Saturday, April 30, 2011

In My Mailbox 11



"In My Mailbox" is a weekly post hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren about what new books we got in the mail (or library or whatever) this week.




Whoa, pardon the fuzzy book. Just got a few great-looking books from the library. Suggestions on which one to read first?

- Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead
- Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
- A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
- Stork by Wendy Delsol
- The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
- Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell Review

The Vespertine
By Saundra Mitchell
March 7, 2011
Harcourt Children's Books, 304 pages

It's the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him.

When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she's not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.


— Amazon.com description

Part historical fiction and part paranormal, this story is definitely a fresh take on both genres. But it was only so-so for me.

I think a lot of this had to do with the fact that it started with a flashback. This is just a personal preference – for some reason immediate flashbacks get me all sorts of discombobulated. I had to put it down a few times.

I’m glad I picked it back up, though, because Mitchell has a lyrical writing style that I found really intriguing.

She’d be describing how Amelia got swept away in her visions and her manic romance with Nathaniel, and you could just feel the insanity of their lust, the colors of the sunset, through her words. It was a very visual writing style that did get my heart beating.

Definitely worth checking out if you’re a historical fiction fan who is open to paranormal. Many thanks to NetGalley and Harcourt for a e-galley version of this book for review.

You might also like: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth Review

Divergent
By Veronica Roth
May 3, 2011
Katherine Tegen Books, 496 pages

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.


— Amazon.com description

Oh, Divergent, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1. The Hunger Games Factor

Someone (Ginger!) told me that she didn't get the comparisons this book is getting to The Hunger Games. What!? This book is jam-packed with bravery, betrayal, bloodshed, tough decisions, a controlling society and a girl that dares to think for herself. Hello! Hunger Games factor up the wazoo.

2. Unputdownableness

I haven't felt this desperate to finish a book in quite some time. It was bad. It led to this conversation:
Me: I wonder what's happening in my book right now.
Hubby: What do you mean? You aren't reading right now.
Me: Yeah. I wonder what the characters are doing.
Hubby: You know the characters don't keep on doing things while you're not reading, right?
Me: Hm...are you sure?
Okay, I'm crazy. But that's how realistic this book felt. I was IN it.

3. Chicago

My hometown in ruins! Say it ain't so! Every time I get on the El in the morning, I think, "How in the world did Tris ever jump onto this while it's moving?" Trust me, you wouldn't want to do that.

4. A Boy Named Four 

'Nuff said.

Oh, who are we kidding? Did you think for a second I wouldn't at least comment on the boy? HA! You don't know me at all. While tip-toeing around a few things so as not to spoil, I'll say this: Four wasn't an ooey-gooey feelings type of guy. And Tris never expected him to be. And I loved that.

Loved it. Buying my own copy next week. Jen, thank you for loaning me this book -- you have EXCELLENT taste.

You might also like: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Waiting On" Love Story by Jennifer Echols



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to shine a spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

By Jennifer Echols
256 pages
MTV, to be released July 19, 2011

Erin Blackwell is headed to college in New York City to study creative writing and earn a living as a romance novelist. Her grandmother has other plans: she approves of the college, but she wants Erin to major in business and then come back home to Kentucky to run the family’s famous racehorse farm. There is no way Erin will agree. Studying in New York and writing her way into a career is her escape from the farm and the family tragedy that happened there. So Erin’s grandmother decides Erin really will live life as a starving artist. She takes Erin’s future job running the farm, her inheritance, even her college tuition, and gives them all to Hunter Allen.

Hunter has lived on the farm for years. He’s Erin’s age, he’s the stable boy, and he’s the romantic dream of every girl in her high school. But he was involved in the family tragedy. Erin has always given him a wide berth. And he’s a slick opportunist. She’s furious that he fooled her grandmother into giving him Erin’s birthright and sending him to Erin’s college.

At least she’s free of him in her creative writing class. So she pens a story that has haunted her lately, in which the horse farm heiress at the very first Kentucky Derby starts a forbidden affair with the lowly stable boy. Unfortunately for her, the day she’s sharing this story with her New York classmates, Hunter walks in. He’s switching to her class. And after reading about himself in Erin’s story, he writes his own sexy assignments that lure Erin into dangerous fantasies about what could have been between them, and what might be

— Amazon.com description

I love New York City.

I love Jennifer Echols.

I love college-aged fiction.

And I love farm boys.

Soooooo where could this one go wrong? Nowhere, that's where. Let's all preorder it NOW.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Monday, April 25, 2011

Top 10 Mean Girls in Books


It's Top 10 Tuesday (hosted at The Broke and the Bookish) and the topic is: 
Top 10 MEAN GIRLS in Books


Oh you nasty, nasty Bs. So look -- I couldn't get to 10 because I was too upset thinking about all the rudeness, the bullying, the self-righteousness, the rumors. RUDE. But such a great plot device, no?

