Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: Fever by Lauren DeStefano

* Spoiler warning for the previous book, Wither *

Fever (The Chemical Garden #2)
By Lauren DeStefano
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

To Sum It Up: Rhine has escaped from her forced marriage and imprisonment in the mansion, but she quickly finds herself in a different kind of captivity, along with Gabriel, one of the mansion’s servants who fled with her. They are taken prisoner by a scheming carnival proprietress who has some very disturbing plans for the two. All Rhine wants to do is find a way to get to New York and reunite with her twin brother, Rowan. She has a difficult, dangerous journey ahead of her; she must always look over her shoulder for any sign of her sinister father-in-law, Vaughn. He certainly has not forgotten about Rhine, and he will not let her get away that easily.

Review: Although I wasn’t enthralled by Wither, I had to find out what happened after Rhine escaped from the mansion with Gabriel. Would they finally find Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan? Would we discover what was really going on in the basement of that creepy mansion? We sort of get some answers, but not until near the end of the book and after Rhine and Gabriel have a few adventures that had me shaking my head in disbelief.

The book opens with Rhine and Gabriel making landfall in their boat. No sooner have they planted their feet on solid ground when they’re captured. Again. They’ve stumbled upon a carnival-themed brothel run by the maniacal Madame Soleski. Madame is quite a business-savvy woman and sees dollars signs when she spots Rhine, who is dubbed “Goldenrod” in keeping with the color-themed names that Madame gives to all of her girls. Whenever Madame needs to chat with Rhine privately, they take a little ride on the Ferris wheel. No, really, all of this actually takes place in the book! I hadn’t known what to expect from Fever, but it certainly wasn’t this. I could not believe that these two people made a run for freedom only to end up losing it almost straightaway! And their new prison? Well, it’s just about as bad as the old one, if not more absurd-sounding.

I experienced déjà vu when Rhine started going on about how she and Gabriel needed to get out of the brothel because she spent most of Wither going on about how she needed to get out of the mansion. This girl seriously frustrates me. Like her not even half-hearted attempts to escape from the mansion, she doesn’t put a whole lot of effort into fleeing Madame Soleski’s freak show. I kind of felt sorry for Gabriel for being caught up in Rhine’s unfortunate escapades and for being left with very little to do throughout the book. You know that he’s there, but his presence never really makes itself known.

What kills me about this series is that it’s so well-written. Despite how often I roll my eyes at Rhine’s actions or lack thereof, the writing itself is top-notch and is the reason why I can’t rate the books lower. I just have a lot of trouble buying into the world and tolerating Rhine’s all-talk-no-action character.

I gave this book a shot because I figured that life on the run for Rhine and Gabriel had to be interesting. Sadly, it wasn’t. There isn’t much story progress or character development, either, and I just can’t hang in there for the final book, Sever. I will, however, check out future books from Lauren DeStefano because I think that she is a very talented writer; it’s just this series that didn’t click with me.

All in All: Fever felt eerily similar to Wither at times, especially with Rhine winding up in almost the same situation she wanted so desperately to run away from. I wasn’t crazy about Wither, so it’s hard for me to say if readers who did enjoy it will also like Fever. Overall, I think that this series is one that you need to try out for yourself to see how you feel about it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (10): Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is:
Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

It's been quite some time since we last did a Top Ten Tuesday post. We just loved this week's topic, so here we are:

  1. Brienne of Tarth from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin: Heroines don’t come much more kick-ass than Brienne! She’s our favorite character in the books because of her strength, courage, and determination. Any woman who can match Ser Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer, in a swordfight and in a war of words is totally awesome in our minds.
  2. Arya Stark from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin: Arya wants no part of acting like a proper, high-born young lady, and we love her for that. In a perfect world, she and Brienne would team up and rain down some serious revenge on everyone who has betrayed House Stark.
  3. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: Hermione is one of the best friends you could ever have, with her unwavering loyalty and her ability to logic her way out of just about any situation.
  4. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins: If anyone knows what it means to be a survivor, it’s Katniss.
  5. Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead: With her snarky wit and formidable fighting skills, Rose encompasses some of our favorite qualities in a heroine.
  6. Yelena Zaltana from the Study series by Maria V. Snyder: At the beginning of Poison Study, Yelena is imprisoned and weak, but by the end of the series, she’s wielding some pretty powerful magic and isn’t too shabby at hand-to-hand combat, either.
  7. Saba from Blood Red Road by Moira Young: Saba is fiercely dedicated to her family and will do anything to protect them.
  8. Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare: Izzy can take out a slew of demons without batting an eyelash or ruining her outfit.
  9. Ismae Rienne from Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: An assassin for Death himself. How much more kick-ass can you get?
  10. Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore: Katsa is like a one-woman army; you seriously don’t want to get on her bad side.

Which heroines made your list? Be sure to leave the link to your post below!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium (Delirium #2)
By Lauren Oliver

To Sum It Up: Lena has managed to escape to the Wilds, where the inhabitants do not believe in the cure for amor deliria nervosa. Her freedom has come at a heavy price, though. Life in the Wilds is harsh, but Lena perseveres and gradually finds a place among the Invalids. She even becomes a key part of the resistance movement against those who advocate the cure. The Lena who once looked forward to being rid of the disease known as love is gone, and in her place is the new, tougher Lena who must rely solely on her instincts and constantly think on her feet when her mission for the resistance takes some very unexpected turns.

Review: Middle books in a series are always tricky. In the worst case, there’s little to no plot advancement, and they merely serve to set up the final book. Nothing about Pandemonium falters, however. The action and intensity are relentless. Although I really enjoyed Delirium, it was the kind of book that I could put down for a while without too much hardship whenever life outside of reading called. Not so with Pandemonium—I wanted to read it nonstop from cover to cover because it was just so riveting.

Pandemonium alternates between the past and the present. The “Then” chapters pick up right where Delirium left off, with Lena making it over the border fence and into the Wilds, where she is found by some Invalids and taken back to their settlement to recover from her injuries. The “Now” chapters find Lena living in Brooklyn, New York with other members of the resistance movement. She is on a covert mission to keep tabs on Julian Fineman, whose father is the leader of a pro-cure organization called the DFA (Deliria Free America). Oliver effortlessly switches back and forth between the two time periods and has them converge seamlessly. Her masterful storytelling and lyrical prose continue to astound me.

