Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Divergent /Divergent Book 1/ by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent (Divergent Book 1)
Author: Veronica Roth
Pages: 487
Published: May 3rd, 2011
Synopsis: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance. (from Goodreads.com)

There are five factions in the world that now exists, separating the population not by riches, religion or color, but by human qualities. Those that are selfless, like Beatrice's mother and father, belong to the Abnegation faction. Those who are brave, like the kids from school who jump from moving trains and scale ridiculously high buildings, belong to the Dauntless. At the age of sixteen, you must choose which faction to join. Beatrice must decide to stay with her family in Abnegation, or choose another. But, Beatrice has never been very selfless. Still, she isn't sure if she can leave her family in Abnegation when "faction before family" are the practices of the people.

Divergent is one of the best dystopian novels I have ever read. It seems that while all of these dystopians are being published in the wake of The Hunger Games, none of them quite live up to it's unique, addicting plot. However, Divergent has joined the ranks of The Hunger Games with Beatrice/Tris's strength and Veronica Roth's brilliantly, prosaic writing. From the moment I opened the front cover, I was addicted to the lines running through every page. With action and thoughts that I could relate to, Tris is a most marvelous character. She knows she doesn't quite fit in among the Abnegation, but it's all she has ever really known. Divergent is the story of Tris and her journey through a life that she isn't sure is right. She is selfish and kind and one of the bravest characters I have ever seen grace the pages of a book. She looks at the world like she can conquer it, no matter that she is small, no matter that she is weak at times, she will do whatever she must.

Divergent is full of so many wonderful things, amazingly developed characters, a beautifully bittersweet plot and a love that wiggles it's way into an action packed story. The twists and turns will pull and shove you through the dark and light that is Divergent. Making you wish for so much, but never letting you know if you will get your wish. Veronica Roth's debut novel is brilliant and lovely and the depth of beauty in her words made me feel the book and experience the amazingness that is Tris and this new futuristic world where anything is possible.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Dark and Hollow Places /The Forest of Hands and Teeth Book 3/ by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth Book 3)
Author: Carrie Ryan
Pages: 377
Published: March 22nd, 2011 by Delacorte Books
Synopsis:There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.
Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction? (from Goodreads.com)

The Dark and Hollow Places is a truly dark and mesmerizing tale of zombies and love. Told from a new point of view, Annah, Gabriela's twin, is in the Dark City where she has been waiting years for Elias to return. It's a city where death is only a heartbeat away and either learn to take care of yourself or you will be the next unconsecrated walking in the haunting city limits.

Annah was one of my favorite characters yet. She is haunted by the day she left her sister in the woods because she'd hurt herself and couldn't keep up. All her thoughts and actions are interspersed with her leaving her sister, the guilt plaguing her constantly. But then again, so does the fact that she is alone in a city waiting for Elias to return and save her. The Dark and Hollow Places is Annah's quest to realize that in the end, she must save herself.

Carrie Ryan created a fascinating world with The Forest of Hands and Teeth (see my review) with a village buried in the middle of a forest, surrounded by our deepest darkest nightmares. She continued her zombie destruction in The Dead Tossed Waves (see my review) by expanding the world of those still alive and fighting the infestation of death that plagues every crevice of the existing world. With The Dark and Hollow Places, Ryan shows us what it is to be strong, how sisters will fight to be together and how you may deserve more than you ever thought you could. Scarred and tough, Annah is a breathtaking character, forced to be what she must, pushed to the extreme in the unconsecrated's fight for death. She finds Catcher and while she doesn't trust this half dead man, he makes her feel more alive than anything ever did.

The Dark and Hollow Places's dystopian world of death and destruction is breathtakingly beautiful. Your heart will race and your palms will sweat with the knowledge that survival may not be possible. But, it is on the precipice of death that life seems so much more important and that to be unconsecrated is to lose all the wonderful things that make life worth living.

