Hello and Welcome!

Red House Books is going through a bit of a update!

I've always had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted this space to be but I've been detoured from my path by...lots and lost of other people's opinions and ways of doing things...

I'm committed to this little chunk of the interweb but I've also branched out into other places so! Now it's time to think of Red House Books as more of a hub of all things me! And Me is a hell of a lot of book love!

Stay tuned!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

In My Mailbox - Aug 30th

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Last week was kinda sad, book wise, but this week was awesome!

From BookMooch:
Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow (The first of her Jill Kilsmet series. This is the same Lili St. Crow that wrote Strange Angels)
The Gunslinger by Stephen King (The first in the Dark Tower series)
Among the Impostors by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Second Shadow Children book)
Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Third Shadow Children book - a review of the first three books is coming soon!)
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (1st in the series)
Specials by Scott Westerfeld (3rd in the series - ok, now I just need the second one :)

The Black Circle 39 Clues Book 5 by Patrick Carman (Love this series! If you haven't read them yet - you should!)
Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales edited by Deborah Noyes (To be used in my new Short Story Snippets Meme)
The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci (Read The SHE and wanted more of this author)
I Was A Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia Block (Total impluse buy - but I love postmodern fairtales)
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (This looks sooo good. So many bloggers have been raving about it - I just couldn't resist)
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (Another impulse buy - A Newbery Honor Book)
Love is Hell by Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin and Laurie Faria Stolarz (Another one for Short Story Snippets - love these authors!)
East by Edith Pattou (Another retelling of the fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon)

For Review:
ARC of The Naughty List by Suzanne Young - Coming February 2010 sent by the publisher
ARC The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Kidnapped by Yxta Maya Murray - Coming January 2010 sent by the publisher

Related blog posts of mine:
Review of Strange Angels -- Lil St. Crow's first YA novel
Short Story Snippets -- first installment!
Review of Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow -- another retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Short Story Snippets - it's New!!

I'm starting my first meme!
I've named it Short Story Snippets.
Basically, every week (probably on Saturday but really, any day) I will post thoughts on short stories. Since it'll be hard not to give the whole story away - these descriptions will be in a slightly poetic and lyrical style instead of a straight forward synopsis or review. Please keep in mind...I'm a horrible writer! But! I thought this would fun - what do you think?
I've been inspired by the many short story anthologies out there by some great YA and Adult Fantasy and Sci fi writers.
Short stories are the perfect way to gobble up more of your favorite author or discover someone new.
Both YA and Adult genres will be included and clearly labeled.
Feel free to post your own Short Story Snippet posts! Please include a link back to this post if you do and leave me a comment so I can check it out.
I hope you all enjoy!

Short Story: Sleeping With The Spirit
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Anthology: Love is Hell
Age: Teen, YA
page count: 51
New girl. New House. Old Ghost.
Mystery + Unfinished Business = Romance and Sweet Dreams

Short Story: Lungewater
Author: Joan Aiken
Anthology: Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales
Age: 14 and up
page count: 19

English countryside with a not so hidden ghost. Would you listen to the story? Follow along - the ending will take you back to the beginning.

Short Story: Huntress
Author: Tamora Pierce
Anthology: Firebirds Rising
Age: YA
page count: 26

Running away from a family tradition. Lions and Lionesses will always give chase. "Felix soaked up light in the halls and gave it off again" but there is no light in the park at night.
Salvation will come from an unexpected source and no amount of running can change a thing.

I had a ton of fun working on this post - and reading some great short stories. What do you guys think? Please be honest! :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Book Review: Ruined by Paula Morris

Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads Tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of New Orleans. There's just one catch. Lisette is a ghost. A ghost with a deep, dark secret, and a serious score to settle. As Rebecca learns more from her ghost friend - and as she begins to trust Anton Grey - she also uncovers startling truths about her own history. Will Rebecca be able to right the wrongs of the past, or has everything been ruined beyond repair?
(Dust jacket)

I have to say, I didn't love it as much as I thought I would. The story itself was unique - a ghost story with a few twists. Not sure if those twists were good or not though :) Although the book isn't terribly long there was some fluff I think I could have done without. At one point Rebecca visits NY after being away for while - nothing happens - no insights - nadda - it just filled up some space in the middle of the book. Also, some parts, some characters, where a little flat to me.

