Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gift Card Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Leah Colson, the winner of a $20 Barnes and Noble giftcard!

Thanks to all who stopped by and entered. This was our last giveaway of 2011, but many more to come in 2012!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gift Card Giveaway Hop!

We here at The Revolving Bookcase are celebrating the holiday season by participating in the Gift Card Giveaway Hop from December 9-13th! We are giving away a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble to one lucky winner! This giveaway is open to US and international residents, but if you live outside the US, you will get an e-card instead of a regular gift card (US residents have their choice of either). Simply fill out the form below to enter. You don't have to be a follower, but if you are, you will get an additional 2 entries!  Good luck!! 

Thanks to the good folks at I am a Reader, Not a Writer & Attack of the Book for hosting the hop! 
Click here to view the entire list of participating blogs -- the next blog on the hop is Myne Whitman Writes

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone


Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Laini Taylor

Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
September 2011

Genre: Young Adult

From the publisher: 

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself. 


     I'm not sure how to write this review without giving away the best part of the book which is its uniqueness. From the beginning, it captures your attention with a blue-haired art student who can make wishes on a string of beads and gets sent on mysterious errands to collect teeth. Even it's main location, Prague, is refreshing (having been there myself, I can say it is absolutely the gem that Taylor paints it to be). 
    You are quickly drawn into a world like no other with angels and monsters, magic and portals, and love as true and aching as it gets. 
    The writing was sharp without being pretentious. Reminiscent of e. e. cummings, with chapter titles like "Ache and Salt and Allness," and "Battle Not With Monsters," at times I felt like I was reading poetry instead of a novel.
    The only negative thing I have to say is that there are times where the voice of the writing isn't clear. In a few sections the time goes from present to past and back without a header to let you know where you are in the story. I figured it out within a few lines, but felt distracted from the story while I did. 

I received a copy of this book at the BEA in May and wish I had read it sooner! Excellent! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Celebrating Romance Giveaway Hop!

From October 8-14th, we are participating in the Celebrating Romance Giveaway Hop hosted by Reading Romances! For our contest, you have two chances to win THREE great romance novels! All three have been reviewed recently on our site. The Jaci Burton books will be mailed to the winner, and Call Me Irresistible will be ordered and shipped directly to the winner (sorry, US only). Simply fill out the form below and choose whether you want to be entered in the Play by Play drawing, or the Call Me Irresistible drawing, or both! Good luck to everyone and be sure to check out the other blogs on this great hop!

we're # 13 on the hop, the next blog is: Alexa Loves Books

Click here to go to: Link to full list of blogs in the hop!

Review: Call Me Irrestistible

From the Publisher: 
R.S.V.P. to the most riotous wedding of the year!
Lucy Jorik’s the daughter of a former U.S. president.
Meg Koranda’s the offspring of legends.
One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible—Ted Beaudine—the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. 
The other is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache.
Meg knows breaking up her best friend’s wedding is the right thing to do, but no one else agrees. Faster than Lucy can say “I don’t,” Meg’s the most hated woman in town—and stuck there with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, without her famous parents watching her back, Meg believes she can survive by her own wits. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? She’ll lose her heart to Mr. Irresistible?
Not likely. Not likely at all.

I am a fan of romance novels, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of my favorite authors. She does not disappoint here. It started out a little odd, and I was not sure if I was going to really like it, but soon found myself not only liking it, but wanting to re-read it over and over again. The story is unique and funny, to the point that it should be unbelievable, but for some reason isn't. Fans of hers will love that she brings back many of the characters from her previous novels, but still manages to keep the focus on the love story between the main characters. The romance between them is fresh and exciting, as well as heartbreaking and endearing at times. Even though it is a romance novel, so you know how it will end, I found myself riveted right until the last page. If you like Susan Elizabeth Phillips, you will love this book! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: Jaci Burton's Play by Play Series

Author: Jaci Burton
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Publication date: February 2011 (Book 1)
August 2011 (Book 2)
Format: Trade Paperback
Genre: Romance