With a beautifully developed plot and brilliantly flawed characters, Carrie Ryan has spun, for us, a tale of deranged love and painful heartache, giving us brilliant prose and everything, EVERYTHING, we could ever ask for; love, kissing, pain, survival and zombies.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Movie News V

As everyone knows, the Hunger Games casting is progressing at a crazy fast speed and all our favorite (and maybe not so favorite) characters are being cast. I talked about the casting of Katniss, Gale and Peeta in my first Movie News. In my second volume of Movie News I went over casting for a lot of the tributes for the film. Now, I'm pretty happy with a lot of the selection and as you can see from my posting of Movie News Volume III Jennifer Lawrence is looking pretty good as Katniss. I just hope that she plays the part well.

Here is a full spread pic that I really like:

Okay, on with my newer posting:

Here are the latest character picks for casting:

Donald Sutherland as
President Snow

*I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE Donald Sutherland. I think he is a fabulous actor and although he is playing evil, he will be absolutely fabulous!*

Lenny Kravitz as

*this I think is one of the biggest appointments of the whole show. I mean, it's Cinna. The amazing stylist who turns Katniss into the girl on fire. Hope Lenny lives up to his role.*

Latarsha Rosa as

*Portia is Peeta Mellark's appointed stylist during the 74th and 75th Hunger Games - I think they picked her perfectly. She fits the image in my head*

Brooke Bundy as

*Octavia is one of the girls from Cinna's prep team*

Woody Harrelson as
Haymitch Abernathy

*I think they did perfect with this part, although I would have loved to have seen Robert Downy Jr. play the drunkard, but I still think Harrelson will do great.*

Stanley Tucci as
Caesar Flickerman

*Okay, I adore Stanley Tucci. Any movie he's been in, he is just brilliant. I feel he will do Ceasar quite fabulous. Anyone who doesn't quite remember Flickerman, he's the talkshow host who interviews/introduces all the contestants to the Capitol.*

Toby Jones as
Claudius Templesmith

*the bombastic announcer of the Hunger Games*

Wes Bentley as
Seneca Crane

*the 74th Annual Hunger Games Head Gamemaker*

Jack Quaid (left)
to play
male tribute District 1

Levin Ramblin (right)
to play
female tribute District 1

Alexander Ludwig (Left)
to play
male tribute District 2

Isabelle Fuhrman (Right)
to play
female tribute District 2

Jan Nelson (left)
to play
male tribute from District 3

Kalia Prescott
to play
female tribute from District 3

Ethan Jamieson (left)
to play
male tribute from District 4

Tara Macken (right)
to play
female tribute from District 4

Chris Mark (left)
to play
Tribute from District 5

Jackie Emerson (right)
to play
Foxface (from District 5)

Ashton Moio (left)
to play
male tribute (District 6)

Kara Peterson (right)
to play
female tribute (District 6)

Samuel Tan (left)
to play
male tribute (District 8)

Mackenzie Lintz (right)
to play
female tribute (District 8)

Imanol Vepez-Frias (left)
to play
male tribute (from District 9)

Annie Thurman (right)
to play
female tribute (from District 9)

Jeremy Marinas (left)
to play
male tribute (District 10)

Dakota Hood (right)
to play
female tribute (District 10)

Amandla Stenberg (left)
to play

Dayo Okeniyi (right)
to play

Both from District 11

Amber Chaney
Avox Girl

*Avoxes are Capitol slaves who've had their tongues cut out over some perceived act of rebellion. Chaney will play the Avox who attends to Katniss before she goes into the arena, and who Katniss realizes she has a connection to.*

It will be really interesting to see how everything turns out for this film. I'm excited to see the finished outcome.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Giveaway @ Read After Your Bedtime Book Reviews

Hi my readers! I just wanted to notify everyone of a giveaway my friend Kate is having over at her blog, Read After Your Bedtime Book Reviews. It goes through July 1st and involves:

Giveaway Time!

So here's what's up for grabs:

One Winner Will Receive:
-1 Signed Postcard
-1 Postcard with the gorgeous cover
-1 Bookmark of all the Class of 2K11 who can be found here- http://www.classof2k11.com/
If there is enough interest I may add another winner but I promised Kiki that I would give some to my library :)

So, head on over to Kate's blog Read After Your Bedtime Book Reviews and enter!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Dark Days of Supernatural Tour - Arizona Experience

Okay, I don't know how many remember my post about the Dark Days tour hitting Arizona and my attendance, but it actually happened. I was a book signing virgin, believe it or not, and so I was so giddy and excited I was kind of shaking. I also found that when this type of situation presents itself, I inevitably start to spurt verbal nonsense. I mean, I look back on the things I say and apparently none of my conversations were very well thought out words, they just seemed to spew from my mouth with no control. Needless to say, the authors didn't mind and totally rocked.

