quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Mastiff (Review)

Editors(s)Tamora Pierce
Edition: Hardcover, 592 pages
Publication Date: October 25, 2011
Source: Received from Random Buzzers

The Summary
The Legend of Beka Cooper gives Tamora Pierce's fans exactly what they want—a smart and savvy heroine making a name for herself on the mean streets of Tortall's Lower City—while offering plenty of appeal for new readers as well. 

Beka and her friends will face their greatest and most important challenge ever when the young heir to the kingdom vanishes. They will be sent out of Corus on a trail that appears and disappears, following a twisting road throughout Tortall. It will be her greatest Hunt—if she can survive the very powerful people who do not want her to succeed in her goal.

My Opinion
Another amazing book by Tamora Pierce has arrived!  Mastiff is the last book in the Beka Cooper Trilogy (Book 1 is Terrier and Book 2 is Bloodhound).  Beka is a Provost Dog, the police force of Tortall.  She has been sent on a chase along with her partner, Tunstall, the Provost's Mage Farmer, and the Lady Knight Sabine in order to find the crown prince of Tortall.  Through the book, the readers, along with Beka, learn about earning honor and how easy it is for people to break their honor.

As with all of Pierce's books, the realism of the world is fantastic.  Set in fictional Tortall, which resembles the Mediterranean (mainly Spain) the towns, people, and attitudes could be plopped down in our world during the medieavel times and nothing would stand out as strange (with the exception of magic of course).  This is what I love about Pierce's books; while they are fantasy, they could easily be put in historical fiction, in my opinion, because the world-building is that realistic.

The book is full of adventure, but it isn't the pretty, polished life of nobility.  This adventure is gritty, dirty, and, sometimes, disgusting.  The reader sees the slaves' and servants' lives: how hard life is if you're not a noble.  Beka is right in the middle of this precarious world of dealing with the suspicious commoners and the snotty nobility; both of whom present their challenges to figuring out who kidnapped the prince.

The ending of Mastiff was a complete surprise to me!  Of course, if you're cynical you might figure out what's going on earlier, but I tend to see things glass half-full.  I feel like it is the best ending, as it adds such a sense of heartbreak to the novel, juxtaposing the beginning very nicely.  Then the epilogue adds even more to another series by Pierce, Song of the Lioness (You might want to read that series first, as they were the first written), which will always have a special place in my heart.

Another great story with a beloved heroine, Tamora Pierce once again knocks it out of the park!  Strong characters, a detailed world, and an intriguing plot make Mastiff a must-read!
Final Rating
Book Cover: 4/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9.5/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9.5/10
Overall: 46/50: A-

Full Length Clockwork Prince Trailer!!

The full length trailer for Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare was just released on EW.com, and put up on the Simon and Schuster Youtube page!!!  Not to be confused with VLCProductions gorgeous teaser trailer, this one was done by a different company, but is still awesome (because, to be honest, I adore VLCProductions)!


Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we seriously can’t wait for.

 Here's my pick for the week, that I seriously can't wait for:

Truth by Julia Karr
Release Date: January 19, 2012
Nina Oberon’s life has changed enormously in the last few months. 
When her mother was killed, Nina discovered the truth about her father, the leader of the Resistance. And now she sports the same Governing Council–ordered tattoo of XVI on her wrist that all sixteen-year-old girls have. The one that announces to the world that she is easy prey to predators. 
But Nina won’t be anyone’s stereotype. And when she joins an organization of girls working within the Resistance, she knows that they can put an end to one of the most terrifying secret programs the GC has ever conceived. 
Because the truth always comes out...and the consequences can be deadly.
I LOVED XVI!  It was such an intriguing premise for a dystopian.  Instead of just being sixteen, girls are considered sexteen: in the eyes of the government, legally mature enough to have sex.  XVI does an amazing job setting up this premise that is, from what the blurb says, explored in depth in Truth.  I really really can't wait to dive back into this world, and will probably buy Truth for myself as a birthday present since it comes out the day before my birthday!  If you haven't read XVI yet, you definitely need to grab it before Truth comes out, so you're prepared!


