Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holidaaay. Celebraaate.

Are you hearing Adam Sandler from The Wedding Singer right now? No? Well you should be!
The point of this post is: I am going on a short hiatus! I'm gonna hang up the internet for the week of Christmas to hang with my family and finish a last minute project for my parents. I'm embroidering them a mini tapestry of naval flags that spells out our last name1. My fingers feel like raw meat. Emboidery is very addictive, though. I went for six hours yesterday without stopping! It's my new record, and I hope I never break it because my back was killing me afterward. I don't how grannies do it!

I leave you with Linus as he explains what Christmas means to me.


Merry Christmas, Happy Hannakuh, and/or Happy Kwanzaa! I will see y'all next week!
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes______________________________________________
1 I hope they don't read this. That'd suck mightily.

MTO The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner


An exciting, romantic novel set against the feverish backdrop of the French Revolution.

Clever and head-turningly attractive, fourteen-yearold Yann is an orphan who has been raised in Paris by TĂȘtu, a dwarf with secrets he has yet to reveal to the gypsy boy. It's the winter of 1789, and the duo have been working for a vain magician named Topolain. On the night when Topolain's vanity brings his own death, Yann's life truly begins. That's the night he meets shy Sido, an heiress with an ice-cold father, a young girl who has only known loneliness until now. Though they have the shortest of conversations, an attachment is born that will influence both their paths.
And what paths those will be! Revolution is afoot in France, and Sido is being used as a pawn. Only Yann will dare to rescue her, and he'll be up against a fearful villain who goes by the name Count Kalliovski, but who has often been called the devil. It'll take all of Yann's newly discovered talent to unravel the mysteries of his past and Sido's and to fight the devilish count.


 In a word blurb: Sumptuous and wonderfully told with just the right amount of historical detail and fantastic magic.
 The backound for this story was so much fun to read about! I've always had a morbid fascination with the French Revolution; in part due to the frenzied atmosphere, but also because of the glamour of the period. Gardner misses out on none of the pomp in this fantastic work of historical fiction. And there's a bonus! Not only do we get to read about the extravagant parties, ornate parlors, and tres fabuleux attire, but the story is laced with magic! Yann, the main character and resident heart throb, is a magician in training, able to throw his voice and read minds; his mentor, a dwarf with a mysterious backround, can manipulate "strings of light" and cause objects to move; and a certain vile contendor who has an obsession with automatons.
 The story starts off three years prior to the Revolution with a fateful performance at Sido's father's chateau. Here, Yann and Sido meet during a daring escape, and though they were only with each other for a very short time, they never forget each other. The story takes off from that point in leaps and bounds to eat up the three years heading into the revolution. As the revolution unfolds, 17 year-old Yann must head back to his beloved France to rescue Sido before the blood bath begins. That's pretty much the cadence of the story through out: save Sido.
 The characters were awesome, Yann was the embodiment of "tall, dark, and handsome", but my favorite thing was by far the back drop. The detail of everything really pulled me in. I loved reading about the parties and such because it was so visual.
 I'd ratew this PG13 simply because that's who it's written for. There was good deal of blood and dismemberment, but that's something the whole family can enjoy! ;)
 I give The Red Necklace...

... four zombies!
I quite enjoyed this romp into an alternate account of the French Revolution and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel The Silver Blade1.

Happy Holidays,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes____________________________________________________________
1  Que guillotine. Oh, I can't wait till they get that thing going! It didn't really come into play in the first book, though there was a great deal of violence near the end. The stage was totally set for it, though! In the very beginning, there was a bit about a guy sitting in his workshop working toward a "humane" killing machine, and at the end, the butchers were complaining that there were too many prisoners to kill and that they weren't machines. Is it wrong how excited I am about the guillotine? *shrug* Just chalk it up to a healthy interest in history.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

WIN The Ruby Oliver Series from park Avenue Princess!

Park Avenue Princess is giving away the first three books of The Ruby Oliver Series by E. Lockhart!
I really want to read this series! It sounds hilarious and it's got footnotes1!

Good luck,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes_______________________________________________________
1 I'm a big fan of footnotes.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekly Book Roundup (Dec #2)

It's time to see what I got this week1!

IMM:
I won Best of... Ect.2 in the ginormo Halloween contest hosted by Donna at Bites for my zombified hands! It didn't really fit into any other category, sorta like myself. I couldn't choose between two of the books on the prize list, so I asked Donna to surprise me, and she gave me The Devouring by Simon Holt. I've already read the first five chapters of this, and so far I'm liking what I'm seeing! This is only my second horror book3, unless you count R. L. Stine, which I don't, and I think I'm hamdling it rather well. I haven't had any nightmares yet and I haven't developed a fear of the dark!



In Other News:
*Velvet of vvb32 reads is having a fantabulous contest that ends December 31. The prize? Your choice of book 1, 2, or 3 of The Hunger Games trilogy! Yes, you read that right! You could win the third book in the series, The Victors by Suzanne Collins! And that's not all, well, it is for that contest, but there's another contest going on at her blog that's worth taking a gander at as well. Velvet is also giving away a copy of Rot by Michelle Lee. Be sure to check out both of her awesome giveaways!
*Again, I feel like I'm forgetting something... Oh, well! It will come to me in a day or two, and then I can post again4!
*Oh-ho! I just remembered what it was! If you will please direct your attention to the left-hand sidebar, directly under the review system, you'll see that I now have a button! Hurray! Thanks go out to Kate of The Neverending Shelf for posting a tutorial on how to make your own button, and also to Dahlia of Dahlia's Eclectic Mind for helping me work out the kinks. Kate has posted six tutorials on how to customize your blog, and I highly recommend you check them out!

