Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Booknerds in Love Triangles: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Mary's Review:

I was a little bit unsure about reading this book.  Nothing against Andrea Cremer but I was not sure if I wanted to get into another werewolf series.  But I gave it a chance AND fell in love with another book series.  Calla, Ren, and Shay (oh, how I adore a love triangle) are characters that you cannot forget.  I can tell you that I am TEAM REN.  Calla is a strong alpha female but Ren (who is to be her mate) is a strong, caring, bad boy. They have been matched to be mates since birth and they have known it all their lives.  Until Shay sweeps into Calla's life and turns it upside down.  Calla always followed the rules until Shay changed that.  However, she still cares for Ren and wants to keep her family and the pack happy, but how can she when she loves another.  On top of all that she has to obey the Keepers, the true leaders of her kind, but she begins to feel that Keepers are not what she thought.  With Shay by her side and still having Ren to be her mate Calla must choose a life she knows or a life of love.

This is a must read for everyone.

Jacque's Review:

I have to agree with Mary on one aspect. When I started reading this book the first thing I thought was....I know exactly why Flo made this selection.  Our Team Jacob girl turned us onto another werewolf series. After only a couple of chapters my opinion changed and I was hooked.  Andrea did not waste any time getting to the heart of the story.

I was undecided as to who Calla should choose, since she had great chemistry with both Ren and Shay.  There were times when I could truly see the positives that both had to offer.  Ren provided a sense of security within a life she has always known.  The Keepers would provide for them and she could maintain contact with her family and friends.  Shay on the other hand, shook up her entire world and allowed her to see life for what it truly is.  By the end, I was 100% TEAM SHAY.  They made an excellent team as they worked together to unravel the mysteries within the relationship between the Guardians (werewolves), Keepers (the masters of the guardians), and Searchers (who are considered to be the enemies of both).

The booknerds have an ARC of Wolfsbane, the next installment in this series, which is scheduled to be released the end of July.  We are BEYOND excited about this fact and can't wait to see what happens next in this love triangle.  Check back for our reviews of Wolfsbane.

Flo's Review:

The thing that immediately struck me about this book when I first saw it was the gorgeous cover! I love the purple tones that somehow bring a richness of color and yet still manage to represent night. I know there is currently lots of discussion going on about changing the covers, and I am in the camp of keeping the original ones.

It didn't take me long to get sucked into the complexity of Calla's world. The tagline on the cover so accurately and succinctly describes her dilemma: as alpha female, she is in charge of assuring the compliance and happiness of her pack...while she sees no way she can make any choices of her own. Nightshade is a longer book, coming in at 450 pages, but it reads like a breeze.

Another strength of this book was its plethora of fabulous one-liners!

As for the great Ren vs Shay debate.....I have to say I am firmly in the TEAM REN camp!  He is the no-nonsense, tough alpha male, but with Calla he is questioning and vulnerable, and I love that he has both sides to him.

Finally, I really enjoyed learning more about the pack as the book went on. We know in the beginning that the meaning of being a pack is having each other's backs, but throughout the book we get to see just how deeply that goes.

...and Holy Cliffhangers, Andrea Cremer! I cannot wait to read Wolfsbane!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Girl Who Was On Fire. Complete with a GIVEAWAY!!

SPOILER ALERT:  This review includes spoilers for The Hunger Games trilogy. If you haven't read all three books, please go do so now because they're incredible!!! And then come back and read this review :) 

It's no secret that the booknerds LOVE The Hunger Games trilogy (well, except for Jacque, who has yet to read them. But she's new, so we're giving her a little time to get them read before we volunteer her as a Tribute.)

So, needless to say, we were super excited to hear about The Girl Who Was On Fire, a collection of essays all about the books from several authors we know and love. I (Flo) was lucky enough to receive an Advance Readers Copy of the book and spent the entire time while I was reading it remembering just how much I loved the trilogy, as well as looking at things I'd thought about before in lots of new and different ways.

Thirteen writers, including Sarah Rees Brennan, Lili Wilkinson, Bree Despain and Carrie Ryan discuss The Hunger Games in regards to topics that range from politics to fashion, from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to science. I thoroughly enjoyed every single essay. They were all very different, and each one led me to at least one, if not several, new ways of thinking about the trilogy.

Monday, March 28, 2011

We have a new staff member! Welcome Jacque!!

We have a new Book Nerd joining our staff!! And as you can tell from our overuse of exclamation points, we are really excited about it!

So please welcome JACQUE!!! *throw confetti*

We are looking forward to the reviews, book features and other fun stuff she will be posting!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

There are lots of great blogs taking part in Follow Friday this week. To see the full list, click on the picture above to take you to Parajunkee's page. Now the question....

Q. Inspired by the inane twitter trend of #100factsaboutme, give us five BOOK RELATED silly facts about you.

1. I literally have from #1 to about #50 of the Babysitter's Club series books at my parents' house. Not including the Super Specials. ~Flo
2. My friend convinced me to buy both the Twilight New Moon & Eclipse board games. (Ok, she didn't really have to twist my arm that much!) We keep saying we will have a game night and play them, but it hasn't happened yet. ~Flo
3. I own almost every RL Stine Goosbumps! ~Mary
4. I only read "It" by Stephen King one time because it scared me so bad! Now I fear clowns. ~Mary
5.  I own every Twilight barbie doll that has been made this far! ~Mary
6. I read Catching Fire, the second Hunger Games book, in less than 24 hours. When Mockingjay (the last one) came out, I read it in about 8. ~Flo

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cosmopolis By Don DeLillo

I never had any intention to read this book (ever).  Then I saw that it was going to be made into a movie.  I love reading books that will be turned into movies. Then I read the most amazing article ever!  The lead character, Eric Packer, was going to be played, Robert Pattinson.  I will admit that I am the biggest Pattinson fan ever.  After reading that article, I literally run to my eReader and bought the book.

I was floored by how fast I read this book.  It was the most unique book ever.  Also, it was more graphic then I thought that it would be and I enjoyed every moment.

It starts out with Eric Packer, 28 years old, and a billionaire.  He is in his apartment and decided that he wanted a haircut.  He gets into his (most outrageous) limo and heads out.  This voyage goes through every twist and turn possible (and some that even I did not see coming). 

I am going to let you in on a few parts book, but this will be mostly spoiler free.  The reason I am letting some details out is because I think everyone should read this (PLUS this movie will be insane to watch).

The story mostly takes place in the limo because Eric is losing a boat-load of money because of the "yen".  He gets stuck in traffic more times than anyone because of the presidential visit that is taking place in the city.  Then he gets caught up in a funeral procession for a rap star and then a riot breaks out.  (Insane right!?).  Plus, you cannot miss out on all of Eric's sexual encounters.  Yep, the man likes to get it on! (Sidenote:  there is one scene in the limo that I pray is in the movie.  I would love to hear Pattinson say a particular phrase that Eric states in this situation.  Even I gasped when I read it!)  Back on point, there is one person that Eric runs into the most on this adventure, his wife! Yep, Eric is married and he is losing her money too because of the "yen".

The book goes from one extreme to another and every time Eric turned the corner, it was something more crazier than before.  I think that this is a must read just for its pure craziness.


Carrie Ryan's Book Launch Party

I am not sure where I came across this information, but Monday night I somehow stumbled upon the news that Carrie Ryan was going to be doing a book launch party on Tuesday, March 22nd in Fort Lauderdale for her book The Dark and Hollow Places. This news initially made me sad, because I was supposed to be at a meeting at that exact same time. But if there's one thing I've learned from Tim Gunn, it's to "make it work!" I convinced the meeting organizer to move my part of the discussion to the end of the meeting so I could make the first part of Carrie's launch party.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

April's Read-A-Long

First of all, I know it's Tuesday, so you must be wondering, "Where's Tuesday's Ten?!" No worries. We have some authors lined up that we're excited for you to "meet," so keep checking back with us on Tuesdays for more.

This Tuesday is exciting because it's the book birthday for a novel that the booknerds have been eagerly waiting to read. For those of you who don't know, we read a book together every month. You can always find the book we're reading pictured at the top right-hand corner of the site.

Since it comes out today, we thought it would make sense for it to be our April read. Without further adieu, our April read-a-long is....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Come Together: The Business Wisdom of The Beatles By Richard Courtney and George Cassidy

The Beatles. You do not have to like their music but you know who they are. Everyone knows who they are because they are the biggest band EVER!  Paul, John, Ringo, George are household names no matter the country or place.

The reason they are so famous is not all because of the music (though that is part of it) but as it is laid out in this book by Richard Courtney and George Cassidy they are famous because they have business sense.

This book was a very quick read; however, it was very good in the aspect that it wants you to relate to the Beatles. Ok, you do not have to have a
"mop top", play guitar, or sing to have business smarts. But you can model yourself like the Beatles did and then create an "empire".

With each chapter the authors lay out why the Beatles are so successful and then they tell you how you can achieve the same type of status.

Alright, not everyone can be a household name, although everyone can be successful in life.  It is through hard work and dedication that a person can achieve success.  Throughout this book we are told how hard the Beatles work to be so successful and how many ups and downs they went through. 

When I finished reading this book I felt better about myself. In someways I even felt empowered to apply some of these examples into my own career. I am a Beatles fan because their music and after reading this book I realized they were more than just a band. Together they became an EMPIRE.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I have been hesitant to write this review for awhile now. How can I possibly convey to you all how much I love this book a) without spoilers and b) without sounding like a meaningless waterfall of gushing words?

But I can simply tell you that I loved this book. I can tell you that I did not want to leave the main character Tris' world. When I was reading this book, I could not wait for my day to end so I could curl up with it again and see what would happen to Tris next. And after I was done with Divergent, I returned again and again to Tris' world in my mind.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Debut of Tuesday's Ten! Includes a Giveaway!!

Ahhh! We're soo excited about this new feature of ours we can hardly stand it!!

"Tuesday's Ten" features an author who takes the time to tell us....wait for it....TEN things about him or herself. We'll run them on....wait for it....TUESDAYS!

We think this will be a fun way to get a little bit of insight into the masterminds behind the stories we read. So, without futher adieu, we'd like to introduce you to Keith Melton:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Today's question: Who are You the Girl, instead of You the Blogger?


Well, there are actually 2 of us! Flo and Mary both administer this blog, which makes it double the fun! So here are 2 random things about us:


1. We are both staff members on another amazing site --


2. Flo gave up milkshakes for Lent and Mary gave up pretty much everything else tasty! (You can tell Flo is writing this...)


Have a great weekend, everybody! :) 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I loved Anna and the French Kiss! J'ai aimé Anna et le français Kiss!

Here's the official summary from the author's website:

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

And because it takes place in the City of Love, I am going to tell you exactly why I loved it:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Books I Broke Up With: The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

I wanted to love The Vespertine because I love the cover. Look at this:

Isn't it gorgeous?! I love the richness of the colors -- the brown tones provide depth. At the same time, it is an action shot -- but an elegant looking one.


Anyway, here is the official summary:
"It's the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him. When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she's not the seer of dark portents, but the cause."

There were two main reasons I had to break up with The Vespertine. First, I couldn't identify or sympathize with Amelia. I understand that I personally cannot identify with all the protagonists I read. That would mean they are all like me, or similar to me, and where's the variety in that?! Even so, it is usually easy enough to identify with the main character at least on some level. And if that's not the case, I can still feel for him or her, as s/he leads us through his or her story. I never found that with Amelia. As the story is moving along we are discovering Zora and Nathaniel and other characters....but not Amelia.

Secondly, I've said this before and I'll say it again -- if I am reading a love story, I have to buy the romance between the man and woman. And I just couldn't with Nathaniel and Amelia. It felt very forced to me. Love at First Sight is (I believe) very real -- and also very hard to portray convincingly.

I also thought that the history aspect would give this book a unique spin on things, but it just further confused and complicated the story.

Thoughts on the story? On the gorgeous cover?

This Advance Reader's E-Proof was provided to me by HarperCollins and netGalley.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Books I Broke Up With: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

I can't take full credit for the concept of breaking up with a book -- I read it somewhere in the blogosphere and thought it was just a perfect analogy. Because we've all done it. We've all started to read a book and just couldn't make it through. For whatever reason, we had to break up with it.

Angelfire trailer from the author's website.

Even though Angelfire was just released a couple of weeks ago, it was a book I had hearing a lot about for quite awhile. I received an ARC from netGalley and HarperCollins and was eager to jump right in.

I *love* the concept of Angelfire. Monstrous creatures called reapers devour humans and send their souls to Hell. (Yep, like Grim Reaper.) Ellie is the reincarnation of the only human warrior who can stop these reapers because she can conjure swords of angelfire to defeat them. When we start the book, Ellie is rediscovering her powers with the help of her immortal protector Will.

While the concept is wonderful, the writing was lacking delivery for me. I found it quite shifty -- it read to me like a series of scenes as opposed to a story. I felt there was a lack of detail in many areas and no build up to the plot, no sense of anticipation of what was coming. All the talk about the fancy cars and the shopping and the clothes seemed unnecessary to me.

But I think the straw that broke the camel's back for me was the relationship. While I found myself feeling a little bad for Landon, I was not buying Will as the sexy, mysterious boy. I could see the tension between Will and Ellie, but I couldn't feel it.

It's a shame. I really wanted to like this one. Has something similar ever happened to you?

This Advance Reader's E-Proof was provided to me by HarperCollins and netGalley.