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The Compulsive Reader: November 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay


Megan's life was going great—she had a cool new boyfriend, Homecoming was coming up, and a shot at making the pom squad. Then the zombie showed up. Megan had thought that her Settler powers had faded the night of the accident five years ago, but apparently not. Now she's back comforting the Undead who crawl out of their graves and look to her to attend to their unfinished business.

But there's a slight problem: someone's been reanimating corpses, and sending these violent zombies to kill Megan, foiling all her Homecoming plans in the process. She's positive it is nasty Monica who’s behind it all, a fellow Settler who has hated her for years and is jealous of the attention that hunky Ethan has been showering on her. But before she makes her case to Settlers' Affairs, Megan will need irrefutable proof...and time is running out.

Stacey Jay has created one whirlwind of a novel. The idea of a secret society of Settlers who mind all the zombies in the world is a unique and fun one, and Jay does an exceptional job depicting it, despite the slightly shaky beginning. The overall tone of the book was very lighthearted, even during the more suspenseful scenes, and sarcastically witty. Megan is a vivacious and energetic character, although her narration may seem a little shallow (her constant obsession with how hot every guy is comes across as realistic, if not a little tiring) and a bit offhand. However, the structure of the book is solid and the mystery baffling. The added shots of hilarious lingo and zombie butt kicking action add the novel’s humor and give the book a steady moving pace. Jay offers just enough of Megan and her world to get readers interested, and has laid the groundwork for a sequel, Undead Much?, which will hopefully expand on Megan and her powers, sans the unrelenting boy talk.


This will be available from Razorbill on January 22nd, 2009!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Belle: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Cameron Dokey


Belle lives a comfortable life with her merchant father, loving mother, and two elder, beautiful sisters. Since she was very young, she has always felt invisible in the shadow cast by her sisters who are much more beautiful and elegant than she. Because of this, she chooses to pour all of her energy into her woodcarving while her sisters attend parties and balls and make a place for themselves in Society.

Then all of their lives are shattered when Belle’s father's ships are lost at sea, and with them all of their wealth. Belle and her family are forced to sell everything and retreat through the mysterious woods into the country to a much simpler life. But one stormy night drives Belle's father to a mysterious manor in the heart of the woods, home to a magnificent beast and Heartwood tree, which, if carved, will show the heart's desire. Now Belle must journey to the Heartwood, to face the beast, her insecurities, and her destiny.

Once again Cameron Dokey dazzles readers into the realm of magic with her ability to fashion more descriptive and palpable tales out of beloved fairy tale classics. Belle's lyrical and starkly honest voice is mesmerizing, especially as she divulges all of her insecurities and describes her sisters without loathing or outright jealousy, but depicts them as they truly are. Though Dokey takes her time setting the scene of the story, her vivid characters and imagery make the wait worthwhile until Belle faces the Beast. The romance is quick and sweet in classic fairy tale fashion, and the conclusion is wonderfully light and romantic. Belle is more than a romance and tale of first impressions inner beauty, but one about finding self confidence in who you are, making it another wonderful addition to the Once Upon a Time... series.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fun Friday, Holiday Edition

Happy Fun Friday all,

I hope you are stuffed to the brim with turkey and pumpkin and other assorted goodies, full of thankfulness, and ready to plunge head first onto the Christmas season! (27 more days, you know. Don't be surprised if I go all Christmas crazy on you. I was raised by the the biggest pair of Christmas enthusiasts in the Midwest. Our house is EXPLODING with tinsel, lights, and baby Jesuses. I can barely hear myself think over the sound of Kenny G and his rendition of O Holy Night.)

Anyways, here's today's prize: One shiny, metallic cover clad copy of Amanda Marrone's Revealers. Since a lot of you are still probably doped up and sleepy on turkey, I'm letting this contest go all weekend. Just comment below by Sunday night, and I'll pick the winner sometime Monday morning. And please, unless you check this blog regulary (did you know you can follow me in an uncreepy way? Just scroll down and look for the little Follow button on the left), leave me some way to contact you so I can get you your shiny irirdescent copy of Revealers!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Cheers,

TCR

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Warrior Princess by Frewin Jones

Here's a little something to see you off on this holiday weekend (well, for my fellow Americans, anyway): Frewin Jones, author of The Faerie Path, has written a new novel called Warrior Princess, which has an amazing and totally kick-butt cover!

