Thursday, September 13, 2012

Meg-A-Rae Episode 5: A Very Heartfelt Episode

On this week's episode of Meg-A-Rae, Meg and I discuss (and fight) vampires! Mooresville Public Library was fortunate enough to have IU Health Morgan Hospital bring their giant interactive heart to our facility! It was super exciting; too bad the giant heart drew in an undesirable element. Good thing Meg and I are fully prepared and capable librarians and we were able to take care of the problem!

In addition to fighting off the fanged menace, we also review the Sookie Stackhouse series and Team Human!

Join us next week for a Very Special Sammy Takeover Episode!

Audio Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)
By Laini Taylor
Narrated by Khristine Hvam
(I downloaded this title for free from the summer reading program.)

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.” 

Karou is a teenager who attends a school for the arts in Prague. She has blue hair and tattoos, most obvious of which are the eyes on each palm and "true" and "story" on each wrist. She's also a brilliant artist and her friends love to look at her sketch book for the fantastic creatures she draws there. In addition to the beautiful drawings, Karou tells stories of the different "characters." What her friends don't know is that these creatures are real, and they're Karou's family.

Karou's family are Chimera - creatures made up of different animal parts (kinda like the Sphinx). Unbeknownst to Karou, her family has been fighting a war for a century; a war against the angels.

Enter Akiva, a beautiful angel who comes to earth to close the portals Karou's family uses to access our world. Akiva meets Karou and the sparks (and flames) fly. They fall in love, but there's far more to their story than either could possibly guess.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a mesmerizing mix of love and hate, peace and war, romance and tragedy. Taylor has fused together two worlds in a fascinating and believable way and Hvam narrates it beautifully. And just when you have hope that everything will work out for our star-crossed lovers, Taylor comes along and sucker punches you. Thank heaven's there's a sequel! (It'll be available in 2 months.)

This is a great story for anyone who enjoys paranormal romance, mythology, or stories that take place in foreign locales. Highly recommended.

P.S. Check out this book trailer I did for Daughter of Smoke and Bone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Should Be Reading.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I'm currently reading:

Soulbound (Legacy of Tril #1), by Heather Brewer
The Lost Code (The Atlanteans #1), by Kevin Emerson

I recently finished:

I've been reading up a storm (and it's great)! I've read a number of books in the last month, some already reviewed, some still waiting for my brain to catch up and able to write. I'll start with the "Already Reviewed"

Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura #1), by Jonathan Maberry. I thought this was a great book, despite my anti-zombie book feelings. I'd recommend this book to anyone who loved the teens-fighting-against-a-world-gone-wrong aspect of The Hunger Games. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars, and that's mainly because of the previously mentioned zombie book feelings.

Polterguys (Volume 1), by Lauriann Uy (Graphic Novel). This was pretty good. I think it has a lot of potential, it just needs a bit more meat to the story. 3 out of 5 stars.

Hourglass (Hourglass #1), by Myra McEntire. I really liked this one. It's very Timey-Wimey (and if you don't know that reference, I feel very sorry for you). My friend and co-worker, Meg, and I talk about this book and all things Timey-Wimey in our exciting new video blog: Meg-A-Rae! We are VERY silly, but we have a ton of fun! 4 out of 5 stars.

Click on the title links for my full book reviews!

I've also finished, but haven't had a chance to review:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor. I listened to the audio version of this book, and both the story and the reading was really good. It was an interesting world to lose myself in for a few days, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. I'm actually thinking of dressing as Karou (the heroine) for Halloween! Check out my book trailer here. 4 out of 5 stars.

Team Human, by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan. Oooh, I LOVED this one! Full of snark! Mel is trying to keep her friend from dating a vampire (and isn't having a lot of luck). I'll be reviewing this soon, but I'll also be talking about it in our next Meg-A-Rae episode! So much win! 5 out of 5 stars!

What I'll read next:

I'm not really sure. There are some sequels I want to read, like Hourglass #2, plus several other new books coming through the library. So many books, so little time...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Meg-A-Rae Episode 4: A Very Special Fairy Tale Episode

In this installment of Meg-A-Rae, Meg and I discuss Fairy Tales. Meg reviews Grimm's Fairy Tales, whilst I review Neil Gaiman's Stardust!

Next Up: A Very Special Heartfelt Episode

Meg-A-Rae Episode 3: A Very VERY Special Timey Wimey Episode

In this installment of Meg-A-Rae, Meg and I are joined by our very special guests Olivia and Miss Kate! We discuss all things Doctor Who in an awesome round table, then Meg and I talk time travel stories before we're interupted by some unexpected guests. Meg reviews Deborah Harkness' Discovery of Witches and it's sequel, Shadow of Night, whilst I review Hourglass by Myra McEntire. This episode is long, but a lot of fun!

