Friday, October 29, 2010

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! (47)

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.



(Monster Mash)

Happy (almost) Halloween!!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, October 28, 2010

YA Review: Passing Strange

This is kind of a bonus review, because I'm trying to start doing a review every Monday, but this one seems to fit really well in October. So here it is!

WARNING: This review, maybe even just the summary, WILL contain spoilers for the previous books in this series, Generation Dead and Kiss of Life. I suggest skipping this one if you haven't read Generation Dead and Kiss of Life.

Onto the review:

Passing Strange by Daniel Waters (Generation Dead Book 3)

Published: June 1st, 2010 by Hyperion
Genre: YA science fiction / fantasy
Binding: Paperback (mine's the UK copy - I'll explain the cover thing later)
Page Count: 386
Part of a series? Yeppers.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): Karen DeSonne always passed as a normal (if pale) teenager; with her friends, with her family, and at school. Passing cost her the love of her life. And now that Karen’s dead, she’s still passing—this time, as alive.

Karen DeSonne just happens to be an extremely human-like zombie. Meanwhile, Karen’s dead friends have been fingered in a high-profile murder, causing a new round of antizombie regulations that have forced them into hiding. Karen soon learns that the “murder” that destroyed their non-life was a hoax, staged by Pete Martinsburg and his bioist zealots. Obtaining enough evidence to expose the fraud and prove her friends’ innocence means doing the unthinkable: becoming Pete’s girlfriend. Karen’s only hope is that the enemy never realizes who she really is—because the consequences would be worse than death.

Review: This is my absolute favourite book of the series. When I finished this one, I immediately wanted another one, and not because loose ends or anything, because it felt pretty well wrapped up, but because I fell in love with the characters so much.

And (because I'm skipping right over plot) speaking of...

Characters: So for two books, we've spent most of the time in Phoebe's head. Well, that's over now. Meet Karen DeSonne. Confident, great sense of fashion, gorgeous... zombie. She's telling things now, in a casual, conversational voice that I loved. Being in her head was awesome. And with her thoughts being in 1st person and the rest in 3rd, it wasn't confusing or anything. Karen has always been my favourite character.

While in previous books I had issues with connecting to some of the characters, this one shifted to focus more on the zombies and I really enjoyed that.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: The only I had problems with was that the font in my copy had really, really small print and since I was really, really sick... those things don't mix so well. But that's really not the fault of the author, of course.

PG-13 stuff: Language-wise, this one is pretty clean. I don't remember there being much for swearing at all. But it is a pretty mature subject.

Cover comments: I have the UK cover (seen below) which I really like. I love the covers of the flower and how sharp they are against the black background. But I wanted to use the US cover in my review to make them match. And I also really like it (I firmly believe that's Karen on the cover).

Conclusion: Like I said before, Passing Strange is definitely my favourite of the series and I want another book. Not because there were loose ends because I enjoyed this one so much. Four and a half roses.


UK cover (my cover):


Other notes:

- "My writing looks weird" <-- I blame this on the Nyquil and possible fever.
- Hey, anyone who's read this one. You know Tak? Anyone else think he's kinda hot?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Where My Reviewed Books Come From (2)

Channelling Lenore again! I don't know how many of you will remember the last time I did one of these since it's been a while, but basically I'm sharing where the books I review come from. I'm just going to start where I finished last time (hopefully).

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters - Library
Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters - Library
Passing Strange by Daniel Waters - Review copy
The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer - Library
Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton - Review copy
Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw - Review copy
Drought by Pam Bachorz - Review copy
The Julian Game by Adele Griffin - Review copy
Night Child by Jes Battis - Library
A Flash of Hex by Jes Battis - Bought new
Inhuman Resources by Jes Battis - Library
Always and Forever Friends by C. S. Adler - Bought from a library sale for a quarter
Just One Wish by Janette Rallinson - Won
Paradise County by Karen Robards - Bought from library for a quarter
Coraline by Neil Gaiman - Library
Coraline: Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell - Library
If I Stay by Gayle Forman - Bought new
Where She Went by Gayle Forman - Won
Birthright by Nora Roberts - Bought from library for a quarter
Are You Afraid? by Carla Cassidy - Bought either from a library sale after someone donated a new copy or bought new from my mom's store. I'm not sure, it was my mother's originally.
Making Waves by Tawna Fenske - Library
Future Imperfect by K. Ryer Breese - Library
The Family Greene by Ann Rinaldi - Library
Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell - Library
The Phantom Isles by Stephen Alter - Library
The One Where the Kid Nearly Jumps to His Death and Lands in California by Mary Hershey - Library

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (59)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I've done themed WoW's for 2 weeks now (maybe more, I can't remember), but I don't think this one has a theme... maybe... high school?

Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen - To be released February 17th, 2010

The football field is a battlefield

There’s an extraordinary price for victory at Oregrove High. It is paid on—and off—the football field. And it claims its victims without mercy—including the most innocent bystanders.

When a violent, steroid-infused, ever-escalating prank war has devastating consequences, an unlikely friendship between a talented but emotionally damaged fullback and a promising gymnast might hold the key to a school’s salvation.

Told in alternating voices and with unapologetic truth, Leverage illuminates the fierce loyalty, flawed justice, and hard-won optimism of two young athletes.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: I like reading books told by male narrators. Boys' heads are so weird. I think the cover is really powerful... but ew, veiny. I don't like veins.

So Shelly by Ty Roth - To be released February 8th, 2010

Until now, high school junior, John Keats, has only tiptoed near the edges of the vortex that is schoolmate and literary prodigy, Gordon Byron. That is, until their mutual friend, Shelly, drowns in a sailing accident.

After stealing Shelly's ashes from her wake at Trinity Catholic High School, the boys set a course for the small Lake Erie island where Shelly's body had washed ashore and to where she wished to be returned. It would be one last "so Shelly" romantic quest. At least that's what they think. As they navigate around the obstacles and resist temptations during their odyssey, Keats and Gordon glue together the shattered pieces of Shelly's and their own pasts while attempting to make sense of her tragic and premature end.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: The cover is gorgeous and I think it sounds really, really good. Plus, I like the font on the cover.

Oh! Here's a theme - male authors. That works. :)

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things I Talk About on Twitter (1)

Voodoo dolls. I have at least eight... maybe more in the junk drawer that I just haven't found.

Oh... not that kind of voodoo doll (Ashy). Keychain voodoo dolls!! See:

Aren't they adorable? If you click the picture, it's pretty big. They're from those toonie gumball machines. I think they're totally cute. The one on the top left, the black stripey one with the heart, is on a keychain loop. The others just have the string type attachments.

(What do you think of these new posts? I think this might be fun.)

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, October 25, 2010

YA Review: Kiss of Life

WARNING: This review, even just the summary, WILL contain spoilers for the previous book in this series, Generation Dead. I suggest skipping this one if you haven't read Generation Dead. The summary will pretty much TELL you the end of Generation Dead so don't read it if, again, you haven't read GD. And I'm taking up as much space above the review as possible to give you guys lots and lots and lots of time to stop reading and close the page so you won't be spoiled.

*waits*

*waits*

*waits*

You're not still reading this if you haven't read GD, right? Good. Let's get to the review. :)

Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters (Generation Dead Book 2)

Published: May 12th, 2009 by Hyperion
Genre: YA science fiction / fantasy
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 410 in my copy
Part of a series? Yes, it's the second book, the sequel to Generation Dead.
Amazon link.

Summary (from goodreads): The phenomenon that's been sweeping the country seems to be here to stay. Not only are the teenagers who have come back from their graves still here, but newlydeads are being unearthed all the time. While scientists look for answers and politicians take their stands, the undead population of Oakville have banded together in a group they're calling the Sons of Romero, hoping to find solidarity in segregation.

Phoebe Kendall may be alive, but she feels just as lost and alone as her dead friends. Just when she reconciled herself to having feelings for a zombie - her Homecoming date Tommy Williams - her friend Adam is murdered taking a bullet that was meant for her. Things get even more confusing when Adam comes back from the grave. Now she has romantic interest in two dead boys; one who saved her life, and one she can't seem to live without.


Review: While I had my issues with Generation Dead, the ending had me grabbing the next one right away and I was not disappointed. I really, really enjoyed this one, even more than Generation Dead.

Plot (in my words): *Laina breaks down sobbing.* My head hurts and I'm tired and I don't wanna talk about plot. Another day, okay?

Characters: In Kiss of Life, the alternating viewpoints include Adam's, who is a member of the newlydead. His thoughts, at first, are disjointed, chaotic, sometimes confusing... but fascinating. As much as his thoughts could be hard to read and sometimes hard to follow, I loved reading in his POV. He was just an awesome character.

I still wasn't sure how much I liked Phoebe, though. I feel like I should love her. I mean, she loves music that isn't the Top 40, she dresses awesomely... but something about her just didn't jive with me all the way. It was weird.

As for other characters, I hated Pete. Murdering pig. But I still loved Karen! She has more face time in this one and I loved it. She is my absolutely favourite character in this book, with Adam being my second favourite character.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: Sometimes, the romances didn't seem completely believable and they sometimes confused me, but it's not that big of a deal. The romance isn't really the main plot.

