Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bearbits Valentines Giveaway

Hi folks, this is totally not book related... but one of my favorite bear makers, Ginger Brame, at bearbits, who is just the biggest sweetheart ever, is having a giveaway!

Please go check it out her super cute blog, and enter to win this little guy:

His name is Tinsley :)

Please go here to enter:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

REVIEW: Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull

Summer and Bird
by Katherine Catmull
Synopsis (via Amazon):
An enchanting--and twisted--tale of two sisters' quest to find their parents

When their parents disappear in the middle of the night, young sisters Summer and Bird set off on a quest to find them. A cryptic picture message from their mother leads them to a familiar gate in the woods, but comfortable sights quickly give way to a new world entirely--Down--one inhabited by talking birds and the evil Puppeteer queen. Summer and Bird are quickly separated, and their divided hearts lead them each in a very different direction in the quest to find their parents, vanquish the Puppeteer, lead the birds back to their Green Home, and discover the identity of the true bird queen.

With breathtaking language and deliciously inventive details, Katherine Catmull has created a world unlike any other, skillfully blurring the lines between magic and reality and bringing to life a completely authentic cast of characters and creatures.

Summer: One of two main characters, Summer is the older sister. Summer is responsible and big-sisterly... trying to take charge and control the situation when their parents disappear. I really enjoyed every chapter from Summer's perspective... and even though she could be annoying at times (in the "I'm older than you, so we'll do what I say" kind of way that big sisters have) ... it was character appropriate annoyingness, which only made her character stronger.
Bird: One of two main characters, Bird is the younger sister. She shares many characteristics with the creatures after which she was named. She's stubborn and sometimes acts dreadfully, but considering her age, it's all appropriate and she remains likeable, despite some of her actions.
Raven: Summer's Ally in the bird world, I enjoyed this character and would have liked to have found out more about her.

Ben: The mysterious old man who helps Summer out and gives her three gifts. I enjoyed him immensely... and was glad to see him return later in the book.
The Puppeteer: The villian of the story, I found her background to be really interesting, and her habits, especially her eating habits, to be horrifying. I thought she was an excellent villian.
Sarah: Summer and Bird's cat... another character that I *really* wanted to know more about.
Mother: Summer and Bird's mother, and a woman who is more than what she seemed.
Father: Summer and Bird's father
, who was a very sad character in the book.
Owl: One more character who I really wished I'd known more about.

Writing: The book was a quick, easy read... but the language was rich and intriguing. Katherine Catmull has a very interesting way of writing where she reveals things that will be said in the future... but in such a way as to add to the present storyline without ruining what will happen in the story. It's something I really enjoyed, and haven't seen before in a YA novel. The characters were lovely and my only wish is that, when reaching the end of the book, I had known more about them. By the end of the book, you know Summer and Bird quite well, but all the supporting cast is still very, very lacking in background story. The world that Catmull created was rich and overflowing... so you know these side characters must have amazing stories themselves.

Ending: Bittersweet is the only real word for it. I'm hoping more books will be written in this world.

Plot: This plot is rich with the mythology of birds. It's a world where magic exists, and where elements from myths we've all heard (the World Tree and Serpent) are woven in beautifully. Like I've already mentioned, the only thing I wish is that there was more development of the side characters. I still am not sure who exactly Sarah and the Owl were when it came to their own personal motivations. The story itself flows nicely though... but I have to say, the main Villian issues were resolved about 3/4 of the way through the book, which was a great thing, because it left you wondering, "What's going to happen next?!"

Believability of World: Very believable, since it was made clear from almost the beginning, that magic is a part of this world.

Overall Grade: A ~ I really enjoyed reading this book, and my only gripe is that I wanted to know more about the side characters, which is just me being greedy, since the story was about Summer and Bird, and it developed and covered them wonderfully.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Feature and Follow #130

I've been waiting for this one! The inevitable "New Year's Resolutions" question.

Q: What New Years Blogging or Writing resolution have you placed on yourself?

My resolution for book blogging is to actually share all the books I've read. I read non-stop... so when I flicked open my blog this morning, I was shocked to see I hadn't actually updated since November.


Do you know how many books I've read since then?
My resolution is to stay on the ball when it comes to sharing what I've read... if for no other reason, because *I* want to remember what I thought of a book, and what the characters names were. It really irks me that I forget to update here so often, despite the fact that I'm still reading like a demon!

To help me with this, I'm joining:
This is a 2013 Challenge to read 50 new books and watch 50 new movies in 2013!

I've even started a Pinterest board to keep track of my accomplishments:

If you decide to take up this challenge and start a Pinterest board of your own, please let me know! I'd love to follow it!

When it comes to writing... my resolution is to try to write EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I have the same resolution for photo-taking and drawing. I'm not going to get better unless I dedicate myself to the  practice of it... so it's time to get crackin'.

Wish me luck, as I wish you luck with any and all of your resolutions!