The day in which I have a guest!

Kersten Hamilton is the writer of many children and MG books and how she's tried --and succeeded-- with YA as well! Tyger Tyger (her debut YA novel), which I reviewed here (link at the bottom) is coming out in October and it is absolutely fantastic! Like seriously, pre-order it and mark it on your calender! Do something! This is a book to watch out for!
<----- There it is!
1. Welcome to Harmony's Radiant Reads, Kersten! Now, I heard that before you wrote Tyger Tyger, you had written many children and MG books. What made you decide to write some YA?
There was a story – the story of Teagan and Finn – that I really, really wanted to tell. And since Teagan was sixteen, and there was a sizzling romance in the midst of the action, it just had to be YA!
2. Your childhood was a crazy and exciting one! Caribou, typhoons, and rattlesnakes! How'd that help you grow as a writer?
If you want to be a writer, highly recommend having a crazy childhood. It gives you so much grist for the writerly mill. The way the sound of a rattlesnake makes your skin tense in anticipation, the sight of the northern lights undulating over a frozen lake, the carnivorous cow-bone monster in your closet, it’s all research. All of it. The best books aren’t really made out of stacks of words. They are made out of wonderful whirlwinds of life.
3. I dont' think I ever wanna hear a rattlesnake! Tyger Tyger combines a lot of Irish myths and Celtic lore. Did you always have an interest in it and how much did you research for it?
My own roots are Celtic. I have always been so drawn to the folklore, spirituality and music of the Celts that I wonder if there isn’t some truth to the theory of racial memory. I did spend a lot of time researching both before and while I was writing Tyger Tyger.
4.Tyger Tyger is so full of wonderful world-building! Did you create the world already in your head or did you make it as you went along?

I made it up as I went along. For me, world-building involves characters interacting with their environment. We experience our environment through friends, technology, history, science, art, music — all of these helps us connect to and make sense of the world around us. I try to let my readers experience the worlds of my books in the same way.

5. And of course, I have to ask about Finn. He was a breath of fresh air. I loved him so much. He was gorgeous but gallant and protected Aiden and Teagen at all costs. Do any of your characters remind you of real people in your life? Family members, friends?

I can’t conjure characters from thin air. I use stolen slivers of real people to animate my characters. Finn is very like my husband Mark. He’s my hero. J But I could never write someone who was exactly like Mark, because Mark is real, and real people are infinitely complex. The more you know about them, the more there is to know. Finn has bits and pieces of other people in him as well. In fact, I use bits and pieces of different people in every character I create.

A tiny bit of me creeps into most characters as well. Two of the characters in Tyger Tyger (I won’t tell you which ones. I’ll let you guess!) are very, very like me.

6. Finally, I heard about your love of rhyme. How about one before you go?

Oh, my! People should never, ever ask me to rhyme!

The Polar Bear

By Kersten Hamilton

A polar bear’s

a solar bear.

He soaks up sunlight

with his hair*.

It warms his hide

From tail to snout —

and keeps the arctic

shivers out!

* Polar bears have specially adapted hollow hair. It absorbs energy from the sun, and transfers it to the bears skin to help him keep warm.
Thanks for interviewing me, Harmony!
link to review: http://harmonyradiantreads.blogspot.com/2010/05/day-in-which-i-sing-tyger-tyger.html
Well I hope everyone enjoyed that because I loved interviewing Kersten!
Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

The day in which I announce a contest!

Got your there, didn't I? >.< h
It's /-Le Femme Reader's-\ Spring Cleaning giveaway!
It includes all of this:
ARC of Wereling by Steve Feasey
Finished Copy of Exit Strategy by Ryan Potter
ARC of The Knife That Killed Me by Anthony Megowan
ARC of Party by Tom Leveen
ARC of The Karma Club
ARC of Before I Fall
Amazon or book depository pre-order of Grace by Elizabeth Scott
Amazon or book depository pre-order of The Iron Daughter (Book #2) by Julie Kagawa
Amazon $10 gift card
2010 Twilight Calender off of Amazon
Your choice of a Team Edward or Team Jacob T-Shirt off of Hot Topic.com

How awesomely awesome is that?
here's the link to the blog: http://lafemmereaders.blogspot.com/2010/05/spring-cleaning-giveaway.html
Free books?! How awesomesauce is that?!
Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I Book Blogger Hop

This is to meet new blogs and bloggers and to just have fun! Blogger can connect and talk about books, blogging, and so much more! To join, go to this blog:


The day in which I Shiver

Saturday, O5.29.1O

Maggie Stiefvater


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.

