Waiting on Wednesday: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

mystic cityMystic City by Theo Lawrence
Release Date: October 9, 2012

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City’s two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn’t remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can’t conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself. (summary from goodreads)

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I love dystopias. This sounds like a great one, and there’s magic! I’m also interested to see how Aria’s memory gaps will be handled; I can’t recall many protagonists who’ve had to deal with that. I’m just hoping there isn’t a love triangle….

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Video Review: Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines

libriomancerInfo:
Title: Libriomancer
Author: Jim C. Hines
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: DAW
Source: Library
Series? Magic Ex Libris #1
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Paranormal Fantasy
Page Count: 308

Summary:

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.

With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . . . (summary from goodreads)

My Review:

YouTube link.

This is my first ever video, so please let me know what you think.

Rating: 5 owls

Socialize with the author:
Jim C. Hines:
Website
Facebook
Twitter @jimchines

– leeanna

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #23

Last Week’s Reads:

The White Forest♦♦
by Adam McOmber
Dearie♦♦
by Bob Spitz
Safekeeping♦♦
by Karen Hesse

This Week’s Reads:

Crewel♦♦
by Gennifer Albin
Adaptation
by Malinda Lo
Starting From Here
by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

I’m starting to feel slightly more organized! I have a calendar made with blog tour dates, and now I’m going to make a loose schedule for review books and dates I want to post reviews. I won’t stick to it 100%, as I don’t want to regulate my reading too much and get burnt out, but just having it will help, I think.

Dearie was a good biography, definitely the best I’ve read of Julia Child. I need to write a review for it, but I find reviews for biographies tricky at times.

I’m almost finished with Crewel. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it before. It’s going to be another hard book to review, but for good reasons.

Adaptation and Starting From Here showed up in the mail on Thursday. I wanted to dive right in, but I was in the middle of a few other books. I usually have at least a few books going, but I want to take my time and enjoy both of those, so they’ve been sitting on my nightstand.

Tomorrow I’m going to post my first book video! Unless I chicken out, that is. Making it was so much harder than I expected, but it was also more fun than than I expected.

Review books received from:
The White Forest: Publisher for blog tour
Dearie: Amazon Vine
Crewel: Amazon Vine
Safekeeping: Amazon Vine

Thank you! ♥

♦♦ indicates books received for review

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey.

The YA linky list for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.

– leeanna

All Quiet on the Writing Front

I’m not going to post a lot about writing this month. Or at least, I don’t plan to. I’m sure you guys get sick of hearing me go on and on about it ;)

I’ve got so many thoughts and ideas swirling in my brain. Some of them have been around for years, and are now combining with other ideas. It’s kind of cool, really, to know stuff I’ve thought about for so long is still something I like and want to do.

Aside from reading books, I’ve also been reading tons of author blogs and interviews, and I’ve bookmarked or saved bits from a lot of articles/interviews. There’s a lot of good stuff I’m taking away, including:

♥ Write every day
♥ Read a lot
♥ Write what makes you happy
♥ Write what you want to read
♥ Don’t be scared
♥ It’s okay to mess up

And so on. A lot of it is common sense, but the more I see it, the more it sinks into my mind. I know I’ll finish my first novel one day — I just have to try and quell my impatience to have it done NOW. I also need to quit worrying that no one will want to read what I want to write.

Right now, I need to remember why I love writing. So I’m spending the rest of September (how is it the 8th already??) working on fun stuff. No more stressing about original fic and how I should have something written by now.

Maybe in November I’ll attempt NaNo again, because having a deadline and a goal can be good for me. If I stick to them, that is.

Now wish me luck, because I’m going to try doing a video review! Here’s hoping I don’t sound or look like a dork, and that someone watches it.

– leeanna

Blog Tour Review: The White Forest by Adam McOmber (and giveaway!)

Today I am one of the stops for Adam McOmber’s debut book, The White Forest, hosted by Shane @ Itching for Books.

the white forestInfo:
Title: The White Forest
Author: Adam McOmber
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Touchstone
Source: Publisher for blog tour
Series? No
Genre: Adult, Gothic, Mystery
Page Count: 320

Summary:

Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father at a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of manmade objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan. But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan’s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London’s elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation, with the goal of discovering a new virtual reality, a place he calls the Empyrean.

