Magic Under Glass-- Jaclyn Dolamore

Release Date: December 22, 2009
Pages: 240
Genre: YA Fantasy & Romance
Summary: Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

Review: This book was cute, simple, and just a little too short. I found it very promising, but didn't think the story was as fleshed out as it could be.

The story itself was enchanting. This was the kind of simple fairy tale I mentioned longing for in my review of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. It was very Jane Eyre-ish, and said so on the back cover. Jane Eyre is my absolute favorite classic, and I actually almost wish this book had gone more in that direction. It hinted that it would, then quickly changed gears. Once again, I think if the book had been a little longer it would have worked.

In conclusion, I definitely recommend looking this book up after it comes out. Or... if you'd like to win a copy... you'd better hope that I reach 200 followers soon. Eh? Mysterious enough? Okay, I'll be blunt :)

I'm currently amassing a collection of books for a 200 followers giveaway contest. :) It's gonna be a good one. Brace yourselves.

And the Winner Is.... (2)

And the winner of Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran and the ancient Roman coin is:

Eleni of La Femme Readers!

Congrats, Eleni! I have e-mailed you. If I haven't heard from you in 48 hours I will be picking a new winner.
Thank you so much to everyone that entered. And keep your eyes peeled for another contest forthcoming (it's a big one).

**The Forest of Hands and Teeth-- Carrie Ryan

Contest ends tonight at midnight (MST), I'll announce the winner tomorrow! Hope all you Americans (and anyone who decided to join in) had a fabulous Thanksgiving! We're back to the reviews with The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.

Release Date: March 10, 2009
Pages: 308
Genre: YA Horror & post-apocalyptic


In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Review: I was on the edge of my seat with this book! I loved this book (stayed up until 1 am reading it). It was a pretty freaky story. The film rights have been picked up, and I can only imagine that if it's made into a film it will be absolutely terrifying. (I hope it's not rated R)

Zombies (called "The Unconsecreated") are a constant presence in this book, but it was easy for me to forget that. When I read a book, it's kind of like I'm watching a movie through wax-paper. The images are fuzzy and go by in a blur. In this book, I'd be reading along and they'd say something like, "The Unconsecrated threw their broken bodies against the fence," and I'd think "ew. Creepy." And then pages would go by and you'd be hit with a line like, "All the while The Unconsecrated kept banging and banging," and I'd realize, HOLY COW! Those zombies have been there this whole time! Can you imagine how terrifying that would be? Just having zombies around you constantly? The main character once said that "Their moans blended into the background of our daily routine." Ah! How awful is that?

It was awesome.

What is wrong with me? I used to be all fairy-tales and ponies (okay... maybe not ponies). But now my favorite books are the ones with creepy monsters. Is it just because that's what's being written now? It's hard to find a good, simple fairy-tale retelling these days among all the vampire, zombie, and werewolf books, eh? But I digress.

Through all the negative (and positive) reviews I've read of this book, two points have been consistently brought up. I do think these were valid points, so I shall be happy to address them.

1. The Main Character is Too Selfish
Yep. That's pretty much it. Mary was extremely selfish. But I didn't entirely blame her. She lived in a small village surrounded by ZOMBIES! People are forced to marry those they don't love just to ensure the continuation of the species. And there really is no hope at all. Can you blame her for being a little self-centered? If I were in her situation, I would probably just curl up and wait until the zombies ate my brains. Mary created a coping mechanism. She found a goal and fixated on it, and that's what she needed in order to move on. It's not perfect, but it was how she kept living.

2. The Ending Was a Cliffhanger
I actually thought the ending was a lot more cheerful than the book warranted, which I really liked. Don't get me wrong, it was bleak. Slight spoiler! Pretty much everyone is zombie-fied. But there was a tiny glimmer of hope at the end. And there's a sequel! Dead Tossed Waves comes out this spring. I think that should satisfy those with this complaint.

There you go. I really liked this book, and so have a lot of people I know. So, even though the main character is selfish, the ending is a cliffhanger, and the entire book is full of running away from & killing zombies, I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

P.S. I'm trying out a new signature. What'd'ya think?

Something to satisfy your brain

Hey guys, I haven't been around much because I've been getting ready for total relaxation during Thanksgiving break (I've only got 2 more classes, and then I'm free!). I have read 2 books since my last post, and I'm excited to post reviews. After I finish The Forest of Hands and Teeth I'm going to read Shiver which I've heard so many good things about.

Until those reviews, here's this really cool video that Miss Erin posted quite a while ago, but I still love it to death.

Cleopatra's Daughter-- Michelle Moran

Release Date: September 2009
Pages: 431
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction

The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony’s revengeful rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. Their three orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome; only two–the ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander–survive the journey. Delivered to the household of Octavian’s sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian’s family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts.

