Review: Future Imperfect by K. Byer Reese

Future Imperfect by K. Byer Reese

Copy Courtesy of St. Martin's Griffin
Already Published

Ade can see the future, but only when he gets a concussion. Seeing the future gives him a sort of high, and he is definitely addicted until he meets the girl of his visions (and dreams). Now, what the future holds is getting darker and darker, and Ade must get to the bottom of things or he may lose everything.

Perhaps the best description I can come up with for this book is weird. The visions which Ade gets often feel like he is tripping at least the way they are described in the book. I think the quality of these visions makes them a closer analogy to being on drugs and thus the addiction is a closer parallel.

The tone is generally pretty dark since the book is dealing with addictions. I'm not entirely sure there is a single "normal" character. All of them seem to have pretty egregious quirks, and it makes the book interesting but not necessarily very accessible as a mainstream read.

I did enjoy this book for the most part although there is a bit of fragmentation of the story as we follow Ade 'down the rabbit hole' as it were. This book is certainly not for everyone although if you read it from the perspective of the frightening implications of addiction, I feel like it portrays that well.

Star Rating: 3.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Future Imperfect at Amazon

BEA Summary

Once BEA actually started, I was pretty exhausted at the end of each day so I apologize for the lack of updating o_0, but now you get the whole update as one! The first part of the post is for you to get a feel of the convention itself. I'm also going to cover some random news and gossip that I picked up for the second part of this post.

So, the show floor was filled with people and booths. Harlequin had a pretty neat setup where you could meet a whole bunch of authors (as well as pick up a whole bunch of books).

Probably the most anticipated hour for me at the Harlequin booth was the Teen Hour. The line was certainly pretty ridiculous for this one, I got in line half an hour before the signing started, and there was already a long line. It was really really great to meet Maria V. Snyder in person ^.^

While I was waiting in line for the aforementioned teen hour, a guy with bagpipes started playing! Ah, the randomness of conventions heh~~

I also met a person dressed up as Spiderman, which was also a booth thing. I had to take a picture because... I was walking along perusing booths and books, and suddenly Spiderman pops up OUT OF NOWHERE. Ok, well maybe not quite out of nowhere... I might have been preoccupied and simply not paying attention and as a result was surprised >.>, but anyway, that was a bit more of convention randomness. (Oh, and I'm in a photo again, crazy isn't it?)

Another author actually brought her doggy to her signing, isn't he cute? He was very quiet and everyone could pet him without any fuss ^.^ I'm normally a kitty person (in case you couldn't tell), but this dog was very cute

There was a guy (Tim Ostermeyer) who was walking around with a stuffed penguin. Because it was so cute, I had to take a photo (obviously). He has a kids' book called Snowball's Antarctic Adventures, which features a lot of stunning penguin pictures.

There were lots of other signings which took place at the various pubishers' booths. Like... the one above for example... I really have no idea who that is, but I remembered to take a picture at that point so there you go!

Did I mention there were tons of books at BEA? Who could've known? (^,..,^)

There were some marvelous antique-ish looking books on display. And a close-up below

There were TONS of other things going on which I forgot to take pictures of or missed. Now, for some News


They had a reveal of the Clockwork Prince cover, which you all have probably seen by now. But hey! I'm showing it to you as it was revealed, in a giant cardboard cutout format from the show floor SO THERE!

I got to meet Kate from Spencer Hill Press which is publishing Half-Blood. I'm sure you've all seen the gorgeous cover for that. They are considering putting out the finished copies with an embossed cover, which would be GORGEOUS so look out for that.

It was mentioned that Blood Red Road's film options had been sold, and they had a director Ridley Scott. This may be somewhat old news for folks, but I don't follow books to film very closely so it's news to me!

Goodreads has released an if you are looking at Book x you may also like Books Y and Z feature! I am excited about this ^.^ It is apparently tailored to your bookshelves so you won't be seeing books you have already read show up in this little widget, which shows up on all book pages in their widgets section on the right-hand side.

Apparently this is the last year that Jacqueline Carey is publishing with Grand Central. She has mentioned before that she is working on a secret project, and I wonder if it's going to be vastly different since Grand Central isn't the publisher anymore. Maybe they just don't have a deal on the table yet? WHO KNOWS (well she probably does, but I definitely don't).