A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan’s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent and use it to find Nathan herself, before it’s too late. (summary from goodreads)

My Review:
The White Forest is a hard book to review. In the beginning, I had a hard time getting into it, as it starts off slowly. Whenever I read a lot of YA, I always have an adjustment period when I start something slower, like this book, where the plot unfolds at a languid pace.

Jane is an interesting character. She’s not your typical protagonist — she’s odd, with an equally odd talent. Whenever she touches something, she feels the soul of the object. She calls this ability her “talent,” and it manifested after her mother’s mysterious death. Her talent is the reason Nathan Ashe is so interested in her, and when he disappears, Jane knows she had a role in it.

It took a while for me to get into The White Forest, because of the slow moving story. This is definitely a book to read when you want to sink into a book, and really savor the descriptions and layers of plot. I’m not going to mention anything on the plot, because I think it’s best to discover that for yourself, without any spoilers.

The White Forest embodies a gothic novel, and is probably the best one I’ve read this year. Many elements of gothic novels are present, from mystery and suspense, to supernatural and inexplicable events, to overwrought emotion. Jane came off as a distant character to me, because a lot of her narration was flat, but even so, I could still feel her emotions about her gift and its connection to Nathan’s disappearance.

I’d recommend The White Forest to readers who have patience and enjoy a finely crafted story, as well as readers who like gothic mysteries.

Rating:

Socialize with the author:
Adam McOmber:
Website
Twitter @adammcomber

Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday: Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate & Michael Grant

eve and adamEve and Adam by Katherine Applegate & Michael Grant
Release Date: October 2, 2012

Sixteen-year-old Evening Spiker lives an affluent life in San Francisco with her mother, EmmaRose, a successful geneticist and owner of Spiker Biotech. Sure, Evening misses her father who died mysteriously, but she’s never really questioned it. Much like how she’s never stopped to think how off it is that she’s never been sick. That is, until she’s struck by a car and is exposed to extensive injuries. Injuries that seem to be healing faster than physically possible.

While recuperating in Spiker Biotech’s lush facilities, she meets Solo Plissken, a very attractive, if off-putting boy her age who spent his life at Spiker Biotech. Like Evening, he’s never questioned anything… until now. Solo drops hints to Evening that something isn’t right, and Emma-Rose may be behind it. Evening puts this out of her mind and begins her summer internship project: To simulate the creation of the perfect boy. With the help of Solo, Evening uncovers secrets so big they could change the world completely. (summary from goodreads)

I heard about Eve & Adam because of BEA, and boy, am I glad I did. K.A. Applegate was one of my favorite authors when I was in grade/middle school — I gobbled up the Animorphs series, and I’m still trying to find a good set of Everworld books. To say I’m excited for this is an understatement.

I actually didn’t know that these two are married, and have written most of their books together!

Socialize with the author: Katherine Applegate
Twitter @Kaaauthor

Socialize with the author: Michael Grant
Website
Facebook
Twitter @thefayz

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Review: Keep Sweet by Michele Dominguez Greene

keep sweetInfo:
Title: Keep Sweet
Author: Michele Dominguez Greene
Release Date: March 9, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Library
Series? No
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Page Count: 215

Summary:

Alva Jane has never questioned her parents, never questioned her faith, never questioned her future. She is content with the strict rules that define her life in Pineridge, the walled community where she lives with her father, his seven wives, and her twenty-eight siblings. This is the only world Alva has ever known, and she has never thought to challenge it. But everything changes when Alva is caught giving her long-time crush an innocent first kiss. Beaten, scorned, and now facing a forced marriage to a violent, fifty-year-old man, Alva suddenly realizes how much she has to lose—and how impossible it will be to escape. (summary from amazon)

My Review:
I had a hard time deciding between 2 and 3 owls for Keep Sweet. I’ve read many similar stories, so the plot wasn’t new to me, and while I mostly enjoyed the book while reading, I kept having the feeling that it’s been done before, and done better. So I went with 2 owls.

