Showing posts from October, 2012

Hedgie's Must Reads: October 2012

The month of falling leaves and pumpkins is coming to an end, and I thought that it would be fun to start having a Best Reads for every month. So here's October's, along with a little blurb on why Hedgie and I thought it was so awesome, and a link to my full review.

Review: The Dark Unwinding - Sharon Cameron

The Dark Unwindingby Sharon Cameron
Series: Dark Unwinding #1
Genre: YA, historical fiction, mystery, steampunk
Published on August 27, 2012
Published by Scholastic Press
Pages: 318
Read From: 10.22.12 - 10.24.12
Final Rating: 5/5 strawberries

When a rumor that her uncle is squandering away the family fortune surfaces, Katharine Tulman is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of childlike rules, who is employing a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Review: Carnival of Secrets - Melissa Marr

Carnival of Secretsby Melissa Marr Series: Untamed City #1 Genre: YA, fantasy Published on September 4, 2012 Published by HarperCollins Pages: 306 Read From: 10.21.12 - 10.21.12 Final Rating: 3/5 strawberries

SYNOPSIS In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures - if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting for the death is the only way to try to live.

Review: Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone - Dene Low

Petronella Saves Nearly Everyoneby Dene Low
Series: The Entomology Tales of Augustus T. Percival #1
Genre: YA, historical fiction, satire, comedy
Published on June 1, 2009
Published by HMH Books
Pages: 208
Read From: 10.18.12 - 10.19.12
Final Rating: 4/5 strawberries

You would think Petronella's sixteenth birthday would be cause for celebration. After all, fashionable friends are arriving at her country estate near London, teas are being served, and her coming out party promises to be a resplendent affair. Everything is falling nicely into place until suddenly - it isn't. For Petronella discovers that her guardian, Uncle Augustus T. Percival, has developed a most unVictorian compulsion: He must eat bugs. Worse still, because he is her guardian, Uncle Augustus is to attend her soiree, and his current state will most definitely be an embarrassment.

Review: Cassandra's Sister - Veronica Bennett

Cassandra's Sister by Veronica Bennett
Genre: YA, historical fiction
Published on August 14, 2007
Published by Candlewick
Pages: 230
Read From: 10.15.12 - 10.18.12

Young Jane - or Jenny, as she is called - is a girl with a head full of questions that no one seems able to answer. Surrounded by her busy parents and brothers, Jenny finds a place for her thoughts in the steady companionship of her older sister, Cassandra. Jenny's country life is a series of balls and visits, where conversation centers on one topic: marriage. But the arrival of her worldly-wise cousin Eliza disrupts everything, bringing answers to some of Jenny's questions and providing a gem of an idea.
Cover Blurb: I like its classiness, and being a person who is drawn to classy stories, the cover did a good job of catching my attention.

What I Liked: I like how the Author portrayed Jane and Cassandra’s close relationship, and I absolutely adored Tom Lefroy; it made me so sad knowing how things turned o…

Review: The Mark of Athena - Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athenaby Rick Riordan
Series: The Heroes of Olympus #3
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on October 2, 2012
Published by Hyperion
Pages: 574
Read From: 10.11.12 - 10.17.12
Final Rating: 3/5 strawberries

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy - after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera - it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can't blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

Review: The Ever-After Bird - Ann Rinaldi

The Ever-After Birdby Ann Rinaldi Genre: YA, historical fiction Published on November 1, 2007 Published by HMH Books Pages: 240 Read From: 10.13.12 - 10.15.12 Final Rating: 4/5 strawberries

SYNOPSIS After her father dies, CeCe McGill can only wonder why he risked his life to help the ragged slaves who came to their door in the dead of night. How could he have cared so much about them when he was so cruel and coldhearted toward his only daughter?