Overall though, this book was a pretty good read. I found myself wanting to know how the story ended and what happens to all the characters in the end. The insights into the New Orleans elite class (both past and present) was nice. Lisette the ghost was a different sort of character. Pretty sure it's a stand alone novel which is a nice after reading so many series.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

Read the first chapter here

Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Point (thisispoint.com)
Published August 2009
309 pages

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
(Publisher's Website)

The first thing I have to say about this book is - wow. The story was great, the writing was great, the characters where great.
Mary in particular is such a dynamic character. For her entire life, her world has existed inside the confines of her gated village. Always under the watchful eyes of the Sisterhood and constantly under attack from the Unconsecrated. The word is never used, but these lifeless attackers are essentially zombies. The fact that they are never called zombies only added to the effect this book had on me. It's hard to say too much without giving it all away but if you're a fan of YA dystopian stories, this one is for you.

The world Mary lives in is both surreal and realistic. Her escape after the breach was truly frightening. I found myself holding my breath as I read. The ending itself wasn't a surprise but it also wasn't predictable, which was nice.

I could not put this book down! The sequel - The Dead-Tossed Waves (don't you just love that title!) is due out in 2010. **happy dance**

Young Adult Urban / Dystopian Fantasy
Ages 14+
Delacorte Press (www.randomhouse.com/teens)
Published 2009
310 pages

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meme: My Life According to Books I have Read 2009

I found this over at WORD for Teens who found it at Sharon Loves Books and Cats who found it at Brooke Reviews who found it Crazy Book Slut who might have found it somewhere else but she didn't say :)


Fun all around! Comment with a link if you post your own (or know who the blogger is who started this). Would love to read your picks!

  • Describe Yourself: Once a Witch
  • How do you feel: Wicked Lovely
  • Describe where you currently live: A Long Way from Chicago
  • If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Skeleton Creek
  • Your favorite form of transportation: Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Your best friend is: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • You and your friends are: Strange Angels
  • What's the weather like: Into the Mist
  • Favorite time of day: Twilight
  • What is life to you: One False Note
  • Your fear: Hell House
  • What is the best advice you have to give: Wake
  • Thought for the Day: Afraid
  • How I would like to die: Forest of Hands and Teeth
  • My soul's present condition: Through a Brief Darkness

Book Reivew: A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

The return of one of children's literature's most memorable characters is a gift indeed. The eccentric, forceful, big-hearted Grandma Dowdel is the star of the Newbery Medal–winning A Year Down Yonder and Newbery Honor–winning A Long Way from Chicago. And it turns out that her story isn’t over—not even close. It is now 1958, and a new family has moved in next door to Mrs. Dowdel: a Methodist minister and his wife and kids. Soon Mrs. Dowdel will work her particular brand of charm—or medicine, depending on who you’re asking—on all of them: ten-year old Bob, who is shy on courage in a town full of bullies; his two fascinating sisters; and even Bob’s two parents, who are amazed to discover that the last house in town might also be the most vital. As Christmas rolls around, the Barnhart family realizes that they’ve found a true home—and a neighbor who gives gifts that will last a lifetime.
(Publisher's Website)

Another Peck classic. Grandma Dowdel is one of my favorite literary characters of all time and I'm so glad Peck wrote her into another great story. A Season of Gifts is told from the point of view of 11 year old Bob. His family has moved next door to Grandma Dowdel in her small Illinois town in the year 1958. Grandma Dowdel might be old, but as Bob and his two sisters Phyllis and Ruth Ann learn, she is still a force to be reckoned with.

I was supper excited when I found out about this book. I absolutely loved A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder. A Season of Gifts is a perfect complement to these first two.
Bob and his family have a Christmas they will never forget and they owe it all to Grandma Dowdel.

