Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...
So, QUICK NOTE...blog is pretty much shut down at the moment. We were right in the path of Hurricane Michael (like so many others), and while the family is safe (pups, and parents), the house didn't fair as well. So, reading and blogging (as much as I adore it) have to take a back burner. My apologies to any tours or promised review dates...hopefully I'll be able to "reopen" one day, but it's just not in sight as of yet. Here's hoping your reading adventures continue on with no issues! Until we meet again, stay safe, check in from time to time, and happy reading!
Looks like some great Halloween fun to be had here....
Octavius Grimwood's Graveyard Guide:
Vampires, Zombies and Things You Don't Want to Meet in the Night
Check it out....if you dare....
** The Roving Reader is a MEME type feature created by yours truly to share those book covers spotted when out and about that catch your eye for one reason or another. Want to get in on the fun? You're welcome to use the MEME, just give a little credit love. Simply snap a picture of your recent find and post away! Happy reading! **
Okay so from the title we know there is a black book, but what secrets does it hold and who is that (presumably) carrying it?!
The Black Book of Secrets
Check it out!
** The Roving Reader is a MEME type feature created by yours truly to share those book covers spotted when out and about that catch your eye for one reason or another. Want to get in on the fun? You're welcome to use the MEME, just give a little credit love. Simply snap a picture of your recent find and post away! Happy reading! **
The end of October is fast approaching and so is my chance to share with you all the books chosen for their spooktacular features. (Oh, poo!) Fear not...whatever doesn't make it in between today and tomorrow will still be shared in the coming days; after all, we don't need an excuse to read spooky fun books, just merely the time and the right mood.
Today's post features a title that may come as a surprise to you when you are considering seasonal reads; in fact it might seem down right strange. No worries, I'll explain. The spooktacular find today is less on the spectacular side and more on the horror side....ANIMAL CRUELTY. Most of you out there are animal lovers and those that visit my blog often enough know that the same goes for me, but there are some that would rather see these beautiful loving fuzzy (and non-fuzzy) wonders put to much more nefarious uses. Is it sad? YES! Is it true? Sadly, yes. In fact one case (among many) that gained quite a bit of media publicity brought these heinous acts into the limelight and raised a good bit of awareness nationwide, but if it stops at awareness there won't ever be an end to these unfortunate and unnecessary tragedies. A small warning to those that are easily affected by animal cruelty (including myself)...the story has a sad beginning, but it is just that, a beginning. It does not reflect the majority of the book's content nor the ending so take heart, it gets better. Today's book of choice is....
When one door closes, another door opens...or so the saying goes. In 2002, one family saw this first hand in a most unexpected way. The passing of a pet, whether expected due to age or ailment or not, is an unsettling event to say the very least and the thought of bringing a new fuzzy friend into the fold any time soon is hard to digest. You don't want to feel like you are stepping on the memory of the one that came before plus there is a grieving period for most families, but sometimes circumstances present themselves that demand your attention and immediate action. In the case of the Levin family, their beloved cat had just passed away and unbeknown to them someone new was about to come into their lives; someone that needed them as much as they needed him, whether anyone knew it yet or not. This is the story of Oogy.
Reports of fighting dogs are more common than not in today's world. A sad truth, but still a fact to be known. One look at sweet Oogy and you're probably thinking he was one of these fighting dogs, right? Wrong. He wasn't a fighting dog in the least; in fact his very nature goes against everything the criminals involved in these acts of violence look for in a fighter. No, Oogy's treatment was far worse. Since he wasn't a fighter, they use him as bait. Now I won't go into what occurs in these types of situations (you can look it up if you like, too violent to go into here), but rest assured it's not a pretty picture nor something that most survive. Oogy on the other hand....DID.
This is the touching tale of what love and trust can really do even against odds that seem insurmountable...Oogy's story is one that is certain to touch the hearts and minds of readers and pet lovers round the world. How can you resist his adorable presence? I mean really, for all the tragedy that this dog has seen, he has one of the most open and welcoming faces that I've seen among dogs. You would think he would be mean, afraid of people and the world at large, but he's not...a lesson in forgiveness we (humans in general) could surely stand to learn from. Combine that with his affectionate nature and you have a dog that any number of people would be glad to call their own...I know I would and after reading this book, I do in some ways as will all those that venture to read this tale.
