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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

You're Gonna Want To See This.... "Morganville Vampires" are Here!

Hello darlings!

I got a very very interesting e-mail today asking if Auggie-Talk would  be willing to help promote a new web series. After reading the series title I pretty much figured that many of you readers may be absolutely on board with this!

So here it is, pumpkins.

Introducing...

THE MORGANVILLE VAMPIRES WEB SERIES

Coming October 27




Just in time for All Hallows Eve!  Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuuuun

Enjoy!
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ALA Teens' Top 10 Titles of 2014

Teens have spoken!

ALA Teens' Top 10 Titles were announced on October 20th!

(And don't worry Romance, Fantasy, Mystery, Chicklit and Middlegrade lovers! We'll be keeping up with the 2014 favorites for all of these genres as they come out. Can't believe we're already getting to that time of year. AAAH!)

So, which Teen titles were interest piquing, pillow clutching, funny bone tickling, and just generally jump out of the chair worthy for young readers this year?


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  1. "Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell (Macmillan/St. Martin's Griffin)
  2. "Splintered" by A.G. Howard (ABRAMS/Amulet Books)
  3. "The Rithmatist" by Brandon Sanderson (Tor Teen)
  4. "The 5th Wave" by Rick Yancey (Penguin/Putnam Juvenile) 
  5. "Monument 14: Sky on Fire" by Emmy Laybourne (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends)
  6. "Earth Girl" by Janet Edwards (Prometheus Books /Pyr)
  7. "The Testing" by Joelle Charbonneau (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  8. "Steelheart" by Brandon Sanderson (Random House/Delacorte Press)
  9. "Siege and Storm" by Leigh Bardugo (Macmillan/Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)
  10. "The Eye of Minds" by James Dashner (Random House/Delacorte Press)
 
I've personally been really itching to read "Eleanore and Park" followed by "Splintered". Other than that, it's the first time I've ever even heard of the majority of these works!

What do you think? Have you read any of these tantalizing titles? Which book do you think is missing from this line up?








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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: "Fiendish" by Brenna Yovanoff





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Title:  Fiendish
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Genre: YA Supernatural
Publication: August 14, 2014
Pages: 341

Synopsis:

Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.

Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.


When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.






Not bad.

Unlike some of the complaints I've heard, I actually very much appreciated the personalities and dynamics of each character and feel like they didn't do too bad of a job reflecting the different elements each personality was supposed to represent.

Clementine was a decent heroine with a confusing past (if you can even call it a past) and an unsure future. Her mother is gone, her home is gone, nearly ten years of her life are gone and now she's come back to a brand new world and a brand new body to discover that, other than her two childhood friends, no one seems to remember that she ever existed. Her world is unsure, strange, and a bit on the creepy side. A crazy man lives across the street, there's a "too magical for its own good" hollow just a few pastures away, and people seem to be pleased with themselves for hating her.

Some great inclusion (without being over the top) of "witchy" elements such as the 5 pointed star, what each point represents, and then the tarot deck. A bit of a grittier and less fantastical depiction of magic, or the "craft" as its called, without getting too outrageous.

A great depiction of how blind and ignorant hate can get people carried away to doing awful things.

Was hoping for something a bit more robust, and was interested in learning more about each of the "humors", how they effected their people, and what each individual was actually capable of all around, but it didn't expound on that. The author didn't go into much detail about the connection between Clementine and Fisher, either, though they dreamed about each other from a young age and for years.

The romance between Clementine and Fisher actually seemed rather realistic considering their circumstances, individual personalities, and their connection to separate "humors". Their "spiritual" connection was never fully explained, though, and Fisher's behavior towards Clementine in the presence of others was quite teenagery in the beginning, though he seems to make up for it later. Again, would have liked a little more explanation about what in the world was going on with these two in particular.

Basically I would be expecting a second book, but I'm pretty sure this is a Stand-Alone, so I'm a bit disappointed not to get to learn more.

However, the book wasn't anywhere near horrible and I do quite enjoy Brenna Yovanoff's style. If there ever was a second book in this series, I would read it. I do also plan on reading her other works.

Certainly worth the read.

Until Next Blog,

Read On!


  Auggie is the 27 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk, a part-time Reference Librarian with a degree in Anthropology and a nearly completed Masters in Library Science. A bibliobibuli by nature and a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. One can normally find Auggie neck deep in reading, writing, or daydreaming (sometimes all three at once).  She's also been known to drink too much caffeine and eat too many lemon flavored sweets.
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Review: "The Forbidden Library" by Django Wexler





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Title: The Forbidden Library
Author: Django Wexler
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication: April 15, 2014
Pages: 376

Synopsis:

The Forbidden Library kicks off a brand new classic fantasy series perfect for fans of Coraline, Inkheart, and The Books of Elsewhere

Alice always thought fairy tales had happy endings. That--along with everything else--changed the day she met her first fairy

When Alice's father goes down in a shipwreck, she is sent to live with her uncle Geryon--an uncle she's never heard of and knows nothing about. He lives in an enormous manor with a massive library that is off-limits to Alice. But then she meets a talking cat. And even for a rule-follower, when a talking cat sneaks you into a forbidden library and introduces you to an arrogant boy who dares you to open a book, it's hard to resist. Especially if you're a reader to begin with. Soon Alice finds herself INSIDE the book, and the only way out is to defeat the creature imprisoned within.

It seems her uncle is more than he says he is. But then so is Alice.






I was a bit let down by this work. Though it's certainly not at all bad (actually a good read) I was expecting...well... more. I'm  happy that our main character is a determined young girl who is sure of herself (for the most part) and not dependent on others to help her figure out who she is and what she's after. I do wish that there had been more going on with the Library itself. The setting was so dark and mysterious! I was certain that as I learned more about the Library I would be surely drawn in to its magic and all of its whispering shadows.

Not so. The Library was SO dark and mysterious that even the reader never did find out very much about it, other than the fact that there were mysterious magical books, dark creepy corners, moving bookshelves, and a peculiar beastie watching over all of it. I could never get a proper minds eye view of what it was like... it just felt dark, musty, and full of old bookshelves that occasionally took it upon themselves to meander.

Despite the YA tag I felt that this was more for the Middlegrade market, though there were some very intense moments (drowning of or otherwise murdering of mythical animals for magical gain for example).

Great new twist on magical individuals being able to enter books for varying purposes. I did find this particular aspect of the story very intriguing, and there seem to be more books coming so I look forward to finding out exactly what's going on with all of the truths and mysteries that were not uncovered in the first work.

Somewhat reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland with the Young Girl (named Alice) following a talking furry animal into the unknown, accidentally stumbling into an alternate world,  and coming across an unexpected adventure  full of wonderous and dangerous creatures/individuals. There is also a giant grinning cat.

This is definitely not a "feel-good" magic book that leaves the reader feeling like they just went on an amazing adventure, that anything is possible, that evil can be conquered and good prevail! This is a book of magic that leaves the reader feeling as though they've just waded through a dank basement an inch deep in water, searching room after room to uncover answers to an important mystery yet finding only more questions and deeper water. Still enthralling, but certainly not cozy. 

Despite the above stated misgiving, and the somewhat confusing ending, I do plan on picking up the next book to find out what's going on. Plus, I am really rooting for our main character. I think she's pretty nifty.

Until Next Blog,

Read On!


  Auggie is the 27 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk, a part-time Reference Librarian with a degree in Anthropology and a nearly completed Masters in Library Science. A bibliobibuli by nature and a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. One can normally find Auggie neck deep in reading, writing, or daydreaming (sometimes all three at once).  She's also been known to drink too much caffeine and eat too many lemon flavored sweets.
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tori Review: "Half-Blood" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Title: Half-Blood
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Publication: October 18, 2011
Pages: 281


Synopsis

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals--well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.






Devouring books by Jennifer L. Armentrout has certainly become a hobby of mine as of late. Upon finishing her Lux series, I only was able to allow myself a three-book pause before I simply couldn’t take the waiting. I plopped down at the computer and ordered every book in her Covenant series knowing full well that I would have to own them all. Obsessive compulsive? Who me? Naw.

The prequel to the series, Daimon, was wonderfully constructed and left me itching to crack open the first book. However, I must say that I don’t think that it needed to be separated from the first book. It was an incredibly short read and could have easily been placed at the beginning of Half-Blood. But perhaps that was my own impatience as I waited the terribly long two days for the rest of the books to arrive. And no, I am not crazy. I’m just a dedicated book lover of the extremely quirky persuasion. Just so we are clear.

Half-Blood was a fast-paced excursion into the lives of the descendants of gods. Here’s the breakdown: god + human = pure blood descendent, pure blood + pure blood = pure blood descendent, pure blood + human = half blood. Needless to say, pures get to sit at the cool kid table if you get my drift. Halfs either prove themselves worthy of protecting pures or are destined to a life of mindless servitude. Them’s the brakes.

Enter Alexandria, or Alex to her friends. I very quickly found myself liking this character. She’s smart when she remembers to keep her mouth shut which is…let’s face it…a not large amount of the time. She’s sarcastic and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Gotta admit, I admire that in a girl. Alex has been away from the Covenant for three years when her mother is murdered and she finds herself back inside the elite school for descendants. She left behind friends and enemies alike and now she must prove that she has what it takes to stay. Armentrout created a character chockfull of some serious spunk who is absolutely ready to fight for her only chance at what she desperately wants: revenge.

Meet Aiden St. Delfi, a pure-blood and Alex’s crush since her tween years. Oh and did I mention, completely off limits to Alex as he is a pure? He is a fiercely responsible soldier-type who is dedicated to training Alex so that she does not end up a servant. It doesn’t take long before his rigid demeanor begins to waver and a crush worthy character begins to emerge. Then there is Seth, Apollyon and strongest half-blood in existence. His inhuman good looks do little to distract Alex from the fact that he is cocky and far too annoying for his own good.

I found that this book had a little bit of everything: a constant stream of edge of your seat moments, bits that tugged at my heart and had tears on the horizon, and characters so full of fire that I was transfixed. Now for those of you naysayers that are continuously saying that this book too closely parallels that of The Vampire Academy…I hate to say it…but Armentrout just does it better.

4/5 quills for Half-Blood. The second installment, Pure, is undoubtedly next on my reading list.

Happy Reading!


~ TORI

  Tori is a  24 year old tiny oddball of a woman who ardently loves rainy days and festive repartee. A college graduate, she holds a degree in communications with an emphasis on writing for media. Tori is currently an Assistant librarian working towards getting her Master's in Library Science. You will not find it surprising that this Auggie-Talk Co-Blogger is a passionate devotee of impulsive bookstore perusing and reading far past the point of exhaustion.



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