Only the best YA, MG, and Children's Fiction gain entry into the Lit Castle.....

I am Maiden Myth, just a humble servant of the Lit Castle in the Clouds, devouring literature as I anticipate moving up to Queen : )

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book Cover Reveals + Other News!

Hey everyone!

I apologize for not posting for a while. I have several reasons for this. First of all, I have been super busy with my schoolwork, and second, I wasn't quite sure what the future of this blog was. I have been posting reviews for almost 6 months now, but it has still been rather quiet around here -insert crickets- though I have tried to thrust it into the blogging realm. Anyway, I digress....

I love looking through book sites-be it bookstore websites, blogs, etc. And I was delighted to find a few new things while I surfed the web! I think that some of you will like them, too, if you haven't heard of them already.

FIRST OFF: Aprilynne Pike just revealed the cover for the third book in her Wings series, Illusions! I love this series and cannot wait. Here is the cover:



Gorgeous, right? And, the other two covers in the series are going to be revamped to match the new one! Yay!

And here is the jacket copy from Aprilynne Pike's official blog *Spoiler alert*:

"I don't do patrols, I don't go hunting, I just stick close to you. You live your life, I'll keep you safe," Tamani said, sweeping a lock of hair from her face. "Or die trying."

Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.

But just as life returns to normal, Laurel realizes that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.


Oh, Tamani.....*sigh*

Okay, next thing. I love the Clique series, and am saddened that the last book in the series is coming out next year. But, the good news is, the cover of The Clique #14: A Tale of Two Pretties has finally been unleashed to the hordes of downcast Pretty Committee enthusiasts:



Every time that I see it, I feel bittersweet pangs of nostalgia....I've been following this series since I was a tween! The official synopsis (for now) is vague, but it serves fairly well to get emotions high:

Massie Block has long led the Pretty Committee--through boy drama, clique mutinies, and jealous wannabe attacks--while always in ah-dorable outfits. Over the past thirteen novels, avid fans of Massie, Alicia, Dylan, Kristin, and Claire, have made The Clique one of the premier bestselling series in the world. After the myriad of juicy escapades, the Clique is finally ready for their curtain call.

The Clique . . . the only thing harder than getting in is saying goodbye.


*Wipes away tear*

Also, I found out about the next novel in Lauren Kate's Fallen series! It is called Passion. I do not think that there is a cover yet, but there is a tiny synopsis:

Before Luce and Daniel met at Sword & Cross and fought immortals at Shoreline, they lived many lives. . . .


Vague, I know, but it did whet my appetite. Are we going to learn about their other lives? I hope so! This is set to release June 14, 2011. Which, incidentally, is exactly eight days before my birthday, so it is definitely going to go on my wishlist.

And for the 13 to Life fans, here is the cover for the sequel, Secrets and Shadows!



Well, that's all I'll write for now! Stay tuned!

Until the next review,
Maiden Myth.

P.S. What book are you most excited about? I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In My Mailbox-10/24/10

Hey Loyal Subjects of the Lit Castle!

In My Mailbox is a meme created by The Story Siren (http://www.thestorysiren.com/) and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie (http://aleapopculture.blogspot.com/). In My Mailbox is a meme where bloggers share what books they got this week. Here are mine:















Borrowed:

-The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (have been looking forward to this one!)

-Ready or Not by Meg Cabot (the sequel to All-American Girl)

-Fallen by Lauren Kate (GORGEOUS cover! <3)

-The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (drool longingly)

And one more thing:

Flippin' Fabulous-A Reader's Record is having their 100 Follower Giveaway (congrats!)

Here are some of the goods:

-Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

-The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

-Looking for Alaska by John Green

-Oh My Gods by Tera Lynn Childs

-Radiance by Alyson Noel

-Forget You by Jennifer Echols

And many more!!! Stop by Flippin' Fabulous today and enter to win: http://areadersrecord.blogspot.com/2010/09/fabs-first-official-100-follower.html

PLUS, did you watch the book trailer for Matched by Allyson Condie? It's great.



What books did you get this week? I'd love to know!

Until the next post,

Maiden Myth.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

YA Wednesday: Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen


Hello Loyal Servants of the Lit Castle!

Welcome to my meme, YA Wednesday!* This particular book that I am going to review, Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen,is special to me, because I won it in a Goodreads contest.** And, to tell you the truth, even though it was exciting to win it, I initially wasn't all too thrilled with the book that I received. BUT, you can not always judge a book by its cover, or even its synopsis-you have to soak your mind into the pages in order to note either its beauty, its ugliness, or that murky place in between. This book was a beauty, and I will tell you why after the synopsis:


"The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star. . . .

Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age."

Although a good summary, it didn't pique my interest at first glance. This is probably because I usually don't prefer historical fiction, and this one sounded somewhat cliche. But, once I got into the book, I loved it. I would define it as a vague cross between Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars set in the Jazz Age, with some unique aspects thrown in. We have Letty Larkspur, the sweet, shy girl who fantasizes about stardom; Cordelia Grey, a virtual orphan until she happens upon the father that she has long searched for; and Astrid Donal, whose lifestyle is luxurious and seemingly perfect. The way that these girls' lives intertwine bring scandals and thrills, and it made for a great story.

Of course, much of the content in this book wasn't anything new-themes of aspiring stardom and dark secrets and such, but what set it apart was Anna Godbersen's exquisite, sophisticated prose that was believably old-fashioned (I have read a number of historical novels where the voice faltered into a more modern tone) and interesting characters. Even though the characters aren't exactly role models (for example, Astrid has no problem flirting with other guys even when in a relationship with someone else, and maybe even cheat), but they were fascinating on the whole, and forced my fingers to keep turning the pages. There were also sharp, exhilarating plot twists that made my heart race, something that I did NOT expect. And the CLIFFHANGERS! I adored them-it makes me crave the next novel in this series so that I can learn a bit more about the secrets that were strongly hinted at in BYT. It was also incredibly interesting to learn more about the 1920's-it seems like it was an exciting time to live in, laden with secrets and mystery. I was bewitched by this novel, and I can't wait until the sequel.
Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Writing:4/5

Overall: 4 Stars

Question: Did you read Bright Young Things? What is your opinion? I would love to hear about it!