Review: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow - Jessica Day George

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snowby Jessica Day George
Genre: YA, fairy tale retelling
Published on January 8, 2008
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 336
Read From: 10.9.12 - 10.13.12
Final Rating: 4/5 strawberries

When a woodcutter's daughter known simply as "the lass" agrees to accompany a great white bear to his castle, he believes she has made a wise decision. After all, the bear has promised her family untold riches in exchange for a year of the lass's company. Although she is given every luxury, the lass feels more a prisoner than a guest, and it's not long before

Review: The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boysby Maggie Stiefvater Series: The Raven Cycle #1 Genre: YA, adventure, fantasy, supernatural Published on September 18, 2012 Published by Scholastic Press Pages: 409 Read From: 10.6.12 - 10.9.12

SYNOPSIS Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them - until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

Review: Once - Anna Carey

Onceby Anna Carey
Series: Eve Trilogy #2
Genre: YA, dystopian, romance
Published on July 3, 2012
Published by HarperCollins
Pages: 354
Read From: 10.5.12 - 10.6.12

For the first time since she escaped from her school many months ago, Eve can sleep soundly. She's living in Califia, a haven for women, protected from the terrifying fate that awaits orphaned girls in The New America. But her safety came at a price. She was forced to abandon Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone, at the city gates. When Eve gets word that Caleb is in trouble, she sets out into the wild again to rescue him, only to be captured and brought to the City of Sand, the capital of The New America.

Choosing That Next Great Book

Finding that next good book is like finding a new friend; you find out a little bit about them (the synopsis), talk to acquaintances (reviews), and then spend time with them (reading it for yourself). The personality, opinions, behavior, and common interests will determine whether or not it is a lasting friendship (a book that ends up on the Top 10 list), or one that quickly falls apart (i.e., I never want to see this book again!). Just like a friend, you’re going to be spending quite a bit of time with this book, so you want to make sure it’s worth it.

Review: Dark Inside - Jeyn Roberts

Dark Insideby Jeyn Roberts Series: Dark Inside #1 Genre: YA, post-apocalyptic Published on November 1, 2011 Published by Simon & Schuster Pages: 329 Read From: 10.4.12 - 10.5.12 Final Rating: 4/5 strawberries

SYNOPSIS An ancient evil has been unleashed, and it's turning friends into murderous strangers. For those who survive the brutal earthquakes and the first wave of the killing, the world is a different, deadlier place. Society has fallen

Review: Troubadour - Mary Hoffman

Troubadourby Mary Hoffman
Genre: YA, historical fiction
Published on August 18, 2009
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 304
Read From: 10.2.12 - 10.4.12
Final Rating: 4/5 strawberries

When a young noblewoman named Elinor learns that she's to marry a much older man, she flees her comfortable home for the hard life of a troubadour. It's not just escape that appeals to Elinor. She's also got her eye on kind, handsome Bertran, another wandering poet whom she sets out to find.

Review: A World Away - Nancy Grossman

A World Awayby Nancy Grossman Genre: YA, contemporary, romance Published on July 17, 2012 Published by Hyperion Pages: 400 Read From: 9.30.12 - 10.2.12 Final Rating: 3/5 strawberries

SYNOPSIS Sixteen-year-old Eliza Miller has never made a phone call, never tried on a pair of jeans, never sat in a darkened theater waiting for a movie to start. She's never even talked to someone her age who isn't Amish, like her.

Review: The Redheaded Princess - Ann Rinaldi

The Redheaded Princessby Ann Rinaldi
Genre: YA, historical fiction
Published on January 29, 2008
Published by HarperCollins
Pages: 214
Read From: 9.28.12 - 9.30.12
Final Rating: 4/5 strawberries

Growing up, Elizabeth fears she can never be Queen. Although she is the King's daughter, no woman can ever hope to rule over men in England, especially when her mother has been executed for treason.

Review: Ivy - Julie Hearn

Ivyby Julie Hearn Genre: YA, historical fiction, comedy Published on June 17, 2008 Published by Atheneum Books Pages: 368 Read From: 9.26.12 - 9.28.12 Final Rating: 3/5 strawberries

SYNOPSIS Ivy is used to being overlooked. The youngest in a family of thieves, scoundrels, and roustabouts, the girl with the flame-colored hair and odd-colored eyes is declared useless by her father from the day she is born. But that's only if you look at her but don't see. For Ivy has a quality that makes people take notice. It's more than beauty - and it draws people toward her.

Review: Cloaked - Alex Flinn

Cloakedby Alex Flinn
Genre: YA, fairy tale retelling
Published on February 8, 2011
Published by HarperCollins
Pages: 341
Read From: 9.21.12 - 9.26.12

I'm not your average hero. I actually wasn't your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all. It all started with a curse. And a frog-napping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.

