Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

XVI - Julia Karr
*January 6th, 2011 Puffin/Speak

In the year 2150, being a girl isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when your sixteenth (read sex-teenth) birthday is fast approaching. That in itself would be enough to make anyone more than a little nuts, what with the tattoo and all – but Nina Oberon’s life has taken a definite turn for the worse. Her mother is brutally stabbed and left for dead. Before dying, she entrusts a secret book to Nina, telling her to deliver it to Nina's father. But, first Nina has to find him; since for fifteen years he's been officially dead. Complications arise when she rescues Sal, a mysterious, and ultra hot guy. He seems to like Nina, but also seems to know more about her father than he’s letting on. Then there’s that murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and just happens to be her little sister’s dad."

Alas, there's still a fair while until this one comes out. But by the sounds of it, it's futuristic dystopian (love!) which immediately piqued my interest. And from the synopsis, it sounds very controversial, very edgy, very push-the-envelope (hopefully over the edge).

The cover is very cool too - a little reminiscent of the cover for Willow by Julia Hoban (look at that, both books from Penguin, both authors with a first name of Julia). I didn't even notice right away that the lines across her face actually spell out the title (XVI or "sixteen").

To be honest the whole "ultra hot guy" thing sounds a little sketch, but I guess we'll have to wait and see how that's played out. All in all, a book worth waiting on!

How about you, what're you waiting on this Wednesday?

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
*August 24th, 2010 Scholastic

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

It's Mockingjay, what can I say? A little over a month! Who's excited?!

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What's Your Font?

I'm curious - how do you guys feel about fonts?

For me, there're specific fonts that I've simply come to associate with certain books or franchises. I'm sure the obvious ones come to mind for you guys as well - Harry Potter, the Twilight series, etc. all have very distinctive ones.

A little more subtle, the interior text of books often have unique fonts as well. Those favoured series that are often read seem to convey a certain personality through their specific respective fonts, each rounded loop, each serifed stem, each sloping line.

Unfortunately I don't know the fonts of these books off-hand (perhaps you do?), but there are a few that stick out particularly. Gail Carson Levine's fractured fairy tale books always seem to contain the same font, and I've come to have a fond spot for the innocent yet regal letters. Ann Brashares' The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series has one specific typeset throughout the novels, another one for opening chapter quotes, and then each Tibby, Bridget, Lena and Carmen have associated "handwriting"s. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Jaclyn Moriarty's characters (especially in The Year of Secret Assignments) have different writing as well.

Awhile ago I remember opening an MG book and literally thinking, "Oh my gosh, wow, it's Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - font!"

How about you, do fonts play a role in your reading experience? Do you find yourself attached to a few in particular, or associate them with where you first saw them? What's your font?!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Guardian of the Gate - Michelle Zink
*August 1st, 2010 Little, Brown

The ultimate battle between sisters is nearing, and its outcome could have catastrophic consequences. As sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe searches for a way to end the prophecy, her twin sister Alice hones the skills she'll need to defeat Lia. Alice will stop at nothing to reclaim her sister's role in the prophecy, and that's not the only thing she wants: There's also Lia's boyfriend James.

Lia and Alice always knew the Prophecy would turn those closest to them against them. But they didn't know what betrayal could lead them to do. In the end, only one sister will be left standing.

I think it's kind of a given that this would be one worth waiting on. I read and reviewed Prophecy of the Sisters around this time last year, and it was definitely a very enjoyable read. In fact, to directly quote some of my impressions at the time in regards to a sequel:
The ending of Prophecy of the Sisters isn't really an ending, per se. It's wide and expansive, it's open and really, it's more of a beginning than anything else. It promises the start of an enchanting journey.[...] it's a resolved open ending that I've no doubt will lead beautifully into the sequel.

Prophecy of the Sisters offers a deliciously dark and fresh glimpse into a world of possibilities. Like Henry says, "only time will tell" (Zink 256). But with Zink's beautiful storytelling style and immersing plot lines, this is one series that readers will eagerly await with baited breath.
And the next installment, Guardian of the Gate, is nearly upon us! I also talked extensively about my excitement regarding this here. Beautiful writing and written by one of the kindest people out there, this is definitely a series to check out if you haven't already.

Your turn now - what're you waiting on this week?

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Monday, July 12, 2010

Reviews: A Match Made in High School & Hourglass

A Match Made in High School - Kristin Walker
*February 4th, 2010 Razorbill

Kristin Walker's A Match Made In High School is a light-hearted and enjoyable read, both fun and funny. I whipped through this in one afternoon. Walker impressed me in a number of ways with this one. First off, although the concept itself isn't entirely new, she puts a unique spin on it and writes it in a way that's credible. Secondly, I liked the references to little tidbits of information that are a little out-there, a little more literary, which kind of elevates it in a sense. It's romantic, it's dramatic, it's high school and it's humourous - done well.

And the leading lady Fiona? I had moments where I disliked her, then there were moments when she grew on me. Basically, Walker has made her a dynamic character that readers can actually give a hoot about, which is great. And I especially appreciated the fact that it didn't follow the cliche, typical high school romantic outcome.

