Beautiful Creatures Reading a Deux Week 4

 
 

It’s week four of my Reading à Deux adventure with Ruby at Ruby’s Reads. We’re reading Beautiful Creatures in anticipation of the movie release! We divided the book into four sections, and each Tuesday we’re trading off asking each other questions about each section. Today I’m responding to Ruby’s questions in a post on her blog, so click the button above to read the post and join in the conversation. Come back next week for my wrap-up and movie review!

Missed our other posts? Catch up on Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3.

 

 

 

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Beautiful Creatures Reading a Deux Week 3

 

With the impending release of the Beautiful Creatures movie, Ruby at Ruby’s Reads asked if anyone was up for a read-along of the book. I hadn’t read it yet, and I’m always down for reading a book before seeing the movie, so I said yes please!

We divided the book into four sections, and each Tuesday we’re trading off asking each other questions about each section. Today I’m presenting the third set of questions, and Ruby’s responses. Next week you can visit Ruby’s Reads to see the last set of answers I have for Ruby!

 
 
Well let’s get to it!
 
1) During Thanksgiving dinner, we get some pretty shocking information about who Lena is up against. This makes an already sucky situation even worse, and adds to the feelings of betrayal and helplessness Lena’s experiencing. Have you ever faced a situation where you had to oppose a loved one?
 
Not really. I mean, we’ve all been in those kinds of situations in a minor way but (knock on wood), I’ve never had to seriously oppose a loved one in a serious way. I don’t know what else to say about this, except that I feel so fortunate to have my family, to be close to them, and to not be in constant conflict.
 
2) In the library, we get to see the end of Genevieve’s story play out. The Book of Moons giveth, and it taketh away. Does the bargain she struck seem worth it? 
 
Well, no! But if there’s anything reading paranormal fiction has taught me, it’s that such bargains arenever worth striking.
 
3) No teen outcast story can be complete without a prom-gone-awry sequence. What did you make of their decision to go, given how little they’ve been involved with school? How did you feel about how everything played out at the dance?
 
Well, I knew going to the dance wasn’t going to be all that and a bag of chips, even if Lena didn’t. And I don’t think she made it any easier on herself by the way she dressed. I realize that Gatlin’s small-mindedness isn’t Lena’s fault, but wearing crescent moons and not expecting hostilities? She was dreaming. As for the dance itself, well, shades of Carrie was pretty much what I was expecting, and I was also just waiting for Ridley to make her reappearance.
 
4) At the end of this section, Ethan finally breaks into his dad’s study, and he learns some important things about his parents. Did this change how you feel about his dad? Do you think Ethan’s mom is going to figure into this story more?
 
Learning more about Ethan’s dad did not change how I felt about them. Parents who neglect their children out of grief for a lost spouse are probably my least favorite YA stereotype, after just plain dead parents. I’m hoping to see some functional parent/child relationships in YA one of these days. As for Ethan’s mom, well, once we knew Marian was involved, it didn’t take a genius to figure out she must’ve known something as well.
 
Thanks for the great responses Ruby! Don’t forget to come back next Tuesday, and please chime in with your own responses in the comments!

 

 

 

Beautiful Creatures Reading a Deux Week 2

 
 

It’s week two of my Reading à Deux adventure with Ruby at Ruby’s Reads. We’re reading Beautiful Creatures in anticipation of the movie release! We divided the book into four sections, and each Tuesday we’re trading off asking each other questions about each section. Today I’m responding to Ruby’s questions in a post on her blog, so click the button above to read the post and join in the conversation. 

Missed our first post? Catch up here!

 

 

 

Beautiful Creatures Read Along Week 1

EDIT:  Ha! Just kidding. Sorry for the miscommunication everybody! Ruby and I got our wires crossed, so I mistakenly sent you over to her blog when you really, um, should have come to mine. Gulp.
 
Anyhootles, without any further ado, here is Week 1 of our Read Along!
 