The only drawback for me was that the book lapsed into what felt like filler at times (detailing medical procedures, daily routines, etc to almost the point of one foot in front of the other) seemingly in an effort to lengthen the story relayed into an appropriate length for publication. Personal opinion...it didn't need it. The story shared is more than enough to capture our hearts and the family tie-ins of their life as a whole just further that bond. You not only learn how their lives are now with Oogy, but how their lives evolved prior to his charming presence.
In summary, a book for animal lovers and readers alike; reading this book is to experience all that is "Oogy" and see what happens when a little love is shared. This book was released earlier this month so be on the look out in a store near or online outlet near you. Review copy courtesy of Hachette Book Group. (THANKS!) For more information on this title and their full catalog, visit them online or follow along on Twitter.
It's Friday and you know what that means....it's almost Halloween! That's right...only one more full day until the official trick-or-treating holiday though as I understand it a lot of towns and cities have voted to celebrate it on Saturday this year..oh well, to each their own. Anywho...speaking of Halloween....have you entered the 'Spooktacular Finds In Reading' contests as of yet? If so, YAY! Thank you thank you and good luck! If not....um, why? I mean if you don't like a chance to win one of several fabulous prize packs I totally understand, but otherwise yeah, you can't win if you don't enter so take a chance! You never know, it could be YOU winning big next week. Entries accepted through midnight CST 10/30/10 so be sure to get yours in before it's too late. Just check the right hand sidebar under 'Current Contests' for all the links. Speaking of the contests...
Today's post is all about one of the titles that you have a chance to win! I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing a few of this author's previous works and have yet to be disappointed so when I had the chance to read the latest release, I was there with bells on. (Okay so no bells....too noisy, but you get the point...) A familiar name in the YA genre all on its own, this author teamed up with a fellow writer that they've worked on a series previously and created a new literary adventure to entice and enchant. Without further adieu, today's book of choice is....
Vampires, and werewolves, and witches, and....OH MY! Paranormal creatures abound in the latest release from this marvelous writing duo and what's more...they're at war. Okay, so that in a general sense isn't that unexpected since they don't usually play nicely together, but the level to which it has reached truly is. The vampires are out of the coffin so to speak and ready to stand and be counted. Making nice with the President of the US of A on national television ought to help their peace loving cause, no? Um...no. It would have, except not long after the smiling scene watched round the world, the President's daughter is kidnapped, turned into a fanged wonder and makes her first and last television debut decimating the military forces sent to rescue her before being staked. How's THAT for keeping the peace?
Nations are falling to the power of the Cursed Ones, one by one some supporting their cause while others simply fear it. There are only a few that stand in the way of their world domination plans....the Resistance and the Salamancans. The first is a band of humans unwilling to lie down and become lambs for the slaughter; the second, highly trained teens ready to kick some paranormal behind....that is if they can keep their differences out of the way. Who will win in this ultimate power struggle especially when family and friends are involved? Only time will tell...and that is only one of many things that isn't on their sides....
Wow...what can I say? This is a pretty hefty choice for a YA novel, sitting at 470 pages, but a great start to a new series. We've got paranormal creatures aplenty, a storyline steeped in many levels of mystery, and hidden pasts just waiting to be discovered. Each chapter begins with either an excerpt from Jenn's journal (our primary lead character, more about her later), a brief glimpse at a passage from the Salamancan Hunter's manual (think of it as "how to dispatch vampires 101"), or a work of poetry from the Cursed Ones themselves that moves progressively from neutral to total domination. The character assortment that is worked into not just the storyline but the hunter group itself is amazing. How they manage to coexist without killing each other is beyond me, and yet it works. As you learn more about each character it becomes clear why hostilities run deep and yet since this is the beginning of a series not the end of one, it sort of comes to a head at the end leaving you asking...and then what happens?! I do have a prediction about one plot twist that is just screaming to come into existence, but alas, I shall leave it faceless and nameless for now....at least until the next book comes around and I can confirm my suspicions.
