Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall Into Reading 2010 Update


You may recall back on October 12, I stated how I was participating in Fall Into Reading 2010 hosted by Callapidder Days.

For my first reading challenge/read-a-thon, I'm mostly working on finding a decent amount of time to actually read. There have been a few hurdles since starting, and I'm not has far into my list than I wish I were. You see, since October 12, I've discovered NetGalley, a website where you can request digital ARCs from publishers. Well, you can bet that I signed up and did just that, and then had 6 new books in my possession to read.

This is a list of the digital ARCs I received from Net Galley:

From HarperCollins
Delirium - Lauren Oliver
Unearthly - Cynthia Hand
Once in a Full Moon - Ellen Schreiber

From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Little Prince Graphic Novel - Joann Sfar
The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group - Catherine Jinks
The Trouble with Chickens - Doreen Cronin

If you've noticed I've already read a couple of them. You can see the reviews for Once in a Full Moon here, and for The Little Prince here.

My Fall Into Reading list has to be altered a little since I now have those digital ARCs that I can read on the bus and at school between classes. So here is an updated list including what I've already read and am currently reading.
Read
Dimestore Magic - Kelley Armstrong (review)
The Little Prince Graphic Novel - Joann Sfar
Once in a Full Moon - Ellen Schreiber

Currently Reading
Kiss Me Deadly - edited by Trisha Telep
Unearthly - Cynthia Hand

To Read (by December 20, 2010)
Torment - Lauren Kate
Beautiful Darkness - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick
Delirium - Lauren Oliver
The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group - Catherine Jinks
The Trouble with Chickens - Doreen Cronin
Happy Ever After - Nora Roberts (out on Tuesday)

Wow, that list is so much more intimidating than when I first made it two and a half weeks ago! On that note, I should be off to do some homework so that I have time to do some reading before heading out for some Halloween festivities!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Come back tomorrow for my first ever In My Mailbox!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Review: Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber

Title: Once in a Full Moon
Author: Ellen Schreiber
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publish Date: December 28, 2010
Pages: 189 (Kindle edition)

Synopsis:
Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever.

Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves—Legend’s Run is famous for them. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight. Brandon may be Celeste’s hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend’s Run.

The bestselling Vampire Kisses author, Ellen Schreiber, weaves together psychic predictions, generations-old secrets, a town divided, and the possibility of falling in love with a hot and heroic werewolf—the perfect formula for what happens... once in a full moon.


To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about this book when I finished it. The story was good: short and sweet, and it was a different take on werewolves compared to the ones I've recently read.

The part I did not enjoy, however, was the writing. I felt as if there were too many words being repeated and like the vocabulary was not very diverse. The author would use the same words to describe the same things, over and over, and I found it tiring and boring at times. Also, the dialogue did not sound like the way teenagers actually talk. It felt too proper and almost fake a lot of the time.

Once I was able to get used to the writing and actually focus on the story, I enjoyed it. I could really feel how Celeste was feeling about being caught between her friends and the boy she loves. It really puts a strain on her because she doesn't want to lose her friends. I really liked the way Schreiber never made Celeste deliberately lie to her friends while hiding things from them. She would evade questions and tell half-truths, but never full-out lied, and that made me happy.

I won't put any spoilers here, but the end of the story was Oh-My-God! It was such a major cliff-hanger, I was almost angry. I sometimes like cliff-hangers, but this was one a little awkward. It ended really abruptly and I was confused as to whether it was the actual end of the book or not. I had to re-read the last chapter again because I thought I'd missed something. I didn't, though. I quickly looked up if Once in a Full Moon was part of a series, and it is the first in the Full Moon series. So, I guess I'll just have to read the next one, too, to see what happens.

Thanks to Net Galley and Harper Collins for the digital ARC!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: July 2, 2007
Pages: 485

Synopsis:
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know.... 

I definitely enjoyed this book. I admit it took me a little while to get into it. The beginning is slightly drawn out with random events happening, making you think "What on Earth is going on?" Of course, we eventually get to the part where there is a character who has all the answers and starts explaining things for our main character. But because Cassandra Clare has created such a wonderfully amazing and creative world, it does take a little while to explain which makes it feel drawn out once again.

Once everything's been explained, we jump into this new world with both feet. It seems like you're reading at the speed of light because so much is going on, but then you realize there's still so much to get through and you think "How is that still possible?", but then you're happy because you have more time to spend in this world than you thought.

