Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Monday, December 31, 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers
Series: The Grisha #1
Website: http://www.leighbardugo.com/books/
Source: Library
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)
Alina is a simple mapmaker for the King's Army; she's not much to look at and hasn't any real skill, which is a shame for her, since she's in love with her talented, popular best friend. Mal shines, but he's been by her side, ever since they were in the orphanage they called their childhood home. But then she's torn from him and thrust into the world of the Grisha, the magicians who are the elite of the land. They are lorded over by the Darkling, a powerful man who thinks Alina has the ability to change the world. 

It's no secret that fantasy is my favorite genre. Knowing that, it's no wonder I was so excited for Shadow and Bone. An epic fantasy with roots in Russian folklore that everyone seemed to love? Yes, please! But alas, Shadow and Bone didn't live up to the hype.

The story starts off slowly, or maybe it was just that I had trouble getting into it. The plot is pretty standard (Regular girl finds out she has miraculous, world-changing power. I don't mind this plot, not at all, but for some reason it bugged me in S and B), but it wasn't even that. Maybe it was that Alina likes to harp on how beautiful everyone is but her. (Although I did appreciate that she isn't the stereotypical hot-but-thinks-she-isn't-YA-heroine.) I'm genuinely uncertain as to what kept me from being fully absorbed by this story for the first 200 pages, and I apologize that I can't give a proper reason. It's important to add that I didn't dislike the book, I just was fully aware that it was missing that *wow* factor.

The idea of the Shadow Fold is incredibly unique and the legend of the Black Heretic is interesting. Despite my disconnect in the beginning of the story, I still enjoyed these parts. Once Alina goes to the castle, I loved learning about the different kinds of Grisha and Grisha theory. Best of all is the Darkling. For that part of the book, his and Alina's relationship reminded me of Fire and Brigan from Fire. Unfortunately, there's a kinda-love-triangle. I'm not sure if it counts if the other guy isn't there for most of the book and the main character stops thinking of him while she's with her current love interest, but it rubbed me the wrong way. While I liked the romance with the Darkling, the fact that she had just had feelings for Mal detracted from it, and made me question whether the relationship was necessary at all.

However, I will say that there were some twists that I did not see coming in any way, shape or form in this book. All of the sudden, Shadow and Bone became a lot more intense and I understood what everyone else saw in it. Alina became stronger, and perhaps a bit darker. She was fine throughout the rest of the book, but she really starts to grow into her own towards the end. There were a few other characters I liked, especially Baghra (I tend to like the crotchety old characters), and the Apparat. He is easily the creepiest character in the book and has so much potential! I want to read Siege and Storm just to see where his character goes!

Will I continue on with this series? In all likelihood, yes. Will Siege and Storm be my number one must-read of 2013? Not at all. Still, I liked Shadow and Bone well enough that I'm interested to see where it will go.
*3 stars*
You'll Like This If You Liked: The Selection by Kiera Cass, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Have you read Shadow and Bone? Did it live up to the hype for you?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

In My Mailbox (65)

Sunday, December 30, 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.
In My Mailbox
Gifted:

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire LeGrand
I haven't read any MG in a while and I've heard Cavendish has the same feel as a Lemony Snicket novel. Can't wait to start this!

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
This takes places 3 years after Bloodhound and I am *so* excited to read this! (I'm a little sad that this is the last book in the Beka Cooper trilogy, though.)

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
I don't know much about this one, but I'm willing to give it a try!

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle
After waiting (and waiting and waiting) for this to be available at the library (it never was), I'm so glad to have my own copy! 

Peter Pan Litograph
It's the ENTIRE BOOK on a POSTER and it's gorgeous!!!

The John Green Box Set (!)
Isn't it amazing?? It's not the signed one, but it's still absolutely incredible. Looking for Alaska doesn't have the candle, An Abundance of Katherines has the new cover in hardcover, and the box is just perfect. (My box set is also unique- I got the wrong Paper Towns and it's the only one that has blue text on the spine instead of silver, like the rest of the collection, which is actually kind of cool.)

In the Mail:
Belles by Jen Calonita
Won from Reading Teen- thank you! I loved Jen Calonita's Secrets of my Hollywood Life, so I have high hope for Belles.