Lena’s character development in this book was amazing. To think that I found her rather ordinary and a little hard to connect with at the beginning of Delirium. That’s definitely not how I feel about her anymore! I loved how in Pandemonium, she embraced her emotions and recognized how horrible it would have been to be cured. Lena 2.0 is one physically and mentally strong young woman who does not put up with anyone’s nonsense. She is really put through the wringer throughout the novel, and she battles back every time. Her evolution into a warrior of a heroine was my favorite aspect of the book.

This review is going to be on the short side because it’s quite difficult to go into detail about most of the book without revealing spoilers. I will say that if the cliffhanger in Delirium left you screaming with frustration, then you’d better steel yourself now for what happens on the last page of Pandemonium. Oliver is both a genius and a little unkind when she writes these endings that leave you an emotional wreck and yelling at your book, “Noooooo. That did not just happen! It can’t just end like that!” Lena has some tough decisions ahead of her, and that’s putting it mildly. I don’t even know what choices I would like to see her make. Requiem looks like it’s going to be one electrifying conclusion to the series, and I can’t wait to see how Lauren Oliver surprises me this time.

All in All: Pandemonium was a thrilling read that packed an even heavier punch than its predecessor, Delirium, did. There’s no need to worry about the series losing steam here; the fireworks are almost nonstop, culminating in a bombshell of an ending.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dude-ly Discussions with Denis: Review of The Giver by Lois Lowry

* Possible spoilers for The Giver ahead *

To start with, The Giver is a dystopian in which Jonas lives. Jonas is awaiting the Ceremony of Twelve in which he will be given a job. But when he is skipped over at the ceremony, his adventure begins. Through Jonas's travels, he finds that his perfect community is not so perfect.

Overall The Giver was a great book. The mixture of confusion, suspense, and mystery will keep you reading till the very end. The ending of this book leaves a lot of room for your imagination to run wild. Although some parts of this book frustrate me beyond belief, this is still one of the best books I have read in a long time. One of the parts that really shined in my opinion was how Jonas decided to drop his and the Giver's plans to to escape from the community just to save Gabriel. I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys dystopian and suspense novels. In the end I would give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

* Ally, Melissa, and Lee have taken over the end of Denis's post to wish him a very happy birthday today!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (15)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's an opportunity for everyone to share the books which we've added to our shelves.

Very small hauls for both of us this week. We haven't had a lot of time for reading lately, especially Ally because of all of her band practices. We're heading out later today to watch her and her sister, Melissa (our guest blogger), and the rest of their high school marching band perform their Hunger Games-themed show. It's going to be awesome!

For Review:

Embrace by Cherie Colyer
Thanks to Cherie Colyer!

Ally's Books:

What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Lee's Books:

Die for Me by Amy Plum
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

What did you add to your shelves this week? Please link us up!

Friday, October 26, 2012

FEAR Blog Tour: Author Guest Post with Laura Brown & Giveaway

Welcome to our stop on the blog tour for FEAR: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror, hosted by Book Me! All proceeds from the sales of FEAR are being donated to charity, so please support this very worthy cause if you can! Today we have a guest post from author Laura Brown, whose story, "Candlelight," appears in Volume 2. There's also an awesome giveaway in which you can win a Kindle copy of FEAR and an Amazon voucher!

FEAR: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror
By Various Authors
Crooked Cat Publishing
Purchase on Amazon: Volume 1 | Volume 2

Synopsis: Fear: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror brings together, for the first time, tales of murder, monsters and madness, by sixty of the world’s best indie horror authors.

Discover what lurks in the water at the end of the garden, learn of the unforgiving loyalty of a loving toy and meet a writer, just itching to finish his latest horror story.

Every author in the Anthology has generously contributed their work for free. All royalties from sales will go directly to the international charities, Barnardo’s and Médecins Sans Frontières.

Fear, with forewords by international bestselling authors, Peter James and Sherri Browning Erwin, is released in Paperback and on Kindle, October 3rd 2012.

Guest Post with Laura Brown

I have never really considered myself a horror writer, despite the fact that my first publications as a fiction author have been within that genre. I consider myself a fantasy writer, through and through- I like to craft new worlds, and populate them with weird and wonderful characters and creatures.

Now, however, while I do think it is fair to say I am more a fantasy writer than a horror writer, in hindsight it would seem that an element of darkness has always been present in my creative works. Fantasy is a very flexible genre in its own right, but then, so is horror- what frightens one person may not frighten another. In horror, we can come across the supernatural, the mysterious, subtle shadows that flit in the peripheral. We can have it suggested to us, and let our minds run away with the rest. But then we also have the terrifyingly earthly, the blunt, the brutal, the real horror, violence.

Looking back on my childhood now, I do see that really, I wasn’t all fluffy unicorns and rainbows. By no means am I a true horror-buff, but horror certainly does appeal to me, and on reflection of my younger years it all makes sense. I have early memories of watching Beetlejuice. I watched the movie The Monster Squad as a five-year-old, drew pictures of the Terminator, and to this day, one of my favourite films is the dark animated film Watership Down (from which I derive my online-namesake, “Blackavar”). It would seem even back then I was destined to become a Goth! Those films are all drastically different, most of them are not horror, but all have a dark, gothic or spooky element that makes up a huge part of the story.

I started writing horror stories specifically to match the open submission guidelines I was writing for, and I was surprised to find I was adapting quite well to the genre. After all, all I had been writing up until then was fantasy of one strange form or another…but as I look back over those mostly unfinished works (I have a couple of novels in the work, but they are taking a back seat for now), I do realise that actually, I have been implementing horror style all along. In my fantasy worlds, conflict and threats usually come in the form of a strange beast, dark being or wicked force…it wasn’t really much of a step into the realm of horror from there.

