Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis

Phoebe Kitanidis
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Release Date: April 17, 2012

When Marshall King and Elyse Alton suddenly wake up tangled in each other's arms with zero memory of how they got there or even who they are, it's the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.Terrified by their amnesia, Marshall and Elyse make a pact to work together to find the answers that could restore their missing memories. As they piece together clues about their lives, they discover that they're in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls. Everyone seems happy there, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town's perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall's mom, not the hidden violence in Elyse's family, not even the day-to-day anguish of being a high schooler.Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marshall and Elyse fall into an intense relationship founded on their mutual quest for truth. But the secrets they're trying to uncover could be the death of this budding love affair—and of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started Glimmer. I hadn't seen much about this book of the author; but I read the summary and knew I had to read it. What I wasn't expecting was Glimmer to be so creepy, and I mean that in the best way possible.

The town of Summer Falls in Colorado is perfect. But this isn't a good perfect; it's too perfect. I loved that this book gave off a Stepford Wives perfect, creepy vibe. It's clear from the beginning—with the way that the people of the town act—that something is really off about this town.

Marshall and Elyse wake up with absolutely no memory of who they are. As they watch how everyone reacts to them and what the townspeople want out of the two, they begin to find out who they were before they woke up. And they (especially Elyse) were very different from who they are now. I grew to really like both of these characters; I loved uncovering their past (even though it wasn't always good) and watching them find out who they really are. They were both strong characters in their own way.

There were many twists and turns in Glimmer. It was a very addicting and very quick read. It kept me flipping through the pages to find out everything. I loved how unique this book was. I haven't read anything like it and I really appreciated that. 

Overall, I was very impressed with Glimmer. It was a very addicting read, filled with just the right amount of mystery, magic, romance, and creepiness. 


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Charming Covers [46]

Charming Covers is a feature here at Book Fanatics where I show off some covers that have recently been revealed/that I've recently found. 
The Originals
The Originals by Cat Patrick 
May 7, 2012

A riveting new story from Cat Patrick, author of Forgotten and Revived.

17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets... until they discovered a shocking family secret. They're actually closer than sisters, they're clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life...

Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she's not a carbon copy of her sisters; she's an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created. 

I have become quite a fan of Cat Patrick. I really enjoyed her first two novels, and I'm excited for this one! It sound just as intriguing and unique as Forgotten and Revived. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: The Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton

The Blood Keeper (The Blood Journals, #2)The Blood Keeper (The Blood Journals #2)
Tessa Gratton
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 28, 2012

For Mab Prowd, the practice of blood magic is as natural as breathing. It's all she's ever known. Growing up on an isolated farm in Kansas with other practitioners may have kept her from making friends her own age, but it has also given her a sense of purpose--she's connected to the land and protective of the magic. And she is able to practice it proudly and happily out in the open with only the crows as her companions. Mab will do anything to keep the ancient practice alive and guard its secrets. But one morning while she is working out a particularly tricky spell she encounters Will, a local boy who is trying to exorcise some mundane personal demons. He experiences Mab's magic in a way his mind cannot comprehend and is all too happy to end their chance meeting. But secrets that were ktp from Mab by the earlier generations of blood magicians have come home to roost. And she and will are drawn back together, time again by this dangerous force looking to break free from the earth and reclaim its own dark power. 
I really enjoyed Blood Magic, and was excited to read its companion novel. Although I didn't enjoy this one as much, I still found myself attached to this world and its quirky characters. 

I've really grown to enjoy this world. It's filled with magic, but not the kind that I'm used to. Although the idea of witches isn't new (they aren't called this in the book, but it's pretty much what they are), Tessa Gratton is able to bring something hauntingly new and mysterious with this world. 

We are introduced to two new characters in this book. There's Will who is looking to follow a different path than his father and brothers have; then there's Mab, who has embraced her magic and abilities, unlike some of the others around her. I can't describe her as anything but quirky. Even though I missed the perspectives of the characters in the last book, they still made an appearance and I was able to enjoy getting to know these two characters. 