Weekly Recap
Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday
Bookish Buys: The William Shakespeare Edition

What books did you get this holiday season? 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bookish Buys: Billy Shakes

Friday, December 28, 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. 
Shakespearean Insult Gum - click to enlarge
Shakespearean Insult Gum
I hope it features my favorite Shakespearean Insult: "I'd challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you come unarmed."

Shakespeare Handwritten Script Scarf- Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds...
Shakespeare Scarf
Get your favorite quote on a stylish scarf!

Pair of Larger Size Shakespeare Journals - Leatherbound - Your Choice
Shakespeare Journals
Write your own sonnets in these gorgeous journals.

Shakespeare Nail Decals Black and Clear Simply Silhouette by Inspired Nails
Shakespeare Nail Decals
For the fashionably hardcore Shakespeare fans.

What is your favorite Shakespeare play/sonnet?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Club Discussions: The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Thursday, December 27, 2012
As you probably know by now, I've joined a book club. I'm very excited about this and thought that you guys might be interested in our discussions. Hopefully you'll join in in the comments! This month's book is The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. At last, a book I hadn't already read! 

I hope you'll participate in the discussion in the comments with your own thoughts about this book. 
The Chocolate War (Chocolate War, #1)
*Please be aware that there WILL be spoilers for The Chocolate War if you have not read it already.*

I'm going to do this post a little differently than I have the last two. Mainly this is because of my workload I've had to put off doing this post longer than I would have liked and don't remember the exact details of what everyone said.

Let's talk about Archie Costello.
Archie, Archie, Archie. How is it that everyone both loved and hated you so much? He's the king of manipulation and smooth talking, not afraid to step on anyone if that means he can stay on top.  (In many ways he reminded me of Iago from Shakespeare's Othello, which I just read for school. Archie's only weapon is words. Others take care of the violence for him.) 

And yes, his brilliance is certainly admirable, but that's not why everyone in my book club liked him so much. Archie still has a sort of humanity that easily made him the best character in the book. Archie is oddly sympathetic. With all he does to Jerry and the other boys in the school, he shouldn't be. Yet, the scenes with the black box and how he mentions how he tosses and turns at night, the reader can't help but realize all the pressure Archie is under. 

I could say so much about Archie, but in order to do that, we need to....

Talk about Brother Leon.
If I had to choose Umbridge or Leon to have as a teacher, I would choose Umbridge. Leon essentially represents all that is wrong in our society, the corrupt, self-serving nature of it, and he is easily one of the most despicable characters ever. 

The scene everyone wanted to talk about was when Leon singles out a student in front of the entire class and accuses him of cheating. No one speaks up. Leon is quite clearly abusing his power and terrorizing an innocent boy, but he has a point. The class is guilty for not coming to their classmates' defense. Does this instant change them or make them better? No, and Leon knows it won't. In fact, he takes pleasure out of it. Perhaps they don't change because Leon's lesson is fueled by cruelty. 

Leon and Archie hate each other, but Archie fails to realize that he will be Leon in a few years, if he stays on the path he is currently on. In fact, as Archie progresses throughout the story, he becomes more and more like Brother Leon. In the beginning, he still has traces of compassion. (Remember when he asked if that one guy- blanking on his name, so sorry- would be late for work? He was described as being a jerk one minute, but a genuinely good guy the next?) But by the end, he stands by as Jerry is beaten nearly to the brink of death. 

And we can't forget the Goober.
The Goober is, at his heart, a good guy. We all liked him. However, we feel he is representative of most of society. He sees all the horrible things that are happening to Jerry, but he shies away from actually helping him. He watches everything that goes on, sees all that is wrong, but still wishes everything could just go back to normal. The Goober does gain back some points since he is the only one by Jerry's side at the end. Even if the whole school is still under the Vigils' influence, Jerry has changed the Goober.

Some important quotes to mention.
"They don't actually want you to do your own thing, not unless it's their thing, too."
"Do I dare disturb the universe?"
Is our society as oppressive as the first quote would have us believe? Cormier certainly seems to think so. The Chocolate War hardly ends on an optimistic note. And anyone who has ever tried to speak up knows the opposition they have faced. So perhaps it is.

