Friday, August 21, 2009

Book Review: Strange Angels

So, I'm still on a young adult reading kick. I just finished reading STRANGE ANGELS by Lili St. Crow. Her adult books are published under Lilith St. Crow. It was amazing. There were a few twists, and this book was less predicable than most. I can't wait to read the next one in the series. I loved the main character, Dru, and her friend, Graves. Also, I really love the covers.


Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?


Book 2, BETRAYALS, comes out this fall.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Graphic Novel Review: FABLES

FABLES is such an amazing comic. I grew up loving fairy tales. Unfortunately, I really only knew the kid or Disney versions until I got older. If you know the original tales and love them, then you will love FABLES. Bill Willingham takes fairy tale characters and puts them in modern day New York. The main characters are Snow White and Bigby Wolf, but as the story progresses, more characters are introduced. Most of them are introduced being how you would imagine. And then you get to meet them and find they are not at all what they seem. There is a spinoff series called JACK OF FABLES.

Volume 12 just came out, and I've been taking my time reading it. I devoured the first eleven and the special edition in under two weeks and the entire five JACK OF FABLES in one day. I really can't tell you how great this series is. You need to read them for yourselves.

Book Review: Speak

SPEAK was an incredible book. I read it in one day. It had been recomended to me many times, and I'm so glad I read it. It was sad and beautiful and in the end, empowering. This novel was written by Laurie Halse Anderson for young adults when I was still a young adult. It just took me ten years to discover it.

About five years ago, it was turned into a Lifetime movie. The main character, Melinda Sordino, was played by Kristen Stewart, who I think is an amazing actress. It just so happened to come on TV the day after I read the book. They did an amazing job transfering it to video. So much of this book is internal, as Melinda was traumatized and had basically lost her voice. She couldn't speak about what happened to her. I think this book would speak, not just to teens, but to everyone.

Despite this book being about such an ugly topic, it really was beautifully written. Did you know that every two minutes a woman is raped in the US or that 1 in 6 women will be raped? Did you know that 73% of rape victims know their attacker and 60% go unreported? Those are scary statistics. The most wonderful thing about this book is that there are so many girls and women who can relate to what Melinda goes through. But not only that, it could help women speak out, to go to police and report the attack. Melinda is a wonderful character, and she can help many young women. A huge thanks to Laurie Halse Anderson for writing this amazing novel. I can't wait to read more of her work.


Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

Book vs. Movies: Coraline

I'd heard a lot of amazing things about Neil Gaiman's works, however, I had not read any of his books before. I picked this one up in preparation for the movie. I devoured it in one day. The story was fantastic, super creepy and full of adventure. Coraline lives in a large house that has been sectioned off, holding a few apartments. She finds a door with a magical portal to another world, at first, seemingly very similar to her own. The first difference? They have buttons for eyes. And they want Coraline to join them.

This novel was originally published in the middle grade section, but it has been republished for the adult section, with a Q&A in the back. I read the extras in the back, and one thing stuck with me, because it was so interesting. Mr. Gaiman says that while most adults read this and call it creepy, kids don't tend to use that word. Kids see it as an adventure. I'm guessing it's because adults think different than kids.

And because I loved the novel so much, I picked up the graphic novel. I don't believe there were any changes to the story. I enjoyed this format very much. Definitely worth checking out.


The day after they moved in,
Coraline went exploring....

In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.

The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it's different.

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

I read the book CORALINE back in January in preparation for the movie. And I missed it. But I bought it when it came out, and I LOVED! it. I'm so disappointed I missed it in the theater. If you got the chance to see it, you know what I mean. It was stop motion animation. The visuals were incredible. But I'm sure my small screen doesn't even begin to do it justice. I have a little Coraline doll on my dresser because I am so in love with the movie version of her. Blue hair!

I highly recommend all three, because... it's all fantastic!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Book Review: Stargirl and Love, Stargirl

I picked up STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli from the bargain bin at Borders. I thought the cover was cute. I started reading and couldn't put it down. The character of Stargirl is such a great one. She knows who she is and what she likes and isn't afraid to be herself. I highly admire her for that. I wish I could've been like that in high school.


Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.

Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.


I loved LOVE, STARGIRL, almost as much as the first. She and her family leave town. This story is written in stories, written to Leo, the boy she loved and left behind. Like the first, it's such a sweet story. There's happy moments, sad moments, and moments in between.

Both stories were great. This is one of the first YA books I read that wasn't fantasy. They were fairly simple stories without much mystery and very little conflict. There also wasn't much of a build-up and climax. But despite that I highly recommend these. Be sure to pick up both when you can. You won't be disappointed.


Love, Stargirl picks up a year after Stargirl ends and reveals the new life of the beloved character who moved away so suddenly at the end of Stargirl. The novel takes the form of "the world's longest letter," in diary form, going from date to date through a little more than a year's time. In her writing, Stargirl mixes memories of her bittersweet time in Mica, Arizona, with involvements with new people in her life.

Love, Stargirl, we hear the voice of Stargirl herself as she reflects on time, life, Leo, and—of course—love.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Book Review: The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen

 Neef, the official Changeling of Central Park, has survived a life-threatening quest, but that's nothing compared to her first experiences at Changeling school. At Miss Van Loon's, she meets her counterparts from all over Manhattan, learns the basics of diplomacy, and, of course, gets in trouble. This time Neef must recover the Magic Mirror, or else New York Harbor's Mermaid Queen will turn all of the city's fresh water to salt - and everything will die.

I absolutely adored Changeling, so I was thrilled when Delia Sherman wrote a sequel, The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen. Neef, the Central Park changeling of New York Inbetween is back in a second adventure. She ends up heading off to a school for changelings where she takes classes such as Mortal History, Talismans, and Questing. Sounds fun, right? Except maybe the rules... There are a thousand of them. And Neef, of course, is an avid rule breaker. But now sue must return the magic mirror to it's rightful owner, the mermaid queen.

I really enjoy Neef and her god parents... A phooka and a large white rat. The world Delia Sherman has created is fun, and it's definitely a place I'd love to explore more. I love fantasy and paranormal stories. I love seeing new and interesting twists. But I also love when authors actually use folklore without mangling it, which she does. If you enjoy faery stories, this is definitely one not to miss.