Happy holidays,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes___________________________________________________
1 Kudos to The Story Siren fo starting and promoting the IMM meme!
2 Yes, I won by default, but a win is a win in my book, so let's not rub it in, please. =P
3 Gasp! Only my second horror book?! Wait, that can't be right... Okay, so it's possibly my second horror book, I'm not sure what some of those zombie books were. Okay, maybe it's my third because Strange Angels was horror... Then what was WWZ? Oh, who cares! The point is, I don't read a lot of books that were written for the express purpose of scaring you. Reason: I don't typically like being scared. Weird, right? But this one sounded really cool! I couldn't resist! Okay, this is turning into a post within a post, so I'm gonna cut myself off now.
4 It's so sad, but I only ever manage to post twice a week! -_-'

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Take On Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy


Stephanie Edgley has always yearned for something more than the ordinary life she leads. The death of her strange and fantastical uncle Gordon Edgley opens the door to the world of magic, but if you are thinking of fairies, think again! The first surprise comes when she learns that she inherits most of her uncle's not inconsiderable estate. The bigger surprise comes when she meets one of his closest friends, "Skullduggery Pleasant." He is a dead magician who has come back to life, possessed by thoughts of revenge and victory against his old nemesis, Nefarian Serpine, who only wants to end the world as we know it by bringing back the original evil gods with the use of a Scepter that no one believes is real. Did I mention Skullduggery is a skeleton with a borrowed skull plus great fashion sense? Together Stephanie and Skullduggery embark on a journey of discovery and adventure, meeting interesting characters along the way, like the scarred boxer-tailor Ghastly Bespoke; Tanith Low, the troll-slaying lady in black; and China Sorrow, the seductress who appears to have a romantic hold on Skullduggery's reluctant affections.

I loved this book! It was fast, action packed, hilarious, stylish, and so smart! And as with many a great story, this one begins with an inheritance. 12 year-old Stephanie Edgley's inheritance to be exact. After her eccentric uncle, whom she was very close to, dies under mysterious circumstances Stephanie is introduced to a world of magic and danger that she's only ever read about in Gordon Edgely's books.
Well, I might be jumping the gun by saying that the story begins with the inheritance; for certain, that's where the book begins, but I suppose it's far more accurate to say that the story begins when she meets Skulduggery Pleasant. No matter where it began the story was fantastic and well worth reading.
Skulduggery Pleasant was full of magic and humor. The dialogue was fast and witty and never slowed down. Example of wit: when asked what he missed most about being alive, Skulduggery answered, "Hair. I miss how it just was." Cracked. Me. Up.
Another thing I loved was the use of names. See, names have power. And I'm not talking, "Guess my name and you get one wish!" Rumple Stiltskin kind of stuff. No, no, no, it's infinitely cooler than that. In this book, people have three names: your given name, which is what your parents choose to call you1, and magicians can use it to make you do things against your will; your true name which you're born with and can be used to gain complete control of you; and your taken name, which is exactly what it sounds like, a name that you choose for yourself2. It seals your given name from being used against you. My taken name is Rivers Jubilee3. The power of names was one of my favorite things about this world because it gave Landy the opportunity to give his characters the absolute coolest names in the history of history, China Sorrows being my favorite of them all, though I wasn't too fond of her as a person. i also really like Mr. Bliss, though I was disappointed that his firt name was never given. Archibald Bliss? Randy? Seward?
Our protagonist Stephanie Edgely was a great lead. She was gutsy, smart, brave, and she could stand on her own. Skuluggery was her mentor, not her hand-holder. She was a very capable girl. She also had great taste and a razor sharp wit.
I rate this mid-grade book either a strong PG or a light PG13 for violence and "scary moments"2.
I give Skulduggery Pleasant...

...five zombies!!!
If you're searching to fill the void left behind by Harry Potter, this series fits the bill perfectly. Magic, danger, an ancient evil, and a dastardly arch nemesis make this series one of my new favorites. A must read. Period.

Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes________________________________________________
1  And no matter how dreaful that it be, you're stuck with it.
2  This really makes up for whatever unfortunate moniker you may have been sadled with when you a poor, defenseless baby.
3  I feel that it fits me rather well, though it took me a few days to come up with that name which is the the express reason why this review wasn't published sooner.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Win Beautiful by Amy Reed from Roboloblyn

Roboloblyn is having a contest where you, yes YOU, could win one of five copies of Amy Reed's Beautiful; a story about a kid who moves to an new town, decides to stop playing nice, and finds herself up her eyeballs in trouble.

"When thirteen-year-old Cassie moves to a suburb of Seattle, she is determined to leave her boring, good-girl existence behind. She chooses some dangerous new friends and is quickly caught up in their fast-paced world of drugs, sex, secrets, and cruelty. Cassie's new existence both thrills and terrifies her. She embraces the numbness she feels from the drugs, starts sleeping with an older boy, and gets pulled into a twisted friendship triangle that is tinged with violence and abuse. Cassie is trapped in a swift downward spiral, and there's no turning back."


The contest is open to US residents only and ends December 18th.

Good luck!
ZG

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekly Book Roundup (Dec #1), Awards, & a Review Amendment

Finally! A week that didn't whiz by! This one sorta crawled for me...
Anywhoo, time to see what I got this week1!

