March RAK Recap!

I posted about March RAK earlier this month, and now y'all get to see the results!

I was SOOOOOOO loved this month. Honestly. I was blown away. RAK is amazing.

From Monica at The Bibliophilic Book Blog:

I was BLOWN AWAY when I got this package. I love Nevermore, and Keturah and Lord Death is one of my favorites! Night Runner has been on my wish list FOREVER and I'm so glad to finally have it!

From Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century:

This one has also been on my list. It looks SOOOO good.

I'm really excited? Can you tell?

I RAK-ed back to Kristen, as well as to Liz.

Next month (April) I'll be giving back to Monica, and someone(s) new on the list. I love RAK!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

**Toads and Diamonds-- Heather Tomlinson

Release Date: March 30th, 2010
Genre:  Fairy Tale
Publisher: Henry Holt
Pages: 288
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Diribani has come to the village well to get water for her family's scant meal of curry and rice. She never expected to meet a goddess there. Yet she is granted a remarkable gift: Flowers and precious jewels drop from her lips whenever she speaks.

It seems only right to Tana that the goddess judged her kind, lovely stepsister worthy of such riches. And when she encounters the goddess, she is not surprised to find herself speaking snakes and toads as a reward.

Blessings and curses are never so clear as they might seem, however. Diribani’s newfound wealth brings her a prince—and an attempt on her life. Tana is chased out of the village because the province's governor fears snakes, yet thousands are dying of a plague spread by rats. As the sisters' fates hang in the balance, each struggles to understand her gift. Will it bring her wisdom, good fortune, love . . . or death?
Review: I love that I am reviewing this book exactly one year after it was released. I've been pining after this book for so long, and was SOOOO happy when I finally got the chance to purchase it.

If it isn't already obvious, I LURV what I call TFT (twisted fairy-tales). There's just something so magical about them. Heather Tomlinson's first book, The Swan Maiden, was one of the first books I ever got from the publisher and I LOVED it, too (though I've gotten much better at reviewing).

What made this book so awesome was how fairy-tale-ish it was. You know fairy tales--they often are comprised of a series of events and obstacles that the MC must overcome. Detail is often sacrificed for plot, or vice versa (depending on the teller). There's usually some romance. And (most recognizably) things either end up happily ever after (usually very suddenly especially using deus ex machina), or everyone dies.

Sound about right?

I pretty much just outlined this book. The sisters are given a challenge and they have to deal with it, going through some crazy stuff along the way. Is the plot super-duper deep? Nah. It's a pretty light story, just like a fairy tale. It isn't like The Goose Girl, which goes into such detail you just feel immersed. Tomlinson creates her own world in which I felt like an observer, not a member. But that was okay with me.

Then there's the romance. It wasn't really flushed out. It just seemed like people fell in love pretty easily. But did that make it fake? No! It was cute and sigh-worthy.

And in the ending everything wraps up nicely. Not all of the questions are answered, but there aren't any gaping holes in the story. I would have liked more (no, I would have loved more) but I was content.

But Tomlinson definitely brought some originality to the tale. I loved the India setting, and the different religious aspects brought in (the religious people AREN'T crazy!). Wonderful twist to this tale.

If you like fairy-tales, you will like this book. It's light, easy, lovable, and wonderfully written.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

Unraveled-- Gena Showalter

Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Genre:  Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 572
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Series: Intertwined #2 (Review of #1)
Summary: (Spoilers, highlight to view)
Since coming to Crossroads, Oklahoma, former outcast Aden Stone has been living the good life. Never mind that one of his best friends is a werewolf, his girlfriend is a vampire princess who hungers for his blood, and he's supposed to be crowned Vampire King—while still a human! Well, kind of.

With four—oops, three now—human souls living inside his head, Aden has always been "different" himself. These souls can time-travel, raise the dead, possess another's mind and, his least favorite these days, tell the future.

The forecast for Aden? A knife through the heart.

Because a war is brewing between the creatures of the dark, and Aden is somehow at the center of it all. But he isn't about to lie down and accept his destiny without a fight. Not when his new friends have his back, not when Victoria has risked her own future to be with him, and not when he has a reason to live for the first time in his life….
Review: This book was a HUGE disappointment. I love, love, LOVE the first in this series. I thought it was original, and I love how it focuses more on the plot than the romance.

This book didn't do that.

If I had to read ONE MORE TIME about someone cleaning/tickling/exploring another person's TONSILS I was going to die. This book was definitely ROMANCE with a little paranormal. Which made me very sad. Granted, it was still an interesting story, despite the fact that there was some serious sequel-bloat. It took FOREVER for anything interesting to happen, and then it wrapped up super-quick.

All in all, I love the first book so much that I'll definitely read (and purchase) the third. I hope it goes back to the style of the first, because Unraveled was almost just like every other paranormal book that's out currently. Not bad, but nothing special.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.

