Sunday, June 24, 2012

BEA: A Recap

First off I want to say two things (1) this is probably going to be a very long post and that (2) I really enjoyed BEA. I want to mention that every blogger, author, and everyone else was so nice. Even when we were all a bit loopy by Thursday (I was completely exhausted, but I still went for pretty much the whole day, so much was happening it was so interesting and a lot of fun).

To the real recap: I went to the Book Blogger Conference the day before BEA really started. And it was a lot of fun, and I did meet some awesome bloggers, but I didn't go to anything that happened in the afternoon, I just went to the hotel and took a nap because the concept sounded interesting, but it didn't seem like they'd give me anything helpful. (I know my own writing style and I don't blog to make money, also, I was just plain exhausted).

And then Tuesday rolled around and I was waiting in line with a bunch of other people and we were all chatting and everything about everything and anything, mostly books. I truly don't remember a lot of the conversations I had with people, I remember snippets, and I tried to make it a point to get everyone's card so I could go and check out their blog later, as if I'm not subscribed to enough already. I'm going to, hopefully, eventually get a video up of the books I got, but at the bottom will be some of the ones I'm most looking forward to.

Wednesday and Thursday were just as much fun and I went to more signing and tried to not pick up as many books, because while I was reading the back of the book to make sure I liked it, I ended up with a lot. And I was with my mom, who was also picking up books, so we ended up with a lot and I'm hoping to have a giveaway up soon.

The signings I went to and the authors I met were definitely a highlight of the event. I love being able to tell an author I love their work or their blog/videos or maybe just their outfit. And I got to meet Suzanne Lazear, whose book looks amazing and I've been talking to on Twitter for quite a few months now, and I got to see Leanna Renee Hieber who I met probably a year ago about in New Hampshire and who I consider a friend. You should check both of these authors out, if you haven't.

My overall thoughts on the whole week were that it was an amazing experience and that I almost broke my arms carrying books (books are heavy, people, lift with your legs). And that while I didn't go to the Teen Author Carnival or any other outside activities, except one, there were a lot because there were a lot of authors in town and it was just amazing. If you have the chance to go, I'd really suggest it.

And I know this is a little late, considering that BEA was over two weeks ago, but it's been a bit hectic here. The least of it being my birthday this last Friday (22nd) and my mom's birthday today (24th), but I'll hopefully be getting back to blogging on a regular schedule very soon. (I have two more big trips this summer. One coming up this week and the other the beginning of August. VidCon and Leakycon are my favorite parts of the summer!

Books I got (and can't wait to read):

The Twisted Tragedy of Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Hieber, And this is the second book in her Magic Most Foul series and if you haven't read the first one, you definitely should. It's been described as The Picture of Dorian Grey meets Pride and Prejudice with a splash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. 

Innocent Darkness by Suzzane Lazear which is a steampunk faerie tale. Let me say that again, steampunk faerie tale. I can't wait to finally be able to just read this one! And then there is The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow which is also steampunk and it just looks amazing.

I'm also looking forward to The Diviners, Carnival of Souls, The Blessed, Magisterium, Throne of Glass, Origin, Crewel, Falling Kingdoms, and so many more. (All of these sound amazing for one reason or another and I wish that I could just read 24/7 all summer).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Review: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell

Book: The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1)
Author: Chris Colfer
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale retellings (Middle Grade)
Rating: 4/5
Page Count: 488 (Hardcover)
Favorite character: I'm not sure. I really loved Goldilocks, though, even though she's not in the book too much, I did really enjoy her character and back story.

Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairytales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

I didn't know what to expect going into this book. I mean, fairy tale retellings are something that have been happening in abundance but, at least personally, I've never read anything like this one. It's not so much a retelling as a continuation of the fairy tales that everyone read and loved, and I adored it. I loved all the different back stories that Chris gives to these characters.

I didn't have many problems with this book, as it were, besides the fact that it took me a ridiculous amount of time to read it, but I'm blaming that on a reading slump. Some of the writing, though, was a little weird, some of the wording of things didn't sit right with me, bringing me out of the story a little, but that wasn't a frequent happening. As you can see, probably, since I rated it 4/5.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend to anyone who would love to find out one way that fairy tale characters lives could go after that 'happily ever after.' And even the not to happily ever afters, too.

On an a slightly unrelated not, isn't that cover awesome? I adore it. Especially because it has the twins on it and other characters from the book. I just think it's completely gorgeous.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Review: The Looking Glass Wars

Book: The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wards #1)
Author: Frank Beddor
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Steampunk (YA)
Rating: 4/5
Page Count: 358 (Paperback)
Favorite Character: At the very beginning it was Dodge, but I think at the end it was Alyss. Or Hatter, who is kind of in the background a bit, but he was awesome. I mean, I obviously still really like Dodge's character but just, sometimes... Well, you'll see.

Plot: (From Goodreads)

The Myth: Alice was an ordinary girl who stepped through the looking glass and entered a fairy-tale world invented by Lewis Carroll in his famous storybook.

The Truth: Wonderland is real. Alyss Heart is the heir to the throne, until her murderous aunt Redd steals the crown and kills Alyss? parents. To escape Redd, Alyss and her bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, must flee to our world through the Pool of Tears. But in the pool Alyss and Hatter are separated. Lost and alone in Victorian London, Alyss is befriended by an aspiring author to whom she tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Yet he gets the story all wrong. Hatter Madigan knows the truth only too well, and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

Let me start this review off with saying that if you're a diehard Lewis Caroll fan and don't like when people take his world and turn it upside and inside out, then this just isn't for you. Beddor takes such an interesting take on Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland and I loved it. I enjoy retellings and one of my favorites is one that took the story and changed it, remaking it as that person's one Wonderland. (It's the TV miniseries Alice from 2009. I've watched it so many times, it's ridiculous. But I love it).

