Showcase Sunday

 

Showcase Sunday is a meme created by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea to share new book acquisitions, whether bought, gifted, received for review, borrowed, or won.

Life has been great and hectic lately, and as a result I haven’t been around much to blog. I apologize for being so absent; I assure you, things will pick up again when classes start back up in a week (cue internal sobbing). For now, I’ll leave you with this much overdue Sunday Showcase post.

Bought

  • Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  • A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Received for Review

  • Arcadia’s Gift by Jesi Lea Ryan (received from author)
  • Seven Day Loan by Tiffany Reisz (from NetGalley)
  • If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones (from NetGalley)
  • Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov

Won

  • On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves (Thanks to Chick Lit Central)
  • Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Characters I would Switch Places with for 24 Hours

1. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Obviously, this series is my number one priority in terms of getting to live in it myself (my recent trip to the Wizarding World only strengthened my belief that Hogwarts would be the greatest place to live in the world). I see more of myself in Luna than in any of Rowling’s other characters (though Hermione is a close second), and if I had to stand in someone’s shoes for a day, I’d pick Luna hands-down. She’s smart, quirky, doesn’t care what others think, loves eccentric animals, has a brave sense of fashion, and just so happens to be a fellow Ravenclaw.
2. Kate Daniels from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
Ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to be Buffy. She never fails to have a quippy comeback at the ready, and, more to the point, she kicks ass. But since I haven’t read a Buffy-related book since high school, I’ll have to get my vicarious fighting kicks through Kate instead. Having Curran by my side would only sweeten the deal.
3. Clare from The China Garden by Liz Berry
Ever since I first picked this book up in high school, I have longed to visit Ravensmere. If I were to trade places with Clare for the day, you’d be hard-pressed to tear me away from this gloriously quaint-sounding village.
4. Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Many will probably go with Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door, but for me, Anna is the girl I’d want to be (and be friends with once my twenty-four hours were up). I’ve never been out of the country, so spending a day in Paris with a great group of friends and one swoony male named Etienne sounds like heaven.
5. Amy from the Secret Society Girl series by Diana Peterfreund
I switched majors from journalism to geography in college, and I was never a part of the Greek life, so the Secret Society Girl series represents an intriguing peek into the college experience that I never had. Granted, my decisions were made intentionally, so I don’t regret never having been in a sorority or other society, but Peterfreund’s series made me wonder what it would be like nonetheless.
6. Penelope from Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Whenever I read a historical romance or one of the classics, I can’t help but ponder what life would have been like as a woman living amidst the restrictions imposed by society, class, and corsets. As unpleasant as many of the details seem, though, I’d like to experience it if only for a day. I’m bypassing classic heroines like Lizzie Bennett and my beloved Jane Eyre here and instead going with a more lighthearted take on the general era.
7. Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
Originally I was going to go with Elena from Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. Then I remembered the excruciating pain that Elena experiences during transformation as a werewolf, and I decided that if I were really going to get my fuzzy alternate persona on, I’d be better off as a shapeshifter.
8. Lily from Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Dressing in eccentric outfits, baking holiday cookies, browsing The Strand bookstore, and exchanging witty journal entry dares with a mysterious penpal…I’d trade places with Lily in a heartbeat.
9. Tish from Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson
This is yet another entry chosen solely for the opportunity to visit the wonderful world in which the story takes place. Sang sounds like an absolute trip, and one that I would gladly take.
10. Anyone from one of Sarah Addison Allen’s novels
I spent the better part of ten minutes trying to choose one of Allen’s novels, but I honestly cannot limit myself to only one. As a North Carolina resident, I could pretend that I do actually live amidst the subtle magic that winds itself throughout all of Allen’s narrative threads, but it’s simply not the same. None of the trees in my backyard throw enchanted apples at me, and the wallpaper doesn’t change to reflect my mood. I long to be a part of the quietly magical realm that Allen has created.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books for People Who Like X Author

I decided to mix it up and interpret this week’s theme a little bit differently.

