Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mind Readers by Lori Brighton

Cameron is a mind reader who has always been forced to hide her powers and her true self from everyone. She meets a boy of whom she is very suspicious, but he shows her that she’s not alone and takes her to a school where she can learn to use her powers to affect the world – just not in the way she’d thought. This is a story of love, deceit, and most of all, choosing between doing what’s right versus what’s safe and comfortable.  
Mind-reading is one of the superpowers that fascinates me most out of all, and the construction of this superpower and the individuals variations that go with it did not disappoint. From the murder in the opening scenes to the escape from prison in the final quarter, I was completely captivated and couldn’t put this book down. That a book where the primary struggle was internal rather than external (until the last fourth) and more about personal growth than fighting an enemy, could feel like it had as much tension and excitement as this one did was a pleasant surprise to me. Coming to terms with having a super-power that mostly feels like a curse is one major thread which is resolved at the end of this book but the vast majority of threads are left hanging. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

To Be Released: April 10, 2012 from Random House

*My Summary*

Nora is translating letters from centuries past which she feels a strange connection to. One night, someone comes for the letters and Nora finds one of her best friends dead, the other catatonic, and her boyfriend gone without a trace. The search for those who took her best friend and boyfriend takes Nora to Prague for a life-and-death struggle involving secret societies warring over a machine that may dominate the world, the missing piece of which may be her blood.

**My Review**

Original but carrying the feeling of being out of genre, the Book of Blood and Shadow is one that will throw seasoned YA readers for a surprise. It was intense and thrilling, unpredictable and unstoppable, but its themes were too dark, events too tragic, and entanglement with religion too sober, making it feel out of place in YA. I loved the characters, which were some of the most complex personalities with the most well-developed relationships I've encountered. The romance between two shy, bookish people who  were slightly awkward, gradually falling in love with each other's imperfections instead of instant attraction to perfection, captivated me. But the ending left me shaken rather than smiling, the tension between the characters left unresolved despite the primary plot coming to a conclusion.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kreative Blogger Award

A big thank-you to Vivi @ Vivaciously, Vivian for my first-ever blog award! After much deliberation and consideration, I’m passing on this award to the following Kreativ Blogs:

1. Thank & link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Answer the five form questions below.
3. Share five random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 7 other blogs for the Kreativ Blogger Award.

Question Time!
1. Favourite Song? Currently, it’s “Hero” by Abandon but it changes with my mood.
2.  Favourite Dessert? Peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream!
3. What ticks you off? First chapters that don’t grab my attention ­čśŤ
4. Biggest Fear? The zombie apocalypse! Lol but I do have an irrational fear of anything dead, such as roadkill, so a zombie invasion would be pretty bad… :X
5. Everyday Attitude? If you want good things to happen to you, make them happen yourself, and be the change that you want to see.
5 Random Facts About Annie
1. My favorite supernatural creatures are faeries, although recently, I’ve also been fascinated with angels and want to go on a mermaid stint too :). 

2. I can say hello in 23 languages :). But I actually only speak three (English, Mandarin, Spanish) and am working on a fourth, Greek. 

3. I pretend to be Hawaiian whenever possible :D. Hawaii is my favorite place in the world and I’ve wanted to live there since I first visited when I was six.

4. I have a large collection of dead ballet shoes (pointe shoes don’t last very long – at 3 months/pair I’m considered lucky) and am in desperate need of decoration ideas. 

5. This may not be as outlandish to some of you as my other random facts, but I have books in all my closets and a kitchen cupboard. If I hadn’t gotten a Kindle last Christmas Plan B was to start clearing out space in a bathroom cupboard. Yes, my books are like trying to kill a hydra – you chop off a head and three grow back, I sell off a book and three more arrive on my doorstep… don’t laugh, some of you can relate better you’re admitting right now ­čśŤ

Thanks for reading my blog, everyone!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Shelf Candy {4}

A Saturday meme from Five Alarm Books Reviews where once a week you do judge the book by its cover.

This week my shelf candy is Burning Bush by Kenya Wright. That’s a gorgeous dress, and the fact that the heroine isn’t freaking out suggests to me that the fire is there by her own will – that it will give her power and the dress is a magic garment that won’t burn (like the burning bush in the Bible, perhaps?). There’s also something very enticing about the way the designing puts the sky on the other side of bars that makes me want to fly out the window and find out what’s beyond those bars, even if all I see from this side is the sky (and a very beautiful sky at that). 
What’s your shelf candy this week?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

In My Mailbox {5}

A meme hosted weekly by Story Siren where every Sunday, we feature books that we have borrowed, purchased, won, or otherwise obtained for our overstuffed (but still hungry for more!) bookshelves. 

