Showing posts from August, 2013

Hedgie's Must Reads: August 2013

Summer is now over, and we're headed into the months of fall! And oddly enough, I am not horribly sad about it. I had a pretty good summer; busy times at the library, lots of reading, going to the beach, the Renaissance Faire, and book shopping. But there's so much to look forward to in the fall! Movies, books, Christmas. ;-) Though technically that's winter. Anyway, this last month of August might have been busy, but I actually didn't have all that many good reads. Mostly because I was busy and didn't have as much time to read.
A Spark Unseen (ARC) by Sharon Cameron (5/5) The sequel to The Dark Unwinding, this novel is more of a wartime espionage story than a Gothic mystery like the first book. But it is still every bit as good. With a strong protagonist and even stronger supporting cast, period-appropriate dialogue and writing style, and twists and turns that just keep coming, you won't be bored or disappointed. I wasn't sure it would be as good as Book #1,…

Author Visit: Marissa Meyer

That's right - I am finally posting this! I am so sorry it took me so long! My photographer had just as busy a month as I did, so it took her a while to get the pictures to me (huge thanks to Rachel for being my photographer in the first place! You're the best!)
On July 27, 2013, Marissa Meyer, author of The Lunar Chronicles (Book #1: Cinder. Book #2: Scarlet) was on tour in Washington State. I was able to attend her visit at the Centralia Timberland Library, and what a blast it was. I was able to record her lecture and the Q&A, and as soon as I get a chord for my recorder that allows me to upload my audio files, I will add it to this post for my Readers' enjoyment. I tried typing it out, but me put it this way: a 45+ minute talk pushed my patience considerably, and I'm sorry Readers - I love you all, but not that much. ;-) Besides, I don't want to run the risk of misquoting Marissa Meyer, so letting you guys listen to it at your convenience is a better idea.
In …

Review: Story's End - Marissa Burt

Story's Endby Marissa Burt Series: Storybound #2 Genre: Middle Grade, fantasy Published on April 2, 2013 Published by HarperCollins Pages: 416 Read From: 8.21.13 - 8.28.13

SYNOPSIS Long ago, a King ruled the land of Story. . . .During his reign, Heroes, Villains, and characters of all kinds lived out new Tales filled with daring quests and epic struggles.Then the King disappeared, and over the years, nearly everyone forgot that he had ever existed. Now an evil Enemy has emerged, determined to write a new future for Story that he will control. And an ordinary girl named Una Fairchild is inextricably tangled up in his deadly plan.Una and her friends Peter and Indy are desperate to find a way to defeat the Enemy. But Una soon discovers that the real key may lie in her own mysterious ties to Story's past - and to the long-forgotten King, who could be Story's only hope for survival.
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I like it well enough. It's exciting and pretty and definitely echoes t…

Waiting on Wednesday #12

(Divergent #3)
by Veronica Roth
Publication Date: October 22, 2013

From Goodreads:

What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation - like a single choice - changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered - fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature - and herself - while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

The Royal Ranger (Ranger&#…

Top Ten Tuesday #9

This week's topic: Top 10 Most Memorable Secondary Characters. This is a toughie!
Halt in John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series.I have a hard time calling him a secondary character because he really is like another protagonist. But he isn't the protagonist of the series, so I guess he's a secondary character.
Areida in Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted.I love best friends, especially best friends whom the protagonist is forced to leave behind in order to protect them. And still the best friend remains loyal. Areida is one of those.
Las Bombas in Lloyd Alexander's Westmark Trilogy.Another favorite character type is the witty conman, be they villain or secret friend. Las Bombas reminds me a lot of Mr. Tigg in Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit (another favvie), and so he's an absolute favorite.
Cinna in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy.For those of you who saw the movie, but didn't read the book, they totally got Cinna wrong in the…

Waiting on Wednesday #11

The House of Hades
(The Heroes of Olympus #4)
by Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 8, 2013

From Goodreads:

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy's instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through Gaea's forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors on both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?
They have no choice. If the demigods don't succeed, Gaea's armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.

Emerald Green (Ruby Red Trilogy #3) by Kerstin Gier Publication Date (US): October…

Top Ten Tuesday #8

This week's Top Ten topic: Top 10 Things That Make My Life as a Reader/Book Blogger Easier. This should be fun!

