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Win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ends 2/20)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Books by its Cover August Winner

Week 1:
What’s black and white and re(a)d all over?
The king came before the pawn.

review of the Twilight Saga
(a reader alerted me that it's a queen, not a king so I feel really stupid now lol I'm sorry to those who thought it was Breaking Dawn, but my mistake of queen/king screwed you over! Also several of you spelled Stephenie wrong ;)

Week 2:
Why did the wolf cross the woods?
To meet the girl in green.

my rant of Linger

Week 3:
Why are your eyes so red Mr. Wolf?
The better to look at you Little Miss Red
with your cloak to hide.

review of Sisters Red

Week 4:
Hey, you! You with the blond hair
Yeah you in the blue!
What’s that in your head?
Are those…horns?

We had 116 entries and only 4 of them were wrong this month! Everyone's getting better at this! And the winner is...Marg K.!! (gosia...) Please email me your address Marg. I do not plan to hunt you done.

Next Saturday we're starting a new contest. The prize will be my ARC of Dangerous Neighbors so be on the lookout for that! Since everyone did extremely well this month that means I'm making it too easy for you ;) Just in case it's the latter, next month is going to *hard*

Monday, August 30, 2010

"No Mercy" Trailer

No Mercy (Dark-Hunter Novels)Available September 7th from St. Martin's Press is #1 New York Times bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon's latest release in her widely loved Dark-Hunter series, 'No Mercy'.

"Live fast, fight hard and if you have to die then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there's a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she's ever faced before....."

Manga Monday: 1/2 Prince

1/2 Prince by Yu Wo (author) and Choi Hong Chong (illustrator)

Genre: Gender Bender, Shounen, Drama, Action, Romance, Comedy, Fantasy
Art: 5 stars
Plot: 3 stars
Characters: 2.5 stars
Serialized: a magazine in China (I forget the name)

Have you played the RPG Ragnarök? If so 1/2 Prince is like the manga version of it. There are various guilds, classes, tradesmen, and monsters.
"It is the year 2100A.D. and humans have invented a virtual reality game called "Second Life". Feng Lan, due to a bet with her brother, vows to beat him in the game. Thus, she becomes the first transgendered character in "Second Life", in other words, she is the only person who is the opposite gender in the game from her real life. As her popularity rises because of her looks, skills and team mates, can she keep her identity a secret from her loved ones and friends to prevent trouble?"
1/2 Prince was hilarious in the beginning, like LOL, pee-in-your-pants, funny, but now it's starting to drag with no actual direction in the plot. It might be because it's releasing every every month (a chapter) or if the author lost his focus along the way. The novel is further along than the manga, but I like the pictures so I'm trying not to spoil myself (but it's too late I guess since I know the ending... xD)

from a 1/2 fan art book

Sunday, August 29, 2010

School Tomorrow!


The battle plan: survive first day and make me friends/acquaintances who will help me survive the rest of the semester! 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Books by its Cover Week 4

Week 4:
Hey, you! You with the blond hair
Yeah you in the blue!
What’s that in your head?
Are those…horns?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dust by Joan Frances Turner Giveaway

To celebrate the upcoming release of DUST by Joan Frances Turner, Penguin Ace has kindly offered 3 copies up for grab!

Nine years ago, Jessie had a family. Now, she has a gang.

Nine years ago, Jessie was a vegetarian. Now, she eats very fresh meat.

Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. Nine years ago, Jessie was human.

Now, she’s not.

After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights. She loves the ancient, skeletal Florian and his memories of time gone by. She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs.

But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death. As bits and pieces of the truth fall around Jessie, like the flesh off her bones, she’ll have to choose between looking away or staring down the madness—and hanging onto everything she has come to know as life…

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dangerous Neighbors

Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart

Source: ARC from Egmont

Grade: 3.8 stars out of 5
After Anna's death, Katherine continues to blame herself for not being there to protect Anna, for giving up on her too soon, for losing a twin that was her closest friend. She revisits old place and new wonders at the Philadelphia Centennial fair of 1876 while running away from Bennett, Anna's lover, of a message he wants to deliver for he is a dangerous neighbor that her Papa warned them about. But Katherine has to face him eventually and now is better than later.

