Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Buzzer's OWL Post

eh hem... Sonorus...


In honor of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 being premiered on November 19, The Smarty Owl, The Book Buzzer and our friend Lana have teamed up to present to you a plethora of all things Harry Potter!

The main Harry Potter frenzy will be happening over at The Smarty Owl. Head on over there to see all of their great features, from The Daily Prophet to the OWL Posts. They have posted a mix of trailers, The Deathly Hallows featurettes, and just about anything else you may be wanting to discover about Harry Potter.

I will be posting two reviews: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Hopefully, both of them will be up later tonight.

Since we all know that the Harry Potter series is just so fantastically amazing and override all other books in existence, we have decided to give it a different rating system, specifically made for Harry Potter. Keep in mind that any rating on this scale automatically surpasses my beastly rating system. ;)

Outstanding (O)
Exceeds Expectations (E)
Acceptable (A)
Poor (P)
Dreadful (D)
Troll (T)

Ah, I forgot to introduce myself!

Blackthorn; Chimaera Scale Core; 11 inches

See Rica, Sonia and Lana's stats over at The Smarty Owl!

And did I mention? We will be heading out to the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 midnight premiere on November 19! Be on the look out for our before and after posts.

Start your journey at The Great Hall

The End Begins...


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

ARC: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Title: The Mockingbirds (ARC)
Author: Daisy Whitney
Publication Date: November 2, 2010
ARC, 339 pages
hardcover, 352 pages

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it. - Summary from Goodreads

Meet Alex. Meet the morning after.
The Mockingbirds has a thrilling, mysterious beginning. It starts off with Alex waking up after getting date raped, although not knowing it at the time. She is startled and dizzy. From the moment she realizes she's not in her own bed, Alex manages to lull the reader with her distraught confusion. Alex has a strong voice throughout the whole story, not just of your average, prep school girl, but also that of an independent female character that always has her best interest in mind, even when the pressure of the intimidating, brilliant kids at Themis Academy is on. But the most important decision Alex makes in her high school years is that of when she turns to the Mockingbirds for the most drastic and influencing help she can get.

The Mockingbirds is a student-run organization, completely unknown to the staff at the Academy, yet perhaps the most famous club among the students. Their job is to bring the justice to the students in situations where the school board is just not serious enough to handle it. Date rape, Alex's friends agree, is definitely a serious matter that should not be ignored. Through the Mockingbirds and their system of honor and strong impressions, they have the power to threaten or challenge anyone in the academy that is of wrongdoings, such as date rape. I love the cleverness of the Mockingbirds, and the way the group is run. Being composed of elite students, the set-up is brilliant and well designed, using school messengers and points to alter a students credibility and rights. The reason why it was founded is because high-class schools such as the one Alex attends believe that their students are sweet and innocent, and are too determined to succeed in important areas of life. Any incident of delinquency, and the headmasters will ignore it. Alex's older sister, Casey, created the Mockingbirds in hope that any time a student found themselves in danger or a tough situation, they would have someone to turn to for help that will always be carried through.

The story makes a turn for the better when the Mockingbirds accept Alex's case of accusing Carter, the boy she was with that night, of date rape. They bring him to "court", just like an actual case except this one is just in the dorm laundry room. If Carter is convicted of rape, he must face serious consequences, involving his expulsion from the Themis Academy swim team. It is truly amazing how the Mockingbirds have the power to control his school activities, all while working directly under the schools noses. For Alex, not only is she aware that the truth will prevail, but she also meets plenty of new friends and acquaintances that are supporting her all the way. And to top it off, a romance does blossom between her and her good geek friend, Martin. Martin is supportive of everything Alex does, and being a Mockingbird himself, is threatening his own position of power in the group by being with Alex. I like that part because it adds secrecy between Martin and Alex. It added to the suspense at the final court case and yet still stood strong. Another small, yet main character drastically helped in Alex finding herself is Mrs. Damata, her piano teacher. Alex is an extremely talented pianist, and I enjoyed that part of her because every time she described her playing or anything piano related, I could relate to and follow it too because I play the piano as well. Mrs. Damata went to Julliard, and so she is like a grandmother to Alex, someone who she is able to confide in when discussing music. And other things. Like Carter. And boys. Mrs. Damata is a character who Alex could burst out her feelings to, and she would fully understand. She is the one who helps Alex find her inner strength, and stop doubting herself and her capabilities. Mrs. Damata only appears in the story a handful of times, which did disappoint me a little. I am hoping she will make a strong reappearance in the next book as well.

