Tag Archives: August 2012

Farewell and Hello

AUGUST

We featured Amy Plum, author of bestsellers Die for Me and Until I Die! 

AMY PLUM
So, for this month, we’re featuring Amy Plum! She’s the author of the trilogy Die For Me, with the first (Die For Me) and second (Until I Die) international bestselling books already out, with the third (If I Should Die) to be release on May 2013. These books have already been published in seven different languages. 

Amy spent her childhood in Birmingham, Albama before moving to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. You can usual find her in a Parisian cafe, either daydreaming, writing, or both. 

For more about Amy Plum, check out her website! >Amy Plum Bio<



The book review for Die For Me is coming up! Meanwhile, check out the review for Amy Plum’s second book in the Die For me series, Until I Die, written by Tiffany! >Review UID<
QUOTE FOR THE DAY 
The this week’s theme is “Power of Kate”. 
To take a look at them, click the links here! 


The last week’s theme was “All About Jules”.
To take a look at them, click the links here! 





We hope you enjoyed reading to quotes and the page as much as we had fun creating them! 

So now, in the month of September, we would like to feature Kat Zhang! Her new novel, What’s Left of Me, was released in stores on September 18. Check out the Featured Author page for more! 


Feature and Follow Friday (5)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.


This week’s question:
Q: What hyped up book do you think was not worth all the talk?

A: To be honest, Matched by Ally Condie and Wither by Lauren DeStefano were very disappointing. We expected a lot more when we read them since they are NYT Bestsellers and all, but…*shrugs* they weren’t for us.

What are your answers to the question?
Leave a comment and let us know! :)
~Tiffany&Alyana

Feature and Follow Friday (5)

Updates:
Review of Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
This week’s question is…

Q: What are you reading right now? How do you like it?.

A: Well, as of right now, I am reading Supernaturally by Kiersten White, (late, I know!) The Kill Order by James Dashner, and Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.
It’s a book-filled time for me this week, and I’m really excited to delve into these books even more. So far, I’m liking the turn of events in the stories! :)

What are YOU reading right now? :D Leave a comment below!
-Tiffany :D

Sorry for the late post again! :P 
Funny thing is, I’m not reading anything right now, but I have this HUGE pile of books waiting to be read just stacked on my shelf. 


Yes, I know. SIX books, and I’m still not getting started. But, I plan to tomorrow. Hopefully. ;)

Thanks for stopping by! Leave us a comment below so that we can follow you back! :D

-Alyana :>

Feature and Follow Friday (4)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This week’s question:
Q: Best cover? What is the best cover of a book that you’ve read and loved?
 A: Hm, this is a difficult question, especially because I love so many books with great covers! :)
But if I reallllly had to choose, this would be one of my favorites.
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
I don’t know why, but the cover seems creepy, haunting, and ethereal but somehow beautiful and symbolic at the same time. (Is it just me?) But I LOVED the book as well; the story was intriguing and one of the best I have ever read. >Review Here<

What are your faves for the week? Let us know! :)
~Tiffany (Alyana will be adding her answer here tom!)

A: Hello! Sorry for the late addition, but I wasn’t able to go online last night. Anyways, this question is definitely a tough on for me, since I love so many books and their covers as well. But this book is truly one of my all-time favorites. 
Until I Die By Amy Plum

I just find the cover so beautiful and intricate. A lot of time was obviously spent on this as well. Also, Until I Die is one of the best reads I’ve ever had. It was fantastic, and the suspense! I can’t WAIT for the third book to come out! 

-Alyana x) 

Comment below and give us the link to your blog so that we can check out your answers! :D 

Review of Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

Review of Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published on July 24, 2012 (Harper Teen)
Goodreads|Amazon

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
~
When I first discovered Something Strange and Deadly through Susan Dennard’s twitter, I was unsure of reading the book. The cover was beautiful, there was no doubt about that, but when I found out that it was a steampunk/zombie novel, I was instantly wary.

Why.

First of all, I had never read a steampunk book (not including The Infernal Devices, because, well, it’s the prequel of The Mortal Instruments, and I couldn’t turn that down!) with a zombie twist thrown into the mix!

But then, I happened to read a scene from SS&D in Susan’s SS&D website a few days short of its release and what can I say? It completely blew me away. The descriptive and magical writing itself already convinced me to read the book, but when I discovered a whole new different world just by reading that scene–well, I was almost sure that I would like, if not love, the book.


