Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Ten Characters Paula would switch places with for 24 hours

I have a feeling that this might be a more difficult TTT than expected. Mainly because I have to limit my life switching to 24 hours- and really that probably wouldn't be enough time for me to adequately be this character... but here it goes.

1. Lyra Belacqua/Silvertongue from His Dark Materials- So I'll let Lyra keep all the crazy adventuring and getting stolen and saving the world stuff. But if I could just hang out with Iorek Byrnison for 24 hours I would be most pleased. She's a really awesome character, but I am just forever jealous of her hanging out with the Bear King

2. Gertrude from Runaways- This is one of my favorite comic series. And again... don't know if I really want Gertrude's life persay... but she has a psychically linked Velociraptor that adores her and protects her. And I can't even begin to explain how desperately I want a pet raptor. I guess instead of being Gerty for 24 hours... I just wish I could steal Old Lace from her

3. Thursday Next from The Thursday Next series- Alright- finally a character that I'm not just trying to steal their animal companion... Thursday is a literary detective which means she gets to solve lots of really neat mysteries AND SHE GETS TO GO INSIDE OF BOOKS. What makes her really special in her alt. universe is her ability to book jump and other characters try to use her because of it. She gets to hang out with Jane Eyre, Ms. Havisham, and The Queen of Hearts. I just wish I could jump into my favorite book for a day or two

4. Buttercup from The Princess Bride- Just a few words on this one: aaasssss yoouuuuu wisshhhhh

Sidenote: This is surprisingly difficult because it's making me realize how many dystopian/apocalyptic novels I read and how many characters I DON'T want to switch places with....

5. Wendy from Peter Pan- I've always always wanted to escape to Neverland. When I was growing up I was convinced that Peter was going to land on my window sill. If I could just trade spots with Wendy for a day and see the magic that is Neverland- it would be a childhood dream come true

6. Milo from The Phantom Tollbooth- Okay... maybe I wasn't done hanging out with character's companions. Tock is just such a fantastic Watchdog. Also- since Milo's journey really only took him an afternoon- I could visit all the places he did and meet the Princesses of Rhyme and Reason...and eat subtraction soup. and and and... be in yet another book that so completely shaped my childhood

7. Lirael from The Abhorsen Trilogy- Uh oh... doing it again. Moggat and The Disreputable Dog are just really fantastic characters. The series also has a really interesting magic system- and it would be neat to be a necromancer and send evil things back where they belong (but also kind of scary...)

I honestly can't really think of other characters I want to switch with... because as much as I love Katniss from the Hunger Games or Amy from The Passage- I would definitely not want to be them or in their worlds for 24 hours...

What about you guys? What 10 (or 8... or however many) characters would you want to be for a day?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Paula gives vlog reviews a shot

Book: Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
Publisher: Random House, 2008
Rating: 3 stars

Description from Goodreads: What is Un Lun Dun?
It is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people, too–including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is an enormous pin-cushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, carnivorous giraffes stalk the streets, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book.

When twelve-year-old Zanna and her friend Deeba find a secret entrance leading out of London and into this strange city, it seems that the ancient prophecy is coming true at last. But then things begin to go shockingly wrong.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Julia's Top Ten Most Vivid Book Worlds/Settings

Hey everyone! It’s Julia again. Are you sick of me yet? :) Today we get a special glimpse into one reason why we love the books we love: the settings and the worlds. A setting can make or break a book for me, especially if it is supposed to be in a world different then our own. World building is super important because it gets your readers invested in the story by bringing it to life in their minds. So let's take a look at 10 of my most vivid worlds/settings in books.

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books

1. The Magical World of Harry Potter
I dare anyone who has read these books not to include it on this list. JK Rowling goes into so much detail about each and every aspect of the magical world. I love how she even includes how they interact with the non-magic folk. Moving photos, enchanted objects, fireplace transportation, it is seriously not a world that can be forgotten. Plus with Pottermore slowly making each chapter available for exploration, the world is becoming even more alive.

