Sunday, September 30, 2012

Broke & Bookish Book Haul for 9/23 - 9/29


Lori's Book Haul

I acquired two books this week.  In a quest to do homemade Christmas presents this year, but to not churn out several versions of the same few projects, I bought The Crafter's Devotional:  365 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Unlocking Your Creative Spirit by Barbara R. Call.  It has several projects in it that I can do.  Plus maybe it will help me unlock the right side of my brain.

I also purchased The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.  I talked Zach into foregoing his afternoon nap to go pick it up with me.  I thought I'd have to go to all of the places to get books in this town.  Alas, no.  The first place we went had it.  I can't wait to read it!


Daisy's Book Haul


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Got these lovelies from my brother for my birthday! :) THANK YOU! I own the first 4 books in Dutch but wanted to have them in hardover in English to complete my collection.


A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies
The Diviners by Libba Bray: SO EXCITED! LOVED Gemma Doyle!
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson: I may have squealed and done happy dances hugging this book when it arrived.
Vanish by Sophie Jordan
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

For Review:

The 13th Sign by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James
The Lady Most Willing by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockaway
Some Like It Wicked by Carole Mortimer
The Bridegroom Wore Plaid by Grace Burrowes
The Lady of Secrets by Susan Carroll
The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley
The Second Seduction of a Lady by Miranda Neville
Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Kelly's Book Haul

For Review:

Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell (does this not sound FASCINATING? A review will be up soon!)
Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow by Juliet Grey (a Marie Antoinette book, yes please.)

From the Library:

Wither by Lauren DeStefano (I am so behind in YA trends. I've been waiting forever for this!)
To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd
The Pleasure Palace by Kate Emerson
Elizabeth I by Margaret George (this is one of my FAVORITE authors of all time! Paired with one of my favorite historical

Our Broke & Bookish book haul is inspired by memes like IMM & Stacking the Shelves & Mailbox Monday. This is just our very simple way of doing it collaboratively so we can participate in all of them and not have to choose one.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bookish Deals (5) - Top Ten Banned Books 2011

Happy Saturday, everyone! Welcome to today's biweekly edition of Bookish Deals where I (Julia) try to scour the internet to find you guys an array of deals to fit in with any budget!

Seeing as tomorrow is the start of Banned Books week, I decided to use this post to highlight the top ten books that were banned in the year 2011 as reported by the ALA and the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

The Internet Girls Series by Lauren Myracle - $6.95 (paperbacks)
"an epistolary novel entirely out of IM transcripts between three high-school girls"
ttyl (AZ | BN)
ttfn (AZ | BN)
l8r, g8r (AZ | BN)

Reasons Banned: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

The Color Trilogy by Kim Dong Hwa - Various (paperbacks)
"A trilogy about a girl coming of age, set in the vibrant, beautiful landscape of pastoral Korea"
The Color of Earth (AZ | BN)
The Color of Water (AZ | BN)
The Color of Heaven (AZ | BN)

Reasons Banned: sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - $5 - $10
"Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?"
The Hunger Games (AZ | BN)
Catching Fire (AZ | BN)
Mockingjay (AZ | BN)

Reasons Banned: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy  by Dori Hillestad Butler - $6.95

"Elizabeth's mom is having a baby, and the whole family is involved. Elizabeth learns all about the baby's development, and she traces his growth, month by month."

Reasons Banned: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - $9.99
"Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live."

Reasons Banned: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

Alice Series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor - Various
"Alice McKinley is about to become a teenager, but she doesn't know how. Her mother has been dead for years, and what do her father and her nineteen-year-old brother, Lester, know about being a teenage girl?"

All 25 books.

Reasons Banned: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - $8.99-$9.99
"Aldous Huxley's tour de force, "Brave New World" is a darkly satiric vision of a "utopian" future—where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order."

Reasons Banned: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones - $7.99
"My name is Sophie.
This book is about me.
It tells
the heart-stoppingly riveting story
of my first love.
And also of my second.
And, okay, my third love, too."

Reasons Banned: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit

Gossip Girl Series by Cecily Von Ziegesar - Various
"Welcome to New York City's Upper East Side, where my friends and I live, go to school, play, and sleep--sometimes with each other."

