Sunday, February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme held by The Story Siren. 

For Review: 
Memento Nora by Angie Smibert (thanks to Casey from The Bookish Type and Danya from A Tapestry of Words)
Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott (thanks to Simon and Schuster via Galley Grab) 

Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney (thanks to Goodreads First Reads and St. Martin's Press)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Between Shades of Gray

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill at Breaking the Spine to feature upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on. 

Title: Between Shades of Gray 
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Philomel Books
Date of Release: March 22, 2011

Goodreads Description: Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions. Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously - and at great risk - documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

Why am I waiting? History was always one of my favourite subjects growing up. But although I've read quite a few books about the plight of Jews under Nazi Germany, I actually don't know much about what happened to the people whose countries were invaded by the Soviets under Stalin's regime. So, I'm looking forward to becoming more knowledgeable about these victims and reading about their perseverance.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Review: The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell

From Inside Jacket: Damien Locke knows his destiny - attending the university for supervillains and becoming Golden City's next professional evil genius. But when Damien discovers he's the product of his supervillain mother's one-night stand with - of all people - a superhero, his best-laid plans are ruined. Now forced to live with his superhero family, Damien must prove that he's truly evil. Only he wasn't counting on a villainous plot that threatens his new relatives' safety and will make Damien choose who he really wants to be. Going to extreme lengths (and heights), The Rise of Renegade X chronicles one boy's struggles with the villainous and heroic pitfalls of growing up. 

My Rating: 4 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: The Rise of Renegade X begins with its protagonist, Damien, waiting to become sixteen and get the V on his thumb that signals he will become a supervillain. With his supervillain mother - the Mistress of Mayhem (aka Marianna Locke), - his friends and a bunch of strangers on hand at his birthday party to witness this milestone in his life, Damien eagerly waits for the clock to turn to midnight. Unfortunately, when the clock does strike twelve, Damien’s thumbprint forms a horrifying X, which basically means the inconceivable: his father is a superhero (with an H on his thumb)! Determined to find out the truth about how this could have happened, Damien asks his mother for details but she refuses to divulge anything. So, he resorts to snooping through his mother’s diary and then creates a list of potential superheroes that may be his father.

When Damien does finally meet his father, his dad manages to convince Marianna to let Damien stay with him for a while so that Damien can see what it’s like to be a superhero. Much to Damien’s shock, Marianna agrees because it’s a great opportunity for Damien to learn about the enemy (and it allows her to not have Damien underfoot as she works on her super secret nefarious project). With an X on his thumb, Damien better be prepared to work extremely hard to have it changed to a V or risk having the X become an H!

The Rise of Renegade X does a great job of looking at the power of choices. Normally those born with the “super” gene are fated to either go to Vilmore and become a supervillain or go to Heroesworth Academy and become a superhero. However, Damien has the luxury of being able to choose who he becomes because it’s ultimately his actions that will determine whether he becomes a supervillain or a superhero.

Speaking of Damien, I absolutely adored his character! He had such a snarky voice and I loved all the high jinks he got up to. For example, the girl Damien is interested in thinks he’s a supervillain and the girl who is sort of interested in him thinks he’s a superhero, and Damien doesn’t hesitate to use the situation to his advantage. Naturally, it backfires.

I also really loved the ending which was surprising (but in a good way). Sometimes tough decisions need to be made and you have to do what you consider to be right despite the fact that not everybody will be happy with your choices.

One of the things that was unclear in The Rise of Renegade X though was the genetics behind how superpowers were inherited and what triggered the H, V or X to show up on one’s thumb specifically on their sixteenth birthday. Since I’m in the science stream, that stood out for me right away but I’m not sure if most people would be putting as much thought into that.          

The Rise of Renegade X was released in May 2010 by Egmont USA.
Comments About the Cover: I’m not a comic book fan nor have I watched many movies revolving around Marvel’s comic characters, but I actually decided to read The Rise of Renegade X based on its cover. It’s pretty eye-catching and will definitely attract fans of comic books.

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme held by The Story Siren. 

For Review: 
Possession by Elana Johnson (thanks to Simon and Schuster via Galley Grab) 

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Liar Society

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill at Breaking the Spine to feature upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on. 

Title: The Liar Society
Author: Lisa and Laura Roecker
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date of Release: March 1, 2011

Goodreads Description: Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.

Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
Subject: (no subject)

I'm here…
sort of.
Find Cameron.
He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell.
They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder...

Why am I waiting? I love the Roecker sisters and have been following them pretty much since I started blogging. They're super funny so I have no doubt that the protagonist is going to be witty as well! Oh, and it's been a while since I read a good mystery.

