Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

February 22

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Recent Arrivals: Geek Fantasy Novel by E. Archer

by Ann-Kat

Recent Arrivals chronicles the books that have made their way onto the Today, I Read… bookshelf. Here’s the latest arrival: Geek Fantasy Novel by E. Archer

Geek Fantasy Novel cover

First line: Wishes are dangerous.

Initial thoughts: I don’t know what to think except awesome. I love the cover and from the first chapter it looks like a fun read. It brings back those high school memories of playing D&D and a geekily modified version of freeze tag in my neighbor’s backyard.

Book description:

Be careful what you wish for. Really. Wishes are bad. Very bad.

They can get you trapped in a fantasy world full of killer bunny rabbits, evil aunts, and bothersome bacteria, for example.

But you already knew that, didn’t you?

Ralph, alas, does not. He’s been asked to spend the summer with his strange British relatives at their old manor house in order to set up their Wi-Fi network. But there’s much more to it than that, of course. It’s just that nobody told Ralph. He’s a gamer, sure. But this game is much stranger–and funnier–than anything manufactured by Nintendo.

Book Details: 320 pages; Scholastic Press; Pub. April 2011

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February 8

Comments: 2

Teaser Tuesdays: The Words in the Rose Bushes

by Ann-Kat

Teaser Tuesdays Happy Tuesday! It’s time again for another edition of Teaser Tuesdays

Here are the rules:

  • Grab your current read
  • Let the book fall open to a random page
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • You also need to share the title of the book where you get your teaser from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given
  • Please avoid spoilers

Alphabet of Thorn cover This week’s teaser:

“She stared at the problem silently a moment, her pale eyes nearly colorless and very cold. They moved finally from the problem in midair to Tessera, who felt their cold like a frost in her bones.” pg. 131 Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia A. McKillip

It’s been too long since I’ve read any true lose-yourself-in-another-world fantasies, so I’m finding this book to be truly enchanting. I also love the lush writing style. Since I just started the book there isn’t much by way of character development and it jumps around a bit, but I’m hoping that all will become clear by the time I turn the final page.

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December 21

Comments: 3

Teaser Tuesdays: Ooh, Shiny, Shiny Ring…

by Ann-Kat

Teaser Tuesdays Happy Tuesday! It’s time again for another edition of Teaser Tuesdays

Here are the rules:

  • Grab your current read
  • Let the book fall open to a random page
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • You also need to share the title of the book where you get your teaser from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given
  • Please avoid spoilers

Lord of the Rings book cover This week’s teaser:

The others followed his example, putting their packs against the bank and their legs out into the road. After a rest they had a good lunch, and then more rest. pg. 74 The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

It’s probably not a surprise, but I love The Lord of the Rings and it’s been a very long time since I read any part of it. I’ve had this mammoth single volume edition sitting on my bookshelf for too long, so I decided to read it a chapter at a time in between my other books. So far, I’ve smiled, gasped, and laughed…and it’s reminded me why I prefer reading books before watching movies–so many little things end up changed in a movie and a book povides you with the broader picture, usually. (But to be clear, I think the movie production was awesome.)

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December 18

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Recent Arrivals: StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce

by Ann-Kat

Recent Arrivals chronicles the books that have made their way onto the Today, I Read… bookshelf. Here’s the latest arrival: StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce

StarCrossed cover

First (two) sentence(s): I couldn’t think. My chest hurt from running, and I wasn’t even sure I was in the right place.

Initial thoughts: The first chapter paints this book as an intriguing read, but I can tell straight away that another round of edits for minor errors was needed, but I’m hoping it won’t detract from the reading. It starts in media res with Digger, a thief, having just escaped some guards, leaving behind her boyfriend. (I assume it’s her boyfriend since they were kissing.) And there’s a mystery swirling around the letters she and her boyfriend were commissioned to steal. So far, this looks like it will be action-packed fantasy and I want to know more.

Book description:

High in the snow-covered mountains of Llyvraneth, in a castle full of the country’s elite, Celyn Contrare serves as a lady-in-waiting to shy young Merista Nemair. Her days are spent dressing in velvet and brocade, attending Lady Merista, navigating court gossip, and charming noblemen over lavish feasts.

And at night, she picks locks, steals jewels, forges documents, and collects secrets. Because Celyn isn’t really a lady-in-waiting; she’s not even really Celyn Contrare. She’s Digger, a sneak-thief on the run from the king’s Inquisition, desperate to escape its cruel instruments and hatred of magic. If she’s discovered, it will mean her certain death…

…But life as a lady-in-waiting isn’t safe either. The devious Lord Daul knows her secret, and he’d blackmailing her to serve as his personal spy in the castle. What she discovers–about Daul, about the Nemair, even about her own Lady Merista–could signal civil war in Llyvraneth. And for a thief trained never to get involved, taking sides could be the most dangerous job yet.

Book Details: 400 pages pages; Arthur A. Levine Books; Pub. October 1, 2010.

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