Monday, October 26, 2009

Catching Fire

Please, for your own sake, don’t read this review of Catching Fire unless you have already read The Hunger Games. If you haven’t, check out my review of The Hunger Games here:

Also, if you are looking for my contest, simply scroll down or click here:

Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games blew me away, as it did many. I mean, wow! I was left breathless, stunned, and in a state of suspense when it came to a close – Katniss clearly not as safe as she (and we) hoped she’d be after winning the Games with the sweet, every-girl’s-dream-guy Peeta.

The Capitol, she had found out, was not happy with her pulling one over on them. But, what she didn’t realize at the end of The Hunger Games was just how much the final seconds of the Hunger Games impacted all the other districts. Katniss’ actions roused in the citizens’ weary, tired bodies an inspiration that maybe, just maybe, the Capitol could be defeated. An idea that had only been a distant fantasy for the past many decades.

In the meantime, Katniss finds herself torn between a strong bond and confused feelings for Peeta, whom she feels she betrayed, and her loyal, Capitol-hating best friend Gale, whom she also feels she betrayed. Somehow, Suzanne Collins makes these relationships so starkly realistic and painful – not at all angsty or of a different nature than who Katniss is. In other words, she doesn't become a pile of girly-goo when it comes to good-looking, interesting guys. Um refreshing much? Yeah.

But none of Katniss’ heartache regarding Peeta and Gale can overcome the terrible, utter fear of President Snow’s seemingly omniscient knowledge of her and her family and the damage he can do. She finds herself desperate to prove to all of Panem that she was just a love-struck flake when she and Peeta (at her suggestion) took out the poison berries instead of kill each other.

But will it work? Or will things only get worse, and her loved ones be put in even more danger?

I’m not sure if my synopsis really does the basic plot justice. In fact, I'm sure it doesn't.

Catching Fire is truly a magnificent novel, capturing the exact same level of emotion, tension, and character development as the The Hunger Games. Every page and every chapter brought another surprise – I honestly did not have any idea what would happen next.

The guesses of even an experienced bibliophile like me, who has read hundreds of books, could not believe where Catching Fire went, and where it ended.

It was unbelievable, incredible, and astonishing!

Don’t get it yet? Here’s some more adjectives for you: Poignant, shocking, heart-rending, horrifying, and inspiring.

I don’t know what else to say but to READ Catching Fire! For the characters, the plot, the thrills, the tears, the romance, the shocks, and the genuinely original story!!!

Suzanne Collins, you are one hell of a writer. I’m astounded, and frantic for the final novel!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Vampire’s Assistant CONTEST!!!

Have you heard about Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant movie coming out on October 23rd? Well, if you haven't here's your chance to learn more about it before heading to the theatres! Yep, it's your chance to WIN!!!

There will be TWO winners, to be exact!

In theaters October 23rd
Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, based on the popular series of books by Darren Shan, is a fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.

CIRQUE DU FREAK has been rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned - Some Material May Be Inappropriate for Children Under 13) for sequences of intense supernatural violence and action, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language.

Sounds pretty cool, right?!

Did you catch the part about it being based off a popular series of BOOKS? Here's where the contest part comes in. :)

How would you like to win the first three books in the series, all placed together in one tide volume? Awesome, yes?!

THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT and Other Tales from the Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan

New movie edition features the first three books--Cirque Du Freak, The Vampire's Assistant, and Tunnels of Blood-- bound up in one volume!

Do you love to be scared? Then don't miss the terrifying adventure that begins when Darren and his best friend, Steve, get tickets to the CIRQUE DU FREAK, a wonderfully bizarre and creepy freak show. Brace yourself for thrills and chills as the boys witness a parade of grotesque creatures and face their deepest fears by entering the darkest world of the vampire. In the blood-curdling tradition of Anne Rice and Stephen King, CIRQUE DU FREAK will have you shrieking for the next horror show!