Gifted:
Orchid is truly made of awesome. She won two copies of Medina Hill and gave me the second copy! I'm really looking forward to reading and reviewing this book because the story sounds interesting and the cover is so cool!

In the grimy London of 1935, eleven-year-old Dominic Walker has lost his voice. His mother is sick and his father’s unemployed. Rescue comes in the form of his Uncle Roo, who arrives to take him and his young sister, Marlo, to Cornwall. There, in a boarding house populated by eccentric residents, Marlo, who keeps a death grip on her copy of The New Art of Cooking, and Dominic, armed with Incredible Adventures for Boys: Colonel Lawrence and the Revolt in the Desert, find a way of life unlike any they have known. Dominic’s passion for Lawrence of Arabia is tested when he finds himself embroiled in a village uprising against a band of travelers who face expulsion. In defending the vulnerable, Dominic learns what it truly means to have a voice.

Library:
I haven't been to the library in awhile because I've been trying to read down my TBR pile, but I was having withdrawals, so this week I went. I feel like I was gone too long because they moved things around while I was away! I made for the YA section, but it wasn't where I left it! They moved it from the back corner to a bank of shelves right across from the desk; I think they had to put it in a more prominant place so they could keep an eye on them. They've had trouble with vandalism in the past and it's my thoery that someone was stealing books from the back corner.
Anyway! What I got! I got The Red Necklace by Sally Gardiner and The Devouring by Simon Holt.

An exciting, romantic novel set against the feverish backdrop of the French Revolution.

Clever and head-turningly attractive, fourteen-yearold Yann is an orphan who has been raised in Paris by TĂȘtu, a dwarf with secrets he has yet to reveal to the gypsy boy. It's the winter of 1789, and the duo have been working for a vain magician named Topolain. On the night when Topolain's vanity brings his own death, Yann's life truly begins. That's the night he meets shy Sido, an heiress with an ice-cold father, a young girl who has only known loneliness until now. Though they have the shortest of conversations, an attachment is born that will influence both their paths.
And what paths those will be! Revolution is afoot in France, and Sido is being used as a pawn. Only Yann will dare to rescue her, and he'll be up against a fearful villain who goes by the name Count Kalliovski, but who has often been called the devil. It'll take all of Yann's newly discovered talent to unravel the mysteries of his past and Sido's and to fight the devilish count.
________________________________________________________


"When dark creeps in and eats the light,
Bury your fears on Sorry Night.
For in the winter's blackest hours,
Comes the feasting of the Vours,
No one can see it, the life they stole,
Your body's here but not your soul..."

THE VOURS: Evil, demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on Sorry Night, the darkest hours of the winter solstice.
When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic. But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it's clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman's imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life.
To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?
The Devouring is an engrossing tale of terror that will have you wondering: what if your worst fears became your living nightmare?

Awards:
It's been a week of tough guy awards! Stormi over at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! has given me the Honest Scrap Award, which I've already passed out before, and Taschima of Bloody Bookaholic has deemed my blog to be kick "butt". Thanks, guys! These are two very cool awards!

The rules: Pass this award on to five blogs that you think kick it and say why. Sounds easy enough!
1. YA Vampire Books! Sara was kind and considerate enough to answer a question I had about the content of a book. Thanks, Sara! This is why you kick butt!
2. The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia! You always send your extra books my way, and thus you are kick butt!
3. La Femme Readers! Eleni promotes new authors, which is fairly kickin' by itself, but she's also one of the nicest bloggers there are!
4. Dahlia's Eclectic Mind! Dahlia is a snappy dresser. Just kidding! I mean, she is, but that's not why- Okay, let me start over! Dahlia is one of funniest people I know and the person that introduced me to blogging! You are kick butt, D! 
5. Bites! Donna had the most fun contest for Halloween in which the entrants were encouraged to be creative! We wrote stories, made art, and shared our scariest moments; it was a lot of fun and the stories were really good! For inspiring bloggers to embrace their creative side, Donna is kick butt!

There's a lot of other kick butt blogs and bloggers out there, but I'm a stickler for rules2, so five it is!

In Other News:
*The Save Amanda Feral Campaign is an effort to save an adult urban fantasy series featuring snarky zombies and such from getting the ax. The problem: this reportedly witty and snarktacular read was published as a trade paper back3, which has been the death of many a paranormal/fantasy series4. To combat this problem, author Mark Henry is having a contest to get the ARCs of his third Amanda Feral book into the trusty hands of reviewers like YOU5! It ends at midnight on December 14th, so go, go go!
 *YA Vampire Books is having a contest right now. You could win $16 to spend at The Book Depository! It's open to all countries that TBD ships to, which is a lot, and it raps up on December 31st.
*I've been thinking about my review of Snap a lot these last few days, and I think I sold it short. It still gets two zombies, but I missed its possitive qualities! This happens sometimes; I'll read a book and it will take me a few days for me to fully appreciate it. Usually this isn't a problem because typically I wait three days between reading and writing the review, this time, however, I was crunched for time and I thought the right of the book. Rating them is easy for me, I usually know by midway what I'm gonna give a book, it's the act of actually reviewing the book that gives me trouble sometimes. What I'm realizing of late is that it was actually a very nice book. It told the story of a girl who had her fair share of faults, but by the end of the story had grown through hardship into a mature(er) individual. Madison's struggle was something that we all, at some point or another, can relate to. The crux of the issue was that the paranormal aspect was wrapped up so neatly at the end that I was feeling short changed. Snow had it set up for some major drama at the end, but balked at the last moment and opted for a sugary, happy ending. And that's my review of the ARC of Snap  by Carol Snow!
* I just know I'm missing something, but I can't for the life of me think what, so I guess that's it!

Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes______________________________________________________
1  Kudos, as always, go to The Story Siren for starting and promoting the IMM meme!
2  Not really, but I am sorta lazy. ;)
3  As opposed to mass market paperbacks which retail for about 6 bucks, trade paperbacks go for about $13. You can see why this might be a problem, right?
4  Or so I hear.
5  You know, if you review adult lit. I'm not entered because it sounds too... mature for my taste.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Take On Snap by Carol Snow (ARC)

Madison Sabatini thought she knew who she was: an almost-sophomore with a bright future. The newest photographer on her school paper. A shopaholic with great hair and a fabulous wardrobe. Then, in a flash, everything changed.
Now she's stuck in Sandyland, a gloomy beach town in the middle of nowhere, living with her parents in a crappy hotel "suite." Instead of spending the summer with her friends at home, she's hanging out with pink-haired Delilah, an artist who works in a shop called Psychic Photo, and a skater boy named Duncan who's totally not her type. Except, maybe he is . . .

Determined to make the best of things, Madison throws herself into her one passion: photography. But when strange figures start appearing in her pictures—people who weren't there when she snapped the shots, people who are later reported dead—she begins to question everything about who she is . . . and who she wishes she could be.

  Madison and her family were supposed to be in Hawaii for the summer, sipping fruity beverages and snapping pics of warm, clear water, but instead she's been dragged to the "charming" beach community of Sandyland. Her father (a construction worker who's fallen on hard times) has found a job there and has pitched the trip as a "working vacation". But it doesn't take long to figure out that something bigger is going on here, especially once Madison sees the rumors that are flying around on her MySpace page. Is there something that her parents aren't telling her?
  This was a very quick read (it only took me one afternoon). The story wasn't as ghosty as the synopsis led me to believe, it was primarily about Madison learning to deal (and, boy, did she have a lot to learn!). She was a very image obsessed character and I often had the urge to slap her. She was so hung up on her "real friends" and her status symbols (nice jeans, in-ground pool, great hair, and primo neighborhood and school) that she caused herself a lot of grief and nearly missed out on real friendships.
  The photography bit felt forced to me, especially in the first half of the book. The descriptions improved in the second half, but I think that the title was more about Madison's snap judgements than her snap shots.
  The characters were good. They were colorful and easily relatable. Despite the fact that I wanted to knock some sense into the girl, it was easy to put yourself in Madison's shoes. The writing style was very fast paced and simple so that it really felt like Madison was telling it.
  The ending was in the style of an afterword. I don't really like this style because it feels to me too much like a rap-up. They read like a laundry list of things that happened after; like the author ran out of juice and is just trying to finish the thing. I wasn't thrilled with how it ended in the story department either; it just sorta went !!!... -_- Zzzz. You know?
Ratings: The suggested age range was young adult (12 and up), but the content was really more in line with a mid-grade book. There was no smut (small victory), and the relationships were very immature. I give this a PG rating with a warning that there is some use of the occult (some people are really bothered by that, so it must be said).
I give Snap...
...Two zombies.
It might improve from the uncorrectd version, who knows (not me), but it just fell flat. If you like chick-lit and coming of age stories with a little touch of darkness, than this is for you. It just wasn't for me.

Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl


***I won this ARC from a fellow blogger. See disclaimer at end of page.***

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mega Holiday Giveaway @ Dark Faerie Tales

Dark Faerie Tales is having the mother of all holiday giveaways, and the list of prizes is to maim for1!
Deets: Four winners will have their choice from a list of nearly 40 books! Contest ends January 5, 2010.
Notes: Me reading the list of prizes-- Ooh, that's cool. That's cool, too! Oh, oh, oh! I can't believe that's on the list!!! Must. Enter. Now!
You're gonna want to check this one out. Trust me.

~ZG

footnotes________________________________________________
1  I wouldn't say it's to kill for, exactly, because killing is wrong, but it's a very good list of books nonetheless.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Weekly Book Roundup (Nov #4)

Good gravy, how time doth fly! Time to see what I've acquired this week1!

Library:
This book was recommended to me by Dahlia. She claimed it to be "a riot", and I find myself in complete agreement with her assesment thus far.

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant

Ace Detective
Snappy Dresser
Razor–tongued Wit
Crackerjack Sorcerer
and
Walking, Talking,
Fire-throwing Skeleton
—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.
These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil.
The end of the world?
Over his dead body.

In Other News:
*Holy moly, I've cracked the 100 followers mark2! Huzzah! I logged on this morning, and there they were! 110 loyal followers3! Thanks, y'all! Hopefully I'll have the shipping fundage to thank you properly in the near future.
*I've been featured on The Story Siren's lovely Fresh Face Friday meme! Thank you, Kristi!!! Also featured was an array of impresive new-to-me blogs as well as one I'm very familiar with, Pirate Penguin Reads! Yay, Sandy!
*I may be the last to have noticed, but there's already a fun challenge lined-up for the fast approaching new year: The 2010 100+ Reading Challenge!

I'm looking forward to participating in this one! It sounds easy enough, but that's two books a week! Lately, I've only been able to manage to one a week, so we'll see. Do you think comic books count?
*YA Vampire Books has just cracked the 40 follower mark and is having a celebratory contest! One winner will get $16 to spend as they see fit at The Book Depository4YA Vampire Books is a blog about all things vampire, and spotlights one vampire related thing a week- be it books, TV shows, or movies. So what're you waiting for, my darling fanged kiddies? Head on over this instant and check it out!

Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes______________________________________________
1  Kudos to The Story Siren for starting and promoting the IMM meme!
2  Has anyone else noticed the "gotta catch 'em all" mentality of follower collecting? It's like Girl Scout badges. But fear not, little ones, I'll not fall prey to the collector's mind set nor be swayed by the hoarder's wiles! I'm just pleased that several someones find my blog worthwhile.
3  Of course, I'm only assuming you're all loyal. I suppose some of you may just be following because all the cool kids are doing it. It may have absolutely nothing to do the content, layout, or my sparkling personality5!
4  Have you been to TheBookDepository.com? International shipping is FREE and some new titles are up to 50% off! They even have hard to find foreign covers for some books! I think I'm in love!
5  Blame the blatant egotism on Skullduggery Pleasant. He's a very self-assured individual, and it does tend to rub off.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Win Wondrous Strange!


Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie's enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year. This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her. Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance. Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader.

Interested? Good! Then head on over to La Femme Readers for your chance to win a copy of Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston! The deadline is November 30, and two lucky winners will be drawn using Random.org. Open to Us and Canada only.

Good luck,
Zombie Girrrl

My Take On Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (ARC)

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

I had a hard time getting into this story in the begining. I'd be reading, and it wasn't like I couldn't put it down. It might have been me and my preoccupation, but I felt like I was a stone skipping along the surface but never really sinking in. It was definitely no fault of the characters; Sam was instantly endearing with his borderline self deprication, dark past, and gorgeous lupine eyes, and Grace was a lot cooler than most teen romance leads- not at all swoony or overly dependant on her new found beau. The language was realistically eloquent, never feeling forced or over done. I loved how Stiefvater would see the opportunity for Sam or Grace to be overly verbose in their proffesions of love but she'd let it pass with a funny, "But nobody talks like that," thought.
I don't know why it took almost half the book to catch my attention, but once it did I was hooked!
Sam was definitely my favorite, though it was easy to put yourself in Grace's shoes. I've read that Stiefvater has a love affair with music and writes some into each book, in this case it was Sam who was the musician. He played a little guitar, though it didn't come up enough for it to seem like the author was trying to make a "Save the Music" type statement. He occasionally composed lyrics in his head about whatever he was feeling; it made him seem very relatable, and yes, even more lovable. Grace on the other hand was the exact oppsite of Sam; controling, but not scarily so; orderly, but not nuerotic. As Sam said, she was a sleek digital clock synced up with global time zones and he was a snowglobe of shaken up emotions. They complemented eachother perfectly.
Werewolves: Take a step back from the werewolf you've been raised with and meet a new breed. The moon has nothing to do with these guy's cycle. Instead it depends on the temperature. When the temperature drops, the humans infected with the lupine disease1 tranform into actual wolves. I loved the werewolves. Loved! It was very original- I love to see an author step out of the box of preconception and come up with something completely new.
This was definitely a story of love and longing, but it lacked the typical undertones of creepy obsession and sycophantic semi-worship. Thank. God. Grace and Sam were mildly obsessed with each other, but they were at least aware of it. Grace could still function without Sam holding her hand, and vise versa. Their relationship was actually healthy! It was refreshing.
Ratings: I'd rate this PG13 for mild sexual content. It was handled as discretely and tastefully as pre-marital relations can be.
I give Shiver...

Four Zombies!
Yes, despite the fact that I initially had a hard time getting into it, this was an excellent book. The characters, premise, and writing were all top notch and I really do think that had my week been calmer, I would have been hooked right off the bat. I'll be rereading this when I'm not so busy to confirm my hypothesis2.
I'm really looking forward to reading Linger. I can't imagine what else could happen, and I'm dying to see what Maggie's gonna put us through next. The synopsis has me very curious and a little worried...

Happy Thanksgiving,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes_________________________________________________________
1  Or cursed, whichever way you prefer to look at it. I prefer the disease slant, it's more intersting and more modern. Like viral zombies! Way cooler than spontaneous reanimation. Any-who!
2  I'll be getting a finished copy, though. It wouldn't be right to like a book so much and not even own the finished copy!  So what's a girl to do with her ARC? I think y'all can guess...
3  P.S. He'll always be Sam to me. I don't care if his names "officially" been changed to Lee in the next book, Sam will always be Sam- even if it takes a bottle of White-Out to make it so!  XP
***I won this ARC from a contest hosted by a fellow blogger.***

The No Kill Book Shelter is Now Open!





Just because one person didn't appreciate a book doesn't mean that someone else won't absolutely love it. The books you'll find here in the shelter have been badly neglected and unloved. In some instances they've even been verbally abused. Book violence is a very serious issue, one that we should all do our part to remedy. Support your local No Kill Book Shelter and give a bad book a second chance.

For the sake of unloved books and for the purpose of giving them a good home, Jane of Life After Jane has opened a shelter where, for a limited time, you can adopt one book and give the love it deserves!

Applications for adoption must be sumitted by December 8th, and two lucky families will be chosen and annouced on the 9th, so there's not a lot of time! Head on over today and give a deserving book a happy home!

Zombie Girrrl

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Her Name's Eleni and She's Having a Contest!

And it's a good one, too!
To help get us in the holiday spirit, two lucky winners will recieve their choice of book straight from Amazon! The only stipulations are that you keep it under $25 and that you are a resident of either the US or CA.
Contest ends December 20 at midnight, so sign up today1!

