Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's "Waiting On" Wednesday selection is:

By Jennifer Estep
Publish Date July 26, 2011 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy--a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.

But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos.  First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities.  Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War.  You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things.  Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why--especially since I should have been the one who died...

How can you read that summary and not feel your inner Pandora just prodding at you to read and find out what's going on?  This world sounds incredible, and I can't wait to find out more about it, especially as the start of a new series.  And if it has to do with myths, I'm curious to know which cultures are involved and how all of them intertwine together.  

What are y'all waiting on this Wednesday? ^_^

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Bookish Websites/Organizations/Apps

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a state that you don't have to worry about being deprived of more books as long as you're near a library. ;) This week's Top Ten is:

Top Ten Bookish Websites/Organizations/Apps, etc.
(In no particular order)

1. - This was one of the first book websites I've used and pretty much stayed with.  It's a great way to both store my To-Be-Read list as well as add new titles.  Plus, I love looking at the three different shelves: I Plan To Read, Reading Now, and I've Read. 

2. - I've only started using Good Reads earlier this year, but I'm loving it.  It's a great way to keep up with what you're reading (like Shelfari) only you can actually update your reading status.  You can also keep up with friends and authors who have a Good Reads page as well, and I like seeing what my blog friends are reading, too. 

3.  Book Depository - This is the best gift ever for book lovers if you don't have to pay shipping.  That always got me at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and I like that I can purchase just a single book from Book Depository and have free shipping.  It may take longer, but with as long as my TBR list is and with the amount of unread books on my shelves, I can wait. :)

4.  Novelist - For librarians, this website is a blessing because if a patron asks what titles an author has published, you can just go here.  I had a patron who wanted a list of all the titles published by 4 different well-known authors, including James Patterson.  After going to Novelist, I printed off the list in Ascending order so he would have the earliest to the latest titles.  Needless to say he was very happy. :)

5. - I know it's affiliated with ebay, but I get a lot of the best deals on books from here, especially hard to find books.  Even textbooks are fairly reasonable to purchase from here, and it's nice to see such variety available at a great price.

6. - One of my favorite bookstores is Hastings, but sadly, the nearest one to me now is about 2 hours away.  But I can still use their website to track down books available both online and at the 2 Hastings stores near my parents.


7.  Kobo/Nook Apps - I have a Kobo ereader, but what's nice about it is that I can read ebooks from Barnes & Noble on it as well thanks to the B&N App on my laptop.  Both stores sell ebooks in EPUB format, making them interchangeable.  And I can always read ebooks from both stores on my laptop if I choose. 

8.  Paperback Swap - I've only recently discovered Paperback Swap, and I would almost compare it to a distance library.  If there is a title I'm curious about that we don't own at my library and cannot obtain through Inter-Library Loan, this looks like a great option.  And with this you can keep the books!  

9.  The ALAN Review - This is a great journal for reading about YA literature, and I usually use it to judge what YA to order for our library collection.  

10. - If it has been published and is available anywhere, you can find it using WorldCat.  I love using WorldCat to locate obscure book titles that patrons request and also when making Inter-Library Loan requests.  It's a marvelous database and definitely make use of it throughout my library career.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where bloggers post about all the books they have received whether in the mail, if we purchased it, or checked out from our local library.  I'm showing the love for Texas authors with my first two purchases. ^_^

From Hastings: 

Flawless by Lara Chapman

From Barnes and Noble: 

Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

From my library (for our book club): 

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

From Half-Price Books:

The Werewolf Upstairs by Ashlyn Chase

What did y'all get in your mailbox this week? ^_^

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Blogger Hop Day: June 24-26

Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTis an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!

This week's question is:
“When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?”