Cover Reveal: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Tera Lynn Childs recently asked for help on her blog to reveal the cover of Sweet Venom, the first book in the Medusa Girls series, which comes out in October 2011 . Since I'm a big fan of Greek mythology and enjoyed her Oh. My. Gods. series, I decided I'd participate. 

But, before I show off the cover, here's what the teaser is: Three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in a world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

Interested? Well, for more information about the story, check out the page for Sweet Venom on Tera's website. 


Now that I've finished torturing you guys, here's what the cover looks like:

Gorgeous, right? I love the font, and the hair curling at the bottom of the braid reminds me of the snakes in Medusa's head.

What do you guys think of the cover?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Review: The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

For the purposes of reducing the amount of spoilers from The Thief and The Queen of Attolia, this review may be a little vague, and where applicable, I’ve hidden anything that is spoilerish.  

From Back Cover: By scheming and theft, the Thief of Eddis has become King of Attolia. Eugenides wanted the queen, not the crown, but he finds himself trapped in a web of his own making. Then he drags a naive guard into the center of the political maelstrom. Poor Costis knows he is the victim of the king's caprice, but his contempt for Eugenides slowly turns to grudging respect. Though struggling against his fate, the newly crowned king is much more than he appears. Soon the corrupt Attolian court will learn that its subtle and dangerous intrigue is no match for Eugenides.

My Rating: 5 hearts

Thoughts on the Novel: The King of Attolia is the third book in Megan Whaler’s The Queen’s Thief series and it’s even better than The Thief and The Queen of Attolia, the first two books in the series. I finished it right after reading The Queen of Attolia – on the same day actually – but didn’t have a chance to write a review for it.

Anyway, the King of Attolia is mainly told through the perspective of Costis, a guard in the Queen’s Guard, who at the beginning of the novel is awaiting his fate for having punched Eugenides – now the king of Attolia. By some miracle, Costis is spared execution for treason and is forced to serve Eugenides as his personal lieutenant-at-large. Like pretty much all of the Attolians, Costis is full of disdain for his king who he believes has forced Attolia to accept him as her husband. On top of that, Eugenides not only doesn’t look like a king but also acts like a buffoon!

As much as Eugenides hates being in the public eye, those who have read the previous books in the series know that Eugenides isn’t a fool. He always has a scheme up his sleeve; and as poor Costis spends more time around Eugenides, he begins to realize that his king has secrets that he refuses to reveal. Slowly, the big picture will be unveiled and the Attolians will realize just how lucky they are to have a king like Eugenides!

Aside from loving the transformation of Eugenides from a clever young boy in The Thief to a man deserving of being a king, it was wonderful to see the romance continue to develop between Eugenides and the older and taller Attolia. Though they’re still haunted by what happened between them in the past, Turner also shows the reader that they love each other through their words and deeds.

The King of Attolia was released by Greenwillow Books in June 2007.

Comments About the Cover: Although you can't see Gen's face, I feel like he looks kind of young. I always imagined him a bit older

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme held by The Story Siren.

The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

Signed copy of Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead (courtesy of Christina from Confessions of a Book Addict)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Darkness Becomes Her

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill at Breaking the Spine to feature upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on. 

Title: Darkness Becomes Her 
Author: Kelly Keaton 
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Date of Release: February 22, 2011

Goodreads Description: Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued. She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very ... different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her. Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

Why am I waiting? The premise just sounds so intriguing and the cover looks awesome! Also, I've heard that there seems to be some Greek mythology incorporated into the story and I'm a big fan of Greek myths.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Follower Love Giveaway Hop

The Follower Love Giveaway Hop is being hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

For the hop, I'll be giving away any book of your choice worth up to $10 CDN from The Book Depository. Please read the rules before filling out the form. 

  1. This giveaway is open internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. Click here to see the list of countries to which shipping is available. 
  2. You must be over the age of 13.  
  3. You have to be a follower to enter.
  4. This giveaway will end on February 13 at 11:59 PM EST. 

Monday, February 07, 2011

Quick Update

I just wanted to let everybody know that I'm having midterms - the sleep deprivation is killing me - which is why there has been a lack of posts (on my blog) and comments left on the blogs of those I normally attempt to leave a comment on. Sorry, guys! Anyway, I have a couple of posts scheduled to go up and will be back blogging by the end of this week.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Chime

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill at Breaking the Spine to feature upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on. 
Title: Chime   
Author: Franny Billingsley 
Publisher: Dial 
Date of Release: March 17, 2011 

Goodreads Description: Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.

Why am I waiting? I love the paranormal genre but haven't actually read many books about witches. Also, besides rooting for a well-developed relationship between Eldric and Briony, I can't wait to find out what secrets are going to come out into the open and how they'll affect the characters.