Thursday, July 29, 2010
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Nick Gautier has not led an easy life; he has never known his father (seeing that his father is in prison) and lives alone with his mother, who was all but disowned by her family for keeping her son when she got pregnant while still in school. Nick and his mother live in near poverty with his mother working as a stripper at a local club to support them. Constantly bullied by his classmates because of his conditions (the secondhand Hawaiian t-shirts from Good Will his mother buys for him don't help), Nick has become an extremely cynical and sarcastic person. Since he is fiercely defensive of his mother and her honor, Nick is constantly getting into scuffles and trouble at school, earning him earfuls from his mother and the principle.
But soon it won't be just constant teasing that Nick will have to worry about; some of the kids at school have suddenly started eating other students. Nick's friend Bubba (who happens to run a store that sells various weapons for slaying dark creatures) is thoroughly convinced that there are zombies running around. But Nick doesn't believe in such nonsense, especially when the theory comes from a gun-toting, Oprah-watching, insane man.
But while trying to escape the odd events that are happening at school, Nick gets into a sticky spot with the people he thought were his friends. After a close brush with death, a mysterious man by the name of Acheron rescues him and offers him a job. Little does Nick know, this job may just open his eyes to a world he never knew existed--a world that includes gods, zombies, vampires and other beings he had once thought only existed in fantasies. Cynical and unbelieving as ever, Nick thinks the people around him are just going bonkers, but he better start believing soon, or he might just end up next on the menu for some of those creatures...
I have mixed opinions about Infinity. Overall, I'd say I enjoyed reading it, mostly thanks to Bubba and Nick's characters. Nick has a quick wit and can be extremely sarcastic at times (a trait which has unfortunately landed himself in trouble with bullies, parents and other persons of authority multiple times), but despite being street-smart, had a sense of honor and was highly protective of his mother. As for Bubba, what's not to like? He's got sarcastic comebacks that rival Nick's, has more modified weapons than is safe or legal, knows how to use a (modified, of course) cattle prod, and is obsessed with watching Oprah. (And you better not disturb him while he's watching Oprah, or you may just find yourself on the receiving end of said cattle prod.) The two of them, Nick and Bubba, really made the book for me and I had more than a few good laughs as I read Infinity.
I found Infinity confusing at times, though this could be because I have never read Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series (which is an adult series while Infinity is YA). Some of the characters' backgrounds were confusing (I had trouble keeping up with who was related to whom), as was the plot at times. Some parts of the books were also rather repetitive; for instance, Nick would get in trouble, get yelled at by his mother, say he's sorry, then the cycle would just start over.
Certain parts felt a little too far-fetched and almost forced --spoiler alert-- (skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to read the spoiler) like the part where we learn that the live zombies were turned that way because of a computer game. I thought it was a little much and had been hoping for a better reason why the certain kids had been turned into zombies.
While I love Nick's sarcasm, I think other aspects of his character were a bit baffling. For instance, he eventually becomes more receptive to the idea that certain people he interacts with, Acheron and Caleb for instance, are not really human. Despite this acceptance that there might be some paranormal beings around, Nick adamantly refuses to believe in zombies and creatures of the night. He thinks Bubba and Mark are off their rockers since they believe in zombies, hunt them, and hold zombie survival classes. I wasn't sure how Nick could believe Acheron wasn't human, but kept refusing to believe in zombies, vampires and other things Bubba and his friends hunted.
From what I heard, there has been mixed reviews for Infinity. I thought it had it's flaws but also had some redeeming qualities. I rather enjoyed Nick's wit, so I'll be interested in seeing what happens next in his adventure, along with what Bubba and Mark will do next. Hopefully the next book will help sort out some of the confusion I have concerning the plot and relationships in the first book! I am looking forward to reading Chronicles of Nick: Invincible, but meanwhile, I think I'd like to check out Sherrilyn's Dark Hunter series!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
When Jill, a competitive high school fencer, goes with her family on vacation to the Bahamas, she is magically transported to an early eighteenth century pirate ship in the middle of the ocean.
