a freaking saint for putting up with her BS though he had his moments in Blue Moon.

Anyway, I found Shadowland to be a much slower book, not quite as good as its predecessors.  That happens a lot with middle books.  But still the build-up for the next book was nicely paced as was the introduction to Jude, a person who is very familiar to Ever and Damen for a good reason.  The ending was good, a little surprising, but another opportunity for Ever to make exactly wrong choice yet again.  Can't wait to see what she gets up to in Dark Flame

Hogwarts: History of Magic

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays - Dark Flame

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
Grab your current read
Open to a random page

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

And that's all it takes.  The mere mention of my name on his lips and I'm liquid.
Pure molten liquid.

p.108 Dark Flame by Alyson Noël

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekly Round-Up 7/12

Weekly Round-Up is my wrap-up of last week's activities and includes what I'm reading this week, reviews I've posted, books in the mail and anything else of interest plus From the Library, my weekly listing of what I've checked out from the library.
This week I'm reading Dark Flame (Noël), The Mystery at the Ski Jump (Keene),  and The Child Thief (Brom).  I'm listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) and The Girl with the Mermaid Hair (Ephron)

Since last week I read Shadowland (Noel) and The Eternal Ones (Miller).
Reviews posted:
Nocturne (Harkrader)
Mackenzie Blue series (Wells)

From Traveling ARC Tours
Dark Flame by Alyson Noel
*SPOILERS for the earlier books*
At the start of this mesmerizing new installment of the Immortals series, Ever is helping her friend Haven transition into life as an immortal. But with Haven drunk on her new powers and carelessly putting them all at risk, their friendship becomes more and more strained. At the same time, Ever delves deeper into magick in order to get control over her enemy Roman and free Damen from his power. But when the spell she casts on Roman backfires, she’s bound to her deadliest enemy. Frantic to reverse the spell the moment the moon enters a new phase, she finds her efforts are fruitless—there’s a strange, foreign pulse coursing through her, one that propels her toward Roman. Desperate to break free of this terrible curse before Damen or the twins can discover what she’s done, she turns to Jude and delves deeper and deeper into dark magick, ultimately risking everything she knows and loves—including Damen.

Won from The Zen Leaf. Thanks!
Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.

Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.

Sleeping in Flame by Jonathan Carroll
(This was one of my favorite books when I was in my fractured fairy tale phase in college.)
Walker Easterling, an actor confused about his orphan past, falls passionately in love with a beautiful supermodel. When they establish their lives together in Vienna, a series of bizarre events reveals that Walker has led many past lives. An unresolved conflict may lead to the death of their unborn child.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day

Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servents. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.

The Child Thief by Brom
Fourteen-year-old Nick would be lying dead in a Brooklyn park—murdered by drug dealers­—had Peter not sprung out of the trees to save him. Now the irresistibly charismatic wild boy wants Nick to follow him into a strange and unsettling mist swirling around the bay. Even though he is wary of Peter's crazy talk of faeries and monsters, Nick agrees. After all, nowhere in New York City is safe for him now. And what more can he possibly lose?
There is always more to lose.
Accompanying Peter to a gray and ravished island that was once a lush, enchanted paradise, Nick finds himself unwittingly recruited for a war that has raged for centuries. He must learn to fight or die as he struggles to fit in with the "Devils"—Peter's savage tribe of lost and stolen children.
Here, Peter's dark past is revealed: left to wolves as an infant, despised, tormented, and hunted, Peter moves between the worlds of faerie and man, struggling to understand what he is and where he belongs. The Child Thief is a leader of bloodthirsty children, a brave friend, and a creature driven to do whatever he must to kill the dreaded Captain and stop his murderous crew of "Flesh-eaters" before they blight every trace of magic left in this dying land.

Fairies and the Quest for Neverland (audio) by Gail Caron Levin, read by Rosalyn Landor
Gwendolyn Carlisle loves fairies, perhaps too much. On her birthday, she receives the precious “kiss” necklace, which has been passed down from mother to daughter ever since Peter Pan gave it to Wendy Darling. That night, Gwendolyn has her first tantalizing vision of Fairy Haven.

More than anything, Gwendolyn wishes she could be there. At last, Peter Pan comes for her. The instant they reach Never Land, she sets out to find fairies. But the fairies are not eager to meet her.

Then the evil Kyto, a dragon the fairies once helped to capture, escapes. He intends to destroy Never Land, starting with Fairy Haven. The fairies have but one choice: they must stop Kyto. As they begin their desperate quest—a quest that could be their very last—the fairies must decide if Gwendolyn can help or hinder. . . .

