A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tori's Review: Matched by Ally Condie

- 384 pages
Price: $17.99
ISBN 10: 0525423648
ISBN 13: 978-0525423645
Released: November 30, 2010

Ally's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: BEA
Genre: Young Adult / Dystopian
Series: Matched
1. Matched 
2. TBA
3. TBA

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
What would you do if society decided who you would eventually marry and love? Would you sit back and accept this, or would you fight?

For Cassia, under the advice of her grandfather, fighting is more important than acceptance. Thanks to both him, the "mistake" with her Matching, and a couple of other factors, our young heroine learns what it means to question the motives of the society around us. This makes for quite an interesting story.

I think what I loved most was the introduction of this Matching system. Imagine discovering who Society thinks will be your perfect match. Now imagine how you would react. Would you be ecstatic, or would you rebel? Reflecting upon this now, I'm not entirely sure how I would take this piece of information. If I lived in our current world, I would rebel. Yet if I was in Cassia's position, I think I would either have this sort of detached acceptance if it was what was considered the norm, or I'd think it was the coolest thing ever. Who knows, but at least Condie gets you to think about the possibilities.

Cassia and Ky were intriguing characters, as was Xander. I wish that we could have seen more about the best friend in this story later on, yet it is understandable why we do not. Ky was mysterious, and I fell in love with him alongside Cassia, yet I wish his character stood out a bit more. He was so reserved, so quiet, that I found myself preferring Xander's spunky personality over Ky's. However, what I found myself loving about the quiet boy was his passion. One scene in particular between Cassia and Ky truly warmed my heart. It was when I was convinced that there was something more between them.

Cassia was a strong heroine. I did not find myself ever growing annoyed with her, which is a huge bonus for any story. I felt myself relating with her; I felt myself cheering her on; I felt myself wanting to shake her and encourage her to speak up. I wouldn't change anything about her.

In regards to the plot, I don't think I ever had an idea of what was going to happen in the end. I knew when it came to the love triangle, but everything else was a pleasant surprise that I discovered alongside our heroine.

While MATCHED had an interesting take on society, living, and the like, I found myself wondering more about the other aspects of its universe. Why is the government so tight and restrictive? Why are there conflicts on the Outer Provinces? Aside from those questions, this is probably the first book in a long time that had a love triangle I actually enjoyed. For once, since said triangle was important for the plot, I didn't feel like the author was simply including it for the sake of including it like most YAs seem to do.

If you enjoy MATCHED, then I suggest reading THE GIVER. It's an older book, but still one many might appreciate (since it too is a dystopian novel). Love triangles not your thing? That's okay, I still suggest checking this book out, if nothing more, than for the portrayal of society. I cannot wait to read the second book in this series to see what happens next with Cassia, Ky, and Xander.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Author Interview with Skyler White

Skyler White is the nationally bestselling author of dark fantasy novels and Falling, Fly (Berkley, March 2010) and In Dreams Begin (Berkley, November 2010).

The child of two college professors, Skyler grew up in an environment of scholarship and academic rigor, so naturally left high school to pursue a career in ballet. She’s been dancing around research and thinking through muscle cramps ever since. She has a master’s degree in theater and work experience in advertising; she’s won awards as a stage director and appeared on reality TV. She is a mother and an instigator, a wife and a realist, a liberal living in Texas and an atheist who believes in mythology. She is a sucker for paradox, and it’s a fortunate thing, too!

Connect with Skyler:

I mention in my review how readers will need to adjust to the swap between first person and third person POV while reading IN DREAMS BEGIN. I then continued discussing your motives behind writing the differing points at the same time. The obvious is so readers can easily differentiate who is being focused on, but I also came up with another idea: "Laura was in first person because she was the modern woman, while Ida was in third person because all the events in her life occurred in the past." 

What are your thoughts on this theory? Did you have a reason for choosing the different POVs? Why?

You got it! Ida is past tense because her story is in the past. Also, at the very end, there’s a tiny tweak on that. Ida comments on it.

Spoiler Alert!!!!
Ida takes up residence inside Laura at the very end, possessing her body, not as completely as Laura did Maud’s, but co-existing with her. It’s why Laura trips on the spiral stairs like Ida always does, and it’s why the last paragraph says “Now ‘I’ means Laura. But even within an artist’s mind, Ida Jameson is more free than when a father or a husband housed her. … And – although to tell her real and secret story, she must learn to speak of the past in its own tense, and to write herself as ‘she’ – still, Ida will not be silent.”

You tackle a number of different themes in your novel such as need versus want, what love is, infatuation, freedom, sexuality, and imagination. I thought that each topic advanced IN DREAMS BEGIN to an entirely new and unique level when compared to other books out there. Would you like to discuss any of these themes further and explain why you chose them?

Oy. Well, first of all, thank you! I know it’s a little atypical for the genre, but it’s very gratifying to hear that qualified as “advanced!”

I chose the themes I did in part because they were the topics needling me at the time, and in part because they were what the story itself suggested. It would be very hard to write a time-travel to Victorian times, and not have sexuality, body image, and femininity come up. They were such important issues then, and the attitudes are so different now, even if no less fraught. When history turned up the factoid that Maud believed herself to be part faery, and Yeats described faeries as lacking imagination, that topic suggested itself, both relative to fidelity (is fantasy cheating?) and to art – commercial or poetic.

