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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Trailer Thursday (1)

So, to be completely honest, I have never heard of a "book trailer." This probably illustrates just how amateur I am to the book-blogging world :) Well, I am kind of intrigued by this, so here is Thursday's book meme, hosted by The Quill Cafe...

To participate, on a Thursday you post an entry in your blog with an embedded book trailer of your choice (note: the trailer can be fan made but please no movie trailers of book adaptations) with your thoughts and comments underneath. It can be a book you have read, want to read or have never even come across before.

I have never come across this book before. But I definitely remember the author: AVI. As I've already mentioned, I haven't been reading YA fiction for very long, so I don't know if readers out there know of Avi, or if Avi is even considered to be YA, but the minute I saw that name, I all-of-sudden remembered that here was a great author. Years (and years and years) ago, I read a book called The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (I was probably 11-12 years old) and you know how you can remember exactly the words and exactly how you felt from a book you read years ago??

OK, well, I even remember a line from the book-- when one of the pirate-sailors takes Charlotte's hands and turns them palms-up and says, "Like bloody cream!" I honestly don't know why I remember that line but it is seared into my memory...

(Or.... does Windcatcher ring a bell for anyone?? Hmmm, I am probably just really old haha)


Whether you've heard of Avi or not, I stumbled upon this book trailer... (Warning: it is pretty cheesy, but at the same time it is REALLY freaking creepy) for an Avi book called The Seer of Shadows. I love the cover and the plot, and I remember that long ago when I was still in middle school back in like, 1995, I loved Avi. I will have to see if I can find this book somwhere! :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday (1)

Today's bookish meme that I am trying out for the first time is called "Waiting On Wednesday." It is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, and the purpose is to share with you a book that I am either looking forward to being released or a book that I'm excited about reading... Well, I actually have QUITE the list put together of titles that I am dying to read, but the one that is standing out in my memory right now-- due to the pure creepiness of the cover-- is The Replacement by Brenna Yavanoff. I mean, have you seen the cover for this book? A baby carriage with a bunch of sharp, rusty knives and scissors dangling over it under a tree? Eeeek!! And the plot summary sounds pretty intriguing too:

"Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.
Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Edward Scissorhands meets The Catcher in the Rye in this wildly imaginative and frighteningly beautiful horror novel about an unusual boy and his search for a place to belong."

Ummm.... Edward Scissorhands meets Catcher in the Rye?? Oh yeah! This is gonna be good :) I still have that gigantic stack to make my way through in my living room, but I just might have to bump this one to the front!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (1)

OK, so I am learning a lot about book-blogger memes lately! Today, I am participating in Teaser Tuesdays, a meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

So, here goes!
I am currently reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver and I am about to start chapter 11 on p. 173... ummm there isn't a lot of text on this page so I'm flipping back to p. 170 :)

"I think of predators dropping silently from trees; I think of enormous cats with glowing amber eyes, just like his."

"It's like one of those nightmares where someone's chasing you but you're too afraid to look and see what it is. All you hear is its breath getting closer and closer."

Sounds good right?
Happy reading everyone!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In My Mailbox! (1)

OK, so a couple days ago I took this picture of my GIGANTIC stack of books that I have sitting in my livingroom-- all of which I plan to read and review for your viewing pleasure :) I was going to post this pic, but then I stumbled upon The Story Siren's blog after seeing the "In My Mailbox" post from a bunch of fellow book bloggers-- I had to check out what this was all about, and am now planning on giving you guys a sneak-peak of what's up-and-coming on my reading list. Soooo... here is my very FIRST IMM!! Very exciting!

In this teetering pile, are the following books- going top to bottom- that I CANNOT wait to make my way through:

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Jane by April Lindner
Possessed by Kate Cann
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Vixen by Jillian Larkin
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
Torment by Lauren Kate
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Since I work in a bunch of different public libraries, I checked all of these out :) In the future, I hope I can get authors to send me books in the mail, that would be so cool! I'm not planning on reading these in exactly this order, but I promise that they will ALL be read! I am definitely looking forward to building up my reviews here, and I think I have a pretty good start with this stack :) What do you guys think? Anything I should add after I make my way through this??

An Award for my New Blog! Woohoo!!

**Happy Dance!**

Thanks to my fellow blogger Deb at Deborah's Books, I have just received my first AWARD for my brand-new book blog, and I am super-excited! As part of receiving this award, I am supposed to share 7 random and interesting things about myself, and then pass the award on to 7 other bloggers who I admire... so here goes!

