Thursday, July 29, 2010

READING : The Girl With The Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St Hauda's Land. Unusual winged creatures flit around icy bogland; albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods; jellyfish glow in the ocean's depths...And Ida MacLaird is slowly turning into glass. A mysterious and frightening alchemical metamorphosis has befallen Ida Maclaird - she is slowly turning into glass, from the feet up. She returns to St Hauda's Land, where she believes the glass first took hold, in search of a cure. Midas Crook is a young loner, who has lived on the islands his entire life. When he meets Ida, something about her sad, defiant spirit pierces his emotional defenses. As Midas helps Ida come to terms with her affliction, she gradually unpicks the knots of his heart, and they begin to fall in love...What they need most is time - and time is slipping away fast. Will they find a way to stave off the spread of the glass? 
I have contradicting feelings about The Girl With The Glass Feet.There were times when I absolutely loved it and times that I was sure I was not gonna be able to finish it.
Let me elaborate:

The book describes how a girl named Ida, is slowly turning into glass because of white monster that she saw in a bog(?? That's all I know,believe me!)and it somehow "cursed" her.Ida, meets Midas, a very shy and introverted guy-daddy issues-who falls in love with her and tries to save her.The other characters,besides Carl and Midas's father maybe, are not worth mentioning.If you are confused already, I don't think it gets any simpler!

Let's get one thing straight:this book was written brilliantly!Shaw's portraying of characters kind of reminded me of Stephen King's style, using each chapter for a different character, describing his/her most intimate thoughts and secrets,mostly about their lives and how they have come to be like this, in a very depressing and pessimistic way.

All this is of course great, but somewhere along the line it became quite tiring.You want to get to the story so much, and the book would not let you.Instead, it bombarded you with countless and very detailed descriptions of scenery and of stuff which was,in my opinion, completely irrelevant (moth-winged cattle??What was that all about??),that you constantly felt that the story is going nowhere and that you should probably put it back on your shelf.

And just when you thought this book is a lost cause, then came an amazing scene to completely change your perception about the whole thing.Especially  Midas's flashbacks with his father and Carl's scenes.Then again, you come to rethink some stuff in the end and you just shrug and go "meh".All in all, I believe that the magnificent writing got in the way of the story because maybe, it was too good for it after all.

One thing is certain:The Girl With The Glass Feet is a very difficult book to critique!If you are looking for a very fine and exceptional prose, look no further.If you're looking for an amazing story,I'm not so sure.

*edit:I just looooove the cover!


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2011 YA Release Giveaway @LaFemmeReaders

The AH-MAZING and FANTABULOUS Eleni @ LeFemmeReaders is having an equally FANTASTIC contest!!!Check out the titles:

Delirium - Lauren Oliver

Angelfire - Courtney Allison Moulton

Wake Unto Me -Lisa Cach

The Iron Witch - Karen Mahoney

The Gathering-Kelley Armstrong

City Of Fallen Angels - Cassandra Clare

Awesome, uh????Contest ends September 2nd and yes, it IS international!!!!!!
So what are you waiting for????Sign up here! Good luck :)

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

READING : Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over....

I have heard so many good things about Going Too Far and about Jennifer Echols's works, that I just HAD to read a book of hers.For the most part I agree with everything I've heard and read about this book.The ending, however, was a bit of a let down for me.
But let's start from the beginning:

I absolutely loooooved Echols's writing!It was mature,clever and to the point.Also, it was the kind of "in your face" writing, which I personally love, because even though this is considered a Young Adult book, someone has to speak up and don't be afraid to write about the actual problems and angsts of young adults.She doesn't beat around the bush nor buries her head in the sand when it comes to matters that are considered "taboo", delivering a very realistic and caustic style of writing.

That being said, I found that her characters were not as realistic as her writing.Meg's falling in love with a man she thought was 40 years old,who is,in fact, 19(!), was kinda awkward, even though her and John's chemistry was great.I didn't quite get Meg's "confinement" problem,mainly because it was explained too quickly for my taste,considering the seriousness of the problem and how it has affected her whole life.That was what basically bothered me with Going Too Far : I loved it up until the last 40 pages or so, which I thought were quite sloppy,compared with the rest of the book,and it seemed to me that Echols just wanted to finish the book and do it fast, making the whole story difficult to believe.