Doesn't that sound good?? And what a gorgeous cover! Okay, I'll admit that one of the reasons I want to read this book so badly is because I'm a fencer too! I wonder what style Jill fences in HS? But fencing isn't really like real sword fighting at all, so it'll be interesting to see how she adapts!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Jacinda isn't human. Well, not all the time at least; she's a Draki, which means she can manifest to her dragon form. Since she's the first fire-breathing Draki for many generations, she is closely guarded by her pride. Too closely, if you ask Jacinda--she hates how Cassian, an onyx Draki who will be the next alpha, thinks she is his property. Constantly hovering and watching Jacinda, Cassian wants her as his mate simply because she is the first fire-breather in decades. The rest of the pride is no better; they believe that they have control over her just because she's unique. But as much as she enjoys living with her kind, Jacinda will not submit to their control willingly.
Being Draki comes with risks, and with her father long dead, Jacinda knows that. Still, she cannot help but want to fly alone with her closest friend, Azure, away from the pride's watchful eyes. Sneaking out for a flight with Azure one night, the pair is met by a pack of hunters and soon Jacinda is flying for her life. Taking refuge in a cave where she is soon discovered, she is surprised when one of the hunters, a teenage boy, spares her life. Her relief is short-lived however, since Jacinda's mom decides it's too dangerous to stay with the pride anymore. With Cassian and the pride's angry reaction to Jacinda's newest bout of rebellion, Jacinda's mom fears the pride's intentions for Jacinda.
Now tucked away in a small town in the desert, Jacinda hates her life. She hates how her mom wants her Draki to wither away and die, just as her mother's did. While Jacinda is miserable, her sister, Tamra, is happier than she has ever been. Tamra's draki never manifested, making her feel out of place with the pride, but now at a normal school, she fits in seamlessly.
But just how normal is this town? When Jacinda meets the hunter that spared her life that night, she feels inexplicably drawn to him. She knows she should avoid him since he and his family hunts her kind, but something tells her he, Will, is different than his family. Playing with fire, Jacinda gets to know Will better and gets far more tangled in the small town than she had originally wanted. Even as she's fighting to keep her draki alive in the hot desert, Jacinda cannot stay away from Will. How long can she and her family hide from Will's family, though? What would be more dangerous, Will's family learning her true identity--or the pride tracking her and her family down?
Firelight is a great start to a new series! Sophie Jordan has begun to create an interesting world with Draki, their own culture and the world that surrounds them. I would have loved to learn more about the Draki in this book, but hopefully there will be more information on them in the next book! I am a fan of fantasy and paranormal books, but it refreshing to read about dragons since the paranormal market has been filled with books about vampires and werewolves lately! I haven't really read a series with dragons lately, so Firelight was a nice change!
Although romance is one of the main themes in Firelight, I'm glad it also included an adventure! It's nice to see the main character not just moping around, waiting for a guy to come by and fall in love with her, but also to see her own struggles and the challenges she has to face when that guy does come by! Jacinda has never felt more out of place surrounded by people who are normal while the only other Draki around her (her mother and sister) would do anything to forget their Draki roots and just fit in. I enjoyed reading Firelight and eagerly await the next novel in the series!
Friday, July 23, 2010
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: July 13, 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Grace and Sam are back --along with a few new wolves. At the end of Shiver, Beck had created some new wolves with the intention for them to keep the pack strong. But he didn't know that Sam had been cured, no longer forced to shift between wolf and human, thanks to Grace and Isabel.
Now the new pack has become Sam's responsibility, and taking care of the new wolves won't be easy after Sam worked so hard not to be wolf. One of the newcomers is Cole St. Claire, lead singer of a popular band who wants nothing more to escape his life by being wolf.
Isabel feels wolves coming back into her life all over again when Cole shows up. With her brother's death in the back of her mind, Isabel is hesitant to have anything to do with the wolves beyond Grace and Sam, but she can't help but feel drawn to Cole.
While Grace and Sam are happy to have more time together now that Sam is no longer wolf, Grace's health has suddenly taken a turn for the worse. It starts off small but then her fevers get worse and Grace starts to reek of wolf, Sam fears this is no ordinary flu.
Linger seemed a bit slow at times, but halfway through, a new sense of urgency starts to take over. At first, I was not entirely sure what the plot was; it seemed that Grace and Sam's relationship was progressing and new characters were coming in. Things really start to pick up further into the novel.