These are the First two books in Jaci Burton's new Play by Play series. The series is about a sports loving & playing family, the Riley's. These first two books are the stories of the brothers. The first book is about football player Mick Riley and how he tries to win the heart of event planner Tara. Book two is about baseball player Gavin Riley and sports agent Liz Darnell. I can honestly say that the cover first caught my attention. How can one not at least stop to admire the covers of these books when you see them on the self at the bookstore? I am not a big sports fan but that did not matter much when reading these two tales. I enjoyed them. I thought the author did a great job at creating this world. This is a sports family that truly are a family. They have all the brother sister squabbles that we all do. All the family and some characters are in both books so you get to see how relationships continue and develop. This author certainly knows how to write some steamy love scenes, they are HOT! Book three, Taking a Shot, is set to come out March 2012 and it is the sister's story. You meet her and her hockey love interest in Book 2, Changing the Game. I will be looking for that title for sure. Keep watching the blog for the next bookhop, we will be giving away these 2 books!

Books: 4/5 Covers 4.5/5


Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date: September 2011
Format: ARC
Genre: Young Adult

From the Publisher:
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight

This was a great read. It was fast and had my interest/attention right from the start. I enjoyed that the story was told from each one of the sister's points of view. Each sister could not be more different. Having been separated at birth, on purpose we find out as you read, they are each raised in completely different worlds. I thought the author did a great job at creating these 3 amazingly strong kick butt girls. And each girl comes into their own as they begin to realize they are special and they appear to have an amazing destiny. The only thing I did not like in the book was the lack of mythology. There was some but I wanted more. These girls are descendants of Medusa, I was hoping for a little more history/mythology in the mix. Hopefully book 2 will have a little more of that for me.

There are many questions left unanswered at the end of the book. I was really just starting to get into the book and boom it was over. I will definitely be looking for the next book in the series to come out as that was an amazing cliff hanger ending.

BOOK: 3.5/5 Cover: 4/5


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To E-Read or not to E-Read

I have been debating, for a while now, about getting an E-Reader. I have noticed the a lot of authors are now putting out little novellas for e-readers in between books in series. After spending the weekend without electric, courtesy if Hurricane Irene, walking/sitting around with a flashlight trying to read I think I may have come to the conclusion that I might just have to breakdown and buy one. This does not mean I will give up my books or trips to my favorite used bookstores but just to have access to other authors and titles that I can not find in the stores and next time the lights go out I will have more that enough books to hold me over all located in one spot. Now my only question is, Nook,Kindle or I-Pad? What do you have? Anyone have a preference? Anyone love their e-reader? Please help me decide.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Winner of Fateful Giveaway