2. Middle Earth
My high school age self would murder me if I didn’t put this on the list, and how could I not? Tolkien spent books upon books elaborating on the world he created. I mean hell, he even created languages! Evolved languages at that! Within his stories he creates a sense of place and a sense of history. I’ve read The Silmarillion, and in that book especially you can feel the depth of Middle Earth. Now, sometimes I get bored by the descriptions of rocks or trees, but let no one say that Tolkien did not create a vivid world!

3. The Seven Kingdoms
Currently, I am reading my way through Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (aka A Game of Thrones). I am not very far being about halfway through A Clash of Kings, so if you spoil me in the comments I may cry and then kick the shit out of... a pillow. Anyway, from what I’ve read so far, Martin’s world is reminiscent of Middle Earth meets the Middle Ages. I can see the castles; I can feel the struggle of the villagers. And then he mixes in the fantasy with the trees with faces or the fact that Winter is such a huge part of their lives. I can’t wait to finish writing this post so I can delve more into that world.

4. The Worlds of His Dark Materials
Oh, Pullman. Why must you tempt a young me with the animal visual representation of my soul? What would it be? Something portable I hope. The fact that Pullman creates not one but MANY different types of universes in his novels that all still slightly resemble the familiar is amazing. The thing I will remember the most though and always wish I knew is my daemon. I think he’s a panther, like Bagheera in the Jungle Book: calm most of the time, but can lash out if needed.

5. Panem
The Hunger Games are atrocious acts of cruelty set in a world of vanity and desolation. I could see the people of the capital with their gold skin and their awesome beards. I also felt the hopelessness and resigned assignation of the people of district 12. Wake up, go into the mines. It’s chilling how real this world feels.

6. All Steampunk Worlds Ever
Steampunk is an amazing thing. It takes something as intriguing as the Victorian era and adds technology. Most times they also add paranormal elements (I am looking at you, Soulless). The flying dirigibles, the steam powered everything, the pollution and Victorian morals. It is just so engaging! In addition to Soulless, The Iron Duke was amazing in this regard as well.

7. Gone with the Wind
When I have to think of one book all alone the created a vivid setting for me it would be Gone with the Wind. This book just keeps popping up on my lists, but it was impossible for me to keep off. As a child who grew up in the North, I had never read a book about the Civil War from a southern perspective. You never read about the fires and the tragedy from a personal perspective in a textbook. I remember the setting and surrounding times really stuck with me from this book.

8. Fatherland
This alternate reality fiction book is sort of a ‘what would have happened had the Nazi’s won the war’. It is a thriller and a mystery if I remember correctly, with fun espionage and running from the law and all those shenanigans. But the thing about this book was that I could see the world where the Nazi’s won. It was so vivid. I could wrap myself in the suppression and subjugation. It is a great book!

9. Homer’s Greece and Troy**
I remember being utterly enthralled by all the TV movies that I watched that were based on Ancient Greece and Troy (not to mention Kevin Sorbo as Hercules and Catherine Zeta Jones Lucy Lawless as Xena). When I finally got around to reading the books, I was just as enraptured. Even the lyrical verse of The Iliad still had such vivid language you could just picture everything going on around you.

10. Romancelandia
I have read 156 historical romance novels since I started counting in 2008. If you add contemporaries its more like 200. I absolutely love the settings they give me. Some are more historically accurate than others in actual settings, but taken as a whole it is a fun place to be. The ratio of Dukes and other titled members to the other people of the world is way off. Everyone has an interesting story and a happy ending. Plus there is the other aspects of Romancelandia, like paranormal and contemporary. And begrudgingly I’d even give a small corner of this world to the 50 Shades club. In general though Romancelandia is a place where hard work and strife always pay off in the end by finding the one you love.

So tell me, Readers, what are your most vivid settings? What are your worlds that you can't miss? Link it up below. And I promise you'll get a new list writer next week ;)

**Footnote: I seruoisly need to get more sleep and learn the difference between an movie set in the 50s and the country. And the difference between 's' and 'c'. Greece is now spelled correctly. Thanks to all who corrected me. Also, Lucy Lawless is Xena. I have no idea where Jones came from. Sleeplessness probably. Thanks again for pointing that out!