Hopeless romantics, myself included, with be glad that Grace and Sam are going strong as ever, though sometimes their narratives got even too mushy and lovey-dovey even for me. Thankfully, this is balanced out by Maggie's expansion of the points of view to to include Isabel and Cole's voices. Cole may come off as the angsty teenager type, but it works with his extreme cynicism and arrogant charm. He and Isabel's POV's quickly became my favorite parts to read, especially when the two met. Isabel and Cole each struggle with their own demons, but their banter and how their relationship evolves was fun to read. It really helped balance out some of the sadness and urgency that started to grow as the story progressed.
Although I enjoyed Shiver more, most fans of the first book will not be disappointed. Maggie Stiefvater's fantastic ability to create unique characters that each have different but believable voices carries through in Linger. Ms. Stiefvater is able to portray images and emotions so vividly, it draws readers into her novels. Although the plot seemed much more evident in Shiver, I feel that the character development was much better and beautifully done in Linger, now that the focus is not just on trying to keep Sam human. I look forward to finding out what happens in the final installment of this series when it comes out!
Maggie Stiefvater is the author of Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception, Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie, Shiver, and Linger.
Maggie Stiefvater's website (blog here) Shiver series Website Follow Maggie on Twitter @mstiefvater
Ms. Stiefvater has graciously taken the time out to answer a few questions!
If you could spend a day as any one of your characters, who would you like to be?
Well, they all have pretty tormented lives. I’d need therapy. I would like to be the girl from the candy shop in Shiver, because then I could stuff myself with sugar for an entire day and then abandon all those calories and stomach aches for my normal body the next. See my animal cunning there?
What is the most rewarding part about being an author?
I have a selfish thing and an unselfish thing. The selfish thing is when I get the first real copy of each book I write. I hug the cover and pet the pages and cuddle it and show it to everyone who can’t get away fast enough. The unselfish thing is when I get an e-mail from a reader whose life was really changed by reading the book in some unexpected way. I’ve gotten some emails that literally made me sniffly and you can ask anyone, sniffly is not something Maggies normally are.
I was a big fantasy reader as a pre-teen -- I would look for anything with the fantasy sticker in the library -- and as I got older, I decided Dean Koontz was da bomb. Then I gravitated back to YA fantasy again. I still love Diana Wynne Jones’ books.
What is your favorite word and why?
Revolting. Hey, you asked, not me.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
READ. A fantastic book is your best text book. Oh yeah, and google "how to write a good query."
Scholastic has graciously donated a finished copy of Linger for a giveaway! Interested in winning? Just fill out the form below!
Open to US only (sorry!)
No PO Boxes please
Please only fill out the form once
Please enter by August 7th, midnight, EST.
+ 5 new or old follower of The Book Vault
+5 follower of me on Twitter (@BookVault01)
+3 if you tweet/post about this giveaway elsewhere (please include the link)
+2 if you comment on this post w/ your thoughts about the interview, Linger, or about Maggie's novels
Please fill out the form HERE to enter!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Ms. Smith-Ready has an adult book, Bring on the Night, that will soon be released and here's a little blurb:
WHAT'S BLOOD GOT TO DO WITH IT?
Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin seems to finally have it all. A steady job at WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll. A loving relationship with the idiosyncratic but eternally hot McAllister. A vampire dog who never needs shots or a pooper-scooper. And after nine years, it looks as if she might actually finish her bachelor's degree!
But fate has other plans for Ciara. First she must fulfill her Faustian bargain with the Control, the paranormal paramilitary agency that does its best to keep vampires in line. Turns out the Control wants her for something other than her (nonexistent) ability to kick undead ass. Her anti-holy blood, perhaps? Ciara's suspicions are confirmed when she's assigned to a special-ops division known as the Immanence Corps, run by the Control's oldest vampire and filled with humans who claim to have special powers. To a confirmed skeptic like Ciara, it sounds like a freak fest. But when a mysterious fatal virus spreads through Sherwood—and corpses begin to rise from their graves—Ciara will not only get a crash course in zombie-killing, but will be forced to put her faith, and her life itself, in the hands of magic
Sounds good, doesn't it? Perhaps some of us older readers can enjoy Ms. Smith-Ready's newest book while we're waiting for the sequel to Shade!