With the impending release of the Beautiful Creatures movie, Ruby at Ruby’s Reads asked if anyone was up for a read-along of the book. I hadn’t read it yet, and I’m always down for reading a book before seeing the movie, so I said yes please!

We divided the book into four sections, and for the next four Tuesdays we’re trading off asking each other questions about each section. Today I’m presenting my first round of questions, and Ruby’s responses. Next week you can visit Ruby’s Reads to see what answers I have for Ruby!

 
 
Thanks again for coming up with this event, Ruby! I don’t know why I resisted this book for so long. I am eating this thing up! You’d think given the number of times I flipped through its pages I would’ve noticed that it’s from Ethan’s perspective, but…um…I didn’t. So anyway, here are my questions:
 
1) How do you like the book from Ethan’s point of view? Does it feel like his story or Lena’s?
 
At this point, the story is definitely Ethan’s, and I like how Beautiful Creatures has turned the trope of the mysterious, hot guy who moves into the small town and catches the heroine’s eye on its head. This time, the mysterious character is the girl and the boy’s about to have his world shaken up.
 
2) Is the small town versus outsider scenario working for you? Or is the jock in love with the outcast too played out?
 
Oh, ha! I didn’t even think about that. It’s more that I’m irritated with Ethan’s holier than thou attitude. He thinks of himself as being different from the people in his town, but then he acts just like them. Doesn’t it make it worse that he’s aware that the behaviors are ridiculous, but he participates in them anyway? 

I mean, Ethan’s constant harping on how things in Gatlin never change was starting to wear on me–especially when they concerned small things like the fact that he and his best friend have the same conversation every morning. He was blaming the town for the rut he was in, but he was responsible, too. Fortunately, Lena’s appearance didn’t just stir him out of his lethargy. It made him consider–for the first time–how much he was contributing to it. 

If anything, I’d say Beautiful Creatures is, perhaps, drawing too many paralells with To Kill a Mockingbird. Or maybe it’s that I wish it would draw on it with a bit more subtlety? Like, without mentioning the book so often? 

Have I answered your question? Maybe not. I will say that I find myself wondering if people are really still that close-minded, even in the South. Of course, having only visited New Orleansonce, I can hardly be considered an expert. Still, the internet and television have globalized even the smallest of towns. I go back and forth. 

3) What is going on with the locket? We’re getting all kinds of odd things happening now – telepathy, hints of voodoo from Amma, broken windows, crazy dreams, songs, and now full blown visions. Does Ethan seem like he’s handling this a bit too well, or is he at an appropriate level of freaked-out-edness?
 
Ah, well, I have my theories about the locket, but I’m not ready to share them. I’m totally the one who guesses who the murderer is at the beginning of the TV show. I’m not great at sitting back and letting the mystery unravel. Which is funny, because I love mysteries. Go figure!

About Ethan, I think his dreams help to prevent a freak-out. He’s experienced the weirdness with his own eyes, so it’s a bit harder to deny. Also, it seems like Amma’s voodoo might have inured him to possibility of magic. Or, er, whatever. Finally, since he’s not making ginormous leaps of logic (SHE BROKE THE WINDOW WITH HER MIND!!), I feel like it’s one of the better introductions to the paranormal that I’ve read in a while. 

4) I’m a bit confused about where the story is going. What are your thoughts on how this is playing out? Are you getting antsy for answers like me, or are you happy to ride it out and see where it goes?
 
Well, like I said, I speculate, even from the beginning, and I’m not antsy for answers. Beautiful Creatures hasn’t pulled me in, yet, like it has you. I’m pretty excited about Ravenwood (the house) and Ravenwood (the uncle), but by this time, we already know that something Big is going to happen on Lena’s birthday and that there’s some kind of connection between Civil War Ethan and Present Day Ethan, and I’m going to assume the same about Genevieve and Lena. I’m kind of hoping that the answers aren’t the ones I’ve already worked out in my head…
 
Thanks for the great responses Ruby! You’ve given me a lot to think about as we move into part two of our discussion.
 
