Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tantalize / Eternal

I absolutely love this book! Dark and sensuous, the imagery is amazing.

Quincie, the main character, is drawn into a world of vampires and werecreatures where her best friend is a werewolf. She is determined to open a vampire themed restaurant but the plan stumbles when the head chef is murdered. Enter Henry Johnson, a chef that no one would consider dark and mysterious, to take over. Will Quincie be able to open her restaurant and resist the temptations that are offered to her? This is how to write a good vampire/werewolf triangle. It is one of those books that will stay with you long after you've finished shuddering.

Eternal is the next book from Smith in this series. It is not a direct sequel but it seems that the following book will tie everything together. It is another dark book but the ending may surprise you.

Miranda is a shy girl who wants to be in the school play. Zachary is her guardian angel who somehow has fallen in love with her. When Miranda's friend brings her the graveyard to meet a guy, Zachary tries to keep her safe. But the worst possible thing happens and Miranda becomes a vampire princess. It's up to the tarnished guardian angel to save her soul and save himself.

I was impressed by both books and they are definitely on my re-read list. There are moments that horrified me but both left me breathless at the ending. Definitely not your typical vampire books especially the vampire/angel love story in Eternal. It's not necessary to read them in any order or back to back although they take place in the same world. I would recommend reading with all the lights on though.

2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge - COMPLETE

Another book challenge! From J. Kaye's Book Blog, the challenge is to read your choice of 12, 25 or 50 books from your local library throughout the year. I am going to choose the 25 book challenge only because I have a lot of books in my office to read. I'll be listing them here as I go.

1. Ender in Exile - Orson Scott Card

2. The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

3. Savvy - Ingrid Law

4. Switch - Carol Snow

5. Need - Carrie Jones

6. Eternal - Cynthia Leitich Smith

7. Impossible - Nancy Werlin

8. Being Nikki - Meg Cabot

9. Dirty Laundry - Daniel Ehrenhaft

10. The Last Olympian - Rick Riordian

11. The Stepsister Scheme - Jim C. Hines

12. Ink Exchange - Melissa Marr

13. Fragile Eternity - Melissa Marr

14. Graceling - Kristin Cashore

15. The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

16. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

17. The Forest of Teeth and Hands by Carrie Ryan

18. The Real Deal: Unscripted by Amy Kaye

19. Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle

20. Hunger by Michael Grant

21. Gilda Joyce: The Dead Drop by Jennifer Allison

22. Boy Meets Boy by David Leviathan

23. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

24. Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

25. Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Mealworm Diaries

Jeremy has a secret. When he and his mom moved to a new town so his mother can finish school, he carries his secret around with him, trying not to let it affect him except in his dreams, where he has no control. In science class, each student is assigned a meal worm to study and Jeremy ends up with not only a meal worm of his own, but with Aaron's too, the most hyperactive kid in the class. Through studying the meal worm and interacting with Aaron, Jeremy learns how to treat people when they are different and how to let go of his secret.

This is one of the sweetest books I've read in a while. Jeremy is a typical boy, wanting to be cool and kind at the same time. I got a little teary at the end when Jeremy admits the secret he'd been carrying around about his father's death and was gratified by the ending. This is a good quick read with a lot of heart and very realistic characters.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Oh Brisingr, how you slay me! Not only are you 23 audio discs long but for most of that it was boring explanation and rehashing of Eragon's stupid promises that he should know better than to keep making. Honestly, if it weren't for the last little bit where there is some action and something actually happens, I would have quit you long ago. You even had me in tears a little at the end there. But mostly you drone on and one about dwarf customs and elves and stupid Nasuada and are one of the most stomach turning books I've ever listened to or read. Blech. But still the ending was almost worth it and I'll be back when the next, and hopefully last book, comes out, just because I cannot help myself and to give up on series, even one that deserves it, is beyond me.

