Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions

Personal Resolutions:

1) Get a job
2) Learn to drive
3) Complete one of the many novels I've been working on
4) Edit either TAOF or FTA
5) Start a new journal and stick to it
5) A picture a day---0/365
6) Try five new flavors of coffee--0/5
7) Organize better!
8) Start working out
9) Perform one of my spoken pieces!
10) Ask someone I like out on a date, no fear of rejection
11) Watch ten international movies-- 0/10
12) Go to five new resturants/cafes--0/5
13) Work harder for the Rangernews
14) Love myself more, stop being so hard on myself
15) Take a chance at something.
16) Learn to leap without looking what's beneath me.
17) Let go of the past...holding onto it is getting me nowhere. So...forgive and forget.
18) Write five new short stories--0/5
19) Brush up on my French!!
20) Go to an art gallery/museum


Book Blogging Resolutions:


1) Get a better design
2) Start commenting more on all the blogs I adore
3) Get more involved in the book-blogging community

4) Finish those challenges I signed up for!

Here's to hoping for a great 2010!

--Faith

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Martyrs: A Movie Review


Martyrs
Directed by: Pascal Laugier
Starring: Morjana Alaoui and Mylène Jampanoï


Synopsis:

The Brotherhood of the Wolf director Pascal Lauguier follows his 2004 thriller House of Voices with this relentlessly brutal tale of a girl who suffered unimaginable abuse as a young child, and the unspeakable horrors that unfold when she arrives at an isolated cabin in the woods fifteen years later. The story begins as the young, badly battered Lucie (Mylène Jampanoï) -- obviously the victim of inhuman abuse -- is hospitalized after somehow managing to escape her sadistic captors. Nearly catatonic after her life-altering ordeal, Lucie only manages to become functional again as a result of her friendship with Anna (Morjana Alaoui), a fellow abuse victim who selflessly reaches out to the badly damaged girl. Fifteen years later, Lucie guns down an entire family in cold blood. Is Lucie seeking belated vengeance against the people who tortured her as a young girl, or has her fragile psyche finally snapped, resulting in the bloody demise of an innocent family? Later, when Lucie calls on her old friend Anna, the truth about Lucie's traumatic early life experience slowly comes into focus. Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

[from barnesandnoble.com]

Let me start off by saying this movie was amazing, to me. I'm sure there are many people who won't be able to get through either the violence or graphic images, but the beauty about the movie is that it's supposed to be gruesome and make the viewer a little sick to their stomach. It's a hard movie to sit through, beccause it transcends the horror genre. The acting was amazing from both Morjana and Mylène, both of whom I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for. Their performances took the movie to a higher level than it might have been with another cast.

The first half was just nonstop, I loved it. The second half, while I liked the cult and how they were presented and tied into the film, it dragged a little. Still good, just a little slower paced than the first half.

I wouldn't recommend watching this dubbed, you have to watch it in French. And I wouldn't recommend it to people who have a light stomach. Some of the scenes may be hard for you to handle.

Overall, it's one of my favorite horror movies. It's intelligent, it leaves the viewer with an open and questioning mind, and it has great acting.
My rating: 8/10

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bookbag

I went shopping today with a friend and spent a good 3/4 of my barnes and noble gift cards from relatives (: So I have lots of new books to read, which means I've got to stop borrowing them from the library!!




Night Shift by: Lilth Saintcrow



Not everyone can take on the things that go bump in the night.

Not everyone tries.

But Jill Kismet is not just anyone.

She's a Hunter, trained by the best - and in over her head.

Welcome to the night shift...

This sounds like an awesome series, I cannot wait to start it. I'd also like to check out the Dante Valentine series, which sounds equally awesome!




Gracling by: Kristin Casshore


Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

I've seen a lot of promising reviews about this novel, and the back blurb makes it sound like a pretty wild read.



Let The Right One In by: John Ajvide Lindqvist

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night. . . .

Sweeping top honors at film festivals all over the globe, director Tomas Alfredsson’s film of Let the Right One In has received the same kind of spectacular raves that have been lavished on the book. American readers of vampire fiction will be thrilled!


I loved the movie, so I'm really excited to read the book. (:



Soulless by: Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.



This just sounds like a really fun read.



I am a beyond huge Supernatural fan, so when I saw there were three novels out based on the TV show, I picked them up. They look awesome!



Witch's Canyon by: Jeff Mariotte

Sam and Dean have set out on a road trip to the Grand Canyon, but this is no vacation for the brothers. On a stretch of deserted ranchland just beyond the canyon's stunning vistas, mysterious murder sprees have occurred every forty years. The area's inhabitants have been few and far between in years past, but a nearby mega-mall is about to celebrate its grand opening—and attract thousands of fresh victims.

The Winchester boys are determined to protect locals and shoppers alike, but they never anticipated they'd be fighting a group of killers this vicious, this vindictive, this . . . dead. A deadly horde of animal spirits and human ghosts has arisen to terrorize this tiny corner of the Arizona desert. If Sam and Dean can't figure out why, the wide-open spaces of the West will once again become a desolate frontier . . . and the witch's canyon will be the brothers' final resting place.






