Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop

Monday, December 31, 2012 with 9 comments


My, how time flies!  I can't believe it's already 2013!!!  While we're all recovering from the holidays and writing out our new year's resolutions, let's have a giveaway!  =)  Big thanks to Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Babs Book Bistro for hosting the Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop!  I'm going to make this easy on all of us -- well, unless you have a wishlist like mine...as long as the Nile -- so here's what you can win at my stop on this hop:


Rules:
  • This giveaway is international.  As long as The Book Depository ships to your location, you are good to go.  (You can double-check that here.)
  • One entry per household.
  • All entries will be verified.  Any entry found to be falsified will result in disqualification of all entries for that participant.
  • Winner will be notified via email.  Winner will then have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected.  Please check your SPAM folders!
  • I am not responsible for lost packages.

And now on to the fun stuff!  You only have to follow my blog to enter, but all other entries/follows are appreciated!  :D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that you've entered here, be sure to check out the 200+ giveaway stops on this blog hop:



Thanks for entering & happy reading!  Oh, and...

Twinkling Stars - Happy New Year



We all delight in seeing our favorite books brought to life on the big screen.  We cringe at casting.  We scoff at release dates.  All the while, we're gearing up to see if the director's vision lives up to the world we've conceived in our own imaginations.  Sometimes it does...and sometimes it doesn't.  We could lament the movies that don't measure up, or we could return to the books for a re-read, possibly with a slightly different mind-set.  All's fair when it comes to artistic vision, right?




This week, I'd like to feature:

View on IMdB.com
Title: Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen
Release date: January 25, 2013
Based on: the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm

In this dark spin on the fairy tale, siblings Hansel and Gretel are a formidable team of bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world.











After reading The Witch of Duva recently, which is a Hansel and Gretel retelling by Leigh Bardugo, I thought I'd feature this movie based on the same tale.  I'll be honest, I don't think this movie will be nearly as good as Bardugo's retelling, and it reminds me of something I'd see on the SyFy channel, not in theaters, but I'm willing to give it a chance.  I know my husband will probably enjoy a good action-packed flick after all the angsty, YA book-based movies I've dragged him to recently.  =)



So, what do you think?  Is this your kind of movie or will you be skipping it?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Short stories are awesome.  They give us in-depth insight into characters, providing anecdotal proof of why some characters are they way they are.  They entertain by creating a certain mood or focusing on a singular effect...some instance in a previous body of work (or one to follow) that might have been glossed over or ignored completely in a longer novel. 

And so, every Sunday for the foreseeable future, I would like to highlight short stories and novellas set in worlds I've already come to love and learn a little more about some of the secondary characters in my favorite novels.  I'll be underscoring some of my favorite aspects of these short works of fiction, in addition to offering up a mini review of each work.

Missed last week's post (again) so I'm featuring two separate but equally awesome short stories this week:

Add to Goodreads
Title: The Witch of Duva
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Grisha, book #0.5 (prequel/folk tale)
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Source: read online for free at Tor.com
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls… or so the story goes. But it’s just possible that the danger may be a little bit closer to home. This story is a companion folk tale to Leigh Bardugo’s debut novel, Shadow and Bone.






This short story set in the Grisha world is a Hansel & Gretel retelling that is equal parts dark and creepy and terribly enthralling.  It's been a while since I read Shadow and Bone so I can't really comment on how this short ties into that storyline without going back for a re-read -- which I will totally be doing soon in preparation for Siege and Storm -- but as a re-imagining of the old Hansel & Gretel fairy tale, it is fantastic.

The Witch of Duva isn't what I expected at all.  I was continuously surprised and completely flabbergasted by the turn the story took, but I also really enjoyed the realizations I was left with concerning character motivations and discerning true danger from that which is perceived.

I loved Leigh Bardugo's writing in Shadow and Bone and I once again found myself fascinated and utterly captivated with it in this short story.  And now I'm kind of hoping that she'll write a book featuring only her versions of folk tales...her spin on this one was incredible!

