Monthly Archives:: June 2009

Sunday Coveting

June 28, 2009 Book Reviews, Books 16

sundayHer Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger because oh my goodness, but I LOVED The Time Travelers Wife!

Another brilliant, original and moving novel from the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Julia and Valentina Poole are normal American teenagers — normal, at least, for identical “mirror” twins who have no interest in college or jobs or possibly anything outside their cozy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn’t know existed has died and left them her amazing flat in a building by Highgate Cemetery in London. They feel that at last their own lives can begin … but they have no idea that they’ve been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the OCD-suffering crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt’s mysterious and elusive lover who lives below them, and even to their aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the mother of the girls — her own twin — and who can’t even seem to quite leave her flat….

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, because, being the cover whore that I am, I just have to have that book! LOL  It sounds pretty good too.

From Booklist: Growing up with six brothers in rural Texas in 1899, 12-year-old Callie realizes that her aversion to needlework and cooking disappoints her mother. Still, she prefers to spend her time exploring the river, observing animals, and keeping notes on what she sees. Callie’s growing interest in nature creates a bond with her previously distant grandfather, an amateur naturalist of some distinction. After they discover an unknown species of vetch, he attempts to have it officially recognized. This process creates a dramatic focus for the novel, though really the main story here is Callie’s gradual self-discovery as revealed in her vivid first-person narrative. By the end, she is equally aware of her growing desire to become a scientist and of societal expectations that make her dream seem nearly impossible. Interwoven with the scientific theme are threads of daily life in a large family—the bonds with siblings, the conversations overheard, the unspoken understandings and misunderstandings—all told with wry humor and a sharp eye for details that bring the characters and the setting to life. The eye-catching jacket art, which silhouettes Callie and images from nature against a yellow background, is true to the period and the story. Many readers will hope for a sequel to this engaging, satisfying first novel. Grades 4-7. –Carolyn Phelan

Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret Leroy because Publisher’s Weekly said “fans of old-fashioned gothics will welcome this” book and I love a good old-fashioned gothic!!

From Publishers Weekly Fans of old-fashioned gothics will welcome this tale of love, betrayal and death from British author Leroy (The River House). At first glance, Grace, a single mom, and Sylvie, her bright, lovely child, have a simple, happy life. Though Grace struggles to make ends meet, all is well until Sylvie begins to act out at preschool and with playmates. She has tantrums, makes odd remarks and has an extreme fear of water. As Sylvie’s behavior worsens, Grace is at a loss to explain her daughter’s outbursts. She seeks help, only to find herself and their lifestyle to blame. When Sylvie recalls what seem to be past-life experiences, Grace looks up a university professor who’s studied the paranormal in the hope he can resolve Sylvie’s increasingly erratic behavior. Heavy with atmosphere and rich in detail, Leroy’s prose lures readers into a disturbing murder mystery. Her characters are as realistic and intriguing as her locales in England and Ireland. 

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer because Sassymonkey told me to I have to read it. I figure she’s been reading my blog for a very long time and she knows what she’s talking about.

Amazon.com Review It’s almost the end of Miranda’s sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver’s license. When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda’s voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options. Yet even as suspicious neighbors stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over. Veteran author Susan Beth Pfeffer, who penned the young adult classic The Year Without Michael over twenty years ago, makes a stunning comeback with this haunting book that documents one adolescent’s journey from self-absorbed child to selfless young woman. Teen readers won’t soon forget this intimate story of survival and its subtle message about the treasuring the things that matter most—-family, friendship, and hope.–Jennifer Hubert

PS: That graphic of the book is supposed to be animated and show all the pictures of the books.  If you can see it move, will you let me know?  I can’t seem to see it unless I click on it and open it separate.  Also, if YOU want to see all four covers, click on the book!

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Summer Reading Guest Post

June 24, 2009 Miscellaneous 6

Here is the fabulous Vasilly with another guest post about summer reading.  I’m really enjoying these guest posts and I’d be interested in some more about summer reading, if anyone is interested. 

