Friday, November 30, 2012

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Friday, November 30, 2012 with 2 comments

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued. 

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

I honestly didn't know what to expect when I started this one, but I am glad that I did! This was a super quick read, which I'm sure I could have finished in one sitting if not for work. I usually find myself annoyed with many of the female protagonists in YA novels today, but Ari was totally cool and down-to-earth. Sure, she kind of falls too hard too quickly for this guy Sebastian that she barely meets, but at least she admits it to herself. Plus, how many YA characters work as bail bondsmen?

But I really think what I loved most about the story was the setting of New 2, which is basically a New New Orleans. Especially the Garden District, which is filled with big old houses that are covered in overgrown vines - it just sounds beautiful! Ari stays in an abandoned mansion in the Garden District with a young girl named Crank, who had given her a ride across the New 2 border. Other boarders of the house include an energetic boy named Dub, an adorable little fanged gothic girl named Violet (and her white pet alligator), an older boy named Henri, and a cute boy with dark red lips named Sebastian. I found myself liking them all!

I know that more and more YA novels are starting to incorporate Greek mythology into their plots, but so far this is the first one I've read. I don't want to give to much away, but there's a small clue in the cover that hints to the myth this book is based on.... I have to say that it was a great choice by Ms. Keaton - it made the story really entertaining, and kept me wanting more! The mystery and culture of New New Orleans was also very intriguing, though I did get the feeling like it was Mardi Gras almost 24/7 there....but maybe it was just me.

At any rate, the story moved quickly, there was lots of action, and the romance wasn't at all "in-your-face" and didn't devour the plot in any way. It hasn't made it's way to my "favorites" pile, but I'm glad I took the time to read it. I've already started reading the sequel, A Beautiful Evil, which looks like it'll be a good, quick read as well!


Follow Friday, or Feature & Follow, is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The premise is for bloggers to get to know more about other bloggers, and to keep in touch with each other while also discovering new blogs. This week's question:

Activity! Who is your to-die-for book crush? What do you think they look like? Add an image to make us all happy.

This is a hard one....I just have so many. I think I'm gonna have to go with Poe (a.k.a James Orcutt) from the Secret Society Girl novels by Diana Peterfreund. At the beginning of the series he comes across as a bit of an asshole, but then you get to know him and he's just so sweet. But the main thing is that he comes across as real person with actual flaws, and isn't made out to be an impossibly perfect guy like you find in so many other YA novels lately. 

It's hard to pick a look-alike because I already have a set image of him in my mind. I think if I had to pick out someone who I think would look like him, I would say maybe Michael Trevino (he plays Tyler Lockwood on The Vampire Diaries). But with his hair shaved shorter.

This is the only actor I can think of that comes even close to looking like the Poe I picture in my mind, even though he's still a bit off. But, yeah. Just shorter hair!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Semi-Charmed Winter 2012 Book Challenge

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 with 1 comment

I can't believe I did not see this challenge earlier! Semi-Charmed hosts challenges that are sort of like reading scavenger hunts, and they seem like a lot of fun, so I decided to join! This particular challenge runs from November 1, 2012 to January 31, 2013. I missed the kick-off day by almost two weeks, but this just means that I'll have to push myself harder to finish! 

Really, this is more of a personal challenge than actually aiming to win - I've been in a bit of a reading slump thanks to moving to the middle of nowhere (Hello, Tonopah, NV!) and having to find a paying job. I just want to see how many books I can read with the help of this challenge. For those of you who are curious, the rules can be found HERE.

Here's my goal reading list (subject to change), let's see how many of these I can knock out:

5 points: Read a book by an author you haven't read before:
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
5 points: A book you have at home but haven't read yet:
The Silver Kiss by Annette Kurtis Claus
10 points: A book written in the decade you were born:
Double Love by Francine Pascal (1980s)
10 points: A book that takes place in your home state:
From Ashes by Molly McAdams (Texas)
15 points: The _____'s daughter/wife: 
The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy
15 points: Originally written in another language:
Apocalypse Z: The Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro (Translated from Spanish by Pamela Carmell)
20 points: A book with a number in the title: 
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
20 points: A book set during Christmas or other winter holiday:
Decked With Holly by Marni Bates
20 points: Author with the same initials as me:
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton (KK)
25 points: Pulitzer Prize winner or finalist:
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
25 points: Re-read a book:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
(My sister is reading this for the first time, so I'll read it along with her)
30 points: 3 books from 3 different genres:
Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (YA - Sci-Fi/Dystopia)
A Purrfect Match by Chris T. Kat (Adult - M/M)
Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Children's - Dark Fantasy)

Friday, November 09, 2012

Follow Friday | 08

Friday, November 09, 2012 with 6 comments
Follow Friday, or Feature & Follow, is a meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The premise is for bloggers to get to know more about other bloggers, and to keep in touch with each other while also discovering new blogs. This week's question:

Do you mind books with similar ideas to other books? Similar concepts, backgrounds, retellings or pulled-to-publish fan-fic?

Not at all! Nowadays, it's nearly impossible to find something that is truly original, so my choices would be very limited if I did mind it. But in my opinion, if I really like a certain book, then I usually end up wanting more. In those instances, finding similar books can be rewarding.

As for retellings - I absolutely adore them! Especially if they are re-tellings of fairy tales. I find them fun to read. I'm still new to fanfiction though, so I haven't formed many opinions on it. There once was a time when I refused to read it because I believed that the original author's words should be set in stone and not re-written by teenage daydreamers, but now I'm slowly opening up to it. I'll only read Harry Potter fanfics, though.....and yes, I am extremely picky. For me, a fic must be well-written, and the characters must stay true to their personalities in the books (and no cross-overs or alternate universes). I also prefer lengthy fics. I would love any recs, as I've only read a small few (I said I was new to it!)