Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crazy Hahvahd Antics

School's out for summer, but college freshmen will be heading to campuses around the country soon.  Didn't get into Harvard, Yale, Brown or any of the other ivies your parents were hoping you would? That's ok.  Lauren Kunze & Rina Onur take us on quite a ride (and give quite an education) in The Ivy.

From moving in day, when we meet the four most different girls possible and their equally impossible male counterparts from across the hall, these 2 Harvard alums allow the rest of us to experience what life on the yard might actually be like.  Our heroines: 
     Dana, the Bible-thumper and most sheltered
     Marine Aurelie Clement (aka Mimi), Europe's Paris Hilton, is French, fashionable, and open to any (and maybe all) "relationship" options
     Vanessa VonVorhees, prep-school grad with the same mentality even away from the Manhattan social      scene, is the social-climber who would rather cyber-stalk her classmates than take any actual notes
      Callie, our protagonist, the blonde California transplant who has heard all of the "Legally Blonde" jokes.....thank you very much.

Life seems idyllic in each of their lives.  Sure, one's boyfriend breaks up with her via text message, one's drunk more than sober, one's a bit off, and the last is just trying to do what she was raised to do.  But aren't we all in some way or another?  This is a fun read interspersing the thoughts of Callie with notices from Fifteen Minutes, Harvard newspaper The Crimson's weekly mag that helps "to answer the ever present question of how Harvard students can fill their spare time" (Crimson, Februaury 14, 1992). 

Come September, follow the antics of these four girls, the boys from across the hall, and Harvard at large from Orientation to Thanksgiving break.  Hopefully, there will be follow-ups to finish the ever crazed freshman year.  After all, how does rushing end? Can Callie choose between the multitude of boys now available to her?  Will she survive her first deep freeze of a New England winter?  I NEED to know!!!!!

The Ivy, by Lauren Kunze & Rina Onur, Greenwillow Books, Sept. 2010.  Read, live vicariously, learn what to (possibly) NOT do your first time away from home.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Let me start by saying I waited, and waited, and waited for this book.  I didn't even pick it up when it first came out b/c she was going to be at BEA.  So I waited, got my signed copy, and dug in.  I think I overhyped it to myself.  How sad for me.

Most of our regular Wicked Lovely characters make a cameo, but this book is all about a halfling named Ani. and her troubles fitting in.  She's more faerie than mortal, more leader than follower, more trouble than the High Court is looking for.  She's sentenced to death by the High Queen, but a bodiless spectre convinces Devlin to let her live. Rae, our spectre, turns out to be a dreamwalker.  I won't tell you what Ani becomes, but will tease you that she gets a steed that turns itself into various cars and a new court is introduced.
I had a lot of trouble getting into this one and I'm pretty sure I did it to myself.  The writing's just as good, the characters and plot twists just as fun. So it's me.  If you've been waiting to read it, why?  Pick it up, go in with no expectations and enjoy the ride.

The next one's gone to the editors and there are some Wicked Loveley stories too.  Check out for all the updates.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Too Much Bow-chica-wow-wow and Not Enough Plot

Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton

If you have been reading this series then you understand the direction that it has taken. The books have moved away from an actual story line and into porn. I had hopes with last years Skin Trade that the books had gone back to the original direction, however the latest in the series has proven that wrong.  

I feel that with some major editing this book contains less than a novella worth of story. It is simply two chapters of ideas with sex as the fill-in content. Now I have nothing against some bedroom action in my stories but there has to be something to back that up. 

Now the plot,  the big bad (mother of darkness, first vampire, mommy dearest, whatever) that they thought they killed last time is really not dead and looking for revenge. She has now made her presence known and the fact that she wants them dead or under her control. Anita and her men decide they need to build their power-base to defend themselves against the darkness. This of course means sex. And this is where the book ends.