1. Miss Bingley in Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
"She has nothing, in short, to recommend her, but being an excellent walker. I shall never forget her appearance this morning. She really looked almost wild." What a jerk. Sure it's masked in flowery language, but calling a girl's hair "untidy, and so blowsy" is just low.

2. Sam from Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
"Psycho killer, qu'est-ce que c'est" ... she and her friends taunted a girl by singing this Talking Heads song, day after day, in the cafeteria. Sure, she learned her lesson in the end, but damn. What a bully!



3. Any female from Gossip Girl
"Take off that hideous scarf, Penelope, you can see it from space." I read the books so long ago I'm going to go ahead and mix 'em up with the TV show. But the point remains: I dare someone to name a female character from this series who hasn't been portrayed at some point at a Mean Girl. Can't do it, can you?

4. Tory from Jinx by Meg Cabot
Teenage girls are bad enough without throwing MAGIC into the equation. Eesh.


5. Evil Stepsisters from Cinderella by ... I don't know. Ancient folk tale people? And then later Disney.
PS: Their names are Esmeralda and Prunella.

6. Monica Morrel from the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine
"You’re one smart little freak. Now run away, smart little freak, before I change my mind and stick you in one of these old suitcases for some architect to find a hundred years from now.” This girl is beyond Heathers psycho. We're talking mean in the "I will give you over to bloodthirsty vamps and laugh while I watch you die" mean. But I don't know...there might be redemption for her yet.

Here's the thing about Mean Girls, people, fictional or not: They are everywhere (even in blogging) and you can't avoid them. But they always -- always -- get what's coming to them. Girls can be bitches, but karma's the bitchiest of 'em all. Remember that.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In My Mailbox 10



"In My Mailbox" is a weekly post hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren about what new books we got in the mail (or library or whatever) this week.




Sorry for that humming noise. Computer, what is wrong with you!?

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski -- Thank you, Harper Collins!
Abandon by Meg Cabot -- Signed! Thanks to my friend Rachel
How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation by Simone Elkees -- Library
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson -- Library
Firelight by Sophie Jordan -- Library
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith, Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steven Hockensmith and Dreadfully Ever After by Steve Hockensmith -- Thank you, Quirk Classics!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Friday, April 22, 2011

Stay by Deb Caletti Review

By Deb Caletti
April 5, 2011
Simon Pulse, 320 pages

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is--and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.

Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough....


— Amazon.com description

I'm so glad this book exists. Youth librarians, make sure this is on your shelves!

Simultaneously heartfelt and frightening, Caletti is telling a very important story here. Clara is in hiding from an abusive, controlling boyfriend and is slowly learning to release herself from blame and trust again.

I've never been in a situation remotely like Clara's, but I know what it's like to be a teenager and to keep a boyfriend around just because it's, well, it's hard to break up sometimes. Caletti shows, through Clara's flashback and present romances, the stark difference between healthy and unhealthy love -- something it's not so easy to detect as a teen. 

It took a little while for me to get into Stay -- mostly while I sorted out the flashbacks. But once I caught on to what was happening and what had happened, it was riveting. And the footnotes were a cute bonus -- icing on the cake.

You might also like: We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh Review

By Kelly Creagh
Aug. 31, 2010
Atheneum, 560 pages

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.


— Amazon.com description

I'm torn on this one.

On one hand, I felt like the book could have been half as long as it was. I'm a bad person, I admit it: I skipped ahead a chapter at one point. Is that why I was so confused at the end? I truly don't think so, but I was a reckless reader, so I am probably to blame and forfeit all rights to complain.

On the other hand, I was completely enchanted by Varen. Look, look at the cover. All I could think when I picked up this book was, "Really!?" But, no, really. He was dark and whiny, but he had depth and reason for being that way. It was fascinating to read about this sort of "beauty and the beast" dynamic, in which two people you would never place together end up being great.

Honesty/creepy old lady moment: At age 17, I promised myself I'd someday kiss a boy with a lip ring. As that CLEARLY will never happen now that I am a married to a boy who will roll on the floor laughing when he reads this and never let me live it down, I have to say that element of the story was a nice bonus. Whatever, I'm just being honest.

You might also like:

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Waiting On: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to shine a spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

By Claire LeZebnik
288 pages
HarperTeen, to be released Aug. 2, 2011

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

• As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

• As the daughter of the new principal, new-girl-on-campus Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long. Fans of Susane Colasanti (When It Happens), Polly Shulman (Enthusiasm), and, of course, Jane Austen will love finding out if Elise’s love life will be an epic win or an epic fail.

