Monday, December 30, 2013

Cliffhangers: A Love Affair

Monday, December 30, 2013
Cliffhangera suspenseful situation occurring at the end of a chapter, scene, or episode
I love cliffhangers.

Seriously, I do- that is, I love well-done cliffhangers. The kind that leave you breathless, that make you throw your hands in the air and shriek, "I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW!!!!!!!."

For a lot of readers, this is exactly why they don't like cliffhangers. Who wants to wait a year (or more) for answers, when a character's life hangs in the balance, or a crucial piece of the puzzle is about to be revealed?I completely understand that frustration.

But I just really love the thrill.

Game (Jasper Dent #2)

Really great cliffhangers get my blood pumping, or they introduce some twist that leaves me with my jaw on the floor. They're like the very top of the hill on a roller coaster (if you'll excuse the cliche of a roller coaster metaphor) before the huge drop- because of that pause, that terrible and also fantastic suspense, the rest of the ride is all the more awesome for it. Just look at Game by Barry Lyga- it's a seriously great sequel that I couldn't put down, but it's that ending that has me unbelievably excited for the next installment of the Jasper Dent series.

So basically, when I see people warning about a book's wicked cliffhanger, odds are I'll move that book up on my To-Be-Read pile. With cliffhangers, you just never know what's going to happen ne-

What is the best (or worst, depending on your opinion) cliffhanger you've ever read?

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Best of Bookish Buys 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013
If you've been following this blog for awhile, you may have noticed the weekly feature, Bookish Buys. Each Friday/Saturday I 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.

Now I know a lot of you are gifted out after Christmas, but if you still owe some bookworms a few presents, or if you got a lot of gift cards, here are the most popular Bookish Buys of 2013 (as determined by number of pageviews and things like that). Even if you never want to look at wrapping paper again, this stuff may make you reconsider.

10. Peter Pan Sneakers

Custom Peter Pan Canvas Sneaker
Unfortunately, these are no longer available, but I'd keep an eye on the Etsy shop just in case!

9. Shadow and Bone Necklace

Morozova's Collar

8. One Book Down PJs


7. I Read About It in a Book Pillow

I Read About It in a Book Throw Pillow

6. The Doctor's Progression Bookmark

Hand-cut Silhouette Bookmark - Doctor Who

5. A MUGgle

From: Mug Shot
Don't let the muggles get you down - Ceramic Mug

4. Bookish Stair Decals


3. Owl Bookmark

Leather Bookmark - Wise Owl - Hand Carved and Tooled - Original Starry Night Owl Design - Hedwig Harry Potter

2. Tamora Pierce Tee

Girls who aren't afraid to save themselves tee shirts

1. The Mortal Instruments Stele Stylus

Stele

What is your favorite Bookish Buy of 2013?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Harry Potter... Play?

Thursday, December 26, 2013
This is not a drill. I repeat, this is NOT a drill: J.K. Rowling is producing a Harry Potter play.

A Harry Potter play?! "Is this the real life?" Didn't we only just get the news about the upcoming Harry Potter movies? "Or is this just fantasy?"


image

This play will be performed on West End (basically, the Broadway of England) and takes place in Harry's pre-Hogwarts years. I'm both excited and a little apprehensive (I mean, is there anywhere for the story to go? As far as we know, there wasn't much adventure in Harry's pretty miserable life with the Dursleys. Also, will we get to see any of the other characters we love?), but I'm mostly hopeful. We're going to get more Harry and, if we're lucky, more magic.

Basically, this means I will be taking a trip to London in the next couple of years. Somehow. (If only I could Apparate...)

Are you excited for the Harry Potter play?

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Fault in our Stars and That Tagline

Monday, December 23, 2013

At long last, we have an official TFIOS movie poster!!!

I mean, look at that beauty. The font is just like the cover and as John Green's wife pointed out, if you turn the poster to the side their heads are reminiscent of the original cover's clouds. And Hazel actually has her breathing thing! Do you see how Augustus' eyes are open? Oh, this is so exciting-

Wait. What does that tagline say? 