Here is me with Veronica Roth the author of Divergent. She was my favorite author there. As I told the Mad Scientist, she was my type of people. I could tell she was a little nervous, but she was so sweet and cracked me up. Plus, she totally got my Maggie Stiefvater fetish and so I loved her even more.
Here I am (not the best angle, I'm kind of missing my chin) with Josephine Angelini the author of Starcrossed. She was so sweet and adorable. She told me she was so nervous...she even showed me her hand shaking. It made it all that much better to think that a bunch of people (me included) between the ages of 13-30 could made anyone nervous.

Here is just a shot of the authors, although its not the best. Just to give you an idea. In the middle was Aprilynne Pyke and Ellen Schrieber. I haven't read either of their books so I have no pictures with them.

It was held at the local bookstore, Changing Hands, which if anyone is curious is where Stephenie Meyer always has all of her signings. (that was when she actually wrote books and worried about fan participation)

Overall, it was an excellent experience. I've now got 2 signed books by Veronica Roth and Josephine Angelini and I'm absolutely thrilled about it. It was only the 4 authors as Tara Hudson and Amy Plum pulled out after Texas (I don't know why), but the authors there were so awesome, I forgot the other 2 completely.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Jane True (book four/4) Eye of the Tempest - Cover Reveal

Hello my dearest readers!! Okay, you all know my complete love and obsession with all things Jane True. If not, then you just need to check my posts to realize it's becoming a bit ridiculous, this fixation on Jane *wink wink*. You may also check my reviews of her first three books (book 1, book 2, book 3). So, in joining with my love, I'm here to show you the newly released cover.

Synopsis: Nothing says "home" like being attacked by humans with very large guns, as Jane and Anyan discover when they arrive in Rockabill. These are professionals, brought into kill, and they bring Anyan down before either Jane or the barghest can react. Seeing Anyan fall awakens a terrible power within Jane, and she nearly destroys herself taking out their attackers.

Jane wakes, weeks later, to discover that she's not the only thing that's been stirring. Something underneath Rockabill is coming to life: something ancient, something powerful, and something that just might destroy the world.

Jane and her friends must act, striking out on a quest that only Jane can finish. For whatever lurks beneath the Old Sow must be stopped...and Jane's just the halfling for the job. (From Goodreads.com)

This cover is actually a new spin on the old ones. The cover designer is the same (Sharon Tancredi), but Orbit wanted to kick it up a notch, hoping for more eye catching results. Personally, while I do love this new cover, I prefer the old color theme and design, the second and third being my favorites. However, I'm a Jane True/Nicole Peeler fangirl through and through and I'm content either way. I'm throroughly thrilled that Blondie made it onto the cover, but I would have loved a motorcycle Anyan or anything Anyan really. *prrrrrrr*

(previous covers below) What do you think of the newest edition to Jane True?

The release date for this next book is: July 26th, 2011

Amazon/Barnes and Noble/The Book Depository

The Author:

Orbit Books:

Previous Covers:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Blogger Hop - 6/10-6/13

I haven't participated in the book blogger hop for a long time and I've decided today that I would because I really like the question. So, for all those visiting for the first time, welcome...and all you other visitors who've been to my closet before, welcome back to the madness that is Jen!

Today's Question: Who is the one author you are dying to meet?

Okay, this question is just not fair...the ONE author?? There are so many! Even shrinking my list to the smallest possible number, I'd say there are 2 that I'd just love LOVE to meet. I can't leave off to just one because I love them both so....I'm cheating and putting TWO!

The TWO authors I am dying to meet are Maggie Stiefvater & Nicole Peeler.

Now, for those of you who don't know who these ladies are, I'll tell you:

Maggie Stiefvater is the author of Shiver, Linger & Forever as well as The Scorpio Races, Lament & Ballad. Her blog is one of my addictions and every post makes me laugh without fail. I want to meet her for that reason, to experience all her funny brilliance in person.