Now we already mentioned that vampires are highly featured in the novel and with their inclusion comes a few twists on the classic myths commonly accepted about our fanged literary friends. This time around we keep the classic no sunlight allowed bit with some vampires (well, one that we know of) being able to tolerate the site of a cross (even holy water if you can believe it), but gone is the acceptance of animal blood as a food replacement. Nope. There are no "vegetarian vampires" in this one (Twilight reference...though if you didn't recognize it, it probably still doesn't make much sense) just pure blood thirsty creatures of the night needing human blood to sustain their existence. Surprising in some ways, but not overly so...a good balance in the end without drawing readers attentions away from what's happening to dwell over the details.
With all that is good must come a bit of the not so good...sad, I know, but true. There are spots in which the story seemed to drag, especially after the group makes their way to New Orleans. (Why are they there? Nope....not telling, sorry!) There's a lot of waiting (or so much waiting) and hoping (when all seems lost what else have you got) and rituals (yeah, now this one is a doozy) but not a whole lot of action in any other form. During the dry spells, the narrator of the story is shifted to help you learn a bit more about the lead characters and what motivated them to step into the roles they have today...with the number sharing the spotlight it's certainly needed (there are five at bare minimum but others step in and out as well). Rest assured though, those few instances are bringing you towards a greater end and will help you form a more complete understanding of each character.
This is a definite reading recommendation for YA readers of all ages, in my opinion. The only "questionable" aspects are rather PG (think along the lines of "Twilight" in regards to violence and romance) so anyone who enjoys the YA genre with paranormal twists should be readily entertained by this one. The follow up book to this recent release is titles Converted and appears to be scheduled for release in 2011. Will I be on the look out for it? You bet! I simply have to see if what I think might happen happens...and what becomes of the cause...and what about...okay, so short answer is yes, I'll certainly be on the lookout for it.
ARC for review courtesy of author Nancy Holder and Simon & Schuster. (THANKS!) To find out more about this title and her other works in progress, check out her website or follow along on Twitter! (Be sure to say hi to her Corgi's too....definitely two cuties.) To discover the other bookish wonders available from the publisher, visit their site or check out their Twitter page.
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!
The week is almost over and so is your chance to win (for now...hehe)! The 'Spooktacular Finds In Reading' contests come to an end 10/30/10 at midnight CST so don't miss your chance to win 1 of 4 prize packages including 1 (or more) of several great books perfect for the season and just waiting to find a home on a shelf near you! Check out the 'Current Contests' listing on the right hand sidebar for all the details.
Now for today's post, our 'spooktacular' find for the day is....WEREWOLVES aka SHAPE SHIFTERS. Perhaps one of the more famous ones out there right now thanks to the success of the book and movie series having one of these guys in more of a supporting lead role (I know, it's an oxymoron, but think about it, he's a lead character but not, so it fits...sorta....), but the book featured today shines the spotlight on this particular creature front and center. The lead book in a Young Adult series, it's a great introduction to the characters that will leave you thirsting for more, but I digress...I have yet to tell you what book it is! Today's book of choice is....
Trey Laporte is not having the best day, or rather the best life. He's an orphan and though in a group care facility, he's missing the love and support that only a family can bring. Oh, and yeah...he sorta woke up sans clothes with his room completely torn apart. Looks almost as if an animal broke in and....no that can't be....or could it? The damage appears to be from the inside out and yet Trey's door is shut with the key still in the locked deadbolt. Hmm, very curious indeed...but the day is not finished with him yet as the appearance of a strange man claiming to be his uncle turns the dial from unusual day to downright weird. Unable to keep himself from stealing a peek at the gentleman, Trey sneaks out of his room against staff wishes to see just what is going on; what he finds is a large, imposing gentleman who although hair raising in appearance brings Trey a sort of uneasy peace within. Who is this man and what does he want with Trey? It all starts with an invitation to leave all his troubles behind....but the troubles that replace those lost may just be even more daunting.....