Regarding the themes you chose: I think a lot of readers, when reading novels such as IN DREAMS BEGIN, wonder how an author includes so many different themes into his/her story. Was this a conscious decision of yours while writing this book?

Yup! I don’t think I could do that unconsciously. Also, knowing the thematic ground you want to explore helps a writer (or helps me, anyway!) make decisions about what gets included in the story. Knowing I wanted to work with the idea of possession, for example, gave me the space to introduce a devil who is the spirit of possession, to contrast the number of possessions Laura and Maud own, to question the relationship of a person to their own body, or to the body of a loved one, to investigate women as the property of their husbands or fathers, to play with demonic possession and fidelity.

While we're on the topic of your writing, what is your writing process typically like? I know you had to do a lot of research for this particular book, including a trip to Ireland, but what about when you finally sat down and began? Do you need absolute silence? Are you a plotter or do you wing it?

I’m a plotter. And I do a lot of pre-writing. This project was unique, in that history dictated so much of the storyline, but I tend to start with an idea or a question, and play with it, tease it out and fluff it up, interrogate it and iterate on it until I have a giant, messy tangle of idea, character, plot and structure. Once I’ve got that, I start to spin the threads of the story out of it, trying to organize and order and tame them. I make a raggedy first draft, grabbing new threads when I find I need them, dropping others when they don’t work. After that, it’s all about editing. Weaving loose bits in, yanking bad bits out, shaping and blocking and smoothing. And I do sort of need silence, yes. Actually, what I need is the absence of other words or audible patterns. I’m fine in a loud coffee shop with a chaotic din of music and conversation. But if I can sing along with the music or overhear a conversation, my mind wanders off on those threads. I keep an hour-long track of thunder and rain on my netbook and plug in the headphones if wherever I’m working is too full of other people’s words.

What do you have in store for your next novel? How many books do you have planned for
the Harrowing series?

I don’t have a number planned. I have at least three more stories I know the basic outline of, one set before “Dreams” and “Falling,” one at about the same time, and one after. But I know there are several others in there as well. Right now I’m working on a story that explores the hotel that was started in “Dreams” and which we see in “Falling” but in its American manifestation, which isn’t a hotel, but a travelling circus. It’s a Prometheus story about a singer who loses his voice and the detective who finds it.

Thanks for stopping by Skyer!

Skyler White is the nationally bestselling author of dark fantasy novels ‘and Falling, Fly’ (Berkley, March 2010) and ‘In Dreams Begin’ (Berkley, November 2010). She lives in Austin, TX. Visit her on the web at http://www.skylerwhite.com.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giveaway Winners!

Just doing a quick post today to announce the winners of THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST/THE CURSE OF THE WENDIGO giveaway.

Winner 1: Debbie (twoofakind12@...)
Winner 2: Pointy Star (pointy.star@...)

Congrats!  I've sent you both emails, so please respond to that with your mailing address by Monday night so I can forward your info on. 

And to everyone else, please be sure to enter the remaining giveaways.  You can locate them all above this post.  Almost everything ends on Nov 30th.

Good luck.

The Faerie's Contest Finds (20)

It's back!

Sorry for the delay in reposting this.  After the Battle of the Sexies ended, college classes consumed my entire life.  Since I've been sick this week, I've have plenty of time to catch up on a few blog related things -- like Thirsting for Thursday (which I know I missed this month) & book reviews -- and now I am ready to start posting this again!

The Faerie’s Contest Finds
is a weekly post where readers, bloggers, and authors can gather together to not only advertise for their book/swag contests, but to also enter other giveaways. These contests are NOT restricted to paranormal themes. 

Please be sure to include:
  • Contest end date
  • Blog name
  • Whether it is US, International, etc.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Win a copy of The Lost Saint by Bree Despain (+ super cool nail polish!)

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot, a newcomer to town. But as the two grow closer, Grace’s relationship with Daniel is put in danger — in more ways than one.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her — not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.

Bree Despain delivers sizzling romance and thrilling action in the heart-pounding sequel to The Dark Divine.

So, you want to win an ARC of THE LOST SAINT?  Or maybe you want the super cool nail polish that matches the color of the cover?  Well, my duckies, you're in luck!  One lucky participant will receive both!  Just follow the guidelines below:

  • Open to everyone (consider this an early Christmas present)
  • Contest End Date: December 12th (to ensure you receive this book before xmas and the release date!)
  • Please include your email address in the comment section
  • Answer the question: What are you doing/what did you do to celebrate Thanksgiving?

    Extra Entry:
  • Tweet about this giveaway! Include a link to your tweet in the comment.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mini Review: The Golem by Isaac Bashevis Singer

From time to time, according to legend, a truly holy man may be empowered to fashion to golem out of clay, inscribe his forehead with the sacred name of God, and send the living effigy forth to save the Jews.

My Rating:

This book is a story about Jews being persecuted in Prague and the Golem that is sent to help these people in their time of need.

The themes explored in this novel are extremely deep – perhaps too deep for young children – and include: what it means to be human, greed, and preserving the peace.

The author’s style was typical for a more “mature” tale, though I found the characterization of Christians a bit insulting.