Julia Reviews Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones

Title/Author: Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones
Publisher/Year Published: May 2012 by Gallery Books
How I got this book: The Library
Why I read this book: Four sisters who were queens in the middle ages? Sign me up!
Rating: 4 stars

The time is the 1200s. Crusades are happening galore to fight for the holy land. Countries are still forming their boundaries leading to additional fighting. Even more fighting comes from the fights inside their borders.

Four daughters are born to the Count of Provence (which is kind of in south east Europe). Their mother raises them as she would sons and has the highest expectations for her daughters, namely to make them queens. There is Marguerite who would be Queen of France, Eleonore who would be Queen of England, Sanchia who would be Queen of Germany and Beatrice who would be queen of Italy.

The story is about how they get there, sure, but mostly it is about the interactions between the siblings throughout their lives.

I highly enjoyed this story. It is a tale of a time that I cannot really fathom living in. All that war, all that oppression. At the same time, though women were pretty darn oppressed at this point, I don't believe they hit the peak, so it is interesting to see how they weave their way to take control when being born a women means they could not.

The plot focuses on the sisters and their lives. It starts when Marguerite is about to get married off to the future King of France. The point of view bounces between each of the sisters at different point through the story, but is all told in a linear fashion. Instead of directly focusing on one of the many issues of the time, Jones allows us to view these problems through the eyes of her queens.

I highly enjoyed this book, but there were some times where I felt that it dragged a bit. I don't know if this was due to the fact that I read huge chunks of it in one sitting (on an airplane), but I did have to stop and pick up another book because it was just too much at times.

But despite that I really liked it and would recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction. Especially with strong women!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Daisy's Mini-Review of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title/Author: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury, August 7th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley and also pre-ordered it cause I couldn't resist owning a shiny copy!

Find it on Goodreads

Why I believe you should all read this book:

*Assassins battling it out to win freedom while something sinister is going on in the castle. EXCITEMENT AND FIGHTING AND MYSTERY AND ROMANCE!

*Does anyone remember this Top Ten Tuesday post of my favourite characters back in 2010? Celaena Sardothien was already on it back then and reading the finished book now hasn't altered my opinion. Basically: awesome, strong female character, snarky, arrogant, flawed and very, VERY real.

*I loved this novel back when it was on Fictionpress and Throne of Glass is the shiny, polished, even more amazing version of the story I fell in love with about 9 years ago.


*So many characters to fall in love with!

*Sarah J. Maas is an expert storyteller and once you pick this one up, you won't be able to put it down until the end. And not even then.

*GAH, just read it already or pre-order it or something, I need people to talk about this novel with!!

If you'd like to see me fangirl a bit more about Throne of Glass, check out my review on my personal blog Between the Pages!

My rating: 5+ stars

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tahleen reviews: "Three Bags Full" by Leonie Swann

Title: Three Bags Full
Author: Leonie Swann
Publisher: Doubleday, 2005

Rating: 4.5 stars

In a field near the Irish village of Glennkill, George has been murdered. He lies pinned to the ground with a spade in the field where his flock of sheep spend most of their time. The flock knows he's been killed, but who has done it? They all pool their wits and resources together to find out what happened to their shepherd.

I read this book years ago, but I still have fond memories of it. It is a cute mystery, I suppose what some might call a cozy mystery, though the writing is, in my opinion, better. The sheep are very methodical in their reasoning, though of course their logic isn't up to the standards that a human has, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how the sheep would come up with conclusions that a person would never think of. The sheep keep at it until they figure out the mystery, and I enjoyed every step it took them to get there. Most of the mystery solving is discussion based, so if you like adventure mysteries maybe this one isn't for you. It's described on Amazon as a "witty philosophical mystery," which I think sums it up nicely.

I was completely charmed with this book, which has a whimsical air that I have yet to see in another mystery. Though to be fair, I don't read mysteries that often. I also loved how each sheep has a very distinct personality, and it's lovely to see how they all develop their characters throughout the novel.

