Sunday, September 27, 2009

In My Mailbox

Though to be fair, I'm a few minutes late.

Memoirs Of A Geisha by Arthur Golden
An epic on an intimate scale, Memoirs of a Geisha takes the reader behind the rice-paper screens of the geisha house to a vanished floating world of beauty and cruelty, from a poor fishing village in 1929 to the decadence of 1940s Kyoto, through the chaos of World War II to the towers of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where the gray-eyed geisha Sayuri unfolds the remarkable story of her life.

Classic Books from the Library of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: Quidditch through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling, (Kennilworthy Whisp), (Newt Scamander)

When first released to Muggles in March 2001, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages further enlightened Harry Potter fans about the dangers and delights of the wizarding world. Now these two charming works of non-fiction are available in hardcover -- in a special keepsake slipcase edition!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way...taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

(WARNING!: Summary and Review WILL most likely contain spoilers. Venture on at your own risk.)

It all comes down to this - a final face off between good and evil. You plan to pull out all the stops, but every time you solve one mystery, three more evolve. Do you stay the course you started, despite your lack of progress? Do you detour and follow a new lead that may not help? Do you listen to your instincts, or your friends?
Lord Voldemort is preparing for battle and so must Harry. With Ron and Hermione at his side, he's trying to hunt down Voldemort's Horcruxes, escape danger at every turn, and find a way to defeat evil once and for all.
How does it all end?

Originality- 10/10
Characters- 20/20
Remembrance- 10/10
Setting- 20/20
Plot- 20/20
Ending- 9/10
Recommend To Read- 10/10
Total- 99/100
Grade- A

I feel that this is probably the first review where I've felt so antsy about spoilers.

God, I read this book the Christmas after the Hardcover edition came out and it was freaking brilliant.

I could honestly rant on about the series, this book actually but I doubt anyone has the time or want of that.

All I know is, is that this book is amazing. I can't pick my favorite out of the series - they all seem to mesh into this huge superbook that you can just drown in and never return if you didn't want to.

The originality is there, and practically screaming at you. The basic plot points are there, but just because you've seen them before you can't take away from them. There will always be an antagonist, there will always be the hero, and the people in between. Rowling just somehow knew how to make these factors into something we've never seen before.

Harry is the hero that we all want. He has his faults, but I could never hate him for anything he does because he is just too good for that. I feel his struggles, and how he feels the need to save people from this vile monster who's trying to destroy everything he considered to be his home.
And on the downside, I can see Voldemort as who he really is and the person he's trying not to be: Tom Riddle Jr. Once you get through to this layer of him, I don't think it's possible you can hate him as much as before. I just believe he is like Harry, only he never found happiness or someone to care for him - sure there were people like Bellatrix and all of his Death Eaters, but because of that he sees power as the best thing as opposed to love, the thing he never knew.

The Deathly Hallows was full of action. The prequels before Deathly Hallows had action as well, but they were limited to Hogwarts and they were never as dangerous or breathtaking as before. This was all over - in the forests, in the streets, in Malfoy Manor, man, and it isn't just about surviving school anymore. It's about living and fighting against these adult wizards and witches who have every reason to kill you just because they can and they're more experienced.

I love Rowling's style, because I feel in the moment and like I'm in danger through every step. You never know what will happen. She isn't afraid to kill her characters or bend the story in a certain way to make it all the more fantastic. When I got to the Final Battle, I wasn't sure that Harry would win because I was clinging to my last hope because I'd never seen the main character die before. I wasn't sure if I was relieved or disappointed, but in the end, I think that it's obvious good has to conquer evil in these books or there would be no point to it.

The search for the Horcruxes was phenomenal. It wasn't just about the Horcruxes to me, though, it was about what they struggled through to get it and then finding the courage to destroy them.

I was sad about the deaths, but then equally happy about those who survived and the information that Rowling put out about the future made me all the more satisfied, seeing what Harry was up to afterward. The only way I was disappointed about the epilogue is that it wasn't long enough for me. I know that I am but one of many who wish for another Potter book. I seriously want to see how Luna, James, and Albus are living through Hogwarts, no matter how boring the book may be with everything ending perfectly.


