Thursday, March 28, 2013

prepare to fandom | 1

+ +

= best weekend ever

So this weekend I'm hitting the fandom trifecta. I'll be seeing The Host, while coming out on Friday, on Saturday morning. Very excited to see how this translates to the screen. The previews and trailers get me in fan-girl mode every time they come on. (This could be because of the awesome music, that is the key to any good trailer, watch the 127 Hours trailer) Clocking in over 2 hours, it seems that the producers tried to cover a lot of the 600+ page book.

Next in line, GoT. The wait for each 10 episodes is ridiculous, but so good when they get here! Can't wait to see all that happens. Ready for some dragon action, that we've only been leading up to for two seasons. At the end of this TV season, I'm making myself pick up the actual source material. Hopefully that will hold me over on the long break.

While other's maybe starting, one is ending...The Walking Dead season finale is also on Sunday. Predictions: The Governor will live to see season 4, Tyreese and Sasha will switch to the Prison group, Milton might die (don't want to see him go, but I see some sort of heroic action that puts him in the line of fire). Either way, got to get the last of my zombie fix until October. I do have the graphic novel on hold from my local library, once again to hold me over!

Big weekend plans?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

waiting on wednesday | 2 - Quintana of Charyn

Waiting on Wednesday
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we can't wait to get in our hands.

Tandem Cover Image Quintana of Charyn
by: Melina Marchetta

Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #3

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Summary: The climactic conclusion of Printz Award winner Melina Marchetta’s epic fantasy trilogy!

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi and his companions travel through Charyn searching for Quintana and building an army that will secure her unborn child’s right to rule. While in the valley between two kingdoms, Quintana of Charyn and Isaboe of Lumatere come face-to-face in a showdown that will result in heartbreak for one and power for the other. The complex tangle of bloodlines, politics, and love introduced in Finnikin of the Rock and Froi of the Exiles coalesce into an engrossing climax in this final volume.

Summary and cover image from goodreads.
Why the WOW: How about a book just around the corner!

Oh, Melina Marchetta, these characters and the world they live in is awesome! This series has the best ensemble of characters, each play an intergral part in the story. I can't wait for this final instalment and catch up with Finnikin and Froi, but it will be bittersweet. I'm definitely on a fantasy kick, and this one will fly past a lot of books on my TBR list come April.

Note for anyone participating in an A-Z Challenge for 2013, this is perfect for that tricky Q category. As soon as I saw the title last year, I made a mental note for my challenge.

What are you waiting for?

Monday, March 25, 2013

review - Days of Blood and Starlight

Days of Blood and Starlight Cover Image

Five Stars
Days of Blood and Starlight
by: Laini Taylor

Publication Date: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Format: Hardcover - la biblioteca
Page Count: 517
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Angels, Paranormal
Get your copy: Amazon | B&N

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Summary: Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

Days of Blood and Starlight Header Image
My Review
Loved, loved, loved this book! I devoured it in the span of about 36 hours and being a 500+ page book, that is quite a feat. I was a little leery to start this second book, because while I enjoyed the first in the series, it didn't blow me away. I finally got hooked when the Karou's backstory and other life were brought to the forefront, turning the slightly paranormal story into one that had more of a fantasy feel (right up my alley).

Days of Blood and Starlight continued this fantasy-feel, and I fell in love with this series!

Zuzana's opening emails had me smiling like an idiot; her pop-culture references are amazing! Along with Karou's.

The journey through this book to that last page had me on the edge of my seat. The prepping, the action, the humor and horror; they all were spot on, each pulling you deeper into the story. Ziri is definitely my new favorite character, heart-wrenchingly good twist in the ending.

One of the best this 2012! Just checked goodreads for the third book; as of today, it is set to drop in April...2014.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

waiting on wednesday | 1 - Tadem

Waiting on Wednesday
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we can't wait to get in our hands.

Tandem Cover Image Tadem
by: Anna Jarzab

Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Series: Many-Worlds #1

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Summary: Everything repeats.
You. Your best friend. Every person you know.
Many worlds. Many lives--infinite possibilities.
Welcome to the multiverse.

Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.

To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped in another girl's life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love--one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she's someone she's not.

The first book in the Many-Worlds Trilogy, Tandem is a riveting saga of love and betrayal set in parallel universes in which nothing--and no one--is what it seems.

