in my mailbox (14)

Feeling a little bleary after waking up at 3.30 to register for Pottermore but: mission accomplished, so here's what's been hanging out in my mailbox for this past week!

Stork, Wendy DelSol
The Maze Runner, James Dashner
Sunshine, Robin McKinley

Since I have the second book the series, Frost, for review I needed to pick up Stork. The cover for Stork loses its brilliance when translated to pixels - it has a lovely matte feel and a shimmer to it that you can't see in a picture. I've been mainly looking for paperbacks that at Border's as that's where the discount's better and when I saw Amy & Roger's Epic Detour sitting on the shelf I knew it was coming home with me. (It's actually the perfect sunny summer day out to read it...!) I've been wanting to read The Maze Runner forever now and now I can.  I didn't see The Scorch  Trials or else I'd have picked that up, too. And last but not least: Sunshine. The cover for this is a lovely holographic golden yellow with textured swirls and at about $6 or so I thought it was time I read a Robin McKinley novel.

What's in your mailbox, folks?

follow friday (12) & cover love (2)

I've been without power for the last day and a half and so it's been difficult to post. Here's to playing catch-up!

This week's question courtesy of Parajunkee's Follow Friday is:

Q: Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What t-shirt slogan best describes you?
I knew immediately that it would have to do with music, and what is the love of my musical life? Well, the answer was easy. 

could I have been anyone other than me? - 'dancing nancies', dmb

Next up is... cover love! Courtesy of Melissa at iswimforoceans.

Top: ARC; Bottom: US Cover, UK Cover

Author: Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday
Publish Date: September 13, 2011
Genre: YA/Adult
Fun Fact: The US edition previously had a different cover design, which you can see here. Another fabulous thing is that Jim Dale will be recording the audio version - another instant buy.
Why I Have Cover Lust: I didn't have to get past the name to know that I would love this book. However the covers are so magical in a way that I haven't seen in a while. I'm a fan of simplistic design and it's here it's done so well: little embellishments here and there (the font on both US and UK covers), the contrasting colors with hints of red to make it pop, and the fantastic sense of cohesion between the two of them. My favorite bit is actually on the ARC where it says: This Advanced Reader's Edition Entitles The Holder To Unlimited Admission. Not For Sale - Violators Will Be Exsanguinated.

I am so, so incredibly excited for this book. I think I'll have to buy them both for the covers, and I'd love to have one of those beautiful ARCs, too!

waiting on wednesday (12): shatter me

from goodreads: 11/15/2011

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel

It really goes without saying how absurdly excited I am for this book. It hits all of my interests: Dystopian? Check. Mystery? Check. Thriller? Check. Kickass female protagonist? Seemingly check. More than that, though, even from the description alone I can already picture things about the story - red, wispy clouds against a slightly paler sky and birds with perhaps too large wings wobbling awkwardly along the ground trying to remember what they were for. This is a world I want to read about as of yesterday and just seems beyond amazing. To be fair, I'm not too fond of the bottom where the blurb compares itself to THG or the X-Men, mainly because I don't think a book needs a comparison to be strong by itself. Sadly I haven't read this one yet, but I have a strong feeling this is one story that won't need others to do well.

Is it November yet?

review: shiver by maggie stiefvater

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date: 08/01/2009
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 392
Source: Purchased

the cold. 
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

Before I talk about the book I think it's important to say that I've never been good with werewolves in books. The idea just never really appealed to me or worked and so while people have read and loved various books I've always stayed away due to my disinterest. I always kept an eye out for a book that would be my introduction to the sub-genre and when I heard more about Maggie Stiefvater's series I thought that this could be the one, especially since I heard wonderful things about the writing.

I loved this book. One of the main reasons being that it wasn't a book about werewolves and was instead a book about humans that occasionally would turn into wolves. You might think that I'm splitting hairs here, but when I conjure an image of a werewolf it's usually a tall, burly man with crazy facial hair being chased by someone with a gun and silver bullets against a full moon or some similar hokey stereotype. The ability for me to be able to logically separate the two made all the difference. For me the book was ultimately about being human and what that meant for different people, and what you would risk for your own sense of self.

