It’s National Library Week, So Go Hug Your Librarian!!!

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So busy reading poetry this almost completely slipped by.

It’s National Library Week!! Where would we be without our wonderful libraries and librarians.

Chronicle Books have put together a lovely piece about how great libraries are. Pop on over and check it out.

HERE.

And when you are done, go hug your librarian. Remember, if you enjoy reading they probably played a big part in this!

Want To Be Read To?

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Do you remember when you were little and your mother (or some other ‘older’ person) read you to sleep? Soft, dreamy voices that lulled you into drowsiness and you drifted off into the night? Or had you howling with laughter as they tried to keep all the character voices in Harry Potter straight and correct? (no Mommy,  that’s not Hermoine, it’s Hagrid!)

Well, if you want to recapture those days with someone reading to you this is for you. Let your eyes rest and listen to the story. In case you haven’t enjoyed an audio book (or book on tape as they were once called) the kind folks over at Mashable have compiled a list of free (yes, free!!!!!) sites where you can get some reading done for you. HERE. Many of the books are classics, and there is a selection of educational and children’s books but if you haven’t discovered the fun in audio books this might be a good place to start. So, if you have ‘road trip’ in your future, long plane flight, hours of laundry, or just are too tired to hold a book pop on over and check some of the sites out. Not sure if these are only for US based addresses but go try anyway. Also, go to the library as many libraries have either books on cd’s or downloadable books and these are more likely to be best sellers and a wide variety of genres.

Let me know what you find and how you like it.

Star Wars vs. Star Trek by Matt Forbeck

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“COULD THE EMPIRE KICK THE FEDERATION’S ASS? and other galaxy-shaking enigmas”

Includes Forewords by Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett in Star Wars) and Tim Russ (Tuvok in Star Trek: Voyager)
Summary
WHO RULES? CAPTAIN KIRK or HAN SOLO?
Could a Jedi knight use his light saber to deflect a beam from a phaser? Could a Cardassian beat a Chazrach in a fair fight? Would a Federation ship making the Kessel Run crack the Millennium Falcon’s record of less than twelve parsecs? And most important…in a fight between the Empire and the Federation, who would win?
Ever since the first Trekkie walked out of Star Wars in 1977 and said “Meh!”, fans of the two series have gone head to head over these questions. Now you can line up – side by side – aliens, technology, story points, weaponry, and heroes from the two great SF sagas of all time.
Whether you can pronounce “Heglu’meH QaQ jajvam!” (that’s “Today is a good day to die!” in Klingon) or can recite all the names of the members of the Imperial Senate (which meets on Coruscant), you’ll want the detailed information Matt Forbeck has compiled about both universes, as well as trivia, quizzes, quotes, and information drawn from these two iconic settings. So phasers on stun and light sabers at the ready! It’s on.”
Review
This book is SO much fun to read. My family is a huge Star Trek/ Star Wars family. We are all Trekkie’s (while my mom is more so with my dad), but my dad and I are both Star Wars fans as well (I more so.) So we sometimes get into debates over who is better. (I won’t state my opinion as a backlash will ensue, don’t want to start a galactic war now do I? >:) ). So when Christmas came around and I saw this book in Bookends, I just had to buy it, hoping that it would put to rest some of our arguments (sadly it didn’t really.)
This book really does help with many questions that one may have between the two fandoms. 
The book is split up into sections, different creatures, weapons, ships, culture, heroes, and even an ending section of Star Wars fans versus Star Trek fans (haven’t read that part yet haha.) Then within each section, well known character, weapons, ships and so forth are taken from each universe and compared to each other and a situation is set up. The situation is fake but it is as if the two universes collided and then there is an outcome and who would win. The book could be biased in some way or another but still it is SO MUCH FUN TO READ! 
I never would have thought of doing this and its such a genius idea. There are even some quizzes to test you knowledge. There isn’t  a scoring system or anything like that but there are the answers so that you can know if you are correct or not. AND IT IS SO MUCH FUN! We did these quizzes at dinner and would be laughing (or arguing) over different answers.
There isn’t terribly much to say about the book as it is quite self-explanatory but I just have to say that you must try to find it if you are a fan. It is a great read and a good way to have some fun with the family and your friends. You may even learn a thing or two (for that day when you need to choose between joining the Empire of the Federation (that day is coming….I’m telling you :D )). So go and check this book out and let me know what you think because in my opinion it’s so much fun to read. Enjoy!

