Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (June 30th)

This post was inspired by a post I saw on the Should Be Reading blog. To play along, answer the following 3 questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you will read next?





I am currently reading Evernight by Claudia Gray. I don't really know how I feel about it, it's not quite what I expected. And it is written a little differently. I am half way through it, so I will see what my feelings are at the end. Hopefully good, because there are 2 more books in the series. :D





I just finished this ARC, The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge by Patricia Duncker. It was centered around a suicide cult. Disturbingly brilliant if I do say so.





I'm not quite sure what I'll read next. I really should read the next in the series I'm reading, but I don't know if I'm that into it. I have these three books on my shelf, If I Stay by Gayle Foreman, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Glass Houses by Rachel Caine. I think I might actually start with Pride and Prejudice. Possibly to get off my vampire kick :D I could use a good love story too, classics always bring good things to my life. Yes, I know random, but to each his own.

What are your 3 W's? My curiosity is aching, please help the agony and let me know!

(and for kicks and giggles here is the trailer for Pride and Prejudice the movie as I do love it so!)


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Quiz by Gail Carriger: Are you a Vampire, Werewolf, Ghost or Soulless?

I know you all have always been wondering whether you were either a Vampire, Werewolf, Ghost or Soulless. Well, wonder no more! :D The lovely Gail Carriger, author of Soulless and Changeless has written up a quiz to put your curious minds to rest.

Actually, it was really fun and I highly recommend doing it. I am apparently a ghost, which description kinda does fit me. However I'd hoped to be soulless because I do adore Alexia Terrabotti. Oh well, we can't all be soulless.

Good luck and leave in my comments what you are. Its fun and you don't need to sign up, just put your first name and hit "take quiz".

Click HERE to take you to the page.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge by Patricia Duncker

Title: The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge
Author: Patricia Duncker
Pages: 260
Published: July 6th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA
Genre: Adult, Fiction, Murder Mystery, Cult
Overall Rating: Cropped Purple ButterflyCropped Purple ButterflyCropped Purple ButterflyCropped Purple Butterfly

Synopsis: The bodies are discovered on New Year’s Day, sixteen dead in the freshly fallen snow. The adults lie stiff in a semicircle; the children, in pajamas and overcoats, are curled at their feet. When he hears the news, Commissaire André Schweigen knows who to call: Dominique Carpentier, the Judge, also known as the “sect hunter.” Carpentier sweeps into the investigation in thick glasses and red gloves, and together the Commissaire and the Judge begin searching for clues in a nearby chalet. Among the decorations and unwrapped presents of a seemingly ordinary holiday, they find a leather-bound book, filled with mysterious code, containing maps of the stars. The book of the Faith leads them to the Composer, Friedrich Grosz, who is connected in some way to every one of the dead. Following his trail, Carpentier, Schweigen, and the Judge’s assistant, Gaëlle, are drawn into a world of complex family ties, seductive music, and ancient cosmic beliefs. Hurtling breathlessly through the vineyards of Southern France to the gabled houses of Lübeck, Germany, through cathedrals, opera houses, museums, and the cobbled streets of an Alpine village, this ferocious new novel is a metaphysical mystery of astonishing verve and power. (Synopsis from Goodreads.com)

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I actually won this book in a giveaway and was beyond thrilled at the prospect of an exciting book that I didn't have to pay for. The novel starts off with the finding of a mass of dead bodies, which immediately grabbed me. For why on this dreadful Earth, would all those adults and children be lying in such an odd arrangement in the horrible snow? Well, I won't give you too many of the fabulous horrible details, but it most definitely has to do with a religious sect. Apparently, it isn't the first time this has happened and the police don't even seem to be phased by such a heart wrenching thing as children bundled in furs and poisoned to death. What pray tell is this madness?!

I'll tell you, it's a "suicide cult" who kill themselves and their children, but why. Why would they do something so horrible?

To this I would say that religion can and has made people do many things that I would look at with complete and utter horror, so why should this be any different. Why should a group of people, hand selected, to join together in a belief that unites them phase me? It doesn't, but there seems to be something off about this Faith and its followers. Maybe it's because our main character The Judge cannot find anything about them or
the Faith. She cannot discover the beliefs and gospels held within and she cannot read the code inside the book of the Faith. The whole affair is shrouded in mystery, drawing everyone into its clutches. But our Judge, Dominique Carpentier does not give up. It is not in her nature to do so. But is what she finds in the end worth it? I will let you be "the Judge" and decide.