The relationship between Grace and Sam was bittersweet and with every page I had such an innate sense of the two of them that it was hard not to end the book in tears. Maggie has a beautiful way with words and although it's evident throughout the book I most noticed it between the two of them with the sadness and hope evoked in her turn of phrase. One of my favorite examples of this is when Sam almost turns and stops calling Grace by her name and instead she becomes 'the girl' in connection with the different perceptions of a wolfish mind. (The temperature at the top of every chapter also was a fantastic touch, although it confused me at first.)
 The two of them were always on equal footing and the relationship was paced in such a way that left me satisfied and never overwhelmed.  It didn't register to me until after I finished the book that I would be perfectly happy with this as a standalone, as I had always been aware of it as a series. If I didn't already own Linger I might stop here and be content.

I'm hesitant to mention this, but I feel strongly that people be aware that this series is not Twilight-light or Twilight with wolves or any other such nonsense you see about. It's very much its own story that stands strongly on its own two feet without needing to sit atop anyone else's shoulders. For those out there that are unsure about this series for the same reasons I was: don't let it stop you because it's not at all what you're expecting and is dealt with in such a way that is thoughtful and very, well, human.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you love lists
and wracking your brain for answers, then this is the meme for you!

Top Ten Books That Tackle Tough Issues: (in no particular order)

1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: Although this is outwardly about censure, it's also very much about learning to think differently from group mentality and question the world with your own eyes.
2. Unwind by Neal Shusterman: It seems like this book is on every list of mine, but it falls into so many categories. It's a loss of individual freedoms, of the absolute choice, and just what it means when compromising goes too far.
3. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma: This book is still on my shelf unread, however, I choose to spotlight it talks about an issue that gets swept under the rug: incest. Personally, I love reading books about things I haven't before even if it's not traditional.
4. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles: Perhaps an unconventional choice, but when Oedipus is doomed from the start to unknowingly commit familicide (among things), he ends up having to deal with his actions and emotions in a manner that's not too hard to empathize with.
5. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk: Pick an issue, there's so many. Schizophrenia, insomnia (and, yes, this is an issue purely due to the results it can create), overall emotional instability and finding a method to cope from it all that was at the time stunningly original and incredibly realistic.
6. Watership Down by Richard Adams: The environment is something that should not be a tough issue, but sadly it has a difficult time spotlighting itself of its importance. This is one everyone should read.
7. The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss: I read and read and read this book when I was little until the spine was tattered and the pages so worn they're difficult to turn. The Sneetches in particular are a good lesson on how being different and standing out isn't always the decision you'd like it to be. However, every story in this book from "The Zax" (sharing and relenting) to "What Was I Scared Of?" (fear and contempt) has its purpose.
8. Stay by Deb Caletti: While this book is on the whole about an abusive relationship and obsessive behavior, the story between the lines is about female empowerment and realising that it's more than okay to say no.
9. The Wal-Mart Effect by Charles Fishman: Every day actions and the desire for the bottom line, the lowest price and their entirely too real and saddening effects on normal people just trying to make a living.
10. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn: This is the book that changed my life, opened my eyes, and sent me back to school. It is not an easy read, but it is a necessary one.

shiver and stop-motion animation

This is a huge hyperbole, but, I'm sure I'm the last person in the world to have seen this. Although that may be the case I wanted to share it anyone, regardless, as I find it it to be startlingly beautiful. Stop-motion is one of my favorite types of animation because ultimately it takes a labor of love to create all of the individual pieces and shots and frames to sew it all together to create the picture in your mind. Paired with hauntingly lovely music (self-composed and performed), well, I have to say that I am stunned.

stop-motion trailer for shiver by maggie stiefvater

in my mailbox (13)

With over 20 books (half were birthday presents from my mum with today's trip to Borders) in this week's In My Mailbox, I had to do a video blog. And although I always think it's going to be easier, I put much more time into editing it (and I made some mistakes!) than I do filming it. Unlike this time I did some  cutting and didn't do it all in one take, so that was a fun process. Anyhow, enjoy! I'm looking forward to catching up with you all to see what you've received!

I have no idea why I'm making that face in the still - trust me, I've changed it to something else but it's going to take a few hours to go through the system.

Books mentioned:
Divergent, Veronica Roth
Paranormalcy, Kiersten White
Passion, Lauren Kate
Hourglass, Myra McEntire
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
The Giver, Lows Lowry
Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz
On The Road, Jack Kerouac
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
Linger & Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater
The Demon Trapper's Daughter, Jana Oliver
The Forst of Hands and Teeth & The Dead-Tossed Waves, Carrie Ryan
White Cat & Red Glove, Holly Black
If I Stay, Gayle Forman
Everwild, Neal Shusterman
Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher

One book I must have accidentally edited out but am super excited about:
by Catherynne M. Valente

Thank you to Lea at YA Book Queen for the giveaway and to Feiwel & Friends for providing a finished copy. This book looks amazing, and I've heard such wonderful things about the writing. I'll be sneaking this one in soon.

