Interview & Giveaway with Lindsey Leavitt (11 Books!)

~~The BIO~~

Lindsey Leavitt is a former elementary school teacher and present-day writer/mom to three (mostly) adorable little girls. She is married to her high-school lab partner and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is the author of the PRINCESS FOR HIRE series and SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD.

She also feels weird writing about herself in third person.

You can find her at


1) Did you come up with the whole magic system for Princess for Hire while you wrote the first book, and how did you come up with the rules (is there more you need to think about)?

I hammered out most of the rules for the Facade agency while revising the first book, and it's been very helpful as I write the next books to have that in place. That said, there are still things that happen that surprise me, and I have to make sure those plot twists still fit into the rules I set. I have notebooks filled with the world building, and I also had a very meticulous editor who helped me with the details. I wanted the rules to be believable, yet a little silly and tongue-in-cheek. The beauty of magic is it's easy to mix in both.

2) What happens when subs (Princess Substitutes) that are permanently attached to a royal become agents?

Okay, I shall try to answer without saying too much (and this might be a little spoilery/confusing if you aren't familiar with either P4H book) There are multiple divisions at Facade, and although many employees start off as subs, they often change fields as adults. Other subs stay subs always. If there is a career change for a long-term sub (or Match), then another Match can be found.

3) A lot of people go to Las Vegas for vacation, but since you live there where do you go and what do you do?

I'm your average suburban mom, so I my day to day life is parks and carpools and ballet and Target. I'm a homebody (helpful for a writer), but I also love to be outside so I swim with my girls all summer and much of spring. There's great shopping, but mostly and I love going to all the awesome places to eat here. Last week we went to a sixty-year-old steakhouse and sat in John Wayne's favorite booth. Love the unique history.

4) Can you tell me more about this prom at a casino thing cause that's a really neat place for prom?

Ha! Yes, in Vegas, we often did much more than the actual dance for Prom. Many couples go to a show on the strip, dinner, quick trip to the dance. Also might take an obligatory limo ride down the strip, or a party in the hotel suites (which sounds like debauchery, and sometimes it is, but our Prom hotel involved ice cream sundaes and a Mel Gibson movie. Wildness!) I went to junior Prom with my now hubby, wore a white dress, and when we walked through some of the casinos, people clapped. One lady in an elevator even told us we were "too young to get married".

~~The BOOK~~

Desi Bascomb's job as a princess substitute has gotten a whole lot more glamorous now that she's advanced to Level 2 within the Facade Agency. Magical make-up, roller-skating celebrities, and the chance to see Prince Karl again are just some of the major perks. Not to mention, she's landed the role of Fairy Queen in her school's production of Midsummer's Night Dream (opposite her best friend's crush. Which is a little weird, but at least he wears a donkey head during their kissing scene). Life should be perfect, but Desi can't seem to shake the feeling that there is more going on with the agency's magic than she's told. Like why is this mind-bending power exclusive to royals? Is it possible that there could be a bigger way to make an impact in both parts of her life?

I really liked this book so check out my review ^.^ I also reviewed the first one: Princess for Hire.


The PRIZE? 1 of 10 finished copies of Princess for Hire

OR if you've read Princess for Hire, You can win 1 of 1 copies of The Royal Treatment ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy).

1) You must be over 13 to enter.
2) Fill out the form to win
3) Open to US residents only
4) Giveaway is open until May 10, 2011 (11:59 PM PST)
4) Bonus entries for posting about The Royal Treatment or Princess for Hire (can be a Waiting on Wednesday, Cover Crazy kind of post) or commenting on this interview.
5) I am not responsible for shipping the books (publisher shall be doing the shipping) or for loss or damage during shipment of the books. (I really hope this doesn't happen)


Review: Wintergirls

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lia is alive, but just barely. Her former best friend, Cassie, has died, and Lia is not far behind her because well she has anorexia. No one around her understands her need to not eat, and no one sees how easily she pretends that she does. It would be nice to just not have to deal with any of it anymore.

In one word, this book was intense. I thought it was an excellent portrayal of what goes on in the mind of someone who is anorexic. Having been through a less extreme case of this, I empathized very deeply with what Lia was going through in this book, and this is a big part of why I found this book so

While this seems like a diary, it is really written more as a stream of Lia's thoughts as she battles with the need to eat and the fear eating. I can see how this style of writing may be off-putting for some, but I think it emphasized the war raging inside Lia's head.

Lia comes off as pushing away all those who want to help her, but at least from my perspective, it seemed more a sign of anger because those closest to her were so easy to fool. That may be me projecting, but hey, that's how I read the book.