Rating:  Photobucket


Add to Goodreads
Title: Neverfall
Author: Brodi Ashton
Series: Everneath, book #1.5 (Cole's POV)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: December 26, 2012
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A thrilling new novella from the author of the Everneath series!

Jack is trapped for eternity in the Tunnels while Nikki has managed to evade Cole's grasp . . . for now. But Cole is more desperate than ever to find answers about Nikki, his best chance for taking over the throne of the underworld. How did she survive the Feed? Can Cole find another Forfeit like her who can survive it too?

Cole's quest leads him to the other side of the world, to a mysterious, dangerous society known as the Delphinians, whose price for information might be higher than Cole can pay—a price that could destroy Nikki. But when Cole attempts to steal the answers instead, his mission ends in disaster. Faced with centuries in a Delphinian dungeon, Cole is confronted with questions he's been too scared to ask himself: Is he really obsessed with the throne—or is he obsessed with Nikki? And can she really give him a new beginning as the Everneath's king . . . or will she instead bring about his tragic end?


So, pretty much the only reason I've been putting off reading my ARC of Everbound is because I was waiting to read this novella from Cole's point-of-view.  Well, that and my reading buddy Em will kill me if I start it without her.  =)  I knew it probably wouldn't add that much to the story, but doesn't every girl want to get inside of the guy's head and find out what he's really thinking?  I know I was curious!

This short story mostly focuses on Cole's unwillingness to admit to himself that it's not just his need to find another Forfeit like Nikki that fuels his obsession with her...it's also his desire for Nikki to be his and his alone that stokes the flames of his passion for ruling the Everneath.  After awhile, it almost seems like he doesn't even care about the throne, so much as making Nikki his.  He even gets himself into a spot of trouble because of it.  I liked seeing the inner-workings of this Everliving's mind, and because of that aforementioned trouble, there's plenty of time to figure out how Cole thinks and what he most desires.

As in the first book, there are portions of the story told in the present and those are interspersed with flashbacks to before the last Feed and a few memories from the six months after.  So, not only do we get to dig a little deeper into what makes Cole tick, but we also get to see key moments from Everneath from his perspective and see what hand he really had in the final outcome.  I have to say that I was more than a little surprised...I actually still held out hope that he orchestrated the entire ordeal, but I could still be further shocked because at less than 100 pages, it's hard to get the full picture.  That just means it's time to pick up Everbound!!!  :D

Rating:  Photobucket

Saturday, December 29, 2012

In My Mailbox #62

Saturday, December 29, 2012 with 1 comment



In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  It's a weekly meme where we all get to brag about the books and swag we got in the mail, for review, won in contests, etc.





Involuntary blog hiatus means nothing I said I'd do last week got done, which means it'll be incorporated into this week's schedule.  Hopefully.  Anyway, here's what I received this week:

For Review:





The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd - After being approved on Edelweiss, I also received an ARC from the publisher.  And the cover is even more awesome in person!!!  Squeeeeeee!!!!







Vortex by Julie Cross - Tempest, the first novel in this time-travel series was well-received, though it wasn't my personal favorite book dealing with this subject matter.  I'm still very curious to see how things turn out for Jackson after the life-altering (ha!) events of the first book.  Also, this is an audiobook for review...yay!







The Rules by Stacey Kade - Huh. I didn't realize until just now that this book is by the author of The Ghost and the Goth series. I didn't read those, but I want to.  I guess we'll see how The Rules goes first, though.  I do find genetics fascinating, though...







Big, big thanks to HarperTeen, Macmillan Audio, Disney Hyperion, and Netgalley!!!


Purchased:





Annabel by Lauren Oliver - Okay, so I hated the Hana novella, but as I prepare myself for Requiem and the end to the Delirium trilogy, I just have to read this one.  Okay, actually, I just really, really dislike Hana.