I hope you've all had a great weekend!

review: hereafter by tara hudson

Author: Tara Hudson
Publication Date: 06/07/2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 404
Source: Library

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever. (goodreads)

Hereafter begins abruptly with us being introduced to Amelia's recurring nightmare, which we end up finding out is her revisiting what she thinks the night of her death - yes, Amelia is dead. In fact, she's a ghost. Except it isn't her death from the top of High Bridge that she's seeing this time, it's  someone else's. A boy, Joshua, has driven his car into the water and begins to drown. Being a ghost, Amelia can't save him, but she can sure try. Miraculously, she ends up somehow establishing a connection with Joshua who is the first living human to see her. Amelia later gathers that he can only see her because he experienced a moment of death before being revitalised and surfacing.

I didn't read the tag on the cover, but I should have as it pretty much sums up the book. The rest of the story is back and forth about how much they love each other after just one day, with also the occasional evil force (and bothersome grandma) that attempt to keep them apart. (And, of course, fail.) Hereafter would have done more for me if there were something about the story that wasn't about their instant attraction. Even if the writing for me wasn't stellar, it was still passable, but the relationship between Amelia and Joshua was too much, too soon. Sometimes I can get around the instashipping in books, but considering the relationship is between a dead person and a living one you would think there would be some moment of hesitation and a period of 'okay, so the girl is dead and just what is happening right now?'. But there isn't. And I realise that that's partially due to Amelia's interest in being able to talk to someone, however, that didn't come as being strong enough a reason.

Eli as an antagonist didn't work for me - I wasn't left anticipating what he would do or what sort of havoc he would wreak. He came off as creepy and a bit of a stalker, and I didn't really get what he was trying to tell Amelia about her powers. His storyline was left without a resolution or a hint as to what was coming for her on that front. I was more nervous waiting for something else big to happen.

With trouble connecting to the characters and not having enough information to plausibly believe what was going on, Hereafter was not a book for me and I will not be continuing on to the sequel. 

follow friday (11)

This week's question courtesy of Parajunkee's Follow Friday is:

Q: Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?
I know that this is going to be a popular answer, but first I would have to say J.K. Rowling. I would love to know all there is to know about Snape and how she felt while writing the books, etc, over a cuppa. Having briefly, briefly met George R. R. Martin (or GRRM) at his signing he is definitely someone I would want to sit down with for a drink and a hearty meal at a pub and just discuss everything and anything. Including Tyrion, Ned, and Davos. I wouldn't want to know spoilers because there's nothing better than experience a book for the first time.

I also think I'd like to chat with Suzanne Collins. I'd really like to know how it was to write the Hunger Games series. If it were me I would probably have to take copious amounts of breaks and breathers (especially after Rue and at the end and Prim get the idea!) just from the topic at hand. For writing advice I think I'd love to talk to Veronica Roth.

I'm aiming to post a review tomorrow, although I'm not sure for which book. Let's call it review roulette.

waiting on wednesday (11): when she woke

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event courtesy of Breaking the Spine that showcases much anticipated upcoming releases.

from goodreads: 10/04/2011
Faith, love and sexuality have fallen prey to politics in this stunning creation of America in the near future, from the author whose international bestseller, Mudbound, so hauntingly recreated America’s past. Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family, but after her arrest, she awakens to a nightmare: she lies on a table in a mirrored room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new “chromes”—criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime— is a new and sinister form of reality TV. Hannah is a Red; her crime is murder. The victim, says the state of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she shared a fierce and forbidden love. Inspired by The Scarlet Letter, When She Woke is a dark fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate a dystopian, theocratic America of the not-too-distant future, where convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated, but “chromed” and released back into the population to survive as best they can. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the moral authority of a country that politicizes the personal.

While this book may not be a cut and dry YA release, I think it would be something that could end up on a list like yesterday's of books that teens should read. When I first heard of it (and I've only seen it mentioned on one blog - so thank you!) it was an immediate add to my TBR. It seems like this book is going to deal with so many ideas on different levels that it's something I really am looking forward to getting my hands on. It may not be a book for everyone, but it's definitely one that if I get I'll be reviewing!

top ten tuesdays! (02)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. If you love lists
and wracking your brain for answers, then this is the meme for you!

