Monthly Archives: January 2014

Mondays with Megan 1/20/14

Good morning dear readers! I am so excited to finally be able to say I saw Catching Fire! I loved it, just as I loved the book and I found myself reconsidering my dissatisfaction with Mockingjay. I think the movies have made Katniss a more sympathetic and likeable character than she was in the books. I might have to reread the last book. I may even change my mind about it. Hm. Saturday I proctored a practice ACT test at the library, giving me over three hours of reading time. For the record, this is a luxury and novelty because, contrary to popular belief, librarians do not actually get to sit around and get paid to read all day! And in an attempt to avoid putting away Christmas stuff (I really did try, but only got as far as restoring my Norfolk pine to its original houseplant status), I spent Sunday leisurely wandering around town and eventually ending up at the coffee shop. Shocking, I know. My point in all of this is that I had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and got a ton of reading done! Just in time for my favorite Monday morning check-in:

mondayreading new monday

Be sure to stop by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts for more great lists.

Finished:

shadow hero small town sinners fables snow white eye marie

  • The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang is a graphic novel that will be out later this year and tells the story of the first Chinese superhero. I really enjoyed this one and will hopefully have a full review at some point.
  • Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker was my Random Reads pick for January. I will have a review up this week. It was not my favorite.
  • Fables vol. 19: Snow White by Bill Willingham broke my heart a little bit. Also, the Oz bits totally got me in the mood for all the Oz retellings coming out soon.
  • The Eye of the Minds by James Dashner was recommended by a teen reader. I will have a review ready soon, but I will say that I couldn’t help thinking about what Michael Grant would have done with this idea (and kind of wishing he had been the one to write it).
  • Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender has been sitting on my shelf for ages and it was just time to read it or return it. I read it and enjoyed it. It did not get great reviews on Goodreads. I get it, it’s flawed. But it was still a quick, fun read with plenty of mean-girl attitude, a cute French boy romance, Paris, and a vengeful ghost lopping off heads!

Current Audio:

interestings sabriel

I am still working on The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. This one is really growing on me. I am also about half way through Sabriel by Garth Nix. This one is *not* growing on me like I thought it would. We’ll see what the second half has to offer.

Current Reads:

better off friends roomies

It seems weird to only have two books going…maybe I should start something else!

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

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Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Inheritance #1) by Alyxandra Harvey Review

Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Inheritance #1) by Alyxandra Harvey
January 7, 2014
Bloomsbury/Walker Childrens
Hardcover, 496 pages

breath of frost

What it’s about:

The year is 1814 and cousins Emma, Penelope and Gretchen are being groomed to enter London society. The girls have no idea that they come from a long line of powerful witches. When their powers are inadvertently released a gate to the Underworld in opened, unleashing dark and evil powers on to the city. Young debutante witches are being hunted and drained of the magic and Emma is somehow connected to the murders. The cousins, with the help of the dashing young Cormac, a member of The Order (the governing body in charge of witching families), need to solve the mystery before Emma is accused of murder and stripped of her new-found magic.

Why you might want to read it:

I struggled to get into this one a little. Things are very complicated in the beginning and there are lots of different characters to get to know. The patient reader will certainly be rewarded, because these leading ladies are a lot of fun! The magical world-building is complex and I found the whole spirit animal thing to be really interesting. Emma’s mother’s story is romantic and heartbreaking. The “real” bits about Regency London is such a treat and I constantly had to remind myself that some of the things that annoyed me about certain characters weren’t exactly their fault. They are a product of their time. Never fear, the cousins do a great job of pushing the boundaries of society! Overall I really enjoyed this one. If you like magic and witches, give this one a try. If you enjoy the finery and show of the Regency Era, you might enjoy this as well.

Want more like this? Try Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood or A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley.com and the publisher for review.

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

 

Waiting on Wednesday Cress 1/15/2014

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week I am starting to get itchy fingers for the third book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I am desperate for Cress, by Marissa Meyer. I don’t have to wait much longer! This book is due out on February 4, 2014.

cress

If you haven’t read Cinder and Scarlet, go now and get them! And maybe don’t read the blurb below?

*Maybe Spoilers for Cinder and Scarlet*

From Goodreads:

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

Top Ten Tuesday-2014 Debuts 1/14/14

toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday list, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is all about 2014 Debuts. In no particular order, here are just a few that I am excited to read:

1. Far From You by Tess Sharpe, April 2014

far from you

This standalone mystery/thriller looks pretty interesting. I don’t read enough YA mysteries.

2. The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel, April 2014

breakup artist

This contemporary debut sounds like it is cute and funny. I like cute and funny!

3. The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cumming, June 2014

murder complexAnd then we have the opposite of cute and funny! The Goodreads description actually beings with the words action-packed and blood-soaked. I am kind of scared.

4. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord, April 2014

open road summer

I am a complete sucker for a road trip book. The last one I read was a bit of a let-down, so I have high hopes for this one.

5. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, April 2014.

dorothy

I am SO EXCITED for this Wizard of Oz retelling! An evil Dorothy? Genius!

6. Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell, April 2014.

dear killer

April is going to be a very busy month! A teenaged, female Dexter? LOVE!

7. Killer Instinct by S.E. Green, May 2014.

killer instinct

Another serial killer tale with a female POV. This is so exciting! 2014, The Year of the Female Serial Killer!

8. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy March, 2014

side effects may vary

As a rule I do not read cancer books. TFIOS was the last straw and I vowed to never do it again. However, this one seems like it may have a happy ending, so I am willing to give it a try. I will even wait for spoilers, just to be sure. So, if anyone has already read it and confirm that there is no cancer death involved, please let me know!

