Thursday, January 26, 2012

Follow Friday: 1

   

So it's my very first Follow Friday blog-hop. Yaayy.
 Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, and this week's question is.....
        
Q: Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why? 


A. This one's easy. 
Historical romance. 
Give me anything with princes, princesses, marquises, swooning heroines, men in breeches, stories about evil twins and lost princes and inheritances and dowries...and I'll faint. But not before I barf.     
Anything where women don't wear jeans or, in fact, anything above the knee, cannot stand up for themselves against abusive males (or do stand up and is branded a rebel, a wild-cat to be TAMED. UGH) and one look from a male melts off her kneecaps is a no-no for me. Put in castles and old English and nasty, unfleeable arranged marriages and I am dead.
Bear in mind that I'm talking about those pink-and-yellow jacketed things with weirdly dressed people on the front cover.


Cover Crazy: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

SO this time we're featuring a book which has multiple covers.
This week, we have The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
These are the covers most of us know:
I like these two: the first one is intriguing but sorta odd to see. The second one with the iridescent feathers would look so much more beautiful on hard back!                              
I loved the Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor but I have a bone to pick with the cover designer for the Indian version of the book's cover.
   Now, this I don't get at all! I would never pick this book up because the cover just looks REALLY weird. What were they thinking? I don't like the red and blue together, and it looks like she's a stork.
Then there's this one, this beauty in blue:
    Although the feather looks like a corn-stalk and the cover doesn't really tell us anything about the book, the texture and fonts are lovely. A clean, beautiful cover for hardback. I love the blue.
BUT THEN I FOUND THIS ONE! AND I DIED!
                                                       
THE GERMAN COVER!!! Oh, this one is gorgeous. Gorgeous with its colors, gorgeous with the blue-haired model, the font, the silhouette of Prague.
They recently announced that Universal is going to do a movie on DSB, which I will be dying to see. 
So which one do you like? 
And since I've given you so much DSB eye candy, I'll leave you with something I found on the official website http://www.daughterofsmokeandbone.com/
  Nice, huh?! 
Read my review of this book here: REVIEW
So did you read DSB?  Planning to?                                                                                                          

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we feature the books we're waiting for!

So this Wednesday, I'm waiting for the sequel to the awesome Anna Dressed in Blood...

Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)

Girl of Nightmares 

 


In this follow-up to Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas begins seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep, and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong. These aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.


AND this book is something I'm just dying to read...it comes out on my birthday!




Masque of the Red Death

Masque of the Red Death



A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
My interest in this is for obvious reasons, of course, I'm a Poe fan. And this is my favorite Poe story of them all- it finds new ways to chill my blood every time I read it, and most of my nightmares since reading it feature rooms with red stained glass and black drapes. Shudder.
So what are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues




1. When did you start your blog?
Blog has been around since Dec 2010 but I actually started blogging just less than a year ago. February 2011, I guess, but it hasn't been a book blog for that long.
   2. Why did you start your blog?
Basically because I love to write, wanted a platform to build friendships with other bloggers and writers, and to just have fun, of course!
   3. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Building a follower-base of people who regularly comment, look out and encourage blog posts. Some bloggers are the I'll follow you if you follow me kind of people, and they comment once and never come back.
   4. What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
The same thing as above. Most people comment so that I may read their blog in return, but it gets tiring pretty quick. But I keep commenting, because it's fun to spread the love!
   5. What do you find most encouraging?
That most YA bloggers are so nice, and that there are, rarely, some people who have just the right words to describe a piece of story or a review or an artwork that I've put up. It makes my day.
   6. What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
Occassionally, the design. My artwork has improved vastly because of other awesome blogs out there. Sometimes I do socially responsible posts when my blogger friends do the same- it's very uplifting. I learned how to make a button and add the LinkWithin widget and all from other Bloggers and am thankful.
   7. What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
Memes, or fluff-posts. They seem like fillers to me and I mostly avoid them, except for some favorites like Waiting on Wednesday, or memes related to art. But even then, I take part in them seldom.
   8. Any advice for other new bloggers?
Be original, have fun.
   9. Any questions you'd like to ask newbie or established bloggers?
One. I live in India and don't know if we get ARC copies of books over here. Does anyone know if publishers are willing to send books as far as here? If so, where would I go to get an ARC?
  10. Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog? Feel free to link a few of your favorite posts or posts you wish had more comments.
Mine is not just a review blog: it combines art, writing and fiction into one. I support independent publishing, ebooks, self-publishing etc. And I also do some book cover designing- mostly for free, for the self-published authors.
Magical Healing- a post I did for Blogging Against Disability in literature.
 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Borrowing Abby Grace by Kelly Green: Review



TITLE: Borrowing Abby Grace
EBOOK by Backlit Fiction 
(My copy of this book was received from the author in exchange for honest review; I received no payment for the same.)

