Thursday, May 30, 2013

Books of Wonder Event: The Best of Book Expo I

Last night Books of Wonder hosted an awesome author event as a kickoff to BEA. The authors in attendance were Patrick Carman (Pulse), Kevin Emerson (Dark Shore), Carolita Blythe (Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl), Joelle Charbonneau (The Testing), Cinda Williams Chima (The Crimson Crown), Alethea Kontis (Enchanted), and Sean Williams (Trouble Twisters: The Mystery).


The vibe was great, full of laughter and a general excitement at hearing the authors talk about their current and upcoming novels. The authors answered questions from the audience and spent time conversing with individuals and signing books. Books of Wonder has another author event tonight from 6pm to 8pm. For more information check out their website.

Patrick Carman
         
Kevin Emerson
Kevin Emerson and Carolita Blythe
Carolita Blythe and Joelle Charbonneau
Alethea Kontis 
Princess Alethea and Ms Book Queen
Sean Williams 
Cinda Williams Chima

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BEA Starts Today!!!

Book Expo America, otherwise known as BEA, begins today! Yay! For those who don't know this is the largest annual book fair in America. This is a huge event for publishers, authors, bloggers, and just book lovers in general!

BEA will take place through Saturday, June 1st at the Jacob Javitz Center. There will be a live stream of major events which you can view below. Ms Book Queen will be attending this year and hopefully meeting some of you readers!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

New Releases This Week



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tuesday's at the Castle Review

254 pages
Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it's up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle's never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom.

Review:
This is one of those adorable middle grade reads that just make you smile. Princess Celie loves the Castle and probably knows more about it than anyone else in her family. Celie is brave and despite being the youngest in her family, seems to have the best connection with the Castle. Celie's family are all different enough that their personalities cause them to stand out in a major way as individual characters. The Castle itself seemed to have a personality, especially when interacting with Celie, and I loved that it was given an individuality of its own. Of course there are bad guys and I like that they were humorous at times even though they were doing terrible things. I have to admit that this story kept me guessing sometimes with the whole plot against Castle Glower, but it continued to be entertaining. This story is comedic with plenty of action and adventure to spare. I would recommend this for those who like juvenile fiction fantasy fiction with a fairy tale feel.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Acid Review

431 pages

2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember. The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago.

Review:
This is one of those fast-paced novels that have you excited and on the edge of your seat. Jenna is a strong main character although she didn't start out that way. Jenna has had to develop a tough exterior and as the only female in a prison you can just imagine the things she has had to go through to survive. The traits I love best about Jenna are that she is physically strong and not afraid to stand up for herself. Although there are other characters in this novel, you don't get a sense of them as much as you do of Jenna. ACID is completely corrupt and the things that they do are exceptionally underhanded. I really enjoyed the newspaper clippings at the beginning of each chapter as they gave a better sense of life under ACID and how things are sometimes twisted in the media. Although there are flashbacks on Jenna's life, I wasn't able to get a full sense of what her life was like before prison and I doubt we ever will. There was a lot of action and danger which makes this an exciting read. I definitely recommend this novel if you like dystopian fiction.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

New Release This Week


Friday, May 17, 2013

Scrap Review

350 pages
Release date: May 17th, 2013

On the brutal streets of Hellip, a village in the vast empire of the cruel King Ibis, you either become good at running from the king’s Blackcoats or you die. This is the lesson that twelve-year-old Tucker Scrap, abandoned as an infant among the orphans of Hellip, learned early. Along with her friends Ash and Kally, Tucker spends her time keeping one step ahead of the unjust laws, stealing what she needs to survive, and pondering her own unknown origins—and those of the enchanted bracelet with which she was found. Now, both Ash and Kally have vanished from the orphanage, perhaps headed for the faraway city where Ibis still rules. When a mysterious girl named Vivian arrives in Hellip with a strange invitation to Tucker, the leader of the orphans decides that this may be her opportunity to find her missing friends. But more than this: it may become an opportunity to recover her hidden inheritance, and to change the fate of an entire kingdom.

Review (ARC):
Although I enjoyed this novel, I feel like I expected more from it than I was given. Tucker Scrap is a pretty brave and plucky character who works hard to survive as an orphan in King Ibis' empire. Although Ash and Kally are supposed to be Scrap's closest friends, we get very rare glimpses of them both and not a complete idea of their characters. The other characters are all multilayered, with some more developed than others. The portrayal of Scrap's life on the streets seemed a bit rushed when it came to experiencing what her life was like as an orphan. Things in the plot itself moved around quickly and ended up being a bit confusing in the transition at times. I loved the magical aspect of the novel and even though I figured out Scrap's background early on, there were things about it that surprised me as well. By the end of this novel I was left with a few questions that I hope will be cleared up in the next novel. If you love fantasy novels then you should enjoy this overall.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

City of a Thousand Dolls Review

361 pages

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die. Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.

