Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Take On Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

Ask me what Thirteen Reasons Why was about before I read it and I'd say suicide; now, however, I'd say repercussions.
In this thought provoking novel we follow Clay, a self professed "good guy", on the worst night of his life as he learns what led to his long-time crush's suicide. Hannah's left behind a set seven cassettes with thirteen stories that illustrate the consequences of seemingly minor actions and how things can get totally out of hand very easily. She starts in the beginning, with an innocent first, and weaves together the tale of thirteen people who had irrevocable impacts on her life- and, ultimately, her death.
I felt so bad for Clay, and found myself asking why Hannah felt compelled to make everyone feel so miserable, especially Clay. But as I read on I realized it wasn't just a suicide note blaming everyone for her choice; it was a confession.
At the beginning I thought I knew what was what, but I turned out to be absolutely wrong. Characters that seemed villainous turned out to be relatively harmless and characters I thought were harmless were anything but. The story may have been one of increasing darkness, but in the end there was a ray of hope. And after having suffered with Clay, it was all the more precious.
I'd rate this PG13 for the mature theme of suicide along with sugestive content. Really, it's just not meant for the under 15 set in my opinion.
I give Thirteen Reasons Why...
...Four Zombies!
It was one of the most thought provoking books I've read in a long time. I highly recommend this this book.

Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrr

**This book was obtained at my local library. I am not receiving compensation for this review.**

Sunday, January 24, 2010

WIN GLEE SOUNDTRACK

Teens Read and Write is giving away your choice of either the first or second Glee soundtrack! I love this show, and the music is awesome, so go check it out!
This contest is open internationally and ends January 26, so hurry, hurry, hurry and sign up today!

Good luck!
Zombie Girrrl

Teens Read and Write Mega Contest!

The Kirks have surpassed the 500 followers mark and are having another super, spectacular, ginormous, Mega Giveaway! This conest is opened internationally and ends March 7. It starts with four winners, but they will add more!

Good Luck,
Zombie Girrrl

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weekly Book Roundup (Jan 23)

Wow, I haven't done of these in what feels like forever! I've kinda missed it, but the truth is that I just didn't have anything to write about for the last few week. I've been working my way through my personal library, so there was nothing to report, but this week was very good in the book department, it wasn't bad in other respects, either. It was just a good week. Okay, I'm just gonna get on with it and tell y'all what I got1!

Library:
Really good day at the library! I found a bunch of stuff I'd been wanting to read, and something I hadn't previousy heard of but turned out to be excellent!

A first novel of refreshingly original letters exchanged between teenage friends, refrigerator notes from a madcap mother, and darkly comic epistles from the heroine's internal voice of self-doubt.
The Association of Teenagers" is coming down pretty hard on Elizabeth Clarry. What is she to do when her best friend Celia keeps disappearing, her absent father suddenly reappears, and her communication with her mother consists entirely of wacky notes left on the refrigerator? And now, because her English teacher wants to rekindle the "Joy of the Envelope" in the "Age of the Internet," a complete and utter stranger knows more about Elizabeth than anyone else.
But Elizabeth is on the verge of some big changes. She is about to outgrow a friend, discover a great new friend, kiss the sexiest guy alive, and run in a marathon. Who needs "The Association of Teenagers" anyway?!
Jaclyn Moriarty's hilariously candid novel shows that the roller coaster ride of being a teenager is every bit as fun as it is harrowing.

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen—terrified, but intrigued—is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

Me: Lucas Swain—I'm nearly sixteen years old and live in London. I was fairly normal until the night I found Violet. Then everything changed.
The Missing: Dad. He disappeared five years ago. Nobody knows what happened to him, and nobody cares except me. It's enough to drive you crazy.
The Dead: That's Violet . . . in the urn. Speaking of crazy—I know she's trying to tell me something, and I think it's about my father. . . .
A dead lady may not be much to go on, but my dad's out there somewhere, and it's up to me to find out where.
Click here for my review Me, the Missing, and the Dead.

