Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hello again!

Just a little note to let you all know that I'm back from New York and that new posts will be up soon. Everything was awesome! I can't wait to get pictures up and tell you all about it. :)

Hope things have been well with all of you. Anyone have any amazing news to share or anything at all? How's everyone been?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Fun

Alright you guys, I have officially passed the 100 followers mark. You all are awesome! :) This means that there will definitely be a contest. As I said before though, it will have to wait until my funds have been replenished, meaning August at the earliest.

There will be awesome prizes, though I suppose that really depends on your definition of awesome. I doubt I'll be able to get my hands on a super awesome critique by some super agent or author, but we'll see when we get closer. There may be books, there may be gift cards, or even a movie. And I can tell you now, you'll have to do more than just enter your name into a metaphorical hat. :) But don't worry, it won't be anything too hard! Hehe.

Also, on a totally unrelated side note, I am so poor that I had to make my own bookshelves: 
(Please excuse the mess, I'm still unpacking.)

Why yes, those are copier paper boxes. And, so far, they're working beautifully. :) 

That's about all the interesting news I have to share, for now. I'll be off the blog for a week while I'm gone, though technically I'm on the road as you're reading this. Isn't technology cool? See you all in a few days, have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Contest Alert!

I just found this awesome blog, and wouldn't ya know she's having a HUGE contest! So, head to Race's blog Creare, and enter to win a seriously awesome prize pack. We're talking money at the least (lots of it) with the possibility of swag AND books! Get going, people!

Review: Leviathan

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Author: Westerfeld, Scott
Hardback: 434 pgs
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Summary via Goodreads:
Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, 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 World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

My Thoughts: 
I'll be honest, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this one. I'd read Uglies and didn't really care for it. It was interesting, but it was predictable, and I didn't care for the characters. When I heard about Leviathan, though, I thought I'd give Westerfeld another chance; after all, it is a completely different genre (even if it is still YA). I am so glad I did.

I absolutely loved this book. It's the first one I've read since Kristin Cahore's Graceling that I've gotten all giddy about.

Westerfeld builds an amazingly beautiful world on every page and still leaves a lot up to the imagination. The creatures and machines are magnificent, and just in case you couldn't quite picture what the heck and eight-legged walking gun machine could look like, it's also illustrated! Now, I'm usually not one for giving me pictures and ruining the image I had in my head while I was reading, but these pictures were great and enhanced the story for me. That said, I don't actually picture the characters the same way as they're shown, but I still really liked them.

The story is told from the perspectives of both main characters, one girl and one boy, and they were such opposites I could hardly believe it was the same writer. Each voice was well developed and completely different from the other and they stayed consistent the entire time. I fell in love with both of them, and I can't wait to see what happens to Alek and Deryn. The sequel, Behemoth, is due out in October if I'm not mistaken, and I'm going to have a hard time waiting for it.

Also, did I mention it's steampunk? Oh yea. This was my first steampunk, and it was just about the coolest thing ever. I hope all steampunk is this cool. I mean, Darwin helped bring about ginormous hybrid creatures that you can live INSIDE of! It's brilliant. And did you see that cover?! It gets me every time. I pet it. It feels nice. :)

If you've been wondering what to read next or you've been itching to read this one, do it. Now. And then come back and tell me what you thought of it, 'cause I'd like to know what everyone else thinks about this one.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Late WiP Wednesday

It's 11:22 PM. I still have time to post.

Okay, slow going on the WiP lately, what with finals and moving and trying to get stuff together for New York, but still. I've got 6 chapters now, which is 1 chapter more than last time. Of course, chapter 6 is, like, the shortest chapter yet (1200 words) and chapter 7 is going to be even shorter, I think. But I actually mean for chapter 7 to be short, chapter 6 was a surprise. : /

This brings my total word count to 17,150. I feel like I'm making progress even though I haven't really had time to do much. Hopefully things will pick back up after New York. I should be dying to write by then anyway. :)  (It is now 11:29 PM. Take that, Universe!)

How are things going for all of you?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Review: Percy Jackson Book 5

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Hardback: 400 pgs


All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.
While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time. In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

My Thoughts:

Congratulations, Rick Riordan, you did it again. The Last Olympian was my favorite book, and I'm not entirely sure if it was because of the abundance of action, there was a war ya know; or the character development, which was beautiful; or the beautiful story arc. Major props.