Princess Branwen ap Griffith is fifteen when her brother is murdered by the savage Saxons, who have been closing in on her family's home in their quest for land and riches. Branwen’s brother's death is a symbol of their heightened aggression. Though Branwen loathes the thought of backing down from the job of defending her home, she allows her parents to send her away to allies who will be able to keep her safe.

But Branwen is not prepared for the wave of hostility that meets her when she arrives at her allies' stronghold, where women have no place hunting or fighting, and she is forbidden from doing anything the lady of the land deems unladylike. Branwen longs for her home and for the chance to fight, but she still isn't prepared to accept her fate as a warrior, even when an encounter with a woman clad in white foretells a choice Branwen will have to make—one with devastating consequences. When all that she holds dear hangs in the balance, Branwen will have to choose to defy her elders and take a chance, or do as is expected of her and risk losing everything.

Warrior Princess is a fast paced and exciting historical fantasy read from the author of The Faerie Path. Branwen is a straightforward and intelligent heroine whose spirit, courage, and struggles will plead for attention from the younger branch of teen girls. Jones is a fearless storyteller who follows through with the plot and isn't afraid to realistically portray situations according to the time period, as well as weaving in many tidbits of historical information that seamlessly joins with the content of the story to create a more plausible and enjoyable book. Though some of the battle scene may be a tad too descriptive for younger readers, Warrior Princess can easily be considered a cross over to the middle grade genre with its wholesome message of girl power and independence, with just a hint of romance. Jones will have readers rooting for Branwen from the very first chapter, and eagerly anticipating a sequel.



Warrior Princess will be available from HarperTeen January 27th, 2008!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Win a Copy of Francey by Martin Dubow!

Hey there everybody,

I've got a great contest opportunitiy for you, thanks to Martin Dubow, author of Francey.

He's made a series of videos and posted them on YouTube to promote Francey. Check out the first one here, watch it, and then comment on it (no lame comments now, I want genuine input!). Then, report back to me and comment on this post to let me know you watched the video and commented, and I'll enter you to win a copy of Francey! It sounds complicated, but it's really easy!

This contest will run until December 24th, so hurry and enter! After watching the video, you'll most definitely want to read Francey!

Cheers,

TCR

Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle


From the outside, Persephone and Penelope Leland appear to be average young ladies, eagerly anticipating their coming out into London society. But Persy and Pen share a secret with their governess Miss Allydarce and their brother that no one must ever learn of: they possess the ability to do magic.

It seems like magic would make their lives easier, but once in London, Miss Allydarce is abducted because of her magical abilities in a sinister plot to harm Princess Victoria. Persy and Pen are determined to rescue her, with a little help from their brother Charles, but find it hard to in between their numerous social engagements. But when they finally do manage to find their beloved governess, the magic involved in the insidious plot may prove to be too much for the girls to handle...

Set against the glittering and elegant backdrop of early 19th century London, Bewitching Season offers an intriguing and unique peek into the world of the elite, with just the right dash of romance and magical appeal. The book focuses mainly of Persy, her aversion and apprehension to stuffy social occasions, preference for her studies and magic, and the ache of first love, made complicated by a pesky love spell. Marissa Doyle spends a great deal of time on the social aspects of the book as she portrays the girls' coming of age. Though more development of the magical elements of the book would have been nice, readers will be able to appreciate this quick and charming read for its lovable and eccentric characters, sly humor, even pacing, and wonderfully detailed descriptions. Bewitching Season is a fun and romantic read with the added plus of cleverly disguised historical details, making it educational without being stuffy. Fan will eagerly await Doyle's sequel Betraying Season, in which the story continues with Pen Leland.

A Good Day...

Today was one of those quality over quantity days when it came to checking my mailbox. Instead of a bog ole box of stuff, I got a few FANTASTIC looking books. Check it out:



Love is Hell
Princess Diaries X: Forever Princess
Love and Peaches
Belle
and
Night World 2
It'll be a fun Thanksgiving weekend!

Twilight Confessionals

I've been pretty objective as far as Twilight is concerned, but since I've got about 25 emails in my inbox wanting to know about my opinion on Twilight, both the books and movie, so here goes it. Where I stand on TWILIGHT:

I read Twilight in 2005.

I instantly loved it.

My copy (hardcover!) fell apart in 2006 from changing hands so much.

I am not overly fond of New Moon.

Nor Eclipse.

I jumped up and down once (okay, twice) when I heard that the Twilight movie was a go.