Angels’ Blood (Guilt Hunter) by Nalini Singh

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Summary

“Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn’t destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

OH! MY! GOD! I thought that Archangel’s Blade was amazing, this was just WOWOWOWOWOWOW! No lie, this book was 339 pages long and I read it in less than a day. And 339 pages of small print and PURE AWESOMENESS! I am totally fangirling about this book right now. Book 2 has already been ordered from my library, as well as book 3.

I mean I love stories about Angel’s, but a lot of stories have the angels being teenagers and stuff, this was not like that at all. The Archangel in this, Raphael (I don’t think it was like the real Archangel Raphael from the Bible), was tall, dark hair, muscly with gold and white wings and totally amazing. And then there was Elena, the main female character.

I really loved Elena because she was such a  strong character. The women in the two novels by Nalini Singh that I have read, were such strong characters and I really love them. Instead of the woman pining after the man, that man has to do everything he can to get the girl. And the women in these novels are *says dramatically* kick ass! In this novel she was a Vampire Hunter, and in the other novel the female character was just a regular type of Hunter. I love it!

The best part is, is that there is such a story to it as well. It is definitely not just about romance at all! There is a deep story behind it as well.

This book is definitely for mature readers. There wasn’t a whole lot of sex in it (not much at all surprisingly) but there was quite a lot of graphic violence including bodies and blood, but it went with what the story was about.

I am totally in love with this series and cannot wait for the next book to arrive for me to read…….ugh, it’s going to kill me. I really suggest checking this book out and letting me know if you love it as much as I do! Now excuse me while I go and scream into my pillow as I am so EXCITED!

*Turns her head and screams as loudly as she can into her pillow*

Until next time my lovelies. Keep reading and keep literature alive!

A History of Weapons by John O’Bryan (Author) and Barry Orkin (Illustrator)

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“Crossbows, Caltrops, Catapults & Lots of Other Things that Can Seriously Mess You Up”

One of the coolest covers ever! :D

Summary

“BEHOLD more than 150 of the freakiest weapons in history.

UNLOCK the secrets of Genghis Khan, the “peaceful” Shaolin monks, and the ass-whooping Rajputs of India.

DISCOVER the truths about strange and ancient weapons like the atlatl, the sarissa, the urumi, and the Maka Pahoa Ko’oko’o

BECOME ONE with the often eccentric and always fascinating history of weapons”

-From the back of the book

Review

WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!! This book is freaking AWESOME! I haven’t read the entire thing as it isn’t supposed to be read like a regular novel. It is a factual book but its fun to read. The book is broken up into different sections, classifying weapons under what time period they are from or who used them. An example would be that there is a section just on the cavemen’s weapons and then there is a section of Ninjas and Samurai and shows the difference between the two groups and the weapons that they used. The chapters start with an explanation of the group of people in history that are being mentioned and then there is one page per weapon. There is a picture of the weapon itself and then a paragraph or so on what the weapon actually is and what it was used for and its historical importance. Sometimes it will say how easy it is to use the weapon (usually for better known weapons as in the katana and such), it will sometimes say how it became famous (a historical event, movie, or even video game), and some uses that it was used for. It also may talk about what other weapon was used with it.

The setup was incredibly easy to understand and made the book more enjoyable. I also LOVED the illustrations!

You may think that this book would be boring and all historical and stuff but it most definitely is not. There was one weapon which was talked about which made me laugh because what was said in the description. The weapon was the Mancatcher which is a glorified pair of tweazers, massive style. It has spikes inside of it and was used to keep an enemy down while they were being bound or blindfolded. And John O’Bryan, in one of the sentences said,

“After a victim was subdued by the mancatcher, the knight would typically bind the person’s hands for the ride home. Or if he was feeling like a dick, he might leave the person inside the jaws of the mancatcher for the entire horse ride. Ouch.”

The writing in this book is not like a regular history book where big words are used and such. It is written in a common dialect and it makes it more fun and engaging. The pictures also really add to the book as well because otherwise I would have ABSOLUTELY no idea what the weapons are that are being talked about.

I had always been fascinated with weapons and such and this just does the trick for me (also some of the stories I’m writing has historical contexts and Wikipedia searches just aren’t cutting it for the weapons.) This book puts all of the weapons that you are ever going to need to know in one fun, friendly, and easy to use book.