This is a book written for adults, but there is certainly teen appeal in here. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries, books with animal protagonists, or a good yarn (pun intended).

Disclosure: I bought this book from a bookstore.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kelly's review of "Stolen" by Lucy Christopher

Title: Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Author: Lucy Christopher
Published: Chicken House Ltd, 2009

Summary from goodreads:

"It happened like this.

I was stolen from an airport.
Taken from everything I knew,
everything I was used to.
Taken to sand and heat, dirt
and danger. And he expected 
me to love him. This is my story.

A letter from nowhere."

This small and slight summary, along with the title, is what drew me into reading Stolen. The idea and concept is so intriguing and quite haunting.  Gemma is on vacation with her family in Vietnam when she is abducted from the airport by Ty. This strange, yet seemingly gentle, man brings her to his remote home deep within the vast desert of Australia. He has set up this home with the idea that he and Gemma will live her together for many years with no outside communication. Gemma is now secluded with no hopes of seeing her family again, returning home to London, or having a life of her own. We also learn that Ty has been watching /stalking/creeping on Gemma for many years, simply waiting an biding his time.

However...despite all of this, Ty is still a quite charming and sympathetic character. I never identified him as creepy or the pedophile type. I did sympathize and understand him. You never find yourself hoping he will get caught of something bad will happen to him. He is simply too sweet and caring. This is something VERY weird to be writing about a kidnapper, but it's true. This causes great conflict for both the reader and Gemma. She finds it hard to completely hate this man that took her life away from her. Ty is written as such a great, complex character.

What I really enjoyed about this book was the environment. Ty and Gemma are deep in the Australian desert, yet have everything they need and more. I loved the descriptions and interactions with the landscape and wildlife. Especially interesting was the camel chase. The vast, lifeless desert scene really added to Gemma's hopelessness and desperation. 

4 stars.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Julia's Top Ten Books for People Who Liked The Other Boleyn Girl

Top Ten Books For People Who Liked The Other Boleyn Girl

Hey everyone, this is Julia again. Getting sick of my lists? I hope not! Today's Top Ten Tuesday is to help those of you who need some recommendations based on a particular book. The linky this week is going to be a smorgasbord of awesome recs, so if you are looking for that next book to read, today's TTT is for you!

I decided to chose The Other Boleyn Girl for my list. I read this book ages ago, and it was the only book of the series or by Philippa Gregory that I have read. Regardless of that, I have decided this based on the fact that 1)lately I have been reading a lot of historical fiction (or epic fantasy with a hint of historical fiction) and 2) I wanted to showcase some novels that featured stories of women in history. It may not be the best list for this book, but it consists of books that I have read and enjoyed. Maybe you will as well.

PS. All links lead to Goodreads

1. The Jewel of St. Petersburg - Kate Furnivall
Oh, do I love a good dose of Russian historical fiction. Have you ever felt connected to a certain part of history, almost like you may have spent a past life there or something? That's how I feel about Romanov Russia! Anyway... The Jewel of St. Petersburg is a story of a woman pressured by society to marry a many of good breeding who fits in their lives of privelage, but secretly (or not, I honestly can't remember how vocal our heroine is) yearns for something else. It's Romanov Russia so we all know what happens...

2. Mistress of Rome - Kate Quinn
Let's hop back in time to another life of privilege but a different type of subjugation: Rome! This follows a couple throughout their lives as the patricians (ah.. ish) of Rome. I remember being sucked into this story and really enjoying it though I have not as of yet continued the series. It's in my ginormous to read pile! This is another time that I feel connected to. Especially when I was walking through the Roman forum in Italy...

3. The Romanov Bride - Robert Alexander
Who am I kidding, back to Russia! This story, though I read it ages ago, sticks with me as we follow some dramatic changes in our heroine's life. If I remember correctly, this may have been based on an actual person. Even if it wasn't, it stuck with me enough to make me think that it was. I enjoyed this more that I thought I would at the time and read it in a day or so.