I suppose this could be a good tale to help promote tolerance among younger children. Overall, I was not impressed with this tale. Do not suggest reading this to younger children.

Recommended for children: 12+ due to the themes within the text.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tori's Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

- 384 pages
Price: $16.99
ISBN 10: 0525423273
ISBN 13: 978-0525423270
Released: December 2, 2010

Stephanie's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: ARC Tours
Genre: Contemporary YA
1. Anna & the French Kiss

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

My Rating:

This book has received The Faerie of Honor rating. (What is this?)

My Opinion:
I, like the majority of reviewers on GoodReads, absolutely loved this book. And it's a contemporary to boot! (Which is something that I try to avoid like the plague)

The dialogue was probably my favorite part about this entire story. Perkins effortlessly captured the dynamics of a friendly, lighthearted conversation amongst friends whenever she had her characters interact. I found myself truly wishing I had friends like these people in high school, and that my friends and I had the easygoing atmosphere that seemingly followed this group around wherever they went.

I felt Anna and St. Clair's flirting/attraction ooze off the pages, which made me grin. I seriously cannot get over how lighthearted, fun, and flirty this book was. When dialogue is this successful, it's clear the author's got an intimate understanding of his/her characters. Anna, St. Clair, and the rest of the cast were three dimensional and well rounded. None were lacking. They will stick with me for a while.

If things couldn't get any better, the plot intrigued me too. I feel like I would have reacted the exact same way Anna did, had I been abandoned like she was in Europe. In high school, I always said how much I was dying to get out of the States and travel, yet deep down, I would never have the courage to do it alone. And, knowing my luck, I wouldn't make friends so quickly. But this plot? It would be the perfect way to experience a foreign country. And now I'm going to be daydreaming about the possibilities of not only traveling, but also of meeting new and exciting people.

This book has ruined me for paranormal romances. If all YA-contemporaries were like ANNA & THE FRENCH KISS, I think I would ditch my paranormal romances in a heartbeat; that is how much I adored this book. I enjoyed it so much it's in my top five list for the 2010 year. Perhaps even all time. I've already pre-ordered this title, and I know I will be rereading it often. Very often.

I want to learn French now, too.

I highly suggest checking out ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, no matter what type of reader you are. This is a refreshingly unique and brief read that is sure to appeal to anyone interested in traveling. Stephanie Perkins astonished me with the amount of humor in this book.  So much, in fact, that she has now become an auto-buy for me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tori's Review: The Master and the Muses by Amanda McIntyre

- 384 pages
Price: $13.95
ISBN 10: 0373605447
ISBN 13: 978-0373605446
Released: June 1, 2010

Amanda's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: NetGalley
Genre: Historical Romance
1.The Master and the Muses

They are his inspiration.
He is their obsession.

Icon, rebel, unabashed romantic… with a single look painter Thomas Rodin conveys the ecstasy of creativity—the pleasures awaiting the woman who can fuel his artistry.

the Innocent

What did this master artist see in me? Genius abided in his soul, rapture in his flesh—I doubted not. To refuse him…my folly. To surrender…my sensual salvation.

the Upstart

I chafed at the bonds of servitude until he set me free. I turned my back on all that I knew to follow him and found myself between two men—master and student—one whom I loved with my heart...the other with my body.

the Courtesan

I understood, perhaps better than any, his needs.
I stoked the fires of his soul, the spark of his creativity— he made me a legend. But never could I forget his searing touch.…

Three transcendent tales of women bewitched by a master of seduction— a slave as much to his art as to his boundless passion.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when reading THE MASTER AND THE MUSES. I've never read anything by McIntyre before, but the premise of the story intrigued me. Since this was for free on NetGalley, I couldn't resist the temptation to check it out.

And I am SO happy I did!

THE MASTER AND THE MUSES is told in three different POVs. They're all in first person, and each story focuses on one particular muse that Thomas becomes involved with.

Book 1 - Helen
As the summary suggests, Helen is the innocent out of all three muses. I adored her throughout this entire book, and I hated Thomas for acting the way he did. It was a heartbreaking story, but I'm glad there was finally a happy ending.

Book 2 - Sara
Sara was a lot more outgoing. I enjoyed her character more because of this. Ironically enough, through Sara's POV (I think it was this story...), I ended up not liking Helen as much anymore. I also began to adore Thomas, despite his aloofness once again.

Edward was an interesting character. I'm not entirely sure I enjoyed the scene towards the end of the story with him and Sara. I was slightly confused at one point when reading it.

Book 3 - Grace
I thought Grace was a huge bitch in the first two books. The way Helen and Sara viewed her... well, I wasn't too excited to read her story.

Grace ended up being my favorite of the three muses thanks to Book 3.

I wanted to strangle Thomas throughout this entire part. I wanted to give Grace a good shake. At the same time, I absolutely loved how she forced herself to act cool when around him. Grace's character is the perfect balance to Thomas the player.

I was so sad to finish this story! I'm also salivating for another story similar to this one, though I'm not entirely sure if there ever will be one like it. This read was definitely a new and fun experience for me. I've been contemplating whether or not to buy a print copy or an ebook copy for my Kindle 3. I'll definitely reread this at some point later on.

Highly suggest checking this title out!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Win a copy of Day of the Dragon by Rebecca York!