You need to understand something before you read this review, my co-writer and I regard Maggie Stiefvater as the goddess of awesome writing. Her writing is beautiful and sad, and it rocks something deep inside you that doesn't happen very often. A lot of people call this "Twilight: werewolf version" but it's something more. It's the simplicity of love, the frailness of being together and knowing that the other cannot stay.
Grace and Sam's relationship is made of movements and longing. They never say "I love you", but it's the way they sneak glances at each other, the way their hands always find each other that shows you that they do.
It's also Maggie's amazing writing, GAH I just can't get over it. It just makes you wanna smile and cry and giggle. Especially the cry. And the giggle. And the smile. Like the whole egg fixation thing. That had me cracking up.
This opened a door for YA literature and also the way adults perceive teenagers in love. A lot of people think that teens cannot understand the complexity and strange simplicity of being in love, but some are wrong. Yes, a lot of teenage relationships are not love and just infatuation, but there are high-school sweethearts and love at first sight. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all. ;)
I can't even explain well the awesome of this book. That's why this is so short. Maggie Steifvater is an amazing person and an amazing writer. And Shiver is an absolutely brilliant read. Just buy it, read it. Cry, love, enjoy.
My rating: AWESOMESAUCE all the way.
Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I Wait on a Wednesday

This is a meme started by Breaking the Spine.
Beautiful Darkness
Kami Garcia & Margeret Stohl
October 12th
summary: Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen. Sometimes life-ending. Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

This is gonna be awesomely amazing. Seriously. Because Beautiful Creatures was awesomely amazing, so obviously this shall be the same! Or maybe, maybeeeee even better! It's at BEA, if any of you people are there (I wish I was), so snatch it up if you can!
Maggie Stiefvater
July 20th
summary: In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

Oh. My. God. I cannot be the only one excited about this book. Because seriously, Maggie is a freakin' amazing writer. Like her words made me laugh and cry and think 'Oh my god, i'll never ever be this amazing'. Anyway, Sam and Grace's relationship goes to new lengths and now instead of it being just Sam and Grace's POV, it's also Isabel's and a new guy werewolf, Cole. I know all of you are thinking it's gonna be confusing but I know Maggie will pull it off in an amazing way. Go you, Mags! And just saying, she's an awesome person.

Sister's Red
Jackson Pearce
June 7th

summary: For Scarlett and Rosie March, the world is not what it seems. Werewolves, called Fenris, live among them in the form of good-looking men who prey on pretty young girls. When a Fenris attacked the March girls, it killed their grandmother and left them emotionally and, for Scarlett, physically scarred. Since then, they have taken action and revenge. With the help of a friend, Silas, the girls are on a mission—to destroy as many Fenris as they can. This goal becomes more complicated when they try to unravel the mystery behind the pack and prevent the next "Potential" from transforming fully into a soulless, evil monster. Pearce is on the mark with this modern-day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Told by the sisters in alternating chapters, this well-written, high-action adventure grabs readers and never lets go. Rosie and Scarlett are true heroines; smart, tough, and determined, but their special bond is put to test when Rosie and Silas's relationship becomes more than just friendship. A satisfying read with a fantastic cover

This is already in stock at bookstores! Go ravage your B&N and see if it's there, it's not at mine yet :P But this story is gonna be so awesomesauce. Hehe, and also Jackson Pearce is so amazing. I mean, she vlogs every Tuesday to talk to us little people about writing and disco people and editing and publishing and fodder! She's so helpful and sweet and funny! I'm happy to know her, even if it is virtually. :)
Comment! Discuss! Recommend some books! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I tell you about an awesome book.

