Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review: Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

I release you Lenah Beaudonte.
Believe...and be free.

Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish. Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?

This book took me a very long time to read. I stopped and started several times, reading other books in between. I finally found the time to sit down and finish it and I enjoyed it. The story was well written and had an interesting combination of past and present. Lenah had been a vampire for 500 years, turned as a teenager. The book begins on the first day she has become human again, living the life of a sixteen year-old girl in current times. She is alone at a private school and must start over, making new friends and a new life. As days go by she has flashbacks to her old vampire life. Her history is slowly revealed and the contrast is obvious. As a vampire she was lonely and violent. She had to kill and drink blood to survive. She also turned specific victims to create a coven of her own for protection and companionship. Now as a human she has emotions that help her realize how horrific her actions were but knows she was driven by blood lust. She begins making friends that she really cares about but she knows that her old coven will come looking for her.

I liked most of the characters and found them interesting. Rhodes was a devoted friend who gave his life for her, Tony is a new friend who already cares for her deeply and Justin is more than a friend. Vicken will do anything to destroy her. I was curious to see how they would all interact. Together they had plenty of tension, suspense and action.

I didn't feel all of Lenah's excuses and situations were very believable. Everyone was too accepting of her reasons for not acting like most teenagers. She was new to every experience but they didn't seem to find it that strange. I also thought the social life of these teens was more like a college situation than high school. They were able to go to night clubs and bars and had access to boats and cars. This was a private school and many of them were from wealthy families (but hey, I'm not that familiar with either of those things!) but it still seemed excessive for teenagers.

This was the first book in the Vampire Queen trilogy and this author's debut. I look forward to the sequel and to more books from Rebecca Maizel.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Author site
Author blog

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release date: August 2010
Price/format: $9.99/trade paperback
Type: teen fiction

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mailbox Monday (on Tuesday)

Mailbox Monday at The Printed Page (this month at Library of Clean Reads) is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

We had a busy weekend with my son's basketball game and a visit to my brother's over the weekend. It was fun to get away but I got even further behind here. I still had to share the awesome books I got! I hope you found lots of goodies in your mailbox and had an extra special Valentines Day!

Angel Fire by Courtney B. Moulton
Won from Bewitched Books

This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capa
ble of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.

Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
From author

In this deft historical novel, Madame Tussaud (1761-1850) escapes the pages of trivia quizzes to become a real person far more arresting than even her waxwork sculptures. Who among us knew, for instance, that she moved freely through the royal court of Louis XVI, only to become a prisoner of the Reign of Terror? Her head was shaven for guillotining, but she escaped execution, though she was forced to make death masks for prominent victims. Novelist Michelle Moran covers this breathtaking period without losing the thread of its subject's singular story.

Cold Wind by C. J. Box
From Penguin Sweepstakes

When Earl Alden is found dead, dangling from a wind turbine, it’s his wife, Missy, who is arrested. Unfortunately for Joe Pickett, Missy is his mother-in-law, a woman he dislikes heartily, and now he doesn’t know what to do – especially when the early signs point to her being as guilty as sin. But then things happen to make Joe wonder: Is Earl’s death what it appears to be? Is Missy being set up? He has the county DA and sheriff on one side, his wife on the other, his estranged friend Nate on a lethal mission of his own, and some powerful interests breathing down his neck. Whichever way this goes…it’s not going to be good.

It's so cold...

We've been in a deep freeze in western NY state for much of the winter. Lots of snow and lots of cold. Since I've lived here my whole life I'm used to it, I just don't care for it. I also get very lazy this time of year and that's never a good thing. I've been reading good books and snuggling up by the firsplace but that's about it. I need exercise and fresh air! I also need to pay more attention to my blog and blogging buddies. So sorry to have neglected you. It wasn't personal.

So much snow and ice. Last week it was -20 degrees. Ugh. I am sooooo ready for spring!

Oh how I miss my hammock! It's hard to believe this pile of snow is where it belongs.

Even the girls are way too lazy but they do like to play in the snow. I wish I did.

I hope you are having a warmer winter and are staying safe. I also hope you have piles of great books to read. Bring on the sunshine!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New book - My Princess Boy

I saw this family on TV recently and instantly adored them. The parents and older brother are so supportive of a little boy who just wants to be himself. Their book just came out and I haven't read it yet but I had to share it here with all of you.

My Princess Boy is a nonfiction picture book about acceptance. With words and illustrations even the youngest of children can understand, My Princess Boy tells the tale of a 4-year-old boy who happily expresses his authentic self by wearing dresses and enjoying "traditional girl" things like jewelry, sparkles or anything pink. The book is told from a mother's point of view, sharing both positive and negative experiences the Princess Boy has with family, friends, classmates and even total strangers.

My Princess Boy is designed to open a dialogue about embracing uniqueness, and teaches children -- and adults -- how to accept those who cross traditional gender lines when it comes to clothing and self-expression. The book ends with the understanding that 'my' Princess Boy is really 'our' Princess Boy, and as a community, we need to accept and support young children for who they are and how they wish to look.

From Simon & Schuster

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading and asks you to :
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3 . Share 2 "teaser" sentences also citing the title of the book and the author and in that way people can have great recommendations if they like the "teaser".
4. Please avoid spoilers!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Eyes and ears are much respected,
but the butt has been neglected.
We hope to change that here and now.
Would the butt please stand up and take a bow?

The Butt Book by Artie Bennett