Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WoW - March 28th

Psst...if you haven't already, please sign up to win a box of YA goodies from yours truly!! We're almost at the 50 mark for followers soo...50 more and a winner will be announced! :D


 
 
But anyway....




Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme run by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases bloggers are eagerly anticipating.

I'm waiting for...



 In this exhilarating companion to Printz Award winner and National Book Award finalist Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi brilliantly captures a dark future America that has devolved into unending civil wars, driven by demagogues who recruit children to become soulless killing machines. Two refugees of these wars, Mahlia and Mouse, are known as "war maggots": survivors who have barely managed to escape the unspeakable violence plaguing the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities. But their fragile safety is threatened when they discover a wounded half-man--a bioengineered war beast named Tool, who is hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers. When tragedy strikes, Mahlia is faced with an impossible decision: risk everything to save the boy who once saved her, or flee to her own safety. Drawing upon the brutal truths of current events, The Drowned Cities is a powerful story of loyalty, survival, and heart-pounding adventure.




I love LOVED "Ship Breaker," so naturally, I am really excited about this companion novel. Seriously though, if you're into dystopia, I cannot recommend "Ship Breaker" enough. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

SUPER AWESOME Giveaway!

Are you as excited as I am?? Well, you should be because it's time for the official Violette Reads 100 Follower Giveaway!!




   
 

I am trying to reach 100 followers on my little piece of the internet. To encourage users to sign up and share, I am holding a most excellent giveaway of one SUPER SPECIAL BOX of books and book-related goodies. Sorry  folks but due to possible insane shipping costs, this one is US only.

Now, I don't wait to ruin the ENTIRE surprise but I can tell you that the box is going to include some  pretty fantastic YA reads. One thing that will most definitely be included is a copy of...Cinder by Marissa Meyer. As time goes on, I will reveal more goodies, and really - there is no time limit here. Once I get to 100, or MORE, a winner will be randomly selected.

Now, if for some reason, this contest really takes off, and I end up with closer to 200 followers, I will be adding an ADDITIONAL prize - which will be revealed in due time. :)

UPDATE: I have revealed the following goodies, that will be in the prize box:
- "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer
- A signed posted by Ally Condie
...and MUCH MORE!!


 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - March 20th


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:


"I should probably start with the blood. If it bleeds it leads and all that, right? It's all anyone ever wants to know about, anyway. What did it look like? What did it feel like? Why was it all over my hands?"
- pg 1 (eBook), "The Book of Blood and Shadow" by Robin Wasserman

(Please note that this quote is from an ARC and may be different in the final, print version)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner


Title: Threads and Flames
Author: Esther Friesner
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: YA, Historical
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: It's 1910, and thirteen-year-old Raisa has just traveled alone from a small Polish shtetl all the way to New York City. It's overwhelming, awe-inspiring, and even dangerous, especially when she discovers that her sister has disappeared and she must now fend for herself. She finds work in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sewing bodices on the popular shirtwaists. Raisa makes friends and even-dare she admit it?- falls in love. But then 1911 dawns, and one March day a spark ignites in the factory. One of the city's most harrowing tragedies unfolds, and Raisa's life is forever changed. . . .

One hundred years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, this moving young adult novel gives life to the tragedy and hope of this transformative event in American history.

Review:  There is always something magical, for me, about reading a historical book. If done correctly, I am immediately transported into a different era, and feel the story within my bones. "Threads and Flames" was so captivating that I could hardly stop thinking about what I had read - long after the pages of the book were closed.

The book tells the fictionalized account of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire - an unfortunate event in which 146 young workers lost their lives. The story begins with Raisa recovering from a long illness back in her shetl in Poland. The first 100 pages are devoted strictly to setup and character introduction. Although the book doesn't really pick up until Raisa starts her journey to the U.S., I truly didn't feel like the story dragged at all here.

Raisa's journey was really interesting to read about. Although Friesner took some liberties when it came to explaining the immigration process, I felt that the reader was given just the perfect amount of information in order to interest, yet not bog down the story.

As Raisa slowly starts to make her way in New York City, we are introduced to many characters that quickly become a major part of the story. I really felt that Friesner did a great job portraying the climate of early 1900's New York City - the hardships, stereotypes, and struggles were perfectly explained in a way that was suitable for a YA reader, sans the sugarcoating.

Overall, there were just a few small complaints I had when it came to the pacing of the story, as well as the conclusion. The pacing seemed a little disjointed to me. Certain parts that seemed to play little importance in the story were dragged out, and others - such as the fire itself - seemed to happen far too quickly. The ending was also...a little too perfect for my liking. Everything was wrapped up in a neat little package that seemed a bit unbelievable.

Truly, I am glad I read this book and I would recommend it to anyone, especially history buffs such as myself.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book Spotlight #1: Threads and Flames

Ooh la la! A NEW feature! Yessir! Book Spotlight is something new I wanted to introduce to this blog.

Basically, I am a giant book nerd and sometimes read books that really put me onto new concepts, ideas, or give me more in-depth knowledge about something I knew little about before. Where the "giant nerd" part comes in is when I put the book aside, and start reading about those side concepts that utterly fascinate me - the book I am currently reading has done a very good job of that. So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce my very first book spotlight for..."Threads and Flames" by Esther Friesner!


Synopsis: It's 1910, and thirteen-year-old Raisa has just traveled alone from a small Polish shtetl all the way to New York City. It's overwhelming, awe-inspiring, and even dangerous, especially when she discovers that her sister has disappeared and she must now fend for herself. She finds work in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sewing bodices on the popular shirtwaists. Raisa makes friends and even-dare she admit it?- falls in love. But then 1911 dawns, and one March day a spark ignites in the factory. One of the city's most harrowing tragedies unfolds, and Raisa's life is forever changed. . . .