As the pace continues as quickly as it has been, eventually the end comes to a near and then Cassandra does something unexpected to me: shakes everything up in ways you can't imagine until you read it. I can't believe what she did and being a romantic, she kind of lost some brownie points from me. Then she also left it off in a big cliff hanger.

In the end, this book has a wonderful story and Clare creates an amazing world that you are sad you can't be part of. I'm really excited to read City of Ashes and see what she will possibly do to wrap up what she left hanging before jumping into the next big adventure.


(This review was originally posted at my livejournal on September 10, 2010)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Review: The Little Prince Graphic Novel by Joann Sfar


Title: The Little Prince Graphic Novel
Author: Joann Sfar
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publish Date: October 18, 2010 (first published 2008 in French)
Pages: 112

Synopsis:
For over sixty-five years Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's
 'The Little Prince' has captured the hearts and minds of its readers. The whimsical story with a fairy tale touch has sold over 80 million copies in 230 languages. This exciting graphic adaptation features beautiful, new artwork by Joann Sfar. Hand-chosen by Saint-Exupéry's French publishers for his literary style and sensitivity to the original, Sfar has endeavored to recreate this beloved story, both honoring the original and stretching it to new heights. A vibrant, visual gift for longtime fans and those experiencing the story for the first time.
From Goodreads  

I read this story a few times while in elementary and secondary school. I also read it in French, and I've always thought it's better that way. Books and movies are always best in their original form and language in my opinion. Who care if it's a little harder?

This graphic version of the story was really cute. It was a quick sum up of the story and the illustrations really bring the words to life. Joann Sfar did an especially amazing job showing off the emotions portrayed throughout the story. Her exaggerated facial expressions made me laugh and want to cry. One thing that bothered me at times was when her illustrations would become a little more abstract. This portions of the novel didn't seem to fit very well with the rest of the graphics.

Overall, I found Sfar translated what Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wanted convey to his readers. It definitely reminded me of sitting in French class reading it with my classmates. It is quite well done.

I'd recommend this rendition for anyone who has read Antoine de St. Exupery's classic tale at any point in their lives and is interested in seeing the story in a different light.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall Into Reading 2010

Here is a post I made a few days ago in my livejournal that I wanted to cross-post over here. Check it out:

I just found out through Page Turners Blog, that there's this thing called "Fall Into Reading 2010" where people make lists of books they want to read between September 22, 2010 and December 20, 2010. And then do it.

This event is hosted by Callapidder Days and you can check out more info about it 
here.

I've never participated in any kind of Read-A-Thon, so I just decided "Hey, why not?" Chances are I won't be able to get through any of them because of school (currently in my thesis year in Psychology = hard core thesis paper to write). However, I want to.

My goal for Fall Into Reading 2010 is just to remember to take time for myself and read a book that I want to read, rather than textbooks all the time. So far I've been achieving this by reading for 15-20 mins every night before bed. Unfortunately for my sleep patterns, 15 mins soon turns into 30 mins, then 45 mins, then it's 1 o'clock which is later than I like to stay up during the week. So basically, it's going well.

I don't want to be too ambitious and make my list impossible to finish, but at the same time I think that'll be impossible in itself because there's lots of sequels coming out that I need to read ASAP.

These are the books that I want to get read before the end of Fall Into Reading 2010.

  • Dimestore Magic - Kelley Armstrong (currently reading)
  • Kiss Me Deadly - edited by Trisha Telep
  • Torment - Lauren Kate
  • Beautiful Darkness - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (out Oct. 12, 2010)
  • Crescendo - Becca Fitzpatrick (out Oct. 19, 2010)
  • Happy Ever After - Nora Roberts (out Nov. 2, 2010)
Six. Six is good. Six is potentially manageable. Wish me luck! And make sure to run over to Callapidder Days and see what they're all about!

Welcome Post!

Hello!

This is my first independent blog and I'm very excited to get it started. I have been doing some blogging on my livejournal for sometime and decided it was time to take that extra step and create somewhere I could review books and talk about some things I like. If you want to get a feel for the way I write my reviews, or just a better insight to me, you can still visit my livejournal here.

I hope to be able to put some pizazz in my blog in the near future. If I can figure it out, I'm planning to add my Twitter and my Goodreads pages. We'll see later on what else I can add to my blog to make it a bit more interesting!

I hope to keep you entertained and maybe even open you up to some new and exciting books and authors.

Read on!