However, I think it is possible to disturb the universe and succeed. If we look back through history, on the Civil Rights movements of the 60s of the suffragist movement of the 20s, there are countless examples of people disturbing the universe and making a change. It isn't easy by any means. People were hurt, people died, and some people still haven't changed their minds, but it can be done. Even now, the Internet has given us a place to voice our thoughts, to say that the way things were done in the past are not necessarily okay. Books, such as The Chocolate War, give us new ideas and allow us to break away from the ridiculous ideas that society forces upon us. Every time someone steps up and stands up for what they believe in, whether it be something as seemingly small as not selling chocolates, the shape of the universe is changed for the better.

Do you think going against the crowd is futile? Which character stood out the most to you in this book?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 Reading Challenges

Wednesday, December 26, 2012
For 2012, I decided to participate in The Story Siren's Debut Author Challenge. Many other bloggers seemed to enjoy it and I'd never participated in a reading challenge before, so I decided to give it a go. My plan was to dutifully read one debut book a month. So how did I do?

1. Chasing the Skip by Janci Patterson
2. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
3. The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
4. Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom
5. The Selection by Kiera Cass
6. Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig

Honestly, that's better than I thought I did, and I only read half of the books I was supposed to.

What happened? Well, I discovered that I don't particularly like reading challenges. I already have a ton of pressure on me, especially from school, that I didn't want to have pressure from reading, too. I wanted to be able to read what I wanted to read, rather than read a book simply because it would help me meet some extraneous goal.

I know that there are people who love reading challenges, who sign up for ten and go over their goals. They get some people to read more than they would or read more of a genre they like. I'm just not one of those people.

Are you a fan of reading challenges? 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (64)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Top Ten Songs I Associate with Books
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
By the way: I'd like to wish all of you who are celebrating a very merry Christmas!
1. Song: I Hope Tomorrow Is Like Today by Guster
Book Match: Every Day by David Levithan
Lyric: "Everything that we are now/Is everything we can't let go/Or it's gone forever, far away

2. Song: Everywhere by Michelle Branch
Book Match: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Lyric: "You're everything I know/That makes me believe/I'm not alone/I'm not alone"

3. Song: Careful by Guster
Book Match: Looking for Alaska by John Green
Lyric: "Careful or you'll hurt yourself/ Gonna try, try, try till the morning/But you can't hide, standing under these stars/They know everything, they know who you are."

4. Song: Unwell by Matchbox Twenty
Book: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Lyric: "And it makes me think there must be something wrong with me/Out of all the hours thinking/Somehow, I've lost my mind"

5. Song: Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac
Book: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Lyric: "Loving you isn't the right thing to do/But how can I ever change things that I feel?"

6. Song: Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls
Book: The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban
Lyric: "And I don't want the world to see me/ Cause I don't think that they'd understand"

7. Song: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters by Elton John
Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Lyric: "You stand at the edge while people run you through/And I thank the Lord for people out there like you"

8. Song: Losing My Religion by R.E.M.
Book: Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Lyric: "Trying to keep an eye on you/Like a hurt, lost, and blinded fool, fool"

9. Song: Falling Slowly (from Once)
Book: Fire by Kristin Cashore
Lyric: "Falling slowly eyes that know me and I can't go back/Moods that take me and erase me and I'm painted black"

10. Song: She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5
Book: Paper Towns by John Green
Lyric: "Please don't try so hard to say goodbye/Please don't try so hard to say goodbye"

What songs would you pair with your favorite book?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Book Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Monday, December 24, 2012
Genre: Gothic mystery/fantasy
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Series: The Lynburn Legacy #1
Website: http://sarahreesbrennan.com/book-pages/unspoken/
Source: Bought
Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)
Kami has heard Jared's voice in her head her whole life, so when he actually shows up in her little English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, it's no wonder her life changes. Together they start to uncover the mystery surrounding her town, all the while trying to understand their mysterious connection. Kami is determined to find the truth, even as the body count continues to rise. But in a town that's built on secrets, will she even want to know the truth?

This has been one of my most anticipated books of the fall ever since I first heard about it months back. Did it live up to my expectations? Yes, absolutely, completely.

