Thursday, August 26, 2010


She started to turn, but before she could step away, Tamani grabbed her hand.  Without breaking eye contact, he raised her hand to his face and brushed his lips over her knuckles.  For just a second, his eyes were unguarded.  A spark went through Laurel at what she saw there: raw, unbridled desire...

Wings (Aprilynne Pike (Quality)) Wings by Aprilynne Pike is a romantic YA about Laurel, a teenage fairy who comes of fairy-ness and falls in love.  But it's not really that simple, you see, because Laurel lives in the human world.  She loves her hippy parents, her devoted non-boyfriend David, and enjoys her normal life until suddenly wings begin growing out of her back!  Add to that a couple of scary trolls out to destroy both the world Laurel knows and the one she doesn't yet - but she will soon as her sole connection to the world of fairy, Tamani, becomes more than a friend.  What about David, you ask?  Well, you'll just have to read this fun little story to find out.

This book was a joy to read.  I loved Laurel, her relationship with David and the unfolding of the world of fairy.  However I don't think enough attention was paid to this last part, since the first half mostly focused on Laurel's discovery of her identity and her relationships with the humans in her life.  I guess that's what Ms. Pike's sequel Spells is for, which I'll be sure to pick up on my next splurge.  

Monday, August 23, 2010


Don't hate, but I did switch up the Currently Reading book from Diana Gabaldon's Voyager to Aprilynne Pike's YA fantasy Wings.  I'm almost half-done already, this one is so easy to read and even easier to enjoy.  So expect that review pretty soon.  The story is, I had to return Voyager early to my local library, since it is often requested by other Gabaldon fans :sniff:  But I have already ordered a copy to keep, so I can just pick up where I left off when that comes in about a week.  The bad news is that I had to return Affinity and Incantation to the library without reading them.  I'm going to focus more on the books I own (and swap/buy to own) before taking more out of the library and having to return things without reading them, which is always sad.  So I will finish the remaining library books I took out for last week's Words from the Well and you should see those reviews up in the coming two weeks or so!  Then we can bid a sorta-fond temporary farewell to the library and its funkyfangled request system (let's not get into my overdue fees!).

In other news...

Gear up folks, because FALL is approaching and so is a new book-theme.  Supernatural Summer is not over yet, of course, as I still have mucho supernatural books to read, but I'd like to gradually include something different to match the changing weatherI am currently taking requests for this next theme, so please contact me in any way you can and let me know what you'd love to see on Reader's Well!  Even send me a recommendation list, if you wish.  Fall is my absolute favorite season, so I'm sure any reading will be awesome, happy reading, so don't be afraid to pitch whatever you're excited about.

Happy gearing!  Oh yes, and happy Monday for you crazy people who love Mondays.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Words from the Well, 4

The Forest of Hands and TeethWings (Aprilynne Pike (Quality))The Map of True PlacesProphecy of the Sisters

Wow, my 4th Words from the Well, already.  I'm very proud of myself - although I did not get this out when I had hoped to on the usual day, Sunday evening.  Which is sad because Monday is pretty much the antithesis of Sunday with its ... more immediate sense of dread.  Anyway I've been busy, and I'm sure you understand - in any case, this week's tiny batch is very promising:

Borrowed from the library:

The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan
Wings - Aprilynne Pike
 The Map of True Places - Brunonia Barry
 Prophecy of the Sisters - Michelle Zink

So at the moment I'm still on Voyager, which is awesome, and this should give you all plenty of time to pick up the series and begin.  Need another reminder?  Okay, it's Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, and the very first is of course Outlander.  I know it's taking me a while, but I realized just recently that I can no longer read on the subway, and that subway takes up a large chunk of my time - so now I just read at night before I doze off.  See, this is what happens when I have to write on Mondays, my blogs are all sobby and whiny.  But stay tuned anyway, because once Voyager is done, it's not long until the next (much smaller!) one is finished.  Can't tell you what it is though, you'll just have to get by now with your very own Scottish Highland fantasy!


Props to The Story Siren again for her meme "In My Mailbox."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Words from the Well, 3

This week's pick was also from Paperbackswap, and yes, I largely chose it because of 1. the cover, and 2. my supernatural theme - both of which make up a perfectly valid basis for decision-making, if you ask me.

