Monthly Archives: October 2010

Kiss Me Deadly (Anthology) Part 2

Telep, Trisha (Editor). Kiss Me Deadly (2010). 430 Pages. RunningPress. $9.95

Review: Part 2 (Part 1, Part 3)

Because I have so very much to say about all of the stories in this anthology, I’ve opted to break it into parts. You can find Part 1 here, though, in short, I’ll say that Diana Peterfreund’s “Errant” is excellent. I’ve been slowly enjoying the next few stories, and I figure four is enough for another post. I hadn’t heard of any of these authors before reading this anthology, but I’ll be finding more works by a few of them after this.

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Filed under Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Historical Romance, Horror, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Jane

Lindner, April. Jane (2010).367 Pages. Poppy. $17.99

There are two distinct groups, it seems; the Jane-ites or the Bronte-ites. It is difficult to be a part of both groups, (but not impossible) because while Jane Austen wrote romances and social satire, the Brontes wrote melodramas, your classic Gothic novels, and people frequently like one or the other. I am more familiar with Jane Austen than Charlotte Bronte, and I’m sure it’s obvious why; I prefer light, fluffy romances to dark, brooding dramas. This is not always the case, however, and it is not unheard of for me to pick up a “serious” novel.

Because it is October 6th, and the book is not published until October 11th, you will have to click “more” to read the rest of the review. I will say that it was a very good book, and I had trouble putting it down long enough to go to work. If you like retold classics, then you will likely enjoy this Jane Eyre reinterpretation.

(There may be spoilers if you are unfamiliar with Jane Eyre, so proceed with caution.) Continue reading

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Filed under Adult Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Mystery & Suspense, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Shiver

Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver (2009). 390 Pages. Scholastic. $9.99

Despite reading about this book in many blogs, and having several friends recommend it, I didn’t pick this book up for a long time. In fact, it took until I was standing in Borders, staring at it (and Linger) on the shelf before me for me to pick it up. When I flipped through a few pages, and noticed that the text was blue, and the paper a true white, I was sold.

I find unusual bindings, or printings, to be completely fascinating. I love when authors and publishers work outside of the box a little bit, and play with a well-established medium. (Within reason– it still has to be readable.) That is part of why I love Alice in Wonderland— things like the Mouse’s Tail, and other such playful printing.

I was hopeful, especially since I had just read Maggie Stiefvater’s “The Hounds of Ulster” in Kiss Me Deadly and had enjoyed it. She manages to use pretty language without going over the top, and it feels like she does get teenage emotions.

Anyway, Shiver is about Grace and Sam, and what happens when they are finally together. Grace has been obsessed with wolf!Sam since he saved her from a wolf attack. Sam has been obsessed with Grace since the same day. But they could not be together– he was a wolf, and she was a human. When he was human (in the summer) he could not find her because he did not know who she was, and because he could not reveal that he was her wolf. So Grace and Sam love each other from afar.

The story is set in motion by a wolf attack; a local high schooler is killed, and his father has enough money to get the town motivated to exterminate the menace. Grace is distraught, and rushes out to the woods to try to save the wolves she has grown to love. Except that she does not really succeed in doing anything. She is escorted home, which is where she finds Sam, naked, and wounded, curled up on her back porch.

It does not take very long for Grace to figure out that this is her wolf– Sam. His grasp on his humanity is tenuous at best, because the wolf-change is caused by cold, and it is wintertime in Minnesota. Grace and Sam cling to each other, desperate to spend every moment together until he loses his ability to stay human. Sam knows that this is his last winter, that when spring comes, he will not be human again, and he wants to spend as much time as  he can with Grace.

Things cannot be that simple though, and there is a lot more going on. Grace’s parents are self-absorbed and negligent. Grace’s friends and classmates are difficult. And there are two very, very dangerous wolves in the woods. Sam has to deal with feelings of ineffectiveness, because when human, he lacks many of his wolf strengths, and Grace finishes growing up, and even calls her mother on her neglect at one point.

