Thursday, 28 February 2013

Top Ten Tuesday...on a Thursday: I Need ALL YOUR BOOKS

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

I didn't know this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic until the posts started popping up on Tuesday. I had a long-ish day and kept putting it off because I was watching Game of Thrones busy. Then Lanna had her awesome post up, so ta-da! Belated Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic is about ten authors on our auto-buy lists. Lanna and I did a post on this back in early 2011. As that post is almost 2 years old, I think now's a good time to update, yeah?

1. Myra McEntire - One of the originals from the last list, I've now read TWO of her books. Opinion hasn't changed at all. Myra creates these really rich characters and her books aren't exactly happy books, but there's always humor in them to keep it at least a little bit light. Her books are complex and interesting and have some of my favorite ever characters (my Kindle is named after Emerson) and have the most gorgeous covers ever and Myra's just an outstanding person I'm happy to support. I'm already grieving the end of the Hourglass trilogy and anticipating what will happen and the perspective it'll be told in and excited to see what comes next.

2. C.J. Redwine - I mean...she IS my boss, but that's beside the point. I love Defiance (...and Deception even more) and C.J. is just a master at creating these super complex, fantasy-esque worlds. I love all of her characters and her villain is seriously, downright evil. And the kissing scenes? Oh the kissing scenes she can write. And then, you know, she's the best boss ever and awesome to talk to and another person I'm more than happy to do what I can to support.

3. Jodi Meadows - Jodi is another author who creates these really fantastic worlds full of rich characters and kissing and dragons. I love the Incarnate series and Ana and Sam and my name is sorta used in Asunder which is all kinds of awesome. I've also met Jodi and she bought me hot chocolate and knitted me gloves. So obviously, I must buy ALL THE BOOKS.

4. Suzanne Lazear - Maybe this is kind of cheating, but whatever. I get to read Suzanne's manuscripts and help her work on them and guys she has SO many fantastic stories and she's such a talented writer. She writes all kinds of genres and really awesome romances and there's a lot of things I can't tell you, but seriously, I've loved all of her manuscripts and I really, really, really can't wait for all of you to read them.

5. Stephanie Perkins - What can I say other than I have undying love for Anna and Lola? Stephanie is really one of the most phenomenal contemporary voices out there and I can't wait for Isla and then to see what else is up her sleeve. I have no doubt I'll love it no matter what.

6. Rachel Hawkins - Rachel has such this incredible voice in her writing. I adored the entire Hex Hall series for the badass characters, diversity, and just voice. I love Sophie. And Archer is one of my favorite love interests of all time. I'm dying for School Spirits and really just want to read it right now. And Rebel Belle sounds fantastic so why is 2014 so far awaaaaaaay? I don't think Rachel can steer me wrong.

7. Libba Bray - I've stuck with Libba through Victorian English paranormal-stuff, through a book about a character with mad cow disease and a talking gnome, through Lord of the Flies satire with beauty queens, and most recently, through a rather scary book in the Jazz Age of New York City. I think at this point, Ms. Bray has proven her worth. I'm not gonna doubt her, wherever she chooses to go. (Also, she now recognizes me and I don't even have to say anything and when the woman who changed your life recognizes your face it's kind of a big deal.)

8. Sarah MacLean - I love, love, love Sarah's historical YA and there's really nothing, at least that I've found, quite like it. It's just fun and has mystery and a heavy dose of romance. I wish it was longer because I never wanted it to end. Sarah was also one of the very first romance novelists I read and she created a historical romance addict. Her adult stuff is absolutely fabulous and one of the few I'll pay full price for on Kindle. And as psyched as I am about all her adult stuff...I really hope she'll do more YA again someday.

9. Victoria Schwab - I really liked The Near Witch. I loved The Archived. I'm dying for both her adult book, Vicious, and The Archived's sequel, The Unbound. I've also met her a few times and she's just an absolutely lovely person. So, with her incredible ability to build a setting, her beautiful way with words, and her very distinct characters, I'll follow Victoria into whatever genre or age group she wants to write for.

10. John Green - Few books can make me cry and laugh like The Fault in Our Stars. Paper Towns is one of the funniest books I've ever read. Any author who can make me feel as intensely as John Green can keep me as a reader for life.

I'm also going to throw out shout outs to Ruta Sepetys, who introduces me to parts of history I'd never known anything about, and Tahereh Mafi, who is another writer with a very distinct voice and very sexy times.

Which authors will you always buy?


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Discussion: Book Trends and Reading Funks

I want to talk about book trends. We may or may not have talked about this before on the blog, I'm really not sure, but I want to talk about it (possibly again).

I used to not be particularly bothered by book trends, because it meant that if I enjoyed a certain type of book and it was currently the popular thing, then it wouldn't be hard to find more books doing the same sort of thing. But recently? Not feeling that at all. 

