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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis

Title: Kat, Incorrigible (US)/A Most Improper Magick (UK) (The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stevenson #1)

Author: Stephanie Burgis

Publisher: Antheneum Books

Rating: 4 stars
Kat is the youngest daughter of Stevenson family. Witty and never concern about how a lady should behave, Kat is a handful for her Stepmama and her two older sisters. Then she found out she was born to be a Guardian with powerful magic, part of an Order to protect Society, and her life gets merrier! Planning to runaway to London so she could get a job and free her sister from marriage arrangement, help a love-struck guy who pretend to be highwayman to kidnap the girl he loves, or disguise herself to be the woman she hates the most, Kat always find a way to do something. But finally she realize what is the meaning of helpless when she meet a strong opponent, who willing to sacrifice Kat's family for his own benefit.

Kat, Incorrigible is a light-reading; something you read after a hard day full of work/school so you could feel relax and perhaps laugh a little bit. Set in Yorkshire, England 1803, this book offer a taste of Jane Austen's book with more enthusiast (or should I say unladylike) main character. Kat is definitely the star in this book. Although other characters are quite interesting, I found them quite predictable as well, unless probably Mr. Gregson. Kat's sisters, Angelina and Elissa are a bit similar to Austen's characters as well. Elissa remind me a bit of Jane for Pride and Prejudice. It doesn't mean Stephanie rip them off though; not that similar.

The conflict is typical of Jane Austen books; love, marriage arrangement, scandal in Society, and how to behave like a proper lady with a twist of magic. Kat inheritance the ability to do magic from her late mother; magic that so powerful that makes her eligible to be part of the Order of Guardian. But Kat doesn't really want it because all she wants is protect her family (and have a little fun while doing it). The fantasy element in this story is perfect; not too much to make you feel overwhelmed with it but enough to make the story more interesting. Even though Kat is powerful, she's not untouchable. Especially because her magic is still raw, she often did mistakes doing it. I prefer a realistic character, not someone too perfect, and Kat is quite realistic. Overall it's not a story that you have to take time to digest it; you just need to get along with the story and enjoy the ride.

With this book I declared that I favor middle-grade more than young adult. I like this kind of book; with a witty character who wont waste her life being angst and mooning over a super handsome guy. Don't get me wrong, I like YA but sometimes the lovey-dovey in YA is just too much for me to tolerate. But middle-grade offer more excitement and broader conflict for me compare to YA.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

April is NetGalley Month!

Emily in Red House Books arrange Netgalley's month for this April and I'm going to participate in it. I love NetGalley, they help me to get access to books I probably will never know or discover it much later if it's not because of them. I have tons of books I've received from publishers via NetGalley and because I finally bought new laptop, I could start reading egalley again. If you want to participate, go to Emily's blog HERE.

This is the list of egalley I've received from NetGalley and I'm planning to read in April:

Those That Wake by Jesse Karp
In The Arms of Stone Angels by Jordan Dane
The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Invinsible Inkling by Emily Jenkins
The Restorer by Amanda Stevens
The Goddest Test by Aimee Carter
Theories of Flight by Simon Morden
 Shine by Lauren Myracle


*Links in the list lead to Goodreads.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Equations of Life by Simon Morden

Title: Equations of Life

Author: Simon Morden

Publisher: Orbit Books

Rating: 3 and a half stars

He had one more chance. He could turn his back, make good his escape, disappear into the crowd. She could work her own salvation out from here.
Petrovitch reached out a hand, and hers slapped into it, palm against gritty palm.

Samuil Petrovitch is a survivor. He survived the bombs falling on St. Petersburg and made it to the London Metrozone-one of the last free cities. He's lived this long because he's a man of rules and logic. For example, getting involved = a bad idea. But when he stumbles into a kidnapping in progress, he acts without even thinking about it. Before he can stop himself, he's saved the daughter of the richest man in London. And clearly saving the girl = getting involved. Now, the equation of Petrovitch's life is looking increasingly complex. Russian mobsters + Yakuza + something called the New Machine Jihad = one dead Petrovitch. But Petrovitch has a plan-he always has a plan-he's just not sure it's a good one.