PG-13 stuff: If I remember correctly, there was very little language, just some mature content (you know, because it is a zombie book).

Cover comments: I love this cover (and it was the one I have). Like Generation Dead, the image stretches all the way around to the back cover, and I think the cover is so brightly morbid, you know? Again, I don't much love the UK cover. It's pretty, but it doesn't do the book justice, in my opinion.

Conclusion: I found Kiss of Life to be a great sequel that I liked even better than the first book. It gets a solid four out of five roses from me.


Other notes (keep in mind I was sick):

- "I is sad"
- "And snotty"
- "I feel like a zombie now"
- I had apparently read a bunch of ARC's recently and flipped over the book to look for the publication date (especially looking for the month). Obviously, the paperback I got from the library didn't have one :P
- The book is quite heavy, which I like. Not enough to hurt your hands, but enough to feel like a nice solid read.

Alright, that's everything!

Peace and cookies,
Laina
(Look for my Passing Strange review soon!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! (46)

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.



(I Like To Dance by Hot Chelle Rae.)

I have no idea how I found this song, but I like it! Hope you guys do, too. :)

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New things!!

Okay, so there's some new stuff I can't rememeber if I've told you guys about.

I don't know how many of you know this, but this blog does have a facebook, here. This is the only official one, yada yada. It's not my personal blog so most of the stuff on there is blog stuff (though I do use it to send myself stuff on facebook games.)

Two, I'm writing at The YA Lit Six every Saturday which I talk about on Twitter but I can't remember ever posting about it...

Three, I have a new header!! I put it up yesterday and I quite like it. What do you guys think? Katie made it so go tell her how awesome she is.

She also made me a button! Look:

Photobucket

And by the time this posts, I'll have a widget up in my sidebar so you guys can grab it. Of course, you can just grab the image if you want.

Um... I think that's everything!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (58)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Another themed WoW!! What, you don't believe me? Just watch.

Kindred by Tammar Stein - To be released February 8th, 2011

The first time I meet an angel, it is Raphael and I am eighteen.

Miriam is an unassuming college freshman stuck on campus after her spring break plans fall through. She's not a religious girl--when pressed she admits reluctantly to believing in a higher power. Truth be told, she's about as comfortable speaking about her faith as she is about her love life, which is to say, not at all. And then the archangel Raphael pays Miriam a visit, and she finds herself on a desperate mission to save two of her contemporaries. To top it all off, her twin brother, Mo, has also had a visitation, but from the opposite end of the good-evil spectrum, which leaves Miriam to wonder--has she been blessed and her brother cursed or vice versa? And what is the real purpose behind her mission?

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: I'll admit to not being totally in love with the cover of this. Mostly because I can't help thinking, "How did the shirt go over the wings?" But I think it sounds really, really good.

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford - To be released February 22nd, 2010

Eden didn’t expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.

Yeah.

So long happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.

And that’s only the beginning of the end.

(Summary from goodreads.)


Why I want this: I really, really like this cover. Sharp images with a lot of contrast really appeal to me so I love this one, from the pink in her hair to her pale skin to those cool blue eyes.

(See, they totally match!)

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, October 18, 2010

YA Review: Generation Dead

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

Published: May 6th, 2008 by Hyperion
Genre: YA Science Fiction/ Fantasy / Paranormal
Binding: Hardcover
Page Count: 392 in my copy
Part of a series? Yes, it's part of a trilogy (I believe it's just a trilogy, not a longer series.)
Amazon link.

Summary (from the inside of the cover because the goodreads one isn't very... summary-ish): Phoebe is just your typical goth girl with a crush. He's strong and silent... and dead.

All over the country, a strange phemomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. They are coming back to life, but they are no longer the same. Termed "living impaired" or "differently biotic," they are doing their best to blend into society again.

But the kids at Oakvale High don't want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn't breathing. And there are no laws to protect the differently biotic from people who want them to disappear - for good.

With her pale skin and goth wardrobe, Phoebe Kendall has never run with the popular crowd. But no one can believe it when she falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids: not her best friend, Margi, and especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has realized that his feelings for Phoebe run much deeper than just friendship. He would do anything for her - but what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?

Review: I first heard about Generation Dead in May or June of 2008 when I first started getting into online book stuff and I was really excited about it. Then, of course, I never got around to reading it because I suck at ordering books from the library. That is, until I got an email offering me an oppurtunity to review Passing Strange (the third book in the series) and I got this one from the library. Now, let's move on from the backstory to the actual review.

