Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Title: Kissing Shakespeare
Author: Pamela Mingle
Series: N/A
Publication date: August 14th, 2012
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Library

Format: Hardback
Pages: 352
Add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Purchase it!
Amazon! | The Book Depository! | Barnes and Noble!

Favorite quote: I returned it to the library without writing it down. Gah!  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars!

Goodreads Synopsis: Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide. 

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen's really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright. 

Miranda isn't convinced she's the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it's her only chance of getting back to the present and her "real" life. What Miranda doesn't bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

Review: Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle was a book that I had been wanting to get my hands on for a while, but that I kind of dragged my feet on because it seemed to be receiving some very mixed reviews. After reading it, I can totally understand why because I have very mixed feelings after finishing it. Funny how those things tend to go hand in hand!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Showcase: Entire Month of October and the First Part of November!

Oh man, you guys! I got so, so many books in the month of October that it's crazy! It was my birthday month, so there was that, but it was also just a really great release month! I spent waaaay too much money on hardcovers, but they're so much prettier than paperbacks and I love how uniform they all look on bookshelves. I'm also not as hard on them as I am on paperbacks.

Before I get into everything, I want to let you guys know that I've read a lot of these and have full reviews coming up for them soon, I just haven't had time to write them yet! Lucky for me, I have tomorrow and Tuesday off of work, so I'm going to get a few reviews and memes queued (my goal is to get three weeks ahead so that if I ever have to leave suddenly, new content will still be getting posted for you guys!).

So lets get to it! I have no idea what order I bought some of these in, so there's not really a specific order to this lineup other than what I think looks pretty next to what or what is part of a series, etc., haha. Enjoy!

Whew! That took forever! I'm going to refrain from posting ebooks and library books this week because this post is already pretty image heavy. So what did you guys purchase or receive this week? I love snooping in other people's bookshelves, haha. Let me know in the comment section or link me to your own Sunday Showcase!

Happy reading, fellow book nerds!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Publication date: October 18th, 2011
Published by: Del Ray
Source: Library

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 470
Add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Purchase it!
Amazon! | The Book Depository! | Barnes and Noble!

Favorite quote: 'See?' He thumped his book for emphasis. 'Vampires are just zombies with good PR! That could be us in a few years!' "

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Goodreads Synopsis: Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie? 

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. 

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

Review: Dearly, Departed was like a breath of fresh air, if you can call a novel about a bunch of walking dead people "fresh". I actually had very low expectations for this book because the cover, while pretty, gave the impression that the story was going to be average at best. Just goes to show that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, because I loved it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Why I Love YA Literature

Hey, guys! Today I'm going to deviate from the norm and instead of posting a Friday Favorites, I'm going to get a little bit sappy for a pretty great reason. In case you're living under a rock and haven't heard, Beth Revis (the author of the Across the Universe Trilogy) is hosting a giveaway of pretty freaking epic proportions. You can get full deets over on her blog post about it, but for the sake of full disclosure (and also to get you excited about it) she's giving away nearly 50 signed YA novels. Yes, you read that correctly. Signed. FIFTY of them. As she mentions in her post, that has to potential to seriously alter someone's shelves and I am hoping to high heaven that it is me.

I very recently started collecting signed copies of YA books that I love because I now live in a city that values literature and that authors actually, you know, visit. In my home town, an author that I loved visiting was pretty much unheard of. Actually, no, it was unheard of. So, needless to say, my collection is very, very small. As in... I only have two.

Now, I will say that I do have duplicates of some of these books that are unsigned and if I am somehow lucky enough to win, I'll be hosting a few little giveaways of my own (and my books are in immaculate condition).

So lets get to the point of this whole post, shall we?

Why do I love YA?

My immediate, reflex response is: Why not?! But I think that the topic really does deserve a far more thought out, less defensive response, so here we go.

Lets be honest for a moment. There is a stigma surrounding YA literature, especially when you don't exactly qualify as a "young adult". I've spent a lot of time in bookstores and libraries and unfortunately, I've heard some not-so-nice things spoken offhandedly about readers of YA. Everything from "people who only read YA are immature and unintelligent" to "people who like YA are just plain weird" and while I won't deny that I'm pretty darn weird and occasionally like to dance around my apartment in my underwear singing the My Little Pony theme song, I will most definitely argue that I am an intelligent, well-adjusted woman (and immaturity strikes again, because lol at calling myself a woman).