Apparently this is not the final cover yet, and I already think it's pretty amazing. This is Planesrunner, which is a new book coming from Ian McDonald. I was intrigued by this book in particular, but Pyr Books, the publisher is starting to publish a whole bunch of YA books like Lightbringer by K. D. McEntire and Thief's Covenant by Ari Marmell. I'm looking forward to reviewing some of these ^.^

Ok, so that's all I have for news at the moment. There are a few other tidbits which I will be talking about when I do my post about the Book Blogger Convention ^.^ I hope you enjoyed the coverage~~

Third Sentence Thursday (#26)

Third Sentence Thursday
Grab the Code

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme which is fed by third sentence contraptions!

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!

"She always imagined an old witch trying to claw her way out of the wall." -Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Creepy, creepy, creepy. I'm imagining thing Baba Yaga type lady scratching at the wall, and then slowly climbing through and her arms reaching for you.... I don't think I ever want anything like that happening to me >.>

Third Sentence Thursday FYI

Third Sentence Thursday

There will be a post for Third Sentence Thursday, but due to BEA I won't be putting it up until Thursday morning (EST, prolly about 7am or so)

Random House Reader Tea

The Tea was very pretty and for some reason I was so distracted by the lovely drinks, macaroons, and itty bitty tea sandwiches that I forgot to actually take a picture of them >.< This event was in celebration of the release of Lisa See's Dreams of Joy. Most of my readers may not know Lisa See since she isn't sci-fi or fantasy. She's a literary author who writes books set in historical China.

Dreams of Joy is a sequel to Shanghai Girls although according to Lisa, this book can be read on its own. This book examines the bond between mother and daughter, and is apparently the only book with a scene where Lisa cries every time she edits a certain scene in the book.

Lisa talking about her new book.

I discovered Lisa See with her book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan a few years ago, and my heart jumped for joy at a novel set in China with Chinese characters that was beautifully written. This book is being made into a movie, which will be released on July 15, 2011. (Trailer Below)

Besides Dreams of Joy, there were also a number of other literary books which were given away at the event. I didn't take a copy of all of them so there were a few more that aren't pictured below. I'm particularly excited about Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, which I've been wanting to read for some time now.

There was also an ARC of Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, which is about a girl who is very good with flowers. She grew up in the foster system, and now, at 18 is emancipated but has a dark past which must be confronted. (yay meta-summarizing again).

On a side note, I got the chance to meet Steph of Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust, which was pretty awesome. I actually got a chance to see Steph a couple more times on the convention floor yesterday, but more about that later!

Woh! I'm actually in a photo. I'm the one on the left. Steph is therefore the other one.

So, that was the Reader Tea! I will catch you guys later ^.^ I need to get to the convention again today heh~~

Update: Simon & Schuster Blogger Preview

Sorry for the epic fail of the order of pictures before, I really need to find a better app for writing posts on the go.~~ This is going to be a longer post than normal, so bear with me, and at least there are pretty pictures along the way.

Lots of bloggers showed up at this event! There were also some eats in the beginning. We got to meet a few of the people in marketing and publicity at the YA imprints of Simon and Schuster. I also got to meet Lauren of 365 Days of Reading, Damaris from Good Choice Reading, Matt from A Walrus Darkly, and Rachel from Bookshelf Lust (who was nice enough to help me with my bag because my back is super lame).

The debut author of the upcoming book, Fury - Elizabeth Miles - came in to talk a little about herself and her book. Apparently she is best friends with Lauren Olivre (fairly well-known author of Delirium and Before I Fall ^.~). She read an excerpt from Fury, which featured a mysterious orchid that is symbolic of trouble to come so look forward to that book coming out August 30, 2011.

Sorry for the poor quality of this photo, I was sitting way in the back >.<

All the attending bloggers got a signed copy of the very pretty Fury ARC

After Elizabeth spoke, we got a highlight of some upcoming YA books from late this year and even some books from early 2012. There are more dystopian and post-apocalyptic books coming out although Simon and Schuster has not apparently jumped on the Mermaid bandwagon.