All 13 books.

Reasons Banned: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - $7.99
"Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos."

Reasons Banned: offensive language; racism

To learn more about Banned Books week, check out

Friday, September 28, 2012

Julia's Romance Review - Historical Edition

I was looking through my Goodreads "To Review" shelf today and noticed that I have a lot of romance novels that I read once upon a time that I never took the chance to review. I don't think I could come up with a solid review for all of them, so I thought I would take a few and highlight them in one post. This is the historical romance edition.

Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt
Published: June 2012 by Grand Central Publishing
Series: Maiden Lane #4
Rating: 5 stars

I am in love with the Maiden Lane series. It takes a completely different route than most historical romances. It is not set in the ton, but in the slums of St. Giles where all are poor and most addicted to gin. This particular story is one I have been waiting for and highlights the Ghost of St Giles.

The romance is between Winter Makepeace, the caretaker of an orphanage, and one of the Ladies that patron the facility, Isabel. It is very much a continuation of the last book, and so I don't recommend it as a stand alone. But the other three books in the series are just as good. I actually reviewed the first book, Wicked Intentions, back in the day. That is where I would start.

A Night Like This  by Julia Quinn
Published: May 2012 by Avon
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #2
Rating: 3.5 stars

Oh, Julia Quinn. You are so hit and miss for me lately. I adored almost all the Bridgerton books, but after those it has been a pendulum between 'meh' and 'this is amazing'.

Sadly for me this falls under 'meh'. It wasn't bad. I don't have any particular qualms about it. Nothing really rankled me, but nothing made me laugh out loud, nothing made me sigh, nothing made me cry, nothing made me do anything but watch these characters. I didn't feel invested.

Is it a bad book? Nope. I've read a lot more stinkers. But it just didn't click with me.

This book could be read as a stand alone, but does reference things that happened in book one, especially during the beginning.

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
Published: February 2012 by Avon
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #1
Rating: 5 stars

I had read Sarah MacLean before, but sort of forgot about her. Daisy (and the rest of the romance blogosphere) brought this book and author back to my attention. The story is about two childhood friends who fell apart because of Bourne, our lead male, lost his inheritance in a wager and left society.  Well he comes back and through some circumstances, Bourne marries Penelope though both have become different people.

The beginning reminded me a lot of Disney's Beauty and the Beast mixed with some of The Lion King, but I didn't really see that as a negative. The book was quite interesting, despite its slow start. The characters were the best part, and I am looking forward to the continuation of the series.

Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke
Published: December 2011 by Avon
Series: Abandoned at the Altar #3
Rating: 3 stars

I read this one a hell of a long time ago (January), and thus it has been in my review queue forever. This third book in the series really has almost no connection to the other two beside the fact that it has altar abandonment.

Annabel is on a boat getting ready for her wedding while crossing the Atlantic when she meets Christian who is trying his damnedest to not let her marry. They have a cute little flirtation on the boat which I found highly enjoyable. What I do remember not liking is that after they left boat it sort of dragged. The characters are not horrid and neither is the story, but I just didn't connect with it as I have with past Guhrke books.

You Only Love Once by Caroline Linden
Published: August 2010 by Avon
Series: The Bow St. Agents: Spies in Love #3
Rating: 3.5 stars

I can tell you for certain that this book can be read as a stand alone since this is what I did. I picked this one up at the Border's liquidation sale and was glad I did as I highly enjoy Linden's writing.

Angelique is our spy heroine who is paired with American Nate Avery to complete a highly sensitive mission regarding embezzling. I remember liking the characters and interaction between the leads as they try to find the embezzler.

It was a pretty interesting spy love story. I tend to enjoy these. The sexy times were pretty hot on the heat scale, though I got bored with them at the end and wanted to read more about the spies. The plot was super intriguing, and that is why the other books in this series are on my to read list!

All of these books were purchased or taken on loan from the library.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Cocktail & Conversation -- JK Rowling's Newest Book

Every other Thursday here at the Broke & The Bookish is going to be A Cocktail & Conversation time. We'll pose a question to 2-3 members of TB&TB crew about books, life, music, etc and then they'll answer and we can converse about it. So grab a cocktail & cozy up for some conversation. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, friends. 

