Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
We learn in the prologue that Justo, once the town’s most celebrated citizens, is one armed and miserable two years after the bombing. This has the effect of giving the subsequent narrative a strong sense of foreboding, something I did not like. As the early section speeds through Justo’s youth, marriage, the birth and maturation of his daughter Miren and the birth of his granddaughter, giving us lovely vignettes of their strong bonds to family and country, I could not help but think of the prologue and what must happen to Justo’s family for him to be so alone.
After the inevitable happens on April 26, 1937, the novel shifts focus slightly to include a British couple who help displaced Basque children and a group of people who smuggle goods and people from Nazi occupied France into Spain.
Justo, Miren, and a blind girl named Alaia whom Miren befriends are standout characters here and it’s alone worth reading the novel just to spend time with them. Though I was really ready to chuck the book at a wall after the bombing, I am glad I stuck with it to the end (which was satisfying despite being obvious to me and based on a huge coincidence).
Guernica is now out in hardcover. This is my second (and last) review that qualifies for the LT Author Challenge hosted by Dawn at She’s Too Fond of Books.
Friday, November 28, 2008
YAY - I have another surprise addition to my November Book Blowout giveaway series. Penguin is donating a whole box of YA books (at least 6) to one lucky reader in the US or Canada. All books in the prize pack are from 2008.
All you have to do to win is leave a comment by December 5th saying which Penguin title you most want to read (and choose carefully, because that title might just end up in your prize pack if you're chosen by the powers that be at random.org). Gain a second entry by posting the contest on your blog.
Not sure which YA titles have been released this year by one of Penguin's many imprints? Well, I'm not going to list ALL of them here, but here are some I've reviewed (with links to my reviews to help you decide) and some I myself want to read:
The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman
Chalice by Robin McKinley
Paper Towns by John Green
Storm: The Ghost Machine by EL Young (scroll down linked page for review)
Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber
Death by Latte by Linda Gerber
Violet by Design and Violet in Private by Melissa Walker
Oh.My.Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
Specialists: The Winning Element by Shannon Greenland
Specialists: Native Tongue by Shannon Greenland
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Gehrman
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner
My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (fan girly review at Reviewer X)
Looks by Madeleine George (awesome review at Teen Book Review)
Eon: Dragon Reborn by Alison Goodman (thoughtful review at Oops...Wrong Cookie)
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (frank review at Bookshelves of Doom)
Peeled by Joan Bauer (nice review at Reviewer X)
Frostbite, A Vampire Academy Novel by Richelle Mead (gushing review at The Story Siren)
Savvy by Ingrid Law (refreshing review at The Well Read Child)
Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee (tasty review at Abby Librarian)
Frozen Fire by Tim Bowler (gripping review at Reading Mania/Elaina Reads)
La Petite Four by Regina Scott (fun review at Once Upon a Bookshelf)
You can of course also choose one I did not mention here and good luck!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
So where to start? I love the premise here and the whole twist on the zombie idea, that there is a secret society whose purpose it is to take messages from the dead who are unsettled enough about some aspect of their deaths to crawl out their graves (one pervy guy just wanted to see a girl naked before he went to his eternal slumber). Author Stacey Jay gets points for creating a pretty plausible paranormal/real world co-existence.
If you asked me what genre this was, I wouldn’t really know what to say. The inclusion of zombies makes it paranormal, but it is not scary. Megan goes on dates with “hot” guys, but it’s not romantic. No one knows who the black magic villain is, but it’s not mysterious (and I figured out one of the “baddies” early on even though this person’s motive is out of left field and their m.o. highly dubious). There is a lot of kicking zombie butt, but I wouldn’t classify it as action. And both Megan and the story are way too shallow for it to be a drama. It’s kind of like the author tried to make it everything, but nothing really stuck.
I wouldn’t have really minded the uneven narrative if Megan had been a stronger character. She is said to possess the most impressive settler power in 70 years, but she spends most of her time rhapsodizing about how “hot” all the “hot” guys in her life are. (Granted, you’d find a lot of that if you read my diary from my sophomore year of high school, but fortunately you never will.)
Still, I liked the world creation so much that I would definitely be interested in reading the planned sequel Undead Much! I can only hope Megan will have grown out of her semi-grating boy crazy phase by then.
