Monday, February 28, 2011

Audio Book Review: The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness

Reading Level: Young Adult
Pub Dates: Book - Sept 2009 / Audio - Sept 2010
Length: 13 hours
Narrators: Nick Podhel and Angela Dawe
Series: 2nd in the Chaos Walking series
Acquisition: received for review

Summary:
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order.
But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer?
And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...
The Ask and the Answer is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
Wow.

I finished listening to The Ask and The Answer a couple of days ago and I'm still having a hard time putting my thoughts in order. Mainly do to the fact that this book totally blew me away.  The second in the Chaos Walking series and just as good as the first. Better perhaps.

Picking up right where book 1 ends, so so so much happens and yet, in the end, I very much felt like Todd was right back were he started.  With this series, it's more about the journey then the destination. I love that!

Todd is a character that you can't help but fall in love with. Everything he's been through, everything he has been forced to endure and yet, he hasn't been broken. He came close, and it was heart breaking but it was also powerful.

Audio critique:
I never thought I would have a favorite voice actor but Nick Podehl has won me over. Fabulous acting - very full of feeling and depth. I was literally hanging on his every word. The addition of Angela Dawe to the cast just heightened the overall affect for me.  They both did a fabulous job. Even when portraying the same character, I never felt confused by the change in voice.

I love the way Brilliance Audio formats their audio CDs. Very nice transition between disks and as usually, the added sound effects (like the ghost like 'noise') really made this a fantastic listening experience.

Final verdict:
The Chaos Walking series is quickly becoming one of my all time favorites. If you can, get yourself a copy of the audio book.  The world Patrick Ness has created is chaotic and scary as hell. It's also a world of hope and for some people like Todd, hope is all they have.

And just as book 1 ended on a bit of a cliff hanger, book 2 left me shocked! Whether  listening to or reading this series,  I highly recommend having all 3 books with you before you start.

Overall Story Rating:
5 / 5 Stars
Overall Audio Book Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Books in the Series:
The New World (prequel) - Goodreads
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Goodreads / My review
The Ask and The Answer - Goodreads
Monsters of Men - Goodreads

Linkage Love:
Candlewick Press
Brilliance Audio
Author's Website

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Debut Author Updates

Hi guys!
I just updated my Massive List of 2011 YA/MG debut authors. 
March is all ready with cover pics and links. 

If you're a 2011 debut author of a young adult or middle grade book and you are not on my list but would like to be, please either email me at WilowRaven[at]yahoo.com or fill out my contact form.

Thanks guys!

In My Mailbox - February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

The wonderful Brenda sent me some bookmarks (for you guys!) and a lovely little book followed me home :)
Links are to Goodreads

From Brenda Pandos:
Thanks Brenda!!

Bought:
I absolutely love Kelly's adult urban fantasy series (written as Kelly Gay) and have heard a ton of great things about this one - can't wait to get started!

So, what's in your mailbox?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pardon the dust

I'm cleaning the Red House up a bit this weekend. Moving some stuff around - 'fixing' some review formats now that I think I have my template set (trying to keep it simple!).

Things might look a little out of place for a little bit. Don't mind the dust bunnies - they are very friendly :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

L.K. Madigan

After a battle with cancer, L.K. Madigan, author of  Flash Burnout and The Mermaid's Mirror, has passed away. I didn't know her and I haven't read either of her books but the overwhelming love and admiration that fellow authors and other book lovers have been expressing is a testament to how many lives she touched. 
My thoughts and love go out to her family and friends.


Book Review: Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 2011
Pages: 336
Series: no
Acquisition: received an ARC for review

Summary:
When you're the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs a story for her mother—and she needs one fast.
That's when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol's voice in her head and see things she can't explain, she must face the truth—that she's either inherited her mother's madness, or Errol is for real. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
Really not what I thought it was going to be - in a good way! With it's slightly tragic paranormal twist and characters that were very well developed, Mad Love was a fast, enjoyable read.

Have to say, at first, Errol, aka Cupid, really got on my nerves. He was kind of annoying. It wasn't until after I read more about his life and his backstory that I really started to understand and like him.

My favorite thing about Mad Love is the fact that it takes Alice a really long time to believe what Errol is telling her. It's so frustration sometimes in YA paranormal books to read about the normal, innocent girl meeting the vampire or werewolf or ghost or whatever and going "You're a what? Are you crazy? Get away from me? Oh wait! Come back! It all makes sense! You're my destiny! I believe you!" -- yeah -- kind of hate that a little.

