Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review/Giveaway/: Caged Moon by Rachel Deagan

I'm so happy and lucky to be part of the blog tour for Caged Moon! Rachel has been awesome to offer an e-copy of her book to one lucky winner. Obviously, I love this book. So let's get right into the review. :)

Title: Caged Moon
Author: Rachel Deagan
Release Date: January 20th, 2012
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author (In exchange for honest review)
Pages In This Edition: 253
Rating 5/5!!

On the Cover:
Beyond the Cover:


Summary from Goodreads:

"Haunted by an animal attack, seventeen year old Charlotte feels she is being followed. When she runs into a mysterious boy while camping, she’s afraid. Nothing seems right about him. Despite trying to stay away, there is an unmistakable draw to be near him. Even his scent smells familiar. But the closer she gets, the faster the secrets begin to unravel. Not only is he not human, he may have a link to her past. When Charlotte finds out someone wants her dead, she is torn between love and fear. Can she trust him to keep her safe?"

Review:

When going in to reading any self-pub book, I always have the same sort of fears. Sometimes self-pub books can be really great, and other times they can...well.. SUCK. Luckily, this was a case of the former.

I COULDN'T PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. I believe this is actually only the second five star review I've given this year, and the first was to The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Yep. It's that good. I almost don't know where to start.

The first time I picked this up the night I got it. I wanted to read a few pages to see if I could get into it. After reading a few chapters, I drifted to sleep. (Not because I wanted to, but because I had to.) I woke up and went to school. Upon arriving home, I picked it up and didn't put it down until I was done reading it.

I don't know what I loved more: the characters or the mystery. I guess it's kind of a tie. But let's start with the characters. Charlotte: a girl that's very understandable even when dealing with a problem that no one has dealt with before. Liam: the most drool-worthy-hunk I've read about in a long, long, time. (I want him for myself. Charlotte seriously needs to back off.) Add a cast of extremely entertaining supporting characters plus a mystery and action packed plot that had me turning the pages as fast I could= THE BEST PARANORMAL I'VE READ THIS YEAR. Without a doubt.

By the climax, I was wondering what was true and what wasn't, who I should trust and why I should trust them, and what the hell was going on. I don't want to give too much away, but oh-my-god.

So if you're in the mood for a great paranormal/romance/action/mystery (and who the heck isn't?) then you should read this book. If you read, you should read this book. Now that I'm done with it, do you know what I want? Another adventure with this characters that's what. :)


--Alexis

And now.....It's time for the giveaway! (Who is excited? I know I am. :) ) Thanks to Rachel for the giveaway!
Monday, February 20, 2012

Review of American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Title: American Born Chinese
Author(s): Gene Luen Yang
Release Date: September 5th, 2006
Publisher: First Second
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Pages In This Edition: 240
Rating: 4/5

On the Cover:

Beyond the Cover:


Summary from Goodreads:

"A tour-de-force by rising indy comics star Gene Yang, American Born Chinese tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he’s the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the powerful Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, a personification of the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, who is ruining his cousin Danny’s life with his yearly visits. Their lives and stories come together with an unexpected twist in this action-packed modern fable. American Born Chinese is an amazing ride, all the way up to the astonishing climax. American Born Chinese is a 2006 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature, the winner of the 2007 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: New, an Eisner Award nominee for Best Coloring and a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year."

Review:

When I picked this up I had no idea what it was about. Misty from The Book Rat had been hosting a graphic novel week, and this was one of her picks for her favorite graphic novels. Usually I love what she recommends, so I thought I would give this a try. Also, since this is a graphic novel, I knew it wouldn't take me long at all to read it.

Within the trip home from the library and about ten minutes at home on the couch, I had finished this book. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting. What I was expecting was a light read with some great art. What I got was a look into what being different meant, and what some people who do to change it, and great art. I can't really same much about the plot, because the whole thing is kind of confusing until near the end. The end itself is something I could never have guessed. It's pretty crazy.

Basically (without trying to spoil anything), American Born Chinese follows three main characters on a quest to find themselves. It's full of funny moments, insightful moments, and great full-color art that had me wishing that I was better artist myself. :( Oh,well.

If you like graphic novels and haven't read this one yet (I can't believe I hadn't considering the fact that it won the Printz award. I LOVE Printz award winners.) then you NEED to pick it up. It's probably the most insightful graphic novel I've ever read.

