Saturday, July 30, 2011

Author interview: Anne Tibbets

I'd like to thank Anne Tibbets, author of the Young Adult Fantasy novel The Beast Call, for letting me host an interview with her. You can view my review for The Beast Call here. Now, the interview:

1. I loved the setting in The Beast Call, so I'm curious, where did you get your inspiration for it?

Thank you! I tried to picture a medieval time and draw from that. I knew I wanted Dray, to come from a farming community, but I also wanted there to be more exotic locations, when it came time to travel.  I literally chose the characters first, figured out where they would be from, and drew a map on a scratch piece of paper so I could keep track of where everybody was.

2. What was the hardest part about writing The Beast Call? Was it sticking with it all the way through, forming the characters, something else?

The hardest part about writing this particular book was the battle scenes.  I drew up maps, laid them out on a table and used chess pieces to move around the characters so I could visualize how the battle would play out. It turned out to be quite fun!

3. Can you describe your writing in three words?

You know, this is a good question.  It's hard for a writer to think of themselves this way. Ask who I am personally, that's easy, ask about my writing? That depends on the book and the day! The best answer I can give you, is that when I was writing The Beast Call, my writing was: Paced, Dramatic, Musical...Or, at least, that's what I tried to do with it.

4. Did you expect The Beast Call to end the way it did, or did it change as you went along?

I knew from the very beginning where and how it was going to end and where the next book would start.  In fact, at one point I got impatient writing it, I just wanted to get to the end, so I wrote the last battle and put it aside until I caught up to it, so I would stop obsessing about it.

5. What was the best part of writing The Beast Call?

The book I wrote before The Beast Call was a middle grade time travel adventure called "The Amulet Chronicles," and I wrote it with a very dear friend of mine, Erika Ely Lewis.  Even though it was a blast to work with someone else, and the concept of time travel really interested me, I have to admit, writing by myself, for young adult, in pure fantasy was like finding myself. It was like finding THE perfect fitting, best feeling, hottest looking pair of shoes and getting to wear them everyday.  It felt right. That was the best part, finding my true voice. I'd like to think my happiness comes across in the writing.

6. What's in your to-read pile at the moment?

I've just started 'Lor Mandella - Destruction from Twins' by L. Carroll which I'm totally digging. Up next is 'A Dance with Dragons' the 5th 'Game of Thrones' installment by George RR Martin, and after that it's 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens, because I saw the mini-series on BBC and was quite embarrassed to realize I'd never actually read the book. That's breaking one of my cardinal rules: Always read the book FIRST! Books are always better, don't you agree?

If you haven't read The Beast Call yet, you definitely should try to get your hands on it!  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WoW - July 27th

WoW is a weekly meme I participate in, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  It stands for Waiting on Wednesday, and the point is to share to the Blogging world what book you're most looking forward to that week.  This week, I can't wait to read Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stoll!

Summary (from Goodreads): Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.
Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.

Why I want to read it: If you've read Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness, this one speaks for itself. I can't wait to read the next book in this great series!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave a link in the comments!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Beast Call

The Beast Call by Anne Tibbets

Publisher: Premier Digital Publishing LLC
Release date: May 4th 2011
Source: For review from author
Summary (from Goodreads): Seventeen year old Dray is no ordinary human. But possessing a magical capability to talk to animals in a land where magic is feared, is dangerous. When Dray's adventure hungry brother leaves the family farm to join a rebel militia, Dray follows him, but as Dray discovers her natural warrior capabilities, and word of her magical talents are discovered by the rebel General, Dray becomes an intricate part of the revolution, and the evil King Nuro would like nothing more than to see her destroyed.

My review:

The beast call was a very interesting take on fantasy, one that was not only refreshing, but also enjoyable.

I love the setting. I'm not sure quite how to describe it. . . Dystopian, probably? But definitely less like books such as Matched and Delirium. If you've read Graceling, the setting reminds me of that, and Graceling was a wonderful book. For those of you who haven't read Graceling, I'd say that it's like it's in a time long ago that never happened. I really hope that makes sense.

I loved Dray, the main character. Not only did her feelings really come through to me, but they also made sense. I've read other books where the main heroine is much stronger than her family, but in them, she never feels bad about it. I think that it's not very realistic like that, so I definitely liked that Dray felt bad about being better at fighting than her brother. She wasn't completely confident in her abilities all the time, but she would always at least try rather than just say that she couldn't do it. I admired her for that.