What sort of horror do I like to write? The classic ghost story is my favourite; ghosts are oddly timeless, so human and so tragic. While I do like vampires, creatures and the like, ghosts really do get the hairs on the back of my neck raised, and get me looking over my shoulder. I am not a big fan of “torture porn” or slasher horrors- while movies such as The Human Centipede or the ever-continuing Final Destination series are very popular, its movies like The Woman in Black or The Grudge that really send a chill down my spine. Gothic horror is far more likely to get me shaking than just an overdone blood-splatter…I prefer thought-provoking horror, to stomach-churning horror. That isn’t to say I think little of that end of the genre, but I cannot truly enjoy it, not in the same way I enjoy a good ghost story.

Movies are a huge influence to me, but as a consummate bookworm, literature has more than its fair share of inspiration in my writing. Due to my preference for fantasy over horror, I am, admittedly, not a huge horror-reader. However, I grew up with stacks of Stephen King and James Herbert books that belonged to my parents, most editions being older than even myself. I love the smell of old books; the smell of aged pages is extremely comforting and nostalgic to me, yet also seems extremely fitting if the book is a horror. I’ve yet to read them all, but it’s a personal challenge I have set myself. As I’ve mentioned almost constantly, I love fantasy- but the fantasy must have a shadow, some sort of evil lurking in the corners that threatens the beauty of the magical world. I would say that really, horror comes naturally to me as it just seems the most natural way to produce conflict and purpose in a narrative, not necessarily because I want to scare my readers. I’m not sure what exactly that says about me though!

My contribution to the Fear Anthology is called “Candlelight” and was inspired by a dream where my brother had moved into a horrible old house, divided into nasty, cold flats. During the night, the tenants would be plagued by the ghosts of wrathful orphans and their abusive guardians. Dream logic doesn’t always apply well to writing, and so several changes were made, but the resulting story has the same key elements- nasty flat, brother and sister facing creepy phantom-children. Ghosts are beyond human control, are not of our world. They are both deeply tragic to me, yet also disconcerting at best, terrifying at worst. I intend to experiment with other subjects in the horror genre, but I think the classic ghost is one that I identify with best.

I’m sure I’ll continue to write horror- it is, for me, an exploration into yet darker shadows in the creative realm where I like to reside. I feel darkness is essential. Light cannot be appreciated without darkness, so bringing darkness into my work seems only natural.

About Laura Brown

Laura E Brown is a fantasy artist and writer from Hampshire, UK. Although she's been writing since she could hold a pen, she has only recently pursued publication, and has found some success with Crooked Cat Books and Siren's Call Publications. She is also a writer for EGL Magazine, and uses the pen-name "Blackavar". She thinks of herself as a Goth, a bookworm, a geek, a bunny rabbit, and a hopeless daydreamer.

Find Laura at the following places:

** Giveaway **

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Author Interview with Ally Malinenko

Today we're thrilled to welcome Ally Malinenko, author of the enchanting middle-grade adventure Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb, to the blog. You can check out our reviews of the book here.

Welcome to Rally the Readers, Ally! We thank you for chatting with us today.

Hi! Thanks for having me!

How did you first become interested in William Shakespeare and his works?

I’ve always been a big fan of Shakespeare, ever since I was younger, but it wasn’t until recently that I learned that there is a name for that. They call people like me Bardolators. Isn’t that hilarious? I love it.

I think the first time I read Hamlet was in middle school. I remember thinking that once you got you used to the language it all sort of came together. And it was sad and beautiful and also funny (though it’s possible I was probably the only seventh grader in my class who thought so). Not long after that I saw a movie version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and from then on, I was hooked.

If you could travel back in time and have a conversation with Shakespeare, what would you talk about?

I would love to say that we would talk about politics and how corrupt Elizabethan England was or that we’d talk about the theater and his players or what his writing schedule is like but just recently I had the great fortune to meet Mr. Peter S. Beagle, the author of The Last Unicorn, one of my favorite books and movies from when I was a kid. I was all set to tell him about what an influence it was and how much it meant to me when I was growing up and how now that I had my first novel published I wanted to thank him for being such an influence but as soon as I opened my mouth, I started crying, full on, blubbering. I completely reverted to a 10 year old girl, clutching her copy of The Last Unicorn, looking at her hero-author and sobbing her eyes out. So chances are good, I’d be catatonic if I met Shakespeare!

How important was it to you to include Shakespeare’s contemporary, Christopher Marlowe, in your story?

Very. While Shakespeare’s work has stood the test of time better than any of his contemporaries, during his day and age, it was Marlowe who was considered the brightest star in the sky. His tragic and unfortunate death opened the door for Shakespeare to become the person that he was. Without Marlowe, it’s possible that Shakespeare would never have been THE Shakespeare we know today. Plus they had so much in common. They were born in the same year, both from middle class workers (Shakespeare’s father was a glove maker and Marlowe’s was a shoemaker). There is also a large contingent of “scholars” of which I am not a member, who believe they were the same person. Or that Shakespeare wasn’t real and Kit wrote half his plays. There are all sorts of strange conspiracies.

From the beginning I knew that if Shakespeare was going to be a part of this story then so would Marlowe. Though I do feel bad about making his descendant the bad guy! Sorry Kit! I still love your work.

Did you need to do lots of research for all of the mythical figures that make an appearance in the book?

I’ve always been interested in Greek mythology but when I decided to create the Muses and the Mythkind, I knew that I needed to brush up. I started this book right before I got into graduate school and while I was working and going to school full-time, I put the brakes on actively writing and instead started reading everything I could get my hands on regarding mythology and Shakespeare. I checked a bunch of books out of the library (Yay! Support your libraries!) and started making charts of characters I wanted to use and then how I would change them or combine them with other characters to create something new. Actually, doing the research for Lizzy was one of my favorite things about writing it.

Who is your favorite character in the novel?

Probably Jonathan. He knows more than he’s letting on. He’s playing this one pretty close to the chest. Jonathan has Lizzy’s best interests at heart, but he also knows she has a dangerous destiny to fulfill. And he isn’t going to be the one to stop her.

