Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New October 2014 YA Releases [Release Dates: October 7, 14, 21, 28]

Release Date: October 7, 2014

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Genre: YA Fantasy, Dystopia
Publisher: Putnam
Noteworthy: 1st in a new series, The Young Elites

Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1)
Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
Genre: YA Fantasy > Magic > Genies
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Noteworthy: 1st in a new series, The Dark Caravan Cycle

Whatever Life Throws at You

Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross
Genre: YA Contemporary > Sports, Romance
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Black Ice

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Genre: YA Thriller
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: October 14, 2014

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Genre: YA Fantasy, Dystopia
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
Noteworthy: 1st book in a new series, Snow Likes Ashes

Clariel (Abhorsen, #4)
Clariel by Garth Nix
Genre: YA Fantasy, Necromancers
Publisher: Harpercollins
Noteworthy: Prequel to the Abhorsen series

Genre: YA Fantasy, Adventure
Publisher: Tor Teen 

Chasing Power
Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst
Genre: YA Fantasy, Supernatural
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Stitching Snow
Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Genre: YA Fantasy, Fairy Tale Re-telling > Snow White
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: October 21, 2014

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Noteworthy: 3rd in The Raven Cycle

Release Date: October 28, 2014

AtlantiaAtlantia by Ally Condie
Genre: YA Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Publisher: Dutton Children's

Talon (Talon, #1)
In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3)
Talon by Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA Fantasy > Dragons
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Noteworthy: 1st book in a new series, Talon

In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
Genre: YA Sci-Fi > Dystopian, Supernatural
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion 
Noteworthy: 3rd book in The Darkest Minds trilogy

Friday, September 26, 2014

Feature & Follow: Book Character(s) You'd Like to See with Their Own Twitter Page

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow
Feature & Follow Friday is a meme hosted by Parajunkiee's View & Alison Can Read. Check out their blogs and the Featured Bloggers of the week! This is great for finding amazing new blogs to follow and for gaining followers yourself. 

Book character(s) you'd like to see with their own Twitter page Suggested by A Great Read

The answer: Well, since Lord Voldemort already has a twitter page...

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. She knows how to tell a joke. She knows how to take a joke. And she knows how to flirt...

Actually, I'd love it if she had an Instagram page. Then I could see pictures of her and Mr. Darcy :)) 

How about you? What book character would you like to see with their own Twitter page? If you're a new follower, let me know! I love connecting with fellow book-lovers :) 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review: Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel (Abhorsen,  #1)
Title: Sabriel
Author: Garth Nix
Genre: YA Fantasy, Horror > Second World Fantasy > Necromancers
Setting: The Old Kingdom
Copyright: 1995
Publisher: Harper Collins
Mass Market Paperback: 491 pages
Axie's Rating: 5 out of 5. Best of the Best. Old Favorite.
Plot: Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death—and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny.
Reasons WHY you should read this book:
**a heroine who's a NECROMANCER! Sabriel is courageous and intelligent.
**a talking cat! Every book needs a talking cat sidekick.
**the girl saves the prince! Literally.
**a wonderful father-daughter relationship. Sabriel's father is the Abhorsen, a good necromancer who protects the people from rogue necromancers.
**a legit, terrifying villain. He's super scary and kills a ton of people.
**the most interesting magic system EVER. Sabriel fights death with a bandolier full of BELLS [see: cover photo]
**super cool names. Sabriel, Mogget, the Abhorsen. The bells have cool names like Kibeth and Saraneth.
**a map! The book has the coolest map in the beginning. I kept on referring to it, to see where the characters were, physically. It's not super confusing...if maps scare you.

Quote: Does the path choose the walker, or the walker the path?  -Sabriel  by Garth Nix