Season of the Witch

Swapped from Paperbackswap:

Season of the Witch - Natasha Mostert

A gothic thriller with some magic, alchemy, eroticism, a little something on memory thrown into the pot ... there's great fodder for a Supernatural Summer blog, eh? Let's see when I get a chance to read this, because next on the list include last week's library books and next week's library requests.  After that, I really need to keep my sticky fingers out of the stacks for a while, and focus on what's already piled up to the ceiling of my room.  But that's a week away right now, and you want to know what's next, so stay tuned for a review of the third novel in Diana Gabaldon's awesome Outlander series, Voyager.  I'd better get started now, so have a quiet, cozy Sunday evening as usual, and I'll see you next time on the Reader's Well!

This week's WftW brought to you by me, and I got this meme from The Story Siren.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Before I Fall

If you read book blogs, and obviously you do, you will know this book already.  That's why I picked it up myself, having read the great reviews along with the description of the plot, which seemed like a pretty cool idea.

"Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there's a tomorrow. Maybe for you there's one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it. 
But for some of us there's only today. And the truth is, you never really know."

Before I FallSam and her posse are the Cordelia Chase crowd of Thomas Jefferson High School in Connecticut, picking on everything that walks, making life hell for the loneliest and the saddest, the most unpopular kids.  Now zoom in on Sam - popular, mean, cruel, and shallow, right?  Well that all begins to change when her friend Lindsay drives them off the road on February 12th, killing Sam.  Next thing she knows, she wakes up to her alarm - on February 12th - seven times.  Each day is another life for Sam, another chance for her to turn things around, to affect different people in different ways, but most importantly to learn what it is to be alive.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is an intense, breathless trip around the microcosm of teenage life in suburban America.  And Samantha Kingston is the perfect voice for it - her passionate, heartfelt telling of her life (and death) story will keep you turning pages into the night without even realizing it.  The characters that Samantha manipulates and connects with throughout her seven days of soul-searching become whole and real people, "patched and stitched together and not quite right." And Ms. Oliver's writing brings us right to the scene chapter after chapter with believable dialog, perfect teenage perspective and scenes that seem almost magical, they're so well done and affecting - so much so that the 470 pages seem more like 100, and it's over before you're ready to leave Sam and her friends to the Fates.

I couldn't stop flipping the pages of this once I started, and I'm so glad I gave it a chance.  It's even one of those you buy and lend out, then never get back.  I must admit that after reading The Society of S and discovering the 4.5-star Amazon rating, I was beginning to believe that maybe today's YA is just not the "genre" for me.  The same-old, same-old vampire tale, or the leather-clad tough chick with major attitude - I've read it all before, no?  Not this time - don't let me, or yourself, think like that, folks.  Like Sam, we might miss out on something great, something beautiful ... something to be read, and lent out, and never get back.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Nothing like some fluff to take the mind off the craziness of the past few weeks!  I deserve this one, and I'm sure you do, too, so let's get down to it!

The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A NovelScanning the shelves of the Central Library in Jamaica, Queens, I was looking for Sarah Addison Allen, the author of The Sugar Queen and Garden Spells - either of which, I decided, would hit the spot.  Of course, when you don't request the exact books, you might have to settle for the next in line, and in this case I drew from the shelf The Girl Who Chased the Moon.  With its beautiful cover and promise of serious Southern charm and magical sweetness, I plopped it right on top of my to-go pile.  And I'm pretty glad I did.

Who is this girl who chased the moon?  That would be Emily Benedict, the lonely orphan girl, the daughter of small-town Mullaby's former outcast.  Emily, who would do anything to uncover her mother's past, and the family she never knew she had.  Mullaby is a small town in North Carolina with its fair share of eccentrics, who one way or another have vowed to keep their town's dirty, unnatural secrets - one of which is the history of Emily's mother Dulcie, and as far as Emily can tell, it is nothing to be proud of.  Will Emily ever find her way in this hush-hush little world of strange, suspicious characters, or will her mother's past overshadow any chance at happiness?

This isn't the only tale to tell in Allen's magical Mullaby - there's that of the legendary Coffey family, who for some odd reason never venture outside their mansion after dark.  There's Julia, Emily's disillusioned neighbor who dreams of leaving little Mullaby forever, but at what cost?  And there's Emily's grandfather, the town giant, who has watched both his beloved wife and daughter slip away, and will now have to welcome the granddaughter he never knew.