I was not shocked when Twilight became semi uncool to people.

I eagerly anticipated Breaking Dawn.

I got a teensy bit sick of Twilight talk.

I bought Breaking Dawn the first day it came out.

I did not go to a party, however.

I read BD in two days.

I did not think it was THAT BAD.

But, the pregnancy thing was tres odd.

Also, Jacob POV? Annoying, funny, perfect.

Also, cleolinda's spoof? Fantastic!

I went to see Twilight Friday night.

I thought that the sparkle was cheesy.

I thought some romantic parts did not translate well on screen.

I laughed a little (okay, a LOT) when Edward sucked the venom out of Bella's hand.

I was one of those obnoxious teenagers in the front row.

I liked the Twilight movie.

I like The Host better than the Twilight sequels.

I like Stephenie Meyer.

SO THERE.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson


Jenna Fox has no recollection of anything that happened before the day she woke up from her coma, a result of an accident that happened over a year ago. All she knows is what the people around her tell her: Matt and Claire, who claim to be her parents, and Lily who they say is her grandmother, but seems to hate her. And there are the videos--they've captured her life since the day she was born. But still, Jenna doesn't remember anything.


But she doesn't need to have memories to understand that her parents are hiding something from her, or to realize that something has changed between the relationship she and Lily had in the videos and the cool words and coiled tension that lies between them now. Jenna doesn't need to remember the past to see that something is very wrong in the way her mother is overprotective and keeps her locked up in the house all day. But unfortunately for her, it just might be the key to discovering what truly happened after that horrific accident.


The Adoration of Jenna Fox is cleverly written to pull readers in from the very first page with its relentless questions and mysterious air. Jenna's blunt voice and stark honesty make her a character to fall in love with, and sweeps readers right up into the mystery that is Jenna Fox. A combination of prose with scattered short poems within strike just the right balance in the story, giving it an understated and slightly foreboding air.


The Adoration of Jenna Fox also raises certain ethical questions and challenges readers as well intriguing them, giving the book more meaning and making it a more thought provoking and absorbing read by posing the simple question: who am I? Though the revelation of what really happened to Jenna is not as complex as what readers may have been expecting, it is nevertheless as affecting. You won't be able to get Jenna Fox out of your head.

Tuesday's Haul

The madness (wonders? Yes, wonders) continue:


How to Ditch Your Fairy
The fourth book in the Pretty Little Liars series
Wicked, book 5 in Pretty Little Liars (speaking of which, does anyone have the first three they'd be willing to lend me?)
The Other Book
Saving Juliet
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
WIld Magic
The Resistance
The Devouring
Warrior Princess by Frewin Jones
Treason in Eswy
The Dragon Flyer
Bite Me
Whew!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Winner!

Congrats, Adayla! You've won The Reincarnationist and The Memorist! Email me your mailing information, and I'll get them right out to you!

Cybele's Secret by Juliet Marillier


Paula is just one of many unusual women in her family. Ever studious and sharp, she's earned the privilege of accompanying her merchant father from their home in Transylvania to Istanbul as his assistant in search of a rare and precious artifact, Cybele's Gift. But once in Istanbul, Paula and her father learn that their contact there has been murdered—and his knowledge of Cybele's Gift may be the reason. Paula must now assist her father in rather unconventional ways—from making friends with scholars and a pirate to listening to gossip—in order to discover the location of the artifact. But she and her father aren't the only ones who aim to acquire Cybele's Gift, and as each day brings them closer to the thing which they seek, it also brings them closer to peril.

The most remarkable thing about Juliet Marillier's writing is her seemingly natural knack for not only telling an engaging and wonderful story, but for incorporating fascinating (and educational!) glimpses into whole new cultures. Istanbul comes positively alive in Cybele's Secret, both the exotic and other less favorable aspects of the life—like the oppression of women.

Paula, who readers were first introduced to in Wildwood Dancing as a quiet, intellectual, and serious girl, shines in this novel as a young women who is passionate, intelligent, and savvy. She is not without her faults though—her eagerness and refusal to accept a lower station in a world where women have no pull are admirable and often get her in scrapes that will delight readers and cause suspense.

The plot itself moves rather slowly in the beginning, but many readers won't mind as Marillier exposes the exotic setting and lays the groundwork for action. Though The Other Kingdom and magic is not as present in Cybele's Secret as it was in Wildwood Dancing, Paula is haunted by images of her eldest sister and ominous feelings of magic underfoot, which doesn't reveal itself until the fast paced and riveting end.