And, one more thing. You heard me mentioning the sequel; well, I have discovered a bit of information about it; it's not much, only little pieces to whet your appetite. The sequel is called Beautiful Days, and here is the cover (sorry, I could only find one that's super-tiny):

It's supposed to be depicting Cordelia Grey. Aren't you excited? I am.

Until the next review,

Maiden Myth.


The synopsis was taken from Harper Teen's official website, and the cover from the book's official website.

*Feel free to take part in my YA Wednesday meme, as long as you link it back to Lit Castle in the Clouds!

**Even though I received this book from Goodreads, I was in no way influenced or compensated by them. My thoughts are entirely my own.

Monday, October 18, 2010

MG Mondays: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan



*MG Mondays is a meme that I created that features reviews of the Middle-Grade books that I read. Feel free to also use the meme, as long as you link back to Lit Castle in the Clouds!*

Loyal Subjects of the Lit Castle:

Before I begin this review, I would like to apologize for my neglect of this blog. I haven't said much about this for fear of being branded TMI, but I think that you should know a bit about why I have been absent from the blogging world, so that you don't think that I am being incompetent. I'll spare you the details, but I have been so sick off and on for the past five or so months that sometimes it's difficult to get out of bed. When those times pass, I am either so busy catching up on the schoolwork that I've missed and completing the latest assignments, or offering constructive criticism for my writer friend's query letter and manuscript (which I am happy to do for my crit partner, of course). So, it has been difficult to restructure my schedule again. But, I plan to commence this new chapter of my life with this review of The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

Here is the official synopsis:

"Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is on the most dangerous quest of his life. With the help of a satyr and a daughter of Athena, Percy must journey across the United States to catch a thief who has stolen the original weapon of mass destruction – Zeus’ master bolt. Along the way, he must face a host of mythological enemies determined to stop him. Most of all, he must come to terms with a father he has never known, and an Oracle that has warned him of betrayal by a friend."

You have probably been bombarded with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series over the past couple of years (especially this year, it seems), as I have been. I have been restlessly confronted with comments about this series, from the lovers, from the haters, and from every reader in between. You have probably heard me talking about how much I adore Greek mythology, so this series, a modern twist on Greek mythology, piqued my interest. I initially saw the movie (before I read the book. I know, I committed one of the worst literary sins), which I liked (although most people insisted that the book is better, naturally). But, when I read the book, I liked the book even more. Rick Riordan's writing is sharp and the plot is paced so well that it was hard to wedge in even a sliver of boredom-however, some things came across as cliche to me.

I loved the modern makeovers to the Greek myths, especially for the Fates (I love that they were three knitting-crazy elderly women!) The only thing that I didn't prefer about the modern treatments for the villains was that they all seemed to bear the same personality-cloying, manipulative, etc. I mean, I know that this is the design for a villain, but they all seemed to be the same, just with a different name and style. I loved Camp Half-Blood! I wish that I could go to a camp like that. Camp Half-Blood was specifically designed as a realm of protection for the demi-gods, the children of a god and a mortal, and a place in which they could train. It was often a dangerous place to be, what with the pseudo-battles that they would often have, but it was interesting to see how the demi-gods bore the traits of their immortal parents.

I loved Percy Jackson. Rick Riordan concocted the perfect pitch of a twelve-year-old boy, and he was incredibly entertaining. To talk about the plot, I have to be honest. Since I saw the movie, I saw most things coming. But, even when I did see the movie, everything was a tad bit predictable. I would've liked the twists to be a bit more shocking, but they seemed to fit too much into the standard formula of fantasy fiction stories.

When comparing the book to the movie *spoiler alert*, there were several things that I liked better in the book, and some things that I liked better in the movie. Such as, I liked it better when Luke was the son of Hades in the movie, rather than the son of Hermes in the book; actually, I have mixed feelings about this, because, if we knew that he was the son of Hades in the book, it would have been easy to guess that he was going to betray Percy (although I saw it coming, and I'm sure you did if you read/watched it, too), but it seemed to be a better fit. Also, the part about Persephone's pearls seemed a bit random in the movie, even though I know it is in Greek mythology, and I think that I would have liked for them to stick a little bit more to the original plotline. But, hey, that's just my opinion. : )

Plot: 3.5
Characters: 3.5
Writing: 4.5
Ending: 4

Overall:3.5 stars

Until the next review,

Maiden Myth.

The synopsis and the picture were taken from Rick Riordan's official website.

P.S. I really did like the book, though; I plan to read the next book in the series as well!

Oh, and a question for my readers: Which did you like better, the movie or the book? What would you have changed? I'm curious. : )

Pre-Order Signed Copies of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater!


Hello Loyal Subjects of the Lit Castle!

Maiden Myth here, after a short hiatus (which I will explain in my next post). If you are as much of a Maggie Stiefvater fan as I am, you will be thrilled to hear that you can pre-order a signed copy of Forever, the last book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, at the Fountain Book Store website.

Here is the link:

http://www.fountainbookstore.com/autograph-maggie

I can't wait to read this book!

Until the next post,

Maiden Myth.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sorry.....

Dear All of the Loyal Subjects of the Lit Castle:

I'm sorry that I haven't been frequent in updating this blog lately. As you might know from following me on Twitter (if you do, and, if not, it would be awesome if you did!) I have been slaving over an enormous research paper that has taken nearly all of my time, plus other schoolwork that piled when I was ill last month. That being said, I want to give you a glimpse of what's to come in the following weeks:

In the last post, I described my YA Wednesday and MG Monday memes (and you can totally use them if you want, as long as you give credit to me, preferably as Maiden Myth @ Lit Castle in the Clouds, and do that-computer-thing-that-I-don't-know-how-to-do where the link for my blog is attached to my name, although you don't have to do the second part). These will continue starting this Monday; here is the blog itinerary:

MG Monday 10/11/10: Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book 1: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

YA Wednesday 10/13/10: The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones (I know, I know, I should've done this a long time ago!)

MG Monday 10/18/10: The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

YA Wednesday 10/20/10: All-American Girl by Meg Cabot (I LOVE Meg Cabot!)

