Sunday, October 9, 2011

Short Story Review No. 1 - Giovanni's Farewell

Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions

Giovanni's Farewell
Enthralled:  Paranormal Diversions
By:  Claudia Gray
 HarperCollins - Sept. 2011

Pages:  464 Softcover (ARC)
Read:  Sept. 2011
Genre:  Fantasy Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Anthologies, Supernatural
Morbid Romantica Challenge 2011

By the Mad Scientist

First Line:  Before I was awake or aware, before my heart began to beat, Cairo was there.
Black Disaster Fairy's Take:

Anthologies do make me a bit weary.  Some short stories are amazing and then lets face it... some are just so lacking after enjoying a pile of books with huge long plot twists and handfuls of characters.  Let me just say that this story was a shocking start to this anthology.  

Ravenna and Cairo are twins who just happen to be extremely close.  They are on a class trip to the wondrous European city of Rome.  Instead of enjoying a bowl of pasta or a Italian soda Cairo has a rather unusual freak out & flips over the hotel mattress.


Being overseas is not the reason for Cairo's unsettling behavior.  This duo is well traveled and they have a unique background that makes me extremely jealous of them.  No worries it also made me love them even more!

The class is being entertained by a tour through one of the famous must see tourist spots, Catacombs of Saint Cecilia, when Ravenna meets a Italian boy, Giovanni. 

Now Italy is romantic but the obvious location of them being in a ancient cemetery I was waiting for something to happen.  I wasn't expecting for Ravenna to figure out she had a unique power. 

I do kind of enjoy it when characters think themselves CRAZY!
I looked up into the dark chambers above us and felt a shiver that had nothing to do with the cold.
 --- Page 15
PhotobucketThis is the first time I have read anything by Claudia Gray.  I enjoyed her small side note tidbits that gave the story something extra.

Overall, Giovanni's Farewell was short and cute.  A small inky package that wrapped up nicely.  However, I would love for her to turn this into a series.  The well traveled background of these twins is just the sort of thing I would enjoy!

*Received from BEA 2011.  This in no way has hindered my weird but honest review.*

Literary Day Dreams

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review No. 6 - Twenty Boy Summer

Twenty Boy Summer
By:  Sarah Ockler
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  Little Brown & Co - June 2009
Pages:  290 eBook  
Rating:  4
Book Cover Rating:  4.5 Simple & fun but it makes you wonder
Read:  July 2010
Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age

First Line:  Frankie Perino and I were lucky that day.  Lucky to be alive - that's what everyone said.
Has Been Challenged Multiple Times!!
Recommend by :  Wesley Scroggins

Black Disaster Fairy's Take:

I am notorious for not reading the synopsis before I open a book, or ebook.  However, I must admit I'm extremely happy that I did not know a thing about this book.  I mean how much can that heart on the cover reveal?  The shock, happiness, and sadness that wrapped around me was purely from the words on the paper in front of me.  Ockler also had me recommending this book to others by page 11.  It really did!  

 ~~ Warning, if you are expecting this book to be a fluffy fun beach read you need to stop! Red the synopsis or take my advice.  This book mainly deals with grief.  Don't get me wrong... There are a few wonderful romance scenes that made me crave the smell of salt water and the feel of hot sand under my toes while some summer romance blooms.

The story of secrets starts off with a cute adorable cake fight between Anna and her neighbor Matt.  When they are washing Anna's 15th birthday cake frosting off themselves, Matt kissed Anna.  Let us toss in a twist, Matt happens to be the brother of Frankie, Anna's best friend.  The three of them have been neighbors for years, they formed a tight bond.

BAM!  Now things are different.  Cute perfection does not last long.  This book is surrounded by the loss of Matt.  He died because he had a broken heart, literally a broken heart.  He had a hole in his heart that no one knew about until it was too late.  Frankie and her family are dealing with the loss.  Anna is dealing with her grief on her own, she promised Matt that she would not tell his sister.  however, Matt never had the chance to tell his sister before he past away.

"He's probably wondering why the women in this family are so certifiably nuts."

