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2021 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (4)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho
- Illinois (4)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine
- Maryland (1)
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada (1)
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey (1)
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (6)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (1)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (3)
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming (1)
- *Washington, D.C.

International:
Australia (2)
Canada (3)
England (6)
France (1)
Ireland (1)
Switzerland (1)
The Philippines (1)
Wales (1)

My Progress:


28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2021 Fall Into Reading Challenge

My Progress:


0 / 24 books. 0% done!

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Children's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
(Hosted by Yours Truly!)

My Progress:


7 / 25 books. 28% done!

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My Progress:


33 / 50 books. 66% done!

Booklist Queen's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


35 / 52 books. 67% done!

2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

2021 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

The 52 Club's 2021 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


39 / 52 books. 75% done!
Friday, January 11, 2013

My Lunar Chronicles Extravaganza (With Exclusive Content, A Giveaway & Witty Commentary by Yours Truly)

If you've been paying attention to what's been going on here at BBB in the last little while (and if you haven't, what's wrong with you?), you know I recently found myself a new favorite YA series.  You've probably heard of it because, as it turns out, lots and lots of other bloggers adore it, too.  Usually, I shy away from series that get this much hype, but, this time, I'm glad I didn't.  Why?  Because, y'all, this series just plain rocks.  Really.  It's true.  It's fun, it's original, it's engrossing, it's clean—I mean, seriously, what's not to love?  

In case you've been living under a rock (or in a fortified bunker stuffed with canned food and zombie-fighting gear), let me tell you a little about The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.  This genre-bending series (dystopian + sci fi + fairy tale retelling) stars Linh Cinder, a 16-year-old cyborg who lives with her stepmother and stepsisters in the bustling metropolis of New Beijing.  As a robot/human mix, she's an outcast who (according to her adoptive family) is only useful for her mechanical skills.  With few friends, a deadly plague threatening the city's human citizens and an alien queen hovering above Earth just waiting for her chance to enslave whatever's left of the planet's population, Cinder doesn't have a lot to get excited about.  Except running away.  Then, Prince Kai stops by her stall in the marketplace and everything changes.  For the first time, Cinder feels seen.  And valued.  Suddenly, she has a purpose, one she could never have imagined.  So begins Cinder's desperate quest to save her planet, her future, and the only man she's ever loved ...

I know, right?  And the series is just as good—if not better—than it sounds.  The first book, Cinder, is available now.  Scarlet, which introduces intriguing new characters and conflicts, releases on February 15.  Those of us lucky enough to have read it already can tell you that it's even better than Cinder!  The last two books, Cress and Winter, will be published in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
  

Now for the good stuff ...

-- I mentioned fun, new characters in Scarlet.  One of my favorite is Carswell Thorne.  To introduce the engaging Mr. Thorne, here's what Marissa Meyer herself has to say:


“Captain” Carswell Thorne only ever reached the rank of Cadet in the American military before
he stole the spaceship on which he was stationed, abandoned his commanding officers, and took
off on a sprint of worldwide thefts that he was sure would lead to an early, luxurious retirement.
His ambitions were cut short, however, when he was captured and imprisoned in New Beijing.

His luck changes when another inmate stumbles into his cell during a jailbreak attempt and
Thorne forms a fast alliance with the infamous Linh Cinder herself. Thorne and Cinder may
not hit it off right away, but Thorne is nothing if not confident in his ability to win the hearts
and loyalty of his crew. Plus, he and Cinder have one important thing in common: they’ve
unwittingly become the most wanted fugitives in the galaxy.

Trust me, the man's a charmer!  You're going to love him and the rest of Scarlet's cast.

-- If you want to give the books a try before buying them (although after reading a little bit of the story, you're going to need the whole thing, trust me), you can download the first five chapters of both Cinder and Scarlet to your e-reader for free by using the following links:

Cinder: http://goo.gl/XqLWG
Scarlet: http://goo.gl/S2Bcs

(P.S.  If you do decide to pre-order Scarlet—and you should!— you can send in your receipt to get a free Scarlet-branded lip gloss using this link.)

-- If you—like me—can't get enough of The Lunar Chronicles and want more, more, more, you can download the following short stories for just .99 each:

Glitches (a prequel; the story of Cinder's adoption):  http://goo.gl/ggtcJ
The Queen's Army (the story of a soldier in the army of the lunar queen):  http://goo.gl/bmX4z

-- And, now, the most exciting news of all:  You can win yourself a paperback copy of Cinder, thanks to the generous folks at Macmillan.  All you have to do is use the handy-dandy Rafflecopter form below (please note: this is my first time using Rafflecopter, so if something's screwy, let me know).  The contest ends on January 31.  It's open to readers with U.S. and Canadian addresses only.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fast, Furious iBoy Gives Time-Worn Superhero Tale A Modern Twist

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When 16-year-old Tom Harvey gets struck in the head by a falling iPhone, everything changes.  Even after extensive brain surgery, he still has fragments of the phone embedded in his brain.  He's assured everyone—his doctors, his Gran, his friends—that he's perfectly fine, but he's not.  Not really.  Because the truth is, Tom's become an actualized App.  He can access any information he wants, at any time.  It's like the most incredible superpower ever and, as Tom soon learns, he can use it to do anything from acing school exams to listening in on phone conversations to bankrupting the entire United Kingdom.  It's awesome.  And terrifying.  Really, really terrifying.

Tom never asked to be Superman, but with his bottomless knowledge and the ability to channel electricity into his hands, he's finally got the weaponry to fight the evil that lurks all around the South London projects where he lives.  He plans to start with the gang bangers who raped 15-year-old Lucy Walker, the girl he's loved since they were both in diapers.  As iBoy, Tom soon gains a reputation for defending the weak, but having a secret, crime-fighting identity is not without its complications.  How far will Tom go to punish and protect?  What will unlimited power cost him and those he loves?  And what will Lucy think when she discovers that the superhero who awes her with his daring is really just plain old Tom Harvey?  As Tom faces his most cunning enemy yet, he'll have to decide who he truly is and how much he's willing to risk in order to embrace the dark, dangerous hero known as iBoy.  

iBoy, a YA thriller by Kevin Brooks, gives the time-worn superhero tale an intriguing modern twist, but asks the same questions:  What would you do if you possessed the ability to do almost anything?  Would you use it for good or ill?  And what would wielding that kind of power do to your basic humanity?  Even though it explores familiar themes, iBoy's got its own flavor.  It's dark and raw, but also affecting.  I sped through the story at the same fast-and-furious pace at which its plot moves because, yeah, it's that compelling.  Did it totally blow me away?  No.  Did it keep me completely riveted and entertained?  Oh, yeah.        

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books about superheroes, although no specific titles are coming to mind ... a little help?)

Grade:  B-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  R for strong language, violence, sexual content and depictions of illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of iBoy from the generous folks at Scholastic.  Thank you! 
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The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof

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Glass Houses by Louise Penny



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