*Shadowcry-- Jenna Burtenshaw

Release Date: June 21st, 2011
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher: Greenwillow
Pages: 311
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
The Night of Souls—when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest—is only days away.

Albion is at war . . . and losing.

The wardens have descended, kidnapping innocent citizens for their army, but looking for one in particular.

And fifteen-year-old Kate Winters has just raised a blackbird from the dead.

As her home is torn apart by the wardens, Kate's discovery that she is one of the Skilled—the rare people who can cross the veil between life and death—makes her the most hunted person in all of Albion. Only she can unlock the secrets of Wintercraft, the ancient book of dangerous knowledge. Captured and taken to the graveyard city of Fume—with its secret tunnels and underground villages, and where her own parents met their deaths ten years ago—Kate must harness her extraordinary powers to save herself, her country, and the two men she cares for most. And she'll make a pact with a murderer to do it.
Blurb: Simply enchanting and wonderfully haunting.

Review: I feel like this book slipped under the radar. I don't remember hearing anything about it when it first came out. That's too bad, 'cause it's pretty awesome.

Shadowcry is a very simple book. It reads like the first 150 and last 50 pages of a much longer book, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It just means that there's not a lot of detail, so you feel like you're flying through the story. What a perfect read for a lazy day, or to get you out of a reading slump (as was my case). The story was engaging, though not particularly deep. I didn't feel much connection to the characters, but was easily drawn into the world. It reminded me of a very light version of Sabriel.

Burtenshaw is a master of creating the sympathetic villain. She had me perfectly conflicted. I wanted to like this guy, but he was truly evil. It takes quite a wordsmith to make such strong, conflicting feelings in a single character. I also liked that it didn't end in a cliffhanger, but still has me wanting the next book. If you aren't in the mood for a series, you could definitely read this as a stand-alone.

All in all I really enjoyed it. If you're stuck in a slump, or looking for something you can read in a single sitting, I'd recommend Shadowcry in a heartbeat.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*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.

Books for Trade/Sale

I've made a GoodReads list of all the books that I currently own, but I'm not particularly attached to. Click here to see the list. Either I read them and didn't like them, or I'll never get around to reading them. Look around, see if there's anything you like and maybe you'll have something I like. :) Send me a GoodReads message or e-mail me (Squeakybooks@yahoo.com ) if you're interested. But I'm in no hurry to get rid of 'em.

They're all new or like-new, and some have remainder marks. I've put the exact edition I own on the GR list. Feel free to ask me any questions.

Oh, and I don't have a specific "wish list." I'm just hoping that y'all might have some books you'd be willing to trade, too. I actually prefer an Amazon giftcard (that way only one of us has to ship and it's just less of a hassle) so if that's an option for you the books will probably be somewhere from $3-$8.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Midterms over! What should I read?

Have you noticed how super-lame Squeaky Books has been lately? No reviews in two weeks! That's because it was midterms. Boo. But now they're over! I feel as free as a bird! And then I look at my review pile and go "oh carp."

I'm super-behind! But I don't know which to read first. So would you help me out by voting in this poll? Vote for as many as you want. (Psst. You can't see it if you're in Google Reader)

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

I have started a writing blog

I have started a writing blog. Here it is. This may be akin to shooting myself in the foot, which is why you should carefully read the first (and only) post on said blog.

The end.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Discussion post: past vs. present tense

I have a question for both readers and writers: when you read/write, do you prefer past or present tense? I'll give you examples of each in case you're confused:

Past tense (from The Savage Grace):
"I winced. The heat radiating off of Gabriel's hands was almost too much to bear. I gritted my teeth, trying to hold on."
Present tense (from Grave Mercy):
"The room is poorly lit, which suits my purposes well. Keeping close to the shadows near the wall as I have been taught, I make my way to the stairs that lead to the second floor."
I'm just curious because I know that when I write I have this habit of switching back and forth between the two. And so I wanted to know which people prefer. Do you notice when it's different? Does one seem stronger/weaker to you? If you're a writer, which one do you usually write?

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Reader Survey!

It's that time of year again! The time where I ask my readers to help me make my site better! And I'm going to bribe you with the following prizes:

Win your choice of a signed and personalized copy of:
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
ANY one of the Dark Divine novels by Bree Despain
ANY one of Shannon Hale's books
Partials by Dan Wells
$15 Gift Card to Amazon
Book of your choice under $15 from The Book Depository! (For my international friends!)

There are a LOT of questions, and EVERY ONE is required. But it will really help me out. Seriously guys. I will love you forever. The survey is ANONYMOUS. If you want to win the prize you have to fill out the survey and then the confirmation will give a link to a DIFFERENT form to enter to win. Understand? Feel free to ask questions in the comments, and...