Anyway, this is a retelling in which Alyss Heart is the daughter of the Queen of Hearts and is trapped in London for many years after her aunt tries to kill her. It sounds interesting, doesn't it? It was so very well done. I love the way that the world is built and how this were explained and how 'Imagination' was explained. I'm not going to say anything about it, but I truly just loved that.

The only read that it's not 5/5 stars (or looking glasses) is because I just, well, I struggled through the middle part in London. I mean, I know it had to be there, but I still struggled through it, a lot. Especially when she's just gotten there. However, the world building, as I said, was good and interesting. The characters were also interesting and it's interesting to see what they'll decide on. The description in this book was very good, it felt like I was walking the streets with them, so to speak. Also, there are illustrations in here, only at one part in the middle, a bunch of color ones. And those just added something extra to the story that I really enjoyed, (I secretly - not so secretly now - wish that more novels had illustrations. For example, the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, those were awesome!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WWW Wednesday (5)

This meme is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Personally, I only do it every other week, but I hope you enjoy it and if you do a WWW Wednesday or something else feel free to link me in the comments!

It's asked that you answer these three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading
  • What do you think you'll read next?

Currently Reading:

Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams
I've been loving this series, it's hilarious. I'm not that far through this one, but loving it so far. 

Ender's Game
This book is really good, I just can't seem to read more then 20-30 pages at a time without wanting to throttle at least 1/2 of the characters, so then I put it down. So this one may take me a while.

Recently Finished:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's 1) by Douglas Adams (5/5)
I've been wanting to start this series for a while, and as you can see above I'm loving it. This book was nothing like I expected. I picked it up a while ago and then never got about to finishing it. And these last two weeks I've been in a bit of a reading slump so I thought I'd try something different. And this is definitely different then a lot of things I read and it was amazing. I would reccomend this to anyone who doesn't mind that the story only makes sense about 25% of the time.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's #2) by Douglas Adams (5/5)
This book was just as good as the first, this book is one I can't predict really what could happen next because, as I said, it rarely makes any sense. Though, now that I think about it, it's probably one of the reasons that I love it so much. 

What I Might Read Next:

I'm not even going to try this week. I'm currently in New York City for BEA and I have no idea what books I'll be getting, but whatever I get, I'll be reading that.  (I love New York and it's, I'm sure, going to be a blast and well worth the 4 hour drive it took to get here. And all the school work I'm going to have to make up, I didn't even bother bringing my textbooks because I know I won't have the time). I wrote this very early Monday morning to make sure that I had at least one post up this week, so I'm sorry if there are any mistakes but my interent will be limited the rest of the week. Internet is expensive, I always forget that. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

May Wrap-Up

So it's that time again, where I list all of the books I've read this month and tell you what I thought of them and what I rated them out of 5 stars. I read quite a few books this month, I participated in the Bout-of-Books read-a-thon which may have something to do with it, and you can check out my post about that here.

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass (5/5)
I loved this book, it was such a different dystopian book then normal, and I just really enjoyed it. You can see my full review here.

The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wars #1)by Frank Beddor (4/5)
This is a book based on The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll which I haven't actually finished. It was really good, though, it's such a different and amazing take on the story and I loved it. It was really good and I'd recommend it.

The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2) by Rick Riordan (4/5)
This is the second book in the Kan Chronicles series which is an amazing series and this book is even better then the first, I loved it. I really adore the two main characters, Carter and Sadie, and I'd recommend this series.

Fool Moon (Dresden Files #2) by Jim Butcher (4/5)
I am loving this series so far. I just really enjoy Jim Butcher's writing style and how he describes everything, like the magic, for example, is just so realistic. Before I just start gushing about this series, I reviewed the first book, Storm Front, and that can be found here.

The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima (5/5)
This book was amazing. I still can't form any eloquent thoughts about this book yet it's just all flailing and fangirling. I was craving some high fantasy and I'd recently heard how amazing this book is and it definitely was.

The Walking Dead: Book One by Robert Kirkman (4/5)
I didn't expect to like this as much as I did. I'd started the TV show but didn't really feel anything about it, really. I mean, it was good, but some of it made no sense. (Like handcuffing a guy to a roof. What the hell was that about?) However, I really enjoyed this and the plots and zombies were interesting.

The Gunslinger (Gunslinger #1) by Stephen King (5/5)
I've, of course, heard a lot of good things about this series and being a Stephen King fan, it was crazy I hadn't read it yet. And I enjoyed it as much as I thought I would, it was just so different and amazing. I have even less eloquent things to say about this one, it was just amazing.

Fruits Basket, V.1 by Natsuki Takaya (5/5)
I've read this series before, but not all the way through in a while, so I started to again and I forgot how good it was. I mean, it's cheesy and silly at times, but I adore it.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (5/5)
This book was perfection, no really, I've never read anything like this and it was just so interesting. I've never read any of Terry Pratchett's work - yet, I plan too - so I wasn't sure what to expect really, but I loved it to pieces. The writing was fantastic and the characters were great.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide #1) by Douglas Adams (5/5)
I just, this was, I mean. Okay, let's try that again. This book makes absolutely no sense, really. I mean, it kind of does, but regardless I really enjoyed it.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide #2) by Douglas Adams (5/5)
And this one was equally as good, I've become very attached to these characters and I just love everything about this series, I'm really excited to continue it.