The search for clues to an ancient civilization sends Ramsey to an archaeology conference in Las Vegas where he meets Dr. Madison Dartmoor. Her current dig in Italy has put her in mortal danger, and when Ramsey saves her from thugs bent on stealing a copy of a startling artifact, the two of them team up to unearth the secrets of an ancient civilization. As their relationship heats up, Ramsey guards his own secrets that may tear him and Madison apart or save their lives.

Interested?  I have a finished copy of DAY OF THE DRAGON and I'm passing it on to another reader who will hopefully enjoy it!

  • Open to US residents only
  • Contest End Date: November 30th
  • Please include your email address in the comment section
  • Answer the question: Will you review this title, should you win?
    NOTE:  Just because you are willing to review it will not increase your chances of winning... I'm just curious.

    Extra Entry:
  • Tweet about this giveaway!  Include a link to your tweet in the comment.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Faerie's Contest Finds (19)

The Faerie’s Contest Finds is a weekly post where readers, bloggers, and authors can gather together to not only advertise for their book/swag contests, but to also enter other giveaways. These contests are NOT restricted to paranormal themes. 

Please be sure to include:
  • Contest end date
  • Blog name
  • Whether it is US, International, etc.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Book Dragon's review: True Porn Clerk Stories

Paperback - 160 pages
Price: $10.00
ISBN 10: 1448685249
ISBN 13: 978-1448685240
Released: August 27, 2009

Buy it via the publisher

Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: Purchased
Genre: Non-fiction / Memoir
Series: N/A

Queue up these hilarious real-life stories from the video clerking trenches. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll wash your hands. No rewinding required!

My Rating:

My Opinion:
Contrary to the nature of my title as the Book Dragon, I’m going to do my first review on a book I enjoyed.

That said, this book is pure genius.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not interested in being a porn clerk. However, living vicariously through Ali by reading her self-published diary is at times insightful, painful, and disgusting. Her observations about the human psyche are both humorous and—occasionally—horrifyingly accurate.

This book is exactly what the cover says it is. It is the diary of a girl who, for some time, worked as the cashier/clerk in a video rental store that also happened to carry a (un)healthy selection of porn. I dare you to find a more poignant opener than this:

Ten months.

It has been a test of patience, humility, and character.

It has been a lesson in dealing with all humankind, including their personal bodily fluids.

It has been $6.50 an hour.

If that doesn’t sell you on reading this puppy, I don’t know what will.

Of course, I need to do an actual review, so I will soldier on to give you more reasons why you should read this delightful literary treasure.

1) It is broken down into brief, concise sections with headings like, “Customers I Have Driven Out of the Store,” “Fetishists,” and “Porn and the Differently Abled.”

2) You will find tidbits of useful information and hints on how to handle such awkward situations as finding a jerker in the porn section of your friendly, neighborhood video store, why it’s important to keep notes on credit risks, and what to do when someone underage thinks they can get away with renting hentai “because it’s just a cartoon”.

3) If you ever wondered what it was like to work as a porn clerk, this is it.

4) If you ever needed any reason never to work as a porn clerk, this is it.

Just so there are no misunderstandings here, this is a darned uncomfortable book to read. Do not come whining to me later that I didn’t warn you that it’s graphic. There is no holding back, folks. For heaven's sake, this is the diary of a porn clerk. There is talk about human bodily fluids and intimate acts that may set some eyes to widening and cheeks to blazing while reading this book. It is, in short, not something to leave lying around for the kids to find.

But it is an insightful book, and a funny one. I recommend it to adults who are looking for a titillating story of what it’s like to deal with some of humanity’s darker urges, or need more Aqua references in their literature. ‘Cause, ya know, the world could always use a little more Barbie Girl and advice like “be HAPPY!”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a cave to return to.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mini Review: Tales of King Arthur by Rick Riordan

Twelve of the best-known tales of King Arthur and his knights, retold from Malory's "Morte d'Arthur" and other medieval sources.
My Rating:

This book is a collection of well-known stories set in Britain that follow Arthur from his birth to death. The illustrations are somewhat choppy and rough, though this serves to reinforce the writing style and the time in which these stories were based upon. There is some character development within the book, though the characters generally appear to be set in their ways. After committing a grave error, most knights repent for their wrongs.

A general theme of the book is chivalry and the importance of maintaining one’s honor; due to Gwendolyn and Lancelot’s lack of honor for their king, the entire round table eventually falls.

The author uses repetition during battle – a constant factor within this book – to grant familiarity and predictability for young readers. The style of writing is also brief, and, as was mentioned earlier, choppy.

Not my cup of tea. The writing was somewhat bland, and the pictures did not capture my interest. As for the stories themselves... they were simplified versions of the tales that I read in my college classes (and I prefer the college texts to this). This book is nice if one would like to read a simplified version of these tales in order to learn a bit more about Arthur and his knights.

Recommended for children: 9+

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lots of News: Book Faery's New Makeover; Welcome Book Dragon!

Design News

As you can see, I gave in to the nonexistent peer pressure to change my fall theme to the winter theme.  The truth is, I love changing the layouts to this blog, and I get bored easily with one particular look.  Hence the early change.

And no.  There are no turkeys.