1. If you like Neil Gaiman, try Tim Powers.
Powers is a master of his class, yet unfortunately his name isn’t nearly as well known as it should be. His works take work, though; Powers is quite the ambitious author, often utilizing existing cultural figures to construct alternative histories replete with lamias, psychotic serial killer clowns, werewolves, time travel, and the gods.
2. If you like John Green, try David Levithan.
So this won’t come as a shock to many of you, especially since these two authors have actually collaborated before. (If you haven’t read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, do so immediately). Still, for those of you not in the know, Levithan’s writing often reaches the exhalted heights of wry youthful optimism that Green is so famous for.
3. If you like Ilona Andrews, try Seanan McGuire.
The Toby Daye series exhibits some of the best worldbuilding and characterization in urban fantasy today. For those who love Kate Daniels’s toughness and capability coupled with a quick wit and unbearable sexual tension, you’re missing out if you’re not reading about Toby.
4. If you like Holly Black, try Rob Thurman.
Though I’ve mentioned this before, I’ll say it again: Cassel Sharpe and Cal Leandros would be best buds. Though the worldbuilding in each series is starkly different, they share an easy and sarcastic narration that strikes a chord with my cynical nature.
5. If you like Diana Wynne Jones, try Megan Whalen Turner.
These two remarkable ladies drew inspiration from each other’s writing, and it shows in both of their most ubiquitous narrators. I would have loved to read a crossover book starring Gen and Howl.
6. If you like Kristin Cashore, try Sherwood Smith.
If you’re a fan Cashore’s lush prose and mixture of romance, political intrigue, and fantasy, you’ll find all that and more in the Crown Duel duet. Mel is a great heroine, and while there is slightly less magic in Smith’s work, the feel is very similar to that elicited by Cashore’s series.
7. If you like Karen Marie Moning, try Anne Bishop.
While Moning’s Fever series and Bishop’s Black Jewels series have little in common, they will forever be linked in my mind since I discovered them (and fell in love with both) in a short two-month period. Despite their differences, I believe that fans of Moning’s dark fantasy tone will be able to appreciate Bishop’s world and the ambiguously drawn characters that inhabit it.
8. If you like Stephanie Perkins, try Cath Crowley.
Perkins is undoubtedly one of the hottest names in young adult contemporary, due mainly to her remarkable ability to write main characters who seem all at once too good to be true yet utterly believable. Crowley’s work is eminently relatable yet a little grittier than Perkins; still, fans of Perkins work will likely adore Crowley’s writing as well.
9. If you like Maggie Stiefvater, try Liz Berry.
I’ve adored Berry’s The China Garden for nearly a decade now. It’s lovely and unique and criminally unrecognized, especially considering the recent surge in interest for young adult paranormal. Fans of Stiefvater’s lyrical writing will recognize the same quality in Berry’s.
That’s all I’ve got this week. Happy Fourth, all ye readers!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week we get to revisit a past topic, so I’ve chosen: Top Ten Dynamic Duos

1. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Okay, confession time: I’ve never read any of Doyle’s work. In fact, the only exposure I have to this crime-solving team is the BBC miniseries (I tried watching the Robert Downey, Jr. films but couldn’t get into them). However, my unforgivable negligence in having failed to read the source material doesn’t stop me from recognizing the sheer awesomeness of this duo, and rest assured, I have Doyle’s work on my TBR list.
2. Cal and Niko (Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman)
These brothers never fail to bring a tear to my eye with the depth of devotion toward each other that they exhibit time and again. I can’t help but claim Cal as my favorite (Niko’s ability to kill you with a tubesock notwithstanding), yet both brothers hold such a soft spot in my heart.
3. Sal and Dean (On the Road by Jack Kerouac)
Kerouac’s star duo (modeled after himself and Neal Cassady) pretty much define the concept of dynamic. In their quest to burn, burn, burn like roman candles, they exemplified the chaotic energy of an entire generation and provided inspiration for the many generations that followed.
4. Harry and Hermione (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Sorry, Ron, but Harry and Hermione’s platonic friendship is the glue that held it all together. I’m sure many HP fans will lambast my decision to break up the golden trio. I’m unrepentant.
5. Kate and Curran (Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews)
This Alpha pair has been combustible since day one, and thankfully their playful antagonism hasn’t gone anywhere despite now being mated. Best of all, they are both still just as capable on their own as they are when they’re together.
6. Cat and Bones (Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost)
So Cat is still somewhat of a brat. Even so, she’s exhibited such character growth since Halfway to the Grave that I can forgive her the occasional temper tantrum. I adore these two together and, though married life has subdued them somewhat, they are still a fearsome pair to behold when the stakes are high.
7. Gen and Irene (The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner)
To list the convoluted history of this duo’s relationship would be to give away precious spoilers for a remarkable series that is never as it seems. Suffice it to say, they will satisfy even the pickiest reader’s definition of dynamic and then some.
8. Howl and Sophie (Castle series by Diana Wynne Jones)
I have a bit of a thing for couples who are as likely to snipe at each other as they are to kiss. Sophie has always refused to allow Howl to assuage his penchant for self-indulgent histrionics, and their interactions are as hilarious as they are sweet.
9. Seregil and Alec (Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling)
No list would be complete without by favorite pair of Nightrunners. They’ve endured more than their fair share of madness and mayhem throughout the years, with threats ranging from the supernatural to the political and familial. Though they began their story as master and apprentice, they have grown into true equals without sacrificing those qualities that defined them coming into their relationship. My love for these two is massive.
I’m afraid I’ll have to stop at nine this week. Let me know who you think deserves the last slot!

