Monday, November 26, 2012

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Volume 1

Adapted by:  Denise Mina
Illustrators: Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti
Year: 2012
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Pages: 146

Goodreads Synopsis:

DC Comics/Vertigo will publish the official graphic novel adaptation of Stieg Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy," starting in Fall 2012 with THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, the international publishing phenomenon. Each book in the "Millennium Trilogy" will be adapted in two hardcover graphic novel volumes.Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

Wow, I'm impressed. This graphic novel did a wonderful job of bringing the first book to life and, in truth, it read better than the actual book. It moved faster, was grittier, more compelling. I loved it. My only hesitation in recommending it is that a person who hasn't read the book might not understand what is going on in the story as well as a person who has read the book. It's quite brief. But it is a wonderful adaptation.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Evolution of Mara Dyer

Author:  Michelle Hodkin
Series:  Mara Dyer Trilogy, Book 2
Year: 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 527

Goodreads Synopsis:

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.
She can’t.
She used to think her problems were all in her head.
They aren’t.
She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
She’s wrong.
In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

In my world, how great a book is is defined by how long it takes me to read it and whether I was able to do anything else while reading it (you know - like sleep). Luckily, I started The Evolution of Mara Dyer first thing on a Sunday morning. Otherwise, I would have stayed up all night reading it. There is no doubt about that. I read it straight through on a Sunday and did not stop for anything. I tuned out the whole world because I was entranced by this story. Most of the time, I can figure out where a story is going to go but that just doesn't happen with these books. Hodkin is a master at storytelling and keeping her endgame hidden from the reader. I've got no clue where she's going with Mara and Noah but I can't wait to find out. Speaking of Noah, he is one of the best book boyfriends ever. I absolutely love  him. 

On a side note, I have formed a really terrific theory (in my humble opinion) based solely on my reader of Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamer series. I'm probably way off but I sure can expound on that theory until the final book comes out next year. 

I definitely recommend this series although I might suggest waiting until closer to publication of the final book next year because you won't like the ending.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Eternal Kiss of Darkness

Author:  Jeaniene Frost
Series:  Night Huntress World, Book 2
Year: 2010
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Narrator:  Tavia Gilbert

Goodreads Summary:

Chicago private investigator Kira Graceling should have just kept on walking. But her sense of duty refused to let her ignore the moans of pain coming from inside a warehouse just before dawn. Suddenly she finds herself in a world she's only imagined in her worst nightmares.

At the center is Mencheres, a breathtaking Master vampire who thought he'd seen it all. Then Kira appears, this fearless, beautiful . . . human who braved death to rescue him. Though he burns for her, keeping Kira in his world means risking her life. Yet sending her away is unthinkable.
But with danger closing in, Mencheres must choose either the woman he craves, or embracing the darkest magic to defeat an enemy bent on his eternal destruction.

I think it's safe to say that I'm addicted to these books. Lord knows what I'm going to do when I run out of Night Huntress books to read. I can be listening to perfectly good audiobooks and I just keep thinking that there's still Night Huntress books that I haven't listened to yet. But to this book in particular, it was great. I loved seeing another side of the emotionless and stoic Mencheres that we'd seen so far in the other books. In this book, Mencheres falls hard and fast for Kira and we get to see his walls come down. We also get to see/hear what's in his head and his thoughts are anything but emotionless. And Kira is a terrific main character. She's strong and thinks things out. She refuses to be swayed from her beliefs by something that's misleading. 

This was a very good story. I liked the narrator much better in this book than I do in the Cat and Bones stories. I think that's mostly because she wasn't screwing up Mencheres' voice the way she does Bones'.

I do have to admit, though, I will be glad to get back to a book starring Cat and Bones. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Author:  Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: Golden, Book 1
Year: 2006
Publisher:  Brilliance Audio
Narrator: Jenna Lamia

Goodreads Synopsis:

When Lissy James moves from California to Oklahoma, she finds herself in the middle of a teenage nightmare: a social scene to rival a Hollywood movie. And if understanding the hierarchy of the Goldens vs. the Nons isn’t hard enough, Lissy’s ever growing Aura Vision is getting harder and harder to hide, and if she’s not careful, she’s going to become a Non faster than you can say “freak.”
But it’s becoming clear that Emory High has a few secrets of its own. Around the halls, the term “special powers” goes way beyond one’s ability to attract the opposite sex, and there may be something more evil than the A-crowd lurking in the classrooms. Lissy can see a lot more than the average girl, but she’s about to learn the hard way that things aren’t always as they appear and you can’t always judge a girl by her lip gloss.