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The last day of school was today and I’m probably more happy about it than the kids. While they will be missing their friends, I won’t be missing getting up early to make breakfast or staying up late to iron clothes. Instead this summer I will be sleeping in and staying up late reading until my heart’s content.

With six of the seven members of my family in school,  summer is a time that we can read as much as we want on any subject without worrying about deadlines, grades, or required reading. Tomorrow we’re taking a trip to the bookstore and here are a few of the books we’re looking forward to reading this summer.

irresponsiblescienceThe Book of Totally Irresponsible Science: 64 Daring Experiments for Young Scientists by Sean Connolly. A fellow blogger recommended this for my seven year-old daughter, the family scientist. Filled with experiments that can be made using household items, The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science sounds like it will keep us busy all summer learning about osmosis, the elements, and more.

 

cloudyCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. Illustrated by Ron Barrett. During our walk yesterday my youngest, Avi, asked me what it would be like if hamburgers fell from the sky. I haven’t read this book to him yet, so I wondered if he saw a  commercial for the movie. Either way, he will be going home with this book. 

greekThe McElderry Book of Greek Myths. My kids hate fairy tales so I know I’m going to have to inch our way into this book. With twelve stories inside ranging from the tale of Prometheus to Medusa, I think it might be just the book to make the myths more accessible to my kids.

 

 

satchelSatchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend by Larry Tye. I first found out about Leroy “Satchel” Paige while reading Kadir Nelson’s masterpiece, We are the Ship. Satchel was one of the greatest players in baseball history. I’m not a baseball fan but I’ve read some great reviews about this book.

 

 

vietnamesePleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham. One of the activities my family and I plan on doing this summer is making a family cookbook. One of the girls saw this at the library and decided we would try some of the recipes and add them to our cookbook if we enjoy them. The author, a chef, features some of the most known Vietnamese recipes that are simple and easy to make at home. One of the great things about this book is that I can use it to also teach the kids some geography.

So that’s our list of some of the many books we’re looking forward to reading. What does your list look like?

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Secrets to Happiness Winners

June 23, 2009 Miscellaneous 7

Thanks to the wonderful Random List Generator, I have picked the two winners of Secrets to Happiness. They are:

Emily L -
Kailana

I’ll be contacting you guys for your addresses soon.  And stick around, I’m planning on having another giveaway very soon!

I think I blogged myself out this weekend with the Bloggiesta. I’m working on a few reviews now and will have them up soon. In meantime…here’s a couple of pictures from my vacation last week.

Click on the pictures to see them larger, if you like.

elliewindelliehobelliegoofyheavybucket
wesleysandwesleyelliesand

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Sunday Book Coveting00

June 21, 2009 Miscellaneous 17

geektasticschoolofessentialingredientsaprilandolivereverythingasian

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd by various authors.  Again, saw this on a couple of blogs this weekend (one was Lenore) and it has some great writers contributing to it.  It’s edited by Holly Freaking Black and the aMAYzing Cecil Castellucci! And dude, it’s title is GEEKTASTIC and I am so geek. It comes out in August and I am so getting it.

Book Description: Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside)and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.

With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O’Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you’re a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister. I’ve seen this one around quite a bit and 1) I love the cover and 2) IT IS ABOUT FOOD.  I am so THERE.

Book Description:  Reminiscent of Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate, a gorgeously written novel about life, love, and the magic of food.

The School of Essential Ingredients follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian’s Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. Students include Claire, a young mother struggling with the demands of her family; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer learning to adapt to life in America; and Tom, a widower mourning the loss of his wife to breast cancer. Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students’ lives. One by one the students are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of Lillian’s food, including a white-on-white cake that prompts wistful reflections on the sweet fragility of love and a peppery heirloom tomato sauce that seems to spark one romance but end another. Brought together by the power of food and companionship, the lives of the characters mingle and intertwine, united by the revealing nature of what can be created in the kitchen.

April and Oliver by Tess Callahan – I don’t remember which blog I saw this on; I’ve read SO MANY BLOG POSTS in the last few days.  But the reviewer made it sound SO GOOD and well, I’d like to read it.