We're still kind of in the midst of the dystopian trend and...Well, I used to love dystopian stories but I am so beyond sick of them that whenever I see a new one announced I'm just - I can't - GAH! Fjndflkv. That pretty much sums my feelings.

The trend was fine in the beginning, but it seems like publishers just don't know when to quit and they drag a trend out for so long that it passes the point of being annoying and can actually put me off reading.

There are a few dystopian series' that I started reading a few years ago/last year, but even if I loved or really enjoyed the first one or two instalments, I just can't bring myself to pick up the other books in the series - even ones I own (still haven't read the second book in the Delirium series). I'm not even excited about the movie adaption's of these books anymore (Hunger Games, Divergent, Delirium, The Selection...) - I follow the cast updates and things, because that process is interesting to me, but the actual movies/shows themselves? Past the point of caring. 

And it's all because there has just been...too much. There are books I was looking forward to reading and they were hyped up, everyone saying how awesome they were, and then I was asked if I wanted ARC's of those books and I actually said no, because I just feel so done with the genre. 

I really hope that changes at some point, I was going to try and read one more (Uglies by Scott Westerfeld) because a few people have recently talked about how awesome that series is and maybe it'll make me feel a bit better and less frustrated by the dystopian trend. (I was sent Sever by Lauren DeStefano to review, I've read half of it and just - the book isn't bad, but my issues with the genre right now are making it hard to finish.)

Right now, all I want is to find books that give me that wow sort of feeling that my favourite books did and it seems like instead of craving certain genres recently, I've just been trying to find that feeling again because it feels like it's been a while and I miss that feeling. I miss reading, but even entertaining books have been disappointing recently because I miss that something more.

I love writing, I love reading, I love books...and that's still there, but just - this is one of my least favourite feelings. That feeling you get when you're kind of - bored? tired? of something that you love, and you feel kind of exhausted by it, and you don't know how to fix it, and it leaves you feeling a little lost because it's such a big part of who you are.

I'm not really sure what the point of this post was anymore. Maybe it's just that I am in a reading funk and it's frustrating and I am frustrated by all the things that are helping keep me in a reading funk (like book trends) and I just...need to read something fresh and new that will spark my motivation to read again.

I dunno, what are your thoughts?

Do you like or hate book trends? Indifferent to them? Why?

Do you think publishers drag out trends for too long? Because I honestly think that's my biggest problem with it - there can be too much of a good thing and they take it way past that line.

Do you have any suggestions of books that might leave me with that wow feeling?  Preferably contemporary, with a good love story and lovely writing? *Desperate*

...Help? :(

p.s. The whole reading funk thing? That would be why I've barely been blogging...still love blogging, still intend to keep blogging, it's just that to review books I need to be able to read books and reading and I clearly haven't been on the best of terms recently. But I'm working on it. :)

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle

Note: This review turned out more negative than I intended, so let me just say--before I get to the review--that I rate the book 3 out of 5 stars.
The Breakaway
by Michelle Davidson Argyle

Summary: When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she's missing. Escape isn't high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she's part of a family-even if it is a family of criminals. But she's still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she's falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn't sure she wants to take it.
This book wasn't terrible, but it didn't live up to my expectations. To explain my thoughts on this book properly, I need to explain those expectations and the root of them.

I loved Stolen by Lucy Christopher. It's a book about a teenager girl who gets kidnapped. The writing was lovely, the book was really raw and emotionally draining (in a good way, because it meant I was really connecting to the story) and it made me understand Stockholm Syndrome in a way I didn't before. I read the book a few years ago now and it has still stuck with me.

I went into this book wanting to read another book like that but this one couldn't quite measure up to those expectations (and, I finished reading it a few days ago and now I barely even remember the character names, so it's obviously not going to stick with me the way Stolen did). I don't know if those expectations and comparisons kind of ruined this book for me, but I definitely think they had an impact.

The writing, while not terrible, wasn't great. It didn't stand out to me. I didn't really like the first part of the book, the second half was better, and the ending - I dunno, I'm on the fence with the ending.

The way the whole kidnapping plot thing happened, it just - didn't work for me. Too much of it didn't make sense. I can't go into all the reasons for that without giving spoilers, but something about it just didn't add up...their motives didn't make sense (and I really, really want to explain more on that but...spoilers).

Naomi was a frustrating character most of the time. And the way her home life was written, it didn't seem...genuine? It seemed more like an obvious plot device, deliberately added in there because it was more convenient and easier than having to work to show why she'd stay when she had something to go back to. That may not have been the writers intention, and other readers may not agree with that (I don't know), but that's how it felt to me most of the time while reading.

I don't think the book showed Stockholm Syndrome well at all, but I can't really think of how to explain where I felt it went wrong with that, without explaining how I think Stolen got it right and I think I've talked about Stolen a bit much in this review already, so I won't.

And then there's the romance, it's like the characters and the readers aren't supposed to acknowledge that she was probably suffering from SS. I don't know if the writer intended it that way, but the way the book ends, the way it was felt like it was supposed to be a genuine romance between them. I don't know, something about that part just wasn't sitting well with me either.

