FREE BOOKS!

Dream On Us is launching a new site that will let book lovers (and those that just "like" books) get new releases for free. All you have to do is share the book on Facebook & Twitter and write a short review. You know you're going to write a review on your blog and Goodreads anyway, so why not sign up? Interested? Click here and enter your e-mail to sign up!

I've been noticing links popping up all over Twitter, so I finally decided to check things out. Now it's your turn. Good luck!


Blog Hop and Follow Friday (17)

Book Blogger Hop


The Book Blog Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy For Books. This week's question comes from Britta at I Like These Books: "What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked?  Which have you disliked?" 

Oh, this question is right up my alley. I am always complaining about book to movie adaptations. My list of movies that were based on books that seriously irk me is pretty long. I'll start by saying that I adored the movie version of The Outsiders, The Princess Bride, and The Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies (they are so funny). Inkheart was decent too. Now, the movies that made me wish I had waited to rent them at Redbox were: Eragon, Hamlet, Girl, Interrupted and some others that I forget. (Luckily)

Even though I thought the books were better, I did like these movies: Briget Jones's Diary, Jurassic Park, Holes, and the Twilight movies.




Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted at Parajunkee's View and features Louise at Book Bliss. This week's question is: How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?


After reading all of the responses, I am feeling a little sluggish in my reading habits. Normally I can finish 2 or 3 books a week, but lately I have found myself only reading one a week. It has been so crazy at work! When I get home, I'm too tired to read! I can't wait for summer vacation. As for audiobooks, I can't listen to them. They drive me crazy. I like to imagine the characters in my own way, not in the form of an actor/actress. I just can't do it. I'm sure I could get more books "read" if I listened to audiobooks on my commute.


Armchair BEA: Best of 2011

I love the idea of creating a "Best of" list for the books I've read so far this year. It's pretty hard to pick out my favorites.


My favorite books so far this year:

Die for MeThe Goddess Test (Harlequin Teen)Lost Voices (Lost Voices (Trilogy))Princess Callie and the Totally Amazing Talking Tiara




Books I can't wait to read this year:

These still don't have cover images available!

Heroes of Olympus, Book 2: The Son of Neptune (Rick Riordan)
Beautiful Days (Bright Young Things #2) by Anna Godbersen

Ingenue (The Flappers) Flawless Abandon Mister Creecher

Books that felt like acid in my eyes:
I know that everyone has different tastes, but these were really painful for me to get through.


Psyche in a Dress The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group

Okay, that's it! There are so many books swimming through my head that it is really hard to think of just a few to mention.


Mythological Mondays (1)

 


This fantastic meme was created by Bonnie at A Backwards Story to highlight all things mythological.


The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero

As part of Mythological Mondays, I decided to feature Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero. Oh, how I love these books! We're talking complete infatuation. I'm sure most people have read this book already (if you haven't, there is a serious problem). But since I thought this book was 10xs better than the Percy Jackson books, I wanted to feature it anyway!

In The Lost Hero, Percy and his crew are actually minor characters. Go ahead, gasp. It's ok. Instead of your expected protagonists, you get a whole new crew of misfits. These "heroes" have major issues. Jason can't remember anything about his past. He doesn't even know who his so-called friends are. Piper is shady to the extreme. She's keeping a major secret from everyone (one that could cost the group their lives). Then there is Leo. Poor, clumsy Leo who is always playing second best. So awkward. Put these three together, however, and you have an awesome monster fighting team.

You may be thinking, "What's so special about this book? I'm already played out with Percy Jackson books." Well, there is plenty that makes this book special. For starters, this is a seamless(brilliant!) merging of Greek and Roman mythology. Yeah, I said ROMAN MYTHOLOGY! (Can you tell I adore myths?) See, Jason is actually a descendant of a Roman god (Zeus/Jupiter). You may think that's not a big deal, but it is. Greek and Roman myths don't exactly "gel" together. There are subtle personality differences between the Greek and Roman forms of the same gods/goddesses, but that's another story in itself.

I could give a plot overview, but I won't. It's your typical monster stomping action. There were a few twists and pleasant surprises along the way. (Like when Piper has to choose between her friends or her father. Or, when Leo learns his self worth.) But what I really liked about this book is that it sets the stage for the second book in the series perfectly. As it turns out, our old friend Percy is lost on the west coast at the Roman version of Camp Half-Blood. And he probably has amnesia also, just like Jason.

In case you missed the teaser for book #2, here is what I pulled from Rick Riordan's website:

In The Lost Hero, three demigods named Jason, Piper, and Leo made their first visit to Camp Half-Blood, where they inherited a blood-chilling quest:

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Who are the other four mentioned in the prophesy? The answer may lie in another camp miles away, where a new camper has shown up and appears to be the son of Neptune, god of the sea...

I hope you like/liked this book as much as me! I really did think it was brilliant, and I can't wait for book #2 to come out in October 2011.

Review: Between the Sea and Sky

Between the Sea and Sky
Jaclyn Dolamore

Between the Sea and Sky

Product Information:
Genre: YA, fantasy, romance
ISBN- 978-59990-434-4
Publisher: Bloomsbury (October 2011)
Page Count: 240
Source: ARC from Publisher

"[...] Esmerine and Alander... rekindle a friendship and ignite the emotions for a love so powerful it cannot be bound by land, sea, or air."

If Hans Christian Andersen were still alive, this is a story he would write. I loved the world create by Jaclyn Dolamore in Between the Sea and Sky. Esmerine, a mermaid who befriends a "winged boy", is a little different from all the other mermaids. She has learned how to read and write; a thing most mermaids find impractical. She has also learned how to transform into a human and walk on land. Alander-- the "winged boy"-- is a Fandarsee. Like Esmerine, he is also different from the others of his kind. Instead of being content as a messenger, he enjoys reading and studying philosophy.

When Esmerine's sister (Dosinia) goes missing, Esmerine travels to the human world to find her. She knows that her sister has been visiting with humans, and she fears that she has been captured. Once on land, Esmerine finds her old friend, Alander, and begins her search for Dosinia. But Esmerine is not just looking for her lost sister. She is also searching for her own place in the world and the bonds that unite her heart with Alander's.  

One of my all-time favorite fairy tales is The Little Mermaid, even Hans Christian Andersen's tragic version. The mystery and beauty of living under the water has always enchanted me. This book did not disappoint me. I still managed to get the tingly feeling while reading about Esmerine's life under the sea. Above all that, though, I think I liked the fact that the created world was so different from any mermaid story I have ever read. In this book, mermaids and Fandarsee are a well known fact, not a hidden secret. The humans are not surprised to see the mystical creatures walking and living among them on land. In fact, merpeople, Fandarsee and humans interact daily and conduct business together. That alone is fascinating and unique. 

The characters are delightful. Esmerine is different from the other merpeople. She's described as "practical" and snubbed by her peers. She has learned how to read and write from Alander, but the other sea-dwellers don't find that fascinating. How typical of people to disregard the things that they do not personally understand? Alander also deals with the same struggles on land. His father wants him to follow in the family's footsteps and become a great scientist. Alander, however, has no desire to "discover" things; instead, he wants to educate people and spread knowledge. It's no wonder that Esmerine and Alander feel like two parts of the same whole. 

If I had to pick one thing that I liked the best in this book, I would have to say the descriptions. The vivid details helped bring to life the setting. When the story was taking place under water, I could picture the living quarters and imagine the class rankings (Yes, social classes under the sea!). The subtle snobbery of the "rich" merpeople was felt in every word and action. I didn't feel like the human world was described in as much detail as the ocean, but you still got a good sense of the setting. I feel like there should have been a little more detail and perception given to the human experiences since Esmerine was experiencing this land for the first time in human form.

Overall, this is a good read. It didn't take long to read--I finished in one sitting. If you like Hans Christian Andersen's version of The Little Mermaid, you will enjoy this story. There are elements that resonate in his version that continue in Dolamore's story. Between the Sea and Sky is romantic enough to earn a YA label, but clean enough for Disney. There are no graphic scenes--just a drunk and a few kisses. I enjoyed this one, but then again, it's hard to disappoint me with a mermaid story.

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