Sunday, October 31, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a fun meme hosted at The Story Siren where we share what books we received this week.

Here's what I got...
Paper Towns by John Green
ya, hardcover 305 pages
Published October 4, 2008

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

From Goodreads

I've been wanting to read this one for awhile so I had a chance to borrow it from the school's reading teacher. So far I really like it:-)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Top Five "Books That Haunt You" and New Blog Design

Happy Halloween to everyone in blog land! I don't know about you but this is my favorite time of the year...scary movies on t.v., candy, leaves are falling, and of course the time to read good old spooky stories:-) Danny at Dreamy Blog Designs just installed my new blog design and it's absolutely gorgeous! I wanted something that would reflect my love of horror literature (in particular zombies) and she didn't disappoint. I just love the little girl with the striped leggings!

Dreamy Blog Designs

Danny also has a fabulous blog at Bewitched Bookworms that she runs with four of her friends. There you will find great reviews of ya novels and fun contests/giveaways. Please stop by her blogs when you have a chance and consider her when shopping for a blog makeover:-)

In honor of Halloween I decided to do a post on my top five "Books That Haunt You". I got the idea from

Number 5
From Goodreads:
"What of the penetrating cold terror of an old hotel, a haunted place of seductive evil with a malevolent will of its own--and a five-year-old boy of innocent beauty whose mind mirrors the nightmarish secrets of its past?

Behind every door of the Overlook's 110 empty rooms there is a chamber of horror. Little Danny knows of these things because he has the terrible power--

Number 4
From Goodreads:

Swan Song is rich with such characters as an ex-wrestler named Black Frankenstein, a New York City bag lady who feels power coursing from a weird glass ring, a boy who claws his way out of a destroyed survivalist compound. They gather their followers and travel toward each other, all bent on saving a blonde girl named Swan from the Man of Many Faces. Swan Song is often compared to Stephen King's The Stand, and for the most part, readers who enjoy one of the two novels, will enjoy the other. Like The Stand, it's an end-of-the-world novel, with epic sweep, apocalyptic drama, and a cast of vividly realized characters. But the tone is somewhat different: The good is sweeter, the evil is more sadistic, and the setting is harsher, because it's the world after a nuclear holocaust. Swan Song won a 1988 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel. It's a monster of a horror book, brimming over with stories and violence and terrific imagery--God and the Devil, the whole works.
Number 3
From Goodreads:

A national bestseller — 7 million copies sold. Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the twentieth century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Here is the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime.

Number 2
From Goodreads:
In Mary's world there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future-between the one she loves and the one who loves her.

And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
And the number 1 is...
From Goodreads:
A haunting and powerful collection of stories from one of America's finest writers, with a new Introduction by Patrick McGrath.
Eerie, unforgettable, and by turns terrifying and hilarious, Shirley Jackson's collection of stories plunges us into a unique, brilliantly etched world where the uncanny lurks in the everyday and where nothing is quite what it seems. In "The Lottery," Jackson's most famous work and one of the greatest—and scariest—stories of the twentieth century, a small town gathers for an annual ritual that culminates in a terrible event. In "The Daemon Lover," a woman waits, then searches, for the man she is to marry that day, only to find that he has disappeared as completely as if he had never existed. In "Trial by Combat," a shy woman confronts her kleptomaniac neighbor, and in "Pillar of Salt," a tourist in New York is gradually paralyzed by a city grown nightmarish. Throughout these twenty-five tales, we move through a variety of emotional landscapes full of loneliness and humor, oddity and cruelty, banality and terror, and searing psychological insight. No reader will come away unaffected.
The only collection to appear during Jackson's lifetime, The Lottery and Other Stories reveals the full breadth and power of this truly original writer.
 And there you have it, my top five "Books That Haunt You." It was difficult to pick a number one from so many good horror books but The Lottery has always stood out to me. I find it even creepier that when it was first published people thought it was based on a real town and wanted to know where so that they could go and watch. The Hunger Games seemed to be based on the same idea which is probably why I liked that series so much.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Today is Friday and you know what that means! Time to visit and discover new blogs. Please leave a comment and let me know if you are a new follower and I will do the same:-)

 This week's question: what are you currently reading?Basically what book is that?

I'm reading Zombies vs Unicorns! 

 Follow My Book Blog Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View.

This week I have a guest blogger who is kicking off my "Fright Knight" feature, Stephen King  related posts. Lone Wolf at Unscripted is reviewing Stephen King's novel IT. I am inviting the Friday Followers to check out her review here and her talented and original, writing here.

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers - What Book is That
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Guest Blogger Review: IT

Let me introduce to you, constant readers, a talented young lady and a very dear friend of mine... Lone Wolf. She's the brains behind my new feature "Fright Knight", Stephen King related posts. She's also responsible for my new tagline (coming soon with my new blog design). We were discussing blogging and books when she told me had just read IT. My heart went aflutter when I realized she is now a Stephen King fan too! I asked her to be a guest reviewer for my blog and after reading her thoughts on IT, she made me want to read it all over again. Below is her review. Be sure to stop by her blog Unscripted  to read some of her original writings too. She's a gem on the web!