And check out this neat video where Jeri speaks about her past jobs before becoming an author!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Abby has always covered for her sister's, Maya's, wrong doings. Not one to follow the rules, Maya dropped out of school, rarely came home, and hung with a questionable crowd. But Abby has always been there for her--been the buffer between Maya and her parents, covered for all the trouble she caused, and suggested Jefferson Andrews as Maya's tutor for her GED. Jefferson Andrews is the star of the high school--a stellar student despite his poor household and a teenager admired and loved by all--who eventually becomes romantically involved with Maya.
But then Jefferson Andrews shows up dead, and Maya was the last known person with him. Has Maya gone too far this time? Hardly remembering what happened the night Jefferson died but adamantly stating that she did not kill him, Abby knows she needs to hide Maya, who is already seen in less-than-favorable light by her parents, before Maya is found and brought to the police.
With Maya hidden away, Abby begins her own secret investigation to clear her sister's name, but her own investigation may lead her to not just clues that reveal more about Jefferson's murder, but also clues about Jefferson's background (which reveals his true--and not so beautiful--personality), and Maya's messed up life.
As the investigation progresses and more clues are found, just how deadly a sister can be soon becomes apparent...
The Deadly Sister is an great summer mystery! Although confusing at times, readers will enjoy finding clues along with Abby and guessing how they fit into the crime. The twists will keep readers turning the pages until more of Maya, Abby and Jefferson's backgrounds are revealed and the killer discovered! Cleverly worded at some points, this novel allows readers to interpret them how they will, and make their own guesses for who's guilty and who's not.
I feel that the ending could have been a bit more shocking if it had been revealed through actions and more clues (that could be interpreted in many ways) being unearthed, rather than it just be stated in a near monologue. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading The Deadly Sister! It was a little slow for me at first, but once the pace picked up, I could hardly put it down! I'm definitely glad I kept reading!
Eliot Schrefer, author of The Deadly Sister, The School for Dangerous Girls, and Glamorous Disaster, has generously taken the time out to answer a few questions:
Which of the characters you've created is/was your favorite to write about?
The antagonist from my first novel, Glamorous Disasters, took over every scene she was in. Since the book was satire, I was able to go over-the-top with her, really go gothic and horrible and unpredictable. At the same time she had this yearning need, and I think she's one of the most sympathetic characters in the book.
I'm a big fan of cafe writing. Years of childhood spent not heeding my mother's advice and listening to music while I did homework paid off—I get into work mode when I have headphones on, and the rest of the cafe falls away. Yet, when I reach a pause point in my writing and come up for air, there's bustle and people around me. It breaks up the essential loneliness of the writing process.
I think the main reason many aspiring writers don't finish a draft is that they don't allow themselves to be bad. The urge is to perfect what you have before you move on, which is fatal to the writing process—write a truly crummy first draft, and then spend as long as you want making it better. Just keep reminding yourself that the first draft doesn't have to be good, it just has to be there.
If you could spend a day as any fictional character, who would you like to be?
Oh, I would be Tibby from Howards End. Not because I love the character, but because he's the brother to the Schlegel sisters, and I would love to spend an afternoon having tea with them in their gray little
What is your favorite childhood book?
The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
I was at a bar with some friends once, and we assigned one another categories from the wine list. I got “light, citrus-y, and crisp.” I think it works.
Easy. A house with a garden. And I'd love to fund a sanctuary for primates in the
Thanks for stopping by, Eliot!
Check out this Q&A video by Eliot where he discusses a few aspects of his upcoming book!
Don't forget to visit Eliot Schrefer's website & pick up a copy of The Deadly Sister in bookstores today!
Monday, July 19, 2010
Just fill out this form by August 5th, midnight EST! 1 winner will be selected at random from all the eligible entries & emailed after Aug. 5th.
Open to US only!
+2 if you follow The Book Vault
+1 if you comment on my review of Duff
+1 if you tweet about this giveaway
+1 if you post about this giveaway on Facebook
+1 if you post about this giveaway on your blog
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Bianca Piper may come off as an extremely cynical person, but she's also confident and loyal. Her two best friends, Jessica and Casey are equally as loyal and despite not being blond and gorgeous like her two best friends, Bianca has never felt self conscious--that is, until Wesley Rush, the most arrogant womanizer in Hamilton High, calls her a Duff. The nickname Duff, or "designated ugly fat friend," makes Bianca's confidence slip a bit but she's determined not to let Wesley get to her.