Plot: When 18-year-old Sabriel's father goes missing in the Old Kingdom, she must leave her convent school in search of him. On the way, she meets Mogget, a sarcastic talking cat, and Touchstone, a mage she releases from a magical imprisonment. She must use her magic (necromancer magic!) and her wits to overcome a dark, undead entity, an old enemy of her father and the Kingdom.
Main Character: Sabriel is one-of-a-kind. She has a dry sense of humor, unwavering courage, and a forthright personality. #girlcrush
Love Interest: Touchstone, despite appearances, is more than he seems. After having been imprisoned in wood for countless numbers of years, his memories are a little stodgy. Still, he sticks by Sabriel as her muscle and magic-wielding back-up. He also wields double swords, which is awesome. 
Favorite Secondary Character: Mogget. Hands down. He's a malevolent spirit trapped in the body of an adorable white cat! 
World Building: Nix is one of those brilliant Australian authors who can build a world like nobody's business. It's effortless, interesting, and mind-blowing. The Wall divides a mid-century England-like country from the Old Kingdom, a kingdom teaming with Free Magic (magic that isn't sanctioned by the Charter [which is a magic based on ordered symbols]). In order to raise the dead (the dead have their own hierarchy of undead creatures), Sabriel wields a bandolier of bells. Each bell has a different melody/sound when swung, which has the power to do different things, like Ranna, the first bell, puts listeners to sleep.
Writing: Garth Nix is a brilliant writer--here's just a snippet of his narration style, of when Sabriel crosses the Wall.
Quote: The final confirmation of strangeness lay beyond the Wall. It was clear and cool on the Ancelstierre side, and the sun was shining—but Sabriel could see snow falling steadily behind the Wall, and snow-heavy clouds clustered right up to the Wall, where they suddenly stopped, as if some mighty weather-knife had simply sheared through the sky. - Sabriel  by Garth Nix
Quote: But now, I live again for only a short time—a hundred hundred heartbeats, no more—and I must win a battle against a terrible enemy.  Sabriel  by Garth Nix 
 Word I Learned From Reading this Book: Bitumened Parade Ground: Bitumen = Asphalt

Recommendations: For another well-written YA Fantasy classic, check out Robin McKinley's The Hero and The Crown. For a book with another brilliant magic system, check out Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass.

Looking Forward to: Clariel (October 2014), a prequel to Sabriel.

+ Dream Casting

Rooney Mara as Sabriel
I mean, she just looks like how I imagine Sabriel looking. Serious and intelligent.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker [Release Date: June 2, 2015]

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that features upcoming novel releases.

The Witch Hunter
Genre: YA Fantasy > Witches
Characters: Elizabeth Grey, Nicholas Perevil
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Hardcover: TBR
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Cover Envy: The cover was just released to much fanfare. Love the colors and the witchy symbol.
The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. When she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to die at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

As she's thrust into the world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and all-too-handsome healers, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, and of love and hate.
This book sounds AWESOME. I love the names "Elizabeth Grey" and "Nicholas Perevil". They sound very...English. Or New Englandish. Even though this seems to take place in a fantasy realm with wizards, pirates, healers, ghosts...and of course, witches. Plus, Virginia Boecker is a fearless fifteener, and this is her fabulous debut novel. I love debuts!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on my 2014 Fall TBR Pile

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week we’re listing our…

Top Ten Books on my 2014 Fall TBR Pile

I love putting together seasonal TBR lists. My favorite part of blogging is looking forward to new books. I spend hours on goodreads looking at books coming out in 2015....even 2016. It's unhealthy, probably, because it instills a feeling of intense longing, but I can't help myself. And I love the Fall b/c it's a big season for publishing (the other is Spring), so a ton of great titles are being released!!!

The Infinite Sea (The Fifth Wave #2)The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles, #3)

October 7:
Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1)The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)Black Ice

October 14:
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Clariel (Abhorsen, #4)

October 28:
In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3)Talon (Talon, #1)

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Maze Runner PART II: The Film

Action | Sci-Fi | Dystopian
113 minutes
Director: Wes Ball
Writers: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, T.S. Nowlin (Screenplay), James Dashner (Novelist)

Plot (contains spoilers & jokes), you can skip to the Reasons to Watch The Maze Runner for non-spoilers & still more jokes).  Check out Kat's review of The Maze Runner: here!

A boy (Dylan O'Brien) wakes in an industrial elevator with no memories of how he got there. When the doors to the elevator open, they reveal...a bunch of boys staring down at him.

Alby (Aml Ameen), the leader of the boys (who call themselves the Gladers) explains the situation to our hero: There are three rules in the Glade.
1. Everyone does their part
2. Never hurt another Glader
3. Never go outside the Glade

Of course, our hero is super curious and wonders why there are MASSIVE WALLS encircling the Glade. He watches as two boys run through a break in the walls into the Glade. One of the boys is Minho (Ki Hong Lee),  the leader of the Runners.

Later that night, at a bonfire, another Glader, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), explains to our hero the different jobs one can have in the Glade. Our hero is most interested in the job of the Runners. They "map out" the MAZE by running through it during the days before the break in the wall closes at night. Oh yeah, the walls form a HUGE MAZE!!!