Like all the other books, there was an obvious spot or two that I had pegged from the beginning, but boy did I not see some of that coming. Harry Potter is all based on a prophecy, but Rowling didn't keep me guessing as to what it all meant or how it was all going to play out (that's not quite what I mean, I don't mean I knew how HP was going to unfold, but I knew the prophecy and I understood it, she kind of spelled it out); Riordan, on the other hand, just keeps you guessing. Who all is the prophecy about? Which roles will they take? How will things turn out? Man if I didn't keep that book on me at all times while I was reading it. No seriously, I took it into my biology final and was reading while she passed out the exam. :)

This book brings everyone together, and I mean everyone, for more than a couple of pages as it was in previous books. Hades actually comes into play, and it was great. Oh man, I loved it. A great way to end the series, though I thought he could have tied the last chapter together a little differently, I have no other comments on the book other than to praise it.

Thank you, Rick Riordan for giving us a fantastic children's series on Greek mythology. I wish I could have read this as a child, and I think more kids will be more open to reading other myths and epic poems later in their lives because of these wonderful books. I really enjoyed them and can't wait to share them with the younger members of my family and all of my friends.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New York, New York

Alright, I've got some awesome news that I've been sitting on because I didn't want to jinx it: I'm going to New York! If you were on Twitter on Saturday then you might have caught me talking about it. I was just too excited to hold it in any longer.

Katie and I are going to job shadow the fabulous Jordan Hamesseley, editorial assistant at Grosset & Dunlap/Price Stern Sloane - imprints of Penguin, yes, that's right, PENGUIN-, and agent extraordinaire Ginger Clark, yes, THAT Ginger, of Curtis Brown. :) We will be spending two days with each of the lovely ladies learning everything we possibly can about agenting and editing and trying to figure out where we think we belong, because, as you know, I'm getting into books. One way or another. Ideally I'd like to write them AND help others get published, but I'm not going to hold my breath (I'll just bust my bum instead- by the way, I really like British slang, why don't we use it? Isn't loo so much cooler than bathroom?! And bloody hell! Need I say more?) I digress...

I. Am. So. Freaking. EXCITED.

Have you seen Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs? (If you haven't, why the hell not?) You know the monkey, Steve? There's this part where he jumps up and down waving his arms saying "Excited. Excited!" That is so me right now. Here, let me show you (honestly, you can skip to the last 2 seconds, but I want you to see why you should watch this movie [it's made of awesome]):

So, anyway, I'M GOING TO NEW YORK TO SEE GINGER CLARK AND JORDAN HAMESSELY!!!!! *does happy dance* *cough* Um, yea. :)

Btw, their Twitter usernames are @GingerClark and @thejordache so if you're on Twitter and you aren't following them, you should be.

Moving on, ok, since I will be busy as crap trying to get all my stuff together this week, and then Ill be gone all of next week, I'm going to change things up a bit and try to write as many posts as I can before hand and schedule them (we'll see if that works - sometimes Blogger hates me). Alas, Tuesday will not be Teaser Tuesday, BUT instead I'm bumping the review of the final Percy Jackson book up! And then Thursday will bring you the review of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, which is ah-MAY-zing. I'll try to do WiP Wednesday, but no guarantees. And the week of the 17th is up in the air right now. I'll try to get some MG books read and do some reviews instead of real posts.

Naturally the week after NY will be chock full of New Yorky goodness. (Yes, I really just said that, don't give me that look.), and MAYBE pictures. Maybe. (I will SO have pictures if they look good.) Anyway, my mind just went completely blank, but I think I was trying wrap up so I'm going to go finish reading my book now so I can have the review up for you soon.

Are the reviews to your liking? Do you have any comments or suggestions, things you'd like to see, things you don't want at all, complaints about the length? Let me know so I don't kill you all with my horrendous reviews (if you think they're horrendous, please don't use that word. :P)

Have a lovely week! <3

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Double Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Books 3 and 4

The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

Hardback: 336 pgs
Publisher: Hyperion


When Percy Jackson gets an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he will need his powerful demigod allies at his side, his trusty bronze sword Riptide, and . . . a ride from his mom.
The demigods rush to the rescue to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two powerful half-bloods whose parentage is unknown. But that’s not all that awaits them. The titan lord Kronos has devised his most treacherous plot yet, and the young heroes have just fallen prey.
They’re not the only ones in danger. An ancient monster has arisen — one rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus — and Artemis, the only goddess who might know how to track it, is missing. Now Percy and his friends, along with the Hunters of Artemis, have only a week to find the kidnapped goddess and solve the mystery of the monster she was hunting.
Along the way, they must face their most dangerous challenge yet: the chilling prophecy of the titan's curse.

My thoughts:

Riordan's done it again. I loved this book. There's even more intrigue and mystery in this book than there was in the last two, and even more characters to fall in love with. Zoey Nightshade is an interesting character, and one that I wish there was more of. Artemis is not what I expected at all, and the two new kids on the block are definitely going to be important. 