Also, please note that since the survey is anonymous I won't be able to disqualify you if you just put jibberish into the different boxes or n/a or - or something. But that really isn't helpful to me. I know the survey is exhaustive. I feel like something has been off/wrong with Squeaky Books for a while, and I can't figure out what it is. I really need your help.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Writing for Charity 2012!

Calling all aspiring writers/book lovers! Do you want to go to an awesome event AND donate to charity? You're in luck! There's an AMAZING event called Writing for Charity that was started by Shannon Hale a few years ago. I went the first year, and I'm SO EXCITED to get to go this year!

Please take a minute to go to their website and look it over. If you don't want to go the full day (which includes a personal critique with an author!) then there's a half-day option with an awesome signing and break-out sessions.

Please come! I'll be there, and so will these authors: Brodi Ashton, Bree Despain, Dean Hale, Shannon Hale, Mette Ivie Harrison, Janette Rallison, Emily Wing Smith, Dan Wells, and MORE!

P.S. If you have some Utah readers and wouldn't mind spreading the word about this event, I'd really appreciate it. It's for such a wonderful cause.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Multi-blog giveaway, anyone?

Happy Valentine's Day! I've never really been one to linger on Valentine's (it comes from being such a love-skeptic I guess. Hopefully that'll change some day), so I hope you'll excuse the totally non-lovey-dovey post. Onward!

Last year I hosted a very successful multi-blog giveaway for some pretty massive gift-cards. And it's almost time to do it again! Actually, it's still over a month away, but there's no time like the present! If you're interested, please fill out the form below. If you'd like more information about how it works you can check out the information on the form, or last year's giveaway (giveaway | nominees | winners).

This is a great way to gain new readers/followers, and it gives you the chance to have a giveaway that most people can't afford to do on their own! It's totally awesome! Also, since Borders is no longer an option, the winner will have the option of getting their money's worth of books from The Book Depository! Yay international friends! If you're interested, fill out this form! (You can still back out after filling out the form if you change your mind. Don't worry, it's not binding)

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Hunger Games movie, anyone?

Do you live in Utah? Are you super-excited to see The Hunger Games? Would you like to see it at midnight with a bunch of people who are as excited as you? Then you're in luck!

The Book Bloggers of Utah are organizing a midnight showing of The Hunger Games for Thursday, March 22nd! We'll be at a theatre with reserve seating, so we'll all be able to sit together! You're welcome to bring friends too (I'll be bringing my mother. Together we're a pretty awesome party.).

If you are interested, please e-mail me or Penelope ASAP for more information! We need a final count before February 22nd (the day tickets go on sale).

Here's my e-mail: Squeakybooks@yahoo.com
Here's Penelope's: readingfever@gmail.com

What are you waiting for?! You know you want to come. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see me sob like a baby.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*A Monster Calls-- Patrick Ness

Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Genre:  Um... fiction?
Publisher: Candlewick
Pages: 205
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming. . . .

This monster, though, is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.
Blurb: It's like The Giving Tree gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Review: I have an interesting relationship with this book. I'm still not sure if I love it or hate it. I thought this book was SOOOOOOO boring for the first 100+. I thought it was didactic, and I KNEW there was supposed to be some kind of deep message, but the fact that it wasn't affecting me was really bugging me.

But then... something changed. I don't know what it was. All of a sudden... I loved it. And then I thought it was a cheap shot. And then I thought it was beautiful. And then I wanted to throw it against the wall. And then I was sobbing. And then I decided that I would give this book the worst rating ever.

And here we are.

I think what was the hardest part was that by the time I finished the book and was sobbing, I thought "This isn't fair! I don't like this book, so why is it making me cry so much?!" It made me angry. I had been prepared to hate it. There was so much that made me want to hate it. And then for it to suddenly make me want to love it?! Gah! Emotional turmoil!

It boils down to this: A Monster Calls was not my kind of book. It was a little too dependant on its metaphors, etc. However, I really liked it. Hence the conflict.

The bright side is that it's really short. It only took me a couple hours to read, if that. So whether you love it or hate it, it's not going to take a lot out of your day.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*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.

Fever-- Lauren DeStefano

Release Date: February 21st, 2012
Genre:  Romance, Dystopia
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 368
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Series: Chemical Garden #2 (Review of #1)
Summary (Spoilers, highlight to view):
Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.
Blurb: There's a reason the girl on the cover looks bored.

Review: I am almost shocked at how boring this book was. I love the first one so much and this one... fell totally flat. It took 275 pages to get ANYWHERE and then the last 70 were one big drug-haze.

I'm trying to figure out what the point of this book was. It wasn't even really a bridge-book, because I don't feel like the author took me anywhere (which is kinda the definition of bridge). I really felt like the characters were just meandering around.

And then there was the DISTURBING stuff. Even more disturbing than the first book. I don't know why Lauren had to do that. It was already plenty disturbing.