Top Ten Books You Believe Should Be Required Reading For Teens:

1. Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling: I'm not just mentioning them because they're some of my favorite books, but more because of the message that's in them. Not just about good vs. evil, but about seeing past what's in front of you and not giving up. And if a person gets hooked on them, well, there are worse things!

2. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes: Oh, this book. It broke my heart into so many pieces, but the hope in this book is so startling and beautiful that it's worth the inevitable pain.

3. They Cage the Animals at Night by Jennings Michael Burch: This is a book that I read over and over again when I was younger. Partially because I couldn't believe it was possible, partially because I was extraordinarily happy every time I neared the ending. 

4. Stay by Deb Caletti: When I told a friend about this book, we both agreed that it would be required reading for any children we might have. Stay is about freeing yourself from an abusive relationship and it it is more than okay to stand up for yourself when you are not being treated right.

5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: This is my absolute favorite book. It's more than just dystopian/utopian ideas, it's about potential and individuality and really what it means to be human. For me, this has to be on any list.

6. Unwind by Neal Shusterman: I'm curious to know if this is required reading for any school, although I reckon it would be challenged by people. The message in this book is so incredibly strong that I really can't stress enough that this be required reading for any person, not just teenagers.

7. L'étranger (The Stranger) by Albert Camus: To be honest, I haven't actually read this book in English, but the sentiment is the same in any language. A great introduction and example of existentialist literature.

8. Night by Elie Wiesel: This one speaks for itself.

9. A Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne: Another book that I read over and over again. Pure adventure - I mean, come on, if you could, wouldn't you want to go to the centre of the Earth?

10. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: While I feel this one is often geared more toward younger readers, it would probably serve older students well to read it considering the ideas discussed are still relevant.

There are some other books that I left off that I'm going to toss at the bottom because I either didn't want to scare kids away or because I wanted to try and choose a different topic: Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury), Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky), Anna Karenina (Tolstoy, and another favorite of mine), The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne) many. Books are vital and they don't stop at a list of 10.

review: imaginary girls by nova ren suma

Author: Nova Ren Suma
Publication Date: 06/14/2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (Penguin)
Pages: 352
Source: Library

Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.

This book requires a slightly different review because, for me, to talk too much about it would be giving it away. Imaginary Girls is the story of two sisters, but it's also more than the story of just them. Chloe and Ruby live in a small town in the Hudson Valley and have been self-reliant for as long as they care to remember. Their mother, whom they call an alcoholic, has been in no position to take care of them and so Ruby ends up being more than just an older sister, she's also a very strong maternal figure to Chloe. Chloe and Ruby have different fathers, with Ruby never knowing hers and with Chloe's giving up custody to her mother. Chloe idolizes Ruby and, in her eyes, Ruby can do no wrong: everyone loves Ruby, goes out of their way to help and please Ruby, and when Ruby wants something she usually gets it. 

Suma's writing encapsulates their relationship perfectly. One of my favorite things about the book is that it is mostly about 60% prose and 40% dialogue. This might turn people off who are used to having the characters verbally espouse all of the information, but it was used to great effect here. Chloe is used to letting Ruby do most of the talking and generally agrees with whatever decision Ruby makes and so seeing things from Chloe's mental filter only served to enhance the overall story. Let me emphasize that it doesn't remain this way for the entirety of the book and that you will get to see what Chloe thinks of things as events unfold. 

I have to say that I wasn't a fan of Ruby's character while reading and found her too dominating, but now thinking back upon it - it all worked. Ruby worked. In order for the story to be told and to be as mesmerizing and haunting as it ends up being, Ruby has to be that way. There are a lot of twists and turns that you won't end up expecting and will end up being shocked just as Chloe is at the outcome and what it all means for her and her sister. This is a book that's best left to ruminate in your mind for days after reading as it might not all come together at once, but when it does it's incredibly cohesive and the story one of the most original that I've read in a while.

Reading this book in some ways was like home as I'm very familiar with all of the places mentioned: having swam in that reservoir and gone shopping at that mall... it made envisioning everything that was happening that much more vivid and real. As a warning, there's no real ending to the book, but don't let that throw you off as the journey there is more than worth it.

A Dance With Dragons, George R.R. Martin

I only have one book this past week, one that I've been excited about for years and is finally here and hopefully one that I will be able to finish by tomorrow now that I'm off for the next couple days. Is anyone else reading this book right now? Fabulous so far, isn't it?