I'm gonna tell you about an awesome book that's coming out on September 21st! It's a day where the world will turn a little less normal ;)
<----- Ok, LOOK how beautiful that cover is! I want her dress so much. :)
Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.
It's not parnormal creatures! And there's a LOVE triangle. You gotta love the love triangles, right? Wow, I sound kind of hysterical. *deep breath* Ok, i'm okay now. Anyway, this book is going to be soooo awesomesauce.
I get excited just thinking about it! *sigh* September, come quicker! Pretty Please?
Another awesome thing about this book is the fact that Kiersten White wrote it. She's super awesome and nice and funny! I love reading her tweets and she's cool enough to respond back! I read her blog constantly and she updates like crazy!
Here's her blog:

Amazon page for pre-order:
Pre-order it! Put it on your calender! Write it with sharpie on your forehead backwards so you can look in the mirror and see it! Do something! Oops, being hysterical again. Hehe, sorry! But pre-order this book!
Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

The day in which I have Thief Eyes

Tuesday. O5.25.1O
Thief Eyes
Janni Lee Simmer
Random House

After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who appoints himself her protector.
When Haley picks up a silver coin that entangles her in a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, she discovers that Hallgerd's spell and her mother's disappearance are connected to a chain of events that could unleash terrifying powers and consume the world. Haley must find a way to contain the growing fires of the spell—and her growing attraction to Ari.

This book is really, really good! I was pleasantly surprised by it. I had liked Bones of Faerie, but I hadn't really satisfied my romance quota for books, and I was expecting this one to also be lacking in the romance department. But AHH, I was wrong. I loved Ari as a person and as a love interest as well. The plot is very integrated with real Iceland myths and legends and another cool thing, IT'S SET IN ICELAND. How cool is that? really, how many books are set in Iceland? This one was the first I read!
I liked Haley a lot, and the fact that she is a bit impulsive but doesn't take things to the extreme and thinks about stuff before she does it Something you have to know is that Haley's got a boyfriend named Jared back home in Arizona, and Ari's in Iceland. And instead of automatically throwing herself unto him and making out "passionately" she stops and thinks "whoa wait a minute, I got a boyfriend". Which I liked, because it also reminded me of Graceling. In Graceling, when Katsa and Po realize they love each other they don't go into a make-out frenzy, they STOP and think about it for a while until they finally decide what they fell is right for the both of them to be happy with each other.
Making conscious decisions is important in life and Haley is a good example of that by not throwing herself at Ari because she knows it's wrong too because of her boyfriend back home. That doesn't mean she can't and doesn't like him, Oh-ho she does, but she doesn't let it cloud her judgement and get her into a make-out frenzy. Yeah it's a term, look it up :)
I loved Ari, he was funny and charming but had a serious air to him that was comforting and seemed natural to him. A strange outlook on life when he turns into a berserker (don't know what that is, read the book and find out) as well. It's his calmness in the toughest of situations and his warmth with haley that makes him a lovable and enjoyable character.
I rate this: AMAZINGNESS.
Comment! Buy this book! Discuss! And Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day stuff is in my mailbox

Sunday, O5.23.1O
This was created by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie!
This week was slow, especially since I had gotten so much books before and finished reading all of them on Wednesday. But I got these awesome books waiting for me!


Jekel loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey
I LOVED Jessica's Guide to dating on the Dark Side so much! So when I saw it was by the same author, I snatched it up! I've heard good things about it and I hope it lives up to the Jessica scale!
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Do I really have to say anything about this? It's a VA book, I love the VA books, so I got it. Honestly, I love Demitri, but Adrian's awesome and is looking like a real good match for her. Besides, even if she manages to get Demitri back into a Dhampir, he would never forgive himself for all he did to her in Blood Promise.
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready:
I'm almost done with this and I love love love it! Secrets! A love triangle! Romance! Ghosts! Awesomeness! AND, the author has a three word name :) How cool is that?! Buy. This. Book.
What's in YOUR mailbox. Link your posts to your comment!
Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I state my Team