Want a second opinion? Hillary of The Book Reader also read it recently and loved it saying it was one of the best books she’s read in months.
So if you think this is something you’d like to read (despite my reservations), and you want to read it before its January 22nd release date, leave a comment telling me if you are on team zombie or team unicorn by Dec. 5th. I’ll announce the winner of my one advanced copy the next day.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Alea of Pop Culture Junkie
Steph of Reviewer X
Lauren of Shooting Stars Mag
Beth Kephart author of House of Dance, Undercover and Nothing but Ghosts
My aunt Linda of Linda's Sunflower (yes, she is really my aunt)
Jen (aka Ladytink)
Steve of The Zombie Chronicles
Susane Helene Gottfried of West of Mars - Win a Book
Dar of Peeking Between the Pages
Jeane of Dog Ear Diary
Khyrinthia of Frenetic Reader
PJ Hoover author of The Emerald Tablet
Joanne of Book Zombie
Lisa of Minds alive of the shelves
Anna of Diary of an Eccentric
Dawn of She's Too Fond of Books
Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit
Alyce of At Home with Books
Gabbi of All Five Stars
Cathy of Kittling: Books
Kathy of Oklahoma Booklady
Sandra of Fresh Ink Books
Andi of Tripping Toward Lucidity Estella's Revenge
Melissa Walker author of the Violet series
Ali of Worducopia
Michele of Michele only one L
Just Blinded Book Reviews
caite of A lovely shore breeze
Amy of My Friend Amy
Keri Mikulski author of Screwball
Marie of The Boston Bibliophile and host of TuesdayThingers
Luanne of A Bookworm's World
Kristi of The Story Siren
Shana of Literarily
Lisa of Books and Cooks
Wendi of Wendi's Book Corner
Kirsten of We Be Reading
Wendy of Literary Feline/Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Meghan of Medieval Bookworm
AS King author of The Dust of 100 Dogs
Rebecca aka The Book Lady
Margaret of BooksPlease
Icedream of Reading in Appalachia
Traci of Traci's Book Bag
Melissa of Shh...I'm Reading
Nadine (aka TruBlu93) of Starry Night
Alexa Young author of Frenemies
AC of A Novel Idea
Confessions of a Bibliovore
Julie of Booking Mama
Aerin of In Search of Giants
The Book Muncher
Bethany of B&b ex libris
Yvonne of Socrates Book Reviews
Stacey of Book:Thirty
Stephanie's Written World
Rol of Sunset over Slawit
Amanda of That Teen Can Blog!
The Book Spot
Jena of Muse Books Reviews
Sarahbear9789 of Sarah's random musings
Liviania of In Bed with Books
Taren of The Chick Manifesto
Carol of Bookluver-Carol Reviews
simply_megan of Simply Books
Hope of Hope's Bookshelf
The Bookworm of Au Courant
Julie of Julie's Jewels
mari of Mari Reads.
Mrs. Yingling of Mrs. Yingling Reads
Em of Em's Bookshelf
Janette Rallison author of Just one Wish and My Fair Godmother
Tracy of Bookroomreviews
Natasha of Maw Books Blog
Trish of Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?
Fyrefly's Book Blog
Lana of A Hoyden's Look at Literature
Jill of Breaking the Spine and founder of Waiting on Wednesday
Emily of That One Girl Emily
katayoun of Katayoun Massoudi
Violet of Violet Crush
Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog
Tower of Books
Charlotte of Charlotte's Library
Thank you :)
Friday, November 21, 2008
Up-and-coming Argentinean illustrator Montenegro has painted some wonderfully strange compositions to accompany the text of Genesis including the creation story, the fall of man, the flood, the tower of Babel, Lot, and the patriarchs. The style brings a distinctly modern twist to the ancient stories, and it’s something I can get lost in for hours.
A Smile in the Mind by Beryl McAlhone & David Stuart
This book is all about witty thinking in graphic design and I often open its pages to get inspiration or just for fun. There are too many favorites for me to list here, but I’ll point out just one: have you ever taken a really close look at the FedEx logo to see the designer’s hidden bonus? Genius!
Lovemarks by Kevin Roberts
This sensational book about brands that connect so powerfully with consumers that they become lovemarks is written by the CEO of advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi. He talks about brands that inspire loyalty beyond reason – everything from IKEA, to Apple, to Where the Wild Things Are - and the reasons that they do. Very enlightening and enjoyable reading.
