About

I live in New York City and I'm surrounded by books all day and when I go home I have more books waiting for me. Read my "About" page on top to see what I mean. I just want to share my book experiences and my love of all-things-books, with hopefully the occasional review thrown in. If you wish to contact me, the address is polishoutlanderATgmailDOTcom

Quickies

Been a bit quiet here on my end, so here’s what I’ve been reading recently, aside from the books that I’m working on that we’re publishing in Fall, Winter, and yes…Spring 2011! ::thud:: Oh, and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo! Aaaaaaalmost done with that. Book club is tomorrow….but anyway, back to other books:

Cinderella–whose real name is Danielle Whiteshore (nee Danielle de Glas)–does marry Prince Armand.  And if you can ignore the pigeon incident, their wedding is a dream come true. But not long after the “happily ever after,” Danielle is attacked by her stepsister Charlotte, who suddenly has all sorts of magic to call upon.  And though Talia–otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty–comes to the rescue (she’s a martial arts master, and all those fairy blessings make her almost unbeatable), Charlotte gets away. That’s when Danielle discovers a number of disturbing facts: Armand has been kidnapped and taken to the realm of the Fairies; Danielle is pregnant with his child; and the Queen has her own very secret service that consists of Talia and Snow (White, of course).  Snow is an expert at mirror magic and heavy duty flirting. Can the three princesses track down Armand and extract both the prince and themselves from the clutches of some of fantasyland’s most nefarious villains?

This book was more fun to read than I expected. I had previously bought The Mermaid’s Madness not knowing there was a book before it. I read this back in May from the library, and to be honest, I don’t think I would have read this type of book a few years ago. I’ve been trying to branch out in different genres and I am particular about my fantasy books. But this one was a hoot! Never a dull moment with these three gals. There was romance! There was danger! There was a troll! There was intrigue! There was kick-ass chicks running the show! I am always open to fairy tale retellings, but this one had sass! Well done Mr. Hines, well done! I love the cover too and if there were a tv movie or series, I would totally watch it. Mermaid’s Madness here I come…..once I get through some other books.

Bess Southerns, an impoverished widow living in Pendle Forest, is haunted by visions and gains a reputation as a cunning woman. Drawing on the Catholic folk magic of her youth, Bess heals the sick and foretells the future. As she ages, she instructs her granddaughter, Alizon, in her craft, as well as her best friend, who ultimately turns to dark magic. When a peddler suffers a stroke after exchanging harsh words with Alizon, a local magistrate, eager to make his name as a witch finder, plays neighbors and family members against one another until suspicion and paranoia reach frenzied heights.  Sharratt interweaves well-researched historical details of the 1612 Pendle witch-hunt with a beautifully imagined story of strong women, family, and betrayal.

I’ve always been fascinated by witch-hunt books. And it was interesting to read about one that was not about the Salem Witch Trials. You need some variety sometimes! I hadn’t read the author’s previous book. This one was a bit slow at times, but it was understandable. It was like reading a study of a community and a family, and to see how much influence a person can have and how quickly that influence can be taken away with just a few stray words. People are always looking for someone to blame for their troubles and this incident was no different. However, part of me did think, “Well, what if Bess truly does have some special gift?” At the end, I guess you had to figure that out yourself.

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life? Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High – from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.  Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death – and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

I normally don’t review or comment on children’s or YA books, since it would be a conflict of interest for me, unless it was a much, much older book from a while back. But I will make an exception this time. Because you know what? I’m a reader darn it! I was weary of this book. I’m always weary of hyped-up books. But then sometimes I do cave and read to see what all the hubbub is about. So what made me finally pick this up? Well, that would be Misty’s review. I took this with me when I went to ALA, and when I met Misty, I did confess that I was enjoying it thus far. And then I booktalked it at one of my staff meetings recently. And yes, I did enjoy it. At first, Samantha was just one annoying little brat, but by the end, the story was heartbreaking, but in a good way. So there you have it. I liked it!