  I hope you all enjoy this new look!  Me personally?  I like it a lot better than the fall look :)

Welcome, Book Dragon!

So your beloved little Book Faery got overrun this semester due to all her college work, and next spring won't be any better in that department.  Since she did not want the blog to suffer, she's decided to add a new member to her blog.

Please don't ask her why she's referring to herself in the third person.  She has no idea.

Please welcome The Book Dragon!  She'll be including lots more reviews for all of our entertainment.  BD and I have also discussed doing a few... joint reviews, sure to prove to you all how crazy the two of us are.

You can find the following blurb in the "About Me" section, but I figured I'd let you all get to know BD a bit more!

The Book Dragon read one too many crappy novels, and decided it was time to come out of her cave to tell people her (for the most part unsolicited) opinions about them.  She has aspirations toward some day having a life of her own, and is rarely soothed by anything other than coffee, chocolate, or cheesecake.  Request reviews by her at your own risk.

Coffee, chocolate, and cheesecake... I am in love.  Anyway, I hope you'll all give BD a warm welcome, and I hope you enjoy her reviews!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mini Review: The Bad Child's Book of Beasts by Hilaire Belloc

Humorous and cautionary verses about such animals as the whale, the polar bear, the frog, the dodo, and the yak.

My Rating:

This book contains a series of poems that are well written that describe the animals in our world. Children will not only find these tales amusing, but also fun to listen to and repeat due to all the rhyming.

I found the tales to be entertaining and catchy; most made me grin. The illustrations accompanying this text are even more beautiful than the ones found in East O’ the Sun and West O’ the Moon. Not only are they realistic, but the attention to detail is astounding.

Recommended for children: Any age.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mini Review: Land of the Long White Cloud: Maori Myths, Tales, and Legends

A collection of nineteen tales from various Maori tribes of New Zealand about the trickster Maui, the Creation, monsters, birds, animals, and special places.

My Rating:

This book contains a series of myths the author heard while growing up in New Zealand that explore Maori life in detail. For instance, one can learn how the sun was captured and slowed so the day would last longer.

The watercolor illustrations accompanying these tales, coupled with the brief explanations in the foreword, enhance the reading experience and truly bestow a sense of the Maori culture.

The best part was reading the brief paragraph before each tale and hearing how the author viewed everything as a child.  It definitely added another element while reading the text.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tori's Review: Taken by Midnight by Lara Adrian

- 400 pages
Price: $7.99
ISBN 10: 0440245273 
ISBN 13: 978-0440245278
Released: September 28, 2010

Lara's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: Publicist 
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Midnight Breed Series 
1. Kiss of Midnight
2. Kiss of Crimson
3. Midnight Awakening
4. Midnight Rising
5. Veil of Midnight
6. Ashes of Midnight
7. Shades of Midnight
8. Taken by Midnight

At the crossroads of death and desire, a woman tastes a pleasure no mortal is meant to survive... 

In the frozen Alaskan wilderness, former state trooper Jenna Darrow survives an unspeakable breach of body and soul. But with her narrow escape comes an even greater challenge. For strange changes are taking place within her, as she struggles to understand--and control--a new hunger. To do so, she will seek shelter in the Boston compound of the Order, an ancient race of vampire warriors whose very existence is shrouded in mystery. Perhaps the most mysterious of them all is Brock, a brooding, dark-eyed alpha male whose hands hold the power to comfort, heal . . . and arouse.

As she recovers under Brock's care, Jenna finds herself drawn to the Order's mission: to stop a ruthless enemy and its army of assassins from subjecting Earth to a reign of terror. Yet in spite of their resolve, a purely physical relationship without strings soon binds Brock and Jenna together with a desire fiercer than life and stronger than death itself--until a secret from Brock's past and Jenna's own mortality challenges their forbidden love to the ultimate trial by fire.

My Rating:

My Opinion:
The good news: for those of you who are new to the series, like me, you will be happy to know there is plenty of recap in TAKEN BY MIDNIGHT. Starting with book eight will not leave you wondering what the heck has been occurring within the prior seven books. The unfortunate part: I thought there was too much recap and not enough action. The first half of the book turned me away instead of pulling me in. I was tempted to skim quite a few pages due to all the dialogue and repetitive angst.

Jenna's character annoyed me. I don't have a problem with cop characters (though I do prefer to avoid stories with them just because I don't find them as interesting for some reason), but I had a problem with our heroine. I understand the trauma she was suffering from, but the pity party and her negativity made her extremely hard to like; not to mention her blindly running away from the situation. I agree with many other reviewers: Adrian should have started this story later on after Jenna adjusted to some of her issues. At least then she wouldn't have been frustrating to read about. As it was, she was hard to connect with.

Brock had the potential to be extremely interesting, yet I found his beginning scenes tiresome. Here's what you read about in the first half of the book: rage, angst, rage, guilt, grr. Now, don't get me wrong; I love rage and I love angst. But I also love reading about steamy sexual tension between my hero and heroine that makes me sweat wondering whether or not they're gonna do it on the kitchen table, or whether or not the hero's going to make a move and the heroine's going to slap him silly. I did not get that; probably because I didn't feel like I learned much about Brock's past and who he really is.

