December 31, 2009

Book Gossip (#21)

Book Gossip #21 - To end the year in a good note!

(partially because the last book I read this year was so depressing)

Okay I know probably lots of people have seen this already but I was quite out of the loop while in Texas with my cousins - mostly because I was hanging out with my cousins, battling the flu and shopping till I dropped -to do my usual rounds checking favorite blogs and stuff.

But I was just checking Amazon just now and found out that Ally Carter revealed the cover of the Gallagher Girls Book Four (to be released June 15th, 2009).

Isn't it lovely?

In other news, all you Hathaway fans out there! Amazon has Married by Morning's release date to be May 25th, 2010. Go mark your calendars, I already did!

Now! I wish all of you a happy new year!!


Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Girl"Alice" has been with Ray for a long time now, living in a constant nightmare of abuse, hunger and uncertainty. It was not always like that, once she had another name and belonged to a family, but ever since a trip to the Aquarium when she was nine, she has been Ray's "Alice", a living dead girl.

But now she's older, fifteen, and her body is changing, she hopes Ray will kill her soon, now that she's no longer a little girl. But Ray is twisted, and things have never been that easy.

This is so not my kind of book, seriously, I try to avoid books like this because they depress the hell out of me and I find them quite disturbing. Alice's account of her days with Ray - and her little flashbacks to how it all began - are cold and almost clinical, you can sense how she's just numb now, how she hates him but is, at the same time, resigned to her life.

The weird part of it though, was that even though I knew she was the victim, I could never quite like her - sounds awful I know, but I didn't like her and it was very disturbing, maybe even a little frightening.

Definitely not a book for the younger set, and I don't think I'll ever re-read it, but it's quite a chilling story. I don't really know how to grade it, because I honestly didn't like it but not because it's bad book but because is just the kind of thing I avoid.

Grouping it with the fours, I guess, because technically it was very well written.



December 25, 2009

List Maniac #4 - On Favorite Books Read in 2009

Okay, so there are my favorite books I read during 2009 - regardless of when they were published

In random order.

EvolutionEvolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robing Brande (Review) - I was surprised at how much I loved this book and at how much it took me back to my middle school experience. But I loved Mena (I could never get her parents though), and the Connors and all the puppies!!

BeastTo Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt (Review) - One of my favorite authors writing one of my favorite type of story: A take on Beauty and the Beast! Nice characters, nice plot, awesome dog!

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (Review) - There is not one book by her that I haven't liked, Melina writes realistic fiction about teens with a perfect pitch and distinct voice. She could write a groceries list, I would still read it and love it. And I was so glad to finally get my paws on this book after waiting for 2 years!

AwakeningThe Awakening by Kelley Armstrong (Review)- I'm not a paranormal fan but Darkest Powers is one of my favorite exceptions, Book 1 (The Summoning) was OK, but The Awakening blew my socks off! And I CAN'T WAIT for The Reckoning, I think is my second most coveted book for next year.
And yeah, I LOVE Derek.

Girl OverboardGirl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley (Review) - Okay,s o I'm not Asian, I have only once seen snow - and I had to climb up a volcano for it, but it was worth it - yet I totally connected with Syrah and her love for snow and her family and, I was also mostly raised by an old person (my Grandma Sophie) so I loved Bau-Mu.

Being NikkiBeing Nikki by Meg Cabot (Review) - Even though I'm a longtime fan of Meg Cabot, there was a while there when I didn't really love many of her books, they were OK, they were fun, but I knew there would be no re-reading in the future. Then I got Airhead last year and surprise! I really liked it. And when Being Nikki came out earlier this year, it was LOVE!

Second WifeHis Secondhand Wife by Cheryl St. John (Review) - I had never bothered to read much Americana, I never though I would like historical romances set in America, but my romance reading friends told me "You have to read Cheryl St. John, then you make up your mind", and I'm seriously glad I did read it. Noah and Katy's story just so romantic, and now I'm an avid reader of this author.

ForeverForever Princes (Princes Diaries #10) by Meg Cabot (Review) - It was an awesome book to start the year! Usually when a series ends there is something or other that I don't quite like, but it wasn't the case with this book!! It reminded me of everything I loved about Mia and left me with warm fuzzies when it was all done.

The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler (Review) - I had read some of her books before and while I really liked some of them, others were not so awesome to my taste, but in Virginia I found an awesome heroine whom I would love to call a friend.


December 24, 2009

Story of my Life (EE #1) - Christmas Edition.

Story of My Life - Especial Edition - On Christmas!

Here in my country we don’t have the Thanksgiving tradition as in the US (and Canada, I found out watching How I Met Your Mother), so we save our giving thanks for Christmas. So, here I am. What I’m a grateful for as 2009 draws to an end?

Well, I got a wonderful family - stick around, you’ll hear plenty of them in upcoming SOL’s. My sister might be a bitch on wheels half the time but when push comes to shove, she always sticks around. I also happen to be my parent’s beloved baby, who even at the advanced age of 25 remains theirs to spoil (and trust me, I AM A SPOILED BRAT), but more than that their love is upon me. Plus, there is my extended family, aunts and uncles and so many wonderful cousins – my cousin-but-really-more-like-a-sister Betty, in particular.