It is a year later and the loss is still heavy around everyone.  Due to the fact that they are all trying to move on, Frankie's parents decided to invite Anna on their yearly vacation to Cali.  Frankie comes up with a brilliant plan.  After all, Anna needs to loose her virginity, AKA the albatross.  Twenty boys in one summer and she is bound to find the right guy on the Cali beach!  Is there a better place to find a summer romance?  This will be the BEST summer ever!

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Book Love <3
Tree Love <3
"As I lick a runaway line of melting cherry chocolate ripple from my hand, I become hyperaware of our surroundings.  The back-and-forth ancient lull of the tide.  The cray of seagulls passing over head.  The smell of salt and fish carried on the warm breeze.  With each step along the old wooden planks of the pier, tiny grains of sand that hitchhiked from the beach below are pulverized under our heels.  Sand that traveled a millions of miles over billions of years across shifting continents and churning oceans, surviving plate tectonics, erosion, and sedimentary deposition is crushed by our new sandals.  The cosmos can be so cruel."
Throughout the summer in Cali the girls film their vacation, sneak out of the beach house, and of course, one of them gets a huge sun burn!  Naturally, there were boys.  Boys, Boys, and more Boys.  Their friendship is tested along with the anxiety of being at the beach house for the first time with out Matt.  Anna is afraid of erasing all of her memories of Matt.  Will she let go of her loss and enjoy the Twenty Boy Summer?
"We could make chocolate chip pancakes."  It's not psychotherapy, but chocolate chip pancakes work for a lot of things.
PhotobucketThe book is deep and tender as Ockler touches a deeply taboo subject; death and loss.  I loved thsi debut novel and I cannot wait to read more from her!

BDF highly recommends this book!!  Thanks to Scroggins!  

Literary Day Dreams

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Bloody Word Teaser - Banned Book Special!

The Female Night Stalker Take on Teaser Tuesday.

Hosted by Should be Reading.
The general idea is take a book and pick a random spot with your wand, mind, or sword and share a few bloody lines to essential get a the hearts of the Otherworldly racing.

Well, we plan on feeding all those unread minds out there some bloody brilliant inky treats.

Sit back relax, rewind your bandages, get the dirt from under fingernails, & prepare to scream be teased!

SpeakTeaser From Dark Disastrous Fairy:
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time.

All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie.  Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say.

Random quotes from GoodReads.

Animal FarmTeaser From the Zakiya Lady Wings:
Animal Farm by George Orwell

"Our frogs on her back.  Waiting for a prince t
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. 

Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments. 

Random quotes from GoodReads.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Book Review No. 5 - The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
By:  Suzanne Collins
Series:  The Hunger Games #1
Publisher:  Scholastic Press - Sept. 2008
Pages:  374, Hardcover (Own)  
Plot Rating:  5
Character Rating:  5
Read:  June 2010
Genre:  Fantasy Fiction, Young Adult, Romance, Post Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Action, Science Fiction

First Line:  When I wake, the other side of the bed is cold.

Zakiya LadyWings's View:

First: Why in the world is this book being challenged to be banned? Yes, the gore, etc. sometimes might not be suitable for younger kids, but it really isn't that bad!

I had heard a lot of things about this book before I started reading. It was the latest series, and I was tired of being left behind. I'm really glad I bought it!

The main character, Katniss, lives in a post-apocalyptic America, hunts illegally, and takes her sister's place in the Hunger Games. No way is she risking Prim's life when it could be saved. Katniss's world gets both better and worse from there.

The Hunger Games is definitely a gory, battle-filled event. Nobody wants to die. The plot in this book was pretty awesome. It was something I'd never heard of before. I like how Suzanne Collins had each district specializing in something different. Each was significant, which showed in the people they sent to the Games.

Just then, Haymitch staggers into the compartment. 'I miss supper?' he says in a slurred voice. Then he vomits all over the expensive carpet and falls in the mess.

The characters were unquestionably fabulous! I liked all of them. I really just can't pick one. Peeta and Katniss are definitely the first two, though. Peeta was so easy with speaking to people; everyone was always charmed by him. I'm sure he saved Katniss more than we can all realize. But that's probably more in Catching Fire...

Katniss was a really good character as well. She knew what she wanted; she was gonna get it as soon as she could, any way she could. Her constant objectiveness to the Capitol always makes me want to laugh at the things she does to show it. Like the shooting of the arrow into the apple in the pig's mouth. Although that was Catching Fire, too, lol :)

This book . . . WOW. I can't say anything other than that. You really are missing out if you haven't read this yet. Not to mention the movie coming out next year! WHY on bloody EARTH is this novel being challenged to be banned!?

I have read Catching Fire, obviously, and have Mockingjay, but still haven't read the latter. Let's all hope that I do very soon! As in before the movie comes out!

One time, my mother told me that I always eat like I'll never see food again. And I said, 'I won't unless I bring it home." That shut her up.

Zakiya LadyWings recommends this novel to everyone! Read it, love it, and go see the movie next year. Still can't believe The Hunger Games one was challenged.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Book Review No. 4 - Speak

By:  Laurie Halse Anderson
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  Puffin - April 2001
Pages:  148 eBook  
Rating:  5
Book Cover Rating:  5 (It truly fits the book!)
Read:  Sept. 2010
Genre:  Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Sexual Violence

First Line:  It is my first morning of high school.

Has Been Challenged Multiple Times!!
Recommend by :  Wesley Scroggins

Black Disaster Fairy's Take:

This book was attacked by Wesley Scroggins in a article last year about this time.  There is a particular part of his claim that had my eyebrows peak and my brain try to wrap around his intriguing statement, "material that should be classified as soft pornography." 

Soft Porn?!?

This guy is considering rape to be soft porn?  WOW!!!  Let's get this out in the open right away, I am a twisted person who came over from the dark side, who reads books that contain sexual violence.  However, I would never ever consider rape to be porn.  That is creepy even for me!

 ~~ Warning, it is hard to not write this review without spoilers.  If you do not want spoilers please stop reading. I do not want you to stop talking to me.~~

Melinda is our main character/narrator.  She does not get much description but for me it worked.  Many can relate and put themselves in her shoes.  We enter the book by going into the high school as a 9th grader.  (Geez, that was a while ago for me.)  High school can be the greatest years, full of amazing memories but so far for Melinda it is the time where no one talks to you & people throw mash potatoes at you.  I could not possibly dare to begin how that would feel.  Just completely humiliating, too cruel.

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Book Love <3
Tree Love <3
Soon we find out that everyone scorns her because during the summer she calls the cops at a huge party were a few people get tossed in the slammer due to her actions.  Naturally, now she has the bulls-eye of hate on her, even her friends classmates do not even speak to her.  If only they knew the reason why!!  Speak up Melinda!!  Ok, that was me screaming at her!  
"My goal is to go home and take a nap."
Instead she draws into herself, retreating from family, school, and people who are trying to be her friend.  She found a place that she could call her own.  A place she could go and hide.  I must admit that I loved her closet!

"My journal entry of the day:  Exchange students are ruining our country."
Anderson does not say out right what happened to Melinda.  This taboo subject normally has people walking around what happened.  She did a good job with this while leaving clues.  Biology class is the biggest clue that should ring bells.  

"Our frog lies on her back.  Waiting for a prince to come and princessify her with a smooch?  I stand over her with my knife.  Ms. Keen's voice fades to a mosquito whine.  My throat closes off.  It's hard to breathe.  I put out my hand to steady myself against the table.  David pins her froggy hands to the dissection try.  He spreads her froggy legs and pins her froggy feet.  I have to slice open her belly.  She doesn't say a word.  She is already dead.  A scream starts in my gut - I can feel the cut, smell the dirt, leaves in my hair."

I just love her wording here!  

This book hit me, it is profound writing on a subject hard to touch because of society expectations.  I loved struggling with Melinda.  Watching her work on her tree subject for art, yelling at her to pour out her hate, fear, and hurt into the tree (of course only in my head).  Then there was this spark, she wrote on the bathroom wall.  Courageous of her.  What she wrote, not that she did.  That spark shot off as soon as there was a reply.  I almost cried when I read that.  Powerful statement, all on a smelly bathroom wall.

BDF highly recommends this book!!  Thanks to Scroggins!  It was a unique book with a voice.  It will be a re-read more then once.  Unbelievable!

Literary Day Dreams