But that doesn't compare to how slow and meaningless I found it. I guess... maybe there's hidden meaning in the slowness? Maybe we were supposed to find character depth here? I didn't. All I found was a very, very long story for only being 368 pages. It totally threw off my holiday reading. Someone said it was their favorite book of the year (I forget who). I'd really like to know why.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*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.

Mini-Reviews (2)

*sigh* I've done it again. Here are a couple books that I waited too long to write a review and I've forgotten too much to be able to write a full review. And I feel EXTRA bad because they're both from authors I LOVE! So I'll do some mini-style that will hopefully still show you how awesome both books are.

Drink, Slay, Love, Sarah Beth Durst
(Goodreads | Amazon)

I have deduced that Sarah has the ability to take any topic and make it awesome. Pearl, our vampire-turned-daywalker main character, has one of the freshest voices I've had the pleasure of reading. The story is gripping, the humor is legit, and the characters are likeable and hateable. What more could you ask from a book?

Frost, Wendy Delsol
(Goodreads | Amazon)

I love this series. The first one was spectacular, and this one was good, but not quite as good. The only thing I didn't like was the MAJOR sequel-phase happening between Kat and Jack. But I did LOVE how much lore was brought into this story. Wendy has a true gift for making a book feel like both contemporary fiction, and fantasy. And the lore that she uses is so unique and fun! There was also plenty of mystery to go along with the action and romance. All around great.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

**Bloodrose-- Andrea Cremer

Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Genre:  Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Philomel
Pages: 406
Amazon Link*: Click here
Goodreads Page: Click here
Series: Nightshade #3 (Review of #1, #2)
Summary (Spoilers, highlight to view):
Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.
Blurb: I don't think this series could have ended any better, even if it means some people are unhappy.

Review: Ah, the end of a series. Always so hard to read, and I imagine hard to write. Especially when  you've created a pretty killer love triangle. I'm team Ren, by the way. I think Shay is a whiny baby.

Speaking of whiny babies, let's talk about the things I DIDN'T like first. There's really only one: Calla. It really bothered me how unfaithful she was, to EITHER guy. She's always thinking about having sex with one of them, and then feeling bad about it, and then lusting after the other. It drove me BONKERS. And Shay was still a whiny baby.

Also, I feel like ther was A LOT crammed into this book. Calla and Shay are looking for things (very horcrux-like actually) and it takes them, what? maybe 3 days to find all of them? A chapter for each? I would have MUCH rather had another book in this series that took a little longer to work this part out, rather than cramming it all into this book.

But what makes this book AWESOME is the different relationships and the ending. There's a whole lot of love happening in this book-- platonic, romantic, and familial-- and it was all pretty awesome. And the ending... hm. To be honest, I had to give myself time to think about whether I loved or hated the ending. I decided on love (though hate is just under the surface). She ended it in such a way that really made me think. And I liked that. I can't say much for fear of spoilers, but let's just say that I think almost everyone (in the book at least) ends up where they should be.

So even though I didn't like Calla, she was balanced by her other characters. And Shay actually did become a little less whiny. All of the negatives in this book were far outweighed by the positives. Sometimes there's a danger of getting invested in a series and then loving it UNTIL the last book, and then you feel like you've wasted your time. Not so with this series. It started out awesome, and it ends awesome. Not perfect, but still pretty awesome.

Did I mention awesome?

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

*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.

Korean Speaker Needed!

Help! I know this is one of Shannon Hale's books, and I think it's Enna Burning, but all my searches have been inconclusive and the translations don't make sense. If you speak Korean, can you tell me what this means?

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

In My Mailbox: Super-Awesome Friend Debbie Strikes Again

For Review:
From Super-Awesome Friend Debbie:

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Shannon Hale, anyone?

Is anyone going to the Shannon Hale event tomorrow? If you are, let me know in the comments or e-mail me! I want to know who's going to be there!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

Expect Delays

All right, I know I said that I'd have March releases up today, but... I'm having trouble finding them. The only ones I can find that are really standing out to me are The Savage Grace, Grave Mercy, and A Temptation of Angels. Everything else seems kind of blah (too much romance or contemporary). What do you think?

What books are coming out in March that you think would be good for me to feature?
Keep in mind that I'm trying to avoid books that are contemporary, sequels (TSG is the exception), and more romance than fantasy/paranormal.


All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012

February's New Release Giveaway!

!!February's New Release Giveaway!!

The featured title for February is...

Rules and Overview:
  • Giveaway runs 2/1-2/29
  • Winner announced 3/1
  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • Fill out the form to enter
  • INTERNATIONAL (to anywhere TBD ships) 
  • No bonus entries

Check back later today to see February's featured upcoming releases! It's up to YOU to choose the featured book for March!

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2012
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