2009 Audio Book Challenge - COMPLETE

I have decided to do J. Kaye's Book Blog: 2009 Audio Book Challenge. The challenge is to listen to 12 audio book before the end of the year. I'll be listing them here, but I'll start from today.

1. Charlie Bone and the Beast by Jenny Nimmo

2. Charlie Bone and the Shadow by Jenny Nimmo

3. Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

4. Tantalize by Cynthia Leitech Smith

5. Sabriel by Garth Nix

6. The Giver by Lois Lowry

7. Lirael by Garth Nix

8. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

9. Abhorsen by Garth Nix

10. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

11. Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey

12. The Calder Game by Blue Balliet

2009 Young Adult Book Challenge - COMPLETE


I've decided to do a book challenge and I'll start with something I'm good at, YA books. I'll be doing the 2009 Young Adult Book Challenge hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog and I'll be listing my books here as I go. The challenge is to read 12 YA books this year.

Here is my completed list of books.!

1. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

2. Need by Carrie Jones

3. Switch by Carol Snow

4. Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith

5. I So Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy

6. This Book Isn't Fat, It's Fabulous by Nina Beck

7. Impossible by Nancy Werlin

8. Being Nikki by Meg Cabot

9. Dirty Laundry by Daniel Ehrenhaft

10. The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

11. Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

12. Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr

Sunday, April 19, 2009

All Time Favorite Books

I was thinking last night about my top 5 all time favorite books. These are books that I have read multiple times. So in no particular order, here they are:

1. Auntie Mame: I first saw the Rosalind Russell movie when I was around 12ish and I loved it. I am a big fan of old movies. Then I found out it was a book and it was at my local library. So I read it and the sequel then. Then when I was in grad school, I read it again. Then my mom bought me a paperback copy and I've read that copy several times. It just doesn't get better than Auntie Mame.

2. Jurassic Park: I'm a big Michael Crichton fan and I've never read a book by him I didn't enjoy. Jurassic Park is the only one, though, that I've read several times. In fact, we were weeding our home collection and it was one of the paperbacks I just had to keep. I really need a hardcover. I've never been a big dinosaur person but I LOVED this book and the movie too, of course.

3. Ender's Game: I was introduced to this by BT. It is his all time favorite book and, when we started dating, I figured I should read it too. It has to be one of the best books ever written! I've read all the the Enders series and all of the Bean series. But Ender's Game is the one I've read the most.

4. Skinny Legs and All tied with Jitterbug Perfume: It's hard to choose between these to Tom Robbins' books. Skinny Leg and All was the first one I read and you never forget your first Tom Robbins but Jitterbug Perfume has one of my favorite quotes, "Louisiana in September was like an obscence phone call from nature. The air even sounds like heavy breathing."

5. Someplace to Be Flying: Who doesn't love Charles de Lint? I am part Native American so I guess the animal people parts really speak to me. I love the idea of Raven, and the Crow Girls, and Jackdaw. Something about this book amazes me. I've even made others read it.

Honorable Mention goes out to The Neverending Story: I loved this book and read it several times when I was younger, but it's been a while. The book is so wonderful and has so many elements that the original movie changed or left out. Strangely, I was never a fan of the Childlike Empress but loved Bastian,
Atreyu, and Falkor and also the Rockbiter.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Zara is deeply depressed after the death of her stepfather who was more like her actual father. Her mother sends her to live with her grandmother, Betty, to try to get her out of her depression in wintry Maine. There she meets beautiful boys Ian and Nick. Ian is friendly and outgoing and involved with everything. Nick is a loner who does not like Ian for some reason. Both boys take an interest in Zara who is too depressed with the memory of her father’s death to pay them more than courtesy attention.

Adding to her problems is a strange man who seems to be following her. Her new friends tell her it’s the pixie king who, until he finds a queen, is abducting boys until he finds a queen to fulfill his needs. And it looks like he’s set his sights on someone.