The ending of The Mockingbirds is a bit predictable, but yet still extremely satisfying. There was a main part that could easily have been suspected which I won't mention, but it still doesn't ruin the "exciting-ness" of the story. Alex's character develops strongly and evenly throughout the book. She discovers how much of a difference she can make upon her life if she follows through with tough decisions that can have strong and lasting impacts on people. The writing could have been a bit more impressive and captivating, but otherwise, Daisy Whitney did an exceptional job with this book to show the importance of finding yourself, and also being aware of rape and date rape.

Lastly, one very important thing I learned from this book:
When it comes to determining a rape, this may be the key component to the accusation.
A no is a no. Not a yes.

4 Beasts

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Publication Date: August 31, 2010
hardcover, 335 pages

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. - Summary from

Thanks to a VERY friendly librarian, I was able to snag this book a few days before it came out! Unfortunately I didn't actually go to pick it up until the day it was published... :(

Paranormalcy is by all means way past my expectations. With all the tacky, twilight faux out there, my taste for paranormal was at a demise. However, when I picked up this book, my love for this high-demand genre was back. Every part of this book is different from those that I had read before. The best part about Evie, the main character, is that she herself does not know who she actually is. The story was about finding that person inside of her, literally. In the beginning she is just a normal person, which I am still, months after reading this book, loving. For once there is a book where you don't truly know the main character, and since she doesn't know herself either, her curiosity and adventure is in your veins as well.

When Evie meets Lend, it's as if the whole book was merely a rocket just waiting to be launched, finally, when they meet. They bond instantly-at first, just as friends, which is the best part. Neither of them try to take it to fast, but are both content with the ever-so -as well as patient- growing bond between them. Even better, this time, it was Evie who made the first moves rather than Lend. Lend is fantastic, and his power met with Evie's is a perfect match. It's clear that they are meant for each other. Lend's abilities are intriguing and original, and constantly made me curious to know what he would do the next time he shows up.

The idea of Evie's paranormal abilities deserves 5 stars on its own. The rest of the paranormals in the story are also just so differentiated from the average werewolf/vampire scenarios, they too alone could have kept me lured into the story. The antagonist is, well, think of her as an extremely distorted (and by distorted I mean lighter AND distorted) version of Harry Potter and Voldemort. Evie and her share many things in common such as their abilities, but also have feelings for each other that are not mutual. The face-to-face scenes are not as dark and twisted as they are in Harry Potter, but they do have the perfect amount of action and suspense a 14 year old girl is looking for in such a story.

I was amused by how fairies, once their true names are discovered, are forced to do the bidding of whoever speaks their name. Reth, Evie's ex-boyfriend, had a rough, bad-boy touch with a slightly predictable twist in the end. In a more positive statement, I would call the predictable twist more of clever foreshadowing. . . However, all in all this was a very satisfying story that was was very enjoyable. It fits the description of a young adult book perfectly.

4 Beasts

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Smarty Owl - Win a Copy of Gemini Night!

The Smarty Owl (my book blogging affiliate) is having an awesome contest! Check it out!