A combination between gun-shooting, self-operating car, advanced technology, run-for-your-life across the streets and Russian curses, you got Equations of Life by Simon Morden. This is a fast-paced, page-turning, full-with-action kind of story about a Russian young man who hid himself from his past in Metrozone - formerly known as London - in post-Armaggedon world. Sam Petrovich preferred to lay low and concentrate only on working on his equation and his passion for science, until he saved a girl who happened to be the daughter of a business/mafia tycoon. Suddenly all eyes on him and everywhere he went, he stumbled upon either Japanese tycoon's man, cops, or Ukraine's gangster.

Reading this felt like watching an action movie, the one that somehow Hollywood able to pull it off and not butchered it into a mediocre action-flick. A smart action movie. Petrovitch is a smart and witty guy; sometimes he can be too bold but I guess that's a right formula for action main character. From the outer world's eye he is just a regular student. He's not the typical of your hero, but not exactly anti-hero either. One thing that add more interest to the story is that Petrovitch has heart problem (literary) so on the brick of dying because of heart failure, Petrovitch had nothing to lose to go all out saving Metrozone. Because I have no knowledge on science the way Petrovitch does, I barely understand all the geek talks, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the book. Though there's one thing that bothered me; sometimes Petrovitch talked in Russian and because my ability in understand Russian is lower than mine in understand cat's talk, I pretty much clueless. I read the egalley so I hope they will add the translation in the finished copy.

This book will appeal to sci-fi lovers, action lovers and dystopian lovers, but if you expect something romantic will happen in this book, you will be disappointed. There's a minor romance but really minor, this is a YA that was written by male author so no mooning and love struck, focus of the book is on saving Metrozone and the author stick with it till the end. This is part one of the series. I'm going to read the second book soon (I have the egalley in me) and will review it. I can't wait to read another Sam Petrovitch's adventures!

In this book, Morden didn't give explanation about the Armageddon; if you're curious and want to know more, you can read for free in here: http://www.bookofmorden.co.uk/stories/tkc.html
The book is released on April 1st, so mark your calendar and buy it right away at your favorite bookstore or you can click the link in the title and it will lead you to amazon!



Thursday, March 24, 2011

What are you looking for in a story?

Few days ago I tried a quiz about what kind of book am I and I got 'mystery' as a result. I'm not going to talk about why I got mystery (some of you probably could guess) but in the quiz there's a question 'When you read, what are you looking for?' and my answer was 'an escape'. At that moment I felt like I was hit by a revelation (I want to use 'epiphany' but that would be exaggerating) that I was - and still am - looking for a way to escape from my mundane and probably a bit (who am I kidding? a lot!) depressing life that I have. So I ran and found my safe haven in stories. I could experience near-death without have to risk my life, I could feel the emotional frenzy while lying in my not-so-comfortable bed; the point is I could experience many things without have to risk myself from getting hurt.
But sometimes, once in a while you'll find a book that pierce deep into your soul and awaken something inside you. When I met those kinds of books, I wasn't looking for an escape; I was hungry or perhaps my soul was hungry for information, for explanation, for a way of thinking or to find a reason, or simply for an answer of an unspoken question...

Why you read a book, what are you looking for?


ps: if you are curious, this is the quiz: http://www.blogthings.com/whatkindofbookareyouquiz/


Monday, March 21, 2011

Crime Fiction Alphabet 2011: K is for Koontz

It's been awhile since the last time I participate in CFA, I feel ashamed of myself but there were - and are - so many things happened in my life and have taken quite amount of my time. For this week's entry, I present: Dean Koontz.
Dean Koontz was born on July 9, 1945. His first novel is Star Quest, which was published in 1968.Then in the 1970s, he begun to grow a publishing of suspense and horror fiction; some using his name, some using pseudonyms. His breakthrough novel was Whispers and this success was followed by his other books.

Because I haven't read his other books, I would prefer to discuss his writing on Odd Thomas. Below is the summary of Odd Thomas, the first on the series:

A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world's worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd’s deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.
Today is August 14.
In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock 'n' Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares—and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere.