This book may be triggering for those who are anorexic/bulimic so I don't recommend any sufferers read this book, but for those who are recovered it's a strong reminder of how far we've come. For those who are not sufferers, you should read it to better understand anorexia (especially for anyone dealing with someone close who has anorexia). It may not really offer solutions, but it definitely gives you an intimate glimpse of the warning signs of anorexia.

Star Rating: 4.5/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Wintergirls at Amazon

Review: The Survivors by Amanda Havard

The Survivors by Amanda Havard

Copy Courtesy of Amanda Havard
Already Published

The Survivors are the only ones left of a group of children who were accused of being witches in the Salem Witch trials. Their fate was banishment to the unforgiving wilderness rather than executions, and these fourteen have survived since then. Sadie, is a descendant of the original fourteen, and she is the first to leave their compound in search of what the wider world has to offer.

This is possibly the first book in a long time which dealt with Christianity where I thought that part of the story was interesting, and that came as a pleasant surprise. So, my overall tepid feeling about the book didn't come from that quarter as it might for many other books.

A big part of the problem was that I didn't find the mystery of Sadie to be all that mysterious. From the beginning of the book, I kept thinking to myself "You claim that Sadie is immortal, how does she know that?" The answer to that question is apparently a big mystery, which I thought was unnecessary because there can really only be a few answers that make any sense.

I also got thrown out of the story by some inconsistencies, which while some readers may not notice, I noticed. I consider myself to not be that great at catching inconsistencies within a story; I'm much more of a find misalignment with reality kind of person so I was dismayed to be finding the internal ones.

Click for spoiler

One of the inconsistencies is a scene of attraction stated as "heat could be felt coming off him" or something like that. The problem is, these supernatural beings are supposed to be whatever temperature their surroundings are. They essentially can't generate their own heat... so using a phrase like that while the characters are sitting around in a cool night makes no sense to me.

I also didn't care for the fact that the rise of vampirism was from people having children out of wedlock. That sort of mythology just rubbed me all sorts of the wrong way.

I think if the story flow had been changed, I might have liked this book better since the writing itself is not bad.

Star Rating: 2.5/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for The Survivors at Amazon

Third Sentence Thursday (#22)

Third Sentence Thursday
Grab the Code

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme which waits with bated breath for third sentences from all over the world!

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence here (in the comments) or if you don't have a blog, just post it in the comments!

"The sky sagged cold and wan, coughing splatters of phlegmatic sunlight onto the grey and empty farms." - Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

What a dreary way to start the book o_0 The personification of the sky as a dying person is quite vivid. Granted this is taking place in Russia during the heyday of communism there so... I suppose she has a right to be writing a dreary sentence right then. I'm really excited for the Russian folklore aspects of this book along with the splendidly twisted writing that I've come to expect from Valente.

An Explanation of Sorts

I've been a tad busy over the last week (1 assignment, 1 midterm, 2 projects, 1 Blogger Social, 1 Easter) so I haven't been able to post much at all. I hope you guys still love me *makes puppy eyes*. Hopefully I can get back to posting some things soon >.>

I have actually been pretty busy since coming back from spring break at the beginning of the month but I had managed to build up a small queue of reviews which I reached the end of last Tuesday. Thus, the sad lack of posting this past week has brought although I did manage to bring to your attention the Apocalypsies site AND got Third Sentence Thursday up in time ^.^

Nevertheless, the rest of the quarter is also going to be busy (more projects, assignments, tests T_T), so if I'm a bit spotty at times. I beg you not to throw rotten eggs at the house. I shall be back shortly if not for huge spans of time at a time.

I think I promised to talk a bit about what I've been doing. So anyway, for those of you who care, I'm taking 3 courses this quarter: Operating Systems, Data and Communication, and Compiler Design.

The Compiler Design course is pretty time consuming in terms of its projects. I'm liking it though ^.^ Basically I'm writing my own compiler... which will compile code for a practice language that the professor made up.

Operating Systems is also pretty interesting as it goes into a lot of the decisions that go into writing an OS. The professor is pretty good for this class so yay!

The last one I haven't been spending as much time on although it's basically talking about how networks/networking works. I really need to catch up on my reading in this course heh.

In other news, I managed to start learning Java again although I had to stop and work on the projects for school. Hopefully this means I will be able to write some small things in it soon ^.^

Edit: Oh, I also wanted to share this article on how math is within reach of everyone. It might be especially of interest to any parents who are looking for a system to get their kids started on the maths~~

Interview at The Gatekeepers Post

I was contacted by The Gatekeepers Post which is apparently the leading social media book publishing community on the web.

