Archive | November, 2012

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

18 Nov

Earlier this  year I totally fell in love with Maggie Stiefvater‘s The Scorpio Races,  so when I heard that she had a new release coming out this year I got pretty stoked. Alas, while The Raven Boys is definitely a solid read, it ain’t no Scorpio Races 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 etc.

Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love.

Blue comes from a family of bona fide psychics, and every single one of those kooky ladies has told her that if and when she kisses her true love he will die. If that isn’t a total teenage love life buzz kill, I don’t know what is, man. Every year Blue accompanies her mother to an ancient burial ground on the Corpse Road, a ley line of mystical energy where, once a year, the spirits of those who are going to die in the next year manifest. Being the only non-psychic in a family full of clairvoyants, Blue has never seen a single dang spirit, but this year she sees one: a boy named Gansey from Aglionby, the local prep school. MEANWHILE. Gansey, who is really rich and kind of oblivious as to how much richer he is than the rest of the world, is really obsessed with finding Glendower, some old magical Welsh king he believes to be buried on the ley line in Henrietta. (In other words, Gansey is kind of a crazy old crack pot mystical conspiracy theorist in a teenage body). He’s supported by a hodge podge of outcasts from Aglionby: Rowen, a surly dude who discovered his father’s dead body; Adam, hyper-intelligent and ambitious trailer trash scholarship student; and Noah, some weird smudgy kid who never eats and seems to have social anxiety. FATE means Blue is destined to get sucked into the Raven Boys quest for MAGIC. Cue: danger, romance, etc. etc. etc.

I will start by saying that when I first read the blurb of this book, I was a little backed off by the true love/destiny feel of it. It seemed like Stiefvater was maybe going to head back into purple melodrama territory, and I don’t like her writing as much when it’s in that camp. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall tone, which is one of preordained mystery, class tension, and of repression: repressed emotions, repressed energies, repressed sexuality, respressed secrets, and repressed MAGIC, all just waiting to boil over and explode. The romantic melodrama contained in the first sentence was all but absent, which was sweet, sweet relief.

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November 13 New Releases

13 Nov

A lot of stuff is being published today but only one of the titles remotely interests me (and that just because I’ve read some positive reviews).

Title: Black City
Author: Elizabeth Richards
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: Fantasy
Blurb: In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable–they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed–but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.
Excitement Factor: Yes Please!

Title: Reached
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Blurb: Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter. One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion. With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international–bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.
Excitement Factor: I have literally no interest in reading this trilogy, but it’s hella popular so I felt I’d be remiss in not including it.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

9 Nov

After finishing The Diviners (a.k.a. the best book ever) on the plane back to the wet coast, I was stuck with a dilemma: which of the three books in my back pack to read next? Because what I really wanted was to read the next book in the series, which obviously couldn’t happen since it isn’t written yet, I decided on the next best thing which was reading another book by Libba Bray. Don’t hurt yourself trying to find the logic, because it doesn’t exist. So, cheeks aglow from finishing a truly awesome book and maybe some tears from leaving my favorite city, I cracked open Beauty Queens.

This book begins with a plane crash.

(Ooooooh, a meta first sentence!)

When the survivors of the crash of Oceanic Flight…wait, no, that’s not right. When a plane full of beauty queens heading to the Miss Teen Dream pageant crashes on a desert island in the middle of who knows where, the survivors have to band together to, well, survive. Survive their total lack of food, survive monsoons, survive giant snakes that appear to be decomposing, and survive an appalling lack of cosmetic products. But when they notice flashing lights coming from the “volcano” and stockpiled weapons along with mountains of Lady ‘Stache Off, they begin to realize they may not be alone as they thought. Oh, and also, there sexy pirates that crash on the island. YES.