So much of the plot felt more like it was trying to emotionally manipulate the reader - the tragic pasts of the kidnappers to make us feel sorry for them, the crappy home life of Naomi to make us accept her actions and feelings, her crappy relationship to make Jesse seem like such a catch in comparison...just...all of it. It kept me hooked, but it didn't feel realistic - it felt more like the way a kidnapping in a soap opera would go down.

This review is seeming really negative, but I honestly don't think it was a bad book. It was entertaining and I do think the majority of my disappointment is down to the fact that I went into it wanting another book like Stolen (as far as subject matter goes, it was, but when it comes to execution, it was a major let down).
I'd rate the book 3 stars out of 5. It kept me hooked and it did have its rare moments where it got under my skin but if you're wanting a book about kidnapping, I'd recommend Stolen instead. But, there seems to be a lot of 5 star reviews on goodreads, so don't let my review put you off checking this one out.

I just looked the book up (for the cover and summary) and apparently this is the first in a series. Not sure how I feel about that really, but I will probably check the sequel out anyway.


Sunday, 17 February 2013

Book Haul (149)

A weekend at home! I'm packing up to go back to the city now, but wanted to do this book haul before leaving so I wouldn't forget anything. Also, I'm packing up all the books I'll need for Teen Author Festival next month and that's...a lot of work. It's somewhat terrifying, honestly.

For Review:
The Whole Stupid Way We Are by N. Griffin (finished copy for review from Simon and Schuster)
What the Spell? by Brittany Geragotelis (finished copy for review from Simon and Schuster)
All I Need by Susane Colasanti (ARC for review from Penguin)
Five Summers by Una LaMarche (ARC for review from Penguin)
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (ARC for review from Penguin)
How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer (egalley from Edelweiss and HarperTeen)

A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare (ebook purchased for Kindle from Amazon with gift card)
Gravity by Melissa West (Daily Deal ebook purchased for Kindle from Amazon with gift card)
The Kadin by Bertrice Small (ebook purchased for Kindle from Amazon with gift card)

Basically, I'm really pumped for ALL OF THESE and I want a way to read all books at the same time and also to not go to school. I have like two more books to read for various reasons, then I can dive into these and it will be lovely.

So, what did you guys get this week?


Friday, 15 February 2013

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver

Summary: What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death--and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
So basically, I really loved this book. To the point where I'm not really sure what to say about it, meaning this review will probably not be very good or do the book justice.

In the beginning, I did not like Sam or her friends - they started out so awful, but somehow Lauren Oliver managed to turn that around and actually made me care about them (even when I didn't necessarily like them or forgive the bad stuff they said or did).

I like that she didn't have them magically turn into perfect people, she just showed that people are complicated; they can do terrible things and nice things. She showed that being good and bad aren't mutually exclusive, everyone is capable of both, and sometimes even terrible things aren't done with the intention of really hurting people, it's just that some people don't see that their actions can have consequences until it's too late.

Basically, I loved the way the characters were written - Rob was the only character who wasn't particularly well written (or maybe he was intentionally made that way, because as shallow and void of personality as he seemed, there are actually people like that in the world). Kent was lovely, and I really liked Juliet and Sam's little sister too.

I love stories that explore how everything is connected--how our actions, and the actions of other people, can all tangle together creating this big web and how messing with one strand can have a ripple effect on the whole, even little things can matter in big ways we can't predict--and this book showed that really well.

I have kind of a love/hate relationship with the ending of the book and I obviously can't say much about that without spoiling it but...yeah, the way the book ended...kdjfbvlkdjbvj - that pretty much sums it up.

I thought it was going to be predictable when I started the book but as I read more I found myself doubting what I thought was going to happen--hoping that some things would happen while others wouldn't--so even though parts of the story did turn out just as I expected them to, it didn't feel predictable.

And that's about all that I can think to say without spoiling the whole story. I'd rate the book 4.5 stars out of 5.


Undone Blog Tour: Interview with Cat Clarke

by Cat Clarke

Summary: Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it.

Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself.

Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down.
I loved the book (and her other books, especially Entangled) You can read my review of Undone here. To enter to win a copy, just fill out the form below - I'm going to choose two winners (one from me, one from the publisher), so there'll be one UK winner and one international (so long as The Book Depository delivers to where you are):
Contest closed.
Now, onto the interview with Cat:

One of my favourite things about your books is how you have a talent for subverting the whole "good" vs. "bad" character types and showing the shades of gray in humanity. You make me care about characters that, in most books, are normally portrayed as very stereotypically bad to the point where it becomes impossible sympathise with them, and you have the good characters do bad things without making me hate them. I was wondering how you come up with your characters and if making them realistic like that comes naturally or is it something you need to deliberately plan and work on to get them just right?

