Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Book Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (1 ARC Tours)

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

rating: 4.5/5.0

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

My Review:

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I signed up to read it with 1-ARC-Tours because I had heard wonderful things about it. I have read plenty of vampire paranormals but never really liked the werewolf angle, but decided to give it a shot due to the wonderful reviews. I am so glad I did. There is so much more to this book than the paranormal angle. It covers the female teen experience with friends and boys well, the first love aspect is sweet and touching and the history given behind Sam keeps you turning pages.

I especially enjoyed how this was told from both Sam and Grace’s point of view. It was nice to see both sides and how they felt about each other and about the things that were going on in the town and in the woods. I also liked the aspect of Grace’s parents, as unfortunate as Grace was to have them as her parents (they were self-absorbed), I think this is true of a lot of parents of this current generation. Not all (as I have children) but a lot. I think this speaks to the fact that we should pay attention to our children. You feel for Grace because of her family situation, but you never feel she is pathetic. She comes across as a fairly strong heroine who knows what she wants even though she has the typical teenage problems.

A wonderful storyline and back story of the wolves, plus great characters. I wanted this book to keep going when it ended. I want to know more about the characters. Shiver is a lovely young adult novel that will touch your heart.

Binding: Hardcover
On-sale Date: August 1, 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 400

Review Copy Arrival: Not So Fast: Slow Down Solutions for Frenzied Families by Ann Kroeker

Is every hour rush hour at your house?

We’re raising our kids in a high-speed, high-pressured, 24/7 world. Pushing children to get ahead, we cram everything possible into our days to maximize their chance at success. We’re overloaded, overextended, overcommitted, and over-caffeinated. And we’re paying a price.

Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families explores the jarring effects of our overcommitted culture and offers refreshing alternatives with a Christian perspective. Author Ann Kroeker relates her own story of how embracing a slower everyday pace has resulted in a richer, fuller, and more meaningful family and spiritual life. Practical ideas and insights will spark creativity and personal reflection. Plus, ponder real-life stories from parents reaping the riches of a simper, slower lifestyle. Not so Fast offers hope that families struggling with hurried hearts and frantic souls can discover the rejuvenating power of an unrushed life.

Author Bio: Author of The Contemplative Mom, Ann Kroeker is an acclaimed writer and speaker committed to encouraging and inspiring families as they face the demands of daily living. A contributor to the award-winning Experiencing the Passion of Jesus, she has written for numerous corporations and her articles have appeared in a variety of publications including Decision, The Student, Christian Home and School, and Indianapolis Woman. Ann and her husband, Philippe, have been married 18 years and have four children.

I received this from Audra Jennings at The B&B Media Group - Thank you so much Audra - I really need this book.

BBAW Giveaway #1: Century - Ring of Fire Book #1 by P.D. Baccalario

I've been a little lax this week - I had so much more planned, but my health, my job and my life aren't cooperating with BBAW! But I will take the time and post some long-needed reviews and I will also post some giveaways. And the giveaways will make me read some books with overdue reviews and then passs them on to you.

Every hundred years, four kids from four cities must save the world.

A mix-up with their reservations forces Harvey from New York, Mistral from Paris, and Sheng from Shanghai to share a room with the hotel owner’s daughter, Elettra. The four kids discover an amazing coincidence—they all have birthdays on February 29, Leap Day. That night, a strange man gives them a briefcase and asks them to take care of it until he returns. Soon afterward, the man is murdered.

The kids open the briefcase. In it they find a series of clues that take them all over Rome, through dusty libraries and dark catacombs, in search of the elusive Ring of Fire, an ancient object so powerful that legend says even a Roman emperor couldn’t control it.

In the first book of the Century quartet, Italian author P. D. Baccalario begins a mystery that will take four cities and four extraordinary kids to solve.

So my first giveaway of the week is for my current read, Century: Ring of Fire Book 1 by P.D. Baccalario. It's a gently used ARC that I just received last week. I'm 1/3 of the way through this book and it's very entertaining so far, I'm enjoying the suspense and getting to know the characters. I think of it like a tween/teen Da Vinci Code adventure-type book. No religious connection, just the adventure of following clues left in strange places. So if you would like to get a chance to win this book. Please comment. Rules are simple for this week:

  • +1 for comment with email
  • +2 for each way you follow (twitter, email, rss feed/blogger/etc.)
  • +3 for tweeting (1 entry for this per day)
I'll open this through Sunday September 20th and draw the winner on Monday! Thanks for stopping by.

BBAW: Reading Meme

Wednesday's post with BBAW is a Reading Meme - we're supposed to pick a few questions and answer or answer all of them in just a few words. I think I did pretty good as I am usually wordy with my posts.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
  • Dark chocolate M&Ms
Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of
writing in books horrify you?
  • Don't mark.
How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?
  • Bookmark
Laying the book flat open?
  • Only hard backs if I can
Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
  • Both but mainly fiction
Hard copy or audiobooks?
  • Both
Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
  • It depends how sleepy I am - I do try and read to a stopping point
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
  • No
What are you currently reading?
  • Vanished by Joesph Finder
What is the last book you bought?
  • The Mediator: Shadowland by Meg Cabot
Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
  • I read several at a time
Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
  • In the evening in my chair in the living room
Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
  • I love both
Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
  • Michelle Moran is my current favorite (Cleopatra's Daughter)
How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
  • Genre mainly - don't have time to alphabetize anymore