4. The Blood of Flowers - Anita Amirrezvani
17th Centaury Persia. A young girl torn from her future and forced into one she could never imagine. We follow the girl's twists and turns as she learns the craft and art of rug making, all while watching her struggle to live the life lot has chosen.

5. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See
Now let's pop over to China while we are in Asia. Back into the time of foot biding and daughters meaning nothing but mouths to feed, we have the touching story of two girls whose lives are intertwined. I loved the feel of China I got from this story. It reminded me of the countryside there. The language of women was fun to read about in practice. This book is full of delight.

6. The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
Let's get biblical! The story of the sister of Joseph (the one with the technicoler dream coat) and her mothers as told over the course of her years. I loved how being the only daughter she carries the secrets of The Red Tent and loves each of her mothers for teaching something different.

7. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
Hop on over to the 20th century England, where two sisters are trying to marry their way out of a poverty they were not born into. Well, on of them is at least. This is a great coming of age story. Highly enjoyable.

8. Four Sisters, All Queens - Sherry Jones
I just finished this one this weekend, and a full review will come, but this was such a good book. Four sisters in the time of the Crusades, each with different aspirations all dashed by the circumstances of their lives. Real history dashed with emotion sets this one up to be a good read. Family comes first.

9. Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
Moving on to the classics, Gone with the Wind is the first book to make me cry for literally tens of pages. You grow with Scarlett and see her be an occassionally nice person... not often but enough that she get's your sympathy or at least your empathy. I remember thinking that this book made me see the other side of the Civil War.

10. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Let's end it on one of my favorite historical fiction books about women, Little Women. Who could not love Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy? Who did not want to see them succeed (or sometimes fail)? These girls jump off the page in their reality. And Laurie will always be my first literary crush :)

I hope you enjoyed my list! Now let's look at yours. Link them up below!
- Julia

Monday, July 16, 2012

Book tour: "The Queen's Vow" by C.W. Gortner

The Queen's Vow by C.W. Gortner
Reviewed as a part of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Author's website: www.cwgortner.com
Twitter event hashtag: #QueensVowVirtualTour
Pub Date: June 12, 2012
Book trailer

Isabella of Castile is one of history's most memorable queens: she was married to the powerful Ferdinand of Aragon (and together they united Spain into a powerhouse), masterminded the Inquisition, and launched Christopher Columbus on his voyages. The Queen's Vow is the newest book from the wonderful C.W. Gortner. It follows Isabella from life as a poor, forgotten princess to the powerful and influential monarch that she later became.

The book mainly focuses on her early years and hardships, all telling us how she became a legendary queen. Her teenage years were full of betrayals, lies, and back-stabbings that all put her and her future in jeopardy. At the age of 17 she became queen of Castile, yet was still met with opposition and struggles. Later, when the Inquisition erupts, she must once again prove to her people that she is a strong and capable ruler.

Overall, I loved the story and devoured the book in a day and a half. The only real knowledge I have of Spanish royalty (of any time period) is that of Isabella's two daughters: Katherine (who married Henry VIII of England) and Juana (the "Mad Queen," I reviewed a book about her HERE). It was fun to read an in-depth story of their infamous mother. The only part of this book that I had reservations on was the relationship between Isabella and Ferdinand. Sure, they were very devoted to each other yet still had their problems, which is all very realistic, but I wasn't sold on their desires to so ardently marry each other. They met exactly one time almost ten years before they wed. Besides their power/wealth, and a bit of gallantry on on Ferdinand's part, I wasn't so sure on what attracted them together initially. However, with all of the other characters and actions, it is easy to overlook this and understand their busy lives.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tahleen reviews: "Death Comes to Pemberley" audiobook by P.D. James

Title: Death Comes to Pemberley
Author: P.D. James
Publisher: Random House Audio, 2011 (print available from Knopf)
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor

Rating: 2.5 stars

Taking place a few years after the ending of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, enough time for Darcy and Elizabeth to have a couple of sons, the main plot of Death Comes to Pemberley deals with a murder on Pemberley property, and the suspect is none other than... DUN DUN... GEORGE WICKHAM. However, Darcy and Elizabeth are convinced Wickham couldn't have possibly committed the heinous crime of bludgeoning his best friend (whose name is escaping me right now) to death. They are faced with a mystery, with the outcome being life or death for Wickham.