Even with my disappointment in this book, I am still looking for more. Possibly with the Nightseer world (as it remains my favorite of her books) as long as it doesn't go the same direction.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ophelia by Lisa Klein

Do you love Shakespeare as much as I do? Well, of course you don't!!!  You wouldn't be trolling the internet if you did.  Wait, I troll the internet.  Never mind.  It is unlikely though. And yes, I loved Will before Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing ever hit PBS. Now, just because you might not like the Bard is no reason to be scared of Ophelia by Lisa Klein.  You know Ophelia as Hamlet's lover/friend/suicidal chick.  Or is she?  Ms. Klein's take on the least discussed character within the entire play is a fairly unique one. (It's long, trust me.  Rent Branagh's version and count the cameos or watch the David Tennant one from PBS.  Avoid Ethan Hawke's at all cost.  Not that he's not cute, but because it sucks and it's set in NYC which is weird.)  One I think Shakespeare would have proud of if he were writing today.

I know, you can't stand the whole Elizabethan English thing with its thine, thou, m'lord-ing.  It's ok, there's none of that here.  Sure, if you have a grasp on it, some of the phrases sound better in your head.  And having even the basic knowledge of the iambic pentameter in which Shakespeare wrote only enhances this story.  Ms. Klein is not the first to take on minor characters from Hamlet, but she might have one of most intriguing takes on the side plots.

What if I told you Ophelia never lost her senses? What if Polonius was more of a stooge than we all thought? What happens after Horatio fulfills his best friend's dying wish? What if Fortinbras has a challenger to the crown of Denmark?

All of these questions and more get their due.  Ophelia is no wilting daisy in this take on the great Dane and his family's demise. She's strong enough to live through assassination attempts, the realization that her dad sucks, the torture that being the new girl in court brings.  "Hey, this sounds like high school" you might be saying.  It's true, there are events within the book that everyone can relate to.  Who cares if you don't like Shakespeare (besides your English or Drama teachers of course)? You're going to love this book.  With the exception of good Queen Bess herself, it's rare that stories set in this era have strong women in positive roles, But Ophelia is chock full of them.

Can't wait to read Lady Macbeth's Daughter just as soon as my local bookstore gets it back in. Until then, I fully hope you give Ophelia the chance she deserves. Now, go read it!!! I'm waiting to hear what you think of it.  And if you disagree, all the better.

Available now from Bloomsbury Publishing. 352 pages, paperback.
It's summer, escape into the pages of a good book. Your messy room and pile of laundry will be there when you get back.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Back with lots of Books!!

Ok, so now that I'm back from Book Expo we have lots of new books to review. I have listed several books for June 1st and 2nd. These are books that have already come out but we are just getting to review now. The books on our calendar will be linked to the reviews for each one. So feel free to look through and see what is coming out.

fortunate harbor, a happiness key novel by Emilie Richards

So, while one of us headed to BEA, the other one put her nose in a book (or 3) and tried not to cry with jealousy.

First up for review: Emilie Richards' fortunate harbor, a happiness key novel.

I have to admit, I wouldn't have picked this book up in a store.  It's not my typical cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it.  Sure, it's kinda predictable and feels like most of the chick flicks I've watched. Sure, I could put certain actresses in each of the lead characters roles.  But i really had a good time with it and didn't want to put it down.In fact, I would get upset when I had to.  The women who make up this fantastic beach read are pretty funny, amazing, sarcastic....heck they could be my friends. 

There's Tracy, the landlady and most fish out of water.  She's recovering from her husband's imprisonment and the subsequent loss of all of their earthly belongings.  Well, all save a run-down plot of land known as Happiness Key. She's gone from the highlife in California to trying to figure out how to fix a roof on a budget in Florida.

There's Janya, who's trying to get pregnant with a nagging mother (who calls from India) and an absent husband.  Which would make it all the more difficult to get pregnant.

There's Wanda, the waitress/crazy lady.  She gives up her less than stellar waitressing career (helped along by the yuppie scum changing the family restaurant into something too chichi) for her true passion: pie baking.  of course the bakery in town is none too pleased to have the competition.

