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August 29, 2010

IMM 12

Sorry guys I've been kind of AWOL lately because of school but I am back! 

This is my In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie! 

I got a lot of great books this week that I am really excited to read!

The Hunger Games Trilogy Box Set by Suzanne Collins 

A Jennifer Sturman Pize Pack from The Bookologist 

From Around The World Tours:
The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

For Book Tours:

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner

For Review
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

What did you get in your mailbox this week?


August 17, 2010

CSN Giveaway!

Hey guys! You have probably noticed quite a few giveaways and reviews for CSN Stores! And for good reason. CSN has a great variety of different things, do you need a bedroom vanity? Or possibly a new bookshelf? Well then CSN has what you are looking for! So today I have up for grabs a $80 gift code to CSN stores.

U.S. only
13 and older only
must fill out the form by Sept 1 at 9:00 PM central time

Fill out this form to enter! Good luck!

August 9, 2010

The Body at the Tower

Title:  The Body at the Tower (The Agency, # 2)
Author: Y.S. Lee
Publisher:  Candlewick
Release Date:  August 10, 2010
Received From:  Publisher via Traveling 2 Teens
This is another colourful, action-packed Victorian detective novel about the exploits of agent Mary Quinn. At a young age, Mary Quinn is rescued from the gallows and taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. The school turns out to be a front for a private detective agency. At age 17, Mary takes on her first case (A Spy in the House). In this, the second book of the series, Mary Quinn sets out to uncover the truth behind a suspicious death at St. Stephen's Tower, better known as the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. The accident occurred after hours in a highly public part of town and despite the presence of night watchmen. Mary, disguised as Mark Quinn, becomes a builder's assistant to find out the truth about the body at the tower.

Warning slight spoilers for the first book. And possibly some fangirling.

I love historical fiction. I like to go back in time and see an event or place through different eyes. Mary Quinn is a fabulous heroine, she is spunky, fun, strong-willed, and doesn't let anything get in her way. It was cool to see another side of Mary, and to delve deeper into her past. 

I liked the variety of characters in this second installment. I felt that there were more different types of characters that really added to the storyline. Also.... James is back! Yay, I was so excited James was one of my favorite characters from the first book and I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow throughout this novel. 

The plot of this novel was good, it was fact paced and left me guessing. Lee also does a great job of building tension and setting. I found myself completely immersed in the book and completely captivated by the storyline. I really enjoyed how different this book was from the first one, Lee was in no way lazy in creating a new story. 

I don't want to give anything away so I will stop now, but the minute I finished this book I ran to my computer to double check that there was a third book! So I totally recommend that you pick up this novel when it comes out tomorrow, especially if you like mystery and historical fiction!

Make sure to check out the rest of the tour as well as my guest post with Y.S. Lee!

Mon. 8/2 - Kristi (The Story Siren)
Tues. 8/3 - Kristen (Bookworming in the 21st Century)
Wed. 8/4 - Sarah GreenBeanTeenQueen
Thurs. 8/5 - Lizzy (Cornucopia of Reviews)
Fri. 8/6 - Ari (Reading in Color)
Mon. 8/9 - Mariah  (A Reader's Adventure)
Tues. 8/10 - Steph Su (Steph Su Reads)
Wed. 8/11 - Cecilia (The Epic Rat)
Thurs. 8/12 - Laura (Laura’s Review Bookshelf)
Fri. 8/13 - The Book Smugglers

Y.S. Lee Guest Post

Hey guys! Today I have a guest post by the awesome Y.S. Lee, author of the Agency trilogy.

Welcome! This is the fifth essay about Notorious Victorians I wrote to celebrate the publication of my second novel, The Body at the Tower. Today and tomorrow, I’ll be looking at different aspects of Victorian celebrity – the way it develops and explodes.

Oscar Wilde’s public persona – languid, extravagant, quippy – often overshadows his body of work. He was a poet, essayist, playwright and novelist, but sometimes it seems that he’s best remembered for having been gay. This, of course, is far from the full picture.