May the odds be ever in your favor2!
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes__________________________________________________
1  Just to be careful, I made the whole body of the post a link to the contest on La Femme Readers! There's nothing worse than  wanting to enter a  contest or something and missing the link.
2  Allow me to rephrase: May half of the odds be in your favor, and half of them be in mine.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

The results are in and the winner of the Top 5 Recommended Reads Contest is... *drum roll*...
Natalie of Mindful Musings1!
Natalie recommended City of Bones by Cassandra Clare2 as her top recommended read of the year, and chose Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow3 as her prize!
Congratulations, Natalie! And thank you, participants and Park Avenue Princess!

Happy Reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes________________________________________________
1  The winner was drawn by the Park Avenue Princess at Random.org
2  I love this series!
3  I was secretly hoping someone would win this book, it's fantastically gritty!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Weekly Book Roundup (Nov #3) Plus Awards!

Time to see what I got this week1!

Gifted:
My good friend Orchid was kind enough to pass along a few duplicates to me! She gave me the first three Maximum Ride books2! Thanks, Orchid!



Awards:
Ohh La La Award:
I'm super excited to accept this award from Heather of Gofita's Page. Merci beaucoup, Heather! This award is si jolie3! Aside from passing it on, I also get to answer a few questions!

Where is your favorite place to read?
Outside, but only it's not too sunny as I tend to burn, and not too windy because I don't like my pages to blow, and not too cold because I don't like layers. On second thought, an arm chair's good. But only if it's by a window because I prefer natural light, and it doesn't rock because it gives me vertigo, and... :} I also like reading while walking.

Bookmarks or dog ears?
Bookmarks! To dog ear a good book is sacrilige! If I don't have a bookmark handy, I just leave them lying open. This habit drives some people nuts, though I really don't see what the big deal is.

What's the best book you've read so far this year?
Ooh, toughy! The first thing that comes to mind is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, nd since I don't wish to torment myself, I'll just stick with that.

Do you like to snack while reading, and if so, what is your favorite snack?
Not really. I do like to have some water near at hand, though.

Book borrower or book collector?
Both. Half of my TBR list is borrowed books, and I'm a total book hoarder. I like to squirrel them away around the house so I'm never far from something to read.

Nominies:

Park Avenue Princess
The Story Siren
Dahlia's Eclectic Mind
The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
The Tainted Poet
Bloody Bookaholic
vvb32 reads
La Femme Reads

Congatualtions, y'all!

I also recieved a few awards from Dahlia of Dahlia's Eclectic Mind! Thanks, D!

Let's Be Friends Award:
Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.

Nominies:

Park Avenue Princess
Dahlia
Orchid
Eli
Eleni
Taschima
Velvet
Allysa
Sandy
Heather

Dahlia also gave me the Kreativ Blogger Award and the Zombie Chicken Award, but I've already recieved these in the past, so I'm not gonna pass them on again.


In Other News:
My first contest has come to a close! Thank you a million times over, Park Avenue Princess for the help and the promotional opportunity! And thanks to everyone who entered and all my new and old followers! You guys rock! I hope it's not too long a wait for my next contest.

Bonne lecture4,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes_______________________________________________
1 Kudos to The Story Siren for starting and promoting the IMM meme!
2 The first three Max books are definitely my favorite. I think he went too far with the fourth and fifth books.
3 so pretty
4 Happy reading

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Contest Reminder

Contest Closed

Just a quick reminder that your chance to win 1 of 5 amazing books expires Saturday November 21st, so if you've yet to enter, do so now! Unless, that is, you don't want to win one of the following1:
World War Z by Max Brooks
Den of Shadows by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
The Looking Glass Wars By Frank Beddor
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow


Interested? Good! Then click HERE to enter2!


Good luck!
Zombie Girrrl


footnotes__________________________________________
1 The three titles without links haven't been reviewed on my blog for some strange reason, but I assure you that they are Five Zombie reads!
2 Don't freak out, but you will be sent to anoter blog when you click this link! The contest is in conjuction with The Park Avenue Princess' Saturday Spotlight meme. You can read an interview with yours truly and then sign up for my contest at the end of the post!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Take On Dramarama by E. Lockhart

Two theater-mad, self-invented
fabulositon Ohio teenagers.
One boy, one girl.
One gay, one straight.
One black, one white.
And SUMMER DRAMA CAMP.
It's a season of hormones,
gold lame,
hissy fits,
jazz hands,
song and dance,
true love,
and unitards
that will determine their future
—and test their friendship.


Talk about two very different takes on a book!
After reading Dramarama and being slightly less than thrilled, Orchid lent it to me with the warning that I shouldn't expect too much. It was too glittery and the characters were all too dramatic1.

ZG: Glitter, you say? [feigns disinterest]
Orchid: Yes, glitter.
ZG: How much glitter? You know, for curiousities sake. [plays coy]
Orchid: Gobs of it. [suspecion creeps into voice]
ZG: *heavy sigh* I guess I could give it a shot. [rolls eye as though granting a huge favor]

I was not disappointed.

