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Waiting on Wednesday #5


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine . Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event meant to showcase the not-yet-released books that we are eagerly awaiting.

This week I've chosen The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver.


One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake-loving younger brother, who irritated and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not. In fact, he was quite, quite different.

When Liza's brother, Patrick, changes overnight, Liza knows exactly what has happened: The spindlers have gotten to him and stolen his soul.

She knows, too, that she is the only one who can save him.

To rescue Patrick, Liza must go Below, armed with little more than her wits and a broom. There, she uncovers a vast world populated with talking rats, music-loving moles, greedy troglods, and overexcitable nids . . . as well as terrible dangers. But she will face her greatest challenge at the spindlers' nests, where she encounters the evil queen and must pass a series of deadly tests--or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.

From "New York Times" best-selling author Lauren Oliver comes a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty, the meaning of love, and the enduring power of hope.


Doesn't this sound like a fun read? Plus it's by Lauren Oliver, who, if you don't know, is the author of Delirium, Pandemonium and Before I Fall, as well as several other books.

Release Date: October 2nd, 2012

-Rachel

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Top Ten Tuesday #9


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Series I Haven't Finished 


1. Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer: Even though Megan put this one on the list, I can explain it for her :) She read the first one, and it was okay for her, but then she just couldn't bring herself to finish the second. It wasn't Megan's taste. 
I did finish the series though, and I enjoyed them, although I won't read them again and they definitely aren't on my favourite book list.

2. Eragon Series by Christopher Paolini: Again, this is from Megan, but I'll explain anyways. She just couldn't get into the first book, so never continued reading the series.

3. Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket: Well, I have all 13 of them sitting up there on a shelf right above the couch, but I've only read the first 5. I found they were getting repetitive, so I didn't read anymore, but I've had plenty of people tell me they get better after the 5th, so I might pick them up again to give them another try. Either way, they'd probably be a fun read every so often. Megan also hasn't finished this series. 

4. Immortals by Alyson Noel: I read the first one, Evermore, (which there is a review for!) and it was so incredibly similar to Twilight, it's kinda funny. I am kind of curious to find out what happens next, but I'd rather put the time into a different book that I think will turn out more to my tastes. I know that many people did love this series though!

5. Inkheart Series by Cornelia Funke: I read the first one, Inkheart, and the second one, Inkspell cause I loved the first. The second was too long or slow or something for my tastes, though, and it took me forever to read. So I guess I kind of just lost my momentum to read the last. (Which I do have!) Although I've been told by many people that the second was the worst and the third was the best, so I've gotta give it a try sometime. Megan, too, hasn't finished this series. 

6. The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owen: I read the first, Here There Be Dragons, and I loved it. It's one of those books that pulls in all kinds of mythology from all over the world and pulls it all together, which is something I'm a sucker for. Any kind of fairytale twist sort of story is a instant grab for me. I should really try and find the next book...

7. The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott: I read the first three I think, but I just never got around to reading the fourth. 

8. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis:  SHAME ON ME. HOW COULD I NOT HAVE FINISHED NARNIA? Well, there's only one book left for me to read.

9. Incarceron Series by Cathering Fisher: I really enjoyed the first one, it's just a matter of getting around to the other two.

10. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: Honestly, I can't wait till I get ahold of the next one! I loved the first, I really got caught up in it. 

11. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: Yeah, I just couldn't get into it.... HAHAHA JUST KIDDING. I have most definitely read this series, I assure you. What kind of book reviewer would I be if I haven't?

OH! We'll have some more stuff for you all this week then previous weeks, I promise!

-Rachel

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Waiting on Wednesday #4


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine . Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event meant to showcase the not-yet-released books that we are eagerly awaiting.

This week I've selected Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman

Two hundred years ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now, at a veritable fairy-tale moment—witness the popular television shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time and this year’s two movie adaptations of “Snow White”—Philip Pullman, one of the most popular authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm.

From much-loved stories like “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Rapunzel” and “Hansel and Gretel” to lesser-known treasures like “Briar-Rose,” “Thousandfurs,” and “The Girl with No Hands,” Pullman retells his fifty favorites, paying homage to the tales that inspired his unique creative vision—and that continue to cast their spell on the Western imagination.