Nevermore by: Keith R.A DeCandido

Sam and Dean have hit New York City to check out a local rocker's haunted house. But before they can figure out why a lovesick banshee in an '80s heavy-metal T-shirt is wailing in the bedroom, a far more macabre crime catches their attention. Not far from the house, two university students were beaten to death by a strange assailant. A murder that's bizarre even by New York City standards, it's the latest in a line of killings that the brothers soon suspect are based on the creepy stories of legendary writer Edgar Allan Poe.

Their investigation leads them to the center of one of Poe's horror classics, face-to-face with their most terrifying foe yet. And if Sam and Dean don't rewrite the ending of this chilling tale, a grisly serial killer will end their lives forevermore.






Bone Key by: Keith R.A Decandido


Sam and Dean are headed for Key West, Florida, home to Hemingway, hurricanes, and a whole lot of demons. The tropical town has so many ghouls on the loose that one of its main moneymakers has long been a series of ghost tours. But the tours are no more, not since one of the guides was found dead of an apparent heart attack . . . his face frozen in mid-scream. No one knows what horrors he saw, but the Winchester brothers are about to find out.

Soon they'll be face-to-face with the ghosts of the island's most infamous residents, demons with a hidden agenda, and a mysterious ancient power looking for revenge. It's up to Sam and Dean to save the citizens of Key West . . . before the beautiful island is reduced to nothing more than a pile of bones



Tempest Rising by: Nicole Peeler

In the tiny village of Rockabill, Maine, Jane True—26-year-old bookstore clerk and secret night swimmer—has no idea that her absent mother’s legacy is entry into a world populated by the origins of human myths and legends. It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: vampires are not quite what we think; dogs sometimes surprise us; and whatever you do, never—ever—rub the genie’s lamp. For Jane, everything kicks off when she comes across a murder victim during her nightly clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean. This grisly discovery leads to the revelation of why she has such freakish abilities in the water: her mother was a Selkie and Jane is only half human. With this knowledge, Jane soon finds herself mingling with supernatural creatures alternately terrifying, beautiful, and deadly—all adjectives that quite handily describe her new friend Ryu. When Ryu is sent to Rockabill to investigate the murder, he and Jane fall hard for each other even as they plummet into a world of intrigue threatening to engulf both supernatural and human societies. For someone is killing half-humans like Jane. The question is, are the murders the work of one rogue individual or part of a greater plot to purge the world of Halflings?


I actually picked this one up because I loved the cover, but the back of the book sounds really cool, so I think I'll like it (:


All of the synopsis are from barnesandnoble.com aside from Tempest Rising, which is from the author's website (:

I also picked up the movie Martyrs, which I will be watching and reviewing very soon.

I've got about thirty dollars left, so if there's anything you guys think I should check out, I definitely wouldn't mind the recommendation!

--Faith



Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist: A Movie Review


Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Director: Peter Sollett
Starring: Michael Cera and Kat Dennings


I liked this movie. It was cute. Something to watch that both entertains you and makes you think. I loved Michael and Kat’s performances, I thought they both did really good. I loved the setting of the film, also. New York was practically a character, also.

The plot was simple. It wasn’t so much about the end point as it was about the journey, which I liked. I’ve seen a lot of reviewers say the movie was “aimless” and basically just wandered about from plot point to plot point, but I think that was the point of the movie. As things happen, the characters have to change their destination, that’s just how the movie is. It isn’t about the future, it’s about the present, that one night.

The best thing about the movie was the music. I loved every song they used, I think they picked them well according to the scenes. Definitely a soundtrack I’ll be buying.

All in all, it was a fun movie to watch. Not the best I’ve seen, but I’m glad I got to see it.


My rating: 7/10

The Uninvited: A Movie Review




The Uninvited
Director: Charles Guard, Thomas Guard
Starring: Emily Browning, Elizabeth Banks, Arielle Kebbel, and David Strathairn


I have mixed feelings about this movie. I haven’t seen the Korean film it’s based on, which is A Tale Of Two Sisters, though I desperately want to, but I’ve heard this movie isn’t exactly a remake it’s more of an…inspiration from the film.

I loved the backdrop of the movie. The little town was a good setting, and I loved the house Emily Browning’s character lived in. It was amazing. So the settings were definitely up to par with this film.

The horror level of the movie wasn’t as high as I’d hoped it to be. Some of the scenes, such as the ones with the mother’s body dragging across the floor, were really cool, though. You can see the Asian influence in the way the horror is presented, it isn’t really in your face gore. This was definitely a movie that made you think and you actually had to pay attention to understand it. I definitely didn’t see the twist coming at the end, it threw me for a complete loop. I liked it, but it wasn’t the best ending I’ve seen.

This definitely wasn’t the best horror movie I’ve seen, but it wasn’t the worst, either. It was just…all right. There was nothing really bad about it, but there was nothing spectacular.

So, while this is a movie I’d suggest, I can’t see myself buying it in the near future.

My rating: 7/10

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Book Swap


I got my gift in the mail a while ago, but I wanted to wait until I was able to get the pictures onto my computer before I talked about it on here.

The lovely Natalie, from
Book Line and Sinker was my Secret Santa (:

Everything was wonderful. Very nicely put together and practical! A wonderful eccolo journal, a set of memo pads that have already come in handy, a memo mouse pad, some amazing chocolate...I can't thank you enough!!!
--Faith

Happy Holidays!!


