Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (June 30)

Here is my teaser tuesday -

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the rules:
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the page
Don't include spoilers!

When Donia returned home from her evening walk, Beira was waiting on the porch, reclining in a chair fashioned of ice. Almost idly the Winter Queen sculpted screaming faces on a sheet of ice beside her.

Page 141, Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr

I'm house-sitting this week, and the internet is extremely sketchy...so hopefully I'll be posting more (but it all depends on whether I can keep the signal going).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Contest You Shouldn't Miss

There's another contest for the coveted Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins that ends tomorrow (monday). I can't honestly name one person who didn't like the first book, The Hunger Games, and I can't wait until September to pick up a copy! The contest is held here , so click the link and sign up!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

In My Mailbox

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

Fire by Kristin Cashore (ARC won from a contest held at Rebecca's Book Blog)
Published by Penguin Group
Release Date: Oct 5, 2009

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells.

Young King Nash clings to the throne, while rebel lords, in the north and south, build armies to unseat him. War is coming. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves.

This is where Fire lives, a girl whose startling appearance is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.

Everyone...except Prince Brigan.

You have no idea how excited I was to receive this book (there was a little bit of jumping around), and I can't wait to get started.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking

It's been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents' divorce - or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she's been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Published by Little, Brown Books

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Bloodline by Katy Moran
Published by Candlewick Press

In the wilds of Dark Age Britain, a bard abandons his son, Essa, in a village trapped between two feuding kingdoms. As the once-nomadic boy grows rooted in the life of the Wolf Folk, forging allegiances and young love, King Penda of Mercia threatens to attack, thrusting Essa into the violent and cunning world of the tribal rulers. Joined by unlikely friends, unsure of whom to trust — or even of who he is — Essa sets off on a dangerous journey, using his newfound intuitive gifts to guide them as a deadly battle brews. Will his desperate efforts to save his loved ones bring him closer to understanding why his father has never returned? Fast-paced and full of intrigue, this debut novel transports readers to a time of blood and steel, when peace was fleeting and won only at a cost.

Wake by Lisa McMann
Published by Simon & Schuster

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does — they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

The Creepiest BBC Show Ever...

Is definitely Jekyll, starring James Nesbitt (see creepy cover for proof).

One of my good friends and I planned to watch it last night, so after a good 6 hours of fear, and zombie commercials (I hate zombie movies) I've decided it was an amazing, disturbing miniseries.

Here's the little description of it (from Amazon):

Part conspiracy thriller, part comic horror, Steven Moffat's extraordinary retelling of this Robert Louis Stevenson classic takes the ultimate tale of inner conflict to unforgettable new heights. It is 2007 and there's a new Dr. Jekyll with an old problem - Mr. Hyde. But the pair have a deal - a body share - and an impossible life is somehow lived. With all the resources of modern technology, and the best surveillance hardware, Jekyll is determined to keep his dangerous alter ego in check by doing a deal with his own devil. What neither of them know is that an ancient organization with limitless wealth and power is monitoring their every move, and a plan over a century in the making is coming to fruition. The return of Dr Jekyll is no accident...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Book Review: Watersmeet by Ellen Jensen Abbott

From her birth, Abisina has been outcast--for the color of her eyes and skin, and for her lack of a father. Only her mother's status as the village healer has kept her safe. But when a mythic leader arrives, Abisina's life is ripped apart. She escapes alone to try to find the father and
the home she has never known. In a world of extremes, from the deepest prejudice to the greatest bonds of duty and loyalty, Abisina must find her own way and decide where her true hope lies.

It seems that lately I've been reading books in which some (or all) of the plot involves the subject of prejudice. Watersmeet was no exception. The lead character, Abisina, experiences it on a daily basis. Why, you may ask? It's because her dark hair and skin keep her from embodying the image of Vran (the man who spread his settlement into free territory and cast out the "monsters"). So, Abisina is treated as an outcast, her only refuge is her mother, the village healer. While her life certainly isn't desirable, it is bareable. Until one night she is forced to flee her village, leaving her mother behind.

What I enjoyed most about this book (a 2009 debut) was the growth of the heroine. At the start of the book, Abisina hates "monsters", even though she has been treated as one throughout her life. A great example of this is shown by her relationship with Hoysta, a dwarf. Despite that fact that Hoysta nursed her back to health, Abisina still fears her. Over the course of the novel, however, Abisina is forced to confront the ideas she's been taught, and think of what loyalty and acceptance truely mean to her. Eventually she comes to the realization that not every non-human can be labelled "bad", just like every Vranian can't be called "good".