I love the “Art of” Pixar movies series from Chronicle Books where you get to see conceptual art and the illustration development process of making a film. In the Incredibles installment you learn tidbits like Edna Mode (the superhero costume designer) was originally supposed to be this imposing, sexy woman, and how it was she came to be only 3 ft tall.
Jim Henson’s Designs & Doodles: A Muppet Sketchbook by Alison Inches
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I enjoyed reading about Anna’s outrageous experiences at school and with the students she taught and tutored – and after seeing episodes of shows like “My sweet 16” I can believe that stuff like kids having Kanye West perform at their “faux mitzvah” really does happen. What struck me while reading was Anna’s singular focus. She does have a couple of friends and her family, but she doesn’t have a boyfriend and never mentions a romantic interest in anyone throughout the whole book – teaching is really her whole life.
The only thing that detracted from this fun novel for me was the way Manhattan tutoring was depicted as all or nothing. Characters were all in and blissfully non-caring about helping students cheat or they were totally against it and despised those who did it. What’s wrong with actually tutoring those who are doing their own work and just want an extra edge? And if you get $250 an hour for it to augment your sad teacher paycheck, all the better.
Schooled is out now in hardcover. I’m giving away my copy (ARC) as part of my November Book Blowout. So if you want it, tell me why you’d like to read it in the comments before November 25th at 9 pm CST. Open internationally.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Here's the description from the catalogue:
Torn from her native New York City and dumped in the land of cookie-cutter preps, Candice is resigned to accept her posh, dull fate. Nothing ever happens in Swoon, Connecticut...until Dice's perfect, privileged cousin Penelope nearly dies in a fall from an old tree, and her spirit intertwines with that of a ghost. His name? Sinclair Youngblood Powers. His mission? Revenge. And while Pen is oblivious to the possession, Dice is all too aware of Sin. She's intensely drawn to him—but not at all crazy about the havoc he's wreaking. Determined to exorcise the demon, Dice accidentally sets Sin loose, gives him flesh, makes him formidable. Now she must destroy an even more potent—and irresistible—adversary, before the whole town succumbs to Sin's will. Only trouble is, she's in love with him.
And a short excerpt:
"Love at first sight must be glorious. I wouldn’t know, since
at first there was no sight. There was smell, the salty scent
of horses. Plenty of other sensations, too. But I’ll get to that.
The point I want to make up front is that by the time I
finally laid eyes on Sinclair Youngblood Powers—in the
flesh, that is—I was already in love with him. Nothing could
change that. Not even the fact that he was dead."
I'm prepared to swoon - how about you? Coming May 2009.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
2.Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
3. Nation by Terry Pratchett
5.Anathem by Neal Stephenson
6. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
7.The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
8.The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski
9.Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland
10.Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) by Stephenie Meyer
Monday, November 17, 2008
Before you dismiss this as yet another novel preaching the old mantra of loving yourself the way you are – too thin, too fat, too whatever – consider that Riley is one of the coolest characters I’ve come across in YA lit AND she has a romance at camp (with the headmistress’ son Eric no less) that is so authentically sweet it made me positively giddy (and trust me, that doesn’t happen often).
Riley is a bit self-involved and queen bee bitchy at the start of the novel and her Manhattan frenemies are varying degrees of annoying, but while camp may or may not slim her waistline, it certainly does give her time to develop real relationships with her mousy roommate Samantha and the aforementioned Eric as well as a big heart.
Not only did I have fun reading this book, I had a big old goofy smile on my face at the end. Go Riley!
This Book isn’t Fat, It’s Fabulous is out now in hardcover.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
This installment of the beautiful Americans story covers the ups and downs of their first semester at the school and is told from four very contrasting points of view. Having been an exchange student myself, I found their lives abroad pretty engaging and even tame compared to the exchange years I experienced. Yes, there is a lot of seduction, getting drunk, and acting out – that is what happens when a bunch of 16 year olds are on their own in a foreign country for the first time.
That said, there were a couple of things that bothered me, and they mainly had to do with the character of Alex. She was quite simply a royal pain in the rear end. Competitive, catty, and completely unrepentant of her increasingly bad behavior, Alex is the type that would have been sent home in the second week in any real exchange program. I mean, are we really expected to believe that she would get away with walking out on a two thousand Euro restaurant check? No way.
