Hello there! Are we ready for another stash? Here we go!
Oh, oopsie. How did this happen? (And how could we forget Dean in our Bad Boy Weekend Poll yesterday??? Jaysus. Bad Smugglers, Bad Smugglers ).
Ok, ok, let’s get to work!
This Week On The Book Smugglers:
On Monday, we have a joint review of a new YA book: Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe.
On Tuesday, Thea reviews Forest Born by Shannon Hale, the fourth book in the Books of Bayern series…
On Wednesday we will have a mini Neil Gaiman special! Woohoo! We have been shortlisted for Best Graphic Novel for the BBAW so we decided to celebrate with a joint review of Murder Mysteries, a graphic novel we both have on our TBRs since like, forever. Also, on Wednesday, we will be giving away two copies of The Graveyard Book one of our favourite reads of 2008, in celebration of the upcoming release of the paperback edition. Stay tuned!
On Thursday, Thea reviews Cape Storm by Rachel Caine, book 8 in the Weather Warden series.
On Friday Ana reviews another upcoming YA book: Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Finally, on Saturday, it’s the Return of THE DARE! It’s been a while since we dared each other to read anything so we decided: no more. We are not going to chicken out! So, Ana gets to read The Drawing of the Three , book 2 in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King,Thea’s all-time favourite series; and Thea has to read Perfume by Patrick Suskind – one of Ana’s favourites. Bring.It.On.
Plus, throughout the week, we will be doing short posts (and some giveaways) connected to the Book Blogger Appreciation Week, as per the suggested daily blogging topics. Check them out and take part: we are all invited to the party!
Our Catching Fire giveaway is still open! It runs till September 15th and it’s open to residents of Canada and US only – go here to enter and good luck!
Mary Pearson, author of The Adoration of Jenna Fox,a book that Thea read and loved (reviewed here) wrote an absolutely fantastic article for the Tor.com blog on Young Adult novels addressing questions such as: YA: Who writes it? Why do they write it? Who should read it? Who shouldn’t? What are the author’s responsibilities? What should their responsibilities be? What is YA lit? What is it not? Is it “safe” literature, and she basically voiced everything we think about the genre. Here is an excerpt:
“Recently I’ve heard some discussion about the “responsibility” of YA books and YA authors. Oh, I hate that word when it comes to books. I’ve heard complaints at both ends of the spectrum, far left and far right, wanting books to “guide” readers one way or the other. Their way, I imagine. Or not include sex or language or whatever, and sometimes the whatever is pretty ridiculous, under the guise that we must “protect” young minds. I have to say, I have seen just as much harm come to children who are over-protected as those who are not paid any mind at all. I have seen parents who sequester their children away from the world in order to protect them, but hey, the world is there, and one day the kid will be out in it. Do they really want to spring it on them cold turkey? Often the results aren’t pretty. Or wouldn’t they rather have their child test the waters while they are still under their wings and can come to them with questions?”
The article is here – make sure to read it because it is pretty damn good.
Also, we stumbled across these awesome Steampunk-ified Star Wars figurines from Sillof’s Workshop (via Aidan at A Dribble of Ink) and were immediately smitten. (Thea: I love Leia’s dress and Artoo’s awesome new look! And Vader’s lightsaber! And BOBA FETT’S HELMET! EEEE! I want them all.) Click to enlarge all images.
And look at how awesome Wedge Antilles looks! And Ewoks get NASTY!
On our Radar:
Contemporary Romance: (no one does it better than Julie James – BEST repartee in the style of old screwball comedies)
Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and nearly ruining his career…
Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension…
YA: Cinderella retold
In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.
Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
At Fairfield High, everyone knows that south siders and north siders aren’t exactly compatible elements. So when cheerleader Brittany Ellis and gang member Alex Fuentes are forced to be lab partners, the results are bound to be explosive.
Neither teen is prepared for the most surprising chemical reaction of all – love. Can they break through the stereotypes and misconceptions that threaten to keep them apart?
For months, Cass Meyer has heard her best friend Julia, a wannabe Broadway composer, whispering about a top-secret project. Then Julia is killed in a sudden car accident, and while Cass is still reeling from her death, Julia’s boyfriend and her other drama friends make it their mission to bring to fruition the nearly-completed secret project: a musical about an orphaned ninja princess entitled Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad.
Cass isn’t one of the drama people. She doesn’t feel at home with Julia’s drama friends, and she doesn’t see a place for her in the play. Things only get worse when she finds out that Heather Galloway, the girl who made her miserable all through middle school, has been cast as the ninja princess.
Cass can’t take a summer of swallowing her pride and painting sets, so she decides to follow her original plan for a cross-country road trip with Julia. Even if she has a touring bicycle instead of a driver’s license, and even if Julia’s ashes are coming along in Tupperware.
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend is a story about friendship. About love. About traveling a thousand miles just to find yourself. About making peace with the past, and making sense of it. And it’s a story about the bloodiest high school musical one quiet suburb has ever seen.
Once, all power in the Vin Lands was held by the prince-mages, who alone could craft spellwines, and selfishly used them to increase their own wealth and influence. But their abuse of power caused a demigod to break the Vine, shattering the power of the mages. Now, fourteen centuries later, it is the humble Vinearts who hold the secret of crafting spells from wines, the source of magic, and they are prohibited from holding power.
But now rumors come of a new darkness rising in the vineyards. Strange, terrifying creatures, sudden plagues, and mysterious disappearances threaten the land. Only one Vineart senses the danger, and he has only one weapon to use against it: a young slave. His name is Jerzy, and his origins are unknown, even to him. Yet his uncanny sense of the Vinearts’ craft offers a hint of greater magics within — magics that his Master, the Vineart Malech, must cultivate and grow. But time is running out. If Malech cannot teach his new apprentice the secrets of the spellwines, and if Jerzy cannot master his own untapped powers, the Vin Lands shall surely be destroyed.
In Flesh and Fire, first in a spellbinding new trilogy, Laura Anne Gilman conjures a story as powerful as magic itself, as intoxicating as the finest of wines, and as timeless as the greatest legends ever told.
With their forces gathered, the revolutionary leaders within Lescar begin their bid to win the minds and hearts of the people, as well as the lands of the rival dukedoms.
Hoping for a better life, five war veterans colonize an abandoned island. They take with them everything they could possibly need – food, clothes, tools, weapons, even wives.
But an unanticipated discovery shatters their dream and replaces it with a very different one. The colonists feel sure that their friendship will keep them together. Only then do they begin to realize that they’ve brought with them rather more than they bargained for.
For one of them, it seems, has been hiding a terrible secret from the rest of the company. And when the truth begins to emerge, it soon becomes clear that the war is far from over.
With masterful storytelling, irresistible wit, and extraordinary insight into human nature, K.J. Parker is widely acknowledged as one of the most original and exciting fantasy writers of modern times. THE COMPANY, K.J. Parker’s first stand-alone novel, is a tour de force from an author who is changing the face of the fantasy genre.
And that’s it from us today, have a great week!
~ Your Friendly Neigborhood Book Smugglers