Book Description:  Troubled April and cautious Oliver, former childhood friends, find themselves reconnecting after the sudden, tragic death of April’s teenage brother, Buddy. April, blaming herself for Buddy’s death, becomes surrounded by Oliver’s family as they lend comfort and support. Oliver, who previously dreamed of a music career, is now a law student engaged to be married and seems the polar opposite of reckless April. They were inseparable as children, always compelled to look after Buddy and each other, and now, as they battle their mutual attraction, life appears quite complicated and confusing. April is aware that she should avoid the many rough, abusive men she allows in her life; Oliver acknowledges that a wonderful future awaits him. The opening chapters of this emotional whirlpool of a debut novel are gripping, owing to Callahan’s sharp, savvy storytelling. Callahan spins a dark, gritty tale of love, yearning, and choices while presenting engaging characters and substantial action that packs more than a few punches. Wise beyond words.

Everything Asian by Sung J. Woo. Heather reviewed this and her review makes it sound wonderful.  The book description doesn’t so much, but her review really made me want to check it out.  Here is the pretty tepid book description, check out Heather’s review for a better idea of what it’s about.

Book Description:

Welcome to the wonderful world of David Kim.

You’re twelve years old. A month has passed since your Korean Air flight landed at lovely Newark Airport. Your fifteen-year-old sister is miserable. Your mother isn’t exactly happy, either. You’re seeing your father for the first time in five years, and although he’s nice enough, he might be, well–how can you put this delicately?–a loser.

You can’t speak English, but that doesn’t stop you from working at East Meets West, your father’s gift shop in a strip mall, where everything is new.

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Bloggiesta!

June 20, 2009 Miscellaneous 7

bloggiestaNatasha over at Maw Books put together this fantastic Bloggiesta for this weekend and I decided to take part. The idea is:

The Bloggiesta will focus on blog content, improving/cleaning up your blog or working on your social network profiles.  I’m pretty open on what you can do during the bloggiesta but reading actually won’t count!  I know, I know.   The point is to catch up instead of adding another book to the “to be reviewed” pile.

There are lots of things to do:

  • Write book, movie, TV, product reviews.  Any reviews really.
  • Write backup posts for a rainy day.
  • Write that great post idea from three months back.
  • Work on series posts.
  • Write guest posts.
  • Put out invitations for guest posts.
  • Conduct and edit author interviews.
  • Create template posts for your future reads (ie: title, images, linking, tags, etc,) so you can open up, write review and post without being bogged down with technicalities
  • Clean up your tags, archives, books reviewed list, etc.
  • Improve your blog template, clean up sidebars, add a favicon, install those plugins that you’ve been meaning to do.
  • Add or edit your about me page, review policy, create landing pages (for example – an about me for Twitter readers page) or any other pages you might have.
  • Any bloggy type housekeeping that you’ve been neglecting.
  • Clean up and update your challenge lists.  Link up your posts with hosts.
  • Make sure all of your social network profiles are up to date.  Brand yourself through those profiles with color scheme, images, etc.
  • Go get a gravatar.
  • Visit the Blogging Tips group on the Book Blogs Ning and find ways to improve your blog.
  • Work on any specialized projects that you may have going.

So I’ve been working for around two hours so far (some yesterday, some this morning) cleaning up around here and in my blog reader.  I had almost 400 feeds in my reader and I’ve pared it down to a much more manageable 225 (and still counting) and am working on updating my sidebar.  I’ve also started several posts I’ve been meaning to write, with the intention of having them ready for brain-dead days when I can’t think of anything to post.   It was great having posts ready to go while I was on vacation – I could get spoiled to that!!  Look for more updates here as I continue to work.  Come Bloggiesta with me!!!

***UPDATE ONE***

I have now separated all my feeds into categories and put the feeds in their correct category. I have Author, Book, Food, Photography, Scrapbooking, and Miscellaneous Feeds.  So nice and clean and smooth! I love it!  Now I’ll just through one last time and make sure it’s perfect.  Oh, and read all the 1961 posts I have left to go.  It’s kinda rough to do this directly after vacation, but I guess it’s as good a time as any to get all caught up!