There will also be a few contest notices and such, cover reveals, etc., as time allows. Hopefully I'll reach 25 followers soon, and I can have my big 25 Followers Giveaway! Okay, that's it for now. Thank you for reading. : )

Until the next post,
Maiden Myth.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Contest Post!

Hello Loyal Subjects of the Lit Castle!

I have hunted for contests and found so many great ones! Here's my loot:

From Good Choice Reading:

-Win a copy of Firelight by Sophie Jordan: http://goodchoicereading.blogspot.com/2010/09/firelight-giveaway.html

-Win the following from The Fall Giveaway:

+When Blood Calls by J.K. Beck

+Born to Bite by Lynsay Sands

+Assassin's Honor by Monica Burns

+I'll Be Slaying You by Cynthia Eden

+Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

+The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

+The Pace by Selena Shorts

+Hearts at Stake and Blood Feud by Alexandra Harvey

+The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

+Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

+ARC of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

+Evernight by Claudia Gray

+Almost to Die For by Tate Hallaway (Signed copy)

+Sea by Heidi R. Kling

+Falling for Romeo by Jennifer Laurens

Each winner (there are four thus far) will have their pick of three books.

http://goodchoicereading.blogspot.com/2010/09/its-time-welcoming-fall-giveaway.html

From Down the Rabbit Hole:


Win the following from the 100+ Followers Giveaway:

+Signed City of Glass (HB) by Cassandra Clare

+Garner Girl by Mari Mancusi

+Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

+13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

+"Zombies hate that you are so awesome" bookmark

And here are the details I got from Down the Rabbit Hole. It's pretty sweet:

"First Place will get the SIGNED Cassandra Clare novel, one other novel of their choice and a "Zombies hate that you are so awesome" bookmark.

Second Place will get the left over book.

But wait, what about my international followers? Yup, there's something for you too! For ONE lucky international follower, I will buy a novel of their choice from The Book Depository not to exceed $15.00. As long as they ship to you, you are eligible to enter!


The more followers I get, the more likely I'll be adding extra prizes!"

What are you waiting for??? Head over there! : )

http://amberinblunderland.blogspot.com/2010/09/100-followers-giveaway.html

From Lost for Words:

Did I already post this? I'm not sure. Anyway, it's a fantastic contest.

Up for grabs from the Birthday Giveaway:

+Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

+Firelight by Sophie Jordan

+Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

+Losing Faith by Denise Jaden


There will be four winners, one for each novel.

You will find this fab opportunity here: http://lostforwords-corrine.blogspot.com/2010/09/birthday-giveaway.html

Well, that's all for now! Stay tuned for more of my fabulous contest findings (trust me, I search a lot).

I remain forever your humble and obedient lit servant,
Maiden Myth.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Top Five Books of 2011!



Hello Loyal Subjects of the Lit Castle in the Clouds!

This post is for a Contest Craze Mini Challenge, hosted by Princess bookie (http://www.princessbookie.com/). For this challenge, I am going to tell you about the five books that I'm anticipating the most for next year and why! Okay, here goes:


1. Fins are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs

*Warning: contains spoilers for those who have not read the first book, Forgive My Fins*

Synopsis:

"On Lily Sanderson’s eighteenth birthday she’ll become just a girl—still a mer girl, true, but signing the renunciation paperwork will ink Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia out of existence. That leaves plain old Lily living on land, dating the boy she loves, and trying to master this being human thing once and for all.

Now that Lily and Quince are together, mer-bond or not, she’s almost content to give up her place in the royal succession of Thalassinia. But just when she thinks she has everything figured out, Lily’s father sends a certain whirlpool-stirring cousin to stay with her on land. What did Doe do to get herself exiled from Thalassinia and stuck in terraped form, when everyone knows how much she hates humans? And why why why is she batting her eyelashes at Lily’s former crush, Brody?
The seafoam on the surf comes when a merboy from Lily’s past shows up. Tellin asks Lily for something that clouds her view of the horizon. There’s a future with Quince on land, her loyalty to the kingdom in the sea, and Lily tossing on the waves in the middle. Will she find a way to reconcile her love, her duty, and her dreams?"

Why I want to read this book: Because I loved its predecessor, Forgive My Fins. It sparkled with bubbly and enchanting prose, and I especially enjoyed Quince and Lily's relationship. I am especially excited to read about how their romance unfolds. Also, the idea of Tellin, one of Lily's old friends (I'm assuming friend?), stirs up the potential for a love triangle-and, what exactly does he request that she do? This is already on my Goodreads To-Read List, and I plan to get my hands on it as soon as possible.

2. A Tale of Two Pretties by Lisi Harrison (I couldn't find a cover)
(14th in the Clique series)
Synopsis: "Massie Block has long led the Pretty Committee--through boy drama, clique mutinies, and jealous wannabe attacks--while always in ah-dorable outfits. Over the past thirteen novels, avid fans of Massie, Alicia, Dylan, Kristin, and Claire, have made The Clique one of the premier bestselling series in the world. After the myriad of juicy escapades, the Clique is finally ready for their curtain call.

The Clique . . . the only thing harder than getting in is saying goodbye."

Why I want to read this book: Don't judge me people!!! I love the Clique. It's witty and sassy and funny...I teared up a bit when I heard that this was the last book. I first started reading this series when I was 12, so it's been with me for a while. I want to see how it ends, and get closure on the Pretty Committee's saga.


3: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Synopsis:

"Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger."

Why I want to read this book: I am reading The Body Finder (Desires of the Dead is its sequel) and I am loving it. Kimberly Derting deftly weaves a chilling suspense into her pages that has often left me very, very uncomfortable and paranoid when I turn out the lights at night. : ) The characters are also fabulous, and I love how she twists the classic best-friend-turned-boyfriend idea. I am so intoxicated by the premise of the next book that I want to grab an ARC (which I, unfortunately, do not possess) and tear through it. Plus, I just love Jay. : )


4. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (3rd in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series)

I could not find a synopsis, even though I looked in several places. I think that there isn't an official one yet. Oh, well....