They mentioned the upcoming cover reveal of Fever, which is the sequel to Wither by Lauren DeStefano. The first cover was absolutely gorgeous not only as an overall piece but in its detail as well so I'm looking forward to seeing what they've come up with for the second book.

Another set of covers which was really gorgeous is the reissued set of books by Robin Wasserman - Frozen, Shattered, and Torn (Originally they were named: Skinned, Crashed, and Wired).

Of the book mentioned, I was really intrigued by the synopsis of The Pledge by Kimberly Derting as it deals with languages as a form of societal structure control, which (at least in my mind) is Chinese in concept. I think it is also a novel approach in terms of what has come out for a view of a society so I'm looking forward to reading that one. This one isn't coming out until November 15, 2011.

Also, one that they mentioned which I've personally been looking forward to very much is Goliath by Scott Westerfeld. This is the third and final book in the Leviathan series, which starts with Leviathan and is followed by Behemoth. Although they didn't mention this at the preview specifically, Westerfeld has mentioned before that this book will of course continue in the tradition of gorgeous steampunk art scenes from the story (possibly even more than before?). Goliath is coming out September 20, 2011.

The final book from this portion that I want to highlight is Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley, which just came out at the beginning of May. It is a coming of age story about a boy rather than the slew of girl books we've been seeing, and it was described as a breath of fresh air so it's got me thinking oh really? I want to try this one out at some point in the future ^.^ (I do admit that the cover isn't as gorgeous as the other books in this post)

The author we got to meet was Ellen Hopkins (who is known for writing Crank, Impulse, and a few other novels). She talked about and read excerpts from her new book Perfect, which followed in the tradition of her other books in dealing with some heavy topics and is a companion novel to Impulse. Perfect is written in poetry form, and some of it does get pretty explicit so be forewarned (I am not familiar with the other books Ellen has written so I am not sure if she has been this explicit before). It comes out September 13, 2011. Ellen also briefly mentioned her adult book Triangles, which is based off real-life events (comes out October 18, 2011).

Also a signed pretty ARC!

As the last part of the event, we were invited to the top of the Rockefeller center, but it was quite cloudy so not much to see there sadly although the elevator ride up was pretty trippy. You can kind of see that in the photo below although not really. The ceiling was see-through, and there were flashing lights.

A couple other goodies that were received were Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez, which is about the competitive world of violin players, and This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Opal, which is written as a prequel to Frankenstein.

That's all the book news I can recall at the moment from the event! Apparently there will be an email recap of the books they covered so if I find that I've missed anything, I will have a makeup post for those books later ^.^

First Day - Pre-BEA

I didn't actually do much in New York City yesterday. I arrived on a red-eye flight, where I was very unhappy with the state of Delta's customer service(more about this in a later post), and then desperately needed a nap. I took a Super Shuttle, which while relatively inexpensive ($19 with tip) took awhile (my flight arrived at 9:30 AM and I didn't get to my friend's place until 11:30 AM).

I did, however, get to talk books with a friend I met up with who is a big fan of Wheel of Time. For any of you still dithering about Sanderson completing the series in Robert Jordan's stead, she, at least thinks that he is doing a really good job. There might have also been some Wii playing, but I wasn't very good at that so let's just pretend that it didn't happen.

I also ate the dumplings (actually sui mai) that you see above from Obao. They were pretty good. The restaurant also had some noodles, which are supposed to be very good although I didn't get a chance to try them~~

BEA Note for My Dear Readers

Today I am in New York, and this week shall be a whirlwind of BEA (Book Expo America) and BBC (Book Blogger Convention) as well as the events surrounding them. I will likely be blogging from my phone, which means posts will be short, but hopefully somewhat frequent ^.^

I plan to feature books received, authors I meet, possibly some other blogger, any interesting news, and generally try to keep you entertained. I am not likely to be posting any reviews though so if you're here for review next week, erm.. I have an archive of reviews you can peruse!

Review: The Dead and the Gone (Last Survivors #2) by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

*Note, this is the second in the Last Survivors series, but you can read them out of order. If you haven't heard of this series, check out my review of Life as We Knew It (which is the first book).