9. Sekret by Lindsay Smith, April 2014

sekret

A paranormal, dystopian, historical thriller? Um, sure. Ok. I’ll bite.

10. No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale, January 2014

no one else can have you

This debut mystery is getting mixed review, but I love the cover so much that I just have to check it out for myself.

So, most of these debuts come out in early spring. Have I missed any must-reads? How about things coming out later in the year?

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Mondays with Megan

Happy Monday, everyone. After barely working at all last week this week is going to be a real shock to the system! I’m not scared; this week is going to be awesome. I am taking a new yoga class tonight, tomorrow I have my D & D kids at the library, and Friday I am finally going to see Catching Fire. Lots to look forward to! And I have some great books to work on (and I just finished some awesome books too!) Here’s a quick look at what I have been reading:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts.

mondayreading new monday

Finished:

stranger thing breath of frost fall of five shadow and bone saga

Boy, did I have an awesome reading week! Hm, lots of aliens here. Interesting.

  • A Stranger Thing by Martin Leicht. This sequel to Mothership (which I LOVED) was just as much fun. This volume had more alien action, a shocking twist, and a cliffhanger ending.
  • A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey. This one took my forever to get into, but once I did I found that I really liked it. In fact, I am still thinking about the characters. Regency era drama and witches!
  • The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore. I really cannot figure out why I am so hooked on this series. But, I am. Lots of action and betrayal in this latest volume and now I need the next.
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. This fantasy series has been on my TBR list for a while. I am so happy that I finally dove in. It is terrible and lovely like The Daughter of Smoke and Bone is terrible and lovely. Make sense? Also, Mal!! Of course, in my mind he looks just like a young Nathan Fillion. Enjoy.

NathanFillionFirefly

  • Saga, vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan. This new series from native Clevelander and author of Y: Last Man is so truly bizarre that I cannot even begin to describe it. Intergalactic race wars, rocket ships made from tree, and a pair of star-crossed lovers. I loved it even more than the first volume.

Current Audio:

interestings sabriel

I picked up The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer on Playaway. This was an impulse pick and I am really getting into this story of enduring friendship, art, and success. It’s a nice break from all the alien madness! I just started Sabriel by Garth Nix. I have heard great things about this series and I am ready to give it a try.

Currently Reading:

eye small town sinners shadow hero coal elf

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner is my Teen’s Choice pick for this month. I am about half way through and it is reminding me a little of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker is my Random Reads pick of the month. It was a really slow start for me, but about a third of the way in the story took an interesting turn and I am anxious to see where things go. I just got an advanced copy of Gene Luen Yang’s upcoming graphic novel, The Shadow Hero. This is a re-imagining of the first Asian superhero, The Green Turtle. Finally, I am trying to get into The Coal Elf by Maria DeVivo. This was another one that was recommended by a teen reader.

On Deck:

not a drop to drink fables 19 marie

This could change, of course, but I would like to work on my Winter TBR list, so I might pick up Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis. I also have the newest Fables sitting at home. How have I ignored it for so long?? And finally, Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender needs to be read or brought back. No more hanging out at my house!

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst Review

Towards the end of last year I started brainstorming some new ideas for my blog. One of the things I came up with was letting my teen readers pick books for me. It seemed like a fair thing considering fact that I select about 90% of the books my two teen book clubs read. I ran the idea by my high schoolers and they loved it. Their first wicked thought was “what horrible book can we force her to read.” I kindly reminded them that I still picked their books and they quickly changed their tune! I picked one title out of a bowl for my first official Teen’s Choice book. This month I will be reading The Eyes of Minds by James Dashner, but it is currently checked out, so I secretly picked another one of their recommendations to read while I waited. That book was Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst. Here is a quick summary and review for you:

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011
Hardcover, 385 pages

drink slay love

What it’s about:

Pearl is your typical sixteen-year-old vampire. You know the type-a bloodthirsty predator of the night. That is, until she is stabbed through the heart by the horn of a sparkly unicorn. Seriously. A unicorn. Of course, no one in her Family (yes, with a capital F) believes her. It’s surprising that she survives the attack. It’s a complete shock to discover that she can survive exposure to the sun. This discovery comes just in time. The Family is responsible for providing a feast for the Vampire King of New England and Pearl is their meal ticket. They ship her off to high school with one assignment: round up a feast fit for a king!

Why you might want to read it:

I thoroughly enjoyed this snarky little book! I loved watching Pearl learn the ins and outs of high school and I totally appreciated all the John Hughes references. Her observations about social hierarchy are spot-on. While the book is mostly light and humorous, there is some meat to it as Pearl questions the ethics of what happened to her. It’s pretty interesting. This was an unexpected gem. If you need a vampire fix, this book is for you. If you like a sassy heroine, this book is for you. If you like your high school romances to have a unicorn, this book  is for you.

Want more like this? Try Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White and Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride.

Thank you Emily, for the recommendation!

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

Waiting on Wednesday: Avalon 1/8/2014

In the spirit of trying new things, I am joining Jill at Breaking the Spine for Waiting on Wednesday

This weekly meme spotlights the soon-to-be published books that I am eagerly anticipating. My first ever WoW book is Avalon, by Mindee Arnett and the good news is that I only have to wait a few weeks! This one comes out January 21, 2014.

 

avalon

From Goodreads.com: (Please note the last sentence…a great match for fans of Firefly? SOLD!)

“A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they’re damn good at it. Jeth doesn’t care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents’ ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he’ll go to get the freedom he’s wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon’s cult hit show Firefly”

I have the prequel novella, Proxy, on my Nook. I need to get on that soon!

Happy Reading!

˜Megan