— GoodReads.com description

I'm going to put it simply: When have I ever not enjoyed a book that involves a "surprisingly charming social outcast"? I can see the Pride & Prejudice vibe they're clearly going for here, but I say forget Colasanti & Austen...this sounds more like a brat pack movie. Bring it!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter Review

By Aimee Carter
April 19, 2011
Harlequin, 304 pages

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

— Amazon.com description

Whoops, maybe this accidentally just became mythology week on Anna Reads. But I couldn't put off talking about The Goddess Test as soon as I finished it and, besides, the book comes out today.

It took me a little bit to get into this one, but about one-third through the book, I was completely sucked in to the story. What changed it for me? The young adult literature equivalent of finding a unicorn: A female main character who has to chase after the object of her affection.

Okay, okay so I know these stories exist. But do you realize how rare they are? Kate had to do the wooing, and I loved every bit of it.

Granted, I think a lot of aspects of this book were rushed. Kate adapted to the insanity of her situation a little too quickly and forgave her enemies a little too easily—but I still really enjoyed it. Looking forward to Goddess Test book 2, out in February 2012!

You might also like: Wither by Lauren DeStefano ... did anyone else see similarities here?

Thanks to Harlequin and NetGalley for my review copy of this book.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oh My Gods by Tera Lynn Childs Review

By Tera Lynn Childs
May 1, 2008
Dutton Juvenile, 272 pages


A modern girl's comedic odyssey in a school filled with the descendants of Greek gods. When Phoebe's mom returns from Greece with a new husband and moves them to an island in the Aegean, Phoebe's plans for her senior year and track season are ancient history. Now she must attend the uberexclusive academy, where admission depends on pedigree, namely, ancestry from Zeus, Hera, and other Greek gods. That'’s right, they'’re real, not myth, and their teen descendants are like the classical heroes—supersmart and superbeautiful with a few superpowers. And now they'’re on her track team! Armed only with her Nikes and the will to win, Phoebe races to find her place among the gods.
— Amazon.com description

When I reviewed Tera Lynn Childs' book Forgive My Fins, I said: "I love how her brain works."

Well, my friends, that statement holds.

Sometimes I think Tera Lynn Childs interviewed me as a 12-year-old, then took every subject matter I was super into at that age and turned it into a book...a book I'd miraculously still love as a 26-year-old. Mermaids, mythology? TLC, if you write about deserted islands and/or treasure hunts at some time in the future, I am yours forever.*

Put simply, without getting into all the details: It's clear the woman has a vivid, delightful imagination (heck, she even makes photo collages for her characters), and hers are books I'd be happy to recommend to my imaginary daughter someday. Someday far, far away.**

You might also like: If you're into books with a modern twist on mythology, check out Percy Jackson & the Olympians or The Goddess Test (review coming soon!)

Anna Reads young adult book blog


*Bonus: Twelve-year-old Anna would request that JTT be involved somehow. But, don't worry, I can understand how that one wouldn't hold up 14 years later.

**My mother and mother-in-law read this blog.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis Review

By Beth Revis
January 1, 2011
Razorbill, 416 pages

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

— Amazon.com description

This book is exactly what I wanted Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder to be. It's a lovely mix of dystopian, sci-fi and suspense. Bonus: Map inside the cover. Of a spaceship.

Across the Universe pleasantly surprised me because it took a lot of my common complaints about YA books and turned them around on me. How'd you manage that, Beth Revis?

1. First of all: The hype. What a turn-off...usually. This time, it was well-deserved.

2. I'm a romantic (oh, couldn't you tell?), but I'm really happy that this book focused less on love and more on honesty. The themes here were just brilliant.

3. I really dislike alternating points of view, but Revis did a splendid job here. The switches never felt like they were retellings, rather chances to share some new, important information that happened while the reader was caught up with another character.

4. There's nothing worse than a predictable book. But while I saw through some of the plot twists, I had no problem getting over them because the path to those twists was so enjoyable. And a subtle surprise did startle me at the end of the book when I least expected it. Refreshing!

5. Last but not least (SPOILER ALERT): I'm usually a girl who likes her endings tied up in a nice little bow. But this one wasn't, and yet I loved it. It ended ambiguously, but with a great sense of hope and forgiveness, and that felt just right to me.

What the what, right!? B. Revis = miracle worker. Kudos, 'cause I am a changed woman.



You might also like: Another dystopian read, Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Waiting On" Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have)



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to shine a spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


By Sarah Mlynowski
368 pages
HarperTeen, to be released June 7, 2011

2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3), "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub" (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn't-have-done at a time.