Don’t forget to come back next Tuesday, and please chime in with your own responses in the comments!

 

 

 

Squeaky Books Birthday Bash Giveaway!


I’m hosting a contest as part of
Enna Isilee’s Birthday Bash 2011
Presented by Squeaky Books
From August 22nd until September 22nd Enna Isilee at Squeaky Books is having a HUGE bash to celebrate her birthday! Thereâ??s a giveaway nearly EVERY DAY, tons of author interviews, and guest posts from a bunch different YA book bloggers. And I get to host a contest!

I get to give away a copy of Rampant by Diana Peterfreund! Entering is simple, just fill out the form (with optional bonus entries). Sorry, US only. You have until September 21st at 11:59 MST to enter. All winners will be announced on Enna Isilee’s birthday (September 22nd) on Enna Isilee’s blog (Squeaky Books). And today, Ennalee interviewed Diana at Squeaky Books. You should totally go check it out.

Want to know more about Rampant? Click here! I loved this book, so check out my review if you want to see what I had to say about it.

Without further ado, enter to win! Click below.

Click here to enter!


Amazingly beautiful and painstakingly crafted signature courtesy of Small Review

Guest Post at Ruby’s Reads

Yesterday, I had the honor of guest posting for Ruby at Ruby’s Reads while she is on vacation. I had to travel for work yesterday and had some server issues with the blog so I couldn’t get a post up to direct you there in a timely fashion. I hope today you’ll stop by and see what I had to say about how much better books become if you simply add lions in the mix.

I promise awkward Paints and revamped summaries are involved. Click the button to read the post!


Amazingly beautiful and painstakingly crafted signature courtesy of Small Review

June Giveaway and Guest Post Announcements

My Bookish Ways
Today I have a guest post up at My Bookish Ways as part of the My Favorite Things event. I wrote about one of my favorite books of all time, and am hosting an international giveaway for a copy. I hope you’ll stop by and see what I have to say!



My monthly giveaway is back! This month I have two exciting books to share with you all. The first is a SIGNED copy of Divergent by Veronica Roth.


The second book I’m giving away is Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren. I’m so excited about this sequel to Waterfall, especially since it releases TODAY!


Check back tomorrow for my review of Cascade!

To enter you must be at least 13 years old and have a U.S. mailing address. Following is not required, but is appreciated!

This giveaway is open from June 1-30. The winner (and a new giveaway!) will be announced on July 1st. The winner will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond or the win is forfeited and a new winner will be chosen. All winners are chosen using Random.org. No extra entries are offered, but feel free to tweet, blog, or otherwise spread the word about it!

To enter, simply fill out THIS FORM. Good luck!

Guest Post: Meet Myrna from ODESSA by Rebecca Ryals Russell

Today we have a special guest on the blog: Myrna from the new Seraphym Wars series by Rebecca Ryals Russell. The first book, Odessa, is out now and looks like a unique YA dark fantasy. I am really looking forward to reading it! I am the last stop on the Odessa Blog Tour, so be sure to check out the Seraphym Wars page for PRIZES/GIVEAWAYS and more.

Let’s meet our young heroine, Myrna!

Can you imagine graduating from high school one day and waking on a horrendous foreign planet the next? My name is Myrna Ashlin Watts and that is what happened to me. I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. The sunshine state and gorgeous beaches. Then I wake one morning in my own house but NOT in my own city or even planet. But the biggest surprise I got was when I opened my door and saw who inhabited this new planet. They werenâ??t people, thatâ??s for sure.

Then I was told I had a job to do here before I could go home. And the part of it that really frosted my buns was who this order came from. I didnâ??t have a choice at all since He was the one whoâ??d brought me to this hellish place to begin with.

So now Iâ??m trekking across a monster infested strange planet looking for more teens like myself with â??special talentsâ?? like controlling weather or causing volcanic eruptions or speaking with animals. And one of the things I miss the most, besides my family, is the blue sky and sunshine. This planet may have two suns or a billion â?? youâ??d never know since the sky is constantly grey.

