Sunday, July 31, 2011

"I want to fall on the sidewalk right there and drag myself into the ivy.": Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why (Amazon) by Jay Asher took me forever to get through. I don't even want to write a blog entry about it at this point. However, I will soldier on through.

Thirteen Reasons Why is about a girl (Hannah Baker) who commits suicide. Before she dies she records tapes, which are directed at certain people, explaining how they played a part in their suicide. They are only intended to be listened to by the people on the tapes, but if they don't pass the tapes on to whoever they're supposed to, the tapes will be released publicly. Honestly, I think that in itself is rather horrible. But then some of her reasons are so petty... it left me rather frustrated with her.

The book is narrated by one of the people who receives the tapes. I won't give away why he's on the tapes... but when I finally found out, I was pretty annoyed. I don't like the narration style either-it jumps between the tapes and the narrator, and sometimes it gets a little confusing. Maybe that's because I was reading quickly, trying to get through the book.

Honestly, I'm glad I can't find contact information for Jay Asher. However, there is one thing I want to say in this book's favor: it appears to have had a positive impact on many people's lives. If you go to, you'll find a ton of people who loved this book. What can I say? Maybe I just didn't get it.

See you next time!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Let's Talk About Independent Bookstores

Hello everyone! I apologize for my absence. I've been fairly busy. Right now I'm in the middle of two books. One is Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and the other is Bikini Planet by David S. Garnett. They are two very different books.

However, today I wanted to talk for a little bit about used & independent bookstores. Over the weekend, I went to an awesome book store in Cleveland. It's called Mac's Backs and their website is here. If you're in the area you should totally check it out. I got all 6 books you see to the left for about 15 dollars. It was pretty awesome.

Anyway, I don't particularly like to preach, but I just wanted to encourage everyone to support their local independent bookstores. Clearly, the bigger bookstores are having trouble-imagine how it is for smaller bookstores. They're definitely not easy to find, at least where I am. I'm going to be honest: I order almost everything off of Amazon. I only shop at Barnes & Noble and Borders when I have a gift card. However, I do like to pop into used bookstores whenever I spot them. You never know what you might find! I just discovered that Bikini Planet was only released in the UK.

Okay, that wraps up my preaching. Hopefully I finish something to write about soon. I'm not exactly loving Thirteen Reasons Why, so it's a bit of a struggle. We'll see though! Have a great day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Author Reply: Jane Linskold

I got a quick reply from Jane Linskold, author of Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls. She said she still loves her novel and the original Betwixt and Between (the main character's dragon stuffed animal) has a "place of honor" in her office.

In other news, I've read a few graphic novels lately, though all by more known authors. However, I think they're worth making a post about, next time I don't have anything to post about. Some books on my To Be Read list include:
Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
and a ton more. So we'll see what I get to next! See you tomorrow!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"I am a brother to dragons, a companion to owls.": Jane Linskold

Brother To Dragons, Companion To Owls (Amazon) by Jane Linskold is a book I actually read years ago. Well, I've read it multiple times-probably around five or six. Basically, I really like this book. I decided to write about it because I haven't made an entry in awhile, and I didn't have any new books to write about. Plus, I think it deserves teh recognition.

So, it appears that since Brother To Dragons, Companion To Owls, Lane Linskold has been up to quite a bit-I'll have to check out some of her other books. Actually, a little fun fact: apparently the book was reissued in 2006 (I had the 1994 version) and the cover you see on the left is not the original cover. I couldn't find a picture of the original cover, unfortunately. Anyway, good for Jane Linskold! But onto talking about the book at hand.

Brother To Dragons, Companion to Owls is the story of a woman named Sarah, who has recently been ejected from the Home, which is basically like a mental hospital. She carries a stuffed animal dragon around with her, and can only speak in quotes. She also has a hidden ability-she can talk to inanimate objects, and find out things like who has been in a room lately. Eventually she finds a home with the Pack, a group of runaway teens who steal and prostitute themselves for money (though some do things more legitimately), and makes friends. However, soon someone comes looking for her, and her unique talents. Someone dangerous.

So I really like this book. The concept was rather unique, and the story was told well. I recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction or fantasy. Anyway, here is my letter:
"I read Brother To Dragons, Companion to Owls years and years ago-and many, many times. I just recently found it again, and decided to write to you. I saw, in looking for your email address, that it has recently been reissued (well, five years ago...), so congratulations for that. I also saw that you have written quite a bit since then-I'm going to have to check out your other books. But, I just wanted to say, I really loved Brother To Dragons, Companion to Owls when I first read it, and every rereading since. Thanks for writing such an awesome novel! Good luck with all of your future projects!"

Hopefully I'll post again tomorrow! See you then!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Follow Friday

Sorry for the lack of posts lately... I haven't been reading as much as I'd like. However, it's time for a Follow Friday post!

Book Blogger Hop

How/Where do you get your books? Do you buy them or go to the library? Is there a certain website you use like paperbackswap?

I mostly buy my books from Amazon-I had a trial of Amazon Prime that just ran out (free two day shipping is the best) and now I need to decide if I'm going to actually get a real subscription or not. Sometimes I buy from bookstores but not usually unless I have gift cards. I also use

What do I do when I am not reading?

Work, write, hang out with people.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Life is always full of next chapters, some of them never written.": Ed McBain

Ed McBain, writer of Nocturne (Amazon) is a very prolific author (apparently he also goes by Evan Hunter). I simply had never heard of him before. I must say, I'm a little saddened by that.

Nocturne was a wonderfully traditional murder mystery, following a few sets of detectives as they tried to solve different cases. It was the sort of novel that comes to my mind when I hear the word "gritty detective novel." I really enjoyed it. I must caution any potential readers though: there is a rather gruesome murder involving a bread knife, that made me feel slightly ill. However, McBain did a rather good job of keeping things to a reasonable amount of gore.

Here is what I wrote to Ed McBain:
"I just finished reading Nocturne. It was the first novel of yours I've read, though I can see you have quite a number of them available. I just wanted to tell you I really enjoyed it. I'll most certainly be picking up more of your books in the future."

Time for my next book! Not sure what it will be yet, but I'll post when I'm done with it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

"This girl is different.": JJ Johnson

This Girl Is Different (Amazon) by JJ Johnson is... well, it's basically Mean Girls in book form. It's about a girl who has been homeschooled her whole life, and then decides to attend public high school (senior year only, to be specific). She discovers that life is a lot more tricky than she expected. However, it's a lot more intellectual than Mean Girls. This Girl Is Different begins each chapter with a quote, usually about revolution. The main character, Evie (full name: Evensong Sparkling Morningdew) is not the kind of girl who takes injustice lightly. And she finds quite a bit of injustice in the public school system.

I enjoyed most of this book. It was definitely a cute story. However, I did find Evie a bit over the top at times, and sometimes I wanted to tell her to shut up and relax. Perhaps I've just been brainwashed by "The Man." All in all though, definitely an enjoyable read.

My email to JJ Johnson:
"I just finished reading This Girl Is Different. I wanted to tell you I really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed the quotes at the beginning of each chapter-I felt like they really added to the story and expanded on Evie as a character (since she was such a fan of quotes herself). I think you also made the high school rather believable-you didn't go over the top with stereotypes or anything like that, as many authors writing about high school do. Thank you for writing such a great book! Good luck on your future projects!"

Time for the next book! Not sure what'll be yet, I'll let you know!

Once Upon A Read A Thon Mini Challenge!

Hello all! The Once Upon A Read A Thon has begun, and I'm reading my first book: This Girl Is Different. Expect a post about it later!

Anyway, IB Book Blogging is hosting a mini challenge! It's mythology centered, and the point is to answer two questions.

Mini Challenge Question 1:
What is your favorite type of myth (Greek, Roman, Egyptian etc)?

That's difficult. I think I'm partial to Roman mythology because I took Latin in high school. However, I also like Greek mythology, as they're very similar. Then again, Norse and Egyptian mythology are also cool! I just like mythology!

Mini Challenge Question 2:
What is your favorite book with some type of mythology in it?

Definitely American Gods/Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, and he tends to deal a lot in mythology.

Okay everyone! See you later!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Author Reply: Will Lavender

Super fast author reply! Roughly 4 hours after sending out the original email, Will Lavender, author of Obedience replied! I decided to make a post right away, because, why not?

Anyway, he agreed that the book was complex, and said that he was trying to toe the line between "convoluted and crafty." He also mentioned that his new book, Dominance, came out last week, and that it's a "pretty straightforward murder mystery at heart." Check it out at Amazon here.

That's all for now!

"The strange things about Williams was that nobody had ever seen him.": Will Lavender

Obedience (Amazon) by Will Lavender is a puzzle thriller about a class of students whose professor gives them an assignment. They must figure out where a missing girl is within six weeks or else she will be murdered.

I'm going to be honest here. I didn't really like this book very much at all. I'm not sure why. The premise itself is rather interesting. However, I found myself very frustrated with the characters. I also found myself not caring very much about the mystery itself by the very end, because it had all gotten too convoluted and I didn't feel like trying to follow it. However, I'm sure more hardcore fans of solving mysteries will love this book.

Here is my email to Will Lavender:
"I just finished reading Obedience and I wanted to congratulate you on creating a very complex mystery. Unfortunately, it was a bit too complex for my tastes-I'm not the kind of reader who really tries to solve the mystery before the end or anything like that-and I sort of got lost a few times. However, I'm sure more dedicated mystery solvers would love trying to figure out everything. I can definitely appreciate the complexity of what you did. Good luck on your future projects!"

Tomorrow begins the Once Upon A Readathon so expect a post about that, as well as a review of whatever I read!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"I wonder if death will always taste this good.": Ally Condle

Matched by Ally Condie (Amazon) is a book about a Dystopian future, reminiscent of... well, pretty much any classic book about a Dystopian future. I saw echoes of 1984, Brave new World and The Giver. There are also a lot of things that remind me of The Hunger Games, though I'm not sure that was intentional, considering how recently The Hunger Games was published.

I'm not sure how much I liked Matched. Dystopian novels are among my favorites, but it sort of felt like Matched had a little too much going on. The main character, Cassia, basically turns 17 and is suddenly thrust into the reality that the "Society" she knows and trusts might be a little less benevolent than she ever realized. However, though the author tries to show that this sort of thing has happened before, it couldn't help but feel as though as soon as Cassia turned 17, a switch flipped and Society just suddenly got more corrupt.

Also, this book involves choosing between two boys-a best friend and an outsider. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm a little sick of this plot. On the plus side, Ally Condie doesn't really glamorize the idea of two boys wanting you. However, I'm still sick of that sort of plot. That's just me though, I'm sure others will enjoy it immensely.

Ally Condie does have contact information so here's what I wrote:
"I just finished reading Matched and I wanted to say that it was an excellent homage to all sorts of dystopian novels. I'm not sure if you intended it to be that way, but seeing various echoes of 1984, The Giver and Brave New World was pretty interesting. Overall, I thought the storyline was pretty interesting, and I liked Cassia. I saw that the movie rights have already been optioned-I think that this would make a pretty good movie. I can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy!

Good luck with all of your writing projects!"

I'll probably have another post tomorrow! I'm going on vacation, so it's time for a lot of reading!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blog Hop/Follow Friday

Book Blogger Hop

You have to find another blogger who is having a giveaway and promote their giveaway for them! If possible, promote a giveaway from a blogger doing the Hop (hey, you are visiting other blogs anyway, right?). Have fun with this one! It’s not an easy task this week!

The Reader Bee is giving away The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter! Check it out here. The giveaway ends July 14ths and it's a signed copy!

Q. Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?

I'm not sure about this one... I'm going to say one of the books I liked the least was Light In August by Faulkner. I'm not sure if that's just because I had to read it for school or if I actually didn't like it though.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Author Reply: Ransom Riggs

Got an author reply from Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (see original post here). He thanked me for taking the time to write and mentioned that it felt kind of strange to have the book out in the world, since it's been in the works for so long. He also expressed how great it was to get positive feedback from readers. Hear that? Everyone should write to their favorite authors!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"...your heart don't know if it's raining, or hot, or windy. It just keeps on beating.": Alan Heathcock

Volt: Stories (Amazon) by Alan Heathcock is a book of short stories. They all take place in the same town/rural area, of Krafton, and there are recurring characters and themes in each, the most common being redemption.

Volt was one of those books where I enjoyed it while I was reading but I don't honestly remember much about it. It might be because I was tired for some of it, or because of the author's writing style. I'm not entirely sure. I know I enjoyed reading it, but I'm not entirely sure why. I read it in two sessions, and during the second session I couldn't remember much of what I had read in the first, and so I had to go back and check.

However, anyone who is a fan of short stories that have a bit of mystery and violence will definitely be a fan. I didn't really notice until I read one of the summaries on Amazon, but each of the stories involves a violent death in some way. This sounds gruesome, but it's not particularly depicted as such.

Alan Heathcock does not seem to have any contact information available, so that wraps this up. Bye!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My To Be Read List

Hello everyone! I had quite the busy weekend and didn't finish anything! However, I wanted to make a quick post today. I decided to list five books in my To Be Read pile. Feel free to comment and let me know which I should read asap and which I might as well save for later.

1. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
2. Volt: Stories by Alan Heathcock
3. Obedience by Will Lavender
4. This Girl Is Different by JJ Johnson
5. Calli by Jessica Lee Anderson

Also feel free to comment with other suggestions! I'm going on vacation next week and looking for things to read on the beach! I'm also doing the Once Upon A Read A Thon, so I need to stock up!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Follow Friday

I almost forgot it was Friday! Here we go...
Book Blogger Hop

“What keeps you reading beyond the first few pages of a book, and what makes you want to stop reading a book and put it back on the shelf?“
Writing style and characters both have a big impact on me. If there's something off about the style, and it bothers me for some reason, I'll want to put a book down. If I don't like the main character much (when you're supposed to) then I'll also want to put a book down. However, I'm one of those people who doesn't really like leaving books unread, so this rarely happens.

Q. ACK! Your favorite book/movie character just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction? You get extra points if you include visual stimulation.

I have no idea, honestly... right now I can't even think of a favorite book/movie character. Hm. Well, I do like Jack Sparrow a lot... so if he were to walk into the room... I'd probably be super excited! I'm not sure what I'd do though.

Author Reply: Todd Johnson

A rather quick reply! Todd Johnson, who wrote The Sweet By and By said he felt honored that I thought he gave the women authentic voices, "particularly since these particular women's voices don't appear to matter very much in America." He also offered me a signed bookplate! How kind!

Didn't have time to finish a book for today, see you all tomorrow!