Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

December 29

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Download a Free Copy of Wish by Alexandra Bullen

by Ann-Katrina

Wish cover To commemorate the upcoming release of Wishful Thinking (I’m loving that cover), you can download a free ebook copy of Wish by Alexandra Bullen from now through January 3, 2011.

About the book:

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone… until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn’t just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can’t solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, WISH asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

You can read the book through the widget or download a copy to your Kindle. Also, keep your eyes open for a Wishful Thinking giveaway (which will be open to international readers, yay!).

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February 8

Comments: 2

Recent Arrivals: Natalie Babbitt Galore!

by Ann-Katrina

When I was younger, I caught the tail end of a movie called Tuck Everlasting. It looked beautiful. And when I found out it was based on a book, I knew I wanted to read that book.

Years drifted by and despite wanting to watch the movie from the beginning and read the book, it slipped my mind. Now I’m making up for it…it seems, in spades. But something tells me I’ll enjoy Babbitt’s style, so I’m going out on a limb and stockpiling.

Tuck Everlasting The Eyes of the AmaryllisGoody Hall The Search for Delicious

Tuck Everlasting: Is eternal life a blessing or a curse? That is what young Winnie Foster must decide when she discovers a spring on her family’s property whose waters grant immortality. Members of the Tuck family, having drunk from the spring, tell Winnie of their experiences watching life go by and never growing older.

But then Winnie must decide whether or not to keep Tuck’s secret—and whether or not to join them on their never-ending journey.

The Eyes of the Amaryllis: When the brig Amaryllis was swallowed in a hurricane, the captain and the crew were swallowed, too. For thirty years the captain’s widow, Geneva Reade, has waited, certain that her husband will send her a message from the bottom of the sea. But someone else is waiting, too, and watching her, a man called Seward. Into this haunted situation comes Jenny, the widow’s granddaughter. The three of them, Gran, Jenny, and Seward, are drawn into a kind of deadly game with one another and with the sea, a game that only the sea knows how to win.

Goody Hall: An out of work actor, Hercules Feltwright, stumbles into a job tutoring Willet Goody, the only child of a widow living in a large, lonely house. Willet quickly involves his tutor in the search to discover the truth surrounding his father. The mystery unfolds with the discovery of hidden treasure, a gypsy séance, and the frightening exploration of a tomb of Midas Goody.

The Search for Delicious: Twelve-year-old Gaylen, the king’s messenger, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first, it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary.

Then Gaylen’s quest leads him to unusual characters, including a minstrel who sings about a mermaid child, and Ardis, who might save the kingdom from havoc. And soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

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January 7

Comments: 28

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Wish by Alexandra Bullen (Autographed)

by Ann-Katrina

Wish I wanted to start the new year off with something great at Today, I Read… and then I got some wonderful news from Sheila—she’s allowing me to give away an autographed copy of Wish by Alexandra Bullen.

Here’s a rundown of the story:

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone… until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn’t just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can’t solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, WISH asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

Since my Hush, Hush giveaway was such a success (and a ton of fun to boot), I decided to keep the format. Basically, to enter the giveaway, you must help write a story…this time around, a fairytale.

In this post will be a sentence which will serve as the beginning of our story. The first person to comment must copy the first sentence and add another sentence to the story, the person after that must copy the previous commenter’s sentence and add another sentence, and so forth.

I know, I know…the torture! the agony! the inhumanity!! You’re probably naming all the ways you aren’t creative, but I beg to differ (don’t you remember that awesome finger painting you did when you were six that could rival a genuine Van Gogh?) and plus, wouldn’t it all be worth it if you win a copy of Wish?!?

So without further ado…

Here’s the first sentence: Continue reading »

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September 3

Comments: 1

Recent Arrivals: The Hollow by Jessica Verday and Ash by Malinda Lo

by Ann-Katrina

Recent Arrivals chronicles the books that have made their way onto the Today, I Read… bookshelf. Here are the latest arrivals: The Hollow by Jessica Verday and Ash by Malinda Lo

The Hollow

The Hollow Cover 544 pages; Simon Pulse; Pub. Sept. 1, 2009

First line: It was funny. At a time like this, I wasn’t supposed to be thinking […] *

Description:

When Abbey’s best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead?and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen’s funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey’s life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he’s the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again…but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen’s betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

Ash

Ash Cover 272 pages; Brown Young Readers; Pub. Sept. 1, 2009

First line: Aisling’s mother died at midsummer.

Description:

Pushed into indentured servitude for her stepmother in the City to pay off her father’s debts, Ash is consumed with grief. She misses her family and her happy life at the edge of the Wood where old magic used to linger in the air like fairy breath. Her only joy comes from the brief, stolen walks in the woods with the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean. Ash’s single, unspoken hope is that someday he might steal her away, as fairies are said to do.

But on the day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, from Kaisa she learns the art of the hunt, how to ride and track. Their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, but it grows and changes, and with it, Ash reawakens her capacity for love—and her desire to live.

Entrancing and romantic, Ash is an empowering retelling of Cinderella about choosing life and love over solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

I was so excited when these books arrived (both on the same day no less) because it means I have a couple more books to add to the RIP IV reading pool. The Hollow immediately went on my Want List when I first read about it during a Waiting on Wednesday round. Plus, Ash will be my first foray into (contemporary) GLBT reading (I think…I can’t recall any other title off the top of my head, but I may have read something in high school) and I’m anxious to see how it’s done.

* I’m trying something new with the first line; rather than printing only the first full sentence, I’m only going to include the first line as printed in the book.

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March 19

Comments: 5

Review: Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot

by Ann-Katrina

boy-meets-girl

Back Cover of Boy Meets Girl

Meet Kate Mackenzie. She:

  • works for the T.O.D. (short for Tyrannical Office Despot, also known as Amy Jenkins, Director of the Human Resources Division at the New York Journal)
  • is sleeping on the couch because her boyfriend of ten years refuses to commit
  • can’t find an affordable studio apartment anywhere in New York City
  • thinks things can’t get any worse.

They can. Because:

  • the T.O.D. is making her fire the most popular employee in the paper’s senior staff dining room
  • that employee is now suing Kate for wrongful termination, and
  • now Kate has to give a deposition in front of Mitch Hertzog, the scion of one of Manhattan’s wealthiest law families, who embraces everything Kate most despises…but also happens to have a nice smile and a killer bod.

The last thing anybody–least of all Kate Mackenzie–expects to find in a legal arbitration is love. But that’s the kidno f thing that can happen when…BOY MEETS GIRL.

Three Quick Points About Boy Meets Girl

  • Point 1: Voyeurism on a whole new level. The entire story unfolds via correspondence such as office emails, forms, IMs, phone messages, lists, and journal entries. Very clever.
  • Point 2: Where’d the time go? Since the story unfolds via correspondence, it’s difficult (if not completely impossible) to track how much time has passed. That also contributes to the disingenuous evolution of Kate and Mitch’s relationship.
  • Point 3: Predictable ending with a nifty twist. This being the type of book that it is, it won’t be a surprise that girl ends up with prince charming, but it’s the twist at the end that makes it worthwhile.

Continue reading »

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