Wilde adored being the centre of attention from a very young age – from his childhood, as a clever student of French and German, to his brilliant undergraduate career at Oxford. At university, he cultivated his persona – the peacock costumes, the drawled witticisms – and proclaimed himself an aesthete, someone highly sensitive to beauty. After graduation, he went on a lecture tour of North America, where enthusiastic cheers and loud sneers followed him across the continent. Perhaps the kind of attention didn’t matter: he was achieving celebrity. (Sound familiar, readers of 2010?)

Wilde returned to London, began writing journalism, married, and had two children. He later turned to fiction, writing short stories, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and satirical plays. At this period, he also began having sex with men – an illegal act in Victorian England. It was a dangerous double life, pitting Wilde the intellectual dandy against Wilde the sexual outlaw. Even so, what tipped him from thrilling spectacle into disgraceful scandal was Wilde’s own inability to understand how perilous this balance was. Wilde was, in many ways, the author of his own downfall.

When accused of being a sodomite (a Victorian term that comes from the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah), Wilde sued his accuser for criminal libel. It’s extraordinary to think that he expected to win. Wilde’s sexual activities were dug up and exposed to pubic scrutiny. The disgrace destroyed his career, his marriage (his family changed their surname and moved to the Continent), and his reputation. After serving his prison sentence, Wilde retreated to France, where he died in relative poverty.

Wilde’s journey from celebrity to exile was fuelled by his lifelong passion for attention, his insistence on flirting with notoriety. It’s a case of pushing a little too far, a little too long, and being surprised to find, instead of an adoring audience, a judging, unsympathetic public. Join me tomorrow when I look at a another Victorian celebrity who created his own public spectacle for entirely different reasons.


I found this guest post awesome for a few reasons, primarily because the day I received this post I had just started reading The Picture of Dorian Gray and was wondering about the author. So imagine my surprise when I got home and saw this in my inbox! Thanks Y.S. Lee!

Find Y.S. Lee

And be sure to check out the rest of the tour
Mon. 8/2 - Kristi (The Story Siren)
Tues. 8/3 - Kristen (Bookworming in the 21st Century)
Wed. 8/4 - Sarah GreenBeanTeenQueen
Thurs. 8/5 - Lizzy (Cornucopia of Reviews)
Fri. 8/6 - Ari (Reading in Color)
Mon. 8/9 - Mariah  (A Reader's Adventure)
Tues. 8/10 - Steph Su (Steph Su Reads)
Wed. 8/11 - Cecilia (The Epic Rat)
Thurs. 8/12 - Laura (Laura’s Review Bookshelf)
Fri. 8/13 - The Book Smugglers

*All Pictures are from the author's website

August 6, 2010

Claire de Lune

claire de lune
Torn between two destinies?
Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.
As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?.
I enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. Mostly because it was a nice change from so many other werewolf books that have been coming out in the last few years. Also I had a hard time figuring out who the rogue werewolf was, but I did have my suspicions. I also liked how Matthew dealt with her and her problems. He did not just run away.

Claire was a good protagonist because I really felt like I understood her motivations for doing the things she did. Also she actually felt guilt for the things she did which was refreshing from the protagonists who just do whatever they want not caring who they hurt *cough Bella *cough.

I also enjoyed the mythology of the werewolves in this book, but I wish Christine had gone into it even more than she did. The changing process was cool because it was so non-traditional for a werewolf book.

On the other hand, some of the book was boring and unfocused. And I really did not understand the whole “lets keep our daughter’s identities a secret from themselves bit” it was really weird.
Other than that it was a captivating novel with a good set up for a sequel!
4 ivy2

August 5, 2010

Winter's Passage

Title: Winter's Passage (Iron Fey #1.5)
Author:  Julie Kagawa
Publisher:  Harlequin
Release Date: June 1, 2010
Received From:  NetGalley
Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck--Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon--who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.

Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter--a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat...

Winter's Passage is not a full length novel, it is a bridge between The Iron King and The Iron Daughter. It is exclusively available online so go check it out, it adds a little story to the Iron Daughter.

