FridayReads 3/9/2012

So I have been skipping FridayReads most weeks, as you guys have probably noticed. I got so caught up in reviewing that I just plain forgot about it, to be honest. When I did remember, I decided it was probably time to revamp, as you can see by my nifty little graphic. It takes up less space in the post than inserting each cover picture and contains more information, and mostly, I just like fiddling around with graphics on occasion. πŸ™‚

Without further ado, let’s go on to the ‘reads!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: This one is not quite living up the hype, I just have to say. I kinda like it, but it feels to me like the core of the story– the Cinderella retelling– gets lost amongst all of the sci-fi trappings. Don’t get me wrong, I love sci-fi, but I did go into this expecting more of a… well, Cinderella story. Overall, though, it’s been a good, fun, fast read so far. Here’s hoping that the fairy-tale comes out a little more while still keeping all of the awesome sci-fi elements in the rest!

The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer: So far, this one is awesome. It’s a bit like City of Ember meets Lord of the Flies. Sometimes, the plotting gets a little overly convoluted, but overall, it’s proving itself to be a solid read. πŸ˜€

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner:The worldbuilding in this one is PHENOMENAL. At only 15% in, I don’t really have much to say aside from that.

What are YOU reading this Friday? Drop me a comment and let me know!

 

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Friday Reads

Just a quick post for FridayReads today, dear readers, as I am at least 70% sure that the freezing rain in my area is going to cause a power outage tonight, and therefore wish to put this post up while I still have Internet. Oh, the joys of winter storms! πŸ˜›

Anyway, on to the books!

 

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

So far, this is a nice, light paranormal read with bucketloads of quirk. I’m not sure that I am entirely fond of Evie, but I do love her snark. And I absolutely LOVE what Ms. White has done with the mythology of faeries/vampires/shapeshifters! I’m not too deep into the romance quite yet– I am particularly interested to see how that might develop. (Also, this cover is LOVELY.)

Warning: I have some light spoilers in the next book-bit. Please don’t read if you haven’t read Mastiff and do not wish to be spoiled.

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

I’m only about 50 pages into Mastiff, but so far I am liking it just as much as the first two books of the Beka Cooper series. Unlike many reviewers, I do not believe that the abusive relationship that Beka found herself in is unrealistic or out of character– women who get abused don’t go around thinking “oh, I’m going to meet a jerk who’s going to do terrible things to me today”. Even the strongest of women can find themselves in an abusive situation, and I think that Pierce has portrayed that with a certain amount of grace, at least so far. Also, I am totally psyched about Master Farmer, who is one of my favorite new characters in Tammy’s pantheon. He’s adorable. πŸ™‚

 

What are you all reading this Friday? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

 


 

 

 

 

 

Friday Reads + Book Goodies

I’ve had a pretty awesome week as far as books go. My PaperBackSwap membership has started paying off, with books that I don’t want leaving the house at least once a week, while ones that I do want trickle in. It’s helping me keep my book budget down, which in turn allows me to buy more new books. Which is awesome, considering that there are SO MANY great books coming out right now!

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to one of the aforementioned awesome new books, which was released exactly ten days ago:

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

How to describe The Fault In Our Stars? Well, if you haven’t heard of it or read it or gotten your hands on it at some point in the last ten days, then you are missing out. My usual Pros and Cons review notes have been tentatively re-titled Things That Make Me Laugh/Aww and Things That Make Me Weep, Sniffle, and Cry Like a Baby. I’m not going to say much more, because I’m over halfway through and will probably have my review up early next week, and also because I don’t want to spoil this book for ANYONE. If you’re questioning whether or not you should pick up this book, my answer is unequivocally “Yes.” Even if you don’t like “sad” books. Even if you “don’t read” YA. Even if you’ve never readΒ  a John Green book before. GET THIS BOOK.

It’s one of those books that simply demands to be read.

TFiOS has kind of been dominating my thoughts recently, obviously, but I’ve also received a ton of other interesting/awesome/fun-looking books recently, courtesy of fellow users of PaperBackSwap and the wonders of Amazon.

I’ve been waiting to pick these two up for ages, and when I found them on PBS, I decided it was about time that I snagged them.

TFiOS (and yes, that is a signed copy sticker on there– I took a picture of that too :D) and Paranormalcy, which has been recommended to me by several people including the lovely adkwriter15. (I figured I might need that one as a feel-good once I got done with TFiOS– just in case the worst happened/happens.)

I’ve heard great things about Kleypas’ historical romance, and I’m a devoted fan of Bones, so these were kind of a no-brainer for me.

What great books have YOU gotten your hands on recently? Have/are you read/reading TFiOS? Feel free to comment and let me know!

Friday Reads + Alpha SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers

I’ve been a terrible reader this week. I’ve mostly shelved Clockwork Angel and The Broken Kingdoms so that I could finish Angelfall. Then I went ahead and bought another Kindle book so that I could have something to read when my insomnia acts up and I end up awake but don’t really want to have to turn the light on. Yeah, I know. I’m lazy to boot. In my defense, I’m back on both books , but am also having some serious fun with Luck of the Devil.

Luck of the Devil by Patricia Eimer

Faith Bettincourt has some issues with her family– but what daughter of Satan wouldn’t?

This is not a deep read. It doesn’t have a lot to say about the human condition. It’s a light-hearted paranormal romance and is meant to be read as such. So far, I’ve picked out a few quibbles that I intend to flesh out when I review this later, but so far, it’s perfectly good at being what it is: humorous romance. I’m interested to see how it will progress once I get past all the introductory bits– I’m already fairly sure that Matt is an angel of some sort, which gives me the giggles considering that I still have Raffe on the brain and he would be absolutely mortified that Matt even exists. But enough talk of angels in my head (I’m not crazy, I swear!) and on to this Friday’s second topic: Alpha Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop for Young Writers (AKA Two Summers Well Spent).

I applied to Alpha for the first time the year that I turned 17, after stumbling upon while browsing Tamora Pierce’s author website. I had a story that I had been working on for about a month, so I polished it up and sent it in, thinking, “Well, this might be a nice summer thing for me.”

Guys? Alpha is a lot more than a “nice summer thing”. Alpha makes casual writers into serious ones, and gives you the experience and intent to possibly pursue authorship as a career. It also takes shy, socially awkward introverts (like me) and gives them the confidence to “let their nerd flag fly”, as my mom would say. You spend two weeks being instructed by writing greats such as Holly Black, Tamora Pierce, David Levine, and Ellen Kushner, while writing and polishing your own short story for submission. The atmosphere is great, and the people who you will meet are absolutely indispensable– the sort of people who will gladly hash out details of your plot with you at 2AM when you’re stuck. I attended in 2011, and returned as a “Beta” or counselor in 2012, and both times, I had an immense amount of fun and learned so much about the path that I am on. If you are aged 14-19, and you write fantasy/science fiction/horror, then I would strongly recommend that you apply.Β  The deadline is March 1st, 2012, so get writing! πŸ™‚

If anyone reading this blog would like to help support Alpha, there’s a fundraiser going on right now over here. There are tons of awesome books, critiques, and oddities up for auction, and anyone who donates ANY AMOUNT to the workshop will receive the 2012 Alpha alumni anthology e-book of illustrated flash fiction, which contains art and stories contributed by several years worth of Alphans. This is a great opportunity for the teen writers in your life, and your donations help it keep going year after year! Thank you!

Until next time, dear readers– I’m off to make some headway on my new short story and get showered and fed before Supernatural comes on tonight! That review will be going live on Sunday along with my review of the premier of BBC’s The Fades.