I also loved the cover. It caught my eye and I loved the tagline of the book. It made me laugh and intrigued me to as what the book was about. What can I say…I sometimes judge a book by its cover and boy am I glad that I did.

I personally love this book and will be reading it from beginning to end. It it set up amazingly well and I am so glad that I made this purchase. You should definitely go and try to find this book. It is worth the price, (not that expensive, about $19). If you are interested in weapons then this is a great thing to buy, but would be an amazing gift for someone who is interested in weapons as well. But even if you aren’t interested in weapons, it’s still a fun read and you may learn something.

So go and check it out and let me know what you think of it.

Archangel’s Blade (Guild Hunter) by Nalini Singh

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And yes it has a beautiful cover!

Summary

“Trying to discover the identity of a murder victim brings together the vampire Dmitri and a hunter for the Guild, Honor. And as the gruesome murders continue, a lethal sensuality explodes between them.”

- From Amazon.com

Review

This is not the type of book that I would usually read but I am glad that I read this one. Yes, it is part of a series and this is not the first book, as I wasn’t aware that it was a series when I started it, but you didn’t need to read the other ones to understand it. I am waiting for the first book to arrive at my library so you can be expecting a review of the ENTIRE series sometime soon.

This book was incredible. It was romance, but that wasn’t the entire premises of the story. Most romance novels don’t have a story except the exploding relationship between a man and a woman. This had SO much more. There was a story behind it, lots of characters,  LOTS of character development, and just so much happening overall.

This story kept me turning pages and wanting to read more because of what was happening. Dimitri was such an incredible character. He was charming, sexy, but deadly underneath. Kinda like an immortal bad-boy XD . I did sometimes want to smack him because he was hard-headed but he was also quite persistent. He was also quite arrogant. But that is kinda understandable considering he was a 1,000 year old vampire. Then there was the main girl character, Honor.

She was such a strong character and I loved that about her. Often these types of novels write the main character as wimpy and weak and submits to the man, but Honor did not do that at all. She stood up to Dimitri and wouldn’t fall to his special ‘powers’. She constantly tried to kick his ass and used words to keep him in check. She did a pretty good job at it and that intrigued him because no one had ever said no to him before.

But besides there being just vampires there were angels and they were pretty cool as well. This book didn’t focus on them even though the first book does, so I can’t comment on them too much, but I will talk about them later in the other reviews

But the vampires in this novel were quite interesting. As most of the times that vampires are portrayed (except in Twilight), they had a thirst for blood and sex. But then there was Dimitri. He had been like that until he met Honor and everything changed. She reminded him of his wife who had died when he was still a human (I believe), about 1,000 years ago or so.

So the entire story was about their relationship and them dancing around each other, testing the waters and such. And then the ending was like a brick wall to the face. I WASN’T EXPECTING IT! I was shocked to a whole new level.

But wow! It was incredible. This book is definitely mature YA, about 17/18 or older because of some of the sexual themes and some of the violence which got pretty graphic a few times.

I recommend that you read it but probably start with the first one of the series Angel’s Blood. But if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world. I do recommend that you read this but it is for MATURE READERS ONLY!

“Nancy Pearl Turns Back The Pages With Picks From The Past”

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There are many great books which came out this year, but what about the ones that you missed?
Nancy Pearl compiled a short list of some books which she loved but were not in the popular lists.

There is also a great podcast which I think that you will all enjoy as well.

Click here to see the short list of some quite interesting books.

I think I’m going to be checking a few of them out because they look quite good and the podcast made me want to check them out more.

Any you think  you’re going to look at?

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington (Embrace Series)

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Summary

“It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”

On her 17th birthday, everything will change for Violet Eden. The boy she loves will betray her. Her enemy will save her. She will have to decide just how much she’s willing to sacrifice.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, EMBRACE is a compelling novel of good and evil, seductive desires and impossible choices. A centuries old war between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity chooses a new fighter. It’s a battle Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. If angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden.

LINCOLN: He’s been Violet’s one anchor, her running partner and kickboxing trainer. Only he never told her he’s Grigori—part human, part angel—and that he was training her for an ancient battle between Angels and Exiles.

PHOENIX: No one knows where his loyalties lie, yet he’s the only one there to pick up the pieces and protect her after Lincoln’s lies. In a world of dark and light, he is all shades of gray.