One hundred years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, this moving young adult novel gives life to the tragedy and hope of this transformative event in American history.


 

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was the deadliest industrial accident in the history of New York City. 146 garment workers died as a result of smoke inhalation, fire, or falling 8-9 stories. The majority of the victims were young women - recent immigrants - between the ages of 16 and 23. The entire event lasted 18 minutes and changed history.


On the right, you see a picture of firemen working to extinguish the flames in the top three floors that were occupied by the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. Unfortunately, at that time, fire ladders only reached to the 6th floor and could not be used in the rescue of workers.


March 25th marks the 101st anniversary of the fire. 

The event really helped to expose the horrible conditions for workers within factories in the rapidly developing country - most of whom were women and children. As it became very obvious that many of the lives could have been saved - were it not for those conditions - the public rallied to push factory reform, and helped spur the Union movement.

Overall it was a tragedy that could have been avoided were it not for the locked doors (owners only allowed for one entrance to be open due to fear of theft), and the cramped spacing that allowed for very little movement on the floor.

Pictured left is a collapsed fire escape that could not withstand the amount of people who rushed to it, as their only means of escape.

For more information, check out Cornell University's comprehensive site, which features source documents, tons of pictures, and much more!

___________________________________

Esther Frieser's book first captured my attention when it was mentioned as one of the 112 books picked as the "2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults" via YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association). Stay tuned for my review, coming soon!

Other fictional YA books about the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire include:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - March 13th


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

"The scorching light flared wildly, casting up soaring plumes of dancing flame, then all at once it dove into an abyss of starless midnight, absolute and all encompassing. Raisa sighed with relief and tumbled into the cooling darkness."
- pg. 2, "Threads and Flames" by Esther Friesner

Monday, March 12, 2012

Heads Up!


Another giveaway! Amanda at Stuck in YA Books is currently having a month-long March Madness giveaway! Up for grabs are TWO boxes of YA books and swag!! I know I can't be the only one out there who loves surprises so go right ahead and sign up for this one, folks. I can't wait to see some of the titles that will be a part of this giveaway. :D

Friday, March 9, 2012

3/9/12 - Feature and Follow!



The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog, but anyone can post/participate. :)

How does this work?
  • Leave your name here on the linked post
  • Create a post on your own blog that links back to the hosr post (grab the button above) 
  • Visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image).
  • You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you! 

Q: Have you ever looked at book’s cover and thought, This is going to horrible? But, was instead pleasantly surprised? Show us the cover and tell us about the book.

But of COURSE! I am a big-time cover snob so it's very easy for me to look at one and go "OMG! Ew!" without giving the book a chance (until I read the awesome reviews later). Generally, I tend to hate on covers that picture any of the characters that I'm reading about. I kinda like to have my own image of how they look. But anyway...the most recent example of this would be:


Living Violet by Jaime Reed

The guy who stands out, front and center, does not appeal to me AT ALL! I don't mind the girl (Samara) but the male lead (Caleb)? Ick! A major plot point is that Caleb is supposed to be a major hottie and all that, but I'm just not buying it.

Overall though, the book was a great read and the beginning of what is sure to become a wonderful series. You can read my full review of it here.


So what do you guys think? Am I crazy? Does this book have cover appeal for you? Let me know!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another Great Giveaway

..and this one is pretty massive...


Five Alarm Book Reviews

Stephanie at Five Alarm Book Reviews is hosting a giveaway to get to 1,000 followers! If you sign up now, there is still a possibility of you winning an $80 or $90 gift card PLUS the grand prize, which will be filled with $150 worth of book related goodies.

So go, go, go - before all the prizes are gone!!


(And stay tuned for my first follower giveaway - with lots of goodies - coming soon!)

Review: Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Possess
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Rule #1: Do not show fear.
Rule #2: Do not show pity.
Rule #3: Do not engage.
Rule #4: Do not let your guard down.
Rule #5: They lie.


Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.


Review: Bridget Liu can hear voices - demonic, eerie voices that posses other being and objects. As if that wasn't enough of a problem, she is also dealing with the recent death of her father, her mother's new found dating life, and two boys who may, or may not, have a crush on her.

Bridet Liu is also one feisty chick. I don't think I've ever encountered a teen heroine who so closely mirrors how teenagers act and talk. I also don't think I've ever encountered a teen heroine who reminds me so much of myself when I was that age. :P Gretchen McNeil totally nailed the dialogue and relationships between Bridget and her friends and family. You totally get that sense of eye-rolling indifference, but not in an annoying way that makes you say "Oh shut the hell up!"

The pacing of this novel was also really great. Right along with the main character, you watch the mysteries of the possessions unravel and learn who can and cannot be trusted. There were definite times when it was absolutely freaky to be reading about some of the demonic communications and behaviors, but not to the point where it was gory and forced. Everything flowed really well together and kept me hungry for more.

I'd strongly recommend this book to anyone looking for a spooky, yet fun read. "Possess" also touches on Biblical myth a lot so if that's your cup of tea (as it is mine), then I'd absolutely tell you to go, go, go and get this awesome book!! A solid 4-star read!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Vote for Krystal!



Live to Read
I know my blog has been rather...devoid of content recently, sooo....figured I'd share this awesome giveaway that is going on at Live to Read right now. All you really need to do is vote for Krystal's blog and really, why wouldn't you? It's pretty awesome.

Winner gets THEIR CHOICE of THREE sweet books (YA, Romance, and others!).

Check out this post for information.