Why I want to read this book: I have read some of Shiver and I am enjoying it so much that I know Linger will not be far behind on my TBR list, and I will have to get my hands on Forever. I was never that into werewolves, but Maggie Stiefvater writes about werewolves that I WANT to read about, which is no easy feat in a world overrun with were tales.

5. Entice by Carrie Jones

Synopsis:

"Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that's not quite how things have worked out. For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he's been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it's taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla? And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there's that other small problem: Zara's been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn't turned into just any pixie. . . She's Astley's queen."

Why I want to read this book: I am starting Need right now (The first book in the series. I know, I know, I'm in the midst of too many novels! I'm addicted!) and, like the other books, I can't get enough of it. It's probably not good for me to be reading the synopsis of the latest book in the series, as it will spoil many of the secrets within the book, but I don't mind too much (that's a lie. I do. But I've seen it now, so, whatever). But those last three words in the synopsis just eats me alive! She's Astley's queen now??? I have to read this! It's going to be sooo good.

Now that I've shown you my Top 5, I'm wondering: what books are you looking forward to reading next year? What's burning up your pre-order list? I'd love to know.

Until the next post,

Maiden Myth.

Note: I did not write the synopses; they are the official ones from the author's websites, Goodreads or another reliable source. Thank you for reading. : )

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and My Thoughts on the Controversy


I had planned to review The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones as my next post, but the news that I received about a week ago concerning the words of Missouri State University's associate professor Wesley Scroggins against Laurie Halse Anderson's novel Speak sent me into a wild flurry of commenting on blog posts, tweeting, and showing my support in nearly every form available on the internet for this extraordinary literary masterpiece.

I am sure that, if you are an active member in the book blogging community or Twitter, you have heard much about this. But, for those of you who don't, I would like to inform you about it. Although I have gotten word of this from various sources, the main article that I gleaned from was written by Laurie Halse Anderson, on her blog entitled Mad Woman in the Forest. I also read some of Scroggin's opinion piece in the News-Leader of Springfield, MO.

He considers Speak, and I QUOTE directly from his article, "soft pornography." He goes on to explain the premise of the novel with an opinion that I am still puzzled and upset over. This is how he described it:

"This is a book about a very dysfunctional family. Schoolteachers are losers, adults are losers and the cheerleading squad scores more than the football team."

He goes on to say more, but I urge you to read it for yourself. Most of what he says afterward is more of the same thing.

First of all, is he actually suggesting that a book is "filthy" as he called it in his piece just because it's about a dysfunctional family? Surely he must know that dysfunction is an unfortunate part of reality and is in no way wrong to speak of in a book, unless it is a blatant slam to family (which Speak is definitely not). Second, I do not believe on any level that Laurie Halse Anderson meant to portray all schoolteachers and adults as "losers." I know many friends who go to public school and have teachers as cruel as the ones that Melinda has; the same for adults. High schoolers need to know that they're not alone in that struggle; Laurie Halse Anderson confirms that for them with passion and power. Also, Melinda does have a memorable teacher in this book that is a central character to the story! He is her art teacher, who supports her creativity and is incredibly kind and sincere. He was not, in any way, described as a loser. Third, about the cheerleading team. This is not shed in a positive light in this novel; Melinda views these girls with utter contempt. This is also apart of the high school experience for many; I have known many promiscuous girls during my school career. It's unfortunate, but it happens.

This is also a review as much as it is a rebuttal. Here is the real synopsis of the book, not the one clouded by judgment and negativity:

"Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth."

I want you to know that I am not supporting this book merely because it is what is unifying the literary community-much of it-in protest. I read this book recently, carefully analyzing it and pondering its message. I can tell you with complete confidence that this book is the real deal. I give you my word that I would never advertise a book if I did not believe in it with my heart, mind, and soul. I was a Laurie Halse Anderson fan before Speak; I am even more deeply grounded in that status after.

Poignant, chilling, and heartbreakingly beautiful, this is the tale of one girl's painful road to renewal. She is deemed the outcast, tormented by her classmates and former friends, and at the mercy of brutal teachers. Laurie Halse Anderson writes in the pitch-perfect voice of a broken teenager, who has learned to be silent as the haunting terror of what has happened to her unravels out into her life, crushing all that lies in its path-if she allows it to. But after so much time in silence, will she find the courage to raise her voice?

I loved this book. Even though I, thankfully, have never gone through what the main protagonist had to survive, I could feel the vivid sweep of the fear, anger, and depression that marked Melinda's tone. The betrayal of her friends both new and old and the struggle to trust the friends that might be genuine was something that I could relate to, and it was so realistic that I felt that Laurie Halse Anderson must have been present when I went through all of those social trials, then sat down and wrote this book, weaving in even harsher truths of sexual abuse. The characters were realistic and three dimensional, and the plot was also extremely plausible-there was nothing truly melodramatic, just pure grit, as she described the cruelty of Melinda's peers and teachers, and the cool distance of her parents. The ending was phenomenal, and I won't spoil it; that's all that I have to say.

The only thing that I'd change is that there is this one particular character that I didn't feel have enough closure, but that's the only remotely negative comment that I have toward this book. It's brilliant.

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Ending: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5

Overall: 5 Stars

I have initially been enraged by the blind words that Mr. Scroggins wrote toward Speak-but I have decided instead that I feel toward him my utmost pity. He doesn't understand how many people have been helped and possibly even saved by Speak-I have heard countless stories from the girls themselves of the relief they found from this novel.

Some friends of my past were rape victims. The tragedy is all too real. Often they stay silent as their predators still prowl around the halls of their high school, rumors of the true story dripping like acid out of their mouth (sometimes they would brag about how they scored with the girl, which is so awful that I can't even begin to comprehend it) and the girls would be branded as easy and many other despicable terms that I won't list in this post. Many times they feel alone, they feel guilty, they feel scared. I don't know if any of those friends ever read Speak, but I would definitely give it to them if the time ever arose. It gives so many of those girls hope-they see that other people have gone through it. It connects them to a broad network of hopefulness and acceptance from other people. I hope that Laurie Halse Anderson will forever be encouraged by every person that stands up for her exquisite novels.

