Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jane In June Rewind



Hey everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend and that everyone got a chance to spend time with family, relax at a cook out and reflect on what this holiday means to them. Personally, I can't believe that June starts tomorrow. As you all have seen, May has been a somewhat quiet month around here in terms of reviews. Thankfully I was able to spend several hours this weekend lounging and got a couple of books read. I admit that I'm actually taking three weeks out of June for various visits and vacations to spend time with family and friends before going off to grad school in the fall, so I will be busy traveling and hosting guests. However, I have tons of awesome content planned for the blog!

Many of you probably know the blog Book Rat, which is run by the amazing Misty. If you're unfamiliar with her blog, be sure to stop by and visit ASAP, because it is seriously awesome. For the second year in row, Misty will be holding an event called Jane In June, which is essentially an entire month dedicated to Jane Austen and adaptations and spin-offs of her work. Being the Austen addict that I am, I'll definitely be participating! I'll be starting off the month by posting my thoughts on the first seventeen chapters of Pride and Prejudice tomorrow as part of the read-a-long. You can also expect to see reviews of Jane Austen's Emma and Elizabeth Eulberg's Prom and Prejudice, Adaptation Corner posts, three awesome (if I do say so myself) giveaways and tons more. There will be a little something for YA lovers and non YA lovers alike. However, before this year's Jane In June officially starts, I wanted to give you all the chance to read my posts from last year, so you don't think I left anything out :)

Why I Love Jane Austen
Review of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Adaptation Corner: Pride and Prejudice
Review of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Dear Jane Letter

Get ready fellow Austen lovers, as this month is going to be a blast!

Monday, May 30, 2011

On the Cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Or Why You Should Read This Series

As you guys have heard me mentioned a couple of times in my IMM/What Are You Reading? posts, I’ve decided to re-read the entire Harry Potter series this summer. Even though I’ve read the books before, I’m ridiculously excited about this. I absolutely adore these books. J.K. Rowling has created a world that I would jump at the chance to live in without looking back. I was enchanted by these books when I first read them in my teenage years, and now I get to relive that experience.

The other night, before I cracked open Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I sleepily gazed down at my copy and gazed at the copy. I’ve always thought the finished hardcovers of Harry Potter were gorgeous and admired the detail. All of a sudden it rhit me how much the cover of Sorcerer’s Stone says about the individual book and the whole series.

By simply looking at the cover you can tell that Harry Potter is a complex world, and that there’s a little something to interest just about everyone. The image in the foreground of Harry diving after a small golden object (I won’t reveal what it is for those who haven’t read the books) immediately sparks interest and curiosity by making readers think, “Cool! He’s on a broomstick!” and “Wait, what is he chasing?” However, there are also tons of smaller, eye-catching things in the background. First of all, there is a freaking castle. I don’t know about you guys but I am really enthusiastic about novels that incorporate castles. Inside the Castle we see a three-headed dog, which made me think of Ceberus, the three-headed dog in Greek mythology who guards the gates leading to the Underworld. Rowling was apparently a classics major during her time in college, and that shines through in some of the creatures she creates a well as in other aspects of the series. Another thing about this cover that also caught my eye right away was the unicorn. Who doesn’t love unicorns?

All of these mythological and magical images promise that the pages of the book will be filled with an amazingly complex world and a story that is anything but mundane. Yet upon opening the pages, it gets even better. This book has humor, magic, bullies, and as readers progress through the series it also includes themes including prejudice, angst, love and good versus evil. Rowling has written a story with incredible amounts of depth, and with every re-read, I get something new out of these series.

Most of you have already read Harry Potter, and some are probably doing the same thing as I am. For those who haven’t, next time you’re in a bookstore, pick up a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and take a good, long look at it. As magical as the cover is, I think you’ll find something you like even better beneath it.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In My Mailbox (36) and What Are You Reading?

In my mailbox is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren.

For review:
The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt
Bought:
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Frostbite by Richelle Mead
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker
Forget You by Jennifer Echols
The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Moby Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
But I Love Him by Amanda Grace
Austenland by Shannon Hale
The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Chime by Franny Billingsley
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Blogs and bloggers mentioned:
Misty of Book Rat
April of Good Books and Good Wine

Read:
Emma by Jane Austen
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Currently reading:
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (This is a re-read. I adore this series.)
The Girl Who Was On Fire edited by Leah Wilson
The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre by John William Polidori What I plan to read:
Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
What Comes After by Steve Watkins
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Celebrations and Wisdom

It’s official! My one year blogoversary is here! *throws conffeti* *dances*

Birthday Cake
(Image Credit: Birthday Cake by Will Clayton)

First of all, thanks are owed. Thanks to my family, who have been unrelenting supporters of this blog, and to all of my in real life friends who’ve paid occasional visits. I would also like to thank everyone who has ever stopped by, left a comment, followed this blog or written a guest post for me. You guys make blogging infinitely more enjoyable! And of course, a shout out to all of the wonderful publicists and authors with whom I’ve worked. I’m always excited to hear you are interested in working with me!

To keep things from getting too sappy, I’ll cut my thank yous short there. Instead, I’m going to share a little bit of advice that has made me a happier blogger.