I'm done, I'm done, egads I'm done! Why am I so exuberant? Well, I've been (guiltily) holding on to an ARC of this book for some time (hey, I said I was guilty) and just now had a chance to read it. Of course, I am also kicking myself immensely now for not having read it sooner as it was really good! No, I wasn't afraid that it wouldn't be...to be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect but I was hopeful for a good read and was not disappointed. Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, there really wasn't much that I could pull in a negative aspect to mention or highlight...unusual as that is, it is also quite impressive.
In a positive light...where to begin! This is the first novel that I've read where the main character was a werewolf...well, shape shifter technically but you know for the most part they herald from the same lines. Trey Laporte is our lead narrator, telling the story from his point of view as the events unfold and unfold they do as his world is turned upside down in less than 24 hours. He goes from your average orphaned child (well, okay, not so average since he apparently tore his room apart and ripped through his clothes without even knowing it) to a decidedly more than meets the eye young man in not simply his lineage but his responsibilities as well. Once he knows of his past and what is potentially in store for his future, he is dealing with a whole new ball of sputum (oh, sorry, still thinking of the book creatures)...err, wax. Mythical magical nether-worldly creatures are no longer living in the land of make believe for him...no sir...and he now has more to worry about than simply himself.
Along for the ride, or rather guiding him on his journey is a great make shift family of sorts. From Lucien Carren who is...well, I'll leave that to you to figure out...and seems to have nothing but good intentions at heart (better than other things in his condition...whoops, sorry....no spoilers, no spoilers), to Tom, the Irish bloke ready to tear into the worst of the worst with the worst of the worst "toys", to Alexa, Lucien's daughter and a budding sorceress (not to mention potential love interest, but don't tell Trey, I told you so)....they're differences make them stronger, but their shared love and respect for one another is the cement that keeps them together. Their abilities, including Trey's, are a rather interesting assortment as well. The ability to essentially stop time though only for moments at a time, heal others, speak to your mind and so on....turn up when needed and often when least expected. The common beliefs versus myths regarding the creatures that make an appearance in this book are also twisted in unexpected ways, for example...vampires actually HAVING a reflection (I know...mind boggling, right?). Moving on....
Though short over all when compared to other books floating around in the YA genre right now, I think the length worked well for the story. The author allowed enough time for a natural (okay using that word with the slough of nether world creatures that are in this book is almost comical to me, but it does fit my purposes) transgression to occur from Trey's less than happy past to his unusual present and right to the beginnings of his uncertain future without leaving the characters (or readers) behind in the transitions nor dropping the storyline. In fact, the story is wrapped up by book's end....well, almost. There is some uncertainty left open but that's merely to taunt you until you read the next book in the series (which happens to be Dark Moon, scheduled for release February 2011...not that I'm waiting or anything... *whistles*). Let's just say that its on my Wish List....
Special note to readers, upon reaching the end of the book (unless it was removed in the finalized version, and I'm hoping not), there is a section titled Demoncyclopedia. These last few pages are like a who's who guide to nether world creatures so in case you need a refresher or simply wish to learn a few more details about those featured in the book, it's all right there for you in summary format. Mighty handy if I do say so myself....
ARC for review courtesy of Feiwel & Friends. (THANKS!) To find out more about the publisher and their current catalog, check out their website or Twitter page. For more on author Steve Feasey, visit his website or follow along on Twitter.
Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers! Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Normally seen on a Tuesday as the name dictates, this week's edition is on a Thursday. Why? Oh I could say I was simply trying to be creative or that I felt like it but the truth of the matter is I was so caught in the sharing my reviews of recent reads that I just plum forgot! Anywho...
On the menu this week ... we have one book I just started yesterday and another I am just beginning to jump into today. Shall we have a taste?
His brown eyes met my hazel ones and I could see he knew what was happening, knew he was moments from death. He stared back at me, and in his expression I could see he was pleading desperately for help. I was sure that the horror I saw in his eyes mirrored in my own. -- pg 3, Intrinisical by Lani Woodland
So far...so good! Curious where the story is going to go though since we jumped into the "action" so early on. We shall see!