Thank you so much. It’s definitely something I’m interested in exploring – that it’s very rare to find people who are 100% good or 100% bad. I’m fascinated by the idea of supposedly ‘good’ people doing bad things, and supposedly ‘bad’ people doing good things. Having said that, I don’t deliberately set out to write certain sorts of characters – they just seem to turn out that way! I hope to create characters that are believable, even if the reader won’t necessarily like them. I don’t think you have to like a character in order for you to be interested in them and desperate to find out how their story unfolds.

You're one of those authors that has the simultaneously awesome and awful ability to make me feel like my emotions have been put through a shredder when I've finished reading one of your books. Is it as painful for you to write them as it is for your readers to read them and which book/scene has been the hardest for you to write so far?

Some scenes are painful to write. There’s a certain scene in the woods in TORN that made me feel nauseous, and there’s one in the book I’m working on at the moment that was truly horrible to write. I felt anxious all day and actually winced as I wrote some of the lines! I don’t think I’ve actually managed to make myself cry though – still, it’s nice to have something still to aim for!

Your books so far have all tackled serious issues. Do you intentionally choose that sort of subject matter or do you go with whatever idea inspires you the most no matter what it's about?

I don’t intentionally choose to tackle certain issues – it’s all down to the story I want to tell. Serious issues do have a tendency to crop up in my writing though. I’m not entirely sure why!

What are the three best books that you've read recently that you would recommend?

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

If you could have a dinner party with any three fictional characters or authors (living or dead), who would you choose and why?

Peregrin Took, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings. If there’s one thing Hobbits know how to do (and do well), it’s eating and drinking. We would have a huuuuge feast and my Hobbity pals would regale me with tales of their epic quest.

So many movies and TV shows being made now seem to be based on books. How would you feel about your books being adapted into movies/TV shows?

Kfasreghosiglijglsdijglojdi!!!!! - That would pretty much sum up my feelings if this ever happened to me. I would be absolutely thrilled, and probably a little bit scared too. Sometimes I daydream about it.

Thank you so much for having me on your lovely blog!

You can read more about Cat and her books on her website. :)


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A Guest Post from Pam Jenoff, Author of The Ambassador's Daughter

Today, we're hosting the lovely Pam Jenoff, author of the recently released novel, The Ambassador's Daughter! So, what's the book about?

Paris, 1919. The world's leaders have gathered to rebuild from the ashes of the Great War. But for one woman, the City of Light harbors dark secrets and dangerous liaisons, for which many could pay dearly.

Brought to the peace conference by her father, a German diplomat, Margot Rosenthal initially resents being trapped in the congested French capital, where she is still looked upon as the enemy. But as she contemplates returning to Berlin and a life with Stefan, the wounded fiancé she hardly knows anymore, she decides that being in Paris is not so bad after all.

Bored and torn between duty and the desire to be free, Margot strikes up unlikely alliances: with Krysia, an accomplished musician with radical acquaintances and a secret to protect; and with Georg, the handsome, damaged naval officer who gives Margot a job—and also a reason to question everything she thought she knew about where her true loyalties should lie.

Against the backdrop of one of the most significant events of the century, a delicate web of lies obscures the line between the casualties of war and of the heart, making trust a luxury that no one can afford.
Super interesting, right? I'm reading it right now and really enjoying it, I must say. A very richly built atmosphere and lots of tension. And because I'm enjoying it so much, it just makes the fact that Pam was kind enough to answer a question for us that much better!

If you could go back in time and give advice to your 12 year old self what would it be?

I don’t think I would give her advice.  My 12 year old self if a lot like me now (at 41!) – impatient and high-strung, trying to do everything at once.  I’ve certainly made plenty of mistakes but I don’t regret them, as they’ve all contributed in getting me to this point.  So I’d tell her she was doing just fine and send her on her way.

I definitely approve of this way of thinking, don't you guys?

Thanks for stopping by, Pam! And for writing a really good book that all of you should check out.



Monday, 11 February 2013

From Page to Screen: Book to Movie Updates (1)

There may be posts like this one floating around out there, but I absolutely suck at finding them* so I wanted to make my own one to talk about recent book to movie adaption news that I've stumbled across.

I love it when books get made into movies. I mean, sometimes I hate the casting or how the end result turns out, but I still always get excited when a book I've read has the movie rights sold because it's fun to follow the process of a book becoming a movie.
Sometimes I'm good at keeping up with the new book-to-movie adaption news, sometimes I'm not. So that's what this post is - talking about news I've found recently. If you're like me and you miss things, maybe this is the first time you've heard about this stuff (probably not, like I said, I can be slow at finding out updates).

Now, onto the adaption updates...

Casting/Directing/Script News:
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - This book is amazing, and I wasn't sure the movie adaption was ever going to happen but then some casting news happened recently.

News so far:
Director - Brian Percival (has worked on Downton Abbey)
Script by Michael Patroni
Cast (not sure which characters they'll be playing)
Geoffrey Rush (as Hans Hubermann)
Emily Watson (Mrs Hubermann?)
Sophie Nelisse (as Liesl)
Ben Schnetzer (as Max?)
Nico Liersch (Rudy?)
You can read some more about it here and here.