Release date: September 27, 2012

Rachel

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Top Ten Tuesday #8

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Bookish People You Want to Meet

Just like usual, the list is in no particular order.
1. J.K. Rowling: Honestly, who wouldn't want to meet her? She's like, the Queen of today's literature. 

2. Maggie Stiefvater: Maggie Stiefvater's books are absolutely amazing, and she seems like such a cool person! Meeting her in person would probably be really fun. 

3. Those People that Run the Big Publishing Companies: Because asking them questions about things like how they got started, what they look for in a book, and what makes books sell would be pretty interesting. 

4. Shakespeare: First off, he's probably one of the best playwrights ever, if not THE best playwright. Secondly, he's a historical figure, so how could that meeting NOT be interesting?

5. Veronica Roth: She's a newly popular author, so it'd be very interesting to pick her brain about how she got started, and got successful, since its all still fresh and current! 


6. Steven Moffat: The showrunner and current writer of the new Doctor Who. His plot developing skills are beyond exceptional.  

7. Neil Gaiman: He just seems like an amazingly fun guy! He is still a kid at heart, and his stories are fabulous. He also wrote an episode of Doctor Who... starstruck moment... :)


8. Andrew Sims: Book/Movie/TV show reviewer for Hypable.com, and host of my favourite podcast, MuggleCast. I've been reading and listening to his opinions about Harry Potter and other books/movies, and I have to say, he never fails to entertain me. 

9. J.R.R Tolkien: Who in their right mind would pass up an opportunity to meet this wizard with words? This mastermind of fantasy? The world he created was just so vast and complete, it's sometimes hard to believe it all came out of one person's imagination! 


10. Lemony Snicket/ Daniel Handler: His writing style is unique a quirky, and to be completely honest, it'd be fun to ask what it's like to have a pen name!

-Megan and Rachel

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Waiting on Wednesday #3


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine . Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event meant to showcase the not-yet-released books that we are eagerly awaiting. 

This week, we are showcasing: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt.



When Mallory discovers that her boyfriend, Jeremy, is cheating on her with an online girlfriend, she swears off boys. She also swears off modern technology. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in 1962, Mallory decides to "go vintage" and return to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn't cheat on you online). She sets out to complete grandma's list: run for pep club secretary, host a dinner party, sew a homecoming dress, find a steady, do something dangerous. But the list is trickier than it looks. And obviously finding a steady is out . . . no matter how good Oliver (Jeremy's cousin) smells. But with the help of her sister, she'll get it done. Somehow. 


This book looks absolutely adorable. And by that I mean the story, not the cover... the cover is a bit cheesy.. Ahahaha... But it seems refreshing to me. I've kind of been stuck in a fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi rut for a while now, and I really think I need to expand my horizons as to what I read. This seems like it will be a cute, light read, very much contrasting to the heavy, serious topics in the past few novels I've read. 

Release Date: March 26th, 2013 


keep readin' it write!
Megan  

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Top Ten Tuesday #7


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Books That Make You Think (About The World, People, Life, etc.)


So we know that we have been kind of lagging on the posts in the past little while, but we have a good reason! We both started school last week, and getting back into it takes a lot out of us... (getting up too early, leaving the house too early, being forced to sit down and learn stuff, TOO EARLY!!!) Plus we are both taking some advanced placement type courses, so everything is just a bit more demanding of our time. Once we get back into the swing of things, posts will be popping up here regularly as usual! (That is, until November, when NaNoWriMo starts! But more on that later.) 

So here's our list ;) As always, it's in no particular order. Also, we'd like to try something new and add links to Goodreads for each book, so you can read the summaries/reviews if you are interested! 

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett: This one really made me (Megan) think about the past. I had learnt about segregation before, but just being put right smack dab in the middle of a situation very similar to reality really hit home. It really made me hate humanity. I spent countless hours pondering how our race could be so ignorant and cruel. 