Gabrielle smirked spitefully as she thought angrily, who does she think she is talking to me like that? Wouldn’t it be just so funny if that glass of water just spilled on that pretty little white blouse? -- pg 11, A Gabby Girls Adventure Novel: The Secret of the Scarlet Stone by T.L. Clarke
I admit it, this is pretty much my first "taste" of this one, but already I think it's safe to say that I'm probably going to like this Gabrielle girl quite a bit. ^_^
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
*Open to a random page
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR.*
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!
Halloween is closing in fast this year. In fact, it seems like the days are just whizzing by paying no mind to the fact that we'd like it to slow down so we can enjoy a bit of the season (do you hear that Mother Nature?). The weather is cool and crisp with the beautiful leaves changing color all around...well not down here since the high is suppose to be 80+ today with a 20% chance of showers making it feel like summer instead of fall (*grumble*), but I'm sure it's fall weather somewhere in the world and my imagination is taking me there.
Though we read books of all genres and story lines throughout the year, it is a custom adopted by many bloggers to feature a few more books on the spooky side of things during the month of October, and I for one am glad! I love books from all walks of life (as can be seen by the ever changing variety posted here) but it's fun to dial in a little more Halloween-ish fun sometimes, you know? In fact, today's post turns the dial directly to....HORROR. Do you have the lights on? Doors secured? Ready for today's post? Here we go. Today's book of choice is....
There is a warning that I must pass along not only due to the horror factor and storyline, but the content. THIS IS NOT FOR YOUNG READERS. There is foul language. There are instances of sexual content, more explicit than not. There is serious darkness explored (in a fictitious manner of course) but with enough scare power to frighten those with an over active imagination.In short...if you're looking for a good scare and not afraid of a bit of gore and glimpses under the sheets, this just might be the one for you.
Are you ready for a hunt?How about a GHOST hunt?*raises hand*Who ya gonna call?Ghost…wait, no…not them, although the paranormal hunters in this tale would certainly love it if they could step in and lend a hand I’m sure.Wayne Wilson (aka The Digger) and the rest of the SSI team are going on a little adventure.Their business?Ghosts, hauntings, and the paranormal.Current location for investigation…the White Horse Inn…home of supernatural activity to boot whether the staff knows it or not.You see, the inn has seen better days and in lieu of bringing their high end status up to par, they are cashing in on their own ghastly history and reaping (pardon the pun) the rewards, hence Mr. Wilson and his well paying ghost seeking guests.They seek to investigate at least three of the more infamous hauntings during their current stay.Sounds like the perfect plan, right?Yes and no.
While paranormal encounters abound, there is a lot more than ghosts calling this place home.Try demons… O_O ….as in plural and the big, unfriendly, I-want-your-soul kind and making contact with the hotels newest guests is just the first thing on their to-do list, if you know what I mean.So….welcome to the White Horse Inn.Come in, stay awhile; before long you won’t want to leave…or be able to… (muwhahahahahaha)
Let’s see…time for a storyline check list.We've got a couple that promised they'd be together til death do us part (and then some). A hotel that trumps the one in the infamous The Shining ten times over in the haunts and ruthlessness department. Temptation around every corner in both physical and emotional forms.A few disbelievers about to have a come-to-ghosty meeting sure to change their paranormal outlook.Plus, a twist of an ending you won't see coming…in fact, quite a few characters don't see it coming either as something in the hotel keeps picking them off.Yep, I’d say this one is playing with a full deck of scary.
I have to say this is exactly the reason that I don't necessarily count an author out just because I don't fall in love with their first book, or rather the first book that I read written by them. Sometimes one works well for some readers while another doesn't quite hit the mark…and that’s okay, we all have different tastes and that’s part of what makes sharing the experience that much more interesting.While I wouldn't say I loved this one (personally could have done without a scene or two), I certainly liked it quite a bit as the storyline really grabs your attention.Seriously!After I read through a particular scene before going to bed the one night (there’s a guy reading cards and something unexpected happens with the deck that has to do with the image of a serpent…don’t want to ruin it for you), I actually woke up from a dream (nightmare?Not sure…don’t remember now…) that it managed to make its way into… ~shudders~…needless to say, not a common occurrence.