I encourage you to read this book and decide for yourself: will you stay silent when the oppressors are loud, or will you speak up?

Until the next review,

Maiden Myth.

Here is the link to Laurie Halse Anderson's post about the issue: http://madwomanintheforest.com/this-guy-thinks-speak-is-pornography/

And here is the link to Wesley Scroggin's opinion piece: http://www.news-leader.com/article/20100918/OPINIONS02/9180307/Scroggins-Filthy-books-demeaning-to-Republic-education

Friday, September 24, 2010

Free Books, Anyone?

Attention All Loyal Servants of the Lit Castle:

I am obsessed with the contests offered by the book blogger community. From signed ARCs to boxes stuffed with books, I always find an interesting giveaway to enter, featuring awesome prizes. I'll do these posts regularly to keep you in the know! Just think of me as your personal contest hunter. : )

Here are some of my favorite giveaways that I've come across:

A Good Addiction: Blogoversary Givewaway!

This one is the first mentioned because it is going to be closed in only four days! Here's what's up for grabs:

-Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
-Firelight by Sophie Jordan
-Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Did I mention that they're all SIGNED??? And they will be personalized just for you! (The blogger is going to meet the authors in person at their book tour to have it signed!)

What are you waiting for? Here's the link, hurry, hurry! http://agoodaddiction.blogspot.com/2010/09/blogoversay-giveaway.html

Pure Imagination: Pre-Holiday Pre-Order Giveaway!

Okay, so at the Pure Imagination Blog they are giving away pre-orders of some anticipated novels-The Lost Saint by Bree Despain and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. And that's not all: there might be more books given away by the end of the contest. How cool is that??? I have been drooling over the thought of these books for days, weeks, even-I want to read them so much, and I bet that you do, too!

Here's the link to this ultra-fab contest: http://www.pureimaginationblog.com/2010/09/pre-holiday-pre-order-giveaway.html

That's all I have for now! I'll keep searching and find you, my dear readers, a plethora of contests for you to enter so that you can win books and other great swag!

I remain forever you humble and obedient blogger,

Maiden Myth.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr


Synopsis:

"As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also one another's only friend. So when Cameron disappears without warning, Jennifer thinks she's lost the only person who will ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she's popular, happy, and dating, everything "Jennifer" couldn't be---but she still can't shake the memory of her long-lost friend.
When Cameron suddenly reappears, they are both confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken.
From the National Book Award nominated author of Story of a Girl, Sweethearts is a story about the power of memory, the bond of friendship, and the quiet resilience of our childhood hearts."

The synopsis had me hooked right off the bat, which led me to pine for this book for months. I knew that it would be poignant, but I could have never expected its beauty.

At first glance, this can seem like a very cliche tale. An outcast becoming popular, then her 'perfect' life becoming shaken by the reappearance of an old friend. But it was definitely different from what I thought.

Jennifer Harris was constantly tormented by her classmates in elementary school, often called "smelly" and "fat" among other things by her peers, or being shunned altogether. But, once she meets Cameron, who sees past her exterior into who she truly is, everything changes. They form a strong, loyal bond that seems to be unbreakable. She begins to uncover bits and pieces about Cameron's home life, and finds out about his abusive father; the most unforgettable, heart-wrenching encounter that she had with Cameron's father is broken up into small segments throughout the chapters, its harrowing twists and turns making your pulse quicken and your heart ache for everything that Cameron had to go through. Jennifer's home life isn't so spectacular, either; her single mother is struggling to make ends meet, and has to work nearly all the time just to support the two of them, and never has a moment for her young daughter. As the adversity in the two children's lives build, so does the strength in their connection. But soon, Cameron is gone without a trace; even worse, everyone tells Jennifer that he's dead.

Devastated and alone, Jennifer slowly transforms into Jenna. She loses weight, wears new clothes, and goes through a complete metamorphosis on her surface. Her mother marries a man who is a kind, loving stepfather to Jenna; this also gives her a new last name, bringing the change full circle. Now, this is where the story is different from other stories about makeovers: it isn't like she's suddenly part of a ritzy popular crowd. In fact, she goes to an alternative school and befriends a group of incredibly unique individuals that are set apart somewhat from the typical popular people: her friend Katy has ADHD and anger management issues; Steph has a learning disability; and her boyfriend Ethan is described as a "creative genius," which is why they go to a small charter school. I liked the fact that there was some diversity in the group, and it wasn't only a plain vanilla mix of jocks and cheerleaders. Still, they are pretty well-liked and mostly good people, but Jenna begins to question whether or not they like her for who she is or who she pretends to be. Now, on her seventeenth birthday, she gets a birthday card from her old best friend, Cameron-and soon enough learns that he's here to stay, at least for now.

One of the unique things about this book is that it is deeply grounded in reality. I can imagine every single event that happened in this book occurring in real life, for better or for worse. Cameron is not the sweet little boy that she knew before, even though he still has a kind heart; due to what has happened to him since he last saw her (you'll read about it in the book), his personality is jaded and guarded, although not necessarily in a mean way. But, his true heart shines through often throughout the book, and he has some unforgettable lines that almost took my breath away. Their relationship falters and grows in a plausibly inconsistent fashion, as they piece together their old memories, some of them too painful to think about right away. How they react to the nostalgia of their old times together was intricate, how Jenna began to revert back to her old tendencies, and how she often saw Cameron as the little boy she knew, not someone who was about to reach manhood. Still, their relationship was sweet (no pun intended).

The end was disappointing for me, nothing that I saw coming. It was only fairly upsetting, and it didn't exactly ruin the book, but it did dampen the warm and fuzzies a bit for me. However, it was written so beautifully that I might just change my mind.

I give this book five stars-actually, I'm going to revise the system and rate books in golden clouds-or silver, or bronze, whatever works for the novel. So, I give this book five golden clouds-it seems appropriate for a literary castle in the sky, wouldn't you say? ; )

Oh, and on a side note, sorry that I haven't been posting much lately. I haven't been feeling well for the past couple of weeks. I think that tomorrow I'll be posting The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson. But for now...

Until the next review,

Maiden Myth.

P.S. Both the picture and synopsis were taken from the official website of Books A Million.