Don't get me wrong, I liked Going Too Far and I'm definitely planning on reading Forget You when it comes out.It's just that I get so frustrated when I am into a book and I am all excited to see what happens and in the end that something which makes books special, just doesn't happen.


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Sunday, July 18, 2010

In My Mailbox(16)

::Thanks to the Story Siren for hosting IMM::


For Review:

(This book is from NetGalley)

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Friday, July 16, 2010

READING : The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (ARC)

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

I am always terrified of reading the second book in a series.Authors usually go all out in the first book,thus not left with any good ideas for the second.There is a reason they have a bad rep and the comparison to its predecessor is unavoidable.Well, I am more than happy to say that this is not the case with The Iron Daughter!

Kagawa's story is,once again, perfect in every way.There are no plot holes,no questions lingering in your mind "Yeah,but why did she...","No,it can't be because...." , there is none of that.You get sucked in it from the very beginning, never wanting to come up for air, until the last page when you just feel so sad that something so good is over so quickly.I love the fact that even though The Iron Daughter seems like it's just another typical fey story, it really isn't.If you look close enough you can see the myriads of hidden but strong messages inside it.The hunger for power and how it can ruin and infect the minds of even the greatest of men while a kind heart can turn a monster into a noble and honorable man,our generation's obsession with technology and how it has become such an integral part of our lives, and most importantly how easy it is to feel and express emotions such as empathy, compassion, love, and our perpetual failing to do so.

When it comes to characters, The Iron Daughter delivers once more.This time, things get pretty heated up between the Puck-Meghan-Ash triangle, as Meghan is trying really hard to sort out her feelings for both of them, all the while trying to save their world.We also get introduced to some exciting new characters (I absolutely loved Lea!) and some who we have been dying to meet!

The Iron Daughter was a brilliant continuation of The Iron King and I am telling you:I already mourn the  end of this fantastic series, as the next installment will unfortunately be the last!So, enjoy it while you can guys because it really is worth it!

DISCLAIMER:This book was given to me by NetGalley free of charge.


Here is my review of The Iron King.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

In My Mailbox(15)

::Thanks to the Story Siren for hosting IMM::

This week was unfortunately as slow as the one before it :(


From tour:

(this book is from International Book Tours)

For review:

(this book is from NetGalley)

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

READING : My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters by Sydney Salter (ARC)

It's the end of junior year, and summer is about to begin. The Summer of Passion, to be exact, when Jory Michaels plans to explore all the possibilities of the future - and, with any luck, score a boyfriend in the process. But Jory has a problem. A big problem. A curvy, honking, bumpy, problem in the form of her Super Schnozz, the one thing standing between Jory and happiness. And now, with the Summer of Passion stretched before her like an open road, she's determined for Super Schnozz to disappear. Jory takes a job delivering wedding cakes to save up for a nose job at the end of the summer; she even keeps a book filled with magazine cutouts of perfect noses to show the doctor. But nothing is ever easy for accident-prone Jory - and before she knows it, her Summer of Passion falls apart faster than the delivery van she crashes. 

When I read the summary of My Big Nose... I thought that this was the book for me.I too am self conscious and have loads of insecurities,one of them being surprise surprise, my big nose.I too was and am still thinking of getting a nose job sometime in the future, but unlike Megan I am not that determined and I haven't started saving up yet :( All my friends think I'm crazy to even think about it and that no plastic surgeon would ever agree to do it(one of my friends even threatened not to speak to me again if I went through with it!), but they are my friends, right?They are supposed to say things like that.Not that I deny the possibility that maybe I am completely and utterly insane.On the other hand,maybe I am not.Who knows?
But I digress.