This I will say, as a whole, the book was a remarkable piece of fiction for which held me on to the bitter end. Although the book is told from a 3rd person omniscient point of view, The Judge is our main character and as a main character, I'd like to add myself as one of her adoring admirers. She is a tough cookie, always in control of what she wants. I think that it was probably her ability to look at most things with undeniable reason and without the drama of life intermixed that I loved.

She was not the only lovable character within the book, which made it an even more enjoyable read for me. The Composer was a lovely heated mess. Her assistant was so different from the norm that I could not help but adore her crass.

However, the French and German sentences thrown into the sentence mix really threw my reading and became annoying at times. I may be able to read French, but deciphering it is a whole other matter. And the German was even worse. There was also way too much description of things that were not important AT ALL to the story. How certain things looked and their position to The Judge was really just bothersome. It did not help to paint any specific portrait surrounding the plot except to confuse me with its excessive wording. Towards the end I began to skim over the extreme descriptions.

But, the story was still magnificent and disturbingly brilliant. Suicide cults have always intrigued me and caused my curiosity to flow like a hurricane. So, the book gets marked up for its excellent, gripping story and down for its excessive descriptions of the unimportant and its surplus of French and German (both languages I have nothing against).

4 out of 5 Butterflies Cropped Purple ButterflyCropped Purple ButterflyCropped Purple ButterflyCropped Purple Butterfly

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Title: Prophecy of the Sisters
Author: Michelle Zink
Pages: 343
Published: August 1st, 2009 by Little Brown & Co.
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Paranormal, Some Romance, Mystery, Coming of Age
Overall Rating: PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe and her twin sister Alice have just become orphans, and, as Lia discovers, they have also become enemies. The twins are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other. To escape from a dark fate and to remain in the arms of her beloved boyfriend James, Lia must end the prophecy before her sister does. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents' deaths, the true meaning of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her. Debut novelist Michelle Zink takes readers on an unforgettable journey where one sister's fateful decision could have an impact of Biblical proportions. Prophecy of the Sisters is the first of three books.

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Woe the tales of predestination and agency. Do we have a choice of what we will make of ourselves, or are our lives already decided for us? This is the underlying story in Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink. Two sisters - twins - and their younger brother Henry are all that remain of the Milthorpe family. They are watched over by their Aunt Virginia, the sister of their long dead mother. The book starts us off on a rainy day in 1890 New York where Zink sets the scene of her debut novel's macabre storyline with an undeniable sense of foreboding.

Our main character, Lia, guides us through her story of the prophecy surrounding her and how it has changed her life. Lia happens to be one of the twins, as I'm sure you know already, but of course she is the elder of the two. She seems to be a very loving soul who wants nothing more than to be with her family and have her father back home and not dead in the ground.

I keep trying to decide what I should say concerning her, I don' t know if I really feel much for her as a character other than she does seem to be a good person. She seems kind and caring and I do like that about her, but other than that she seems to be sort of weak. Meaning that she is always leaning on others to help her and guide her in her decisions. It's not that she isn't willing to help, just that she is too meek to actually do what she must. Now, of course, there is some character development that helps her towards the end grow into herself and find her strength, but still she doesn't seem like a strong enough character to be the lead.

However, there are some characters that I do love much better. Sonia and Luisa, Lia's partners in crime, are so different from one another, but lovable nonetheless. Sonia, although soft spoken seems very strong and knowledgeable. Luisa is fun, loud and has the force of an ox if necessary. I think I actually can relate to Luisa the most because she does what she must and still does not let it deter her. Her personality calls to me in the most interesting ways.

Interestingly enough, one of my most favorite characters would have to be Edmund, the old employee of her father. I would imagine him in his late 30's, but I've always carried a love for the quiet souls in books who look after those they care about, but don't make too big a scene about it. I think it is their hidden personalities that intrigue me so.

All the characters have their place in the story, they all have the ways that they affect one another and of course the menacing prophecy that looms over their heads. It is quite fascinating the turns the book takes and where it leads us at the end. I mean, what could be better than two twin sisters at war with one another in the fight for good versus evil?! Might we say a fight of biblical proportions? Well, maybe not, but there does seem to be quite a bit of talk throughout of the Bible and of the Beast aka, Satan. Even if our main character isn't really religious, the undertones cannot go unnoticed.