The teens portrayed in Beautiful Americans are certainly more glamorous than most of the ones in any of my programs, but they face the same kind of challenges – trying to get along with host families, making new friends in an unfamiliar environment, falling for exotic foreigners and consequently falling out of love with long term honeys back home, and hoping to avoid the dreaded letter bomb (an e-mail from home with bad news).
Look for this in January and the sequel in Fall 2009. Cannot wait that long? Well, I have two copies to give away. One I will give to the first person who claims it in the comments and the other I will randomly give to one other person who comments on this post by November 25th. This one is open internationally.
NOTE: Only those who have never previously claimed a prize this month are eligible for the instant win.
Friday, November 14, 2008
The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland - I’ve read most of Coupland’s novels and his newest about two misfit Staples employees who write each other in diary entries but don’t acknowledge each other otherwise sounds great.
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks – I’ve seen great reviews of this novel, about a English village struck by plague, on several book blogs this year including this one from Lisa at Books on the Brain and this one from Jen at Devourer of Books.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – I’ve seen blogger love for this all over – the peer pressure to read it is killing me ;)
The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson – Alternate history Scotland with mediums and murder? This was my first request of the Harperteen First Look program, but I didn’t get it. And I still want it. Khyrinthia's review at The Frenetic Reader makes me want it even more.
Undercover by Beth Kephart – Liviania of In Bed with Books describes it (here) as a poetic slice of life story populated with characters she could see herself knowing. Carolina of Bookluver Carol says (here) it is “beautifully written and so descriptive that you can see the book in your head like a movie”. I NEED to read this one!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This novel is billed as a thriller – and there is a murder mystery involved – but it’s also a love story and a great character study of a woman who suddenly really becomes what she always pretended to be. I really enjoyed reading about Marina and her journey of self discovery and empathized with her having to deal with all her annoying and self absorbed clients (whose travails could have been cut down a bit as I felt they were the weakest link here). The author relies a bit too much on showing us the thoughts of the characters when we could get the same information with a bit of action or dialogue, but that is a small quibble. The murder mystery is well done – pretty much everyone is suspect – and the quick paced plot keeps you turning the pages.
The Grift is out in hardcover now.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Want a copy? The first person to comment here claiming a book is an instant winner! The other 4 copies will be distributed at random between those who comment on this post. I'll award 1 extra entry to anyone who comments on my review of the novel, and 2 extra entries to anyone who posts about the contest on their blog (sidebar is fine). Let's keep the contest open for two weeks so you have until Tuesday November 25th (9 pm CST) to enter.
I have a couple more surprise giveaway additions coming up and instant win chances so it pays to be follower or to add me to your reader. Plus see what other books I am definitely giving away here.
UPDATE: Well, that didn't take very long! Yan is confirmed as the instant winner of Audrey, Wait! Congrats! And good luck to everyone else - better suck up to Random.org :)
Monday, November 10, 2008
I loved this book just about as much as Trish at Hey Lady Whatcha Readin' did (she gave it 100/100 – her highest rating ever) - it’s just amazing. Cassie was one of my favorite aspects of In the Woods so I was thrilled to get a whole book from her perspective. She’s had some psychology training and she’s somewhat of a natural criminal profiler so her insights are always sharp and fascinating. And it’s a good thing too – Lexie’s circle is very enigmatic, from their insistence on not talking about their pasts to their complete trust in ringleader and house inheritor Daniel.
The scenes are so well written that they take on that rare cinematic quality where you almost feel like you are living the book. Here’s an example, when after poring over the details of Lexie’s life, Cassie finally goes in:
“It took my breath away, that evening. If you’ve ever dreamed that you walked into your best-loved book or film or TV program, then maybe you’ve got some idea how it felt: things coming alive around you, strange and new and utterly familiar at the same time; the catch in your heartbeat as you move through the rooms that had such a vivid untouchable life in your mind, as your feet actually touch the carpet, as you breathe the air; the odd, secret glow of warmth as these people you’ve been watching for so long, from so far away, open their circle and sweep you into it.”
I was swept into this novel and I hope you will be too.
The two winners of signed copies of Thanks for the Memories are WordLily (confirmed) and Janie (confirmed).
