08/31/10



Book Review

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Release Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 496
Source: BEA/Publisher
Interest: Author
Challenge: None
Buy the Book: Amazon|Barnes & Noble

Magic is dangerous–but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by–and torn between–two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

Summary from Amazon.com

I love Clare’s The Mortal Instruments…. so when I first heard that she was coming out with a new series, that was a prequel… I just knew it was going to be awesome. And it was! Dare I say I even loved it more than The Mortal Instruments!

The Infernal Devices is set in Victorian London, which I’ve found, is a time period that I absolutely cannot get enough of. It’s such an fascinating time period to read about…. not that Clockwork Angel is a history lesson of any sorts, but the ambiance of the setting is something that really made this novel even more impressing. Such rich details!

Being a fan of The Mortal Instruments, I delighted in the backstory and history of the Shadowhunters and the appearance one of my favorite characters from TMI, Magnus Bane! Clare does an excellent job explaining the history of the Shadowhunters in TMI, but to actually see their history in The Infernal Devices… it was brilliant! I hope to learn more about my favorite Shadowhunters (from TMI) by witnessing where they came from.

The characterization in this novel was excellent, that is one of the things that I think Clare does exceptionally well… create memorable and complex characters. Tessa, while quiet in her courage, is a character that I couldn’t help but have admiration for. And the boys… Will and Jem are are definitely two reasons why I love this book. I can’t wait to see what happens to them in the rest of the series!

I just loved everything about it. Absolutely everything. It’s such an easy book to read, it’s entertaining and engaging… the characters are awesome and you can’t help but feel like your being transported to a different time and place. I really believe fans of TMI are going to love this series! And new readers are going to love it as well!

08/30/10



Book Review

Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick

Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick

Release Date: June 22, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 264
Source: Publisher
Interest: Summary
Challenge: None
Buy the Book: Amazon|Barnes & Noble

Claire is a #hopelessromantic. Lottie is determined to set up her BFF with Mr. Perfect. Will wants his #secretcrush to finally notice him. Bennett is a man with a plan.

Claire can’t believe it when her dream guy starts following her on Twitter. She never thought he noticed her, and suddenly he seems to understand her better than almost anyone.

But the Twitterverse can be a confusing place, especially when friends act differently online than they do in person. Things get even more complicated when Claire realizes she’s falling for someone else, the last person she ever would have expected….

Told in an innovative format combining tweets, emails, and blogs, Tweet Heart is a contemporary romantic comedy that will set your heart atwitter.

I loved the set-up this novel… being a Twitter addict myself, I found that aspect to be very unique. However that did lead to the novel being read very quickly, but I don’t necessarily consider that a bad thing.

The plot was engaging enough, if not a little bit predictable, I think any reader would be able to see the outcome of this story before it happens, but it’s still fun to read! With the novel being in tweet format it was hard to really ‘know’ the characters. The characters did represent todays teens in a realistic way, but at best they seemed two dimensional. I’d have to say out of the four characters, the main character, Claire was my least favorite. My favorite would be Bennett, he actually surprised me by the end of the story.

Overall, Tweet Heart is a quick, fun and simple read. If you looking for something entertaining but not too deep, this would be a great book for you. My one word description would be; cute!

08/29/10



Uncategorized

In My Mailbox (94)

Welcome to In My Mailbox! You can find out how to participate and the “official” details on the IMM page.

IMM is a meme I started here at The Story Siren with some inspiration from Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

The idea behind IMM was not only to put new books on your radar but to also encourage blogger interaction. IMM explores the weekly contents of my mailbox & books bought. And sometimes other fun goodies.

Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you’ve bought or books that you’ve gotten at the library.


I really wanted to do a video blog this week, but I just didn’t have the time today…. so I snapped a few pictures instead.

This weeks IMM is for two weeks work of books!

For Review:

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
Mistress of the Storm by Melanie Welsh
Getting the Girl by Susan Juby
Secrets of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway
As You Wish by Jackson Pearce
Empty by Suzanne Weyn
My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
Love Drugged by James Klise

And also for review (not pictured above):

Bought:

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Last weekend I also attended the PAYA Festival. Here are the goodies I got there…. I took some books with me…. but I bought a lot of books too!

Books I bought at PAYA:

Watersmeet by Ellen Jensen Abbot
Rae by Chelsea Rae Swiggett
We Hear the Dead by Dianne Salerni
Struts and Frets by Jon Skovron
The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter

If you’d like to share your IMM posts, please be sure to sign the link list below!

