Sunday, August 18, 2013

Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel

Author:  Richelle Mead
Series:  Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel, Book 1
Adapted by:  Leigh Dragoon
Illustrated by:  Emma Vieceli
Year: 2011
Publisher:  Razorbill
Pages: 144

Goodreads Description:
After two years on the run, best friends Rose and Lissa are caught and returned to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a private high school for vampires and half-bloods. It’s filled with intrigue, danger—and even romance.
Enter their dark, fascinating world through a new series of 144-page full-color graphic novels. The entire first Vampire Academy novel has been adapted for book one by Leigh Dragoon and overseen by Richelle Mead, while the beautiful art of acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli brings the story to life.

It's been a while since I'd read Vampire Academy. I absolutely love the series but I think my love for it has been overshadowed by just how much I love the Bloodlines series and I'm still a little pissed at Rose and her treatment of Adrian (even though I think things are going to be way better for Adrian with Sydney). But this little graphic novel reminded me of my first love of the series. It was well drawn and there was just enough of the story there to remind me what happened and how it all began. I'm curious to see the second one.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The False Prince

Author:  Jennifer A. Neilson
Series:  The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 1
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Scholastic Audio
Narrator:  Charlie McWade

Goodreads Description:
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

This was a fantastic story. It was fast paced and thrilling. Kind of stereotype in spots and there were things that I had definitely figured out but I loved Sage and thought he was sage beyond his years. I couldn't stop listening to the audiobook. I thought the narrator was great even though he had few odd voices.  I didn't know what to expect going into this audiobook but I loved it.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

If I Stay

Author:  Gayle Foreman
Series:  If I Stay, Book 1
Year: 2010
Publisher:  Speak
Pages:  234

Goodreads Description:
On a day that started like any other,
Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the most important decision she'll ever make.
Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

Last year at Yallfest I was shocked by just how long of a line Gayle Foreman had. I'd never heard of this lady. I looked at a couple of her books on display but didn't buy any because quite frankly, the covers didn't sell me. Since that time I ended up with a copy of If I Stay and remembering the long lines, I decided to read it. Within pages, the book had me sucked in. I was dying to know what was going to happen with Mia. I sat the book on the corner of my desk the next day at work so that I could keep looking at it. It served as something to look forward to at lunch time. After lunch, it reminded me how much I couldn't wait to get home and finish the story. I understand the lines now.  The story was encompassing. I couldn't even tell you if I liked Mia as a character but I loved her family, friends and boyfriend. Foreman had this way of telling the story to where you learned about the people in Mia's life more than you did about her. Oh, and I most definitely went through a box of Kleenex.  Now I need Where She Went.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version

Author:  Phillip Pullman
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Viking Penguin
Pages:  406

Goodreads Description:

Two hundred years ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now, at a veritable fairy-tale moment—witness the popular television shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time and this year’s two movie adaptations of “Snow White”—Philip Pullman, one of the most popular authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm.
From much-loved stories like “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Rapunzel” and “Hansel and Gretel” to lesser-known treasures like “Briar-Rose,” “Thousandfurs,” and “The Girl with No Hands,” Pullman retells his fifty favorites, paying homage to the tales that inspired his unique creative vision—and that continue to cast their spell on the Western imagination.

I've been reading this book a little at night for a long time now. It's been a real experience getting to read some of the real fairy tales and not just sanitized versions. I liked Pullman's translations. One of my favorite parts of the book is the little section at the end of each fairy tale telling the origin of the story, different translations and why he chose the version  he did. I enjoyed this a lot and Pullman is definitely right person to do this kind of work.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Darkness Strange and Lovely

Author:  Susan Dennard
Series:  Something Strange & Deadly, Book 2
Year: 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages:  406

Goodreads Summary:
Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.

I loved Something Strange and Deadly last year. It was one of my favorite books. So, how was it that when A Darkness Strange and Lovely arrived on my doorstep I didn't jump to immediately read it? I guess that somehow in the time between, I forgot just how much I had loved the prior book. I took Something Strange and Deadly to a bubble bath with me. An hour and a half later, I was still sitting there reading even though the water was cold, my bubbles were gone, and my toes looked like raisins. I absolutely loved this book. Eleanor is one of my favorite heroines. I like that although she knows she loves Daniel, she's more than capable of moving on and being by herself and isn't afraid too. Or if she is, she's not afraid to face her fears. She listens to advice from others but still makes her own decisions. 

I had hit a bit of a reading slump but as soon as I picked up this book, the slump ended. I'm all excited about reading again.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Author:  Gennifer Albin
Series:  Crewel World, Book 1
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus, Giroux
Year:  2012
Pages:  357

Goodreads Summary:
Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own.
Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.
Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls.  Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power.  Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.

This was a really good book! I loved the whole weaving reality premise. I thought Adelice was a very mature protagonist and loved that she thought for herself but still listened to others. I wasn't too impressed with any of the guys in the book and thought it would have been better without them altogether. I did totally see one of the plot twists with the guys coming on. As for the ending, I didn't really see that. Can't wait to read book two and find out what happens with Adelice.