Business Cards Final

I ended up going with the argyle holder. I just couldn't resist the green. I know everyone said paisley here, but on twitter everyone said argyle. I've spent ALL DAY stewing, but finally decided argyle.

And here's the final card:

Got rid of the awkward mission statement and moved the quote to the back so that it could be easily read.

All in all I'm feeling pretty good about these. I'm REALLY nervous that they're going to show up and look TERRIBLE. But, I only paid $10 for 500 of them, so I really can't complain too much.

I keep meaning to do a bookshelf tour, but I want to think of some clever way to do it. Unfortunately, the clever centers in my brain appear to be broken. Maybe someday.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Business Cards

Some of you know that I've REALLY been wanting to make Squeaky Books bookmarks. However, Living Social has a deal (expires soon!) where you can get $50 to VistaPrint for only $10. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE. VistaPrint doesn't do bookmarks, but since this is such a fab deal, I'm willing to switch to business cards. Those are like mini-bookmarks, right? But before I print a bajillion cards, I'd like to get your opinion on them. So here they are, click to enlarge:

What do you think? I know the quote is really tiny. If the print quality is good enough it SHOULD still be readable, though.

Also, I can't decide which business card holder to get. What say you?

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Mourning Loss

I'm sorry to post so soon after my last contest, but I would like to mention that I only just found out that one of my favorite authors, Diana Wynne Jones, has passed away today. Jones has been struggling with cancer for nearly two years. In her, I found laughter, joy, heartache, and quite a bit of frustration from two of my greatest book-friends: Howl & Sophie. I was so looking forward to reading more from her, but at least she has left us such a fabulous legacy.
Thank you, Diana.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Contest Craze- Win a box of ARCs!

I'm delighted to be hosting a contest as part of Princess Bookie's Contest Craze! I loved contest craze last fall, and I'm SOOO excited for this one. What can you win here? A whole BOX of ARCs! In this box are 10-12 ARCs from 2010 & 2011 and YOU could have them all! Also, I'm currently giving away $100 to the bookseller of your choice (open international!) click here for more details on that.

This giveaway is pretty simple, check out the deets:

  • Must be a follower. New or old, doesn't matter.
  • Must have a US shipping address (So Puerto Rico, etc. works)
  • Must be 13 or older
  • Must fill out the form
Extra Entries:
  • (+1) Tell me how you found this contest (as part of form)
  • (+3) Comment on this post with your perfect bookshelves. Pictures welcome!
Additional information:
  • Giveaway runs 3/26 - 4/7 at 7:59 MDT
  • Winner announced 4/8
  • Contest Craze begins 4/9

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Unfinished Friday (4)

I read a ton of books that I don't ever finish for various reasons, and I never review them on this blog. But that's not fair! Maybe you guys want to read them, or want a warning not to read them. If you want to see what other books I started, but didn't finish, here's Unfinished Friday (1), Unfinished Friday (2), and Unfinished Friday (3). As always, here's my preface to Unfinished Friday:

I rate a book kind of like a movie. I don't see R rated movies. Never. So I won't read "R" rated books. My only real problem is with the "F" word, or very heavy usage of unnecessary profanity(And I know we all have different definitions of "unnecessary"). If the story is good, and the profanity is something that really adds to the story, then I'm fine. But some authors use profanity flippantly, and I just can't stand that.

I don't believe that books should be suffered through. It's one thing to finish a book in emotional turmoil (some of the best books do that) But I don't believe they should leaving you feeling "dirty." I'd much rather write a "why I didn't finish" post and have someone else read it and love it, than write I "I really wish I hadn't read this" post and write a negative review that makes someone never touch the book.

And some of these books weren't inappropriate, they just didn't hold my interest for some reason or another.

I am under no authority to condemn a book. This is all just my opinion, please understand that I respect all books and authors. There are so many good books out there! I'm not going to suffer by skipping a few. I'm constantly branching out my horizons. But, in doing so, I've found genre's I don't like, just like everyone else. Some people don't like Sci-fi (crazy fools!), I don't like angsty books.

These are books that I haven't finished from November 2010 to present. I won't go into a ton of detail, but here they are:

Trickster's Girl, by Hilari Bell (GoodReads)
I just wasn't getting into this book. The writing felt a little stiff and awkward, and I felt very little motivation to pick it up. It was causing a clog in my reading pile, so I just decided to stop.

The Floating Islands, by Rachel Neumeier  (GoodReads)
Pretty much the same story with this one. I received it on a tour and just didn't have enough time to finish it before it needed to be mailed out. But from what I read so far, I just didn't feel invested enough in the characters to be in a hurry to track this book down again anytime soon.

Darkness Becomes Her, Kelly Keaton (GoodReads)
This book has been getting a lot of buzz around the blogosphere. Unfortunately, it had a little too much profanity for my taste. If I'm remembering correctly, the main character used the F* word as a way of describing a dress(?). And myriad other curses. Far too casual for me.