Lizzy’s nemesis, Dmitri Marlowe, seems like a pretty high-strung guy. How did he end up with a hipster like Cole for a roommate?

Dmitri moved to Brooklyn to be a writer but having failed terribly at it he was forced to get a roommate to split the bills. Lots of hipsters answered the advertisement because they all wanted to live in the trendiest part of Brooklyn but Cole was the only one who bothered to return Dmitri’s call when offered the place. And Cole was 10th on the list. What can I say? It must have been the eye-patch and the plans for world domination. Turned all the other applicants off.

What adventures are in store for Lizzy in the next book?

I’m actually working on the next book right now which is tentatively called Lizzy Speare and the Hall of Hecate. Hecate is the Greek Goddess of Magic and her hall contains every magical object in this history of myth or legend. Looking for the Vorpal Blade that killed the Jabberwocky? It’s there. So is King Arthur’s sword. Once the Hall of Hecate is robbed and all that magic is released, Jonathan realizes that Marlowe’s plans don’t end at destroying Lizzy. They begin there. And all of Mythkind are in trouble.

We’ll see the return of some old friends and we’ll get to meet a few new ones. And few other Muses. Jonathan isn’t the only show in town, you know. And we’ll get to go to Hagsmoor Copse, the land of the satyrs and find out more about Cleo and the war with the harpies.

And now for the obligatory random questions:

Favorite Shakespearean work?

Only one??? Either Hamlet or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I refuse to pick just one.

Favorite color?

Blue or purple or black or brown. Apparently I have trouble picking just one of anything.

Favorite authors besides Shakespeare?

C.S. Lewis, Madeline L’Engle, Peter S. Beagle, Salinger, Kerouac, Sexton (do poets count?), Rowling, Pullman, and about a million more.

Biggest pet peeve?

Mean people.

Best thing about Brooklyn?


Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions, Ally!

Thanks so much for having me! This was lots of fun!

About Ally Malinenko

Ally Malinenko lives in Brooklyn where she wakes at an ungodly hour to write. She's had poetry and stories published online and in print, including her first collection of poems, entitled The Wanting Bone (Six Gallery Press). Her second book of poems, Crashing to Earth, is forthcoming from Tainted Coffee Press.

Her children's novel Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb, the first part in a series, was recently published by Antenna Books.

To learn more you can follow her on Twitter - or visit her blog:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb by Ally Malinenko

Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb
By Ally Malinenko
Antenna Books

* A copy was provided by the author for review.

To Sum It Up: Lizzy Speare loves writing and William Shakespeare. At twelve years old, she’s a natural at reading the Bard’s works, and there’s a very good reason for that. Lizzy is Shakespeare’s last living descendant and the target of some evil schemes hatched by the devious Dmitri Marlowe, who just happens to be the last living descendant of Shakespeare’s contemporary, Christopher Marlowe. Life is about to become like a scene straight out of a book for Lizzy when she and her best friend, Sammy, suddenly find themselves in Manhattan in the castle of Jonathan Muse, who has watched over generations of Shakespeares. Now he is tasked with keeping Lizzy safe as he, Lizzy, and Sammy frantically search for Lizzy’s kidnapped father.

Lee's Review: I love reading anything to do with Shakespeare, so I was immediately intrigued by this book’s synopsis. I love mythology, too, and was thrilled to discover that Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb also incorporates a lot of mythical figures into this exciting tale of a girl with an extraordinary lineage. What I wouldn’t give to one day find out that I was descended from William Shakespeare! You’re one very lucky young lady, Miss Speare.

Lizzy is a plucky little heroine who is easy to identify with. If I had read this as kid, she absolutely would have been my fictional best friend because of her love of reading and writing. Lizzy has a lot on her plate, what with the bombshell news of her famous ancestor and her missing dad and all. It’s not easy to absorb all of this at once, but Lizzy toughs it out and becomes increasingly self-assured over the course of the novel. She is also incredibly brave; there’s nothing that she won’t do to get her father back, even negotiating with an untrustworthy snake like Dmitri Marlowe. I just loved Lizzy’s friendship with Sammy; those two make an awesome team and epitomize what it means to be best friends.

Loving Shakespeare as much as I do, I was in heaven with all of the references to him and his writings. The chapter titles all cleverly quote his works; I had a lot of fun trying to match each title with its source. Even better, the Bard actually makes an appearance in the novel, as does another famous author from the Elizabethan period, Christopher Marlowe. I really liked how Marlowe was incorporated into the story; I’ve never read Doctor Faustus, but I kind of want to now.

The world of Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb features some familiar characters from mythology, like satyrs, nymphs, and the Fates. Jonathan really is a Muse, as in the kind that inspires writers and artists. This book had a whimsical feel that meshed well with its mostly urban, New York City setting. If a castle with doors that allow you to travel to other time periods is going to exist anywhere in the world, of course it’s going to be in Manhattan. As a former New Yorker, I’m always happy to see the place that I’ll always think of as home turn up in a book. I fully admit to nearly hyperventilating when Lizzy and Sammy had to venture into the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn because it’s right next to the neighborhood that I grew up in. The descriptions of Williamsburg and Coney Island, another Brooklyn locale that I have very fond memories of, were spot-on; they were just as I remember them.

My only real quibble is that I wish there had been a few more details about Lizzy’s family history. There’s a lot more to Dmitri Marlowe’s motives than meets the eye, but we only get snippets of the big picture. I’m especially curious about what Lizzy’s father, Rupert, did in the past that was so terrible. Ah, but that’s what sequels are for, and I can’t wait to read the next installment of Lizzy’s story.

All in All: This book is a wonderful, imaginative blend of adventure, mythology, and even a bit of historical fiction. It’s a great introduction to William Shakespeare (and Christopher Marlowe) for younger readers, and it’s sure to charm adult fans of Shakespeare as well.

Melissa's Review: I am a great fan of Shakespeare, my favorite works being Macbeth and Hamlet. So, I was super excited to read Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb because of all the Shakespeare allusions. However, there was so much more to it than Shakespeare; there were tons of mythical creatures and cool magic. It was a perfect blend of new and old inspiration. I was pleasantly surprised at how balanced everything was; there are so many layers to the story, but they work together perfectly. It’s easy for things to get kind of overwhelming when you have so many ideas working together, but it didn't happen at all in this novel. Everything was introduced in a way that just worked; nothing was farfetched.

You can just tell how much time and thought were put into the story line, and the characters don't disappoint either. My personal favorite was Jonathan. He seems to have his stuff together, and he is always there for Lizzy. In a way, he is kind of the unsung hero. I also really liked Lizzy; she started off lacking confidence, but as the story progressed, Lizzy became the person she was meant to be. Oh, and Sammy is the best best friend ever; I really admire his loyalty to Lizzy.

I had like a super spaz when I found out Jonathan's castle was in Manhattan! And when Lizzy and Sammy went to Brooklyn, I could barely contain my squeals of excitement. It was so cool to read about places I knew; it really helped me connect more with the book.

All in All: This book has everything going for it. It has a great plot, awesome characters, a kick-arse setting, and a perfect mix of new and old ideas. I can't wait to read what happens to Lizzy next!

Check out the blog tomorrow for our interview with author
Ally Malinenko!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Anatomy of a Reader: Let's Talk About Edgar Allan Poe

Anatomy of a Reader is an occasional post in which we highlight a book, even if it’s not a YA title, that has had an impact on us and shaped us into the readers that we are today.

I'm kind of cheating this time by devoting this post to an author rather than a specific book. With Halloween right around the corner, I thought that this would be the perfect time to spotlight Edgar Allan Poe, one of my all-time favorite authors. His short stories were my first foray into adult literature; I was about eleven and looking to branch out beyond the Sweet Valley Twins books when I obtained my first collection of Poe’s tales. It was a very modest compendium, containing only four stories, and was an edition aimed at younger readers. I actually found it in a neighborhood five and dime store, along with a few other bargain-priced classics like The Count of Monte Cristo. It was the cover of the Poe book, though, that had really caught my eye that day; I was completely intrigued by the cover illustration of an eerie, haunted-looking house. This was quite surprising because I was a complete chicken when it came to anything even remotely horror-related. (To this day I’m still a scary movie/TV show coward, but I’m gradually getting braver about reading scary books.) I wasn’t afraid of this Poe book, however, and I couldn’t wait to start reading it.

My favorite Poe story is still the first one that I ever read, “The Tell-Tale Heart.” I was just riveted, as well as more than a little spooked, by this story of a poor old man who is killed because his creepy eye freaks out the story’s narrator. What amazed me the most about this tale was how Poe managed to tell such a compelling, memorable, and of course, macabre, story so succinctly. Although reading this gave me the chills, I became fascinated with Poe’s writing, and he forever secured a place on my list of favorite authors.

I know that “The Cask of Amontillado,” which also ranks among my favorite stories, and “The Gold-Bug” were also part of this collection, but I’m slightly less sure about the remaining tale that was included. Sadly, I no longer own this book, so I can’t go check. When I upgraded to a slightly larger Poe compilation through my school’s book club maybe a year later, I sold the original one in a yard sale, probably along with the Sweet Valley Twins books. My gut feeling tells me that the story in question was “The Fall of the House of Usher” because when I had to read it in sophomore year of high school, I remembered having read it already. This story wasn’t in the newer Famous Tales of Mystery and Horror that replaced my original Poe collection, so it must have been the fourth tale in the latter. Do I regret selling that book? Perhaps a bit. It’d be a great piece of nostalgia to have today, but Famous Tales of Mystery and Horror still sits on my bookshelf next to a complete anthology of Poe’s stories and poems that I purchased a few years ago, so it’s not as though I sold the book and forgot all about him.

Becoming acquainted with Poe’s works was sort of a turning point in my reading life because after reading his stories, I wanted to continue reading grown-up books. I never really went back to reading young adult books for the rest of my school years. Ironically, it wasn’t until I was well into adulthood when I started reading YA again. If you happen to love both Poe and YA, then I highly recommend Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death, which is an excellent Poe retelling.

I continue to love Poe because his stories are so cleverly crafted and mesmerizing. I love that thrilling moment in a tale when the twist that you’ve been waiting for finally happens. If you’re a fellow Poe fan, I’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to share your favorite works in the comments!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: Immortal City by Scott Speer

Immortal City (Immortal City #1)
By Scott Speer

To Sum It Up: Los Angeles literally embodies its nickname, City of Angels. It is the capital of the Angel world, where Angels are idolized like celebrities, and humans who can afford it can pay for a Guardian Angel’s protection. Jackson Godspeed is about to become the youngest Angel ever to join the ranks of the Guardians. His face is all over the media, but Jackson’s fame and Angel-mania in general fail to impress Maddy Montgomery, even after meeting him in person. Whether she wants to or not, though, Maddy is about to find herself enmeshed in the Angels’ world, which at this moment is being rocked by a killer who is targeting them.

Review: I don’t know what it is with angel books, but I seem to have no luck with them. Hush, Hush, Embrace, and Illuminate all fell flat for me. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just meant to stay away from books about angels and instead stick to reading about vampires, demons, and other unholy creatures. I’m determined to find some good YA angel reads, though, because I’m sure that they do exist; I just haven’t found them yet.

While not perfect, Immortal City was definitely a step-up from the other angel books that I’ve read. I really liked the concept of angels as celebrities; the “A” in “angel” is even capitalized in the book. Speer creates a glitzy, immersive world in which television networks like ANN (Angel News Network) bring viewers the latest Angel-related updates, and SaveTube features thrilling Guardian Angel rescues caught on camera. It’s very easy to buy into this vision of Los Angeles; the only real difference is that its most famous citizens happen to have wings.

I found Maddy’s aloofness toward all of the Angel hype refreshing. Unlike her friend, Gwen, who lives and breathes everything Angel, Maddy can’t be bothered with any of it. Maddy is a pretty grounded heroine, but I wish that she’d been a little less generic. My main problem with both her and Jackson was that they seemed to be cut straight out of a YA character template with minimal customization. He’s a rich, ultra-famous superhuman being whose every move is scrutinized by the media, and she’s the humble mortal girl who can’t imagine ever catching the attention of someone like him. With such an original setting, I’d hoped that the two lead characters would be just as unique, but in the end, I thought that they were rather conventional.

For me, the most intriguing part of this book was the mystery surrounding the murdered Angels. I really enjoyed reading about David Sylvester, the detective investigating the killings. I can picture him with his own spin-off mystery/crime series. Whenever the story shifted to Detective Sylvester, the book took on a dark, gritty quality, adding an interesting aspect to what is mostly an urban fantasy novel.

The pay-for-protection system that enables those humans with the cash to spare to hire their very own Guardian Angels poses quite a thought-provoking ethical question. Is it right to only save the lives of those who can afford what is essentially a luxury service? Any Guardian who rescues a human without a protection policy is punished severely. This issue plays a pivotal role throughout the novel and leads to a few surprising revelations.

Although Immortal City wasn’t a complete cure for my angel book blues, I loved how innovative the world was. It’s very easy to become absorbed in the details of the Angels’ glamorous lifestyles. This book is definitely worth a read if you’ve tried other angel books and are looking for a completely different take on them.

All in All: While I didn’t really connect with either of the main characters, overall, Immortal City was an entertaining read. I certainly enjoyed it a lot more than some of the previous angel titles that I’ve read.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns
By John Green
Dutton Books

To Sum It Up: It has been years since Quentin Jacobsen last spoke with the love of his life, Margo Roth Spiegelman. Her rise to popularity in high school leaves Quentin admiring her from afar. That is, until Margo recruits her childhood friend, Quentin, for her immaculate scheme of revenge. The day following Q and Margo's adventurous night, Margo goes missing. No one is really concerned about her disappearance besides Q, because that's what Margo is—a mystery, a free spirit. Besides, Margo has disappeared before, and she has always comes back fine. But this time is different, at least it is for Quentin. Quentin is convinced that Margo specifically left him clues, clues that will lead to her whereabouts. Through the many subdivisions in central Florida, Quentin heads off on an epic quest to find the girl who cannot be found.

Review: John Green, I bow down to you! Paper Towns is a hilarious book, with an amazing and thought provoking story. How one man can be so philosophical in a modern age where everything and anything has already been pondered blows my mind. I was super excited to read one of Green's books, and I was not disappointed one bit! It was all that I thought it would be and more!

The writing in Paper Towns is superb. John Green has mastered writing. Not only is his book hilarious, but it is very profound as well. I appreciated this and thought that the two balanced each other out perfectly. There would be very heavy topics and conversations between the characters and then someone would just crack a joke. It made everything feel a little more realistic. I myself connected with this strategy since I usually laugh in tense situations.

One of the most surprising aspects I found in the novel was the setting. I currently live in central Florida and am actually from New York City. So, I know what these environments are supposed to be like. Green was dead-on! I laughed out loud while reading about the cookie cutter houses and paper people in central Florida. He knew about the grocery store chain (Publix) and the band obsession that has infested this peninsula. Being in band myself, I thoroughly enjoyed everything he wrote about band and the band life.

What really made the book was the characters. Quentin was amazing! He was the typical awkward teenage boy. He wasn't the average literary hero with no faults, but he sure as hell tried to be. Quentin learned things about Margo that would negatively change anyone's opinion on her, but he continued to love her and look for her until the very end. I really respected that. I liked Margo, too, but at times she could get really annoying. I liked how she was adventurous and crazy. However, I did not like how she had this air of self-importance. At times, I felt that Margo expected everyone to admire and fawn over her. You can easily see how this could get annoying, especially since everyone else had their own problems to deal with. I also liked Quentin's friends, Radar and Ben. I thought that the two of them were great! They were hilarious and were always willing to help Quentin out.

Ah, I feel as if my review is very short. It's not because I didn't like the book, because I did, but because I really don't have much to say other than the praise that has been written multiple times already. Paper Towns was just an amazing, pulling read. It was one of the first real contemporaries I have ever read, and though I originally scoffed at anything other than fantasy or paranormal, it really made me have a positive outlook on the other contemporary books out there.

All in All: Paper Towns is an amazing book, and John Green is a spectacular writer. What more can I say?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Email and RSS Subscriptions Update

We now have a permanent home for our email and RSS subscriptions—FeedBlitz. FeedBlitz is not free and charges based on the number of email subscribers you have, but it offers a lot of features, including migration of existing FeedBurner email subscribers, as well as technical support. If you already subscribe to the blog via email, you should start receiving emails from FeedBlitz instead of FeedBurner with this Monday's (October 22) blog post. It is not necessary to resubscribe. Of course, if you no longer wish to subscribe, simply click on the opt-out link in the email. We'd love for you to stay with us, though, and we thank you for your patience throughout this transition!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1)
By Bethany Griffin
Greenwillow Books

To Sum It Up:

In a city devastated by plague, Araby Worth is one of the fortunate citizens who owns a mask to wear whenever she is outside. In fact, it was her scientist father who designed the protective masks that only the wealthy can afford. Though Araby lives in comfort amid the ruin of the city, every day is a struggle for her. She blames herself for a family tragedy and spends her nights seeking to forget everything at the Debauchery Club. Araby may go there to lose herself, but being in the company of Will, one of the club’s employees, and Elliott, the well-to-do nephew of the club’s owner, begins to have a surprising effect. For the first time in a long time, Araby may have found some purpose in her life.


I absolutely love Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories, so I was extremely excited to read Bethany Griffin’s retelling of Poe’s haunting tale. Griffin brilliantly matches the dark, ominous tone of Poe’s original, while at the same time crafting her own unique take on the story. Add a gothic/steampunk setting and some morally ambiguous characters, and you have a compelling novel that takes some surprising turns along the way.

This is one of the darkest YA novels that I’ve read, but the foreboding atmosphere perfectly suits a Poe retelling. The Weeping Sickness has decimated the population, and you can just sense the miasma of death that hangs over the city. Its ruler, Prince Prospero, has shut himself up in the safety of his castle, and he also controls the production of the masks that could save the lives of his citizens. Instead, he allows the city to continue to crumble and the body count to rise, especially among the poor, who cannot afford to buy masks. The world of this book is very grim, indeed, and Griffin does an amazing job building it.

Araby is not your typical YA heroine. She holds herself responsible for the death of her twin brother, Finn, and uses drugs and alcohol as a means of escape. Araby’s hopelessness is heartbreaking to behold, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. She’s not one to whine about things, either; she’ll punish herself first before blaming others, and Araby does just that by vowing not to enjoy anything that Finn will never experience, including falling in love. Her promise becomes more difficult to keep, however, as she becomes better acquainted with Will, who works at the club where Araby goes for her nightly trip to oblivion, and Elliott, a wealthy young man who just might be plotting to undermine his uncle, Prince Prospero.

Reading George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has really given me an appreciation for gray characters, the ones whose motives and intentions are completely inscrutable. While reading Masque of the Red Death, I kept alternating between labeling Elliott an arrogant jerk and believing that he had some good in him. He wants to make the masks available to everyone and enlists Araby’s help in obtaining her father’s design plans. Noble idea, right? But Elliott also possesses a less gentlemanly side, as illustrated by the following conversation with Araby: “And I’m falling in love with you,” he whispers. “But I would throw you in the water and watch crocodiles tear you to bits, if I thought that doing so would accomplish my goals. Do. Not. Trust. Anyone. Especially me.” (Chapter 14) You sure know how to charm the ladies, Elliott! Yet I could not help liking this guy. A lot. I love complex, unpredictable characters who constantly surprise me, and Elliott certainly is not the type of person who likes to tip his hand.

Will, the other figure in what looks to be a developing love triangle, seemed to be a bit easier to read than Elliott. I admired Will for being the sole caretaker of his younger siblings, Henry and Elise; they lost their parents to the plague. Will also appears to be genuinely concerned about Araby. Although he takes some eyebrow-raising action toward the end of the book, he has a very good reason for doing so, and it didn’t lower my opinion of him. It’ll be interesting to see how this triangle unfolds, especially considering Araby’s vow.

It did take me a little while to get into this book, but as I continued reading, I found myself increasingly enjoying it. The pacing is more of a slow and steady type than a gallop to the final page, but your patience is rewarded with some thrilling scenes in the last few chapters. Be warned, though, that a lot of matters remain unsettled, meaning that you’ll have to wait for the sequel, Dance of the Red Death, to see if your questions are answered. I look forward to reading more of this Poe-inspired story, which this Poe fan enthusiastically recommends.

All in All:

This is a must-read for anyone who likes Edgar Allan Poe. Even if you haven’t read any of his works but enjoy novels with very dark settings, then this might be for you. And of course I urge anyone who hasn’t read Poe’s original story to go ahead and check it out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Author Interview with Michael Diack

Today I'll be chatting with Michael Diack, author of The Super Spud Trilogy, a fun, original collection of adventures starring some genetically engineered potato chips/crisps. If you'd like to check out my review of the book, you can click here.

Welcome to Rally the Readers, Michael! Thanks for answering a few questions today. You probably get this question a lot, but I have to ask it anyway—what inspired you to write a book about genetically engineered potato chips/crisps?

I actually wrote a short story in primary school when I was ten years old about Colin and Lucy the crisp packets. They come alive after their use-by date and, after becoming separated, meet up again in the local rubbish tip and live happily ever after. When I was 19 I remembered the story and went from there. Being older, I changed the tone of the story and I wanted to make it as funny, unpredictable, quirky and adventurous as possible. Being a student, I guess I thought the story would appeal to my age group primarily but during the editing process I made it accessible for teenage readers as well. The irony is I don’t even eat chips that much, I much prefer snacking on chocolate and sweets!

How did you decide which Super Spud personality best suited each of the various Super Spud flavors?

As you know, the key aspect of the story is that the ingredients of the flavouring influence the personalities of the different Super Spuds. For some flavours it was quite simple to match up, for example, the steak and spinach flavours are loaded with iron so they naturally become the strongest of the Super Spuds. I guess I had Popeye in my head, after he eats a can of spinach he becomes super strong and I wanted this flavour to also be strong, courageous and natural leaders – hence they adopt a military persona. Ready salted flavour, despite tasting nice, was always the most boring flavour on the supermarket shelf so I decided this Super Spud would have a boring personality to match – as no one ever bothered to excite their ingredients, then why should they bother to excite anyone’s life? At my school, most students always chose salt and vinegar flavours so I wanted to make this flavour super arrogant. This Super Spud flavour knew they were popular with the humans and assumed they would be too with fellow Super Spuds (although everyone despises them really). I guess I thought of the flavour first (some conventional, others invented), then I’d create their respective personality based on the name and packaging. Thinking of new flavours and the associated personalities is certainly the most enjoyable part of writing these stories.

King Henry the Super Spud makes a reference to the human King Henry VIII and his wives. In the book, King Henry the Super Spud goes a bit mad. The history nerd in me needs to know if this is a reference to another human king named Henry, Henry VI, who also went mad, or is it just a coincidence?

It’s certainly true that I wanted to reference our history and draw parallels between our world and the Super Spud world. I thought this would be entertaining for the reader to read and recognize all the geographical, historical and cultural references. As for King Henry I definitely had King Henry VIII in my mind but not, I’ll admit, King Henry VI. Now I think about it, it probably would have been fun to have that character include all the different personalities of the different human King Henry's! In the story, he goes mad after being unable to cope with calling himself Frank and hiding his true identity as King Henry. Unless a Super Spud is a tuna flavour, for the most part they are unable to cope with long periods of using their brain and in the case of poor King Henry, it drove him mad.

G-James delivers an incredible speech in which he mentions just about every James Bond film. Was that difficult to write, or did it come together easily?

I’m a big James Bond fan and I knew I wanted to write a tribute to the films. I had the list of the films in front of me and I just began writing the speech, some parts worked well I think but sometimes I had to be quite obscure to fit some of the film titles in, especially Octopussy. It was great fun to write though and I think it is the longest speaking part of any Super Spud in the three books.

Which Super Spud do you think you’d be best friends with?

It would be good to be friends with a steak and spinach flavour because you know a general would always save your life in dangerous situations, although it’s unlikely they’d be around for long enough. I think Colin would have been the best choice, his strawberry and cream personality was normal in comparison to everyone else and all he wanted was to stay safe, find love and be happy. I guess King Martin would be a good friend to have as well, he was very rich and would pay for everything, even if he’s likely enlist you in some crazy adventure every other day.

I read on your blog that there’s going to be another installment of Super Spud adventures. Can you talk a little bit about what’s in store for the Super Spuds this time around?

I listened to all the feedback and reviews from The Super Spud Trilogy and I wanted to make Book 4 as strong as possible. The story focuses on four main characters and is one big plot where everything leads up to the final confrontation, so it’s a lot more conventional in that way. The story starts with King Martin going to China to rescue G-Boa, and then sees the Super Spuds sail the oceans, visit America, walk around Hollyspud, fly on Air Spud One, fight against zombies, pirates and even make a trip to the moon. The key thing with the next story is a lot of the action takes place at sea with the inclusion of the sea salt flavours. I hope readers will find it just as enjoyable.

And now for the obligatory random questions:

Favorite author?

JRR Tolkien

Favorite movie?

The Shawshank Redemption

Coffee or Tea?


First thing you’d buy if you won the lottery?

A beer

Favorite place to write?

On my sofa with my laptop and music playing

Thanks again for your time, Michael!

About Michael Diack

Hi, my name is Michael Diack and I’m 26. I studied geology at the University of Manchester and, after graduating, I was lucky to find a job in Oman working for a geophysical company. I enjoy table tennis, music, films, football, sailing and writing about magical potatoes with a taste for adventure and humour. I’m also a proud geek and I enjoy computer games and playing a four hour game of Risk with my friends. I always wanted to be a volcanologist, like Pierce Brosnan in Dante’s Peak, but I enjoy my current job and lifestyle. I released my debut novel back in April 2012 as a paperback and e-book for Kindle.

You can find Michael on his blog, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: The Super Spud Trilogy by Michael Diack

The Super Spud Trilogy
By Michael Diack
Pen Press

* A copy was provided by the author for review.

To Sum It Up: Thanks to genetic engineering, the world’s most amazing potato, the Super Spud, has been created. Not only do Super Spuds make incredible tasting potato chips, or crisps, but they magically come to life if they remain uneaten once their use-by date is up. The lives of the Super Spuds are very much like those of humans. These extraordinary snacks form their own cities, have their own culture, and occasionally have to do battle with their evil twins. But Super Spuds must always remember one thing when going about the business of their daily lives: being spotted by humans means instant death.

Review: Without a doubt, The Super Spud Trilogy is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. Potato chips (or crisps, as they’re called in the UK and in the novel) that are secretly leading their starchy lives, unbeknownst to humans? I just had to read this.

A book hasn’t made me laugh this much in a while. I just loved the humor in this book; it’s exactly my type—quirky and entirely tongue-in-cheek. I also love pop culture references, and The Super Spud Trilogy is teeming with them. From Star Wars to Batman, there’s a Super Spud counterpart to practically any film or TV character you can think of. Since I happen to be a big Star Wars geek, I had a good chuckle when some Super Spuds named Leyla, Luke, and Chewy turned up, along with their enemies, Anna and Kin. There’s also an epic speech in which Super Spud G-James mentions the title of nearly every James Bond film. Yes, the jokes can be a bit obvious at times, but I didn’t mind. In fact, as I read, I was eager to see which pop culture figure would show up next.

Just like ordinary potato chips, Super Spuds come in an assortment of flavors, although they’re probably not the ones that are familiar to us (Steak and spinach, anyone? How about a nice tuna flavor instead?) Each flavor corresponds to a particular Super Spud personality. My favorite flavor was steak and spinach (That would be my favorite Super Spud flavor in the book, not the flavor that I’d actually like to try. Steak and spinach does not sound like a palatable combination to me at all.). These Super Spuds are renowned for their strength and courage and are usually military generals. There’s no end to their valor, and they’re highly competitive with each other when it comes to saving their fellow Super Spuds. It’s hilarious watching them try to outdo each other with their acts of heroism.

Since Super Spuds are still only potato chips, after all, their fragile constitution means that the Super Spud mortality rate is fairly high. War sometimes breaks out between Super Spuds, too, adding even more names to the list of casualties that is found at the end of the book. There are a lot of characters in The Super Spud Trilogy, and you don’t get the chance to become attached to many of them because before you know it, they’ve met an untimely death. I wish that I’d been able to read more about a few of the Super Spuds before their demise, but that’s the way their world works. When you’re a Super Spud, you never know when a bird will swoop in and munch on you.

From time to time I like reading a book that is completely different from the genres that I usually read, and The Super Spud Trilogy fit the bill perfectly. It’s such a fun read from beginning to end, and there’s no shortage of imagination. This book is guaranteed to make you smile, and sometimes we all need a read like that.

All in All: The Super Spud Trilogy is a very original book that features numerous laugh-out-loud moments. If you’re in the mood for something light and comical, then try reading about the Super Spuds’ exciting adventures.

Check out the blog tomorrow for my interview with author Michael Diack!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (14)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's an opportunity for everyone to share the books which we've added to our shelves.

Ally's Books:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Thanks to my friend for lending me her copy!

Lee's Books:

Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Night Embrace by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

What did you add to your shelves this week?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (17)

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and
Alison Can Read. It's a great way to meet other book bloggers!

This week's question is:
What book do you think would make a great Halloween movie? Please explain in graphic detail of goriness . . .

Just based on the title alone, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake would make a perfect Halloween movie. It's definitely scary and probably not the type of book you want to read in the middle of the night with only a minimal amount of lights on. Emma Silver's Blackbrooke, with its grotesque, human-hunting Crits that come out at night to hunt their prey, would also make an excellent horror film.

If you're a new follower, be sure to let us know so that we can follow you back. Thanks for stopping by!

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