I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when, every time I saw this book on a shelf at the library or a book store, I thought to myself, “By golly I want to read that!” However, whatever I was expecting, it certainly wasn’t this over-the-top, campy satire that is Beauty Queens. In order to enjoy this book, an absolute suspension of disbelief must be exercised. Logic has no place here, and as long as you accept and embrace that this book is a pretty damn enjoyable ride. (Example: one of the characters has half of a seat-back tray stuck in her forehead for the entire book. There are some people who got bent out of shape over this because it just wasn’t realistic. To which I say: hahahahhahahahhaha.)

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November 6 New Releases

6 Nov

Title: Days of Blood & Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: fantasy
Blurb: Ar student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is–and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?
Excitement Factor: Yes, please! (I have been meaning to read the first book, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, for ages. I’ve heard nothing but good things. I need to get on that).

….And that’s all, folks. I don’t know if the publishing world is taking a collective nap this week since tomorrow is ELECTION DAY, but there is literally nothing all that interesting coming out other than this, at least not that I could find, anyways.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

5 Nov

Remember way back when I said I was super duper beyond excited to read Libba Bray‘s The Diviners? Well, that happened, and it was awesome. So awesome that when I left my library copy at home when I left to fly to New York I bought my own copy from the airport bookstore. Yes. I dug it so much that I couldn’t stand not being able to read it for a week and spent actual dollars on it.

In a town house at a fashionable address on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, every lamp blazes.

It’s the roaring twenties, and free-wheeling modern gal Evie O’Neill has been sent from small town Ohio to New York City to live with her uncle while a scandal she was involved in cools down. You see, Evie has a gift which allows her to see into people’s pasts by touching something that belongs to them and, being the attention-hog that she is, sometimes she hits the sauce a little too hard and whips out her gift, exposing secrets better left buried. Unfortunately for Evie (and fortunately for the reader!) Evie doesn’t have much hope of hiding her gift when she’s living with her uncle, curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult (i.e., the Museum of Creepy Crawlies) and the city is being haunted by Naughty John, a muy muy loco serial killing spirit made manifest by a poorly-timed Ouija game (yes! yes really! I love you, Libba Bray). Evie isn’t the only gifted teen being drawn into the supernatural maelstrom that is enveloping New York; as their stories begin to entwine, it becomes clear that Naughty John’s gruesome murders are just a small slice of a greater evil that is approaching and luring in the Diviners, one by one.

God, where to start. OK, how about this: I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK. It was one of those stellar bits of paper and glue that I couldn’t stop gushing about to everyone who had the misfortune of talking to me for more than two minutes. It has everything: mystery; plucky, dynamic characters; seriously SCARY parts (I actually had nightmares); and some VERY slow burning and STEAMY romance. And. AND. It’s Libba Bray, and she is one of my particular favorite writerly flavors.

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October 30 New Releases, only a billion years late

2 Nov

Hey, guys, hey! So, I dropped off the blogging universe for a while there. Between vacations and job applications and job interviews and etc. etc. etc. I just couldn’t get it together. So, without further ado, here are this week’s new releases that I am at least moderately stoked for:

Title: Rebel Heart
Author: Moira Young
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Blurb: It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise. What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.
Excitement Factor: OMG (Seriously, I have been waiting for this for freaking ever. I wish I could do some sort of magic spell to make my hold come in faster. Or I could, you know, buy it.)

Title: Ruins
Author: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Science Fiction
Blurb: When Rigg and his friends crossed the Wall between the only world they knew and a world they could not imagine, he hoped he was leading them to safety. But the dangers in this new wallfold are more difficult to see. Rigg, Umbo, and Param know that they cannot trust the expendable, Vadesh—a machine shaped like a human, created to deceive—but they are no longer certain that they can even trust one another. But they will have little choice. Because although Rigg can decipher the paths of the past, he can’t yet see the horror that lies ahead: A destructive force with deadly intentions is hurtling toward Garden. If Rigg, Umbo, and Param can’t work together to alter the past, there will be no future.
Excitement Factor: Maybe, if I’ve got nothing better on my shelf.

And that’s it, folks. Honestly, I think Rebel Heart has me so excited I can’t even think about anything else.