Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waterfall Wednesday

First, I'd like to laugh at the 1-6 Chapters!! Anyone that can start Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren and read only the first six chapters for this challenge and put the book down, no matter what time of night it is has the most willpower of anyone I've ever met, or the least curiosity. I was hooked right from the start. I haven't quite finished it, but I started it in the car rider's line and fell asleep after school reading it then stayed up until two reading it. Got up this morning, did NOTHING, except read and I plan to read in the car rider line again then finish when I get home. Wait, I did verify that all my books are here, even if they are hard to find. So no lost boxes of books. Clothes are missing. Lots of them, but there are still boxes.

So my answers to the questions to this fabulous book which by the way, I'll be picking up the other two as soon as possible. Answers, yes okay here we go!

Discussion Questions for Chapters 1-6

1. Waterfall opens with the introduction of Gabi, shes depressed, a little angry and is dealing with feelings of loneliness. Are you connecting with her this soon in the novel? Do you see things you like or dislike?

I think Gabi is taking for granted the fact that she gets to spend her summer in Italy at an archaeological dig. She is seventeen so maybe if she acted a little more grown up, her mother might let the girls hang out in town while she's working. I can understand the depression, missing her dad. There's no set time for grieving the loss of someone. I've never been in a foreign country so I don't know how lonely I'd feel, but she probably wants a normal teenage life. She's definitely strong willed and minded when she travels in time so she's probably that way in her own time. That might be why she doesn't have a boyfriend. I like her, but she's the total opposite of me so identifying with her is hard. (I love the fact that she keeps her own slang and all when she talks to herself! Like when she's talking about Lady Rossi when Lady Rossi keeps touching her chest when she talks to Marcello and Gabi thinks "Oh please,...that's a trampy way to get him to pay attention to you." (p.41).

2. Gabi gets to time travel back to 14th Century Italy- The Dark Ages in its prime. Is there anytime in history that fascinates you and would you travel back if you could?

The Renaissance, especially in Italy. So much beautiful art, poetry, music, of course, I'd like to be taken in by a rich family, not a farmer!!

3. Most of the men, including Marcello have a very set opinion about a woman's place. Gabi gets manhandled a bit in these first few chapters, and even gets asked if shes a witch. The men are shocked when Gabi rides a horse like a man and shimmies down the castle walls. What do you think of mens mentality back then? Gentlemanly, chauvinistic, simple-minded?

Gentlemanly. It's really the women's fault for not showing the men what they can do. They hide behind their dresses and feebleness, but even Lady Rossi could climb the cliffs in her time of need without ropes and in a dress and slippers!

4. When Gabi becomes a part of this era, the people are immediately intrigued but suspicious of her. Many judge her by her difference. Do you think this is fair? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an outsider or that others were misjudging you?

I think Gabi is definitely an odd duck and it's okay that they judge her in the beginning. But for the most part, she turns people's opinion around. Character shows a lot about someone even if they have odd ways about them. And no, it's not fair. People should not be judged by their looks or differences. And yes, I always feel like an outsider, like there was a secret party where I didn't get an invitation to come. But, the older I get, the less it bothers me. Or else I just avoid the people that make me feel that way. And no it isn't fair, but I've decided that's their problem, not mine.

5. What do think the coolest thing would be about living in the Dark Ages? What would be the worst?

The coolest thing about living in the Dark Ages would be living it. I mean really finding out what it was like and seeing history in the making. I hope I would remember enough about it that I would be able to stay out of trouble!

The worst, no bathrooms and no medicine!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Raw Blue
By Kirsty Eagar
Penguin Books
Available Now
from Australian

274 pages
Price varies

Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing ... and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago. Then she meets Ryan and Carly has to decide ... Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?

Here I sit having just finished a borrowed copy of Raw Blue and I'm astounded by the phrasing and poetry of words that this author can write.  We all speak English, at least the books I read, and yet the way Kirsty Eagar puts words together is like hearing them for the first time or painting a picture with new colors you've never seen before.  It amazes me to find an author like that.  And Kirsty Eagar is one of those authors.  But it isn't just about the way she has with words.  It's the story and the characters and the surfing and the ocean.  It's the whole damn book.  It's everything.  I can't pick one thing out of it that I like the best.  

Carly is broken.  But functioning and that's the best she can say for herself.  She gets up, surfs until she's tired.  Then gets ready for work and works the evening shift in a cafe in the kitchen preparing things meticulously and avoiding her coworkers and conversation.  She works only as much as she needs to cover the bills and rent.  She's quit school, "uni" and been quit by her family. "If I was just angry, it'd be easy, but it hurts too, it hurts so bad, because I love my mum and I'm scared being out of my family.  But when I'm in it, I feel like I'm being pressed into the wrong shape.  Things with Dad will never be the way I want them because I'm not what he wants.  I'm trying to accept this but it's funny how you forget all the time." (p. 20)  This early on, we find out how alone Carly is and how remote she's kept herself from everyone around her even now.  She's got an upstairs neighbor that she speaks to, but no one really knows her or that something terrible happened to her.  

Another passage that was so profound to me was "This is why people kill themselves, they can't get away from the things they carry in their heads.  Shame isn't a quiet grey cloud, Shame is a drowning man who claws his way on top of you, scratching and tearing your skin, pushing you under the surface." (p. 37)  From these two passages a bleak image of Carly's life outlook is painted even though you'd think, surfing on the ocean, the rush of the water, the sun and the adrenaline would give her a sunnier outlook.  But obviously her shame overshadows everything.  Stories in the news remind her of what's happened to her.  Her every waking moment is filled with the fear that she'll hear their voices, the voices of the ones that did this terrible thing to her.

Her coworkers are all disgusting to me with the exception of her boss, Emilio.  Marty is a pig, going after any and every girl, the two women are chain smoking gossips, Adam with open sores on his hands sticking his fingers in all the food, Roger the alcoholic.  The only worthwhile one is the little boy she meets while surfing who she takes on as a semi apprentice to work with her, Danny.  She  surfs with him and chats with him on the water.  Totally big sis, little bro stuff.  But he's also like an emotional barometer for her because he can see the colors of things and people and her color changes based on her mood.

Mostly what I see in Raw Blue is Carly, trying to exist outside of what happened to her.  But she knows what's happened to her and that it's affected her, but she seems to be trying to live around it or over it, not dealing with it, not accepting it, not admitting it.  Not only does it cause her isolation, but mistrust of every male, and people in general.  She finds out Marty is homeless and thinks, "I'm waiting for him to ask if he can crash at my place.  Even though I don't want him to, I'll say yes, because it seems to me that people always want something from you and I can't work out how to hold the door shut against that any more."(p.86)  Her boundaries have been crossed and with the borders down, she doesn't know how to put them back up.  She doesn't know how to enforce the boundaries she once had, so she's afraid to come out of the cave like existence she's been living in.  

I think Kirsty Eagar steps into the shoes of Carly, a girl raped and unable to deal with it and leads us through her journey of dealing with it.  I think that many rape victims would benefit from reading this novel, but I know many more people who enjoy good fiction will enjoy reading this powerful story.  I didn't plan to read it in one sitting, I had other things to do, but I couldn't put it down once I started reading.  And there were so many quotable moments.  There were times to smile and times you wanted to pull your hair out and times you just wanted to cry for Carly or with her.  It's a realistic look at the effects of rape on a young woman and the aftershocks that follow it.  I highly recommend it for older YA readers. 

Don't forget to participate in all the giveaways and to read the reviews and interviews and other fun stuff going on during Kirsty Eagar Week.  You can go to Irresistible Reads  or to Bibliophile Brouhaha and find out all the details.  And don't forget, that you can win one of several copies of Raw Blue and Kirsty Eagar's other novel Saltwater Vampires.  Below is a list of the other events of the week:

Monday, Aug. 29
Nic at Irresistible Reads will be doing the main introductory post, announce the schedule for the week and announce her giveaway.
Linds at Bibliophile Brouhaha will post my "Case for Carly" page as a post + signed Raw Blue giveaway.
Review from Heather (Buried in Books) for Raw Blue 

Tuesday, Aug 30Missie's review of Saltwater Vampires + giveaway (signed) at The Unread Reader
Nic at Irresistible Reads w/Kirsty Eagar guest post
Linds' at Bibliophile Brouhaha review of Saltwater Vampires + Saltwater Vampires giveaway (unsigned - random extra personal copy I found while cleaning - BONUS:)
Review of Raw Blue from Ashley at Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing

Wednesday, Aug. 31Review from Tara at Fiction Folio for Raw Blue at Fiction Folio

Nomes -  collection of thoughts on Raw Blue + signed copy of Raw Blue giveaway at Inkcrush
Melissa with i swim for oceans with Kirsty post with the beaches + signed Raw Blue giveaway
Nic may also do a post on Rhino (just remember he's mine, though, okay?) Irresistible Reads

Thursday, Sept. 1
Review from Saltwater Vampires from Nic at Irresistible Reads
Steph Su with older YA post at Steph Su Reads
Jenny - with cover post and a giveaway for Saltwater Vampires (signed) at Supernatural Snark

Friday, Sept. 2
Guest review on Nic's blog of Raw Blue Irresistible Reads
Other YA Aussie posts from Nomes at Inkcrush
Kirsty guest post with with Linds at Bibliophile Brouhaha

Have fun and hope you win something and enjoy the posts!!


Saturday, August 27, 2011


In My Mailbox is a meme created by The Story Siren as way for bloggers to show each other books they've received during the week so we know about new books, old books and everything in between!

Here is my mailbox and I can't wait to see what's in your's!  I hope your's is still there after Irene!!

First, from Paperback Swap-
I saw the first two at Small Review in her Fractured Fairy Tales Post
The Ugly Princess and the Wise Fool
The Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl and The Ugly Princess and the Wise Fool by Margaret Gray
I also got Shaman King Vol 1 my first bonafide Manga from Paperback Swap  

I also received a copy of Spellbound that I won from the Spellbound tour with Kismet Book Tours.  Thanks to Kismet, Cara Lynn Shultz and Angela at Reading Angel.

And then from Amazon I received the following:
The Candidates (Delcroix Academy, #1)Waterfall (River of Time, #1)Remembrance

The Candidates by Inara Scott, Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren and Remembrance by Michelle Madow
And I was so intrigued by the review I read on  of this book that I ordered
The Goats
The Goats by Brock Cole
and lastly from Amazon I got Damage by Anya Parrish
That's what was in my mailbox this week!  What was in yours???

Hope you are all safe and dry!!
And your mailbox is still standing!


Friday, August 26, 2011

My Friday Love

This week my Friday love goes to a series that I have absolutely 
come to love!  It's the Paranormals series by JL Bryan beginning with the fabulously scabby
Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, #1) 
and her equally frightening paranormal
Tommy Nightmare (The Paranormals, #2)

Rumor has it( JL Bryan) that the last book in the series is set to release in September if all goes according to plan!!
I had a fabulous twitter conversation between JL Bryan, Ashley at The Bookish Brunette about who would play some of the characters if we made team buttons for some of the guys in the books!
So yay for that convo and yay for the awesome books!  My reviews are coming and if you haven't read them yet, get thee to a computer and order them online!

Be safe on the Northeast Coast!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready

By Jeri Smith-Ready
Simon Pulse
Available Now
367 pages

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.
Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.
As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

I loved Shade!  So naturally, I couldn't wait for Shift to come out!  I dove right in when it came and then in the shuffle of moving and all of that Shift got lost among the clutter of books surrounding my bed and packed up with my treasured YA books that I didn't trust the moving company with.  So it took a while for me to find it again.  And it sat here with a couple of dozen other books needing to be read.  But then the YA Crush Tourney came about and Zachary and Aura and yes even Logan called to me.  So I picked Shift up and started right where I left off and was instantly in the story again.

I love Jeri Smith-Ready's characters.  They all have a serious side, but seem to be able to make a joke even at the worst of times.  And they show their vulnerability.  Aura had the worst of it in the last book, but in this one too, she gets a hard time.  And she admits that she was hurt.  Zachary still has to fight for Aura against the ghost of Logan.  Hard to do when he's still hanging around!  And then there is Logan.  He's such an enigma.  Do ghosts have feelings?  Can he still love Aura?  Or is it just memories of what they had?

But there is plot and plot drives this one very quickly.  Always at their backs, Aura, Logan and Zachary have the DMP.  And Aura and Zachary are afraid they will find out their secret.  Logan knows and ghosts can't lie.  What if he tells them?  And something weird happens with Logan while he's with Aura.  Something impossible.  We get a lot of information about Aura's past in this sequel and the plot, especially the last half, is full of chases, surprise clues to Aura's past, and some very sexy love scenes.  Had me blushing!  That last half goes by so fast feels like you've only been reading an hour or so.  Maybe that was all I was reading.  I don't know I'm just glad there's a third book!  

The characters were just as full and entertaining as before.  I was yelling at some and pulling my hair out at the antics of others.  And "as the plot thickened" as they say, I swear I was jumping up and down encouraging my two favorite characters.

If Shade was good, Shift was even better.  I've been told that the second book is harder to write, but you couldn't tell it by Shift.  It's a terrific sequel and surpasses Shade.  Just waiting for Shine....

Anxiously waiting



Monday, August 22, 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays Read-Along

Waterfall Wednesdays!!!!
What's it all about???

So by now you must have seen these pictures somewhere and heard about Lisa T. Bergren's wonderful (from everything I've read) series beginning with the book Waterfall.  Well starting on August 31st there will be a read along with discussion questions and giveaways!! 

The Discussion Schedule:
August 31- Chapters 1-6 hosted by Tina at Tina's Book Reviews
Sept 7th Chapters 7-11 hosted by Missie at the Unread Reader
Sept 14th Chapters 12-17 hosted by Joy & Serena at Edgy Inspirational Romance
Sept. 21st Chapters 18-23 hosted by Jenny at Supernatural Snark
Sept 28th Chapters 24-28 and Wrap up hosted by Nic at Irresistable Reads
So how do you sign up?  You go to Tina's Book Reviews 
and link your sign up post in Mr. Linky!  Then join the fun!
Rumor has it Lisa T. Bergren is going to be giving away the trilogy to lucky winners during the read along!!
So I've got my copy and I'm betting I won't stop at just chapter 6!
What about you???

Sunday, August 21, 2011

IMM Big One This Week

This is my IMM post for one week believe it or not!  I found that Amazon had several books for next to nothing that I had been wanting to read so I placed an order with them.  

But as to the particulars, IMM is a meme linked to The Story Siren that allows bloggers to share their spoils of the week whether they are review books, purchased books, or swapped book or won books.  So without further ado, I give you my IMM!

First my fabulous finds from Amazon- for 28$ (I don't pay shipping)
Girl at SeaBad Girls Don't DieEchoesVacations from Hell
Stealing HeavenIllyriaThe Awakening (Darkest Powers)Hunger (Riders of the Apocalypse)
-Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
-Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender (thanks  Small)
-Echoes by Melinda Metz
-Vacations from Hell by Various authors including Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Mlynowski, Cassie Clare
-Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott
-Illyria by Elizabeth Hand
-The Awakening- by Kelley Armstrong
-Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Next were new releases:
Shut OutThe PredictedsBargains and Betrayals: A 13 to Life NovelChain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry Novels)
-Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
-The Predicteds by Christine Seifert
-Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany
-Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

And I won from Julie at That's Swell
Faustine (Bonfire Chronicles Book One)Demon High: Young Adult Urban Fantasy (Volume 1)CamilleDead Spell (Volume 1)
-Faustine by Imogen Rose
-Demon High by Lori Devoti
-Camille by Tess Oliver
-Dead Spell by Belinda Frisch
I also won an e-copy of Jenny Pox but I already have the book.
This was an Indie Author Celebration so I want to thank the authors
as well as Julie!

And from Candace at Candace's Book Blog a loaner of
Small Town Sinners
-Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
Thanks Candace!  I might have forgotten to tell you I got this!

Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales, Volume 1: SanctuaryAnd I did forget to tell you I'm trying a little manga so I'm taking baby steps and started with Wicked Lovely

Desert Tales Sanctuary Volume 1 and I loved it after a couple of read throughs.  It took me that much time to understand what I was reading.  If you think manga is a simple comic book, you are sadly mistaken.  The drawings are incredible and the story is told more in pictures than words, but the words, though sparse are chosen very well.  I can't wait for my copy of Shaman King which is truly manga to get started in the world!

So what did you get in your mailbox???
Hope it was something special!


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