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    In Other Spaces and Places

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    2011 Reading Challenge

    Fiendishly Bookish has read 3 books toward her goal of 250 books.
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    Tuesday
    Jul132010

    New Fiendish Review: Crave by Burns & Metz


    Book:                 Crave

    Author:               Burns & Metz

    Publisher:          Simon & Schuster

    ISBN/ASIN:        9781442410312 (galley)

    Release Date:   Sept 21, 2010

    Rating:              3 Stars

    Buy: | Amazon | B&N | Borders | IndieBound | Powell’s

    Visit Metz & Burns’ Simon and Schuster Page

    Shay isn’t an ordinary girl and her illness, a rare blood disorder, has largely identified who she is and what her capabilities have been. She is the “Sick Girl”, the one who gets a free pass in school. The one everyone feels sorry for. The one with a ticking clock, living on borrowed time.

     That is until Shay’s stepfather tries something new. The blood her doctor stepfather has transfused her with is richer and more life sustaining than ever before and she is finally able to live a normal life-even if it is in short bursts. Shay revels in her newfound energy.

    But what about the visions she continues to get while she is being transfused? These visions haunt her about Gabriel. Who is he? Is he a vampire? Do such things even exist? With each consecutive treatment, Shay peers into his past-of he and his family being hunted like prey and forced to hide. Shay is drawn to this enigmatic creature. She is drawn to his tortured soul. Is he a figment of her imagination?

    With each red drop Shay is beginning to crave the blood even more. Where is the blood coming from? What is her stepfather putting in it?  With each new transfusion she ends up needing more and more until she is completely dependant on it. This insatiable craving will lead her to hunt down its source and when she finds it, nothing will ever be the same again.

    Crave doesn’t gain its momentum until midway through the book-the first part devoted to Shay’s school life and the effect of her new treatments. But there is a gaping shallowness to it, a slightly anemic “vampire-lite” feel to it. It lacks in an essential vitalness, and emotional depth that does not come later.

    When Crave finally picks up, it is because its inevitable action has finally occurred. Rescuing Gabriel from his forced captivity as her blood source, Shay has broken away from her family, and is on the run. But is she Gabriel’s prisoner or his ally? This allegiance switches back and forth, as Shay and Gabriel come to feel something for one another. And a more desperate truth emerges-without Gabriel’s blood, Shay will die.

    Crave is very likeable because of its slightly different take on the YA vampire genre. It strongly reminds one of The Society of S. Mid-way to the ending, where it was chock-full of action, and teeming with emotional conflict between Shay and Gabriel and there is definitely the promise of more. Crave will leave you on a cliff-hanger, desperate for an outcome that you will have to patiently wait for.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)

     

    Thursday
    Jul012010

    New Fiendish Review: Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore

    Book:          Red Moon Rising

    Author:        Peter Moore

    Publisher:   Hyperion Books

    ISBN:          9781423116653 (arc)

    Rating:        4 Stars

    Release Date:2/15/2011 & Nov 2010

    Buy: | Amazon | B&N | Borders | Indiebound |

    Find out more about the book here 

    Red Moon Rising is a strong contender for one of the most realistic teen wolf books I’ve read, more reminiscent of the sci-fi/horror section than the young adult. So where to place it? That’s up to Hyperion. Peter Moore renounces the typical soft werewolf lore in favor of something more authentic. His story is less angst, less “girly”, less Twilight (and Shiver for that matter). Instead, it has more substance and is chock full of real world issues than any other. Can it reel in the girl demographic?-that remains to be seen.

    At Carpathia Night, Dante Gray has no idea that his world and his high school life are going to get just a bit more difficult. The product of a wulf father and a vamp mother, Dante has mostly favored his mother’s genes. Mostly. After a few genetic treatments to suppress his wulven side, Danny lives his life with his family mostly as a vampire. He sleeps in a Sol-Blok, hangs with a vamp crowd at school, drinks SynHeme and tries to monitor his daily globin levels when he can.  He thought he would in the clear until he starts to exhibit some strange effects.

    Red Moon Rising is the story of a boy who is at the mercy of fifty percent of his wulf genes and now must potentially embrace a society that is wholly ostracized against. In Moore’s world, Wulves and vamps are two disparate sects of society, and the parallel between real world segregation becomes hauntingly and uncomfortably clear.

    Wulves are thought to be lesser in both intellect, and civility, worthy of only the most menial of tasks. Vampires on the other hand are at the highest echelon of society, even above that of humans. Every month wolves are forced into containment, into wolf “compounds” where they are at the mercy of their animal side. Some walk in, others don’t walk out.

    As he experiences all the pre-moon phase jitters, it becomes apparent that Moore has no intention of fluffing the story up. Werewulf change is painful, harrowing, and mind bending. But even as Danny succumbs, his awkward genetic makeup spins him into an anomaly that defies classification. With werewolf issues at a critical point in his society, does he have the ability to bridge the gap?