Abbott's debut was an interesting read. There were times when I loathed Abisina for her callous treatment of non-human creatures, and other times I felt her fear (i.e when rogue centaurs are on the hunt). I think that may be why I liked the book so much. I was able to connect with the characters because they were flawed. I'm looking forward to the sequel, and can't wait to read more from this author.

by Ellen Jensen Abbott
352 Pages
Published by Marshall Cavendish Inc
Rating: A-

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (June 24)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's basically books that haven't been released yet, but that I can't wait for.

This week:

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead?and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special. Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

Release Date: September 01, 2009
Published by
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Check out the author's website at http://www.jessicaverday.com/

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Book Review: Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

When I began Bones of Faerie, I expected a typical fairy story. What I found, however, was a story that centered around prejudice, war, and family. The book paints a grim picture of our future, a war between humans and Faerie left the world in ruins, and people living in constant fear of magic. Liza, who is struggling with the knowledge that she seems to have a Faerie ability, is forced to flee from her father, and her home. The only place for her to run is into the forest that her village fears, so in she goes. Throughout her journey to find her mother, she is forced to confront the prejudice that she has been taught, and also how to control her visions into the past and future. She meets an array of people, including some with Faerie abilities, and over time realizes that Faerie isn't a world all that different from her own .

The most important of Liza's companion is her friend Matthew, who followed her on the night that she ran away from home. They made it through the forest together, and he sees all of her family's dark secrets. Since I won't be revealing any spoilers, I can't really tell you much more of what happens within the book. I will tell you that I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. It seems a little short upon first glance, but I was drawn in by the characters and the world that they lived in. It comes with a little moral as well, hatred and oppression can lead to war, and we should all examine our own prejudices.

Bones of Faerie
by Janni Lee Simner
256 Pages
Published by Random House
Rating: A-

Teaser Tuesday (June 23)

Here is my teaser tuesday -

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the rules:
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the page
Don't include spoilers!

"The crackling sparks of the fires, sputtering and fading around us. The music drifting into my ears and into my heart from a cluster of people farther down the beach, playing guitars and singing and laughing."

Page 150, Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler

I'll also be posting a review for Bones of Faerie later this afternoon

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jane Austen

vvb32 reads has a link on her blog to a fun quiz to see which of Jane Austen's heroines you are, and I got Elizabeth Bennet (yay)

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

In My Mailbox (June 21)

Well, I've had a pretty rough week, but in the midst of all the misery I managed to get some books!

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Published by Simon & Schuster

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Published by HarperCollins

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.

Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

Red Glass by Laura Resau
Published by Random House

One night Sophie and her parents are called to a hospital where Pedro, a six-year-old Mexican boy, is recovering from dehydration. Crossing the border into Arizona with a group of Mexicans and a coyote, or guide, Pedro and his parents faced such harsh conditions that the boy is the only survivor. Pedro comes to live with Sophie, her parents, and Sophie's Aunt Dika, a refugee of the war in Bosnia. Sophie loves Pedro—her Principito, or Little Prince. But after a year, Pedro’s surviving family in Mexico makes contact, and Sophie, Dika, Dika’s new boyfriend, and his son must travel with Pedro to his hometown so that he can make a heartwrenching decision.

Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Published by the Penguin Group

Meredith and Mallory Brynn are mirror twins born on either side of midnight one snowy New Y ear's Eve. They have always been inseparable. But after they are nearly killed in a mysterious fire on their thirteenth birthday, the bond that has always joined them unravels. They begin to have visions and dreams that reveal the deep secrets kept by the people around them. Meredith and Mallory realize they have each been given a gift: Mallory can see deep into the past; Meredith can see the future. But when they discover that one boy is not what they imagined, their lives will be changed forever. If they can survive . . .

Friday, June 19, 2009

Book Review: Chalice by Robin McKinley

As the newly appointed Chalice, Mirasol is the most important member of the Master's Circle. It is her duty to bind the Circle, the land and its people together with their new Master. But the new Master of Willowlands is a Priest of Fire, only drawn back into the human world by the sudden death of his brother. No one knows if it is even possible for him to live amongst his people. Mirasol wants the Master to have his chance, but her only training is as a beekeeper. How can she help settle their demesne during these troubled times and bind it to a Priest of Fire, the touch of whose hand can burn human flesh to the bone?