On Thursday I went to a signing and here are some photos from that amazing event - and it was an event! Apparently we peaked at 1,800 people and everyone was just so happy to be in a room with other people who love this series that it was just a good time all around
The next book up is my copy! Hurrah! And GRRM is such a funny guy, great storyteller. I'd love to have a pint with him.

 My signed copy! I'm so, so thrilled. Thanks so much for being an amazing sport for so many people! King in the North indeed!  

follow friday (10) & cover lust (1)

This week's question courtesy of Parajunkee's Follow Friday is:

Q: What do I do when I are not reading?
At the moment I work tons, but come the end of next month school starts for me and then it will be the opposite: I will be reading only when I am not in school and doing schoolwork, sadly! However since studying human rights and political science can be intense I look forward to having a fantastic read to break things up. Other than reading I listen to a ton of music (my favorites are DMB and サカナクション) and attend too many concerts. I go cycling and run and write. I play with my kitties and catch up on all of your fabulous posts.

The lovely Melissa at i swim for oceans has created a weekly meme for gorgeous book covers and I just have to join in on this one, too! I was going to highlight Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me as well, but I'll pick a different one!

Title: Between Two Ends
Author: David Ward
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Middle Grade/YA
Fun Fact: The illustrations were done by Onoda Yuta and I'd encourage you to check out his other work as he is immensely talented!
Why I Have Cover Lust:
When I first looked at this cover I loved it because of the colors (I love color blocking especially when it works to great effect like it does here), typography and amazing illustrative work, and I thought Yeats was standing on sand. And he is - but after you read this book the cover art takes on a whole other layer of cleverness which is just the beginning of what I love about this book!

a dance with dragons!!(!!!!)

IT'S HERE!! : )

I almost had a heart attack just seeing the POV character list when I downloaded the free sample from iBooks last night (One of my favorites is back!). To finally have this book in my hands after years of waiting is indescribable. I'm going into reading hibernation and probably will be behind on everything until I finish this book. I have to admit, I was a bit weepy when I read the foreword. I'm so bloody happy!

And if anyone is going to be at the Union Square signing, well, I'll be there too! Maybe we can be line buddies. :)

I will be posting a discussion post when I finish, so feel free to go crazy on that when it's up. I know I'll have ADwD on my mind for quite some time! 

I spent a little bit debating this, but I thought the fun possibilities of it would outweigh the oddness of the question and so here we are. 

I've found how fun Twitter can be for a book blogger (you guys are hilarious) and I'm pretty sure that there are lots of you that I'm not following either because I didn't have an account or you didn't or maybe we flew past each other (Firebolt or Nimbus?) on our rush to purchase our tickets for the midnight showing of HP7. Technicalities. 

So, friends! Are you on Twitter? Are we tweeting buddies? If not, can we remedy that? If you are a twitterer (is that a word?) what's your name? I'm the oh so original @papereader. 

Okay, the book I abandoned a half-hour ago is calling my name again I'm pretty sure. Good night, everyone! I look forward to tweet tweeting with you!

in my mailbox (11)

This should be the last of the scheduled posts! I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

For review:
The Magician King, Lev Grossman
Cold Kiss, Amy Garvey
A Beautiful Dark, Jocelyn Davies

I'm thrilled that I got approved for The Magician King! I haven't yet finished The Magician, but after I finish a few other books it's next on my pile. Very much looking forward to it. I've heard great things about The Girl of Fire and Thorns and am also happy to be reading it. Cold Kiss sounds like a quick, fun read and A Beautiful Dark has been getting some excellent reviews so I thought I'd try it, too. (Her pose on the cover looks entirely uncomfortable!)

Hereafter, Tara Hudson
Outside In, Maria V. Snyder

I've actually finished both of these already. And, well, I tried to like Hereafter but the whole book was a huge struggle as it's pretty much the definition of instashipping in YA. Outside In was not as good as the first one, but still fast-paced and addictive. I've written reviews for both of them but I'll have to think on if I'm going to post them here or not.

Waterfall, Lisa T. Bergren
This one was free with my Borders rewards points! (I also pre-ordered Rachel Vincent's If I Die.) Every time I think of this one I can't help but wonder if it's a YA version of Gabaldon's Outlander series (which I never finished). Still, I have to admit I'm a big fan of historical fiction and I really really need to get caught up with my to-review pile so I can start it!