Used Bookstore:
My used bookstore must've hired someone new ecause the YA section was immaculate! Usually it's sorta messy and overwhelming, but they cleared a bunch of titles that've probably been there since the last milenium2 and the place is sooo much easier to navigate. Within the first two minutes of browsing, I found the following:

Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.
Click here my review of The Giver.


In perhaps her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit and that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.
As she did in THE GIVER, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, how people could evolve, and what could be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira’s plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.

Catch-22 is like no other novel we have ever read. It has its own style, its own rationale, its own extraordinary character. It moves back and forth from hilarity to horror. It is outrageously funny and strangely affecting. It is totally original.
It is set in the closing months of World War II, in an American bomber squadron on a small island off Italy. Its hero is a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. (He has decided to live forever even if he has to die in the attempt.)
His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men have to fly.
The others range from Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder, a dedicated entrepreneur (he bombs his own airfield when the Germans make him a reasonable offer: cost plus 6%), to the dead man in Yossarian's tent; from Major Major Major, whose tragedy is that he resembles Henry Fonda, to Nately's whore's kid sister; from Lieutenant Scheisskopf (he loves a parade) to Major -- de Coverley, whose face is so forbidding no one has ever dared ask him his first name; from Clevinger, who is lost in the clouds, to the soldier in white, who lies encased in bandages from head to toe and may not even be there at all; from Dori Duz, who does, to the wounded gunner Snowden, who lies dying in the tail of Yossarian's plane and at last reveals his terrifying secret.
Catch-22 is a microcosm of the twentieth-century world as it might look to someone dangerously sane. It is a novel that lives and moves and grows with astonishing power and vitality. It is, we believe, one of the strongest creations of the mid-century.

And that's what I got this week! A really good week.
Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl
footnotes_____________________________________________________
1 Kudos to The Story Siren for starting and promoting the IMM meme!
2 Where did the books go, you wonder? Two pallets worth went to the local Goodwill. Where will I be going soon? You guessed it. I'm following the books!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Take On Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer

Junior high really sucks for thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: his mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he faces a much bigger problem: he's being hunted by a vampire killer.

My first thought after reading this book was, "Jeez, this kid cries a lot!"1 But it's not as though Vlad had nothing to cry about. His parents died four years ago and the wounds are still strikingly fresh. What's worse is that he thinks it's his fault. This isn't the main point of the story, as you can see from the synopsis above, but it had such a heavy impact on the story, and on Vlad himself, that "teary" was the overall impression I was left with. Not that this was a "sad" book. It was actually quite funny.
Firsly, I loved that Heather made no beans about Vlad's darker nature. This is not a story about a boy discovering what he is, it's about a boy discovering who he is. The first scene, as I remember, featured Vlad's "breakfast of champions": blood. And he's a growing boy. Growing boys gotta eat. Or in this case drink. It was creepy, funny, and just a mite surreal. He and his aunt would sit down to have cookies and hash out how their day went, she with a cup of tea, he with a steaming mug of nuked O possitive. Very sweet. Sorta creepy. Also hilarious.
And being a young vampire would be a lot less bearable if he didn't have his best friend Henry to talk to about it. Of course Henry doesn't really understand how tough it can be some times; mostly he just thinks it's really cool that Vlad can hover and sprout fangs to scare small children. And Vlad's aunt is really great and always there for him, but she doesn't always understand either. It's tough.
The resident bullies don't make his life any easier either. Vlad's pale, sensitive, always brings a bag lunch2, wears black, and only really has one friend. The local Neanderthals interprit this as "goth", a detestable state of being in their book, and lock their missiles on him in a relentless series of beatings and humiliation. I'm not sure when the last time I read a book with schoolyard style bullying was, but it must have been some time because it made gut clench. I hate bullying5.
And to make thing a little more complicated, as if it wasn't bad enough for dear, young Vlad, the new sub for his favorite teacher3 is radiating hinky waves with such force that you can practically see them with the naked eye. Ooh, mystery4!
This was a fun, light book with lovable characters and interesting monsterage. I'd rate it PG because the characters were true to age and innocent, which was really nice to see. I'm hoping the story will get a little darker as the series progresses and Vlad ages, because this was almost too light for me6.
I give Eighth Grade Bites...