--Alexis
Sunday, February 19, 2012

In My Mailbox (21), February 19th, 2012

It's time for an IMM! My first one of this month actually. (I've been slacking on blog stuff too much!) I think I'm just going to feature books I've gotten very recently though. It would be too many otherwise.

So here we go:





1. Caged Moon by Rachel Deagan: I've already read this and loved it. My review will be up on Wednesday. Also, maybe a giveaway... :D

2. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang: I've already read this one too. Review up next week probably.

3. The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim: Again, I finished this one yesterday. Weirdest graphic novel EVER.

4. The Humming Room by Ellen Potter (ARC): Haven't started it yet. I will try to read it this month though so I can have a review up on the release date!

5. The Night She Disappeared by April Henry (ARC): I read this in one day. It doesn't come out till April though, so no review for awhile. (IT WAS AMAZING.)

6/7. Fruits Basket V.1&2 by Natsuki Takaya


That's it for me this week! What did you get in your mailbox? Let me know in the comments or leave a link to your IMM and I'll be sure to check it out. :)

--Alexis
Monday, February 13, 2012

Top Ten TBR: From My Bookshelf

I saw someone (I forget who) do this in a video a couple of weeks ago and thought it would be a good idea to do it myself. Currently I know I have way too many books that are TBR on my shelf and maybe deciding which ones I want to read next and trying to include them in the coming months would help get my brain in order. These, however, are in no particular order:

1. All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

2. Hearts At Stake by Alyxandra Harvey

3. The Sharp Time by Mary O'Connell

4. A Long, Long, Sleep by Anna Sheeann

5. Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

6. A Fist Full of Charms by Kim Harrison

7. Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando

8. Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

9. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

10. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

What do you think of this list? Have you read any of these books and think I should push them farther up on my current "I NEED TO READ THIS OR ELSE" list? I would like to know in the comments. :)

--Alexis
Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review of The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Title: The Future of Us
Author(s): Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Release Date: November 21st, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Library
Pages In This Edition: 356
Rating: 4/5

On the Cover:



Beyond the Cover:

Summary from Goodreads:

"It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present."



Review:

The whole reason I picked this up was because Jay Asher co-authored. The idea was cool and I personally am a Facebook addict, but Jay was the main pull for me; Thirteen Reasons Why remains one of my favorite books and it one of the only books that I've read over and over again. The Future of Us did not disappoint.

Though I didn't give this book five stars, it's still a great read. Probably closer to 5 than to 4. I couldn't put it down. Even though it's close to 400 pages I read it in one day. Because the chapters alternate between Josh and Emma's perspectives, it kept plugging along at breakneck pace and added great scenes full of character-development and awesome dialogue.

One of the things that Jay Asher does so well is write teens in a true and authentic way. He can see into the mind of a teen in a way that I've only seen a few authors do well; John Green is an example of this. But Carolyn's writing was also great, which made for a novel that was evenly paced and written; something that's hard to do sometimes when co-writing a book. This makes me want to read other books by Mackler. I'll definitely have to check her out in the future.

Also, though the premise hints at the supernatural, this book is contemporary at heart. The "future thing" that's going on is believable, or at least as close to believable as something along those lines can be. You can also tell that the authors did their research. The dialogue when relating to Facebook is always spot on and never awkward.

The only thing that knocked this book down from a five to a four was the ending. It wasn't really a bad ending, just one that was kind of predictable. I wished the ending could have been a little out of the ordinary or maybe a bit more satisfying.

In the end though, it was still a great read that I would recommend to anyone who wants to read a comtemp with a cool "new-age" spin. I can't wait to see what Jay Asher is going to do next!


--Alexis
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February TBR

I can't believe that 2012 is already 1/12 of the way done! January was pretty good in books but I'm hoping this month will be even better. I didn't manage to read any books from last months TBR, just 6 books that weren't on that list. (Check THIS out.) That was a fail. I'm going to try to do better this month.

My list for February:

1. A Long, Long, Sleep by Anna Sheeann

2. The Devouring by Simon Holt

3. The Sharp Time by Mary O'Connell

4. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

And that's the main list for this month! I think I have a review book or two that I'll need to squeeze in but this meat and potatoes.

What are you going to be reading this month? Let me know in the comments or leave a link to your TBR list for February.

--Alexis

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Hi my name is Alexis and I'm so excited to be heading to Oregon State University in the fall. I will be majoring in English and hope to become an editor or technical writer in my future.

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With Beyond the Cover, I want to help people interested in YA with a resource to refer to. This blog will be composed of reviews as well as other book related subjects.



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