Is it possible for all these folks to find shiny, sparkly, shimmering happiness in the space of 265 pages?  Well, as much as I hate to give it away, yes they can!  I found this one lots of fun to read the whole way through.  Mullaby's various threads of history and crazy characters with their hopes and dreams all carry a semblance of the magic you'll find in Alice Hoffman's books.  And now you're sensing a "but" - so here it is:  I wasn't nearly as impressed with the language in Allen's book as I was by that in Hoffman's Practical Magic, say.  It just wasn't as mature here, as real in the sense of our own world as a work of art, but instead creates a simpler fantasy version.  There's nothing in here to make you cry, and that's probably just the ticket for you right now, O weary reader.  If you're looking for a nice, sweet beach read this summer with a little hint of the supernatural, you can't go wrong with The Girl Who Chased the Moon.  Be prepared to lay out beneath the stars and dream of coming home again ... you know, some of us believe it's possible.

To think, after all this time, after all the searching and all the waiting, after all the regret and the time she'd spent away, she came back to find that happiness was right where she'd left it.
On a football field in Mullaby, North Carolina.
Waiting for her.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Society of S

Here it is, finally, The Society of S by Susan Hubbard.  You know, since I've only received one vote so far for my poll on whether to link to Amazon or LibraryThing, I will continue to take the easy way out and link to Amazon, even though I am NOT an Amazon Associate, nor do I have any plans to suck up to any particular bookseller.  Anyway, I'm just trying to get you guys to vote on that, because if you really appreciate LibraryThing, you can certainly expect that I'll comply and post those links instead.

The Society of S: A NovelNow ... this book is from The Strand, and I bought it hardcover without any cover on it, so this description is entirely my own interpretation of the English language.  We have Ari, a lonely pre-teen girl with a broken family, living in Saratoga Springs, New York.  I hate to spoil it for you, but she's a vampire (gasp!), as is her father, her only living family member that we get hear about in the first half because Ari's mother is gone. Gone, as in, she left them right after Ari was born.  So as Ari grows up with an abandonment complex, pushing her to search for her long-lost mother, she develops a lonely-vampire one right alongside it, as she takes us through her world of teenage "angst."

This seemed much more a coming-of-age novel than a spooky, or romantic vampire story.  Ari reminded me so much - almost too much - of Bella in Twilight:  I couldn't really connect with her.  Ms. Hubbard does make an effort every now and again to draw the reader into the story through Ari's character, but I found her only technique in doing this was through cliches.  What else do we have here?  The plot - pretty predictable, event after event, not to mention the same old vampire lore you've read before.  If you're not into the vampires at all, the story is probably not enough to take you in, either.  The epilogue does take a shot at explaining the purpose of the novel, but fails in my opinion.  Now for the good:  Poe!  Plenty of Poe references, which is that special thing that kept me reading, especially the beautiful, sorrowful Annabel Lee.  I'll leave you with a snippet of poetry tonight then, and wish you a quiet, beautiful and lonesome evening tonight...

... And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee: —

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee ...

Words from the Well, 2

And now for my second installment ever of Words from the Well ... sorry, very sorry first of all, that it's taken me this long to get out what's supposed to be my every-Sunday-meme!  And also of course for abstaining from actual reviews - but it's your lucky day (two days? yeah, I'm a little busy), because you're about to hear all about The Society of S by Susan Hubbard, right after this ...

So I just picked this one out on Paperbackswap this past week -

The Shunning (The Heritage of Lancaster County #1)

Can't wait to read this, although it's going to have to wait a bit, until I can knock some of the library books off the TBR pile first.  But that shouldn't take too long (you laugh, I know).  Until then I'll leave you with the cover blurb:  "She knew only the Amish ways, but with one visit to the attic, her world began to crumble."  There's something really awesome about the Amish - their German-English dialect, their quaint-looking lives, the true potential for drama hidden underneath it all.  You know when you can tell right away that you'll read the entire series of books, even though you've yet barely touched the first book?  That's this one, here.  It's like my experience with The Lace Reader - I know enough about the particular world to love it before the story has even begun.

So that's all I've acquired this week, I've been stingy since that last splurge at the library - and I have just begun to read one of them - check my Currently Reading widget at the top-right to see what I'm up to next, for Supernatural Summer!

As always, this meme is brought to you by The Story Siren.