The winner of Death by Bikini is Cynthia of Springmott Cottage (confirmed).
Thank you to everyone for entering - the response was HUGE! Remember more giveaways are coming up this month so there are more chances to win. See what other books I'm giving away here and keep checking back to see when the contests go live.
I am also excited that I won something this week: You Suck by Christopher Moore in audio book format from Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit. Thanks so much Serena - you ROCK!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I really liked the premise of this dystopia because the societal ills stem not from your usual far right nightmares, but from a militant form of tree hugging. Not that I’m not all for preserving our environment, but this novel asks at what cost? And the answers are chilling.
Author Allegra Goodman spends a large part of the narrative on world creation and does it fantastically well. I loved how she took well known speeches from our world such as The Lord’s Prayer and The Pledge of Allegiance and twisted them into Earth Mother propaganda. Even classic literature like the Wizard of Oz has been edited to fit Earth Mother’s agenda of predictability. The resulting society is scary and powerful enough that its’ agents are pretty much everyone – individual villains are quite beside the point.
Against this background Honor is realistically conflicted – she wants badly to fit in and for her parents to fit in, but she doesn’t want them to be taken or harmed. When the inevitable happens though, Honor wakes from her Earth Mother induced coma and comes out kicking for an edge of your seat climax and resolution not to be missed.
The Other Side of the Island is out now. Thanks to JL for her extreme generosity!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I was blown away by this book, pure and simple. Debut Author Lisa Levchuk manages to capture perfectly the feeling of being a teen that has a mother with cancer (and I should know). Edna’s voice is so raw and honest while still managing to be witty and endearing. You want to give her a hug at the same time you want to shake her and make her come to her senses.
The narrative tension is two-fold: Will she overcome her fear and visit her mother and will she and her teacher get caught? The novel is rich, deep, and ripe for discussion – from the characters relationships with one another (not just Edna’s relationship with her teacher but also with her distant father), to the pressures of small town life and the importance of music and art.
I found it absolutely beautiful. And I was lucky enough to get an interview with the author herself. So read on (no spoilers)...
This is your first book. Can you tell us a bit about the origin of the idea for the novel and your road to publication?
Everything Beautiful in the World began as a short story. I started writing it when I was in graduate school. At the time, my thesis advisor suggested that it might really be a novel. I had that idea in the back of my mind for quite some time before I sat down and wrote the book. It took many years and many false starts before I felt it was finished. The road to publication was quicker than the road to finishing the book.
Why did you set the novel in the early 1980’s instead of today?
Today’s world seems much more complicated to me, especially in terms of communication. I felt the story needed to take place in a time before cell phones and Facebook. I’m not sure I could see Edna using technology the way kids do today.
Music is discussed by the characters quite a bit in the novel. What was on your playlist while you wrote?
I have quite a bit of music on my playlist, but the albums that most inspired me to write were Cat Stevens’ Mona Bone Jackson , Outlandos D’Amour by The Police and Greetings from Asbury Park by Springsteen.
As a Young Adult novelist, do you read a lot of other YA novels? Which are your favorites?
I teach high school English and spend a great deal of time rereading classics. My favorite books about young adults are Jane Eyre and The Catcher in the Rye. I’m not sure if it’s a young adult book, but I recently read I book I liked very much by a writer named David Mitchell. It was about a teenage boy and it was titled Black Swan Green.
Ooh! I even reviewed that one on my blog. So tell us, do you have any other literary projects in the works?
Yes. I’m working on another book.
Great! Looking forward. Thanks for stopping by!
Everything Beautiful in the World is out in hardcover now. What are you waiting for? Go get it!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.
4. Put the artist after a dash following the song name.
5. Put any comments in brackets.
6. Tag some lucky people to spread the disease.
How would you describe yourself?
Karma Police - Radiohead [Hardly.]
How do you feel today? Whole Lotta Trouble - Cracker
What is your life’s purpose? Take me to Riot--Stars [Ha Ha!]
What is your motto? Swing, Swing - The All American Rejects
What do you think about very often? What's a Girl to do? - Bat for Lashes
What is your life story? Pace is the Trick - Interpol [So true]
What do you want to be when you grow up? Baker, Baker - Tori Amos [I do bake some excellent chocolate chip cookies]
What will you dance to at your wedding? So Pure - Alanis Morrisette [I don't think this was on our playlist at our wedding, but it's not a bad choice]
What will they play at your funeral? You'll Never Walk Again - Gene [Umm.. no kidding!]