P.P.S. I watched the VMA's last night. What did everyone think?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Book Out Today: Firelight by Sophie Jordan!


Hello to my loyal subjects. : )

Today is Tuesday, which means new books! In this post, I want to spotlight one book in particular. Check out the synopsis:

A HIDDEN TRUTH

MORTAL ENEMIES

DOOMED LOVE

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet of her kind, she nearly pays with her life, only to be spared by a beautiful stranger sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki--a descendant of dragons whose ability to shift into human form is her best defense.

Forced to flee into the mortal world, Jacinda struggles to adapt. The one bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irrestibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away - if it dies she will be left a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and irresistible passion ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide ...

When I first heard about this novel, I honestly thought, blah. I mean, forbidden love, dragons, hunters, etc. It seemed very cliche to me at first glance.

Until I read an excerpt.

Oh my goodness, the writing is fantastic. It's poetic without being too wordy, uses unique similes and adjectives, and is simply exquisite. And, even though it used the old forbidden love formula, the romance is still fantastic and, as far as I saw (I was only able to read about nine chapters on Harper Teen) everything seemed well-paced in the relationship between Jacinda and Will (and it does help that Will is gorgeous. But, I digress.) What intrigued me as a fantasy lover was the part about dragons. It is definitely not your average dragon tale, folks. She created a dragon species called the Draki, are here are a few reasons why they are different from most other dragon books that I've read:

1. None of them can breathe fire except for one (and I bet you can guess who that is.)

2. Each one has a different magical ability, such as ones dealing with water.

3. They can morph into humans, but certain people and places can sap their Draki form and leave them human (or do the opposite: morph them back into Draki while in human form.)

4. They live in a world clouded by the shield of Draki smoke (I know another world isn't original, but I thought the smoke part is really cool).

I also loved Jacinda. She's headstrong and doesn't seem to fall into the TSTL trap too often.

So, what are you waiting for? Go out to Barnes and Noble or Borders or your favorite indie bookstore and pick up a copy!

I am on Team Draki*, which is the Firelight Street Team. It's free to join, and you can get cool swag! I think that you can still be a member: http://www.sophiejordan.net/ya/team/dd-formmailer/dd-formmailer.php

Until the next review or book release day,

Maiden Myth,

*Note: even though I am apart of Team Draki, I was in no way compensated or influenced by any source for this post. I would never advertise something that I didn't believe in. I thoroughly and completely believe in this novel and genuinely wish it great success.*

P.S. In my 25 Follower giveaway, Firelight swag (bookmarks, posters, the like) will be included! : )

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mega Contest Post!

Hello.... : )

So, I found a couple of crazy amazing contests that I wanted to share with you. These prizes are GOOD, I promise you. At the end, I'll talk about the contest that I want to hold once I reach 25 followers.

First contest: A Very Humongous Blogaversary Contest from In Which a Girl Reads

Congrats to IWGR for a one-year blog anniversary! Wow! Here are the prizes and info from her blog post:

1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
2. The Duff by Kody Keplinger (ARC)
3. You by Charles Benoit
3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
4. Linger by Maggie Steivafater
5. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
6. Candor by Pam Bachorz
7. Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
8. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
9. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
10. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
11. Hold Still be Nina De LaCour
12. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
13. Sea by Heidi R. Kling
14. Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan
15. Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
16. Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce
17. You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
18. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
19. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
20. Paper Towns by John Green
21. Need by Carrie Jones
22. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
23. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
24. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
25. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Three winners:
1. First winner gets choice of 3 books from pile
2. Second winner gets choice of 2 books remaining in pile
3. Third winner gets choice of 1 book remaining from pile

Salivating yet? Go over to her blog and fill out the form: http://inwhichagirl.blogspot.com/2010/08/very-humongous-blogoversary-contest.html

And the next contest is kind of like a Christmas miracle and heaven all mixed up in one and baked into the most amazing giveaway treat since...well....forever. Especially for writers! It is hosted by Emelia Plater, a teen YA author (how cool is that?!) who has a blog called Punk Writer Kid. I copied the following from her blog:

~ A 20-page partial critique from agent Suzie Townsend!

~ Also (because this gal is a goddess), a query critique from Suzie!

~ A $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble, because let's face it: take that thing to the cafe, and it can buy coffee.


Getting annoyed yet?
~ A copy of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White - the first 70 pages of which promise incredibility! Evie's character kicks ass.

~ A preorder of The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney, out in November for a great fall read.

~ A signed copy of The Duff by Kody Keplinger, out September 7th! GO KODY!

~ A fancay custom blog makeover (Not to say your blog is existent or ugly. This prize is totally optional. I won't go tell your blog to lose weight, unless you want me to, or - being quiet)

Last one, I swear.
~ A custom drawing of your character or fave fictional character

~ A mega-bag of Sour Brite gummy worms to celebrate the eye-burning colors of this new layout

~ And finally, a "Keep Calm And ___ On" poster of your choice from The Keep Calm Shop!

All that loot goes to YOU if you win. One other lucky person will also win a query critique from Meredith Barnes, agent assistant to Janet Reid!

*Drools* Oh my goodness. Do I even have to tell you how incredible that is??? Enter here, quickly, quickly!
http://www.emilia-plater.com/2010/08/punkiversary-giveaway-of-life-changing.html

NOW, for my contest.

I am planning to have a giveaway once I reach 25 followers. It is going to be great. All that I need for you to do is follow me on Google Connect (that Loyal Subjects section on my blog) and I will give you the details and form for my contest once I reach that goal. Tell your friends, your neighbors, your enemies to join my blog and we'll get their faster! Who knows, in a month you could have some pretty cool swag in your mailbox.

My giveaway will be smaller than the ones mentioned but will have FANTABULOUS prizes. I've already begun collecting some of the things that will be included in the prize.

Until the next review (or contest),

Maiden Myth

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Beach Reads" Summer Challenge Wrap-Up!


Hey everyone! Well, just like I said in the title, the Challenge that I have been participating in for the last week is closed. I read and reviewed eight books for the challenge, which gives me the Minnow status (which is an eight book minimum, I believe.) I consider this pretty good, considering the fact that I just heard about this contest a week ago.

