Thursday, October 30, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday!!

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read to spread the Friday love, find new blogs, and gain followers! For the rules, head over to one of their blogs. This week's question:

Q:What books would you give to newbies in your favorite genre? 

Favorite genre for me is fantasy, no doubts or questions there. I know lots of people who don't like it and it makes me sad. Of course my first suggestion will forever be Harry Potter, but that makes the typical anti-fantasy person balk immediately. So, barring Hogwarts, I would give a newbie:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Yeah. This is as fantastical as fantasy gets. But that's exactly why I would suggest it to someone who doesn't usually read this kind of stuff- it truely embodies all the best traits that the genre has to offer. Amazing setting, character arcs and plot twists - I recommend this novel to everyone really. You can read my review of Shadow and Bone here. 

Welcome to my blog! It's been so long since I've done an FF and I'm so excited to see some new blogs! Leave your links in the comments, I'd love to hear from you(:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society #1)
Trenton Lee Stewart
MG sci-fi, adventure

"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" ad attracts dozens for mind-bending tests readers may try. Only two boys and two girls succeed for a secret mission, undercover and underground into hidden tunnels. At the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, the only rule is - there are no rules.

The above blurb really doesn't do this book justice. It's been a long while since a middle grade series that's new to me managed to delight me like this one did. 

The Mysterious Benedict Society features 4 kids, each utterly genius and awesome in totally different ways. I loved that, because it really highlighted how different people have different types of intellignce and how each one can save them. The villain was scary, the plot moved quickly and told me only what I strictly needed to know about the people and places, leaving me thirsty for more. 

The chapter titles were adorable, the tone was like Raold Dahl ish mixed with like Narnia and Lemony Snicket- light but old-fashioned, the kind that a both kids and adults will find addictive and well, mysterious! Everything about this novel just came together beautifully.

And the best part? I got to be totally surprised!! As all veteran readers know, read too much of a certain genre and it becomes difficult to catch you off-guard, let alone completely throw you off. That happened to me twice near the end of the book. Needless to say, I'm ridiculously happy :-) 

I know they're young, but I'm holding out for a Reynie-Kate romance in the future. Hey, Percabeth started when they were 12, too. Rating:

I'm sure you all read about the Kathleen Hale scandal. All I'll say about it is that I know we're better than that as a community (readers, writers, bloggers). Let's put a stop to slander, stalking, identity stealing, and remember to be careful on the internet!

Friday, October 17, 2014

ICon Festival 2014!

פסטיבל אייקון 2014: סודות

Hey guys! The holidays are just wrapping up here, but not before I managed to make it to my first ever geek event convention for science fiction and fantasy! Living in Israel means I never get to make it to events like BEA or author signings, and definitely not Comic-Con (because when I do go to the States I'm on the East Coast). 

So I was absolutely overjoyed to attend ICon in Tel Aviv this year (=Israel Convention)! Thought I'd make a post to show you my haul: 

Me and Kelley Armstrong! I read The Summoning years ago but I remember liking it. She signed my program and gave me an adorable book mark!! Obviously I brought a sparkly pen. The kind that smudges. *facepalm*

The booths were sooooo awesome. Here's some of the cool products I picked up (I know, I know. I should have gotten this stuff years ago. What kinda fangirl am I??) :

Please ignore the fact that I left the tag on. In my defense, I was excited. 

Took this one at home already... 

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Okay, so this refers to a TV show. Whatever. The Sherlock merchandise was the best stuff there.

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There was an arena where there were costume competitions and gladiator fighting, and all sorts of lectures and panels. Hopefully I'll put up a slideshow in the sidebar with some more pics(: 

So that was my first geek experience! What events have you been to? Tell me! (don't hesitate to make me jealous!) 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey
E.L. James
Erotica, adult(!!)

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

Well, it wasn't a literary masterpiece. It wasn't what I expected either.