This week: Let's talk about The Casual Vacancy! Do you plan on reading it? How do you think Potter fans are going to receive it?

Tahleen says: I certainly do plan on reading it. I grew up with Harry Potter, and though I know it will be extremely different from the fantasy series, I can't imagine it will be bad. What I'm nervous about is that I will be let down by it, but I'll just have to wait and see. I'm around number 100 on the library wait list at this point, which is honestly pretty good, so I'm hoping I'll get it in a month or two.

Lori says:  I think I want to read it.  I saw someone say that they wanted to read it before they heard too much about it from critics.  I would have to agree--I would want to read it before the critics got to it.  Like Tahleen, I am worried that I might be let down by it.  Of course it won't be Harry Potter, but I think Rowling deserves the chance to be more than just Harry Potter.  I guess, bottom line, I'm on the fence about it...but I will probably read it at some point.

Daisy says: I'm not fully convinced yet, I mean I LOVED Harry Potter and like Tahleen, I grew up with the books. BUT to me the premise of The Casual Vacancy doesn't sound all that exciting... I think I'll wait for it to be released in paperback, cause it's a lot of money to shelve out on something I'm not really sure of. But maybe it'll turn out to be amazing and I'll end up wishing I'd read it sooner. I can't imagine it'll be bad either, it just doesn't sound like my kind of book.

What about you, dearest readers? Are you wanting to read it? Do you have any reservations about it? Do you think it's going to be judged harshly because of Harry Potter's success? 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bridget Reviews The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Title/Author: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Publisher/Year Published: 2012 by Random House
How I got this book: Random House sent me this book for review.
Why I read this book: A free copy was offered to TBTB for review and I claimed it!
Rating: 2.5/5

The Age of Miracles tells the story of twelve-year-old Julia, who wakes up one morning to discover—along with the rest of the world—that the Earth’s rotation has begun to slow. As both the days and nights grow longer, the gravity and the weather are not the only things to be affected: Julia must also deal with the societal implications as well as the effects on her own family and friends.

I really wanted to like this book. I love science fiction, and the plot sounded incredibly creative. I also love a good bildungsroman, and from the description I got from Random House as well as the book flap, it seemed like it would be a great story about growing up in a crumbling world. Unfortunately, it seemed a bit to me like Walker tried too hard to make it both without putting enough substance in the story.

It just seemed to me like there were far too many loose ends. Early on, eleven-year-old Julia is sexually harassed at the bus stop by an older boy—and nothing at all comes of this, other than the fact that she loses a beloved necklace that is mentioned maybe one or two more times. Later, Julia’s friendship with her best friend Hanna collapses unexpectedly, with no resolution. I realize that this can happen to relationships, but it felt like it happened for no reason. After Julia turns twelve, she is invited to a small party in one of the wealthier neighborhoods, where she and a few other young teenagers drink beer—and again, nothing at all comes from it. Frankly, it seemed less like an actual plot than a series of random events, loosely strung together against the backdrop of the inexorable slowing of the Earth’s rotation.

I was also hoping to see some more of Julia’s actual growing up, but the only birthday she passes in the entire book is her twelfth. She’s much older in the last chapter/epilogue (at least 23), but most of the blanks between her twelfth year and her twenty-third are left unfilled. I think the story would have flowed a little better if it had taken place over more than a year.

I’m the type of person who likes long books that I can lose myself in—books where I can really get to know the characters and get involved in the story. At only 269 pages, this was not one of those books. It felt rushed and disorganized to me, despite the very promising plot, and I think that if she had explored some of the incidents I mentioned above a bit more, she could have written a much better, more coherent story.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jana's Top Ten Series She Has Yet to Finish

Future TTT topics can be found here
This week's topic discusses series that you have not finished for one reason or another. Some of them I just have not gotten around to yet because I have so many other books on my plate, and some of them I really disliked book #1 and chose to not continue. I have this thing about not finishing something I start, so this list might just be the kick I need to keep going on some of them! 

1. The Study Trilogy by Maria V. Snyder
I really liked Poison Study! And I even own the other two books. I'm just a slacker, and now I'm scared I won't remember enough from the first book to be able to understand the others. 