There's Alice, the grandmother thrust back into parenting when little Olivia comes to live with her.

And finally, there's Dana. She's hiding something.  Something big.  And it somehow involves her daughter.

Throughout this book, there's drama mixed with comedy: there's the return of someone thought long gone, there's the competition doing whatever necessary to best the new guy, there's the handsome handyman with a dark past of his own.  There's even a treasure hunt....of sorts.

So while not necessarily what I would have chosen for myself, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would highly recommend it to EVERYONE looking to escape for a bit.

This book will be available on June 29th. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!!

No, it's just a book.  But a good book. Our copy of Diana Palmer's Dangerous goes to our only suggester.  Tammy Z suggested we read "Magic Bites" by Ilona Andrews.  So we're going to.  

Why did we move up the date of this contest? Well, Ms. Palmer's publisher decided to release it tomorrow.  Which is earlier than anticipated.  And we're nice chicks so why make Tammy wait?

Congrats to Tammy and keep your eyes peeled for our next GiveAway!!!

"Beautiful Creatures" by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Suppose you live in a small southern town that takes a crazy amount of pride for their small contribution to the Civil War.  Suppose you've been having strange dreams about a pretty girl that leaves you sweaty and dirty in the morning. (No, not those kind of dreams. I mean literally dirty.  Muddy even)  Suppose that girl suddenly shows up at your school and her voice is in your head.

Now you know what Ethan Wate's life has been like the last few months.  The dreams start shortly after his mom dies, but the adventure is just getting started.  Lena Duchannes is the niece of the town's shut-in.  She's just arrived, but her connection to Ethan seems to be generations in the making.  

Shuffling between shared visions of the past and present day occurrences, Beautiful Creatures in a fantastic, fantastical story.  History of the town and these families unravels before you.  Slowly.  A great read for anyone looking to escape into what is ultimately a love story, this book will also resonate with the Sci-Fi reader in us all.

Pick it up and fall in love (or like) with these characters before the sequel, Beautiful Darkness, comes out in October.  Go, read, and meet the wacky, whimsical townsfolk.  Besides our heroes, there's Ethan's housekeeper/spiritualist, uncle Macon, a special librarian, and of course the kind of people that populate every town everywhere.  There are the cheerleaders who think anyone different is bad, their mothers who coddle them, the jocks, the old folks are there too.  

It's a hard to put down page turner and you would be silly to miss out on it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Another Faust" by Daniel & Dina Nayeri

Hey gang, finished Another Faust over the weekend.  this is an amazing read.  Written by brother and sister Daniel & Dina Nayeri, I will admit I had some trouble getting into it.  After all, I'm a geek.  So, of course I've read Faustian tales and seen movie adaptations, even most of the opera.  Unfortunately, that meant I was trying to compare this stand-alone from its namesake.

Once I got over that, it sped by way too fast.  A tale with 5 potential  orphans getting most of what they think they want, this book is a must read.  Their governess Madame Vileroy is both sweetness and light as well as creepy and dark.  The big question put out by the authors: What would you sell your soul for?  Maybe you want to be the most beautiful, or the best athlete, the smartest, the poet, or maybe just hidden. 

Take the journey with Victoria, Christian, Belle and her twin Bice, and Valentin into self-discovery and decided your own self-worth. And know that once you get hooked, this book will be over way to fast.  But, dear reader, do not despair.  For Another Pan will be out October 12th.  Still set around the Marlowe School our five plucky stars of Another Faust dominate, this tome will feature the brother-sister team of Wendy and John Darling, an ancient Egyptian artifact, and an R.A. named Peter.  I can't wait!!!

Till next time, keep reading!!!

oh, and we have a twitter account!  Look for tweets from 2chicksreading.

Kat's reading Beautiful Creatures.  What are YOU reading?