And then there is William. 
Dangerous Neighbors has an intimate narration that conveys a deep sense of remorse and sadness like a constant rain cloud looming over the reader. Even the most cheerful scenes is told in mourning. Perhaps by reading novel on the day predicted for a thunderstorm I was already tired before reading, but something about Dangerous Neighbors had me gently lolling off every so chapters.

For a short novel, a novella really, Dangerous Neighbors manages to fill its space as well as any 300 paged novels, and compared to some, even better. It is compact for easy access and easy carry.

The past—before Anna's death—and the present—after Anna's death— eventually blurred for me. Sometimes I find it frustrating, but the majority of the time I feel it portrays what Katherine must feel. Stuck in some form of limbo. Yet the past showcases Anna in a light that I found displeasing to read. She was incredibly selfish and self-centered that I neither pity her nor like her. Yet it makes me wonder if love can make one so incredibly selfish. It was all-consuming love that was told from the sister's point of view therefore it does nothing to the reader; I did not sigh, smile, or tsk tsk the happy couple. I was not present in those moments. Anna, in my eyes, will continue to be that selfish girl and despite being a twin to Katherine, shows a level of maturity several years younger. Katherine on the other hand is middle-aged. She is the responsible type yet appears to be lost without Anna.

Dangerous Neighbors is a well-written novella that goes in-depth describing the fair as well as letting go some of the past for the future. This was my first Beth Kephart novel, but it will definitely not be my last.

Cover B+

You can order Dangerous Neighbors: Amazon / IndieBound / Book Depository

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

John Belushi is Dead

John Belushi is Dead by Kathy Charles

Source: MTV/Galley Books

Grade: 4 stars out of 5
Hilda and best friend Benji are obsessed with celebrity deaths. One celebrity death leads them to an apartment room of Hank, an odd old bat. Hilda becomes attached to Hank in his sad, solitary room and a level of understanding when he presents her a tile from Jayne Mansfield’s pool. One day as she stops by his apartment to share in their enjoyment of old American classic films she finds not Hank in her room, but Jake—Hank’s downstairs neighbor. Jake is a 19-year-old high school dropout, Hollywood screenwriter, whose ambition led him where he is today. Jake it seems has been taking care of Hank, but Hilda is the only who will get all of Hank’s secret: One haunting enough to try to commit suicide. 
John Belushi is Dead is so different from the YA novels I have read so far yet it is not. What makes the novel so different are the characters: Benji, Hank, Jake, and Hilda. I find them all so completely fascinated that I would not mind if my jaw hangs open.

Benji and Hilda are fascinated with death and with Benji that obsession borders on insanity. With Hilda death provides a sense of comfort that is chilling: “Death didn’t just come for me, or my parents, it came for everyone: the rich and famous, the beautiful and privileges. The though made me relax, and I imagined the relief I felt was similar to the feeling some people got when they cut themselves” (page 53).

Hank has his own secrets that won’t necessarily surprise you, but leaves you with a fulfilled answer and a deeper depth of gratitude. Whereas Jake is slightly different than your typical male hero. He is far from the perfect man or gentlemen, but there is an instant connection, a level of comfortableness, and a wholesomeness about him that doesn’t have the need to fill the void of silence. Like Hilda says, being around him brings forth a lightness you won’t find in the many other characters in the novel.

One thing that is both an asset and a frustration was the numerous recounts of celebrity deaths. I particularly do not care for such facts, but if you are interested then John Belushi is Dead  is full of them! But this was a big part of Hilda’s personality so I was quite happy with the research done.

What makes John Belushi is Dead  so addictive was not for the plot, but the characters. Hilda may be obsessed with celebrity deaths, but I am obsessed with her and wherever her journey took me.

Side note, a quote that made my eyes boggled: "what the hell do ya think I'm gonna do? My cock's been useless for years. I'm lucky to get any piss out of it, let alone make it stand to attention long enough to get ym rocks off" (page 73—Hank).