So sure, it's not exactly deep or controversial or thought-provoking. But if you're looking for some LOL fun, this is the perfect remedy. Fast, fresh and fun, A Match Made in High School is a wonderful debut from Kristin Walker.

Hourglass - Claudia Gray
*March 9th, 2010 HarperCollins

Claudia Gray provides a different take on vampires in her New York Times Bestselling series that began with Evernight. Hourglass is the third installment in the series, and is preceded by Stargazer. I really like the font they chose for the titles of these books. As for Hourglass, I didn't actually end up finishing it.

See, I started Hourglass and I'd been pretty into it - it was action-packed, it was original, etc. I got to Chapter 15 (page 212 of about 339) and stopped for a few days, and after that basically wasn't really able to get back into it. It's been a few months now, since then. On one hand, originally I had found it a pretty enthralling read up to as far as I got. On the other, after stopping, it just didn't hold the same calling any more. (Note - if I ever end up getting back into it and finishing, I'll come back and update this.)

I did like the fact that it was a different take on vampires and vampire hunters. I also liked the fact that there was a distinct sort of vampire mythology present. I also enjoyed the fact that it was very action-packed. So if you're looking for more vampires (or hunters) or action, Claudia Gray's Hourglass is one to check out.

*This is the second installment of mini reviews. The first, featuring Gayle Forman's IF I STAY and Laurie Halse Anderson's WINTERGIRLS, can be found here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (15)

Infinite Days - Rebecca Maizel
*August 3rd, 2010 St. Martin's Griffin

When Lenah Beaudonte, a 500-year-old vampire queen, wakes up a human teenager at an ultra-cliquey prep school, she must choose between embracing the humanity she’s always craved and saving her new friends from her vicious coven. The first in a sizzling new YA series.

Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish.

Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?

So far, this one seems to have gotten a ton of positive reviews, which always boosts a book's appeal. Although it does appear to be another vampire book, the synopsis seems to suggest a twist - a vampire wanting to live a human life? How very opposite of one particular brunette *cough* Bella *cough*.

And I mean, with the mention of a coven, it'll be really interesting to see a different take on the whole vampire mythology. 500 years old? Waking up centuries later? Sounds like it's brimming with potential!

So there's my pick for the week. What're you waiting on this Wednesday?

*WoW is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine

Monday, July 5, 2010

Game Plan for July

So here's the deal - I'm jetting off to Asia for a couple of weeks, basically for the rest of July. I'm not sure how much access I'll have to the internet in that time, so I'll probably be pretty sparse around the blogosphere.

But - I do have a few pre-scheduled posts already and I'm planning on preparing a couple more before I go, so hopefully that'll tide us over for the remainder of the month.

And who knows, maybe I'll chronicle parts of my adventure and we'll get just get some good ol' travel blogging (would you guys be interested in that?).

I've also picked up a snazzy new camera for this trip, the Panasonic Lumix DMC FH20, so you can probably expect a review upon my return. Speaking of cameras, I'll probably end up being snap-happy and take a fair amount of shots, so do you guys think it'd be worthwhile to have a picture post then too?

In the meantime, don't forget to enter the giveaway for 5 copies of Laurie Sandell's The Impostor's Daughter. Until next time, happy July!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

In My Mailbox [39] & $60 CSN Winner

This week I received my Prophecy Superfan Prize Pack in the mail, which was super exciting. It consisted of 5 bookmarks (double sided, Prophecy on one side and Guardian on the other), two flower hair pins, a rose button and a super adorable gilded picture frame. The tassels on the bookmarks are a nice touch, and personally I love it when I can stick a matching bookmark into its respective book. Thanks very muchly, Michelle!

I hope you're excited for August 1st. Why, you ask? Because that's when Guardian of the Gate, successor to Prophecy of the Sisters, comes out. And if you haven't read PotS yet, you definitely should - it recently released in paperback. (& pst - for a limited time, if you get a paperback copy of Prophecy you could get a signed bookplate from Michelle).

Still not convinced? Check out my review of Prophecy of the Sisters. Furthermore, Michelle has definitely got to be one of the nicest people out there, and her writing is gorgeous to boot. Definitely some of the best period writing I've read in a while. (For those of you who write, she also hosts weekly Thursday Night Write events where you can share you work and get feedback).

For more information, pop by her website.

*In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.


And now, the moment you've all been waiting for - the announcement of the winner of the $60 giftcard to CSN Stores. *drum roll please*

And without further ado, congratulations...

Jenny N!

There's also currently a contest on to win The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell here, so pop on by and enter that as well.

Cheers :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Giveaway: The Impostor's Daughter

Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress, Ambien addict). Later, she lucks into the perfect job--interviewing celebrities for a top women's magazine. Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. But while researching an article on her dad's life, she makes an astonishing discovery: he's not the man he says he is--not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them--herself.
Today we have three copies of The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell up for grabs, courtesy of Hachette Book Group. This is a graphic memoir, and as such contains adult themes (and isn't intended for children).

Contest is open to U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses, no PO boxes, please. Ends July 30th, 2010. Have at it!

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