Summary and cover image from goodreads.
Why the WOW: At the recent Breathless Reads Tour, the authors were asked what they were reading and suggestions. Beth Revis mentioned Tadem. She said even though she had been traveling by plane and had the opportunity to sleep, this book kept her up and reading. I was sold! Searched for it on goodreads as soon as I got home. The cover and summary had me all kinds of excited. Um hello, parallel universes.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Divergent movie - four's casting

Divergent casts Four - Theo James
Image source from Divergent Facebook.
This made my weekend! I might of fangirled a little when I saw Veronica Roth's blog entry, just the title. Took a deep breath, said a little prayer, and clicked the post. What a relief, I'm very happy about the casting of Theo James. I was getting a littler nervous leading up to this reveal, considering who else was in the running. Although I will always picture Drew Roy, of Falling Sky's fame, as my book Four. Theo James actually resembles Drew Roy, so I'm happy.

Now we're just waiting for Divergent #3 title and cover...Anyday now would be nice! Until then I still like to look at the teaser cover in awe. Just seeing a date is awesome!
Divergent #3
Image source from goodreads.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

review - Defiance

Defiance Cover Image

Five Stars
by: C.J. Redwine

Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series: Courier's Daughter Trilogy #1
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 403
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Get your copy: Amazon | B&N

Add to Goodreads

Summary: Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city's brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father's apprentice, Logan--the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same one who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but a fierce belief in her father's survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city's top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor's impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can't be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

Defiance Header Image
My Review
I am in absolute awe of this book and C.J. Redwine.

The best part of Defiance was Logan's POV chapters. I have never quoted so many lines from a book; his voice was spot on and swoon-worthy. Logan is a thinker, a tinkerer, and he stole my nerd-girl heart. I vividly remember reading the section where he is defending Rachel, and those present were looking in surprise, wondering where his strength came from.

Logan and Rachel together was also great; they really are two sides of a coin, the impulsive doer and the logical planner.

Rachel's struggles through the book were gut-wrenching. Disappearance of her father, the one person who treated her as she wanted to be treated. Forced to be protected by the one she proclaimed her love for, only to be told she'll get over said love. Humiliating! Oliver, tears! She keeps a clear head and fights for what she believes.

Read this book.
Best case scenario: You fall just in love with it as I did.
Worst case scenario: There isn't one, you'll love it.
(2 points for those who get that reference)

My Favorite Quotes
"I smile, and it takes me a minute to realize my common sense is once again sliding into Kiss Rachel territory." -Logan page 80

"His smile is a slow journey of warmth that lights up his face and lingers in his eyes." -Rachel page 87

"I will always find you. I will always protect you. I won't let you down. I promise. … I never thought I'd be in a position to offer you protection, but I am. And nothing is going to stop me." -Logan page 171

"I want Rachel. Not because she is beautiful. Not because she's my responsibility. I want her because she makes me laugh. Makes me think. Inspires me to be the kind of man I always hoped I'd be." -Logan page 235

"Silent acquiescence in the face of tyranny is no better than outright agreement." - Logan page 240

Thursday, March 7, 2013

an introduction

Well, I'm taking the plunge! After 2+ years of reading and following book blogs and a year after setting up my own blogger account; I'm starting my own. Cue the intro music for The CRJ Reviews!

A little background...

Until college, I would not call myself an avid reader. Only one who did so begrudgingly for school. That is until my friend gave me the book The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. Around the same time, Harry Potter book 5 was being published, and my same friend would not relent on me needing to read the series. I went to the midnight release with her, but hadn't read one book. That soon changed when I was spending every weekend traveling for college track and xc. Books began to fill that time suck.

But the game changer in my love for reading, wait for it, Twilight. Say what you will about the series/franchise as a whole, (I hate that I even preface the series, I unabashedly still love and support the series) but they totally changed my outlook on what reading could be. They opened the door to the wonderful world of YA.

For the past two years, I've acquired a healthy reading habit (read: unhealthy book-buying habit). Checkout my previous Goodreads yearly challenges (both over 100 books), my yearly A-Z challenge, and US of YA map. 

I've been lucky enough to attend two author events (Dallas, TX '12 and Memphis, TN '13), both sponsored by Penguin's Breathless Reads Tour. Beth Revis, of Across the Universe fame, was at both! Getting to hear author's talk about their books adds a whole new level of awesome to reading. Looking forward to any more events, even it if means a car ride!

2012 Breathless Read Tour in Dallas, TX
L to R: Jessica Spotswood, Marie Lu, Andrea Cremer, Beth Revis

So, welcome to The CRJ Reviews! Stay tuned for all the book-related fun and a few bouts of fan-girling!