Posts tagged ‘fire’

April 7th, 2011

There’s Something About Surveys…

by Madeleine Rex

(This post is super late. However, it’s currently 11:01, Supernaturally is waiting for me on my lap, and I’m sleepy – so here you go!)

Some people hate them.

I love ’em.

I have this odd fondness for surveys and “fill-ins.” You know that information you have to fill out when you buy something online? My dad detests filling it out and hands it over to me instead. So, naturally, I jumped on the chance to fill out a “The Best of 2010 in Books” survey! (And thanks to Audrey for bringing it to my attention!)

Best Book of 2010:

Oh, gosh. Anything I rated a 5? I’m going with Paranormalcy by Kiersten White for books published this year. As books that weren’t published this year go: Looking for Alaska by John Green and Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.

Worst Book of 2010:

Dark Song by Gail Giles.*

*Many people have enjoyed this book. Don’t be scared away.

Most Disappointing Book of 2010:

The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan*.

*Same goes for this book!

Most Surprising (In A Good Way!) Book of 2010:

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. It completely blew me away, despite the ridiculousness of the premise!

Most Recommended-to-Others Book of 2010:

There are a few:

  1. Looking For Alaska by John Green because it’s outstanding.
  2. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White because it’s darling.
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak because it’s one of the most incredible books I’ve ever read.

Best Series You Discovered in 2010:

Ooh! There are too many!

  1. The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa because they’re fantastical and gripping.
  2. The Paranormalcy Series by Kiersten White because I’m in love.
  3. The Seven Kingdoms by Kristin Cashore because they’re astounding and surprising.

Favorite New Authors Discovered in 2010:

Debuts

  1. Kiersten White because she’s hilarious.
  2. Lauren Oliver because of Delirium, really.

Other

  1. Melina Marchetta because of her exquisite characters.
  2. John Green because of the same thing. He and Ms. Marchetta are in the same boat.

Most Hilarious Read of 2010:

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. No doubt!

Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book of 2010:

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Talk about a heart-wrenching, mind-boggling page-turner! (I like hyphens…)

Most Anticipated Book of 2010:

Ask my friends, ask my loved ones… It was Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2010:

It’s apparent that I’m very indecisive. I’m choosing three – again.

  1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  2. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  3. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Most Memorable Character in 2010:

All male characters whose names begin with a P?

Oh, wait. You want a real answer? Then I’d probably have to go with Evie from Paranormalcy. There’s no one like Evie.

Most Beautifully-Written Book of 2010:

Either Looking For Alaska by John Green, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, or Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, none of which have been or will be published this year, but I did read them this year…

Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2010:

More than one…

  1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  2. Looking For Alaska by John Green

Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2010 to Read:

Wow!

  1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  2. Looking For Alaska by John Green (and the rest of his books!)
  3. Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore

Goodness! The most interesting thing about filling this out is seeing what books pop up more than once. Those are the gems! They are timeless.

P.S. I’m too lazy to link every book to amazon, but please do look them up! I also have reviews of all of them hidden somewhere on my blog.

September 17th, 2010

Fire by Kristin Cashore; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Fire

Author: Kristin Cashore

Published: October 6, 2009

Number of Pages: 461

Rating: 4/5

Goodness! What is this we have here? Madeleine? Here, of all places?

Yes, yes, it’s me. Finally emerging from the waters of homework, school, and utter exhaustion that I’ve been in the process of drowning under. I’m so sorry that I haven’t been around! I hope to get school under control soon and be able to return to my usual habits. Also, thanks for the wonderful response to my Megalodon of a Giveaway! If you have not entered, please do!

Quote:

“Well then,” Roen said briskly, “are you sleeping?”

“Yes.”

“Come now. A mother can tell when her son lies. Are you eating?”

“No,” Brigan said gravely. “I’ve not eaten in two months. It’s a hunger strike to protest the spring flooding in the south.”

“Gracious,” Roen said, reaching for the fruit bowl. “Have an apple, dear.”

Synopsis:

She is the last of her kind…

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.

Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don’t need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven’t, you’ll be dying to read it next. [From the Jacket]

Review:

As many of you know, Graceling (the companion book – review is here) blew me away. Wow.

And then you have Fire. The friend (Harmony) that originally recommended Graceling to me has yet to read it because she is afraid it will somehow ruin Graceling.

No need to fear, Kristin Cashore’s apparent awesomeness is here!

Fire is magnificent. The beautifully written passages with concise and clear descriptions hold strong. Characters with depth and an uncanny ability to make you love them scuttle throughout the book. A gripping plotline involving war and deception is simply a plus.

Parts of this book – as parts of Graceling did – remind me of The Hunger Games trilogy. Only in small and hardly noticeable ways, however. Fire can certainly hold its own.

As can the main character (also named Fire, incidentally). Fire is instantly likable. I have very few problems with her character or personality at all. The conclusions she comes to, her feelings – I can respect them all. I love it when I have so little to say against a character, so little to find flaw in. My only issue is one I’ll discuss later. Essentially, Fire is a headstrong, lovable, and remarkable main character with a voice that seeps through the pages of the book.

Fire’s story is a long and life-changing one. So much happens in this book that I can hardly fathom how it fit within about 460 pages, yet somehow it doesn’t feel like it’s been constrained. Like the plot was wrestled and bound in order to make it fit within some desired page count. No, it moved flawlessly from scene to scene, conflict to conflict, conclusion to conclusion. The environment and world that Fire lives in fascinated me and made me wish I lived there. Such beauty and contention simultaneously – all wondrous.

I found the history and very existence of “monsters” to be quite interesting. Their vibrant colors and  incredible beauty (even in the case of the human monster, Fire) manage to put people under a spell. Their power to control minds certainly doesn’t do harm to their wonderful qualities. The way Fire could walk into a room and immediately have both people’s attention and occasionally their minds (even if she doesn’t mean to) was awesome. Some men would throw themselves at her feet simply because of her presence and looks. Despite how great it might sound originally, there’s no doubting that being a human monster can be a curse as well as a blessing.

The love story is different from most of the many, many love stories I’ve read. I mean, it doesn’t get much weirder than a seventeen year old and a twenty two year old. There are some other facets of their reality that make the circumstances even more out of the ordinary. Cashore must have worked some sort of magic to pull it off without making it seem freaky. Believe me when I say that the development of it will keep you reading even if the plot doesn’t (which I can’t imagine).

The colorful array of characters that are the foundation of this book will hold your attention from minute one. Amazing. I love the people in this book! Graceling and Fire introduce you to so many new friends and people to wonder at. I read books often to find more things to love. Actually, that’s why I write them, too. What better thing is there in this world than love? None. This book satisfied that requirement perfectly.

Another thing that struck me about Fire was the totally unexpected and odd number of illegitimate children. I’d read about another crazy story and think: Okay, we’re done with the “Hey, look! There’s this baby over here that you didn’t expect”s and the “Hey, whoops, we had a baby and weren’t supposed to”s! But Cashore must have a thing for surprise kiddies popping up out of nowhere. I felt like there’d been a dozen by the time the book was over, but I might have been exaggerating (only a little…).

A factor that might have had something to do with the number of illegitimate children is that the characters seemed to have very little problems with sleeping around and teenage sex/mommies. My post on this hasn’t been written yet (and will be part of a week-long bit on love in YA), but I’m not a huge fan of teenage sex. (Uh, at all.) What was with the young parents and the lack of parental worries over their children’s sex lives? I don’t know about you, but I’d have problems with my seventeen year old sleeping with a friend of hers. (Archer and Fire have a peculiar friendship…) I could rant forever on this part of the book, but I’ll leave it be with: It was weird.

Overall, I loved the book. I couldn’t get enough of it. Infatuated is an understatement. I can’t encourage people enough to read both Graceling and Fire*. Kristin Cashore constructs sentences and chooses words in a magnificent way, encompassing me (at least) in a web of characters, plot, and setting that gripped my attention and threatened never to let go until the book was finished with. The third companion book, Bitterblue is on its way. Needless to say, I’ll be pre-ordering.

Because there’s something sort of kinda amazing about these books.

*I just want to remind y’all that both Fire and Graceling are in my blogiversary giveaway!

September 2nd, 2010

CLOSED! – A Megalodon of a Giveaway! (Wordbird's One!)

by Madeleine Rex

Yes. Yes, it is that big. And I have no idea what “Taucher” and whatever that other thing is mean either.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (WHICH MIGHT BE AWHILE. SORRY!).

Oh my gosh!!! Wordbird turned one year old yesterday! Madeleine Rex has been blogging for a year. And I haven’t been that irritating or destroyed the World Wide Web accidentally with some wacky Rex Virus. Mission accomplished.

I hope you guys have enjoyed the past year as much as I have. I’ve met so many wonderful people over that time period. I can honestly say that joining this online community is the best thing I’ve ever done for my writing and bookish life . I have so many incredible friends here, all because my dear mother encouraged me to start a blog. I don’t think either of us really thought this would go anywhere… but, surprisingly, it has (and that might just be because you guys have boring day jobs, but I’d like to think there’s more to it than that – and that you guys love your jobs). I’m grateful for you support and friendship.

So, I’m giving you books! Lots of them.

(Links are to my reviews.)

 

  • Amazon Books 10$ Gift Card
  • The Devouring by Simon Holt (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Soulstice by Simon Holt (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (HB – new)
  • Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Happyface by Stephen Emond (old ARC – new condition – Thanks, LB!)
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore (PB)
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore (PB)
  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (PB)
  • The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (PB)
  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (old ARC – used – signed)
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (HB)

This giveaway is not international. I sincerely apologize. I simply can’t afford the shipping costs.

The “Grand Prize” winner will receive five books and the Amazon $1o gift card. The second winner will pick three of the remaining books, and the third winner will win the last three.

To enter the giveaway, use the form linked below.

No, not the one over there! Here.

This giveaway ends on Monday, October 4th. Extended to October 20th! We’ve had 151 entrants so far! (Edited October 4th)

So exciting!

Thanks again to Little Brown for the wonderful package of four books! I never cease to be amazed.