***UPDATE TWO***

Well, I got my sidebar prettyfied.  Next up will be linking up the books with their reviews.  And I’m thinking of instituting a new tradition around here…Forgotten Fridays…when I’ll post those reviews I somehow forgot to write.  That should take forever.

***UPDATE THREE***

I hate to admit it, but I petered out.  I guess I’m still tired from the ride home from vacation.  I hate long drives; they make me so tired!  But, I’d like to say here, since it came up in another post I saw somewhere, can’t remember, but if anyone would be interested in 1) doing a guest post for me or 2) me doing a guest post for YOU let me know! I’d love to do either one. :)

***UPDATE FOUR***

I am down to 134 posts to read in my reader!!! Squeee!!! I also completed Ruth’s Mini-challenge and graded my blog.  I got a 95!  Not too shabby!  Since WordPress.com is stupid and won’t let me use scripts, I guess you’ll have to take my word for it. *grumble*  Off to get the kids ready for church.  Happy Father’s Day!!!

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The Forest of Hands and Teeth

June 17, 2009 Book Reviews, Books 12

ForestThe Forest of Hands and Teeth
By Carrie Ryan
Official Carrie Ryan Website
Read An Excerpt HERE
Watch the Trailer HERE

It is becoming increasingly apparent to me that teenagers must love dystopian literature.  They just love a little apocalypse.  I’ve read some great YA books this year and it seems the best of them feature the world after some sort of cataclysmic end has occurred.  The Forest of Hands and Teeth is probably the most heartbreaking, yet hopeful one I’ve read yet.

Mary lives in a small village in the middle of a very large forest with her mother.  In many ways her life isn’t all that different from any other girl her age.  She helps with the chores.  She also has a brother, a sister-in-law and a best friend named Cassandra.  But then, she’s very, VERY different.  Her father went into the forest many days ago and she has all but given up hope of him coming home alive.  Her village is controlled by a totalitarian and very religious group called The Sisterhood and is surrounded on all sides by a fence; a fence that is designed to keep out the Unconsecrated – a mass of mindless undead, hungry for the living flesh that lives on the inside, and who were unleashed many, many years ago by a mysterious and catastrophic incident.

My mother used to tell me about the ocean. She said there was a place where there was nothing but water as far as you could see and that it was always moving, rushing toward you and then away. She once showed me a picture that she said was my great-great-great grandmother standing in the ocean as a child. It has been years since, and the picture was lost to fire long ago, but I remember it, faded and worn. A little girl surrounded by nothingness.

Mary is a great character.  Her mother has filled her head with tales of the ocean and the world before the Unconsecrated existed.  Like all teenagers, she’s willful and very stubborn, but she’s also a dreamer and a doer, someone who isn’t afraid to take a chance to get what she wants.   She dreams of seeing the ocean someday and there is nothing that will stand in her way. I would not have minded a little more strength in the secondary characters, but they were interesting in their own ways and were good supports for Mary.  She was definitely the most well drawn of them all.  She’s flawed, but you can’t help rooting for her.

This book starts with a bit of a bang (to put it mildly) and then it slows down a bit before speeding to the end.  I liked that slow build up, as I thought it was a story that needed that slow, paced build up to the climax.  There is a lot of background to get into, characters to meet, their history to learn, the history of the tiny village Mary lives in, the history of the Unconsecrated, the whole government, belief system and values to be set up…and I thought Ryan did a fantastic job.  The slowness didn’t bother me a bit, because I found it all so FASCINATING.  Even though the book is set in a very dystopian future, it felt very puritanical to me, which I liked about it.  It felt very Nathanial Hawthorne meets George Romaro.  But, please, please don’t let the “zombie” part put you off.  While there are a few parts that will have you on the edge of your seat, it’s not as scary as you might fear.  It’s not sugar-coated either, but really, I think you should give it a shot.   For a first novel especially, I thought the writing was good.  There were a few weak parts, a few questions I wouldn’t mind having answered, but I’m hoping they will be in the next part of the series.   If you enjoyed recent YA read The Hunger Games, you will definitely like this book.  I don’t compare the story or the writing, but more the FEELING I had reading each.   Both left me breathless and anxious for more.   The Forest of Hands and Teeth is nothing, if not a page-turner.