I highly recommend this book to any fans of Peck's as well as youth fiction fans.
5 stars

Youth Fiction
Ages 10+
Dial Books for Young Readers (www.penguin.com/youngreaders)
Release Date: September 2009
Part of a series that includes A Long Way from Chicago (1998) and A Year Down Yonder (2000)
176 pages

Other Books by Richard Peck I would recommend
  • The Ghost Belonged to Me
  • Ghosts I have Been
  • Through a Brief Darkness

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Book Review: Atherton The Dark Planet by Patrick Carman

In the dazzling conclusion to the epic story of Atherton, Patrick Carman takes readers on the most rewarding journey of all, to the perilous realm of The Dark Planet: Earth. When Edgar discovers a way to leave the mysterious satellite world of Atherton, he couldn't have imagined the gloom that awaited him on the dark planet, where the oceans are toxic, the forests are full of mutant monsters, and children toil in darkness, controlled by ruthless maniacs. Max Harding, an orphan of the Silo, the maker of Atherton, and the last hope of a dying world, left this place behind, and now Edgar is determined to complete the mad scientist's spectacular plan, revealing Atherton's true purpose. Edgar's quest to discover Earth's dark secret leads to an out of this world adventure in the final book of the Atherton trilogy.
(Publisher website)

This review is going to be a little short. The Dark Planet is the third and final book in the Atherton series and there isn't a whole lot I can say without giving everything away.


If you have read the first two books -- Book 1: The House of Power and Book 2: Rivers of Fire then you will love The Dark Planet. All of our favorite characters are here plus some wonderful (and horrible!) new ones. Edgar learns more about where he came from and in true Carman style, all loose ends are tied up in time for great happy ending.

If you haven't read the first two books -- what are you waiting for? Do it now!
Carman is a great writer. He has yet to disappoint and I've read just about everything he has written so far :)

I'm a sucker for a good author website - check out Carman's here. There are bunch of links for some extra tidbits for Atherton as well and some spooky extras for Skeleton Creek (you can read my review of that book here).

Other Patrick Carman news

In My Mailbox - Aug 21

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Blue Monday
So - only 2 books this week.
I'm blue and so are my books :)

From BookMooch:

  • Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
  • Blue if for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz
What's in your mailbox?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thank you!

I've been nominated! I still can't believe it :) There are so so so many wonderful blogs out there and I don't really think I have a chance to win anything but it feels really good knowing people nominated me. THANK YOU EVERYONE!
I recieved emails from the BBAW folks and have sent in my posts and whatnot for the following catagories
  • Best General Review Blog
  • Best New Blog
  • Best Reviews
All I can say is WOW!
Ok - maybe I can say more...like THANK YOU! Did I say that already? Here's another one - THANK YOU!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Contest: Ghost Huntress Book 1: The Awakening by Marley Gibson + extra book

My very first contest!
One winner will get 2 books:
My once read paperback copy of Marley Gibson's Ghost Huntress Book 1 AND a paperback copy of Gregory Maguire's What the Dickens.

The first in a trilogy. Get out your tape recorders, crystals, and extra batteries— you’re about to go where our world meets the spirit world.

Psychic Kids, Paranormal State, Haunting Evidence—these and countless other television shows are making believers out of millions of people: Ghosts exist, and they’re living right beside us. For centuries, individuals have been trying to prove the existence of ghosts. But without hard evidence, it’s been difficult to make the case. But now as science and technology have progressed, ghost hunters have been able to use scientific means, along with more traditional psychic tools, to make their case. Photographs, video recordings, and sound recordings are all producing some amazing results.
In this new series, Ghost Huntress, meet Kendall Moorehead, a seemingly typical teen. When her family moves from Chicago to the small historical town of Radisson, Georgia, her psychic abilities awaken. She’s hearing, feeling, and seeing things that seem unbelievable at first, but with the help of the town psychic, Kendall is able to come to terms with her newly emerging gift. So, together with her new BFF, Celia, Kendall forms a ghost hunting team. They’ve got all the latest technology. They’ve got Kendall for their psychic. Now they’re going to clean up Radisson of its less savory spirits.
The story is fiction. The science is real. Welcome to a new reality. (Publisher website)