Fifty Shades has a reputation of basically being a badly disguised form of pornography. I picked it up on my usual assumption that something this big and popular must have something to it. I found it- there's so much potential in the personalities of Christian and Ana. I raced through the entire novel hungry to understand WHY they were the way they were.

I was satisfied on one of the fronts. I figured out the cause of Christian's BDSM thing right off the bat, but there's still more to know and that kept me going. I will note, however, that Ana didn't really get it (Christian's history) until the end which I thought was rather stupid of her.

Speaking of Ana, her personality is either going to make or break the rest of the trilogy for me. The one thing I couldn't grasp throughout the whole book was WHY THE HELL WOULD SHE AGREE TO THIS STUFF.  She had a normative childhood and currently has a good thing going (apartment with her best friend, university degree, a job) and any sane girl of her upbringing would go running for the hills the second Christian showed her those contracts. No matter how charming he is or how good he looks. It was the one aspect I didn't buy- I mean, it's not like she loved him yet (in the beginning). If that isn't explained or explored in book 2 I'll probably abandon the series.

Quite honestly? What with what I mentioned above and the fact the Christian truly is a fascinating character, the sex was the least interesting part. (It did get a little tedious and at times even laughable). I will warn you though, the BDSM really freaked me out. I wasn't familiar with the concept before reading the book and it is so gigantically WRONG. The sheltered (like me) have to be prepared to be appalled. 

The romance? I don't know. It seems nice and real but so unhealthy and incorrect. Christian loves her for being brave and independent yet seeks to control her entirely. On the bright side, it seems this starts to get better in Fifty Shades Darker (despite the ominous title). 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Review: The Morrow Secrets

The Morrow Secrets (Tallitha Mouldson, #1)The Morrow Secrets (The Morrow Secrets #1)
Susan McNally
middle grade adventure

‘The Morrow Secrets’ is a fantasy adventure story written for readers who love delving into the world of mystery, suspense, imagination and make-believe. It is the first book in a series about Tallitha Mouldson, a headstrong girl caught up in the sinister web of her eccentric family, the powerful Morrow dynasty. This fantasy saga is set in an alternative world and begins in a strange, rambling house called Winderling Spires in the land of Wycham Elva. The Morrow Secrets is an epic tale of dark forces, with a beguiling mystery to be solved, an exciting yarn of deception with frightening twists and wicked turns. The story has weird, whimsical characters, some motivated by wicked intent. They lurk round corners... watching Tallitha and luring her further into the dreadful secret....

The Morrow Secrets and it's sequel, The Shadow of the Swarm,  were sent to me by Sweet Cherry Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you guys!

So where to start? I had thoughts all over the spectrum regarding this novel. It started off VERY slow. Not much happens in the first 100 pages at Winderling Spires, and we don't get much background regarding place and it's history, nor the role of the family there. It seems Tallitha had only left the mansion once or twice in her life and doesn't know anyone outside the people (and creatures) who live there with her. Despite that, she never spares the outside world a thought before the adventure. We were also never given anyone's ages, which kinda threw me off. I was reading about characters I didn't know or understand, let alone like. 

However, towards the last third of the story, the novel really picked up. The stakes were raised, more people became involved, with more complex personalities. I wasn't able to predict the events from there on, and I started to feel the desired spooky atmosphere. I even started to read a little of book #2, and I can see the momentum is kept up so I'm looking forward to it :-)

Cover + art: LOVE IT. The art was nice, but I think the cover is really spectacular.

I'd recommend this as the kind of story you read to your kid (or in my case, kid siblings:-)) before bed, two chapters at a time. Rating: 

Sorry for the delay in returning comments! I'm on to it right now(: Happy reading!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post!

Stacking the Shelves and The Sunday Post are weekly memes hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

So excited for all of these! The middle two were sent to me for review by Sweet Cherry Publishing, thank you! I've noticed that these posts are by far my most read, so please take the time to read and comment on some reviews and I'll gladly return the favor! So what did you receive recently?