— Amazon.com description

Um, let's discuss how I want to read this book based on the title alone. This sounds like a crazy night of fun, I'm thinking Hangover meets Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. 

HarperTeen (hi! love you!), give a bonus to whoever wrote this description. Or to Sarah if she wrote it herself...because the tone is so...just...RIGHT.

Plus, I love lists (lots of evidence to support that claim). Sign me up to read this one come June.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top 10 Books I'd Like to See Made Into Movies


It's Top 10 Tuesday (hosted at The Broke and the Bookish) and the topic is: 
Top 10 Books I'd Like to See Made Into Movies

1. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
I know, I know, you're all: "Enough with these books already, Anna." Too bad, so sad!

2. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
These two series get top billing on the list because my very limited imagination pictures the same actor as both Dimitri and Ash:



Hello, Mr. Ben Barnes. I'm not saying he'd need to star for me to enjoy it -- I'm just saying that it get a girl's imagination stirring! You understand.


3. The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty
Lord, some movie studio out there help me visualize Marcus Flutie and his red dreads. Please, I beg of you. Because I have to believe deep down that this can be hot. Somehow. I trust you, Megan! Word is there's a script in the works.

4. The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
If the Wimpy Kid series can succeed, certainly this beautiful, cartoon-heavy book can be brought to life on the big screen as well.


5. Anything by Meg Cabot
Okay, so that Disney Channel movie based on Avalon High was sort of (okay, totally) crap, but remember Princess Diaries. I thought that was a perfect adaptation, and I'm ready for another Meg book in the theaters. I'd like to see the Mediator series or the Heather Wells series.

6. Heist Society by Ally Carter
It'd be Italian Job for teens. This book was made to be a movie.


7.  Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
I'm a sucker for anything movie in a Groundhog's Day-type form. Seeing the same thing happen again and again with little changes here and there can have a big visual impact. (i.e., Has anyone else seen Source Code?)

8. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Who DOESN'T love a boarding school movie?!


9. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
The suspense is cinematic in the book...imagine what it'd be like in the actual cinema.


10. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
I laughed and laughed at the Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist movie, based on a book written by Rachel and David. Let's make that happen again!

So, listen up, movie-type people with power and money and the ability to make these dreams come true. Please & thank you.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Monday, April 11, 2011

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken Review

By Alexandra Bracken
March 23, 2010
EgmontUSA, 360 pages

When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past.

The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.

— Amazon.com description

I think if I had to pick my favorite type of book, this would be it.

But I don't even know what genre to classify it as. Fantasy?

Whatever you want to call it, it's got everything I love: adventure, good vs. evil, a slowly building romance, a fairy-tale setting, magic. Oh, and did I mention there's a map inside the front cover? You know how I feel about that.

The fairy-tale setting of this book—seriously, it could have been set in Robin Hood or Tangled—was to die for. Poison, wagon rides, weaving, curses! So quaint; so JUST what I want to read about.

Books that create this sort of setting bring out the little girl in me, who at a young age fell in love with what were, well, actual "storybook romances." I just get swept away.

While I was all sorts of bent out of shape that the story started with Syd's parents selling her off like cattle (the feminist in me was all, "Oh HELL no..."), I love how her relationship with North grew and changed. And, when it did take a turn for the worse (no, not a spoiler, all romances and friendships in books have bad times, otherwise books would be a total snoozefest), they eventually aired every grievance I had and helped me come to terms with it. Very refreshing.

Alexandra Bracken did a great job with her first book. Plus, she's gorgeous and, like, 24. I'm a fan.

You might also like: Fire by Kristin Cashore



Anna Reads young adult book blog

Friday, April 8, 2011

These Books Are Serious Tear-Jerkers, People


My friend Ginger at GReads! is asking everyone to join in today to share which books made them cry. There are four books that stand out to me as TOTAL sobfests. We're talking tear tracks on the pages. Yes, I am a sissy.


SPOILER ALERT: 
I'm talking about a certain redheaded person dying. Oh, the pain!


Again, more death. I think you all know the SERIOUS tear-jerking death scene in the woods that I'm talking about. I can't wait to see this in the movie. I have faith that they're going to pull this one off so nicely.


Bridge scene. 'Nuff said. And if you don't know what I'm talking about....oh my, stop what you're doing and go read these books right now. "That's what I was supposed to say..." Still gives me goosebumps!


I might be Team Zachary, but Logan still made me cry at the end. Cannot wait to settle down and start reading the sequel, Shift. Which books really got your tears flowing?

Anna Reads young adult book blog
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