I borrowed this book from a friend, or should I say she suggested this book to me when she learned I like mystery/suspense/thriller. When I started to read it, I didn't expect myself to be captivated by the life of Odd Thomas. Unless several characters in Agatha Christie or Lisbeth in Larsson's trilogy, I rarely care that much into a mystery novels' character as much as I care about Odd. The way he reluctant but still doing it makes me like him so much. He's not the hero type nor anti-hero; in some way he's an average guy. I think Koontz manage to portrayed the regular small city guy perfectly who actually extraordinary without making him too standout among the crowd. He fits perfectly in his little town with all his quirkiness. Perhaps the ghost element will turn off some of the mystery lovers but not me. I'm okay with that (perhaps because I'm also a huge fan of fantasy) as long as it presented in somewhat logical way and keep me trying to what guess will happen next and who's the bad guy and how it will ended.



Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Curious Incident of The Dog in Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Title: The Curious Incident of The Dog in Night-Time

Author: Mark Haddon

Publisher: Random House (UK)

Genre: Middle-Grade; Family;

Rating: 4 and a half stars

Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.

Fifteen-year-old Christopher has a photographic memory. He understands math and science very well, but he can't understand other human beings. When he finds his neighbour's dog lying dead on the lawn, he decides to track down the killer and write a murder mystery about it. But his murder mystery leads to other mysteries and can he deals with the truth about his life?

When I started reading this book, I have no expectation. I knew this book is an award winning but I've been disappointed with some award winning books so it I decided that I will keep my mind open... thus I was blown away. The Curious Incident of The Dog in Night-Time is one of the best middle-grade book I've ever read. It was powerful, beautiful, and mind-blowing. It started with a seemingly simple thing, leads to many things. Christopher lived with his father and study in school for special need children. One day he found his neighbour's dog dead and decided that he would be a detective and solved the murder mystery. Despite his father banned him to be near the neighbour's house, Christopher continue his investigation but it lead to other mysteries and the secret that his father kept. It's like a snowball effect and I really like it.

Not only that, I think Mark Haddon is success in presenting Christopher without making him too in-human or too human. Christopher is a boy with special needs but instead of exploiting that to make us feel sorry for Christopher, Haddon makes us see Christopher as any other boy. Most of books about special need children constantly remind us how different they are for us, but not this book. Other characters are also interesting; although the story was written from Christopher's point of view, I have no problem to understand other characters and their personalities. Despite his lack of understanding about human being, Christopher is a very good observant and it helped a lot. Other thing I like the most is the ending, it's not happily-ever-after ending, but it's good-enough-for-now ending, which I think very suitable for this book and portrayed our life perfectly.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesdays (9)

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Mithee's WoW:

Title: Imaginary Girls
Author: Nova Ren Suma

Publication Date: June 14th 2011
Published by: Dutton Juvenile

Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Reading (5)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme started by Sheila at Book Journey where we showcase the book(s) we're currently reading.

Lyn: I'm reading two books this week. One is American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I got the paperback copy from my friend and I read it on my way to and from the office, so far I'm enjoying Shadow's adventure with all those crazy and mischievous gods.
The other book is The Poison Eaters by Holly Black which I read whenever I get the chance to hijack borrow my mom's laptop. I've received several free egalleys from Simon & Schuster and The Poison Eaters from Holly Black is one of them. The moment I saw it I knew I have to read it and currently I'm reading the fifth story in this book, The Dog King.

What about you? Do you read anything interesting this week?


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither

Author: Lauren DeStefano

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Rating: 4 stars

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.  

I must say when I started  reading this, I was skeptical. I read several highly anticipated YAs before this and disappointed when those books turned out not as good as I expected. But this one is different; I was glued to it from the start. I finish this book in 4-5 hours and now I'm wanting for more, I want to know what's going to happen to Rhine and whether she'll be free or not. 

I consider this as mini scale dystopian; not that the problem isn't big or something like that, but compare to The Hunger Games or Delirium where the main characters must fight against the government who rules basically everything, Rhine's enemy is his father-in-law in his 'mini-world'. Of course things might change in the next book but for now, that's how I see it. 

Even though I like Rhine, my favorite character is Jenna; I think I would react the same way as she did if I was in her shoes. If you got nothing to lose, nothing you loved anymore and the time bomb in your body is ticking faster, better end it the best way you could. At least, that's how I see it. The other characters are also interesting; I think the author did a good job in creating a believable characters. My main concern with first-person POV was subtle in this book because of it. 

