Monday, March 31, 2014

The Devouring by Simon Holt

The Devouring 
Author: Simon Holt
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
Publication Date: September 1, 2008
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

I’ll give this to The Devouring it freaked me out. I don’t do scary. I don’t watch scary movies, and generally don’t like being scared. Why then did I pick up The Devouring off the shelf, you ask. Well, because it was recommended to me on Goodreads. I asked for books with a heavy demon presence and a few people recommended this one to me. Little did I know that it was horror, and would keep me up staring at the shadows in my bedroom.

The Devouring centers around Reggie who finds an old book and reads a story about the Vours who devour souls on Sorry Night. Reggie reads this story to her younger brother and assures him it is just a scary story. When Henry, Reggie’s younger brother, begins acting strangely though she must confront the fact that her brother has been taken over by a Vour and race to save his soul.

The strongest part of this story was Holt’s writing. The poetry surrounding of the Vours and the descriptions were well written and full of emotion. The story was very fast paced and featured a multitude of different scary elements. These included a haunted fairground, a deserted old farmhouse, and children being possessed. Random fact: possessed children scare me more then anything else.

I also liked Reggie well enough. I thought she was rather inconsistent though and because the story was so fast paced there wasn’t a lot of time for us to get to know her as a character independent of the events surrounding the Vours. She does go through character growth though and it was interesting to watch her try and master her fears.

Overall, The Devouring wasn’t a bad book it just wasn’t my thing. Aside from the “creepy” parts there wasn’t much to this story. It was very basic. I wish there had been more depth to both the Vours and Reggie. I know this is a trilogy though so I assume there is more depth and development in the latter books in the series. If you are looking for something creepy that will keep you up late, I would recommend The Devouring.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stacking The Shelves 101

Week in Review
Review: Arclight by Josin McQuein
Waiting On Wednesday: Crown of Ice by Vicki Weavil
Movie Review: Divergent
Discussion: Book Blasts
New on the Shelf
Lucinda, Darkly by Sunny
The Exchange by Graham Joyce
Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis (Thanks Amulet Books!)
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (I ADORE this book and am so happy to finally have a finished copy on my shelf!)

Netgalley & Edelweiss
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Friday, March 28, 2014

Discussion: Book Blasts

While I was perusing twitter the topic of book blasts came up and I felt like discussing them on the blog since they have become a rather polarizing topic. Some bloggers love them and others hate them with a vehement passion. The biggest complaint I've seen is that:

Books blasts don't offer any unique or exclusive content
A book blast is just the same information offered on multiple blogs on the same day. There isn't anything new or any reason to visit other blogs on the blast because it is just the same information. 

While I agree, it is mostly the same thing over and over, there can be different content on each blog. Different excerpts from the novel being promoted or different quotes/photos to break up the monotony. I think it depends on who is hosting the blast as to how much different content will be featured on each blog.

Book blasts only seem to focus on New Adult books or books that aren't in my favorite genre
This is something I've heard multiple times and I don't know if it's true or not. I can't find any evidence supporting this hypothesis that New Adults are more represented in book blasts. I do think, from what I've seen, the majority of books featured in blasts are self-published. Maybe self-published is what people really mean when they say "books outside their genre".

In my opinion though, it is self-published books that benefit the most from Book Blasts. The internet can be a big, scary place and without the help of a publisher books can be listed on Amazon and never heard from again. It is up to the authors to do all the marketing and be the hype-person for their novel. That is really hard! Book blasts are an easy way of getting a variety of bloggers who would probably never reply to the author's review request to feature and take an interest in their novel.

They are annoying, I hate seeming them on everyone's blogs
Isn't that the point of a blast? Have the novels information featured on a multitude of different blogs to get the word out about new titles? Book's that are on blast should be featured on a wide variety of blogs because, I think, Book Blasts are really meant for non-bloggers.

As book bloggers we often forget that the bookish community is a whole lot bigger then our little corner of the blogosphere. This isn't a criticism, merely something I've noticed. Before I became a blogger, back when I was just someone who really liked to read, I rarely ventured away from Goodreads. In my Pre-goodreads days I got almost all of my books from Half Price Books, Powells, and my mom's or sister's shelves. It would have taken a lot for me to notice a book. Something that would have caught my notice would have been 10 or 20 sites featuring a new book all on the same day.

  Last Thoughts
These are just some of the main point's I've heard in the polarizing discussion on book blasts. So tell me: do you love them? Hate them? Have my explanations and arguments swayed you one way or another? Tell me in the comments!

