Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's topic is:

Top Ten Settings I’d Love to See More of


Hogwarts-- I'm not gonna lie here.  If JK Rowling announced tomorrow that she was going to write more books set at Hogwarts,  I would not need the rest of this list.  Just sayin'.....

Paris-- I love Anna and the French Kiss and Die For Me.  I mean, I was a French teacher for 20 years, so this one goes without saying.  And is there any setting more perfect for a love story?  I didn't think so!
Prague--  I've never been to Prague and never really thought much about it, but it's shown up in 3 different books I've read this year, so I'm intrigued.

Celtic Ireland--I love re-tellings of legend and especially ancient Ireland.  I could never read enough books with this setting.

Celtic Britain -- see above.  I love King Arthur re-tellings.

London-- Meant to Be was one of the best books that I read last year and I loved the setting, so it makes me want some more of London.

The South-- As a Southern girl, I have to say that there are just not enough books set in the South.  Look at what a wonderful setting the deep South was for Beautiful Creatures???
College-- I have recently gotten into some of the "New Adult" books that seem to be getting popular now and it's nice to remember my carefree college days, when no kids were whining at me........::sobs uncontrollably::

Victorian England-- Thank you, Cassandra Clare, for an obsession with this time period!  Maybe it's not Victorian England, maybe it's just Will Herondale.....

The Fairy realm-- I love settings where the world is completely different, yet it runs parallel to our own.

What are your favorite settings?  Like any of mine?  Leave me a comment and let me know!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

I apologize for my lack of posts......

I know that I haven't really posted much of anything since mid-December, but I promise I have a good reason.  I got a new job!  I am now a high school librarian!  (does happy dance and heaves a sigh of relief that all the money paying for a Master's degree was not wasted)

I actually accepted the job on December 20th, so I spent most of Christmas break sorting through all my teacher stuff, boxing it up and figuring out what to do with it.  Now I have started at the library and what a mess!  The shelves were a wreck and nothing was in order and books were turned sideways on the shelf.  The book lover in me almost died when I saw it.  So, in the past 2 1/2 weeks my student assistants, my library assistant and I have RESHELVED EVERY SINGLE BOOK!!!  I have cataloged about 40 different things, cleaned out stuff and all kinds of other things.  I have been staying at work until about 6:00 every day, so when I get home, I'm rushing to get things under control here.

Anyway, things are starting to get under control, so I'm going to try really hard to get back to some regular posting.  If not right away, it will be soon.  So be patient with me while I get settled into my dream job! : )

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bad Boy Rehab Giveaway Hop!

 Bad Boy Rehab Hop

January 10 – January 17, 2013
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and The Book Hookup
We tried giving up Bad Boys for our New Year’s Resolution…..
but try to make me go to rehab and I said no no no.
Bad Boy (n.) person
1. A guy who has many characteristics of a naughty, naughty boy.
2. A heartbreaker with a five o’clock shadow.
3. Independent and willful. Does what he wants when he wants. Never follow trends, they follow him.
4. Someone that’s not looking for trouble, but there’s a serious sense of danger about him.
Usable Note: A bad boy is a gorgeous man with MANY layers and is INSANELY irresistible to women.

And now, here are my.........

Best Bad Boys of 2012

Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster

Kyle Hamilton from V is for Virgin

Lucas from Easy

Daemon Black from Onyx

Connor from Wraith

Ash Fisher from Black City

Jared Lynburn from Unspoken

Blue from Kill Me Softly

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Splintered by A. G. Howard

Book:  Splintered
Author:  A.G. Howard
Publisher:  Amulet Books
Date:  January 15, 2013
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
(cover and description from www.goodreads.com)

Initial reaction
That was brilliant!

Cover story
I love this cover!  I like the title as well.  It’s intriguing and put together with the cover, it makes me want to grab this book and run away!

What’s the story?

This is a re-telling of Alice in Wonderland that was absolutely fabulous.  I loved the way the author played with the story while still paying homage to the original and never losing Carroll’s vision of a bizarre and often scary fantasy world.  This story perfectly complimented the original in a way that I didn’t think would be possible.

I really enjoyed reading Alyssa’s story and seeing her grow into a very independent young woman.  She was very brave and I often felt very sorry for her.  The whole story with her family was just sad.  She was a great character because I felt sympathy for her, but I never felt like she let her situation turn her into a victim.

I loved the way the author recreated the traditional characters from the book.  Her take on the caterpillar was pure brilliance and I can’t believe I never thought of it.  The same was true of the White Rabbit.  She actually took some traditional fairy lore and mixed it into the Wonderland storyline and made it work brilliantly.  It’s sort of like Alice for more grown-up people because of the way it blends this traditional lore into the story and makes it more “realistic” if something totally unrealistic can be thought of as realistic.  I guess the fantasy element became less childish and bit more macabre.

The romance storyline was an interesting addition.  Even though I sort of knew how it would end, it wasn’t a done deal and it was fun to watch it unfold.  There was a quasi-love triangle but it’s really the triangle that never was since one member of the triangle never really had a shot.

I liked Jeb as a character and it was fun to see how he sort of fit in to the Wonderland world without being an actual part of it.  It left me with some questions about his actual background and I wonder if perhaps that might be a story for a later time???  (A.G. Howard, that is a not so subtle hint that I would definitely enjoy another book from this world!) 

This is a stand-alone, so the story ends with the book but there is the possibility that more stories could come from this world, and I like that.  I would read it if there was another book, but one is not necessary to wrap up the story.  So it was a nice change of pace for me.  I suppose it could be like the Lewis Carroll original in more ways than one, with a sequel that doesn’t have to be, right?

Overall, this was a well-planned and well-executed re-telling that was so much more than just a modern re-hash of the original.  There were some very brilliant additions to the storyline and I think Lewis Carroll himself would be pleased with the way this book re-imagined and adapted his story for a modern audience.

The Soundtrack

The Technicolor Phase by Owl City

Painting Flowers by All Time Low

Where’s My Angel by Metro Station

Alice by Sisters of Mercy

Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Muse

Strange and Beautiful (I’ll Put a Spell on You) by Aqualung

The Final Grade
My final grade for this book is an A.  It added some original twists to the traditional tale and kept me glued to the book until I turned the last page.  If you are an Alice in Wonderland fan, you should not miss this one!