Nicole Peeler is the author of the Jane True series and the creator of my favorite fictional boyfriend Anyan Bargahest. For all those curious, Jane True is an adult series about a half selkie who totally kicks butt and is so funny you will probably pee your pants. Her humor is beyond hilarious and I stalk her blog on a regular basis. Her posts are awesome and I want to meet the woman behind them as Dr. Peeler seems fun, nice and wickedly funny.

What about you, who would you like to meet?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
: Ransom Riggs
: 352
: June 7th, 2011 by Quirk Books
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows. (from goodreads.com)

The dreams of a six year old boy are nothing more than to be just like the grandfather he's loved and worshiped as long as he can remember. This very same grandfather who's told him of amazing children who can levitate or hold flame in their hands or of boys who are invisible or have bees living inside of them. But, he's also told of the monsters that hide in the shadows who want to kill those same people and himself. Our six year old, Jacob, loves this world of amazing and horror that his grandfather has told him of - all experienced by himself while living at an orphanage in Whales.

However, at the age of seven, our dear Jacob doesn't believe in these tales any longer and decides that it's a lighter side to the dark that was his grandfathers true life, growing up in Europe during World War II. Jacob still loves and worships the ground his grandfather walks on, but in the end, is it enough?

With a twisted plot that will surprise you at every turn, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a wondrously, deranged story of the peculiar things that are all around us. The amazing story of, now teenaged, Jacob and the list of trials he must get through to find the road through his grandfather's head, is nothing short of intriguing and fascinating. I feel that Ransom Riggs had me in mind when he went to work on this fabulous story about an abandoned orphanage and the many peculiar children that at, one point, inhibited such a place. With descriptions that make you feel like you've become a part of the landscaping, and the snarky replies of Jacob himself, we see past and present meld together in what could only be called a spectacular presentation of supernatural delight.

And throughout the book, the surprises never stop giving. With an original story that's never been told, Mr. Riggs grasps the mind of his readers, never to give them up until the very last page has turned. Every page giving something amazing to it's handler, whether it be words of delight or images of wonder that are at time so deranged, you can't help but look at them and ponder if something so extreme is actually possible. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was so riveting and immensely entertaining, I never wanted to put it down. And while Mr. Riggs has undoubtedly created an intense, scary plot, he still is able to add to it with the funny narrations of Jacob and his grandfather and the heartache of what separation and time does to all, no matter who or what they are. With a well developed cast of characters, plot and location each moment feels like you were there, experiencing it firsthand, your heart beating along with Jacobs as he learns just what it is to be peculiar. (Rating: 4.5/5)

-Check out Ransom Riggs

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

Title: The Lipstick Laws
Author: Amy Holder
Pages: 240
Published: April 4th, 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Synopsis: At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her. For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity. But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?

I must admit, I wanted to read this book because I'm a complete cover slut. Yes. I said it. I'm a cover slut. And oddly enough, there is something about the lips on this cover that intrigue me.

Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder deeply reminded me of Mean Girls with and ending I enjoyed better. I think I may be the odd female out when I say that I didn't care for the movie Mean Girls all that much, but before you get any ideas, I did really really like this book. April Bowers, our main character, I feel for during this book. Maybe it's because I hated (with the passion of a trillion suns) high school. April though, she gets the chance to be in the popular group. Now, it takes a bit of a different turn than she would like, but isn't that truly the way it is supposed to be?

Amy Holder does a fabulous job at turning a story that we've all hear before, into something new and a bit twisted. The Lipstick Laws are more than just the title of the book. They are the evil plans of a sadistic Britney Taylor to take over the school...and she does. I've never quite understood what made popular people popular. I find it sad that a skinny waste and big boobs can put a girl at the top of the hierarchy, but 10 years ago, when I was in high school, that is exactly what happened. Maybe that's why I choose to read YA contemporary as much as I do, I'm always hoping for a happy ending, an ending that was nothing like mine and as wonderful as it aught to have been.

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder is something along those lines. With lessons taught and lessons learned, the fun just never stops and the cross dressing just keeps on giving. That's right, the cross dressing. Needless to say, this book wasn't boring and in the end, we see what good can come from misery.

I received this book free of charge from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

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