Anyway, Gally (Will Poulter), in a weird initiation/boy-testosterone-driven moment, attacks our hero. During the fight, our nameless hero hits his head and remembers...his name. Thomas. He also has flashing images of this creepy sci-fi-y lab and this woman dressed in white saying "Wicked is good" over and over again... [this all happens in like the first 15 minutes of the film]

Reasons to Watch The Maze Runner:
Disclaimer: I'm biased because I read and really enjoyed James Dashner's The Maze Runner, and therefore went into this movie knowing I will enjoy it as a fan. Plus, I loved Dylan O'Brien and Ki Hong Lee....prior to the movie.

This movie is a teenage girl's dream. [Even though it's marketed to boys, whatever]. Scratch that, it's also a twenty-something girl's dream. Well, except for the being trapped in a maze part...

We wear these same outfits the entire movie. 
1. Boys. I'll be the first to admit, I was super excited for all the boys that would be in this movie, muahaha. I love Dylan O'Brien from Teen Wolf, and from around the youtube-sphere. Thomas Brodie-Sangster brought some real acting chops to the movie. He's a wonderfully talented British actor who's grown up since Love Actually. Ki Hong Lee (@kihonglee) is a Korean-American actor who I've been obsessed with since I saw he was casted as Minho, who's supposed to be ethnically Korean. (I'm Korean-American). Also, Minho would totally survive The Hunger Games. Just Sayin'. Swoooon!

2. Visual Effects. Wes Ball got his start in visual effects, so it's no wonder the effects in this movie are out of this world. You should just watch this movie for the shots inside the Maze.

Hold me, Minho! (Thomas doesn't actually say this in the movie)

"I'm with Thomas. I'm with Thomas one hundred percent." (This is something Minho says in the book).

from Twitter
3. Bromance. As you can imagine, in a film which features all boys...there's bound to be bromance. The camaraderie between the boys is genuine and awesome, and their off the camera antics are adorable! And, I ship Minho and Thomas hardcore!

4. Multicultural Cast. And people can't say "oh, but they're described as dark-skinned, and therefore could just be tan white people in the novel". Nope. Dashner is pretty clear on ethnicity, which is awesome. Both the novel and the film have multicultural, diverse casts. <3333

5. Dystopian. This is actually, when you think about it, a very different type of Dystopian than The Hunger Games, at least for this first movie. It's actually more post-apocalyptic than dystopian. There's even a whole made-up vocabulary of slang words.

6. Nod to Lord of the Flies & the Minotaur Myth.

7. Kaya Scodelario. She's the only lady in the group. To be fair, I didn't love her as Teresa. I thought she and Thomas looked too much like siblings...and she wasn't given a lot of presence in the film (they cut the part where Teresa and Thomas could speak to each other through their mindsss). But still, female solidarity, yo.

Fun Fact: This is for those of you who watched the movie but haven't read the book: All the characters are named after famous historical figures; Alby = Albert Einstein, Thomas = Thomas Edison, Newt = Isaac Netwon, Gally = Galileo, Teresa = Mother Teresa, Chuck = Charles Darwin, Minho....will be someone famous in the near future b/c The Maze Runner takes place in the wayyy future (this puts pressure on all the Minhos of the world to be super awesome).

Looking Forward to the sequel, coming in 2015: The Scorch Trials

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Stacking the Shelves: 9.22.2014

Button  owned/made by Wilde Heart Book Blogs
Stacking the Shelves is a meme created by Tynga Reviews in which bloggers post photos and information on what books they've purchased/received/borrowed during the week!


On the Fence by Kasie West
The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stround
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Starling by Fiona Paul
+black unicorn (I didn't buy the unicorn).

I'm super excited for all of these books. The Whispering Skull and The Infinite Sea were pre-orders, so I was doubly excited to see them come in the mail :)

From the Library

Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3)The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)
Richelle Mead's Bloodlines series

I had read the first two Vampire Academy books back in the day, and recently picked up Shadow Kiss....I finished the series in two days....And then I went out and got the entire Bloodlines series (sans the last book). I've already read the first three. OMG I love Adrian, but that's a given if you've read this series. I'm averaging a book and a half a day...yikes. I might slow down now that I've caught up to The Fiery Heart because if I know Richelle Mead, I'm going to get MY heart broken in The Fiery Heart & Silver Shadows....which won't be healed until the final book, The Ruby Circle.