I was asked some questions pertaining to books and what my tastes are, and my responses are posted over there today. If you're interested, you can go take a look.

*sinking suspicion about the post though as I don't really write in-depth reviews so much as short reviews >.>*

2012 Debuts (Yes I Do Mean Next Year)

So I know we're barely even a third of the way through 2011, but I just wanted to point you towards the website for YA/MG 2012 debut authors who have termed themselves the Apocalypsies. I got to meet a few of the authors today, and they're all really nice people (Talia Vance, Katy Longshore, and Corrine Jackson) so start making your lists for next year ^.^

Third Sentence Thursday (#21)

Third Sentence Thursday
Grab the Code

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme that flaunts its elite third sentence status!

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence here (in the comments) or if you don't have a blog, just post it in the comments!

"Leaving would imply suitcases and empty drawers, and late birthday cards with ten-dollar bills stuffed inside." -The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

If you were leaving your family behind, this would certainly seem like what would happen. I pity the person who is being left behind. I hope it doesn't happen to many people, but it's sad that it happens to anyone at all.

Review: The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles #1)

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

This is the story of Kvothe who was a very bright and talented child. When an arcanist joined up with his parents' troupe, he discovers what he wants in life may lie in the learning of magic at the University. Follow this extraordinary journey through the backwaters, the deep forests, and big cities.

When you first read the summary, you may think that this is a typical epic fantasy. In some ways, I have to admit, this is (there's lots of stew), but what Rothfuss brings to the table in this book is an absolutely great sense of humor and superb writing.

This is a tale of an unapologetic hero in the making who has an incredible habit of getting himself into trouble and making you laugh along the way. The pacing is perfect, the characters are perfect (minor exception of a female love interest who I really hated) , the plot is well an epic fantasy, and the frame of the story is perfect. You will finish this book saying "That, my friends, was storytelling."

In short, this was one of my favorite books of all time (I think this says a lot as the number of absolute favorites stands at about 30? out of the over 1400 books I've read). This book makes epic fantasy worth your time.

Star Rating: 5.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Name of the Wind at Amazon

Contents of the Mailbox (Apr 18)

In My Mailbox (and its similarly named titles) is hosted by The Story Siren

This is a bit late, but hey better late than never! I was really busy this weekend and was barely at home so post is up today instead ^.^ This post covers the last 3-ish weeks and I am only featuring review books and some swag received.

Books for Review

Future Imperfect by K. Byer Reese
"Ade Patience can see the future and it's destroying his life. When the seventeen-year-old Mantlo High School student knocks himself unconscious, he can see days and decades into his own future."

The Uncertain Places by Lisa Goldstein
"An ages-old family secret breaches the boundaries between reality and magic in this fresh retelling of a classic fairy tale. When Berkeley student Will Taylor is introduced to the mysterious Feierabend sisters, he quickly falls for enigmatic Livvy, a chemistry major and accomplished chef."

Shadow Raiders: Book 1 of the Dragon Brigade by Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes
"The known world floats upon the Breath of God, a thick gas similar to Earth's oceans, with land masses accessible by airship. The largest of these land masses are ruled by the rival empires of Freya and Rosia."

Swag Received

Signed Bookmarks: Illegal by Bettina Restrepo (already reviewed)
Bookmark and Stickers: Class of 2k11 (2011 Debut Author group)
Postcards: Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane

Note: Blurbs are taken from Goodreads

Review: Incarceron (Incarceron #1) by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Finn lives inside Incarceron, which is a prison that is alive and watches the inmates within. Even though escape is supposed to be impossible, Finn is trying to escape. There is also Claudia, she is the daughter of the Warden of Incareceron, and betrothed to the prince and heir to the realm. She has dreaded this union ever since the other prince and heir died in a tragic accident.

This story had a lot of intriguing parts to it, but the individual pieces didn't fit together all that well. The story itself was pretty predictable, which definitely undermined the novelty of the story concept. There is also a dystopian element to this story although it isn't as compelling as some of the other dystopians out right now particularly because it really wasn't the main part of the story.

The personification of the prison was creepy in a good way and is perhaps one of the best aspects of the book. We get to see some parts of the prison and how a diverse culture has been built up within its walls, which I can definitely see the thought put into it, although there isn't a whole lot of depth to the different groups. I also thought the characters were somewhat shallow (not vanity more in a character development sense) because I couldn't sympathize with them much.