Kami is one of the wittiest, spunkiest protagonists I have ever read about. She's an unstoppable force, with a sharp sense of humor and fierce loyalty. In fact, fierce is the best word I can think of to describe her. The rest of the characters are all different shades of brilliant, as well. There's Angela, her antisocial, lazy, and snarky best friend and Holly, their gorgeous friend who is more than her appearance. Even her dad is great, and it's obvious Kami gets her sense of humor from him. Because of this, all of the dialogue is always quick as a whip- it reminded me of an Aaron Sorkin TV show, as in no one really talks like these characters, but you wish they did.

Lastly, there's the most important character (other than Kami), Jared. Their relationship is everything I wanted it to be: a perfect mix of love, wariness, hurt, and guarded feelings. Jared is tortured and goes between protecting Kami and needing her protection. One of my favorite things about Jared is that he has a bad boy exterior, but is really a dork. It was really refreshing. Another great aspect is that even in their darkest moments, Kami and Jared keep the wit that goes throughout the whole story. I was a bit afraid at some points that there was going to be a love triangle, but it doesn't seem like that is going to happen, thank goodness. Jared and Kami are far too perfect for each other for that to happen.

The amount of humor in Unspoken surprised me, but in a very good way. The rest of the story is dark, centering around a dangerous mystery and a painful friendship, so it provided the perfect balance. I love that this novel has such a Gothic feel, though. I can't think of too many YA Gothic novels, but I'd love for there to be more!

The plot itself was mysterious and perfectly paced. I just wanted to keep reading! It's obvious that there's a lot more to be discovered about the creepy, yet enchanting, town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. What is revealed in Unspoken is spooky and inventive. Basically, I need Untold now, especially since the ending of Unspoken is absolutely heartbreaking. You are cruel, Sarah Rees Brennan. (But I mean that in a good way. (:) I need to know what happens next!
*4.4 stars*
A Quote from the Book: "Nothing else ever mattered to me, and you weren't even real. All I ever wanted was you.”
Did you have an imaginary friend when you were a child? 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

In My Mailbox (64)

Sunday, December 23, 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.

In My Mailbox
In the Mail:
Eve and Once by Anna Carey
Thank you so much, Epic Reads! I'm lucky enough to be a Newbie for this series and I am SO excited! I'm usually very picky about which dystopians I like, but I've read the first 20 pages of Eve and am already *really* into this story. 

The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab
Won from Random Buzzers. Thank you! 

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
Also won from Random Buzzers. Thank you!

Book Swag
This was a pleasant surprise that came with the books from Random Buzzers. Thanks once again! It's 2 Paladin Prophecy buttons, The City of Embers Graphic Novel preview, and an Every Day bookmark. I was most excited about the latter, it being one of my all time favorite books. (: 

Weekly Recap
Monday
Splintered

Tuesday

Friday

Have you read any of the books IMM this week? What books did you get this week?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bookish Buys: It's the End of the World As We Know It

Friday, December 21, 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. 
Don't Panic Striped Towel
Hitchhiker's Guide Towel
Since it is, after all, a book about the world ending, and a towel is recommended by the Guide, I thought this may come in handy.

Product Image
Katniss' Backpack
For surviving in a post-apocalyptic world, book-nerd style.
Buy it here.

The Ferris Wheel - A Divergent Parody Shirt by Brittany  Collins
Divergent T-Shirt
Survive the apocalypse in style.
Buy it here.

Wicked is GOOD (Blue) by SecondHandShoes
Maze Runner Sweatshirt
Keep warm while running from your life from Grievers, or whatever the end of the world brings.
Buy it here.

