Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I've already read a couple books suited for this challenge this year; Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson and Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink. Reviews of these titles will be coming soon!
Some of the books I'm hoping to read for the challenge are:
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
I've got room for a couple more titles on this list, and I'm always up for a recommendation. What's one of the best series you've ever read? Leave a comment, and I'll be sure to check into them!
Book titles are amazon affiliate links.
Posted by Melanie at 10:00 AM
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Welcome to another day here at Melanie's Musings! Hope your week has been going fabulously. Since today is Wednesday, it's time for Waiting on Wednesday, a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, where we spotlight one book that we, well, can barely stand waiting for!
Summary from Goodreads:
Bright Young Things is the first in an epic four-book series about three teenage girls finding their way in the glittering metropolis of New York City and the glamorous mansions of Long Island. It’s 1929 and Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey have escaped their small Midwestern town to chase big dreams and even bigger secrets. In New York, they meet Astrid Donal, a flapper who has everything she could ever want, except for the one thing Letty and Cordelia have to offer—true friendship. Set in the dizzying summer before the market crash, against the vast lawns of the East End and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls will find romance, intrigue, and adventure.
Just as The Luxe books brought the Gilded Age to readers of Gossip Girl, Bright Young Things will bring the Jazz Age to bestselling author Anna Godbersen’s devoted fans and to new readers alike.
I'm a huge fan of The Luxe and Rumors (click the links to read my reviews), the first two books in The Luxe series. Envy was sadly disappointing for me, but I've got a copy of Splendor on its way to me! The way I see it, by the time I read Splendor, there'll be just enough time to eagerly anticipate Bright Young Things* release, which is October 26.
I'm a huge fan of historical fiction, but I've never read any set in the 1920s. It sounds great!
*Amazon affiliate link
Posted by Melanie at 9:01 AM
Labels: waiting on wednesday
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Ryden Malby had it all figured out. Make good grades in high school, get a great college scholarship, keep the scholarship, graduate, and then work at the best publishing company in LA. Only things don't go quite as she planned. Instead of getting the job, she ends up unemployed and living with her crazy family once again.
Crazy is NOT an understatement.
Add on to that, a hot Brazillian neighbor and Adam, a guy who's been her best friend since freshman year, yet wants to be more. That's the plot.
The plot, while all over the place, works well for this movie. You're not sure what scheme one of the Malbys will come up with next. Will it be her father's plan to make a fortune online selling belt buckles or perhaps her grandmother (played by the ever amazing Carol Burnett) wanting to take a look at caskets? There's always something going on, with Ryden and her love life, or lack thereof, at the center of it all.
Post Grad* definitely takes you for a ride. One that I really enjoyed.
*Amazon affiliate link
Posted by Melanie at 10:00 AM
Saturday, April 24, 2010
It's Spring Break for me, my friends! Happy days are here again!
The reason I'm telling you this is that I'm using some of my time to get caught up on blogging. I'm terribly behind on reviews, and it's time I get caught up.
So, be expecting a bit more posting in the next few weeks, as well as a few contests.
Thanks for hanging out with me! ;)
Posted by Melanie at 8:01 AM
Thursday, April 22, 2010
If you haven't read Pride and Prejudice, or watched one of the movie adaptations, this review contains spoilers.
Six months into their marriage, things are going grandly for the Darcys. Elizabeth and William are just as enamored with each other as ever. Soon, Lizzy realizes something absolutely wonderful.
In Loving Mr. Darcy, readers are introduced to some new characters in the Darcy's lives. These characters definitely add some liveliness into the mix, especially Dr. George Darcy. He has just returned from India in the beginning of the book, and he's quite an eccentric!
My favorite aspect of this book is the historical detail. Much was included about England's state at the time, and as a history buff, I enjoyed it. Those sections were delightful.
This book is atypical in the fact that there's really not an overall conflict that spans the book. I knew this, as well as the fact that this saga is a happily-ever-after type tale, going in from reading the FAQ on Sharon Lathan's website. Still, it was a little hard, at times, to stay into the novel, but those times were far between.
Readers should be aware that this book, like its predecessor Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy, has several sex scenes in it. I personally felt that nothing would have been lost if a couple of those scenes had been cut from the novel, since at times it seems to overwhelm the book.
One of my favorite parts of the book is when Mary Bennet catches Joshua Daniel's eye. I've always liked her, and that chapter was thrilling, in a shy, sweet sort of way.
Loving Mr. Darcy, and this saga overall, is a great read for Pride and Prejudice lovers, especially those who loved the 2005 movie adaptation.