In My Mailbox

Beastly by Alex Flinn
I am a beast.
A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Harry's back for his second year at Hogwarts, where the infamous Chamber of Secrets has been opened for the first time in 50 years. The monster that is unleashed is literally petrifying Hogwarts students (turning them into stone, that is), and who is the primary suspect? Harry Potter himself. Add to this some enormous spiders, a Deathday Party, a ghost named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and lots and lots of suspense, and you'll soon find yourself engrossed in another terrific tale in which magic does exist and good eventually triumphs over evil.

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers--particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade--require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance--including her own--Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed...powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
How far will Rose go to keep her promise?
The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir's Academy was the deadliest ever in the school's history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them. . . including Dimitri.
He'd rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

Dark Visions by L.J. Smith
Kaitlyn Fairchild has always felt like an outsider in her small hometown. Her haunting eyes and prophetic drawings have earned her a reputation as a witch. But Kait's not a witch: She's a psychic. Tired of being shunned, Kait accepts an invitation to attend the Zetes Institute, where she can have a fresh start and study with other psychic teens.
Learning to hone her abilities with four other gifted students, Kait discovers the intensity of her power — and the joy of having true friends. But those friendships quickly become complicated when Kait finds herself torn between two irresistible guys. Rob is kind and athletic, and heals people with his good energy. Gabriel is aggressive and mysterious, a telepath concealing his true nature as a psychic vampire, feeding off of others' life energy. Together, Rob and Gabriel's opposing forces threaten the group's stability.
Then one of the experiments traps the five teens in a psychic link. A link that threatens their sanity and their lives. And Kaitlyn must decide whom to trust...and whom to love.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

In My Mailbox

Milestones by Samira Armin Hodges

One day. That’s how long it took for fourteen year-old Faye Martin’s ordinary life to take a dramatic and unexpected turn. First, she gets struck by lightning. Second, Benjamin Parker, the object of her obsession, witnessed her near-death experience. Finally, her parents force her to leave her hometown of Seattle to attend a summer camp, aptly named ‘Camp Milestone’. Only, Camp Milestone is no ordinary camp. Before she knows it, Faye finds herself caught in a whirlwind of uncertainty, torture, calamine lotion and romance….All in the name of summer camp. But as the summer unfolds, she realizes there is much more to Camp Milestone than meets the eye. Will she be able to unravel the mystery that surrounds this unusual camp? And more importantly, will she be able to survive the madness long enough to put the pieces together?

Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner

When the girl who’s foresworn men meets the boy who’s devoted himself to picking up women, there’s bound to be drama—perfect for a sixweek summer program devoted to the arts. Olivia’s summer goal: to write a musical that censures men with wandering eyes. Max’s summer goal: to hone his acting skills, along with his talent for attracting the ladies. Before camp is over, they’ll perform Olivia’s musical onstage and in real life—though the ending may turn out differently than either expects.

Darklight by Lesley Livingston

Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was Faerie royalty, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved New York City from a rampaging Faerie war band. When a terrifying encounter in Central Park sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful—but cut short. For they’ve been plunged into a game of Faerie deception and wavering allegiances in which the next move could topple a kingdom…or part them forever.

The Eternal Kiss 12 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire edited by Trisha Telep

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.This is Manhattan, 1899.

Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.

With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...
In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Orphaned as a baby, Harry Potter has spent 11 awful years living with his mean aunt, uncle, and cousin Dudley. But everything changes for Harry when an owl delivers a mysterious letter inviting him to attend a school for wizards. At this special school, Harry finds friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, as well as a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

In his fifth year at Hogwart's, Harry faces challenges at every turn, from the dark threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be- Named and the unreliability of the government of the magical world to the rise of Ron Weasley as the keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. Along the way he learns about the strength of his friends, the fierceness of his enemies, and the meaning of sacrifice.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

In the land of Ingary, such things as spells, invisible cloaks, and seven-league boots were everyday things. The Witch of the Waste was another matter.

After fifty years of quiet, it was rumored that the Witch was about to terrorize the country again. So when a moving black castle, blowing dark smoke from its four thin turrets, appeared on the horizon, everyone thought it was the Witch. The castle, however, belonged to Wizard Howl, who, it was said, liked to suck the souls of young girls.

The Hatter sisters—Sophie, Lettie, and Martha—and all the other girls were warned not to venture into the streets alone. But that was only the beginning.

In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl's castle?

I've already read Harry Potter #1 tons of times and I just finished reading #5 not too long ago. I watched Howl's Moving Castle and it was so wonderful that I was determined to read it. And now I do. =]