Review: Envy - Gregg Olsen

Envyby Gregg Olsen Series: Empty Coffin #1 Genre: YA, mystery, thriller Published on August 23, 2011 Published by Splinter Pages: 285 Read From: 9.15.12 - 9.18.12 Final Rating: Special Awfulness Award

SYNOPSIS Evil comes in all sorts of flavors. Some bitter. Some deceptively sweet. That's what Katelyn discovers on the day she dies. One minute she's a depressed teen with a loser life. The next, she's lying on a stainless steel slab, eyes glassy, skin frosted over, and very, very dead. Was it suicide? Murder? Who's to blame?

Review: Secret Letters - Leah Scheier

Secret Lettersby Leah Scheier Genre: YA, historical fiction, mystery, romance, Sherlockian fiction Published on June 26, 2012 Published by Hyperion Pages: 336 Read From: 9.18.12 - 9.20.12 Final Rating: 3/5 strawberries Sherlockian Rating: 2/5 deerstalker caps

SYNOPSIS Inquisitive and observant Dora Joyce dreams of escaping her aristocratic country life to solve mysteries alongside Sherlock Holmes, who just might be her biological father. So when her beloved cousin's love letters are held for ransom by an unknown thief, Dora jumps at the opportunity to travel to London to enlist the legendary detective's help in saving her cousin from scandal. But Dora arrives at his doorstep to devastating news: Sherlock Holmes is dead.

Review: City of Swords - Mary Hoffman

City of Swordsby Mary Hoffman
Series: Stravaganza #6
Genre: YA, alternate reality
Published on August 12, 2012
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 368
Read From: 9.13.12 - 9.18.12
Final Rating: 4/5 strawberries

Laura is a member of a special group. She's a Stravagante, a person who can travel through time and space. One day she finds a mysterious silver sword that acts as her talisman. It enables her to stravagate to sixteenth-century Fortezza in Italy, where she meets a swordswmith named Fabio. Laura also meets the charming and attractive Ludo, and they instantly fall

Review: The Selection - Kiera Cass

The Selectionby Kiera Cass
Series: Selection Trilogy #1
Genre: YA, futuristic, romance
Published on April 24, 2012
Published by Harper Teen
Pages: 336
Read From: 9.13.12 - 9.15.12

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the change of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

Review: Courtship & Curses - Marissa Doyle

Courtship & Cursesby Marissa Doyle Series: Leland Sisters Trilogy #3 Genre: YA, historical fantasy, romance Published on August 7, 2012 Published by Henry Holt & Co. Pages: 352 Read From: 9.11.12 - 9.13.12

Sophie's entrance into London society isn't what she thought it would be. Mama isn't there to guide her. Papa is buried in his work fighting Napoleon. And worst of all, the illness that left her with a limp, unable to dance at the Season's balls, also took away her magic. When the dashing Lord Woodbridge starts showing and interest in Sophie, she wants to believe it's genuine, but she can't be sure he's feeling anything more than pity.Sophie's problems escalate when someone uses magic to attack Papa at the Whistons' ball, and it soon becomes clear that all the members of the War Office are being targeted. Can Sophie regain her own powers, find her balance, make a match - and save England?
Cover Blurb: I like the colors and the classi…

Review: The House of Silk - Anthony Horowitz

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Genre: Adult, historical fiction, mystery, Sherlockian fiction
Published on November 1, 2011
Published by Mulholland Books
Pages: 294
Read From: 9.9.12 - 9.13.12

Review ~~~~~~~~~~~ Cover Blurb: Nothing exciting about it, to be honest. The only thing about it that caught my attention was the declaration that it was a Sherlock Holmes novel; other than that, I probably wouldn’t have paid it any mind.
What I Liked: What’s not to like? Two awesome cases that seem unconnected to one another at first, murder, the dark streets of London, the criminal underworld, a conspiracy involving some of the oldest families in England, Sherlock accused of murder - it’s all good. I really loved it. I especially loved the scene between Watson and the “mysterious gentleman.” Sherlockians will know immediately who the mysterious gentleman is, and I did think the Author actually handled it very cleverly, and I liked that he never actually said who the mysterious gentleman was unti…