Happy Holidays everyone! Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you guys have a great weekend!!


--Faith

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dawn Of The Dead: Movie Review




Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

Directed by: Zack Snyder. Starring: Sarah Polley, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Kevin Zeigers, and Ving Rhames.

Oh, how I love zombies. I went into this without seeing the original, which I really didn’t want to do. I wanted to be able to compare it to the original, but I guess I’ll have to do everything backwards!

Anyways, I loved this movie. I thought it was amazing. It was comical at the right points, had awesome action scenes, and the characters were so well developed I really started to care about them towards the end. My favorite in the whole movie was Michael. I love the actor, he plays Joe on the show Medium. He’s just awesome, and he was awesome in this movie. I also liked Terry (he was cute), Kenneth (I loved the bond he formed with Andy, it was very realistic), and Anna, in most parts. She was a strong lead female.

I think this showed a very humanistic side to the whole zombie plot. There wasn’t a lot of gore, because the zombies weren’t in much of the movie. It was about how they connected trying to survive this ordeal.

I can’t say how this is as far as remakes go until I see the original, however, I already think it’s probably one of the best I’ve seen.

And the music! How the interspersed it with what was going on was awesome, and each time it was the right kind of song to use. Johnny Cash in the beginning? A definite plus!

I loved the movie and will definitely be buying it on DVD! Every horror buff should watch this. It was great.

Oh, and I will be amazingly girly and say the ending made me tear up a bit. Just a bit.

My rating: 8/10

Teeth: A Movie Review



Teeth (2007)
Directed by: Mitchell Lictenstein. Starring: Jess Weixler, John Hensley, and Hale Applemen.


I’ve been wanting to see Teeth for some time now. When I first saw the trailer, I was like, “I have got to see that.” I finally got to tonight.

The beginning was slow, and the acting was shaky at best. However, as soon as the midway point hit, I started to love it.

It’s a comical movie, and I think some viewers might not grasp that concept. It’s not a horror movie and it’s not supposed to be a horror movie. It’s satirical, and literally made me laugh out loud. I loved how as the movie progressed, Dawn (the main character) started to change her persona a little. She wasn’t the shy, innocent girl she was at the beginning. It was a subtle change, though, which was a better deleopment than if she had just gone completely badass in a short period of time.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to buy this movie or not. I’m still kind of torn. I can see myself watching it over again just to get to the middle, but the beginning is enough to make me think twice.

My rating: 6/10

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

13 Bullets by: David Wellington


Synopsis:

All the official reports say they are dead-extinct since the late ’80s, when a fed named Arkeley nailed the last vampire in a fight that nearly killed him. But the evidence proves otherwise.

When a state trooper named Caxton calls the FBI looking for help in the middle of the night, it is Arkeley who gets the assignment-who else? He’s been expecting such a call to come eventually. Sure, it has been years since any signs of an attack, but Arkeley knows what most people don’t: there is one left. In an abandoned asylum she is rotting, plotting, and biding her time in a way that only the undead can.

Caxton is out of her league on this case and more than a little afraid, but the fed made it plain that there is only one way out. But the worst thing is the feeling that the vampires want more than just her blood. They want her for a reason, one she can’t guess; a reason her sphinxlike partner knows but won’t say; a reason she has to find out-or die trying.

Now there are only 13 bullets between Caxton and Arkeley and the vampires. There are only 13 bullets between us, the living, and them, the damned.

[from barnesandnoble.com]

I loved, loved, loved this book. It was fast paced, full of action, fantasically gory...just everything I love in a horror novel. The plot was interesting, and the twist at the end? I'm sad to say I did not see it coming. Maybe because I was flipping through the pages so fast!

Not only was the main character, Laura Caxton, surprisingly strong (and wonderfully human, which is something that's hard to come by in these types of books), but the secondary characters were built well also.

The one thing I hated? The ending. Not because it wasn't well written, but because it left me wanting to pick up the second novel immediately, and I didn't have it. While it's not a cliff-hanger persay, it's enough to make the reader go, "Oh, come on!"

I'm definitely going to be reading the rest of the series, as well as David Wellington's other novels. From what I can tell, he's a great writer.


My rating: 9.5/10

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Quarantine: Movie Review







I adore, adore, adore, movies. Especially horror movies. So, I figured why not start reviewing the movies I see? (:

So, for my first movie review, we have Quarantine, which was directed by John E Dowdle. Some of the stars include Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter, Steve Harris, and the oh-so-cute Jay Hernandez. It came out in 2008, and I've been dying to see it since.

I'm glad I did. It has to be one of the better horror movies I've seen lately. Not the best, of course. The acting was decent, and I liked that it was from the point of view of the camera, though when the action starts the camera got really shaky, which kind of annoyed me a bit. The plot was a little weak, but I liked the idea of it. It was very interesting.

The only thing I was really disappointed in was the end. There was no satisfying answer. You're just supposed to piece it all together yourself, which isn't hard to do, but still, it's nice to have a cleanly wrapped up ending.


The gore made up for that, though. I loved the gore in this. Very cool. It was pretty simple, just some [or a lot] blood and blacked out eyes, but it looked pretty damn good. It was enough to make you cringe.