2. The Faeriewalker Trilogy by Jenna Black
I had a thing for fairies at one point, and Glimmerglass did absolutely nothing for me. At all. 

3. The Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie
I own Crossed, but have not gotten to it! And I really loved Matched! I NEED to read this one, and soon. 

4. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I've read part of book #1. Don't hate me! I really think I need to try these books again. I'm probably the only person in the world who has not read them. 

5. The Hush, Hush Trilogy by Becca Fitzpatrick
I actually liked Hush, Hush... and I own Crescendo. I should really get into this trilogy again. 

6. The Halo Trilogy by Alexandra Adornetto
For those of you who read my review on Halo, you already know how much I dislike this series. Not gonna happen.

7. The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner
I've heard awesome things about this, and got partway through book 1 before I realized I was not in the mood for it at the time. I really need to give it another go, though, because it sounds like something I'd love. 

8. FBI Thriller Series by Catherine Coulter
I read a few of these books one summer, and really enjoyed them. I went out and bought the other 8 or 9 that were already released, and have not gotten back to them. I really need to, though, because they were pretty exciting. 

9. The chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano
I really loved Wither, and have GOT to read Fever! It's just not happened yet. 

10. The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella
I'm cheating with this one, since I've never read any of these books. I do own the entire series, though, so this has to happen! I love Sophie! 

So, which book series have you facepalming because you have not finished them yet? Link up your posts, and I'll start making the rounds! I need some awesome recommendations and possibly some encouraging/discouraging words for the ones I've listed here. Do you hate/love any of the ones I mentioned? Let me know!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Movies you might not know are based on books

There are a lot of movies that are based on books out there, but you might not have realized some of those well-known films are based on literature. Here are a few that I (Tahleen) have discovered.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? based on Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf


I feel like this one always shows up on lists like these, but I just couldn't resist. I haven't read this one, but I remember the movie well from childhood. Mostly how it freaked me out. It's a good thing it wasn't based too closely on the book, because I would never have been able to sleep again.

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings


As someone who has seen the movie and read the book, I have to say I liked the movie better. However, it wouldn't even exist without the book, especially since most of the dialogue was pretty much just lifted right out of the novel.

The Town based on The Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan


This one more people might know about. I knew about this one because I worked at a bookstore when the movie came out. I haven't read or seen this one, so I won't be much help there. But I can tell you it was set in Charlestown, in Boston!

Field of Dreams based on Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella

I feel like I knew about this one before, but forgot. Anyway, I knew about the book and of course I knew about the movie, and now I know they're connected!

Fast Times at Ridgemont High based on book of the same name by Cameron Crowe

Who knew? I kind of want to read the book.

Die Hard based on Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp

Die Hard is pretty awesome. I haven't read this book either, unfortunately, so I can't attest to how closely the movie follows, but hey! Another "who knew" moment.

Those are only a few movies based on less-well-known books out there. I know I'm missing a lot of them including the one I thought of that inspired me to write this post (curses!), so please leave them in the comments!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Broke & Bookish Book Haul for 9/16 - 9/22


Paula's Book Haul

Went to Target with the intent of buying only laundry detergent..... somehow A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin fell into my basket while I was there! Oopsies.

Julia's Book Haul

Personally, I am trying not to buy books until I move, because moving books is hard. But, moving eBooks is easy...This is what I've bought in September thus far. 

From the Library:
- The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James

For my Nook:
- Undone by Lila DiPasqua
- The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton by Miranda Neville

For My 3 Year Old Cousin's Birthday:
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault and Lois Ehlert
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle

I am the best aunt/cousin ever. He always likes the books I get for him, and I get them at every holiday/birthday . Last year it was 'The Little Engine that Could'. He is quite the reader :)




Jamie's Book Haul

For review:

- Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi  (OMG  I loved Under the Never Sky!! SO excited!)
- Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum
- Prophecy by Ellen Oh
- Everbound by Brodi Ashton
- Everybody Sees The Ants by AS King (audiobook)
- Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin  (audiobook)


SO I went to the National Book Fest this weekend (and met John GREEN!!!!!!) but realized before I left that I had loaned out all my JG books (minus An Abundance of  Katherines) to a co-worker!  SO naturally I had to buy the ones I didn't have so I could get him to sign them!!