Review: This book was CRAZY full of historical information. I didn't know anything about Egypt or Rome in this time, and let me tell you, I kind of wish I didn't.

Rome was AWFUL in this time period. The only reason I didn't put this book down was because it was all real. I found it fascinating how base a people could be, and yet their society worked.

It was a very slow book, history can't always move as fast as a plot. It spans about 5 years, and while the book ended at a happy point, if you read the rest of the history you find out that it didn't really end up happily after that. However, I still really enjoyed this book. And kept going with it even though it took me a couple weeks.

In conclusion: Read this if you want to learn about history, but know that Rome was all about sex and money. This is most certainly an adult book. Fascinating, but not for the faint of heart.

~Enna Isilee

GIVEAWAY!!-- Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

I feel very lucky to say that I have a copy of Michelle Moran's Cleopatra's Daughter to give away. I'm reading this right now, and it is fascinating. I didn't know anything about ancient Egypt and Rome before reading this book. I most certainly recommend it. Here's more info on this book on Goodreads. The winner will also receive this freaking awesome Roman coin, complete with authentication certificate

Entering this giveaway is going to be really really simple and is open to everyone internationally. Here's the rules:

1. You must be a follower to enter (You can become a follower just by clicking the follow button on the sidebar. This contest is open to old AND new followers)
2. Enter your name into the Mr. Linky below, if you don't have a URL, just enter my URL (
PLEASE BE SURE THAT WHATEVER NAME YOU ENTER INTO THE MR. LINKY IS THE SAME AS THE NAME YOU FOLLOW UNDER. If there are any names in the Mr. Linky that are not in my followers list, you will be thrown out.

Extra entry: Blog about this or link in your sidebar, please enter your name TWICE into the Mr. Linky, being sure to link to your post or blog. I will be checking all double entries to make sure you blogged or sidebar linked.

And it won't get you an extra entry, but I would great appreciate if you would comment on this post when you enter. After all, Mr. Linky's will go away, but comments are forever. ;) I just use Mr. Linky's for easier organization.

I will choose the winner using, the first number it chooses will be the winner!

Contest will end on Friday, the 27th! Winners will be announced on the 28th!

So that's it! Sign up!

**Splendor-- Anna Godbersen

Release Date: April 1, 2007
Pages: 464
Genre: Period Drama
Series: Luxe series. Luxe Review, Rumors Review, Envy Review

New beginnings.
Shocking revelations.
Unexpected endings.
A spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.
Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends well beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.
In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains:
Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

What can I say about this series that I haven't already said? I love this series. It's totally not my kind of book. After all, it's basically a train-wreck of a soap opera in novel form, but I still love it. You can read my other reviews (linked above) to get my perspective on the whole series.

What's my perspective after reading this book? The same. I still consider these my "closet" books, meaning I don't readily admit how much I love these books. I wasn't entirely satisfied in the way Godbersen wrapped up the series, it certainly wasn't a pure "fairy-tale" ending. But I don't really read these books for plot content. They are purely escapist for me, and so the whole world could randomly blow up, and I would probably still give it 5 stars. ;)

I know that doesn't make much sense. But c'est vrai. Perhaps other lovers of this series can explain it better. It's a very easy series to hate because of it's vapid and shallow nature, but I still love it. Crazy.

~Enna Isilee

New Book News!

Now, I know a lot of you haven't been reading long enough to know that I love Neal Schusterman's sci-fi books, such as Unwind and Everlost. And I've been seeing a lot of buzz for Everlost lately, and I couldn't figure out why, because that book came out FOREVER ago. But here's why!

He turned it into a TRILOGY!!! I'm SO HAPPY! The book comes out today, and I'm totally going to grab it!

Wahoo for fun book surprises!

The Angel Experiment-- James Patterson

Release Date: April 1, 2007
Pages: 464
Genre: Sci-fi/Adventure
Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride, better known as Max, knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and all the members of the "Flock"--Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel--are just like ordinary kids--only they have wings and can fly. It may seem like a dream come true to some, but their lives can morph into a living nightmare at any time--like when Angel, the youngest member of the "Flock," is kidnapped and taken back to the "School" where she and the others were genetically engineered by sinister scientists. Her friends brave a journey to Death Valley, CA, to save Angel, but soon enough, they find themselves in yet another nightmare--this one involving fighting off the half-human, half-wolf "Erasers" in New York City. Whether in the treetops of Central Park or in the bowels of the Manhattan subway system, Max and her adopted family take the ride of their lives. Along the way Max discovers from her old friend and father-figure Jeb--now her betrayed and greatest enemy--that her purpose is she the world--but can she?
Review: I really enjoyed this book. I've heard bits and peices about it throughout the years it's been out, but I've never had the interest to pick it up myself. I'm really glad I did. This was a great escapist book, and almost completely clean. I LOVED that. The author actually put "[insert swear word of your choice here]"! I breathed a massive sigh of contentment. I'm usually not that picky about swear words, but I've had such bad luck with books lately, that this just made me happy. :)

I'm not in a huge hurry to read the rest of the series, but I think I'll most certainly be picking them up someday when I need an escape.