Mad Love didn't have that. The point where Alice accepts what Errol is, is the point that I would have accepted what Errol is. I didn't believe him until Alice did. It was very realistic to me. It almost didn’t seem like a paranormal book most of the time.

Final verdict:
I really loved the characters. Alice's Mom who is struggling with a very real, very scary disease. Mrs Bobot, Reverend Ruttles and Archibald, the tenants in Alice's building who know her secrets and take care of her, and each other, in really fabulous ways. Oh, and Tony! I loved Tony! He was so cute and endearing and it wasn't hard to imagine him and Alice together. They were so sweet as a couple.

I really enjoyed the story and I really enjoyed the feeling behind the words. A total package for me really. Mad Love is the first book by Suzanne Selfors I've read but it's made me eager to pick up her other novels.

If you like love stories, if you like paranormal elements that actual make sense and work with the story - you'll like Mad Love as much as I did.

Overall Rating:
4.5 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love:
Bloomsbury
Author's Website
Goodreads

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Contest! Win Haunted by Joy Preble

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Sourcebooks, I have a copy of Haunted (Dreaming Anastasia #2) by Joy Preble to giveaway.

Keeping it simple

*Leave a comment letting me know why you want to win Haunted
*Open to US residents 13 and older
*Ends March 25, 2011 11:59pm EST
*I will NOT be emailing the winner (so please do not leave your email in your comment)
*No need to follow but I'll only be announcing the winner on MARCH 28th so be sure to check back!

My review of Dreaming Anastasia
My review of Haunted

Thanks guys!

Book Review: Haunted (Dreaming Anastasia #2) by Joy Preble

**Spoiler Free**
Publication Date: February 2011
Pages: 290
Series: 2nd in a series
Acquisition: received a copy for review

Summary:
Goodreads Link

My thoughts:
I was somewhat reluctant to pick up Haunted. After reading Dreaming Anastasia, I wasn't really sure that Anne's story needed more telling. Unfortunately, this feeling stayed with me through about a quarter of the book.  However, once I was fully immerged in the storyline, I was very happy that Anne's story wasn't over.

Book 1, Dreaming Anastasia, had a lot going on. Haunted has even more. The almost constant action helped move the plot along but the addition of Ben - point 3 in a frustrating love triangle - fell kind of flat for me. I guess I understand why he was added to the story, but at the same time, I didn't think his character really had anything to contribute. Also, I didn't really understand why Anne was so mad at Ethan. I didn't get that vibe from her at the end of Dreaming Anastasia so her hostility was a little confusing to me.

Final verdict:
Overall though? Haunted packed quite a punch. I thought I knew what was going on - and I was right - sort of. Lots of mystery to this tale. Lots of stories within stories. The part of me that craves intricate layered fantasy loved this aspect.

Pretty sure there will be more books in this series and I'm looking forward to it. I'm really interested in how much more of Anne's story we don't know.

I also really enjoyed Joy's writing. She's on my radar now and I'll defiantly be picking up her next work - whatever it may be :)

Overall Rating:
3.5 / 5 Stars

Books in the Series:
Dreaming Anastasia
Haunted

Linkage Love:
Sourcebooks
Author's Website

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Contest! 2010 ARCs

***CONTEST NOW CLOSED***

Hey guys!
I have 16 lovely ARCs from 2010 that would really like new homes!

There will be 4 winners

PRIZE PACK 1
The Lost Saint (Dark Divine #2) by Bree Despain
Virals by Kathy Reichs
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Entice (Need #3) by Carrie Jones

PRIZE PACK 2
The Knife That Killed Me by Anthony Mcgowan
I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison
The Ruby Notebook by Laura Resau
The Good Girl's Guide To Getting Kidnapped by Yxta Maya Murray

PRIZE PACK 3
The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by Robin Benway
Virgin Territory by James Lecesne
Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson

PRIZE PACK 4
The Samantha Granger Experiment by Kari Lee Townsend
Starfish by James Crowley
Fledgling: Jason Steed by Mark A. Cooper
The Reinvention of Edison Thomas by Jacqueline Houtman

All are Advanced Review Copies (ARC) in good condition

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
*Open to US residents 13 years or older
*Ends March 18, 2011 11:59 EST
*Fill out THIS FORM to enter
*1 entry per person!
*Extra entries for following (blog, twitter, Facebook)
*Winners will have 72 hours to respond to my email before new winners are chosen

Good luck everyone! Can't wait to find good homes for all these beauties!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Show Me Your Shelves

Hello and welcome to Show Me Your Shelves!
A feature where readers of Red House Books are given the opportunity to show us their book shelves, book cases, book piles....