This book is definitely in a league of its own as far as I'm concerned. I've never read a book about the theater and Broadway before, and the only apt term for what I found in Dramarama is "Fabulous!" E. Lockhart dropped showtunes titles and Broadway stars like breadcrumbs, but I never felt out of the loop or uninformed. It wasn't forced, it just was. I danced around my room for a few days after reading this, the theater vibe was that contagious.
The whole story was not about glitter and gold lame2, however. It was about friendship, expressing yourself, accepting who you are, and finding where you fit. Demi and Saydie's friendship was fun to read about because they were both so encouraging and flambouyant. I loved the songs and dance reutines they put together to survive their fabulacking Ohio town.
But my favorite thing was this wasn't your typical chicklit. Everything wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. If it were, I wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much. I've found that while most chicklit books are like a box of perfect bonbons with creamy centers and zero calories, E.'s are more realistic and thus more enjoyable4. Her books are like that same box of chocolates, but now you're eating them with the knowledge that the average chocolate bar has 3 to 8 insect legs in it3. They're fun and sorta outrageous, but still realistic. And I love the ending! It allowed your mind to wander down the path of time and imagine what would have become of Demi and Saydie after The End.

Ratings! I'd rate Dramarama PG13, but only mildly so. There was a little kissing, but nothing too much, and no hanky panky. Yay!
I give Dramarama...
Three Zombies!
I will definitely be looking into E.'s other books after this. A little birdy told me that The Boyfriend List would be right up my alley...

Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes____________________________________
1 For Orchid's full review, click here.
2 Pronouced "la-may"
3 Is it wrong that this doesn't temper my love of choclate in the slightest?
4 Case in point, The Disreutable History of Franky Landeau-Banks. I loved that book because it had a tinge of reality and everything wasn't hokey pokey all the time.
***I am not recieving compensation for this review. All opinions expressed above are those of the author of this blog alone. The above reviewed book was acquired from my library. Individual results may vary.***

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Weekly Book Roundup (Nov #2)

It's that time again, time for me to share what I've acrued this week1!

IMM:
This week something wonderful came in my mailbox; a 6lb box of books, swag, and Halloween goodies from Katie of Katies Book Blog. It was like a slightly belated birthday present, and I tore into it with the zeal of a five year old! Inside was the following:

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (ARC)
Never Cry Werewolf by *** (ARC)
Devil's Kiss by *** (ARC)
Snap by Carol Snow (ARC)
Danial X by James Patterson (PB)
The Dark Devine nail polish and soundtrack2
Hush, Hush book plate sgined by Becca Fitzpatrick3
various bookmarks including one for Meridian signed by Amber Kizer
2 Oh. My. Gods. buttons4
You Are So Undead to Me t-shirt5
a foot-long pumpkin pen
a ghost lamp
2 glow-in-the-dark wrist bands
2 mini note pads
a bouquet of Blow Pops
a pumpkin Pez despenser
1 pair fuzzy purple socks6
And... I think that's it!

Major thanks go out to Katie for having such an awesome Halloween bonanza! BTW, she's having another awesome contest as we speak! She's giving away Need by Carrie Jones! The contest ends Nov 20, and there's a link on my sidebar. -->

In Other News:
The results are in, and 43% of you had it right! I am now 22 years old! Whoo! I don't know what some of you were thinking, 15 to 17?! As if! I remember when the Macarena was invented8!
Thanks to everyone who voted and all well wishers. ^-^

Happy Reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes_______________________________________
1 Kudos to The Story Siren for starting and promoting the IMM meme!
2 The nail polish is seriously my favorite shade of purple, and the soundtrack is sooo good! I think I've mentioned before how much I love book soundtracks; it really gives you a feel for where the writer's mind was at, so I now have a pretty good idea (I think) of what happens in The Dark Devine.
3 This went straight into my copy! I squealed when I saw that.
4 The one with the winged shoes now resides on the grey leopard spotted cardigan I got for my birthday.
5 More squealing. I'm currently reading this book, so now I can read and wear it!
6 These made me giggle. They're really handy, though, because my feet are like ice cubes. They're like corpsickles. ^-^
7 Not sure I should be bragging about that...

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Take On Soulless by Gail Carriger

First off, this is not technically a YA book. I've seen it circulating the YA blogosphere quite a lot, I even won my autographed copy from one, so I was a little surprised to find out it was in fact an adult book. There are a few scenes that more delicate readers1 will have to skim over, so I'm gonna rate this book a strong PG13 for graphic adult situations2. Aside from the occasionaly "scene" this book read very much like a YA book. It was fast paced with excellent characters, just the right amount of mystery, and hilarious dialogue. It's an excellent crossover book for adults looking to get into YA or vise versa.

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

As for the book, it was fabulous! I couldn't get enough of Miss Alexia Tarrabotti and her everpresent parasol3! The setting was a lot different from what I usually read, but it was a great change of pace. The characters were vibrant and loveable, I especially loved reading about her flambouyant friend Lord Akeldama. I was always waiting to see what he'd wear next, and I was never dissapointed. Carriger was never sparse with her descriptions of the characters, the world, or the political workings thereof. The story was never slow or bogged down by details, though.
The character interaction was the high point for me. I especially loved Alexia and Lord Maccon's bickering and Alexia's relationship with her best friend, Miss Hisselpenny. They had this snide little thing where Alexia would insult Miss Hisselpenny's taste in headwear and Miss Hisselpenny would then criticise Alexia on her accademic pursuits. It was hilarious!
This book was a riotous introduction into the colorful, magical world of Miss Tarrabotti. It had me laughing out loud in innapropiate locals, but I've never been shy about that sorta thing, so I'd just say, "I'm sorry, but this is a really funny book! You'll have to excuse my laughter because it simply cannot be helped!"

I give Soulless...
Four zombies! This novel of vampires, werewolves, parasols, and steampunk (which is best read with tea4), is high up on my list of recommended reads5, and I eagerly await the release of the second volume in the Parasol Pretectorate Series, Changeless, in May.

Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes_________________________________________
1 Such as myself. As I've stated before, I don't like smut in my reads, so when I encounter them I skim over them.
2 Keep in mind, however, that my idea of what's what might be a little more conservative than a-ver-age bear.
3 If you're in the market for more parasol shinanigans, read the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters. It's got a slower pace, but the characters are fairly similar. The main premise is that Peabody is a witty and highly intelligent woman archeologist in a non-steampunk Victorian England, though the story takes place in Egypt. Her and her hot Archealogist husband solve mysteries and fight against grave robbers and such. They're very good. But I digress...
4. That's what Miss Carriger wrote on the inside flap. It was very cool of her. ^-^
5. A totally true claim. I'm lending it to my sisters and I've been dropping strong hints to my aunt that she would enjoy this series very much. So yeah, it's for everyone (over a certain age6).
6. It's my personal opinion that that age is 17.
***I am not recieving compensation for this review. All opinions expressed above are those of the author of this blog alone. Individual results may vary.***

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Weekly Book Rounup (Oct #3, #4, & Nov #1)

Sooo much to catch up on! I've been lazy in the IMM department these last few weeks, but no more! Here's what I've gotten for last three weeks1!

Library:
Nothing much to report on this front as I've been trying to shorten my TBR pile. It has gotten rather out of hand of late. I did get Catcher in the Rye a couple weeks ago, though. I love that book! Holden is awesome, and one of my new favorite characters. Expect a full review in the near future.


In My Mailbox:
I won Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll from Velvet in an Easter egg contest she had during Alice in Wonderland Week. She also threw in a box of Chocorooms2 from the Catapillar. Thanks, V! I've set Alice aside to be my Christmas read3.
I also won a Leviathon postcard signed by Scott Westerfeld (!!!) from Celia. Thanks, girl!
From Fatastic Book Review, I won a signed copy of Soulless by Gail Carriger, which came straight from the author! She wrote, "Best read with tea!" inside. So true! Thank you, Tina and Miss Carriger! This book was fantastic and hilarious!
I also won a crisp new copy of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick from Cindy over at Simple Life and Reading. Thnaks, Cindy!


In Other News:
~Don't forget to enter
MY FIRST CONTEST EVER! One lucky winner willl have their choice from five of my all time favorite books!
~Also, Dahlia is celebrating her 1 year blogoversary right now, and there's a copy of Leviathon up for grabs, so be sure to head on over for that!!!
~It lives! My computer is back in action! Turns out it wasn't actually dead, it just had a massive stroke or something and lost all its memory. But fear not! It was backed up on a portable hard drive. I highly recommend you procure one for your computer, they are a God send4.
~It's my birthday (week)!!! Feel free to shower me in praise and well wishes, and don't forget to cast yor vote on my poll! ;)

Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes_______________________________________________
1 Kudos to
The Story Siren for starting and promoting the IMM meme!
2 Chocoroom-chocoroom-chocoroom! New favorite word! Say it, it's fun!
3 It seems more seasonal than zombies or fallen angels.
4 Que heavenly choir.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Buttons, Buttons, Buttons!

Head on over to Tynga's Blog Design to enter for a chance to win a custom blog button! There's a few requirements: you must follow, you must post, and you must fill out a little thingy, but it's super easy and the prize is awesome! I'd love to have a button for my blog, especially if it's free!

Good luck1!
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes_________________________________________
1 But not too much luck, because I do want to win, after all!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Take On Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.




Ever read a book that so good, it felt unnecessary to write a review? So good, that the whole world must already be aware of it, and to say so would just be redundant? Well, that's how it was with Catching Fire.
I'll admit I was a mite worried that it wouldn't live up to the awesomeness that was The Hunger Games, so I put off reading it for a little while, but I need not have worried. From page one, I was, once again, Katniss. I felt her fear, anxiety, and resentment. I lived her life. Suzanne Collins has a style unlike any other I've read. Reading her books is an intense experience, and her characters and the world she's created are wonderful and, in some instances, frightingly real.
There was less action than the first book initially, but it picked up very quickly, and like a juggernaut, it just kept gathering momentum. The plot was also a lot thicker than the first book, and we were pulled deeper into the instability in the Districts. The old characters were really expanded on and a lot of depth was added, also a bunch of new ones were introduced.
Now, I don't want give too much away, but I will say there was a lot more Gale/Peeta time1. Poor Katniss is stuck between a rock and hard place, in the love department2. On top of that, she's stuck trying to get in the good graces of the hideously evil President Snow in order to ensure the safety of her loved ones, and handle all the pressures that come with being a champion, including a tour of the whole country where she and Peeta witness the instability of the population and the Capitol's hard handed control methods. And, O, the twists this story takes! And the ending? Amazing! I read the last few pages over at least five times before I even thought about setting the book down, it was so... what's a word meaning, "Whoa, dude, I did not see that coming!"? Not "shocking," that's not nearly big enough. If you like an unpredictable thrill ride that really pulls you in, you must, must, must read this series!


I give Catching Fire...
...Five Zombies! I cannot wait to get my greedy little mits on the third installment!

Happy Reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes_________________________________________

1 Whooo!

2 Choose you side now, Gentle Reader, because there will definitely be some boy rooting going on! I was on Team Gale in book one, but you really got to delve deeper into the characters in CF, so now I'm torn. Peeta or Gale? Gale or Peeta?

3 Are you reading it yet? No? Well, what are yo waiting for?!

****I won this book in a contest, and am not receiving compensation for this review. Individual results may vary.***

Blank Spaces Have Great Potential...