1.) Operate On Your Own Schedule
Some bloggers post every day, where as others only have one or two posts a month. Do what works for you. There are no blogging police that will come pounding on your door demanding posts if you’ve got nothing up on a particular day. You won’t lose followers, and people will still comment on what you do post. The quality is always more important than the quantity of your posts. Plus, no one expects you to think exclusively about blogging. All of the bloggers I know have lives outside of their blogs. Sometimes you really need to take a nap instead of blog, or just disappear out of cyberspace for the weekend. Remember, blogging is supposed to be fun!

I also think this philosophy applies to reading. I consider myself a somewhat slow reader, which is why my reviews are sometimes few and far between. Reading would be no fun if I felt burnt out on it.

2.) Be Nice
We all learned this lesson in kindergarten, right? THEN WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE STRUGGLE WITH IT?!?!?!?!

In seriousness, though, be nice. Everyone gets mad every once in a while, and everyone needs to vent. However, think twice before you go posting or tweeting hateful and angry things. Contemplate whether or not what you’re angry about is really important. If you’re angry about Wesley Scroggins claiming that rape is pornographic, yes, that may be worth posting about. However, if you’re a blogger who’s mad because someone dissed you or an author who’s frustrated with a negative review, maybe that’s a situation where you should think twice about posting. You may be so angry that your post will just look poorly thought out. Or if you just plain old have something mean to say, consider airing it in a private forum, or just keeping your mouth shut.

As an aside, I’ve made some awesome friendships through blogging. Most people don’t want to be friends with someone who is mean and nasty, so that’s another reason not to engage in that kind of behavior

If you think I’m wrong, feel free to totally disregard my advice. I find most of the blogs and bloggers I read abide somewhat by these rules, and it works out well for them.

Thank you all for reading Consumed by Books over the past year! I have lots planned for the future, and I hope you will all stick around.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Why Blog? A Guest Post By Misty

Hey everyone! As you know, my one year blogoversary is coming up tomorrow (WHAT?!?!). I feel as though I spend a lot of time talking about Today I have the fabulous Misty from Book Rat here to talk about why she takes the time to blog.


Why bother blogging? Hmm, I ask myself this on occasion (and get asked by people who know me and know the time I put into it), and I always come back to the same thing: there are so many reasons! The interaction, the need to push, the chance to fangirl/boy, the Ooh, shiny!

For me, it started on Goodreads. I was in college, and everyone was so bogged down with required reading that none of my friends were reading for fun. I started googling online bookclubs, looking to fill the void, and came across Goodreads. I figured I'd give it a try, and loved it, so I took it one step further and started reviewing what I read on there. I knew that I tend to fly through things and either forget them or have them blend into other things I've read, so I figured reviewing would help me cement them in my head a little more.

And that satisfied me for awhile. But then my friend Kristen started mentioning her new blog in various Goodreads threads, and I started haunting it for awhile and realized YES, this was what I wanted. It clicked, and I went for it. You see, I realized that it wasn't just that I wanted to discuss the plots of books with people, and push the good ones and bitch about the bad ones. I wanted to talk about books. I wanted to blather on about everything about them, and share passion and have conversations and a sense of community. And though Goodreads can be that on occasion, a blog is built for it.

Of course, I didn't think anyone would actually read the thing. In fact, I said something along the lines of "speaking into a bottomless void" in my first post. And I didn't want to push it on people, so no one who actually knows me (as in could find me and physically touch me if so inclined) even knew about it until I let something slip about half a year in. I didn't publicize it for a good long while, and yet it just grew and grew, and people talked and friendships developed and it was exactly what I was looking for. It was amazing.

So I guess, that's why bother blogging... Sure, it's nice winning things or being sent books, but I don't think that's the reason most people are in it. I think readers become bloggers because that have to let you know. It's an imperative in the avid reader's brain to go forth and book-push.

And it's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blogoversary Breathless Books Giveaway

As many of you know, my one year blogoversary is Saturday. I'm so thrilled that so many people have chosen to read, follow and support my blog. You guys make blogging so much more fun! To thank you, I have a prize pack that will leave you breathless.
This winter, I had the chance to attend one of the stops on the Breathless Books Tour, which was such a fantastic time. Since you guys couldn't be there, I picked out some items for a prize pack. One winner will receive signed hardcovers of Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Matched by Ally Condie and The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff and a signed set of Breathless bookmarks (the other two Breathless Books are Nightshade by Andrea Cremer and The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller).

If you want to win, check out the rules and fill out the form below.
*One winner will receive all of the items in the photo above.
*Open internationally.
*The giveaway ends on June 4th at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Blogger Interview with Becky of Bibliognome

Hey everyone! As part of Armchair BEA, I have an interview with Becky of Bibliognome. In addition to being a blogger, Becky also works as a Library Assistant. I'll let the rest of her interview speak for itself.



You say that you are a “librarian at heart.” Is there any one book or series to which you can accredit your love of reading?

I think a lot of books contributed to my love of reading. I loved the show Reading Rainbow and all the books on there and of course the catchy theme song. Some other series that really made me love reading were The Bailey School Kids books, The Baby-Sitters Club, and Animorphs.

You’ve just found out that you are about to be sent away to a deserted island for the rest of your life and can only pack five books. Which five do you take?


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales
Alien in the Family by Gini Koch
The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Tell us about your personal library. Do you like to own books, or do you only purchase copies of your favorites?

I own a tremendous amount of books and always seem to find more that I need to read. I love to own a copy of a book and now that I’m blogging I know how many different editions of books are actually out there in the world. I have probably over 2000 books but I really need to organize them.