Compulsion, by Heidi Ayarbe (GoodReads)
I really wanted to read this book. I don't know if any of you know this, but I actually have a [very, very mild] form of this type of OCD (so mild, it really isn't OCD, just O.). It's one of the reasons I'm a math-major. I'm obsessed with numbers (especially 2, 7, and 3. Whenever I use the microwave whatever I time I put in must end in 7), but I'm not "compulsed" by them (I'll still eat the food if it didn't end in 7 seconds). Unfortunately (and I was pretty sure this was going to happen) there was a lot of profanity in this book. Too much for me. Major bummer.

So there you go. Please remember that I am not trying to attack these books. I hope that if one of them sounds interesting to you that you will pick it up. But I'm a reviewer, and I feel it's my job to not just let you know about the books I liked, but also about the books that I liked too little to finish.

Have a great Friday!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

Exciting Bookish News

Hey, y'all!

I have a slew of exciting bookish news to share. Enjoy!

First off, did you love Ally Condie's Matched? (Answer: Uh. Duh.) Can you absolutely NOT wait for Crossed? (Answer: Yes!) Would you like a chance to WIN an ARC of Crossed along with other cool stuff?!? (Answer: You cannot answer. You have died of excitement)Well then click here to learn more!

Next, have you heard that the final book in Christopher Paolini's Inheritence series has a name and cover? I was really into this series in jr. high, but my interest waned after it took so long for the third book to come out (I still haven't read it). But I'm very excited to see that the new book is GREEN! I like anything green.

This year I discovered the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness and LOVED it! Just found out via Holes in my Brain that he has a new book coming out soon! Click here for the goodreads info. This one looks really cool. It comes out in the UK WAY before the US, so I might by a UK copy.

And finally (this is probably the one I'm most excited for) Nevermore #2 has a title and cover!!! I ADORED the first book in this series and can't WAIT for the second. Ah! So excited! And I like this cover a lot more than I liked the last one. Here's the summary for ya: (Contains spoilers. Highlight to view)

While Varen remains a prisoner in the dream-world, Isobel is haunted by his memory. He appears to her in her dreams and soon, even in her waking life. But is she just imagining it? Isobel knows she must find a way back to Varen. She makes plans to go to Baltimore. There, she confronts the figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster—the same dark man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams, calling himself "Reynolds."

Isobel succeeds in interrupting the Toaster's ritual and, in doing so, discovers a way to return to the dream-world. Soon, she finds herself swept up in a realm which not only holds remnants of Poe's presence, but has also now taken on the characteristics of Varen's innermost self. It is a dark world comprised of fear, terror, and anger.

When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. With his mind poisoned by the dream world, he becomes a malevolent force, bent on destroying all—even himself. Now Isobel must face a new adversary, one who also happens to be her greatest love.

What do you think? Which are you most excited for?

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*Bumped-- Megan McCafferty

Release Date: April 16th, 2011
Genre:  Dystopia, Relationships
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 336
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common
Review: I actually surprised myself with how much I wanted to read this book. Many of you old followers know (and many of you new followers will soon find out) that I'm very cautious when it comes to sex in novels. In fact, I rarely ever like it. From the description, you can clearly see that sex is pretty much all Bumped is about. So I'll be focusing my review on how the author, and myself, dealt with that.

The important thing for me in reading this book was to stay detached. I didn't allow my personal beliefs to "get in the way" of the story, which is crucial. (Please note that I said my personal beliefs not my personal standards. Y'all know I never sacrifice standards for any book) If you go into this story expecting something wholesome, you're going to end it offended. This book deals with all the heavy hitters, teenage sex, cult-religion, non-cult (but still crazy) religion, and more. I don't think there was a single character in this book that I actually could relate with. They were all either too far left or right for me.

However, this detached state of being made this book fascinating. She did an excellent job of crafting a world that was [to me] OUTRAGEOUSLY offensive, and yet I didn't get offended at all. All of the offensive words had been slang-ified so that they didn't bug me at all (there were three instances of the f* word, which was WAY fewer than I was expecting). These characters aren't immoral. Because in this world that McCafferty has created, the ideal of "morality" has been COMPLETELY redefined! And during the sex scenes (yes, there are some. And they aren't explicit at all, but there's no doubt as to what's happening) my brain was working through so many things so fast that I wasn't bothered by them.

If anything bothered me in this book it would be the religion. It seemed like anyone who was religious was seen as "crazy." And granted, most of the religious people in this book were crazy, but still. I don't like it when authors do that. If you don't let that bug you too much, though, then the story flows pretty nicely.

Yes, this book is still certainly for older teens because it deals with very mature issues. But all in all I really liked it. I highly recommend that try to get your hands on a copy. In fact, I'm giving this book away right now! Click here to enter, you have until March 31st!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011

*I am an amazon affiliate. If you purchase this book using my link, I will get a tiny fraction of the purchase, which goes toward contests.
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