Incarceron is an interesting read, but the problem may be that it's trying to attack too many moving targets at once. The outcome is a book which I don't want to stop reading, but feels lacking in depth..

Star Rating: 3.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Incarceron at Amazon

Thoughts on Review Policy Changes

from Flying Buttress Blog

As I've spent more time in the book blogging community, I have found the need to amend my review policy as circumstances changed and I learned more (<- was a noob).

At the beginning, I had more time (school is a soul, I mean time sucking monster) so I could have a really short turnaround time on reviewing books (there were also fewer requests). My turnaround time is now in the 4-5 week range and is only looking to get longer. (<- optimism right there)

Other changes I've needed to make include specifically stating which genres I absolutely won't read because it does no good for any of the parties involved if I waste time reading a book I know I have a high chance of hating and adding information on what I will participate in (and under what circumstances). I've also been adding some information as to what exceptions I am willing to make although I don't think anyone has taken advantage of the loopholes therein yet. (<- is how a law system 10 miles high of paper started)

I've been thinking about my no self-published policy lately because I had a request that came in from a self-published author which specifically noted that I don't take self-pub requests but that this manuscript had been through a professional editor, was short, and fit one of the main genres I enjoy reading. I accepted this request mostly because this author had actually taken the time to read my policy, noted that they had, and addressed my underlying concern that there was no professional editing (the fact that it was short and in a genre I enjoy reading helped too).

In light of this, I'm considering amending my policy with an addendum about how a self-published book could in fact be considered for review instead of outright rejected, but considering the number of self-pub requests I receive despite stating that I won't accept them... I think this might be a useless exercise on my part.(I think the OCD part of me wouldn't mind the completeness though >.>)

What do you guys think? amend? don't amend? Also, do you guys find yourselves changing your policy often (when, why)?

Easter Hoppin Blog Hop April 15-17

Easter Hoppin Blog Hop

I'm not much for celebrating Easter, but I do like the candy that accompanies it (incidentally not the Peeps). Anyway! I hope you have fun next week doing whatever you are going to do next week ^.^

So, I had a giveaway lined up but the person providing the swag hasn't been responsive, and I don't want the winners to be prize-less because the person changed their mind or something like that, so I'm not participating. I am very sorry about this >.<

But do visit the other blogs!

Book Blog Hop and Follow Friday (Apr 15)

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome from Book Blog Hop hosted by Crazy for Books and Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee!>

Question to Come!

Do you have anyone that you can discuss books with IRL? Tell us about him/her.

I have a few people that I can discuss books with IRL so I guess I am kind of lucky in that respect although most of them don't chew through as many books as I do so it's hard to get recommendations heh~~

I've got one friend who I will read anything on recommendation on the fact that she's never given a bad recommendation so I guess it's no surprise that our compatibility rating on goodreads is like 75%.

Another friend I spend a lot of time working out things on bookswap with since we both love owning books and well sending our books off to other people. ^.^ She'sn also great for discussing a lot of YA books although she tends to be much more lenient with them than I am.

I've got a friend who is great for epic fantasy and then there's one friend who I don't see very often, but whenever I see her, we talk about nothing but books which makes the BF start to space out after awhile since he likes books but not quite to the same level as this friend and I.

Basically, I'm blessed to have so many friends who love books ^.^

Third Sentence Thursday (#20)

Third Sentence Thursday
Grab the Code

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme that inhales third sentences for breakfast!

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence here or if you don't have a blog, just post it in the comments!

"He strolled next to me, all military with his hands clasped behind his back, wearing the black uniform of a Forces recruit." -Possession by Elana Johnson

I'm liking the black uniform even though I have no idea who this person is. Certainly sounds all sorts of newfangled since Forces isn't any agency in existence now. Squee! I hope this book is good ^.^

Review: The Royal Treatment (Princess for Hire #2) by Lindsey Leavitt

The Royal Treatment by Lindsey Leavitt

Copy Courtesy of Disney-Hyperion
Release: May 3, 2011

This is the second book in the series and the summary contains some spoilers such as the fact that there is a second book in the series. You should also check out my review of the first book Princess for Hire.

Desi has been studying really hard (music, lineage, and fashion among other things) so that she can officially become a Level Two sub. A Level Two sub's life is vastly more glamorous and complicated so Desi has to work extra hard, but she's also trying out for the high school play even though she's only in junior high. Basically, Desi's life just got a whole lot more complicated.