Infused with magic and feeling, this thrilling tale is the third in the celebrated series from Newbery Honor–winning author Gail Carson Levine.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Beginnings - Shadowland

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Becky at Page Turners. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

"Everything is energy."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mackenzie Blue Giveway!

I am giving away the first 3 of the Mackenzie Blue series!  Giveaway ends July 30th, US only.  Winner will be chosen at random.  Please fill out the form to enter.

Mackenzie Blue (1-3) by Tina Wells

Mackenzie Blue (#1)
Meet Mackenzie Blue, Zee to her friends.  She is starting seventh grade this year without her best friend who has moved to France.  But Zee is an outgoing friendly girl who makes friends with a new girl on the first day back.  Everything is going great for Zee until her diary is stolen and excerpts are written on the board at school.  Who took her diary and why are they tormenting her?  Zee is determined to find out.

Zee had been only two places that day - her house and school.  Oh no!  If the diary was at school, maybe someone had found it and read it.  p.54
This was an extremely cute book.  It was so fun and lively and Zee was an awesome girl!  She has great friend and is very talented and very enthusiastic so that was fun.  The main plot is about Zee losing her diary but the subplot is about a music competition.  Zee writes her own music and she doesn't know what to do when her diary is stolen.  There is a lot of "be yourselfs" and "doing your bests" in this book (without being preachy)  and I think it is a great book for middle graders.  I can see this on the Disney Channel or ABC Family.

Mackenzie Blue: The Secret Crush (#2)
Zee is back with her gang and they are forming a band with the help of Mr. P, the ultra cool music teacher.  The Beans, as they name themselves, decide to put on a musical as way of introducing themselves to the school.  And everyone wants the leads of course.  Zee wants the female lead and hopes Landon, her not-so-secret crush, get the male lead.  But Zee's friend Jasper also wants the lead and he is acting weird toward Landon.  How will Zee handle all this tension?
But Zee knew her mother would never understand what wa really important to her.  It was Zee's dream to be a star, and the musical was her opportunity to shine.  p.1
Another cute book in the Mackenzie Blue series, I think this one is a little better since all the characters have been introduced.  I can't figure out the Kathi character.  She is given a lot of motivation for her behavior and then she acts out of character.  Maybe that is a hallmark of the tween age, trying to figure out who you want to be.  I like the illustrations in each book and think it adds to the story nicely.

Mackenzie Blue: Friends Forever (#3)
Zee and her science class, including all of the Beans, are off on a wilderness class trip!  Zee is trying to figure out what's up with her friends, including BFF Ally, Jasper, and her crush Landon.  Everyone is acting funny and Zee just wants everyone to get along.
Zee looked at Chloe.  Jasper was right - crashing into a guy was not the best way to flirt.   p.22
This series gets better with each book.  I love the way Zee is so real and the issues are exactly right for middle grade girls: crushes, best friend fights, fitting in, periods, etc.  I remember all those things being so important at that age and I would have loved this series back then.  I actually really enjoyed reading it now.  Zee and her friends get into real and often humorous situations and the illustrations are so cute.  I'm actually looking forward to the next book.  This is a great series!

Sent by publisher for review

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nocturne by L.D. Harkrader

Flannery Lane was found on a doorstep and raised by the town wizard.  Despite being very powerful magic-wise herself, her adopted uncle stops her from doing magic.  But Flannery cannot accept that especially when her uncle becomes ill and a vampire comes to town.
She sighed and led him to the bookshelves, thinking that the sooner he began his research, the sooner she would be able to stop talking.  And sniffing him.  p.164

Here I was wishing for just a regular old vampire story and I get two in one week.  First Insatiable and now Nocturne.  Nocturne leans more towards high fantasy than vampire though.  Mostly it is about a world where magic is common and everyday and all the magic creatures of legend exist, werewolves, brownies, vampires and the like.  The vampires just are, they are not the point so that was refreshing for a change.  It was also refreshing to have a head strong, capable heroine who doesn't immediately fall in love and get all stupid.  Flannery is very powerful and knows it.  She just been caged in by her uncle's worries and his need to keep her safe.  But when she decides to take ownership of her powers, then the story really kicks in.  Nocturne is a quick, fun read that borrows more from Diana Wynne Jones than Stephanie Meyer and her ilk.

Provided by Traveling ARC Tours
Hogwarts: History of Magic