Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bloggers of the Deep tour: Guest Post

I'm so excited to have Zoraida Córdova, author of  The Vicious Deep, stop by the blog today. She's going to talk about how watching Disney's  The Little Mermaid helped her learn English. But first, a little about her book.

Title: The Vicious Deep
Series: The Vicious Deep ⋯ Book 1
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Summary: For Tristan Hart, every-thing changes with one crashing wave.

He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.

His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.

Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea. . .and now it wants him back.


Now for how Zoraida learned English through The Little Mermaid . . .

Actually, I learned while still in Ecuador. I was three and my grandmother, already in New York, sent me the VHS as a gift. I watched it everyday, making my aunt rewind it over and over again, until I could do it myself. I should get her a sweet gift as a thank you.
Sometimes I wonder what is was about this specific movie that enchanted me as a kid. I was already taking English as a second language, but it wasn't enough. Repeating foreign words in a classroom didn't mean anything. When I watched the movie, each word came to life. When I moved to New York at age 6 (maybe 7), I don't remember the transition. I simply remember having complete understanding of what was being said to me in this foreign new school.
I can't say I wouldn't have ever learned without The Little Mermaid as a gateway to language, magic, mermaids—surely I would've gotten there somehow—but I'm very glad that it was. I wouldn't be the person I am without it.

About Zoraida: Zoraida Córdova was left by some merpeople on the coast of Guayaquil, Ecuador, where she learned to speak English by watching Disney's The Little Mermaid and Michael Jackson's Moonwalker on repeat. She's been a New Yorker since she was six, and never forgot about her mermaid lineage. She studied with Jaqueline Woodson, Ann Angel, and the late Norma Fox Mazer at the National Book Foundation writing camps. In 2007 she was awarded the Dennis Lehane scholarship to Pine Manor's Summer Solstice Writing Conference. She majored in English Literature at the University of Montana and Hunter College in New York City.

Find Zoraida

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Book Review ⋯ My Soul to Steal

Title: My Soul to Steal
Series: Soul Screamers ⋯ Book 4
Author: Rachel Vincent
Pages: 343
Stars: ★★★★★

Summary: Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.

See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.

And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.

Review: I loved the book! I love Rachel Vincent's writing so much, and this didn't disappoint. I liked how the book kept you guessing on who was really behind everything until the very end. The book also made me an even bigger fan of Tod.

My review of My Soul to Take: [here]
My review of My Soul to Save: [here]
My review of My Soul to Keep: [here]

Thursday, April 12, 2012

ARC Review ⋯ Shadow and Bone

Title: Shadow and Bone
Series: The Grisha ⋯ Book 1
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Pages: 358
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Stars: ★★★★★

Summary: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. 

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. 

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Review: Absolutely loved! I loved how conflicted Alina was about everything, like her feelings about her powers and her feelings about Mal. I loved the ending, how it felt like an ending, but still left a lot to be resolved in the next books. I cannot WAIT for the next book.

I was in no way paid for this review. I won this free ARC in a giveaway I entered in.

NOTE: The number of pages is based on my ARC copy.

Book Review ⋯ Grave Mercy

Title: Grave Mercy
Series: His Fair Assassin ⋯ Book 1
Author: Robin LaFevers
Pages: 549
Stars: ★★★★★

Summary: Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf? 

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. 

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Review: I absolutely loved it! It was so amazing! I loved how detailed everything was, from whatever Ismae's surroundings were to all of her thoughts. And thanks to Nightshade and The Mortal Instruments, I knew what most of the weapons were :).

A very short review, but I will say that ALL OF THE PEOPLE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK and Nun Assassins FTW!

ARC Review ⋯ The Book of Blood and Shadow

Title: The Book of Blood and Shadow
Series: None
Author: Robin Wasserman
Pages: 436
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Stars: ★★★★★

Summary: It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark. 

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

Review: This book was so good! Absolutely amazing! I can't believe it was the first Wasserman book I've read. I loved how I didn't find out who everyone really was until the very end, and I LOVED the ending. It wrapped up nicely, and it felt like an end, there wasn't anything left unfinished. I loved the writing style, too. It was a little different from what I'm used to, in wording and such, but I loved it nonetheless. This is definitely a book you should pick up, and soon.

I was in no way paid for this review. I won this free ARC in a giveaway that I entered in.

NOTE: The number of pages is based on my ARC copy, as I have not checked a final copy.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review ⋯ My Soul to Keep

Title: My Soul to Keep
Series: Soul Screamers ⋯ Book 3
Author: Rachel Vincent
Pages: 278
Stars: ★★★★★

Summary: Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them. Until something does. 

Demon’s breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow, the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends—one of whom is already hooked. And when the epidemic hits too close to home, Kaylee will have to risk everything to save those she loves.

Review: Loved it! Rachel Vincent did a wonderful job, as usual. I was sad for a bit in the beginning, because Tod wasn't there, but the ending totally made up for it. I loved the details used when describing even the tiniest things. I loved everything!

Sorry it's a super short review, I just can't come up the words.

My review of My Soul to Take: [here]
My review of My Soul to Save: [here]

Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Review ⋯ Bumped

Title: Bumped
Series: Bumped ⋯ Book 1
Author: Megan McCafferty
Pages: 237
Stars: ★★★★★

Summary: When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. Girls sport fake baby bumps and the school cafeteria stocks folic-acid-infused food.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job. 

Harmony has spent her whole life in Goodside, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to convince Melody that pregging for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Review: I loved this book! I completely devoured it, it was just so good! I think that the author did a wonderful job of writing about a sorta uncomfortable subject—teen pregnancy. While at times I thought it was horrifying to think of girls getting 'pregged' so young, it was also interesting to read about a world that was in such a possible danger of dying off that they paid teens to hook-up, get pregnant, and then give up their baby. 

I loved seeing how Melody and Harmony's views change though out the book, and how not everything came together until the very end. Overall, I absolutely loved this book!