Alex Morales is 17 when the moon is knocked off its previous orbit. When his parents fail to come home, he is left to try and keep himself and his two sisters alive in the heart of New York City.

Alex's situation is really tough. His family was quite poor to begin with so he must struggle constantly to find supplies, and he was pretty ill-prepared to begin with as he doesn't quite believe the news in the beginning. I think this added an even more desperate edge to his story.

The post-apocalyptic New York City is really wonderfully described, and I really enjoyed the continuing sense of decay as all the wealthy people are evacuated while the poor scrabble to survive or die since they have no good way to get out. Those who read it may be reminded of the aftermath of Katrina.

I really liked this second installment although I think the first one was better, so if you really had to choose, you should read that one. If you've read the first one, you should consider reading this one too ^.^

Star Rating: 4.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for The Dead and the Gone at Amazon

Third Sentence Thursday (#25)

Third Sentence Thursday
Grab the Code

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme which is fed by third sentence contraptions!

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!

"A lifetime ago, another world, but it seems like I can still remember all of it, every motion, every color, every note of music" - The Uncertain Places by Lisa Goldstein

I foresee description in my future of reading this book ^.~ What this sentence says is, I am going to tell you a story about the past, and I'm going to tell it to you in vivid detail ^.^

Scalzi Came to Town!

So John Scalzi, author of the Old Man's War Series, Fuzzy Nation, a few other books, and the blog Whatever, was in SF this past Sunday. I managed to fit seeing him into my schedule ^.^ and it was, to my delight an EXCELLENT evening of entertainment at Borderlands (which is an excellent sci-fi and fantasy bookstore in downtown San Francisco).

I didn't manage to take many pictures because I was majorly distracted by the hilarity that ensued. I did, however, challenge Scalzi to write something with stew if he writes more fantasy. (Generally he's a sci-fi writer although he did make a foray into dark fantasy with The God Engines)

As for what happened at the signing/reading, there was a snippet read from his upcoming 2012 book which is yet to be titled officially. Then he read from his April Fool's day piece "The Shadow War of the Night Dragons, Book One: The Dead City" you can read the entirety of that piece here. Then there was about a half hour where Scalzi regaled us (via a loosely constructed Q&A session) with many tales of his adventures.

And, that folks, was the signing.

Review: A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

Copy Courtesy of NetGalley and Harper Collins
Already Published

Elodie goes to Two Castles to become an apprentice. She hopes to become a mansioner (actor essentially), but no one will take her. Just as all hope dies, she is saved by the Dragon Meenore who offers her an assistantship and sends her off to solve a mystery using her wits.

I think this falls more into middle grade fiction than YA. The main character may be 14-ish, but the way the story is phrased and actions taken by characters speaks of more innocence. There's a big emphasis on Logic, and the author kind of beats you over the head with it. I think I would have preferred it to not be so blatant.

Meenore is somewhat arrogant although that is usually expected of a dragon so that wasn't too bad, but it did make him hard to sympathize with, in the way that smart people very focused on their smartness are hard to sympathize with. Elodie is a somewhat standard character although like-able enough.

It was mostly a cute little story although I think the characters could have been written better. I don't really give it a strong recommendation, but it's not a bad read.

Star Rating: 3.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for A Tale of Two Castles at Amazon

In My Mailbox (May 15)

A collection of books for review, which I've gotten in the past month (so it's not really as many books in a week as it seems. Also, one book that I received which wasn't for review. This week, I'm doing 3 word summaries of the summaries! (Yes, that's kind of meta heh~~)

For Review:

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
"Thief, mind-prison, adventure!"

Shadowborn by Alison Sinclair
"Magic, death, action!"

Promises to Keep by Charles de Lint
"Serious life changes!"

Redheart by Jackie Gamber and Matthew Perry
"Dragons, friendship, journey!"

Divergent by Veronica Roth
"Choices, dystopian, factions!"

Note: Divergent was gifted by Debbie of Debbie's World of Books

~~Book I Want to Highlight Because Scalzi is Awesome~~

There is a kitty because kitties make everything more awesome.

Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
"Wealth, fuzzy creatures!"

Note: This book wasn't received for review. It's a really late Christmas present ^.^ I will still probably put up a review for this book once I get around to reading it.
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