"A terrible storm is raging, and ten-year-old Dinah is huddled by candlelight with her brother, sister, and cousin Gage, who is telling a very unusual tale. It’s the story of What-the-Dickens, a newly hatched orphan creature who finds he has an attraction to teeth, a crush on a cat named McCavity, and a penchant for getting into trouble. One day he happens upon a feisty girl skibberee who is working as an Agent of Change -- trading coins for teeth -- and learns that there is a dutiful tribe of skibbereen (call them tooth fairies) to which he hopes to belong. As his tale of discovery unfolds, however, both What-the- Dickens and Dinah come to see that the world is both richer and less sure than they ever imagined. From the author of the best-selling WICKED, a transporting tale-within-a-tale about the strange world of skibbereen -- aka tooth fairies -- and the universal need to believe." (Publisher website)

Open to US participates only (sorry!)
Ends September 5th - 11:59pm EST

For entries:
  • +1 Leave a comment with your email address in spam thwarting format (if I can't get in contact with you, I can't get the book to you!)
  • +1 Comment on any review I have posted and let me know here (+1 for each comment)
  • +2 Become a follower
  • +3 Already a follower
  • +2 Post about this contest on your blog (sidebar is fine) and leave a link
Winner will be picked by my 3 year old via paper entries in a large bowl :)
I'll email the winner and announce here on the 6th or 7th.

Have fun and good luck!
Woo hoo! Sharing the book love :)

Book Blogger Appreciation Week Award

You guys! I was nominated for a Book Blogger Appreciation Week Award! How cool is that?
A HUGE thanks to whoever out there nominated me. It has totally made my day!
Really....I'm almost speechless :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Book Reivew: Wake by Lisa McMann

Not all dreams are sweet. For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime. She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control. Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....
(Publisher's Website)

Can you imagine it? Every time someone near you falls asleep, you experience their dreams? This is Janie's life. She doesn't know what is wrong with her but she has been protecting her secret from everyone for a long time. From her alcoholic mother to her childhood best friend. School, especially study hall, is a nightmare - literally. Sleepovers? Let's just say, the things she learns about her friends, are things she really doesn't need to know.

She's never wanted anyone to know the truth about her, until now. Cabel has a secret of his own but Janie can't help wanting him. The romance that ensues isn't overpowering in the least and I think it adds a good dimension to Janie's character.

McMann's writing is very realistic and entertaining. I found Wake very hard to put down but it was also a very easy, naturally flowing read for me. Each chapter is broken down further into short snippets of time as you experience Janie's life along with her. The subtle change in fonts lets you know you are now within a dream without a lot of external explanation which I think helps the story move along at a good pace.

This book takes an interesting twist near the end and the ending leaves you wanting more. Good thing there is more :)

I would recommend this book to any YA supernatural fiction but also mystery fans.
5 stars.

Young Adult Fiction
Ages 14+
Simon & Schuster (SimonSaysTEEN.com)
Published March 2008
210 pages
Part of a Series: Wake 2008, Fade 2009, Gone 2010

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book Review: Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

High atop Hathorne Hill, near Boston, sits Danvers State Hospital. Built in 1878 and closed in 1992, this abandoned mental institution is rumored to be the birthplace of the lobotomy. Locals have long believed the place to be haunted. They tell stories about unmarked graves, cold spots throughout the underground tunnels, and treasures found inside: patients' personal items such as journals, hair combs, and bars of soap, or even old medical records, left behind by the state for trespassers to view. On the eve of the hospital's demolition, six teens break in to spend the night and film a movie about their adventures. For Derik, it's an opportunity to win a filmmaking contest and save himself from a future of flipping burgers at his parents' diner. For the others, it's a chance to be on TV, or to spend a night with no parents. But what starts out as a playful dare quickly escalates into a frenzy of nightmarish action. Behind the crumbling walls, and down every dark passageway, they will unravel the mysteries of the patients who once lived there -- and the spirits that linger on.
(Publisher website)

As it happens at times, the synopsis of a book doesn't really do it justice. If I had picked up this book randomly and read the back cover, I might not have bought it. Good thing I first came across it on a blog review :)

I really liked Project 17. Best part in my opinion, is the fact that Danvers State Hospital is an actual place, or was, before it was partially demolished and turned into condos. Can we say creepy? Do a Google search - you'll find some amazing pictures and descriptions of the place. It was empty for 14 years and I know of a few people who were among the brave trespassers during that time. From what I have been able to learn of the place, a lot of the random facts about Danvers that Stolarz includes in the book are true -- the practice of lobotomies, the use of hydrotherapy, the underground tunnels, and the fact that until it's renovation, patient files could be found discarded among the ruins. Also, I found a picture online of a broken American flag window, which one character comes across while exploring. Makes me wonder if Stolarz found the same image I did. In any case, it seems that she did her research.