My Answer: That's a tough question since I guess I've always loved reading and it always played an important role in my life, especially in school.  The library was a place I could go away from my teasing peers, and I could always escape the noise by just opening a new book.  I think college kind of placed my joy of reading on hold because I didn't feel I had as much time to read.  Granted, I did read books just not as much as I used to and mostly graphic novels.  But now that I'm working in a library, and also blogging about books, I feel my passion is rekindling and I'm looking forward to the many new books on my TBR pile.  ^_^

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Flawless by Lara Chapman

Title:  Flawless
Author:  Lara Chapman
Summary:  Sarah Burke is just about perfect.  She's got killer blue eyes, gorgeous blond hair, and impeccable grades.  There's just one tiny--all right, enormous--flaw.  Her nose.  But even comparisons to a beak don't bother her much.  Sarah's got the best best friend and big plans to make a name for herself as a journalist.  Then, on the first day of senior year, Rock Conway walks into Sarah's journalism class and, well, rocks her world.  Problem is, her best friend, Kristen, falls for him, too.  And together, Rock and Kristen look like Ken and Barbie come to life.  So when Kristen begs Sarah to help her nab Rock, Sarah does the only thing a best friend can do: she agrees.  For someone so smart, what was she thinking?

The Dish:  When I first read the summary for Flawless, I immediately thought of a classic I read back in high school that I thoroughly enjoyed: Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac.  How could I not make such a comparison when the narrator's main "flaw" is a large nose?  When I started reading, it confirmed right away that's just what Chapman had intended only using a modernized and feminized formula.

First off, the book was written entirely in present tense, which you don't see very often in books.  Or perhaps I've just not noticed it in many of the books I've read.  Reading in this tense didn't really disrupt the flow of the story and perhaps it helped in speeding me through the pages.  Chapman really does have a way of reaching out to her readers and completely immersing them into the book.  I felt as though I was there with Sarah right when Rock first came into her Journalism class, to all the times when she was writing for Kristen, to the very end where I'm almost certain I felt a lump of anxiety in my stomach.  Truth be told, I almost felt that Rock was unbelievable as a character, that he was too good to be true, but the romantic part of me squealed like a fangirl about his interests which included literature and poetry.  But he also became a bit more real to me when he behaved in typical teenage boy fashion after Kristen gave him so much attention.

The main plot was slightly predictable, especially if you've read Cyrano de Bergerac, but there was also the side plot involving Sarah's mom and a new coworker that was a refreshing break from the main story.  The end result of this plot helped show the closeness that Sarah had with her mother and the complete loyalty she felt for her.  Despite it's predictability and semi-after-school-special feel, I really did enjoy reading Flawless.  I whipped through the story because even though I thought I knew what would happen, I really wanted to see when and how it would happen and the resulting consequences.

There was no serious 'bang' when everything came tumbling down, but I think in this kind of story, you don't need a massive climax.  Sometimes, it is the more subtle climax that has readers on the edge of their seats, anxiously eager to turn the page.  I believe Chapman pulled that off quite nicely here for the overall warm and light feel of her story, and I'll definitely be on the lookout for more books from Lara Chapman.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Supernaturally by Kiersten White

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's "Waiting On" Wednesday selection is:

By Kiersten White
Publish Date: July 26, 2011 by HarperTeen

Evie finally has the normal life she's always longed for. But she's shocked to discover that being ordinary can be...kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she's given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie's faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there's a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself. 

So much for normal.

I loved reading the first part of Evie's story in Paranormalcy, and it will be exciting to see how normal life is for her and Lend.  And I can't wait to see more of the paranormals, both old and new characters.  Plus, can you believe how beautiful the cover is?

What are y'all waiting on this Wednesday? ^_^

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Title:  Paranormalcy
Author:  Kiersten White
Summary:  Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal.  Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still.  Normal.  Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies.  She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths.  Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.  So much for normal.

The Dish:  Four words really braced me for this story... pink taser named 'Tasey.'  After reading that, I knew this would most likely be a great book.  Kiersten White delivers a different type of paranormal story, and readers cannot help getting caught up in the novel due to an almost personable writing style.  The narrator's voice sounds so real especially with the humor associated with teenagers known as sarcastic wit.  This style made for a great and enjoyable read as we learned Evie's story.