I hope that you had fun reading my reviews. I had such a great time participating in my first Challenge, and I hope that this will inspire you to take on a few reading challenges of your own.

Here's a brief recap:

-Diary of a Wimpy Kid #4: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
-Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
-Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
-Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
-Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
-Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
-Wings by Aprilynne Pike
-Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Until the next review,

Maiden Myth.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway


Like I told you before: wildfire posts. I'm on a roll today, and I need to whip these out fast!

After the mind-boggling, wonderful, deep book that was Before I Fall, I have to say, it sucked the life right out of me. I was so consumed in this book, and it was so powerful, but, man, it gave me a headache and left me haunted at four in the morning. I needed something light. I needed something funny.

And Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway all but fell into my lap, the perfect book for my Challenge.

Here's the synopsis:

When her ex writes a break-up song about her that rockets up the charts, Audrey is suddenly famous--she can't go out without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi. Readers can take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, confronts her ex on MTV, and shows the world who she really is.

I devoured this book like cotton candy at a carnival. Honestly, it was great! Audrey is a great character, full of sass and wit and spunk. It was easy to sympathize and suffer with her as she became a media sensation after her ex-boyfriend bares his soul about their break-up on a worldwide level. But, in the beginning of the novel, Audrey isn't really experiencing fame-more like infamy. She's seen as the enemy through the eyes of countless fangirls of her ex's band, as her ex-boyfriend, named Evan, warps her image into that of a terrible, cold-hearted person who broke his heart without looking back. But, after the scrutiny dissolves after some time, she starts becoming famous in a totally different way-now people herald her as a sort of celebrity. Audrey, however, is fighting all of these factors along the way-I mean, the poor girl can't even go on a date with the guy she likes without being hounded by the paparazzi!

The supporting characters were also good-Victoria was a great example of a loyal best friend, even though sometimes she got a little too excited over the freebies that Audrey was constantly getting from companies hoping to get a sales boost from her endorsement (she didn't accept most of them, of course). James was adorable, I just absolutely loved him, and he will probably be one of my literary crushes. He was so sweet and music-obsessed, just like Audrey.

One of the best things about this book, though, was the various music mentions in the book. Lyrics were inserted at the beginning of each chapter, and reading about bands, from the popular to the obscure, really enriched the experience of the novel for me. I wanted to cheer when I saw some of the artists I like, such as Regina Spektor and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, referred to in the book.

Overall, this was a great book deserving of four stars. I can't wait to read Robin Benway's next book, called The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June. It's more of a fantasy novel, which is my favorite genre, so I'll probably be snatching it up within the next week (after I promise myself that I'm not going to buy anymore books for a while. It never works out).

Until the next review,

Maiden Myth.

I took the synopsis from Border's website and the pic from Barnes and Nobles's website.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver


Great news-the shipment of books that I mentioned a couple of posts ago came in, so I'm going to be able to read all of them for the Challenge! YES! Today I'm reviewing Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Here's the synopsis:

What if you only had 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: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last. Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Amazing. Let me tell you, I am the pickiest reader in the world. You might not know that since my reviews have been positive (I think that finding good books is some sort of sixth sense for me or something) : ), but that's because I am so careful about choosing the right books so I don't waste my time. I have been pining for this book for months now, and I have to say that it was not a waste of time at all. It was one of the few books that made me cry, made me think, and surprised me more than many other books have in the past.

Samantha Kingston starts out as one of the mean popular girls at the school, her life centered solely around herself-she does horrid things to the school outcasts, fools around with the teacher, cuts class, does whatever she wants and has never experienced any consequences for it. But, one night, coming home from a party, a car crash ends her life.

But that's not the end-far from it. She begins to find herself reliving the same day that she died, and, one she begins to notice the subtler details about the people and things around her, she begins to see that she doesn't truly know what kind of life she's been living-and sees the life that she should have experienced all along.

There was not an ounce of predictability in this book-Lauren Oliver would make you believe fully that one thing happened, then spin the tables around what you once thought was the truth so fast that it jars you-but it instantly makes sense. This book has been instantly compared to the movie Groundhog's Day, but it is so far from that it's not even funny. Each day is not the same; some of the key notes remain unchanged, but Sam is adamant in her quest to make each one as vastly different from the other as possible-and that leads to some truly touching and incredibly heartbreaking moments along the way, as well as a few rash moments that made the story all the more believable. And the way that everything comes together in one way or another in each day is incredible-every key plot line in this story is a multiple-layered secret, and when you peel them back and everything clicks together, it truly is amazing.

As for the characters, Lauren Oliver reminds me of Meg Cabot in the way that she makes her characters seem so realistic and human. Sometimes I forgot that I was reading a book and not Samantha's diary or something; it sounded like the voice of a teenager, with some poetic flavor to what she said. Even though her friends are incredibly flawed and sometimes so cold-hearted, I did grow a tad bit fond of Lindsay, Ally, and Elody-they were loyal to their best friend, even though they did so many harsh things to everyone else. It was easy to love and hate all of them at the same time.

The ending-well, I won't spoil it for you, but I'll just say that it wasn't just one way or the other. It was shocking and moving and forced tears out of my eyes, and I was thinking about it until the wee hours of the morning.

One thing that you should know? This book could change your life. Throughout the book, even through the sweet and humorous moments, you could still feel the despair of Samantha's situation, how desperate she was to change her fate. I know this is going to sound cheesy, but it really did make me think about the way I live my life. Sometimes I take it for granted or don't do enough or everything that I feel like I need to do. I think that occasionally we all have the thought that we'll live forever, but Lauren Oliver proves in so many ways in this book that time is so precious, that we shouldn't let a second of it waste away.

I know that I was gushing, but this book was perfect. You can guess that I gave this book five stars. Again, I know that I have been handing out good reviews a lot lately, but I keep reading amazing books! Or maybe I never met a book I didn't like. Hmm. : )

Until the next review,

Maiden Myth.