    Moore’s voice is one of seriousness that even the most light-hearted banter cannot even alleviate. This tale will wildly appeal to the male crowd who understands the chest pounding and (grrrr) rites of passage present within its pages.

    If Hyperion expects crossover to the girly-girl crowd then Red Moon Rising will have to be significantly diluted down into more frothy fare. Less bone, blood, and fur. Lighten up on Gunther, and cut Huey and his activist cause as well as the requisite visuals of wulves being hunted down indiscriminately by the police and the LPCB.

    On the other hand, if you believe in the book just the way it is then let it be. I enjoyed Peter Moore’s vision. Red Moon Rising is indeed, all sharp edges, but it’s a fierce read. I could not put it down. Danny is in perpetual motion throughout the book fighting off hurdles one by one. It’s page-flippingly addictive, action-packed and steaming with obstacles coming from every direction.

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)


    Tuesday
    Jun292010

    New Fiendish Review: Monster High by Lisi Harrison

    Book:                  Monster High

    Author:               Lisi Harrison

    Publisher:          Poppy/Little Brown & Co.

    ISBN/ASIN:      9780316098533 (arc)

    Rating:              3.5 Stars

    Release Date:  Sept 1, 2010

    Buy: | Amazon | B&N | Borders | Powell’s | Books a Million |

    Check out Lisi’s le fabulous page ici

    Get your excerpt on here

    In a perfect world…in Frankie Stein’s world, it’s little more than wishful thinking that monsters and normies get along. Barely fifteen days old, and birthed in her father’s lab (aka Fab) with the Glitterati (her pet white mice) looking out for her wardrobe selections, Frankie could be just like any teen. With the exception of the bolts in her neck, her minty green complexion, and the seams that are holding her appendages together that could rival Sally’s in Nightmare Before Christmas.

    See..the thing about Frankie is that she’s totally fine with the way that she looks. She doesn’t want to go in hiding like her parents…and the other RAD’s that are terrified of a witch-hunt against their kind. 

    Even at Merston High, Frankie believes in who she is, likes who she is, and hiding her green skin under mounds of makeup is simply not in her bag of tricks. But she’s forced to do so. The most liberating thing for her is to meet other monster kids in hiding like: Claudine (Clawdeen), Draculaura, Lagoona Blue, Deuce, D.J./Jackson Hyde, and Cleo. 

    And when the opportunity presents itself to conduct their own “unveiling” at the September Semi whose theme is aptly entitled “Monster Mash’, the poop really hits the fan. Are they willing to jeopardize the entire monster community in Salem, Oregon simply because they believe in outing themselves? 

    Lisi Harrison has two stories intersecting in Monster High…that of normie, Melody Carver who is fresh off the boat from Beverly Hills, rhinoplasty intact, and the story of Frankie Stein, a monster who is just trying to adjust….well to being a monster in hiding. I would have been just fine with the story about Frankie’s adventures alone, and have Melody end up on the chopping room floor. I’m not quite sure how Melody serves a purpose other than a mirror for Frankie in some ways. Her role has little if no heft to the plot, and Frankie is clearly the superstar of Harrison’s tale.

    Monster High is adorabalicious in many ways, pom-pom cute if in fact a bit disjointed, as well as hip and crafty and was fun to read. Frankie Stein is a genuine character that sings out. The entire time I was devouring it, I kept thinking of what would happen if Living Dead Dolls ever became subjected to going to high school. If so, then Merston High would be their school of choice!

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)


    Tuesday
    Jun222010

    New Fiendish Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

    Book:                 Nevermore

    Author:              Kelly Creagh

    Publisher:         Atheneum/Simon & Schuster

    ISBN/ASIN:      9781442410220

    Rating:              5 Stars

    Release Date:  August 31, 2010

    Buy:   | Amazon | B&N | Borders | Powell’s | Indiebound |

    Kelly Creagh’s Website

    Check out her Author’s Now! Page

    Simon & Schuster’s Website for Nevermore

    Something otherworldly is haunting Varen Nethers-invading his dreams and consciousness. But is it real? When does the line between fantasy and reality blur? When does it become deadly? For the rest of the student body of Trenton High, Varen, is a mysterious pariah, a black clad bad boy-a green-eyed enigma. And as Trenton mainly keeps to its segregated cliques, mixing is strongly discouraged-from all parties.

    But when cheerleader Isobel Lanley is paired with Varen on an English project, the two opposites find that there is nothing more combustible than their unlikely attraction to one another. But that becomes the least of their worries. Because Varen is in deep, dark trouble. As they become more involved with their English project on Edgar Allen Poe, his life, his words, and the stories of his creation become sinuously alive in the hands of Varen. Something oily and evil is spilling over from Poe’s world and it wants the power that Varen has…and it will not hesitate at a body count. Their connection for one another has to take a back seat to the unfurling of an evil that threatens to pull Varen in-for good. Can Isobel manage to save him? Can they get out when they are trapped between two realms?

    Creagh takes her time building the story, carefully fleshing out Varen and Isobel’s roles, who they are and what each of them need from each other. In many ways the readers are just as much a part of this romance as Creagh’s two leads. It doesn’t happen instantly-it is more of a gentle unfolding. She allows the readers to get to know both characters intimately-their motivations, and their untapped potential. It is these hidden characteristics that surface and makes them so appealing-that smashes the stereotype. Isobel realizes there is more to her than cheerleading and her former vacuous lifestyle-even her friends seem so different, so alien to her just from her exposure to Varen. Likewise, Varen lets Isobel into his life-sharing painful bits of it with her.

    Nevermore was tender, and engrossing, so richly textured and acutely rendered. Creagh managed such an innovative twist on Poe lore, and turned it into a creepy reality. What an incredible premise! The chemistry between Varen and Isobel is positively simmering and as necessary as breathing. I love that Creagh painted these two as so dissimilar. Through the journey of Nevermore, they manage to build something, and forget what clique they are from-what their differences may be. The high school settings where Varen and Isobel cross swords is uncannily and brutally familiar. Creagh totally “gets it”, the whole painful and traumatic high school experience and it becomes a vital part of this fantasy piece. There is one scene where Isobel confronts Varen that’s a guaranteed tearjerker for readers. So get ready and grab the Kleenex girls! Many elements have managed to be woven together and it works to bring this beautiful story to the forefront-an unforgettable and graceful story. When you reach the end, just remember its not the end. Remember that “Nevermore” is a trilogy…so we will definitely be seeing more of Varen and Isobel!

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)


    Wednesday
    Jun162010

    New Juicy Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

    Book:                  Linger

    Author:             Maggie Stiefvater

    Publisher:        Scholastic

    ISBN/ASIN:       9780545123280

    Rating:   5 Stars

    Release Date:  July 20, 2010

    Buy:   | Amazon | Borders | B&N | Powell’s | Indiebound

    Find out more about the Wolves of Mercy Falls series HERE as well as listen to Maggie Stiefvater read from Chapter 1 & Chapter 2 of Linger as well as check out her blog!

    The race against winter came and went-the penetrating cold seeped into our veins with every page turned. Slowly, but surely, the leaden snow blanketed and crystallized every surface…the forest, the tangled branches of Boundary Wood, and the aching ground. Our hearts were torn apart with every drop in temperature and gave up the ghost to the heart of frost when the last leaf fell.

    Shiver was all of these things-a continual bated breath as Maggie Stiefvater flung us to the edge over and over again while we watched the mercury drop-a bittersweet love story held capture by the seasons: Grace perpetually human with a few wolfish traits and Sam, her vigilant protector, destined to watch from afar, imprisoned in a form he could never fully be released from.

    This enduring connection between Sam and Grace was tender, steeped in the internal turmoil of a world they enveloped us in. And Stiefvater left a few unresolved issues at the end of Shiver, Sam’s anger at Beck for his recruitment of new wolves to the pack, the morphing of Olive into a wolf, how would the authorities handle her disappearance? Would there be any lingering issues with the meningitis “wolf” cure? Would others be compelled to try it?

    This time, in Linger, Maggie Stiefvater's shining sequel, brings us further into the psychology of the motives about Mercy Falls very own pack, on an intimate and individual level. The newest recruits, especially that of Cole St. Clair has highlighted the desperate angst each wolf has gone through-at one time or another.  Cole, who plummeted down the rabbit hole after a trail of drugs and booze as the lead singer in Narkotika will do anything to escape the pain he feels in everyday life. Even if that means to lose himself into the oblivion of being a wolf-forever. What will happen when this famous loser gets found by the paparazzi and exposes the pack?

    And in the middle of this gorgeous hot mess, Stiefvater has dropped a few cluster bombs on our fairytale couple-Grace, whose road has never been easy, is ill. As in life threatening. And in this eerie role reversal of a sequel, Grace must face this new threat on borrowed time and brutal conflict-her notoriously absentee parents have decided to separate Sam from their daughter-at any cost. With Grace declining quickly, Tom Culpeper hell-bent on shooting anything with four legs, and Sam thrust into a guardian role over the wolves, there is an overwhelming sense of impotence in the air-an intended lack of real action on the part of the characters that fuels the reader into a frenzy. What will happen? What can only end up happening at the end of Linger?

    Linger was amazingly brilliant-tumultuous, brave, and as full of sorrow as it is full of joy and hope. Stiefvater’s wolves are painfully real, born in heartache and destined to live their lives trapped within animal form, their human counterparts forgotten and withered. But within that hopeless conundrum, Stiefvater has managed to embody hope-manifested in the love of Grace and Sam. No matter what fate has in store for them, the connection that these two share will circumvent any boundaries placed before them. Or whatever shape they might take. Forever (out 2011) Stiefvater’s final installment to the Wolves of Mercy Falls will most likely be packed with an explosive and teary ending. Positively cannot wait!

    A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)