The Violet Hour: September 4, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Review – FROST

FROST by Marianna Baer

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (September 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061799491
ISBN-13: 978-0061799495

Source: Publisher, in exchange for an honest review
Purchase from Amazon here
"Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school starts with a cruel shock: Frost House, the cozy Victorian dorm where she and her best friends chose to live, has been assigned an unexpected roommate—confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar.

What Celeste lacks in social grace, however, her brother, David, a recent transfer student, makes up for in good looks and charm. But while he and Leena hit it off immediately, Leena finds herself struggling to balance her growing attraction with her fear of getting hurt.

As classes get under way, strange happenings begin to bedevil Frost House—frames mys-teriously falling off walls, doors locking by themselves, furniture toppling over. Celeste blames the housemates, convinced they want to scare her into leaving. And while Leena tries to play peacekeeper between her best friends and new roommate, soon the mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and David, and the reawakening of childhood fears all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. But does the threat lie with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind . . . or in Frost House itself?"


FROST is a gripping, fast-paced thriller that I tore through in mere hours. I was immediately drawn to the cover image, and the description promised a haunting tale that I am happy to report exceeded my expectations.  With steady writing and imagery, Baer weaves an unforgettably eerie story.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

DIVERGENT Q&A; with In the Name of Books

So, I know DIVERGENT came out in May, and that I am probably the last person in America to read it. Well, the last person other than Neri. =P

When we discovered that neither of us had read it, we decided to put a stop to the nonsense, and do a ‘readalong’. We have so much fun talking that it was a no-brainer.

Here are a few links you’ll want to take a look at:

My DIVERGENT review

Neri’s DIVERGENT review

There has been so much hype around the book since its release in May, why wait till now to read it?

 N– I have no clue why I waited; I’m shooting myself in the foot now for waiting so long to read it. Seriously, I should have moved this book up sooner.
 L– Oh, geez. Because we are DUMB, Neri! None of the answers I’m about to give are sufficient enough to excuse my poor choice lol. Lack of money, library STILL doesn’t have it, never got around to it. And I’ve been KICKING myself for not reading it sooner.
N– I agree your excuses are not sufficient-lol J/K. I’m in the same boat as you.
How do you feel about the Main Character Beatrice?
N– What else can I say other than she’s freaking awesome! She was such a strong character. It’s like when your kid turns two and they pull the “why card”. That was how she was. In a society where you are only supposed to do as you’re told because “it’s right” she questioned everything, which I totally admire 🙂
L– I really, really liked Tris. She was just like any other 16 year old (or young adult/even some adults) who struggled with what she was expected to be, and what she WAS. I loved that she was able to think for herself throughout the whole story. Like you said, she questioned everything and then figured out the “correct” answer on her own.
Of all of the characters in the book who did you feel most connected to?
 N– I really connected with Four. You meet his character and then you fall in love with him because you learn so much about his story and the trials that he has gone through throughout his life. You see him as such a strong, determined character but at the same time you see all of the emotion and motivation behind his actions.
 L– And plus…he sounds really, really good looking! 😉 Just kidding! Probably Tris, for me, because she ROCKED.
N– haha! Well now that you point that out, he gets brownie points.
 Often relationship are rushed in books, did you feel that the relationship between Tris & Four was believable?
 N– I really felt that their relationship was believable, they really understood things about each other and the situations they found themselves in that no one else could. The relationship wasn’t “I loved you since the first day I met you” and now “I will die for you if you asked me to” type.
L– Yes! Unlike A LOT of stories right now, Tris and Four had a TON of things in common. One wasn’t better or more ‘special’. They were equals, and that is really uncommon in YA literature right now. It just made everything about the story seem a bit more realistic.
About the writing… Was it easy to slip into Roth’s new world?

 N– I think Roth’s writing was excellent and engaging. This was my second dystopian read. The first book I read… I didn’t really like, so I was worried that maybe I wouldn’t like this book. I was totally sucked in from the first line. I felt connected to all of the characters and I became emotionally attached to them.
L– I thought so, too! She really knows how to build a solid, almost tangible world. I could clearly picture every aspect, and make connections with her characters.
What did you think about the whole idea of the five Factions? 
 N– I think the concept was really cool and I could see our world divided into the factions. Power is a strange thing and it definitely changes someone if they have way too much.
 L– If you think about it, we all have to make choices every day that revolve around those 5 things (and more). How we act, our emotions, etc. But to have your whole life revolve around a single character trait…SHEESH. Talk about a boring existence… Unless, of course, you were Dauntless!
N– I could totally see Linds and I as Dauntless leaders, oh the trouble we will get into!
 If you had to choose a faction right now, which would you pick? [Abnegation (the selfless), Erudite (intelligence), Dauntless (bravery), Candor (honesty), or Amity (the peaceful)]
N– Seriously, who came up with these questions, can I say I don’t know. (haha!)
L– I have NO IDEA! *hides*
N– I think Dauntless is cool but I want my cake and eat it too! So I’ll say Divergent.
 L– Ugh… That’s a HARD question. I have no idea how sixteen year olds were expected to make this decision. It’s like being back in the 7th grade when we had to start planning the rest of our education on what we wanted to be. CRAZY.  Anyway, part of me wants to say Abnegation, because thinking of others before yourself is an amazing trait to possess. The other part says Dauntless. They took a lot of risks in this book, but man did it look like FUN!

Neri and I are both music junkies, so we decided to think of a few songs that reminded us of the characters of DIVERGENT, events that took place, etc. This part was so much fun!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review – DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

Paperback, 489 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by HarperCollins Children's Books
ISBN 0007420412 (ISBN13: 9780007420414)
Primary language English
Original title Divergent
Series Divergent #1


Goodreads
"Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. 
To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place in mortal danger. 
     Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances."












Since I hit chapter five, 

I have been kicking myself for not reading DIVERGENT sooner. What was I thinking?! Well, clearly I wasn't because if I HAD been thinking, I would have realized the genius that is Veronica Roth. I was immediately sucked into this dystopian story and was loathe to put it down to sleep. Or go to work. Or do anything productive.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

TEASER TUESDAY (23)

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 and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Review – Witchlanders

Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

Hardcover, 411 pages
Expected publication: August 30th 2011 by Atheneum
ISBN 1442420049 (ISBN13: 9781442420045)
Primary language English
Original title Witchlanders
Source: eARC – Simon&Schuster Galley Grab
Purchase from Amazon here

Goodreads "High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future. It’s all a fake.
At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?
But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned- Are about him."

Witchlanders is a refreshing tale about digging deep for the truth and accepting that things may not be exactly as you've been taught your whole life. The setting for this story is absolutely perfect. Mountains are always  creepy and mysterious, and it was no different in Witchlanders. It was nice to read something so creative and new. 



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