...Three and a half zombies!
I've already read the second book in the series, and the crying has decreased a great deal. Hurray! So I'm looking forward to reading the third book, Tenth Grade Bleeds.

Happy Reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes___________________________________________________
1  Crying really was a big thing in this book, so much so that I chose the song "Tonight I Wanna Cry" by Keith Urban for Soundtrack Saturday.
2  Usually PB&J with a little somethin' extra added for a vampire's particular nutritional needs. Wink-wink.
3  This much loved teacher has gone missing under mysterious circumstanes, in case you're wondering. Although, aren't all disappearances mysteious? Can you vanish under normal circumstnaces? I guess if no one much cared where you were it wouldn't be a mystery; like if nobody wanted to find you enough to bother asking, "Well, where'd they go?!" it wouldn't be a mystery. I think someone has to try to solve it in order for to be a "mystery". Anywhoo!
4  *wiggles fingers and uses spooky, ghosty voice*
See paragraph 2, subparagraph 3.
6  I'm going through a gritty phase right now. I've been through many phases throughtout my life; my early teens were devoted to fantasy, I was heavy on chick lit for a time, and once I even gave up fiction! For about a year during my teens I just didn't read anything that wasn't real. It wasn't as bleak as you'd think, either. I look back on those days fondly because that's just where I was at the time, and I enjoyed those books. Still do, actually. A few much loved (and still read) examples from that particular phase are an assortment of books on the 1918 flu pandemic, three large and mind boggling works by the famous scientist Stephen Hawking, a rather thick biography on my favorite president Theodore Roosevelt (it's thicker than the Bible), and a book devoted entirely to the history of salt. Yes, salt. Like the stuff you sprinkle on fries. It wasn't boring, though. It was more about the impact of salt on human history. Very cool. Reading it made me hungry. Okay, deja voo! I think I've talked about that book in footnotes before... Ah, yes! The An Abundance of Katherines review! "'Among many, many others, the following things were definitely not interesting: the pupillary sphincter, mitosis, baroque architecture, jokes that have physics equations as the punch lines, the British monarchy, Russian grammar, and the significant role that salt has played in human history.' I actually think that salts role in human history is very interesting. I even have a book on it, Salt: A World History, by Mark Kurlansky. Reading it makes me hungry." That was the first time I used footnoes! Good times, good times...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Body Finder Trailer!



Isn't it amazing?! There's more; Kimberly Derting is having a huge contest! Head over now because this contest is international and 2 signed ARCs, a ton of cool swag, and several giftcards are up for grabs! Your chance to win ends Jan 23.

Good Luck!
Zombie Girrrl

Soundtrack Saturday

It was my turn to do the Soundtrack Saturday post on Rating Reads! I think I did rather well picking this week's book and song, so be sure to check it out, and don't be shy about participating in this new meme!
The rules are simple:
•Take your current read or recently finished book.
•Find at least one song that fits the story, characters, whatever.
•Post the book title and song(s) on your blog with a brief explanation of your picks. Don't forget to mention us. ;)
•Linking/embedding a song or video in your post is not necessary to participate.
•Visit Rating Reads and link your post at the bottom.

~Zombie Girrrl

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Take On Nightlife by Rob Thurman


In New York, there's a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side. Of course, most humans are oblivious to this, but Cal Leandros is only half-human. His father's dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares-and he and his entire otherworldly race are after Cal.
He and his half-brother Niko have managed to stay a step ahead for three years, but now Cal's dad has found them again. And Cal is about to learn why they want him, why they've always wanted him...

Although it could be classified as yet another romp into to an alternate, monster filled New York City, I would caution you not to write this one off. Nightlife was amazing.
Cal is a sincere and shockingly chaste individual with a bad streak a mile wide. His main redeaming quality; his half-brother. Cal justifies his being a generally good person on living up to brother's expectations of him. Niko has always looked out for Cal and has never seen the monster in him that Cal can't escape. Niko is there for Cal 100%; from changeing his diapers as a baby to having his back in the frequent fights they find themselves in as adults, and this fact is driven home throughout the book with the development of the strongest brotherly reationship I've ever read. To be quite cliche, it's beautiful.
But it's not all man-hugs and touching moments! Cal's papa is out to get him, and the brothers don't know why; all they know is that they're not gonna sit around long enough to find out. They've been on the run from the Grendels1 for four years now, and they've finally found a place where they feel somewhat at home. They're not quick to trust those around them; especially not with the secret of Cal's heritage, but the cast isn't limited to the boys alone. Other characters include a lecherous immortal, a young psychic, and a gold digging vampire.
The narration was fantastic. The story is told by Cal, and his voice was remarkable. He was blunt and had a peculiar way with words. It was remeniscent of Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye, only he swore great deal more. Like, a very, very great deal more. I'd compare this whole book to a mash up of Catcher, The Mortal Instruments, Strange Angels, and the first couple seasons of the TV show Supernatural. That's not to say it isn't original. The monsters were great and scary and totally skin-crawly. I especially loved Thurman's troll, Abbigor. He lives under the Brooklyn Bridge, and he isn't at all like the guy who harrased the three Billy Goats Gruff. He was... abhorrent. You simply have to read about him to believe it2.
This book was action packed with an had an excellent cast, and Cal and Niko were heavily armed and endearing leads.
I give Nightlife...

...Five zombies!
I have a new series to add to my list of favorites! For a in depth content rating of this and other books, visit Rating Reads.

Happy Reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes__________________________________________________________
1  The brothers named the Cal's paternal family "Grendels" after the monster from Beowulf.
2  I'll tell you one thing about ol' Abby, though. The word "spaghetti" was used in the description. *shudder* Luckily, spaghetti wasn't on the menu that week.
**Disclaimer: I am not receiving compensation for this or any other review. This series was won in a contest hosted by the fabulous Perla of Imperial Beach Teens Blog.**

Monday, January 11, 2010

Contests of Note

Here's some contests that are going on right now in the blogosphere1.
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes___________________________________________________
1  This list will be lengthened throughout the week as I didn't have time to do all my contest entering on Saturday.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Soundtrack (NEW meme)

Soundtrack Saturday is a new meme hosted by my sister blog Rating Reads. It's really simple:

•Take your current read or recently finished book.
•Find at least one song that fits the story, characters, whatever.
•Post the book title and song(s) on your blog with a brief explanation of your picks. Don't forget to mention us. ;)
•Linking/embedding a song or video in your post is not necessary to participate.
•Come back here and link your post at the bottom.

Book: Betrayals by Lili St. Crow
Song(s): Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Why? Well, the title alone could seal the deal, but it's also a classic rock song, which suits Dru so very well, and the lyrics fit too! Their ominous and speak of the weather, something that baddies have an influence on in this book... Here's the lyrics:

   I see the bad moon arising.

   I see trouble on the way.
   I see earthquakes and lightnin'.
   I see bad times today.

   CHORUS:

   Don't go around tonight,
   Well, it's bound to take your life,
   There's a bad moon on the rise.

   I hear hurricanes ablowing.
   I know the end is coming soon.
   I fear rivers over flowing.
   I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

   CHORUS

   All right!

   Hope you got your things together.
   Hope you are quite prepared to die.
   Looks like we're in for nasty weather.
   One eye is taken for an eye.