The Fault in Our StarsOne sick love story? They're kidding, right? (My sources are telling me that no, the tagline is completely serious.)

Well, that puts a bit of a damper on things, doesn't it.

It's not that the tagline is inherently bad, though my initial reaction was basically what you read above. After thinking about it and reading John Green's post about how it is gallows humor, I get it. I can completely imagine Augustus saying, "We are just one sick love story, aren't we, Hazel Grace?"

But it's probably safe to say that most potential movie viewers aren't going to spend that much time pondering or reading about the tagline. And if I have to really consider my feelings about a tagline, doesn't that indicate that it isn't doing its job? Taglines are supposed to capture the overall feel of a work in only a few words and, presumably (I say presumably because I am not a marketing expert by any means), at first glance. 

Furthermore, readers may get it, but what about people who haven't read the book? (I know, it's blasphemy to see a movie without reading the book first, but not everybody follows this unwritten rule.) They might get an idea of The Fault in our Stars that is very far from the truth. 

In the scheme of things, the tagline isn't that big of a deal, not with the killer cast, brilliant director, and fantastic screenwriters. I'm just not okay with "One sick love story," okay?

What do you think of the TFIOS poster?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?

Sunday, December 22, 2013
Hi everybody.

There's been, well, radio silence on the blog for the past week and I owe you an explanation. Basically it's this: I've been reconsidering what I want to do on The Page Sage.

When I first started my blogging schedule (Reviews Monday, Top Ten Tuesday, Bookish Buys Friday, IMM Sunday), it was to ensure that I posted regularly. And it has definitely worked (well, up until recently), and I'm glad I established the schedule, but now... Now it's more of a hindrance than a help.

Picture this: It's a Sunday night and I have an hour of free time. Perfect chance for that discussion post I've been meaning to write...oh, but tomorrow is Monday, which means I need a review. The discussion post is pushed aside until a later date, and keeps getting pushed aside, and keeps getting pushed aside, and so on.

Reviews are great and all, but they're pretty cut-and-dry. I want to be able to be more creative and, most importantly, have more fun on here.

So you know what? To heck with the schedule! I am revamping The Page Sage and writing more of the posts I want to write.

To clarify:

Will I still be posting regularly?

Yes, just not on preplanned days that don't work with my "real life" schedule.

Does this mean there will never again be a book review on The Page Sage?

Of course not! I'll still be reviewing books, but I won't be forcing myself to- basically, I'll sporadically review (exceptions will be review copies that need to be reviewed by a certain date).

What about Top Ten Tuesday?

I won't be participating regularly. Maybe I will if there's a topic that really catches my fancy, but I've become a little tired of this meme.

So what will be posted?

Discussion posts, Author Adoration posts, random posts, reviews. Hopefully more creative posts!

What do you think of these changes? 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Bookish Buys: Present Tags and Patronus

Friday, December 13, 2013
Each Friday/Saturday I 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.

Book Tags
The perfect wrapping accessory for all of those holiday gifts.

Read More Books Paperclip Bookmark
Read More Books Bookmarks
Good advice.

American Women Authors Card Game (Authors & More)
American Women Authors Card Game
My brother got me these for Hanukkah. Highly recommended. :)

Harry Potter - Snape's Patronus Necklace: Always - Doe Patronus Necklace
Patronus Necklace
Because once a Harry Potter fan, always a Harry Potter fan. 

Are you giving any bookish buys as presents this holiday season?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top Ten Books for Winter

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

TOP TEN Winter To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
2. United We Spy by Ally Carter
Jellicoe RoadUnited We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)
3. Going Rogue by Robin Benway
4. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
Going Rogue (Also Known As, #2)Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)
5. Emma by Jane Austen
6. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
EmmaThe Handmaid's Tale
7. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
8. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)A Mad, Wicked Folly
9. The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire LeGrand
10. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
The Cavendish Home for Boys and GirlsTwo Boys Kissing

What is on your Winter TBR list?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Also Known As: Espionage, Mysteries, and Boys

Monday, December 9, 2013
I don't know how many times I've mentioned how much I love Robin Benway's books, but in my very mathematically sound estimations, it's A LOT. Audrey, Wait! was the first book I ever reviewed on The Page Sage, and I've mentioned her books in so many Top Ten Tuesday posts. Basically, she is one of my favorite authors ever (so you can expect an Author Adoration post on her in the near future).

Her latest book is called Also Known As, a book about a 16-year-old spy and her adventures in espionage and high school. It's hysterical and suspenseful and heartwarming, which is why I'm thrilled to be apart of Bloomsbury's Also Known As Spy Team! They've given me and the other "spies" an excerpt from Going Rogue, the upcoming sequel to AKA, to share with all of you.

You haven't read Also Known As yet? It's ok- there's an excerpt of that, too! Read it, share it, and then go get a copy of the book!



Are you a fan of AKA or planning to read the books?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Top Ten 2014 Releases

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

TOP TEN 2014 Releases

AKA is it 2014 yet?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. Going Rogue by Robin Benway
2. A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller 
Going Rogue (Also Known As, #2)A Mad, Wicked Folly
3. Unhinged by A.G. Howard
4. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Unhinged (Splintered, #2)Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)
5. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3)Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)
7. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
8. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
Hollow City (Miss Peregrine, #2)Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)
9. Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard
10. Great by Sara Benincasa 
Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly, #3)Great

What upcoming releases are on your To-Be-Read list?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Book Review: Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia

Monday, December 2, 2013
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Genre: Magical Realism
Publisher: Vintage
Series: Standalone
Age Group: Adult
Source: Borrowed
A man returns to the town where a baffling murder took place 27 years earlier, determined to get to the bottom of the story. Just hours after marrying the beautiful Angela Vicario, everyone agrees, Bayardo San Roman returned his bride in disgrace to her parents. Her distraught family forced her to name her first lover; and her twin brothers announced their intention to murder Santiago Nasar for dishonoring their sister. Yet if everyone knew the murder was going to happen, why did no one intervene to stop it? The more that is learned, the less is understood, and as the story races to its inexplicable conclusion, an entire society--not just a pair of murderers—is put on trial.

Summary from Goodreads.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold has a fascinating premise- we know from the start that Santiago Nasar is going to die, as the very first line is:

"On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on."

Talk about a hook, right? But the fact that he's going to be killed isn't actually the point! The real point is that almost no one in the town tries to warn him or to stop his two assassins, despite ample time to do so.

And the story stays interesting through the author's formatting; the way the narrator goes around town, interviewing people, makes it read like a crime drama.

So all of this is definitely a plus, and I should have been riveted...but I was far from it. Actually, for a large part of the book, I was bored.

Why? Well, ultimately, Garcia sacrifices plot for characterization. The story focuses so much on making a point about human nature that the actual events fall rather flat. As a result, the ending is far too sudden because when the characterization stops, so does the story.

While it was nice to be able to read a book in just a couple of hours- it's only 120 pages- I would have preferred it to be a bit longer and actually have some more, well, plot. (And this is saying something, since characters are the most important part of a book to me.)

*3 stars*

If you had to choose, would you pick character or plot?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Bookish Buys: Penguin, Prehistoric, Potter

Friday, November 29, 2013
Each Friday/Saturday I 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.

Penguin bookmark, black and white polymer clay animal, bird,
Penguin Bookmark
This cuteness will make you smile each time you reach for your book.

Dinosaur bookmark, orange jurassic polymer clay animal, fun gift,
Dinosaur Bookmark
Or maybe you're more into prehistoric adorable bookmarks.

ProdIMG
TFIOS Poster
Since it's from the DFTBA store, there should be some Black Friday bargains!

AlĂ­vio Imediato ,cheap fashion necklace
Snitch Charm
To wear while you watch the HP marathon on ABC Family this weekend, of course.

Do you have a favorite bookmark?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bookish Thankfulness

Thursday, November 28, 2013
First things first...

Happy Thanksgiving!

food,holidays,special occasions,Thanksgiving,turkeys

Hope you're all gearing up for pounds of turkey and pumpkin pie (especially the pie). Maybe you have a few books tucked in your bag in case you need a break from boisterous family arguments discussions. Or maybe you're (gasp) putting aside the books today and donning a football jersey, or watching the Macy's Day Parade, or [insert something Thanksgiving-y here].