As a novel, Project 17 is the story of 6 teenagers, brought together for various reasons, who attempt to spend the night at the abandoned facility before it is torn down. Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character. We have our main protagonist Derik. For him, the film he is attempting to shoot is his way out of a predetermined life in the family business. Chet's just looking for a good time while Liza needs some extracurricular activities on her resume to get into her dream college. Mimi has a personal agenda while Tony and Greta hope to become the next best reality TV stars. A strange mix of personalities but once they are alone at the hospital, they find they must work together in order to survive.

Project 17 is a great 'haunted house' thriller but in the end, the story is more about the characters discovering things about themselves and each other then it is about ghosts and mystery.
5 stars

Young Adult Thriller
Hyperion Books (www.hyperionteens.com)
Published December 2007
248 pages

In My Mailbox - Aug 16th

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Another good week for me. Couldn't resist using up some more extra birthday money at my local bookshop :) Maybe next week my "bought" list will be empty...hehe
Included pictures this time - hope you like it!

Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn


What's in your Mailbox? :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book Review: Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales Vol 1 Sanctuary by Melissa Marr

Discover Melissa Marr's mesmerizing world of Faerie...
The desert is far away from the schemes of the Faerie Courts - and that's how Rika likes it. Once a mortal and now a faery, Rika seeks isolation and revels in her ability to appear invisible to humans. Then, she meets him. Artistic and kind, Jayce is the last person Rika wants to hide from.
But change is coming, challenging Rika's freedom and her new romance, as her past pursues her, even into the heart of the desert...
(Back Cover)

So, that about sums up the entire book. Not sure why Marr decided to take her Wicked Lovely series into the world of Menga. This is the first in a series? of short story supplements. Also not really sure on the time line of this one but it seems to be either somewhere between the first and second books or the second and third books. It's very short and not really much happens. You really need to have read Wicked Lovely for this short story to make sense. There really isn't any character introduction. We do learn that Rika was the Winter Queen before Donia and Keenan makes a short appearance. The artwork is pretty amazing though. Although, Keenan looked nothing like how I imagined him. In my opinion, it's not worth the $9.99 price tag. Overall, I'm not a fan but if you enjoy Wicked Lovely and happen to love Menga - you would probably like this book more then me :)
2 Stars
Harper Collins Publishers
Available Now
Young Adult Menga Fantasy

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Contest Wishes

Ok guys, I'm about ready to hold my very first contest!


I'm really hoping to have more followers AND I can't decide what book to give away :(

So! I'm hoping you guys will help me out by: 1) Telling your friends how cool I am so they become followers - hehe and more importantly 2) letting me know what currently released book you would like to win. I'm thinking that if I hold off for a little while you can also include any September release books you would like as well.

What do you guys think? Will you help a girl out?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I've gotten a few wonderful awards from some wonderful bloggers! Sorry it took so long to get these posted :)

From: Kate at The Neverending Shelf AND Kristen from Bookworming in the 21st Century

Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and befriends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.

