Fox on Books

Book reviews, opinions, musings and ramblings. General bookish excitement!

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

The Duff – by Kody Keplinger

duffWritten by 19-year old Kody Keplinger, The Duff is a fast-paced YA novel about standing out for all the wrong reasons. I’ve read this book before but have been hankering for a re-read for the last few weeks. I finally gave in – and like the last time, I read this in one sitting, in less than a day. Here’s why:

Bianca calls herself a typical seventeen year old girl. (Personally, I think she’s a-typical in the best way.) She’s sarcastic, defensive and a little bit more grown up than people expect. And, so Wesley Rush kindly informs her one fateful evening, she’s the DUFF. The Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Ouch.

Wesley blithely elaborates that this doesn’t mean Bianca’s ugly, per se – just that her friends are SO much hotter than she is that she might as well be an actual troll for all the attention she’ll get. Double freaking ouch. Wesley finally shuts up when he gets Bianca’s drink in his face, but that’s only the beginning. I Knew You Were Trouble:

Advertisements

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith

statisticA few weeks ago, all I wanted to read was a nice, cute, straight forward YA love story. Do you ever get that urge? The cover of Jennifer E Smith’s Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight seemed to promise just what I wanted. At a slim 215 pages, it was a whirlwind affair: here’s what I thought.

Hadley’s never been to London before. She’s also never been a bridesmaid. You’d think she would be excited? You’d be wrong. This isn’t just any wedding. Hadley’s Dad is getting remarried, to a woman Hadley’s never met. Hadley hasn’t even seen much of her Dad since he left two years ago for a job and then never came home.

So, no. This isn’t exactly a dream come true for Hadley. Perhaps the only thing that convinced her to even get on the plane was the boy in the seat beside her. Because what are the chances that the person next to you is a cute British guy who’s interesting and funny and her age too? Oliver’s all that and more: and if Hadley’s not careful, she might end up not hating everything about this day after all. I Was Enchanted to Meet You:

Sensational Quote Sunday

Some books change your life. They change the way you see the world. They do this not only with the story as a whole, but sometimes with an idea, a beautiful phrase, or even a word, that resonates with you the way nothing has before.

Sensational Quote Sunday is my way of paying homage to those books that remind me every day why I love reading.

This week, I’m en vogue and looking at one of the most successful YA Fantasy series of the last few years: Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones.

Not only is this a superb story, with cracking characters and a vividly drawn world, the writing’s not half bad either! The books aren’t really about the prose, rather the plot and the people, but that’s what made the occasional lovely turn of phrase so exciting.

CoB

(Picture taken from Tumblr)

Have any ‘blockbuster’ books you’ve read surprised you with an astute observation?

 

Gameboard of the Gods – by Richelle Mead

gameboardAs you may already know, I’ve been a Richelle Mead fan since the first time I picked up Vampire Academy. What you mightn’t know is that I’ve tried and failed to read her previous adult paranormal fiction. The succubus series really never grabbed me, which was disappointing given how good Vampire Academy is.

I went in to reading Gameboard of the Gods, Mead’s newest novel, a dystopian/sci-fi adult novel that’s the first in her new “Age of X” series, with some trepidation. Ha! Completely unfounded. Gameboard of the Gods is fantastic. Here’s why:

Meet Mae Koskinen. She’s not just any law enforcement officer. Mae is a Praetorian. These elite, enhanced warriors are the pinnacle of the Runa’s armed forces – as terrifying as they are effective. Caught In the Storm:

Waiting on Wednesday: The 5th Wave

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted over at Breaking the Spine, looking at upcoming books we bloggers are already obsessing about. This week, I’m looking forward to yet another dystopian. I know! But this one comes with huge buzz from Penguin Teen Australia, who have pretty impeccable taste. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey:

5th“The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.”

(Synopsis from Goodreads.)

So, are you guys ready for the next big thing in YA dystopia? I’m really hoping this one lives up to the hype. Because if so, it should be fantastic!

What are you Waiting On this Wednesday, hmm?

Top Ten Books I Thought I’d Like More (Or Less) Than I Did

top ten

Hosted by the awesome folks as The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme celebrating all things book.