In interest of full disclosure I haven't participated in a book blast since December when I promoted The Offering by Kimberly Derting (a book I would have been more then happy to feature book blast or no). I'm not sure if my lack of participation is due to a decline in book blasts or if I haven't had space in my schedule, I'm thinking it's a little of both. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Divergent Movie Review

Summit Entertainment
In Theaters: March 21, 2014

I actually have never written a movie review before. Books, oh yeah! I review those all the time. A movie though…well I wasn’t really sure I was qualified to review those. I don’t have a degree in film studies and most of my opinions on movies are instinct rather then critically based. Nevertheless, I have decided to try my best at reviewing Divergent.

I went to the movie this weekend with my friend Nichole. She had also read the book so we were both excited but also apprehensive. Ever since we had seen City of Bones together (and both disliked it) we had been leery about book to movie adaptations. 

Luckily, Divergent pleasantly surprised me. The adaptation followed the book fairly closely. Certain portions of the movie were changed including Tris’s fear landscape, and the role of Peter. These changes though did not take away from my general enjoyment of the film.

I believe I will be in the minority when I say this, but I didn’t like Shailene Woodley. Her portrayal of Tris felt flat. I thought her acting was spot on when Tris was still in Abnegation but as Tris transfers to Dauntless and changes as a person Woodley never changed. Her acting was stiff and at times reminded me of Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of Bella Swan in Twilight. It was a bit dull.

This is in stark contrast to Theo James and his portrayal of Four. I was very critical when he was cast as Four. I didn’t think he met the bill and hadn’t seen his acting so I was a bit worried he wouldn’t be able to pull of the character. My fears were for naught. Theo did a wonderful job. It also doesn’t hurt that he is really nice to look at. In pictures, to me, he isn’t attractive, but on the big screen he is very swoon-worthy. I actually had a discussion, prior to seeing the movie, with Jenna from Jenna Does Books and Amy from Book Loving Me; we talked about how the story itself and the other characters were lost in both the marketing and twitters objectification of Four. That Divergent would have been an equally good movie had Four not been so attractive. I wholly agree with this idea, although Theo being swoony didn’t hurt either.

Overall, I enjoyed Divergent. It was one of the good book to movie adaptations. I wouldn’t say it was in my top 5 recent adaptations or anything but it was entertaining and I do hope the studio makes a movie of Insurgent.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Crown of Ice

Crown of Ice
Author: Vicki L. Weavil
Publisher: Month 9 Books
Expected Publication: December 16, 2014

Thyra Winther's seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can't reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she's doomed to spend eternity as a wraith.
Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal.
A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai's childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra's willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts -- to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup's devotion and the fire of a young man's desire, the thawing of Thyra's frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.
CROWN OF ICE is a YA Fantasy that reinvents Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" from the perspective of a young woman who discovers that the greatest threat to her survival may be her own humanity.

My Thoughts: I've really gotten in to re-tellings and this is one that I haven't seen done before! I am excited to see what Viciki does with the classic story. I have a feeling it is going to be fun!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Arclight by Josin L. McQuein

Author: Josin L. McQuein
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

The arclight is a wall of light that surrounds a compound and protects those living inside from the Fade, dark creatures looking to breach the wall. Marina is found in the grey, a middle ground between the arclight and the fade with no memory. Arclight is about Marina trying to find her memories and what happens when the fade succeed in breaching the wall.

I really enjoyed the first half of Arclight. I liked the confusion, trying to figure out exactly what the fade is, and learning about the society Marina was thrust in to after she was found in the grey. It was the second half that started losing me. I saw the big plot twist coming a mile away so I wasn’t shocked or even mildly surprised when it happened. Had it come out of the blue I think I might have enjoyed the latter half a bit more.

Despite the plot flaws I liked Marina. She is introspective and very caring of those around her. She is selfless and it’s really hard to dislike someone who is constantly looking out for those around her. I also liked the inner struggle Marina goes through when her memories begin to return and she needs to questions the person she is now from the person she used to be.

I wasn’t too keen on the romance between Marina and Tobin. Tobin initially seemed to dislike Marina until the Arclight wall is breached and he helps and defends her in the safe room. Following this event the two spend more time together and they begin to like one another. I didn’t hate the relationship I just didn’t really care for it. I actually much preferred another character that seemed to be better suited for Marina. I think the real reason I disliked Tobin was that he was holding Marina back from being the person she truly is. He was the sole reason she remained in the Arclight when all signs pointed to the fact that she should leave.

Overall, I enjoyed the air of mystery that surrounded the Arclight. The concept is really original and despite the latter half of the book not really gripping me I did enjoy this novel and plan to read the sequel Meridian.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Stacking The Shelves 100

Week In Review
Discussion: Book Spine Poetry
Top 10 Books on my Spring TBR list
Waiting on Wednesday: Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer
Road To Somewhere Blog Tour (Author Interview & Giveaway)
Review: Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs
Bloodspell by Amalie Howard
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Drawing for the Absolute Beginner by Mark and Mary Willenbrink
Netgalley & Edelweiss
Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz
Dark Metropolis by Jacly Dolamore
Pills and Starships by Lydia Millet

Also, while you're here, don't forget to enter my birthday giveaway!
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Greta and the Goblin King by Chloe Jacobs

Greta and the Goblin King
Author: Chloe Jacobs
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Goodreads  Amazon

Greta has been trapped in Mylena, a world with goblins, gnomes, elves, and all other manner of magical creatures, for the last 4 years. During this time she’s become a bounty hunter, making a living off killing creatures that have turned. I must say I was immediately intrigued by this concept and propelled in to the world Jacobs creates.