The Cover

Gorgeous cover. Even if it IS the cliched girl-posing-with-a-dress cover, it is much, much more than that. I just recently discovered (and by recently, I mean after finishing the book) that when you tilt the book a little bit, there are gears and machinery stuff on the cover. Talk about cool! It definitely introduced the steampunk side of the book just through the cover. Also, the title font is beautiful as well. Call me weird, but I pay special attention to title and chapter fonts, just because they’re pretty. (Delirium by Lauren Oliver has one of the best chapter header fonts, just saying)

The Characters

Eleanor, obviously, is the protagonist in SS&D. I find it very hard to hate the protagonist of any novel, so you’ll rarely see me writing a review which includes something along the lines of “The character was so snobby and stuck-up, way annoying especially since it was written in first person. I wanted to scream at her and slap her hard across the face.”
Nope, so not me. I don’t pay much attention to the ‘realness’ of a character, to be honest. But I’ll say straight up whether or not the protagonist stuck with me and whether I sympathized with him/her.
So for Eleanor, I did sympathize with her character. I appreciated the great lengths she would go to for her brother and her overall tough attitude. Sure, she may seem like a delicate person-complete with her dresses and her lacy parasol, but she has a hard interior underneath. She’s stubborn, persistent, and extremely hard-headed, but endearing at the same time, which I feel is important in a character. You can’t just be the rebel of a story-you need a backstory, the whole reason why you rebel in the first place. And I found that in Eleanor.

Daniel starts off hating Eleanor-which I did not expect at all. He goes out of his way to annoy her at all costs and remind her that she isn’t one of the Spirit-Hunters, that she is just one of those ‘snobby little princesses,’ people who think that they’re better than others. After every page though, I could feel his icy exterior melting little by little as he spent more time with Eleanor and got to know her as a person.

I loved finding more about Daniel along with Eleanor, since it was written in the first person POV, and I loved that he wasn’t simply ‘the character who the protagonist falls in love with,’ which is something I sometimes see in other YA stories. He was his own character, someone who experienced a lot of things before he met Eleanor.

The Plot

The story started out with a zombie attack. I found this to be a good strategy, especially because the readers are immediately exposed to the whole world of mystery that the author has written–without knowing the whole story and all the answers yet, of course. I liked how almost every page had something happening, and how the zombies in this story were different from the usual ones you read in other books.

They weren’t the usual ‘infected’ zombies, rather, they were people who rose from the dead, people who literally left their graves. In this case, a necromancer controlled them so they didn’t exactly have a mind of their own. This little twist interested me, especially because I dove into the story thinking they were the stereotypical zombies of YA fiction. I loved learning more and more about this different kind of zombie as I breezed through the book, and all the other ‘new’ things like the inventions of the Spirit-Hunters.


One little comment, though. I found myself skipping over some paragraphs when Daniel or the other Spirit-Hunters were explaining things to Eleanor. I mean, I did want to know more about what was going on, but I couldn’t bring myself to concentrate on the facts they were saying because I guess it was too wordy for me. But still, I doubled back and read those paragraphs because they were, in fact, relevant to the plot, though I sometimes didn’t get how things worked. Like the goggles, for example. I read the explanation carefully, but I guess the practical side in me couldn’t accept it. I was always trying to pull out scientific facts to try to explain it.


But that wasn’t such a big problem, especially because it was necessary for the author to explain the history behind the things happening, I mean, how are the readers supposed to know?


The writing, though, was exquisite. The description made me feel almost like I was standing in 1876 Philadelphia myself, with a swarm of zombies right at my heels. The ending too, had closure, which was something I wanted, though I have a feeling that a cliffhanger is going to come out in the second book.


Something Strange and Deadly was absolutely magical, unearthing a whole new world of fantasy and steampunk that I never could have imagined. The writing pulls you in the book itself, making you feel as if you are Eleanor Fitt, the unforgettable protagonist of the story.


And don’t forget…
AIM FOR THE KNEES! :)


“Miss Fitt, you know curiosity gets men killed.”
I grinned. “Then I daresay it’s good I’m a woman.” 

This quote made me crack up! =))


Interview with Cyndi Tefft, author of Between!

with Cyndi Tefft
So today, we have the lovely Cyndi Tefft with us for an interview! :)
Check out her books here:
Between Goodreads|Amazon
Hell Transporter Goodreads|Amazon
Thanks for being here today, Cyndi!

What gave you the whole idea of the grim reaper concept for Between? What drove you to keep pushing on and finally self-publish your story?
I’ve always been fascinated with life-after-death stories. I think we all wonder what the transition will be like. Will we be met by people we know? Will there be anyone on the other side to help us navigate? I liked the idea of a hot Scotsman coming to show me the way, so the idea just built from there!

After a tumultuous year trying to break into traditional publishing, I decided to get off the roller coaster ride of hope-then-rejection and publish the book myself. There were so many times I decided to just give up, but I couldn’t seem to move on and leave Aiden on the shelf. I needed to share him with the world. I’m so glad that I did!