If this were just a mystery set in early 19th-century England, it would not be that bad. It was a decent mystery, and the outcome was not obvious. James did her research on the period, too, so it seems genuine. The writing is good, but my biggest problem with the novel was the characterization. I understand it's difficult to try to continue a story that is so deeply ingrained in our literary consciousness, but I found it hard to believe I was reading about the same characters in Austen's novel. I felt James took liberties with the characters, which is understandable considering the fact that she is writing a new story, but being such a fan of the original I was not impressed with the outcome.

Rosalyn Landor was a good narrator. Nothing remarkable, but she had a proper British accent that fit the story well.

If you like Georgian-era novels and mysteries, you might enjoy this latest P&P sequel/continuation/whatever you want to call it. If you are a purist and don't like anyone messing with your Austen, I would just move on.

Disclosure: I got this audiobook from the library.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jana's Top Ten Most OCD Bookish Habits


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to us on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers' lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
Future topics can be found here.


Hi all! It's Jana, here with another lovely TTT post! It's freebie week, so I got to sit and think about all the things I could write about. I finally decided on doing a post inspired by a post I did back in December on my own blog (That Artsy Reader Girl) called Bookish Bad Habits. It spurred quite a discussion over there, and even inspired other bloggers to write about their own bookish habits! It was a lot of fun, and now that I've been blogging even longer, I've come across more wacky habits of mine that I thought you might get a kick out of reading.

1. I HAVE to finish a book, even if the process is grueling and terrible.

2. I can't read a book with the dust jacket on, because it slips out of my hands. 

3. The books in a series always have to be the same format, and they have to sit in order on my shelf.

4. I can't quit reading unless I'm at a chapter break. However… the Kindle has killed me, because now I have to be at a chapter break AND a good percent number, like 10% or 35%. Quitting at 37% drives me nuts!

5. If I buy a book on Kindle that has a really pretty cover, I usually end up buying the actual book for my shelf. Unless I hated the book.

6. If a book has a really ugly cover, I'm less excited to post a review because then that image is on my BLOG.

7. I have WAY too many shelves/categories on Goodreads so I can organize my books. I'm serious. WAY too many. 

8. I absolutely HAVE to read a book's back cover summary before reading it (even if I read it before I bought it) because I can't stand going into a book blind, with no idea about what's going to happen. 

9. Even if I didn't like the book, or never plan to read it, I can't bring myself to get rid of it. It's painful!

10. I can't read library books. I just can't. Who knows where they have been? I am NOT taking them to bed with me. So germy! 

So, do any of you share these with me? Are there any that I'm forgetting? I'm so excited to see what your creative minds have come up with for today's freebie topic! Make sure to link up, and I'll be around to see them!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kelly's review of "North of Beautiful"

Title: North of Beautiful
Author: Justina Chen Headley
Published: Little Brown Books, 2009

Terra Cooper is beautiful in every sense - her only flaw is the large purple/red birth mark covering her entire cheek. This birthmark is her biggest insecurity and the biggest obsession for her mother. Terra spends a lot of time covering it up and feels vulnerable when it is exposed. This changes when she meets Jacob. He helps her feel comfortable in her own skin, as he has facial flaws himself. They become closer and closer and get the chance to go on a journey of a lifetime to China together with their mothers. I loved reading all about their trip, adventures, and experiences abroad.

The one thing that crawled under my skin when I read this book was Terra's father. He was just a terrible person. (On my list of Horrible Characters, I'd place him in the ranks of Lord Voldemort and President Snow. Yeah, that awful.) He belittled his wife's weight and Terra's birthmark, ordered them around like servants, and carried around an air of superiority and self-righteousness. His emotional and psychological abuse was just as terrible as if he'd hit them. Terra is conflicted about her desires to leave for a college as far away from her father as possible yet not wanting to abandon her mother with him. I was hoping the entire book that Terra's mother would stand up to him and put him in his place (yet I didn't feel we got enough closure with their relationship at the end of the book).