Also reviewed by:

Presenting Lenore | Today I Read… | Fantasy Book Critic | In Search of Giants | Karin’s Book Nook | Monsters & Critics | The Sleepy Reader | Becky’s Book Reviews | Teen Book Review | Wands and Worlds | Reading Rants! | Reading in Appalachia | Dear Author | Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review | The Book Bind | My Friend Amy | The Book Zombie |

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Guest Post – Kailana of The Written World

June 16, 2009 Books 7

When I asked Kailana if she could help a girl out with a guest post while I’m away at the beach, boy, she came through in spades.  Thanks Kailana, and everyone, enjoy this very special guest post!

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When Heather asked me to guest blog for her while she was away, I was very excited! There is nothing I like better lately than avoiding writing reviews. Well, if you read my blog, it sure seems that way, anyways. With the summer coming, I thought I would talk about summer reading.

anneI have seen a lot of posts on the subject. There have been lists, goals, piles, etc posted about on various blogs. I do no such thing. I can’t follow reading requirements during the winter, so thelord change in climate is not going to make it any easier for me. When I was a kid, though, I was all about setting ‘big’ goals for myself. One summer I read all eight of the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Another year, I tackled The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I didn’t keep track of what I read back then, but it was a lot. Summer vacation meant playing outside and having more time for reading than I did when I was in school. Now, summer just means that the nice weather is here. (We hope, anyway.)

This summer, I just want to have fun. I want to try and keep reading the numbers that I have been reading so far this year, though. That’s my main goal. I also really want to stop using the library as much as I have been and concentrate on reading my own books. I have a lot of ARCs and other review copies that I really want to read and haven’t had a chance to yet. One thing I started this year that I want to keep up is buddy reading and reviews. I have done it before, of course, but this year has been all about the reading together. Actually, by the time you read this post, there should have been a buddy review of a book that I read with Heather. None of my real life friends read as much as I do, and if they do, they live at least an hour away, so it is nice to read with other people in whatever way that is available. It’s also fun and different, so I strongly recommend it if you are looking for a new feature for your blog.

Do I have books that I really want to read this summer? Of course I do! But, if I list them than I am less likely to read them. Does this happen to other people? So, what are your summer reading goals? Do you have any? Do you have any plans for your children and their reading habits? I see that many libraries have programs for children during the summer. Let me know what your plans are and happy summer!

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So what did I take?

June 15, 2009 Books 11

By now I’m sitting on the beach, the salty wind in my hair and the sun warming my dark hair – I’m hoping it will lighten it a bit. I have a very liberal amount of sunblock slathered across my skin and I’m watching my equally slathered kids run and frolic in the sand and sea.

But what am I reading?

Well, as of Friday morning, when I wrote this post, this is what I had packed in my bag.

13luxesomeonemenbonesashesglassqueen
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes
  • The Luxe
  • Someone Like You
  • The Monuments Men
  • City of Bones
  • City of Ashes
  • City of Glass (I have a feeling I’m going to truck right on through all three of these, I am LOVING City of Bones)
  • Queen & Country

Is that not a gorgeous stack of books? So purttttty….

So, without a doubt, I’m reading one of those books.  I hope you guys have a great week! I have a few things scheduled to post while I’m gone, so come back!  It’s like I never left.

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Sunday Coveting

June 14, 2009 Books 9

I don’t know if these Sunday Coveting posts are a goo idea.  I post them and usually within a week or two, the books appear in my home and money leaves my bank account.  This is bad!!!

prettydead

Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block – The cover.  The cover is what is making me want this book.  That has got to be one of the best covers EVER. And Francesca Lia Block is usually just full  of win anyway.

Book Description:

Charlotte Emerson seems to have the perfect existence. She is enviably beautiful and lives alone in a mansion full of treasures and beautiful clothes, perched atop the cliffs of the Pacific Palisades. But Charlotte has been lonely and dead for almost a century. Now she might get a second chance at life.

sconesScones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland.  Again.  The cover.  It just screams READ ME.  Is that not the cutest cover ever?  *sigh* I am such a cover whore.