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Ammy Belle of The Book Fort and The Crooked Bookshelf!

Ammy Belle's first bookcase is homemade and packed full from a going out of business bookstore sale (yeah, I wouldn't have been able to resist either!)

Unfortunately this shelf has not survived :) hehe - too many books!

An awesome warning to those who don't read who have friends who love books. You just might be walled into your own room!

Ok, so I know I've broken at least one bookcase but I've never used books to torture a roommate before...sounds like fun though! What about you guys?

Thank you so much Ammy Belle for Sharing Your Shelves!

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Do you have shelves you'd like to share? Fill out THIS FORM to start :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness Wishlist


Isalys and Vanessa from Book Soulmates have started something I think it pretty awesome. It's called Random Acts of Kindness or R.A.K. -- an awesome (did I say that already?) -- an AWESOME way to brighten a fellow book lovers day with a surpirse gift.

As Isalys and Vanessa have said "There's nothing like the feeling you get when doing something thoughtful for another person without expecting something in return." I couldn't agree with them more!

Here are the rules:
• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.
• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)
• Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address.
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
{Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes :)

Check out their blog for more information
Thanks Isalys and Vanessa for coming up with such a terrific idea!

For those partispiating in R.A.K. here is
MY R.A.K. WISHLIST
In no particular oder :)
(last updated: 3/19/11)

Chime by Franny Billingsley
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Vesper by Jeff Sampson
666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce
The Line by Teri Hall
Away by Teri Hall
Secrets and Shadows (13 to Life #2) by Shannon Delany
Mieradomeby Kate O'Hegarty
So Shelly by Ty Roth
Matched by Ally Condie
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
Haven by Kristi Cook
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (paperback)
Legacy by Cayla Kluver
Ghost Huntress #3 by Marley Gibson
The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
Deadly Litlte Lies (Touch #2) by Laurie Stolarz Faria
Deadly LIttle Games (Touch #2) by Laurie Stolarz Faria
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
Challenge (Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales #2) by Melissa Marr
Sea by Heidi Kling
So Many Boys (The Naughty List #2) by Suzanne Young
A Good Boy is Hard to Find (The Naughty List #3) by Suzanne Young
Crossing Over by Anna Kendall
The Secret of Ka by Christopher Pike
The House of Dead Maids by Clare Dunkle
The Last Good Place of Lily Odilon by Sara Beitia
One Hundred Candles (Past Midnight #2) by Mara Purnhagen
Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In My Mailbox - February 20, 2011

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Pretty lazy week for me overall. Feeling good this weekend though so hopefully the coming week will be better :)

2 awesome things came in the mail while I was sitting around on my butt (and going to work and acting all 'adultish')

First, for Review:
13 YA authors, including Bree Despain, Carrie Ryan and Jennifer Lyn Barnes share their thoughts on the trilogy. I have some pretty strong feelings about the Hunger Games so I'm really looking forward to what these great authors think.
Big Thanks to Sarah + BenBella Books

And THEN!!!!

The most awesomest prize pack I have ever won!
A singed bookmark, a Clarity sticker, Cape Cod toursity gifts, a $10 iTunes Gift Card and Clarity playlist AND a handwritten note containing the first line of the sequel --- which Kim has recently announced will be called PERCEPTION
AND!!
A a signed supper special copy of Clarity. Why is it supper special? Because Kim took the time to mark it up with notes and secrets and total awesomeness! OMG I can't wait to read it!