Friday, O5.21.1O
Ok, one of the biggest love triangles going on write now and none other than GALE and PEETA from the Hunger Games. Don't lie, everyone picked their teams already and are praying that Katniss ends up with one of them.I’m not gonna do any bashing or hating or yelling on this post. And I don’t expect anyone too in the comments either. I’m speaking what I think is true. And I will say it, I’m Team Peeta. And here, I’m going to explain why:
First you should read this post by Alexandra Bracken about this:http://bracken.livejournal.com/177426.html#cutid1.
Seriously, do it. Now!
The day I brought the Hunger Games, I was at a book fair. My friend gave me money to buy a book for my birthday and dared me to pick the first book I saw. Lucky, lucky me, it was the Hunger Games. There are many reasons I’m Team Peeta, the main one is that he’s amazing. I’m not saying that Gale’s a horrible horrible person. I’m just saying I don’t think he’s right for Katniss. I was strolling down Alexandra Bracken’s blog the other day and read her post about this and it got me thinking (which lead to a long discussion with myself about it).
While Gale is an amazing friend, he does in fact have too much in common with her. I can just hear your protests. In my opinion (although I’m not Suzanne Collin’s mind) is that Gale and Peeta represent the two sides of Katniss. Gale is the hard, tough one that feels the need to not let anyone see her vulnerable and Peeta represents the side of her that feels, that wants and needs. Peeta represents the side of her she neglects. And when she meets him, he makes her think more about her heart and rely on it less than her instinct. While her wit proves useful, it’s her heart that (SPOILER) makes her scream Peeta’s name to save him (SPOILER OVER), it’s her heart that helps her through what the Hunger Games really is, an emotional “roller coaster”. It’s true that the Hunger Games in itself is to represent violence and physical pain, it also takes a larger toll on the inside, on your sanity. Because the only thing worse than being broken on the outside, is being broken on the inside.
Another thing I agree with Alexandra on is the fact that I don’t think Peeta is a wuss. People stereotype, even Katniss did, that since Peeta lives in the “richer” part of town and is a baker’s son, all he must do is frost cupcakes and sing “Kumbaya” with his happy family, which (if you read) you know is not the case. People say he’s a wimp because he’s not tall, dark hunter guy like Gale but Peeta has his own ability. He was the power to make anyone believe what he says which to me, was a lot more useful to Katniss than Gale would’ve been. While Gale would’ve fought better, Katniss wouldn’t have been so loved by the people of the capitol and would’ve had so many sponsors, if Peeta hadn’t done what he did. I think that Katniss would’ve not won if she had gone with Gale.
Another thing that bothers me is people expectations. People expect Peeta to be able to throw a knife, walk silently, hunt well, etc etc, when he wasn’t raised like that. It’s like asking someone to spin perfectly on their head without them ever having tried before. You can’t expect something of someone if they don’t know how too. Katniss and Gale know how to hunt because they needed to to survive, but Peeta and his family live off of burned bread. He’s not gonna be able to shoot an arrow at a squirrel in the eye (since that’s so manly).
Just because he frosts cakes, doesn’t mean he’s a loser. It just means he makes really yummy food. And who doesn’t want someone who makes really yummy food? People also say that while Katniss was fighting, he was hiding in the mud or with the careers but if you had a burned/stabbed leg that was slowly being infected and you could varely walk; you’d stick around in the mud too. He’s not a fighter so you can’t just expect him to stab someone in the eye while spinning in the air and roundhouse-kicking some dude in the face. It isn’t gonna happen. People will not magically learn how to hunt amazingly in one day; it took Katniss FOUR years to achieve that. Peeta, for how he was raised, is pretty good with his knife. Now if Peeta had been raised like Gale, he’d be a pretty good fighter. But he wasn’t, and you just got to live with who he is. Which is a pretty amazing person.
Last but not least, Peeta has a big heart. And all the things he did for her (you know what I mean if you read it), proves that he loves her as much as he said he does. Peeta’s amazing ability to charm everyone he meets (because in Catching Fire, Gale even says he’s impossible to hate) charmed me as well.
(note: I think Katniss doesn't need a guy to make her happy or stronger. So I'm also part team Katniss-doesn't-need-a-man-in-her-life-to-make-her-strong)
Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which different countries have different covers.

Have you ever noticed how beautiful other countries covers for the same book there here are? Sometimes they'll keep the cover of the U.S version, but most of the time they'll change it to match the current color and graphics that are popular in their current publishing industry. This is gonna be a really pretty post, full of different covers that will WOW you or maybe you'll say: "I like the American cover better". Either way, here's some covers!

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce: (left: American right: Spanish)

I have to admit, I LOVE the Spanish cover a lot more than the U.S version. It's more mysterious and B-E-A-utiful. They had to change the title because 'Lo que tu deseas' doesn't sound very nice as a title, but Tres Deseos is just as good!


FrostBite: A vampire academy novel by Richelle Mead: (left: U.S right: German)

While Frostbite is my favorite VA cover, I love love love this German cover! It's much more dark and empowering while Frostbite's cover looks more cold and calm. I think rose is on the VA German cover and I know that's Lissa and Christian on the Frostbite cover. Either way, I love them both!