Teaser Tuesday (25)

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

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share a few teaser sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • MAKE SURE NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (you don't want to give too much away and ruin the book for other readers)
Share the title and author too, so that other readers can add your book to their TBR list if they like your teaser!
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

         The queen smiled.  The girl was ready; young but ready.
         She will be a beauty in her time, the queen thought, studying the girl's smooth porcelain skin and her soft, shining eyes.  She will be strong and powerful and feared, a force to be reckoned with.  Men will fall at her feet...
         ...and she will crush them.
(Page 5)
The Pledge has been on my to be read list for a while, so I was so glad to grab it from the library!  It looks so interesting, and I love the teaser I picked.  Definitely intriguing, isn't it? The cover is gorgeous!  I hope I love the inside as much as I love the outside!

Top Ten Tuesday (5)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.
The topic this week is: Top Ten Books On My TBR List For Winter
I love this list because I have so many books to read!

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

Legend by Marie Lu

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Steampunk! edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant

Some of these have been sitting on my shelf, some are brand new, and some are due back to the library.  But each is filled with an amazing story that I can't wait to read.  Hopefully, I'll get done with more than this; it is a long winter break after all!


Bystander (Review)

Editors(s)James Preller
Edition: Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: September 29, 2009
Source: Bought from B&N

The Summary
Eric is the new kid in seventh grade. Griffin wants to be his friend. When you’re new in town, it’s hard to know who to hang out with—and who to avoid. Griffin seems cool, confident, and popular.

     But something isn’t right about Griffin. He always seems to be in the middle of bad things. And if Griffin doesn't like you, you’d better watch your back. There might be a target on it.

     As Eric gets drawn deeper into Griffin’s dark world, he begins to see the truth about Griffin: He’s a liar, a bully, a thief. Eric wants to break away, do the right thing. But in one shocking moment, he goes from being a bystander . . . to the bully’s next victim.

My Opinion
Bystander by James Preller came to my reading pile in an interesting way.  As some of you may know, I have my B.S. in English Education.  Due to that little fact, I was contacted by my mother's principal to help develop comprehension questions for an anti-bullying program the school was starting in light of all the bullying problems.  Bystander was one of the books on the list.

The book tells the story of A 7th grader named Eric.  He's new in town, and is still trying to get his footing.  The day before the first day of school he meets Griffin, a charismatic boy who everyone loves.  Griffin befriends Eric, but as their relationship grows the facade disappears,  revealing the bully underneath.  Unfortunately, Griffin is one of the worst kinds of bullies: the golden child who has all the adults fooled.

Pressler writes such a realistic look at bullying, the "not bully" bully, and the bystander.  Eric is that bystander for much of the book.  He watches Griffin terrorize kids and at one point the thought "At Least its not me" flows through his mind.  that is real.  This clearly shows the conflict that many kids go through.  The flip-flop between wanting to help the victim and not wanting to become the victim is a tough place to be.

I've noticed that many people who have read this book have not liked the ending .  I can see why; we, as a people, love a happy, tied-up ending where the hero triumphs and the villain is punished.  Well, unfortunately, that is not how the real world works.  The situation Preller presents between Eric and Griffin is realistic; the boys settle the bullying themselves, and the book ends without any adult-dealt punishment.  The ending is what, for me, makes Bystander a good book.

I would recommend parents and teachers read this book with their children or students, as it is a nice jumping off point to the discussion of such a scary epidemic such as bullying.  A really great discussion guide is included in the back of the paperback edition (I'm not sure if it's in the hardcover), and an author interview is also included.  Please check out Bystander by James Preller today!
The Bystander Effect 

Final Rating
Book Cover: 5/5
Book Title: 4.5/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 45.5/50: A-


In My Mailbox: AKA The Biggest Book Haul of my Life!

I guess this is my In The Mailbox after all!
In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by one of her friends, Alea of Pop Culture Junkie where we get to post about the books we receive each week through publishers/authors, our own purchases, contests won, and libraries.
This is a big haul, I know. Isn't it fantastic?!  I was so lucky to be able to go to NCTE & ALAN this year.  I learned so much awesome stuff to bring back into my classroom, and I got so many AMAZING books!

Check out NCTE & ALAN and join them!  If you're an English teacher or librarian, they are awesome organizations to be a part of!


The Faerie Ring (Review)

Title: The Faerie Ring
Editors(s): Kiki Hamilton
Edition: ARC, 352 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: September 27, 2011

The Summary
The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.

Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty.