For me, YA literature is an escape. I have day to day responsibilities that sometimes overwhelm me. With YA literature, I have the luxury of visiting whatever freaking world I want because it's such a broad genre. I can jump into a hyper-realistic, tugs-at-your-heartstrings, dark, gritty novel or I can be transported to a future society or alternate universe with an oppressive government (that isn't necessarily on Earth) that needs overthrowing. I can battle fantasical beasts along with the heroes and heroines or I can sail on a pirate ship and hold my breath as a heroine dressed as a hero is almost discovered. 

The imagination and creativity that goes into these novels is astounding to me. And sure, I know that there's adult fiction out there that is the same, but it seems like a lot of characters in adult fiction are in their late 20's or are 30+, married, have children, etc. and I just can't relate to that! I'm only 23! I still giggle when I have to call myself a lady instead of a girl! I like to giggle with my girlfriends about cute boys and talk about books and magic and fantasy! I love talking about who would play a fantastic Warner or Akiva or Alex or who would make the most bad ass Clary or Cinder or Juliet. And I know, I know you can do that with adult fiction as well because all of the Fifty Shades of Grey speculation going on, but it just isn't the same!

I do read in other genres. I'm a closet romance novel addict, I love Jane Austen, and I blew through the Wheel of Time series, but I just can't connect to those books like I can to YA and that's important to me. They're fun pastimes  but I never feel really as passionately about them as I do YA novels (Katie MacAlister's books and Pride and Prejudice, however, I am most definitely passionate about, so they're exceptions).

I hope that my little rant really answers the question. I feel like I may have gone off on a few different tangents, but I hope that my passion and absolute admiration of YA literature and the amazing people who create it shone through. So now it's your turn. Why do you love YA? Let me know in the comments below or link me to your own blog post about the subject. I would love to hear your thoughts, which I probably agree with, but got too carried away to think about!

Good luck to anyone entering this amazing giveaway!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Title: Glitch
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Series: Glitch #1
Publication date: August 7th, 2012
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Source: Purchased in a bookstore

Format: Paperback
Pages: 308
Add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Purchase it!
Amazon! | The Book Depository! | Barnes and Noble!

Favorite quote: “Everything was so much sharper without the Link fogging me--sights, sounds, smells. It was exhilarating and shocking and terrifying. I knew my emotions had grown too strong. They were dangerous to the Community. They were dangerous to me.
But still, I wanted color. I wanted to soar with happiness even if it meant dealing with the weight of fear and guilt, too. I wanted to live. And that meant that I couldn't give the glitching up. At least not yet. Just a little bit longer.”  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars!

Goodreads Synopsis: In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.

Review: When I first started this blog, I picked out a few books that were being released in the coming months that I really wanted to spotlight. Glitch was one of the ones that I chose and after having (finally!) read it, I'm so glad that I did. It's such a wonderfully original twist on an old concept that I couldn't help but enjoy it.

Apologies Never Sound Sincere on the Internet

So, I'm going to just take a moment and grovel. I disappeared after saying that I was back and ready to boogie with new reviews and ideas and oh man, when I made that post I so was. Then the next day came and I was slammed with a harsh reality: living in the city is expensive. More expensive than I had originally anticipated. And so, my job search began anew, only this time, I was looking for a second job and had limited availability because of my first. Fast forward two weeks and I landed a position as a book seller at Barnes and Noble. Heck yes!

So! This time I promise that I'm back and if for any reason that doesn't come true, bother me incessantly until I am. I really have no excuse not to be active because um, hello, I work in a book store. Dream job? Not quite, but almost.

New review coming in 5... 4... 3... 2....

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury

Title: Origin
Author: Jessica Khoury
Series: Not part of a series
Publication date: September 4th, 2012
Published by: Razorbill
Source: Purchased in a bookstore

Format: Hardcover
Add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Purchase it!
Amazon! | The Book Depository! | Barnes and Noble!

Favorite quote: “Because you are young and free and one with the jungle. You are mortal, but instead of clinging to the hope of immortality, you embrace each day, one at a time, and never worry about tomorrow.”   

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars!

Goodreads Synopsis: Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

Review: Origin by Jessica Khoury is another book that I was really looking forward to this year and after reading it, I feel a bit let down. It wasn't the writing (Jessica Khoury is actually quite a fabulous author) or the characters, or even the insta-love. It was the fact that while I was reading, I felt as though I were listening to someone preach about the evils of science.