Full of witty banter, culture, adventure, strong heroines, a touch of romance, and just the right amount of magic, Cybele's Secret is an incredibly smart and complex tale that just might trump its prequel. A content ending with a peek into old characters' lives and just the right amount of foreshadowing will leave readers anticipating another book centered around the remarkable sisters who once danced in The Other Kingdom.


On a side note: I am absolutely in love with the cover! Kinuko Y. Craft is the artist, and she did Wildwood Dancing as well, along with the covers from Simon Pulse's Once Upon a Time...series. Detail is most definitely her forte...I could spend hours simply examining her covers!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Today's Haul

Perhaps not quite as impressive as some that arrived earlier this week, but nevertheless exciting. I especially want to read The Adoration of Jenna Fox and The Bewitching Season...perhaps I'll make them this weekend's project.


The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Bewitching Season
The Humming of Numbers
Masterpiece
Aurelie

Fun Friday: Win 2 Books by M.J. Rose




Hey guys,
This Friday offers the chance to win 2 books by M.J. Rose, who wrote The Reincarnationist and its companion, The Memorist, which was featured as part of the Halloween feature here.

Just comment below for a chance to win! Contest ends tonight at midnight, and the winner will be announced tomorrow morning!

Good luck!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Insight from Sasha Watson, Author of Vidalia in Paris


What prompted you to write about a young man in Marco's position, who gets by by stealing and selling art?

One way of falling in love is to be so dazzled by someone that you don't look beyond the surface that they show you. The perfect word for this is 'glamour', in the original, magical sense. Someone wearing a glamour appears to be one thing but is really another - and the appearance is usually everything you secretly desire. Though of course there's no magic in the book, Marco holds this kind of glamour for Vidalia. She looks at him and sees someone who moves easily in the world of art, who is free of responsibility, who has no fear. She starts to think that by being with him, she can have a perfect, glamorous life, that she can be the princess at the ball. Once she looks closer, of course, Vidalia sees something uglier behind the surface. That's where the art theft comes in. I wanted Vidalia to get swept away by a gorgeous illusion and then, finally, to have to look inside herself for what was really important. That's where Marco's character came from.

Do you see much of yourself in Vidalia?

While the details of my family, my talents, and my love life are all different from Vidalia's, I think we have the same sensibility. I love art as much as she does, and I'm just as deeply affected by it. For better or for worse, we both look for excitement in the wrong places sometimes, too. In this book, Vidalia is just beginning to learn what I now know: that the real exhilaration and satisfactions of life come from being a productive, creative artist and not from the outside world.

What artist, living or deceased, would you like to meet the most?

I think the answer to that question might change by the day, but today I'm going to say Helen Adam. She was a Scottish poet, folklorist, photographer, filmmaker, and collage artist, who also conducted seances, cast spells, and read tarot cards in San Francisco in the 60s. This YouTube clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9b7RhTYUKE) of her when she was in her eighties gives a pretty good idea of why I'd like to meet her. She's not only a brilliant artist, but she seems like she'd be a lot of fun hang out with, too. And I'd definitely want the meeting to take place in that fantastic apartment she's jumping around in!

How much time elapsed in between when you first started writing Vidalia in Paris and the date of publication?

It was four years from beginning to end. There were gaps in there, when I took breaks between drafts, but I started writing in 2004 and the book came out in 2008.

What was the hardest aspect of writing Vidalia in Paris? The easiest?

The hardest part was creating the character. I'd been very focused on poetry for a long time so when I started the novel, character felt very foreign to me. I had to teach myself how to do it. In the book I'm working on now, the character came to me very easily, so I guess I learned the lesson! The easiest, or at least the most pleasurable part, was writing about Paris because I love the city so much.

In your author bio, it is mentioned that you have lived in Paris. What's one of your favorite places there?

There are so many, I really can't limit it to just one! I'll give you three. I love the Luxembourg gardens for sitting outside in the spring, eating sandwiches from the bakery and talking to friends among the flowers; I love Shakespeare & Company for curling up in a corner and reading in the winter; and I love the Canal St. Martin for wandering along on summer nights, while people play guitar, hold hands, and enjoy life around you.

Will we be hearing more from Vidalia in the future, or do you have plans for other books?

Right now I'm working on a book about a completely different character, but I plan to return to Vidalia after that. I've always felt that her story would take three books to complete.

