February 20th, 2009

single deer

The Winners...

So this one was clearly a little tough...oops. I wondered when I wrote it. But there are still two more weeks of contests, and I'll do my best to make them a little easier :)

Huge kudos to the winners: boreal_owl, authorwithin, and ravelda. They were the only three to guess the correct book. And what is that book? Silver Phoenix, by Cindy Pon.

The hints:
5. Lastly, my newest movie-genre love: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and those following it. I think the movies have taken an interesting journey since the first one – they began with the not-quite-happy-ending-but-still-fairy-tale atmosphere; the last one, The Curse of the Golden Flowers, drifted away from that, in my opinion. My favorite of the group is The House of the Flying Daggers. I love the intrigue, the romantic tension (where a girl loves a boy who loves a different girl who is betrothed to someone else), and of course, the visual imagery. Personally, one nice aspect for me is the mind-reading element to that one and to Hero – and all of them hint at reincarnation and past lives.

Actually, the whole clue was a hint too -- since Cindy's book is very much like the movies in feel :) But in the book, Ai Ling takes a journey; the ending is realistic but not sappy happy; there's romantic intrigue; Pon is Cindy's last name; and there's mind-reading and hints at reincarnation.

Yeah, this was a tough one, and none of the Debs got it right -- but Karen guessed most of the clues simply by reading the blurb on the Debs' page (which, of course, was my intent) -- so woo-hoo, winners! And, to sweeten the pot, if you're interested in Cindy's book, I'll add that to the possible prizes this week. The three of you can PM/e-mail me with your top two choices -- and a number between 1 and 10 (in case you all want the same book). Thanks for playing, everyone!

Btw, to everyone else who guessed PRADA & PREJUDICE, the hint that it wasn't that one is that I used 'prejudice' in #1 -- and no words from the titles are ever in the hints.

Book Reports (42-45)...

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact the I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and will read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good.
***** I read every word, and I loved it!

The Magic Thief: Lost, by Sarah Prineas **** Another enjoyable look into Conwaer's life. He's such a great character -- I just like spending time with him. MG (releases April or May, 2009)

My Big Nose and other natural disasters, by Sydney Salter ***+ Contemporary tales aren't usually my favorites, but the humor in this one kept me reading. I like Jory, even though I couldn't totally relate to her hang-up about her nose -- but I know how true this is for so many teens. They get fixated on something about themselves they don't like, and that's all they see. This book offers good insight into why that might be -- and hopefully can show teens how to see the good in themselves, as well. (releases 4/09)

Silver Phoenix, by Cindy Pon ****+ There's something about the feel of this book...for me, it was like walking into a movie (like House of the Flying Daggers, for instance). I think it's how Cindy uses language in a way that somehow conjures up that beauty and poetic feel of landscape and world apart from our contemporary, American society. I hope there's another one after this -- I'm not ready to let go of Ai Ling yet! I'd call this upper YA. (releases 5/09)

The City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare ***** This is my favorite of the trilogy. I was pretty much riveted from beginning to end. I already suspected many of the main plot outcomes -- I don't know if that's because they're obvious or if it's just me. But it didn't matter -- I still liked watching them turn out just as I knew they would. This is YA (probably more upper than lower)--(releases next month, I believe)