Showing posts from May, 2013

Hedgie's Must Reads: May 2013

Summer is on its way! Hard to believe that May is over, Memorial Day weekend has passed, and we're on the cusp of June. Before you know it, it'll be September and then December! And then it will be time for my yearly Reading Wrap-Up! But we'll just look at May for now, and worry about that later. May was a surprisingly good month for books - better than April! It had its bad moments, but it was nothing like February, thank goodness. Here's the cream of the crop:

Review: Waterfall - Lisa T. Bergren

Waterfallby Lisa T. Bergren
Series: The River of Time #1
Genre: YA, time travel, romance
Published on February 1, 2011
Published by David C. Cook
Read From: 5.25.13 - 5.26.13

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaeologist parents. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural

Review: Wednesdays in the Tower - Jessica Day George

Wednesdays in the Towerby Jessica Day George Series: Castle Glower #2 Genre: Middle Grade, fantasy Published on May 7, 2013 Published by Bloomsbury Pages: 240 Read From: 5.24.13 - 5.24.13

SYNOPSIS Wednesday at Castle Glower is an ordinary, hum-drum sort of day. No new hallways, no extra turrets, no sudden changes. At least according to Princess Celie, who knows the Castle better than anyone. So Celie is surprised when, one Wednesday, she happens upon a new tower, with a new room, and a giant orange egg hidden inside.

Review: The Auslander - Paul Dowswell

The Auslanderby Paul Dowswell
Genre: YA, historical fiction
Published on August 16, 2011
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 304
Read From: 5.23.13 - 5.24.13

"My name is Doktor Fischer. I have something very special to tell you. You boys have been chosen as candidates for the honor of being reclaimed by the German National Community. You will undergo further examinations to establish your racial value and whether or not you are worthy of such an honor. Some of you will fail."

Review: Legacy of the Clockwork Key - Kristin Bailey

Legacy of the Clockwork Keyby Kristin Bailey Series: The Secret Order #1 Genre: YA, historical fiction, mystery, steampunk Published on March 4, 2013 Published by Simon Pulse Pages: 409 Read From: 5.20.13 - 5.23.13

SYNOPSIS When a fire consumes Meg's home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key - a key only Meg can use - that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg has no choice but to

Weekend Recommendations #5


Review: Dark Triumph - Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumphby Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin #2
Genre: YA, historical fantasy
Published on April 2, 2013
Published by Houghton Mifflin Books
Pages: 385
Read From: 5.19.13 - 5.20.13

Sybella arrives at the convent's doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. Naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, Sybella, the convent realizes, is one of their most dangerous weapons.

Review: Sacrifice - Cayla Kluver

Sacrificeby Cayla Kluver Series: Legacy Trilogy #3 Genre: YA, fantasy, romance Published on October 23, 2012 Published by Harlequin Teen Pages: 438 Read From: 5.17.13 - 5.19.13

SYNOPSIS Alera, queen of a fallen kingdom, secretly in love with the enemy. Shashelle, daughter of a murdered father, rebel with a cause.

Review: In the Shadow of Blackbirds - Cat Winters

In the Shadow of Blackbirdsby Cat Winters
Genre: YA, historical fiction, mystery, supernatural
Published on April 2, 2013
Published by Amulet Books
Pages: 387
Read From: 5.16.13 - 5.17.13

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of an apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black

Review: Storybound - Marissa Burt

Storyboundby Marissa Burt Series: Storybound #1 Genre: Middle Grade, fantasy Published on April 3, 2012 Published by HarperCollins Pages: 416 Read From: 5.15.13 - 5.16.13

SYNOPSIS When Una Fairchild stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, she thinks nothing of opening the cover and diving in. But instead of paging through a regular novel, Una suddenly finds herself Written In to the land of Story - a world filled with Heroes and Villains and fairy-tale characters.

Review: Stung - Bethany Wiggins

Stungby Bethany Wiggins
Series: Stung #1
Genre: YA, dystopian, romance
Published on April 2, 2013
Published by Walker Childrens
Pages: 304
Read From: 5.12.13 - 5.15.13

Fiona doesn't remember going to sleep. But when she awakens, her world no longer exists. Her house is abandoned and broken. Her neighborhood is barren and dead. And there is a tattoo on her right hand. A tattoo Fiona doesn't remember getting. . . .but somehow knows she must conceal at any cost. Because humanity has been divided.