What I am trying to say is, that I picked up this book because I though I could relate to Megan.And for the most part of the book I did:feeling that you are so ugly that you can't do anything right,that everyone is staring and pointing at you in the street, that you can't go out unless you do at least a 2 hour-preparation beforehand,in the hopes that you are at least presentable.I've felt all these things and I can tell you right now,it's not pretty.I always thought of insecurity as a decease and I always said that someone is not just insecure, but he suffers from insecurity.Because believe me, there is suffering.Lots.Thoughts and feelings can start eating away at you and completely alter your state of mind and in the end,all these intense emotions leave you feeling depressed and completely alone.I know that I am overreacting and that I exaggerate. Maybe a lot.But even when you know deep down that you're wrong and your friends and family tell you that you're fine and there's absolutely nothing wrong with you and no matter how hard you try to think better of yourself, it only takes one look in the mirror and bam!You're sucked in a world of self loathing all over again.That's what happened to Megan.At least for the most part of the book.The only difference with Megan is that she had no idea she was acting crazy and all her life and its course was depending upon her looks.

The only reason for this semi huge preamble is that I wanted to express what I feel about self consciousness and self hatred, subjects that I am unfortunately very familiar with and that my "review" of this book cannot possibly be objective,because I hate to admit it,but its theme hits too close to home.However, if I had so many guys being interested in me and hitting on me like Megan did when I was 17, I would be overjoyed and super confident!Also, for an insecure girl, she sure was quick to turn down guys and walk away over extremely trivial matters.I am not suggesting to settle or do something you don't want do just because you're insecure and you think that you'll never have a chance like that again.Far from it.But Megan liked someone, he liked her and it came so easy for her to forget him and move on because something beyond stupid,which I can't even remember right now,happened.You have to be just a tiny bit egocentric and self absorbed to act and think like that.So maybe you probably aren't as insecure as you thought you are or claim to be.

Did this book rock my world?No.But it had fantastic humour and touched a subject,however lightly,that concerns women of all ages.I'd recommend this book to tweens and teens who are still finding themselves and want to read something amusing and carefree.

I'll take this opportunity and suggest that you check out "Body Image And Perception Month" that Jo over at Once Upon A Bookcase is hosting.There is also a button if you want to put on your blog.


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Thursday, July 8, 2010

READING : The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase has never fit in at her small-town high school, and now, on the eve of her 16th birthday, she discovers why. When her half brother is kidnapped, Meghan is drawn into a fantastical world she never imagined--the world of Faery, where anything you see may try to eat you, and Meghan is the daughter of the summer faery king. Now she will journey into the depths of Faery to face an unknown enemy . . . and beg the help of a winter prince who might as soon kill her as let her touch his icy heart.

Have you ever read a book that is taking you forever to finish but you don't really care because you don't want it to ever end anyway?Well, Iron King was exactly like that.To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of fey stories, mostly because I haven't read many of them and probably don't know what I'm missing.That is why I was so hesitant to read TIK and why I finally picked it up after all this time, praying silently that it wouldn't be another disappointing book.

It wasn't,of course.I completely adored TIK!It's a magically(pun intended!)beautiful fairy tale with wonderful characters and a lovely story!How can it be disappointing?
I liked Meghan's character a lot.She was strong, brave, independent and most of all so caring of others.A female lead that was very easy to respect and admire and a joy to read,as well.But TIK is not all about Meghan.There are so many characters appearing in this book, Grimalkin(I so love you, you weird cat!), Ash(swoon!),Puck,Virus,Narissa,kings,queens,dryads,trolls,gremlins,rat packs(so so cute!) to name a few, all of them very important to the story and not just useless shadows of the leads, and that basically has to do with Kagawa's story.So many things happen all the time, my mind didn't  have any time to rest or wander, the story grabbing me,not letting me think of anything else apart from what was happening right there and then.That's why I finished this book in four days and I thought I was reading it for months!That's a positive thing, of course.I can't think of a better compliment for a book than "I couldn't for the life of me,put it down!" That's what I felt when reading TIK from the beginning to end.I liked the way Kagawa took Midsummer Night's Dream premise and made it her own but most of all,I loved the idea that progress,technology and logic are slowly stripping us from our imagination and dreams, something which will eventually lead to our demise.

The Iron King is an unbelievably addicting novel, one that I guarantee you will never get bored of and will, in the end, love it with all your heart.Highly recommended!