I love the world of The Iron Fey series! Kagawa really makes it come to life. I especially liked this 1/2 book because it gave me my little Ash fix that I needed (Go team Ash!) basically this is a good book to read if you crave the world of the Iron Fey.

I liked how there was tons of action even in such a short novella, and how it is a great transition between The Iron King and The Iron Daughter!

August 4, 2010

Oblivion Road

Title:  Oblivion Road
Author: Alex McAulay
Publisher:  MTV
Release Date:  November 13, 2007
Received From:  Other Shelf Tours

Five stranded teenagers must battle for their lives against a group of escaped convicts, and each other, in this shocking survival thriller from the author of Bad Girls and Lost Summer. Courtney Stanton thinks she's on just another ski trip with her friends -- until a horrific car accident strands them all on an isolated Colorado road during a blizzard. Frightened but alive, Courtney and her companions discover an abandoned vehicle nearby, and seek help. But the vehicle turns out to be a prison van, with the inmates missing, and the guard's dead body in the front seat....

This was my first experience with Alex's work but the premise really captivated me. The book sounds scary and it is, but not overly scary, Alex wove a story with rich detail that made me believe I was actually in the cold (even though it was 95 degrees outside.)

I liked the characters, they were different and interesting and I was really rooting for them to escape. But the book was very slow, it took forever for the inmate to even show up at their vehicle, and it took a long time for them to make any decisions. I almost put the book down because it was so slow, but wanting to find out what would happen kept me reading. And even though I figured out the ending there were different twists that I was not expecting.

Boys will also be a fan of this book because it is gory and scary at times, and there is not too much mushiness.
The plot was really cool, but it went very slowly, which really hurt this book, I think if it had been less slow I would have enjoyed it more. But if you are looking for a semi-scary novel to keep you cool this summer and don't mind a slow book pick this one up.

Once Upon A Week Review: Sisters Red (Re-post)

Title: Sisters Red
Author:  Jackson Pearce
Publisher:  Little Brown
Release Date:  June 7, 2010
Received From:  ATWT

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.

So ever since I found Jackson's blog I have been waiting to read her books, I read As You Wish and loved it, so I was even more excited to read this fairy tale retelling!

While the story of Little Red Riding Hood has never been my favorite fairy tale, I was very interested to see this new spin! Jackson really put a cool twist on these characters, they were fun, tinged with the seriousness of the storyline. The little love story really added something of realism to this otherwise totally out of there plot. As opposed to other stories where the romance adds nothing, so I really appreciated that.

This book is written from both Scarlett and Rosie's points of view, which was cool because they both had so different perceptions on hunting. I also really enjoyed the different take on the "werewolves" many of the books that have been coming out lately, show werewolves only in a positive light so it was refreshing to read a book where they were just raw, evil, monsters.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I definitely recommend it, definitely pick it up when it gets into stores! I also cannot wait for Jackson's next book, and the next book in this series!

Cover: I love the cover! It is so pretty and a definite change from many red and black covers!

This was re-posted as part of Once Upon A Week! Go check it out!

August 1, 2010

The Eternal Ones

Title:  The Eternal Ones
Author:  Kirsten Miller
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: August 10, 2010
Received From:  ATWT and ALA
Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

 I first fell in love with Kirsten's writing in her Kiki Strike novels which if you have not read you need to. The Eternal Ones was a huge jump from the Kiki Strike series but still fun, so if you liked those books you will like The Eternal Ones as well!

The first time I read this book I was dumbfounded, throughout the entire book I had no idea who the bad guy was. Just like Haven I was constantly confused by who the villain was. I would think it was SPOILER but then he would reassure her and so I would think it was SPOILER just to be convinced it was the other person again. I love books where I am just as surprised as the character when I find out who the bad person is.

The second time I read it (after ALA) I found myself still unsure who the bad person was even though I knew who it was. I found myself thinking, maybe I was wrong and it was SPOILER, that is good storytelling people.

The characters were beautifully written. They were all different and convincing. Beau was definitely my favorite I want him to be my best friend!

I really enjoyed this book! And I definitely recommend it to everyone!