If you'd like more info on The Darcy Saga, be sure to check out Sharon Lathan's website:
Posted by Melanie at 7:28 AM
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Hi guys and gals! Today, I have an interview with Estevan Vega, author of Arson. Hope you enjoy!
Haha. I am probably the most campfire challenged person you'd know. I'm not crazy into the whole idea of sleeping under the stars with spiders and various rodents skulking about. But I usually stick with matches or the occasional Zippo. Or, you know, I just get Arson to do it.
If you had the ability to create either fire or ice with your mind, which would you choose?
Man, that's a hard one. I mean I saw X-Men and Ice Man won the fight against Pyro, so maybe ice would be a cool power. I mean, you wouldn't ever get pneumonia probably, and if, by the rare and ridiculous chance I had a craving to climb mount Everest, I'd be set for sure. I could hang around with any sub-zero temperature female and it wouldn't bother me. And I wonder if ice-starters get colds or sore throats or whatever. Hmmm...All in all...I'd probably still go with fire.
If a fire were to start where you live, what would you grab on your way out of the building?
My computer, because it probably has a bunch of stuff on it that I would need, like future books or ideas for books, short stories, lyrics or poetry, and a crapload of music and movies. My wallet, because I wouldn't want the hassle of going to the DMV or getting new credit cards. Man, I wish I had more valuable stuff. This makes me seem lame.
Would you rather be inside with a fire going in the fireplace or outside with a fire going?
It all depends on the night. I mean, on a cold, wintry night, I love sitting by the fire, very author-ly, of course, with my legs crossed and a seriously cool countenance. But I also love sitting around a fire outside on a summer or fall night. S'mores definitely rock. I love the way the fire feels on my face when I'm a few feet away, or having conversations that in the middle of you start to tear for no other reason than the heat. It's crazy. But also kinda cool. I think as long as people are around I'm down for either. But if I had to choose which is better, probably the outside fire...so long as no brawls ensue.
Where do you see yourself as an author in five years?
Oh, man, this question is dangerous. It's one of those things you fear to answer wondering if anything you plan will actually happen. In five years I'll be 26, and close to checking into the old-folks home. I mean, I would've already been given my first cane, for heaven's sake. I'll only have a few decent years left before senility. Honestly, I hope to make the best-seller list, any of them will do. I think I'd like to be married and just loving my wife, not worrying about stupid bills like my family. It would rock to get a movie deal too. But I think more than these things, I'd like to see my family go back to how it used to be...before the massive amounts of dysfunction. Well, sorta.
Posted by Melanie at 8:28 AM
Friday, April 16, 2010
From Goodreads: After losing her soul mate, Cameron, when they were nine, Jennifer, now seventeen, transformed herself from the unpopular fat girl into the beautiful and popular Jenna, but Cameron's unexpected return dredges up memories that cause both social and emotional turmoil.
I went into this book with all the wrong expectations. I was thinking that it would be fairly predictable with Jenna and Cameron falling in love and living happily ever after, or they would find out that they were too different and go on seperate paths, never to meet again. Sweet, fun, and predictable. Shows how much I know.
Since I went into this book expecting a different type of book, it took me a few chapters to get into Sweethearts. There were parts of this book that felt slow to me. I'm not sure why, since events in this book happen fairly quickly. However, the farther along I got in this book, the more engrossed I became.
Jenna and Cameron's bond runs deep. It's hard to explain to others. In fact, Jenna has a hard time understanding it herself. It's intriguing to watch their relationship. As Jenna thinks of bits of their past, it becomes easier to realize what holds them together so strongly.
As Jenna grows as a character, the writing becomes more lyrical. Through the final chapters of the book, it was amazing. Sweethearts houses one of my all time favorite quotes now. The kind that sort of makes you want to laugh and sort of makes you want to cry.
Although Once Was Lost is my favorite of the two books I've read by Sara Zarr thus far (I have a copy of Story of A Girl on its way!), Sweethearts was a worthwhile read with one of the most gorgeous endings I've ever read.
Posted by Melanie at 8:45 AM
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Here's a couple books I'm waiting on this week! WoW is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. Summaries from Goodreads. :)
Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, an iconic rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer, and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance. But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is tested by a torturous secret from his past.
Part irresistible romance and part darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.
I wasn't able to find a cover for this one, but I was absolutely hooked when I saw that it was a retelling of Jane Eyre! I read that book a couple years ago and really enjoyed it, although I'm sketchy on some of the details.
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
Doesn't Bianca sound feirce? The whole concept of this book grabbed my attention.
Both of these books are coming out from Little Brown, and the author's are both debut authors!
They're gonna be great.