Review:
This was an interesting yet not very quickly paced novel. Nisha is a likable character, very strong and determined, yet she also has a vulnerable side as well. There is some romance but it isn't a main focus or as developed as I would have liked. The relationship between Nisha and Devan seems strange at times, especially since her interest seems to be much more than his. The other characters aren't very memorable in themselves although the talking cats are pretty interesting. The idea of a City where females are trained to be useful in a society where they are unwanted brings something new to this story. I wasn't the biggest fan of the City although it does offer the girls a better chance than they would have on the outside. This isn't one of those epic fantasy novels but the mystery itself is intriguing. Although the adventure isn't very exciting and the character development leaves something to be desired, this wasn't a terrible read. I would recommend this as a good enough novel to pass the time for those who enjoy mystery.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Park Service Review

338 pages

If Eden doesn't kill you, the Park Service will. In the post-apocalyptic future, a fifteen-year old boy stumbles on a paradise where the few remaining humans live on the run from deadly drones controlled by a mysterious Park Service. Now this boy must learn to survive in a world he never dreamed existed while searching for answers to why everything he was taught is a lie.

Review:
This novel is one of those dystopian stories with an amazingly different concept. Humans are looked at as pests so the few that live, exist underneath Earth's surface, at least in Aubrey's world. Aubrey is an intelligent and pretty adaptable character, and his resilience shows when he's exposed to the truth about Earth's surface. I loved the way all of the characters have such different personalities due to the environment they were raised in, yet they each have a realness that you can feel through the pages. Everything is very descriptive but not annoyingly so, it feels like you are actually there experiencing the world through the character's eyes. I feel like this story raises a lot of interesting questions dealing with morality but it isn't preachy about it. Even though this book isn't big on action, the adventure of traveling Earth's surface and discovering the mystery behind the Park Service keeps each page exciting and interesting. I definitely recommend this novel if you like dystopian fiction.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Movie Monday: Ender's Game Trailer

Orson Scott Card is known for his classic science fiction novels but perhaps the best known of them is Ender's Game. There has never before been a film adaptation of this novel so this should be quite a treat. With such stars as Harrison Ford and Viola Davis, I can't wait to see how they've remade this story for the big screen!




Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Story's End Review

416 pages

Long ago, a King ruled the land of Story. . . . During his reign, Heroes, Villains, and characters of all kinds lived out new Tales filled with daring quests and epic struggles. Then the King disappeared, and over the years, nearly everyone forgot that he had ever existed. Now an evil Enemy has emerged, determined to write a new future for Story that he will control. And an ordinary girl named Una Fairchild is inextricably tangled up in his deadly plan. Una and her friends Peter and Indy are desperate to find a way to defeat the Enemy. But Una soon discovers that the real key may lie in her own mysterious ties to Story's past--and to the long-forgotten King, who could be Story's only hope for survival.

Review:
This sequel does not disappoint as the tale of the land of Story continues. Things have become pretty chaotic since the Enemy's release. Once again we are able to view things through the eyes of several different characters with Una remaining the main character. Although Una is young, she is impressive in her determination to help save Story and defeat her parents. Una is brave yet impulsive, and both qualities help her on her journey with her friends. I'm not always the biggest fan of Peter, but he is also brave although at times constantly self-involved. I loved that we were able to see some of the other areas in Story and discover that not all of the Villains may be as bad as they seem. This novel is extremely fast-paced and takes you on a wild adventure that culminates into an amazing ending. This novel is more for middle grade ages although I believe it is written well enough to be enjoyed by anyone with a love for fantasy novels. I definitely recommend this if you like magic and fantasy tales but make sure to read Storybound first.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Movie Monday: Romeo and Juliet Trailer

Shakespeare is renowned for his classic writings and perhaps the best known of them all is Romeo and Juliet. I don't know whether this is still on the reading lists in high school these days but if you haven't picked up this classic masterpiece then you definitely need to.

There have been many Romeo and Juliet film adaptations, and I'm excited to see yet another one made for the big screen! Hopefully they continue to do the great Shakespeare justice!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

New Releases This Week