{this is me messing around}
{end of messing around}

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cover Reveal: Persistence of Vision by Liesel Hill

"In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away..."
Futuristic! Dystopia! Time traveling! Gah! Too much awesome stuff! My head's exploding!

Where do I even begin? This book definitely sounds like something I would read; not only does it sound original (Hives? Must find out more!), but I also expect that it'll be full of adventure, which is what I think a lot of fiction is lacking these days. It's categorized as New Adult, meaning it reads like a YA novel but features slightly older characters. 

And yet another gorgeous cover. Very dark, very mysterious, very eye-catching. Especially the spiderweb design on that dude's face. 

I wish I had that on my face. (Haha, just kidding.) 

Persistence of Vision is slated for release before the end of the year, so make sure you keep an eye out for it! 

While you're at it, check out author Liesel K. Hill here:

Blog: Musings on Fantasia : musingsonfantasia.blogspot.com
Twitter account: twitter.com/lkhillbooks

Happy reading, booknerds! ^.^

Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: Purity by Jackson Pearce


Author: Jackson Pearce
Released: April 14, 2012
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 218 (hardcover)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
"A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.
Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity."

There's a plethora of YA books centered on a teenage girl's quest to lose her virginity. This teenage girl's quest is a little bit different.

On her deathbed, Shelby's mother made Shelby promise three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. As Shelby grows into teenagehood, her life is taken over by trying to keep the Promises: accomplishing the liberating acts on her "life list", and "obeying" her father by finding loopholes to his rules. Things take a twist for the worse when Shelby's father signs her up for the Princess Ball, a father-daughter dance in which the daughter must make a purity vow--meaning no sex until marriage. Completely freaking out (like any teenager would), Shelby discovers a loophole to the vow: lose her virginity before she takes the vow, and the vow becomes void.

As far as losing-virginity stories go, Purity's synopsis is a breath of fresh air. Purposefully losing your virginity as a promise to your mother? It's original, completely nutty, and totally hilarious. Unfortunately, the book itself is disappointing compared to the premise.

Many aspects of the story were cute, although be warned: despite the fluffy synopsis, this book covers some pretty heavy subjects. Shelby's strained relationship with her father rang true to many parent-teenager relationships out in the real world, and the father-daughter journey was, although difficult, very real and very hopeful. The book also deals with Shelby's struggles with living without a mother, God, faith, the meaning of love, and what feels like dozens of other themes at the same time. And for me, the was the problem. There are so many themes that force their way into the story that they become jumbled, and in the end, miss their points.

The character development wasn't the best for me, either. While I can understand that Shelby's life is ruled by the Promises, I just couldn't completely connect with her. It was almost as if she was just a character who played her part for this book and this book alone; I can't really imagine her life before Purity, and I certainly can't imagine it after. Same with Shelby's friends; Jonas just fell completely flat for me, and Ruby, while interesting, wasn't that interesting. And Jackson Pearce can write interesting characters, I know she can! Sisters Red and Sweetly proved that. The characters in Purity just somehow missed their marks.

But no need to completely give up hope. The story itself is quite sweet and does have a healthy dose of humour. And in the end, it's not about the sex; it's just a teenage girl's quest to find herself, and there isn't any teenager who can't relate to it. For a short and sweet story, this book is definitely an option. Just don't expect to find something too amazing.

My Rating:
3 Brains.

P.S. High school. No time to read. No time to blog. I is very confuzzled. Expect fewer weekly posts from now on, fellow booknerds, but fear not and stick around! ^.^

Friday, September 7, 2012

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)

Seraphina (Seraphina #1)
Author: Rachel Hartman
Released: July 10, 2012
Genre: YA fantasy
Pages: 467 (hardcover)
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
"Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life."


Fans of epic fantasy: looking for the story that can compare to the fantastical worlds of say, Graceling or Eragon?. This is it, booknerds. This is that book that meets your high demands of:

  • dragons
  • a medieval/Renaissance setting
  • long and foreign-sounding names 
  • enough historical background to fill a textbook
  • a trillion bajillion characters
  • royal/political intrigue
I had you at the dragons, didn't I?

Seraphina takes place in that oh-so-familiar medieval fantasy world, yet manages to be both deeply original and interesting. But the dragons of this world have a unique twist: they are highly intelligent. In this world, dragons are the leaders of mathematical and scientific advances.  However, their rational, mechanical minds are completely incapable of understanding human emotion and art. At the beginning of our story, the dragons and humans have been bound by a peace treaty with the kingdom of Goredd for 40 years. Dragons have been taking form as humans in order to walk among the people and study their perplexing ways, but an intense hatred for dragons still lives among humans. Meanwhile, Seraphina Dombegh is a seemingly impossible monstrosity: half-human, half dragon. After spending a lifetime hiding her secret, she joins the royal court as a musician and gets herself wrapped in a draconion/royal murder mystery, along with the curious Prince Kiggs. As the political plots thicken, Seraphina is dragged into a situation where the two sides she belongs to, the dragons and the humans, are pitted against each other. 

The setting of this book is absolutely fabulous. I'm pretty much blown away at Rachel Hartman's world-building in her debut (DEBUT!) novel. The kingdom of Goredd and the surrounding kingdoms of this fictional world come to life as if they actually exist, because the amount of detail put into this book is amazing. Fictional neighbourhoods, religions, holidays and cultures all pop out of the book as if they're coming into existence right before our eyes. 

Same with the mythology; the dragonlore is fresh and unique and fleshed out. Instead of being the animalistic beasts they usually are, these dragons are logical, highly intelligent, and to be honest, a heck of a lot more interesting than their counterparts. The other characters are similarly unique: Princess Glisselda is giggly but regal, Orma is an imperfect (but improving) father figure, and Kiggs is sharp and highly likable. 

Seraphina, on the other hand, I found hard to connect to at first. I don't really know what it was that made her seem so generic to me. Perhaps it was the fact that she is so similar to so many "strong" female YA characters: because she's so protective of her half-dragon self, she appears closed off and prickly and lonely. A very Katniss-like character (forgive me for the comparison) that feels a little overdone. BUT, as the book went on, Seraphina grew on me a lot and I found that her character definitely made sense for her predicament. I could empathize with her loneliness, plus, she's more likable once she begins making friends with Kiggs, Glisselda, Lars, etc. As this is going to be the first in a series, there's a lot of room for character growth, and hopefully by the end, Seraphina will be a little more sympathy-worthy but just as badass.

Rachel Hartman's debut novel is fantastically fantastical and wonderfully unique, and I'm sure that future books in the series will reveal an all-in-all epic and wonderfully crafted story. 

My Rating:
4.5 Brains.

Recommended if:
-you are a fan of epic fantasy (comme moi!)
-you liked Graceling or similar books set in a medieval/Renaissance time
-you like a little bit of mystery
-you have a thing for dragon/monster/mythical creature mythology

P.S. School started. Less time to blog. Less time to read. More time to study. I is confuzzled and sad.

P.P.S. If you have read Seraphina already (ONLY IF YOU'VE READ IT!) and haven't checked out the Seraphina Wiki yet, do! It's pretty fantabulous. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...