Sunday, September 18, 2011

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

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Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, #1)
Kristin Cashore 
First published October 1st, 2008

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 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.

This was my first experience with an Audiobook and I was pleasantly surprised. I loved that it had a full cast audio and the narrator was great.

I’m not a huge fan of Fantasy novels. I only picked this up because it was recommended by a lot of my friends and I found an audiobook version of it when I needed one. I’m pretty sure that if I would have read it rather than listen to it, it would have gotten a 3 star. I would have likely felt bored about half way through. But the audiobook went along pretty quickly and I found myself enjoying the flow of the story.

The plot wasn’t anything noteworthy, especially the first half. It was mostly men fighting and treating women like crap. The characters is what saved it for me. I really enjoyed Katsa and Bitterblue. They were strong and brave. Katsa has a huge heart and does what it takes to survive. I loved how much she cared about Bitterblue, even when her mind was on Po, alone and hurt in the forest. I liked Po too, but I enjoyed the journey with Bitterblue a lot more.

Once we meet Bitterblue is when I started to get very interested in the story. It quickly got intense and very emotional. They were knocking on death’s door and the suspense kept me in tune. I also found the Graces very intriguing – they’re special abilities that some people are born with. Like great fighting abilities, mind reading etc. It was original and gave extra kick to the characters.

The writing was very sophisticated. I loved the prose and the character voices. The pace was a bit slow, but the audiobook made it move along regardless. Though I can’t say how reading it would have been like. The world building was pretty great. I lost track of a few minor characters, but the kingdoms and politics were fun to process.

I’m not sure if I will read the rest of the series or not. Most likely I will try to find the audiobooks. I’ll check into the reviews first and we’ll see. This isn’t usually my choice of book, though, and it’s the first Fantasy novel I read that has gotten more than a 2 star rating from me. So that’s something!

4/5 hot espressos

I’m baaaack! :)

Posted by on 09/18/2011 • 1 Comment

Hello coffee beanos!!

So my surgery went great. I smelled my eyeballs burning, and now I have 20/20 vision. Worth every penny! I have to moderate my internet usage today but will be back on full time tomorrow. I wanted to do an In My Mailbox post but I’ll have to skip this week. Trying to catch up on my emails etc. Being internet-less for 3 days was awful!

Glad to be back, and looking forward to catching up with y’all!

Meanwhile I’ve been listening to these audiobooks. Reviews to come.

Glad to be back,Giselle

Blog Announcement

Posted by on 09/15/2011 • 4 Comments

Hello my fellow coffee beans!

I just want to let you know that there won’t be any blog updates for about 3 days. I’m going for Lasik surgery, so I can’t go online or read for 3 days *gasp*. I will miss my bloggers! Please don’t forget me. 🙁

See you on the other side, where things are bright and clear! 😀


Review: Thyla by Kate Gordon

Posted by on 09/15/2011 • 1 Comment

ThylaKate GordonFirst published April 1st, 2011

My name is Tessa. I am strong. I am brave. I do not cry. These are the only things I know for certain.

I was found in the bush, ragged as a wild thing. I have no memory – not even of how I got the long, striping slashes across my back. They make me frightened of what I might remember.

The policewoman, Connolly, found me a place in a boarding school and told me about her daughter, Cat, who went missing in the bush.

I think there is a connection between Cat, me, and the strange things going on at this school. If I can learn Cat’s story, I might discover my own – and stop it happening again.

After seeing…


Posted by on 09/14/2011 • 11 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. 

My pick this week:  

                                   Lola and the Boy Next Door                                    Stephanie Perkins                                    Release date: September 29th, 2011 

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit — more sparkly, more fun, more wild — the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.When Cricket — a gifted inventor — steps out from his…

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Posted by on 09/14/2011 • 2 Comments

Anna and the French KissStephanie PerkinsFirst published December 2nd, 2010

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near – misses end with the French kiss Anna – and readers – have long awaited?

Awwwww *le sigh*. What an adorably romantic…

Signed ARC Giveaway! Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Posted by on 09/13/2011 • 112 Comments

Contest is now closed! Click here for the winner.

I’m giving away an ARC of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Signed!It’s a great novel! Here’s my review.

Release date: November 15th, 2011

Details:Open to residents of Canada and US. (Unless you’re willing to pay shipping).Must be a GFC followerLeave a comment with your GFC follower name and email address to enter.

Extra entries:+1 if you follow me on Twitter @Giselleco+1 if you follow me on Goodreads+1 if you tweet about my giveaway (you can do this daily) +3 if you add a link to my giveaway on your blog (post or button)Leave me the links and user names in your comment. Giveaway ends September 27th at 12:01am AST.Winner will be picked by random number generator.Winner will be contacted by email and…

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Posted by on 09/13/2011 • 3 Comments

Anna Dressed in Blood Kendare BlakeFirst published August 30th, 2011

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay. When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like…