Congratulations to SUZ READS you are the winner of our FATEFUL ARC Giveaway.
Thanks to all those that entered.

~~~~~Tanya ~~~~~ was used to pick the winner.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review: Sprinkle with Murder (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #1)

Author: Jenn McKinlay
Format: paperback 215 pages
Release date: March 2010
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Mystery

From the Publisher:
Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura are finally living out their dream as the proud owners of the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery. But their first big client is a nightmare. She's a bridezilla who wants 500 custom cupcakes for her wedding.

When Mel stumbles upon the bride-to-be dead-by-cupcake, she becomes the prime suspect. To save themselves and their business, the ladies need to find the real murderer, before the cupcake killer ices someone else.

This was a tasty delightful read. I enjoyed the concept and that the owners of this cupcake shop have been friends forever. You can see that these girls would do anything for each other. Both of the girls, Mel and Angie, have great families and they of course think they know whats best for these two, so they too make great characters in the story. My favorite part maybe that the author included recipes for all the main cupcakes mentioned in the story. I can not wait to try making The Blonde bombshell. It was a light read, beach material not heavy or depressing. By the end of the book I could see where the author may go with the next book in the series, she left some plot lines open. I will keep an eye out for the next book in the series, Buttercream Bump Off, next time I go to the bookstore. Also the cover of the book, is exactly how I pictured the cupcake shop to look, everything pink and retro diner. Overall it was a light, fast and enjoyable read.

Book: 3/5 Cover 3.5/5


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: FROST by Marianna Baer

Marianna Baer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Expected publication: September 2011
Hardcover, 400pp.
Genre: Young Adult

From the publisher:

Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school starts with a cruel shock: Frost House, the cozy Victorian dorm where she and her best friends chose to live, has been assigned an unexpected roommate—confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar.
What Celeste lacks in social grace, however, her brother, David, a recent transfer student, makes up for in good looks and charm. But while he and Leena hit it off immediately, Leena finds herself struggling to balance her growing attraction with her fear of getting hurt.
As classes get under way, strange happenings begin to bedevil Frost House—frames mys-teriously falling off walls, doors locking by themselves, furniture toppling over. Celeste blames the housemates, convinced they want to scare her into leaving. And while Leena tries to play peacekeeper between her best friends and new roommate, soon the mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and David, and the reawakening of childhood fears all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. But does the threat lie with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind . . . or in Frost House itself?

Frost is an amazing debut from author Marianna Baer. It is darkly creepy without resorting to cheap gory thrills. Right until the end (and even after!), the reader is left wondering what exactly is going on in the house, which seems to have a personality of its own. The author subtly adds details which make the house seem more and more menacing, but at the same time places doubt of the sanity of its residents and the people around them.

About halfway through reading this book, I woke up to find my 5-month old puppy enjoying the book just as much as I had been, but in a completely different manner (see picture below of the destruction). I wrote to the author, Marianna, and was pleased to hear back from her very quickly. Being a dog-lover herself, she went out of her way to scan in the last few pages of her own copy to replace the ones eaten by the oh-so-mischievous Oliver.

And I was very happy to be able to finish reading the book. I would have been upset if I had to wait until when the book comes out in September to read the last five pages! This book was fast-paced, well-written, and entertaining. I would have liked to have seen the romance better developed; the chemistry was clearly there, I just wanted more of it. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book.

The destruction of Ollie.

Book: 4/5  Cover 4.5/5

*Note: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Fateful By Claudia Gray

Author: Claudia Gray

Publisher: Harper Collins Children's books

Publication date: September 13, 2011

Format: ARC

Genere: Young Adult

From the publisher:

In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets.... Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over. Featuring the opulent backdrop of the Titanic, Fateful’s publication is poised to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s doomed maiden voyage. It is sure to be a hit among Titanic buffs and fans of paranormal romance alike.


I am not a big fan of historical fiction. That being said, I was unsure of how much I was going to enjoy this book but having read other books by this author I was going to give it a try. The Titanic is a major historical event and I am pretty sure almost eveyone has seen that movie. I admit I had some preconceived notions about what this book would be like and after finishing the book I will admit I was wrong on all accounts. The author did a great job at telling this story with a new twist but also adding some actual historical facts, you can tell she did her research before tackling this. Last year there was an exhibit from the Titanic at a local museum and I remember going there with my sister and husband. At this exhibit they gave you a passenger that you would be on the voyage and at the end of the exhibit you would find out your fate. In the story I did recognize some of the passengers names from the exhibit and I admired how the author mixed history in her tale. The book had me in the first chapter. I had to know who was this strange man we met in the alley. How and why is everyone on this ill fated voyage. It is a page turner. I also enjoyed all the little secondary stories revolving around Tess and Alec. The author had just enough romance, history, werewolf and suspense mixed all together in this story for me. It was a good read. The only thing that ruined it for me(and it was of no way the author's fault) every time the Grand Staircase was mentioned, all I could picture was Leonardo Dicaprio standing there waiting for Kate Winslet.

If you are a fan of romance, werewolves, history and the Titanic this is the book for you.

Book : 3.5/5 Cover: 3/5

~~~~~ Tanya ~~~~~


I will be giving away my signed copy of this ARC to one lucky reader. All you have to do is fill out the form below. You can only enter once and you do not have to be a follower. If you are a follower you will get one extra entry. (Sorry at this time only shipping to US addresses) Giveaway will run from August 11th through August 27th. Good Luck!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Giveaway Hop Winner!