 IT by Stephen King
Genre: Adult fiction, horror
Published September 15 1986
Hardcover 1138 pages

From Goodreads:
They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they were grown-up men and women who had gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them could withstand the force that drew them back to Derry, Maine to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name. What was it? Read It and find out...if you dare!
IT awaits the seven with unease, trembling while it feeds. The seven are strong it knows but It does not feel real fear. Why should it? The seven are weak, gone are their childhood days. Forgotten are the Barren's of play and with that hopes rays are dulled. They could be herded down to the faded light, down to where everybody does the dead man float. It enjoys this thought, and with it terror blooms. This time there is no hope because the seven have grown, they haven't any room stored away for imagination, thus no power. IT isn't wrong in its assurance it tells itself. So, it kills on. Twenty-seven years IT has been at rest. Twenty-seven years of refused mayhem and gore, now IT feels a new thing... What is IT? Suddenly, IT knows, IT remembers and It must have; Vengeance. With that need IT calls their watchmen, (Micheal Handlen) and to its own agent of hell: ( Henry Bowers) Stephen King's IT sets free all phantoms fathomed with a no nonsense edge. As IT changes form to breed fear into a small town, your fascination is fueled by a variety of characters and story-lines connected by a common shadow of a traumatic past. IT, takes you in farther with off beat layers of humor; you'll never feel this good laughing in the face of evil. This story is guaranteed to bring out the child in you while mirroring the once chilling, thrilling, and most fulfilling wonders of youth. I invite you to follow these seven children, to share in all their delight and fright... "Won't you join the circle?"

A Lone Wolf  production all credit reserved to Kim Skelton.
Thank you Kim for allowing me the great honor of being your
friend and guest book review author.
To your avid readers:
Happy hunting.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Full Dark, No Stars

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on....

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
Published: November 9 2010
Hardcover 352 pages

From Goodreads:
A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.

The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.

Big Driver
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no problems. But following a last-minute invitation to a book club 60 miles away, she takes a shortcut home with dire consequences.

Fair Extension
Harry Streeter, who is suffering from cancer, decides to make a deal with the devil but, as always, there is a price to pay.

A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson learns more about her husband of over twenty years than she would have liked to know when she stumbles literally upon a box under a worktable in their garage.
 I've been a Stephen King fan since I can remember. Stephen King has gotten back to his roots with Under the Dome and I'm expecting great things with this short story collection.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a fun meme hosted at The Story Siren where we share what books we received this week.

Here's what I got...

Zombies vs Unicorns by Holly Black
Hardcover 432 pages
September 21, 2010

From Goodreads:
It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?
 Another trophy to add to my Carrie Ryan Collection, her short story  Bougainvillea. Can't wait to read this little beauty! I'm also very excited to read Libba Bray's Prom Night. I thoroughly enjoyed Going Bovine and am very curious to see how her zombie tale plays out. Even though I am firmly on Team Zombie, I believe The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn by Diana Peterfreund has definite possibilities. I considered getting this book on the Kindle but would have missed out on the awesome cover, fun fonts, and little zombie and unicorn graphics.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Read A-Likes and Review

 This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.

You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?

There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them?

Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late?

Think fast, Kyle. Time's running out. How did this happen?

In his stunning young-adult debut, Charles Benoit mixes riveting tension with an insightful—and unsettling—portrait of an ordinary teen in a tale that is taut, powerful, and shattering.

High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background—average student, average looks, average dysfunctional family. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer doing outdoor work to pay for it, he stands out like you wouldn’t believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury, who just so happens to be his father’s boss’s daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy—and Tyler’s secret crush. And that sets off a string of events and changes that have Tyler questioning his place in the school, in his family, and in the world.

In Twisted, the acclaimed Laurie Halse Anderson tackles a very controversial subject: what it means to be a man today. Fans and new readers alike will be captured by Tyler’s pitchperfect, funny voice, the surprising narrative arc, and the thoughtful moral dilemmas that are at the heart of all of the author’s award-winning, widely read work.
I decided to write a Read-Alike post about these two books since they were both so similar. Kyle and Tyler are both on the "outside" looking in. They both wish for the attentions of a girl they think they aren't worthy of. They each make decisions that will alter their life in very significant ways. Kyle is a hoodie. He tries to give the impression he doesn't care about much including grades and what his teachers think of him. He scoots through life attempting to be invisible except to the girl he cares about most. What's most interesting about this story is that it is written in second person point of view. It's as if you are the one going through the life of Kyle and experiencing his life firsthand. The other interesting aspect of You is the beginning starts out with the ending. The reader learns right from the start how this is all going to end...tragically. I like to read books that have unconventional methods and this one didn't disappoint. I will say that the hype about this book didn't exactly live up to my expectations though. It was still a good example of how difficult it is to fit in and that high school isn't a positive experience for everyone. I would have liked to have seen Kyle's relationship with his family explored a little more though. Twisted, on the other hand, did demonstrate the family dynamics in a much more in depth way. Tyler didn't fit in at school either but not for the same reasons as Kyle. Kyle had his fellow hoodies to commiserate with while Tyler was a loner until the change in his physical appearance attracted the attentions of the most popular girl in school, Bethany. Bethany wouldn't have given Tyler a second look until he shows up at school his senior year tan and muscular from the all the physical labor over the summer. He also gained bad boy status when he committed a crime and had to serve probation. Gaining the attentions of Bethany started a chain of events that would result in Tyler having to make very drastic decisions about how he wanted to live his life and what it means to be a man. As I mentioned earlier, Tyler's relationship with his family was very central to the story. They weren't unlike many families who do the best they can and sometimes make mistakes in the process. I am giving twisted a 5 star rating. I really felt like the author had a good handle on the emotions of all of the characters and really felt their struggles and pain. I'm giving You four stars because I had a more difficult time getting to know the characters on an emotional level. And finally, I would like to add that Laurie Halse Anderson has become another favorite author of mine. The next book I would like to read of her's is Wintergirls...a story of grief, guilt, and the devastating effects of anorexia.
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