For whatever reason, I didn't find myself as addicted to this book like I was the last. I still liked the world and characters, but I just found this book to be--excuse the pun--lacking the magical quality Blood Magic had. 

Overall, I'm looking forward to more of Gratton's work. I've really grown to enjoy this world that she has created. 


Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Special: Favorite Horror Movies

As Halloween approaches, I'd thought it would be fun to write up a post about my favorite horror movies!

I am a scary movie fanatic; I live for them! And despite that I love them and that I've seen so many horror films, I found it really difficult to come up with a list of favorites. I don't know why! But, alas, here it is. 

Now, if you notice, in the title I said "best" horror movies instead of "scariest" or anything of the sort. That's because I don't get scared at scary movies. Disturbed, definitely. Maybe a little creeped out. Scared? Nope. It's probably because I've been watching them for so long. 

So what qualifies as a "good" scary movie if I can't get scared by one? Well, this is hard for me to decide, but I'd say that it's a movie that either I want to watch more than once or that makes me think about it days after I saw it. 

So, I'll stop rambling and give you my list.

1. The Grudge (1 & 2)
These movies will always be one of my favorites because, well, they were the first ones I saw. It was shortly after the second was released and I was about 11 at the time. I've seen these movies so many times and I always return to them. 

2. Shaun of the Dead
I can't have a favorite horror movies list without this one. This movie is absolutely hilarious while also providing few "jump" moments. For whatever reason, I don't really like zombie movies except for comedies (I also love Zombieland). Even if you are not a horror movie fan, you should watch this because it's just a fantastic movie.

Wow, I really like choosing images with something lurking in the background
3. The Strangers
So, yeah, here's a tip: don't watch this movie and then go babysit until five in the morning on Halloween. This is one of those times that I've been freaked out by a scary movie. Anyway, this movie is a terrifying concept because there is a very real possibility that this can happen. I mostly like this movie because of the remember-able moments: The scene pictured above; the, "is Tamara home?" scene; and the "Because you were home scene." If you've seen this movie you'll know what I'm talking about and that these scenes really are creepy. I don't know why but these scenes just really stuck with me. 

4. Vacancy
I honestly don't know why I liked this movie so much. I just remembered that when I finished it the first time I immediately wanted to watch it again. And I did. I've seen this movie several times. Plus it puts a bad taste in your mouth about motels (if there isn't already). 

I purposely stayed away from lurking figures with this one
5. Shutter
Another Japanese remake. This is a movie that the ghost is trying to get revenge and has every right to. One of the only movies that I was actually rooting for the evil being and was happy with the ending. 

6. Reincarnation
I watched this movie years ago when I was about twelve and I honestly don't remember much about it except that it was really creepy. If the Japanese know how to do one thing, it's horror. 

7. Dead Silence
Yay, creepy doll movies! Honestly, is there anything more creepy than dolls? In this instance, no. 

8. The Cabin in the Woods
This is a new release, but I just had to include it. This is a movie that you are either going to love or think is stupid; after much contemplation, I decided I'm part of the former. This movie was not what I was expecting at all and really had me thinking long after I finished it. I've seen this movie called "anti-horror," and that's exactly what it is; it's actually a parallel to the horror genre itself. This movie delivers creepy moments along with comic relief. All I can say is if you are going to watch this movie, go in with absolutely no expectations because this movie is not what you think it is. 

Do you like horror movies?
What are some of your favorites?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Charming Covers [45]: Just One Day

Charming Covers is a feature here at Book Fanatics where I show off some covers that have recently been revealed/that I've recently found. 
Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
January 8, 2013

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay
When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

I love Gayle Forman, and I'm so excited to read this one!
I like this cover; I just find it more sophisticated and different than other covers now and days. Plus, just from the description, it sounds like the cover really captures the book!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: Diva by Jillian Larkin

Diva (Flappers, #3)Diva (Flappers #3)
Jillian Larkin
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 10, 2012