Two sides: Angel or Exile.
Two guys: Lincoln or Phoenix.
The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity…”

-From Amazon.com

Review

I have to say, I think that this is my new favorite series now. I have been reading a lot of angel and demon literature recently and absolutely love it and so I saw this sitting on the shelf in B&N the other day and just had to pick it up. The cover was what got me initially because the color of it stood out from the rest and so it sparked me to pick it up. Reading the back made it sound interesting as well. I always love a good romance and fight between the two boys for one girl (I mean what lucky girl wouldn’t?)

And I have to say, I really love this book. It had EVERYTHING that I was looking for. Action, romance, love, desire, troubles and great character development. You really saw the main character, Violet, develop through the entire story and face troubles and have to conquer her own problems.

You then had her good friend, Lincoln, who was her trusty friend and loved her but had lied to her, thus breaking the trust and hurting Violet severely. Linc was still there for her but Violet couldn’t trust him anymore. That was when Phoenix stepped in.

He was a rock to stand with and she trusted him. The only problem, he’s was an angel. Doesn’t really matter whether he was an angel of light or dark, but he had powers. He tried to manipulate her from day one and in the beginning she knew that, but as time passed it seemed like he was backing off with the powers and that it really was love. Oh, the poor naive girl.

You also had some other great characters. Griffin who was the mentor and you just loved and thought was awesome. He reminded me of Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (anyone out there a fan….or even remember that TV show?).You also had a woman, Magda, who I just wanted to smack a few times. She was kind of obnoxious but you didn’t get to know much about her which I was happy about.

Then there was also the romance.

O.O

Just wow. I mean Phoenix loved her and he really did seem to, but manipulated her slightly (sometimes a lot). Lincoln absolutely loved her as well and showed it and did everything that he could to stop Phoenix from being with her and in the end, was right (but won’t say how hehe).

There was also a nice fight between Lincoln and Violet when she got to let out some pent-up anger, and then an epic fight in the end between the good and dark (won’t say who :P).

The fight scenes were put together quite well, but maybe a little more detail would have been good. I understand that it really is quite hard to write a good fight scene (believe me, I’ve tried and it takes practice), but the good thing about leaving it a little vague was that you got to use your imagination. But god forbid, the younger generation now a days can’t do that. I love using my imagination which is why I love to write so I didn’t mind it at all, but I know others won’t find it as easy.

There was some romance in it that was more than what younger readers should know about. Sex was mentioned, but it was very vague. So for that reason I recommend this book for 16 and up. And I don’t think that language was an issue, if I remember correctly. Just some using the Lord’s name in vain….but I mean it did fit the situation and events.

But I have to say, overall, I just absolutely LOVED the book and am totally in love with this author. I had never come across her works but I saw this book next to one of her newer ones and I just had to buy the first two books (just starting the second one now). I really never buy series books just because my library usually has then, but I am so glad that I did buy them. It was a good choice on my part.

So please do go and check out this book as it was amazing and I am sure that you will love it. It is fast paced, exciting, and a page turned. I finished it in a day and it is a 369 paged book. So proud of myself. :P

I am also really happy that angel/demon books seem to be making a come back and seem to be doing well. They are always interesting to read and fun to write as well (yup……….I have no life). But they aren’t too religious so you don’t have to worry about those issues. This book talked about God but the protagonist didn’t even believe in God in the beginning and never went to church. So you can write books about angel’s, heaven, and hell and not have to make it religious. But I am sure that many people will love this book.

Read and enjoy. Happy Reading!

Interview with Allen Zadoff

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So I have something totally exciting; an interview with the amazing author, Allen Zadoff, author of Boy Nobody
which was a totally awesome book and one that you should check out.

I would first like to thank Mr. Zadoff for doing this interview. I really appreciate it and his answers are really fun and cool!

So without further adieu, here is the interview :D (that rhymes, haha)

1.  Why did you start writing in the first place? Was it your first choice or was there something else that you wanted to do instead?

My first love was the theater. I was an actor in high school, a director in college, and I even went to graduate school as a stage director. But you never know where life (and your talent) are going to take you. It wasn’t until my twenties that I started writing seriously, and my career as a novelist is still something of a surprise to me.

2.   Where did you come up with the idea for your book?

Like many of my ideas, it came to me first in the voice of the character. He told me he was a teen assassin who traveled from place to place carrying out missions. He said he had no home and worked for a shadowy organization called The Program. I knew he was lonely. I knew he was dangerous. And I knew his name: Boy Nobody.

