Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (April 30)

What is 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.

"Natasha closed her eyes tightly, thinking it through. The total suffering must be kept to a minimum; that was the essence of the Ethical Code." 

-The Office of Mercy, Page 41, by Ariel Djanikian

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (April 27)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews! It's a way to highlight the books that everyone got throughout the week.


Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to finishing school.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea--and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right--but it's a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine's certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Impostor (Slide 2) by Jill Hathaway

What if a killer took control of you?

Vee Bell’s gift (or curse) of “sliding”—slipping into the mind of another person and experiencing life, briefly, through his or her eyes—has been somewhat under control since she unwillingly witnessed the horrific deaths of her classmates six months ago.

But just as things are getting back to normal, Vee has a very bizarre experience: she loses consciousness and finds herself in a deserted area, at the edge of a cliff, with the broken body of the boy who took advantage of her on the rocks below.

As Vee finds herself in stranger and stranger situations with no memory of getting there, she begins to suspect that someone she knows has the ability to slide—and that this “slider” is using Vee to exact revenge on his or her enemies.

Published by Balzer + Bray

The cover model reminds me of Zenon from Disney Channel for some reason

For Review: 

The Heiresses by Allison Rushby

When three teenage girls, Thalia, Erato and Clio, are summoned to the excitement of fast-paced London--a frivolous, heady city full of bright young things--by Hestia, an aunt they never knew they had, they are shocked to learn they are triplets and the rightful heiresses to their deceased mother's fortune. All they need to do is find a way to claim the fortune from their greedy half-brother, Charles. But with the odds stacked against them, coming together as sisters may be harder than they think.

Published by St. Martin's Griffin

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.

Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t. 

When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.

But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.

A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue.

Published by Disney Hyperion

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tv on Thursday: Doctor Who

Why I love it: Well, this is a ridiculously old sci-fi show, but I was introduced to it after the show was rebooted in 2005. My best friend and her family loved it, and she talked me into watching it. Now, I'm absolutely obsessed! It's the story of an alien, called The Doctor, who can travel through space and time in his time machine (called a TARDIS: Time and Relative Dimension in Space). It looks like a big blue police box, and it's bigger on the inside.

The Doctor travels with human (most of the time) companions, and we get to see him in different times, on different planets, and see different baddies. Some of them are from the classic show, and some are brand new. It doesn't matter though, because they're all awesome. In fact, some are downright scary. My favorite episode is titled Blink, and guest stars a pre-fame Carey Mulligan.

Who's who (weirdly, this is now a pun): The doctor can regenerate, making it perfect when an actor is ready to move on to different projects. I'll talk about my favorite, and the first Doctor that I watched (people tend to be attached to the first actor they see in the role). You may remember him from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as the super creepy Barty Crouch Jr., or you might have seen him in show Blackpool. He has fabulous hair, and I found his seasons to be the most emotional. Granted, I cry at just about everything TV/movie related, so it's no surprise that I cried like every episode during his run.

It's a great show that's fun to watch with my friends and family, and I love getting new people hooked on it. If you want to check it out, all of the recent seasons are on Netflix!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (April 24)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This weekly meme shares the upcoming books that I'm most excited about.

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt? 

Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as theNew York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance! (From Goodreads)

Published by Hyperion
Release Date: May 14, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (April 23)

What is 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.

"Sophronia intended to pull the dumbwaiter up from the kitchen to outside the front parlor on the ground floor, where Mrs. Barnaclegoose was talking tea. Mrs. Barnaclegoose has arrived with a stranger in tow." 
-Etiquette and Espionage, Page 1, by Gail Carriger

Well, I like Sophronia already!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review: The Girl Guide by Christine Fonseca

Finding your unique voice in a noisy world can be hard—very hard. But not if you have a great guide! The Girl Guide: Finding Your Place in a Mixed-Up World is a must-read for girls in grades 6–8 as they enter the tumultuous world of adolescence. Packed with fun worksheets and quizzes, as well as stories from older girls and women, The Girl Guide covers everything a teenage girl needs to know on the journey toward her own identity. Proven strategies for dealing with stress management, confronting relational aggression, being safe online, navigating the changing mother-daughter relationship, and more make this the ultimate guide for any girl to get through the teen years and discover her unique point of view in the world. (From Goodreads)

Best Bits: I've never accepted a non-fiction book for review before, but with my new job I couldn't pass up on the chance to peek inside this one. In my non-book life I work in counseling, and I often see middle school and teenage girls who are dealing with stress and anxiety. As such, I am always on the hunt for great homework resources that I can suggest for learning and thinking at home. I'm happy to say that this is a book I've suggested to other counselors, and may be a great resource for middle school girls who are ready to work on a variety of issues. Here are a list of my favorite activities and topics from the book: My Boundaries, My Emotional Vocabulary, What Are Your Skills, How to Deal with Friendship Drama, Bouncing Back From Bullying. Okay, so that's a lot of language without a lot of description, but I think that it speaks for itself. Each chapter focuses on something different, and each topic is relevant. I think that a majority of us can look back to our middle school and high school days and think "man, I wish that I only had to deal with one of those topics, and not all of them at once". So, it's gets two thumbs up from me for content.