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Monday, July 5, 2010

READING : Guardian Of The Dead by Karen Healey (ARC)

Set in New Zealand, Ellie's main concerns at her boarding school are hanging out with her best friend Kevin, her crush on the mysterious Mark, and her paper deadline. That is, until a mysterious older woman seems to set her sights on Kevin, who is Maori, and has more than just romantic plans for him. In an effort to save him, Ellie is thrown into the world of Maori lore, and eventually finds herself in an all-out war with mist dwelling Maori fairy people called the patupaiarehe who need human lives to gain immortality.

Guardian Of The Dead is a story filled with myths and legends from a rather book-wise unexplored country,New Zealand.

First and foremost I have to admit that after reading so many books set in the US, the change of scenery was exhilarating, to say the least!I loved every bit of Maori myth Healey added to the story, even though I have no idea which parts of it is the "real" myth and which parts were altered to fit the story and to be honest, I don't really care! Healey's writing pulled me in from the very beginning until the very end.
I loved the fact that I learned so may things I didn't know about New Zealand, a country I had always wanted to visit. From its fascinating mythology, presenting me with new takes one the creation of the world, which includes beings such as Sky-Father and Earth-Mother, patupaiarehe(a kind of Maori fairy) and Hine-nui-te-po, the guardian of the dead herself, to the beautiful and picturesque scenery.The idea of this book was so fresh and different and unique, like nothing I have ever read.Also, Healey's clever use of the mask, the story behind it and what it represents, was in my opinion the best aspect of the book.

The characters were also amazing.100% believable characters in a 100% fictional story.Ellie, the lead, is a 17 year old girl, with all the angsts and insecurities of girls her age.She is also brave and giving, willing to do anything for her friends.She is strong,determined and can take a fight any day, all the while maintaining her feminine side with a humorous awkwardness.She had a very good chemistry with Mark and I liked that she tried to keep her distance from him when she found out some things she didn't like, instead of falling straight into his arms.

The only teeny tiny problems I had with this book was that the Eyslasher story,which I'd like to know more of, was pretty much a dead end and the taniwha situation in the end.I really hope the latter won't be a problem if Healey decides to make it into a series.

All in all, Guardian Of The Dead is a very fresh,original and intriguing story, set in an beautiful country, with amazing characters.What's not to love? Anyone who is even remotely into mythology of any kind, should definitely read this!

DISCLAIMER : This book came from International Book Tours.


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Sunday, July 4, 2010

In My Mailbox (14)

::Thanks to the Story Siren for hosting IMM::

It was a pretty slow week for me mailbox-wise, buuuut I got me some very cool prezies!

From tour:

(this book is from International Book Tours)


(HUGE thanks to Alyssa, Jake and Gregory over at Teens Read And Write.Also look at these amazing bookmarks they send me!Cool, uh?Thanks so much, you guys :)

(HUGE thanks to Sophie from So Many Books, So Little Time)

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

READING : Fallen by Lauren Kate

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...

Fallen was one of the books I had high expectations from and unfortunately it let me down.

I have to admit that I could not get into it.I found the story simplistic, almost childish at times, and predictable.What I had thought right from the start would happen, happened, and what I couldn't figure out, its explanation was not satisfactory.

Characters were a bit of a mess.Luce, the lead, was very apathetic and ignorant to everything that went on around her, a passive receiver of every information she happened to come across.She had no chemistry whatsoever with the boy she was allegedly in love with for so many years,although I thought that Daniel,from his part,was great.There is not much of a bad guy in the picture and the little action we were hoping to get from the battle between the "good" and the "bad", did not come, since the book is written from Luce's POV and she was not there to witness it.Also, the explanation we got for the shadows that Luce was seeing all the time was vague,at best.The accident Luce had before going to the reform school,which,by the way,was supposed to have been caused by the shadows,was never explained in full,thus leaving you with the question:why did Luce had to go to a reform school, anyway?
The other characters were kind of OK, but not adding anything to the story, with the exception of Penn,who I really liked.

Overall, I believe that Fallen is not a book to get over excited about.In my opinion,it didn't have that special something that has you turning page after page after page and I found it a bit boring at times.If Fallen had better characters, a unique and intriguing story and was a bit shorter, it would be much, much better.

*edit:I have to admit though,Fallen's cover?OMG, gorgeous!!Best cover of the year, hands down!


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