Chloe and I had a bit of a love/hate relationship. What I mean is I really liked her when she wasn’t getting on my nerves. Greta is a strong heroine with a deep sense of duty. I liked this about her, but for being a smart girl she often over thinks her decisions and can’t make up her mind. This especially bothered me in the relationship between her and Isaac, the Goblin King mentioned in the title.

Isaac, to Greta’s credit, isn’t the easiest character to like. Despite his swoony appearance he is a liar, and has this crazy need, or rather obsession, with protecting Greta. I alternated between wanting him to be in every scene and wanting him to just leave the girl alone. Greta repeatedly tells him to leave and he ignores her (although she does send mixed signals). This particular character trait bothered me a lot, there is nothing attractive about a guy who won’t take no for an answer, even if he is a goblin king.

Overall, I did like that Greta and the Goblin King was a quick and action packed read. The novel takes place over a short amount of time but during that time a lot of things happen. I also enjoyed Jacobs world building. I felt like I was trapped in Mylena, this cold wilderness, right beside Greta. Despite the character flaws I enjoyed the story and plan on reading the next book in the series.

Bonus: Since I absolutely can’t help myself, here is a gif of David Bowie from Labyrinth. This is exactly how I pictured Isaac, the goblin king. It also should be noted immediately after finishing this book I had to watch Labyrinth, which is just a good movie.

That smile though!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Road To Somewhere Blog Tour

Road to Somewhere
Author: Kelley Lynn & Jenny Morris
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark

Publication Date: March 11, 2014

New! From Bloomsbury Spark, a sunny heartwarming story of discovery and sisterhood.

A road trip. A singing competition. And super-hot cowboys.

What could be better?

For Charlie, a post-high school road trip isn't just a vacation, it's life changing. While her parents think she's helping a friend move, a chance at fame is the real reason to grab her best friends and drive to L.A. But when her super annoying, uber-responsible, younger sister, Lucy, has to tag along, it isn't quite the summer of fun she imagined.

Add in a detour to her grandparents' ranch in Texas, and between mucking the stalls, down-home cookin’, and drool worthy ranch hands, this could just turn into the best, and most complicated, summer of their lives

Author Interview

Hello Emily!

Thanks so much for having us here at Falling for YA. We’re so excited to be here! If it’s all right with you, we’ll tag team these answers. And we’ll do this without talking to each other first. Should be interesting to see what comes out. J

How did the two of you meet and decide to write a novel together?

Kelley: You know, I can’t really remember how we ‘met’. I think I was Author, Cassie Mae’s, critique partner, and so was Jenny, and then we formed this critique group with a number of other authors. I read Jen’s first work, a YA Paranormal, and thought it was just amazing (I will admit, I was quite intimidated sending her my work.) I’ll let Jen talk about how we decided to write a book together.

Jenny: Haha, that’s funny. I was really intimidated by Kelley after reading her YA Fantasy: Fraction of Stone. (Which is published now, btw.) As for deciding to write together we had to do a short story together for the AtoZ challenge and after posting it our CP’s didn’t know who wrote which character. It gave me the idea that maybe we’d work well together for a collaboration. So I emailed Kelley and asked if she wanted to write a book with me, and thankfully she said yes.

Who was your favorite character to write? Why?

Kelley: I think the easiest/obvious character for me to say would be Lucy, the younger sister. I was responsible for writing her point of view. It was definitely a challenge, as I have never been a younger sister. But I really enjoyed looking at everything from a younger sister’s perspective. It was also SUPER fun to write about Charlie, the older sister, from Lucy’s point of view. Because while I had the privilege of knowing what Charlie was thinking, Lucy didn’t. That was a fun dynamic.

If I were to pick a secondary character, I’d have to say I really enjoyed writing scenes with Charlie’s three best friends in them. It was really fun to develop these characters, to make them a group of friends, but also to make sure they were each individuals.

Jenny: Charlie’s voice comes pretty easy for me. She kind of just blurts out what she’s thinking, and I write it down. LOL. But if I had to pick a secondary character it would actually be Nan and Pops. Pops is loosely based on my dad. He grew up in Louisiana on a farm and is a man of few words, but has a soft heart. And Nan is loosely based off my father’s mother. She was a very strong woman who spoke her mind and worked really hard on their farm. So writing their dialogue and actions felt very natural to me.