Briana, Arielle, and Marisa at B.A.M. Book Reviews
Rhiannon Hart
Liz at Booklover

From: Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century

"We give and get awards for having a great blog and being a good friend. What I want to award is those people whose comments have meant THE WORLD to me. It takes time to visit a blog and leave a comment ... I wanted to recognize some special bloggers whose comments have made such an impact on me. The “You Don’t Say?” Award is awarded to these special bloggers in hopes that they will pass the award along to 5 of their best commenters!"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Book Review: Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Young Adult Urban Fantasy - ages 12 and up
Release Date: September 2009
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and on the day she was born, her grandmother proclaimed she would be one of the most Talented among them.
But Tamsin's magic never showed up.
Now, seventeen years later, she spends most of her time at boarding school in Manhattan, where she can at least pretend to be normal. But during the summers, she's forced to return home and work at her family's bookstore / magic shop.
One night at the end of the summer, a handsome young professor from New York University arrives at the shop and mistakes Tamsin for her extremely Talented older sister. For once, it's Tamsin who's being looked at with awe and admiration, and before she can stop herself, she agrees to find a family heirloom for him that was lost more than a century ago. But the search - and the stranger - prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the past sins of her family, and unleash a power so strong and so vengeful that it could destroy them all.
In a spellbinding display of storytelling. Carolyn MacCullough interweaves witchcraft, romance, and time travel in a fantasy that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.
(back cover of ARC)

Tamsin is a character I immediately felt connected to. She's an ordinary girl with an extraordinary family. I hadn't read a good witch story in a while and this one was defiantly a good choice. Tamsin's family are all witches, she is too technically but she has never felt like she fit in. Her family isn't overbearing about it - they are all very accepting. I loved the cast of characters - from Tamsin's matriarchal grandmother to her annoyingly perfect older sister.
The one thing that stood out for me in this book was how genuine Tamsin's feelings were portrayed. Her family and friends mean everything to her and you can really feel it through MacCullough's writing. There is some romance, but it isn't over done. It's actually very cute and again, genuine.
Another thing I loved about this book - best first line ever:

"I was born on the night of Samhain when the barrier between worlds is whisper thin and when magic, old magic, sings its heavy and sweet song to anyone who cares to hear it."

There is a lot to this book - enough to keep you well entertained and draw into the story and the ending is open to a sequel - I hope!
I highly recommend this book to any YA Urban Fantasy fans.
5 Stars

Sunday, August 9, 2009

In My Mailbox - Aug 9th

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Late late post this week!
So, last Monday was my birthday and the only thing I asked for from my wonderful friends and family was books! And money to buy books! hehe
I have a TON of new reading to get through and I couldn't be happier!

Gifts / Bought:

Wicked Lovey: Dessert Tales Vol 1 Sanctuary by Melissa Marr
General Winston's Daughter by Sharon Shinn
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black
Wake by Lisa McMann
Firebirds Rising: An Anthology of Original Science Fiction and Fantasy Edited by Sharyn November
The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Strange Brew Edited by P.N. Elrod
Gone by Michael Grant
Ruined by Paula Morris
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Atherton: The Dark Planet by Patrick Carman
The Dream Maker's Magic by Sharon Shinn
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Ok - I should be off to bed but instead I think I'm going to read a while :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

Are you like me and didn't know what this was until you came across it on another book blog?

Here's the scoop!

This year's BBAW will run from September 14th - 18th and since I'm new to blogger, it will be my first. Sounds like a great opportunity to connect with other book lovers out there. Thank you Amy for starting this.

Here are my newbie answers to this year's BBAW questions:

1) What has been one of the highlights of blogging for you?
Sharing the love! Meeting new people with similar interests and finding SO MANY great books that I want to get my hands on and read.

2) What blogger has helped you out with your blog by answering questions, linking to you, or inspiring you?
Kelly at The Novel Bookworm has helped me a bunch. I came across her blog and noticed it right away because of the fabulous template she used (hehe, it was the same one I picked) - she helped me customize it and it's been really fun learning the ins and outs of blog layouts :)

3) What one question do you have about BBAW that someone who participated last year could answer?
How do you make time for reading all the wonderful blogs you found?!?