Cover A
I absolutely love this cover. The back cover shows the bottom half of the model and while I do not think that is what Hilda wears, it is great fashion

Order your copy: Amazon / Indie Bound / Book Depository

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Aces Up

new cover
Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt

Source: ARC won from Random Buzzers

Grade: 3 stars out of 5
When Shannon Card (yup her last name is Card and this is a book about Poker) is forced to get a job to pay for college, she gets an invitation to join Aces Up. Getting a fake ID and a fake birth certificate is one thing to get a waitressing job at a casino, it is another thing to pay a game of poker with stakes as high as thirteen million dollars.
How do you review a book where you have no reaction after finishing the book? Tell me because I have no clue how so I am just going to babble on about Aces Up. The biggest confusion I have of this novel is the takeaway or just the feeling I’m left with after the novel. I don’t exactly feel relieved, elated, or any of the positive energies. Ehhhh. Then there is the whole moral of the story: “Cheaters never win”—okay.

I feel as though I am not giving credit where credit is due. The solid framework was there, but the execution felt like dipping your toe into the pool and not plunging yourself in. I hesitate over Max and Shannon—best friends turned crushes turned awkwardness—that made me think of second helpings or leftovers. I needed more exaggeration with the inner turmoil to be sympathizing to Shannon. I got tired of the secondary characters because frankly I don’t know what to think of them. The ending was rather appropriate and realistic, but had that extra layer of cheese that made me roll my eyes.

For now I’ll leave it as a big ? with Aces Up.

Cover B-/C+
While I do think the new cover is prettier, the old cover represents the book better.

Aces Up is out now: Amazon / Indie Bound / Book Depository

old cover

Monday, August 23, 2010

Manga Monday: Houou Gakuen Misoragumi

indigo haired person is Kei
Houou Gakuen Misoragumi by Aki Arata

Genre: Gender Bender (hm I seem to read a lot of these), Shoujo, Romance, Comedy
Art: 4.8 stars
Plot: 3.5 stars
Characters: 3 stars

Kei hates men whenever she's near men she throws up. Instead her appearance is that of a men where she tries to find someone (a girl) who might like her back. However she is tricked by her mother to enroll in an all boys school thinking she'll be going to a co-ed school. Being surrounded by hot guys might appeal to some girls, but to Kei this is further from the truth.

This is like Ouran High School Host Club combined with The Wallflower. Ensue: funny. Manga is only 4 volumes so thankfully nothing drags!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

F**k You (the Song)

Dear life,

F**k you.


Misery loves company and for some odd reason this song cheers me up. I think it's the catchy beat--it's really catchy! Song is by Cee-lo (from Gnarles Barkley) so enjoy (or not) because I will be listening to this song for the rest of the week:

P.S. If this offends somebody, I really didn't mean to.

Bargain Books (10)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Books by its Cover Week 3

Week 3:
Why are your eyes so red Mr. Wolf?
The better to look at you Little Miss Red
with your cloak to hide.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Vampires Suck, the Movie - Review

Have you ever watched a movie where all the funny stuff happens in the trailer!? Yeah well Vampires Suck is that movie. I watched the movie with my brother (because he hates all things Twilight) and we had some laughs. We had those exact same laughs while watching the trailer, see below:

I was damn pissed. The overall movie is nothing impressive with more embarrassing mortification than laugh-out-loud funny. There are so many potholes that I think you can fall through. I love parodies when done right and this was done wrong! It felt like a feature length YouTube video with better camera angles than anything.

  • The characters were spot on trying to impersonate the Twilight cast. Rebecca? She blinks and twitches as often as Kristen Stewart when playing Bella.
  • They made fun of Fox News! Yay! I hate Fox News!
  • There were some good songs. I am thinking of looking them up later.
  • Team Edward vs. Team Jacob FTW!
  • It showcased the Vampire Diaries book *beams with pride*
  • I can’t tell if they were making fun of the Twilight movies special effects or they just didn’t have any. On the fence with this one.
  • You can clearly tell where the foundation line ended and where the natural skin-tone began.
  • I don’t get why the werewolves didn’t you know…shift! Jacob turns into a Chihuahua and the rest of them dances with jean short-shorts. But does the rest of the pack not transform!?
  • Why happened to Angela? Did she get so little screen time that I completely missed her?
  • The ending. W.T.F. That doesn’t even make sense.
2 stars