SPOILER ALERT! DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON! SPOILER ALERT!

Elena Gilbert is alive – again. When Elena sacrificed herself to save the two vampire brothers who love her – the handsome, brooding Stefan and the sleek and dangerous Damon – she was consigned to a fate beyond death. Until a powerful supernatural force pulled her back. Now Elena is not just human. She has powers and gifts that were bestowed on her in the afterlife. What’s more, her blood pulses with an overwhelming and unique force that makes her irresistible to any vampire. Stefan wants to find a way to keep Elena safe so that they can make a life together. Damon, however, is driven by an insatiable desire for power, and wants Elena to rule as his princess. When Stefan is lured away from Fell’s Church, Damon seizes his chance to convince her that he is the brother she is meant to be with. . . .  But a darkness is infiltrating the town, and Damon, always the hunter, is now the hunted; he becomes the prey of a malevolent creature that can possess him at will, and who desires not just Elena’s blood but her death.

You know what? I didn’t even finish this one. I gave up around page 150. I just couldn’t take it. I felt like I was reading something different; I truly enjoyed the original four books. The story was just not jiving with me. And Stefan constantly calling Elena “Love” drove me nuts! I didn’t think this book series needed another set of stories. Granted, there is the opportunity for it, seeing as how the original four ended. Just let laying dogs lie (is that the proper use of those words? Lie, Lay, Lied, Laid…). So sadly, I think this marks my journey’s end in the reading challenge. Well at least this first phase. I’m happy to continue reading Ms. Smith’s other works in the upcoming challenges.  I’ve read the first Nightworld omnibus and have the other two waiting to be read. In the meantime, I’ll just keep watching this:

7 comments to Quickies

  • Book 1 – darn you, I need to look for this series now. (Is it graphic novel? It looks graphic novelly.)

    Book 2 – darn you, I need to look for this book now! I love me some witch-hunting books. (Not witch-hunting itself though. I like the witch parts.)

    Book 3 – I won this at the Teen Author Carnival when I was in NYC! I haven’t read it yet because it looks emotional and I need to be in the right head space for emotion. But maybe I’ll pick it up next month.

    Book 4 – Never read the Vampire Diaries when I was a kid. I was all about the Secret Circle trilogy which I still own my original books of. I re-read them every second summer or so. Never cared about the vampires so I have still stayed away from the series. Tried Night World, gave up on the first book in the 3-in-one omnibus. Blech. But I DO love Heart of Valour and Night of the Solstice. And I did like Dark Visions.

    True stories.

  • PolishOutlander

    It’s not a graphic novel, although part of me wishes it was because I think it’d be more fun to read that way!

  • =D
    You are a reader, and you are absolutely entitled to your opinion (and to expressing it); anyone says otherwise, you send them my way. I’ll tell ‘em. ;p
    And it IS heartbreaking in a good way. That’s a great way to put it.

  • I’ve had The Stepsister Scheme on my to-read list forEVER and my library doesn’t have it. I never remember to look for it at the bookstore. But it just looks so good!

    I do want to read Daughters of the Witching Hill too.

    I’m avoiding Before I Fall. I just don’t do realistic YA, and that’s what I’m thinking this is, right or wrong. I keep coming across good reviews though, so I might not be able to hold out much longer!

    Bring on your YA commentary!

  • Looks like the bookstore near me has The Stepsister Scheme in stock – and I just noticed there are more in the series! Red Hood’s Revenge just came out this month! Since my library does not have it (and will not accept requests to order books – at least not English ones) these shall sit on my wishlist until Christmas when I get gift cards and I think I might get the entire series. ;) Or when we’re both employed again I’ll buy book one and if I like it I’ll buy 2 and 3 at Christmas.
    You didn’t really need to know all of that, I was working out in my head by writing this comment. ha!

  • i like the sass you mention in The Stepsister Scheme. on my tbr list.

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