If your interested - don't forget to register your own blog and submit your nominations.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Monthy Reads - July 2009

So July, where did you go?
Got some pretty good books in this month.
For your perusing pleasure :)

  • Afraid by Jack Kilborn (review)
  • Baby Sitter's Club #6 - Kristy's Big Day by Ann M. Martin
  • A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger (review)
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (review)
  • Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (review)
  • Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman (review)
  • The Dreadful Future of Blossom Culp by Richard Peck
  • The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • The Sword Thief: 39 Clues Book Three by Peter Lerangis
  • The Name of Annabel Lee by Julian Symons
  • Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George (review)
  • The River Between Us by Richard Peck
  • Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley (review)
  • Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin (review)
  • The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
  • Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow (review)
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  • Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough - review coming!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

In My Mailbox - August 2nd

In my Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Another great batch of books this week - woo hoo!
Anyone invent that time machine yet? You know, so we can give ourselves a few extra days each week just to read books? No? Oh well...maybe next time :)

From BookMooch:
  • A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck -- this isn't actually due out until the fall but someone had an ARC to mooch - woo hoo! I love Peck's books and this is his third featuring Grandma Dowdel.
  • Harry Potter Should have Died from Mugglenet.com - saw this at the bookstore and thought it would be an interesting read. I think it's funny when fans argue with an author about how a book was 'suppose' to end.
  • 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson -- been wanting to read this one for a while. The 1st in a series.
  • Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix -- a youth dystopia story that looks really interesting
  • Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern -- read about this on someone's blog :) and it looked good.
  • Ghost Huntress Book 1: The Awakening by Marley Gibson -- I've seen a few reviews for this and it looked good. Should get it read this week with a review up.
  • Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough -- ARC copy that MacCullough's publicist sent to me. I've already read it and loved it! Review to follow today or tomorrow.
  • Turning to One Another by Margaret Wheatley -- nonfiction book about communication.
  • What to Read When by Pam Allyn -- nonfiction book about what books you should read to your children at what ages. I know the author's sister in law and it came highly recommended.
  • The Reader by Berhnard Schlink -- I already read this one actually :) But I had put it aside to buy at work and forgot about it - finally took it home with me this week.
  • Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters by Kathleen Ragan -- a collection of fairy tales and folktales from around the world featuring women as heroines.
  • General Winston's Daughter by Sharon Shinn - another YA fantasy by my favorite author.

I bought more books this week that I usually do - oh well :)
Receiving Once a Witch in the mail was a very nice surprise.
So much reading to do - woo hoo!!

News, Thanks and Musings

Taking some time to post some updates about me / and or my blog as well as to send some big thank yous out to some wonderful people

Wow, I can't believe it's only been a couple of weeks since I started up this blog. I knew from the start that I was going to have loads of fun. I mean: books + people who love books + talking about books + more books! Win, win, win situation on all fronts :)
What I didn't expect however was the wonderful response from so many other book bloggers out there. I have learned so, so much and have been feeling very welcomed into this extraordinary community.
I've been gushing about my blogging experiences (writing my own blog, following other blogs, making connections with authors of wonderful books) and more then once I have gotten the response - 'so, you can do this for money or something?'. What? I say. Um - no, I do this because I love books! 'Oh, is that all'....some people just don't get it :) But some people do! And I'm here now to share some of the book love I have received over the past couple of weeks :)

Here it goes -- great big thanks being send out to:
Can you feel the love? I sure can :)

So, my first book love genre is YA fantasy, sci-fi, some fiction and after some thought I have decided to tailor this blog to reflect that. My first couple of Book Reviews however where adult novels - because that is what I read at the time. I do read mostly YA novels but over the year there are still a bunch of new and old adult books that make their way into my read pile.
I was thinking of creating a second blog - one for reviews of adult novels I have read and I'm wondering what you think. Does anyone else host more then one blog? Is it worth it? Would it be ok to pepper my YA blog with a few adult reviews and/or comments and giveaways?

I'm not at all sure what book I'll be giving away yet but I would love to host a giveaway in late August or early September. I was thinking of waiting until I had at least 20 followers (I have 5 right now - thank you!!) but I don't necessarily want to fluff up my follower total with people only joining to earn an extra point in a giveaway - does that make sense?
So! I'm telling you (5) :) -- if you know of fellow bloggers or people who like to follow blogs who YOU think might enjoy reading mine - please let them know and you will have my utmost appreciation :)
I'm thinking that even if I don't get 20 followers soon - I'll give away a book cause it would be fun.

Ok - that's all I have in me right now. Check back soon for my review of Once A Witch.
As always - happy reading to all!