Neverfall by Brodi Ashton - I am sososo stoked to read Everbound now that I have the ARC in my possession and a willing buddy to read along with me, but I have to read this short from Cole's POV.  (Okay, Em, if you're reading this, I actually already read it and am waiting for you so we can read Everbound.  So hurry!  :D)






So, that's my haul for Christmas week.  Besides a few gift cards, that is, and those will be put to good use in the very near future.  Teehee.  Teehee.  >:0)



The Week in Review:

Reviews:  nada - I was on an involuntary bloggy hiatus thanks to family and other obligations.  :(

Current Giveaways:  Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop

Blog Tours/Promotions:  see "Reviews" above

Recent Winners:  Diana won a copy of Scent of Magic on the blog tour, Mel at The Daily Prophecy won a copy of The Grimm Prequels in the Snow White Sorrow book blitz tour, and Darlene at Darlene's Book Nook won the End of the World Giveaway Hop and chose Angelfall (one of my faves from this year!)


The Week Ahead:

Playing catch-up, so it's a lot of the same as last week's expected posts...oops!

Reviews of The Witch of Duva & Neverfall (SSS), Through the Ever NightAnna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door

My DAC 2012 reading list

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop!!!


Happy New Year!!!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Covers By Katie
Okay, so I totally stole this idea from Sara at Forever 17 Books, who got the idea from an article on Babble called Judging a Book by Its Cover: A 6-year-old Guesses What Classic Novels Are All About.  I just discovered her lovely segment, and I immediately requested forced my own four-year-old daughter Katie to provide me with some of her own cover art artwork and then asked her what she thought the book was about.



This week, Katie picked one of my favorite 2012 debuts in fantasy:







Katie's thoughts on Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo:  "Someone's locked out of their house."









Cover Art by Katie

Shadow and Bone as envisioned by Katie

Shadow and Bone was one of the best fantasy novels I read this year, and then I read the companion short story The Witch of Duva recently and fell in love with that dark, surprising world all over again.

Katie actually picked this book off of the shelf and asked to recreate it, which isn't all that surprising considering past covers...she likes them dark and mysterious, I guess.  But I'm still hoping we can pick something less so for next week's post.  Either way, I kind of love her response this week.  =)

So, what do you think of Katie's attempt at recreating this cover and her summary? Did your little darling create a work of art based on a book this week? If so, be sure to link up with Sara over at Forever 17 Books.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 with 194 comments


So, I hadn't planned a hiatus from the blog for the holidays, but one was imposed on me by family and family obligations, so I missed out on doing my "best of 2012" lists this week.  But not to worry, I've still compiled  a list of favorites to subject you to...and I'm going to give one of them away to one lucky reader, thanks to this giveaway hop organized by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.  And here are the nominees:

Best Contemporary of 2012:

Meant to BeWhat Happens NextMy Life Next Door


Best Stand-Alone of 2012:

This is Not a TestSomething Like NormalThe Dark Light


Best Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic of 2012:

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)


Best Fantasy of 2012:

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)


Best Science Fiction of 2012:

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)Crewel (Crewel World, #1)


Best Paranormal of 2012:

The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)Hallowed (Unearthly, #2)


Best Historical Fiction of 2012:

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)The Springsweet (The Vespertine, #2)The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)


Best Debut of 2012:

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Everneath (Everneath, #1)Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)



Ugh...it was difficult just narrowing down each category to three nominees!  There's just no way I could have picked a favorite in each, let alone a favorite book overall, though there were some serious contenders in there.


Rules:
  • This giveaway is international.  As long as The Book Depository ships to your location, you are good to go.  (You can double-check that here.)
  • One entry per household.
  • All entries will be verified.  Any entry found to be falsified will result in disqualification of all entries for that participant.
  • Winner will be notified via email.  Winner will then have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected.  Please remember to check your SPAM folders.
  • I am not responsible for lost packages.
  • Giveaway ends 12/31/2012.

And now on to the fun stuff!  You only have to follow my blog to enter, but all other entries/follows are appreciated!  :D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that you've entered here, be sure to check out the 100+ giveaway stops on this blog hop:



Thanks for entering & happy reading!!!

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