Thursday, February 24, 2011

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Beastly By Alex Flinn
Release Date - Oct 1, 2007
Publisher - HarperTeen
Pages - 300
My Rating- 9/10

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

In a time not so long ago in the far away city of New York lived an arrogant young highschool student named Kyle Kingsbury. Kyle, being the mean person he is, made fun and tormented anyone he considered beneath him. One day he decides to humiliate a girl in his class but she is not just a highschool girl. She is a witch. As payback for his treatment of her the witch casts a spell turning the handsome boy in to a Beast. In order to break the spell the Beast must learn to love and have another love him in return. At this point the tale is probably sounding a little familiar...except for the whole present day and New York City part.

This modern retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast updates the story. I was not really sure if I was going to like it, to be honest. I LOVE the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. I was presently surprised to find that I really enjoyed this novel.

One of the things that always bothered me with the Beauty and the Beast tale is how quickly father just handed over his daughter. The Disney version is nicer in that Belle offers to take her father's place. This novel is the former. Lindy's father doesn't take care of her and he has no issues with offering her to the Beast in exchange for his own freedom.

The story is told from the point of view of the Beast. It's interesting as we get to see his transformation from arrogant jerk to kind and gentle. I loved that he changed his name halfway through the book to Aidan as he felt like a different person from when he was Kyle.

I am looking forward to seeing what they are going to a do with the movie (might do a post comparing the movie to the book after I see it) but I already know that they've made Alex Pettyfer different than the Beast described in the book.

As a hopeless romantic I couldn't help but fall in love with Kyle/Adrian and Lindy's love story. If you are a big gushy sap like myself, I think you'll love it.

Books and Movies

Two of my favourite things are books and movies. When a good movie is made out of a book I love it makes me happy. I also know the feeling of having a great book turned into a horrible movie. I am sure fellow book lovers know what I mean.

I decided to post this beautiful movie poster for the movie One Day. It's based on a book by David Nicholls. I haven't read the book (yet) as it's one of our book club reads scheduled for later in the year. I have heard amazing things about it though and am really looking forward to reading it.

The movie poster has an old, almost nostalgic feel. I love how it almost looks like they ran to each other, that they just couldn't wait to be in each others arms.

If you read the book, I am interested to see what you think. Does the poster capture the essence of the book? Does it make you excited for the movie, or scared?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday...

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog that features books we can't wait to read. It's hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

My choice this Wednesday is Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison.

Here is the description from GoodReads
A modern retelling of the German legend "Tristan and Isolde", "Tris and Izzy", is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until-- she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school.
I chose this book because I enjoyed the original Tristan and Isolde. I also love modern re-telling of classic fairy tales. The cover is so pretty! The expected release date is Oct 11, 2011.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

The Secret Year by Jennifer R Hubbard
Release Date - January 7, 2010
Publisher - Viking Juvenile
Pages - 192
My Rating- 8/10

Synopsis from GoodReads
Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.

Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia's boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can't mourn Julia openly, and he's tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia's journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he's desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?
The premise of this novel really intrigued me. I couldn't imagine loving someone and not being able to mourn them if they were to pass away. It would be hard to go on as if nothing had happened, as if everything were fine. Colt is faced with that exact situation in this novel, and the author manages to make you feel the hurt, confusion, and numbness that Colt is going through.

I feel that Colt's character is really what makes this novel. His reactions (and sometimes non reactions) to things were what grabbed me. He seemed like a typical teenage boy (motivated by girls, sex and spending time with his friends). The one scene that stands out is him talking to Pam, who was driving the car the night Julia died. It's the first time he's gotten to speak with her, and all he wants are details about the accident. Every gory, excruciating detail. This is happening even though NOBODY knows he was involved with Julia. It's uncomfortable for him and for Pam, and you can feel his desperation for anything to help him understand.

I enjoyed the subplot with Colt's brother Tom. He was interesting too. He provided some new insights into Colt, and I would have liked to have seen more of him.

I wish we had gotten to know Julia a little better. We only know her from Colt's memories and the letters she wrote to him in her notebook that he is given after her death. Her death is the central focus of the novel and I found myself wondering more about her.

The author managed to make me feel like I had shared a part of Colt's journey with him, and that is pretty amazing. One of the things I love about book is their ability to make us feel, and this one did just that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It spotlights titles that we can not wait to get our hands on.

My choice this Wednesday is Die for Me (Revenants #1) by Amy Plum. The expected release date is May 10, 2011.

Here is the GoodReads synopsis
DIE FOR ME is the first of three books about Kate, a sixteen-year-old American who moves to Paris after the death of her parents. She finds herself falling for Vincent, who she discovers is not the typical French teenager he appears: he is something else entirely.

DIE FOR ME presents a new supernatural mythology presented in a city where dreams are sometimes the same as reality.
I was sold on this as soon as I realized it was a paranormal romance set is Paris. The cover is also quite pretty. There are so many amazing books coming out in the next few months; can't wait.

What are you waiting on.....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Book Boyfriends....

Ever hear the expression "Boys in Books Are Better"? In honour of Valentine's Day I thought I would do a fun post on some of the amazing fictional hotties that make me swoon.

Where you can find him - William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
Why he is swoon worthy - He and Juliet have become synonymous with star crossed love. He was so in love with his Juliet that he was willing to defy his family to marry her. Also, that whole love at first sight thing is pretty romantic. *It doesn't hurt when it's Leonardo DiCaprio playing him either*

Fitzwilliam Darcy

Where you can find him - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Why he is swoon worthy - My first book crush. When he helps Elizabeth's sister out of the mess she is in, you simply can't help falling for him (Elizabeth Bennett does the same!)

Jason Stackhouse

Where you can find him - The Southern Vampire Mysteries

Why he is swoon worthy - My appreciation of Ryan Kwanten is no secret. This choice is based on that. Plus, Jason is described as being completely adorable (that fairy blood sure helps).

Finnick Odair

Where you can find him - The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Why he is swoon worthy - I bet most girls would have chosen either Peeta or Gale. I loved Finnick immediately. He is described as off the charts sexy and his adoration (and loyalty) to Annie is pretty sigh inducing. *I couldn't find anyone that I though fit Finnick..Ian Somerhalder maybe?*

Jace Wayland

Where you can find him - The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Why he is swoon worthy - The face (and body) of an angel but he sure doesn't act like it. I can't help by fall for the bad boy. He's sarcastic, arrogant, and we love it. Ok, maybe it has something to do with the blond curls. *I know Alex Pettyfer hasn't been cast but he's my choice.*

Damon Salvatore

Where you can find him - The Vampire Diaries series by LJ Smith

Why he is swoon worthy - Not only is he good looking, but Damon has that whole bad boy thing down. I can't help but swoon when he asks Elena to be his Queen of Darkness. It doesn't hurt that I kind of have a thing for vampires..oh, and Ian Somerhalder.

Just a few of my favourite book hotties. Now it's your turn..who would you like to spend Valentine's Day with? Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nevermore By Kelly Creagh

Nevermore By Kelly Creagh
Release Date -August 31, 2010
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Pages - 543
My Rating- 7.5/10

Synopsis from GoodReads

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game.

Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the
terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind.

Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

When I first heard about this book I was intrigued by the premise. It was different from other paranormal romance books that I had read recently so it caught my attention. The cover is also really pretty. I am a little surprised that they didn't have the cover model have a lip ring like Varen is suppose to in the novel though. I am sure it would have been hotter with the lip ring.
The amount of research into Edgar Allen Poe that Ms Creagh must have done is mind blowing. I was inspired to do a bit of quick research myself and was delighted to see how many little references the book actually had. The research she did gave the book a little something extra and hopefully other people discover some of Poe's amazing work.

The characters in the book were actually my favourite part of the novel. They were well developed and described. I can easily picture Isobel, Varen and the other characters. My favourite character in book, however, was Gwen. The friend that EVERYONE should have had in high school. She was amazing. I hope that she has a larger role in the next few books.

There were some great things that stood out for me in the book - the use of the colour purple, the invitation to the Grim Facade, and the kiss. They all added to my love of the book.
The first half or so of the novel, I felt, was better than the last half. Once Isobel entered into the 'dream world" I found myself getting confused, and reading paragraphs and sections over again to make sure I caught everything. I guess, to me, the pacing just felt off in the later part of the book.
As soon as I was done, I had to go see if this was a first book in a series. It feels like the first part of longer story. I was glad to find out that this is the first book in a 3 book series. I was left with lingering questions that I hope will be answered in the subsequent books.

I would definitely recommend this book; particularly if you enjoy something other than the usual romantic lead found in most novels. Varen will most likely be your next book crush if that's the case!

Waiting on Wednesday..

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine

It is a weekly feature that spotlights upcoming books that we can't wait to get our hands on.

My pick this week is Bumped by Megan McCafferty.

Here is the Goodreads synopsis-
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job. Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from. When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and
Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common

It's my pick this week because I have heard great things about it. The synopsis sounds unique and interesting.

It is scheduled for release on May 01, 2011.

What is everyone else waiting on...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Here is my weekly book I am waiting on. This is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

My choice is City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare.

Is there anyone not waiting on this book??! I LOVE this series and I will be grabbing a copy April 5th!

Here is the Goodreads synopsis:

City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in the bestselling series The Mortal Instruments. “City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.”

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