Evie has only ever known life within the International Paranormal Containment Agency center as being a normal among many paranormals.  When your best friend can only live underwater and your faerie ex-boyfriend is still fixated on you, it's probably hard to find some sense of normality.  However, Evie manages to maintain her somewhat stable life for eight years until a strange and unknown paranormal is caught breaking into the center.  After that incident, a chain of events is set off and the "normal" world she has built is sent spiraling through the air.

I can understand the need for stability when it seems as though each day is a whirlwind of activity, and Evie never knew where she might be sent.  To have that steady familiarity ripped from her was almost heart-breaking for me.  People think they need a change due to the tedium of the everyday, but when confronted with it head-on, it can be a frightening thing.  Evie not only has to come to terms with the idea that the people she felt were 'family' have not been completely honest with her but also that there is something darker within the world of the paranormals.  And it's searching for her while killing those who are dear to Evie.

Evie's warmth and care for those around her really rang true through White's storytelling, and when someone dear to her was killed, it felt as though I had lost that person, too.  I felt so close with all of those that Evie loved, Raquel, Lish, Jacques, Lend, and even Reth, though he took awhile to really impress me.  Until now, the fae have not been part of the paranormal worlds I've seen in other books, so it was interesting to see my first recent example of the faerie world.  Reth annoyed me to no end throughout the book because I thought he was one of those trying to cause grief for Evie.  He still annoys me though not as much right now, and I'm eager to see what his role will be in the sequel, Supernaturally.  Lend was one of my favorites next to Evie despite my initial gasp when he first entered the story.  It would have been nice to hear some of the story through his voice, but Evie's opinions seem to influence my own...and you can't help adoring the sweet shapeshifter.

Overall, White's writing impressed and pushed me to read the book quickly, which I would have finished earlier had I not been preoccupied with a visit from my beau over the weekend.  I'm sure Evie would understand that, and I look forward to hearing more of her story in July.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Book Blogger/A Bookish Person

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a state that you don't have to worry about being deprived of more books as long as you're near a library. ;) This week's Top Ten is:

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Book Blogger/A Bookish Person
(In no particular order)

1. My job. :) As a librarian, I have to stay on top of what's new, popular, or even unknown potential, and being a book blogger allows me to feel out what will most likely circulate in our library.

2. Sharing unique and unknown titles. It seems as though most major blogs know what will become popular, but sometimes I really like to see the indie titles make it big. Having the chance to see a self-published author rise up in the book world is awesome, and being able to share their work with the public is even more amazing.

3. Never being anywhere without a book. You would be surprised at the times when a book would be so handy even when just running errands like having your car detailed, going to see the doctor, or even waiting at the airport for your beau to arrive. I never go anywhere without a book. :)

4. Meeting new people. This applies to my fellow bloggers and followers since everyone can offer their input on a book whether you enjoyed it or it just wasn't your cup of tea. :) Books can definitely spark many discussions, and it's always fun to just recommend a title to someone like your hair stylist.  (<--True story on Paranormalcy after she asked about it!)

5. Having a full bookshelf. Yes, it's a shallow reason, but the top two rows of my shelves used to have collections of breakables. I've condensed them to just the top row of each bookshelf, but eventually, I'll need a new shelf for the breakables or the books to-be-read-in-2011. ;)

6. Talking about books. Even if it's an oldie but a goodie, I still love to just talk about different titles, and if I see a review for one I love, you can bet your boots I'll leave a comment. :) It's amazing at how many new people are getting into the book-blogging world every day, and you might just recommend a title they had never heard of before. 

7. Recommending titles to friends. This isn't always met with success which translates to my friend enjoying the book, but for the most part, I have a pretty good record of book title recommendations to my friends. One friend who loved a recommended title shared it with her mom who also ended up enjoying the book. Two readers for the price of one recommendation, woo-hoo!

8. The book memes. I only participate in a few weekly memes, but I still love participating in them whenever I can contribute. It makes my inner Pandora eager to see what my fellow bloggers have to share as well.

9. The authors. Whether it's following an author's blog, reading an author interview on another blog, or getting the chance to finally meet an author, you cannot beat this kind of closeness. It used to feel as though they were on another planet, but blogging really opens more doors for the readers to meet their favorite authors. :)

10. THE BOOKS!!!
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