Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (56)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Katsa (Graceling by Kristin Cashore)
The ultimate kick-ass heroine, in my opinion, Katsa is fiercely loyal, strong, passionate, and brave. 

2. Fire (Fire by Kristin Cashore)
Fire has a sort of quiet strength that is so admirable. She overcomes every obstacle that is thrown in her way. 

3. Bitterblue (Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore)
Bitterblue grows up with infinite responsibility on her shoulders, having to figure out how to fix her kingdom and how to be an adult essentially on her own. 

4. Vera (Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King)
Vera's voice is what drew me into the story. She's sarcastic and smart, and some part of her keeps fighting even with the weight of Charlie's death and her parents' legacies on her shoulders.

5. Mara (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin)
Mara is just really, really cool. I love her sarcasm and her loyalty to her family. She's compassionate- really, she has a huge heart.

6. Audrey/Victoria (Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway)
Both have their own brand of sarcasm. I love Victoria's never-ending loyalty and her list-making, while I love Audrey's confidence and music-taste. 

7. Art (Piratica by Tanith Lee)
Piratica: Being a Daring Tale of a Singular Girl's Adventure Upon the High Seas (Piratica, #1)
She wrangles up a crew and becomes a pirate captain. Um, does this really need any more explanation??

8. Helen (Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner)
Helen is the embodiment of girl power. I mean, just look at that title. It has that perfect balance of strength and sass.

9. Gemma (A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray)
I always felt that Gemma starts off as insecure, and develops this amazing strength over the course of the trilogy. She has her flaws, but they don't impede her.

10. Elizabeth (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
Do I have to explain this one? Why don't I just direct you to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries?

Honorable mentions: Jo (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott), Beka (Terrier by Tamora Pierce)

Who do you consider to be a kick-ass heroine?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review: Erasing Time by C.J. Hill

Monday, October 29, 2012
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Katharine Tegen Books
Series: Standalone
Website: http://www.epicreads.com/books/erasing-time/9780062123923/
Source: Won from GoodRead's FirstReads 
Erasing Time
One day, Sheridan is sitting in her room, asking her genius twin sister, Taylor, to tutor her. The next second, both she and Taylor are hundreds of years in the future. She doesn't know what to believe or who to trust, although Echo, the young historian, is quite alluring. The only thing that Sheridan knows for certain is that they're trapped in the future and a city run by a dangerous government... not to mention, crime bosses.

Erasing Time was a very unique take on the typical dystopian novel. It has the usual features- controlling government, crazy fashion, rebel groups, advanced science- but with a twist: Sheridan and Taylor are from our time period but are brought into the future. The time divide was amusing, especially with the changes in language. I thought that the language Hill created was one of the coolest, most inventive parts of the novel.

There is definitely a lot at stake in this book, and there's enough suspense to keep things interesting, not to mention a few plot twists. (Even if they were a bit predictable.) What's more important than the action in this book, though, is the dynamic between Taylor and Sheridan, and the ideas that are brought up. (The importance of arts is discussed, as well as religion.) That's not to say that there isn't plenty of fast-paced, heart-thumping scenes, because there are.

What I wasn't a fan of was the instalove between Echo and Sheridan. On one hand, I understand that Sheridan feels lost and alone and Echo is supportive and kind (not to mention good-looking), but finding a boyfriend really wouldn't be my first priority if I was trapped in a dangerous city, in the future, with the government after me. And Echo's reasoning for the whole relationship was just kind of screwy. I didn't feel the romance was necessary at all, really, and because of the lack of development, I couldn't support it.

One of the great aspects of this book is that it's a very easy read. Not to mention, it's a standalone! Basically, if you're looking for something that isn't too heavy with sci-fi and realistic time travel, this is for you. Just don't go into it expecting too much.
*3.5 stars*
If you liked these, you'll like this: Scored by Lauren McLaughlin, Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
What's your favorite time travel read? Any good recs?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

In My Mailbox (56)

Sunday, October 28, 2012
IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to share what books you've bought/borrowed/received in the past week!
As always, my apologies for the terrible photo quality.

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
A gift from my really awesome cousin! Thank you so much!!! 
I LOVED Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and Ask the Passengers looks just as good!

In the Mail:
Big Splash and Quick Fix by Jack O. Ferraiolo
A surprise package from Abrams/Amulet books! Thank you! (:
I haven't read middle grade in forever and these look hysterical!  Plus, Jeff Kinney endorsed them, so I'm more than game!

Weekly Recap




What have you been up to this week? Get any good books?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bookish Buys: Necklaces and Nooks (Not that kind)

Friday, October 26, 2012
Each Friday I'll post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items.  

Cozy Shelf
A reading nook in your bookshelf! Convenient, if a little expensive.

Childrens Teeter Totter Bookshelf
Sea Saw Book End
A perfect gift for a little brother or sister!

Reading Rubber Ducks
I just thought these were really cute! haha

And In That Moment, I Swear We Were Infinite Necklace Hand Stamped Necklace The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Perks of Being a Wallflower Necklace
Perks fans, have you seen the movie yet? (You really, really should.) Why not wear this when you go?