~Enna Isilee


How can a word
so rarely used
describe so much
in my world?

I'm writing an 8 page paper, and therefore feel very grizzled at the moment. And apparently poetic. Isn't it a fantastic word, though?

In My Mailbox (3)

In my mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, who is one of my best friends now that I won her contest. ;)

All right. I only have one book IMM this week, but it's a good one:

Cleopatra's Daugher, Michelle Moran.

I'm really liking this, keep an eye out for a contest to give a copy away!

What's in your mailbox?

Awards! (1)

Now, I have never participated in blog awards before, but since I have recieved quite a few over the last month, I figure I'll play along!

Three people gave me this "lovely" award-- Kapri, Kirthi, & The Storyteller

Here are the rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award":
Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
Pass the award to 10 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Oi. 10 blogs?

Debbie's World of Books
Book Mac
A Life Bound by Books
Just Blinded Book Reviews
The Curly Q
The Book Vixen
Once Upon a Bookcase
Read Darling Reviews
A Bookful of Thoughts
Ink and Paper

From Priya I have the award for sheer awesomeness. Need I say more?

We'll pass it on to...

A Bookworm's Blog
A Bookshelf Monstrosity
Book Blather

Tara (which is one of my favorite names, by the way) over at Eye Feathers gave me the Honest Scrap award

The rules: post ten truth things about you and pass the award. (Include links to the person who gave it to you and to the people you are giving the award to.) All right. You want honesty? You got honesty:

1. I taught myself Greek at the age of 12 (I have since forgotten

2. I love factorying polynomial equations and solving equations for conic

3. I sometimes allow myself to be controlled by my emotions

4. I can't sleep when it's hot, but I hate the cold

5. My blog was originally called The Story Shanty

6. I'm currently in class and not paying attention at all. Radioactive
decay is boring.

7. I once sent someone to the ER

8. I've beat up a cop

9. I had some anger management issues

10. I'm better now. ;)

And who am I passing this on to? Let's see...
All right! That was fun. Thanks guys!
~Enna Isilee

Linky Contest Love (1)

This post is pretty self-explanatory!

I got this idea from Bookworming in the 21st Century

Some of you may have noticed that I have a sidebar for contests. These are only the contests that I have entered so they are not nearly all the book contests & giveaways going on around the book blogosphere. So here's your chance to advertise!

Do you have a contest or giveaway going on? Link it here!

I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT CONTESTS: Do you guys prefer having one winner win a lot of stuff, or having lots of people win less stuff?

Here are some rules that I'm stealing directly from Kristen's blog, seeing as she worded them so wonderfully:

1. Name the item being given away (instead of the blog name)
2. Give the end date in () after the name
3. Make sure to link DIRECTLY to that contest post - if you don't know how to do this - just click on the title of the contest blog and it will give a direct URL you can use.
4. If you want to post a contest you've found, make sure it isn't already posted.

That's it! Have fun winning!

A new rating system/review template

All right, after reading many review blogs, and determining which I like about all of them, I am finally instigating a rating system and a review template.

From now on, at the beginning of a review, you will see this:

Release Date:



Then you will see some "flower power" though this will change if ever my blog layout does:

1- Didn't like it
2- It was okay

3- Decent read, enjoyed it

4- Very good, recommended

5- Amazing!

Of course, there is still the possibility that a book will get 5 "flowers" but not receive a "Squeaky" label.

Summary: (Link to summary or my own summary)

And after summary will be my review. I thought about having something like The Story Siren, where I review individual plot points such as age appropriateness, profanity, plot, character development, etc., but I'll mention all those things in my review, so I don't think that's a must.

What'd'ya think? Does it compare?

In My Mailbox (2)

Created by The Story Siren
I got four (4) books this week! Hurrah!

I got Solitary and Death Sentence by Alexander Gordon Smith, sequels to Lockdown. I'm really excited since Solitary doesn't come out until fall 2010, and Death Sentence doesn't come out until after that. I'm calling them my "future" books. Even though most of the books I get are technically "future" books. You might know them better as ARCs. ;)

Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater. I've heard good things about this book. And it's about werewolves. Who doesn't love werewolves?

Rampant, by Diana Peterfreund. Killer unicorns. Need I say more?

All in all I think I got a pretty good haul this week.

What's in your "mailbox"?

~Enna Isilee
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