Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Review: Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Tumble & Fall  
 
 
 
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Genre: Pre-Apocalyptic Fiction
Source: ARC for Review
Challenge(s): Debut Author
Find it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

Alexandra Coutts's TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.

I was so excited for Tumble & Fall. It had this awesomely unique premise that had me jumping up and down with excitement, but unfortunately it soon became apparent that this was not my sort of book.

The lead characters were all pretty bland. None of them stood out from each other and the only way I could tell the difference between their stories were the supporting characters.

There were three separate story lines, which each held their own quite well, but I was disappointed that they really didn’t overlap at all, or have any sort of connection until the very end.

All of the romances in the story seemed artificial, and were dripping in insta-love. The book takes place over a short period of time which didn’t provide for the character and relationship development that I felt all involved needed.

Tumble & Fall was a fast read that I found enjoyable enough, but could’ve delivered so much more.

{Event} A Month of Rapunzel

My super-awesome blogger friend Rachael @ Rachael Turns Pages is hosting this super-awesome event that I can’t wait for. All month long she’ll be celebrating Rapunzel and all it’s incarnations, and I’ll be joining in on the festivities on my own blog!

She’ll also be hosting a Rapunzel Read-A-Thon from March 8th-12th, which I’m for because I have a handful of hair-raising stories I’m ready to dive into!

Here’s a little preview of what to expect in March from me!

Golden: A Retelling of "Rapunzel"Rapunzel's Revenge (Rapunzel's Revenge, #1)ToweringRapunzel: A Groovy Fairy TaleThe Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (The League of Princes, #1)RapunzelCress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)Rapunzel

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

{Event} Write On Review-A-Thon!

Write On Review-a-Thon

The Write On review-a-thon is a monthly event created and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. It’s 2 days dedicated to getting reviews done, whether you have one review to write or 30+. This edition of the review-a-thon takes place all day Friday, February 28th and Saturday, March 1st. Let’s get those reviews done!

I have been behind on my reviews for an entire year. I’m not even kidding. At the time I’m writing this I have 37 reviews due, dating back to last April. April, people! So THANK YOU to The Book Vixen for hosting this review-a-thon, which I hear is supposed to be a regular occurrence. I’m also planning on incorporating some film reviews in the future, which I’d like to get a head start on.

I’ve attempted many times in the past months to do a review-a-thon, but this time I have a really good feeling about it. I’ve been motivated this week to get my blog schedule sorted out, and hopefully that motivation will translate over to into actually, y’know, writing content to fill that schedule!

  1. The Sweetest Spell
  2. Going Rogue (Also Known As, #2)
  3. Fairest of All (Whatever After, #1)
  4. If The Shoe Fits (Whatever After, #2)
  5. Golden: A Retelling of "Rapunzel"
  6. The Book Thief
  7. Between the Lines
  8. The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #2)
  9. Fox Forever (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #3)
  10. How to Save a Life
  11. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)
  12. Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)
  13. The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy, #1)
  14. Jane Eyre
  15. Thumped (Bumped, #2)
  16. The Summer I Became a Nerd
  17. That Time I Joined the Circus
  18. Allegiant (Divergent, #3)
  19. Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)
  20. Slayers (Slayers, #1)
  21. Ten
  22. Mary Poppins
  23. Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings, #2)
  24. The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)
  25. Peter And The Starcatchers
  26. Tiger Lily
  27. The Island of Dr. Moreau
  28. The Great Gatsby
  29. Hamlet
  30. Peter Pan
  31. Les Misérables
  32. Enchanted
  33. Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor, #1)
  34. The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, #1)
  35. The Neptune Project (The Neptune Project, #1)
  36. Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2)
  37. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)

As you can see, I have my work ahead of me! Anybody else participating?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love-A-Thon Mini Challenge #1

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Here’s my last minute Book Spine Poetry. Obviously there are no book spines in sight, but still some beautiful book titles and covers!

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Book Blogger Love-A-Thon (Interview!)

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Last night I was browsing through my favorite blogs when I discovered the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon! I’m getting a late start on it, but here I am! The schedule of events looks exciting, and I’m pumped! Since I’m getting to this so late, I’m a bit unprepared (not to mention I’m in a different time zone than I’m used to blogging in), but hopefully it’ll still be a blast!

How did you come up with your blog name?