My thoughts: I'm not sure if I've seen most of the cast act before, but going by looks alone, they look great - especially Geoffrey Rush as Hans, he's perfect. So excited for this one.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

News so far:
Director - Mark Waters (Mean Girls)
Script - Dan Waters (Heathers)
Rose - Zoey Deutch
Lissa - Lucy Fry
Dimitri - Danila Kozlovsky
My thoughts: Again, I'm only going by looks here, but I'm really loving this cast (really love that they got an actual Russian dude to play Dimitri too). I love Mean Girls and Heathers too, so I have high hopes for the directing and script as well.

Jellicoe Road and Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta - I lovelovelove Melina Marchetta's books, so if these movies actually happen...dkjfvhnlkdjfvn.

News so far:
The rights for the Saving Francesca movie have been sold (just including that in this section because the links are the same links as the JR ones) and Melina has finished writing the script for Jellicoe Road. It'll be directed by Kate Woods and Sue Taylor is the producer. (I also read an interview/post of Melina's somewhere where she talked casting for the movie but I can't find it - she did mention that they have had some actors come in and read for the parts though, including Lincoln Younes as Jonah Griggs...I don't think there's anything even close to official casting yet, but it's still interesting to see the kind of people they're looking at).

If you want to read more about it, check out some of these posts on Melina's blog.

My thoughts: Jellicoe Road is one of my all time favourite books, so it has the potential to be a fantastic movie...or to be a complete disappointment, but with Melina writing the script, I'm optimistic (she wrote the script for the 90's movie adaption of her book Looking for Alibrandi and I liked that, so I have high hopes).

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

News so far:
Director - R.J. Cutler (not sure if that's confirmed yet though)
Mia - Chloe Moretz (I think she is just in talks to play Mia though, not officially cast?)
More detailed info here.

My thoughts: I like Chloe. I do not like Chloe as Mia. But, we'll see. It might just be because nearly every role I've seen her in, she plays a certain character type--or brings certain qualities to every character she plays--and I just don't picture Mia being that way but seeing her in the movie could change my mind.

The Selection by Keira Cass

News so far: This one already had a pilot made last year, but they didn't like it so it didn't get picked up but The CW have decided to give it another shot and they're remaking the pilot (not sure how much of the cast has changed but Aimee isn't playing America anymore).

My thoughts: Not really sure what I think about this. I am kind of glad that Aimee won't be America anymore though (acting irritates me half the time, plus just not how I pictured the character), so hopefully they'll get someone better and the show will actually air.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

News so far:
It's being made into a TV show (with quite a few changes being made)
Writer - Karyn Usher (Prison Break)
Lena - Emma Roberts

My thoughts: I am not excited about this anymore at all. I'm fine with it being a TV show, but I don't like the sound of the changes they've made - but, while I may not like it as an adaption, it might end up working as just a TV show in its own right. I really, really hate the thought of Emma Roberts playing Lena though, there is nothing at all I like about her as Lena. Maybe she'll prove me wrong, I doubt it though (her acting irritates me).

Divergent by Veronica Roth

News so far:
Director - Neil Burger
Writer - Evan Daugherty
Tris - Shailene Woodley
Kate Winslet is also supposed to be rumoured to be playing a villain and there've been a bunch of people rumoured to have read for the role of Four and people auditioning for other parts. 

My thoughts: Love the idea of Kate Winslet being in the movie. Kind of indifferent to Shailene - she's far from what I pictured, but I don't hate her either, it's just more of those, "Okay then, I'll wait and see." kind of things.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff  - The news for this is old, but I just found out about the movie adaption a couple of days ago. I love this book (I get that it's not everyone's cup of tea, considering the writing style though).

News so far:
Saoirse Ronan is playing Daisy and...actually, I'll just link the IMDb page because I think they may have the full cast list (I think they've finished filming it because there's a picture from last year with Saoirse as Daisy).

My thoughts: I adore Saoirse as an actress, but I'm not too into her as Daisy, or some of the other cast members. But, I'm going to reserve judgement until I see a trailer, because she will probably win me over like she did with The Host.

Rights sold/optioned:
Anna Dressed in Blood has been optioned by Stephenie Meyers production company. I think this is one I could actually like more in movie form than in book form, I'm hoping if it gets made that they give it the same kind of feel that the first season of Supernatural had.

The Fault in Our Stars - older news, but the producers talk about the script and finding a cast and things here.

The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling is being made into a TV show for BBC one, to air in 2014.

Julie Kagawa has some exciting movie news too.

Here is another list with other books that have been optioned/had the rights sold (some may even have casting updates or directors or something, I've just not mentioned them either because I haven't read the book or I've just not checked out the progress yet), there's probably way more than that and there's probably better lists out there, that's just one of the first I've found.