While I enjoyed the first book in this series, I feel that the second book is better. This may be because the first book had to spend a lot of time building up what Facade was and introduce us to various characters while the second book gets to explore the world that Lindsey has created.

Desi was also a lot more timid in the first book whereas her confidence is much higher in The Royal Treatment, making her a much more fun character to follow. There is something very satisfying in reading about a character who works hard and in a sense is rewarded for what they have done.

I think this is a great book for teens, and even though I am no longer one, I still enjoyed the story greatly. It captures the thought process of a modern teen without sliding into the petty nonsense seen in a lot of other books, and I, for one, am delighted.

Star Rating: 4.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for The Royal Treatment at Amazon

Review: Bumped (Bumped #1) by Megan McCafferty

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Copy Coutesy of Netgalley and Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 26, 2011

There is a virus that renders just about everyone over 18 sterile, which means the baby-making business is very lucrative for a smart, pretty teen like Melody. Until Harmony, her long lost twin sister, comes into her life and things get really complicated really quickly.

Harmony chapters are basically a continuous ranting of a very deeply brainwashed cult member. While this is an interesting viewpoint, I was annoyed with its repetitiveness. Yes, she does some thinking about things, and there is some character development, but that development is shallow and very quick (in the time span of 1 day).

Melody is a similarly shallow character, who is highly intelligent, talks like a ditsy valley girl (her slang is changed to fit the world), and changes her mind about fundamental parts of her life in the span of a day. An example of a sentence "Wow, that dress was totally fertilicious I don't know why you're negging on it." After having to read this kind of dialogue for the entirety of the book, I wanted to chuck it out a window, but I read it on my Kindle which is not at fault and so should not have to bear the consequences of the bad books I read on it.

So, to summarize: 2 main characters that I can't stand and a story that is shallow and moves in an unrealistically quick manner. At least the premise was interesting.

Star Rating: 1.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Bumped at Amazon

Guest Posting at Vamps, Weres, and Cassay OH My!


I've got a guest post up today over there where I'm mostly silly so if you want to be perhaps mildly entertained by my post head on over

Review: Among Thieves (Tale of the Kin) by Douglas Hulick

Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick

Copy Courtesy of Ace & Roc
Already Published

Drothe is of the Kin, and safely ensconced within a boss's organization if not particularly happily. Safely that is, until he accidentally gets embroiled in a conflict over an ancient book that every powerful person seems to want to get their hands on. He will need to muster every drop of courage, strength, and wit if he is to have a hope of making it through this conflict.

That was a fun adventure, and I'm already wondering when the next book in this series will be out even though the end was not a cliff hanger (thank goodness for that). Sadly, there is no hint of the next book yet since this one was just published, and huzzah for a great debut by Douglas Hulick.

There were enough moving parts to this story that I was never bored, but not so many that I had to bend over backwards to keep track of everything going on. Drothe is a character with a lot of depth who gets into many fight scenes that were not too hard for me to follow (as I've mentioned before, I'm spatially challenged/retarded), and I appreciated that.

The world-building isn't amazing, but what exists is explained very well. You are never overwhelmed with information - a balance which is easy to read and criticize but hard to get right. Mr. Hulick gets it just right. Thus, I think you should consider picking up this novel ^.^

Star Rating: 4.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Among Thieves at Amazon

This is now a book review party post

Review: Advice from Pigeons by Patricia S. Bowne

Advice from Pigeons by Patricia S. Bowne

Copy Courtesy of Patricia S. Bowne
Already Published

Rho is a natural philosopher and the newest hire for the demonology department at the Royal Academy at Osyth. For some reason, his arrival has set off warning bells in the insurance company which covers the demonology department, and while he tries to fit into this new academy, it may be more trouble than it is worth.

I have to admire the world that is depicted in Advice from Pigeons; it's hilarious. In a world where magic is real: insurance companies hire clairvoyants to set the rates, spells can be looked up on the internet, demonologists hold conferences, and incubi possessing ducks can be a thesis topic. The world is just hilarious, and the details are thought out very well.

There were an almost overwhelming number of character POV's though. While Rho is the main character, there is a lot of bouncing around of POV between other faculty members and various people that are related to incidents which occured. This made it very hard to remember who was who. I also wasn't much of a fan of Rho because he struck me as a whiny, dithering, petty little man, and I like main characters to have more strength of character.

As a side effect of my inability to keep all the POV's straight and perhaps also due to insufficient explanation, I got lost somewhat often while reading. I think the world itself is excellent, and I would love to explore more of it. The characters and POV's though need to be refined more and perhaps the story itself needs to be streamlined to cut down on POV's.