From Kindle Prime Library

Mindreading has always been the superpower which most captures my intrigue and desire, and I loved the sample chapters. View at Goodreads

From a giveaway at author’s Twitter page

I was intrigued by worlds with multiple species of supernaturals (I like to watch their interactions) and was drawn by the internal struggle in being forced to perform dark magic and lose her humanity in order to fight for freedom. View at Goodreads

From giveaway at Twitter Q&A with Heather Burch (my transcript of highlights here) 

This is the book was an instant addition to my favorites list and is my choice for what should become the next big thing in YA. So stoked at winning a signed copy! 

Advanced Review Copy

A supernatural romance told from the guy’s point of view is rare and intrigued me, but the internal struggle involved was definitely necessary (I’m not normally a romance buff). What his family does is kill, and he’s supposed to get his mother’s murderer’s sister but falls in love. View at Goodreads

What’s in your mailbox this week?

Other posts you might enjoy…
Halflings by Heather Burch
Q&A with Heather Burch
Anathema by Meg Jensen

Friday, March 2, 2012

Q&A; with Heather Burch, Author of Halflings

Heather’s Interview on Fox 4

Tonight’s Q&A with Heather Burch, the author of Halflings (click for my review), “the next big thing in YA” was held on Twitter, where each utterance must be 140 characters or less. It was a lot of fun, but a hectic mess to try to track down all comments ­čÖé So here’s my incomplete best at trying to capture the big picture of the evening. There were four drawings for books giveaways which were announced every 15 minutes which I didn’t include, except for the last comment with all four winners. Follow @heatherburch on Twitter! (And me! @anniewonderbook)
Heather: HALFLINGS Q&A is about to start! Hit me with the first q.
Annie: Thanks, Heather. What inspired you to write Halflings?
Heather: Halflings was inspired largely by my two sons. Very different. Very Mace and Raven like!!!
Annie: They must be wonderful sons. How much of yourself do you see in Nikki?
Heather: I see quite a bit of myself in Nikki. But she is much stronger. She’s all the things I’d like to be.
Annie: Nikki’s definitely a character we can all look up to.
Ashley: Are you Team Mace or Team Vine?
Heather: Oh MAN! Toughest question ever! I mean ever! Uh, can I say TEAM VINE???
Vivien: What was the last book you read that you loved?
Heather: Hunger Games. Loved loved loved it. Also like Firelight. Great storytellers those two!
Vivien: What authors have inspired you?
Stephen King was one of my first inspirations. Dean Koontz because his writing is amazing and Nicholas Evans. Killer prose!
Chris: Is there a moment of your life that you remember that inspired you?
Heather: Yes. I remember I realized I could finish a book. It was a golden moment for me because I knew if I wrote one, I could do more.
Heather: Remember what Ted Dekker said. If you’re still writing after four or five books. You’re going to sell!
Reuben: How long after finishing Halflings did it take to finish?
Heather: Oh wow. I wrote Halfings in four months, but tweaked for another year! It was a bit of a long process, but it just had to be right.
Denise: How do you celebrate on release day? Or do you just wipe your brow with relief?
Heather: We went out to a really nice dinner. I think I cried somewhere along the way. And yes, I wiped my brow and said, “Whew!”
Ashley: When does the next book come out?
Heather: The next book GUARDIAN releases in September. I’ve seen the cover and I LOVE it. There will be another prequel!
Annie: When will book reviewers be able to put in requests for advanced review copies of Guardian?
Heather: Wow. Not sure! I assume it will be available at NetGalley a month or two before release. ­čÖé
Annie: Can’t wait ­čÖé
Denise: How many books do you envision in the series?
Heather: I see at least 10 books in this series! There are so many Halflings stories in my head!
Annie: Awesome! Do you already know how the last book will end?
Heather: I know it’s hard to believe, but yes, I have that scene in my head. In fact, quite a bit of that book is in my head. ­čÖé
Ashley: Are you planning on a Halflings movie? Or will they stay a book series?
Heather: I’ve signed a shopping agreement with an awesome producer in Hollywood. She’s hoping to put a team together.
Chris: What’s a shopping agreement?
Heather: A shopping agreement gives her the right to attach her production company to the project. Which I love ’cause I know her work.
Annie: What advice would you give to aspiring authors of your genre?
Heather: My advice… Don’t give up! Keep writing! Keep going! Don’t stop and don’t let others discourage you!
Heather: This was fun! Thanks all for participating. And Annie, Vivien, Ashley and Chris…Big congrats on winning a copy of Halfings! DM me your address for the book. ­čÖé 
Heather: Thanks for all the awesome questions. Look forward to more tweeting with you!
by Heather Burch
Also check out The Halflings Network

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Citizens of Wonderland get 25% Off Bookish Gifts

Gone Reading International is a store for book lovers where all profits fund libraries around the world including rural areas that struggle to keep even one library open. Spread the magic of reading with some of their beautiful charm bookmarks, bookish T-shirts, e-reader lamps, and more. Use Code ANNIES25 for 25% off during March 2012, effective on all but bookends. 

Click for list of all reviews

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