Do you know of anymore dystopian swag I could have featured? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (63)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Top Ten Books I Read in 2012
(Also known as the impossible list)
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Every DayThe Fault in Our StarsBeauty QueensAsk The PassengersThe Great GatsbyGraceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Anna and the French KissSomething Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)The Tragedy Paper
1. Every Day by David Levithan
2. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
3. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
4. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
6. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
8. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
9. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
10. The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban

What are your favorite reads of 2012? 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Review: Splintered by A.G. Howard

Monday, December 17, 2012
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling
Publisher: Amulet Books
Series: Standalone
Website: http://anita-authoraghoward.blogspot.com/p/the-splintering-of-wonderland_7.html
Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Splintered
Alyssa is a direct descendant of Alice Liddell, the young girl who inspired Wonderland. Ever since Alice, all of the women in her family have suffered from insanity, including Alyssa's mother. If the whispers of the bugs and the flowers she hears are any indication, Alyssa's heading down the same path. But then she learns that Wonderland is real and her family's illness is actually a curse. All she'll have to do is fall down the rabbit hole to fix it... But in a land that seems to be woven of lies and chaos, how will she ever survive?

Three words to describe this book: Dark. Sensual. Enchanting.

If you're a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, you'll love Splintered. If you're not a huge fan (like me), but enjoyed the book/Disney movie well enough as a child, you'll still love Splintered. I wouldn't be surprised if you liked this book even if you aren't an Alice fan at all. It will make you fall in love with Wonderland and all of its twisted, strangely beautiful, completely chaotic magic.

The Wonderland that Howard has created isn't that of Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. This version is dark, as gruesome as it is breath-taking. It is a land full of dangers, tests, and secrets... it is so alive that the setting is a character unto itself. It is an example of flawless world-building if I've ever seen one. The way the Wonderland creatures we already know are twisted into something new is incredible, and you'll never look at Alice's story the same way again.

Alice, the Red Queen, the Mad Hatter... they and so many other characters are all intertwined in this amazing story. As far as the main character, Alyssa goes, I loved her. She's spent her whole life with her mom in an asylum, thinking that she, too, will grow up to be crazy, and she's still so determined and brave. Alyssa is also very artistic, which I thought added so much to the feel of the book. I could picture all of her artwork so clearly in my mind.

Then there's Jeb, who is loyal, handsome, and her best friend. I adore best-friends-turned-romantic-interest relationships, so I was all on board. He has a rough past and is fiercely protective of all he cares about because of it, but he and Alyssa have a give-and-take relationship that is so, so sweet. Unfortunately, there was this kind-of-but-not-really love triangle with Morpheus, Alyssa's Wonderland guide, which I didn't appreciate. A.) It didn't add to the plot. B.) It's a love triangle. When will this fad go away?

Thankfully, just as the love triangle didn't add anything to the plot, it didn't take away anything either. The stakes in Splintered are high and there's so much action and suspense. Not to mention the intrigue! The mysteries surrounding Alyssa's past are constantly building throughout the story.

What I want to know is whether there will be a second book? I was under the impression that this was a standalone, but the ending seems to hint at the possibility of a sequel. I'd definitely travel back to Wonderland through A.G. Howard's books if she decides to write one!
*4.3 stars*
You'll Like This If You Liked: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Are you a big Alice in Wonderland fan?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

In My Mailbox (63)

Sunday, December 16, 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.

In My Mailbox
Bought:
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
This was on sale at my library for only a dollar and it's in perfect condition, so I immediately snatched it up!

Weekly Recap
Monday

Tuesday

Thursday

Friday

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bookish Buys: Author Tee, Accessories, and A Mug

Friday, December 14, 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. 


Authors are my Rock Stars Tee
You know it's true, so why not proclaim it on a t-shirt?
Buy it here. 

Today I’m Reading... Chalkboard-Surface Mug
Chalk Mug
It's like your currently-reading shelf on Good Reads, but on a mug!
Buy it here.

Take me to your library aluminum bookmark
Take Me to Your Library Bookmark
I try to mix up the type of swag I feature each week, and I know I've been featuring a lot of bookmarks, but there are so many cute ones!
Buy it here.

The Catcher in the Rye book locket w/ chain (large)
Catcher in the Rye Locket
There are plenty of other options for this locket, although I really like this Catcher one.
Buy it here.

Which of these bookish buys would you add to your holiday wishlist?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Meeting A.S. King

Thursday, December 13, 2012
 Wherein I wish I had pictures but I don't...
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to go to a book signing of the one  and only A.S. King when she came to a bookshop near my cousin's home. In case you don't know who she is, she's the author of the AMAZING books Please Ignore Vera Dietz, Ask the Passengers, Everybody Sees the Ants, and The Dust of 100 Dogs. And if you haven't read those books, GO READ THEM. NOW.