1.) When I was little, my favorite foods were artichokes and steamed mussels dipped in melted butter- I had some really strange tastes for a kid!

2.) Right after I graduated from high school I lived in France for 10 months as an exchange student-- it was an awesome experience, but one of the most challenging years of my life. I will definitely never ever forget all the great friends I made over there... I have not been back to France since that year (8 yrs ago now) and I haven't really spoken French since then either, but I wish I had kept up with it! Maybe it's like riding a bike and it would come back to me if I visit again someday??

3.) I am a dog person (not really a fan of cats, which, is kind of weird for a librarian I guess)-- and my  favorite kind of dog are PUGS! They are the cutest, funniest-looking little things I've ever seen and they just make me smile :)

4.) I have lived in Upstate New York my entire life-- 26 years-- and I will NEVER get used to the cold and snow-- I was made for the sunny tropics! My husband and I went to Siesta Key, Florida for our honeymoon in the middle of August and I absolutely LOVED the heat and humidity. I would move down south in a heartbeat-- maybe some day we will!

5.) My favorite kind of pizza is cheese with extra pineapple, and it has to have blue cheese on the side to dip the pizza in. Dipping pizza in blue cheese was something I picked up while at college in Geneseo, NY-- everyone who went to Geneseo learned to eat their pizza with blue cheese, and now probably get really strange looks from people!!

6.) I recently started going organic-- eating organic and replacing all my old hair/beauty/cleaning products with natural ones. I read a book by Jillian Michaels called "Master Your Metabolism," and it totally opened my eyes to the dangers/negative influences of chemicals in our food and everyday products, and now I want to be as "natural" as possible...

7.) I have an odd love of cemeteries-- I just think they are so peaceful, quiet and calming. When I was going to library school in Syracuse, NY I lived next to one of the oldest and most beautiful cemeteries there, and since it was just easier to walk to campus than drive, I walked through there everyday. Maybe it sounds weird, but I just find the architecture and history in cemeteries to be very intriguing!

OK, so there are my 7 interesting facts about me :)

Now, to share the love! I am passing this Stylish Blogger Award on to the following bloggers, who have inspired me in creating my own blogs, and have definitely given me a new, enjoyable hobby!

Thanks again Deb for the award! This definitely makes me want to build up LC's Adventures in Libraryland even more, and make it a site lots of people can follow and really enjoy :)

Book Review: Ship Breaker

Author: Paolo Bacigalupi
Release Date: May 1, 2010
Pages:  336
Read it in: 3 days

The Hook: A gritty, high-stakes adventure set in a futuristic world where oil is scarce but loyalty is scarcer…

Praise: “A riveting tale of adventure in a broken world… Ship Breaker is the best debut novel I’ve read in ages.”  ~Scott Westerfeld, author of Leviathan

Favorite Part: "He pushed open another door and crawled through... Warning signs said: SPEED MECHANICALS IN USE! WATCH HANDS AND LOOSE CLOTHING. Nailer was amused that he could actually make out the meanings now. He was going to drown, but hey, he could read."

Summary: In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota-- and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life… In this powerful novel, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.

LC's Take: 

Wow, I don’t think I have ever been so quickly intrigued and caught up in a story I knew nothing about and that, honestly, didn’t even have a plot that sounded that interesting to me at first. And yet, from the very first couple of pages I was completely drawn into another world in some distant future—a raw, carnal, dog-eat-dog world that is as dangerous as it is beautiful-- with tropical beaches, blinding white sun and salty waters where clipper ships move like ghosts in the distance. The writing style captured my attention right away. (SIDE NOTE: Does anyone remember the computer game Riven? Because the backdrop for this book reminded me of the unforgettable imagery from that game I used to play in high school!)

Nailer- the main character- is a boy, around 14 years old (he doesn’t know his age himself) who lives out his life as a “ship breaker” on a wrecking crew in the tropical Gulf. Along with other kids his age, his job is to “scavenge,” crawling into the tight spots of giant oil tanker ”corpses” and slowly tearing them apart for scrap metal. Nailer’s world is full of uncertainty—you could strike it lucky and become richer than your wildest dreams from an oil find, or you could die of starvation in the rusty dark bowels of a dead ship you’re tearing apart. 

