Sunday, August 12, 2012

Stocking the Shelves #22

It's been awhile since I've posted a Stocking the Shelves...I have about a month's worth piled up here! I'm still not buying much here...although I did get to buy a few for a local book signing!! It was a great one too!

Heist Society by Ally Carter (for book signing!)
Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan (for book signing!)
Blindsided by Priscilla Cumings
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (for book signing!)

and here are the signed books!

Next, these are the books I received in my mailbox for review....

Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes (thanks FSB Associates! And, WOW is this ever a HUGE and beatuiful cookbook!)
Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Beauty by Ann Shoket (thanks FSB! Gorgeous book!)
Perfectly Unique: Praising God From Head to Toe by Annie F. Downs (thanks, Zondervan!)
Almost Amish by Kathryn Cushman (thanks Bethany House!)
Inescapable by Nancy Mehl (thanks Bethany House!)
The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle (thanks Krista!)
Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman (with the cutest little signed and personalized postcard! Thanks, Jody!)

Next are my library books...

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer (already read, and it was FANTASTIC! review to come)

The following are from netgalley:

Right Where I Belong The Mephisto Kiss (The Mephisto Covenant, #2)Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

All You Never Wanted

And now, here are my pictures from the the author book signing - it was quite exciting as we don't get very many good author visits around here. The tides seem to be a-changing though...Next week, Jacqueline Woodson is coming...and then in October, my hero - CARRIE RYAN of The Forest of Hands and Teeth - OMG!!!!!!!! Can't wait!

 Here I am with Jennifer Lynn Barnes!
 Me and Sarah Rees Brennan
 Me, Ally Carter, and her book

Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: Various Positions by Martha Schabas

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: February 14th, 2012
Number of Pages: 336
How I Got this Book: e-ARC from Netgalley
My Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads Summary:

"Trapped between the hormone-driven world of her friends and the discontent of her dysfunctional family, fourteen-year-old Georgia is only completely at ease when she's dancing. When she is accepted into Canada's preeminent ballet school, Georgia thinks it is the perfect escape. Artistic Director Roderick Allen singles her out as a star, subjecting her to increasingly intensive training, and Georgia obsesses about becoming the perfect, disciplined student. But as she spends more and more time with Roderick, it's not so clear exactly what their relationship means. Is he her teacher and mentor, or is there something more? These blurred lines will threaten both Roderick's future at the academy and Georgia's ambitions as a ballerina."


First, a big thank you to Netgalley and to the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into the lives of young serious ballerinas. However, it was a bit disturbing. I have a 15 year old niece who is a dancer, but she is not quite as serious (at least when it comes to ballet specifically) - THANK GOD. I would have to hurt her if I found out she was anything like any of the girls in this book! It is so sad what these girls will do to get an edge on the competition...eating disorders and attempting sexual relationships with the teachers.

At the beginning of this book, Georgia is so young and naive. Really, she's rather socially awkward. But, in dance she is anything but awkward. And her teacher, Roderick, seems to notice this as well. After Georgia's mother tells her that all men are the same - basically they can't look at a woman without having sexual thoughts, Georgia begins to wonder how true this is. She begins to realize the power that her developing body can hold over men. She becomes obsessed with the thought of sex, and with Roderick in particular. Georgia has no idea the downward spiral she has started.

This book definitely showed the darker side of young ballerinas, but I really liked how this book started with such a sweet, innocent girl and how her environment changed her from the inside out. I still felt bad for her at the end of the book, because I could genuinely feel her confusion and, well, she just didn't mean to do the things she did. Schabas did an excellent job conveying Georgia's thinking processes and emotions.

Highly recommended!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: February 1st, 2012
Number of Pages: 348
How I Got This Book: sent by publisher for review
My Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads Summary:

"Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can't work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent--though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job.
Thad McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit. After he earns enough money doing sheriff work, he wants to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.
Thad is immediately attracted to the beautiful singer who performs in Asa Baxter's unusual opera house, but when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he begins to wonder if she's far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes he's come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?"


 First, a big thank you to Bethany House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

To be honest, I have been out of the historical fiction (especially of the western type) loop for a loooooong time, and I had a difficult time getting back into it. But, once I got back into the groove with this book, I really enjoyed it! Sawyer is a very talented writer, and I felt a quick connection with the main characters, Sadie and Thad. I very much admired Sadie's devotion to her family - even if she was a bit naive. I mean, it seemed a bit obvious to me what was "unusual" about Asa's opera house, and what exactly he wanted from her...but I realize that she put up a mental block because she felt such a strong need to provide money for her family, especially after her father died.

I loved Thad and the fact that he was such a good Christian man. I kept thinking, "Why can't ALL men be like that?" And when Sadie kept pushing him away because Asa wanted her to put her job first (and to keep the sheriff away from his business) I wanted to scream "NO! Run away with Thad, Sadie!!!!" He was definitely swoon-worthy.

And then there was Sid, Sadie's cousin (but not by blood, only by marriage), who was head over heels in love with her. I really felt for the guy. He was a sweet guy who meant well, but, well...the whole cousin thing (even if it WAS by marriage and not blood) would have creeped me out too. Plus, who could live up to Thad? I just hope that Sid finds someone special too. :)

I really enjoyed this book - it was exciting, heartwarming, and romantic! Take a visit to Goldtree, Kansas and check it out for yourself!