Monday, September 27, 2010

Hunter's Moon by Kate Evangelista

Every now and again I'd like to write about books that haven't even been published. While waiting to finish my next Book Review, which will be on The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stiegg Larsson, I'd like to introduce Kate Evangelista. Kate provided me with the first chapter of her story Hunter's Moon. Hunter's Moon is currently unpublished and up for review by agents.

The first chapter of Hunter's Moon reminded me slightly of the first of the Twilight Series books by Stephenie Meyer when the main character Bella meets the vampire Edward Cullen.

The setting in Hunter's Moon is a high school and the new boy, Dillan Sloan, has a curious interest in the female lead character who comes equipped with a slight premonition ability. Kate seems to have a knack for creating characters that are cute and lovable. She is also able to create an atmosphere that is light and fun-loving. Her first chapter set the scene for a story involving psychic abilities, the boy-girl friendship that every young girl wants, a bubbly best-friend, a new boy with a curious past and a world that yearns for love (and other interesting things) to happen.

I enjoyed reading the first chapter of Kate's Hunter Moon and hope the book is published soon so I can review the entire story. Good luck Kate and Happy Writing!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Serial killers, rapist, hackers, mafia, Swiss bank accounts, oh my. What doesn't Stieg Larsson include in his novel The Girl With the Dragoon Tattoo? Larsson tells a number of timeless tales in this book. We've all heard the story of a serial rapist who connects his rapes by Bible verses and we've all heard the story of the serial killer who passes his 'gift' down to his son. But Larsson uses his real life experiences to tell a unique story unprecedented: one of blatant financial mafiaism. In the novel, you watch an ordinary journalist solve a 40-year-old crime while also avenging his own libel setup with Hans Wennestrom, a financial mafia kingpin.

But now we'll also throw in a peculiar girl, growing up in institutions and declared mentally incompetent and partially insane by her country. In actuality, Lisbeth Salander is anything but crazy. She's insanely intelligent and equipped with hacking abilities and a photographic memory. She's a girl who turns only to herself for the protection she requires from everyone and everything. She is "the girl with the dragon tattoo." Paired with the journalist through a security company she works for, they discover the serial kidnapper/rapist/murderer(s) and then take Wennestrom down for good. The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second book in the Millenium Series, is sure to be a tantalizing read.

Any and every journalist must be standing in line to to be assigned the biography of Stieg Larsson.

Friday, September 10, 2010

For Freedom by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Last night I started a book that would unexpectedly thrust itself into my list of classics. The story For Freedom, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is one of the best stories I've read since my youth. I have placed it among my classics such as Great Expectations, Johnny Tremain, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn, and Hamlet.

For Freedom is about a young girl of fifteen who finds herself not only a talented Opera singer, but also a French spy during WWII. Her tale includes passing notes to other spies (sometimes right under German solider's noses), witnessing the brutality of bombs and having nightmares after having seen a pregnant woman blown apart before her eyes. Her endless prayers for strength make you want to send up a few prayers yourself so that she might remain safe. I think it's a wonderful book for young readers, especially those who enjoy stories that empower women.

Perhaps the best thing about this story (and also the worst) is it is a fictional story based on nonfictional events.

There is only one bad thing about this book: the copy I got is a first-edition hardback but is lacking the sleeve. Now that's a sad tale!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Store Coupons

My next review will be on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I'm a little late to jump on board the Stieg Larsson ship, but I keep hearing great things about the trilogy so I must see what all the hype is about.

Since I've got to wait for it to be shipped and I took so long deciding on my next book I've compiled a list of great coupons from Barnes and Noble, Borders and other online and offline brick and mortal book stores. The most popular can also be seen at the right of this post.

Barnes & Noble Booksellers

Use code C7L7L8E at checkout for 10% off one item. Expiration 9/13/2010.
Use code M7Y4A3M at checkout for 15% off one item. Expiration 9/13/2010.
Printable coupon for 10% off one item at a Barnes and Noble Book Store. Expiration 9/12/2010. Click here
Printable coupon for 15% (members only) one item at a Barnes and Noble Book Store. Expiration 9/12/2010. Click here
Printable coupons for various books, up to 40% off, for a Barnes and Noble Book Store, members only. Click here by ebay

Use code HALF2010BTS10PERC at checkout to score $10 off a $100 or more order.
Use code TAKE5OFFBOOKS10 at checkout to get $5 off $50 or more order (for new customers only).

Borders Bookstores
Use code BMT8274Z at checkout to receive 33% off a single item, members only.
Use code BEG93010X at checkout to get 20% off a single item, exclusions apply.
Members get 33% off any one item at a Borders Bookstore with this printable coupon. Click here

Books-A-Million Bookstores
Use code RENEWMCC at checkout to get $10 off a $50 or more purchase.
Use code AFSVFTN at checkout to get $15 OFF a $75 or more purchase.
Get up to 46% off plus get a free tote with bestsellers order when you sign up for Books-A-Million Millionaire's Club. Click here for details.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates promises to answer the question, "is there anything more out there?" It engulfs you by promising to answer what would happen if you 'ran away' from the mediocrity and into a new life.

You get to watch married couple April and Frank make a spontaneous decision to up and move to France in order to escape the mundane day-to-day. Suspense builds when you find yourself giddy for the answer to finding happiness. Finally, at last, someone is going to write a book that gives us all the answers to escaping boredom. If it works for the characters in the book, then possibly it will work for all of us who wake up every day to go to a job that we hate. Thank you Richard Yates!

And then you discover that, in fact, Yates does not really have the answer; at least not the one you’re looking for. Because the ending of this book is shocking and horrid. She had the perfect house, a perfect husband and two perfect blonde children. You read this and you wonder what the hell else she could want.

Revolutionary Road shows us life is not about achieving happiness, it is about making it through life. The stresses and the obstacles are what make up life. The dramas and the upsets and downfalls and uplifts are what keep us going on and on and keep us from getting bored. If we didn't have these tribulations, there wouldn’t be a point in living because there would be nothing to strive for and nothing to overcome. If there were no "bad," we couldn't recognize the "good" as being good. Life itself is the adventure and to achieve happiness is to relish in the fact that you have simply lived through it.