Trailers out:
I doubt anyone has missed these, since they've been everywhere, but here's the links to some trailers of adaptions out this year (some pretty soon):

The Mortal Instruments
The Host
Beautiful Creatures
The Great Gatsby
Warm Bodies
The Man Who Laughs (that one is a French movie based on the book by Victor Hugo - the trailer made me want to read the book and to see the movie, it looks awesome...which is saying a lot considering I don't actually understand what they're saying in the trailer).

So...I think that's it for this post. What do you guys think of the casts/directors/news? Is there anything I've missed? And would you like to see more of these sorts of posts? Let me know.

*And, while searching google for pictures of the casts, I found this site. She seems to be pretty good at posting adaption updates, so check that site out if you want more book to movie news.


Please note: a book being optioned to become a movie doesn't necessarily mean it will be made into a movie and people being cast/being attached to the movie doesn't mean it'll actually get made either. There are a lot of factors that go into getting the movie made, but still, it's fun to imagine/talk about, right?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Book Haul 148


For review:
Sever by Lauren DeStefano
Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff (which came in this awesome little box thing with a notebook and a pen and stuff)

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

And I think that's all I got. What'd you guys get?



I...kinda broke my own rules this week. I only have a good reason for breaking them in like 2 instances. The rest? Nope.

The Elite by Kiera Cass (ARC gifted)
Rush by Eve Silver (ARC gifted)

Bossypants by Tina Fey (paperback purchased from my school's store using store credit)
One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean (Kindle book purchased from Amazon with gift card)
The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell (hardcover purchased from Strand)
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter (paperback purchased from Strand)
Wild Roses by Deb Caletti (paperback purchased from Strand)
Tempest by Julie Cross (paperback purchased from Strand)
The Archived by Victoria Schwab (hardcover purchased for signing from Books of Wonder)

No links today because I did stupid things that messed up my wrists (my wrists are super sensitive to weight/movements, possibly because of arthritis...I should figure this out some day) so this all hurts and I don't want to prolong it.

I'm going home next weekend, so there may be a fairly large haul because I'll have a month's worth of books so...yeah. Fair warning.


Saturday, 9 February 2013

New Adult: What Would Be On the Shelves?

(This post is kind of the second in a very loose series. You don't HAVE to read the original post I did on New Adult, but you may want to. You can find it here.)

One of the big things that come up when New Adult is discussed is what about books already released? If, someday, bookstores start having a section for New Adult books, would that selection be limited to books already out, or would we have to reclassify books that have been released previously? And then how can you even tell which books to classify? Seriously, what would be on those shelves?

What Do We Do With Series?

Well, that's hard to say. Because, in my mind at least, a lot of books I'd reclassify are parts of a series.
One example? The Jessica Darling series. I haven't read them, but I know it starts out with Jessica in high school and by the end, she's firmly in college. From what I've heard, the first few books are more YA, but the last few would be more NA.

Another example would probably be Where She Went. If I Stay was very YA to me, but Where She Went was later on. The characters are in college. It just felt more like a NA novel to me. 

I asked twitter for help and was told that Anatomy of a Single Girl, the sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, felt a lot like a NA book, even though the first book felt very much like a YA book.

In these cases, would you have to split up the series? Would you have to shelve a few copies in both places? Would you just have to say screw it and pick one place?

The Iffy Books

With some books, it's just plain hard to tell, to be honest.

Someone gave me the example of Psych Major Syndrome. The title gives away that this is a book set in college, but it's marketed as YA. It feels like a YA book. But it's in college. So, where does it really belong?

And then there are books like Just One Day. This takes place in the summer before Allyson/LuLu goes to college, so you can't really use setting as a guide. It's the kind of book that also feels like it could fit in either category. There's nothing to really describe the feeling and atmosphere of Just One Day.

Going Too Far is about a high school girl and a police officer, so obviously an adult. How does THAT one work? YA? NA? Upon further thought, quite a few of Jennifer Echols books fall in that weird, in between category. The two I've read definitely do.

Something Like Normal (which, I hadn't considered before someone else brought it up but...yeah) is about characters out of college and some more grown up subjects, but it's considered YA.

The Ivy is set in college, but it reads like a YA. On the other hand, Pushing the Limits is set in high school, but deals with some more grown up issues and certainly has a bit of a racier feel (even though I've already discussed that shouldn't MAKE a book NA, it can be a factor). Flat-Out Love is set in college, but there's a mix of beliefs on if it's YA or NA.

Factor in fantasy, dystopia, sci-fi, alternate universes...basically anything not set in this world, and it becomes harder to define. There's rarely a school system like ours for comparison and ages can be vague. How do you tell? You're stuck entirely on judging by the voice of the story.

Straight Up ReDefining

Some books, people just agree could be redefined. Maybe it's not a universal opinions, but it's obvious to some.