Author: Paul McDonnold
Publication Date: 9/15/2010
Publisher: Starving Analyst Press
Pages: 248
Source: Author

Part action novel, part literary novel, part guidebook to economics, The Economics of Ego Surplus is the story of college instructor Kyle Linwood. Anticipating a relaxing summer with his girlfriend and his PhD dissertation, he gets recruited by the FBI to help with an obscure case of terrorist Internet "chatter," which explodes into a shocking, mysterious assault on U.S. financial markets. As the economy melts down and a nation panics, Kyle follows a trail of clues from Dallas to New York City to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In his quest to discover the truth, he will be forced to confront the assumptions underlying his education as well as his life. But will it be enough to save America from the most brilliant terrorist plot ever conceived?

Let me first say that you shouldn't let the title throw you off. It's big, but it aptly fits the events and ideas discussed in the book. This book is about terrorism, but not exactly the terrorism we've come to expect played out on the headlines of CNN, but a more terrifying, subtle version: economic terrorism. What if people were manipulating the stock market at such a rate that they could control market value and whether or not the world would fall into a united, global recession? After reading this book I have to admit I had some chills up my spine at the thought. As much as people might set aside the idea of economics to economists or people that are interested in numbers, this book is a good idea of why you should always keep a certain level of awareness.

The story follows Kyle Linwood, a doctoral student of Economics, who had planned on having a nice, laid back summer with his girlfriend, Smith, and researching his dissertation. As always, life has a method of intervening, and Kyle finds himself instead participating in an FBI investigation on market manipulation courtesy of the time a few years back when he was kidnapped by prominent Libyan terrorists while on a freelance journalism assignment. While Kyle is traveling to visit various professors for their take on the possibility of such manipulation there's plenty of background on economics interwoven in such a way that it doesn't feel at all like an info dump, but more like an aside that places the necessary information on the table so the reader can feel comfortable with what Kyle is doing and also with where the story is going. To be honest, I also learned quite a bit about Dubai that I hadn't known before - I knew that Dubai was the center of trade and finance for the UAE but not too much else. It was a fascinating glimpse and left me curious for more. Case in point: did you know that education there is free from grade school to PhD ? Amazing. 

Personally, I love to learn. If it were up to me and were financially feasible I would be an eternal student. I know that's not the case for everyone and that's where this book comes in. If you love a good thriller, then this is a book for you. You don't have to have a background in economics in order to enjoy the story. If you're struggling with the concepts of economics and want a good place to start that won't leave you falling asleep at your desk then I would recommend giving this a try. This book won't be responsible for your A, but it will certainly make learning about the topic a lot more engaging. Overall this was a book that I enjoyed and would recommend to anyone curious for a fast-paced plot and a captivating original story.

I was provided with a finished copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

ttfn... ta ta for now!

Hi, everyone! Just a quick note: I'll be away for the weekend and so any replies to comments, e-mail or Twitter will be on hiatus for the next dew days. Today is my birthday and for once I have a normal weekend off (I usually work on Saturdays!) and so I'm rather looking forward to it. :)

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good will
eat lots of cupcakes today!

Have a great weekend everyone - hopefully with some amazing reads! 

This week's question courtesy of Parajunkee's Follow Friday is:

Q: Let's step away from besties... What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?

'Worst' is such a subjective term so it's difficult to say, and I feel a little uneasy about labeling any one book as the worst. There are some books that I've had trouble finishing but did anyway. The first I'd have to say is Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. I wasn't reading this in French, although if I did I'd suspect it may have been better. I read it as part of a course in university for my French minor and the beginning of the book was torture for me. I couldn't get into it, wanted nothing to do with it...but admittedly it all came together for me in the last 1/4 of the book. More recently I had big issues with reading Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. Let me say that I wanted so much to like it as the idea of the story was so darned captivating (people trapped inside a hidden prison? what, yes, please!), but the characters for me were terrible and the writing had so many gaps that I had to do a lot of guesswork to keep the plot going in my head. It was a bummer.

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event courtesy of Breaking the Spine that showcases much anticipated upcoming releases.

from goodreads:
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.

When I first read the summary for this one I wasn't convinced. I loved the cover, but the phrasing of the title is what caught my eye and pulled me in. The synopsis is rather short and doesn't tell too much, yet every time I read a review for this book someone else mentions something different that they like: the characters, the writing, the surprise - you name it. This is seemingly a story that's loved by all sorts of different people and so I'm curious to know what makes it so alluring. It's on my to pre-order list for sure.


I am presently on hiatus into the foreseeable future. You can find me on twitter, tumblr, or my writing website,

See you there!

fellow book lovers!

grab my button!

subscribe via e-mail!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Shop Indie Bookstores