We are pleased to announce the winner of our first ever blog hop is....


We had 140 individual entries, with 115 being followers, for a total of 255 entries.  We used to pick the winner from those entries. 

We had a great time and plan to do another giveaway hop in September!  Hope you'll all come back to enter again then! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Stunner

This week I have decided to do a Stunningly Horrible cover. I don't believe I need to explain why I think this cover is horrible. I think it speaks for itself.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review: Paradise by Jill S. Alexander


Jill S. Alexander
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication date: July 2011
Format: ARC, 248 pp.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction (12 & up)

From the Publisher: 

Paisley Tillery is the drummer for a country rock band. If they can make it to the stage at the Texapalooza music fest, then Paisley will be closer to her dream of a career in music and a ticket out of her small Texas town.
Drumming and music are what Paisley has always wanted. Until the band gets a new lead singer, the boy from Paradise, Texas. With Paradise in her life, what Paisley wants, and what she needs, complicate her dreams coming true.


This book caught my attention a lot quicker than I expected it to. I was engrossed from page one, and sped through the first half. I really enjoyed the way the characters were introduced and the glimpse into small-town Texas life. But, what I found interesting at first became almost unbearably frustrating about halfway through. The mother in the story is so unlikable and repetitive, I wondered how any of her family could even stand to be in the same room with her, let alone actually love her. Maybe it is because I'm not from the South, but I cannot imagine any teenager (let along two) allowing a parent to mess up their lives so much without fighting even a little bit. The romance was pushed way too fast without any depth added to the main characters feelings for each other. They barely have a conversation and then the reader is expected to believe they are so in love? It makes the ending seem falsely emotional. I did enjoy the main plot and its focus on the music. I believed in this band and was rooting for them to succeed. The book moved quickly and was broken up with song-lyrics, which helped to push the story along.

If you enjoy small-town romances (complete with purity rings!) and country music, you will probably enjoy this book. Everyone else should probably skip it.

Book: 2.5/5  Cover: 2.5/5

Note: I received a free ARC/uncorrected proof of this book in paperback from the publisher as part of the Goodreads "First-Reads" program.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: Beauty Queens

Author : Libba Bray
Format: Hardcover 390 pages
Release date: May 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Young Adult

From the publisher:
The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane had another idea crashing on a desert island and leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner.

What's a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program--or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan--or learn to run wild? And what should happen when the sexy pirates show up?

Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Your tour guide? None other than Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again

GIRL POWER is the phrase that just kept running through my mind as I read this book. This book is funny, sarcastic and so empowering for young girls to read. I had the pleasure of meeting Libba Bray at a local signing and reading. (see previous post) Having heard the author read helped me understand what she was going for with this book. Its a satire. The story is about a plane full of beauty pageant contestants that crashes and they have to work together to survive. Each of the surviving contests could not be more different from each other and yet they are all so similar. The author tackles the subject of sexual orientation, gender roles, academic pressure, family pressure, cultural pressure and any other kind of a pressure a teenage girl feels at any given time. The contestants really discover what they are made of. That they have their own opinions & ideas about who/what they want to be and not who or what family/ society says they are. I really did laugh and enjoy how the author put commercials in the book. Whenever one of the contestants needed/used a beauty product there was a commercial for that said beauty product that was made by The Corporation. The Corporation being the sponsor of the pageant . This book I think is for the older Young Adult, maybe 15 and up. If you liked Mean Girls or Bring it On, this may be the book for you. I can see this as an ABC Family movie. This was an enjoyable read and I would be stuck on an island with these girls anyday.