Your blog is called the Bibliognome. Do you have any favorite gnomes in pop culture or literature? Perhaps a favorite type of gnome?

Well in pop culture there’s the Travelocity gnome which is probably the most well known. My favorite types of gnomes are the ones with weird names or that look just a little odd. The coolest gnome related movie lately was Gnomeo and Juliet (I thought it was a surprisingly good movie, I know it made me laugh a lot. )

You have two features on your blog, Merchandise Monday and Tee-rific Thursday. What is the most unique piece of bookish swag or merchandise that you own?

The best things I’ve got recently are a calendar with all the covers from Gini Koch’s Alien series and trading cards from Carolyn Crane that have all the cool characters from her books Mind Games and Double Crossed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA: Kick Off and Best of 2011

Hey everyone! My kick-off post is a little late, but I’m here and ready for Armchair BEA. The question for day one is, Who are you and how do you armchair? So here’s a little bit more about me.

I am a recent alumna of a small, private liberal arts college in central Ohio. Starting in August of 2011 I will be pursuing my MLIS (Master’s of Library and Information Sciences). My hope is to eventually become a children’s and youth services librarian in a public library setting. I have been blogging for almost one year and my official blogoversary is this Saturday--that’s why you’ll see some giveaways and guest posts this week in addition to my Armchair BEA posts.

With that out of the way, here are a few random things about me I thought you might like to know.

1.) I’m an animal lover and volunteer often at my local humane society. I have a 5 year old yellow lab named Macey. Those who read my blog often get to see lots of pictures of her, and sometimes she worms her way into the videos.

2.) I started ran cross-country from seventh grade through my sophomore year of college. I ran a little bit senior year, but sprained my ankle early on in the season. I have been trying to get back into the habit of running, and have only somewhat succeeded.

3.) I spent my junior year of college in England, namely Devon.

4.) I love home cooked food, and don’t often buy things that are processed or pre-made. I enjoy cooking and baking, but need more experience in both of these arenas. There are so many recipes I’d like to try making.

As for my best of 2011? Thus far, I’d have to say...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cut Giveaway

A tingle arced across my scalp. The floor tipped up at me and my body spiraled away. Then I was on the ceiling looking down, waiting to see what would happen next.

Callie cuts herself. Never too deep, never enough to die. But enough to feel the pain. Enough to feel the scream inside. Now she’s at Sea Pines, a “residential treatment facility” filled with girls struggling with problems of their own. Callie doesn’t want to have anything to do with them. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with anyone. She won’t even speak. But Callie can only stay silent for so long…

The 10th Anniversary edition of Cut includes a brand-new afterword from author Patricia McCormick, an author Q&A, and added resources.


Patricia McCormick spent three years researching and writing her first novel, Cut. She is also the author of the National Book Award finalist Sold, as well as Purple Heart and My Brother’s Keeper. She lives in Manhattan. Learn more at www.pattymccormick.com.

Be sure to also stop by the This Is Teen Facebook page!

Want to win? Check out the rules and fill out the form below.

*Two winners, each of whom will receive a copy of Cut by Patricia McCormick
*Open to the U.S. only.
*The giveaway ends on June 4th at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

In My Mailbox (35) and What Are You Reading?

In my mailbox is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren.

For review:
Cut by Patricia McCormick
Traded:

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando
Bought:

The End by Lemony Snicket
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev
M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Break by Hannah Moskowitz
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (Forgot to mention this in the vlog, but thanks to Birgit of The Book Garden who gave me a gift card which I used to purchase this one :) )

Currently reading:

Emma by Jane Austen
The Girl Who Was On Fire edited by Leah Wilson
The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre by John William Polidori
What I plan to read:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen

Saturday, May 21, 2011

On Caving In

If you follow my blog, some of you may know that I said that I was going on a book buying ban for the months of May and June. I posted a list of books I had ordered beforehand, and was going to refrain from buying any more for the sake of TBR pile control.

Earlier this week, I was shelving books in the YA section of my library, and I noticed one paperback I was shelving was the third in its series. I thought to myself, Oh, I have the first one at home. I don't know when I'll get to it. It's been so long since I bought it, I'm not even sure if I want to read it anymore... When I got home that night, I sat down in front of my bookshelves, ready to take down the book that would never be read. It wasn't long before I realized that there were others like it. Books who I'd probably never read, but hadn't gotten rid of, perhaps because I felt obligated to read them after acquiring them, or because weeding sometimes makes me feel guilty. Instead of meditating on the subject, I sucked it up and pulled all the books that I had completely lost interest in off of my shelves. They weren't going to be read any time soon, and over the past few years I've tried to get rid of books I don't care about. You know how Target makes those reusable tote bags for all of your shopping needs? Before I knew it, I had filled one of those bags to the very top with books.

I contemplated posting a trade list, or perhaps taking the books to my library to be donated, but a lot of them weren't in good shape, and I didn't know anyone who would have wanted them. I decided to sell them at Half Price Books, that way I could use the money I earned to buy books I wanted to own. The next day I hopped into my car and drove to Half Price Books that is situated halfway between myself and the Twin Cities, braving construction and rush hour traffic. I sold off my books, and walked away with a pile a quarter of the size I came in with, but filled with books I'd been wanting to own.