Weekend Recommendations #4


Review: Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters - Suzanne Weyn

Dr. Frankenstein's Daughtersby Suzanne Weyn Genre: YA, classic retelling, mystery Published on January 1, 2013 Published by Scholastic Press Pages: 250 Read From: 5.11.13 - 5.12.13

SYNOPSIS When Doctor Victor Frankenstein died, he left behind a legacy of horror. . . .as well as two unacknowledged, beautiful twin daughters. Now these girls are seventeen, and they've come to Frankenstein's castle to claim it as their inheritance.

Review: The Blue Djinn of Babylon - P. B. Kerr

The Blue Djinn of Babylonby P. B. Kerr
Series: Children of the Lamp #2
Genre: Middle Grade, fantasy, adventure
Published on February 1, 2006
Published by Orchard Books
Pages: 371
Read From: 5.10.13 - 5.11.13

John and Philippa Gaunt, twelve-year-old twins who recently discovered themselves to be descended from a long line of djinn (which are commonly called genies) and who are now in possession of great magical powers, have only just returned from their adventures battling an evil djinn in Cairo and London. Now the mystery surrounding a powerful book of djinn magic lures the twins straight into their new extraordinary adventure.

Review: Revolution 19 - Gregg Rosenblum

Revolution 19by Gregg Rosenblum Series: Revolution 19 #1 Genre: YA, dystopian, futuristic, science fiction Published on January 8, 2013 Published by Harper Teen Pages: 265 Read From: 5.9.13 - 5.10.13

SYNOPSIS Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefield. Then they turned their weapons on us.

Character Interview: Anthony Maxwell

In preparation for the publication of Hazel West's new steampunk mystery novel - A Case of Poisons - due to be released to the public June 3, 2013, Hazel has invited me to interview the novel's protagonist, private detective Anthony Maxwell!

Anthony Maxwell is a private investigator, a consultant for the mostly incompetent inspectors at Scotland Yard, on occasion a writer, and always a lover of coffee. He has been working small cases for several years to pay the bills when he's introduced to the first multiple murder case of his career early one morning, when a witness catches a man trying to unload a body to bury in a nearby graveyard. Soon the first body is joined by three more in the course of a single morning and Anthony knows this is no ordinary serial murder case. And why is the murderer targeting beggars and urchin children? If that wasn't cause enough to worry, all the victims are covered with horrible wounds and show signs of exotic poisoning. Anthony,…

Review: Enchanted - Alethea Kontis

Enchantedby Alethea Kontis
Series: The Woodcutter Sisters #1
Genre: YA, fairytale retelling
Published on May 8, 2012
Published by Harcourt
Pages: 308
Read From: 5.9.13 - 5.9.13

It isn't easy being Sunday's child, not when you're the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday's only comfort is writing storied, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

Weekend Recommendations #3


Review: Nightright - Anthony Horowitz

Nightriseby Anthony Horowitz Series: The Gatekeepers #3 Genre: Middle Grade, horror, thriller Published on May 1, 2007 Published by Scholastic Press Pages: 368 Read From: 5.4.13 - 5.8.13

SYNOPSIS Scott and Jamie have always been different. Not only are they twins - they can read each other's minds. Their whole lives, people have taken advantage of this. Now it's going to get much, much worse.