I took the synopsis from Lauren Oliver's official website and the pic from her official blog.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book #4: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney



This is a blog for YA, MG, and Children's Fiction, but I've only written about YA up until now. To throw a bit of MG into the mix, I give you Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Now, I should start with the first book, but I need to read this book for the challenge. Long story. So:

*Warning: there might be a few spoilers*

It’s summer vacation, the weather’s great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where’s Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn.

Greg, a self-confessed “indoor person,” is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg’s mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and “family togetherness.”

Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything?

This is one of my guilty pleasures. I have read all of the other Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. It may not have depth, but Jeff Kinney is the master of humor. I love Greg, the "Wimpy Kid." He is lazy and self-absorbed, and those traits follow him into all of his hysterical whims. All that he wants is to either go to the country club to which his best friend's father belongs (and is soon kicked out) or hole up in his room and play video games, but his mother has different ideas in mind. Since money is running low in their household, his mom attempts to thrust her family into a perfect low-budget vacation, but, while most of her attempts fail to bring any entertainment to her family, they always succeed in ruining Greg's slothful summer.

The supporting characters are fabulous, including his best friend Rowley, who's sweet, naive, and generally clueless, and Fregley, who doesn't appear much in this book, but when he does, his comically weird personality leaves a lasting impression. This is a read that you can breeze on through, due to the light content, the notebook format of the book, and the comic strip-style illustrations on the pages. I love the illustrations, because they capture the feel of the book and whatever particular scene that they're depicting perfectly. I laughed out loud and quoted the book for anyone that would listen throughout my time reading this. Definitely read this book!

I give this book five stars, and this is my first official five-star post! Yay! : )

Until the next review,
Maiden Myth.

I got the picture from Wikipedia and the synopsis from Amazon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I am participating in the 2010 Summer "Beach Reads" Challenge

Summer might almost be over, but I'm definitely not finished with it yet. A Fanatic's Book Blog is hosting a challenge where bloggers read + post reviews about books that they deem appropriate for summer. There will be contests exclusively for the challenge participants and a bunch of cool stuff. Warning to you, though: since I started the challenge so late in the game (the end date is the 30th of this month) I'm going to be posting reviews like wildfire! I'm a pretty fast reader, so I might be able to read quite a few books before this challenge comes to an end.

Now, some of these books I just bought from the Book Closeouts and Books A Million websites, so they might not come in time. This is just a tentative list, I may have to substitute.

Here are the books that I'm planning to read:

-Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book #4: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

-Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

-Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

-Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

-Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

I chose a medley of YA and MG books to make it interesting. I may read more for the challenge if I have time.

If you want to be a part of this challenge, click on the official challenge button on my blog for more info!

Friday, August 20, 2010

All about Paranormalcy by Kiersten White!


I'm sure that most of you readers out there suffer from an enormous, teetering TBR pile. That's true for me-and when I found out about Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, I knew that the pile was about to collapse.

I discovered the cover some time ago and was instantly captivated. I mean, look at it! It's sophisticated and absolutely exquisite. I have to stop gushing about this cover, but it's just so perfect!

If you weren't hooked already by the cover, here is the synopsis to tantalize you further:

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Paranormalcy is intriguing for so many reasons. There are hordes of supernatural creatures in this book-mermaids, vampires, werewolves, zombies, and-as you found out from the synopsis-faeries and shape-shifters. Honestly, what fantasy lover wouldn't adore a book that has all of these mythical creatures spilling out of the pages? And Evie is such a kick-butt heroine. Kiersten White created a three-dimensional character with convincing layers and a teenage mind tinged with supernatural experiences, and does it so well that I am so excited to read more of it.

How do I know so much about a book that isn't out yet, you may ask? Well, head on over to Harper Teen's official website and check out the Browse Inside section, where you can read nine chapters of Paranormalcy for free! Awesome, right? You can also read other books, some a limited preview and some in full. For example, right now Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard is full online for free. Here's the link: Browse Inside Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy comes out August 31st, 2010. Also check out Kiersten White's Twitter, she is hilarious.

I wanted to post the book trailer as well, but my computer isn't working right. : (

Until the next review or book-rave,

Maiden Myth


I got both the synopsis and cover pic from Amazon.



Saturday, June 5, 2010

Some things that you want come in odd ways....


If you're reading this blog now, you've probably already checked out my 'About Me' box and discovered my mistake. I just want to tell you that I was serious about writing this blog; it's been something that I've wanted to do for a while now. So, on my first blog post, I want to elaborate a little on the story of this blog (nothing longwinded or boring, promise) and tell you what to expect on this book blog.

A few nights ago at midnight, I was on my computer, looking at my profile on Blogger.com. I'd created it in order to enter various giveaways on blogs, and at first had no intention to create a blog. But, my desire to write a blog began and grew rapidly over time, and I'd thought of the perfect name for my blog, but I wasn't sure if it was available. So, sitting there at midnight, tired and somewhat delirious after a hard day, I decided to mess around with blog names, thinking that I wouldn't actually create a blog.

Turns out, I did. Oops.

I was freaking out, but then I saw my blog and its layout, and I realized that the time to write a blog was now. I already had once set up, didn't I? So, after researching blogging tips, I resolved to have a book blog of my very own.

Okay, story time's over. What I want to do with this blog is not only review YA, MG, and Children's fiction, but I also plan to have giveaways (which will be awesome, my friend) and have several other features that I bet you're going to like....

And, not only am I going to write book reviews for the up-and-coming novels that everyone's buzzing about, and the established novels that are already firmly planted in the literary universe, but I also want to introduce you to obscure gems that I've picked up at various used book sales, surfing through Amazon, etc.

Well, that is what I have planned for the blog, and that's its story. But, before I finish this post, I'll tell you five random things about me, since I've just started and I'm basically a stranger to you right now:

1. I've watched the show Friends so many times that I use quotes from the show at least three times a day.

2. At used book sales I usually buy at least 25 books per sale (and usually get all of them for a really cheap price!)

3. I'm an absolute sugar addict, but I've tamed myself enough so that I only have something sweet as an occasional indulgence.

4. I love wearing anything sparkly, whether it be rhinestones or sequins (or just full-on glitter).

5. I love to talk. You've probably figured that out by now : )

Well, I guess that's all for now! Stay tuned!