Who is your dream cast for Between? (Who could possibly live up to Aiden’s overall hotness?)

Great question! Any actor would have his work cut out for him, but reader favorites for the role include Chris Hemsworth, Paul Walker, Josh Holloway, Kellan Lutz, and Alex Pettyfer. I would love to be at the casting! LOL

When did you first start writing, or rather, when did you develop an interest in writing? When did you start your first draft of Between?

All through high school, I wrote angsty poems about This Boy or That Boy who didn’t know I was alive, but Betweenwas the first time I’d tried to write a novel. I wrote the first draft in 2009 and published the book in 2011. Hell Transporter, the sequel, was published earlier this year.

So now that you’re working on Between#3, do you already have a title in mind? Any extra teasers you could share? :D

There is one teaser from the third book posted on my Facebook page! I love sharing teasers with fans, so there will likely be more. The book has a title, but I’m not divulging it just yet. Hopefully, I will do that in conjunction with a cover reveal at some point. The book is about 20% written and I write pretty slowly, so don’t look for the third one to be out anytime soon. I’m working on it, though!

If you could spend a day with any person, alive or dead, who would it be?

Oooh, that’s a tough one. I had to think about it for a minute and then the answer was so clear: I’d pick Jesus. I have so many questions to ask him! :)

Thanks for having me on the blog. I had a great time!

Connect with me:

Twitter:  @cynditefft

Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorCyndiTefft

Blog: cynditefft.com

Goodreads: goodreads.com/CyndiTefft

Quote for the Day (Day 3)

Quote For The Day
(This week’s theme-’The Power of Kate’)
I can really feel Kate’s anguish here…the way she conveys the anger and pain she feels whenever she is whisked back into the real world after she puts her book down is so realistic and relatable.

“I spent the rest of my day in someone else’s story. The rare moments that I put the book down, my own pain returned in burning stabs. I felt like a circus knife thrower’s target. If I held my mind immobile, I might avoid being hit by the blades whizzing by my head.” 

(Taken from D4M)
~Tiffany

Review of The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

  • TitleThe Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1)
  • AuthorCarrie Ryan
  • SourceBought
  • No. of Pages310
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

The Forest of Hands and Teeth starts out with Mary talking about the ocean. Right from then, multiple questions already started attacking my brain. Why is there ‘no ocean’ in this book? Is the ocean really gone, did it somehow dry up, or is it because Carrie Ryan wrote the book in a post-apocalyptic setting? But wait. Maybe this is a dystopian novel, and the ocean being ‘real’ is kept a secret from the society!

Before I move on, let me get one thing straight. I never research a story before I buy it from my local bookstore. I refrain from reading reviews as well, especially if there are spoilers. I prefer to be surprised.

That’s why I know I’m going to enjoy a book when right from the first page; I already know the plot is full of depth. When I immediately have a lot of questions, I know that the book is going to be twisty and full of surprises at every turn. Just from the first page of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I already expected a lot.

And I wasn’t disappointed.

Every time I turned a page, more mysteries unraveled, and more subplots popped up. The characters intrigued me, especially The Sisterhood, with their well-kept secrets and creepy personalities. The idea of the Unconsecrated was a nice touch too, especially because it reminded me so much of The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Except in this one, once you get infected, you are ‘reborn’ as a zombie, as a being who has lost its humanity.

The protagonist, Mary, was an interesting character. She was a naturally inquisitive one and I especially liked that, since the book was written in a first person POV, so what Mary saw, I saw. What she learned, I learned. To be honest, though she was a great character, Mary simply didn’t…strike me. She didn’t get into my head like some other protagonists in other books. I didn’t sympathize with her and I didn’t really feel her as a character either. But that isn’t such a big problem for me.

Now, let’s talk about Jed, Mary’s brother. Jed for me, was a wishy-washy character and sort of annoying at the same time. When he rejected Mary at the start, I didn’t really dislike him yet. After all, it’s nice to see a brother who isn’t the overprotective paternal figure to his little sister. (Not that I don’t like those, of course. It’s just nice to see a change in character) But then, in the middle of the book, he started getting along with Mary again, and for me, that’s such a huge inconsistency. First, he was all-”You are useless. You belong to the Sisterhood. You are not my sister.” *slams door in Mary’s face* Then, he started saying-”Mary, I love you! You’re my family, ahhhh.”

Seriously?

I didn’t mind it a lot while I was reading, but still.

In this book, Mary’s love interests are Harry and Travis.

Okay, first things first. The romance was…well, not very well developed.

Mary supposedly ‘loves’ Travis though in the book, the reason she fell for him was because of the nightly visits to Travis while he was sick, and him believing in her dreams of the ocean.