Next Up: A Very Special Fairy Tale Episode!

Meg-A-Rae Episode 2: The Meg-A-Rae Invasion

Welcome to Episode 2 of Meg-A-Rae! We discuss some new things in the library, fall programming, tea, and books!

Next Up: A Very VERY Special Timey Wimey Episode!

Introducing Meg-A-Rae! Meg-A-Rae Episode 1

I am very excited to announce that Miss Meghan and I have started a video blog! She's Meg, and I'm Rae, and together we are Meg-A-Rae!!! We talk about all kinds of things, but mostly tea, Doctor Who, and book reviews. Meg focuses on the Adult titles, whilst I discuss teen titles. Check out our first video here:

We've completed four videos as of today, but we'll be filming again tomorrow! Keep an eye out for our latest installments!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Book Review: Hourglass

Hourglass (Hourglass #1)
By Myra McEntire
"How do you tell the difference between real people and time ripples?"
"You mean besides punching them in the stomach?"
I blushed, not because I'd hit him, but because I was thinking about his abs.

Before I begin with my review, please take a moment to admire the awesomeness of that cover. She's walking on the wall, very close to landing on the floor. Both beautiful and a bit creepy.

Now to the story. Emerson is a girl getting ready to go back to her old high school for her senior year. She spent the last few years at a boarding school in another state. She also spent some of that time committed to a mental institution. Around the time she was 13, Em started to see dead people. Shortly after that, her parents died. Shortly after that, she yelled at a guy who took her seat in the cafeteria, only to realize that she was the only one who could see him.

Jump forward a few years later and Emerson gets a visit from the Hourglass Institute; her brother hired them to try to help her through these "visions." But instead of getting some quack doctor or crazy shaman, a young man shows up and tells her the visions are real...and they mean she's a time traveler. And he needs her help to right a wrong from the past.

I loved this book. It's a really cool take on the time-traveler genre. Emerson has a snarky sense of humor, which I love, and the writing is fast paced. There's action, mystery, and a romance - a great read for anyone who enjoys the paranormal genre. Also a great choice for anyone who likes a book where the characters have a sort of super power. We also have the sequel, Timepiece, and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Graphic Novel Review: Polterguys

Polterguys (Volume #1) 
By Laurianne Uy

This graphic novel is the story of awkward and nerdy Bree, a new college student, who finds herself living alone in an old house. She's never really fit in, she was always more interested in her studies and had a hard time relating to the other kids. She thinks college will be different, though - a place where everyone is there to learn. Unfortunately for Bree, making friends in college has been just as difficult as it was before. After going through several roommates, Bree scores a room in an old, empty house. However, she's not as alone as she thinks - she actually has five ghostly roommates.

Ok, so this story was quick and cute. It has the feel of Ouran, which I loved, but the story of Polterguys doesn't have the depth of plot or characters. The story felt rushed and the characters weren't developed enough, particularly considering the ending (which I won't tell you). But there's a lot of potential, and I'm interested in seeing where the story goes.

There is one big problem, though, and it may just be my problem...every time I try to type the title of this series, I find myself typing Poulterguys instead. That would be a completely different story: one girl's new life in college who finds herself living with five guys who are half man-half chicken. Actually, I'd probably read that.

Book Review: Rot and Ruin

Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura #1)
By Jonathan Maberry
"Anyone seeing those three teenagers smiling the kinds of smiles they wore would run in terror.
Benny was counting on it."

This story takes place 14 years after First Night - the night when anyone who died turned into a zombie. As the night went on, more and more people died, and thus more and more people became zombies. Now Benny is 15, the year when you either get a job or your rations get cut. After trying out a few different occupations, he ends up apprenticing to his brother, Tom: a zombie bounty hunter.

But there's more to Tom's job than Benny could have guessed. Tom doesn't just kill zombies, but he specializes in closure. Learning Tom's job teaches Benny about the ways of this world that the people in town don't talk about, and he also learns the meaning of life and humanity.

I'm not a fan of the zombie genre - or the post-apocalyptic or dystopian genres either - but this was a really good book. It's not just a zombie slasher novel, though there's plenty of that; Maberry looks into the emotions and mind sets of people living years in survival mode and the morality of killing zombies who once were people, too. It's a story of loss and fear and, ultimately, courage. Maberry also asks the question: Who's the real monster, the zombies who kill mindlessly or men who are capable of reason and still do awful things?

I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good zombie book or movie. I'd also recommend it to fans of The Hunger Games - those who dug into the story of a world-gone-wrong and a teenager's fight to make it a better place. I'll close with a quote that epitomizes both Katniss' journey in The Hunger Games and Benny's here:

“Often it was the most unlikely people who found within themselves a spark of something greater. It was probably always there, but most people are never tested, and they go through their whole lives without ever knowing that when things are at their worst, they are at their best.”