Shiver by Maggie Steamfitter: (left: U.S right: U.K)

I am sooooo torn between these two! Both of them are so so so beautiful. The U.S shiver represents a more cold and tranquil side of the story, like Frostbite did. And the U.K Shiver shows the darker, angst, emo-ish side to Shiver that we all know and love. They both feature the heart leafs, which I love love love! It' s pretty much the same graphic with different colors but they symbolise such different things!

Comment! Discuss! And Happy reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I propose a challenge.

You see the page up there? The one that says 101 books in 2010? Yeah click it, click it!

I have proposed a challenge *grin* It's to read 101 (random number) books in 2010.
All the rules and regulations are on the page.

If you'd like to join, leave a comment on this blog post or on the page and I'll add you to the list!

reward: A congrats icon for your blog and/or anywhere you want and a shout-out the minute I get your email that says all the names of the books PLUS the authors.

email: harmony357@live.com

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I sing 'Tyger Tyger'

Tyger Tyger
Kersten Hamilton
Comes out in October.
Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.
Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming.
I loved this book. I'm pretty sure it's a series, since it says A Goblin War Book and I will excitedly wait for the sequel. I got this ARC from Net galley, so I can't spoil ANYTHING.
This is one book that has to be on your TBR list. It's the perfect mix of Irish Mythology, adventure, mystery, a touch of darkness, and romance all mixed up into a pot and poured over this book. The beginning was a bit boring and I found myself procrastinating to read it but once Finn comes into the house, I was tearing through the pages.
Another reason I loved it was because it was so wildly different from other books I had read. This is a book that teens will love, but that people 14 and younger will also be able to read and enjoy. There is romance but it doesn't swallow the whole book. Kersten balanced the adventure and romance in a way that neither took other each other.
The level of world-building in this book is amazingly. She wove Irish legends, literacy stories, and Celtic myth in a way that I didn't find myself confused because I didn't know any of them. And reading this book, I had never heard of a lot of the legends that are mentioned. But I never once felt confused about any of the wonderful myths she included in the book.
Teagen is a strong and mature character on her own and with people as well. She's not perfect, she makes mistakes, but the way she handles them and handles herself is a show of strong and mature character.
And Finn. Finn was a refreshing change from the usual bad boy attitude from other boys. Sure he was confident and gorgeous, but he treats Teagen how all girls should be treated.He was someone who would keep his promises no matter what and protect what he felt needed protecting. He's kind and gallant and a strong addition to the Mac Cumhaill family ;)

Fight an old lady for this book when it comes out! (don't really, I don't wanna get in trouble. Hehe)
Happy Reading!
p.s You can preorder this book here:


The day in which I Wait on a Wednesday

Andrea Cremer
October 19th
While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.
Comment: OK, this summary kinda sucks but Oh. My. God. I've heard wonders About this book. It was a bunch of insanely hot werewolves, full of intrigue and mystery and fantasy! Calla's supposed to be married to Ren, supposed to. Hehehe. That smells awesomeeeee.
Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I am a Graceling

Kristin Cashore
In this debut fantasy novel, Cashore treats readers to compelling and eminently likable characters and a story that draws them in from the first paragraph. In Katsa's world, the "Graced," those gifted in a particular way, are marked by eyes that are different colors. Katsa's Grace is that she is a gifted fighter, and, as such, she is virtually invincible. She is in the service of her tyrannical uncle, king of one of the seven kingdoms, and she is forced to torture people for infractions against him. She has secretly formed the Council, which acts in the service of justice and fairness for those who have been accused and abused. Readers meet her as she is rescuing the father of the Lienid king, who has been abducted. The reasons for his capture are part of a tightening plot that Katsa unravels and resolves, with the help of Prince Po, the captive's grandson. He has his own particular Grace, and he becomes Katsa's lover and partner in what becomes a mortally dangerous mission. Cashore's style is exemplary: while each detail helps to paint a picture, the description is always in the service of the story, always helping readers to a greater understanding of what is happening and why. This is gorgeous storytelling: exciting, stirring, and accessible. Fantasy and romance readers will be thrilled.
-from amazon
Before I start this review, let me say something: This is the second time I’ve read this book and I STILL cried. I’m such a softie *sigh*. OK, on to the review:
Graceling captivated me completely. It looks me by the hands and wouldn’t let me go until I devoured it whole. I finished it in one sitting but I couldn’t write the review yet or it’d be a massive blob of obsessing. Ha-ha, and who would want that?
When I picked it up for the first time, I was skeptical. I’m very picky with my fantasy, not liking ones were the magic is more important than the characters.
I feel like characters drive the story more, not the magic or enchantments the world may have. Graceling did not disappoint. It gave me a world where Graceling’s are frowned upon and feared, of a girl who everyone thinks is nothing more than a thug, and a riveting journey through the seven kingdoms.
I’m also skeptical of “journey stories”. Those are like traveling stories and they’re hard to achieve without it getting boring. But Kristin Cashore was amazingly at making me flip the pages faster and faster to see where Graceling would take me.
Katsa was an interesting character with a complicated life. She is called an assassin and a thug, feared by everyone who comes close. She has a guarded heart, afraid to let everyone see who she is and what she thinks. Po is my absolute favorite male lead in ANY book I’ve read. Po is a person who sees beyond what normal people do, who doesn’t get embarrassed easily and he’s not afraid to admit that Katsa is in fact better than him in most things. He has a kind and beautiful heart, and every time he made Katsa feel warm inside, he made me feel it as well.
The ending rocked me completely. Kristin Cashore has this amazing ability to write in a way that brings you to your knees and makes you see the beauty beyond the world and other people’s eyes. I cried and I don’t cry very easily in books (not a total lie). It makes a well-written and beautifully crafted book to spring tears into my eyes. And Graceling did that. I’d recommend this to anyone and already have. In reality, it was a single quote from the book that I cried, not the whole action. On page 450, a line that Katsa said reduced me to tears.
I rate: AWESOMESAUCE. This book was wonderful and everyone should have the opportunity to read it. Kristin Cashore created something amazing, a story about realizing one’s self and learning how to take control of your life. Of loving and being loved in return, even if everything can’t always turn out for the better. And of being able to understand someone completely, without having to say a single word.
Happy reading.


The day in which I reach The Clearing

I'm so sorry for this being late! I've been MIA for the past few days but no more!
The Clearing
Heather Davis
In this bittersweet romance, two teens living decades apart form a bond that will change their lives forever.
Amy is drawn to the misty, mysterious clearing behind her Aunt Mae's place because it looks like the perfect place to hide from life. A place to block out the pain of her last relationship, to avoid the kids in her new town, to stop dwelling on what her future holds after high school. Then, she meets a boy lurking in the mist--Henry. Henry is different from any other guy Amy has ever known. And after several meetings in the clearing, she's starting to fall for him.
But Amy is stunned when she finds out just how different Henry really is. Because on his side of the clearing, it's still 1944. By some miracle, Henry and his family are stuck in the past, staving off the tragedy that will strike them in the future. Amy's crossing over to Henry's side brings him more happiness than he's ever known--but her presence also threatens to destroy his safe existence.

This book was beautiful. The plot was unique, the romance spectacular. I felt empathy for Amy while she tried to cope with her past boyfriend's abusive intentions and I felt happiness when Amy was able to accomplish things she hadn't been able to.
The plot was actually something i had never heard of before! A love that stretched through the decades, through a hidden mist that lurked on the corners on her aunt's farm. If anyone has ever heard of a plot like that, please tell me so in the comments because I'm amazed.
Henry's life was something that was the most interesting for me. The way one small prayer turned his life into an endless summer, one that he must endure again and again to stop something terrible from happening to his family. The way he sacrificed his freedom, his whole life, to save his family was noble and caring and a big part of the reason I love him.
Speaking of Henry Briggs, let's go ahead and talk about him. Once I finished this book, I named him the third most awesome male lead in a book (behind Po and Peeta and in front of Tamani and Sam). He's from the 1944's and I get that people acted different, but he was such a gentlemen with her and never pushed her boundaries. He never forced anything upon her that he knew she didn't want, and was always cautious when he needed to be. You could tell he loved her, longed for her when she wasn't around, and it made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. There should be more Henry Briggs in the world for the heart-broken.
Amy was a character who had a rough life, one filled with falseness and lies and abuse. She hopes to find something else, something real, in the small town that her aunt lives in. And she finds it. She's a strong female lead with a good heart. She fears just like everyone else, but she learns to fight for what she believes in and stand up against some of her biggest fears.
Now the one thing I didn't like, was the ending. The ending disappointed me completely and I found myself grumbling about how Heather Davis should have ended it different. Now many will believe it was the only option, but I don't. I think there was more than one option to that ending, and it wasn't the right option to choose.
I rate: AMAZINGNESS. Honestly, the thing that ruined it for me was the ending. It affected the end result greatly. If the ending had been different, this definitely would've been an awesomesauce. It let me hanging going "Are you serious?"
Happy reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I become The Iron Daughter.