The first thing I want to say about this book is that the beginning doesn't really explain anything. That's not to say the writing or the story were lacking, I just had a lot of "what is a ______" moments. For example, you aren't really told much of what a Chalice is until a little later in the story, nor do you really get a good grasp on who exactly the Master is (and what it means to be a priest of Fire). Once I got into the book, however, these things were explained a bit more (still, there was some detail left to the imagination). The Master could be described as a King, and the Chalice is sort of like a healer/witch who has a close connection to the current master.

The story is told from the point of view of the newly appointed Chalice, who feels unprepared for her prestigious role. Most girls who are meant to be appointed to the Chalice position spend years training just to understand how to control magic. Through Mirasol's eyes we see what exactly it means to be a Chalice, and also experience the change of the Master from someone who is quiet and withdrawn, to someone who truly cares for both Marisol, and the Willowlands.
Quite honestly, I was worried that I wouldn't finish it due to lack of any real action at the beginning. The story did eventually pick up, and by the end I was really interested in what would happen to the characters. It was an interesting concept, and I wish it had been longer, although it was 272 pages, I felt that if the story had been a bit longer we would have seen more character development, especially in the Master.

McKinley has also written retellings of fairy tales, such as: Beauty, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and The Door in the Hedge, which retells two different tales.

by Robin McKinley
272 Pages
Published by Penguin
Rating - C

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I know I promised a review tonight, but I've just been told about the death of one of my cats (I know, I know, I'm a cat lady). So, unfortunately I'll be holding off on writing any reviews until tomorrow.

Waiting on Wednesday (June 17)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's basically the books that haven't been released yet, but that I'm pining for.

Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri

One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish — only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary "gifts." But as the students claw their way up — reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty — they start to suffer the sideeffects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption. (From the Random House website)

Release Date - August 25, 2009
Published by Random House

I'm also aware that I have reviews piling up, but haven't posted them yet (shame on me). So I'll be posting one later today (what time it gets posted will depend on whether my boss actually gives me work to do).

An Award

Darcy from Library Lounge Lizard has given me my first award!

This blog invests and believes in the Proximity - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award.

I nominate the following blogs:
KĂžbenhavn (it's not a book blog)
Everything To Do With Books
Michelle's Bookshelf
Reading is Bliss (who seems to have already gotten the award, but it's a great review site, so I'm linking anyway)
The Book Cellar
The Book Pixie
The Dreamer Reader

Thanks again to Darcy for the award!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (June 16)

Here is my first teaser tuesday -

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the rules:
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the page
Don't include spoilers!

This week's teaser:

"Where I just spent the last fifteen minutes standing wrapped in a towel! Kelley stifled a gasp with one fist while her other hand went to the overstuffed bag hanging from her shoulder, with her can of mace buried somewhere deep inside"

Page 89, Wondrous Strange, by Lesley Livingston

Sunday, June 14, 2009

In My Mailbox (June 14)

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

Vamped by Lucienne Diver (Won from a contest at My Favorite Author)
Published by Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.

Gina Covello's Perks and Pitfalls
of Vamp Life
1. Hello?! Eternal youth and beauty!

2. Free. Designer. Clothes.

3. My hot new boyfriend Bobby went from chess dud to vamp stud.

4. No reflection! First order of business: turn my own stylist to stop the downward spiral from chic to eek.

5. Vampire vixen Mellisande has taken an interest in my boyfriend, and is now transforming the entire high school into her own personal vampire army. If anyone's going to start their own undead entourage it should be me.

I guess I'll just have to save everyone from fashion disasters and other fates worse than death.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Published by Mira

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooma in the palace--and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust--and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Published by HarperCollins

Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .

For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.

Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie's enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.

This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.

Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.

The week ahead: I have reviews for Bones of Faerie, Watersmeet, and Chalice. I'm also thinking that I should hold a contest soon...mainly due to the fact that I seem to have accumulated more books than I have room for...which says a lot considering how much storage I have.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Mac is Back + a Photo Friday

After almost a week of being without a computer (I had to bribe people to get five minutes of time every couple of days), I finally got my Mac back. So, I'll be making up for lost time starting Sunday. The good news is, in the time I had cut off from the rest of the world I read a few books (including, but not limited to: Chalice, Bones of Faerie, and Killer Pancake). Basically, I realized how much of my life is contained on this...which was a little bit sad.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Velvet from vvb32 reads has just let me know that comments aren't working. I'm trying to figure out what's going on (honestly, I may have just clicked something weird in the settings). Since I have limited computer time I may not get things figured out for a few days.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

In My Mailbox (June 6)

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved—despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family—to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banished to the inner quarters.
But now, something is after her. Something terrifying—a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined.
Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard . . . she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help.
It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help . . . and perhaps more.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell

Since the days of King Arthur, there have been poems and paintings created in her name. She is Elaine of Ascolat, the Lady of Shalott, and now there is a book all her own. The year is 490 A.D. and 16-year-old Elaine has a temperament to match her fiery red hair. Living on a military base with her father, brothers, and the rest of Arthur's army, Elaine pines for the handsome Lancelot, and longs for a female friend. But when the cruel, beautiful Gwynivere arrives, Elaine is confronted with startling emotions of jealousy and rivalry. Can Elaine find the strength to survive the birth of a kingdom?