Looking For Alaska by John Green
Paper  Towns by John Green
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green


Our Broke & Bookish book haul is inspired by memes like IMM & Stacking the Shelves & Mailbox Monday. This is just our very simple way of doing it collaboratively so we can participate in all of them and not have to choose one.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Guest Post: Author Henry Massie Discusses His Inspiration

Welcome to our stop along the Pump Up Your Book Virtual Tour for Henry Massie's new book, Felice's Worlds! It's a pleasure to have Henry here on the blog today so he can discuss what inspired him to write his book.

Dr. Henry Massie is a psychiatrist, award-winning author, and pioneering researcher in the field of autism. FELICE'S WORLDS--From the Holocaust to the Halls of Modern Art, is the a memoir and biography of his mother, a brilliant and beautiful woman who participated in many of the most critical periods of the 20th Century.

Felice's Worlds First she escaped the Holocaust and the poverty of the shtetl. After that, she moved in many worlds. And in every one she made her mark.
Felice Massie was a student in France, caught up in the horrors of Naziism when she was 20 years old.  Cut off by the war from her family living in a small village in Poland, she shifted from one country to another attempting to find a home for herself and a means to rescue her parents, brother and sister.  As the Holocaust descended on her shtetl, she arrived penniless in America.  Over time she raised a family and amassed one of foremost collections of American modern art.  Her boldness and resilience became a beacon of hope and inspiration for others.

What Inspired Me to Write    
Felice's Worlds: From the Holocaust to the Halls of Modern Art
My mother entertained me with her adventures from the time I was a small child.  She was a great story teller and I had a very dramatic vision of her and her life and times. As I grew older I wanted to share her stories with others.  Sometimes she would tell an episode around our family dinner table.  Sometimes she would launch into an adventure when we were with guests.  At times she shared them with me alone, especially as she grew older after my father passed away.

There were many different parts and periods to her life, and her stories revealed her as a  bold, colorful, impulsive, brilliant woman who knew how to seize a moment and make it hers.  The experiences she recounted brought to life bygone eras better than any history book, more completely than any movie.

For example, I learned about life in the poor farming village of her girlhood in Poland near the Russian border.  I learned what it was like to be singled out as "the pretty one, sprightly, special little girl whose father, the mayor, sent her away to get an education."   She became the first girl from her village to go to university.  I learned how she came of age in the 1930s and used the ruse of a false marriage to escape from the Nazis and enter Palestine.  There she received the death threats from both Jews and Arabs because she treated everybody equally.  Bitterly disappointment by the violence there, America beckoned her.  I saw her descending the gangplank at Ellis Island in 1937, a young,  penniless  woman with a mission to send back money to rescue her family.  She placed an  ad offering child-care in the New Haven, Connecticut newspaper.  Within days she moved into the home of the President of Yale University to be his daughter's governess and French and Latin tutor.  This was her first work in America; her last work was as a philanthropist.  In between she gathered one of the foremost collections of American Abstract Expressionist Art anywhere.  Toward the end of her life she told me the tragedy of the death of her first love when she was a student in France, which she had kept secret.
I was born in St. Louis, Missouri the day the Nazis marched into her little village and decimated the townspeople.  Thus another reason I wrote FELICE'S WORLDS was to recount how the trauma of the Holocaust imprinted itself on her and how she passed this emotional trauma on to the next generation.  I knew how her losses affected my mother because I heard her nightmares and her pacing at night.  However only as I wrote her memoir, often in her very words, did I understand for the first time how I too had been affected by her experiences.  The writing also became my memoir, and the insights about the psychological trauma of war as well as her resilience seemed important to share with others. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Julia Reviews The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent

Title/Author: The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent
Publisher/Year Published:  August 2012 by Simon & Schuster BFYR
How I got this book: The Library
Why I read this book: You can read my whole first impressions at my View from Page 30 post
Rating: 3 stars

Summary via Goodreads
In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.

Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.

As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.

Avid readers of the blog, or people who read the headers of the posts, know that I profiled this book a few weeks ago. I stopped reading at page 30ish and gave my first impressions. Were my first impressions right? Not really. My summary from that post is even off compared to the story.