I found the whole zombie aspect of Generation Dead absolutely fascinating. While the third person narration wasn't as deep as I'm used to (deep third person reads like first person in third person), I adjusted after a chapter or two and by the end of the book, I was hooked. Part of the slow adjustment was that I was sick and on Nyquil, and my attention span was short as heck. And, wow, the ending was incredible.

Plot (in my words): Ah... read the summary. My neck hurts and I'm not thinking too well right now.

Characters: I wasn't sure if I liked Phoebe at first, honestly, or Adam. They're both interesting characters, but because the voice is somewhat removed, it's a bit hard to connect to them. Again, though, sick and Nyquil.

After a while, I grew to love Adam, and thought he was an excellant narrator. Tommy, too, I really liked, because he wasn't your typical hero/hot guy/love interest. And Karen (I totally love Karen). Honestly, the "differently biotic" kids were my favourites. Daniel Waters creates really great characters. I mean, at one point I even sympathized for the antagonist and how often does that happen?

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: Like I said, the voice was a little flat at first and somewhat slow, but I did get really into it by the end of the book, and it wasn't enough to make me stop reading. I just had to adjust.

Cover comments: I love this cover. I love the girl on the cover, I love that the image stretches all the way around the book (see?), I love the font on the cover, and that the colours are a little bit faded. All in all, I just like it. (The UK cover? Not my favourite. I like flowers and all, but I like this cover better.)

Conclusion: While it took me a while to get into, I really enjoyed Generation Dead, and the killer ending made me grab Kiss of Death almost as soon as I finished. Four out of five roses.



Other notes:

- The character Tommy writes a blog in the book called "mysocalledundeath.com" and you can actually read it here (but I wouldn't if you haven't read the books as it could spoil for you).
- The chapter title font (you know, where it says "Chapter One" or whatever) is the same as in Bad Girls Don't Die. I know they're published by the same publisher, but I just thought it was cool.

Okay, that's everything.

Peace and cookies,
Laina
(Look for my review of Passing Strange next Monday!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! (45)

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.



(Bulletproof by LaRoux)

I haven't actually decided if I like this song yet... but it's certainly interesting. You guys should watch the offical video, too, (embedding was disabled) because it's a total trip.

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (57)

Waiting on Wednesday is, of course, brought to us by the lovely Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I have a metal themed WoW!!

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney - To be released February 1st, 2010

Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: I absolutely adore the cover of this. I think it is absolutely gorgeous. It is one of my top ten favourite covers of the year. And the summary sounds incredible. What is she holding, though?? *so intrigued*

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge - To be released February 22nd, 2010

In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft's epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day.

Aoife Grayson's family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different.


(Summary from goodreads.)

Why I want this: This is another one with a GORGEOUS cover. This might just come right after the other one on my top ten cover list. :P And, wow, but it sounds awesome.

Alright, that's everything!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

In Canada, the calendar says that Thanksgiving Day is Monday, but we always celebrated on Sunday. (Plus my mom works Monday.)

So right now I'm totally stuffed with turkey and mashed potatos and stuffing and all those good things :D Waiting for room for pumpkin pie!!

To any of my fellow Canadians: Happy Turkey Day!!

(Free stock image by nongpimmy via FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)


Peace and pumpkin cookies,
Laina

Monday, October 4, 2010

2 Year Blogoversary

So... two years ago today, I made a blogspot account and posted my very first ever post.

It's been a heck of a two years. I've learned so much about blogging, I've read a ton of books and written a fair amount of reviews. I started tweeting, discovered facebook, and made a ton of friends.

I wish I could write some big inspiring post, but I'm not that eloquent, so just... thank you. Thank you guys for putting up with me for two years and helping me grow as a blogger and for reading because if you guys weren't here to read it, well, there wouldn't be much point in writing it.

Thank you and I really hope you'll stick around for another year of this!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Sunday, October 3, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is brought to us by The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea.

Just one book this week! For review:

Arson by Estevan Vega - Paperback... I think paperback and not an ARC. It's out of arm's reach and I don't want to get up, but I would assume paperback.

ARSON GABLE FEELS LIKE A FREAK. HE CAN CREATE FIRE. HE NEVER ASKED FOR IT. HE NEVER WANTED IT. BUT HE CAN'T SHUT IT OFF.

Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl-who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin-moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. Using what he fears the most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy with unimaginable ability, is sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.

(Summary from goodreads.)

This one looks AWESOME and I've heard really good things about it. :)

Okay, that's everything!

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! (44)

Fun Friday: Give Me Something to Sing About! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like or that I want to talk about each week. Thanks as always goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

Here's a song I recently discovered:



All in the Suit That You Wear by Stone Temple Pilots.

What do you guys think?

Peace and cookies,
Laina