Posted by Melanie at 10:18 PM
Labels: waiting on wednesday
Monday, April 12, 2010
Regina is part of the high school elite. You know the type. When you see them in the hallway, you either avert your eyes, hoping they don't see you, or look at them with envy and admiration. Or at least she was.
There's been a freeze-out, and now she's all alone on the outside. Her former "friends" are bent on making her life miserable. They're succeeding.
I'm still not sure how I feel about Regina. On the one hand, nobody deserves the hell she puts up with. On the other, you know that she's been guilty of doing the same exact things to people.
I knew exactly how I felt about her friends, though. They were absolutely horrible! Yet they're portrayed in such a way that sort of makes you feel sorry for them. Only sort of.
Some Girls Are* went by really, really quickly for me. It's one of those books I felt sad about finishing because it was that good. Thankfully, I have Cracked Up to Be* on my TBR pile, and I'm looking forward to delving into more of Summer's writing.
This book was reviewed as part of an Other Shelf Tour.
*Amazon affiliate links
Posted by Melanie at 10:07 AM
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff -Such a romantic looking cover!
In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth -The chapters in this book seem to all be a bit on the shorter side: 3-10 pages.
Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley -Another book by this author made my top ten list of '09!
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner - Contains a musical called Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad. Need I say more?
I'm very excited to read all of these books!
And finally, last but certainly not least:
My business cards! Designed by Anna at Book Nerds. They are so awesome, and they match my upcoming site design! I love 'em.
So... What do you think?
Posted by Melanie at 11:21 PM
Labels: In My Mailbox
Friday, April 9, 2010
I was googling for historical fiction, and I found a great list on Rebecca's Book Blog that's full of books set in the Tudor era. My wishlist is longer.
There's this awesome post entitled "Young Love & All That Jazz" on Maggie Stiefvater's blog that had a contented sigh slipping out of my mouth.
And Forever Young Adult has a post showcasing The Most Swoonworthy YA Couples of All Time. Carrots.
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CAKE?
Check 'em out & tell me what you think!
Posted by Melanie at 8:46 AM
Labels: first rate fridays
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Over a decade ago, Jake broke Katie's heart. He left and didn't say goodbye. Now, he's a huge recording star, and his most famous songs have been about her. She vows that when she gets the chance, she'll make him pay. That time has come, if she has the nerve to follow through. But things are never that simple.
What kind of guy does that? Right away I was sure I was going to have issues with this guy, but it didn't turn out that way. Each chapter alternates between what's currently going on in Katie's life, then going back to sometime in her past. Those chapters about her past made me really, really like Jake. He seemed so awesome. Then I'd remember what he had done and be angry at him all over again. I definitely had a love-hate relationship going on.
I wasn't sure how I wanted it to end, but once I finished it, I think it was the best ending, under the circumstances. Dedication* is one book I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel to.
And if I've heard correctly, the authors of the book are working on a screenplay! That's something I'd definitely like to see.
This book only took a few hours, and they were well spent. It's an entertaining read that keeps you guessing, in a good way.
*Amazon affiliate link
Posted by Melanie at 9:00 AM
Monday, April 5, 2010
If you haven't read Poison Study, this review contains spoilers. Instead, why don't you check out my review of Poison Study.
Yelena has gone to Sitia in order to flee from the execution order against her in Ixia , meet her family, and learn about her abilities as a magician
But once she gets to Sitia she learns that she can't control her power as much as she should, her brother seems to hate her, and finds herself missing her northern friends.
Danger finds her once again, and Yelena must once again fight to survive, only this time, the stakes are even higher.
First off, I would like to take a moment to swoon over Valek. I couldn't figure out how to in my Poison Study review without spoiling that part of that story. Feel free to join me. 1,2,3...
I'm so glad to be able to get that out of my system.
Oftentimes while reading this book, I didn't know whether to praise Yelena for her bravery or be mad at her for her brash actions. She's impulsive, often doing things without fully weighing the consquences of her deeds. Sometimes I wanted her to slow down and just think for a few minutes, but if she had, this book wouldn't have been nearly as interesting.
With an entirely new environment comes a lot of new characters, many of whom I really enjoyed, especially the horses. Yelena, using her magic, is able to speak to horses, and I absolutely loved reading her conversations with them.
The pace in this book moves along well, and it had my interest the entire time. I certainly didn't see all of the twists and turns coming. I really liked 'em.
Magic Study was a fantastic read. Maybe not quite as enthralling for me as Poison Study but pretty darn close. I can't wait to dive into Fire Study!
Posted by Melanie at 8:22 AM