The only thing that made me take half a star away was the plot. It had an amazing climax and excellent beginning, but in the middle I felt it lagging just a small bit. However, it definitely was not enough to turn me away from it, as I read it all in just a few sittings.

I haven't seen The Beast call around the blogosphere too much, even though I should see it more. If you haven't heard of this one yet, it is one to read, for sure!

My rating:
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 4/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Writing: 4.5/5

Friday, July 22, 2011


Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Vigue

Publisher:Simon Pulse
Source: Received as a gift
Release date: September 7th 2010
Pages: 470
Summary (from Goodreads): For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun.
Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated — and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose.
Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself — and her heart.

My review:

I honestly don't know how to start, as there is a lot to say.  I have quite a few mixed feelings about Crusade, but enjoyed it overall.

The characters were all really good.  I particularly liked the main character, Jenn, along with all the other hunters on her team.  Jenn was very easy to relate to, because she has such realistic thoughts.  There are so many people in the world that think that they are nothing special next to others, and that's what Jenn is like.  Another hunter in her team is Antonio, and few people know that he is a vampire.  He has trained himself so that he doesn't get injured by holy water and such like other vampires do, and can control his bloodlust.  He has a hatred for other vampires, although he is one himself. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about him, because he is so different.  I can't quite say that I love him as I do other boys in books, but I certainly don't like him, either.

At some points the writing in the book was smooth, almost poetic, and at other points it seemed a bit choppy.  I'm not sure if that was the difference in the two authors or not; it's hard to say.  Most of the time, the description was perfect, not giving too much or too little. The only thing that I had problems with was the plot.  In the beginning, everything was happening really slowly.  There was nothing really in it to bring you on into the story.  I had to push through that until I got to where the plot started getting interesting, and even then it wasn't as good as I thought it would be.  Later on, at the climax, it lasted so long that it started to get boring, and it didn't explain it well enough that I really understood very well what was going on.

Crusade has a really good take on vampires, I found, that was quite original.  Even if you don't like vampire books, I'd suggest picking this one up and giving it a try just for the little twist.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WoW - July 20th

WoW is a weekly meme I participate in, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  It stands for Waiting on Wednesday, and the point is to share to the Blogging world what book you're most looking forward to that week.  This week, I can't wait to read Possess by Gretchen McNeil!

Summary (from Goodreads): Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

Why I want to read it: Ooh, sounds creepy.  And I haven't read very many books with demons in them; this sounds like a particularly good one.  I love the cover, too!

What re you wanting on? Leave a link in the comments!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cover Crazy - July 18th

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted at The Book Worms to show which cover you're going crazy over!  This week, I love the cover for Hourglass by Myra McEntire.

What I like about it:
-She's walking on a wall.  Looking at that somehow makes me feel slightly lightheaded (in a good way).
-I love how simple her clothes are; it is perfect with the intricate wall designs.
-I like the way her hair and dress falls towards the floor.

What cover are you going crazy for? Leave a link in the comments!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

In My Mailbox - July 17th

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted at The Story Siren, in which you show the books you got that week.  They can be borrowed from friends, bought, or been taken out from the library.  This week, I got 3 book secondhand (though I don't think that one should count, since I plan on giving one to a friend; However, I'll probably read it first):

What did you get in your mailbox? Leave a link in the comments!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Possession by Elana Johnson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Realease date: June 7th 2011
Pages: 416
Source: Won from Ally Condie
Summary (from Goodreads): Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

My review:

I'll tell you before starting, this review is either going to be really long or really short.  I'm not sure which yet. Why? Because I have really mixed feelings about Possession. Don't get me wrong, I did like it. But. . . Well, at the same time it was repetitive and confusing.

Vi started out as a great character. She was confident, bold, and strong. She did what she wanted with no fear of the consequences. When you first see her, she's walking in the park after dark with a boy. Completely against the Rule; A hovercopter comes and picks her up because it's the eighth illegal thing she's done. She is then taken to the Thinkers, the bad guys. I found that the world she was in was very well developed. However, lots of things were left unexplained and I spent the whole book wondering what some of the tech-type stuff was.