What's one good book that you'd like to recommend to your teen readers?

It's almost pointless to recommend this book because everyone's already reading it. I have no choice, though, because it's all I can think about: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The story is gripping beyond belief and the writing is wonderful. The main character, Katniss, goes through some excruciating trials, both physical and emotional in a dystopic, futuristic world, and it all rings perfectly true. It's the best book I've read in quite a while.

(TCR agrees! Click here for a review!)

Is there anything I didn't ask you wish I had?

Hmm, maybe, "Who else helped to make Vidalia a reality?" The answer is my fantastic editor, Joy Peskin, at Viking Young Readers, who understood Vidalia from the start and offered wonderful guidance on all aspects of the book; everyone else at Penguin, who did so much work on the book, particularly the designers who created the beautiful cover; and my agent, Rosemary Stimola.
Thanks so much, Sasha!
To learn more about Sasha, visit her very pretty website, sashawatson.com, for more info!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vidalia in Paris by Sasha Watson


Vidalia is thrilled—this summer, she's headed to Paris. And as if it weren't enough to simply be there, she'll be studying under the famous artist and teacher, Laurent Benoit. Despite her reservations about leaving her mother alone for six weeks, she sets off, excited for what her visit will bring. Once in Paris, she meets two guys—sweet, studious Julien who works at the bookstore Shakespeare and Company, and mysterious Marco, who is impulsive and passionate—and not altogether truthful.

Soon Vidalia is caught up in the excitement and wonder of a beautiful city, freedom, and the thrills of first love...but when she finds herself in over her head, will she be able to help herself?

One thing that stands out the most in Watson's debut novel is her exemplary use of imagery and her highly descriptive language that brings Paris and the surrounding French countryside to life, lending an air of authenticity to the book that is hard to achieve otherwise. Likewise, Vidalia is a very multi-faceted character whose strong emotions are palpable, and readers will empathize with her conflicting feelings for Marco, her exasperation with her mother, and the hurt of a friendship that seems to have run its course. These convincing and heartfelt feelings, along with Watson's smooth style, make it easier for teens to buy the slightly far-fetched details of the book, like Vidalia and Marco crashing an elite party. However, Watson keeps surprising the reader until the very end with plot twists and turns that you won't see coming without unnecessarily complicating the structure of the story. Overall, the Vidalia in Paris captures the beautiful rush of independence, and best of all, the coming of age.

My House is Booktropolis

It's the most wonderful time of the year...and no, I don't mean Christmas is coming (though that is a major perk! I love Christmas--I grew up in a house full of Christmas-maniacs). But rather the approach of fall ferries in a bunch of Spring titles! Behold yesterday's loot:



That's 25 books. Count them if you don't believe me. My shelves are groaning.

And, as if that weren't enough to keep me reading until Spring actually arrives, remember the part about me being a panelist for the Cybils?

One perk is review copies. Here's a pic of maybe half of the ones that I've received to far:

Um, so my Christmas list...it's like this:
Bookshelves
Bookshelves
Bookshelves
Bookshelves
Because apparently I've filled up my built ins...the ones that are floor to ceiling and are about 8 feet long? Yeah, filled. So instead, I have built little towers of books everywhere. I have a Booktropolis in my house. It's quite entertaining, actually.
So anyways, that's what's happening in my life. Look out for a review of Sasha Watson's debut novel, Vidalia in Paris, and and interview with her soon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater


Deirdre is tremendously gifted in music, but when it comes to actually performing, that's where she runs into some problems. She's hiding out backstage trying to deal with her extreme stage fright before a big recital when the mysterious Luke Dillon appears, seemingly out of nowhere, and guides her through the performance. Deirdre is inexplicably drawn him, despite the negative reactions from her family and Luke's peculiar behavior. Soon it becomes obvious that something else is afoot besides their electrifying romance, something sinister and dangerous that involves the sly and not entirely honest fey, and their queen who would stop at nothing to make sure that the threat Deirdre poses is eliminated...

Elegantly creepy and foreboding, Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception is a bold and exciting read with much of the same air and forbidden romantic appeal that attracted fans to the Twilight series. However, Lament certainly stands on its own ground as Stiefvater weaves old lore with new twists to form a compelling and unique take on faeries. The book is well drawn out as the mystery unfolds and secrets slowly reveal themselves, giving readers just the right amount of information to keep them suspended in anticipation. Stiefvater strikes just the right balance between supernatural intrigue and down-to-earth teenage tendencies, making Lament engaging to even reluctant readers, despite its length.