Seriously though - best prize ever! Thank you so so much Kim :)

So, what's in your mailbox?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)

Love these covers!
Links are to Goodreads :)

Future Release
May 2011 from Harper Teen
How do you defy destiny?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart. (from Goodreads)

Already In Stores
October 2010 from Flux
We've been over this, he says. We have to get to her first.
I know! Olivia snaps. I'm keeping company with a suspected murderer and I've probably become an accessory at this point, and a runaway besides. So don't tell me what I need to do. I'm doing it.
Lily Odilon—local wild child from a small Idaho town—has vanished after spending the night with her sometimes boyfriend, new kid Albert Morales. Suspected in her disappearance, Albert sets out to discover what happened to her. Kidnapped? Runaway? Murder victim?
Joining Albert is Lily's prickly younger sister, Olivia. Their distress is mirrored in a fastpaced narrative that jumps through three timelines. Each thread adds a new level to the mystery and reveals clues that paint a startling picture of all three teens. Theirintertwined destinies come to a head in an unconventional climax. (from Goodreads)

So, what's on your wishlist?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Low Key and Going Green

LOW KEY ---
It happened again. It was just around 11pm last night and I'm doing a mental check list of last minute nighttime tasks when it hit me - I had nothing scheduled to post this morning! GASP! Oh no! I had spent my night playing with my 4 year old and reading after she went to bed. Now it was late and I was tired and before I knew it the guilt had set in.

I know a lot of bloggers suffer from it. A day without a post...what if you all forget about me? What if you get tired of my less then perfect posting consistency? What if!?!

But you know what? It's all good :)

I'm a very laid back person but for some reason, lately I've been getting very uptight about blogging. I kept looking for the perfect....well, everything. The perfect formatting, the perfect layout, the perfect amount of posts per week or month ratio. The perfect number of comments received. The perfect number of books read each year.....and you know what? There is no such thing as the perfect blog. Or the perfect reader OR THE PERFECT PERSON!

Yeah....I already knew these things but I kinda forgot :) Oops!

So, expect a lot more...well...really just a lot more ME. Meaning, I'm finally owning my blog. It's mine. I love it and I care for it and if I don't feed it for a day or two it's still there. If I find out something I want to share - I share it. If no one comments, it's ok. If I sound like an idiot because I'm really not very good at expressing myself that's ok too. Make sense? Good!

Might not seem like a big deal but seriously - I feel like a weight has been lifted! (anyone still reading this and going 'duh' what's your problem? hehehe :)

GOING GREEN ---
SO! Today's Shelf Awareness included the winners of the Newton Marasco Foundation's 2011 Green Earth Book Awards. I've never heard of NMF before today but they are a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. This year, Abby McDonald's book Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots won in the Young Adult Fiction category. I just saw this book the other day in my local bookstore and almost picked it up. Now I really want to read it :)


Hope you all had a lovely day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mini Review: Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

Publication Date: September 2009
Book Acquisition: free ebook download

Book Summary:

What really happened to Anastasia Romanov?
Anastasia Romanov thought she would never feel more alone than when the gunfire started and her family began to fall around her. Surely the bullets would come for her next. But they didn't. Instead, two gnarled old hands reached for her. When she wakes up she discovers that she is in the ancient hut of the witch Baba Yaga, and that some things are worse than being dead.
In modern-day Chicago, Anne doesn't know much about Russian history. She is more concerned about getting into a good college—until the dreams start. She is somewhere else. She is someone else. And she is sharing a small room with a very old woman. The vivid dreams startle her, but not until a handsome stranger offers to explain them does she realize her life is going to change forever. She is the only one who can save Anastasia. But, Anastasia is having her own dreams… (from Goodreads)


My thoughts:
The possibility of Anastasia Romanov surviving the horrific murder of her family in that dark basement so many years ago is a tale most of us have heard before. The story that Joy has created in Dreaming Anastasia is one I'm sure you have never heard before. Straight out of fantasy - a fantasy that involves a secret bloodline, magic spells and the witch Baba Yaga, Dreaming Anastasia was an absorbing read for me.

Set against the backdrop of modern day Chicago we meet Anne. A seemingly normal girl with a not so normal problem - finding out she is the one destined to save Anastasia.

I connected to Anne right away and I very much enjoyed her story. Dreaming Anastasia had a science fiction / fantasy / historical novel / paranormal romance feel to it. If you think that's too much going on at once, it really isn't. Joy did a fabulous job weaving in all elements. The magical brotherhood, the story of Anastasia and her family and Anne and Ethan - all connected in a way that just made this book work.

I was left with a few unanswered questions regarding the plot that I would love to pick Joy's brain about! Really made me crave book 2, which is in stores now so no need to wait!

Overall, a great read for me. Joy is a 2009 debut author that I'm really glad I 'discovered'. Looking forward to more from her in the future.