Ending my ban wasn't just about selling off lots of books I didn't want and getting a few ones in exchange. Since I had pre-orders coming in throughout the month, it always felt kind of half-assed. Oh, and there's a Richelle Mead singing near tomorrow which I'll be attending, and having not read Vampire Academy, I plan to buy the first three books in the series. Even though I had books coming in, I missed going to the bookstore, picking it up off the shelves and paying for it. I missed trolling Amazon for bargains and contemplating future pre-orders (I wish online retailers would make little graphics of people using their carts like scooters, one foot on the cart with the other behind one's self in the air, whizzing through pages and pages of merchandise with glee).

Even though my TBR pile is still huge, getting rid of the books I genuinely don't want to read has made it feel much more manageable, and more enjoyable to tackle. It's nice to periodically take the time to re-evaluate and figure out where my reading priorities truly lay. Earlier this year I tried to take control by assigning myself five books I would read before my birthday. As it turns out, by the time the day rolled around, I was only halfway through the first book. I may have failed at this goal, but I'm setting another. I've complied a list of ten books (including the four I did not get to before my birthday) I would like to read before going to graduate school in August. I realize that I may not get to them all before my departure, but making these lists stops me from putting them on the back burner as much as I might otherwise. I've also been trying to incorporate more adult fiction and non-fiction into my reading regime, and this list represents that goal as well.

1.) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
2.) Lord of the Flies by William Golding
3.) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
4.) The Giver by Lois Lowry
5.) Looking for Alaska by John Green
6.) Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7.) Forever by Judy Blume
8.) Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen (This will be a re-read, but I haven't read it since about sixth grade. I remember liking it.)
9.) Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
10.) Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Do you guys set similar reading goals for yourselves or put yourselves on book buying bans? If so, I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Adaptation Corner: Possession

Adaptation Corner is a feature where I discuss books that have been made into movies. To read my review of Possession by A.S. Byatt, click here.

Before watching Possession I had heard from most people who watched, some who’d read the book and some who hadn’t, that it was either mediocre or terrible. I settled in with this movie one Friday night when I was in the mood for a romance, and found myself disagreeing with both of these opinions. While the novel felt like it was geared primarily towards serious academics, the film is modified in a way that makes the story appealing and moving to a general audience.

If you’re looking for an exact replica of Byatt’s novel onto the screen, don’t turn to this adaptation. I have never made a movie myself, but I would imagine that novels that are both lengthy and lyrical are some of the hardest to adapt. Possession is five hundred pages and a lot of material from the novel was cut. However, I think that some of the cuts were made without seriously compromising the story.

As for characters, Christabel LaMotte and Randolph Ash are both true to my imagining of them. Jennifer Ehle, who’s been in several pieces which my mother refers to as “Every British Actor Movies” (Pride and Prejudice mini-series, The King’s Speech), plays LaMotte and she was very sensual and romantic, but in a subtle way. When I read Possession, it was challenging for me to imagine Blanche Glover and her affair with LaMotte, so seeing their dynamic on screen gave me a slightly deeper understanding of the novel.

Unlike LaMotte and Ash, Byatt’s modern couple is exceptionally different on screen. Not only was Roland instead of American, he is a bit more of a smooth talker, and I didn’t agree with these choices. I found his awkwardness in the novel to be very endearing and professor like, which felt more fitting to his character. The changes made to Maud Bailey, however, were absolutely perfect. Maud is a hardass, and is clearly one to keep physical and emotional distance from most people. Byatt describe Maud as an eccentric dresser who wears clothes such as turbans, and big screen Maud mainly wears some bulky sweaters and layers, but is otherwise fairly typically dressed. It's obvious that she’s quirky, while still maintaining her accessibility as a woman who not only cares about her job but also someone who has hopes of finding love one day, even if she guards her heart. We still see a bit of her sex appeal, but that could also have something to do with the fact that Maud is played by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Sadly, the romance between Roland and Maud is a little underdeveloped. In the novel, some of their most awkward encounters take place during their stay at Seal Court. I read Possession knowing that it had been made into a movie and looking forward to watching it afterwards, and I was thinking that those scenes would have been particularly comical acted out. I would imagine that they were left out to keep the movie from being too long.

If it’s not already clear that this film is telling a romantic story, the ending makes it obvious. The tale of Roland and Maud discovering LaMotte and Ash’s affairs ends incredibly abruptly, leaving a few loose threads hanging. The film closes with Ash meeting his young daughter, who doesn’t know that it’s him. As they talk and as she runs home, the viewer knows that even though LaMotte and Ash’s affair may have been short lived and caused it’s share of pain, it is one of the greatest loves of both of their lives. Their love lives on through their daughter, and generations later, goes on to touch the life of Maud. The romance is timeless, and one that will touch viewers, because it is the type of love that many people hope to experience.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Currently I'm...

Hey everyone! I spotted this over at Ten Cent Notes and wanted to fill it out myself. It's not entirely bookish, but it's fun chance to let you all know what's been on my mind lately that isn't necessarily book or blog related.

Current Book: At the moment I'm reading Emma by Jane Austen for Jane In June, which is hosted by Misty over at the Book Rat. This is my first time reading Emma, and I'm really enjoying it so far! Since it's 500 pages it is a little slower, so that's why you haven't seen as many reviews up lately. I can't wait to see what happens!

Current Playlist: I'm loving the album Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers, especially "Candles." I took all of the music from Glee and made it into a giant playlist, which I've been listening to a lot lately. Some of my other favorite songs lately have been "Love Will Come To You" by The Indigo Girls and "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry. I've also been in love with Taylor Swift's album Fearless ever since it came out. It's my favorite of hers.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: I would have to say The Vampire Diaries. I've never read the books (and may not, as I've heard they aren't as good) but am nearly done watching season one. Three words: sexy, emo vampires.