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blog Tour: Maid of Murder

Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower

Source: author for blog tour

Grade: 3.3 stars out of 5
India Hayes has been a bridesmaid several times already (but never the bride), but this wedding may be the most exciting yet. The bride—a childhood friend of India’s—Olivia Blocken is killed just before her wedding and the main culprit is her brother who asked Olivia to meet him by the fountain just before her death. All the trails lead up to Mark: ex-boyfriend still pining for Olivia and a rendezvous that led to death, but India is determined that Mark had nothing to do with Olivia’s death. 
Maid of Murder, while it may sound odd, biggest asset for me was not the murder mystery, but the cats. That’s right: the cats. Not just ‘a’ cat, but two cats: Templeton and Theodore. Two freaking awesome cats that duke it out in the bedroom with claws and biting fur flying everywhere. Before you call PETA on me, I am not into animal cruelty, but this scene was freaking hilarious. Or maybe it was just the dialogue that was funny?

Okay, back to the novel. The mystery aspect as very straight-forward and is a classic mystery—one that I already solved when all the characters were introduced mind you. There is no extremely challenging or “original” I could say to Maid of Murder, but it still provided a light-hearted (as far as a murder mystery can be light-hearted), delightfully fun read.

The characters themselves were caricatures: exaggerated, bigger-than-life, but funny as heck. We have Ina, the landlord for our heroine, so proud of her Irish heritage that her apartment is completely green and her lawn covered her ornaments. The parents: the mother is a Reverend and the father fell down the roof paralyzing his lower half, but they are both huge activists. Picket signs, chaining themselves to trees, chants, the whole shebang. The sister: pregnant with twin girls and very loud. What’s not to love?

In all, Maid to Murder is a well-paced mystery novel that is humorous, but still leaves lingering desires for a sequel.

Cover C-

You can find more information about the tour and the next stops at the author's website.

1. Your novel features two cats that held my undivided attention from the start. Can you tell me a little more about your cats and if they were your inspiration of Theodore and Templeton?
I’ve received so many compliments about my cat characters, and I’m thrilled because they are two of my favorite characters in the book too. Both cats are based on my own cats. Templeton is based on a black cat that I had growing up, and Theodore is based on a Maine Coon cat I’ve had since I was fifteen. He’s now fifteen-years-old himself, and in his prime, he tipped the scale at twenty-seven pounds. He now weighs eighteen due to old age and a strict diet. Unlike Templeton and Theodore, my two cats grew up together and rarely fought. However when they did it was usually an all out war as I described in the novel.
2. Are you an avid fan of crime solving dramas? What is your favorite? I'm partial to NCIS.
Right now, my favorite crime solving show is Castle on ABC. It’s about a mystery writer who helps the police solve crimes. The characters are quirky, and I love the banter between the main characters. During the opening credits, the main character does a voiceover that says, “There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers.” Every time I hear that I chuckle because it’s true.
3. Do you see a little of yourself in India Hayes? After reading your biography I realize that you both are academic librarians for a small college.
It’s true India and I share the same occupation, and I do see some of myself in her. For one, we both share a heartfelt affection for flip-flops. As far as her occupation goes, many things that happen to her in the library have happened to me. We differ the most in our personalities. India’s phlegmatic and takes all of the craziness that happens around her in stride. I wouldn’t be that calm about it. I certainly would never try to solve a real murder. I’d happily let the police do that.
4. Where is your favorite destination to travel?
This is a tough question because I’ve been to so many wonderful places all over the U.S. and the world. If I had to pick, I’d say America’s National Parks. I have a National Park passport that I get stamped at every park I visit. I have friends who can attest to the crazy lengths I will go for a National Park stamp. I started visiting the parks because I read Nevada Barr’s mysteries. Her protagonist is a park ranger. Because I enjoyed her books so much, I wanted to see the places she described so beautifully. I’ve been to many of the big parks, such as the Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Arches, but I’ve also visited many of the lesser known ones. This summer, I visited Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I loved it and am ready to go back.
5. And a little something odd to keep you on your toes ;) If you were to find yourself killed, would you rather come back as a: ghost; vampire; zombie; werewolf?
A ghost? Naw—too spooky.
A vampire? Nope—too toothy.
A zombie? Pass—too creepy.
A werewolf? No, thanks—too furry.
Thank you for the interview, Yan!