My Opinion
I've been wanting to read this book for a while.  I've been getting into historical fiction and I love fantasy so much.  The Faerie Ring contains a great mix of both, making the story that much more captivating.

Hamilton does a tremendous job at crafting 1871 London.  The world of orphans, faeries, and royalty is such a interesting juxtaposition, one you want to read more and more about. The journey in which Tiki goes through is captivating.  She is a great protagonist: caring, protective, and strong, all qualities which lends her to be the leader of the groups she moves back and forth between.

All the secondary characters are great as well.  None of them feel unnecessary, and they do their part for the story.  However, while this book is character driven, both protagonists and supporting characters are rich and play important roles, the book is really, in my mind, object driven.  These characters wouldn't have come together without the Faerie Ring.  This ring is one of the most powerful items in England, and Tiki has stolen it right from under Prince Leopold's nose.  In the meantime, Tiki herself has set into motion a series of events that will change her life as well as everyone else's.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book!  I'm quickly growing to love historical fiction with the fantastical element, and The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton is added to the list.  Additionally, I met Kiki at NCTE this past weekend, and she was lovely!  I was able to get a copy of the book signed as well.  so if you love history, faeries, and adventure, then pick up a copy of The Faerie Ring to add to your collection.
The Faerie Ring Trailer

Final Rating
Book Cover: 4/5
Book Title: 4/5
Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9.5/10
Writing: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 43.5/50: B+

Enter to Win a Special Something from NCTE!

As most of you know, I've been in Chicago for the last 6 days at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference.  While there I got so many awesome books, and met so many awesome authors, that I felt a little guilty that all of you weren't there with me.

To rectify my guilt, I have something VERY exciting to give away!

Yes, you read that right!  I have 3 copies of a chapter sampler containing the first 2 chapters of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and I'm giving them away to you!

Summary of The Fault in Our Stars
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs... for now.  
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumors tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.  
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

To enter just fill out the Rafflecopter below!  Easy Peasy!


NCTE: Day 3 - Mistakes & Madness

Today was the last day of the main conference portion of NCTE.  Today was also the day the exhibitors left.  Needless to say, it was a bit of a mad house!

My Schedule:

Session L: 8:30-9:45
L.25 21st Century Literacies

Stephanie Perkins Signing 10:30-11:30

Session M: 11:30-12:45
M.49 Teaching Literacy for Love & Wisdom

Session N: 1:00-2:45
N.01 Reports from Cyberspace

At least that's how my day was suppose to go.  It didn't work out that way.

I was running late this morning, so I didn't even make it until 8:45.  I suppose I could've gone to my first session still, but I feel it is very rude to enter late.  Therefore, I went to wait to get into the Exhibit Hall.  I had a really great conversation with a librarian from Chicago (I love talking to librarians who are my age to learn how they got their job).  I'm actually really happy that I went to wait for the Exhibit Hall because were the teachers going crazy.  Penguin waited until the last day to put out some amazing ARCs, as did some of the other publishers.  Additionally, some publishers had immediately discounted books to super cheap or were giving books away!  It was pretty amazing, but a nightmare for someone claustrophobic as there was a lot of squished bodies reaching for books.

After that I asked the amazing ladies at Penguin when they were starting the line for Stephanie Perkins, as Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler were signing that morning.  That's when I found out my program LIED to me!!  At the beginning of the conference, we were given an Author Signing program; inside it says Stephanie was suppose to be signing at Penguin at 10:30. Lies!  Then I thought I had gotten the booth wrong, as I didn't have my schedule.  To investigate I headed over to the Anderson's Bookshop booth where many authors were signing.  Nope, not there either.  Come to find out, after reading her tweet response to someone else, she's not going to be here until tomorrow!  Grrr NCTE!  Get things right!  Anyway, by that time I was caught up in the discount frenzy, so that's how I spent the next 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Then I went on to my last two sessions, both of which were fantastic!  My favorite topics to focus on during conferences are GLBT lit, 21st Century Tech, and Censorship.  I was lucky to get to go to all three.  Then it was definitely time to lug my books back to the hotel.  I can't wait until tomorrow for ALAN (which Stephanie will be at, along with an AWESOME YA Author panel at Anderson's Bookshop, which I am going to!!!).  I've never been to ALAN, but I've heard it is utterly amazing!

And here's my loot from today (when I get back home I'm doing a IMM like no other).

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