I also have an awesome most excellent dog! Name’s Rocco Albert Lampone and technically he’s my sister’s dog but see, until a couple of years ago I had my own dog, his name was Kero Boulis Daidojui (Bola for short) and he was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever been around. Daddy originally got it for both my sister and me, but there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Bola was mine, sadly a couple of years ago, Bola died and since then Rocco sleeps in my bedroom, like Bola used to do. He might not care one whit for any order I give him, and did destroy my favored pair of Sylvester slippers, he might listen to Boo more, but when I get back to my house from school or work, is his wagging tail that lets me know I have a home.

Friends! That’s another thing I’m very grateful for. There are my real life friends, Vi in particular who has been my best friend since Prep School, when we got talking one day because even though we didn’t have a math teacher during the first few weeks, we both always got early to school anyway. She’s crazy, but she understands me. There are also my E-friends, like Niradj and his girlfriend, whom I’ve been close to for almost eight years, there is Lauren and Stella whom I still keep contact with since we met in a message board Ages ago. And Kylie too, who next to Vi might be one of the few people who actually knows who deeply neurotic I am. And so many others.

There is YOU, and everyone who’s reading this. When I began to blog about books, I never thought it would stick, see, I’m not real good when it comes to finishing projects, since I lack ambition and my competitive inner bitch is usually smothered under a thick blanket of laziness, it’s easy for me to give up.

But I haven’t and in big part that’s thanks to you – and to the Bloggiesta, who forced me to get back on track.

And I’m also thankful for my Bearsie, the teddy bear that has been source of amusement, comfort and love since I saw him under our Christmas three, 23 years ago. He has been pillow, international traveler and keeper of all my secrets. Might be old and his fur not what once used to be, but he’s still sitting right next to me always.

Well, that’s me! What about you?


PS – Happy Xmas/Holidays/Winter Break!

December 22, 2009

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Daughter of the Forest AustraliaIgnored by her father but cherished by her six older brothers, Sorcha lives happily in Sevenwaters. When her brother Finbar rescues a Briton prisoner, Sorcha - who even at a young age is a skilled healer - is entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the prisoner, a young man by the name of Simon.

For many weeks Sorcha takes care of Simon, nursing him through his pain and nightmares and giving him some hope... until her oldest brothers and father return from war and she's summoned home, without her, Simon decides to go, leaving Sorcha to wonder what happened to him.

But Sorcha doesn't have much time to dwell on that, her father has brought home a new wife, Lady Oonagh, who will stop at nothing until she sees Sorcha and her brothers destroyed, finally using magic to turn all six brothers into swans, leaving Sorcha with the impossible task to return them to human form by keeping silent and weave six shirts of starwort for her brothers.

While going about her task, Sorcha is hurt by two men and withdraws into herself and, unsure if she'll complete the task, if she'll ever care about anything enough again, she hops into a boat and heads down the river, landing in the hands of Hugh of Harrowfield, Simon's brother who has come to Erin (Ireland) to find answers regarding his brother's disappearance.

Hugh realizes that Sorcha knows something of what happened to his brother, so he takes her home to Harrowfield, understanding that for her to tell him what happened, she needs to finish her task first. Not that things are any easier in Harrowfield... as Sorcha works on finishing the shirts for her brothers, new and old shadows are cast over Harrowfield, and those she's coming to love.

Okay, sorry for the super long 'summary' I was trying not to spoil much but trust me, this book is epic! I read it several years ago and it's amazing, I re-read it at least once a year. Like I said it's an epic, following Sorcha for several years, it's not a romantic story but it contains one of the sweetest romances I've ever read.

This book is not for the faint of heart, though. There are very dark passages in the book - though there is nothing explicit - and the mood can get very haunting. It took me a long time to finish reading it, and even when I re-read sometimes I have to put the book down and re-group. But if you can put up with it, you'll find an amazing book.

starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite

PS - I posted the Australian cover of the book because I don't like the US one.
PSS - This is book One in the Sevenwater Series.

December 21, 2009

To Love a Princess by Patricia Grasso

Love PrincessPrincess Amber Kazanov ran off to England to seek the protection of her cousin Prince Rudolf and avoid being sold by her uncle. Once in England, Amber realizes that what she really needs is a husband to protect her and, to that effect, Rudolf introduces her to Miles Montgomery, a reclusive earl who has lived alone in his estate for four years, ever since a fire killed his wife and left him with many scars.

Reluctantly, Miles allows Amber to stay in his house and they eventually reach an agreement. But their marriage is anything but smooth. Does he still love his dead wife? Will her uncle find her? Will he ever believe he might love him, even with his scars?

Yeah, you find out all of that in the book. I actually thought I was going to like this book, I usually like my wounded heroes finding love and happiness, but I didn't like this story. Yes, Miles, you have scars, we get it! you're also a douche bag and don't grovel nearly enough. Amber, you are nice and everything but you forgive the douche bag way too easily every time he says and does something douche-baggy.

