Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

October 19

Comments: 2

Hush, Hush Giveaway Winner

by Ann-Katrina

For the last giveaway, rather than have everyone simply leave a comment, I asked each participant to help me write an angelic story. (Befitting considering the prize was a copy of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, which I’ve already had the pleasure of reading and reviewing—both ARC and final.)

There were a number of entrants and I must thank each and everyone for indulging me; I know the barrier for entry was slightly out of the ordinary. And I certainly hope you all had as much fun as I did watching the story progress.

It was so much fun that I’m thinking of making a weekly game of it—a group story written one sentence at a time—but that’s for later. Now, it’s time to select a winner.

The final story is below; the winner’s sentence is in bold:

I was told once that angels couldn’t bleed, but the one sitting across from me was covered in blood. (original sentence)

He sat stiff and rigid, and barely glanced in my direction; I could tell he had been through a rough time, the wounds helped to prove it.

I leaned forward, wanting to help. But I didn’t know how to help – and I didn’t want to ask the obvious question of “are you ok?”

I realized the blood he was covered with was not his; it was mine.

It didn’t seem real, somehow.

I simply couldn’t figure out how it could be my blood. I couldn’t, couldn’t remember how I got injured, how I got here, anything, not even my own name…

I frantically searched my brain for any clue as to what my name was, and then I thought to look in my wallet – which I had forgotten at home that day in a rush to meet with him.

I began to breath hard, my hands began to shake, and he looked at me and smiled a sad sweet smile that made what was left of my blood heat up.

Cautiously, I looked him in the eyes wondering if it was possible that he could have inflicted these wounds upon me, wondering if I was here with him because I was dead. He didn’t look like he could have killed me, he had no weapon.

And, now that I thought about it, I was in far too much pain to be dead. He touched my cheek and asked me if i was ok, cautiously looking over his shoulder at something that i hadn’t noticed before.

Unsure as to whether or not I was okay, I didn’t answer and instead tried to get a closer look at what he was looking at, whincing in pain from the effort.

It was an indistinct shape, as if it was blurred at the edges, or perhaps, made of smoke.

I tried to think of what it could be – having never seen anything like it before. Is it really what it seems?

The shape took the outline of a human – or human like figure – and started walking toward him, my heart frozen with terror at what might happen next.

Suddenly strangely drawn to the smoky human figure walking towards us, I reached out as if to touch it, but, in a soft, cracking voice that sounded as if it hadn’t been used in ages, the angel spat out a harsh “No!”

I recoiled – though ‘fell back with a gasp of pain’ might be a better description.

He stood up and told me not to touch the figure, that if I did only pain and suffering would come to me.

I thought to myself, what could be more painful than the state I was in at this moment?

“What are we doing here?” the angel asked the figure as it emerged from the smoke; already his voice was much stronger.

I was puzzled more than fearful, but I felt like I was not supposed to see such a confrontation.

Those blank and life-grabbing eyes…

My heart pounded just as he was about to reach my skin…And then the angel grabed him…

He caressed me as if there was only me as I tentatively looked into his seductive eyes.

Suddenly, the angel’s face changed to one of anger, and he growled to me harshly under his breath “You have to leave here now! I don’t know how you got here, but this is not your fight!”

I was hurt by his words because for some reason, deep in my soul, I did not want to leave him alone.

I stood up and looked at him and said “No. I will not leave you.”

But I could not find the courage to resist, and so I ran from there, not looking back even when I heard the sound of two worlds coliding.

I knew I couldn’t get far, that the one still standing would reach for me soon enough, and I hoped it was the angel, even if my fascination with the creature was growing at every breath I took.

I stopped to regain my breath, leaning against a wall and praying to whoever would listen.

I was no longer sure that I could pray to the Guardian Angel I believed to have since childhood, for one had just stand before me and screamed.

Yes, he saved my life, but that did not hide the fact that he was a creature that inspired much fear.