Worst-Dad-Ever aside, I really loved the story. It's got a great message of acceptance with a wonderfully strong heroine and a great assortment of supporting characters, from the quirky old ladies Terra works to her droll older brother. On a related note, am I the only one that has seen that cover model EVERYWHERE? She pops up on a ton of different YA covers!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Winner of the 2 Year Giveaway!

Hello, everyone! For those of you in the USA, Happy Independence Day! I hope the weather is nice where y'all are at. I was run out of a ampitheater orchestral show last night by a pretty severe storm with lots of lightning. Needless to say I'll have to catch the fireworks tonight!

Anyway, I wanted to announce the winner of The Broke and the Bookish 2 Year Blogoverary Giveaway!

The winner is ...

Brooke from Txting Mr Darcy

Brooke chose as her prize Beauty Queens by Libba Bray!
The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea, crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program - or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan - or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

Congratulations, Brooke! And thanks to all of you in joining us in supporting our anniversary!

Have a great day everyone!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Julia's Top Ten Books For People Who Liked X Author

Top Ten Books For People Who Liked X Author

Hey everyone, this is Julia. Today's Top Ten Tuesday is to help those of you who need some recommendations based on some popular authors. So hopefully within the next few lines you will find something that you find interesting :)

If you like George R.R. Martin and his epic fantasy, then try The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss or of course The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

If you like J.K. Rowling and her younger fantasy, then try The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman or Cinder by Marissa Meyer

If you like Susanne Collins and her dystopian future, then try The Giver by Lois Lowry or The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe or Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

If you like E.L. James and her erotic romance, then try Bared to You by Silvia Day

If you like Julia Quinn and historical romance, then try A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean or Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke

So, not a lot of descriptions as to why today, as it was really hard for me to do this. But all of the links go to the Goodreads pages where you can read about more if you are interested. I am really looking forward to seeing where you all today today's topic. So let the linkie funtimes begin!


Daisy's Review of Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Title/Author: Hourglass (Hourglass #1) by Myra McEntire
Publisher/Date published: Egmont USA, June 14th 2011
How I got this book: own a copy

Goodreads summary: "One hour to rewrite the past...
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?"

Sometimes you read a book and then you kick yourself for not reading it sooner because it's just that good and people have been telling you how awesome it is. Hourglass falls right into that category!

I was really excited to start Hourglass and then I noticed how many of my friends on Goodreads had given it high ratings and the excitement kicked up a notch! I LOVE starting a book that my friends have loved cause it usually means I will at least enjoy it very much as well. Though I did kind of worry about getting my hopes up only to be disappointed by the actual novel.

But I shouldn't have worried, Myra McEntire's writing gripped me from page 1 and it never once faltered for me throughout the whole novel! I adore the voice she gave Emerson and anyone that can manage to fit in a Gone With the Wind reference on the first page is a winner to me! I loved that I felt like I was right there experiencing everything along with Emerson!

Emerson was such a compelling main character! She's been through a lot and it's made her put up a wall so she won't get hurt again. I loved seeing how she grows as a character and learns to let people in. Also, I love that she can kick some butt! I loved the chemistry she had with Michael. And Kaleb.

To be honest, I'm partial to Kaleb, he's just *sigh*. That's it. I don't have words for it. He's that *sigh*-worthy.

I loved learning everything about Emerson's ability right along with her and was fascinated by all of it! There were laugh out loud funny moments and the tension between Michael and Em brought tears to my eyes, it was amazing! Also, there's a whole set of other characters for me to love, especially Kaleb! *sigh* He's narrating Timepiece, the second book in the series, so I just know I'll love that as well.

I've completely fallen in love with Myra McEntire's writing and recommend Hourglass for anyone who likes a good YA paranormal romance, to me it ranks among the best in the genre!

My rating: 5 stars

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