Book: 3.5 / 5 Cover: 4/5

~~~~~Tanya ~~~~~

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Let the Hop Begin!

We at The Revolving Bookcase are super-excited to be participating in our first-ever blog hop! The premise is simple: The awesome people at I am a Reader, Not a Writer and BookHounds have put together a very large group of book bloggers (including us, of course!) who will be giving away great books or book-related prizes this week. To make it easy on everyone who wants to enter, they have provided a list of all the participating blogs (which we have links to at the end of this post), so you can just "hop" from one to the next! If you are going in order, we're #242 on the list!

Tanya and I are giving away THREE books for our giveaway: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, The Summer We Came to Life by Deborah Cloyed, and The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn. Just fill out the form below to enter. You may only enter once, and you don't have to be a follower to enter, but to show our appreciation, any followers will get an extra entry into the contest! (Sorry, at this time, we can only ship to US addresses) The giveaway runs from August 1-7th; the winner will be chosen randomly on the 8th, and contacted by e-mail. If we don't hear back from the winner in 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck to everyone! And happy hopping!!

Sunday Stunner

I have decided that on Sundays I am going to, at least once a month, pick a book cover that I think is STUNNING. Whether it be stunning beautiful or stunning horrible. As my first choice This week I am going to pick a cover, well covers, that I think are just stunningly beautiful. They are the covers to a book series by Cynthia Hand. The second book is not out yet but the cover was revealed back in May and I think its just a breathtaking as the cover of the first book.

I have not yet read either book, however I do have the first book in my ever growing to read pile. I have a habit of buying the books, and if I know it is going to be a series waiting until I have most of if not all of the books so I can read them all back to back and stay in the world the author has created. I picked up the first book sole based on the cover and after reading the blurb on the jacket I thought it would be an interesting read. I really enjoy how almost simple the covers are. All one color, no overly bright but still captures your attention on the shelf. I just want to give a kudos to whomever is designing these covers as they are just amazingly beautiful.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Review: Trapped

 Author:  Michael Northrop
Format:  Hardcover, 232 pp
Release date: February 2011
Publisher:  Scholastic Press (who else?)
Genre:  Young Adult (Lexile: 750L)

From the publisher:
  The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive....
Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision....
I found this book refreshing. Maybe it was because I was reading about a snowstorm in 90+ degree heat, but I think it was more to do with the story itself. No vampires or aliens. No witches or strange magical powers. What it did have was a strong lead voice who I think anyone can relate to and an entirely plausible premise. The author does a great job of bringing you right into that New England high school. Even someone who has never experienced a true Nor'easter will have no trouble picturing the snow mounting and feel the chill developing within the isolated school. I loved that the chapter headers start low and move farther up the page as the book goes on and snow piles up under them. Even the cover with its pale icy blue color and smoothness almost feels cooler to the touch than it should.

This book was a quick, fun read.  My only complaint was that maybe it was a bit too quick. I read a few reviews from people who hated the abruptness of the ending, but I disagree. I felt the ending was appropriate -- anything more would have taken away from the focus of the story. But, I did believe that the part leading up to the ending could have been expanded a bit. I was just starting to enjoy the tension and then all of a sudden, it was over. I wanted more exploring and looting of the school (no library to curl up in?) and better development of the secondary characters (especially the girls!), but overall I really enjoyed this book and getting "trapped" for a few days with the kids of Tattawa High School.

Book:  3.5/5    Cover/Design: 5/5 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
  Author: Ransom Riggs
Format: Hardcover, 352 pp
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Release date: 06.07.11
Age Range: Young Adult 

From the publisher: 
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

 This is one of those books that immediately grabs your attention when you see it sitting there on the shelf. It just asks to be open and explored. Once you do open it, your interest is piqued even more. Flipping through its pages, you find many old-looking, curious photographs like the one on the cover. The book boards and end sheets are what looks like an old wallpaper print. The book itself is a work of art. 