2. The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis: I (Megan) borrowed this book from my aunt a few years ago, and it still to this day, makes me think of how fortunate I am. The protagonist Parvana struggles each day to secure meals for her and her siblings, and can't know for certain that she will have a place to sleep every night. Reading this book made me very appreciative of what I have been blessed with. 

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: To be honest, I'm fairly certain this book made everyone think...if it didn't stir any thoughts up in your brain...then you must not have read the book properly... haha.. For me (Megan), it really made me wonder. Our world could end up that way, quite easily, (which is the terrifying part) if we don't watch our step. Metaphorically speaking. Even though this book was categorized as "science fiction", it's not all that far off from being plausible. 

4. Delirium by Lauren Oliver: This one made me (Megan) think about perception. In reality, everything that we know and experience (including love, which in Delirium is considered a disease) is open to interpretation and different perceptions. The way we perceive the world and events that occur around us really ends up shaping our life. So if you did really believe that love was a disease, it wouldn't be so crazy to avoid it. That probably didn't make a sliver of sense, but I guess it's up to you to perceive it how you wish! Ahahaha, I'm bad... 

5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling: This one simply made me (Megan) think "I WANNA GO TO HOGWARTS!"

6. Incarceron by Cathering Fisher: This one made me (Rachel) really have to think. Not so much about humanity (kay, a little of that) or how lucky I am or anything, but I just had to stop reading several times to really think about the twists- it's mind boggling, I tell you! You have to read this one to really get what I mean.

-Rachel and Megan

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Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.


As you read in my review of Divergent, the first book in this series, I am a fan of Veronica Roth's. I found the concept, setting, and depth of her characters very well written and intriguing. Did she deliver with the second book in her Divergent Trilogy you ask? Well, I would have to answer that with a huge, monstrous yes. 

But I don't want to go off rambling about how perfect the book was right off the bat, because that would just be boring to read, wouldn't it? So I'll start off with the things I felt weren't as perfect. 

I found the setting a bit all over the map. Literally. I know they were travelling and all, but still, it made it a bit hard to keep track of where the characters were at a given point in time. I found myself stopping at times, and thinking for a minute about where they were, and what the description of that place had been, to try to regain the forgotten mental picture of their whereabouts. So that could've been a bit clearer. 

Another thing, which didn't bother me a whole lot, but may be a factor for other readers, was the fact that this book was a lot darker than Divergent. There was more violence, more death, (some characters I didn't want to die... :(...) and overall, just felt, gloomier. Which technically is appropriate, and even necessary, to make this war-torn-world dystopian sequel believable. So I guess this point ended up being a pro, AND a con, depending on how you look at it! :) 

Okay, glad that part is over! Now time for the good stuff! As I mentioned in my Divergent review, I was very pleased with the quality of characterization. And not just in the main characters, but also the secondary and background characters. It really gave a better sense of the setting and world, when you could see into more of the character's lives. I was hoping that Veronica Roth would continue on her winning streak with this aspect, and my wish was granted! She maintained the same level of characterization that made Divergent stand out. Both with new characters, and developing old ones. I was very pleased. 

The plot is also developing very nicely, I won't go into details for spoiler reasons, but I can't wait for the next instalment! (Detergent...? ha ha...) Ms Roth managed to surprise me several times throughout the book, which is always a sign of good writing. When the story is NOT predictable, you know you're reading the work of a talented author. 

The ending of Insurgent was very intriguing to me. There was an unexpected twist that totally turned the story on its head. It was very interesting and thought-provoking. I can confidently say that I believe the finale of the series will have a different tone, and feel from its two predecessors. 

Anyone else read this book? I would love to hear how you rate it compared to Divergent!

The Good: Continuation of plot and character development! :) 
The Bad: Setting description could have been clearer. 
The Verdict: 4 out of a possible 5 s'mores. (Summer please come back to me! I miss the nightly campfires already...) 


keep readin' it write!
Megan

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Waiting on Wednesday #2


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine . Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event meant to showcase the not-yet-released books that we are eagerly awaiting.

This week, we are showcasing: The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling



When Barry Fairweather dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?