Here is what I really loved about Ship Breaker:
  • Bacigalupi paints pictures with words—you can feel the heat and dirt and grime that make up Nailer’s life. His descriptions are vivid and alive:
    • “Wherever the huge ships lay, scavenge gangs like Nailer’s swarmed like flies. Chewing away at iron meat and bones… Even at night, the wrecks glowed with work, people laboring by torchlight as they continued the steady job of disassembly. The ships showed as huge black shadows against the bright star points and the surge of the Milky Way above. The torch lights flickered, bobbing and moving. Sledge noise rang across the water. Comforting sounds of work and activity, the air tanged with the coal reek of smelters and the salt fresh breeze coming off the water. It was beautiful.” (p. 6, 40)
  • The characters are fully-developed and real—from Nailer’s abusive, amphetamine-drugged dad Richard Lopez, to Nita the spoiled yet beautiful and clever “Swank” that Nailer gambles his life on—the characters are just as vividly portrayed as the settings they’re placed in, and they  jump off the pages. I thought they were captured perfectly.
  • The plot of Ship Breaker is so good! Trust me, you will be totally caught up in Nailer’s story because the stakes are so high—either he wins completely, or he dies a terrible death—there’s no option in between. This keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end.
  • Bacigalupi makes no attempt to water-down this gritty tale with a bunch of censored, P.C. writing—the language is very explicit. For me, I thought this made the book even better, because it makes it that much more real for the reader. However, if you are the squeamish type and don’t much like reading about outlaws “pig-opening” people and gutting them like fish, well… you might want to pick something more tamed-down!
LC’s Rating:
Ship Breaker presents a dystopian world full of adventure-- its primal, survival-of-the-fittest plot will have you totally captivated from beginning to end. Awesome book!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book Review: Fallen

Author: Lauren Kate
Release Date: December 8, 2009
Pages: 464
Read it in: 4 days

The Hook: “What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?”

Summary: There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move. Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her. Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

LC's Take: 

OK, I know there are mixed reviews out there about this book. It seems like it has some fans and then there are those that simply CANNOT STAND it. I, personally, liked this book. I didn't LOVE it, but I enjoyed reading it. I wasn't bored, and I thought the closer to the end I got, the more intrigued and wrapped up in the story I became. Now, I have only just started reading YA fiction so to be honest, I have very little to base an opinion on as far as paranormal romance/forbidden love go, especially in terms of this theme being over-done and cliché.  Maybe this gives me a fresh viewpoint on the whole genre??

That being said, I have read Twilight and I really thought Fallen was overall a better book than Twilight (Twilight fans please don't hate me). However, I think it’s also probably another case of a book being popular more for the marketing it’s had than based on actually being an awesome, unforgettable story. It’s not that Fallen was a bad read—it just wasn’t all that memorable, either.  Here's some things I did like about it:
    •  The story unfolds in mid-19th century England and from the beginning draws you in—there is something intriguing and mysterious that keeps you reading
    • Luce's character is portrayed well- she is an actual living, breathing, thinking human being—vulnerable, innocent…  she has some depth to her and her thoughts and reactions very often echo those of the reader (ex: “Why is everyone at this school so weird?” p.52). I could relate to a lot of the things she goes through at the reform school and her reactions generally make sense.
    • The scenes of Luce being thrown into the hellish world of Sword & Cross reform school reminded me slightly of Mr. Brocklehurst’s school in Jane Eyre-- and Kate does a really good job at painting vivid pictures that are dark, brooding- and at times pretty sexual/erotic-- the perfect mix for a Gothic story of doomed lovers. But there is nothing cheap or trashy with the way Kate describes the interactions between Luce and Cam/Daniel- they are heavy and deep, pained and other-worldly, all at the same time. 
    • The book cover is freaking gorgeous.
    Alright, so here's what turned me off about Fallen:
      • The dialogue was at times very forced- and forced dialogue always winds up sounding incredibly cheesy…(phrases like “nice digs,” “capiche,” “He has the hots for you,” “absolute lame-o’s”-- Who talks like that???)
      • Daniel was a bit too Edward-esque-- too perfect and a super a-hole. But Kate does a pretty good job at giving a reason for why he's such a jerk to Luce towards the end of the story-- and it makes sense. (Well, it did to me anyways). He redeems himself.
      • Luce’s parents are clueless, apathetic, unloving and fake—not to mention bordering on sadistic in their absolute negligence of their daughter. I kinda wish they had spontaneously combusted to be honest…

      LC's Rating:
      Some things annoyed me about Fallen, but overall I thought it was a good story with lots of dark, Gothic elements that kept me reading.
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