Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: The Cupcake Queen

Title: The Cupcake Queen
Author: Heather Hepler
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (September 17, 2009)
Rating: 7/10
Source: library

Penny's parents separate, and her mom moves them back to her small hometown and opens a cupcake bakery. This sweet tale deals with the baggage from the move and separation, as well as some mean girl action, a new friendship, and a lovely romance blossoming as well. It was cute, but still heartfelt and real. Definitely loved the cupcake descriptions, although I thought at the beginning it would play a larger part.

I loved the friendship between Penny and Tally, who is obsessed with Rock Paper Scissors (seriously.) It was just so realistic, the delicate balance of trying to become friends with someone new, and figuring out when you can relax and let your guard down. And Tally is awesome, with her small-town rebellion and 100% awesome boyfriend.

The romance had a light touch, but I was completely smitten with Marcus and his sad history and awesome dad. The parental issues were also handled very well, and both parents were presented fairly, which is always hard.

This was a fairly short book, and didn't have huge amounts of drama, but like the best cupcakes it was small, sweet and satisfying.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday 5/11

Debut novelist Kiki Hamilton takes readers from the gritty slums and glittering ballrooms of Victorian London to the beguiling but menacing Otherworld of the Fey in this spellbinding tale of romance, suspense, and danger.

The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.

Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty… 

Historical fiction + faeries = awesome. Fact.

"Waiting On" Wednesday is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review: The Grimm Legacy

Title: The Grimm Legacy
Author: Polly Shulman
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (July 8, 2010)
Rating: 8.5/10
Source: library

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: Into the Wild Nerd Yonder

Title: Into the Wild Nerd Yonder
Author: Julie Halpern
Publisher:Feiwel & Friends; (September 29, 2009)
Rating: 8/10
Source: library

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 5/4

Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.

The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

Do you like epic fantasy? Do you enjoy powerful women, amazing world-building, dark plans and danger all around? The first two novels in this series, The Demon King and The Exiled Queen were absolutely wonderful. I've requested this one from netGalley, but I haven't been approved yet. Oof, I don't know if I can hold out until the publish date!

I listened to the first as an audiobook, and it was amazingly well-done. One of the few where I think the book actually benefits from being in audio format. I read the second in book format because we got the hardback in before the cd book and I couldn't wait if you paid me. It definitely was great as a book as well, but I think I'll check out the audiobook and listen to it before I read The Gray Wolf Throne in order to get into the mood! 

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:  

Notices were posted everywhere that contained useful directions such as THIS WAY TO THE DENOUEMENT or NO BOOTS TO BE WORN IN THE BACKSTORY and even DO NOT FEED THE AMBIGUITY. The contractors were making last-minute adjustments. Six were arranging the clouds, two were wiring the punctuation to the main distribution board, three were trying to round up a glottal stop that wasn't meant to be there, and two others had just slit a barrage balloon full of atmosphere.
     (p. 30), One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde

 If you are a fan of books, publishing, or just meta humor, then the Thursday Next series is for you! If not... it might just drive you crazy. :)

These books are hilarious and complicated, and I'm super excited to read the newest release. I'm sometimes slow to read adult fiction, even books I'm anticipating, just because there are so many YA books to read and I feel like as a youth librarian and YA blogger it is more my job. But books are not just a job to me, so I still make time for the adult fiction. Just a bit slow. 

Review: Brightly Woven

Title: Brightly Woven
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: EgmontUSA (March 23, 2010)
Rating: 7.5/10
Source: library

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: Entwined

Title: Entwined
Author: Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (March 29, 2011)
Rating: 9/10
Source: library