As I said earlier, Vi was a great character in the beginning, for her good actions. Later on, though, she started to get a slight bit whiny, but I still rather admired her for her courage and strength. She is a very in depth character that I do love to read about. Jag, on the other hand, was just plain annoying. I mean that in the best way possible because he was actually a realistic character, but he left her so much that it started to get repetitive. He'd leave, she'd strike out on her own for a bit and then realize just how much she needed him and eventually found Jag again.  I honestly don't have any thoughts about the love triangle in Possession, because I don't know how to describe it. It was definitely a different sort of love triangle, at least, which is good compared to all the ones that are the same.

I liked the writing. It rather reminds me of Matched, but not quite as poetic (hard to beat Matched on that level!). The description was perfect and crisp. Once again, I really got a sense of the world  in Possession. I, of course, loved the setting. Actually, I almost always like dystopian settings.  This one reminded me of Matched, along with the writing. It also seemed a little like Delirium.  This didn't really help in the originality, because I felt like there was nothing new, like I'd read it before.  That made it slightly less enjoyable because, well, it feels like everyone is trying to get the same big buzz as The Hunger Games.

There were two things that I didn't like.  The first was the plot.  It was very repetitive; they got caught, they escaped, the got caught, they escaped. . .  The climax wasn't very exciting as nothing even remotely interesting happened, and I didn't understand part of it, so it left me confused and unsatisfied.  That's the other thing that I didn't like, the confusion.  For the whole book, I was trying to figure out what exactly they were doing, but I couldn't quite figure it out. It seemed to just sort of trail off, especially towards the end.

 Well, it turned out that that was pretty long, but that's how I feel about the book.  The review did seem more negative than I really felt about the book, and if you like dystopian novels, you may want to pick this one up.

My rating:
Characters: 4/5
Orginality: 3/5
Plot: 2.5/5
Writing: 4.5/5

In total,

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blog Award: Versatile Blogger!

Big thanks to Laura at Bookworm Extraordinaire and Jessica at Curled up With Books for both giving me the Versatile Blogger Award!

I could do this two times, but I can't come up with enough facts or Bloggers, so I'll just do it once. I need to give seven facts about myself, then award other bloggers the award. . . So, seven facts about myself:

1. I am really picky before I decide to buy a book.  I will stand in a book store for hours and hours, trying to decide what book to buy.  There are too many choices!  I also once decided not to buy a book because I didn't like the font.

2. I write.  A lot.  I can't decide what genre I like the most, so I experiment quite a bit.  I've tried dystopian, I've tried paranormal, I've tried fantasy.  I think that contemporary is right for me, though.  I've got so many ideas, but they never seem to fit together. . . Oh well, I guess I'll work on it.

3.  I'm really bad at making decisions.  You can probably tell by my first two facts in this list.

4. I check my favourite book blogs about 15 times everyday.  Yes, 15 times.  Apparently I spend too much time on the computer not writing reviews.  ;)

5. I have two of the most adorable chinchillas ever.  Here's a picture of one of them, when she was a baby:

Cute, right?  Her name is Smokey.

6. I'm right handed, but I eat left handed. It's the only thing I do with my left hand. Though sometimes I wish I were left handed just because it's so different.

7. I love rock climbing, rappelling, canyoneering and camping.  They're all so much fun!

So, the 5 blogs to award this to.  Honestly, I can't come up with that many, so I'll just post this for now and if I think of any more then I will just post them here.  Sorry!

1. The Elifylop
2. Random Girl Book Blog
3. Absolute Forest of Words

*Please note that I will no longer be accepting awards. Sorry!*

Also, today is the release of the last Harry Potter movie! Hurray! Can't wait to see it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blog Awards

I{"m sorry to say that I won't be accepting Blog Awards anymore.  However, I will give out a round of thanks to everyone who has given me one, which includes Laura at Bookworm Extraordinaire and Jessica at Curled up With Books for both giving me the Versatile Blogger Award, Vy at Vy's Blog for giving me the Sylish Blogger Award, and Magic of Reading for the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.  Thanks so much to all those people for reading my blog and awarding it!

Since I received the Versatile Blogger twice before I put up this announcement I'll accept it, so look out for my post on that one tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WoW - July 13th

WoW is a weekly meme I participate in, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  It stands for Waiting on Wednesday, and the point is to share to the Blogging world what book you're most looking forward to that week!  This week, I can't wait to read Bloodlines by Richelle Mead!