However, one of the most admirable qualities of Stiefvater's writing is the bold way in which she presents it, and the fact that she doesn't shy around the tough stuff in order to give readers the happy fluff. She manipulates the plot like a pro, giving Lament an edgy, tantalizing air that will entertain to no end, and also lends more depth to her work in the long run. Maggie Stiefvater, with her ability to create not only a gripping romance, but also a shadowy and puzzling mystery at the same time, is most definitely an author to watch.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Book Trailer!

Okay, so you guys may or may not know of my obssession with The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, the upcoming post apocalypse zombie book (zombies + post apocalypse = LOVE) that will be released in March. I want it. I yearn for it. It's possibly a bit ridiculous how much I want to read it (that and The Dust of 100 Dogs, but that's a whole other issue).



Anyways, I was a bit surprised to see how few people were as excited about the book as I am. Well, prepare to get pumped for it, guys. If the synopsis nor Carrie Ryan's killer website convince you, here's the books trailer (alas, not one of mine, although I wish I had the mad skills to make one of this caliber):



And the Belated Winner Is...

Sorry for the delay, but the winner of the Halloween Spooktacular contest is Yan L.! Congrats, and your prize will be in the mail shortly!

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini


Eragon and Saphira have just barely survived the latest battle between the Empire and Varden, and learned the truth about Eragon's parentage. Their encounter with Murtagh and Thorn has made them realize that they desperately need to revisit to their teachers in Ellesmera, but their multitudes of promises keep them from returning. They must help Roran recover Katrina from the Ra'zac, rally forces for the Varden, and find a way to thwart Murtagh. But along the way, they'll discover some dark secrets and learn the sickening methods behind their adversaries' strengths.


Brisingr is a well executed follow up to Eragon and Eldest. It moves at a brisk and almost business like pace, only dragging slightly near the center of the book, as Eragon and Saphira struggle to fulfill their promises. Readers will be glad to see that the duo, Eragon especially, has not been placed upon a lofty pedestal, and still admit ignorance at times, an element that adds just the right touch of plausibility to the book.


Paolini's descriptive writing is becoming easily recognizable, and his ability to draw similes and metaphors between the most unlikely objects only adds to his appeal, and contrary to what one might expect, will draw in reluctant readers. Like with the prequels, the author cleverly manages to sneak in colorful myths and historical stories into the book that only add the reality and vividness of Alagaesia, and make for a more engaging read.


The plot of Brisingr is a little less developed than its prequels, and seems to serve more as a segue between the first two books and the conclusion of the lively series, although the revelation of certain secrets and the suspense and tension Paolini weaves into the pages will go a ways in making Brisingr a quick read. Seasoned Paolini fans will enjoy Brisingr, and be eager to move on to the final book.

I'm Baaaack...

Hi there everyone,

Sorry for the long absence...the stomach flu was busy kicking my butt, and I was not in the blogging mood. I was, however, in the reading mood, so expect some reviews up real quick, especially since one of the big perks of being a panelist for the Cybils (review copies!) has started to show up, and I've got more than enough to read.

Hope you're having a great Monday, and check back soon for loads of reviews!

Cheers,

TCR

Saturday, November 1, 2008

How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier


Having a parking fairy may seem like a good thing at first—but compared to her best friend's shopping fairy and her nemesis's all the boys like you fairy, Charlie can't help loathe her good parking spot scoring fairy, especially since she can't even drive, and all anyone wants is to have her ride shotgun. But Charlie's been working on a plan to flush out her unconventional fairy by walking absolutely everywhere in the hopes her parking fairy will flee and be replaced by a much more agreeable one—which is turning out to be more trouble than she originally predicted. And desperate times call for desperate measures...

How to Ditch Your Fairy is a wonderfully entertaining and imaginative read whose unconventional plot draws the reader in instantly. Extra kudos to Justine Larbalestier for creating such an amazing and completely convincing world, complete with its own slang, that really goes the extra mile into beguiling and gripping readers. Charlie is a spunky, fun, and hilarious character whose frustration is palpable and whose many wild (and occasionally death-defying) escapades, along with her frank narration, will have readers roaring in laughter. While the conclusion may have been wrapped up a little easily, readers will be able to easily overlook it and instead happily acknowledge the fact that the bursting energy and wit of Larbalestier's writing is simply irresistible.