Current Color: I've gotten two royal blue shirts lately, so I'll say royal blue.

Current Drink: I have been drinking tons of power-c machine Naked juices. I also like to indulge in the occasional caramel cooler from Caribou Coffee.

Current Food: Pesto. Spring means fresh basil and delicious pesto.

Current Favorite Show: Castle and Glee. I haven't seen the latest episode of Glee, but I will soon. I've already watched the season finale of Castle twice and cried both times.

Current Wishlist: I've been seriously considering investing in an iPad. I'm also looking forward to getting more clothes when my family travels to Maine in June. We always go to Freeport where the L.L. Bean store is located and there are factory stores for J. Crew and Banana Republic. I got tons of great basics there when I visited last summer.

Current Needs: To find a place to live in the fall and during grad school. Also more music from the band Mumford & Sons.

Current Bane of My Existence: Actually, my life is pretty good right now. The weather has been gorgeous and I am healthy and active. The one real downside is that there is construction on two different streets in my neighborhood and it is very noisy.

Current Celebrity Girl-Crush: I'm not one for girl-crushes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review of 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)
When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.

Maureen Johnson has quite the reputation in the YA world. She is admired by plenty of bloggers and produces a number of eccentric Tweets. I sped through 13 Little Blue Envelopes over the course of a weekend, and had no inclination to put it down. While this book gave me happy reminisces about my own European adventures and kept me entertained, I didn’t care for Ginny as a protagonist.

13 Little Blue Envelopes read like a mash-up between Cecilia Ahern’s P.S. I Love You and a David Levithan novel. Ginny is sent on a mission throughout Europe by her deceased Aunt Peg. I loved reading about all of the places Ginny visited because it gave me happy reminisces about my own European adventures. I was intrigued by all of the eccentric characters that she met, although I have to say I didn’t care much for Keith, the love interest. He just wasn’t my type of guy.

I wasn’t fanatical about Ginny’s character, but I think my reasons are different from other reviewers who have expressed similar sentiments. Some people have complained about how reluctant Ginny was at times, but I could actually relate to that. Not only is Ginny exploring Europe all by herself as a teenager, Peg sends Ginny on some pretty outlandish tasks. I know I would have struggled to be bold enough to complete them. What bothered me was that Ginny didn’t seem to have a lot of basic common sense in regards to keeping herself safe.

Reading my first M.J. book feels like it’s been a rite of passage. Thus far, I don’t quite get all of the hype. I will definitely pick up The Last Little Blue Envelope, because it sounds like a sequel that will move me. I look forward to seeing how Ginny has grown. Also, even though I can only say that I liked 13 Little Blue Envelopes, a lot of other Johnson’s books sound phenomenal to me, like The Bermudez Triangle. I’m looking forward to getting to know M.J.’s work better.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
Release date: August 23, 2011

SWEETLY is a modernization of Hansel and Gretel and a companion book to SISTERS RED.

Twelve years ago, Gretchen, her twin sister, and her brother went looking for a witch in the forest. They found something. Maybe it was a witch, maybe a monster, they aren’t sure—they were running too fast to tell. Either way, Gretchen’s twin sister was never seen again.

Years later, after being thrown out of their house, Gretchen and Ansel find themselves in Live Oak, South Carolina, a place on the verge of becoming a ghost town. They move in with Sophia Kelly, a young and beautiful chocolatier owner who opens not only her home, but her heart to Gretchen and Ansel.

Yet the witch isn’t gone—it’s here, lurking in the forests of Live Oak, preying on Live Oak girls every year after Sophia Kelly’s infamous chocolate festival. But Gretchen is determined to stop running from witches in the forest, and start fighting back. Alongside Samuel Reynolds, a boy as quick with a gun as he is a sarcastic remark, Gretchen digs deeper into the mystery of not only what the witch is, but how it chooses its victims. Yet the further she investigates, the more she finds herself wondering who the real monster is, and if love can be as deadly as it is beautiful.
I admit, I haven't read Pearce's other books. I intend to pick up Sisters Red before this one comes out, as it's supposed to be a companion novel. I enjoy fairy re-tellings and based on her videos, Pearce seems like an intelligent and witty person, so I have high hopes for these books. Also, it took me about two weeks to realize that there's a face on this cover. Sad, right?

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review of The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski

The Sweetest Thing
In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she's decorating a cake. Unfortunately everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable.

But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems - only her dad's about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed.

Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.

People who enjoying baking and watching cooking shows must pick up The Sweetest Thing. Starring an excellent cake baker and a critically acclaimed cake baking father, this is a novel about change, hope and delicious cakes. I found The Sweetest Thing to be both heartwarming and well-paced.

As a main character, Sheridan initially frustrated me. She maintained high hopes for her relationship with her mother, and after a while that got frustrating. It seemed to lead her to behaviors that were emotionally self-destructive. However, after accusing Sheridan of these things, I thought of times when I’ve perpetuated unhealthy behavior cycles, and it made it hard for me to resent her. I also loved how passionate she was about cakes--it’s awesome to see driven YA characters who have interests and real personalities. She’s also a runner and if you follow my blog, you have probably heard me mention that I am a runner, so I love characters who are runners.