Star Rating: 2.5/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Advice from Pigeons at Amazon

24 Hour Read-a-thon

I'm not awake yet, but the 24 hour read-a-thon has officially started so this is my post for updates and such. I'm honestly not sure how much I will actually be able to read today, but hopefully at least a few hours ^.^

11am - I'm awake now.
9:20 pm - sigh... I've only managed to read about 100 pages in one book, and 30 pages in another. Really can't focus >.< will keep trying

Review: Pathfinder (Serpent World #1) by Orson Scott Card

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

Rigg is special. It's not only that he and his father live by themselves off in the forest nor is it that his father teaches him about astronomy, finance, economics, political intrigue, and physics which are hardly useful topics for a life of fur trapping. No, Rigg is special because he sees the paths that all living creatures have taken, ever.

If this were any other author, I think I might've given it a higher score. Card though, I hold to an entirely different standard because he has written some amazing books. This one, in comparison to his other works, is not quite as epic. You've got your standard smart kid, Card loves writing about unnaturally smart kids, and you have the double narratives which happens in a lot of Card books which gives depth to the story as a whole.

Standard though, for Card is still really good. His characters are interesting, and he comes up with novel scenarios for his characters to play in. No, it's not the standard parts of this book that are bad. It's the fact that I didn't react strongly to anything in the book. There were no scenes of immense emotion, which Card is so good at writing. Where were they Mr. Card? WHERE?! I say because I know you have them in your best books, and this one was lacking its moments.

Now, it's a perfectly good read although Card does like to have characters ramble on a bit and one up each other in battles of mental superiority, which to your reader who wants to just stop thinking, may be a bit much. So, despite my ranting, you should still read it because it's good just not Card at his most awesome.

Star Rating: 3.5/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Pathfinder at Amazon

Book Blog Hop and Follow Friday (Apr 8)

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome from Book Blog Hop hosted by Crazy for Books and Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee!

Question to come~~


Yes, mostly to pick out the genre right away and for books where I'm not familiar with the author (most books). Authors I already like, they can have less awesome covers and I'll still buy the book

Third Sentence Thursday (#19)

Third Sentence Thursday
Grab the Code

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme that has third sentences on its mind! I know; I'm a terrible person for not posting this until now.

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence here or if you don't have a blog, just post it in the comments!

"No, five" -Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Eep, this one is really uninformative. It is characteristic of this book though. There are a lot of short sentences and counting. Really intense book.

Review: Enclave (Razorland #1) by Ann Aguirre

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

ARC borrowed from Debbie of Debbie's World of Books
Release: April 12, 2011

The world as we know it has ended. Deuce, who is now old enough to have a name, has become a Huntress to protect and feed her Enclave in the vast underground system which is just barely surviving. After her naming ceremony, she is partnered with Fade, a mysterious outsider to the Enclave and they are tasked with finding out why the Freaks (mutated mindless humanoids who eat any and all meat) are showing signs of intelligence.

The story is not really a new one although Ann pulls off some interesting and mostly likable characters in Deuce and Fade. I enjoyed reading about Deuce in particular as she faces internal struggles between being a warrior who accepts losses and the human being who wants to save those she knows. Also, three cheers for a romance that grows rather than appears out of nowhere.

As for the world, we know that there was an apocalypse, but we are never told the details of how things came to be. A lot of the world is portrayed in broad stereotypes rather than delving into intricacies although we do meet several types of people along the way. In general there is an oversimplification of what could be a very complex landscapes. For example we have creatures who are likely mutations of human beings called Freaks of which there are really only 2 kinds, the new smart ones and the regular dumb ones.

Basically, I want more depth to the world that can support the depth found in the characters, more explanations of why things are the way they are, more evidence besides the changes in society that the world is different, and perhaps some of that will be found in the next novel. This was an interesting beginning, but it would not stand well on its own.

Star Rating: 3.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Enclave at Amazon

Teaser Tuesday (Apr 5)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Next thing you know, we’ll all be born into one insurance tribe or another. They’ll arrange marriages, decide what career you can have and where you can live." -Advice from Pigeons by Patricia S. Bowne

Feel free to leave a comment with a link to your own teaser post or just the teaser if you don't have a blog.

Review: The Dragon's Path (The Dagger and Coin #1) by Daniel Abraham

The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham

Copy Courtesy of Netgalley and Orbit Books
Release: April 7, 2011

The drumbeat of war is sounding among the Free Cities, and the the actions of a few people will have great implications for the entire region. Meet our players, Cithrin - a ward of a bank in Vanai, Marcus - a famous general who lost his whole family, Geder - a rather bumbling scholar knight, and Dawson - a nobleman who is the head of a group opposed to the changes brought by a different group of nobles.