  I wish I could say the same about the story. Yes, it is original in concept, but you need more than a concept to write a great novel. I never felt involved in the story. It was almost as if so much energy was used to develop the design that there was no more left for the actual writing. The characters lacked depth. The romantic aspect (which is minor) was sort of creepy. There are many inconsistencies throughout the book (which I cannot mention without giving away a big part of the story).  I have to say the last 50-75 pages of the book were, by far, the best, so I do have hope for the sequel (which is most obviously planned).
  I wanted to love this book, I was disappointed that I just didn't. 

Book: 2.5/5   Cover/Design: 4.5/5

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Read-a-thon Wrap-up!

So, my first Read-a-thon is coming to an end, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not that I ever need an excuse to read all day, but it gave me a sense of purpose doing so. I didn't quite hit my goal of 4 books, but I managed to finish the 2 books I had already begun reading, complete a third, and start a fourth. I also completed one mini-challenge and enjoyed reading all the updates during the "thon" from my fellow book lovers and bloggers! I will be posting reviews on my completed books shortly. Thanks to the great folks at Reading Angel, Pure Imagination, and Candace's Book Blog for hosting such a wonderful event! Can't wait for the next one! 

Read-a-thon books completed:

Book started (not completed):

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day One of the Once Upon a Read-a-Thon!

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon

 Day One of the Once Upon a Read-a-Thon is drawing to a close and despite my best efforts, I've gotten relatively little reading done. I did manage a few pages of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children while outside with my dogs this morning and while waiting in the lobby of Time Warner Cable. And then this evening I've read about 5 chapters of Jill Shalvis' The Sweetest Thing. I hope to get in at least another hour of reading before bed, and I'm looking forward to Wednesday when I have the day off and plan to read outside in my hammock for at least half of it. I did manage to stop by The Musings of ALMYBNENR and do a fun mini-challenge on book covers. I'm very excited about the possibility of winning one of the books she is giving away...choosing which one might be tough though.

If you haven't signed up for the read-a-thon, there's still time!  Just click on the picture above and happy reading!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

YA EVENT Wonderful as Always

What does one do on a Friday night in the Hudson Valley? Well if you are Laura and I, its go to another wonderful Hudson Valley YA Society Event. This past Friday night, my fellow blogger and myself went to our second event at Oblong Books & Music. This was the Survivor edition, all of the authors present had books out that had their characters surviving a quest, a blizzard or being stranded on a desert island.

The authors at this event (from left to right) were E. Archer (GEEK), Michael Northrop (Trapped) and the very funny Libba Bray (Beauty Queens). All of the authors were very funny and nice but I gotta say Libba stood out in the crowd. In order to tell us what her book was about, she did her own version of MAD LIBS. And a special congratulations to Michael Northrop as his novel was featured in NPR's list of YA picks for summer suitable for all ages. Check out article here. As an added bonus after the event we were able to choose an ARC from two baskets that they had there. I chose Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs and Laura chose Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl. A very good Friday night.
Here is a picture of Laura and I while we waited for the event to start.

I am blessed to have such a great independent bookstore so close to me that runs these events about once a month. And I can not wait to see what next month's event will bring. Happy Reading! -Tanya


Once Upon a Read-a-Thon
Click on picture above to sign-up!

I'm very excited to be participating in my first read-a-thon starting tomorrow!  My sister (who happens to be a school library media specialist) told me about it, and it sounds awesome.  You challenge yourself to read more than you normally would, and post updates (which I'll be doing here, but you can do it on facebook or twitter if you don't have a blog).  Participants are automatically entered to win lots of cool book swag and giveaways from authors, publishers, and the bloggers at Reading Angel, Pure Imagination, and Candace's Book Blog (who are running the contest)!  My goal is to finish reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Just My Style: A Book About Fonts, and then also 2 more yet to be chosen, for a total of 4 books in 3 days!  Hope you'll join me!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I am new at this blogging and it is really becoming addictive. I did not know that this "book blogosphere" existed until chatting with the girls from The Novel Affair while on a long line at the BEA. And now all I want to do is read blogs so I can find out about books that I HAVE TO read. I knew there were great books to read but I just would wonder the shelves at my local bookstores and see what jumped out at me. Now I have a to read list that is quite a few pages long. I must say I am totally enjoying it. There now needs to be more hours in the day so I can read and accomplish everything else in my day. I don't think my boss or husband would like it if I read my day away, but that would be my idea of paradise. So I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Ashley and Marisa for chatting with me on that long line and exposing me to this AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL blogosphere.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review Delirium by Lauren Oliver


Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Publisher : Harper Collins

Source: BEA Giveaway

I had heard and read lots of great things about this book and new it was on my to read list. When I found out the Lauren Oliver was going to be at the BEA this year signing this book, I knew I had to be on that line. After waiting for over an hour to get this book and meeting Lauren (who was extremely nice even after signing books for over an hour) I knew this was going to be the first book I read from my BEA loot. I must say I was not disappointed in my choice. I truly enjoyed this book. It started out a little slow for me, it was a lot of back round information but about 1/4 was into the book it started to pick up and by the last 100 pages I could not stop reading. One particular aspect of the story I liked was the Book of Shhh (The Safety,Health, and Happiness Handbook). I enjoyed the clever way the author gave you the rules from this book making this world seem possible. How people could find actual medical problems(e.g stress, depression, heart disease) as symptoms that were caused by love (amor deliria nervosa). The author put a lot of thought into creating this world and its almost is if she wrote two books. I was shocked by the plot twists towards the end and the cliffhanger she left us with. I know I will be anxiously awaiting the 2nd book of this series, Pandemonium which is slated to come out in March 2012.

BOOK : 4.5/5 Cover: 4/5 ( I like the cover for the special edition version more)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Reviews: Phantom Evil by Heather Graham & The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

I am reviewing these books together because they basically are the same book, with variations. They both are set in the South, about women who can see ghosts, an ability which will ultimately help them each solve a crime. Both are the first in a series of books (The Restorer is the first of The Graveyard Queen series, and Phantom Evil is the first in the Krewe of Hunters series).  Both are billed as "romance" novels, but the romance takes a backseat to the rest of the story. They do have their own unique pros and cons though... 

I read The Restorer first, and maybe that is one of the reasons why I liked it so much better. The heroine, Amelia Gray, is a 2nd generation graveyard restorer, who also happens to be able to see ghosts.  There are rules about this "gift," which she's always held fast to, until she meets Devlin. Because he is haunted by some of those ghosts (but is unaware),  Amelia knows she is supposed to stay far away from him. But, he needs her help, both professionally and personally. Together, they must solve a murder after a new body is found in the old graveyard Amelia is restoring. 
         I literally could not sleep while reading this book; both because I didn't want to put it down, and then did not want to turn out the light when I did. The story is fresh and compelling. The chemistry between the main characters is exciting. However, I did feel disappointed that so much was left unanswered at the end. I get it is part of a series, but the sheer number of loose ends in this book is more than a little annoying. Still, I cannot wait to read book #2.

         I wish I had the same enthusiasm about Heather Graham's Phantom Evil. It was good, it just wasn't great. Unlike The Restorer, it is very obvious from the start that this book is part of a series. Way too many characters are introduced quickly in the book, and their supposed instant chemistry is a bit forced -- as is the romance between the main characters. It's almost as if they get together because they have nothing better to be doing. The plot had potential, and for the most part was interesting, but became confusing at times. I did find most of the characters likable, I just felt like they all lacked depth, even the supposed main characters of the novel.  I did appreciate that although this is to be part of a series, there were very few loose ends left dangling.

In the end, I'll probably end up reading all the books in both series, but I'm definitely anticipating the end of Amelia Gray's story in the Graveyard Queen series more.

Note:  I received free copies of both The Restorer and Phantom Evil from their publishers at the BEA. 

The Restorer:  book: 4.5/5  cover: 5/5 
Phantom Evil:  book: 3/5   cover:  4/5

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

YA Books are on Fire!

