Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Author: Marissa Meyer  website | twitter
Published: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Format: Nook Ebook (275 pages)
Source: Purchased, $9.99

Cinder is set in a futuristic world where all of that lovely future tech you see in Hollywood movies really exists. Cinder is a young, teenage cyborg who is also a gifted mechanic. Because of her mechanical parts, she’s considered a second-class citizen and the property of her evil stepmother. Her life is nothing glamorous -- at least, until Prince Kai enters the picture -- but she is by no means a meek, subservient type of character.

Some of the things I love about Cinder are her: sarcasm, selflessness, bravery, and strength. There are insecurities that she struggles with, but she doesn’t let them get the best of her. The romance between Cinder and Prince Kai is one of the highlights of the book. He’s charming and kind, torn between duty and his own desires. No love triangle in sight.

The worldbuilding is fascinating, but I can tell this is a novel that aims to set the scene for more novels in the same world without giving too much away. Some of these questions, I believe, will be answered in upcoming installments in the series. The Big Reveal is very obvious and though I found myself guessing the outcome from the very first clue, I didn’t mind. It was still interesting to find out how the characters discovered things that the reader already knows and how they react to them. I will definitely be checking out the next book in this series.

Prequel to Cinder: Glitches
Read the 1st chapter of Cinder: Chapter One FREE!

Do you like re-tellings? What are some of your favorite re-tellings or reboots?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Book Review: How to Date an Alien by Magan Vernon

Author: Magan Vernon  website | twitter
Published: December 5th, 2011
Publisher: Darkside Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Nook Ebook (449 pages)
Source: Purchased, $2.99

Alex Bianchi hopes that interning at her dad’s classified military base will make her college application to Columbia stand out from the rest of the crowd. What she doesn’t know, but is about to find out, is that Circe Operations Center is actually an alien operation center where human and aliens live and work together on a daily basis.

At the beginning of the book Alex discovers that all sorts of different aliens live among us on Earth. There’s something of a hierarchy among the different alien races and the Caltians, the race of aliens that Ace is a part of, are sort of like the popular kids from high school. Throughout the book Alex spends increasingly less time with her fellow human interns and starts spending more time with her alien co-worker, Ace; the mysterious guy who keeps showing up to save her life.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

Small Review is hosting a fantastic event called Busting the Newbie Blues. It is a great way to increase blogger interaction and to start discussions about being a newbie in the book blogging world.

When did you start your blog?
About one week ago now, on December 26, 2011.

Why did you start your blog?
I read so many great books last year, so many Young Adult ones that I really wanted to talk about. Most of my friends and family don't read YA books and I told myself to get used to the fact that I wouldn't be able to talk about most of the amazing things I read with real, actual people. Then, late last year, I discovered Goodreads and Blogger and I found out that this whole, amazing world of other YA readers existed right under my nose. I just had to be a part of it.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Getting everything set up! I discovered that there are so many different decisions to make when setting up your blog. Layout. Branding. Social Media. I'll still be working on the layout off and on for a while, I'm sure. Actually posting something, whether it's a review or a meme or this survey, is still pretty intimidating. 

What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
Sometimes I feel self conscious because I am an older blogger reviewing mostly Young Adult books. I am trying to get the hang of using social media networks like Twitter, Goodreads, and Google + to also interact with fellow book lovers, but sometimes it is discouraging because it is so new to me.

What do you find most encouraging?
I have already met so many great bloggers and found so many great events to participate in.

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
I love blogs like Small Review that post reviews but really also try to encourage conversation and discussion. Sometimes she will leave leading discussion questions at the ends of reviews, like this one. She has amazingly fun things to read like whole posts on Discussion and Review Comparisons. I might try to ask more discussion questions at the ends of some of my reviews. After all, that is what I am here for.

What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
Playlists, music, and widgets that auto-play when you load a page.  I definitely avoid using these things on my own blog.

Any advice for other new bloggers?
Oh gosh! I am still so new myself. With all of one week's worth of blogging wisdom beneath my belt I would say just have fun. Read other blogs to see how they operate, comment often, and have a good time. Oh, and always use the Preview button. 

Any questions you'd like to ask newbie or established bloggers?
So many! How do you schedule ahead (what types of posts/how much a head of time, etc.)? How do you encourage discussion on your blogs?
ETA: I have thought of another burning question! Spoilers! I have found that a lot of reviews on the blogs I've been reading don't warn for the amount of spoilers that will be in the reviews. Do you just assume that, when reading a book review, you will basically be spoiled for the entire book? Is it okay to talk about specific spoilers in comments (even if the review contains no specific spoilers and leaves things vague)? Or would you not want to in case you spoil someone else reading the comments for the ending or something? I love to talk about books, but I don't want to leave spoilery comments if that is something that is just Not Done.

Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog? Feel free to link a few of your favorite posts or posts you wish had more comments.
I am a challenge collector. I can't seem to be able to stay away from them. Even now, I see new ones I want to sign up for. These are the ones that have already caught me in their webs of excitement. Feel free to drop by any time to encourage me or kick my butt or to just mock me in general.

Thank you for reading ♥

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes  website | twitter
Published: December 27th, 2011
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Format: Nook Ebook (237 pages)
Source: Purchased, $11.29

On every other day, Kali D’Angelo can pass for a normal teenage girl. Sure Kali’s mother took off when she was only three and she doesn’t have the most stellar relationship with her father, but she’s still more or less human. At least that’s what she wants everyone to believe. Because every other day at dawn, Kali turns into a super-fast, decidedly non-human hunter of preternatural beings that may or may not be listed on the endangered species list.

Kali’s status as a social unknown takes a drastic turn toward the spotlight when she is befriended by Skylar Hayden. Skylar is eternally optimistic, even when she finds herself in the crosshairs of the school’s cheerleading team. Kali’s plans to keep the normal and and not so normal parts of her life separate are shot to bits when she notices an ouroboros symbol on the small of Bethany Davis’ back. The same Bethany Davis who is the daughter of her father’s colleague, dating Skylar’s brother, and one of the school’s resident mean girls.

Monday, December 26, 2011

2012 Reading Challenges

This will be my first year participating in any online reading challenges. This will also be the first full year that this blog has been opened and I can't think of a better way to break it in. There are a lot of great challenges floating around and I encrouage you to take up any that might interest you.