We’ve talked storyline, but let’s talk characters for a moment.The cast of characters enhanced the story rather well, in fact several of the supporting characters shine through more vibrantly and memorably than a few of the main ones.Kendra Wilson, the Digger’s daughter nicknamed Buttercup (from The Princess Bride), plays a key role (of which you learn more about later on in the novel), but her very nature…smartaleck, artsy girl ready to kick butt if someone looks at her the wrong way or melt (inwardly) over Cody McKenzie, Mr. “Future of Horror” himself…brings her to life in a more 3 dimensional way.She has real life troubles, a dad focused on reconnecting with the past and missing what is right in front of him and a desire to establish herself apart from her dad’s image…all making her easy to connect to.
On the other end of the spectrum (in more ways than one), we have quite a few others making their presence known.The hotel manager, Janey Mays, though living and breathing (for now..hehe) is dishonest and heartless to the core.Ann Vandooren and her sidekick Duncan are out to disprove Wilson and his paranormal findings but end up inviting in a bit more trouble than they can handle.Then of course we have the otherworldly characters that come alive in their various forms as they seek to claim what they feel is rightfully theirs.From uber creepy to tantalizing in no time flat, the demons (and one other being…which shall remain nameless unless you read the tale) make their mark every time and leave you with an impression you won’t soon forget.
My only other word of critique is in regards to the title.Title selection can make or break a book sometimes, or at the very least changes the audience size reached.When I read the title of this book, I can honestly say had the cover art NOT been shown with it, I might not have given it a second glance.I know, bad reader bad reader, but you know you’ve all done it before.If you are reading through a list of titles, something has to grab your attention and yeah, this one doesn’t quite reach me...lucky for me, the visual stimulation was there along with an intriguing teaser to take me past my first glance impression and pull me in for what was a rather enjoyable read.In summary…this book definitely raises the creep factor many notches, in fact you'll definitely want to leave the lights while reading it. The perfect book for the Halloween season or any other time you are looking for a good scare.
EBook for review received from author Scott Nicholson.(THANKS!)For more information on this title and his complete bibliography, check out his website or follow along on Twitter.Don’t forget he is still making the rounds in the blogosphere on his current tour (one stop was right here at the site) where you have a chance to win 1 of 20 Kindle DXs so be sure to check it out!
Time to announce the winners from the contest that closed Sunday, here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers. Without further adieu, the winners are....
#12 - Bri Meets Books
#21 - Kim (Book Butterfly)
#24 - Liz (Consumed by Books)
*and the crowd erupts with enthusiastic cheers*
Congratulations! You've each won a copy of Dewey by Vicki Myron!
Since all winners opted to include their mailing information (whoa...what are the odds!), there won't be a need for me to vaguely promise to draw another name if I don't get a response from anyone....it's a done deal. Special thanks to Hachette Book Group for the opportunity to host this giveaway for you, my readers. (THANKS!) For more information on this book as well as their full catalog, check out the website!
Didn't win? Not to worry! Take a chance on the FOUR other contests currently running....but ya know, you can't win if you don't enter.... Until next time....happy reading!
Why don't you rustle up a stool and sit for a spell?
Today's bookish post is a doozy and I do mean a doozy with a captial "D". Why am I talkin this way? Just seemed appropriate given the title of the post. What, you no like?
*ahem* *COUGH* *ahem*
Okay, I'm back! No, it's not one of the new wave of 1920s based books we're focusing on today, although sooner or later we'll get there. Today's post is featuring a paranormal smorgasbord of goodness kept short and sweet...making the spooktacular find today...LOVE on the PARANORMAL side. The book of choice....
Kiss Me Deadly:
13 Tales of Paranormal Love
Witches and werewolves,
Unicorns, and ghosts;
These are the things we love the most.
A sprinkling of paranormal,
A dash of romance;
The short stories found here invite more than a glance.