I did finish it, and it wasn't too bad. Unfortunately it wasn't too brilliant either and suffered from a few problems. The thing is they were not huge problems; it was a bunch of little problems that added up and just bothered me.

First of all some praise. YAY! No love triangles *dances*!! And YAY! A standalone book!  Damn it, I checked the authors website and that is no longer true. Of course there is a sequel.

Anyway, what I liked was the story. I liked the world. I thought it was super imaginative and really neat. Unfortunately, I didn't really have a chance to experience it. You see, the plot flew by faster than a speeding bullet. I mean there was really no downtime to the action. something was always happening. And because of that I never really got to know the characters outside of when the action was taking place. So this fast plot shallowed my connection to the characters. It seemed like the plot was driving the characters instead of the other way around.

This made me a little sad because all of these characters have potential. We just didn't get enough time with them.

One thing that I think helped with this disconnection was the switching POVs. Not only did we constantly switch between Syrus and Vespa, but we switched from first person present to third person past. It really bothered me and jarred me out of the story on more than one occasion.

I guess the good thing about the second book is that Ms Trent may have more time to develop this really cool world to get us to better understand it and also the characters within.

The other thing I really did like was the subtle nod to the Chinese culture. I'd love to see that expanded in future books, since they are going to exist. But overall, if you like steampunk and/or need a break from the normal YA fare, I would recommend you read this. But go into it with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top Ten Bookish People We'd Like to Meet

Ever have that wish that you could just meet the person that wrote that book, or works on that blog? This week's Top Ten Tuesday gives you a chance to let the world know which bookish people you'd love to meet! This week I, Tahleen, will go through my top choices. Really these might be more along the lines of bookish people I'd like to share a meal with, but you get the idea. (This might look remarkably similar to my Thanksgiving table top ten from last year. Please ignore this, and I will really really try to think of other people.)

1. Bill Bryson. I did meet him once, but it was very short (though he did shake my hand). I would love to sit down and have tea or dinner with him and talk about all sorts of things, which I'm sure would range from the everyday to the bizarre.

2. John Green. Another one I've technically met but, again, only for a few seconds. Long enough for him to tell me he liked my name! And to not to forget to be awesome of course.

3. Kate Beaton. Technically she writes comics, mostly about history, but you've got to be pretty bookish to know as much as she does and make funny stuff about it all.

4. Dolly Parton. Surprise! She's bookish! She created the Imagination Library in an effort to instill a love of reading into the children in her hometown, which expanded to a national program (for those who ask about it). Plus I just want to meet Dolly. I think she's fabulous.

5. My fellow Broke and the Bookish bloggers. I feel like I am the only one who hasn't met any of the ladies in TB&TB. I have been lucky enough to meet a few other bloggers in the community, but none of my copilots. (Sorry, no pic of everyone to put here!)

Julia here. I will add five more! Also, I second Tahleen's number 5. I haven't met anyone either. But you can see our pretty faces on the About Us page!

6. Tim Gunn! I love Tim Gunn. Both of his books I have read thus far (I even reviewed Gunn's Golden Rules), and I can't wait to get my hands on his new book, Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible! He is such an interesting and smart man, and I really think we could have some really good conversations. If I did meet him, it would take me days to decide what to wear!

7. J.K. Rowling. She would be pretty much one of the most interesting people to pick the brain of. I would just listen to her talk. Not even just about the Harry Potter world (though that would be my geek dream), but even on how she's dealt with the aftermath. How has she moved on artistically? Does she still hear stories from the HP characters? Etc.

8. Eloisa James. One of my favorite romance novel authors ever. I think she creates and weaves together a story that is so unique and interesting, even if it is through Facebook posts! I love her writing, at 140 characters or 400 pages, and again tea time would be amazing. Especially if it were in Paris.

9. Sarah Wendell. SB-TB is one of my favorite romance novel websites out there. SB Sarah is an author and blogger, and someone I would love to sit and gush about current romance novels, trends, tropes or whatever. It would be quite a fun time!

10. Gail Carriger. We would have a smashing good time have tea and crumpets while talking about all things steampunk. I think meeting her would be super fun! (I was going to attempt to put in a steampunk joke, but my brain is falling quite flat ha).

So who are yours? Link it up below!!

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