Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday # 12 - The Diviners

Book: The Diviners

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)Author: Libba Bray

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Expected Release Date: September 18, 2012

Summary (From Goodreads): Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.

Why I'm Waiting: I first fell in love with Libba Bray when I read A Great and Terrible Beauty. It was a rich, gothic, historical/mystery/paranormal novel that managed to juggle all of these elements with ease, not an easy feat for any writer, but Bray definitely pulled it off. I'm so excited that she's getting back to similar themes with The Diviners. The historical setting is a little different for The Diviners however - instead of Victorian England, we will be exploring 1920's New York City. As a big Great Gatsby fan, I'm so excited that Bray set the book in this time period. Basically I could gush about this book forever, so I'm going to stop for now and continue the gushing once I actually read it!

Also, creepy trailer:

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What books are you waiting on? Let me know in the comments!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #11 - Every Day

Book: Every Day

Author: David Levithan

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Every DayExpected Release Date: August 28, 2012       

Summary (From Goodreads): Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

Why I'm Waiting: I have a confession to make: I've been terribly lax in my David Levithan reading. In fact, Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List (co-authored by Rachel Cohn) is the only David Levithan novel that I've read. This is ridiculous for two reasons. 1) I loved Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List and 2) I've heard nothing but good things about David Levithan's work. I vow to change my Levithan ignorance this year and I think Every Day would be a great place to start. It has a creative concept that could be very intriguing. It sounds like Invasion of the Body Snatchers from the Body Snatcher's point of view. That story on it's own would be interesting, but Levithan raises the satkes by adding a love story to the mix. This will surely be a great read, and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

What books are you waiting on? Let me know in the comments!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #10 - Son

Book: Son                                                         

Author: Lois Lowry

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt        

Expected Release Date: October 2nd, 2012       

Summary (From Goodreads): Told in three separate story lines, Lois Lowry’s Son combines elements from the first three novels in her Giver Quartet — The Giver (1994 Newbery Medal winner), Gathering Blue, and Messenger — into a breathtaking, thought-provoking narrative that wrestles with ideas of human freedom. Thrust again into the dark, claustrophobic world of The Giver, readers will meet an intriguing new heroine, fourteen-year-old Claire. Jonas from The Giver is here too, and Kira, the heroine of Gathering Blue. In a final clash between good and evil, a new hero emerges.

Why I'm Waiting: In my opinion, Lois Lowry is one of the titans of young adult literature. I was eleven when I first read The Giver, and it was a great introduction to YA for me and I highly recommend it if you haven't read it yet (seriously, if you haven't read it yet, go get a copy from your library, Amazon, local indie, etc. You won't be disappointed!). Gathering Blue and Messenger are also fantastic reads. It will be great to see all of the different storylines from these loosely connected novels come together. These books were a part of my childhood, so I'm excited to revisit them in this new novel!

What books are you waiting on? Let me know in the comments!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1) 
Summary (From Goodreads): In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. It is the summer of 1950—and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia’s family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

To Flavia the investigation is the stuff of science: full of possibilities, contradictions, and connections. Soon her father, a man raising his three daughters alone, is seized, accused of murder. And in a police cell, during a violent thunderstorm, Colonel de Luce tells his daughter an astounding story—of a schoolboy friendship turned ugly, of a priceless object that vanished in a bizarre and brazen act of thievery, of a Latin teacher who flung himself to his death from the school’s tower thirty years before. Now Flavia is armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together, to examine new suspects, and begin a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself. Of this much the girl is sure: her father is innocent of murder—but protecting her and her sisters from something even worse….

An enthralling mystery, a piercing depiction of class and society, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a masterfully told tale of deceptions—and a rich literary delight.

Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie was a great young adult mystery novel. It had a lot of elements going for it that I really like. It features a quirky small town, an old mansion, colorful characters, an intriguing mystery, and a strong, intelligent protagonist. Flavia de Luce is the lovechild of Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew. She is full of passion and curiosity, and still seems like a kid even if she is very mature for her age.

Buckshaw, the mansion where Flavia and her family lives, is beautifully detailed by Alan Bradley, as is Bishop's Lacey, the nearby village. It's full of interesting locations and people, which adds a lot of depth to the story. It isn't just about Flavia walking around Buckshaw and Bishop's Lacey. Other characters are living their lives and have their own storylines, which makes everything feel very real.

The mystery itself was rather slow going, but I didn't mind because I enjoyed reading about the other inhabitants of Buckshaw and Bishop's Lacey, something that probably would have been lost had Bradley increased the pace of the mystery. Things do pick up in the last hundred pages or so, as the case comes together. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in the series. 

Bottom Line: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is an enchanting mystery novel with a great setting and characters. A perfect read for a lazy summer's day!