This book started off slow and a bit juvenile but as it went on, I found that I was starting to like Lissy and really liked all her snarkiness. I thought she was hilarious. Then about halfway there was suddenly a story and a mystery to solve and I was really enjoying it. I read that Jennifer Lynn Barnes wrote this book when she was 19 and, if that's the case, that would definitely explain some of the juvenile-ishness (like my word there) of the book. One of the best parts of the story was that, although there was a romance, there wasn't really. It was more the promise of a romance to come and I like that. I wanted more from the characters and I'm a little sad to see that the second book switches over to Lilah's point of view. Maybe there'll be more about Lissy and Dylan in it  ;)

About the audiobook: The narrator, Jenna Lamia is wonderful. I've listened to her in other audiobooks and she does a terrific job. One thing that threw me off was this story had a lot of music thrown into the production and every time I thought it was my cell phone going off and started looking for my phone before I realized it was the audiobook. 

Overall, this is a fun, light listen. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

YallFest 2012

Last weekend my sister and I made it over to YallFest in Charleston, South Carolina. Unfortunately, I've been super sick ever since we got back and am just now getting around to sharing some of my pictures. We had a wonderful time and met some terrific people. Thanks to a little help from other avid book lovers, we were able to get almost all of our books signed. Yay! And thanks to the girls who helped us go through multiple lines at once. One of my favorite things from the weekend was meeting Stephanie Perkins and Deborah Harkness. Both were absolutely wonderful (as were most all of the authors) but these two felt like they were the type of girls you'd love to hang with. Stephanie Perkins would make any night out fun and Deborah Harkness would provide the most scintillating conversation.

Now for some pictures! Sorry they're so randomly placed but me and blogger placement don't get along.

Me and the fabulous Deborah Harkness.
Stephanie Perkins and me.

A chocolate caramel cupcake from Cupcake!
Me and Carrie Ryan
Diana Peterfreud

Monday, November 5, 2012

First Drop of Crimson

Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress World, Book 1
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Year: 2010
Publisher: Blackstone Audio

Goodreads Summary:
The night is not safe for mortals. Denise MacGregor knows all too well what lurks in the shadows--her best friend is half-vampire Cat Crawfield--and she has already lost more than the average human could bear. But her family's past is wrapped in secrets and shrouded in darkness--and a demon shapeshifter has marked Denise as prey. Now her survival depends on an immortal who lusts for a taste of her.
He is Spade, a powerful, mysterious vampire who has walked the earth for centuries and is now duty-bound to protect this endangered, alluring human--even if it means destroying his own kind. Denise may arouse his deepest hungers, but Spade knows he must fight his urge to have her as they face the nightmare together . . .
Because once the first crimson drop falls, they will both be lost.

Since I decided to read all the Night Huntress/Night Huntress books in chronological order, I'm getting a break from Cat and Bones for the next two books and getting the stories of some of the other characters. First up, are Denise and Spade. Spade has been one of my favorite characters in the Night Huntress books so far. I've loved his loyalty to Bones and how he's always been helpful to Cat but also helped her to see how Bones was feeling whenever Cat and Bones fought. And in this book we got to see more of Spade's personality and background. We got to see where Spade came from, why he is so chivalrous and polite and just what makes him tick. What a great back story Spade had.  

Don't think that Frost ignored her other characters. Bones and Cat show up in the book as does Mencheres and Ian. My perspective on Ian might just be changing a little bit. Oh, and think the funniest scene in the book involved Ian. It was totally unexpected and really had me laughing. 

Overall, not as great as the Cat and Bones books, but pretty good. Looks like Mencheres' story is next.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Something Strange and Deadly

Author:  Susan Dennard
Series: Something Strange and Deadly Book 1
Year: 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 388

Goodreads Description:
The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…
Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—
The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.
And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

First thing first, I hate zombies. I  normally stay as far away from anything zombie related as I can. I watched half of the first episode of The Walking Dead and couldn't stand looking at the zombies and had to quit (although I've read almost all the graphic novels but somehow watching the zombies were just too much). But I'd heard so many good things about this book. The cover is just so darn beautiful and intriguing. Then, I read an interview with Susan Dennard and she was just hilarious and so personable, I knew I had to at least attempt the book. I couldn't put the book down. It is fabulous. Eleanor is a wonderful heroine. She's smart, feisty and caring. Eleanor doesn't rush into something without thinking about it first. She cares about not just her family but other people - even the ones she doesn't particularly like. I would love to have Eleanor as a friend! 

I loved the way Dennard takes her time with elements of the story (like romance). Don't get me wrong, the story is fast paced but she doesn't make Eleanor fall instantly in love or try to tell us too much too fast. She parcels out the information in little pieces and the fits the puzzle pieces together slowly.  And the romance is beautiful.

Hands down one of my top books this year - even with the zombies!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood

Author: Kendare Blake
Series:  Anna, Book 1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Year: 2011
Pages: 211

Goodreads Description:
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. 
So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

Wow, it's been a while since I read a good ghost story. I guess the last one was The Woman in Black last fall. Guess fall is the time for ghost stories, isn't it? This was a good one. Cas is a good main character. Blake does an excellent job telling the story from a male point of view. I like the way that Cas ends up with a Scooby Doo type gang. I liked that Blake gave Cas a strong, honest relationship with his mother. And I loved the turn that things took with Anna. 

I highly recommend this book.