Find any cool book items this week? 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meeting J.K. Rowling

Thursday, October 25, 2012
I grew up with the Harry Potter books and yes, I was that kid. The one who was absolutely, positively, completely and utterly obsessed. My HP swag collection is embarrassingly big and I've read all of the books multiple times, especially The Prisoner of Azkaban. When I was in elementary school and reading the series, my mom would have to force to me to stop reading and do basic activities such as, you know, eating, bathing, or sleeping. J.K. Rowling has been my idol my whole life so when I found out she was making a U.S. stop, I had to go. But there were only 1100 tickets! (Kinda... you've probably heard about the ticket mix-up.) Luckily, that really awesome brother I've mentioned a few times got me tickets for my birthday!
Anxiously waiting for Jo...

I was in the third tier, but when J.K. Rowling walked on that stage I was overwhelmed. After all these years of dreaming of meeting her, there she was in the same room as me!! Everyone gave her a standing ovation and as I stood I kind of froze, I was in such shock. (Honestly, I couldn't believe that it was really happening.) And yes, I cried. Not ugly crying, just a tear or two, but it was so-happy-I-don't-know-what-else-to-do crying. 

Ms. Rowling being brilliant,.

Once she sat, Ann Patchet started off the Q&A session. She didn't ask a lot of questions, because they fell into talking about other stuff, but I found that much more interesting, anyway! J.K. Rowling is really witty and brilliant! I wish I could remember every word she said. Here's one funny moment:

Ann: Since I own a bookstore, we sell 50 Shades of Gray-
Jo: It's porn.
Ann: Well, I have nothing wrong with porn, just that it's poorly written.
Jo: That's porn!

Ms. Rowling also said that she is currently working on something new (yay!) and that it's a children's book (everyone cheered)!!!! I will read whatever she writes. Seriously.

One of my favorite questions she was asked was what fantasy world we she love to live in. Her first answer was Hogwarts, but she said that she had lived there for nearly seventeen years. So instead she chose the world of The Little White Horse, which is a favorite of hers. (She even mentioned it in Conversations with J.K. Rowling!)

Basically, she was charming, brilliant, witty, wonderful- they say you should never meet your heroes, because they'll fall short of your expectations, but J.K. Rowling was exactly how I imagined she'd be. I'd say she was even more fantastic.

Once the question-and-answer session was essentially over, she read a passage from The Casual Vacancy. Of course, it was brilliant, as is the rest of the book so far! I've only read the first part (about 70 or so pages), but that's because I won't take my copy outside the house, since it's signed. Which brings me to my next part of the story...

The signing.

My brother and I were in the third tier so we had to wait for everybody in the orchestra, first tier, and second tier to go, which took about two hours. (So worth it.) When my row was finally called, I don't think I've ever been so nervous. Inside I was a jittery mess, but once we finally got to the roped off section where we were to be handed our books, I turned sheet white because...

J.K. Rowling was right there.
Not the best focused picture, but guys, that's her!!!! She really seemed to glow.

At long last it was my turn to get my book signed. I had about five seconds to convey to J.K. Rowling everything that she means to me without completely embarrassing myself/freezing up/bawling/wetting my pants. (Just kidding... kind of.) Shaking and more scared than I've ever been in my entire life, I approached her. She looked right at me and said, "Hello, sweetie," in the kindest way. Keep in mind that she'd signed more than a thousand people's books already and she was still just as friendly to me as I presume she had been to the first person. My voice was probably three octaves higher than usual when I said, "Thank you so much for everything. You're my role model." J.K. Rowling seemed genuinely touched and she said, "Aw, thanks," and gave me a really nice smile! Then Lincoln Center's workers were handing me my book, which I promptly clutched to my chest. There may have been a few more happy tears as my brother and I left the theater.
It was really the best night of my entire life.

If you could meet any author, who would you choose? 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (55)

Monday, October 22, 2012
Top Ten Books to get in the Halloween Spirit
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)
3/5 Ghosts
2. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (out today!)
The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)
5/5 Ghosts
3. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)
Scare-o-meter: .5
3.5/5 Ghosts
4. The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)
4/5 Ghosts
5. The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)
2/5 Ghosts... but c'mon guys, it's HP. Wizards, witches, magic, ghosts! It's perfect for Halloween.
6. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)
Scare-o-meter: .5
3.5/5 Ghosts
7. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)
2/5 Ghosts (This one isn't really a "scary" book, although it does have zombies. What makes it Halloween perfect is its Gothic, dark tone! And zombies.)
8. Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor
Killer Pizza (Killer Pizza #1)
Scare-o-meter: .5
2/5 Ghosts (This has suspense, but mostly it's fun!)
9. Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman
Full Tilt
Scare-o-meter: .5
4.5/5 Ghosts
10. Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Scare-o-meter: .5
3.5/5 Ghosts

What spooky book recs did you put on your list this week?