   CHORUS

   CHORUS



Do y'all have any songs for books? If so, do share!
Zombie Girrrl

Saturday, January 9, 2010

More Challenges!

Since I'll be reading 100 books this year anyway, I've decided to join a few more challenges too keep things lively. I'll be keeping track of all the books I've read here1.
Debut Author Challenge:
The Story Siren

The objective is to read a set number of YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels from debut authors published this year. I [The Story Siren] am going to challenge everyone to read at least 12 debut novels!
And I [Zombie Girrrl] accept the challenge to read 12 debut author books!
The challenge will run from January 1, 2010- December 31, 2010

My 12 DAC Books Will Be:2
1. Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
2. The Line by Teri Hall
3. Other by Karen Kincy
4. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
5. The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell
6. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
7. Prophecy of Days by Christy Raedeke
8. These Bones by Steph Bowe
9. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
10. A Love Story: Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner
11. Fire Spell by Chloe Niell
12. Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis
13. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
14.2 Under My Skin by Judith Graves

I'm really excited about these titles, especially Hunger. I mean, a teen girl with anorexia becoming the new Famine of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Someone's been thinking outside the box! Seriously, though, all these sound so good! It's going to be great year for YA.

Bottoms Up Challenge:
The Low Down: The Bottoms Up Challenge is simple. Each month, take 2-3 titles off the bottom and read them. So that would be...let's see...12-36 books in a year's time. That should make a dent. If you would like to participate, leave your name in the comments or send Elie an email. You can post the button and your goal if you are a blogger!
There will be prizes, such as $1 in the form of a GC for every book I read. If I reach my goal, which is 3 off the bottom per month, someone could win a $36 GC. Plus, at different times during the challenge year, Elie will be giving away some of the titles I conquer that I think you might like!This one's kinda perfect for me because I have a terrible habit of letting books just sit and sit and sit. I have a long list of books that I've been meaning to read but just never got around.
My goal is pull 2 neglected books to the top of my each month.

Support Your Library Challenge:

The rules for this one are simple enough: 1) check out a predetermined number of books from your local library, 2) read them! There's different levels in this challenge and I'll be doing the Mini Size: 25 library books. I should be able to finish this challenge by default because I check out that many or more every year anyway!

Happy Reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes________________________________________________________
1  Debut Author books will be marked DAC. Library Challenge books will be marked LC. Bottoms Up Challenge books will be marked BU.
2  Now, I know what your saying to yourselves right, "But, ZG, there's 14 books on that list! Have you forgotten how to count?" Well, this is my tentative list, and it is subject to change. In fact, it's practically guaranteed to change. I worked on this list for a couple of weeks, but I kept finding more and more titles, so I've decided to give myself a longer list to pull from. If I'm lucky, I'll get them all, but it's far more likely that end up reading just twelve of these amazing tiltes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Know Thyself

I did something today that I never thought I would; I declined a free book. Yes, you read that right. I, Zombie Girrl, book fanatic and review extraordinaire, turned down a book.
I won Tricks by Ellen Hopkins the other day from Diane of The Book Resort.
From the get go I was uncertain about this book and whether I could handle it, but Diane's review was excellent, so I entered the contest anyway, sorta just for the heck of it, ya know?
Innitially, I was really excited about winning the book, mostly because I was looking forward to giving my thoughts on it. I was envisioning a review that would tear at your heart as much as the book was certain to tear at mine, but then I read some reviews, both from bloggers and professionals, and the recurring theme was "Poignant and gut-wrenching." Gut-wrenching? Now, I've read plenty of gut-wrenching stories; The Book Thief for the loss of life, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas for the loss of innocence, Speak because of Melinda's silent suffering, but teen prostitution? Kids abandoned or thrown out and just longing to be loved? Could I handle that kind of sadness? Could I read about that kind of desolation without being able to reach out and hold that poor soul? Without being able to do anything but know?
I mulled it over for the rest of the day and then some more the next morning. Is a review worth losing my peace of mind over? Because that's what this story would do to me; I would lose sleep over those poor, fictional kids.
So, after much thought and consideration, I turned this book down.
The writing is probably fabulous. The characters sound real as life. Even the cover is gorgeous, in an ugly sort of way. But I know what my limits are, and as I told Diane in my decline email, this book would push me way beyond them.
The question I have for y'all is: Where do you draw the line? Are there some books or subjects that you just can't bring yourself to read? Have you ever turned down a perfectly good book?