Review: Out of the Easy - Ruta Sepetys

Out of the Easyby Ruta Sepetys
Genre: YA, historical fiction
Published on February 12, 2013
Published by Philomel
Pages: 346
Read From: 5.3.13 - 5.4.13

It's 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan to get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in a police investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

May 2013 Book Haul

Back in April, I got some birthday money to spend on books (yay!). So this last weekend, I went down to my all-time favorite bookstore on a "book buying expedition." As usual, there were more titles I wanted than I had money, so I had to let prices determine which books I got and which I left for another time. It was an excellent day to go shopping. The sun was out, there was a nice breeze, and excitement in the air. After a yummy lunch of Thai food, my friend and I hit the bookstore. Three hours later . . . Ten hardcovers in good condition for $56.00 - now that's a great deal. Within that stack of titles are: I Am Rembrandt's Daughter by Lynn CullenDragon Rider by Cornelia FunkeI, Coriander by Sally GardnerThe Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie HarrisonLady Friday by Garth NixNine Days a Queen by Ann RinaldiOutlaw Princess of Sherwood by Nancy SpringerThe Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy SpringerTalking to Dragons by Patricia C. WredeQueen's Own Fool by Jan…

Review: Heart of Glass - Sasha Gould

Heart of Glassby Sasha Gould Series: Cross My Heart #1 Genre: YA, historical fiction, mystery Published on March 12, 2013 Published by Delacorte Books Pages: 336 Read From: 5.2.13 - 5.3.13

SYNOPSIS Venice, 1585Three months have passed since Laura della Scala solved her sister's murder after joining the Segreta, a powerful society of women who trade protection for secrets. Now Laura is engaged to her true love, Roberto, and she has never been happier.

Review: Veiled Rose - Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Veiled Roseby Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Series: Tales of Goldstone Wood #2 Genre: YA, fantasy Published on July 1, 2011 Published by Bethany House Publishers Pages: 375 Read From: 4.28.13 - 5.2.13

SYNOPSIS Rose Red trusts no one with her secret. She hides in the forest, her face veiled in rags, shunning the company of all save her old father and her nanny goat. Her life is bleak and lonely.

Weekend Recommendations #2

Title:The Dark Unwinding Author: Sharon Cameron Genre: mystery, historical fiction, steampunk Part of a Series: Dark Unwinding #1 Rating: 5 out of 5 Who'll Like It: More suited for girls than guys, historical fiction and mystery fans, would be better appreciated by ages fourteen and up.
Why I Liked It:
This was just an awesome mystery. It has great characters that I initially wasn't sure I liked, and as they grew with the story, I began to really appreciate them. This book elicited strong reactions and emotions, and that always lands a book in my favvies category. But what made me adore this book was the mystery itself. I never have to work all that hard to solve mystery stories, but with The Dark Unwinding, I never knew what was going to happen next. I was on pins and needles the whole time, and sometimes I wanted to scream, "Just tell me!!" But I knew it would all be explained, and whenever doubt started to creep in, I was proven wrong. A truly, truly awesome book - and …

Review: Thirteenth Child - Patricia C. Wrede

Thirteenth Childby Patricia C. Wrede Series: Frontier Magic Trilogy #1 Genre: YA, alternate history, alternate reality, fantasy Published on April 15, 2009 Published by Scholastic Press Pages: 344 Read From: 4.28.13 - 5.1.13

SYNOPSIS Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent - and she's supposed to bring doom to everyone around her. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that protects settlers from the beasts of the wilderness.

Review: Black Ice - Andrew Lane

Black Iceby Andrew Lane
Series: Young Sherlock Holmes #3
Genre: YA, historical fiction, mystery, Sherlockian fiction
Published on January 22, 2013
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 288
Read From: 4.25.13 - 4.28.13

When teenage Sherlock Holmes and Amyus Crowe, his American tutor, visit Sherlock's brother, Mycroft, in London one day in 1868, all they are expecting is lunch and some polite conversation. What they find shocks both of them to the core: a locked room, a dead body, and Mycroft holding

Review: Heartless - Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Heartlessby Anne Elisabeth Stengl Series: Tales of Goldstone Wood #1 Genre: YA, fantasy Published on July 1, 2010 Published by Bethany House Publishers Pages: 363 Read From: 4.23.13 - 4.27.13

SYNOPSIS Princess Una of Parumvir has come of age and will soon marry. She dreams of a charming prince, but when her first suitor arrives, he's not what she'd hoped. Prince Aethelbald, from the mysterious kingdom of Farthestshore, has traveled a great distance to prove his love - and also to bring hushed warnings of danger. A dragon is rumored to be on the hunt and blazing a path of terror.