“Waiting On” Wednesday

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a meme created at Breaking the Spine to spotlight upcoming releases that we can’t wait to read.

The cover for Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews was just released, and I’m counting down the days.

Here’s the summary, taken from Goodreads:

Some people have everything figured out — Andrea Nash is not one of those

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

people. After being kicked out of the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea’s whole existence is in shambles. All she can do is try to put herself back together, something made easier by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend, Kate Daniels.

When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano — the male alpha of Clan Bouda and Andrea’s former lover — die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate … and must work with Raphael. As her search for the killer leads her into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta, Andrea knows that dealing with her feelings for Raphael might have to take a backseat to saving the world …

It’s so great to finally see Andrea for the tough chick that she is, and I know this writing team will make us proud.

This title is released on July 31, 2012.

I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You

I hope everyone  is having a wonderful Valentine’s Day close to those you love, or if not, then doing something that you love. I thought I would dedicate today’s post to discussing some of my favorite couples, literary and otherwise.

Jane and Rochester

If Jane and Rochester’s love was improbable, than the growth of their friendship beforehand was even more so.

Jack and Rose

I never particularly liked Rose, but that didn’t stop me from loving these two together, however maudlin and silly the story might seem fifteen years later.

Booth and Bones

It took six long years, but these two are finally together. I happen to love the subtlety with which Hart Hanson developed their relationship and the fact that most of the important bits happened off-screen.

Jim and Pam

I’m a sucker for stories where the best friend gets the girl, and these two were no exception. It’s probably a testament to my romantic nature that I feel the show has lagged somewhat since the focus shifted from Jim and Pam’s storyline; then again, I’m also upset that there hasn’t been more Creed screen-time, so perhaps I’m not the best judge of The Office.

Kate and Curran

The best urban fantasy authors know how to develop a romantic subplot without letting it swallow the story. Kate and Curran were barely cordial at the start of this series, so watching the slow escalation of their feelings for each other from grudging respect to competitive courting was all the more satisfying.

Cat and Bones

Another beloved trope of mine, the love-hate relationship is a go-to for me, and few have done it better than Jeaniene Frost. Halfway to the Grave is half-urban fantasy, half-romance, and completely engrossing. It also manages to convince you that the characters should be together without telling you that they should be.

Credit: arkoniel on deviantART

Mac and Barrons

Tumultuous, edgy, uncomfortable, and utterly convincing, the protagonists of Moning’s Fever series are one of those rare couples who I am just as content to read about through the nuances of their individual actions as I am to read their scenes together as a couple.

Credit: XsilverleenX on deviantART

Jaenelle and Daemon

It could so easily have come across as creepy, but watching Daemon begin to love Jaenelle as a child before falling in love with her as a woman was endearing and sold me on their romance despite my dislike of the “fated lovers” trope.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme created at Book Journey to catalogue everything read in the past week, what you’re working on now, and what you hope to get to in the coming week.

The Past Week

Tales of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong

Hidden by Kelley Armstrong

Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews

I Was a Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia Block

 Reading Now

Beastly by Alex Flinn

 The Week Ahead

An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan