Saturday, April 30, 2011

A New Home

Hey everyone! I am so glad that you have decided to follow me (yet again) to my new home on Blogger. I have been working all weekend to get this site up and running; I hope that through importing that all the images and links still work appropriately. I am still kicking up some dust with the sidebars and gadgets, and I need to go through and fix all my memberships but I'm pretty satisfied with the move.

I've also installed a new comment program (Disqus) to run through because I detest the basic system that Blogger uses. If you find something around here that is not working like it is supposed to, just let me know with a comment or an email to withinpages @ hotmail dot com!

As I mentioned before, if you had subscribed via the RSS icon in my connect box, you should have connected through feedburner and I have adjusted the feed for that; otherwise, I hope the post I left behind on Wordpress directed you here! If you're new all around, I am so glad you found me!

Keep an eye out for my review on The Forest of Hands and Teeth, that will be coming up very soon and my tiny In My Mailbox will be up on Sunday so be sure to stay tuned!

Until then, keep your noses in your books and your pages turning!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2011 Freshly Pressed April 24-30

Bumped by Megan McCafferty – Goodreads | Amazon
The Last Little Blue Envelope by Marueen Johnson – Goodreads | Amazon
Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell – Goodreads | Amazon
Abandon by Meg Cabbot – Goodreads | Amazon
We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han – Goodreads | Amazon
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow – Goodreads | Amazon
Family by Micol Ostow – Goodreads | Amazon
Exile by Anne Osterlund – Goodreads | Amazon

Featured Book

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Published: April 26, 2011
: Bumped, Book 1
Goodreads | Amazon

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Goodreads | Amazon

Publisher: Margaret McElderry Books (August 31, 2010)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Paperback): 478
Series: Infernal Devices (Book 1)
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 978-1-4169-7586-1
Genre: Paranormal/Steampunk
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

This series is the prequel to The Mortal Instruments.

I am in my own little love affair with the works of Cassandra Clare. I was first introduced to her writing when I read the Mortal Instruments and was astounded; I couldn't put those books down, and now I lie in torment as December slowly approaches and the countdown to Clockwork Prince is on; The Infernal Devices have just whir-clicked their way to my favorites shelf!

Clare's writing style gives me all of the aspects of the story I crave; what is going on inside the main character's (Tessa) head, what happens with scenes that she isn't a part of and this is all wrapped up and protected in the sanctuary of a great story. Something else that I began to pick-up and love in TMI was that with Clare, you should never expect anything; she will throw a twist at you that sends your world spinning and leaves you turning the pages!

The sheer complexity of the characters is another aspect of this book that I am in love with; Clare does a phenomenal job at creating complex yet loveable characters; they aren't overtly whiny, some are dark and mysterious, others are frilly, while some are light-hearted and entertaining. Each character that is introduced, including support characters like Sophie, have their own intricate details that are illustrated that you get such a sense of world in Clare's writing style instead of just another character that comes and goes. Have I mentioned how much I love her character creation? I did? Good...because I love it.

Even more so about her characters is their growth. Tessa, the female protagonist, is set seemingly so rigidly into the defined gender roles of the Victorian London setting; but through Jace, Jem, and Charolette we witness Tessa's growth and acceptance into her destiny. We also get to witness the growth of first love; while TMI fans may have expected to fall into the same romance as we did with Clary & Jace, the triangle with Tessa, Jem, and Will is all its own and is so carefully constructed with the aspects of loyalty, compassion, desire, and admiration all the while all three of them maintain their own complex storylines/lives.

But a story can only go so far with the characters; the plot of this book only adds to its 5 star rating. This steampunk, historical setting is exceedingly detailed in Clare's depiction of Victorian London; it allows you to escape into the vision as if you were the one looking out the curtained, carriage window. She notes that for the most part, this description of London is geographically correct, she has successfully created her own world within the existence of our own; that which we cannot see. This only serves to add an aspect that I love in books...that, maybe, this could really happen.

I've never forayed into steampunk and was unaware that I was doing so with this book but I loved it. If you haven't read The Mortal Instruments fret not, this is a stand alone series; however, if you do read or have read TMI, you will have an amazing level of appreciation for the tie-ins, nods, and connections this book provides including the Pandemonium Club, Magnus Bane & Church! Be on the look-out in the remaining 2 books of the series for other pieces of history to the Shadowhunters and the families we grew to love in TMI, I am sure they will be there.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren; here we share with you, the lovely readers, what books came to us this week whether it be in the mail, from the library, purchased or borrowed.

This week is excellent; in addition to a few books, I GOT A NEW BOOKSHELF! It isn't anything fancy but is double the size of the tiny one I have now and I am very excited about the presence it will add to my living room! But the bookshelf is only as awesome as the book that goes on them!

This week in books...

I bought...

Both of these are the first in their series and I have heard great things about them; was very happy to find them at Half Priced Books and use my coupon!

I borrowed...

My seventeen year old sister has not shut up about the impact this book has had on her; its her favorite book and I bummed it from her shelves.

I was gifted...

Happy Easter to my from my Grandmother! It was a tough selection between this, Wither, and The Hunger Games but I went with the one I hadn't checked the library for; I have also heard good things about the Horsemen of the Apocalypse series. I was glad to have her gift me my first brand new book to christen my new bookshelf she also gifted.

That's all I've got for this week! What have you gotten in your mailbox!?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2011 Challenges

Notice: Due to some theme & layout changes, challenges are found on the sidebar; all the bars are hyperlinked to the full list of selections and items read.

Getting back into the idea of reading has been slow but it is something that I do enjoy doing and to help organize my reading goals and maybe because I love lists, I joined in a couple challenges and spent two days making lists of potential selections for these challenges. So I thought I would take a minute to direct you to where you can always find the progress updates and a little about the challenges in the event that you would like to join in!

Reading Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Goodreads and has no specific details other than reading books; you set the number yourself and you work towards the goal. I had forgotten how much I like reading, but I do read somewhat slow, so I settled for a comfortable 10. I really feel like I will blow this out of the water but we shall see. I can't really do reviews without reading hehe. You can always find the progress on the sidebar in a widget provided by Goodreads!

101 in 1001

A bucket list style challenge for life experiences gone TBR list! In 1001 days, I hope to have read every book on this list; there are some options available to me as time goes on but for the most part, the list is set with books I genuinely want to read. The project was started at Day Zero.

Dystopian Challenge

Hosted at Bookish Ardour Reading Challenges, this challenge has 5 levels to chose from and even 2 more advanced levels for intense readers. This challenge focuses on a new and uprising sub-genre of science fiction known as dystopian (opposite of utopia fyi). I have chosen Level Two which is to read 15 books in the genre by the end of the year. Some of my top choices for this are Wither, Divergent, The Hunger Games, Enclave, etc. For the whole list of suggestions/selections, check out my challenge & progress page.

First In Series

Series are highly popular these days; it seems that the number of series books is beginning to vastly outnumber the standalone books when it comes to Young Adult fiction. Some of the best series in time are Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Mortal Instruments but there are always new things to explore including the House of Night and The Infernal Devices; I am also intrigued by selections that crossover from the Dystopian Challenge such as Wither (Chemical Gardens #1), Divergent (Divergent #1), and The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1). I will also be using this series as a reason to start The Sookie Stackhouse Series/Southern Vampire Mysteries. This contest has a varying levels and I am going for Level 3: 12 first books. Thanks to a Few More Pages for hosting this challenge and you can see my whole list of suggestions (YA and Adult titles) as well as my progress (1/12) on my challenge page!

With all that said, I am pretty excited to get into all these; this week I should conclude Clockwork Angel which will move to strike off of two challenges and then onto The Forest of Hands and Teeth and who know where from there!

Are you in any challenges? If so let me know, I'd love to support you and check out your progress!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren; here we share with you, the lovely readers, what books came to us this week whether it be in the mail, from the library, purchased or borrowed.
I happened to see the library a couple days this week and have a small new stack of books this week:

From the Library...

  • White Cat by Holly Black - Goodreads
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray - Goodreads
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan - Goodreads
  • Crave by Laura Burns & Melinda Metz - Goodreads
I'm pretty excited about all of these titles. I picked up White Cat because it is the first in The Curse Workers and I really want to read Red Glove. A Great and Terrible Beauty was a selection that I found while browsing the stacks, I didn't have this one in mind but when reading The Story Siren review on my iPhone Goodreads app (LOVE that thing!), I picked it up as it is the first in the series. I am going into reading Crave completely blind only having the synopsis to go on; this is an experiment, I know there are reviews out there for it. And last, the book on the top of my TBR due to its unrenewable loan status is The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I read great reviews on this series including the new and third book Dark and Hollow Places; unfortunately, this is not the series I was thinking it was, that being The Hunger Games which I really want to read.

Books Borrowed...

Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen - Goodreads

My best friend let me borrow the books because she absolutely adores it; there is a moving starring Robert Pattinson releasing April 22 which is a movie to book adaptation of this selection. I can't say that I know a lot about it going into it other than it is circus related or something, and that knowledge comes mainly from movie trailers. This is not necessarily a YA book as it voices strong, mature themes.

Speaking of book to movie adaptations; I also bought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I Special Edition DVD. If you haven't read this, do so; this movie really does the first half of the book a LOT of justice and is the best adaptation and best movie in the series! I also received an awesome exclusive Dobby button!

That's all I've got for this week! Be sure to let me know what you got in your mailbox!

Friday, April 15, 2011

2011 Freshly Pressed April 10-16

Featured Book

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Released: April 12, 2011
Series: Darkness Rising, Book 1
Goodreads | Amazon

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.
Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.

In The Gathering, New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy.

Hope you enjoyed this week in releases!

Be sure to check out my write-up for Enclave if you're looking for more information on Ann Aguirre's new release!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review: Marked by PC Cast

Marked by P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast

Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: ★ ★ ★

Marked by P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (May 1, 2007)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Paperback): 306
Series: House of Night (Book 1)
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-36026-9
Genre: Paranormal (Vampire)

Enter the dark, magical world of The House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed. Sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird has just been Marked as a fledgling vampyre and joins the House of Night, a school where she will train to become an adult vampire. That is, if she makes it through the Change—and not all of those who are Marked do. It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledgling. She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint her human ex-boyfriend. To add to her stress, she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers: When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite group, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny—with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

The first person point of view in this book is considerably easy to read; it wasn't hard getting into the mind of Zoey as the parenthetical inserts allow her to interject on her thoughts, she really does have some humorous side comments.

The Casts also did a great job in conveying the spiritual aspect of being a "vampyre" in this series; spirituality is a constant theme throughout this book and the aspects of it were beautifully written. They also do a very good job and suspending information that leaves you turning the pages.

However, I feel that it left me turning the pages for all the wrong reasons at some points.. Being 306 pages long, for the most part I felt like I was just reading the mundane life of your average teenage girl who just happens to be a vampire. For roughly 80% of this book, I felt like there was no direction that this book was going to take; it was overwhelmingly plotless. Even at towards the end, you get the spark of a climax and then the book ends. There is a great setup for the next book and/or rest of the series but in turn, this book left with a certain level of disappointment with its lack of action and rushed ending.

Supporting Teen Literature

I just happened to start this amazingly awesome (read: vain) book blog in the middle of National Library Week! During the week, different events and days are celebrated to put the glory that is the library in the limelight. Yesterday was Bookmobile day, not to thrilling from my personal opinion; nothing beats getting lost in the stacks for hours. Today is different; today is a day to Support Teen Literature (YA!)! I am a big fan of YA fiction and was considerably disappointed by the small "Teen Corner" my home branch of the library had to offer. Knowing just how many fantastic authors are and how many books are releasing on a weekly basis, it is a little underwhelming; so the YA section of the library is something that needs to be bolstered, loved,, and nurtured just a little.

This event is celebrated and promoted every National Library Week by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). They also host the teen choice awards of YA fiction. Last year's top choices had a couple titles that I knew, read, or recognized at the very least.

2010 Top Ten

  1. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Series) by Suzanne Collins -- Goodreads

  2. City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments Series) by Cassandra Clare -- Goodreads

  3. Heist Society (Heist Society Series) by Ally Carter -- Goodreads

  4. Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series) by Maggie Stiefvater -- Goodreads

  5. Hush, Hush (Hush Hush Series) by Becca Fitzpatrick -- Goodreads

  6. Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles Series) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl -- Goodreads

  7. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen -- Goodreads

  8. If I Stay (If I Stay Series) by Gayle Forman -- Goodreads

  9. Fire (Seven Kingdoms Trilogy) by Kristin Cashore -- Goodreads

  10. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson -- Goodreads

2011 Nominees Are...
  1. Drought by Pam Bachorz
  2. I am J by Cris Beam
  3. You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin
  4. Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier
  5. The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card
  6. The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  7. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  8. Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins
  9. Matched by Ally Condie
  10. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  11. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
  12. Lies by Michael Grant
  13. Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
  14. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
  15. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
  16. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
  17. Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore
  18. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
  19. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  20. The False Princess by Ellis O'Neal
  21. Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel by James Patterson
  22. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
  23. Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  24. Behemoth by Scott Westerfield
  25. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Voting for the top ten will begin August 22, 2011! I haven't read a lot of these so if you have feel free to let me know what you thought!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Enclave Release & Trailer

A new book was released yesterday, April 12, for YA dystopian lovers; a new series, Razorland, starts with Enclave by Ann Aguirre! Check out the trailer and be ready for an experience packed with zombies and action!
New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon

Find out more: Author's Website

Monday, April 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is a meme from The Story Siren that I will be using as a feature for this blog. I first discovered this on the Rant Page and then in my new found book blog love, have uncovered other book bloggers who participate like the writers of Novel Thoughts and Reading Teen. Sadly, unlike a lot of the book bloggers, I doubt I can do it every week as I don't really have access to getting a lot of books in any given week; book buying is out of the question and I can only go to the library so many times! But anyways, I have re-connected with my love of reading (its funny how other addictions weed out things you love) and so as I have mentioned, books will be a featured topic here at TN: Eclectica so I will participate in IMM as much as I can! In my journey, perhaps I will have more from contests, book swaps, or maybe I will even be lucky enough for ARC's someday.

I thought that since what I actually picked up this week is minimal that I would include a brief synopsis of my bookshelf as well! So without further ado...the books!

Books on the shelf...

  • Harry Potter 1-7 by J.K. Rowling (All Hardback US Editions) - Goodreads
  • Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer - Goodreads
  • Tales of Beetle the Bard by J.K. Rowling - Goodreads
  • Series of Unfortunate Events 1-10 by Lemony Snicket - Goodreads**
  • The Liars Club 1-5 by Celeste Bradley - Goodreads
  • The Royal Four 1-4 by Celeste Bradley - Goodreads
  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown - Goodreads
  • Angels and Demons by Dan Brown - Goodreads**
  • The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown - Goodreads**
  • The Giver by Lois Lowery - Goodreads
  • Stormrage by Richard Knaak - Goodreads**
  • The Color of Water by James McBride - Goodreads
  • The Marriage Contract by Cathy Maxwell - Goodreads
  • The Loner by Genell Dellin - Goodreads
  • Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice - Goodreads**
  • Night Huntress 1 & 2 by Jeaniene Frost - Goodreads
  • Games of Thrones by George R.R. Martin - Goodreads**
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini - Goodreads
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden - Goodreads**

Books from the Library...

Marked by P.C. Cast + Kristin CastClockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

  • Marked (House of Night #1) by P.C. Cast + Kristin Cast - Goodreads
  • Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare - Goodreads
I would like to note that The Infernal Devices is a prequel series to another amazing series by Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments. I've requested that the library order City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare that released April 5, 2011 and is the fourth of six books in the The Mortal Instruments series.

That's all I have for today! Be sure to let me know if you had anything in your mailbox!
**Denotes books owned but unread

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Beginning of Something New

In August 2005, I left home for college in Central Kentucky some two and half hours away. I was single, fresh out of high school, and still determined at that point. As always, college is never what you expect and I wasn't living the party life, I wasn't walking downtown, I wasn't even making that many friends. I was the quiet type who was overwhelmed by the overburdening coarse work and living on the fourth floor, a building away from the elevator. I struggled with 8AM classes and extra curricular activities that extended way into dinner time.

At a certain point our freshman year, my roommate (a friend I had had since Kindergarten) was tasked with the assignment that sent her to the public library entirely in walking distance from where we were. We were still solid at that point so I opted to go with her and I at that point, some 5 or 6 years ago, I registered for my Lexington Public Library Card.

It wasn't that impressive back then. I didn't even check out a single book, hook up with the WiFi or rent a movie, I just had a fancy card (which at the time was rather ugly). It fell by the wayside; I had my own university library and the only thing I had time to read was the crappy stuff that I didn't have a choice about (ie. homework).

But after recently leaving World of Warcraft, I found myself looking at my bookshelf wishing that it was fuller (it is small so it is full but I want a BIG one!), wishing there was more of an option than age-old favorites like Harry Potter or Twilight.

So I decided to join GoodReads and I took up part of the Reading Challenge. I found book reviews from some community friends like Jaedia and links to other book blogs and I found myself thinking about reading. I'm pretty slow, and pretty peculiar about what I read (I prefer Young Adult or Romance) but I want to read and so here I am...5 or so years later getting a brand new library card!

The system is a little different, they give us the option for a key-fob (those are my mini obsession) and they're much more attractive than Times New Roman on a green background too! They have an online process completed by full registration with an ID and everyone is incredibly helpful, the moment you begin to look lost they're there!

So here I am, sitting and blogging in the Beaumont Center Public Library and squeeing like a 5 year old girl about to own her very own bicycle. I don't know where this journey will take me but I'm walking the path. The interest that I have in this isn't shared by most of my circle, only hints on the wind of interest it seems, but that is okay because I am doing it for me.