I know that we featured this book in the last Top Ten Tuesday, but it's coming out really soon and we are excited about it, so it felt wrong to not do a Waiting on Wednesday for it. I hope you'll forgive me... :D

Release date: September 27th, 2012


keep readin' it write! 
Megan 

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Top Ten Tuesday #6

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Books on your Fall TBR List 

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 
I've been wanting to read this book for a while, ever since my friend recommended it to me, and then finding out that Emma Watson would be starring in the movie certainly interested me even more! 

2. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling
Do I even need an explanation for this one? I didn't think so. ;) 

3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner 
This book has always looked interesting to me. Something from the cover, or the title or the concept, or all three, has me curious. Luckily my brother actually bought this book a few weeks ago, so I'll be borrowing it soon! 

4. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein
I remember Rachel showed me a review of this book, from someone who had received it as an ARC, and we both thought it would be a good read. Now that it's been released, it's certainly high up on my to be read list. (Rachel says: I saw this in a bookstore and I was 'thiiissss' close to buying it.)

5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 
I've heard so many good things about this book. I've never read any of John Green's work, (I know, shame on me, right?) but I am looking forward to it. Plus John Green is awesome on YouTube, so why not support him? ;) 

6. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Because Maggie Stiefvater is awesome, and this book sounds pretty amazing, too.

7. A book by Nicholas Sparks
Any book, it doesn't really matter which. Because we watched The Notebook the other day and I loved it, and because I haven't read anything by Nicholas Sparks and I think I need to fix that.

8. A book by Jane Austen
Again, any book, because I haven't and I think I need to fix that.

9. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
I got this book from the library and I was really looking forward to reading it and then someone put it on hold and I didn't have enough time to read it so I had to take it back. I was not pleased. 

We only came up with 9 so far, but maybe by the end of today, another book will pop into our brains to add. :) 


keep readin' it write!
Megan and Rachel 

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Something Different... Books by Angela Dorsey

This isn't exactly about strictly YA books, but I thought I'd like to tell you all about it. First, I think it needs some backstory, though.

I've been a part of a website Girls Horse Club for a long time. It's a website for girls and teens that love horses and writing. I got several different things published over a few years, anything from short stories to informative articles.

GHC is also the reason and the place where I wrote my very first reviews, so it has a special part in how I got to building this blog with Megan.

Anyways, GHC hosted a contest and interview last summer with author Angela Dorsey. I was lucky enough to be a winner. (Thanks again for the prizes, GHC and Angela Dorsey!)

Author Review: Angela Dorsey

I've read three of Angela Dorsey's books, all from the Horse Guardian series. and all were enjoyable, even though I'm older then who they are meant for.

All of Angela Dorsey's books have strong female protagonists, with good morals and messages. (quite obvious if you are older, but for the target audience I think they are well-done.) They are different and unique, fast-paced and exactly what I would have loved to read when I was ten. They are the perfect mix of girl-power, horses, action, mystery and a bit of magic.

One thing that I really enjoyed was the use of switching perspectives. It swapped between the main character who is a different girl in each book,  Angelica, who is the 'Horse Guardian' I suppose, and the antagonist. Having short chapters from the perspective of the antagonist was fascinating, and I found myself looking forward to these chapters the most.

The thing I liked the least I think, was how perfect Angelica came across to be at times, especially in the first book. It got better, though, and I think part of her character was that she had to be perfect at times.

Of the three that I read (Dark Fire, Desert Song and Condor Mountain) I think that Condor Mountain was my favourite. The way the condors were the bad guys was something that I would never have thought up myself.

Another thing that I really enjoyed was the wide variety of settings. The first was set in England, the second in the US, and the third in the Andes mountain range. The rest of the Horse Guardian series is set in different places all over the world.

Angela's books are the perfect gift for a younger sister, cousin, daughter, niece, neighbour or some random girl you know, whether they love horses or not! (But really, don't all little girls love horses at least a teeeeeeeeny bit?)

They aren't well-known, so you might have a hard time finding them in bookstores, but the are available as ebooks and you can even order signed copies off of her site! How cool is that?

The target audience for these books is kids aged 9-12.

-Rachel

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