Saturday, August 16, 2014

Utah Book Month Blogger Interview: Penelope

You might not know it around my blog, but August is Utah Book Month! And today I get to feature the awesome Penelope from The Reading Fever. Come learn more about her!

What are some of your favorite genres to read?
My favorite genre is fantasy--any and all fantasy. Urban fantasy is fun for me, but so is high fantasy. I just love escaping, and pretending there are entire worlds out there we don't even know about. And when fantasy doesn't do it for me, I like to escape into the past, with historical fiction.
What's your favorite book(s) in that genre? Outside of it?
My favorite fantasy books are: The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson (or literally ANY of his books), and the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. Outside of the fantasy genre, I love Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, and The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory, and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.
What is your favorite book-to-movie adaption? Are there any coming out soon that you're looking forward to?
My favorite book-to-movie adaptation has to be The Lord of the Rings. I don't think I have ever come across another adaptation where I felt the book was so fully brought to life. So much so, that some days--but not always--I think it is better than the book. *gasp!* Except for the few things that never happened in the books...but that's a story for another day. I just think it was something fans had been waiting for for a long time, and it delivered on every level. As for one I am looking forward to: I am absolutely looking forward to Mockingjay, which comes out in November! I love The Hunger Games, and have loved the movies, as well. I'm excited for Katniss to accept her role as the Mockingjay.
What books are you looking forward to reading during Utah Book Month?
This month I plan to read Bree Despain's The Dark Divine series. It has been on my to-read list for a long time, and for some reason I haven't gotten around to it. I also have The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson sitting on my side table, waiting to be read, and The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen coming in the mail. Add a few books by Utah authors that are available on Kindle Unlimited, and this month's reading is going to be great!
What do you like to do when you're not doing bookish things?
When I'm not doing bookish things, I'm either working, teaching, or learning. I work at drug & alcohol rehabilitation center for teens, where I get to learn exactly how long it's been since I knew what was hip, and cool. ;) It's a fun job though, and I love working with teenagers. When I'm home, I homeschool my son, so our days are filled with lessons, and field trips around the state. We like to learn out in the real world, so we're always going places. I also do photography, which is my ultimate dream job. I'm going back to school this fall, with the intent to pursue that path.
Ketchup, fry sauce, both, neither?
Fry sauce! Every time. In fact, my son participated in a culture swap with a family in Australia last year, and we made sure to include a bottle of fry sauce in the package. Because it is just that great.
You've taken a bit of a break from The Reading Fever. What have you been up to lately? Do you think you'll be back?
Oh, how I've missed blogging! I've been working a lot, and switched positions earlier this year, so I no longer had copious amounts of free time while at work. Now I've got to squeeze things in here and there, in between teaching and work, but I'm learning to manage my time better. I will definitely be back! In fact, planning posts for Utah Book Month is the boost I needed to get me back to blogging. I plan to continue after the month is over, so never fear! :)

Thanks to Penelope for answering my questions. Find her online:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After Sneak Peek

Isla and the Happily Ever After (sneak peek)
by Stephanie Perkins

The Summary Says:
Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.
Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, √Čtienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

I Say:
Can it please be August 14 already? I've been so excited to read Isla since I finished Anna and the French Kiss. It's one of my all-time favorite contemporary romances and I couldn't wait to revisit Paris and SOAP and so many of the characters I loved from the story. I didn't think anything could get me more pumped up for Isla, until I read this preview. From the adorable beginning when a post-surgery, drugged-up Isla runs into Josh at a local cafe, to the hints of a budding feelings between the two in Paris, I couldn't read this preview fast enough.
Isla is only mentioned in passing a couple of times in Anna, but I liked her immediately. She's sweet and introverted, and she's got it adorably bad for Josh. I thought I had a good feel for Josh's character in Anna - funny, carefree, maybe a little irresponsible. But shy, quiet Isla sees him in a different light, and so do readers. I can't wait to read more about the two of them. And you can too

Just So You Know:
I received a free 50 page preview from NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. Isla and the Happily Ever After releases Thursday, August 14.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Read This: Split Second

Split Second (Pivot Point #2)
by Kasie West

The Goodreads Summary Says:
Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything

I Say:
4 stars
I didn't realize this was the last book in the series (I just assumed it was a trilogy). So I was surprised when the book seemed headed more toward resolution than the usual second-book cliffhanger. :)

But I really enjoyed Split Second. Kasie West has created an interesting world with fun characters. I liked the different abilities, and the way the story explores the good and bad of living with them. I was happy to see so much of Laila, Addie's BFF from Pivot Point. Instead of switching between two realities like PP, Split Second alternates POV between Addie (in the Norm world at her dad's house) and Laila (who spends much of her time back in the Compound). They had distinct voices and plot lines, although I would have liked more resolution for some of the things. Laila's family issues don't really go anywhere, and I was surprised by her choice at the end of the book.

But Split Second successfully mixes a couple of cute romances with suspense and unexpected plot twists. I loved the new bad guy(s) and abilities that were introduced. Although I'm sad this isn't a trilogy, Split Second was a decent wrap up for the world set up in Pivot Point.

The Big Three:
Language: not an issue
Sex and Stuff: not an issue
Violence: not an issue