Mandelski did a fantastic job of setting up the atmosphere of this story. After I read one chapter of the book, I couldn’t resist the urge to buy cupcakes at the store because of the descriptions of Sheridan’s cakes. Yet I could also easily picture the town where she lived, as well as its cast of oddball yet charming characters, who added a nice element of humor to the story. I’ve grown up in small towns and enjoy living in them, so I love seeing them portrayed in books.

The Sweetest Thing is honest when it comes to addressing hurt and heartache, but for me it was still a feel good read. The emotions in this story were real, which is what led me to grow so attached to these characters. I think every reader will find something that he or she can relate to. This is an exceptional debut which not only kept me hungry for baked goods and gourmet food, but more of Mandelski’s work.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Star Book Tours.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review of Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shickman

Zan-Gah:  A Prehistoric Adventure (Zan-Gah, #1)
Zan-Gah, seeking his lost twin brother in a savage prehistoric world, encounters adventure, suffering, conflict, captivity, and final victory. In three years hero passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes include survival, brotherhood, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, and nature's wonders and terrors. This is the electronic version of Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, which has been awarded Mom's Choice Gold Medal for Series, the Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award, and was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year.
If you’ve been searching for the perfect novel for a young boy you know, who falls somewhere in the age range from third to eighth grade, look no further. I have to admit, with it’s particular setting and stories of hunting, I wasn’t sure what I would think of Zan-Gah. With it’s themes of survival in the wild and coming of age, Zan-Gah is a quick read and perfect for middle-grade male readers.

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of Zan-Gah is the prehistoric setting, which adds an enjoyable element of adventure to this book. Zan’s hunting skills and fight for his survival are necessary, instead of just being there for the reader’s entertainment. This novel also dealt with some heavier themes including cultural disagreements, trauma and family.

Even though Zan-Gah appealed to my adventurous side, I admit that I would have liked more depth in both the characters and the writing. Zan is alone for the majority of this book, so there isn’t a whole lot of dialogue, and all of the description without many breaks occasionally slowed the book down. As for Zan’s character, I usually enjoyed seeing his development, but at times he struck me as a bit too virtuous and perfect.

The setting and plot of Zan-Gah made it very different from anything else I’ve read, and I appreciated the diversion. While this one didn’t compel me enough to earn a place on my favorites shelf, I’ll be interested to see how the heavier themes develop in Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country. I’m looking forward to sharing this new to me series with younger readers.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In My Mailbox (34) and What Are You Reading?

In my mailbox is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren.

Library:
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater audiobook
Bought:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Insatiable by Meg Cabot
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
Never Sit Down In A Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned In Southern Belle Hell
by Crickett Rumley
Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce
Elixir by Hilary Duff
Once Upon A Marigold by Jean Ferris
The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison
Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols
The Gates by John Connolly
Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas
Paper Towns by John Green
The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan
Blogs and bloggers mentioned:
Cindy of Princess Bookie
Ashely of Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing
Misty of Book Rat

Read:
Hex by Ramona Wray (Check out my review, and be sure to enter the giveaway!)
Currently reading:

Emma by Jane Austen
The Girl Who Was On Fire edited by Leah Wilson
The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre by John William Polidori
What I plan to read:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Very Jane Filled June


It's no secret that I love Jane Austen. Last June when I heard that Misty of Book Rat would be hosting an event called Jane In June, I was thrilled. An entire month devoted to Jane Austen and adaptations of her work? Sounds like my kind of event!

Suffice it to say I will be posting a few Jane-ish reviews and maybe even have a few giveaways for you guys here on Consumed by Books. In addition to all of the great posts by Misty and other bloggers, this year Misty has organized a read along. She hosted a poll over at her blog to see what book Jane In June participants wanted to read, and Pride and Prejudice is the winner! Misty has broken the novel into segments, and every Wednesday participants will respond to questions or a prompt about that week's reading in either a written post or a vlog (spoiler alert: I plan on vlogging). What a cool idea, right? Plus, if you haven't already picked it up, Pride and Prejudice is a must read.

Instead of just listening to me blather about how awesome the read along will be, stop by Misty's blog and check out her post which has complete details. I hope everyone is excited to celebrate all things Jane Austen!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Review of Hex by Ramona Wray and GIVEAWAY!

Hex: A Witch and Angel Tale
Like most girls at Rosemound High School, seventeen-year-old Lily Crane is acutely aware of Ryder Kingscott. Hands down the cutest guy in school, Ryder is cool, mysterious, and utterly untouchable…especially for Lily. For when she touches someone, Lily instantly learns all about their lives. And while such a skill might seem nifty, in truth it is wrecking Lily’s life.

So she is shocked when Ryder asks her out — and even more shocked to discover he has a rival. Lucian Bell is the gorgeous new kid who can’t take his eyes off of Lily. Being pursued by two hotties should make a girl happy, but Lily is skeptical. The boys act as if they’ve met before, hating each other with a passion that could only be rooted in a dark, dangerous past. A past full of terrible secrets. The kind of secrets that could get a girl killed.
I’m a fan of witches and when I first saw the cover of and read the synopsis for Hex by Ramona Wray, it reminded me of Bewitched. I walked away expecting a cute and page-turning paranormal romance. Although I wasn’t left entirely satisfied, I definitely got what I expected, and think that lovers of paranormal romance will enjoy Wray’s novel.