For example:
Name: The Story Siren
URL: http://www.thestorysiren.com/in-my-mailbox-1000

Dear Story Siren: Special Dear Publisher Edition (HarperCollins)

If you’ve visited The Story Siren, you might be familiar with a feature I do occasionally called “Dear Story Siren.” If you not familiar with the feature, basically readers submit questions… personal questions, questions about blogging, author interview, publisher interaction, reviews, etc. It’s my way of sharing some of the things I’ve learned during my blogging adventure. That being said, I am in no way a blogging expert, but I’d like to think I’ve picked a few things up along the way.

A lot of the questions I get have to do with publisher interaction. This is something that I think is very important for a blogger that is actively receiving review copies from publishers. I know that at a blogger myself, I want to continue to improve those relationships and be as beneficial to the publishers and authors as I can. The majority of the time I don’t know the answers to these questions. I have my assumptions, but who knows if those are correct.

In turn, I was inspired to do something a little different with “Dear Story Siren.” I’ll be doing a special edition of “Dear Story Siren” geared specifically toward blogger/publisher interactions. I’ve contacted several publishing houses with a set number of questions to be answered, and I’ll be featuring a different publisher each post.

Past Dear Publisher Posts:

Penguin
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Today’s blogger/publisher interaction questions are from Harper Collins. Imprints: Amistad, Balzer + Bray, Collins, Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Children’s Books, HarperFestival, HarperTeen, Katherine Tegen Books, Rayo & Walden Pond Press.

What should I include in my review copy request?

I know it sounds obvious, but please include your mailing address, even if you’ve provided it to me previously. It’s also really helpful to have current blog statistics, especially if this is your first time putting in a request or it’s been a while since we’ve corresponded. A line or two about your blog, how long you’ve been blogging, number of page views, followers, etc.

Optional: will you post your review on other websites? Are you interested in additional materials (i.e. giveaways, author interviews, book trailers, etc.)

When is the best time to post my review?

Anytime within a month of the on sale date is ideal. Any earlier, and it’s too soon for readers to find the book in their local store, library, etc. However, if you’d like to post in the meantime that you’re excited to read the book (IMM style), or you’ve read it and loved it and will post the review later, that’s totally fine.

Do publishers want to be sent reviews of titles I’ve bought?

Sure!

Do publishers want to be sent reviews of titles that have been on the shelves for a while

If the book has been out for a year or more, we probably aren’t actively looking for reviews, but it’s still nice to see the book getting covered!

Is it okay to have a contest for an arc that I’ve gotten from a publicists?

Usually it’s fine to have a contest for an ARC after you’ve reviewed the book, and we’d love to know if you do!

How many months do you like to see someone blogging before they can request an advance readers copy?

It depends. Anywhere from 6 months to a year, but there are always exceptions and we take into consideration the quality and frequency of reviews, comments with each post, and followers.

What criteria does a publisher look for before they will send you an advance readers copy?

See previous question. Something else to keep in mind is that we have limited quantities of ARCs to send to reviewers, so we can’t fulfill every request that comes in and have to be selective. With this in mind, please only select the books you really want to review.

I’d also like to agree with one of the earlier responses to this question: we can tell when a request has been cut-and-paste, or is a mass call out to multiple publishers and authors. A little bit of professionalism, politeness, and patience goes a long way, especially since we receive a large quantity of requests and try to respond to them all in a timely and friendly fashion.

When you send a copy for review, do you like us to let you know it arrived?

No need to confirm receipt, just send us the link to your review when it posts.

Do you want us to send you links of our reviews that are negative?

Yes.

What if I can’t get into a book that you sent me for review, do you want us to let you know that we won’t be reviewing it?

No need, but if you decide to use the book for some other purpose, i.e. a giveaway or contest, it’s always good to know.

When is the best time to request an arc, 3-4 months before the publication date?

3 – 4 months ahead of time is perfect, because in most instances this is when we begin our ARC mailings. Requesting books 8 months ahead of time, or as soon as the catalog posts, is way too far in advance.

Do you like sites that promote sharing advance readers copies?

Sharing sites are often a good way to make use of ARCs since we have limited quantities. It’s always good to know if the ARCs are being used in this way, so please send us an email as a courtesy.

Is it better to contact an author for swag (bookmarks, postcards, etc.) or should we ask the publicist?

Absolutely ask us for swag, we will share what we have but it’s different for every book. Other things to ask us for: cover image, author photo, book trailer, excerpt, tour schedule, and links to author’s blog/facebook/twitter, etc.

08/28/10



Uncategorized

New Reads: August 22-28

New Reads:

Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett
The Julian Games by Adele Griffin

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart

My Worst Best Friend by Dyan Sheldon
The Candidates by Inara Scott

Dead is a Just a Rumor by Marlene Perez
Three Black Swans by Caroline B. Cooney

Out In Paperback:

Sphinx’s Princess by Esther Friesner
Stealing Death by Janet Lee Carey

Meridian by Amber Kizer
The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser
The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade


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