This book feels like the start to a very epic series. We only begin to glimpse the extent of the forthcoming battles in this book, but if this book is any indication of what is to come, the rest of the books should be amazing.

There was fun fun court intrigue (I happen to really enjoy that). I especially enjoyed Cithrin who has some interesting surprises up her sleeve. The interactions between Marcus and his 'second in command' are also really amusing. Possibly the only person I didn't enjoy was Geder, but I feel like that's the way it is meant to be as he is a bumbling fool for the most part.

Despite the fact that this book feels like only the figurative tip of the iceberg, there was so much substance to the tip that I'm biting my nails at the fact that this is only the first book, which hasn't even been released officially yet. This means I'm going to have to wait FOREVER for the second book (and well the rest of the series). This is definitely an epic fantasy that people should sink their eyes into.

Star Rating: 4.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for The Dragon's Path at Amazon

Review: The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas

The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas

Copy Courtesy of NAL Trade
Already Published

Barbara of Austria has become the second duchess of Ferrara, but even before she has wed the Duke, Alfonso d'Este, the rumors of how his first wife died are whispered all around her. While Barbara only wishes to revel in her elevated station as the head of a prominent household, the question of how the first duchess perished plagues her every thought, and Barbara will risk everything to find out the truth.

The beginning of The Second Duchess is pretty slow moving. The story is more of a murder mystery that happens to be set within a historical context rather than a story of wealth and nobility that happens to have a murder mystery within it. For me at least, this was a bit off-putting because I had hoped for more political intrigue and less playing the detective. Once the actual mystery got going though, this actually turned out to be an interesting read.

It is very likely that you will find the ghost of the first wife (oh yes, she's there and can't do anything but comment on what's happening in the story) annoying as she was a very spoiled (VERY) little girl. Granted, I'm sad that she died, but that doesn't make me like her more. Barbara though starts out somewhat naive and gets bolder and more fun to read as the book goes on.

If you have a thing for mysteries, you will probably enjoy the novelty a mystery in a historical fiction setting. The murder mystery itself was an enjoyable puzzle to try to guess at. I, at least, didn't really expect the ending, but then again I don't read too many mysteries so perhaps it will be more obvious to you ^.^

Star Rating: 3.5/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for The Second Duchess at Amazon

Thank You to my RAK'ers

I was very lucky to get these books during March as part of RAK hosted by Book Soulmates, and I want to say a big thank you!

Thank you to Shannon from Stalking the Bookshelves for:
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Thank you to Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit for:
The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Thank you to Kelsey from Kelsey Anne's Book Blog for:
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

And last but not least, thank you to Rachel from Fiktshun for (she was super awesome and sent me not 1 but 2 books):
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Clarity by Kim Harrington

RAK is happening again in April so be sure to check it out ^.^ Again, thank you to the wonderful bloggers mentioned above.

Review: Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen

Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen

Hazel has always felt alone. As a babe she was given up for adoption, and a nice lady adopted her only to die in a fire a few years later. On her 18th birthday, she receives a letter with her mother's name, and she prepares to meet her when she gets some awesome dresses which apparently grant wishes.

The dresses were actually a pretty neat mechanism for granting wishes, but this may be because I like gorgeous dresses (although really what girl doesn't?). Hazel's background sob story is laid on pretty thick, but it does set the reader up to feel sorry for her especially since the book is really short so I guess the information needs to be more potent?

The story itself is pretty heartwarming and has a definite undertone of a moral of the story kind of deal. Lo and behold there is some romance, but it's not really the focus. Happily, though, it doesn't feel like an afterthought, and is a natural progression of the story even if there isn't much to it.

Despite the tug at your heart-strings moments, the story is pretty light weight even as it deals with some issues which readers may find controversial. It is a story based on magical dresses which grant wishes after all.

Star Rating: 3.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Wishful Thinking at Amazon

Dear Brandon Sanderson - A Letter About His LGBT Views

This is in response to the post Sanderson wrote on homosexuality

I have read and loved your books, and even before reading you books, I knew that you were a member of the LDS church, which was a flag to me that your views on homosexuality would likely not be as liberal as mine. You never spoke out about homosexuality before so this was fine because you did not use your platform to speak out against what I believed therefore my support of your works would not be increasing the voice of those who oppose various aspects of homosexuality.