Anyway, I passed on this week's Top Ten Tuesday because the topic was too similar to the post I wanted to do today. Since it's the annual day of Thanks, here are a few (bookish) things for which I'm thankful:

1. Book Bloggers

To those of you who have been so welcoming and supportive, who run phenomenal blogs, and who have created an amazing community: thank you. You are wonderful and I'm so grateful for all the book bloggers I can call my friends!

2. Authors and Agents and Publishers

This is a very large category, but to everyone who spends hours writing, editing, and publicizing books, THANK YOU for all of the hard work you do!! 

3. Independent Bookstores, Better World Books, and Barnes & Noble

Indie Bookstores (especially Clinton Bookshop), you are the coolest. No one has charm or that personal touch like you do. Better World Books is awesome for a.) affordable books b.) providing books to people in need and c.) having environmentally friendly shipping. And BN because of your huge selection, coffee, and close proximity. 

4. Libraries and Librarians

Thank you for book recommendations that made me LOVE books and writing (ahem, Boxcar Children), for hosting author events and book clubs, for being a place to meet some of my closest friends... I could go on and on but just thank you.

5. You. 

Yes, you. The people who take the time to read and/or comment and/or tweet about this blog. I find it delightful and incredible that you take the time to read my posts and reviews, but I don't tell you enough how absolutely grateful I am for it. 

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Monday, November 25, 2013
Fangirl
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series: Standalone
Age Group: YA
Source: Bought
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Summary from Goodreads.

I can't say I've read much fan fiction, though I am a fangirl. Harry Potter defined my childhood (and I have the posters, Time Turners, Snitches, Hedwigs, and multiple copies of the books to prove it) so I could really relate to Cath in that aspect. And Fangirl has definitely piqued my interest in fanfic as I loved reading Cath's Simon/Baz chapters. Even though it's technically Simon Snow fanfic, it made me want to read Harry Potter fanfic ASAP. The best part about the inclusion of the actual fan fiction in the story, though, is how it parallels Cath's journey. It's not just the fanfic either, but the excerpts from the "actual" Simon Snow books, all of which combines to create a medley of awesome.

But that's enough about the fan fiction, I think. Let's talk about my favorite part, instead: The Characters.

First, of course, is Cath. I don't know that I've ever read a book with a character like her- she doesn't really fit into any of the YA protagonist stereotypes. She is so scared of change and new people (though her reasons are understandable and sympathetic) that with a less skilled writer, Cath could have been passive, but Rowell makes her jump off the page.

One character that really surprised me (in the best possible way) is Reagan, Cath's roommate. She's brutally blunt and the polar opposite of Cath, and yet their friendship just clicks. The relationships throughout Fangirl are all so complex and complicated and, well, lifelike.

What's really special about Fangirl is the family dynamic. Not only is Cath's dad a single parent, but they are coping with the backlash of a mom who abandoned them. Rowell fully explores Cath's relationship with her dad and with her twin sister, Wren. Wren's development revealed so many sides to her, some of which I didn't necessarily expect.

And then (and then, yes, we can talk about something other than characters, but they're all so good that I can't help it!!!) there's Levi. Reagan's best friend who is bouncy and ultra-personable and charming and super smiley. Levi who may just be one of my biggest book crushes ever. I really don't want to talk about his friendship with Cath too much because it's so special and I don't want to ruin your reading experience (!), but I will say that there should be more people like Levi in the world.

But with all of these relationships and subplots, the most important part is always Cath's personal journey. Fangirl is, at heart, a coming-of-age story, one made all the better with its setting: college. I think this is the first YA book I've read since the 4th Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books that takes place after high school and I LOVED it.

Since this is rapidly turning into a fairly long review, I'm going to start wrapping things up, but please, GO GET A COPY OF FANGIRL. You won't be able to put it down, you'll fall in love with the characters, and you'll fall in love with the book!
*5 stars*
A Quote from the Book: "Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity."

What settings would you like to see in YA books more?