Overall Rating:
4 / 5 Stars

Books in the Series:
Dreaming Anastasia
Haunted

Saturday, February 12, 2011

In My Mailbox - February 13, 2011

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Some good ones game this week. Very fortunate for the wonderful people who made it happen!
Links are to Goodreads

For Review:
Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut (and a really cute bracelet)

Big Thanks to Darby Karchut, Little Bird Publicity and Jennifer Murgia

So, what's in your mailbox?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Review: Reckless by Cornelia Funke

Publication Date: September 2010
Pages: 400
Series: 1st in a series
Acquisition: received an ARC at BEA10

Summary:
For years, Jacob Reckless has been secretly disappearing to another world, a world behind a mirror, a world for which his father abandoned his family. The mirror world is Jacob's escape from reality. It's a place for treasure hunts and magnificent quests. A world where witches haunt the forests and giants and dwarfs roam. A world locked in a deadly war.
Jacob's secret seems safe, until one day his younger brother Will follows him, with disastrous consequence. Faced with a curse that is quickly turning Will to stone, the Reckless brothers are thrust into a race against time to find a cure before Will is lost forever.
Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, master storyteller Cornelia Funke introduces a lush, enchanting world where fantasy meets reality. Reckless is a thrilling adventure, a tale of heroism and loyalty, filled with danger, mystery, and magic--with fairy tales and legends re-imagined as never before. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
Simply fantastic!  There were so many things I loved about Reckless. The fantasy, the mystery, the adventure. Such generic terms I know, but in the hands of Cornelia Funke, they become magic.

The world Cornelia has created is filled with incredible creatures. Some right out of myths and legends. Some from our very own world. But most seem to be beings of pure fantasy and I so envy her imagination.

So much happens in such a short amount of time but I never felt like the story was rushed.  With only the smallest background given for some characters, I still felt an incredible connection to them. I was in their world because the words brought me there. Completely involved with the story - ever page sucked me in harder. I love when that happens!

Reminded me of:
No surprise here - Reckless very much reminded me of Cornelia's Inkheart series. They take place in different fantasy worlds but the feel is the same. If you enjoyed Inkheart you'll love Reckless.

Final verdict:
Overall - a really big win! I love how seamlessly Cornelia blends reality and fantasy.

If you're a fan of fantasy, YA or otherwise,  I HIGHLY recommend Reckless. It's a book to get lost in, a book you'll find yourself missing after you turn the last page.

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love:
Little Brown and Company
Author's Website
Goodreads

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)

Links are to Goodreads

Future Release
June 2011 from Bloomsbury
For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. Then Dosinia runs away to the mainland, and Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air. (from Goodreads)

Already In Stores
November 2010 from Simon and Schuster
Since losing both of her parents, fifteen-year-old Katie can see and talk to ghosts, which makes her a loner until fellow student Law sees her drawing of a historic house and together they seek a treasure rumored to be hidden there by illegal slave-traders. 
Law Walker knew Katie Mullens before she was crazy. Before her mother died. Law knows Katie’s crazy now, but she’s always been talented. And she keeps filling sketch pads even though her drawings have gone a little crazy as well—dark, bloody. What Law doesn’t know is that these drawings are real. Or were real. Katie draws what she sees—and Katie sees dead people. People who have died—recently, and not so recently—in accidents, from suicide, even a boy who was trapped in a house that burned down more than 100 years ago. And it’s this boy who makes Law want to get to know Katie all over again. So what if his dad doesn’t want him dating a white girl? So what if people think Katie is dangerous? The ghost boy is hiding a secret that Law needs to know—and it’s much bigger, much more shocking than anyone ever expected. (from Goodreads)

So, what's on your Wishlist?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Show Me Your Shelves

Hello and welcome to Show Me Your Shelves!
A feature where readers of Red House Books are given the opportunity to show us their book shelves, book cases, book piles....

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Cialina from Muggle-Born.net

While at college Cialina uses this cute little shelf. She says "Unfortunately, I couldn't bring all my books to college - that would be a little ridiculous."
Oh man, I couldn't imagine transporting my book collection anywhere!

At home, Cialina has this shelf - sorted by color! Love it!
What Cialina has to say "My books might be harder to find this way but I think it looks so pretty that I couldn't resist!"

For more of Cialina you can find her on her blog, Muggle-Born.net, on Twitter and at Goodreads.

Anyone else have a 'travel' bookcase or sort their books by color?

Thank you so much Cialina for sharing your shelves!