The Iron Daughter
Julie Kagawa
Harlequin Teen
August 1st

OK, I got this Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) from Netgalley.com so I can't say much because:
1) It's a gallery so it's subject to change from the final product
2) It's coming up in a long time.

If you liked The Iron King, prepare yourself for The Iron Daughter. It's an intoxicating, fast-paced, beautiful book with heart-wreaking moments to action sequences that left me breathless.


We left Meghan Chase when Ash had come to get her to take her to the Winter Court. Their contract was going to be completed. In The Iron Daughter, Meghan is all alone in The Winter Court. Ash, her beloved Winter Prince (mine as well), has disappeared. And when Mab finally wants to speak to her, she doesn't believe a word Meghan says about the Iron fey, even with Ash backing up her words. Meghan's also dealing with Ash's sudden coldness towards her (like freakin' snow/sleet/blizzard cold). When the scepter of the Season's is stolen by the Iron Fey, it's up to Meghan to get it back. With a little help from everyone else.
All the characters you knew and loved in The Iron king are in this book! They are back and ready to kick some iron! Team Puck people will get to see some more Puck feelings, but so will Team Ash people ;). The action in this book is amazing, and you get more of an insight into the different types of Iron Fey and how they work.

You also learn a lot more about the Winter Court and how it feds off emotions and the weak. The Winter Court is a violent whirlwind of cold and dark feelings that will leave you stunned. I had never liked the Winter Court as much as I did in this book. I always prefer Summer, which is fun and frivolous and temperamental. But Julie showed me a side of the Winter Court that I found interesting! You also met Ash's brothers, Rowan and Sage, and how a simple sibling rivalry can run so deep.
Most sequels become a let-down to the first book, but this one blew me away. I couldn't pry my eyes off the computer! Honestly, I could say I enjoyed it even more. The Iron Daughter swept me off my feet, taking me into a magical world where not everything is what it seems and promises are always meant to be kept.
b Rating: AWESOMESAUCE. Duh.
Look out for this one! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I cross a Two-way Street

Two-Way Street
Lauren Barnholdt
Simon Pulse

there are two sides to every breakup.

This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation.

Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet.

It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care.

But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot.

Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.

This book made me laugh. Yup, that's pretty much it. It was a good plot but I didn't enthrall me. But it wasn't supposed to. It's one of those books you take to the beach so you can read and soak up sun at the same time. I kinda got tired of B.J's constant cursing. Yeah, he curses A LOT. And I would've have any problem with this if it was in moderation, but he was dropping an f-bomb every page. Now, I know how teenagers talk (being one helps) but reading it over and over again can irritate. I loved Courtney and Jordan's relationship with each other during the trip, Jordan being so nonchalant about everything and Courtney being up-tight and cold and distant.
Now the book jumps between different time. It shows before the trip, during the trip, and after the trip. It shows how Courtney and Jordan got together, how they dealed with their relationship, and what came after.
Now the side characters made me laugh and roll my eyes in irritation. B.J is always drunk, hung-over, and getting ready to be drunk. He's crazy and curses like a sailor! Courtney's best friend, Jocelyn, is slightly psychotic and a bit stalkerish but has well intentions. Lloyd annoyed so much. Courtney's dad creeped me out though! Read it, and you'll find out why.
My favorite character is between Jordan and Courtney. I loved reading Jordan's point of view because he was funny and blunt. Courtney's point of view was humorous, especially how she views "my space girl" who in her mind is named Mercedes and is perfect and confident in every way.
This is a book about how not everything is completely black and white, and every breakup has a story behind it.
My rating: Meh. (see rating scale at the left of the screen). It was fun to read, but it didn't enthrall me or entertain me fully. I kept on putting it down because I got distracted by another book or an email or something. Usually when a book's good, I can't put it down (the tree incident with Brightly Woven). This book is for ages 14 and up. Just letting people know.

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


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