I will probably end up buying this eventually (I watched it on HBO). It's definitely worth having if you're bored and just want to watch a movie where you don't have to think too much.

My rating: 7/10

I'm definitely getting geared up to see [Rec], which is the Spanish movie that "inspired" Quarantine. [Don't let them fool you, Quarantine is a remake. Inspiration just sounds better.] It's probably even better, seeing as how it's the original.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Better Part Of Darkness: A Contest


The awesome Parajunkee is hosting a contest where the winner will recieve a brand new copy of the book The Better Part of Darkness by: Kelly Gay.

Synaposis of the novel:


Atlanta: it's the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil....

Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She's recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.'s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim -- but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?

[from barnesandnoble.com]

I know I cannot wait to read this novel, it sounds awesome. I love that the main character is a single mom. As Parajunkee mentions in her review of the book, that isn't something you see often in UF novels.

Be sure to
enter the contest right away!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Blog

Hey (: I'm not only a fan of literature, I also really like photography. So I just created a new blog to show off some of my favorite photography!

Check it out here at
Simply Beautiful

If you have any pictures you'd like to share, let me know! (:

--Emily

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Challenges I'm Joining






There's a lot of awesome challenges going around, so I figured I'd dip my fingers into some (:



First off, we have the Women Unbound challenge.

*Philogynist: read at least two books, including at least one nonfiction one.
*Bluestocking: read at least five books, including at least two nonfiction ones.
*Suffragette: read at least eight books, including at least three nonfiction ones.

I'm going to try for Suffragette level. I think I can do it. The challenge runs until the 30th of November 2010, you can enter anytime (: Click the link for more information!!




I've decided that I don't read enough YA (because there are some good books in that genre I'm sure I'm missing out on) so I'm joining the Young Adult Reading Challenge over at J. Kaye's blog.

There are four levels:

*The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.

*Just My Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 25 Young Adult novels.

*Stepping It Up YA Reading Challenge – Read 50 Young Adult novels.

*Super Size Me YA Reading Challenge – Read 75 Young Adult novels.

I'll probably end up doing something in between the Mini and the Just My Size categories (:

Ones I definitely want to read are:

Fallen by: Lauren Kate

Hush Hush by: Becca Fitzpatrick

Beautiful Creatures by: Kami Garcia

Evermore, Blue Moon, and Shadowland by: Alyson Noel

Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise by: Richelle Mead

Need by: Carrie Jones

Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, and Fragile Eternity by: Melissa Marr

Wake and Fade by: Lisa McMann

Immortal by: Gillian Shields

Catching Fire by: Suzanne Collins

Diamond Secret by: Suzanne Weyn

Winter's Child, Belle, Before Midnight, and Wild Orchard by: Cameron Dokey

Midnight Pearls by: Debbie Viguie




There's the
What's In A Name challenge.

The rules are: Between January 1 and December 31, 2010, read one book in each of the following categories:

1) A book with a food in the title: Clockwork Orange, Grapes of Wrath, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

2)A book with a body of water in the title: A River Runs through It, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, The Lake House

3)A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Murder of King Tut, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lady Susan

4)A book with a plant in the title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Wind in the Willows, The Name of the Rose

5)A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Out of Africa; London; Between, Georgia

6)A book with a music term in the title: Song of Solomon, Ragtime, The Piano Teacher

I'm pretty excited for that one (: It's very interesting!!

Here's what I have so far:

1) Clockwork Orange by: Anthony Burgess

4) I Never Promised You A Rose Garden by: Joanne Greenberg

5) Shanghai Girls by: Lisa See

6) Song of Solomon by: Toni Morrison






This is one I'm really excited for!! It's the 2010
Historical Reading Challenge. I'm so pumped for this one, you guys have no idea. I love historical books XD hehehe.

There are four levels to this one also. There is:

*Curious – Read 3 Historical Fiction novels.

*Fascinated – Read 6 Historical Fiction novels.

*Addicted – Read 12 Historical Fiction novels.

* Obsessed – Read 20 Historical Fiction novels.


I'm shooting for Addicted. I figure that's not bad, seeing as how I'll have a year to complete it (:





And last but not least, there's the
GLBT Challenge which I think is awesome (:

There are three levels to this one:

*Lambda Level: Read 4 books.
*Pink Triangle Level: Read 8 books.
*Rainbow Level: Read 12 or more books.

I'm shooting for the Pink Triangle level (:

You can read books with GLBT topics, or books by GLBT authors (: Like Oscar Wilde! (I adore him).

Al righty, that's all I've got for now. I received my Secret Santa gifts in the mail from the Holiday swap. I'll have pictures of that soon (:

Hope everyone's doing good! More reviews to come (:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Frankenstein by: Mary Shelley



I had to read Frankenstein for history, and I'm glad we did. I've been wanting to read the novel for a while, being the classic and horror buff I am.

Frankenstein wasn't really what I would consider horror, it was more of a thought provoking novel. I can understand why people in Mary Shelley's time might find view it as a horror novel, though.

The writing is very good, with crisp details and easy to picture images. Sometimes the plot drags, but I think everything that is said is needed to really understand the novel. You need Victor's story and the creature's story to really get all sides of the story. The way that Shelley wrote it shows that she really wanted to get everything across and portray how everyone thought. She showed Frankenstein's side and then flipped everything around and showed how the creature felt about everything.