I thought the first encounter with Jenna was cute, and I loved how the two had an instant attraction, but after that... eh. There was too much telling, not enough showing, and not enough interacting (all of these apply to the first half of the book) between Brock and Jenna to make me feel invested in their romance. The romance aspect started strong when they met, yet it fizzled away as the story progressed to the midpoint.

The overall storyline was interesting -- which is why I want to start this series from book one. My only complaint about TAKEN BY MIDNIGHT was the fact that this felt more like filler than an actual story. What the heck happens to Jenna and that implant? What is she now? Will this all be addressed later on, or are we pretty much done with Jenna/Brock? I think I would have rated this higher if Adrian at least addressed this. I mean, there's so much fretting over what's inside Jenna now, and yet it simply gets shrugged off towards the end.

Because a lot of people have praised the prior books, I won't give up on this series. I will read at least the first two books by Adrian to get a better feel for the universe and characters. Perhaps if I enjoy those books, I will come back to this one and give it another shot. I suggest, for those of you who have not yet read this series, to start from the beginning. While TAKEN FROM MIDNIGHT is informative, I do not believe it is a strong book to introduce you and draw you into this world.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Faerie's Contest Finds (18)

The Faerie’s Contest Finds
is a weekly post where readers, bloggers, and authors can gather together to not only advertise for their book/swag contests, but to also enter other giveaways. These contests are NOT restricted to paranormal themes. 

Please be sure to include:
  • Contest end date
  • Blog name
  • Whether it is US, International, etc.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tori's Review: Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

Every once in a while I deviate from the paranormal/fantasy section and read a historical romance. Since I do sometimes post non-paranormal reviews on Book Faery, I thought it would make sense for me to post all my reviews from now on.

- 288 pages
Price: $5.99
ISBN 10: 0373296142
ISBN 13: 978-0373296149
Released: October 1, 2010

Jeannie's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: NetGalley 
Genre: Historical Romance 
1. Butterfly Swords

Journey to the very edge of honor, loyalty . . . and love

During China’s infamous Tang Dynasty, a time awash with luxury, yet littered with deadly intrigues and fallen royalty, betrayed Princess Ai Li flees before her wedding.

Miles from home, with only her delicate butterfly swords for a defense, she enlists the reluctant protection of a blue-eyed warrior…

Battle-scarred, embittered Ryam has always held his own life at cheap value. Ai Li’s innocent trust in him and honorable, stubborn nature make him desperate to protect her – which means not seducing the first woman he has ever truly wanted….

My Rating: DNF - Please note that I skimmed the latter half, and thus, feel wrong giving this book a rating.

My Opinion:
I wanted to love the world and the characters in BUTTERFLY SWORDS. Because of the setting, I believed the story had a lot of potential to be rich and the adventure exciting. Instead, the story fell flat; the writing did not fully draw me in -- which I think was one of the primary problems for me -- and the hero was not all that impressive.

Usually with adventure stories, they're either full of excitement/beautifully written, or they soon grow repetitive and tiresome to read about. I thought BUTTERFLY SWORDS fell into the latter category. This is, interestingly enough, primarily where the writing disappointed me. I did not feel invested when Ai Li and Ryam were sneaking around, attempting to avoid the guards searching for them. I simply kept on reading (apathetic the entire time) and neither felt any sense of relief when the two managed to escape, nor any connection to their environment. You know how some stories seem to have the characters living in their own little world, disconnected to their surroundings? For some reason, I felt like it was like that instead of having the environment almost as its own character. That was the first sign of "trouble" when reading this story.

Ryam, our pale-skinned barbarian, fell flat for me, too. Like the environment, I felt no connection with his character at all, which is probably one of the most disappointing aspects of this book for me. He was not fully developed as a character and was not an interesting love interest. So, because I found our hero uninteresting, I never felt fully invested with this romance (which is a problem, considering what the genre is). What I cannot understand is why Ryam would not be developed further. We don't even learn (unless I missed it while skimming) where he comes from. Why include a foreigner then if he brings no real uniqueness to the overall story?

I think the only redeeming quality about this book was how kick ass Ai Li was, especially with her butterfly swords. The fight scenes in this book were my favorite parts. I loved that the author created an independent character who was strong enough to disobey the rules to protect her family. Too bad her love interest lessened the story for me.... and that Ai Li was reduced to the same virginal sissy that we encounter in numerous historicals.

I do give Jeannie Lin props, though, for thinking outside the box and exploring a different time period and writing an interracial romance. While I did not enjoy this story, I will be interested in checking out her future titles, since she does bring a breath of fresh air to the historical romance genre.

200 Bloggers, 200 Books, 56 Publishers And One Hour

"On Nov 10, at 1 p.m., 200 bloggers will simultaneously publish reviews of 200 books printed on eco-friendly paper to raise consumer awareness about considering the environment when making book purchases. Participation this year has doubled from 2009."

"Launched in 2009 by Eco-Libris, this campaign is aiming to promote “green” books by reviewing 200 books printed on recycled paper or FSC-certified paper. Choosing recycled and FSC certified paper helps protect the world’s forests, species and climate. Deforestation accounts for an estimated 20% of global carbon emissions, more than the emissions from the transportation, aviation and IT industries combined. By turning a spotlight on books printed using environmental paper, we want to raise the awareness of book buyers to this issue and encourage them to take it into consideration when purchasing books. Please check the campaign's resources page for more information."