As a whole, I greatly enjoyed this book. I highly appreciated how it made me think and grasp for concepts that I might not ponder all that much. I found it interesting and rather well versed. It's always nice to find a good author. The only thing I would have wished for would have been a stronger main character and a whole lot more of James, her best friend and love. He really wasn't in it that much and he was such a sweet, wonderful character. He was hardly developed into the book, so quite a few of the references to him almost seem out of place, but those were mostly at the end.

However, I still give it a very high rating because the author painted a dark story of the past with alluring words and lovely characters. She gave me two funerals and several cryptic stories for deciphering - I always love a good intrigue. As the book does leave us, of course, with a cliffhanger, I am very excited for the release of the sequel Guardian of the Gate on August 1st of this year.

4 out of 5 Butterflies

Quotes:

" I recall his somber eyes during that last, private conversation. His eyes and his words, far too wise for a boy of ten: only time will tell, Lia.
In the end, I suppose it will."

"I am embarrassed at the effect of his touch. I don't want him to feel my heart striking against the bodice of my gown or to hear my catching breath, so I pull away, eying him playfully. "

Here is the book trailer for this book if you'd like a peak. :D






Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

Title: Bleeding Violet
Author: Dia Reeves
Published: January 2010 by Simon Pulse
Pages: 454
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal/Fantasy, Coming of Age
Overall Rating:
(3.5 out of 5 Butterflies)
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Synopsis: Love can be a dangerous thing....

Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

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I actually read this book in January of this year, drawn into it by its elaborate violet cover. That, and the title, Bleeding Violet. It pulls at all my curious strings, forcing me in the direction of the flowing words within. It was written by author Dia Reeves as her very first novel. Reeves is a 2010 debut author who tends to be a little more happy to talk about death and the crazy things in life versus the opposite. This is what makes this book a brilliant example of what happens when a computer and crazy get together.

I do enjoy a healthy dose of crazy on a regular basis. I think it most definitely lends to a unique story line and very interesting characters. Such as the main character, Hanna, who has a special wardrobe....violet dresses. Only violet dresses.

There must be some reason for the insanity of it all. For wearing nothing other than purple every day. And what pray tell is this book about other than this girl who is obsessed with this specific color? Well, it has a lot to do with
abandonment, death and some seriously wild hallucinations. Yes, hallucinations and to go with them, a very large pill cabinet. Now, take in mind that this book is a paranormal young adult novel, so what is the twist? What is going on in the small little town with this total schizophrenic? My lips are sealed on that account as it doesn't give anything away too fast and I don't want to spoil your fun. However, it was something I'd never even thought about before and it was a clever story of fun and doom. I think people who are a bit insane write the best stories and for that matter movies. Case in point, Tim Burton. Insane, but genius.

So this totally crazy girl who sees things and wears the color purple is also our heroin. All she really wants to be is loved and not feel like she is alone in the world. Mostly, she just wants to be loved by her mother, Rosalee. She also wants to live to see the day when her mother will love her like a daughter, but who knows if that is possible with the things going on in Protero. But our heroin won't give up easy, on life or on her mother. Plus, she has Wyatt to help her along the way, the tough fighter working for the Mortamaine. Who are the Mortamaine you ask.... well lets just say that they are tough and could probably rip your head off your neck with their bare hands.

This book was so brilliant and lovely, but it is definitely not for anyone who cannot think out of the box. The characters are original and their personalities take you for a roller coaster ride of oddity, causing possible shrieking throughout.

All that being said, there were a couple things that I did not like about this book. First off, it talked about sex like it was no big deal for a teenager to do. And not just with one person, with like the whole male student body. Example, Hanna attempts to sleep with the male student body in the order of A-Z, she gets bored after the A's. HUH?

Second, it says the "F" word a lot. Yes, teenagers really do say it a ton, I know, I have younger siblings. However, is it really necessary to say it constantly in a book? Already have to hear it everywhere else.

So, since this is my review and therefore my feelings. I would have given it 4 butterflies, but it gets marked down 1/2 a star for the things I did not like about it.

But, if those things don't bother you, give this book a try. It is truly an amazing story with fascinating plots and characters and it even has a couple dead fathers as well as a wooden swan with a personality you won't believe.

Quotes:

"Indecisiveness is a very unattractive trait in a man, especially when he's just a boy."

"How did you get out of the suicide door?" Her disbelief was a living, pettable thing.
"Magic."
Her eyes narrowed. "There is no magic."
"Maybe not for you. But I'm from out of town."

"If I can't, then I'll paint the walls of her house red with my blood."

3.5 out of 5
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