As I’ve said, I’ve read a lot of similar books. For some reason, I find the FLDS community fascinating. Maybe it’s me wondering how something like it could still exist. I’m not sure. Anyway, I’ve read Escape by Carolyn Jessop, Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall, and Church of Lies by Flora Jessop. I recommend all of those, all memoirs. On the fiction side, I’ve read The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff and Hidden Wives by Claire Avery. So, I have some experience in this “genre.”

My big problem is with Alva Jane, the main character. For a girl that never went to public school, and whose teacher was a thirteen-year-old school dropout, Alva Jane’s voice is way too mature. I could have believed her knowledge more if she’d had forbidden books or something, but at the start of Keep Sweet, Alva Jane is a perfect member of the community.

I also thought Alva Jane’s questioning her faith and beliefs came a bit too swiftly. Yes, I know she experiences some very violent events during the book, but when contrasted with her mother’s zeal, and Alva Jane wishing she was just like her, it felt off to me for her to change so quickly. Maybe if the book had been longer, and Alva Jane’s character had more room for development, it would have worked for me.

Along with the short length of the book, the ending is way too rushed. Keep Sweet moves very quickly from Point A to Point B to Point C.

However, there are some things in Keep Sweet that I liked. One is Brenda, an outsider joining the community, which you don’t often see. The conversations between Alva Jane and Brenda are a good way to see the differences between the Pineridge (fictional FLDS community) and modern life. Another thing is that the author wasn’t scared to hurt her characters. Alva Jane has some very bad things happen to her, which may make the book unsuitable for younger readers.

I’d recommend Keep Sweet only if you haven’t read other books based on the FLDS.

Rating: 2 owls

Socialize with the author:
Michele Dominguez Greene:
Website

– leeanna

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #22

Last Week’s Reads:

 
Libriomancer
by Jim C. Hines
The Chosen One
by Carol Lynch Williams
 

This Week’s Reads:

Between You & Me♦♦
by Marisa Calin
The White Forest♦♦
by Adam McOmber
Dearie♦♦
by Bob Spitz

I forgot today was Monday! I’ll probably get mixed up every day this week, ack.

I had thought about starting the Sookie Stackhouse series, because I want some fun reading, but I spent most of my long weekend with a headache. Lucky me. Not. I’ve decided to just take the rest of today and be lazy, catch up on TV shows and whatnot, and kick off Tuesday with trying to get caught up. I’ve got a ton of stuff upcoming at the blog, so I think it’s time for me to make a calendar so I can keep track of everything!

I have been plugging away at Dearie. It’s a good biography, but quite long, so it’s taking a while to read. Last week I read Libriomancer, which was one of the best books I’ve read in a while. I might try to do a GIF review, because nothing else could show how much I loved it. I recommend it if you love the magic in books.

On September 5, the blog tour for The White Forest will be stopping by here with a review, so check back then to see what I think of it.

Review books received from:
The White Forest: Publisher for blog tour
Dearie: Amazon Vine
Between You & Me: Bloomsbury & NetGalley

Thank you! ♥

♦♦ indicates books received for review

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Book Journey.

The YA linky list for It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.

– leeanna

Instagram for August

I’m still on my Instagram kick! Follow me, I’m leeannac.

September 2012 Page Count Contest

I’m participating in Reading Angel’s page count contest. It’s a fun way to push yourself to read more. My goal for September is 4,000 pages.

Title Author Date Finished Page Count
The White Forest Adam McOmber 09/03/12 320
Safekeeping Karen Hesse 09/07/12 291
Dearie Bob Spitz 09/07/12 534
God Save the Queen Kat Locke 09/16/12 351
Crewel Gennifer Albin 09/18/12 357
The Second Empress Michelle Moran 09/19/12 320
Lies Beneath Anne Greenwood Brown 09/22/12 303
The Fire Rose Mercedes Lackey 09/23/12 448
Sleepers Megg Jensen 09/23/12 171
Afterlife Megg Jensen 09/24/12 151
The Sundering Megg Jensen 09/26/12 159
Nefertiti Michelle Moran 09/29/12 474
       

Running count: 3,879