What is your hobby/interest? The Mummer's Dance - Lorena McKennitt
If you could do anything right now, what would it be? Red Rubber Ball - Cyrkle [Ok, that doesn't make much sense]
What do you want most of all? Fly Away - Poe
What is your greatest fear? The World Has Turned and Left Me Here - Weezer [Wow, that's pretty accurate]
What is your darkest secret? Middle Distance Runner - Seawolf [That's right, I secretly run all the time - be afraid, be very afraid!]
What is your favorite thing in the world? Skankill Butchers - The Decemberists [Not!]
If you could have one wish, what would you wish for? Supergirl - Reamon
What is your theme song? Goodnight and Go - Imogen Heap
The next time you hear this song (aside from now, that is), you must dance. Sink to the Bottom - Fountains of Wayne [Can I just tap my toe instead?]
What will you post this as? Highwayman - Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash
Linda aka my aunt (because she loves things like this)
Steph aka Reviewer X of awesomeness (because I want her to stop NaNo-ing)
Amy aka mega creative author of Dust of 100 Dogs (because I am very interested in what she has on her iTunes)
and anyone else who wants to!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I own three copies of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold. One is the Spanish language version which is still in storage in my father's garage so I can't say what edition it is. The second copy (Ballantine Mass Market Paperback 1984) I got in college from a used book store and the third copy (Penguin Trade Paperback 2007) I bought for Daniel to read not realizing I had the second copy...oops! Daniel seems to be finding a bit difficult (he's still on page 14) so maybe we'll be getting a fourth copy - in German.
Daniel has a beat up old copy of Tomi Ungerer's Die Drei Raueber (The Three Robbers) from his childhood and at the Frankfurt book fair I saw that Phaidon is doing a reprint English language version coming out in February 2009. I will definitely be getting this as Ungerer is awesome.
EDITED TO ADD: It seems I also have three copies of The Little Prince. One in French and two in German (I had one and Daniel had one). None in English though. And I also have a couple of language versions of Beauty and the Beast (Disney) including Danish, French, and English AND a couple of The Very Hungry Catepillar including Japanese, German and English.
Today we have a blast from the past - a picture of Emmy at 7 weeks old with her mother. Her mother is lilac point, but otherwise they look very similar! And Emmy still loves to do poses like this.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Considering a part of him flows through her veins, Joyce becomes justifiably obsessed with finding Justin. And after a couple of chance encounters between the two strangers, Justin becomes obsessed with finding Joyce, not knowing she’s the one who received his blood. As per typical chick-lit convention, the two are kept apart as long as possible, with lots of screwball scenes (the one where Joyce and her father are on Antiques Roadshow in London being my favorite) and random obstacles to overcome.
Apart from the main plot, the novel also has a deeper side. Both Justin and Joyce are separated and are ready for but also wary of new romantic relationships. Joyce has suffered a devastating miscarriage and is still not over the death of her mother 10 years before. Much of the narrative explores her complex relationship with her elderly father and how they depend on each other despite their differences. Aherns ruminates on the passage of time and making the most of life.
If you’d like a chance to read this book before it’s out in the states (it is already out in the UK and Canada), comment on this post and you could win one of two SIGNED paperbacks. Anyone worldwide can enter, but please indicate International in your comment if you aren’t in the US or Canada. Extra entries will be given to anyone who comments on any of my posts this week, including my review of Moonstone from yesterday. And remember, PLEASE leave a way for me to contact you if you win.
This contest is part of the Book Giveaway carnival going on over at Book Room Reviews this week and will be open until November 9th. After you enter my contest, go on over and check out all the contests held by other book bloggers.
PLUS: Check out this post to see all the books I am giving away the rest of November and make sure you come back for them.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I really liked the flippant, almost campy tone of this book. Allie was very likeable and it was surprisingly easy to identify with her plight despite the paranormal aspects of the book. Junior is a nicely complex love interest and the relationship between Allie and her mother rang true. I wish the villains had been more than vaguely menacing, but otherwise, this first book in the Unbidden Magic series was a very enjoyable read.