Now that you have spoken out, I have to reassess the situation.

From what I've read, it seems like your stance follows something like this: Gay sex is a sin although being gay is not because we do not know how being gay comes about. You also don't think being gay is something that can be cured, but acting on being gay by sleeping with someone of the same gender is a sin. I am garnering this from your statement:
"No, I don't believe that homosexuality can—in many cases, at least—be treated and 'cured.' I do believe, however, that impulses of attraction between people of the same gender are something that can and should be resisted, in the same way that my impulses of attraction toward women who are not my wife can and should be resisted."

Now, how I interpret your comments are as follows: You can be gay, but you must remain celibate or you will go to hell because you have committed a sin.

This, while seeming to be a stance that tries to satisfy all the parties involved by not calling gay people inherently bad and also still subscribing to the fact that homosexuality is unacceptable, results in something really stupid. Even those who have dedicated their lives to celibacy fall off the bandwagon, and you expect lay people who happen to be gay to be celibate?

Let me clarify how I come to the conclusion that you think gays must be celibate. Gay people (I'm not going to go into a discussion on bisexuals) want to have sex with people of the same gender. This means that they do not want to have sex with people of the opposite gender. Now, you are saying that they should completely refrain from having sex with people of the same sex so that option is out. They don't want to have sex with people of the opposite sex, and forcing them to do so would be the equivalent of RAPE so that option is also out. Since the only two options for not remaining celibate are out, it follows that they must be celibate.

So, you expect gays to be celibate, which is quite honestly a very unrealistic expectation for anyone. I would really like to know how you expect something like that to play out because given that people are terrible at remaining celibate, gays will go to hell. Essentially, this stance is no different from saying being gay is a sin because of reality (I don't think this is an unfair accusation because we live with reality, and our beliefs need to take that into account).

I'm still not entirely sure where I stand on supporting your works in the future, but I hope you continue to think about these issues as you mentioned you were doing. I will wait to see what you decide before making a final judgement.

Sniffly Kitty
I do still think that you write awesome books

Edit: FYI, to any authors reading this, I take special consideration of review requests which include gay main/major characters. Books that fall under this category are still subject to the same strictness for what I consider to be quality, but I will be more willing to accept such a review request if you state in your request that your book has gay main/major characters.

Edit 2: I will grant that Sanderson is a lot more respectful to the situation than some others, and I'm glad that he accepts gays as human beings.

Winners for Illegal

And here they are:

Patricia from Arizona (from Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books)
Vivien from Kansas (from Amasterau Reads)
Kate from the Philippines (from Missy Reads and Reviews)
Winnie from Canada (from I am a Reader, Not a Writer)
Mary from Australia (from I am a Reader, Not a Writer)

Congratulations to the winners! I think Bettina has already contacted all of you, and will be sending out the copies soon.

If you didn't win, it's ok! You can still get the book from Amazon! If you're not sure whether you want a copy, you should read my review of Illegal to be convinced that this is a book worth reading ^.^

Re-Reading Books

I used to re-read books that I loved all the time because I wanted to wander with the characters again. Some books even after having read them 3-4 time through, I would discover things I had missed. Tamora Pierce books are definitely ones which I kept re-reading, and I've read them so many times that my copies are falling apart (I'm trying to get another set of the full collection in the covers that I loved as a teen, but it's a slow process).

Ever since I began blogging though, I've only re-read a couple books because I have so many books to read. it almost seems silly to take the time to read a book which I've already read when so many more are clamoring for my attention for a first time read through. This makes me somewhat sad because I really enjoy going through some of my books again, and being able to do so is a big part of the reason why I own so many books.

I'm currently re-reading Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss because I needed to remember all the details before reading the second one. I'd been meaning to do this re-read for over a month now and have finally gotten around to it. I just hope I dont forget the details again before I get around to starting the second book The Wise Man's Fear.

Do any of you feel like you don't have to time to spend on getting reacquainted with old books? I know that book bloggers in general start to feel that they have to divert a lot of their reading time over to review books, and this can lead to a sense of resentment especially because it makes what we love into a chore at times. Not having the time to read a beloved book again is kind of an extension of this, and while I've made a deal with myself to read more books for me than for review, I feel like I need to take into account this re-reading thing as well.

I vow to try and revisit old friends (books that I love) more often than once every 4-5 months. For now though, I'm thoroughly enjoying Name of the Wind because OMG it is amazing. I'm not sure how I forgot all it's amazing-ness, but here it is again. I will also get a chance to write a proper review for it this time around too ^.^
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