There were some parts where I considered a bit out-of-logic, but not that much to annoy me and made me stop reading it. Rhine and Gabriel's connection is nice; not too overwhelming, simple and nice. Thus being said, I'm looking forward for the next book!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Wordsworth Classics Reading Challenge: March Update

So... because I lost my laptop I couldn't post February update and now it's March already so here you go, March Update for Wordsworth Classics Reading Challenge.

Unfortunately I haven't finish the classic book I'm reading right now: The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. But if you finished any classic books from wordsworth classic, you can tell me about it in comment section or link your review! Good luck with the challenge!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox
IMM is a meme started by Kristi of The Story Siren with some inspiration from Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

The idea behind IMM was not only to put new books on your radar but to also encourage blogger interaction. IMM explores the weekly contents of my mailbox & books bought. And sometimes other fun goodies.

Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library.
Mithee's Mailbox:
Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols
All the Way by Andy Behrens
The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty (not in picture)
Is it weird that I wrap all my books with plastic cover?

From NetGalley:

Die for Me by Amy Plum
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Thanks a bunch to NetGalley and HarperCollins!

Lyn's mailbox:

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Darkest Mercy ARC by Mellissa Marr

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Thank you to Ann Aguirre for the Darkest Mercy ARC! And also to my friend who willing to donate her American Gods and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell ^^

Two weeks ago I lost my precious laptop so I couldn't read any ebook for now or even online daily as I always did. Hopefully I'll get the new one soon!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh and Interview

Title: The Crowfield Curse

Author: Pat Walsh

Publisher: The Chicken House

Rating: 4 stars

‘Very well. We will talk again.’ Jacobus Bone lifted a hand in dismissal. The cuff of his long sleeve slipped back just far enough to reveal part of his hand. Or what was left of it. William stared at the stumps of two fingers and a thumb and caught his breath in shock.
Jacobus Bone was a leper.

Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Fiction Prize 2010, The Crowfield Curse set in year 1347. Fifteen-year-old Will, an orphan boy, lives at Crowfield Abbey. Sent into the forest to gather wood, he rescues instead, a creature from a trap - a hob, who shares with Will a terrible secret. Somewhere in the forest behind the abbey where he lives, is a grave. And buried deep in the snow is an angel. But how can an angel die? What has it to do with the monks of the Abbey? When two hooded strangers arrive at Crowfield asking questions about the angel's grave. Will is drawn into a world of dangerous Old Magic.

I like this book! I like the characters, I like the story, the plot the setting, everything! It's not an epic fantasy in another realm, it's a world beside our normal world. The world where fays live and Old Magic lingers in the corner of dark forest. I really like the hob, Brother Walter. I think he's cute; especially when he's hanging on Will's shoulder while they were running. The other characters weren't so impressing as the hob but I quite like William, Brother Snail, and Shadlock. Despite his fate, William is a normal kid who wishes for warm food and less work. He's not super handsome or super awesome; he's average yet there's something about him that makes him special. I felt attached to him especially after reading how he felt toward the death of animals. I love animals and I can understand the hopeless feeling he felt.

I think this book will appeal to children from 8-15 years old, and also adults who enjoy middle grade book (like me). It's easy to like, fun to read, and very enjoyable. The only downfall I can think of is that in the beginning this book lack of action. But I think the events which happened during the first part of the book built the tension until it reached the climax in the end so it was okay for me. Now I can't wait for the second book to come!


I received e-copy from the author. I requested it because I was intrigued by its cover and description and she kindly sent in to me. After I finished the book, I email her to ask some questions. Here are those:


Teaser Tuesdays (7)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title, and author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Mithee's Teasers:

“I would never betray you.” My hands walked down his arms. His skin was chilled by my touch; goose bumps rose wherever my fingers traveled. “Believe me, Pietr. Take the bug, crush it.”

~ Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

If she came, it would be all about her, the way it always was. This was my last night in Cousins, in this house. I was never going to be inside this house again, ever. I wanted tonight to be about me and Conrad and Jeremiah.

I haven't reached those parts of both books yet, so I don't know what kind of bug Jessie wants Pietr to crush in Secrets and Shadows. I am rather confuzzled @_@.  Anyhow, in It's Not Summer Without You, I'm looking forward to fully understand what Belly really wants: Conrad or Jeremiah. I hope she settles for an answer very soon. Because really, she wanting Conrad but also wanting Jeremiah is getting old. And not to mention, annoying.



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