Examples I was given include The Starboard Sea, The Secret History, Raw Blue, Taking Chances, Tempest, the Secret Society Girls. These are all books that, at some point or another (...when I asked for the sake of this post on twitter), I was told could definitely be NA books.  

And what about "crossovers"? Oh the number of times I get pitched adult books because they have "crossover appeal." I think, in many cases, those book can just be called New Adult and save everyone the trouble.

And Straight Up New Adult

Then there's the obvious Tammara Webber, Abbi Glines, The Heiresses, and other authors/books that just define themselves as New Adult because...that may be where they belong.

So, yes, these are all things that have to be considered if we're going to talk about New Adult hitting bookshelves. Granted, this is something that's going to be at least a few years, if it'll happen at all. It's just something I've been mulling over since I wrote the first post and figured I'd collect here.

What do you guys think? Should books be reclassified? What about series and all of those books on the borderline of YA and NA? Any glaringly obvious books I missed? Give me some thoughts, lovelies.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Cinders and Sapphires Blog Tour: An Interview with Ravi Sundaresan

I'll be totally honest, Cinders and Sapphires is one of those books I've been pumped about since I heard about the book sale. So when I was asked to join the blog tour, I jumped ALL OVER THAT.

What's Cinders and Sapphires about? Well, lemme give you the official goodreads description:

One house, two worlds...

Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies’ maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can’t help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.

For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada’s beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family’s honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name—but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.

Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton.

I was given a few options of things I could do, so I went ahead and did a character interview because it sounded like fun. And I interviewed one of my favorite characters, Ravi!

Who is Ravi, you may ask. He's not mentioned in the description! Very true, my observant reader! Let's tell you a bit about Ravi then, hmm?

Ravi Sundaresan was born eighteen years ago in Calcutta, the son of a middle class clerk. He showed signs of exceptional intellectual gifts early in childhood, and through hard work and a stubborn refusal to accept a less rigorous education, earned a place at Oxford University. Though he is passionate about his studies, he cannot help but feel that the students who surround him do not appreciate the advantages they enjoy. The more he learns about British policies across the Empire, the greater his conviction that English rule of India must end. Deeply charismatic and hopelessly romantic, Ravi’s dreams for a better future no know bounds. However, he knows that injustice has never been conquered through inaction.

Now that you know a bit about him, let's dive into those questions, shall we?

Britain and India obviously have many differences. What was the biggest shock for you?

The biggest shock was that even with all the wealth Britain siphons from India, that they still have desperately poor people living on their streets. When you are in India you think that all English men are the same. I expected to find paradise here, the streets paved with gold. I was wrong.

What do you miss the most about India?

I miss my family. I miss the heat, and the smells, and the noise, and the food. I miss the light. Here in England the light is colder and more distant – like the people.

How is life at Oxford? Is it what you expected?

In some ways it is all I expected. It is a dream come true for me to be able to study with and learn from great intellects. But there are some students who are only here because it is the done thing. They aren’t interested in changing the world or in broadening their knowledge. To them Oxford is simply a necessary stepping stone on their way to a secure life of privilege, where they will never have to be confronted by injustice, where they will never have to fight for a better life, where they will never encounter the least thing that will shake their smug self-certainty. On bad days, I think that most of the students fall into this category.

Do you think that education should be available for more women? Why?

Of course. I have met plenty of women, and I have never noticed that they are in any way less sensible or less intelligent than men of their own class. Women are held back by a lack of education. If men do not allow them to have it, they will take it –violently, as we have seen in the case of the suffragettes.

Having now met a good number of British society, what's your overall impression from them?

I think the average Briton is much like the average Indian. They have the benefit, at least superficially, of being less divided than we are. But there are good people and bad people, intelligent people and foolish people, interesting people and less interesting people, in Britain just as there are in India. And this only reinforces my conviction that Britain has no right to rule India.

Well, there you go, lovelies. Now you know more about the mysterious Ravi and I hope that you'll be willing to pick up Cinders and Sapphires and get to know him, and all the other characters, better. Because you totally should.


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Undone by Cat Clarke

by Cat Clarke

Summary: Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it.

Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself.

Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down.
This isn't the kind of book I would've picked up based on the summary--not that it sounds bad, just not my kind of thing--but because it's by Cat Clarke, I wanted to read it and I am so glad I did. She ended up on my insta-read list after her first book, Entangled, but I think this one has earned her a spot on my favourite authors list too.

The characters were my favourite part of the book. Cat has the weird talent of making me love characters I initially don't like, and of making her protagonists really flawed and make some really big mistakes and yet I just can't bring myself to hate them for any of it. I really liked Lucas and Sasha and Kai, even Bugs. Her characters are really complex, she doesn't make them like cardboard cut out people that have only one side - some of them do really awful things, but she shows it doesn't mean they're entirely awful with no redeeming qualities.