To learn more about this wonderful event, you can visit the Eco-Libris website here.  By clicking on the link, you can check out some of the book reviews that have been posted on the Eco-Libris website and add your two cents about this event/what you thought of these books.

Some of the participating publishers include:  Penguin  Group, Scholastic, Barefoot Books, McClelland & Stewart, Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing, Sterling Publishing, DK Publishing, Harvard Business Press, Island Press, North Atlantic Books, McGraw-Hill, ABRAMS and Picador.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Giveaway: The Monstrumologist and The Curse of the Wendigo

I hope you're all ready for this awesome giveaway courtesy of Simon and Schuster!


These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for nearly ninety years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphan and assistant to a doctor with a most unusual specialty: monster hunting. In the short time he has lived with the doctor, Will has grown accustomed to his late night callers and dangerous business. But when one visitor comes with the body of a young girl and the monster that was eating her, Will's world is about to change forever. The doctor has discovered a baby Anthropophagus—a headless monster that feeds through a mouth in its chest—and it signals a growing number of Anthropophagi. Now, Will and the doctor must face the horror threatening to overtake and consume our world before it is too late.


While attempting to disprove that Homo vampiris, the vampire, could exist, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiancé to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop also considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied? This second book in The Monstrumologist series explores the line between myth and reality, love and hate, genius and madness.

Read the first chapter: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Curse-of-the-Wendigo/Rick-Yancey/Monstrumologist-The/9781416984504

Learn more on the Monstrumologist website:  http://www.monstrumologist.com

About the Author:
Rick Yancey is the author of The Monstrumologist series (Book #1 of which won the Michael L. Printz Honor Award in 2010) as well as the critically acclaimed series Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp. He has also written several novels for adults including The Highly Effective Detective and A Burning in Homeland. He earned a BA in English from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and worked as a field officer for the Internal Revenue Service before turning to writing full time in 2004. Rick lives in Florida with his wife Sandy, three sons, two dogs and one lizard. Visit him at http://www.rickyancey.com for more info.


This giveaway will have two winners who will each receive a copy of THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST and THE CURSE OF THE WENDIGO courtesy of Simon & Schuster and Blue Slip Media.

Giveaway Guidelines:
Leave a comment with your email address.

Open to US & Canada only.

Giveaway closes November 25th (that's two weeks) and I will announce/contact winners sometime on the 26th.  Make sure you check the blog to see if you've won!

Extra Entries:
+1 for Tweeting about this giveaway.  Make sure you include the link with your comment!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Win a Kindle!

Melting Pot
By Scott Nicholson

Conventional wisdom says that a writer should find a groove, stick with it, and do the same book over and over. And some very popular writers manage to do just that, especially with series books.

I had a phase of my career, what I call Act I, where I was publishing with the word “horror” stamped on the spines of the books. Of course, not many books get that label since the 1980’s horror glut and crash. During that time, I was pretty much presented as a “brand,” with similar titles all starting with “The.” But remember how ranchers branded their cattle? They seared their cows’ flesh with a glowing red iron. Ouchie.

The publisher believed an identifiable brand was the best way to build an audience, and that might have been the right approach. The trouble was that I was writing all kinds of different things that didn’t fit into the box. While I was able to slip out an experimental story here and there, I didn’t go haywire until this year and started publishing my own stuff.

That’s why I can write funny YA paranormal romance in October Girls and dark crime in Disintegration and publish them in the same month. They could hardly be more opposite. Some people may like them both, and some may love one and hate the other. But it’s all me.
I edited and wrote for the kiddie comic Little Shivers at the same time I was putting together the grown-up horror comic Grave Conditions, plus I was working on the teen graphic novel Dreamboat for my agent while I was finishing up Speed Dating with the Dead.

As if that’s not weird enough, I’ve written tons of poetry, songs, articles, writing advice, and I’ve been a newspaper reporter for 12 years. Before that I wrote radio copy. My screenplays range from B-movie horror to caper crime. I am about to publish my first children’s book.

And all of that has been done without permission or approval. I am not rich or wildly famous and successful, but I am very satisfied with exploring all these areas of life. And guess what? I’m going to take up oil painting again in my old age.

So I say follow every crazy dream you have, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Let your brand be unbranded, wild and free.


My new crime thriller Disintegration is a Kindle bestseller, and paranormal mystery As I Die Lying just launched, both for 99 cents for a limited time.

Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, Burial to Follow ,and October Girls. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, The Gorge, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers. His web site is www.hauntedcomputer.com.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info.
Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tori's Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

- 480 pages
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13: 978-0061726804
March 2, 2010

Lauren's Website
Buy it via the Publisher
Buy it via Amazon

Obtained: Borrowed from Karen (For What It's Worth)
Genre: Young Adult
1. Before I Fall

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.

My Rating:
This book has received The Faerie of Honor rating. (What is this?)

My Opinion:
If someone asked me what I thought of BEFORE I FALL, here's what I would say: Amazing. Spectacular. Breathtaking. I would be gushing about this book so much that the poor person wouldn't be able to understand half of what I was saying due to my excitement and inability to properly express how I felt about it. Then I would squeal and insist they read this novel pronto.

It's rare to find a book that affects you so profoundly that it makes you think, laugh, tear up, grow angry, and impossibly sad all throughout the span of a couple hundred pages. And yet, when it happens, when I stumble upon such a book, I'm blown away and am so incredibly thankful and thrilled that I was granted the privilege to read a book like that.

I thought I was going to hate Sam and this story. The beginning had me iffy, just because of how prissy Sam was in the first place. I could not relate with her character simply because I was never in her position in high school. But the character development throughout the entire story... oh my gosh, I went from loathing Sam to absolutely adoring the girl. I didn't think it was possible. Lauren's characters are 3D and I swear I thought they would walk out of the pages and strike up a conversation with me at any given moment.

It's not just the characterization either. The dialogue, the creativity with the scenes, the faintest hint of a bittersweet romance (that almost brought me to tears at the end due to the ending).... this book is a masterpiece.

BEFORE I FALL is the embodiment of what I wish YA books were like. There's no impossibly annoying love triangle that is so typical in the debut YAs nowadays. Sam's perception of love was written in a way that made me instantaneously relate with and value her as a character. She truly thought she was in love, despite the niggling snippets of doubt -- doubt that I also had as a teenager when I thought I was in love. In fact, during those particular moments, I swear I thought Lauren took an instance from my life and rewrote it.

Everything in this book rang true and genuine. Which is funny, because in most YAs, I want to scream and slap the heroine for bouncing back and forth between wondering if she loves one guy or the other in such a stupidly, immature fashion. It never comes off as genuine in those books, and it annoys me. It seems like it's added just so that there's more tension for the story/plot, instead of it being about the heroine's inner struggle.

BEFORE I FALL has easily squirmed its way into one of my top favorite books, not only in 2010, but also... ever. Lauren Oliver is pure genius, and I must say that she has now become an auto-buy for me. I borrowed a copy of BIF from a friend, but will definitely buy the hardcover ASAP... and I suggest you do the same :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

BBP Online Convention

Hello fellow bloggers and readers.  I thought I'd let everyone know about a special one day discussion event that's occurring Saturday November 6th.

Details below:

Hello Fellow Bloggers,

This November we are having a day of discussions for bloggers: vlogging, new publishers, good manners, Blogger Legal No-No's.  It is an offshoot of the Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference that will be taking place Next March 2011.  
Vlogging - Is it the way of the future?  If so I need to go on a diet.

New Publishers - They are everywhere!  Who do you give a chance and even if you want to where can you find them?

Good Manners - What are they and why are they important in Blogging? 
PS. This means not naming your blog after one that already exists, not copying posts, and not just commenting to have your link somewhere.

Legal Issues for bloggers - Covers, Music, Random Images--which are no-no's?

If you have questions you can email me,Terry Kate at: romanceinthebackseat(@)gmail(.)com

Register at http://bbpcon.blogspot.com/

Thanks you for your time and consideration,
Terry Kate

I hope a lot of you will be able to make this event, whether you're currently a blogger, are entertaining the idea of becoming a blogger, or if you're a reader who would like to express your pet peeves about the blogs you read. It should be a highly educational experience for all :)

Plus, I think the Good Manners category -- specifically commenting just to get your links out there -- is something extremely important to discuss.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Faerie's Contest Finds (17)

The Faerie’s Contest Finds
is a weekly post where readers, bloggers, and authors can gather together to not only advertise for their book/swag contests, but to also enter other giveaways. These contests are NOT restricted to paranormal themes. 

Please be sure to include:
  • Contest end date
  • Blog name
  • Whether it is US, International, etc.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Heads up: win a Kindle... or two!

Just thought I'd give a heads up about something.  On November 10th, I'll be adding a guest post by Scott Nicholson in part of the Haunted Blog Tour.  You can actually win a Kindle through this!  Here are the details, below:

Author Scott Nicholson and Amazon are giving away two Kindles as part of his fall book blog tour through November, including a stop here at Book Faery on Nov. 10. A Kindle DX will be given away through the participating blogs, and a Kindle 3 will be given away through the tour newsletter. A Pandora's Box of free ebooks will be given away through Nicholson's "hauntedcomputer" Twitter account.

As a bonus, for each book of his books that hits the Top 100 in the U.S. or U.K. Kindle Store during the tour, he will give away an extra Kindle 3 through the blogs. Sign up for the newsletter at scottsinnercircle-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to get daily links to the participating blogs. Winners will be selected at the Watauga County (NC) Public Library in December. No purchase necessary, and the contest is international. Co-sponsored by Kindle Nation Daily and Dellaster Design. Details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm

Contact Scott Nicholson hauntedcomputerbooks@yahoo.com
Video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLWZ4h1KOy0

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thirsting for Thursday: The Monthly Book Release Update (9)

Thirsting for Thursday is, as the title implies, a monthly book release update.  On the first Thursday of every month, I will post the new releases I have discovered.  Of course, I do not have all of the book releases that are out there, which is why if there's a title you've noticed is missing, you should leave a comment to let me know!  Also feel free to let me know if a date has changed for any of these books.  While I try to keep up with all the dates, I cannot keep up with every single title.

I'll also be adding notes from now on that either include my reviews of these books, or which books I'm highly anticipating.

My sincerest apologies everyone!  I completely forgot to post last month's releases up!