Howl's Moving Castle
The Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham
The Magician's Nephew
The Lord of the Rings
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set
The Once and Future King
Flame Of Recca, Volume 1 (Flame of Recca
The Return of the King
The Two Towers
Signet Classics The Inferno
Picture of Dorian Gray
The Book Thief
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Hangman's Daughter
Alice I Have Been

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: Grim edited by Christine Johnson

I love fairy tales, even dark ones, so I was pretty excited to see a YA author collection of Grimm's tales retold. The contributing authors are Ellen Hopkins, Julie Kagawa, Amanda Hocking, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Christine Johnson, Jeri Smith Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, and Jon Skrovron. Whew, what a list!

Some of the stories, as can be expected in any anthology, were more memorable than others. I thought I would share a little about a few of my favorites and let you investigate the rest if you're interested.

The first story that caught my attention and made me smile was "Figment" by Jeri Smith-Ready. It revolves around a small stuffed cat that brings luck to whomever owns it and believes in it. It's written from the cat Figment's point of view. It gave me feels. Figment is passed onto a boy after his father dies. His father, incidentally, was a washed up rock star who never even knew his son. At first the son feels slighted, but he gradually grows to love Figment. I won't spoil it from there, but it was definitely a favorite!

"A Real Boy" by Claudia Gray was another story that I adored. A scientist in the future creates a robot with AI so good that he could almost pass for human, which is also, incidentally, forbidden. She places her apprentice in charge of him, and her apprentice is startled to find that she likes him. LIKES him, likes him. The robot (I've forgotten his name, sorry!) is also bound by certain rules that are reminiscent of Asimov's. Their affection is unusual, but the robot's seeming innocence is so endearing! You'll have to read to hear the rest!

The last one that really spoke to me was "Beauty and the Chad" by Sarah Rees Brennan. It's a play on "Beauty and the Beast," of course, but it was a very original tongue-in-cheek interpretation that cracked me up in places. The "beast" resents being called that and tells Beauty that it's rude and to call him Chad instead. Chad is also just the current of many beasts who have lived in this castle with this curse, and he was a frat boy in college before he was cursed. His style and mannerisms contrast so well with the fairy tale manners of the rest of the characters that I couldn't help but smile. This was my favorite story of the bunch, and truthfully, I'd have been more than happy to read an entire book told this way. It was great!

Though I'd give the three stories above a 10 out of 10, overall, I'd give the book a 7 out of 10. Some stories left me cringing, and some were just not interesting enough for me to remember well. As a whole, though, it's a really fun read, especially if you're familiar with the original tales. If you're not, you may find yourself hunting down what each story was based upon as you read. I recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Happy New Year!

My first book of the year is A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. Now, I'll be honest. I totally picked the book up because of  hardcore cover lust. I mean, look at it! It's totally swoon worthy!

Of course, I couldn't go on cover alone. I'm a little title judgy, too. Is that a thing? I think it should be. Some titles just scream "I'm a whiny teen romance!" and I was really afraid that this would be one of them. That's so not my thing.

Thankfully, the cover flap description had me at hello. This book revolves around Marguerite, an artistic teen girl living with a wildly scientific genius family. Her parents have just completed creating a device called a Firebird, which is a necklace that transports the wearer into versions of themselves in other dimensions. We also know from the beginning that the device was stolen by Paul, a grad student who worked closely with her parents on the device, and who may have also had a hand in killing Marguerite's father.

Together with another of her parents' assistants, Theo, Marguerite begins hopping dimensions in search of Paul and the answers he holds about her father's death. From London, to Russia, back to the United States, and the middle of the sea, we follow Marguerite, Theo, and Paul through their interdimensional journeys.

I would so love to tell you more, but I just won't ruin it for you. For those of you who need a quick start to stay interested -- this book definitely has it. The pace remains quick throughout most of the book, and I really had trouble finding a place where I thought, "Yeah, this is a good spot to stop," because it seemed like I was always in the middle of something.

The characters are beautifully subtle, and the writing is exquisite. I found myself backtracking to reread certain parts just because I loved the way Gray wrote them. And seriously, I can't stop staring at the cover. If you want a little more insight into the cover and want to see some other versions that were considered (and in my opinion, equally beautiful), hop over to this post on EpicReads. 

Overall, I give this book a 10 out of 10, and I can't wait for the next book!

I will be back within the next couple of days with my next review. Happy Reading!