Archive | July, 2010

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

24 Jul

Finnikin of the Rock

Author: Melina Marchetta

Available now!

Pages [hardcover]: 399

Opening Lines: A long time ago, in the spring before the five days of the unspeakable, Finnikin of the Rock dreamed that he was to sacrifice a pound of flesh to save the royal house of Lumatere.

Memorable Quote: “Be prepared for the worst, my love, for it lives next door to the best.”

Favorite Character: Evanjalin

Summary:

At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh in order to save the royal house of his homeland, Lumatere.

And so he stands on the rock of three wonders with his childhood friend Prince Balthazar and the prince’s cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood. And Lumatere is safe.

Until the ‘five days of the unspeakable’, when the King and Queen and their children are slaughtered in the palace. And an imposter king takes the throne.
And a curse is put on Lumatere, which traps those caught inside and forces thousands of others to roam the land as exiles, dying of fever and persecution in foreign camps.

But ten years later Finnikin is led to another rock to meet the young novice, Evanjalin. A girl plagued by dark dreams, who holds the key to their return to the Land of light.

Review:

This book was pretty good. It’s one of those stories where you have a main goal throughout, and several minor ‘quests’ scattered about in the middle. I don’t really mind these types of novels, but they’re not for everyone, obviously.

One thing I really liked about Finnikin of the Rock was that while there were many people and places to keep track of, somehow it was easy to remember all of the different names. Not an easy task when every page has a smattering of different proper nouns. I applaud the author because while I have no idea how she did it, I was able to remember the different countries and characters.

The plot was very good, and at points I couldn’t put the book down. At some parts character decisions made no sense, as in Finnikin being furious at Evanjalin one moment and the next be perfectly nice to her.

The book was nicely set up, and it’s good for anyone who wants a good fantasy/adventure/romance. It’s not the best, but it’s one of the better books I’ve read lately.

Finnikin of the Rock gets 4/5 stars.

 Warnings: Some language, adult content, violence

Sneak Peek Saturday-“The Space Between Trees”

24 Jul

On the lookout for a great new summer read? Check back every week for a peek into a great new book.

The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams

Not your everyday coming-of-age novel

This story was supposed to be about Evie how she hasn’t made a friend in years, how she tends to stretch the truth (especially about her so-called relationship with college drop-out Jonah Luks), and how she finally comes into her own once she learns to just be herself but it isn’t. Because when her classmate Elizabeth “Zabet” McCabe’s murdered body is found in the woods, everything changes and Evie’s life is never the same again.

Check out the complete first chapter.

Get your sneak peek here.

The Glamour of Grammar—Giveaway

22 Jul

Hello everyone! I’ve had my book blog for a while, and it’s about time that I hosted a contest! Anna Balasi of Hachette Book Group offered up a new book for a giveaway and I grabbed the chance.

THE GLAMOUR OF GRAMMAR
By Roy Peter Clark

 

Early in the history of English, the words “grammar” and “glamour” meant the same thing: the power to charm. Roy Peter Clark, author of Writing Tools, aims to put the glamour back in grammar with this fun, engaging alternative to stuffy instructionals. In this practical guide, readers will learn everything from the different parts of speech to why effective writers prefer concrete nouns and active verbs. THE GLAMOUR OF GRAMMAR gives readers all the tools they need to”live inside the language”–to take advantage of grammar to perfect their use of English, to instill meaning, and to charm through their writing. With this indispensable book, readers will come to see just how glamorous grammar can be. 

 

3 Winners!

Rules and Info:
1. Only residents of U.S. or Canada can enter
2. No P.O. boxes
3. Giveaway copies will be sent out by the publisher
4. I’ll email the winners as well as post them on the blog
5. Giveaway ends at midnight August 5

Entires:

+1 for commenting
+1 for following my blog
+1 for following me on twitter
+3 for tweeting about this [must provide link]
+5 for posting/adding to sidebar [provide link]

You must leave an email address in your comment!

Good luck!

Teaser Tuesday 7-20

20 Jul

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Evanjalin’s lips were dry and flaking and her skin looked a funny gray color and there was sweat all over her forehead that made it shiny. She looked almost dead, but she could still send him a look so evil that it made him flinch.

From Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

This book was mentioned to me by someone last week and I just happened to find it at the library. It’s quite good so far!

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

20 Jul

Ink Exchange

Author: Melissa Marr

Available now!

Book 2 in the ‘Wicked Lovely’ series. Review for book 1 is here

Pages [hardcover]: 325

Opening Lines: Irial watched the girl stroll up the street: she was a bundle of terror and fury. He stayed in the shadows of the alley outside the tattoo parlor, but his gaze didn’t waver from her as he finished his cigarette.

Memorable Quote: “What does it mean when nightmares dream of peace? When shadows wish for light?”

Favorite Character: Niall

Summary:

Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes; not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . .

Review:

I am loving the Wicked Lovely series! These faery tales are much darker than the typical YA novel you’ll find these days. Full of darkness, deceit, love, and lust, this book was wonderful!

The first book, Wicked Lovely, was told from Aislinn’s point of view. Ink Exchange introduces a new narrator-Leslie, Aislinn’s best friend, who made a few brief appearances in the first novel. Aislinn wants desperately to keep her mortal life separate from her faery life. Unfortunately for Leslie, this is impossible.

Leslie is a girl who wants to work hard, save her money, and escape her hometown. She has a dark and tangled past which is slowly revealed throughout the novel. She decides to get a tattoo, to symbolize her new attitude, to give her confidence, to keep the fear away. And she gets more than she bargained for.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to like having a different narrator, but I ended up liking it immensely. Leslie is a great character and I was instantly addicted to this book and couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to read the third book of this series!

Ink Exchange is a great book that I highly recommend. I give it 5/5 stars.

What are You Reading Monday 7-19

19 Jul

This week, I read:
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover-Ally Carter
Princess Ben-Catherine Gilbert Murdock

I loved Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover! The Gallagher Girls series is amazing, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the fourth installment!

What are you reading?

Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

18 Jul

Princess Ben

Author: Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Pages [hardcover]: 344

Available now!

Opening Lines: Having for many decades been forced to endure ever more ridiculous tales of the circumstances of my coming of age , holding my tongue through each long-winded narrative for fear that my cautious interjections would only prolong the blather, I now in the solitude of my dotage at last permit myself the indulgence of correcting the erroneous legends and embroidered falsehoods that to this day expand, heady as yeast, across the land.

Memorable Quote: “And have your mother put my head on a stake? Do you have any notion what that would do to my handsome good looks?”

Favorite Character: Prince Florian

Summary:

A girl is transformed, through instruction in life at court, determination, and magic, from sullen, pudgy, graceless Ben into Crown Princess Benevolence, a fit ruler of the kingdom of Montagne as it faces war with neighboring Drachensbett.

Review:

I’ve looked forward to  reading this for a few months, and though I wasn’t especially disappointed, I wasn’t wholly impressed, either. Princess Ben tells of your not-so-average princess, who isn’t as skinny, graceful, or well-mannered as we all imagine princesses to be. In fact, she rejects the idea of being a princess and does all that she can to stay away from those duties.

It was refreshing having such a different leading protagonist as Ben. She’s not obsessed with appearances and is determined to remain independent. She can be a bit annoying at times-whining and prattling on-but for the most part, she’s a good character.

The plot, full of magic, dragons, and handsome [if potentially evil] princes, I loved. It started out a little slow, but picked up around the middle. There are parts of the story that have ties with other fairy tales-Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc. I was trying to count how many I spotted! :)

Overall, this was an okay novel. Not one you have to run out and get right away, but perfectly fine if you’ve nothing else to read. Princess Ben gets 3/5 stars.

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