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Do you have shelves you'd like to share? Fill out THIS FORM to start :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Book Review: Human .4 by Mike A. Lancaster

***2011 Debut Author***

Publication Date: March 8, 2011
Pages: 240
Series: no
Acquisition: received an ARC for review

Summary:
Humanity, like computers, can be upgraded.  And old versions disappear. . . .
At some unspecified point in the future, when technology is as advanced as possible and we are a race of super beings, some old audio tapes are discovered.  On the tapes is the story of fourteen-year-old  Kyle Straker.
Hypnotized, Kyle missed the upgrade of humanity to 1.0.  He isn't compatible with our new technology. And through the recording, he narrates what the upgrades really mean.  And it's absolutely terrifying.  
Sci-fi futuristic and technological apocalypse in the style of War of the Worlds, I am Legend and The X-Files. (from Goodreads)

My thoughts:
It's been really hard to write this review because every time I try to collect my thoughts all that comes to mind is: OMG THIS BOOK WAS FREAKEN AWESOME AND EVERYONE IN THE WORLD SHOULD READ IT!

I could just leave it at that but I expect you all want a little more :)

For me, Human .4 was like an ultimate 'what if' sci-fi adventure. What if humans are only important and useful as massive electronic data processers?  What if our brains function at a capacity, not set by biology or evolution but by design? Someone else's design. What if we could and have all been upgraded, countless times and what if some people just don't make the cut - forever lost and forgotten as obsolete hardware?

Mike Lancaster has asked and answered all of these questions and together they make for a truly enjoyable, exciting and not a little terrifying read.

Final verdict:
A fantastic debut! Can't wait to see what else Mike has in store for us. Defiantly an author to keep your eye on.

If you're a fan of science fiction, if you're a fan of technology and implausible, but none the less, awesome scenarios then you'll love Human .4.

A quick, short read that contains everything I love about science fiction writing. The unknown, the impossible and most importantly, the unavoidable 'what if'. Just what if it were all true…

Overall Rating:
5 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love:
Egmont USA
Author's Website
Goodreads

Sunday, February 6, 2011

In My Mailbox - February 6, 2011

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Hello my lovelies! How was your week? Mine was snowy! Wanna see?

That pink little dot in the middle is my daughter and that red thing behind all the snow is my house!
Also, see that hard working guy on the left? That's my boyfriend clearing room from around our mailbox because he loves me and knows I get cranky when we can't get our mail :) hehe

I've only had 1 full week of work in the last 4...not that I'm complaining or anything.

Very happy that the mail was still running this week!
Here's what I got
Links are to Goodreads

For Review:
Revolution: The Year I Fell In Love And Went To Join The War by Deb Olin Unferth -- I've been neglecting the non-fiction genre for far too long - can't wait to start this one

Under The Green Hill by Laura L. Sullivan -- 2010 Debut Author. Laura worked very hard trying to get me this copy! Happy it arrived!

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley -- 2011 Debut Author. Modern contemporary story - I haven't been reading enough of this genre lately

Big Thanks to Henry Holt, Laura Sullivan and Katie from Little Bird Publicity + HarperCollins

PaperbackSwap and BookMooch:
The Queen in Winter by various authors -- including my all time favorite author Sharon Shinn

The Everafter by Amy Huntley -- this one has been on my wishlist forever!

The Vampire Diaries Vol 2 The Struggle and Vol 3 The Fury -- beat up and loved and just how I remember my long lost copies from so many years ago

Bought:
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand -- 2011 debut author :) Also, in person, the cover is amazingly beautiful

And last but certainly not least! (and also not pictured because Gae would eat me alive!) hehe
ARC of The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner!
AND an adorable little troll necklace - made me smile :)
Thank you so much Gae!!
If you haven't seen it already, here is the pic of the finished copy, coming out in May by Farra Straus Giroux

So, what's in your mailbox?