The story revolves around people playing God. The main question is: if you could create life, would you? And what would the consequence be? If you read the story, you'll understand there is a lot of consequences to Frankenstein's decision to make the creature.

There's a lot of religious symbolism in this novel. God, the angels, Lucifer, all of it. Which made the story interesting.

In the beginning I wasn't sure if I'd like this story, because it started off kind of shaky. But when the creature started his story I kind of started getting sucked in, because I liked getting to see the different points of view, as I mentioned before.

In the end, I think anyone who likes philisophical novels or novels that make you think should read this.


My rating: 7/10

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another Awesome Giveaway

There's an awesome giveaway happening over at Parajunkee. Be sure to check it out! There's some awesome books that are being given away. They include (but aren't limited to) Hush, Hush by: Becca Fitzpatrick, The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins, Blue Moon by: Alyson Noel, and Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill. There's a lot more, so head on over and see for yourself!!

--Faith

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The German Wife by: Paul Griner





Synopsis:

This riveting war story introduces us to the beautiful Kate Zweig, the English widow of a German surgeon, and Claus Murphy, an exiled American with German roots—two lovers with complicated loyalties.In 1918, Kate and her husband, Horst, are taken for spies by Russian soldiers and forced to flee their field hospital on the eastern front, barely escaping with their lives. Years later, in London during the Nazis’ V-1 reign of terror, Claus spends his days making propaganda films and his nights as a British spy, worn down by the war and his own many secrets. When Claus meets the intriguing Kate, he finds himself powerfully drawn to her, even after evidence surfaces that she might not be exactly who she seems. As the war hurtles to a violent end, Claus must decide where his own loyalties lie, whether he can make a difference in the war—and what might be gained by taking a leap of faith with Kate.

[from barnesandnoble.com]


I saw this book at the library as I was scanning over the new titles they got. From the inside jacket flap, it sounded like a great novel. The only thing that saved this novel, however, was the writing. It was written beautifully. The plot wasn't that strong, though, and neither were the characters. They weren't as developed as they could have been. The storylines were a bit confusing at times, leaving me wondering if I'd somehow skipped a page. So, while the writing was good, the rest was just average.
My rating: 5/10

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In My Mailbox: One



I love this idea, and even though I don't get books every week, I'm still going to start it (: So! This week I got three new books.


Under The Dome by: Stephen King

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if — it will go away.


Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens — town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing — even murder — to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.



Bride Of Pendorric by: Victoria Holt

Favel Farrington meets Roc Pendorric on the idyllic Mediterranean island of Capri, where she was raised and lives with her father. Roc sweeps her off her feet, taking her from her home by an emerald sea to the ancient family home of the Pendorrics, in Cornwall. His sister and her family await them with open arms, welcoming young Favel. She is the much anticipated Bride of Pendorric, a name that amuses and flatters her.

The castle is beautiful in its way, but the atmosphere is foreboding. Roc’s twin nieces begin watching her carefully; even the stones in the courtyard seem to have eyes. On the walls hang portraits of two other Brides of Pendorric—one of them Roc’s mother—who died both young and tragically. Favel’s fear increases as Roc seems to be growing more and more distant. Has her courtship and marriage been just a deception?

Soon Favel can no longer dismiss as accidents the strange things happening to her. Someone is trying to kill her and she must confront the very real dangers that surround her.


Shutter Island by: Dennis Lehane


The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple-murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems.










Utopia by: Sir Thomas More





Oh, Utopia. I had to read this for history class. The book has a great premise, the main character listening to a traveler explain about his time spent in a place called Utopia, where everything is perfect. Everyone is happy, life is good and fair to everyone [aside from the slaves]. In the sixteenth century, it would've been the best place to live. Nowadays, a lot of things would have to be changed to make it desireable, but the term is still used quite openly.

I didn't hate this book, it had some great ideas, especially for being written centuries ago. I didn't love it, either. Mostly because the whole novel is like one big monologue. There isn't a lot of dialogue or plot, so it dragged in some parts.

This is a book I would recommend to anyone with an English or Philosophy major. It raises some good questions, the main one being that if you could live in a place like this, would you? Can a place like this exist? Things like that.

My rating: 5/10

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Awesome Contest!



So, there's another contest in our midst! Book Bound is hosting an awesome contest, where four winners could have the change to win twenty dollars worth of books from the The Book Depository

Check out all the information
here to find out how you can enter!!

--Faith

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Angel Maker by: Stefan Brijs





Synopsis:


The village of Wolfheim is a quiet little place until the geneticist Dr. Victor Hoppe returns after an absence of nearly twenty years. The doctor brings with him his infant children—three identical boys all sharing a disturbing disfigurement. He keeps them hidden away until Charlotte, the woman who is hired to care for them, begins to suspect that the triplets—and the good doctor— aren't quite what they seem. As the villagers become increasingly suspicious, the story of Dr. Hoppe's past begins to unfold, and the shocking secrets that he has been keeping are revealed. A chilling story that explores the ethical limits of science and religion, The Angel Maker is a haunting tale in the tradition of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein. Brought to life by internationally bestselling author Stefan Brijs, this eerie tale promises to get under readers' skin

[from barnesandnoble.com]


The Angel Maker was a book I just picked up at the library on a whim. I fell in love with the cover and when I read the back blurb, I knew I had to read it. I'm glad I did. The book, very subtlely written, was a great read.

It's broken up into three parts. The first part focuses on the children and Charlotte, the second on Victor and his past, and the third tied them both together. It's written in third person, which helps the reader get points of view from many characters, which turned out to be quite important for the story.

The basis of the story really depending on both science and religion, and how they intertwined. It raised a lot of questions to the characters and the readers, it really makes you think, which I love in books. It's a twist on the mad scientist, one that I really liked. I really liked the children, and how their names tie to the title of the novel. It's all very closely related, and you've got to read the whole story to get all those litte things to make sense.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes philisophical books, ones that make you think.


My rating: 8/10

Sunday, November 8, 2009





I love this idea, I think it's amazing. Id you love giving gifts and meeting new people, you should definitely join this!
Go join now!


--Faith

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rosemary and Rue by: Seanan McGuire






Synopsis:

October "Toby" Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a "normal" life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas...

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening's dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening's killer.

[from barnesandnoble.com]

I first heard of this book from a blogger I enjoy,
BookLoveAffair, who reviewed it a while ago. I quickly added the book to my list, and I'm not disappointed.

Rosemary and Rue is a strong debut novel, and I hope the rest of the series lives up to it. October "Toby" Daye is a strong character, because she's not a strong character. She's vulnerable, weak, and can't always take care of herself. But she's also got a lot of mental strength locked within herself.

The supporting characters are well written. I love Sylvester, Luna, Dare, Manuel, and Tybalt. They're all amazing characters, in my opinion. And the atmosphere that this world is built around is also well written. She combines the San Fran streets with the Faerie world really well, so it was very believable.

I loved the little sayings they had, such as "oak and ash", I thought it was a great touch.

One thing I didn't really understand, persay, is why her family turned her away after she turned up fourteen years later. I'd think they'd be glad she was alive, so I was a bit confused on that part. I hope we learn more about the decision on Cliff's and Gilly's part to turn October away.

To be honest, I wasn't sure how the plot was going to wrap up at first, because there are many major fights in this novel. Toby's always getting her ass kicked, and I wasn't sure how it was all going to work in the end because the novel wasn't really moving. She'd get in a fight, get hurt, be healed, get in another fight, get hurt again, heal, repeat. However, in the end, I understood why McGuire wrote it that way.

I'm definitely looking forward to reading the sequels, I'm sad the next novel doesn't come out until March! I'd definitely recommend this novel for all fans of UF.


My rating: 8/10

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dark Water by: Koji Suzuki




Anyone who has been following this blog knows that I adore Koji Suzuki. So, naturally, I picked up his short story collection from the library! Dark Water consists of seven stories, along with a prologue and epilogue. This review is going to be a bit different, I'm going to go through each short story and give my opinion on it.

Floating Water: This was a good short story. The Americanized movie of it sucks, I hated it. But it's much better written down. It's still not my favorite in the collection, but I do think it was suspenseful and I liked the gloomy atmoshpere.

Solitary Isle: This book was creepy. Downright weird. Which I love. However, I didn't really see what it had to do with the water aspect, aside from them being on an island. I also really couldn't get into the characters. In the end, it's a forgettable story.

The Hold: This was a really good story. I loved the premise of it, and I thought it was well written. The ending of this story is amazing. I thought it was a great twist, and that the character really deserved what came to him. One of my favorites of the collection.

Dream Cruise: This was a great, you get what's coming to you, story. Kind of creepy, kind of left the reader with some questions. I loved the image at the end, it was very dramatic and just in your face. This story would definitely make me rethink swimming in the ocean at night, where you can't see anything.

Adrift: I loved Adrift. I love the idea of a haunted ship, it's just always been one of my favorite ghost stories. A phantom ship looming through the fog. Another one of my favorites. The ending had a great twist, that I was definitely hoping would happen. Great story.

Watercolors: Watercolors was the weakest story of the bunch. I didn't really understand why it was in the story. It was written well, but I just don't think the plot was up to par with the others. Very much the odd story out.

Forest Under The Sea: All I could think of while reading this was the movie The Descent. In the end, I wasn't in love with this story, but I liked it. It wasn't so much the water aspect that scared me, it was being trapped in a cave. Very scary situation! I liked the ending and how it went twenty years ahead in time. Very cool aspect. The switch in perspectives was nice. Overall, it was a decent story.

Prologue and Epilogue: At first, I had no clue what the Prologue and Epilogue would have to do with the stories. And then, ended up being tied together with the ending story, which I thought was really cool, and very much a Koji Suzuki thing to do.

Overall: I liked the stories, and it's a must read for any Koji Suzuki fan. The Ring trilogy is far better, but I enjoyed Dark Water.

My rating: 6/10

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just found another awesome contest!

Head over to The Eclectic Reader and figure out how you can enter! Some of the awesome books include On The Edge by: Ilona Andrews and Intertwined by: Gena Showalter. She seems like a great blogger who I'm definitely following now. You guys should, too!

So, why are you still here reading this? Go check it out!!

New Contest!

There's an awesome contest happening over at Teens Read and Write! They're giving away some amazing books, like The Summoning by: Kelley Armstrong, Shiver by: Maggie Stiefvater, Hush Hush by: Becca Fitzpatrick, and more!

Head on over there to get all the information on how to enter! While you're there, be sure to click the option to follow the blog, they're awesome!

--Faith

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Immortal: Love Stories With Bite





There's an awesome giveaway happening over at BookLoveAffair! One winner will receive a copy of Immortality: Love Stories With Bite, which features seven awesome stories (I'm sure XD) by seven awesome authors, like Richelle Mead!


Head on over to the site to learn how you can enter!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Succubus Dreams by: Richelle Mead






Synopsis:


Some days, a girl just can't catch a break ... especially when the girl in question is Georgina Kincaid, a shape-shifting succubus who gets her energy from seducing men. First there's her relationship with gorgeous bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, which is unsatisfying on a number of levels. It's not just that they can't have sex in case Georgina inadvertently kills him (generally a turn-off for most guys). Lately, even spending time together is a challenge. Seth's obsessed with finishing his latest novel, and Georgina's under demonic orders to mentor the new (and surprisingly inept) succubus on the block.


Then there are the dreams. Someone, or something, is preying on Georgina at night, draining her energy, and supplying eerie visions of her future. Georgina seeks answers from Dante, a dream interpreter with ties to the underworld, but his flirtatious charm only leaves her more confused-especially as the situation with Seth reaches crisis point. Now Georgina faces a double challenge-rein in her out-of-control love life, and go toe-to-toe with an enemy capable of wreaking serious havoc among mankind. Otherwise, Georgina, and the entire mortal world, may never sleep easy again.
[from barnesandnobles.com]

Succubus Dreams is probably my favorite book of the series so far. Richelle definitely didn't make the relationship between Seth and Georgina perfect and just able to conquer anything. She made it realistic, she gave them problems, which I loved. In many supernatural/romance type books, you see the main couple kind of able to take on anything and survive. Richelle gives us the realistic point of view in her books.

I also loved the new characters she introduced, like Vincent, Yasmine, and Dante. I loved the relationship between Vincent and Yasmine, another realistic relationship, and Dante just made me laugh (:

The fact that we're starting to see more into Georgina's past is another thing I liked with this book.

It's well written, entertaining, and a very fast read.

My rating: 10/10

Friday, October 9, 2009

Succubus On Top by: Richelle Mead




Synopsis:

Georgina Kincaid's job sucks. Literally.

Love hurts, and no one knows it better than Georgina Kincaid. If she so much as kisses Seth Mortensen, the shy, sexy, incredibly gifted Seattle writer she's been dating, she'll drain his life force. Georgina is a succubus-a demon who draws her power from other men's pleasure. Admittedly, the shapeshifting and immortality perks are terrific, and yes, Georgina did choose to join the ranks of hell centuries ago. But it seems completely unfair that a she-demon whose purpose is seduction can't get hot and heavy with the one mortal who knows and accepts her for who she is.

It's not just her personal life that's in chaos. Doug, Georgina's co-worker at a local bookstore, has been exhibiting bizarre behavior, and Georgina suspects that something far more demonic than double espressos is at work. She could use help finding out, but Bastien, an irresistibly charming incubus and her best immortal friend, is preoccupied with corrupting an ultra-conservative talk radio star-and giving Georgina some highly distracting come-hither vibes. Georgina is going to have to work solo on this one-and fast because soon, Doug's life won't be the only one on the line.

The sequel to Succubus Blues, titled Succubus On Top was an entertaining, easy to finish book. I loved the new character introduced, Bastien. Loved him. I'd love to see more of him and hope she brings him back. I also love Carter. He's my favorite (: Aside from Georgiana. I think she's a strong heroine, who battles with what she is and what she wishes should could be. Which is a battle I think everyone goes through.

Succubus On Top had not only the relationship struggles and aspects of Georgiana's life, but Mead also balanced that with her job as both a succubus and her job in the bookstore, and she also gave her some immortal foe she needs to challenge and find. So we have all these different things going on, which makes it easy not to get bored because we're getting only one aspect of the book.

I love this series, it's definitely one of my new favorites, and I'm already starting the third book, Succubus Dreams. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys paranormal romance stories with a hint of humor. I love Richelle Mead's humor. It's great.

And can I just say I love how Georgie's downfall are her white chocolate mochas? As a lover of the drink, I so know what she means when she says she can't live without them XD


My rating: 9/10

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nightwatch by: Sergei Lukyanenko


Synopsis:

Set in modern day Moscow, Night Watch is a world as elaborate and imaginative as Tolkien or the best Asimov. Living among us are the "Others," an ancient race of humans with supernatural powers who swear allegiance to either the Dark or the Light. A thousand-year treaty has maintained the balance of power, and the two sides coexist in an uneasy truce. But an ancient prophecy decrees that one supreme "Other" will rise up and tip the balance, plunging the world into a catastrophic war between the Dark and the Light. When a young boy with extraordinary powers emerges, fulfilling the first half of the prophecy, will the forces of the Light be able to keep the Dark from corrupting the boy and destroying the world?

I loved this book. I'm so glad I picked it up. It was entertaining, fast-paced, the dialogue was good, the characters were well developed (aside from a few minor characters that probably could've been eliminated from the story), and everything was well structured.

I loved the eerie, sort of chilly feeling he gave the city of Moscow. It really created a great backdrop for the story.

I also love how each part is kind of like it's own little novella, and they all tie together in the end, making an awesome story. It felt like I read three books, when in reality it was just the one!

It kept me on my toes, always guessing what was going on, it had a few twists and turns that left me dazed. I really enjoyed it. I can only hope I enjoy the following books in the series as much as I did this one. I'm sure I will, though.

So, if you're a fan of paranormal stories, fantasy stories, this is definitely one you should pick up. Sergei could easily become one of my favorite authors.

And I love the cover, it looks awesome!

My rating: 9.5/10

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Virgin's Daughters by Jeane Westin





A new contest is in our midst! Fashionista Piranha is giving away two copies of The Virgin's Daughters by: Jeane Westin!

Synopsis:

The story of Elizabeth I, as it's never been told before—through the eyes of two ladies-in-waiting closest to her...

In a court filled with repressed sexual longing, scandal, and intrigue, Lady Katherine Grey is Elizabeth's most faithful servant. When the young queen is smitten by the dashing Robert Dudley, Katherine must choose between duty and desire—as her secret passion for a handsome earl threatens to turn Elizabeth against her. Once the queen becomes a bitter and capricious monarch, another lady-in-waiting, Mistress Mary Rogers, offers the queen comfort. But even Mary cannot remain impervious to the court's sexual tension—and as Elizabeth gives her doomed heart to the mercurial Earl of Essex, Mary is drawn to the queen's rakish godson...

[from barnesandnobles.com]

I will definitely be entering this contest, and you guys should, too!

Here's the link:
Contest Link


There are other ways you can get your name entered more than once, such as writing about the contest in your blog and/or website and friending Fashionista on livejournal!!


Check it out!!

--Faith

Friday, September 25, 2009

Urban Shaman by: C E Murphy





Urban Shaman is about a woman, Joanne Walker (Joanne Walkingstick) who learns she is a shaman after being given the choice to live or die after being seriously injured. Saved by her spirit guide, a coyote, she has to use her shamanic powers to help save the world from the Wild Hunt, which is led by a Celtic god.


I had really, really high hopes for this book, not only because of the back but because of the really good reviews I've read about it. And while it was good, it wasn't that good. The whole concept of the god and the god's son and what happened confused me, she bounced back and forth between them. I don't think she planned this as well as she should've. There was a lot of things just...happening all the time. The structure just annoyed me.


I also thought it was odd she'd gone to the police academy, passed with these flying colors, but then turned out just working as a mechanic, basically, for the police force. And then she got a promotion, so she's now on the field. That confused me.


However, I loved the supporting character, Gary. He was well written. And Joanne, though she wasn't an amazingly well written character, entertained me enough, also.


I'll be reading at least the next book in the series to see how the writing is in par with this story.


My rating: 7/10

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Succubus Blues by: Richelle Mead



When I found out Richelle Mead had a series for adults after finding the Vampire Academy series, I knew I had to read it. And I'm so glad I did.


Here's the summary on the back of the book [it's amazing]:


Succubus (n.) An alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men.


Pathetic (adj.) A succubus with great shoes and no social life. See: Georgina Kincaid.

When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic. Her boss is a middle-management demon with a thing for John Cusack movies. Her immortal best friends haven't stopped teasing her about the time she shape-shifted into the Demon Goddess getup complete with whip and wings. And she can't have a decent date without sucking away part of the guy's life. At least there's her day job at a local bookstore--free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can't.

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle's demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won't help because Georgina's about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny...


This book is entertaining, well written, fast-paced, has great characters, and it's a promising start to the series. I loved it. I read it quickly, it's easy just to whip through the novel. It's one I'm going to have to buy [I rented it from the library].


I like that Georgiana struggles with her past and who she is. That conflict is real and relatable. Everyone regrets things and wishes they could change what they've done. I think that struggle is the core of the novel and a really important part of making the novel work, in the end.


A character I really liked was Carter, the angel. I love that Mead had an angel be friends with a demon, and hang out with other immortals. And I loved the conversation that takes place between him and Georgiana at the end of the novel. [Don't want to give anything away, now.]


I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who likes Richelle Mead and anyone who likes paranormal romance, highly entertaining, stories.


My rating: 9/10

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

World War Z by: Max Brooks





Summary:


The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result.


Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.


Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

[from barnesandnoble.com]


I love, love, loved this book. It was well written, each individual story told was delivered in a great way. I loved how the book was set up, and just the premise of the novel was great. Like, if something like this were to happen, how would people react? What would happen.


And Brooks doesn't hold back. Some parts are graphic, and he doesn't leave any details out, which I thought was great. It's a scarily good book, one I'd recommend to everyone.


I think there's bits of every genre in this story, so everyone should be able to enjoy it. The only thing I'd change is the end. I would've liked to have heard the narrator's story, we never really got into that. That's how it should've ended, in my opinion.


It's still a great novel, however. (:


My rating: 9/10