Parties, bad boys, speakeasies--life in Manhattan has become a woozy blur for Clara Knowles. If Marcus Eastman truly loved her, how could he have fallen for another girl so quickly? Their romance mustn't have been as magical as Clara though. And if she has to be unhappy, she's going to drag everyone else down to the depths of despair right along with her.
Being a Barnard girl is the stuff of Lorraine Dyer's dreams. Finding out that Marcus is marrying a gold digger who may or may not be named Anastasia? a nightmare. The old Lorraine would have sat by and let the chips fall where they may, but she's grown up a lot these past few months. She can't bear to see Marcus lose a chance for true love. But will anyone listen to her?
Now that the charges against her have been dropped, Gloria Carmody is spending the last dizzying days of summer on Long Island, yachting on the sound and palling around with socialites at Forrest Hamilton's swanky villa. Beneath her smile, though, Gloria's keeping a secret. On that chould have deadly consequences...
The Flappers is a really fun series, and Diva was no different. Diva offered a perfect conclusion to this series. 

Ever since the first book, Gloria was been my favorite character out of the three girls. Out of the three of them, she is the most down to earth. I've always rooted for her and have just wanted her (and Jerome) to end up happy. 

I think I grew to like Clara more in this novel. She is still shallow and selfish, as is Lorraine, but she grew more in this book. Even though I never particularly liked Clara and Lorraine and found it hard to relate to, they were still really interesting characters to read about and I was always wanting to know what mischief they were up to. 

Diva is a really quick read. It's easy to read, and all of the drama will keep the reader turning the pages.

Jillian Larkin's writing isn't particularly complex, but she can really capture the feel of the time period and the lives of these girls.

Overall, I didn't enjoy this novel as much as the first two, but it was still a good end to this series.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Kick Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. For more information or to participate, visit here. 

This week's topic (if you couldn't read the title) is Kick-ass heroines. Now, a couple of months ago, I actually did this post. But, I thought, I could reiterate it.

  1. Tris from Divergent by Veronica Roth
  2. Yelena from Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder-I love her and love this series!
  3. Rose from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead-I forgot to include her in my list last time and had to add her this go around!
  4. Katsa from Garceling by Kristin Cashore-Honestly, I think she's the ultimate Kick-ass heroine. That, more or less, is her grace, after all. 
  5. Riley from The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver- Riley goes through so much in this series! And through it all, she's always strong. 
  6. Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore-I couldn't have Katsa on this list without Fire. 
  7. Ellie from Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton- She is by far my favorite heroine out there!
  8. Jacinda from Firelight by Sophie Jordan- Who doesn't love dragons?
  9. Chloe from The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong- This girl knows how to kick some supernatural butt!
  10. Katy from Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout- She's on this list because of her sass alone!
Whose on your list?


Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

In HonorIn Honor
Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 8, 2012

Honor receives her brother's last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn's celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her.
Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn's last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn's best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn't seen him in ages, thanks  to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn...and ruggedly good-looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn't. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn--but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences? 
Before I started reading this book I had no doubt that I would love it. First, because, of course, it features a road trip! Second, I really enjoyed Jessi Kirby's first novel. And third, because the summary had me hooked. 

Even though Honor could be selfish and callow at times, I still really liked her. She loved her brother whole-heatedly and I loved how loyal she was to him. She had a lot of growing up to do, and she did along this road trip. 

What I wasn't expecting was this book being so humorous. Although it had plenty of tear-jerking moments, but it was actually pretty funny. There was a perfect balance of laugh and tears in this novel. 

My only issue with this novel is the ending. Although I liked it in a way, I wanted more. The book was so short and I was so attached to the characters, I just wanted to find out more about how they ended up. So, the novel looses points with me for that. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It could have been one of my favorites of the year, but, unfortunately, because of the ending, I didn't completely love it. I will, however, be looking forward to more of Jessi Kirby's works, though. 


Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

What Happens NextWhat Happens Next
Colleen Clayton
Publisher: Poppy (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Release Date: October 9, 2012

How can you talk about something you can't remember?
Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy "Sid" Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still...), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she's thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid--including a lock of her perfect red curls--and she can't remember any of it.
Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey "The Living Stoner" Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect...or so she thinks.
Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton's stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.
What Happens Next surprised me; I liked it better than I thought I would when I started it and found that this novel wasn't what I thought it would be. 