Friday, February 4, 2011

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is hosted by Book Chick City :)

Links are to Goodreads

Future Release
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
July 2011 from Razorbill
Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. The water calls to her, draws her in, forces her to sing her deadly song to unsuspecting victims. If she succumbs, she kills. If she doesn’t, the pain is unbearable. To keep herself and those she cares about safe, she shuts herself off, refusing to make friends or fall in love—again. Because the last time she fell in love with a boy, he ended up dead.
Then Lexi meets Cole. Against her better judgment, she finds herself opening up again, falling in love when she knows she shouldn’t. But when she’s offered the chance to finally live a normal life, she learns that the price she must pay to be free of her curse is giving him up.
In Ripple, Mandy Hubbard spins a sea-ravaged tale of melancholy beauty, and the choices one girl makes between land and waves, love and freedom, her future—and her heart. (from Goodreads)

Already In Stores
The Candidates by Inara Scott
August 2010 from Hyperion Book
Dancia Lewis is far from popular. And that's not just because of her average grades or her less-than-glamorous wardrobe. In fact, Dancia's mediocrity is a welcome cover for her secret: whenever she sees a person threatening someone she cares about, things just...happen. Cars skid. Structures collapse. Usually someone gets hurt. So Dancia does everything possible to avoid getting close to anyone, belieiving this way she can supress her powers and keep them hidden.
But when recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy show up in her living room to offer her a full scholarship, Dancia's days of living under the radar may be over. Only, Delcroix is a school for diplomats' kids and child geniuses--not B students with uncontrollable telekinetic tendencies. So why are they treating Dancia like she's special? Even the hottest guy on campus seems to be going out of his way to make Dancia feel welcome.
And then there's her mysterious new friend Jack, who can't stay out of trouble. He suspects something dangerous is going on at the Academy and wants Dancia to help him figure out what. But Dancia isn't convinced. She hopes that maybe the recruiters know more about her "gift" than they're letting on. Maybe they can help her understand how to use it...But not even Dancia could have imagined what awaits her behind the gates of Delcroix Academy. (from Goodreads)

So, what's on your Wishlist?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Updates to Debut Author List

While snowed in today I made some updates to my MASSIVE LIST!

More pictures and links to come soon but January and February are looking good, if I do say so myself ;)
(ok - February still needs it's links but I'll get them done very soon!)

If you can - please CLICK ON OVER and take a look!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FREE e-Book Alert - Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

In celebration of the launch of Haunted, Sourcebooks has made the ebook of, Dreaming Anastasia, available for free!

Anastasia Romanov thought she would never feel more alone than when the gunfire started and her family began to fall around her. Surely the bullets would come for her next. But they didn't. Instead, two gnarled old hands reached for her. When she wakes up she discovers that she is in the ancient hut of the witch Baba Yaga, and that some things are worse than being dead.
In modern-day Chicago, Anne doesn't know much about Russian history. She is more concerned about getting into a good college—until the dreams start. She is somewhere else. She is someone else. And she is sharing a small room with a very old woman. The vivid dreams startle her, but not until a handsome stranger offers to explain them does she realize her life is going to change forever. She is the only one who can save Anastasia. But, Anastasia is having her own dreams…(from Goodreads)

From today until February 7th you can download your copy from these sites:



Monthly Reads - January 2011

Month 1 of 2011 is gone! Bye bye! See ya! Maybe you can take the snowpocalypse with you? What's that? No, you can't? Oh well...I guess that's ok. What was that again? Oh - you taught February some of your tricks? You son of a....

This winter was snowy. Still is snowy. Will be getting snowier...soon...

Lots of great clod cozy nights perfect for reading :)
I think I did pretty good this month, reading wise. I'm really hoping to hit 200 books this year - not sure if I'll make it or not.

I'm also trying something new this year - keeping track of the number of pages read in addition to number of books. I honestly have no idea how many pages I read in any given month or year so this should be fun! Ooo - should probably keep track of hours listened to as well.

Ok - here they are.

Books read (with page numbers):
01. Reckless by Cornelia Funke (400)
02. Lockdown (Escape From Furnace #1) by Alexander Gordon Smith (304)
03. The Vampire Diaries Stefan's Diaries Vol 1: Origins by L.J. Smith (256)
04. Almost to Die For by Tate Hallaway (241)
05. Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr (336)
06. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (224)
07. Solitary (Escape From Furance #2) by Alexander Gordon Smith (240)
08. Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride (352)
09. Drought by Pam Bachorz (400)
10. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (392)
11. Clara Lee and The Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han (160)
12. Human .4 by Mike A. Lancaster (240)
13. Gone by Lisa McMann (224)

Listened to:
01. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (16 hours)

TOTALS 
   BOOKS READ: 13
   PAGES: 3769
   LISTENED TO: 1
   HOURS: 16

Challenge Updates
Debut Authors Reading Challenge --- 1/40
Audio Book Challenge --- 1/20
100 Books In A Year --- 13/200
Mystery + Suspense Challenge --- 0/20