BLURB (from Goodreads):
When Abby Grace wakes up in the back of a van, she has no idea who she is, how she got there, or why anyone would want to kidnap her. After escaping her masked captors, she hurries home, only to discover that she unknowingly left her younger brother behind in the van. Unable to answer the police’s questions with her memories gone, she retreats to the safety of her bedroom where she tries to reconstruct her life. Just as she is settling into the belief that things will one day return to normal, she looks in the mirror—and sees a stranger’s face.
As Abby learns next, she has become a Shadow, sent to inhabit the lives of strangers in trouble. With nothing to go on except the vague hints of her cute but maddening Guardian, a 19th century ghostly teenager named Will, Abby sets out to rescue the missing brother. But she will need all of her intelligence, fearlessness, and wit, because if she fails to find him in time, she will remain trapped in this unfamiliar body forever.


REVIEW:

You have to give it up to Backlit Fiction: they know the power of good editing and design.
Honestly, in the world of independant publishing, it's hard to find a book that engages both my artist side and my writer side, but Kelly Green's Borrowing Abby Grace series does that: it features eye-catching covers, seriously well-edited books and zero grammatical/spelling glitches.
The Borrowing Abby Grace series features short, fast-paced stories that are easy to read, fast-paced and quite engaging, with interesting characters, new ideas and lots of humor. The concept is fun and original: a girl-ghost, a.k.a "Shadow" who can be "borrowed" into other bodies as other people, with lots of mystery and sassy good humor thrown in to boot. Abby reminds me of a quirkier, sassier Nancy Drew. She's all A to B, no tears and tantrums, inquisitive and funny and mostly fast-thinking. While she solves the mysteries and problems in the lives of other people- people whose bodies she is forced to take over because that is what Shadows do- she questions her own existence and the possibility of what might have happened to her own life as Abby Grace. There is also Will- the boy in the shadows who is supposed to be helping her but chooses to be infuriatingly smug instead- whose mysteries  I hope will be revealed in the forthcoming books. The plot doesn't lag anywhere- it moves in one continuous sweep from the beginning to the end, and that might also be a shortcoming of this novel.
Sometimes it just seemed too FAST.
Perhaps that has to do with my reading preference of books with long winding paragraphs of description, but I felt that Abby accepted the Shadow thing too quickly. That the problem in the first book which she was supposed to solve wasn't quite a problem at all, that the girl she'd been "borrowed" into could have just solved it herself instead of going in for a paranormal solution. I mean, when you have a paranormal solution, the problem should involve guns blazing, vampires dying, world ending...right? Maybe it's just me with my need for descriptions and emotional stuff and all: but I thought the book should have been longer, Abby should have been more fleshed out, and the problems...actually problems which NEED to be fixed paranormally. And also, couldn't the decisions that she makes as someone else totally affect the "someone else" when they are back in their own body? This is a question I was asking myself throughout the Girl Steals Guy book (the 2nd one in the series) because Abby makes some pretty important choices for the girl that she has been borrowed for, Michelle. I kept thinking what Michelle would feel when she came back. (And for her to come back, where did she go in the first place? Maybe we'll get to know that as the series continues!)
But that said, there was no problem with enjoying Abby Grace and her wittiness at all. I liked Abby's voice: her sarcasm is much appreciated in the place of usual YA heroine whininess.
I liked her relationship with Will, and I want more of him in the next books. I liked that each time she does a job, a memory of hers comes back. I liked that it made me laugh, and that it also got me curious regarding the real Abby Grace, and Kelly Green's writing-style is quite good.
Just...less speed next time, more people, more PROBLEMS.
The covers rocks, though. Dude, it does.

VERDICT: Read it when you want something quick, simple, fun and sassy.

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Images used in this blog are either digital art created by the author or free photographs. Reviews and views expressed on this site are strictly personal. Text by Varsha Dinesh is copyrighted under Creative Commons.