Come find your favorites,
There’s no need to hide;
They’re all right here waiting for you decide.
From the cover….”Becca Fitzpatrick, Rachel Vincent, Maggie Stiefvater, and more….” Well, if you’re going to make mention of some of the big names in this collection, you might as well list the rest since they all hold their own in the YA literary genre. Sarah Rees Brennan, Caitlin Kittredge, Karen Mahoney, Daniel Marks, Justine Musk, Diana Peterfreund, Michelle Rowen, Carrie Ryan, Daniel Waters, Michelle Zink…..you’re bound to recognize at least a name or two amongst this group. If you don’t, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do because you sure are missing out on some great reads. What’s that? Whom have I read? Oh, well…all of them….at least if you count these short stories…hey, you didn’t specify that it had to be the original books when you telepathically asked that question.
Seriously though…I recognized almost all the names in this collection right off the bat, but my “books read by said authors” quota is standing at a stark TWO…and they were by the same author. Will I be correcting that any time soon? On several of these authors….YES! I mean, if they can get me involved with their stories in this shortened format, I can only imagine the marvel a full-length version of their work would be.
Now, whenever you read a collection of stories, there are bound to be those you love and those you less-than-love in the mix. As it would take an even longer post than I normally subject you guys too for me to go through each and every one(though I could and would do it if you asked really really nicely…hehe), I am going to highlight a few that fell into both ends of the spectrum. Let’s start with the less-than-likes…
This category is always a tad hard to point fingers at…especially in this case, since I didn’t have any issues with the writing style or underlying messages relayed, merely the actual stories themselves; case in point….Errant by Diana Peterfreund. I appreciated the way the story was introduced, the twists and turns within the plot, and the final outcome; they fit together quite well. It’s the whole “viscous unicorn” concept I have a problem with. Unicorns happened to be one of my favorites growing up. Their beautiful coats, magical presence….the whole nine yards. I loved it all. I even had a stuffed unicorn named Uni (…hey it was short for unicorn, and pretty good for a four year old…) with a pink mane, blue eyes, and a shiny silver horn. So for me, envisioning one stabbing someone through the heart or worse is a stretch I’m simply not ready to take, even now. There are those that swear by this author’s series and honestly, I can see why with the writing gift she’s shown in this short story, but for me, they will have to remain a mystery.
Second story to hit this category is Many Happy Returns by Daniel Waters. Okay, so perhaps this wasn’t the best story to get acquainted with zombies, after all, I haven’t read a book featuring them as of yet. Once again, it wasn’t the way the story was relayed to the reader so much as the actual content. Perhaps knowing more of the back story on how they so easily accepted (well, most anyway) that people just started not staying dead would have helped, but again the short story format doesn’t really allow for that to happen. Will I tackle another zombie book? Sure….why not. Just can’t say when exactly. Anywho, let’s move on….
Time to talk the talk about those stories that hit home and I bet you won’t guess which one I liked the most. No, not that one. No, not that one either. It was….Familiar by Michelle Rowen! This was my first encounter with her work and I must say…me likez! In a matter of pages, she had me involved in her character’s lives and wondering many a thing like just why is the cat not a cat? Why doesn’t the girl want to embrace her magical powers? Why are the cute ones always the snarky ones aiming to get you in trouble? Owen is certainly a man about, I mean a cat about…I mean….oh whatever….about his word, even if he is a bit shady in his dealings with his family. Brenda is a great mix of shyness and untapped courage making her both easy to relate to and likeable all at once. Definitely adding this author to a future read list.
Second in this category….oh, that’s a hard one! There were many others that I liked for one reason of another. Let’s see if I can summarize this part....
First one, good
Third one, better
Fourth one, really good
Fifth one, unusual
Sixth, rather vindictive
Eighth, unusual also but in a good way
Tenth, very interesting
Eleventh, different but interesting
Twelfth, bad consequences
Now I know I skipped one or two there but those are the ones I’ve already mentioned in greater detail so no need to drive them into the ground.