Today we’re looking for books you really wanted to love – but didn’t. And books you expected to loathe – but didn’t. These are the top ten books I though I’d like more (or less) than I did.

bronte

Because no. I read Wuthering Heights thinking “Really? THIS is a classic romance??” Huge let down given how widely this gothic novel is worshiped.

Vampire Academy

I know this keeps coming up on my lists! But really. Given the cover and the slew of vampire fiction available when VAcademy was released, I grabbed it as another waste-of-a-couple-of-hours read. And since then I (evidently) can’t shut up about how fantastic the series and Richelle Mead in general are. (PS – keep an eye out for my review of Gameboard of the Gods. This book is gonna be BIG. Because it’s amazing.)

next doorI have nothing against My Life Next Door – it was a perfectly nice coming of age YA romance. But that’s all. It didn’t stand out at all for me. And with the hype I’d been hearing about it, I really expected it to.

Rosie

On the other hand, The Rosie Project seemed like a silly romantic-comedy-in-a-book. But it was so much more! Smart, funny and a gorgeous read.

glass

Ugh. I was deeply unimpressed by Throne of Glass – and I realise I’m in the minority here. Caelena didn’t grab me at all, and the plot was confused by too many angles. I don’t get the hype.

peculiar

Whereas The Peculiar, a steampunk faerie novel set in 1920s London, was SO GOOD. I couldn’t have anticipated how much I’d love this unassuming story. Read it read it read it!

Uninvited

Yeah. I liked this crime novel a lot – until it devolved into a mystic, paranormal thriller halfway through with no warning. Pick your market.

revolution

Holy up-until-3am read, Batman! This book is the definition of an addictive read. I completely drowned out the voice that tells you to go to sleep in favour of finishing Revolution as fast as possible. An engrossing story, and beautifully written.

thief

Look, The Book Thief was okay. It was good, even. But it’s never been one of those books that changed everything for me, and it is to so many other people I’ve talked to.

promise

You know what? If you’re looking for an intelligent, creepy, taut crime novel, don’t be as surprised as I was when you have a ball with Promise. It’s the best crime I read in 2012. (And the sequel’s no slouch, either!)

Friends, readers, tell me, share with me those books that let you down, or the ones that yanked you up with a WOAH!

Sensational Quote Sunday

Some books change your life. They change the way you see the world. They do this not only with the story as a whole, but sometimes with an idea, a beautiful phrase, or even a word, that resonates with you the way nothing has before.

Sensational Quote Sunday is my way of paying homage to those books that remind me every day why I love reading.

This:

moranThis quote isn’t even my favourite in Caitlin Moran’s phenomenal book, How To Be A Woman. There are too many. Part memoir, part rant, totally hilarious, Moran is the Kaz Cooke of the UK. (Hem. Australians.)

What I’m trying to say is that this book is an absolute must read.

It is funny. It is smart. It is so important. It is that book that says what we’re all thinking but aren’t saying. It is that book that says the things we’ve forgotten we should still be thinking about. It’s one of the most important books I’ve read.

Have you come across Caitlin Moran? If not, please do! As you may have been able to tell, I’m a little obsessed by how fantastic her book is.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Moon and More

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted over at Breaking the Spine, looking at upcoming books we bloggers are already obsessing about. This week I’m thinking about the upcoming Sarah Dessen novel, The Moon and More:

moon“Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

Sarah Dessen’s devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

Dessen’s stories are wonderful examinations of coming of age. They’re about the summer between Grade 12 (except that it’s America, so I guess I mean senior year) and the rest of your life. It’s a great time to explore, because it’s fraught with possibility, heavy with nostalgia, and always, inevitably, on the cusp of great changes.

Dessen uses different characters in similar settings to look at the ways in which people face this time, and does so very well. I’m definitely looking forward to reading her next novel!

Have you read any Sarah Dessen? Who’s your favourite growing-up author?

Tell me what you’re waitin’ on this fine Wednesday, why don’cha?

Top Ten Characters (and Literary Figures) That I’d Name My Children After

top ten

Hosted by the awesome folks as The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme celebrating all things book.