The strongest aspect of Hex is the plot. Wray kept the twists and turns coming around every corner, and I really enjoyed that about the novel. The ending was a tiny bit rushed, yet overall I was satisfied by it It provided full closure for the story Ramona was telling, but also left a bit of wiggle room for sequels and spin-offs.

I have to confess that I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance. This was another girl-pursues-boy-even-though-she-knows-he-wants-to-hurt-her romances, and I’m getting a little frustrated with those. Lily and Ryder fell in love a little too quickly for it to be believable for me. They were incredibly sappy with each other, and Ryder used the term “baby” a bit too often for my taste.

Hex is a fun, quick read, and the perfect book for anyone who wants a paranormal romance with witches. If you’d like to check this one out for yourself, you’re in luck, because Ramona has kindly offered a copy of Hex for giveaway. Want to win? Check out the rules and fill out the form below. Good luck, and thanks to Ramona for providing a giveaway copy!

Here are the rules for the giveaway
*One winner will receive a copy of Hex for review.
*Open to the U.S. and Canada. Sorry, international readers, I'll have another giveaway for you soon.
*The giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. on May 20th.




Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you!

Author Guest Post: Ramona Wray On Love Triangles

Hey, everyone! Today I have Ramona Wray, the author of Hex, here to talk about love triangles. Thanks for coming, Ramona, and take it away! Check out my review of Hex later today.

Like most girls at Rosemound High School, seventeen-year-old Lily Crane is acutely aware of Ryder Kingscott. Hands down the cutest guy in school, Ryder is cool, mysterious, and utterly untouchable…especially for Lily. For when she touches someone, Lily instantly learns all about their lives. And while such a skill might seem nifty, in truth it is wrecking Lily’s life.

So she is shocked when Ryder asks her out — and even more shocked to discover he has a rival. Lucian Bell is the gorgeous new kid who can’t take his eyes off of Lily. Being pursued by two hotties should make a girl happy, but Lily is skeptical. The boys act as if they’ve met before, hating each other with a passion that could only be rooted in a dark, dangerous past. A past full of terrible secrets. The kind of secrets that could get a girl killed.
Hi guys. Thank you, Liz, for having me and for giving me the opportunity to explain why Hex is built around a love triangle. It's a great topic, thank you so much for choosing it.

I?d like to start by saying how much I love the classics - and by this, I mean, everything: books, music, movies, 67 Mustangs, you name it. The love triangle is also a classic, in literature -Shakespeare's Twelfth Night as well as some of the Sonnets, Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and so on. And, like I said, I love the classics :-)

A love triangle is probably one of the most fertile grounds for a writer. First of all, it's a social situation, and depending on the story, it can be awkward, hilarious, scandalous, or heartbreaking. In any case, it's guaranteed to give the writer tons of material to work with. Most importantly, it will be the kind of material that always triggers an emotional response in the reader. And this brings us to the heart of the matter - any story, but particularly a love story, should be emotional. As such, it should be tense, unpredictable, and flow like a dance. Step, breathe in, twirl, stop, breathe out. Characters have to first dance around each other, before dancing together. Because once they're dancing together, the tension is automatically cut in half; at this point, there are two ways to make up for it: ONE, you add secondary suspenseful plots or, TWO, you add a third player. A love story where the protagonists are already together, and everything is A-OK, is unremarkable, unfortunately. Adding a third protagonist will keep things interesting.

I had another reason for writing a love triangle in that I knew it would be fun to write a girl caught between two boys. People are capable of the most amazing reactions when backed into a corner like that; from a psychological angle, this made Lily very interesting to me. What was she going to do? Slip up? Waver? Stray? Choose the wrong guy? And, of course, my favorite of all questions in terms of character building, why? What went on in her head that led to her choices?

To make a long story short, love triangles are compelling. To write, and read, and ramble about later on :-) I'll probably have another go at crafting one, at some point in the future because ... well, because I just can?t help myself. :D

Happy reading, guys!

Romanian-born (no known association with vampires). Compulsive reader. Barely decent, but extremely lucky wife. Doting mother (of the worst kind). Hooked on YA literature. Music lover. Indie soul. Warrior-tempered. Industrious writer. Smart mouth. Perpetual optimist.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Book Buying Ban, Part Two

A lot of you may remember that I went on a book buying ban in February, and succeeded. During that time, I was hoping to get through several books in my TBR pile, but I was less successful in that respect. I only read The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins and Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken (granted, The Woman In White is over 600 pages long).

I'll be going to graduate school to get my master's of library science in the fall, and I have a feeling that I'm not going to have as much time to read for leisure then. Don't get me wrong, I always love having a stack of unread books lying around so when I feel like reading, I'll not only have choices, but also won't have to worry about running out of books. Lately, however, I feel like it's been getting a little overwhelming. So I've decided that for the months of May and June, I will not buy books.

I thought about extending this ban longer for optimal TBR shrinkage. Ideally, it'd be great to have about ten to twenty unread books sitting around as opposed to...wait...I don't actually want to count the number of unread books I have. Let's just say I know it's larger than one hundred. However, Meg Cabot, Maggie Stiefvater and Andrea Cremer are all having signings near me in July, so I'll obviously want to purchase books at all of those events. If you're going to be at any of them, definitely give me a heads up!

I have to admit, though, this book buying is going to be a little half-assed. There are tons of awesome YA books coming out in May and June, and I've placed a couple of online orders. Aside from these, I will probably buy one book when I am on vacation in Maine at the end of June, because for me a vacation always feels more complete once I have acquired a shiny new book.

Here are the books that are already ordered and have been or will be on their way to me.

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
Break by Hannah Moskowitz
Never Sit Down In A Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned In Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley
Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales by Tamora Pierce
Elixir by Hilary Duff
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Insatiable by Meg Cabot (Her signing near me is for the sequel to this book, which is called Overbite, so I'm going to try and read this one before her event.)
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Last week I also discovered that Barnes and Noble was having a spring sale, and that a lot of books on my wishlist were on sale. So I got myself ten books for twenty-eight dollars. I cannot wait for this box to arrive. Here's what I picked out.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
The Gates by John Connolly
Paper Towns by John Green
Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan
Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison
Once Upon A Marigold by Jean Ferris
Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

Like I said, this book buying ban is a little half-assed. However, I think the point is that I not buy any more books, except for my one vacation book. I'm hoping to get at least fifteen of my own books during this ban, and yes, I would totally count one of these towards that total.

Have you ever been on a book buying ban? How did it work out for you?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Literary Locations: Monkey See, Monkey Read

Literary Locations is a new feature where I will spotlight some of the wonderful, literary places I visit.
Some small town bookstores are a little bit like closets. You step into a glorified crawl space that's filled with dust without much selection. The bright colors and cute monkey on Monkey See Monkey Read's sign give a promising appearance, and the store is just as great once you get inside. It's cozy, without being cramped or over-crowded. Located at 425 Division Street in downtown Northfield, Minnesota, this is probably the bookstore that I shop at the most because it's pretty close to me.

One thing I love about Monkey See Monkey Read is that it offers a little something for everything not only in terms of products but also in terms of price range. I've found products like used copies of Lemony Snicket books (in great condition, might add) to wonderful adult fiction to non-fiction. Monkey See Monkey Read also allows readers to place special orders, so if they don't stock a book I'm looking for, it's still easy to get my hands on a copy.

Since I know the owner of the store, namely Jerry, personally, I decided to have him tell you more about the store himself. Be sure to check out what he has to say, and visit the store yourself if you're ever in Northfield.

Tell us about your bookstore and how it came to be.

I’ve been a bookseller for almost 20 years. For a long period of time, I’ve wanted to open my own store, something small with a good selection and a friendly atmosphere. So I took the plunge in 2006.

Your bookstore has an incredibly unique name. Can you tell us more about the story behind it?

My daughter came up with the name. She was 10 years old at the time. My spouse studies monkeys, so the name combines her work with mine.


What demographic does Monkey See Monkey Read cater towards?

Everyone I think. We’re a general interest store. We sell books for all ages.

What made you decide to sell used books as well as new books?

I started out with used books. It’s easier to get started in that way. The investment is not as great. Then I added some new books to the inventory. At first it was just regional books and some bestsellers. Gradually, we’ve increased our selection of new books. It feels like a good mix of new and used. I prefer to have used books, because we can offer the customer a better value. But we need to fill in the gaps with new books so our selection is stronger.


Your store is very unique in that in addition to selling books, you also have a few bikes for sale. Can you explain what inspired this unique combination?

I think my bookstore is the only one in the country selling bikes. I know, why would a bookstore sell bikes? It goes like this. Books and bikes are two things I enjoy the most. I read about Kona's Biketown Africa

Kona calls it “The most important bike we’ve ever designed.” It’s a bike with a cause. Bicycling Magazine editor Steve Madden said, “BikeTown Africa is an opportunity for bikes to do more than just change lives. In this case, bikes can help save lives.”

For every two bikes I sell, Kona will donate one to a home health worker in Africa as part of the BikeTown Africa program.

http://cog.konaworld.com/category/kona-africa-bike


What are the challenges of owning and running an independent bookstore in a small town?

Inventory selection. I’d love to have a much larger selection. But it’s not realistic given our sales. We have to edit our selection to what we think we can sell. It’s tough to pass up good books, but sitting on dead inventory can sink a business quickly. So we try to choose wisely and sometimes we’re wrong. I’ll bring in books I think will sell and they don’t or skip over books I deem risky and people ask for them. You never know what’s going to be a hit.

Book sales are constantly being changed by new technologies such as e-books. How and if do you see Monkey See Monkey Read adapting to this new climate?

I think you have to listen to your customers and figure out what their interests are. Things change and we have to change with them. I think ebooks are great for some people and a novelty for others. Right now they are hot and creating a lot of buzz. I still have not decided when or if we will sell ebooks. I think at some point we will, but it’s a risky proposition.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

In My Mailbox (33) and What Are You Reading?

In my mailbox is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren.

Gifted:
The Wolf at the Door: and Other Re-Told Fairy Tales edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (and socks!)
Bought:
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund
Abarat by Clive Barker
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King
Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
The Enchantment of Lily Dahl by Siri Hustvedt
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
Party Princess by Meg Cabot
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda
The Book Of (Even More) Awesome by Neil Pasricha
Juniper Berry by M.P. Kozlowsky
Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal (My review)
Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson
Doctor Who season one
Blogs and Bloggers mentioned:
Ashley of Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing
Misty of Book Rat
Allison of The Allure of Books
Pam of Bookalicious

Read:

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shickman
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Currently reading:

Hex by Ramona Wray
The Girl Who Was On Fire edited by Leah Wilson
The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre by John William Polidori
What I plan to read:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

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