Goodreads! Though it also complicates it. I cannot tell you how much bigger my to-reads list got because of Goodreads. But it is a great resource for finding out about new books, getting ARCs through their giveaways, and keeping track of what I've read, what I want to read, et cetera. Shelfari. It's a bit like Goodreads powered by Amazon. Some of you have probably seen my handy-dandy little Shelfari widget on my blog, listing the books I've read this year! It's made my blog so much more efficient. No more having this HUGE list of titles people have to scroll all the way down to the bottom to see what I've read recently. Shelfari keeps it all tidy - and people can see what the book looks like! It's also a great way for me to keep track of what's on my "reading now" shelf without having to get up and go to my library for a peek. Youth Ser…

ARC Review: A Spark Unseen - Sharon Cameron

A Spark Unseenby Sharon Cameron Series: Dark Unwinding #2 Genre: YA, historical fiction, mystery, steampunk Published on September 24, 2013 Published by Scholastic Press Pages: 352 Read From: 8.9.13 - 8.12.13

SYNOPSIS When Katherine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes that Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She quickly flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected as she searches for the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead.But the search for Lane is not easy, and Katherine soon finds herself caught in a web of political intrigue. From the court of Napoleon III to the underground tunnels of Paris, Katherine will have to decide how a dangerous weapon can be kept from both a queen and a emperor, and whom she can trust to make her uncle safe once and for all.
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I don't like it quite as much as the cover for The Dark Unwindi…

Stacking the Shelves #11

From the Library:
Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city's vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city's Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan's enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra's sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Maste…

Review: Towering - Alex Flinn

Toweringby Alex Flinn
Genre: YA, fairytale retelling
Published on May 14, 2013
Published by HarperTeen
Pages: 293
Read From: 8.9.13 - 8.9.13

High in my tower I sit. I watch the birds fly below, the clouds float above, and the tall, green forest stretch to places I might never see.Mama, who isn't my mother, has kept me hidden away for many years. My only companions, besides Mama, are my books - great adventures, mysteries, and romances that I long to make my reality. But I know that no one will come to save me - my life is not a fairy tale after all.Well, at least no one has come so far. Recently, my hair has started to grow rapidly and it's now long enough to read the bottom of the tower from my window. I've also had the strangest dreams of a beautiful, green-eyed man.When Mama isn't around, I plan my escape, even if it's just for a little while. There's something - or someone - waiting for me out there and it won't find me if I'm trapped here towerin…

Sea of Monsters

Rated: PG

Is it worth watching?
As with The Lightning Thief, if you like the books, it will drive you up a wall. They changed so much that it hardly resembles the original story. But if you're just looking for a fun summer flick to go see with your friends and family, Sea of Monsters isn't the worst choice you could make. It's relatively entertaining, well made, and not ridiculously long.
Is it clean?
Yes. Again, Percy and his friends are the result of Greek gods getting together with mortals, but there are no details either visual or verbal. And the powers some of demigods weald are more like superpowers than magic. There is no language or excessive violence - it's all quite bloodless, though Percy takes a bit of a pounding when a mechanical bull breaks into Camp Half-Blood. Kronos and the Oracle might be a bit scary for younger kids.
How is the cast?
While I still maintain my opinion that Logan Lerman just isn't Percy Jackson, I have to admit that I've warmed to h…

Waiting on Wednesday #10

Fire Storm
(Young Sherlock Holmes #4)
by Andrew Lane
Publication Date (US): October 1, 2013

From Goodreads:

Fourteen-year-old Sherlock has come up against some challenges in his time, but what confronts him now is completely baffling. His tutor, Crowe, and Crowe's daughter, Ginny, have vanished. Their house looks as if nobody has ever lived there. Neighbors claim never to have heard of them. Sherlock begins to doubt his sanity, until a chance clue leads him into the throes of a mystery that involves kidnapping, bodysnatchers, and a man who claims he can raise the dead. Before he knows it, Sherlock is fighting for his life as he battles to discover what has happened to his friends.

Beauty's Daughter by Carolyn Meyer Publication Date: October 8, 2013
From Goodreads:
What is it like to be the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world?
Hermione knows . . . her mother is Helen of Troy, the famed beauty of Greek myth. Helen is not only beautiful but also impulsive, and when she f…