And there are many times!!!!

Promising start, but it fell apart very quickly.


December 19, 2009

Ghostgirl: Homecoming by Tonya Hurley

HomecomingWARNING: Possible spoilers of Ghostgirl

When we last saw Charlotte Usher, she had made new friends (Pam and Prue in the Dead Ed and Scarlet in Hawthorne High) and had managed to graduate from Dead Ed and move on.

Only that the After Life didn't turn out to be quite what Charlotte expected. For one, she has to work at a hot-line for troubled teens, only that she never gets a call from anyone; and her friends from Dead Ed suddenly are too busy for her - what with their being reunited with their love ones while Charlotte has nobody - and living in small apartment with her new friend Maddy.

Back at Hawthorne things aren't so peachy either. Damen and Scarlet are still together but distance is feeding up Scarlet's insecurities. And Petula - Scarlet's sister and Damen's ex - isn't helping. But, when Petula has a tragic pedicure and her life is thrown in the line Scarlet's crazy attempt to get her sister back will take her back to Charlotte and to a new story to be told.

I have to say I liked Homecoming more than what I liked Ghostgirl, I felt the pace was more even, and the story even stronger. I liked re-visiting the characters a lot, and the part of me that will always be 17 found a lot common ground with Charlotte this time.

As with Ghostgirl, Homecoming isn't really about ghosts but about life and death and love and the many shapes all of those can take. I was surprised at the growth some of the characters experienced, specially Petula who starts as a character so shallow that she's almost comic relief, but who actually grew on my during this book while remaining true to herself.

The book is self conclusive but I'm glad I just found out there will be a third Ghostgirl book called Ghostgirl: Lovesick, coming out July 2010. I'm actually quite looking forward to meeting Charlotte and her gang again.


December 15, 2009

Review Policy, a Long Overdue Post

Hello everyone!

I was looking back on the blog, thinking about the stuff I wanted to get done before the New Years and what I hope for the year to come, and I realized that I never made known my review policy. Mostly because when I started this blog it was all for fun and never thought I should explain the inner workings of my mind - I also wasn't sure if I could keep it up (the reviewing I mean, I'm often at lose of words when there is something I want to say).

But, here we are, more than a year and a half later!

So I thought it was time.


Here at AnimeGirl's Bookshelf (or The Bookshelf, for short), I review Young Adult Fiction and Romance novels, within this two big genres I'm open to everything, Historical, Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal, etc.

I give an honest opinion about them and try not to post undue spoilers - though this is hard since I'm a certified spoiler hound - and just share the books I love and try to get more people to read them.
My rating system goes from 2 stars (being the lowest) to 5 stars (being the highest), and it works something like this:

5.0 Must read, a book to keep, can't wait for more of the same author/next book in series
4.5 Loved the book, almost perfect, still a must read!
4.0 Really Good - Liked the book, will look for more by the same author. Minor drawbacks
3.5 OK book, not great but pretty good. Will keep checking out this author. Some drawbacks
3.0 OK book, not rushing to buy more by the same author/next book in series, but will still read eventually. Average.
2.5 Meh - I wonder why I picked up this book. Major draw backs and only some redeemable qualities. Isn't likely I'll read more by this author.
2.0 Meh - Won't be reading more by this author.

Originally I also had these two:
1.0 Horrible - What the hell I was thinking?
DNF - Couldn't finish.

But I definitely reckon that book reviewing is 95% a matter of personal taste - just because I didn't like something doesn't mean other people feel the same - and I don't believe in book bashing. So those two categories were removed from my rating system, when I don't like a book or can't finish, I simply don't review it.

In short, you can see my system on the left-hand side of the page:
SystemThere is also one special category for books close to my heart, the re-reads, the books I'll treasure and carry with me forever:
Personal Favorite
Personal Favorite

Also, I'm a reviewer outside the US, which means I buy pretty much all the books I review - save for those my family or friends gift me with or loan me from time to time. Would I love to get some books to review? sure, but I reckon that living outside the US that's hard.

Anyway, that, in a nutshell is how the site works.

December 13, 2009

Switched (My Sister The Vampire) by Sienna Mercer

SwitchedWhen moving to Franklin Grove, the last thing Olivia Abbott thought she would find was her twin sister (the one she didn't know she had) but that's exactly who Ivy Vega is: her twin.

Although they couldn't be more different - Olivia is a pink-wearing, veggie loving cheerleader, while Ivy is a Goth who loves meat - the girls are thrilled at having found each other, they even agree they shouldn't tell their respective parents about each other yet, not until they figure why they were separeted when they were adopted by their families.

Still, that doesn't keep Olivia and Ivy from having fun, especially if that means switching places to help each other out. Eventough that means Ivy is going to have to trust Olivia with a big secret she's not supposed to tell anyone: there are vampires all around Franklin Grove, and Ivy is one of them.

I honestly didn't expect much of this book, I basically picked it up because I liked the cover but, in the end, I was glad I read it. It's basically the story of two sisters who couldn't be more different but love each other fiercely. It's definitely a great read for the younger set, funny and sweet.


star starstarstar