Need did remind me of Twilight in that it’s about a girl who is sent away by her mother and is unhappy about that move. She meets two guys who like her but one blows her off at first. She is not necessarily the brightest but she comes around and saves the day. The difference is that Zara has an actual reason to be unhappy after witnessing her father have a heart attack and die and her family is carrying its own secrets too. I enjoyed this book although it had a slow start.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Currently reading

I'm reading Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins, listening to Ready or Not: An All-American Girl Novel by Meg Cabot at work and to clean today, and listening to Charlie Bone and the Hidden King in the car although I'm almost done with it. I have a lot checked out from the library and at lot in my office. I'm waiting for Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith to come in for me. I am very excited since I loved Tantalize a lot.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Graveyard Book

When I was little, I read a lot of Nancy Drew, Babysitter’s Club, Sweet Valley High; when I got older I started with mysteries (Agatha Christie mostly) and more “adult” fare, including to my shame, paperback romances a la Harlequin.

But now I read a lot of YA and Children’s literature and one of my favorites is A Series of Unfortunate Events. It is a dark, highly ironic series of books and I don’t know if I would have liked it. I was rarely interested in the macabre when I was little. The great thing about those books is that they can grow with you. I know I wouldn’t have appreciated it on the same level (which is good because there is a big difference between 10 and 30) but when you are older you can see the subtleties that often you don’t see as a child.

This same thought applies to The Graveyard Book. In the same vein as The Jungle Book, The Graveyard Book, with its wonderfully loose illustrations, is a dark book about a boy whose family is viciously murdered and who is raised in a graveyard by its denizens. It is a book that on one hand, is brutal and, on the other, is just a story about a boy. Nobody Owens is just a toddler when his family is killed. Always curious, he wakes up and escapes his crib without knowing the danger looking for him. When he reaches the graveyard, he is adopted by the Owens couple and is placed up the guardianship of Silas, the not living caretaker of the graveyard. There he grows up and taught by the people of the graveyard and learns many ghostly things.

Neil Gaiman is, of course, the master of these books. Coraline was delightful and eerie and so is The Graveyard Book. This year’s Newbery Award winner, Gaiman invokes a softly creepy feeling where there is danger, very real danger, but where you can feel safe too.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Wondrous Strange

Seventeen year old Kelley has moved to New York to become an actress and is the understudy to Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. When the actress suffers an injury, Kelley gets the lead in the off-off Broadway play not knowing that her history has very much to do with the play.

Sonny is a changeling who is a member of the Janus guard sent to protect the gate between the mortal world and the faerie realm. After a chance meeting with the beautiful Kelley, he feels compelled to protect. Someone is out for Kelley and neither she nor Sonny knows why. But they are coming for her as Halloween approaches and the gate opens wider.

I’ve read a lot of urban fantasy books especially of the girl finds about faerie heritage types (see also Tithe by Holly Black, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr to name a few) so I started this book hoping it would not follow the plots of these other books. Surprisingly, it had more in common with Magic Street by Orson Scott Card. There were some funny elements to the book especially the kelpie in the bathtub. It was interesting to see how Lesley Livingston wove the tale of A Midsummer Night’s Dream into the plot of the book but twisted the play into something modern age. The faeries, for the most part, were fearsome creatures and the faerie nobility was sneaky and wiley and complex. The only king who meet is Auberon, the Winter King and the only queen is Mab, the fearsome Autumn Queen but the others are mentioned and I betting that there will be more in the eventual sequel

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Update: What I'm reading

I'm reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Yesterday morning I accidentally dumped it into the book drop with a bunch of other stuff. I still have 6 days left on it and the holds list is like 8 people long so I called and they hadn't check it in yet and held it for me so, thankfully, I got it back.
I'm listening to All American Girl by Meg Cabot at work and Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo and the Hidden King in the car.
Also I am participating in the wonderful and funny Maureen Johnson's BEDA (Blog Every Day in April) but mainly I'm doing that on my other blog except when I put up a book review or something.