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Showing posts from May, 2014

Taking the Week Off

Hey Everyone!

I am taking the week off from the blog. Remember that moving stress I talked about? Yeah. It completely overwhelmed me this week. I have read very little, and what I have read I do not want to write about. Hopefully this will only be a one week break and not two. I still have not arrived at my house with my stuff yet so we shall see....I'm hoping to get at least some things read and written this week so I'm expecting to be back to business as usual by June 2.

I am stock piling some of my most anticipated reads for this:
This year's challenge will be June 6th-9th and you can sign up at Mother Reader here

Shorter Musings: Fun Romantic YA Contemporaries

Sometimes I read a book, and I even enjoy it, but I don't have much to say about it. I jot down a few thoughts and then I move on. When these start to pile up, I put them together in one post.

Here are some reviews of fun romantic contemporary YAs perfect for summer reading.

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
I really enjoyed this. I'm all about these light fun contemporary YA reads right now. I liked how Lainey acts like a typical teenage girl. Her post break-up self is full of drama and overreactions and a little bit selfish. All of us who have been there and lived that can relate and know how it feels. I like when books for teens have real teens in them, and not adults masquerading as teens. This book does a good job of that. I thoroughly enjoyed the banter between the romantic leads in it too. I loved the best-friendship between Lainey and Bianca as well. Review of ARC received by publisher, Harper Teen, via Edelweiss.

Taste Test by Kelly Fiore
This is a fun fluffy story that ta…

WoW: Winterspell

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly nothuman. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.


The Nutcracker plus Claire Legrand's amazing writing? YES! YES! YES!

Winterspell comes out September 30th…

TTT: Books About Friendship

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic: Books About Friendship

Do I consider all of these books to be "about" friendship? No. But the friendships in them are PIVOTAL to the character and plot development.

In completely random order:









 It's a pretty good mix of YA and MG too, if I may say.

The Castle Behind Thorns

Merrie Haskell is one of those authors that always surprises me. I have gone into each of her three books expecting one thing, and getting something entirely different. Is The Castle Behind Thorns a retelling of "Sleeping Beauty"? Yes. But it is a throughly unique and different take on the story. And I adored it.

This is a review of an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Synopsis:
When Sand wakes up alone in a long-abandoned castle, he has no idea how he got there. The stories all said the place was ruined by an earthquake, and Sand did not expect to find everything inside-from dishes to candles to apples-torn in half or slashed to bits. Nothing lives here and nothing grows, except the vicious, thorny bramble that prevents Sand from leaving. Why wasn't this in the stories?
To survive, Sand does what he knows best-he fires up the castle's forge to mend what he needs to live. But the things he fixes work somehow better than they ought to. Is ther…

The Night Gardener

Jonathan Auxier has a way with words. That was evident with his debut novel, Peter Nimble's Fantastic Eyes, and his latest offering, The Night Gardener, proves it beyond doubt. Atmospheric, mysterious, and chilling, it is a book whose words don't just beg to be read, they demand it.

This is a review of an ARC received by the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Molly and Kip are recently arrived in England from Ireland. Alone in the world, they seek employment and find it with the Windsor family in an old house in a creepy and disturbing place called the sour woods. Along the way they meet an old storyteller named Hazel who gives them directions and warnings. Arriving at the Windsor family home, they discover a dilapidated house with a massive ugly overgrown tree right up next to it and a mysteriously ill and fading family living inside. As the days pass, Molly and Kip find their new situation to be far more dangerous than they ever imagined. For inside the house at night,…

Biggest Flirts

Biggest Flirts is my first read by Jennifer Echols and I really enjoyed. It is a story that takes place in the midst of a high school marching band. What's not to like about that?

This is a review of an ARC provided by publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Synopsis:
Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.
Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger. 
As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s…

Shorter Musings: MG Realistic

Sometimes I read a book, and I even enjoy it, but I don't have much to say about it. I jot down a few thoughts and then I move on. When these start to pile up, I put them together in one post.

Here are a few recent MG realistic reads.

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord 
Half a Chance is a short fast read, which is good because not a lot happens in the book. It is one of those slow books about a summer at a lake with bird watching and a grandmother who is slowly losing her memory. It is also a book about friendship, family, and photography. All of these elements combine well. The characters are portrayed very simply and without a lot of depth but they are relatable. Nothing about the book stood out as being special or something to take note of though.

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
This is an enjoyable story about a girl found floating in a cello case after a shipwreck at the age of one. She is raised by the man who finds her, and together they go on a quest to find the mother she is certa…

Birthday Books

May means Birthdays in the Painter house and I always like to share the books I'm giving (and receiving) for those birthdays.

LM is turning 6 and this is what he is getting:



Bit is turning 10 (still trying to wrap my head around that) and this is what she is getting:




And I had a birthday last week and here is what I picked up with a gift card I received:
Plenty of happy reading to keep us occupied during the move!

We Were Liars (Some Thoughts)

I really enjoyed most of E. Lockhart's Ruby Oliver series. (The first book is actually a favorite of mine.) I loved the writing in The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, but had some issues with the execution of the story and characterization. I was nervous going into We Were Liars, Lockhart's latest YA, as so many people have sung its praises and loved it. And again, I find myself torn.

These thoughts are on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Synopsis:
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.


I am calling these "thoughts" because it isn't really a review. We are Liars is really impossible to discuss without spoilers. And this shouldn't be spoiled. I'm very much convinced of that. There will be people utterly s…

TTT: Book Covers I Would Frame

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic: Book Covers I Would Frame as Pieces of Art

I have actually thought of this a lot. It would be a way to show love for favorite books, and I'm always looking for ways to decorate my bedroom walls. I've never actually done anything beyond think about it of course, but here are some covers I would love to see hanging up in my house.



 Of course. It wouldn't be a list of mine if theses weren't on it. But come on, they are GORGEOUS. Not only is Megan Whalen Turner the best writer there is right now, but she gets amazing covers to go with her writing.

I can stare at the cover of this book for HOURS. It is beautiful. The colors, the detail, how it captures the fairy tale aspect.

 I love the vibrancy in the colors in all the Above World books, but I also love their simplicity and how much they capture of the books in that simplicity.

I love all of the new DWJ covers that have been released i…

Shorter Musings: A Dragon and A Wizard

Sometimes I read a book, and I even enjoy it, but I don't have much to say about it. I jot down a few thoughts and then I move on. When these start to pile up, I put them together in one post.

Here are a couple recent YA Fantasy reads.


A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn
The prose in this book are hauntingly beautiful and evocative. The imagery used paints a gorgeous picture of the kingdom, the flowers, the woods, loss, yearning, and the pain of growing up and taking on responsibility. The problem is that not much happened. Or rather, things were happening, but the action was described in circular prose that moved from flashback to present and never contained any urgency or sense of anything. There were so many beautiful words, but other than creating setting and mood, they didn't do much. I can see why this would be blurbed by Franny Billingsley. As I began reading it, I was reminded of her work. The major difference is she has always makes me care about her characters, even…

The Chapel Wars

Lindsey Leavitt is an auto-buy author for me. If she writes it, I will read it. No one does quite what she does in the realm of contemporary fiction, writing realistic stories that deal with hard issues but manage to maintain a lighter tone and feel. The Chapel Wars tackles some harder topics than her previous work, but is still a light quick read and is full of the little snatches of wisdom I have come to appreciate in her books. She is eminently quotable.

This review is of an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?
And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is she running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money--fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, t…