Summary (from Goodreads): When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Why I want to read it: I loved Rishelle Mead`s other series, Vampire Academy, and I can`t wait to read more by her!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

Publisher: Atria
Pages: 354
Release date: August 30th 2005
Source: Library
Summary (from Goodreads): It started out as a simple hike in the Utah canyonlands on a warm Saturday afternoon. For Aron Ralston, a twenty-seven-year-old mountaineer and outdoorsman, a walk into the remote Blue John Canyon was a chance to get a break from a winter of solo climbing Colorado's highest and toughest peaks. He'd earned this weekend vacation, and though he met two charming women along the way, by early afternoon he finally found himself in his element: alone, with just the beauty of the natural world all around him. It was 2:41 P.M. Eight miles from his truck, in a deep and narrow slot canyon, Aron was climbing down off a wedged boulder when the rock suddenly, and terrifyingly, came loose. Before he could get out of the way, the falling stone pinned his right hand and wrist against the canyon wall.
And so began six days of hell for Aron Ralston.

My review:

If you've looked around my blog, you'll notice that I don't normally read books like this one.  Between a Rock and a Hard Place was a book that I picked up because of my love of rappelling, rock climbing, and canyoneering.  I was intrigued by the story of Aron Ralston, so I decided this one was worth a try.

There was only one thing that I didn't like about this book, and that was the stories of his past.  For the first few, I really liked them and found them very interesting.  Later, however, I found that they dragged on for too long.  There were things in it that I didn't feel were necessary to know to enjoy the rest of the book. I just wanted to get through that sort of thing and get back to him in the present, trapped by the boulder; that was the part that I wanted to read about.  Reading these other stories made me feel as though he should have expected bad luck to come his way.  He showed a careless attitude to what he did before that, as though he didn't care if he was killed.  For example, earlier in his life he had thrown rocks at a bear, almost lost his backpack with all his supplies as he tried to throw it over a ledge, and created an avalanche that almost killed him and two of his friends (who never talked to him again).

There's not much to say about the characters, as there is only one that is there for more than one character, and that is Aron.  As I mentioned earlier, he did some. . . Harmful things before in his life, and I don't really think that they even changed him.  Or at least, they didn't seem to. There's not much else that I can say about  him, other than that I felt so sorry for what happened to him.

As for the writing, it was really good.  There was so much detail that sometimes it was a bit much.  I would give an example, but they would all be too long. All I can say is that there was a lot.  This did help me imagine what was happening in the book.  I can't wait to see the movie, 127 Hours, and I do recommend this one, though probably none of my readers would be interested in it.

*I was going to do a rating as I normally do with the ratings for plot, characters, originality and writing but I would have a lot of trouble doing it for this book, so I'm just going to do a total:*

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cover Crazy - July 11th

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted at The Book Worms to show which cover you're going crazy over!  This week, I love the cover for Hallowed by Cynthia Hand!

What I love:
-The similarity between it and Unearthly, the first one, that makes it easy to recognize
-The intricate font of the title, and the feather coming from it
-The water behind her that isn't too noticeable when you first look at it

What cover are you going crazy for?  Leave a link in the comments!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In My Mailbox - July 10th

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted at The Story Siren, in which you show the books you got that week.  They can be borrowed from friends, bought, or been taken out from the library.  This week, I got:

Crossed - Ally Condie (so excited!)

What did you get in your mailbox?  Leave a link in the comments!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Quick Note

Sorry for lack of posts and reviews recently! I've been really busy and haven't been doing much reading recently.  However, I have lots of posts set up for the next couple weeks, which will hopefully help me catch up a bit!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In My Mailbox - July 3rd

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted at The Story Siren, in which you show the books you got that week.  They can be borrowed from friends, bought, or been taken out from the library.  This week, I got quite few new books.

First off, I got a Kindle, and while that doesn't really count as a book, I'm including it anyway!

For review, I got:

1. The Beast Call -Anne Tibbets
2. Quest of the Demon - M.L. Sawyers
3. She Smells the Dead - E.J. Stevens
4. Spirit Storm - E.J. Stevens

And I won a contest at Ally Condie's blog a while ago and it recently arrived:

What did you get in your mailbox? Leave a link in the comments!