The exploding sound, just centimeters away from me, came with a wave of dust covering everything around.

I could only understand that one of them had just landed with great force in the terrain that was before me, but I was unable to even guess which one by the mere sight of that silhouete.

As the dust began to settle, I finally could make at who it was – and a smile began to creep upon my lips; even though I fought to keep my face a mask.

An email has been sent out to the winner. If I don’t receive a response within 48 hours, I’ll select another winner. Congratulations and again, thank you for humoring me. :D

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October 13

Comments: 11

Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

by Ann-Katrina

Hush, Hush Cover

Back Cover of Hush, Hush

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Three Quick Points About Hush, Hush

  • Point 1: The best kind of bad. The smokin’ hot half-nekkid angel guy on the front cover barely does Patch justice.
  • Point 2: Nora disappears in the story. I mean that figuratively, of course. Her personality disappears. Sometimes she felt like a shrinking violet. (Not altogether a bad thing.)
  • Point 3: The names made me cross-eyed. OK, some of the character names were so far out there, I had to stop reading, process, shake my head, then continue.

Continue reading »

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October 10

Comments: 45

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

by Ann-Katrina

This post is sticky until the contest is over. For newer posts, please scroll down.

Hush, Hush Cover This is one highly anticipated book, especially because of that burning hot cover…yummy half naked guy…hooray to that cover designer.

There has been much talk in the blogosphere by those few lucky enough to have received a review copy and much drooling by those who can’t wait for October 13th to arrive fast enough.

Now, if you’re in the latter category, here’s a chance for you to get your very own ARC.

You’re probably staring at the screen a little cross-eyed wondering what I must be smoking if I’m willing to part with my amazing, drool-worthy copy of Hush, Hush, but fear not…the copy I’m offering up for giveaway is an extra ARC sent to me by the wonderful folks at Simon & Schuster.

Since I want to do something a little different for this particular giveaway, it’s not going to be your typical “leave a comment to be entered” post. Nope. Not at all.

Well, you still have to comment, yes, but that’s not all. In order to be officially entered in this Hush, Hush giveaway, you must help write an angelic story.

WTF?!? I hear you muttering…

Let me explain.

Continue reading »

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August 9

Comments: 8

Sunday Salon: Monsters, Zombies, and (Smokin’ Hot) Angels, Oh My!

by Ann-Katrina

Sunday Salon Welcome to another (late) edition of The Sunday Salon…

It’s been a fair while since my last Sunday Salon post and I’m writing this one late at night rather than in the morning, but I say it’s better late than never.

Raaaawwwwr! Scary Psychologically Abnormal Monsters Abound

The Night Monster Cover My current reading pleasure is The Night Monster by James Swain. I’m rounding the last fifty or so pages and will most likely finish it up tonight.

The story so far is about an ex-cop (detective) turned private investigator Jack Carpenter who’s on the hunt for a missing college basketball star, who also happens to be one of his daughter’s friends and teammates.

The case is personal to Jack because he discovers it’s connected to a case that he’d been investigating for sixteen years—a case involving an abduction that he hadn’t been able to stop.

So far, the book is great reading, though I’ll admit the first three-quarters of the book was fast-paced and even left me a little breathless and now that I’m nearing the end, and the action should be picking up, it seems to be trundling along at almost half-speed. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not necessarily a good thing either.

Even if the book’s pacing never picks up again, I still think it’s a great read. I hope to have my full review up some time this week.

And speaking of reviews I hope to have up this week…

It’s Twilight, with Zombies and Better Writing (and Only Marginally Better Editing)

Generation Dead Cover I’ve finished reading Generation Dead by Daniel Waters and absolutely loved it. There were some laugh out loud funny moments and the characters are all highly well developed. The writing is tight and flows well.

What I found highly interesting is that it’s Twilight, with zombies. The pacing of the book is similar to Twilight in that it meanders for the first three-quarters of the book and then for the last quarter, the action suddenly picks up. The difference with this book and Twilight is that the action is built from the beginning. We see the villain and watch him ramp up his campaign of evil.

Tommy Williams is described as having pale skin, and despite being dead, it’s not decaying or foul-smelling—he smells rather earthy actually. He’s also good-looking, strong, and feels stone-hard and cold when he’s touched. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s a zombified version of Edward Cullen.

Phoebe Kendall is described as being very pale, doesn’t realize her own physical beauty, can’t seem to sort out her romantic feelings and is inexplicably drawn to the new zombie in town despite knowing next to nothing about him. Bella Swan anyone?

Finally there is Adam Layman who is a living, breathing, hot-blooded teenage boy who happens to be one of Phoebe’s best friends. Despite his feelings for Phoebe, which he chews down and swallows, he helps her get closer to Tommy simply so he can be near her. Sounds vaguely familiar…oh that’s right, Jacob Black.

I also spotted similarities to Alice and Rosalie Cullen, and a few other characters from Twilight sprinkled throughout. There were even a couple references to vampires that made me do a double-take and giggle.

At the end of the day, I could probably dissect both books and write an essay, but I’ll save that for some other time. Instead, I’ll share my Sunday sketch (yay! I finally did one…and on a Sunday) of the Generation Dead love triangle.

generation-dead-bw

It originally had a bit of color to it (Phoebe’s eyes and lips), but since I didn’t scan it—took a picture with my digital camera because I’m lazy—I decided it looked better in black and white. Also, it shouldn’t be too difficult to see who I hope Phoebe ends up with—*cough*Adam*cough*

Smokin’ Hot Angel, Oh My!

Hush, Hush Cover I’ve started reading Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, but had to put the title aside and read a few other things. Why? I’m entirely too excited to read it. I’m worried that I’ll breeze through it and I would like to savor it.

When I finish the Night Monster, I believe I’ll take a few days to write reviews of all the books awaiting reviews (sad to say, quite a few) and then I’ll be picking up Hush, Hush again.

And…I may have a surprise in store for Today, I Read… newsletter subscribers coming up. That’s the only hint I’ll give. :)

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July 7

Comments: 7

Recent Arrivals: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

by Ann-Katrina

Recent Arrivals chronicles the books that have made their way onto the Today, I Read… bookshelf. Here’s the latest arrival: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush Cover

First line: I walked into biology and my jaw fell open. Mysteriously adhered to the chalkboard was a Barbie doll, with Ken at her side. They’d been forced to link arms and were naked except for artificial leaves placed in a few choice locations. *

Initial thoughts: I happened to check the mail when I was running out of the house and didn’t open the package until I was in the parking lot of a department store. And when I saw what was awaiting me–a signed ARC, you better believe I did a Snoopy dance and squealed like a fangirl with everyone watching. I even started reading while walking up and down the aisle…more than once I nearly ran over the stray pedestrian with my cart. To say I’m a little excited would be an understatement.

Book description:

Nora Grey is responsible and smart and not inclined to be reckless. Her first mistake was falling for Patch. Patch has a past that could be called anything but harmless. The best thing he ever did was fall for Nora.

After getting paired with Patch in biology, all Nora wants to do is stay away from him, but he always seems to be two steps ahead of her. She can feel his eyes on her when he is nowhere around. She feels him nearby even when she is alone in her bedroom. And when her attraction can be denied no longer, she learns the secret about who Patch is and what led him to her. Despite all the questions she has about his past, in the end, there may be only one question they can ask each other: How far are you willing to fall?

Book Details: 400 pages; Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing; Pub. October 13, 2009

*OK, I realize that’s not really a first line, it’s a first paragraph (almost). I had to include it because, seriously, read it! In fact, I selected the first line of the first chapter because the first line of the prologue could not live up to the first chapter’s in my eyes.

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