Zombie Girrrl

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Take On The Devouring by Simon Holt

"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?

I braved the Vours on Sorry Night, and I survived! It was the perfect read for those long, pre-Christmas nights when the wind is throwing itself against the walls of your house, trying to find a way in to rend your soul and leave you forsaken. Okay, enough poetry.
This is one case where the cover really sealed the deal for me. I'm not big on horror1, but the cover was just s'darn pretty that I couldn't pass it up! Good thing I don't live in the UK, because I wouldn't have picked it up it for lovin' nor money! And not only is it eye catching, it also captures Reggie perfectly. Another thing about this book; going into it, I thought it would take place in rural, mid-twentieth century America as the prologue indicated, so I was quite shocked when the story transitioned from that to the present. At first I was dissapointed, but the story was really better suited the now, I think, so I got over it fairly quickly.
Reggie was a very capable protagonist. She's been forced into a demi-mother role ever since her mom walked out without so much as a backward glance leaving her, her little brother, and her father. Her dad's a bit of a flake in the emotional department, so her home life leaves a bit to be desired, though it was interesting to read about. As a means of escape, Reggie's taken up reading as many gruesome horror stories as she can get her hands on. The story really gets going when she snags an old journal from the used book store she works at, and she and her best, and only, friend, Platonic Boy of Similar Social Rank and Questionable Headwear2, unwittingly bring the Vours down on her family when they perform a fear ritual on Sorry Night. But who better than a horror buff, who's faced every fear imaginable whilst traversing the realms of fiction, to fight the demonic parasites? But what Reggie discovers is that the world is more full of darkness than she'd ever imagined.
I was bit confused as to how the Vours were psychic parasites yet still had a corporeal form, but that asside, they were excellent monsters. I especially enjoyed reading about Reggies battle royale against them and seeing whether she would be brave enough to devour her fear4.
My favorite part of the book was by far the Fearscape; a place where all your fears are real. I don't want to give too much away, but it did manage to raise some goosebumps.
I'd rate The Devouring PG13 for scenes of creepy gore. For a complete content rating of this and other books, head on over to Rating Reads5.
I give The Devouring...

...Four Zombies
with a fear factor of 3. It wasn't as scary as The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but a book's FF depends greatly on the reader's individual fears. Turns out psychic fear monsters aren't high on my list.

Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes__________________________________________________________
1  A highly debatable statement, if ever there was one.
2  And what social rank would that be? you wonder? Hey nodders. It means that while walking down the halls of their beloved high school, Reggie and Aaron will recieve a hey,  a nod, or any combination of the two from the general populace. I really loved reading about those two. It was sooo nice that they were just friends! You could tell that they were never going to be anything but friends because Aaron wore a stupid hat. It's the law of headwear that any boy wearing a dippy hat has no chance with the leading lady3. At least not in this book. Who's to say what'll happen in Soulstice, though? ;)
3  Case and point: Sixteen Candles. Ducky, anyone?
4  Does anyone else find the title funny? I mean, De-vour. Like to get rid of a Vour? 
5  Rating Reads is place where books will be rated on their content by me, Dahlia, Orchid, and Holland. Contributions are welcome as we're hoping to rate as many books as possible to aid our fellow readers.
**This book was obtained through a contest held by a fellow blogger. I have recieved no compensation for this review.**

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Weekly Book Roundup (Jan #1) + Happy New Year!