I did not like Jem, the main character of the book, she was whiny, bratty, ridiculously judgemental, hypocritical, lies a lot and stubborn to a fault. She said and did some really stupid and really awful things...but I enjoyed being inside her head and reading her story and even when I though I didn't like her through about 90% of the book, I still cared about her and what happened to her. Whenever she would do or say things that I was really not okay with, I'd be sitting there thinking, "No, no, no, no! Do not cross that line!" and it's like seeing an accident happen and you can't look away even though you know the outcome is going to be bad.

I want to talk about another character and the things that happen with him in the book, but I don't want to give spoilers - if you read it, you'll know the parts I'm talking about. I liked and hated those parts...liked because it shows how a lot of people view sexual assault (how the victim can be made to feel like the one in the wrong, to the point where they even start to believe it themselves)...and hated it for that very same reason, it makes me angry to read about that sort of attitude, but it's realistic so it was written well.

The way this book ended was one of those, "WHAT?! It cannot end there!" kind of endings. I've found that with Cats books, that while the story doesn't feel unfinished and we get just enough answers to make it work, there's still always something more that I want--an epilogue, or just something to show the after, because she makes me care about these characters and I desperately want to know what happens next for them--but the book doesn't feel lacking even though it leaves me feeling like I need more closure.

I'd rate it 5 out of 5 stars.


Monday, 4 February 2013

The Secret Circle: The Initiation by L J Smith

The Secret Circle: The Initiation
by L J Smith

Summary: Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for her old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school. Initiated into the coven of witches that's controlled New Salem for hundreds of years, she's drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that's both intoxicating and deadly. But when she falls for the mysterious and intriguing Adam, Cassie must choose whether to resist temptation or risk dark forces to get what she wants—even if it means that one wrong move could ultimately destroy her.
So, pretty much the only reason I read this book was because I liked the TV show (it wasn't perfect, but it was entertaining and I wish it hadn't got cancelled). The book was very different from the show -- I was entertained while reading it but I wouldn't really say it's a good book.

I didn't like the writing, it's that really mediocre sort of writing style that isn't distinctive in any way and gets annoying because it has excessive physical descriptions and that sort of thing. Honestly, the physical descriptions in the book were a bit much - the way Cassie describes the female characters, particularly Diana, it seemed more like she was a lesbian in love with Diana than straight and in love with a guy (actually, I think I may have preferred that, she had way more chemistry with her and with Faye).

Which leads to my next point: the romance. It was insta-love at its very, very worst. She literally spends less than half an hour with this guy and then she's saying she's in love with him - now, it's about witches, so maybe there's some supernatural type reason for their connection (there is in the show) but it doesn't really cover that in the book (at least not the first book, maybe the second will bring it up).

All of the relationships Cassie has in the book are very poorly formed, her friendships happen too quickly too. She claims she loves Diana (like a sister/as a friend) really, really quickly, sometimes she comes across as a little bit obsessed with her, it was all very tell instead of show most of the time.

I dunno...I don't have much to say about the book. I don't really like the characters or the writing and the plot isn't anything special either - but it was entertaining and a quick read and I did enjoy reading it so I do intend to read the rest of the series (or, at least the rest of the series written by L J Smith before a ghost writer took over).

I'd rate it 2.5 stars out of 5 (3 if I'm being generous), because even if most of what I can think to say about the book is negative, for me to still enjoy it and want to continue with the series in spite of that, there must be something good about it.


Sunday, 3 February 2013

Book Haul (147)

So, I know this LOOKS super bad. But in all honesty, only 3 of these books actually count against me in my book buying restrictions. Between gifting, loaning, review copies, signings, and free novellas, they don't count. I'm kind of starting to think I need to add some rules to these restrictions.

For Review: (all from HarperTeen on Edelweiss)
Wild Awake by Hilary Smith
Arclight by Josin L. McQueen
Reboot by Amy Tintera
Towering by Alex Flinn
Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

She Tempts the Duke by Lorraine Heath (ebook purchased on sale from Amazon)
Everbound by Brodi Ashton (hardcover purchased for signing at Books of Wonder)
Boundless by Cynthia Hand (hardcover purchased for signing at Books of Wonder)
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (paperback purchased for signing at Books of Wonder)
Asunder by Jodi Meadows (hardcover purchased for signing at Books of Wonder)
The Selection by Kiera Cass (hardcover purchased from Strand)
The Silver Bowl by Diane Stanley (hardcover purchased from Strand)

Luminous by Dawn Metcalf (hardcover gifted by Heather)
The Rose Throne by Mette Ivie Harrison (ARC from EgmontUSA's office)
Candor by Pam Bachorz (paperback from EgmontUSA's office)
Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have by Allen Zadoff (paperback from EgmontUSA's office)
Shadowlands by Kate Brian (ARC from Mitali)

ARC Tour:
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepard

So...yeah. All these books. None of them break the buying restrictions. I...cannot explain how this happened.

This week should be much better, though. I'm only planning to buy 1 book for a signing...planning being the key word. *sigh* I'm just no good at this.



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