Well, here's your chance to win (pictured above):

Two (2) winners will receive:
Cirque du Freak book Set (3 titles in one book)
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant Locker Mirror

Shipping Guidelines:
The Vampire’s Assistant giveaway is open to legal US residents who are at least 13 years of age as of October 1st. Prizing is only available to United States mailing address only. (International readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.)

All you have to do to WIN is comment on this blog post between October 7th to before midnight (PST) on October 28th with your email address and the answer to this question:

Who is your favorite vampire, and why?

Your favorite vampire can be from a book, TV show, or movie. If you honestly don't have one - give me any favorite character from a horror/sci-fi/fantasy book, movie, or TV show.

Pretty easy, right? :)

Also, if you wouldn't mind being so kind - please vote in my poll on the right side of the blog for your favorite Cirque du Freak T-shirt saying!!! The results will matter, and your votes may help me win my own prize! :)

I'll randomly select TWO winners after the 28th of October and notify them by email! It could be YOU!

Enter away, and spread the word!!! Thanks! ;)

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Awakening

Kelley Armstrong’s The Awakening is the sequel to the adored (speaking from my opinion) The Summoning. If you have yet to read The Summoning, please skip this review and run, don’t walk, to your local bookstore or library to read it! Need more convincing? Read my review of The Summoning here: Reading my review of The Awakening will only spoil all the deliciously thrilling things that happen in The Summoning.

Now, on to The Awakening. I must admit, I have been dying to read this since the day it came out in April. Sadly, due to a series of unfortunate events, I was unable to do so until recently. But it was definitely worth the wait!!!

Last we were with Chloe, she was betrayed by her Aunt Lauren and trapped in a faux hotel room, trying to “summon” Liz, whom all signs pointed, was dead.

We pick up shortly thereafter. It’s hard to know what to say without giving anything away. You see, Kelley manages to keep the suspense from page one to page 360. To give away one tiny twist or even one perhaps quick coming moment in the book could ruin that one second of surprise in your reading experience.

Many people think “little tiny spoilers” aren’t spoilers. Especially if it happens in the first 25 pages. Me? I disagree. Particularly with sequels!

If you’re reading this review, you’ve already read The Summoning (unless you are ignoring my direct warning and have only really hurt yourself and your bibliophile ways) – you already know and love Chloe. You already know and love Derek. At least, I do. I ADORE him! Anyway, ahem, moving on... You know Chloe’s a necromancer. That there is definitely some fishy stuff going on with Lyle House. And that Darkest Powers series is AWESOME and needs no more than to be read and loved as only a true junky bibliophile can!

So, I’m sorry. I won’t give away any plot points. I can’t. It’s against my nature. I say, open the pages and read. Read, read, read!

And, if you’re like me, you won’t stop reading until you’re done. Okay, sure I had to stop reading a couple times (let’s be honest here)… but every time I brushed my teeth, went to bed, or ate my dinner, my thoughts would quite often drift over to the appealing cover and it’s tug of fantasy action/adventure. (The best genre EVER. Lol.)

What can I say? I can say that Kelley Armstrong is an awesome writer! I can say that Chloe is likeably different than other YA heroines with her mixture of confidence, niceness, and all-around normalcy. That is, apart from her ability. And the ability? It’s amazing! It sets up character growth, chills, and plenty of storylines. Derek manages to be a bad boy without being “the” bad boy. He’s complex and interesting. He’s not necessarily attractive. He’s grumpy. He’s DIFFERENT!

I could go on and on and on. But the main thing is, if you like to get a little scared (in a fun way), like slow-building romance (at least, that’s what I hope for – whether you love Simon or Derek), action, suspense, thrills, a full-fledged fantasy universe set within our own and everything in between – this is the YA book for you!

As for me, I’m breathlessly waiting for The Reckoning. Kelley, if you read this: Please stop the torture and get the book released months sooner! :)

Important Side Note: Like winning stuff? Show up on Wednesday October 7th for a brand new contest!!! Spread the word! :)