Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Monthly Archives: April 2010

What happens when you are a teenage boy living in New York City and you find yourself transformed into a Beast? Alex Flinn explores this intriguing premise in her novel, Beastly. Kyle Kingsley had it all, most popular boy in school, hot girlfriend and a father who gives him everything he wants so he doesn’t have to actually spend time with Kyle.  Used to getting his own way, Kyle decides to embarrass the new  freaky goth girl at school by inviting her to the prom and then embarrassing her in front of all their classmates.  Kyle is not a complete loss, right before embarrassing the new girl he gives the rose corsage his maid got instead of the orchid one his girlfriend wanted to the awkward girl taking tickets at the door.

The new goth girl turns out to be a witch and she transforms Kyle into a beast but because of his kind gesture, gives him two years to find a girl willing to love him. Kyle is moved to Brooklyn by his father, to keep anyone from finding him, his only contact to the outside world his blind tutor Will and his housekeeper.

I loved this book but I am biased because Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite fairy tale, regardless of the version I am reading.  The novel is told from the viewpoint of Kyle the beast instead of Beauty and I enjoyed the change.  Kyle is a realistic character with a realistic reaction to the events in his life, depression, anger, denial. I enjoyed Flinn’s incorporation of current pop-culture into the novel, Kyle joins a chatroom to discuss with others transformation, the other character’s faery tale references made me giggle.  I was able to read the novel in one sitting and character transformation, both emotional and physical, was intriguing and enjoyable.  I look forward to seeing the movie and I will be reading Flinn’s other books.

Movie coming in July 2010. *squuueeee* Neil Patrick Harris is going to play the tutor Will, most definitely will be going to watch this movie!!

Rating:

Title: Beastly

Author: Alex Finn

Format: (paperback, hardbound, ebook): Paperback

Page Nos.: 320

ISBN: 006087418X    (isbn13: 9780060874186)

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: October 2008

Available for purchase: got mine at Barnes and Noble, so mass market.

Alex Flinn

And the winner is….Annette W.  using random.org.  Here is what Annette and a couple of other readers had to say:

Annette- This may sound silly, to world travelers, but I really want to see the trees of the northwestern US. AND Prince Edward Island to visit the “home” of Anne.

Emily I-Egypt. I would love to see the pyramids with my Dad.

Cindy W-I would love to go to Israel and walk where Jesus walked. I’d also love to go back to Japan where I was raised as a young girl.

Thanks to Laura for providing us with this great book.

I recently posted about the amazing Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference and what I learned from attending it.  In addition to the great information and incredible people I met there, I received free books from some of the publishers who attended.  The publishers, Bloomsbury and Scholastic, provided these amazing books!  Watch for reviews to be coming soon.  Here is a little more detail about the books from the publishers:

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell, the year is 490 AD. Fiery 16-year-old Elaine of Ascolat, the daughter of one of King Arthur’s supporters, lives with her father on Arthur’s base camp, the sole girl in a militaristic world of men. Elaine’s only girl companion is the mysterious Morgan, Arthur’s older sister, but Elaine cannot tell Morgan her deepest secret: She is in love with Lancelot, Arthur’s second-in-command. However, when yet another girl — the lovely Gwynivere— joins their world, Elaine is confronted with startling emotions of jealousy and rivalry. But can her love for Lancelot survive the birth of an empire?

The Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles, Carlos Fuentes doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him in Boulder, Colorado. He wants to keep living on the edge, and carve his own path—just like Alex did. Unfortunately, his ties to a Mexican gang aren’t easy to break, and he soon finds himself being set up by a drug lord.

When Alex arranges for Carlos to live with his former professor and his family to keep him from being sent to jail, Carlos feels completely out of place. He’s even more thrown by his strong feelings for the professor’s daughter, Kiara, who is nothing like the girls he’s usually drawn to. But Carlos and Kiara soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart.

As the danger grows for Carlos, he’s shocked to discover that it’s this seemingly All-American family who can save him. But is he willing to endanger their safety for a chance at the kind of life he’s never even dreamed possible?

Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey, on Solange’s sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that’s not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father’s killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family.

Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange’s right to a normal life, whether she’s being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange’s eternal life—Lucy and Solange’s brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover’s heart.
The second book in the same series by Alyxandra Harvey, Blood Fued, it’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.

The clans are gathering for Helena’s royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha’s reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.

This second adventure in the Drake Chronicles—told from both Logan’s and Isabeau’s perspectives—has all the same butt-kicking action, heart-pounding romances and snarky humor that readers loved in Hearts at Stake, as well as exciting new revelations about the vampire dynasties to keep readers coming back for more.

Deception by Lee Nichols, when Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, she’s left all alone in her creepy old house. But her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. She quickly finds friends in the popular legacy crowd at Thatcher and spends her free time crushing on Bennett. But the eerie visions she’s been hiding from everyone have gotten worse. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer. A rich New England setting filled with mystery, tradition, and prep-school intrigue make Deception the perfect choice for fans of series like Kate Brian’s Private, as well as all those paranormal fans. The shocking ending will leave readers desperate for book two.

Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other’s countries in the name of better political alliances—and potential marriages. It’s got the makings of a fairy tale—until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince. Ballgowns, cinders, and enchanted glass slippers fly in this romantic and action-packed happily-ever-after quest from an author with a flair for embroidering tales in her own delightful way.

Okay, read the book? *Check* Watched the movie? *Check* Ready for the Books-to-Movie Challenge Discussion? *Double Check* I have to admit this was not my first time reading Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, I read it in one of my classes to get my English Degree but at the time I read it I remember thinking it was very different.  The book is broken into two different stories, the first is when Alice originally ventures into Wonderland by following the White Rabbit into a Rabbit Hole.  The Second is when Alice returns to Wonderland by walking through a Mirror.

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is about when Alice returns to Wonderland but she does so through the rabbit hole again, not remembering her original visit to Wonderland.  The Alice in the movie spends a lot of time refusing to believe that what is happening is real, while the Alice in the novel takes everything in stride and adjusts rather quickly to the situations. The movie has elements from both stories, the battle on the giant chessboard is from the first story but the Jabberwockie is from the second. Basically, the movie is loosely based on the novels.

That being said, I LOVED the movie! The imagery was incredible! Nobody does mad like Johnny Depp! He was great as the Mad Hatter and made me think of one of my favorite quotes from the book:

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)

Did anyone else catch the sexual tension between the Hatter and Alice? His whole line about her always being the wrong size was great!  I didn’t love Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, what was up with her hands the entire movie?! I think she was trying to be graceful and she came off as ridiculous! Let me know what you thought.

Do you think you have a good grasp of the story? Planning on throwing your own Mad Tea Party? Check out Alice in Wonderland Net for some great ideas and for other fun Alice related stuff.

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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