As with the last two books, there are some plot points that are a bit predictable, but there are certainly some things I didn't see coming, though whether it's simply because I didn't want to see them or if Rick Riordan's just that awesome is anybody's guess. (I'm betting it's the latter.)

Book number three in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is worth reading, and all of them could probably stand alone if need be, but why read just one? I have a hard time putting these books down because they're so entertaining and such quick reads. Riordan is on my list of favorite authors, and I'll be keeping my eyes open for any other children's books he puts out.

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Hardback: 384 pgs
Publisher: Hyperion


Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun, but when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears, pursued by demon cheerleaders, things quickly go from bad to worse.
Time is running out for Percy. War between the gods and the Titans is drawing near. Even Camp Half-Blood isn’t safe, as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop them, Percy and his friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth — a sprawling underground world with surprises and danger at every turn.
Along the way Percy will confront powerful enemies, find out the truth about the lost god Pan, and face the Titan lord Kronos’s most terrible secret. The final war begins . . . with the Battle of the Labyrinth.

My Thoughts:

The fourth book is every bit as entertaining as the last three. Riordan's voice is consistent throughout the series, which is something I was extremely happy about; Percy gets older and wiser, but he still has the same voice and personality. Another thing that worried me about the series, because it's happened before, was whether or not Riordan could keep up the stake and the adventure. I've read some series where the books get duller the rather than keeping the pace or raising the level of intrigue, but Riordan doesn't fizzle out at all.

My only complaint with the book was with Pan's story arc. For four books we heard about Pan and he was never there. Grover searched for the god for four years, only to have it all over with in the blink of an eye. I felt like there could have been a little more done with it, but it was still handled nicely.

I am definitely looking forward to the conclusion of this series. I want to know what happens, and who survives.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Work in Progress Wednesday!

It's finals week, and oddly enough I'm not freaking out and trying to study my ass off. Which means I'm doing the things I want to since, ya know, classes are out. :) Which means that I'm less than 100 words away from 16k on the WiP.

I don't know why, but I'm still in love with this story. It's been a month and a half and we're still going strong, not as fast as I'd like, but still. Excited.

I have 5 chapters all around 3k a piece, and I've got all of two sentences of chapter 6, haha. :) I'm about a 1/4 of the way through the 1st draft now, and I'm hoping to finish it in the next couple of months.

So, if you need a beta or you think you might want to beta for me, I'm going to be looking for one soon, because I need a crit partner or a critique group. Let me know if you're interested. I like YA and MG the most, but I do read some adult. My preferred genre(s) is/are fantasy/scifi/paranormal/supernatural/whatever-you-want-to-call-it but I'll try just about anything. I like mythology, action, romance, sour candy, and long walks on the beach. Oh, wait, I've never even been to the beach, scratch that. hehe.

Alright, I'd stick around but I have to go take a biology final now. *sigh* Hope you all are having good times with your MSs! I'll be back tomorrow (hopefully) with another double review of the next 2 Percy Jackson books. Have a lovely Cinco de Mayo!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Here's a tiny snippet from the WiP, enjoy! :)

Taryn was startled awake by a firm hand on her arms shaking her.
“Wha’s goin’ on?” she asked, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.
“Honey, where’s Luke? Did you take him over to the neighbor’s house? Did you go to sleep and leave him playing hide-and-seek again? Taryn, where is he?” Taryn’s mother came into view; her eyes were wide and her face worried. She was frantic and worried.
“What are you talking about? I put him to bed at eight just like I always do. Why, what’s going on? Did he get out of bed again?” Mrs. Jacobson shot to her feet and ran out of the room crying hysterically.
“She says she put him to bed at eight! He’s gone, Nathan, my baby’s gone!” Taryn heard her mother crying in the living room. Her mother hardly ever called her dad by his name; they always called each other pet names like “honey” and “dear.” Taryn crawled out of bed and ran to the living room to see what was going on.
“Dad, what’s she talking about? Luke’s in his bed, isn’t he?” Taryn asked her father as she rounded the corner into the living room.
“No. No, he isn’t. He’s gone. The doors and windows are all locked, and it doesn’t look like there was any kind of break-in. There’s nothing missing, but Lucas is gone. The covers are still pulled up like he’s sleeping, but he isn’t in bed. Did you hear anything while you were sleeping? Anything at all?” Taryn shook her head slowly. Her teeth were clinched in her mouth and her heart was pounding in her chest.
How could he just be gone? Taryn shook her head and started crying.
“It’s all my fault. I t-told hi-him the monsters would g-get him. Why did I do that? Who says that to a five-year-old?” She cried, falling to her knees in the doorway.


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