I had some reservations– boy and girl are in love but cannot be together. Boy and Girl are different, girl is human, boy is werewolf. Boy and Girl sleep in the same bed, but do not give in to hormones and have sex… for a while*. Boy and Girl are a little obsessed with each other. I mean, a lot of this sounds like Twilight, and in a weird way, it is similar. The overall obsessive tone was a lot less disturbing here, in part because there was a sort of explanation– he’d saved her life.

In Conclusion:

The writing grabbed me; it was fluid, lovely, poignant. Their love was the center of everything, and it was interesting seeing it grow from a distant love to a real, I’ll do anything for you sort of love. I feel like the emotions in the book could have been too advanced for high schoolers, except that neither of them were truly their age. Grace and Sam had both had to grow up far too fast, and had a lot more maturity than other kids their age, and that worked. It could have been obsessive, and a bit creepy– there was a fine line, and I feel like it managed to stay on the good side. This book scores a 5/5, because it manages to be all about Sam and Grace, without being just Sam and Grace.

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* They give in on P. 294, but it’s one of those quiet “we got naked and then… CUT” sorts of scenes that seems to flourish in Y.A. fiction. I think if I suddenly had a gorgeous guy that I had loved for six years in my bed, we would not wait weeks. But that’s just me.

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Filed under Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

Sneak-Peek

There are two different blogger memes that I’ve noticed recently, – Alita.Reads participates in Mailbox Monday (started by Marcia at The Printed Page, and hosted for October by Avis at She Reads and Reads) and Chachic participates in In My Mailbox (hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren)*

The sentiment of both is the same; take a moment to consider the books you’ve received or bought during the past week. I hear it can be hard to participate, because you inevitably get sucked into other people’s lists, and you end up really wanting a lot more books.

I’m modifying both (a little) and not participating in a pure way. I’ve got some upcoming reviews, and I went and got a few more books.

Today, for example, I received April Lindner’s Jane from the ladies at LitSnit. I couldn’t help reading a bit of it already (despite the fact that I have forbidden myself to start any new books until I complete reviews for all the books I have recently finished). I also got a nifty gift-card for Borders from someone, and couldn’t help spending it (and then some) picking up The Eternal Kiss anthology and Diana Peterfreund’s Rampant. I also grabbed Gail Carriger’s Changeless, though I’ve gotten the impression from some reviews/discussion that I may not like some upcoming plot**.

I am working on coming to a solid opinion on Kiss Me Deadly, because it was mostly very, very good, but there were a few that left me unsure of how I felt.

I was going to get Linger today, but I am not sure I want to read it because I have a) heard rumors of a cliffhanger, and I loathe those, and b) am of the opinion that there is going to be an awful lot of upcoming angst. I hate moping. It’s unproductive and frustrating to read.

Regardless, I’ll be giving these a try.

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* There seem to be an awful lot of female book bloggers. Is that just because females are more likely to read the same genres as me, or is it really because there are more female bloggers than male?

** I am not a fan of marital angst. Beware, here be spoilers: nor am I a fan of things which are stupidly easy to predict. As soon as I heard that she was kicked out, I went “oh, she’s pregnant, and he forgot that she makes him human, so he thinks it can’t be his” which is stupid, because he was so smart in the first one that it’s hard to reconcile. I’m getting mixed reviews on the second and third books, and wonder if I should leave it alone at book 1 instead of risking more. End spoiler, highlight to read. I apologize to anyone who may inadvertently see this anyway.

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Giveaway (The Winners Are…)

I have to admit, I’ve been pretty excited, waiting to find out who won. I spent a few minutes tallying everything, ensuring that I had counted everything I could. Ultimately, because of the way the drawing came out, and the amount of interest, I’m giving prizes to the top three from my drawing. Congratulations to:

Carol Wong (who gets a Mystery Book)

Erin of LitSnit (who gets Mystery Book #3) and

Jenny of Jenny’s Books (who gets a book from the Book Depository)

I entered everyone in a random.org list (not .com as I first said, whoops) and had it generate a list for me. The top three get prizes. I’ll be emailing you shortly.

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