If Road to Somewhere had a theme song what would it be?

Kelley: Actually, ROAD TO SOMEWHERE has a lot to do with music. Both Charlie and Lucy are musically inclined (Charlie’s voice, Lucy with piano) and so there are a number of songs referenced in the book itself, some well known, some not so well known, and one that the girls write together. If I were to pick a theme song for Lucy, I’d choose the song she plays on the piano, Wild Horses, by Natasha Bedingfield. It describes Lucy perfectly. I heard it when I was working out while we were writing this book and I knew it had to have a place in ROAD TO SOMEWHERE.

Jenny: Like Kelley said RTS has a lot of musical elements to it. For Charlie Stronger by Kelly Clarkson is the song her and her friends sing for the competition. It’s fitting because throughout the book she feels like she might not be able to go on, but because she’s strong nothing will hold her down. 

What was the last book you read and loved?
Kelley: First, thank you for not asking about my most favorite book. I don’t do favorites. It’s so hard to pick! Haha. I really loved EFFORTLESS WITH YOU by Lizzy Charles. But I also just read RUN FOR THE ROSES by Rachel Schieffelbein. Cassie Mae’s work is always super fun too. (I have a special place in my heart for HOW TO DATE A NERD) And Theresa Paolo’s (NEVER) AGAIN is such a great tale of young love returned. So there’s… a lot more than one. Haha

Jenny: Haha, Kelley just listed a lot of the books I’ve read recently. One book I’m reading with my boys is called Inventor’s Secret by Chad Morris (no relation. J) And it’s a Middle Grade book, but it’s so much fun. The second book just came out and I’m really excited to read it with my boys. Thank you SO much for having us on your blog. It’s been fun.

Emily: Thanks Ladies for stopping by, it was great having both of you!

About the Authors
Kelley Lynn was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands. Music plays a large role in her writing process as well as the characters and plot lines within her stories.

Jenny S. Morris is a YA author who loves all things geek, may have a Kdrama addiction, and prefers the rainy NW to any place she's ever lived. Road to Somewhere is her debut novel.


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday: Play Me Backwards

Play Me Backwards
Author: Adam Selzer
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Expected Publication: August 26, 2014

A promising and popular student in middle school, Leon Harris has become a committed "slacker" but with graduation approaching and his middle school girlfriend possibly returning to town, Leon's best friend Stan, who claims to be Satan, helps him get back on the right track--for a price.
My Thoughts: I can't pinpoint just one reason this book speaks to me. maybe it's the three devil-horn wearing friends on the cover, the morphing of Leon from something to slacker, the best friend Stan who calls himself Satan. I can't pick just one reason I want to read this book because everything make me want to read it! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top 10 Books on my Spring TBR List

I am unofficially calling this the spring of sequels! My goal is to catch up on all the series I started but for one reason or another haven't read yet. Hopefully this list will keep me accountable and help me to catch up!

1 Life Eternal by Yvonne Woon (Dead Beautiful #2)
2 (Dont You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn
3 Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #3)

4 Once by Anna Carey (Eve #2)
5 Forgiven by Jana Oliver (Demon Trappers #3)

6 Until I Die by Amy Plum (Revenants #2)
7 Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)
8 Defiance by CJ Redwine

The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
10 Red Glove by Holly Black (Curse Workers #2)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Spine Poetry

I've been seeing a lot of Book Spine Poetry lately. Rachel over at Beauty and the Bookshelf does Sunday Spinetry every so often. And Michelle at Book Briefs has a giveaway as part of the #TBRreadathon going on that has to do with book spine poetry. Okay, that's only two examples, but it made me want to discuss Book Spine Poetry and try my hand at it.
Emily attempts book spine poetry
 Where I belong, unremembered
 In the after

Well...that was my first attempt. I realized it was a bit short so I tried again! This time with 5 books.

Shattered souls shift the dead tossed waves.
Under the Never Sky.

Ha! That was a bit better. Look, I even added an exclamation mark. That makes it look more like an actual poem.

A Deadly little secret, born wicked.
The symptoms of my insanity...
Oh! Cruel Beauty; No one else can have you.

This time I took some creative license and added my own words to the poem to make it flow better.

Ten white lines, every other day.
Poison, Wither, Sever.
Until I Die.

This is my favorite poem. It uses the largest number of books, seven, but most of the titles are one word so the poem still feels short. 

While making these I noticed most book spine poems are short. Which makes me want to write one that is like 40 books long. Maybe next time! 
Last Thoughts 
What is your opinion on book spine poetry? Do you love it, hate it, are you indifferent? Do you think it takes too much time and isn't worth doing as part of an entry in to a giveaway? I want to know. Tell me in the comments! Also, if you've ever posted about book spine poetry leave links to your poems.