Nit Picks: Although I understand the thought process behind it, I think that some of the font is a bit hard to read. Sure, it's cute and fun (so maybe that will keep people more engaged than Times in 12 point), but I definitely had to devote a little bit of time to deciphering some of the quizzes and worksheets. 

The Girl Guide

By Christine Fonseca
Published by Prufrock Press
175 Pages
Received for Review
Rating: B

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cornucopia of Reviews has a Facebook page!

It's official, I've finally created a Facebook page for Cornucopia of Reviews! If you're interested in following blog posts via Facebook (and also get updates on contests, content, and what's new), here's a link:

I'm always looking for feedback, too. If you see anything that could be improved let me know.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review: Underworld (Abandon Trilogy 2) by Meg Cabot

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape. (From Goodreads)

*Warning, this review contains some mild spoilers for Abandon.

Best Bits: I still get giddy at this interpretation of the Persephone myth. Honestly, if I ever run into her on the street I'll probably drop down to the ground and bow to her. She will obviously think I'm mentally unhinged and will hurry off. Sadface. In Underworld the reader gets to see how conflicted Pierce is about what's happening to her. On one hand, she's safe with John, but she begins to realize what that means for her family...the ones who aren't out to get her, anyway. The change of scenery also allowed for some interesting information to be discovered. The reader gets to see exactly what John is responsible for in the underworld, and Pierce learns more about his past. There are some interesting supporting characters, too. I'm looking forward to seeing how they come into play during the final book. 

Nit Picks: I often find that the second book in a trilogy just doesn't quite live up to the first book in the series. This is because the characters have been introduced, we grow to understand and anticipate their reactions to certain people and situations, and it often feels like a transition. Alas, that was the case with Underworld. That's not to say that I hated it, because there were portions that I enjoyed. I just didn't feel the urgency of what was happening until the very end of the book. 

Underworld (Abandon Trilogy 2)
By Meg Cabot
Published by Point
336 Pages
Rating: C

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (April 16)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This weekly meme shares the upcoming books that I'm most excited about.

 The Taming of the Tights (Tallulah 3) by Louise Rennison

There's no official synopsis yet, but I imagine there will be more adventures in Irish comedy dancing, Wolfe boy drama, some fabulous owls, and me bursting with laughter at socially inappropriate times. Hilarity, full speed ahead.

Published by HarperTeen

Release Date: August 13, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (April 15)

I hope all Boston readers (and their family and friends) are safe! I was lucky enough to hear from my friends soon after everything yesterday, but I'm keeping everyone else in my thoughts.

What is 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.

"A massive forest spread out to the east of the city, greener next to the river that supplied the city's water. Toward the west, the vegetation became sparse and interspersed with brown and gray rock." 
-Erasing Time, Page 2, by C.J. Hill

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (April 10)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This weekly meme shares the upcoming books that I'm most excited about.

45 Pounds (More of Less) by K. A. Barson

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up! (From Goodreads)

Published by Viking

Release Date: July 11, 2013 (aka not soon enough)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Book Review: Poison by Bridget Zinn

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon. (From Goodreads)

Best Bits: I knew that Poison was something special when I was a couple pages into it. I had heard the hype, of course, but as I started the book I was a bit giddy with excitement. An adventure novel with a female heroine, and a love interest named for Fred Weasley? Everything about it was made of awesome. I thought Zinn did a particularly good job in revealing why Kyra attacked the princess, and what motivations lay behind it. I often questioned her decisions, but I wasn't smacking myself in the forehead over them (this has been happening to me quite a bit lately). The characters were real, funny, and I wanted to know more about the world that Zinn had created. To reiterate, awesomesauce.

There are a special groups of book that have a place on my shelf, my re-reads. These are the books that I've read countless times, and have needed replacement copies. Poison is getting a spot smack dab in the middle of the books I revist (somewhere between Tamora Pierce, Harry Potter, and Jennifer Crusie).

Amazingly, I really don't have any nitpicks. I absolutely loved every second of this book. Bridget Zinn did pass away before her book was released, and so my nit pick is with the universe taking such a talented author (one who writes female characters without placing them into pre-made molds) so young. There's a facebook page where people have been leaving comments about how fab the book is here: https://www.facebook.com/InMemoryBridgetZinn.

This is a bit of a rambling review, but I do want to say that this is what I think YA needs more of. It may be nostalgia, since this book reminds me of all the great YA books I read as a pre-teen, but it was adventure without the drama. There was no back-stabbing, no competition to be the superior female (in looks, boys, etc), instead it was about friendship, loyalty, and the choices people make out of fear.

By Bridget Zinn
288 Pages
Published by Disney Hyperion
Rating: A

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This weekly meme shares the upcoming books that I'm most excited about.

 Rags & Bones Ed. by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt

The best writers of our generation retell the classics.

Literature is filled with sexy, deadly, and downright twisted tales. In this collection, award-winning and bestselling authors reimagine their favorite classic stories, ones that have inspired, awed, and enraged them; ones that have become ingrained in modern culture; and ones that have been too long overlooked. They take these stories and boil them down to their bones, and then reassemble them for a new generation of readers.

Visit Goodreads to see a list of what stories are being retold!

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 22, 2013

Copyright ©2009-2013 Cornucopia of Reviews. All Rights Reserved.