Sorry I have not been posting, have had a very rough personal month, but things are starting to get back to normal. There have been some things on my mind. One thing, has been all the talk about the WSJ article about YA books. (article here) I think that life is full of happiness and sadness. Not all YA books are dark and dangerous. Children now a days are exposed to a lot of information at a young age and I think they understand a lot more than I certainly did when I was younger. I think there are a lot of choices for everyone to choose from and if a parent wanted to find a book for their child, they could with a little research and effort before going to the store.
Also, I am extremely excited about all the YA books that are currently either being filmed or have been optioned. Of course The Hunger Games, The Mortal Instruments & Wicked Lovely to name a few. And who could forget the final movies of Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga. YA books are on fire right now and I am proud to say I am addicted to them. Happy Reading! -Tanya

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review: Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love - Andrew Shaffer

From the publisher (Harper Perennial):
"Few people have failed at love as spectacularly as the great philosophers. Although we admire their wisdom, history is littered with the romantic failures of the most sensible men and women of every age, including:

Friedrich Nietzsche: "Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent." (Rejected by everyone he proposed to, even when he kept asking and asking.)
Jean-Paul Sartre: "There are of course ugly women, but I prefer those who are pretty." (Adopted his mistress as his daughter.)
Louis Althusser: "The trouble is there are bodies and, worse still, sexual organs." (Accidentally strangled his wife to death.) "

As Blaise Pascal said, "The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing." Interestingly enough, he is not among the 37 philosophers whose, often amusing and sometimes shocking, love lives are featured in this quick read of a book. The layout is more like a Who's Who than a thesis, with each philosopher getting a 2-4 page "entry" which includes a brief (shallow) mention of their life and work and how they "failed" at love. There is a lot of the multiple marriages, mistresses, and illegitimate children we are used to in today's society, but there are also some outrageous pairings, taboo relationships, and odd neuroses among other tales which make this book very interesting and entertaining. It is clear the author approached the subject with a sense of humor and was really not looking to judge (also illustrated by the fact that when he signed my copy he also stamped an anatomical heart and a large red "FAIL" across the title page - see picture below). For those of you who want to brush up on your philosophy, this is not the book for you.  It is however, the book for anyone who wants reassurance that even the greatest of minds are as confounded by love as the rest of us are

Ratings: Book:  4/5   Cover: 3/5

Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Judge Away

I don't think the phrase "You can't judge a book by its cover" was ever meant to be used in reference to actual books, because not only can you do exactly that, but it is done all the time. and without remorse. I'm pretty sure I've bought a book simply because I liked the way it looked. Who wants to be seen reading an ugly book? So, I don't care what anyone says, I'm about to judge lots of books by their covers.  Here are my picks for best and worst book cover design. 

note:  I have not actually read most of the books on this list, nor have I viewed the covers of all the books out there.  I'm sure there are prettier and uglier ones in existence.  Please feel free to suggest other ones I should include.  Maybe I'll do a "part II" best and worst list some day. 

THE BEST (in no particular order):

I love the use of the "Peanuts" font and the iconic Charlie Brown shirt design

There are a bunch of recent YA covers that I love, but I think this is my favorite.

They say you aren't supposed to have white covers on books anymore because they don't stand out enough on, but I think both Jurassic Park and its sequel pop just fine. 

The book may have turned out to be a not-so-true "memoir", but I still love the concept of the cover.

Love the font and the Shel Silverstein drawing.

What could make you feel more like you should be sitting in a nursery reading this to a child?

I've been lucky enough to only have had 2 migraines in my life,
but I'd say this is a close representation of what my head felt like then.

This cover gets bonus points for putting in the effort to not only put the dog upside-down,
but cut out as well.


I didn't know Beethoven was a pedophile.

I actually read this one.  I think they've since changed the cover. I wonder why?

I get it is supposed to be teaching kids about death,
but did you have to use creepy Halloween-y font and put the dead bird right on the cover?

This is just one of many bad romance novel covers.

When I first saw this cover I thought it was a sci-fi book about aliens with exceptionally long legs and big feet.  It's not.

Bill, do you have to be on the cover of all your books?  And putting the price right on the front of the book isn't tacky at all.  Nice comb-over, by the way.

The not-so-human centipede?

I don't really have a specific reason, I just hate the cover of this book.  A lot.