But itâ??s not all depressing. Iâ??ve met some awesome people and really cool animals who think almost like we do and have made conscious decisions to accompany and protect us on our quest. Iâ??ve also met some intriguing, sexy and handsome men who seem really interested in getting to know me better. Too bad this isnâ??t the time or place for romance. Besides, I have no idea who to trustâ??as evidenced by the two occasions Narciss has tricked me with demon-dragons.

Iâ??m really looking forward to the end of this leg of our journey when we reach the enchanted island because Iâ??ll meet real live elves, faeries, dwarfs and who knows what other magical creatures. Itâ??s just too bad the reason for our being there is to learn how to fight against the demons in a huge battle to end this war between good and evil.

Title: Odessa
Author: Rebecca Ryals Russell
Publisher: Muse It Up
Release Date: April 1, 2011
Series: Seraphym Wars #1

Summary: Myrna Ashlin Watts is a high school Senior in Jacksonville, Fl when she is transported to a bizarre and primal planet corrupted by demon-dragons. And they want her dead. Her problem is, she has been recruited to kill them, too.

Reluctantly, and knowing it is her only way to get back home, she agrees to lead an army of six teens called The Vigorios (demon-hunters) all the while battling dragons and monsters as they cross swamps and mountains, forests and seas. She wrangles with mental scars of a demon attack when she was fifteen and a vision of those same demons killing her brother two years later.

Three very different men join her questâ??a seasoned demon/dragon-slayer who irritates but beguiles her, a tender and sweet mentor in whom she trusts completely and a roguishly handsome Scientist who sets her senses aflame. How is she expected to lead the others and keep everyone safe with so much inner turmoil? Whom can she trust, if anyone, even herself? How can anyone expect her, a kid in high school to be a leader? Much less one who leads an army of kids in a Holy battle?

Will love and lust, jealousy, greed, deceit and distrust break the delicate tie that binds these teen warriors called The Vigorios? Can a troupe of teens help the Seraphym finally defeat the massive empire of evil dominated for eons by the demon-dragons of Dracwald?

Buy ODESSA at Amazon

About the Author:
Author of MG/YA Dark Fantasy among other things, Rebecca Ryals Russell has two series coming out next year: The Seraphym Wars Series for YA and Stardust Warriors for MG.

She lives in a Victorian house on five acres in North Central Florida with her family. She also runs a Vacation Rental Log House on the property (Florida Black Bear Cabin http://flablackbearcabin.com) It was in this cabin she wrote Odessa within 6 months, after thinking about it for 30 years, but never having the time to commit it to paper.

A fourth generation Floridian, she has lived all over the state except the Panhandle.

The daughter of an Elementary school principal dad and school secretary mom, for fourteen years she taught Middle Grades, preferring English and Creative Writing. She had several studentsâ?? works published in anthologies as well as several of her own stories, poems and photographs.

Main interests include her four children, ages 22, 19, 16, 11 and Irish hubby of 35 years. She enjoys spending time writing, drawing, going to movies and reading. Her favorite pastimes are sitting on the wicker porch swing on a chilly Autumn evening with her husband and usually a kid or two, drinking a beer and eating mixed nuts while chatting about anything and everything, or discussing philosophy and religion with her 16-year-old son over pizza.

Over the course of the next few years she has several books being published.

Where to find the author:
Author Website
Twitter
Goodreads
Series Facebook Page
Personal Facebook Page

BOOK RELEASE INFO:
April 2011-Odessa, Seraphym Wars YA Series-available at Amazon
July 2011-Zarena, Stardust Warriors MG Series
September 2011-Guardian, Seraphym Wars
October 2011-Donâ??t Make Marty Mad (adult Horror story)

November 2011-Jeremiah, Stardust Warriors
January 2012-Harpies, Seraphym Wars
February 2012-Laman, Stardust Warriors
April 2012-Mercy, Stardust Warriors
June 2012-Magaelbash, Stardust Warriors