I understand that they were childhood friends, and that maybe their experiences back then were what drove them to fall in love, but I don’t think it’s very believable unless it’s stressed at some point.

Second, Harry.

Harry is..somewhat confusing. Though it is made clear that he is attracted to Mary, it also seems that he is undecided as well. I thought that this would be some kind of love triangle–wherein Harry loves Mary, Mary loves Travis, but Travis is torn between duty and love–it actually seems that Harry is the one torn. Torn between a newfound love for Cass, but a wisp of attraction still there for Mary.As the story progresses, though, there is less impact on the romance, which is actually good in this case.

Next up is Gabrielle. Gabrielle was a different kind of Unconsecrated–faster and stronger than the average one. But then her blessing came with a curse–she would burn out swiftly and eventually die. I know Gabrielle was essential in the plot because she was the one who left clues for Mary, leading her to escape, but she seems sort of underdeveloped, and that makes her look useless to the plot. Where did Gabrielle come from? Why did the Sisterhood confine her, even though she wasn’t Unconsecrated yet? How did she become Unconsecrated? Many questions, so little answers. I guess Gabrielle is supposed to stay a mystery.

The last character I will be talking about in this review is Cass, Mary’s supposed ‘best friend.’ Okay, I know there are far more characters to choose from. I could talk about Sister Tabitha, for instance. But I feel like ranting about discussing Cass’s character instead. Cass was horribly annoying, in my opinion. I get that the author had to make her dutiful to the society and its laws, especially because Mary was already the ‘rebel’ of sorts, but I hated how Cass seemed so fake. I understand how she started doubting Mary when they fled, I mean, she grew up believing in everything the Sisterhood said and Mary’s word seemed so airy compared to theirs, but what I didn’t like was when I found out she never believed in Mary the whole time. Even when they were kids.

Since I’ve given such poor comments for the characters, I bet you’re probably wondering why I liked this book. Well, the plot made up for it. Big time.

It seems like every action Mary takes unveils something, twists a plot in the story. While in the Sisterhood, Mary learned about the many secrets they were hiding, though she never exactly found out what. In the Forest of Hands and Teeth, Mary discovered another village, and her group stayed there for a while, basking in the safety it could offer. Until…the Unconsecrated struck again.

I reveled in the action and suspense each page brought, though the happenings that led to the ending disappointed me. Though Mary did get what she wanted in the end–in fact, the thing that she wanted the most–she was all alone again, similar to when she was in the Sisterhood. Well, she did find someone new, but I guess that’s for a different story.

Spoilers start here, because I can’t resist.

No, just no. Travis died. After the great lengths Mary went for their relationship that happened? I mean, sure, their relationship wasn’t that developed, but I like a happy ending just like the next person. Also, what happens to Cass and Harry? That was never mentioned. I guess Carrie Ryan wants to leave it to the readers’ imaginations, but still. Lastly, Jed. I know Jed probably died, but it seems so…I don’t know, like the plot was still left with little holes in them. But hey, I’m not complaining. I got a really good read. Besides, there are still sequels that might reveal the answers to my questions.

Overall, The Forest of Hands and Teeth was a haunting read, a story filled with secrets and interlaced with intrigue in every corner. Though there is certainly room for character development, the plot outshines almost all the flaws presented and I would certainly recommend this to a reader who enjoys fast-paced stories with unique plots.

 

Quote For the Day (Day Two)

Quote For the Day
(This week’s theme- “Power of Kate”) 
Here we are with Kate again! :) I find that I’m able to relate with her in this quote, as I am the type of person who finds solace and happiness in books, because in an imaginary world, there are no limitations. ;)

Kate (pic taken from revenantscentral)
“Besides the alternate universe offered by a book, the quiet space of a museum was my favorite place to go. My mom said I was an escapist at heart . . . that I preferred imaginary worlds to the real one. It’s true that I’ve always been able to yank myself out of this world and plunge myself into another.” 

-Alyana C: 

Quote For the Day (Day One)

Quote For the Day
(This week’s theme “Power of Kate”.) 
So, we’re finished with last week’s theme, “All About Jules”. :) This week’s theme is “Power of Kate”, featuring quotes well, obviously, about Kate. x) This made my admiration for her shoot up about ten levels when I read this. :D
Kate (pic taken from revenantscentral)


“And I’ve got THIS,” I pulled out the signum and held it up for him to see, “that says I’m kindred. And I’ve got THIS,” I pointed at my head, “that says I’m as smart as you. And I have THIS,” I held up my middle finger, “that says go to hell, you immortal bigot.”
And with that I spun around and stomped out the door, filing the expression on Arthur’s face in a mental folder labeled “Kate’s Proudest Moments”.” 

-Alyana =)