Book Description:

Polly Madassa is convinced she was born for a more romantic time. A time when Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables walked along the moors and beaches of the beautiful land, a time where a distinguished gentleman called upon a lady of quality and true love was born in the locked eyes of two young lovers.

But alas, she was not.

This, however, does not stop our young heroine from finding romance wherever she can conjure it up. So while Polly is burdened with a summer job of delivering baked goods from her parents bakery (how quaint!) to the people in her small beach town, she finds a way to force…um…encourage romance to blossom. She is determined to bring lovers, young and old, together…whether they want to be or not.

gracelingGraceling by Kristin Cashore because Kailana insists I need to read it.  And since she is one of my reading twins, I figure, yes, I do need to read it.  And yes, it’s another great cover, don’t you think?

Book Description:

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight–she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace–or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

 More Georgette Heyer!  I just don’t know which one to read next!  Any recommendations?  I think I can have Cotillion on my shelf somewhere, but other than that, I don’t know where to go next. Help!

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Wondrous Strange

June 13, 2009 Miscellaneous 9

Wondrous StrangeWondrous Strange
By Lesley Livingston
Harper Teen, December 2008
336 Pages
Young Adult/Fantasy
Rated 3.75/5 (Pretty good)

Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .

Seventeen-year-old Kelley Winslow is living and working in New York.  She’s just been moved up from the under-study of Titania in an off Broadway production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  She has a loving aunt and a decent roommate.  She has her feet firmly planted on the earth…things are going good.  Until one day while rehearsing in Central Park she meets steel-gray eyed Sonny Flannery, and nothing will ever be the same.

Sonny is a changeling, a mortal stolen by the fae and raised among them, and now one of the guards of the Samhain Gate.  The Samhain Gate is a gateway between the Faery world, an enchanted and dangerous place, and the mortal realm.  This gate only opens on Samhain – October 31 and anything can pass through.

This year, as the time for the opening of the gate approaches, something is different. Something wondrous and strange.  For Kelley’s eyes are not only opening to the Faery folk around her, but to her own birthright as well.

Needless to say, I really enjoyed this book.  It was slow to start, but once it got going, I found it to be an interesting and different take on the traditional Faery story.  I really liked the use of the Shakespearean play in context with the story going on around it.  Many of the characters are the same and I thought it added a nice little familiarity to the story.  It will remind you of Melissa Marr, Holly Black, and other such author’s works, but I think it’s different enough to be interesting.  It had its weak parts, like most first novels, but in the end I think Livingston pulled it out.  I’m definitely looking forward to the next one in the series.

When Kailana asked me if I wanted to co-read this book I jumped at the chance.  Not only did I want to read this book (I’ve had it for awhile) but I’ve never done a co-review before!!  I’m so excited!  Now, for Kailana’s questions for me.  Visit her site to see her review and my questions for her!

Who was your favourite secondary character in the book? Sonny.  Does he count, since Kelley is the MC?  I pick him anyway.  He was a really nicely drawn, conflicted character.  A lot of times, when characters “fall in love” almost immediately, it comes off as slightly unbelievable.  I think Livingston managed to do quite a feat, it making me believe that Sonny was falling for Kelley, after only meeting her once.  And he sounded pretty hot.  *wink*

Of the ‘Fair’ folk, what was your favourite?  Was it because of this book, or were they considered a favourite before? It’s kind of hard to pick.  I really enjoyed how Livingston tied in the new and the old mythical names.  I really liked Puck, Bob and/or Robin Goodfellow.  He was his usual mischievous self, like in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but he had another side here, a kind, protective side and I really enjoyed that.  I hope we see him again in the next book.  I also enjoyed his character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream… I like those mischevious faeries.  As long as they leave me alone.

Do you recommend this book?  Will you be reading more from the author in the future? I do.  I thought it was good fun and a nice, quick, light, summertime read.  I’m really looking forward to the next one; to see where she’s going to go with it.

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