This week, it’s all about great characters with great names. Names that you like enough to potentially inflict on your children. These are the top ten characters/literary peeps that I’d theoretically name my kids after:

Let me preface this by saying I met a guy called Oberon the other day. Hem. And that’s not what I’m looking to inflict on my theoretical children. (Mostly…)

finalempire

I don’t think I could call my daughter Vin. But I love the name Elend for a boy. Although, again, probably not Kelsier for a boy. Also, have you read the Mistborn series yet? If you love high fantasy with strong characters, a plot that just keeps escalating when you don’t believe it can, and hands-down the best magic system I’ve ever seen – what are you waiting for?! SO GOOD.

Sabriel

I’ve always wanted to call a kid Sabriel. Or maybe Lirael? They’re just lovely names! And the fact that this is a less well-known series means not too many people would get the connection, and I’d just be really cool. Right?!

Crown2

In a series the size of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time there are going to be a fair few character names to choose from. For my part, I’d be happy with a girl called Egwene or Nynaeve, or even Moiraine (I actually love Moiraine!) But not so impressed with a boy called Rand. Or Perrin. Or even Lan – way too easy to tease people called Rand or Lan!

scent

Avry is an excellent name! For an AMAZING character. And I’d love it – for a girl or a boy. I also think Loren and Quain are awesomesauce names. But I don’t think I could inflict them on a child. Maybe Quain for a girl if I was a little mean…

hunger

Not so much for the Katniss factor. Everybody’s gonna have a Katniss, like all these small humans running around called Hermione. But I think Gale makes a fine boy’s name.

CityofBones

I just like the name Clary – it’s actually a normal name, especially compared to the others on this list, which makes sense as City of Bones is modern urban fantasy. (Make that, kick-ass modern urban fantasy!) Also Jace. Because Jace.

P&P

Again, Austen names are classic (see, I said this list wasn’t going to be all about inflicting childhood scars!). I’d love a Jane, or an Elizabeth, or an Anne – with the ‘e’ at the end. I insist! And I’m back and forth on whether a boy called Darcy is a bit cute or a bit awful – or a bit both…

gameboard

I’m reading the (freaking awesome) Gameboard of the Gods at the moment, and the Praetorian female protagonist, Mae, is just fantastic. Also Mae is a family name, so I could totally get away with that for real! The male lead, Justin, is pretty messed up and great too…

One Day

Because Dexter is a great name for a boy. Dammit, that’s a normal and boring reason. If it helps, I’d be reluctant to do this because of the TV show Dexter. Just a little too creepy for me…

Name of the Wind

Oh, well. Not really, I guess… But I TOTALLY want a kid called Kvothe because Kvothe and The Name of the Wind are both made of awesome and I’d like to think that’d rub off on the child lucky enough to bear his name. A girl called Kvothe might just work, don’t you think??

What names would you like to inflict on give to your future kids? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Sensational Quote Sunday

Some books change your life. They change the way you see the world. They do this not only with the story as a whole, but sometimes with an idea, a beautiful phrase, or even a word, that resonates with you the way nothing has before.

Sensational Quote Sunday is my way of paying homage to those books that remind me every day why I love reading.

I owe a reader’s debt to The Wheel of Time and Robert Jordan. By which I mean that I don’t think I’d love fantasy nearly as well as I currently do without the influence of Jordan’s world.

I’d like to introduce this series with one paragraph, as the books themselves do:

wheeloftime

This opening gives me shivers, because it is the gateway to a rich, layered, insanely intricate story that has taken fourteen books, two authors, and twenty years to tell. Even though the story drags a little around the middle, the Wheel of Time will always be a series I admire and thoroughly enjoy. And Brandon Sanderson brings it home so, so well that I’m sure Robert Jordan would have been proud.

Have you read any of the Wheel of Time? Or Brandon Sanderson’s own work? (Please do, if you haven’t. You will not regret it!)

(Picture credit goes to daesdaemar on Tumblr.)

Post Navigation

gabriellefeather5

Kissing Frogs and Other Misadventures

Darling Bibliophile

So many books, so little time.

TIME

Current & Breaking News | National & World Updates

The Escapades

The Escape Publishing Blog

Lisa Jakub

Writing about what happens when we stop acting

Love Hypothetically Books

purveyors of scorching hot romantic fiction

%d bloggers like this: