Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prom and Prejudice.

Title/Author: Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg.

Genre: YA.

Publisher: Point.

Source: Purchased.

Favorite character:

Favorite quote:

All in all: Pride and Prejudice “light.”

Synopsis: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single girl of high standing at Longbourn Academy must be in want of a prom date.

After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn't interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be - especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.

Lizzie is happy about her friend's burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles's friend, Will Darcy, who's snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn't seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it's because her family doesn't have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk - so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway? ~Amazon.com

My Thoughts: This is a very fast and easy read. And to be honest, it was just what I needed. It was familiar, so I didn’t really have to keep track of characters and wasn’t confused by plot points. Although it didn’t bring any new insights to the table, I enjoyed seeing what actions the author was going to have her modern day Austen players do. Prom instead of marriage, college parties instead of balls and Wickham’s antics.

However, nothing was revealed too much. It was as if someone was telling me a long gossipy story, a summation of Lizzie. I didn’t really learn anything about the characters. And while Lizzie admitted to some insight throughout the story, Darci did not and I was a bit disappointed with that. I also felt a few of the character’s actions were a bit over the top for my taste and the language didn’t always fit in a modern setting.

That being said, I just enjoyed it. It’s not as if I wanted to stop reading it. In fact, I couldn’t wait to pick it up again and see what spin the author put on events. I really did like the end too and Lizzie and Darci’s decision.

I think that this may appeal to younger teens and even middle grade readers. It may also be a great way to get readers familiar with Jane Austen.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your food be yummy and your scale be broken!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Audio Books: How do I judge thee?

Audiobooks.  While a wonderful way to "read", I don't think I judge them with the same criteria as I do a printed book.   Perhaps this is wrong, but for me the mediums are so different that my so are my views on them.  I think the main reason for this is because while listening to an audio book, I am able to accomplish other things at the same time (driving to/from work, errands, etc.).  With a book where I have to sit and read…I have to do just that…sit and read it. I can’t do other things at the same time so it’s a bigger commitment. If I didn't like an audio book, I was able to get things done anyway. With a printed book, that time has gone completely to the reading of it.

An issue I have with audio books is I think I miss things while listening (or trying to listen) that I wouldn’t necessarily miss in a printed book. When I drive, I do tend to concentrate on safety and where I'm going first and foremost and listening to the book is secondary. So there will be times when I zone out and then realize I’m in another scene or I missed an element. Sometimes I’ll rewind a bit and sometimes I’ll just keep going and hope I can catch up and catch on. I have to wonder though, if I would comprehend more from the printed word.

Also, for better or worse, with audio books, the narrator can have a great deal of influence of my opinion on a story. I was listening to a book once and the narrator made it seem like she was reading to a kindergarten class. The characters sounded babyish and wooden and I couldn’t listen to it anymore. I wonder if sentences that sound funny or dialogue that sounds silly would be different if I was reading it. On the other hand, a good narrator can make all the difference. The ones that can do a variety of voices and you can tell who is speaking are top. The ones that come to mind are Wild Ride read with skill by Angela Dawe and Endurance read by, no wait...performed by Christopher Lane. I also loved listening to Bag of Bones by Stephen King. First of all, being the author, it was great to have him read it. He knew all the intonations, pauses, etc. What I also loved about Bag of Bones is the sound effects and music that was utilized. They added to the ghostly, haunting mood.  Would I have gotten the same satisfaction if I had read these books?  I'm not sure. 

Also, there are books, that I don’t necessarily want to listen to as an audio book. I want to read them. I want to sit and immerse myself in the story, not drive around and listen to them and risk missing something. (Although I admit I rewinded a lot with Bag of Bones so I wouldn't miss anything, so I guess it also depends on my level of committment).  However, for the most part, I guess there is something about the printed form, to utilize it as the medium it is intended. It’s not that I don’t consider an audio book as valid as a printed book, there is just something a little more appealing about the reading experience for me than the audio book experience. So if it’s a book that I’ve been dying to read, I’d rather read it. If it’s a book that I have a more casual attitude about, I’ll give it a try on audio. That being said, I have also listened to some really good books that I probably would not have read if they were not on audiobook.  I'm more willing to give an audiobook a try and also more willing to discard it if I don't like it.  Also, I don’t buy my audiobooks, I get them all from the library and therefore, I’m limited to their selection.

Although storytelling began as an oral form, the progress into books has also changed the nuances. With a printed book, there is no performance or theatrics…it is the power of the printed word. I’m not saying that one is better than the other, just that they are different and sometimes so different as to change the experience.

What has your experiences with audio books vs. print books been?  Do you prefer one over the other or are there various factors involved?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Space Between.

Title/Author: The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff.

Genre: YA/Supernatural.

Publisher: Razorbill.

Source: Comic Con.

Favorite character: Daphne and Truman.

Favorite quote:  "Love is for people with a certain amount of humanity." ~Daphne.
"...a song that sounds like birds at night." ~Daphne

All in all: Breathtaking.

Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be. ~Goodreads.com

My Thoughts: I loved this book. The writing, the characters, the story and the settings. It has a dreamlike quality within a gritty, hard reality and the characters bring it to life.

The main character Daphne is refreshing in that she is not a typical heroine, yet she is very heroic and her naivety and innocence add to this.  As she navigates earth she is simply being herself as she expects people to be honest and understand her own honesty. She has no hidden agenda and she comes off as earnest, yet, she is cast as evil because of her lineage. Her actions speak for herself though as all people’s should. Her voice is clear as is Truman's, the compelling, damaged male lead.   He is almost a character study to me.  Sad, lonely, hopeless.  Yet I love the way he still has the capacity to try and charm people either to push them away or to get something.  He is  complex and riveting.  He and Daphne both go through changes.  She finds what she needs and Truman may not lose his pain, but he gains something else to fill the whole that is inside him, making it more bearable.

The supporting characters are great too.  From angels to demons to humans.  They all had something important to add and move the story along. 

This story brought another theme to mind.  Redemption.  What is it?  Is it finding peace, doing what is right?  Who gets to define what redemption is?  Depending on what side you are on, is any action perceived as justified?

The writing is exquisite. Descriptions and feelings are poetic. I also think that the world and the characters are quite imaginative. The breadth of the details add to the picture that the words gave me.  Even the drink names were relevant to the story and the makeup that the Lilim used ("...hot brimstone on their mouths.")  I love how Pandemonium, earth and heaven are portrayed...or more likely earth is still earth, but to Daphne, it is dirty and noisy.  Very true.

I didn’t realize till the end of the book that the chapter titles pertain to each pov (Daphne and Truman’s). Truman’s is a countdown, while Daphne’s chapter titles are what she encounters during her experience. So clever.

I confess I don’t like romance stories, but as I read The Space Between, I realized I don’t like the romance stories that are out there with clich├ęd writing. The romance between Truman and Daphne was powerful and sweet and made me long for what they have. And, although it is one of the main threads of the story, it wasn’t the main one.

The only issue, which isn't really an issue, more of an alternative direction I would speak about is the ending.  I do like where it went, but I also think it would have been very powerful and haunting if it ended a tad earlier.  If you read it you will know what I'm talking about. 

The words and emotion behind the characters of The Space Between moved me.  I can't wait to read whatever Brenna Yovanoff writes next. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bag of Bones Read-a-Long

I posted my review of the audio book in October so when I saw this Read-a-Long hosted by Michelle from The True Book Addict and Castle Macabre, I wanted to participate.  Technically, I won't be reading along, but I am looking forward to discussing the story with everyone.

Please click the button above for details.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NY ComicCon 2011 Swag giveaway.

Here are some goodies I got from NY ComicCon that I'm giving away.

ComicCon Prize Pack #1
~Beautiful Creatures t-shirt.  (Label says Large, but it looks small to me.)
~Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian
~A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski
~Dethlok comic sample (signed).
~Angel & Faith comic sample (signed).

ComicCon Prize Pack #2
~Tote bag.
~Angel & Faith sample comic.
~The Other Worlds of Harlequin at NY ComicCon booklet (signed by Julie Kagawa).
~Black Light by Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstand and Stephen Romano (signed).
~Ripper by Stefan Petrucha (signed). 
 ~Hell & Gone by Duane Swierczynski (signed)
~The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima.

ComicDon Prize Pack #3
~Crossed by Ally Condie.
~The Postmortal by Drew Magary (signed).
~Deadtown by Nancy Holzner (signed).
~Sample issue of Hellvis comic.
~Magic the Game cards.
~Signed art card (by Jenny Frison and Tim Seely).

~I am giving away three (3) prize packs to three (3) different winners.  First winner will get their first choice, etc.

To Enter:
~Leave your name and e-mail address on the Rafflecopter form AND let me know which prize pack you prefer.
~Extra entries are optional.
~If you are choosing to do extra entries, please read the questions/instructions CAREFULLY!  If you do not follow the instructions, I reserve the right to disqualify that entry.

~Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter.
~Sorry!  This contest is US and Canada only. 
~Please see my contest policy HERE.
~This contest ends on November 21, 2011 at 12:01am.
~If winner does not contact me within 72 hours (3 days) of my first e-mail, unfortunately another winner will be chosen.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NY ComicCon - Artists and Costumes!

I absolutely love costumes and aside from all the Halloween events I attend, NY ComicCon is another great venue for people to show their creativity and ingenuity.  I saw lots of really young people in costume and while I wish I had a venue to encourage my creativity at their age, I'm so happy that there is a place for them to shine.  

Here are some pics of the trade show floor, costumes and artists.

Being a Halloween person, I tended to gravitate toward the zombie costumes. 

This was my favorite.  I met the creator in the baggage claim area.  He showed me how he made the pieces of this costume from sofa foam and air conditioner filters among other elements. 

I met R2-D2.  One of the nicest celebrities there!

Yay!  Another zombie!

You gotta' have a sense of humor!

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