I hope y'all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Mine was great! I got a couple books for Christmas that I'm really excited about along with my favorite movie Star Trek! if you aven't seen it yet, I highly recommend you do so now. Anyway, here's what I got last year1!

Christmas:
Betrayed by Lili St. Crow from my parents. I'm so excited to read this! The first book was sooo good!
She's no angel . . .
Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she's just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn't entirely human. (So what else is new?)
Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England Schola for other teens like her, and there's a big problem— she's the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn't be so bad, but Dru's killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide. . .
Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust—and maybe even her heart?

Arch Enemy by Frank Beddor from my aunt and uncle. This is the third book in the Looking Glass Wars trilogy, which is phenomenal! This will be the perfect thing to read after I finish Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol; that's what I've been reading whilst on my internet sabatical2. It's fairly fabulous; very much like a dream and the telling is so innocent. It reminds me what it was like being little, how your mind worked when you were a kid.
The Heart Crystal’s power has been depleted, and Imagination along with it. The people of Wonderland have all lost their creative drive, and most alarmingly, even Queen Alyss is without her powers. There is some comfort in the fact that the vicious Redd Heart seems to be similarly disabled. Amazingly, she is attempting to team up with her enemy, Alyss, in order to reclaim Wonderland from King Arch. Alyss might have no choice but to accept Redd’s overtures, especially when she begins to receive alarming advice from the caterpillar oracles.

In My Mailbox:
Not an hour after I announced my aforementioned sabatical, the mail came and I found that I had three special deliveries!

From Perla of Imperial Beach Teen Blog I got the Cal Leandros series books 1 through 4. I've already started the first two, and they were fantastic! I can't wait to review them!
In New York, there's a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side. Of course, most humans are oblivious to this, but Cal Leandros is only half-human. His father's dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares-and he and his entire otherworldly race are after Cal.
He and his half-brother Niko have managed to stay a step ahead for three years, but now Cal's dad has found them again. And Cal is about to learn why they want him, why they've always wanted him...






















From Brittlit of The Reading Nook I got a hardback of The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz. I enetered this one with a friend in mind, I haven't read this series, so I was really excited that it came before Christmas3.
















I also got a Christmas card from Sarah of Sarah's {random} Musings. Thanks, Sarah!

In Other News:
*My parents loved the tapestry! My mom even cried. I can't post the whole thing online because, as I said before, it spells out our last name in naval signal flags, so doing so would be unwise. But I will post a picture of one flag- as soon as I figure out how to upload them.
*Rating Reads has launched! I'm sure y'all have noticed that I like to give a content rating in my reviews (most of the time), well, now there's a blog that does nothing but that! There's a month of work behind what you'll see if you head over there and check it out..
*I had a very good Christmas. I spent it with my family, as I always have, and we had a lot of fun. My new year was also really good. We spent the whole day cooking up a real Mexican dinner; we made enchiladas, pico de gallo, gaucamole, sopapillas, empenadas, rice, beans, tortillas, and the pies de resistance, tamales! Well, the tamales were mail order, but who actually makes them from scratch anymore, anyway! The last person in my family to do it was abuelita.
*I've already knocked one off the ol' 100+ Reading Challenge! My official post will be coming soon.

Well, that about catches y'all up! I had an excellent mini vacation, but it's time to get back in the swing of things! Expect reviews for The Devouring, Nightlife, and Moonshine either this week or the next.
Happy reading,
Zombie Girrrl

footnotes_______________________________________________
1  Kudos to The Story Siren for starting and promoting the Imm meme!
2  It's not the only thing I read, though. Variety is the spice of life, after all. I also read The Devouring on Sorry Night. Ooh, spooky!
3  Yes, I gifted a free book. She'd been dying to read it, though, so it was just really good timing.

Blank Spaces Have Great Potential...