Adult Fiction -

Murder Most Royal by Jean Plaidy

One powerful king. Two tragic queens.In the court of Henry VIII, it was dangerous for a woman to catch the king’s eye. Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were cousins. Both were beautiful women, though very different in temperament. They each learned that Henry’s passion was all-consuming–and fickle.Sophisticated Anne Boleyn, raised in the decadent court of France, was in love with another man when King Henry claimed her as his own. Being his mistress gave her a position of power; being his queen put her life in jeopardy. Her younger cousin, Catherine Howard, was only fifteen when she was swept into the circle of King Henry. Her innocence attracted him, but a past mistake was destined to haunt her.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Photo Friday

Well, another week has come and gone...and much of mine was filled with work. I'm bringing my computer into the shop later today (while my Apple Care is still in effect), so I'll be attempting to update with an ancient computer that hasn't been used in quite some time. To make up for it here is a picture of my cats Angus (the girl) and Bubbles (the boy). We sort of had a gender mix-up, and by the time we figured out which was which it was too late. They're playing with a VT Teddy Bear box, and the flash gave Angus a wonky eye...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Book Review: My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Finding your one true love can be a Grimm experience! After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight.

If you are a fan of disjointed fairy tales, or like a little bit of historical adventure, I would suggest picking up a copy of My Fair Godmother. At the start of the book, the superficial "airhead" Savannah seems to have the perfect life. She has a good-looking boyfriend, Hunter, and doesn't really seem to be bothered with anything other than shopping and prom. Her older sister, Jane, is completely different from Savannah. Jane concentrates on her schoolwork rather than her appearance, and had been crushing on Hunter even before he started dating Savannah. Refusing to give up, Jane undergoes a total makeover, and in the process she gets Hunter. That's breaking the most cardinal rule of sisterhood...never steal your sister's boyfriend. It's an unwritten rule. Luckily, Savannah has a fair(y) godmother to help save the day.

Or not. Savannah's fairy godmother,
Chrysanthemum Everstar, isn't what one might imagine. She's just like Savannah, shallow and immature. Her wishes go haywire, and she doesn't really seem to care whether Savannah gets her prince charming or not. For her first two wishes Savannah is sent back in time, once as Cinderella, and once as Snow White. Rallison doesn't Disney-ify these princesses, they lived in the middle ages, and it was miserable. Plus, the princes don't seem very prince-like, they're rather rude and egotistical.

For her third wish, Savannah inadvertently sends a classmate back in time, and she has to go back to help him become a prince, otherwise they'll both be stuck there forever. While there they encounter a dragon, a cyclops, and a dark knight who is more than he seems.

I really enjoyed this book, it had all the elements I look for in good YA fiction. There was a little bit of romance, some fantasy, and it was funny.
It also made me appreciate shampoo, and being able to bathe on a regular basis. In other words, I didn't want to set it down. While this was Rallison's first fantasy novel, I hope to read more like this from her.

My Fair Godmother
by Janette Rallison
320 Pages
Published by Walker Books for Young Readers
Rating: A

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Silver Phoenix Contest

There's an amazing contest being held by the author of Silver Phoenix, Cindy Pon over at her website. The prize is either an original, beautiful brushpainting (while you're at her website you should check them out, they're amazing)...or $100 gift card to the bookstore of your choice (although personally I'd get the painting). I've heard some talk that if she gets 200 entries she'll give away both prizes. She's also including a signed copy of her book to the winner!

Here's the trailer for the book, which is, quite honestly, one of the best book trailers I've seen.

Waiting on Wednesday (June 3)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's basically the books that haven't been released yet, but that I'm pining for.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

If you haven't read the first book, The Hunger Games, I suggest you do so immediately. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC (way back in summer 08), and I couldn't put it down. The covers may not look all that appealing, but I guess this is case and point that you can't judge a book by it's cover.

Release Date - September 01, 2009
Published by Scholastic, Inc

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