Looking down on Wesley and his constant outrageous flirtations with every female that walks by, Bianca is quick to take a few verbal swipes at Wesley when he gets over-confident. Disliking Wesley with every fiber of her being, Bianca doesn't want Wes near her or her two best friends.
...Which doesn't explain why Bianca kisses Wesley at the local dance club one night. Before she knows it, Bianca's having a secret fling with Wesley. Justifying her sudden impulsiveness with the troubles that are going on at home, Bianca uses Wes as a distraction from the messed-up state her family is in. With her mother constantly away and her father looking like he might fall to his former alcohol addiction, Bianca needs an escape. She's is not looking for much more than something physical from her relationship with Wes, but when she starts to get to know Wes, she might just find that they have a lot more in common than she had originally thought!
I definitely enjoyed reading Duff! Bianca's had an amazing voice that really made the book enjoyable--though sometimes she seemed a bit too sarcastic and sometimes rather rude. Bianca curses a little too much for my tastes but then again, she's a teenager. Although I did not entirely agree with some of Bianca's choices (she rushed too quickly into some things), she is still a teen who is struggling with issues at home and struggling to stay confident. Overall, Duff is a very enjoyable read and although it may not be the most well-written book you've ever read, Bianca's strong character stands out, and her sardonic comments will give readers a few good laughs.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I was lucky enough to get to go to BEA again this year in NYC. And a day before the expo, I also went to TAC where I met Elizabeth Scott, Simone Elkeles, Eliot Schrefer, Melissa Walker, Stephanie Kuehnert, Barry Lyga, Lauren Oliver, and many other amazing authors! The panels were all interesting and all the authors were so friendly! I also saw many bloggers there, including Steph (from Steph Su Reads), Lenore (Presenting Lenore), and Korianne (of Korianne Speaks)!
I had a fantastic time @ both BEA & TAC and would highly recommend you to go (or go again) in 2011 if you get the chance!
Here are some of the books I got from BEA this year:
1) Dark Song
2) The Candymakers
3) Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
4) Immortal Beloved
5) Monster High
6) Witches' Kitchen
7) Jekel Loves Hyde
9) Two Moon Princess
10) The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai
12) The Poison Diaries
13) I am J
15) Virals by Kathy Reichs
16) Manifest by Artist Arthur
17) Red Moon Rising
18) For the Win by Cory Doctrow
19) Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder
20) Uncle John's Bathroom Reader
21) Reckless by Cornelia Funke
22) The Zombie Combat Manual
23) Mostly Good Girls
24) Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
25) Of all the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz
26) Forget Her Nots
27) Tangled by Caroline Mackler
28) Love Begins in Winter by Simon Van Booy
29) The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
30) Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
33) Girl Parts
34) Firelight by Sophie Jordan
35) Dead Beautiful
36) I am Number Four
37) The Sherlockian
38) The Enemy by Charlie Higson
39) Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
40) Matched by Ally Condle
41) The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent
43) Choke by Obert Skye
44) Seth Baumgartners Love Manifesto by Eric Luper
45) Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
46) The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
47) Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
48) The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
49) Delirium by Lauren Oliver
50) Duff by Kody Keplinger
51) Dead Love by Lauren McFerrin
52) Shade by Jeri-Smith Ready
53) Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
54) Fat Vampire by Adam Rex
55) Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
*Whew!* My shoulders still hurt from carrying all those books--but it was worth it! I've been reading like crazy--between classes, work, and review sessions! It was a great start to my summer, and hopefully I'll get through most of these books before school starts up again!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Please comment and leave your twitter ID's so I can follow you guys too!
I think this merits a giveaway, don't you think? I shall have to figure out which book(s) to giveaway, so stay tuned!
And I can't remember if I mentioned this, but after a rather long and confusing correspondence, Facebook finally has my account back up! I know it was down for a good 4-5 months but they restored my account and I didn't lose any friends off my account.
Please friend me on Facebook (Book Vault) and follow me on Twitter (BookVault01) so I can stay connected with all you lovely readers, bloggers & authors!!
Series I Like
Thanks to i'm loving books!