Originally it was Darling Deb’s Bookshelf  but then I changed it to Debz Bookshelf  because it sounded cooler and I was oblivious to how grammatically incorrect it was. If I could go back and change it, I would, but I’ve grown too attached to it.

What genre/subject matter do you read and review most on your blog?

I stick to Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction, with a particular emphasis on Fairy Tale Retellings (I host a whole challenge for retellings!) I will read contemporary or sci-fi on occasion, but I love to stick to fantasy.

Name the 3 books you're excited for in 2014!

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The One, The Castle Behind Thorns, and Stitching Snow are just a few of my most highly anticipated releases!

Where in the world are you blogging from?

Up until a month ago I was blogging from the East Coast, but now I’m 3.000 miles west, locked away in a tower, with no doors or stairs…

Tell us -- how did you get into blogging in the first place?

It actually started a long time before book blogging. When I was seven years old I began to learn HTML coding and started my first blog (I think it was a party planning blog) ever since then I’ve attempted dozens of blogs, mostly family blogs. Then, in 2010 I started reading Shannon Hale’s books, which I loved, so I did what all author lovers do: I stalked her online. In one of her blog posts she mentioned the blog Squeaky Books, and then the door was opened. I discovered through Enna a whole universe of book lovers, and so I joined their ranks in Spring of 2011.

Apart from reading, what other hobbies/interests do you have?

I’ve always had a passion for Broadway, so if I’m not reading or blogging, I’m probably singing my heart out to some old showtunes. Beyond that, I keep myself occupied just spending time with my family, who keep me plenty busy.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, which books would you bring with you?

Does a Kindle count? With wifi? No? Well then, probably my battered old copy of Ella Enchanted, and probably a guide to getting off a deserted island. Oh, and the complete works of Jane Austen, so I can finally get around to reading them!

If you were stuck in some dangerous situation (like a fire, a sinking ship, a warzone), which book boy or girl would you want to come and save you?

Wolf (and Scarlet!) from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. He’s got the strength and she’s got the brains to save me from whatever disaster I wander into.

You’re attending a party with your friends. Suddenly, the DJ changes the song and it’s YOUR song – what song would that be?

A horrible party song, that’s for sure! No One is Alone from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim is more of a lullaby, but that’s my song. Or something more upbeat (though still horrible for partying) is Impossible from Cinderella by Rodger + Hammerstein.

What 3 movies would you love to have your favorite author write into books, or vice versa?

I don’t know if I can answer that, because all my favorite movies are based on books, plus they’re all historical dramas, which is a completely different genre than my favorite authors write. But vise versa, I would love to see Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Matched by Ally Condie, and The Selection by Kiera Cass!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Book Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

15839984 
 
 
 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Genre: Fairy Tale/Mythology Retelling
Source: ARC for Review
Challenge(s): Debut Author, Fairy Tales
Find it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Cruel Beauty has been one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2014, so I was freaking out when an ARC magically appeared on my doorstep one day. As soon as I had a moment of free time, I started reading, and I just couldn’t stop until I had turned the last page.

I always love discovering a new fantastical world, and that which is found in Cruel Beauty is a curious one, with a rich and mysterious history, effortlessly blended with familiar myths. Early on, there’s a lot of heavy “info-dumping” which slows the plot, but is important to introduce the mythology that later comes into play. Do not let that stop you, because once the story truly starts, it will enthrall you to the end, and you’ll be grateful for the information which so brilliantly comes into the plot at a later point.

Nyx was such a unique character. Her past has left her hard and cold, almost broken in a way. She’s not a perfect, innocent girl. And because of her faults and shortcomings, I came to love her as a character. The interesting thing about this book is that I found myself wondering who was really supposed to be the beast, and who the beauty, because both Nyx and Ignifex have so many complicated layers to their character.

I had mixed feelings about the love triangle initially. The logic in me said “No! They’re dangerous!” and yet their was a burning curiosity about both Shade and Ignifex, which got the better of me, Before long I had fallen for both. They both had such different personalities, but both had this tenderness buried in them, and when it emerged in either I would swoon.

Cruel Beauty is a beautiful, dark, complex novel that has the potential to make you overflow with emotions of all sorts. I was angry and scared and confused, all for the characters who I grew attached to over the course of the novel. I cannot say enough about the cruel and beautiful power in this novel.

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