Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris—the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend—but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

This is a engrossing and totally original book: a completely new take on werewolves which I found to be quite refreshing. Jackson Pearce writing style is elegant and flows easily from one idea to the next, allowing her reader to imagine a wonderfully descriptive world and realistic characters. Rosie and Scarlett themselves are written very well as two sisters that both want different things, but still feel the need to always stick together no matter what. Scarlett especially intrigued me with her seeming fearlessness and scarred face she earned when protecting her younger sister from the Fenris, and Rosie possess a fierce loyalty to Scarlett she feels she must have to repay the debt of her sister saving her life. Both girls are tough and determined with a special connection that only siblings can have. The romance between Rosie and Silas, the girl's hunter partner slash best- friend, was sweet, yet not earth- shattering and all- consuming like some novel's are-- an aspect I find that gets a bit old after a while. 

The plot moved along quickly, building up the tension and surprising it's readers with unexpected twists. The ending, which unfolded seamlessly, didn't really shock me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. A symbolic story told by the girl's grandmother gracefully interwove a deeper meaning into the overall plot line, and really makes the reader think about its meaning. And the Fenris themselves were positively creepy the way they stalked out all the defenseless girls in the dark and corner them. I found myself holding my breath during all the violent fight scenes, hoping Rosie and Scarlett and Silas would manage to get out of there alive. Overall, a gritty urban fantasy that will satisfy picky readers and enthrall fans of fairy tale retellings.

About the Author: Jackson Pearce is twenty-six years old and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosophy. She auditioned for the circus once, but didn’t make it; other jobs she’s had include obituaries writer, biker bar waitress, and receptionist. In addition, Jackson coaches both colorguard and winterguard at a local high school. Here are some more fun and totally random facts about this adorable author!
-She went to the University of Georgia, but also went to Georgia College and State University, where she took an amazing course on Adolescent Literature. Before that class, she'd always felt like it was weird for her to love YA so much, and want to write it so badly. That class gave her the confidence in the genre she needed to pursue it as a career.
-She has a younger sister, Katie, who is a nurse. She’s three years younger.
-She's really, really bad about buying way more books than she could ever possibly read.
-She thinks Sharpie Retractable Pens are the greatest thing ever invented.
-She doesn't have a favorite book. She loves a lot of books though.
-She hardly ever reread books and isn't quite sure why. She feels badly about that.
-One time she went deep sea fishing and caught a fish, then made everyone call her Captain Sparkleboots.
*Don't you just love her!??

 Other books you may enjoy ( mostly fairy-tale retellings): A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce, Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan, Beastly by Alex Flinn, Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (love this author!), anything by Robin McKinley, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (great read!), Bound by Donna Jo Napoli and East by Edith Pattou.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Yet Again...

I love Contests! This one you can win a copy of Afterlife by Claudia Gray from 365 Days of Reading! Check it out here! And check out Call me Crazy's contest for Nightshade (eek!) here!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another Great Contest

Hey everyone! Icey Books is having an amazing new contest giving away five copies of the much anticipated ( by me, anyway) Haven. Check it out here!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cool New Giveaway

Hey everyone. The My Bookish Ways blog is having an awesome giveaway of the new book, Outside In by Maria V Snyder. Check it out here!  

Friday, February 11, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path no one else has dared to follow.

Reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984 and Lois Lowry's The Giver, Matched is a story of defiance and hope in a world where choice is not an option. The Society is very well presented and imagined, from the elaborate Matched ceremony to the carefully portioned food the citizens eat. At first, one thinks, what could be wrong with that? To have decisions made for you, according to your interests and needs? But as you delve deeper into the book, you discover the delicate net of lies and deceit The Society has weaved underneath their perfect world. Ally Condie poses some interesting questions that really make you think, could this happen to us?

It's fascinating to see Cassia go from a naive girl who trusts completely in the The Society, to a brave young woman who learns to see her world as it really is. And yet she is still just a normal teenager-- falling in love, confused about her identity, participating in different activities. She has a strong voice, and I found her to be quite easy to relate to. In accordance to her grandfather's last advice to her, she learns to wonder about her life and the way it is so controlled. Dylan Thomas' poem ''Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night'' is one of my favorite pieces, and a perfect backdrop for the story. Cassia is observant and a perfect narrator, leaving the reader eager to get more of her story. A enchanting read.

Author: Ally Condie is a former high school English teacher who lives with her husband and three sons outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, running, eating, and listening to her husband play guitar. She got the general idea for Matched from her husband, who posited the question: What if someone wrote the perfect algorithm for lining people up, and the government used it to decide who you married, when you married, etc.? She started writing when she was very small, and her first books include Being Sixteen and the Yearbook trilogy, which can be found in most LDS bookstores. Her books have also been optioned for a film by Disney and Offspring. Her next novel, Trapped ( I can't wait!!!) is coming out somewhere around November 2011!

Other Books You May Enjoy: Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Wither by Lauren DeStefano ( coming out in March), and Feed by M. T Anderson.

Visit The official site of Matched here!