3. Are there any real life events which inspired the making of this book? If not, how long did it take you come up with this idea?

I always pull from real life, but I’d say my books have emotional truth more than actual truth.  For example, I’ve never been an assassin for the government. But I know what it’s like to struggle with loyalty to the family vs. my own desire to be independent. That’s something Boy Nobody is going through in the novel. .

4.   Why did you choose to make the protagonist a teenager?

Boy Nobody chose, not me.

5.  This book was completely a different writing style. Less speech and more personal thoughts and feelings which was quite an interesting turn. Why did you write the book like this, and how do you think, in your opinion, it enhanced the book?

The book is written from Boy Nobody’s point of view, so we are literally in the mind of a soldier assassin. He thinks in a very simple and direct way. The sentences are short. I think this makes the pace super fast and very exciting.  You can read ten chapters in fifteen minutes! Some people ask me if I did that so it would be an easy book for young people to read. That’s a side benefit, but it’s not the reason I did it. I was just trying to write the way the character thinks.

6.    What are some things that you have to do when writing (ie: Having a lighted candle, chewing some mints)?

I listen to music almost all the time when I’m writing. It’s a huge inspiration for me.  My favorite app is Pandora, but I’ve been getting into iRadio since Apple’s new IOS 7 came out. Boy Nobody uses an iPhone, too, so I think he would approve.

7.   During your average day, what can you be found doing?

Writing, watching tv, walking, having a meal or coffee with friends. Writing is a lonely business, so anything I can do to balance it out is helpful to me.

10.What can you be found currently watching on the TV?

I watch a lot of television. I think there is amazing writing on TV these days.  I learn a lot from it.  Currently I’m watching shows like Walking Dead, Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, and Breaking Bad until it ended this year!  I also have some guilty pleasures like Project Runway, Chopped, and X Factor.

11.What is the weirdest food that you have ever eaten?

Crickets which are called chapulines in Spanish. There’s a big Oaxacan community in Los Angeles where I live, and it’s not hard to find chapulines. They’re usually fried or sun-dried and covered with salt, lime, and chili pepper. They’re delicious, but it helps if you close your eyes before you bite down.

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An exciting new book to read!!!!

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So my totally awesome librarian, Omar, recently graced me with an awesome book.

The Walking Dark by Robin Wasserman

And in addition to it being a book being based off ‘It’ by Stephen King (which I am currently working on), I got a signed copy….WHICH IS SO TOTALLY AWESOME!

I am only a few pages in but I am currently loving it and I cannot wait to see where it goes!

So let the reading begin :D

Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

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“He is nothing. The mission is everything.”

Summary

“They needed the perfect assassin.

Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends, and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die-of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.

But when he’s assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter is unlike anyone he has encountered before; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s mission.

In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.”

-from Amazon.com

Review

I will start off by saying that this book was quite unlike any other book that I have read. It was written differently, there were more flashbacks, and it just, overall, had a completely different feel. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing, because I feel that for this book, it worked quite well and fit in with the overall theme.

It was quite a fast paced book, even though the majority of the book only spanned over about 5 days. In those five days a lot happened…..betrayal, mysteries, rebellion, death! It definitely kept you on your toes until the very last page. The entire time you thought it was one thing, but by the time you got to the last page…you were like ‘whatttttt’.

And then after the book, you were left sitting there thinking how quickly everything escalated.

There was very little dialogue in this book which is completely different from most books. If I remember correctly, this entire book was in first person point of view, but it was mostly feeling, thoughts, and things that the main character saw. Since this was a kind of secret espionage, soldier, mysterious thing-y (yes, I used that word) book, it really did add to it.

The only thing which I found a little confusing was when there was a flashback. There was nothing to really indicate that it was a flash back; no font changes or little things in the beginning to say what year it was or where it was. If you pay attention you will get it, but if you skim chapter, then you will be lost. SO DON’T DO IT! (you probably shouldn’t be anyway)

This is a hot off the press, as it only came out in June of this year, so if you look for it, it will probably be on your new YA shelf.

You should definitely go and check this book out as it was really an extremely well written book!

If you love stuff to do with government’s (or mysterious Programs) and where the main character is a young teenager (in this case, a young boy (about 16 I believe)), then this is definitely your type book. Also it is a quick read so with all of the school work, you will still be able to finish it in a few days.

So go and check this one out and let me know what you think.