Gemini Night

One winner will get Gemini Night- the third awesomesauce installment in the Star Crossed Series by Bonnie Hearn Hill

Rules and guidelines?
  • You must be 13 or over to enter
  • Since we're honoring our followers, you must be one!
  • One winning entrant will get Gemini Night by Bonnie Hearn Hill. Winner will be picked using or hat!
  • Contest limited to the United States
  • Contest November 15th, 2010 at midnight EST.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blog Hop and Follow Friday 10/8/10

Book Blogger Hop
Hey everyone!
Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books
Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View

This weeks Blog Hop question:
What's your favorite beverage while reading or blogging, if any? Is it tea, coffee, water, a glass of wine, or something else?
My Answer: I try to avoid drinking beverages while reading because when I do I often spill on the book. But if I do have a preference, it is usually based on the weather. . . such as hot chocolate in the winter and cold juice in the summer.

And the FF question:
How many book reviews do you like to do a week?
My answer: Well in the summer I try to do 1-2 a week, but now because of school I rarely have time to do even one a week. But I try to do at least one every week so I can let my followers know that I'm still an active blogger.

Have a great weekend! Happy hopping!
and remember: I follow back!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publication Date: September 7th 2009
Hardcover, 471 pages

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight — she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme, and in her case horrifying, skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace — or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. - Summary from

Kristin Cashore is the master of combining fantasy, adventure, romance, and a thick page-turning plot into one book. Every part of this story was enticing, and there were little to no parts I had issues with. Every character is strongly developed and has a voice vital to the overall story.

In the beginning, Katsa, the main character, is working for her uncle, King Randa, as a form of a threatener who forces kings from other kingdoms to do what Randa pleases. Katsa has a Graceling, a special power she was born with that allows her to excel in a particular subject in life. It is believed that she has the Grace of killing, and that gives Katsa the power to kill or hurt someone with the slightest ease. Because of this Grace, her uncle basically "tools" on her and forces her to go to other kingdoms and do his bidding. And the worst part is that Katsa goes along with it. It is not until Prince Po enters her life that he makes her change her view of herself.

The plot itself is well written and very thorough. It definitely would have kept the story a page turner had it not involved Katsa and Po's romance. (Even though that was a very big part!) It is not a simple plot, but easy to understand and definitely unpredictable at multiple points. Katsa and Po are to travel and find King Leck, the ruler of Murgon for suspicion that he had captured Prince Tealiff. That adventure turnes out to be more than just a simple mission, for there are three branches off of the objective. One task they are to do is to rescue Bitterblue from the wrath of her father, King Leck who is this-close to mistreating her. The second is unexpected to the Po and Katsa (however completely expected to the reader), that being the romance between them. And the last and perhaps most important to the plot is to kill King Leck. Leck has a extremely powerful Grace that I will not mention so I do not spoil anything.

My favorite part of Graceling was the connection with Katsa and Po. None of it was rushed, mainly because of Katsa's personality, and how she refuses to ever marry or have children. However, Po manages to bring her strong walls down with wit and charm, and also the power of knowing exactly what to say at the right moment. (which I am pointing out because I seem to never be able to do that..) On their journey to find King Leck, Katsa soon realizes that the friendship she thinks she has with Po is in truth, much more. Their romance is perfect because it is not overdone, however there it is just the perfect amount so that it doesn't leave you satisfied.

Now, the ENDING. Just when you think all is well, there is a HUGE twist in the story that leaves me shocked and mad. But not in the mad this-book-stinks way. Mad in the sense that just makes me love the book more. It is brilliant and heartbreaking at the same time. It makes me connect with each character to a deeper level, and adding to the intensity of the story. Graceling is a fantastic book that will leave your heart fluttering and your reading hunger satisfied.

4.5 Beasts

Friday, October 1, 2010


Thanks to EVERYONE who entered this contest! I would not be anywhere near where I am right now in blogging if it weren't for my followers.

out of 433 entries and 91 entrants....
the winner of my 50 Followers/1 Month Blogoversary IS....


(Jessica S.)

Congratulations Jessica! You have 48 hours to respond to my email.
Thanks for entering everyone! Come back for more updates on contests coming up!