Sid had a long way to go from the beginning. At first, she was very shallow and naive. And though I couldn't ever completely relate to her (due mostly to her personality), I still enjoyed watching her story unfold and was hoping for her to heal. 

Despite the subject matter, What Happens Next isn't incredibly hard to read or heartbreaking like I thought it might be. I mean, it was still sad and a terrible situation, but I never found it hard to read or get through. In fact, I found it hard to put the book down. 

Colleen Clayton was able to write this novel in a witty manner. This is part of the reason this book wasn't absolutely heart breaking or very difficult to read. What Happens Next was, at some parts, humorous. Not in a laugh out loud manner, but in a more subdued way, which I appreciated. 

Overall, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed What Happens Next. I liked the story and, for the most part, the characters. I'm looking forward to more of Colleen Clayton. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)The Diviners (The Diviners #1)
Libba Bray
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 18, 2012t

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."
When a rach of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

I was so excited when I saw that Libba Bray was returning to her historical fictions. I loved The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, and I was really excited for The Diviners. 

The Diviners features a very entertaining cast of characters. From Evie to Uncle Will to Mabel, I enjoyed their stories. 

It took a while for me to warm up to Evie. She was really childish and quite selfish in the beginning. Although, she was a really entertaining character. She had to learn a few lessons. By the end she grew up a little and I liked her more. 

Memphis was my favorite character. He was a super sweet guy. I loved how he cared for and loved his little brother. And Theta. She had a hard past but I really liked her. 

It doesn't take much to realize that this book was long. Very long and a bit intimidating. I really enjoyed this novel, but at times it had a hard time keeping my attention. However, this book was filled with many twists. There were many times that the mystery kept me guessing!

I must contemplate Libba Bray's writing. She sure knows how to capture the essence of the era. 

Did I like this book as much as A Great and Terrible Beauty? No, but I could like the next few books just as much!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

24 Hour Read-a-thon: End of Event Survey

So, yesterday I participated in Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. Overall, it was pretty successful for me. 

Books read:
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Total pages read: 1,263

I would have liked to fit one more book in, but 4 isn't bad for a day's work. 

Which hour was most daunting for you?- Probably the last hour (for me), when I decided to go to bed.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?- Ummm... Well, it depends on what interests you have, but I'd have to recommend Graceling for something like this--it's a little longer but very addicting. 
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?- Honestly, no. I didn't do much blogging during because I know that if I started, I would spend most my time online rather than reading.
What do you think worked really well in this year's Read-a-thon?- Well, I liked the videos on the hourly updates on the blog. They made for nice breaks. 
How many books did you read?- Four. 
What were the names of the books you read?-See above. I'm too lazy to type them again. 
Which book did you enjoy most?- In Honor
Which book did you enjoy least?- Unspoken
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year's Cheerleaders?- I wasn't a cheerleader.
How likely are yo to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?- Pretty likely. It was fun and I got a fair amount of reading done. I would like to be a cheerleader  but I'll probably be a reader again since I always need an excuse to read more and put a dent in my TBR pile. Maybe if I don't have time to read for 24 Hours I'll be a cheerleader. 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Update

Despite the late start that I got, I'm actually doing pretty well. 
Books I've read:
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Total pages read: 684

I've only read two books, but like I said, I got a late start. Hopefully I'll catch up!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon: Reading List

lg new readathonbutton border

So, tomorrow, I will be participating in the 24-Hour Read-a-thon. I believe that this is the first 24-hour read-a-thon that I've really committed myself to, and I'm really excited. 

Here is a list of books that I'm going to try to read:
  1. What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton*
  2. Inbetween by Tara Fuller*
  3. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
  4. From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas
  5. In Honor by Jessi Kirby
  6. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
  7. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan*
  8. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  9. Because it is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin
  10. Tempest by Julie Cross
  11. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
So, that's quite a lot of books. Now, understand that I'm not going to try to read ALL of them, but I am going to try to limit myself to this list. 

*I am definitely going to read these

So, I'm actually pretty excited for this. Is anyone else participating? Let me know!