So, how was the event? Well, basically, A.S. King is completely awesome.

She is so smart and effervescent and confident and cool. I could have listened to her speak for ten more hours. Her thoughts on social labels and equality are so inspiring and she's just brilliant. If only I had a perfect memory so I could remember everything she said verbatim! She had a lot of great advice, ranging from don't make decisions without thinking about them first to the importance of not boxing in yourself or others.

After she spoke for a while, she read from Ask the Passengers. I'd already read it, of course, but hearing it in the author's voice was a drastically different experience, in a very good way. Then she read the prologue and first chapter from her 2013 book, Reality Boy, which is about a teenage boy who was on a Super Nanny reality TV show as a little kid, and can't escape his infamy. (Fun Fact: It was actually inspired by the Goselyns, the John and Kate Plus Eight family.) From what we heard, it is going to be awesome, but I wouldn't expect less from Ms. King.

Before A.S. King read it, though, she explained why all of her books have a prologue. Once, a guy she knew told her that she should never write a prologue because they're not important and he always skips them. She didn't appreciate being told what to do, so now she adds a prologue to every one of her books, all of which are crucial to the plot. She doesn't know whether he reads her books, but he probably finds them very confusing if he still continues that reading habit of his. Ha! Personally, I love prologues and am glad all of her books have one.

After she was through reading, there was a short Q&A. I don't remember all the questions, but I do remember her answers. One thing that A.S. said that really stood out to me was that there is publishing side of writing, which is a business, and the other side of writing, which is an art, and you want to keep them as separate as possible. She also said that she really loves her job. (I think the quality of her books and her enthusiasm proves that!)

And then we got in line for the signing portion of the evening.

A.S. King took time to talk to everybody, occasionally standing up to boogey down to the funky tunes playing on the store's speakers. She also gave bookmarks with pictures of all her books on them. She told me I had, and I quote, "the coolest coat in the world." Needless to say, I've worn that coat everyday since the event, haha.

Overall, it was such a cool, amazing night! As I said earlier in this post, if you haven't read her books, GO READ THEM.

NOW.

Are you a fan of A.S. King? Have you ever been to a book signing? 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (62)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Top Ten Favorite New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2012
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Kristin Cashore
Books I read: Graceling, Fire, Bitterblue
Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)
AMAZING. Perfect fantasy novels.

2. David Levithan
Books I read: Every Day 
Every Day
Technically, I had read two books that he cowrote, but I wasn't a big fan. Every Day was the first solo novel I had ever read by him and it is absolutely wonderful. One of my all-time favorite books.

3. A.S. King
Books I read: Please Ignore Vera Dietz, Ask the Passengers, Everybody Sees the Ants
Please Ignore Vera DietzAsk The PassengersEverybody Sees the Ants
Her books are heart-wrenching, magical, realistic, and she's a very cool lady!

4. Susan Dennard
Books I read: Something Strange and Deadly
Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)
Well, she was new to everyone, but I *loved* SSAD. 

5. Cassandra Clare
Books I read: Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)
I like her TDI series a lot better than TMI, although the latter is still enjoyable.

6. Amy Plum
Books I read: Die for Me, Until I Die
Die for Me (Revenants, #1)Until I Die (Revenants, #2)
If I hadn't won these in a HarperTeen grab bag giveaway, I probably would have never read them. What a mistake that would have been!

7. Stephanie Perkins
Books I read: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door
Anna and the French KissLola and the Boy Next Door
How did I not read Anna sooner?? I will read anything Ms. Perkins writes.

8. Barry Lyga
Books I read: I Hunt Killers
I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)
Eerie, creepy, awesome. (The book, not Barry Lyga. Well, except maybe the awesome part.)

9. Veronica Roth
Books I read: Divergent
Divergent (Divergent, #1)
An awesome, UNIQUE dystopian! Still need to read Insurgent, though.

10. Kirsten Hubbard
Books I read: Wanderlove
Wanderlove
Thanks to this book, I now want to go backpacking across Central America.
 
What authors did you discover this year?