There is one thing I discovered about my own reading habits when working my way through this book; I much prefer a full-fledged novel to a short story. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book…because I did, truly. It’s just something I recognized in myself while reading. The short story format limits the author to an approximate length for their work and having to focus on the main action scene or sequence in order to deliver a “full” story from start to finish, is plagued by the requirement to leave out a lot of the character and world building aspects. Once I got really into a story, it was time to say goodbye already and try to fit into another character’s frame of mind. It seems I much prefer the time to get to know the characters, their world, and the storyline itself in a more dramatic fashion than short stories allow. Is that a problem? No. Will I avoid short stories in the future? No. They may not be my first choice, but they certainly do well at introducing readers to new-to-them authors. You get a sampling of what they can do and are free to explore their full-length works on your own. Mission accomplished.
All in all, a rather enjoyable experience from some of the top names in the Young Adult genre today and reading time well spent. Would I recommend it? Certainly…..like I said it’s a great way to sample their writing before committing to a full-length novel with an author you’ve heard of but never read. Review copy courtesy of Nicole at Running Press. (THANKS!) For more information on this title and their full catalog, check out their website or follow along on Twitter.
Welcome back to a new week here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!
Here's hoping you are having a great day and blue skies are all that await you this week. What's that? Why am I so chipper today? Oh, no reason....
Today's the day and so this post....totally pre-scheduled and probably all by it's lonesome unless I feel like logging in later on...doubtful, but ya never know since I luvs talking with all of you out there in the bloggy world. But enough about me...let's get this PAR-TY started! Today's post features a book from my own personal library as in straight from the heart of Mount Book-ulus itself. It pays a visit to a childhood classic while adding its own unique twist (hmm, sorta like each birthday does if you think about it). The book of choice for today is....
Once upon a time there was a frog....a girl kissed him (yuck!)...he turned into a prince...and POOF! They lived happily ever after...or did they? What REALLY happens to fairytale characters once we close the door on this very small chapter in their lives? I mean they hardly even know each other! How could they possibly know if they'd get along...have similar tastes...etcetera? Is ONE kiss supposed to cement their relationship for all time? What if it was just a fluke? Here's your chance to find out....
Okay, I know what you're (probably) thinking....why on earth did she choose this book for Halloween? You say WHY...I say, WHY NOT? Let's break it down for a second here. It has witches (several), magic (good and bad), and a frog...well, a frog prince, but he could still be used in a potion I'm sure since he kept the frog tongue according to the pictures which definitely puts him as more frog than prince in my book. Also, did you see the cover? *waits patiently while you scroll up* The word "continued" is scrawled across the front in red...looks pretty ominous if you ask me (and you did ask, right? Just making sure I'm not hearing voices now.... *glances around*). Speaking of the cover...though my copy is a paperback, I love the look both front and back of an old-timey book with a worn leather cover and gilded letters across the front; definitely gets you in the mood for a good story...and it doesn't disappoint.
The characters from the original story are reintroduced to readers after their wedded bliss has reached an end and real life has taken hold. In an effort to solve their problems, the Frog Prince (or is it more appropriate to say "former-frog-now prince"...) sets out to seek magical aid. I won't go into too much detail since the story is rather short and thus easy to spoil, but his ensuing adventure takes a Goldilocks and the Three Bears turn as he encounters witch after witch after witch. A great detail to note about these gals...they are all from other fairy tales! That's right! Despite the fact that our now-prince-former-frog was a frog for many a day, he's even heard of them before and was wisely warned to avoid them if possible. The fun part of this aspect is in discovering which witch is which (say THAT ten times fast), or rather which stories they are from through the meticulous details inserted within the paintings. See if you can pick them out along the way and then discover through the story itself whether you were wrong or right! Oh, and the ending...bet you won't see THAT one coming...okay, well you'll see the ending since you'll be turning the pages but what happens, you won't guess.
All in all, a fun read from cover to quick ending; another win for picture and storybook fans in a supposedly declining market (we'll see about that). Recommended reading fun for all ages. As this title came from my own bookish treasure trove, there's no one to thank for a review copy....but should you wish to learn more about it, my own version lists Puffin Books as the publisher, so stop by their site for a looksie.