Don't forget to enter our contest!  More will be coming soon.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Our First Give Away

Diana Palmer's Dangerous which comes out in July has been given to us for review as well as a copy to give to you.  We are looking for suggestions of what to read. If you want to be entered for the chance to win this new hard cover send us an email with what book you recommend. We will randomly select a winner on June30. 

We will have a review of this book up shortly.

Let's see what new great reads we can find. :-)

Oh, Sookie, Sookie

As promised the new Charlaine Harris, Dead in the Family.  Well this one picks up where Dead and Gone left off and without ruinning anything in the series here you go.

Without the outright possiblilty of getting hurt like with the vampire summit or the shifter war, (which Sookie is still recovering from) Sookie may have the chance to spend some time with her new/old lover.  Eric completely remembers his time hiding out at her place and is trying to figure out what to do about it. While the vampire empire has been taken over and Eric is trying to secure a place within it; Eric's maker pays a visit with his new child. 

This is not to say that Sookie's life is calm and easy. The shifters are using her land, there is a fairy wandering in her woods, she has a new roommate, there's baby showers and oh yea, a wedding of sorts. While all these changes are happening in Sookie's world she is being framed for murder with a body in her woods. 

This continues to be what you would expect from Charlaine Harris and I can't wait until the next one.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

"Inside Out" by Maria Snyder

Our first book back is the newest by one of our faves, Maria Snyder. A "local" author for us, Maria writes for the booklover in all of us. Her newest is no different.

Full of twists, turns, and the ocasional caste system, "Inside Out" is a welcome departure from Ms. Snyder's other series. While a gigantic fan of both the "Poison/Magic/Fire Study" novels as well as the newer glass series (Spy Glass out this fall), this new venture is a fantastic break. Trella is a scrub. She makes sure the pipes stay clean and do what they should. Trella is one of thousands who work the lower levels. As the back of the book says: "I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I ocasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels?"

Following Trella and her friends as they inadvertently start a revolution, the reader gets a glimpse of what the age old haves/havenots struggle has always been about. add to it a sci-fi twist and the adventure takes on an interesting new direction. (it's so hard to tell you to go read this book without giving it all away- aaaaahhhhhh!!!!!) Some questions to think about when reading:

Does Trella have what it takes to take down the system?
If she takes it down, what will happen to the world she knows?
Does she have parents? And if so, do they know where she is?
What is Gateway and does it really exist?

Have I peaked your interest? I hope so. Run, don't walk to your closest bookstore and pick up "Inside Out" by Maria Snyder as soon as possible.

Too bad I have to wait until next year for "Outside In". It will feel like forever.

Remember kids, reading is good for you and makes your parents wonder what you've done!!

kat & ash


After a hectic xmas season and the unexpected closing of our store, Ash and I have recommitted to getting all of you as excited about the books we're reading as we are!!!

It's Saturday, May 1st and our new goal is to each post at least 2 reviews a month. After 3 months, we will reevaluate this goal and hope to increase it. Ash has been fortunate enough to start at our a local bookstore and is lucky enough to be on the team to do outreach. What might this mean? We might be able to let you in on info involving booksignings!!!

Also, we've gotten into our e-mail and have some feelers out for early reviews!!! I know, it's quite exciting to us too. We are going to try to link up with our google calendar to be able to remind you of release dates.

This Tuesday, the new Sookie drops!!! WE CAN'T WAIT!!!!! How about you? What do you think is in store for our little Delta Queen? Are you a Sookie Stackhouse reader or a True Blood watcher? Let us know your predictions and we'll review it soon. I promise!!!

Books of interest for future posts:

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr (Read it already? don't ruin it for me. k)
The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
House of Night Series (Burned to be exact) by P.C. Cast
Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts
Red Queen by Phillippa Gregory
The Next Queen of Heaven:A Novel (not out until October) by Gregory Maguire

Know a book we should review? Tell us, we'll check it out. Maybe you'll get a prize. Maybe just our gratitude.

Get back to reading with the 2chicks!!!!

Kat & Ash