Showing posts from April, 2013

Hedgie's Must Reads: April 2013

Spring is here in full force, and that means it's a perfect opportunity to go outside and enjoy some books! Hedgie and I have been getting lots of reading done, as well as tending my flowers and anxiously waiting for the blackberries to ripen (still have a ways to go, unfortunately). I've been doing lots of baking, too, and contemplating my new story - working title Mystery at Ramford Hall. But I had plenty of time to tackle that stack of books up in my room with Hedgie, as well as some on my shelves, and here's the best of April's crop.
The Archived by Victoria Schwab (4/5) The first book in a planned series. Mackenzie is a Keeper. It is her job to patrol the Narrows - the place between the Outside and the Archive - to capture and return escaped Histories to the Archive. Most of the time, the Histories - otherwise known as the record of a dead person's life - she hunts down are kids, and therefore no threat. But other times, they're adults, and they can be viole…

Review: A Thunderous Whisper - Christina Diaz Gonzalez

A Thunderous Whisperby Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Genre: YA, historical fiction
Published on October 9, 2012
Published by Knopf Books
Pages: 304
Read From: 4.21.13 - 4.25.13

Ani is just an insignificant whisper of a girl in a loud world. At least that's what her mother tells her. Her father made her feel important, but he's off fighting in Spain's Civil War, and his voice in her head is fading.

Weekend Recommendations #1


Some Dating Advice for Readers

I'm not into quotes and sayings about romance and love unless it's sarcastic and cynical. That's just how I am. I've always been the girl who, given the choice between The Princess Diaries and Gladiator, I vote for Gladiator. I hold a pillow in front the TV screen during kissing scenes and cheer during battle scenes. I nod like a bobblehead doll at Sherlock's litanies about emotions and roll my eyes during sappy friend-giving-friend-dating-advice. I lament romance in adventure stories (and movies), despise love triangles, and only read The Hunger Games for the games part, and not for the Peeta/Katniss/Gale romance. I'm not saying I am totally devoid of romantic appreciation. I love Jane Austen and nearly cried at the end of Swan Lake. But given a choice, my interest does not tend toward the sweet and mushy.
That said, I just found a quote in Goodreads that I absolutely loved. And it isn't searingly sarcastic this time, or philosophical or just plain funny. I…

Getting Older

Yesterday was my 21st birthday. Yep, I'm old, and legal in every sense of the word. Despite getting older, I had a really good birthday. I had a friend over for a nice dinner of spicy Indian food and a homemade double-chocolate cake that didn't turn out as well as I had hoped it would. Taste-wise, it was yummy, but it was more of a torte than a birthday cake. I had a very specific image in my mind of how this cake was going to look - it was going to be sophisticated and awesome. Well . . . it looked more like a chocolate leaning tower of Pisa and the cookies lining the bottom weren't straight. Oh well! Taste it what matters most, right?
A week earlier, I went to PNB's Swan Lake production as part of my birthday present. I have been wanting to go see Swan Lake for years, so that was a really special treat. And it was so beautiful and moving - I almost started crying at the end, when Sigrid and Odette had to bid farewell. It's one of the saddest fairy tales/love stori…

Review: The Madness Underneath - Maureen Johnson

The Madness Underneathby Maureen Johnson Series: Shades of London #2 Genre: YA, supernatural, mystery Published on February 26, 2013 Published by Putnam Pages: 290 Read From: 4.20.13 - 4.21.13

SYNOPSIS After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Deveaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends.

Review: Splintered - A. G. Howard

Splinteredby A. G. Howard
Series: Splintered #1
Genre: YA, classic retelling, romance
Published on January 1, 2013
Published by Amulet Books
Pages: 371
Read From: 4.18.13 - 4.19.13

Alyssa Gardner hears the thoughts of plants and animals. She hides her delusions for now, but she knows her fate: she will end up like her mother, in an institution. Madness has run in her family ever since her great-great-grandmother Alice Liddell told Lewis Carroll her strange dreams, inspiring his classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Review: Above World - Jenn Reese

Above Worldby Jenn Reese Series: Above World #1 Genre: Middle Grade, science fiction, futuristic Published on February 14, 2012 Published by Candlewick Press Pages: 356 Read From: 4.17.13 - 4.18.13

SYNOPSIS Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean, just like all of the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after remaining hidden from the Above World for centuries, her colony is in trouble, its survival in doubt: the tech that allows the Kampii to breathe underwater is beginning to fail, and many Kampii have already died. Yet the colony's elders, including Aluna's father, are unwilling to venture to the dry and dangerous Above World to search for answers.

Review: Evil Star - Anthony Horowitz

Evil Starby Anthony Horowitz
Series: The Gatekeepers #2
Genre: Middle Grade, horror, thriller
Published on June 1, 2006
Published by Scholastic Press
Pages: 320
Read From: 4.12.13 - 4.17.13

Matt thought his troubles were over when he closed Raven's Gate. . . .but, in fact, they were just beginning. Evil forces will stop at nothing to track him down and destroy him. There's no choice but to fight back.

Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold - Jane Nickerson

Strands of Bronze and Goldby Jane Nickerson Genre: YA, fairytale retelling Published on March 12, 2013 Published by Random House Pages: 352 Read From: 4.10.13 - 4.12.13

SYNOPSIS When seventeen-year-old Sophie Petheram's beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation - on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting - from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Review: Stolen Magic - Stephanie Burgis

Stolen Magicby Stephanie Burgis
Series: The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson #3
Genre: Middle Grade, historical fantasy
Published on April 2, 2013
Published by Atheneum Books
Pages: 400
Read From: 4.8.13 - 4.10.13

With just days to go before her sister Angeline's long-delayed wedding to Frederick Carlyle, the impetuous Kat Stephenson has resigned herself to good behavior. But Kat's initiation into the magical Order of the Guardians is fast approaching, and trouble seems to follow her everywhere.

Review: Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdomsby Morgan Rhodes Series: Falling Kingdoms #1 Genre: YA, fantasy Published on December 11, 2012 Published by Razorbill Pages: 412 Read From: 4.7.13 - 4.10.13

SYNOPSIS In the three kingdoms of Mytica, the magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

Review: Fearless - Cornelia Funke

Fearlessby Cornelia Funke
Series: Mirrorworld Trilogy #2
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on April 2, 2013
Published by Little Brown
Pages: 432
Read From: 4.5.13 - 4.7.13

Jacob Reckless has only a few months left to live. He's tried everything to shake the Fairy curse that traded his life for his brother's - legends such as the All-Healing Apple, the Well of Eternal Youth, the blood of a northern Djinn. And yet hope after hope is extinguished. After months of fruitless searching, Jacob journeys through his father's mirror one final time to deliver the bad news to Fox.

Review: The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Mindsby Alexandra Bracken Series: Darkest Minds #1 Genre: YA, science fiction Published on December 18, 2012 Published by Hyperion Pages: 496 Read From: 4.5.13 - 4.7.13

SYNOPSIS When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government "rehabilitation camp." She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America's children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Review: The Madman's Daughter - Megan Shepherd

The Madman's Daughterby Megan Shepherd
Series: The Madman's Daughter #1
Genre: YA, classic retelling, horror
Published on January 29, 2013
Published by Balzer + Bray
Pages: 420
Read From: 4.3.13 - 4.5.13

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London - working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Review: Rebel Fire - Andrew Lane

Rebel Fireby Andrew Lane Series: Young Sherlock Holmes #2 Genre: YA, historical fiction, mystery, Sherlockian fiction Published on April 24, 2012 Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Pages: 352 Read From: 4.2.13 - 4.3.13

SYNOPSIS Fourteen-year-old Sherlock knows that Amyus Crowe, his mysterious American tutor, has some dark secrets. But he didn't expect to find Crowe somehow mixed up in the incredible reappearance of John Wilkes Booth, the notorious American assassin supposedly killed by the U.S. army. How

Review: The Archived - Victoria Schwab

The Archivedby Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived #1
Genre: YA, mystery, supernatural
Published on January 22, 2013
Published by Hyperion
Pages: 328
Read From: 3.29.13 - 4.1.13

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body had a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Review: Raven's Gate - Anthony Horowitz

Raven's Gateby Anthony Horowitz Series: The Gatekeepers #1 Genre: Middle Grade, horror, thriller Published on June 1, 2005 Published by Scholastic Press Pages: 270 Read From: 3.25.13 - 3.29.13

SYNOPSIS As punishment for a crime he didn't really commit, Matt was given a choice: Go to jail or go live with an old woman named Mrs. Deverill in a remote town called Lesser Malling.

Review: Victoria Rebels - Carolyn Meyer

Victoria Rebelsby Carolyn Meyer
Genre: YA, historical fiction
Published on January 1, 2013
Published by Paula Wiseman Books
Pages: 265
Read From: 3.24.13 - 3.25.13

Even as a young girl, Princess Victoria knew that one day she will be queen of England. No one speaks this truth, but everyone knows it, just as everyone gossips about who will make a suitable husband for the future monarch. At seventeen, most princesses are at least paired, if not married. But not Victoria.

Review: Sever - Lauren DeStefano

Severby Lauren DeStefano Series: The Chemical Garden Trilogy #3 Genre: YA, futuristic, romance Published on February 12, 2013 Published by Simon & Schuster Pages: 371 Read From: 3.23.13 - 3.24.13

SYNOPSIS After enduring Vaughn's worst, Rhine finds an unlikely ally in his brother, and eccentric inventor named Reed. She takes refuge in his dilapidated house, though the people she left behind refuse to stay in the past. While Gabriel haunts Rhine's memories, Cecily is determined to be at Rhine's side, even if Linden's feelings are still caught between them.