Want Books: Dust City

Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now.

This is my first Want Books post, spurred by the fact that I really want this book I am featuring. It’s normal for me to want books, of course, but this is one of those books that has really made me curious. I know I could always get a Kindle edition of this book, but there are some books that I must get in print because of certain factors. For this book, it’s the cover. Look:

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

His son, that’s who.

Ever since his father’s arrest for the murder of Little Red Riding Hood, teen wolf Henry Whelp has kept a low profile in a Home for Wayward Wolves . . . until a murder at the Home leads Henry to believe his father may have been framed.

Now, with the help of his kleptomaniac roommate, Jack, and a daring she-wolf named Fiona, Henry will have to venture deep into the heart of Dust City: a rundown, gritty metropolis where fairydust is craved by everyone and controlled by a dangerous mob of Water Nixies and their crime boss leader, Skinner.

Can Henry solve the mystery of his family’s sinister past? Or, like his father before him, is he destined for life as a big bad wolf?

Look at that cover. I normally don’t judge books by their cover, bu this one is just…well, it’s not pretty, but it’s certainly very striking. It almost looks like a movie poster, don’t you think?

Okay, the first time I saw this book online and in the bookstore, I wasn’t really sure I wanted it. I’m on a dystopia kick lately, see, and my eyes generally glaze over things that aren’t of that sub-genre. But after I read Chelle‘s review of Dust City, I decided that I want the book. Another sort of re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, with other fairy tale characters making appearances in the story? I’m sold! :)

I would have gotten this in Fully Booked last week if only (1) it’s not in hardcover (although lately I have been buying a bit more hardcover books) and (2) it’s wasn’t so expensive. Unfortunately, when I visited the store yesterday, the copy is gone. :(

Oh well. I can still wait.

Sixfold, Sevenfold

The Sevenfold Spell by Tia NevittThe Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt
Carina Press, 97 pages

Have you ever wondered what happens to the other people in the fairy tale?

Things look grim for Talia and her mother. By royal proclamation, the constables and those annoying “good” fairies have taken away their livelihood by confiscating their spinning wheel. Something to do with a curse on the princess, they said.

Not every young lady has a fairy godmother rushing to her rescue.

Without the promise of an income from spinning, Talia’s prospects for marriage disappear, and she and her mother face destitution. Past caring about breaking an arbitrary and cruel law, rebellious Talia determines to build a new spinning wheel, the only one in the nation, which plays right into the evil fairy’s diabolical plan. Talia discovers that finding a happy ending requires sacrifice. But is it a sacrifice she’s willing to make?

Out of all the Disney princesses, I find Princess Aurora a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty the prettiest. Maybe I’m biased because I like them blonde, and she seemed like the most poised, most elegant of them all. But that maybe because she slept for a hundred years, and it must be hard to move after lying down for so long. I mean, I find my back and bones stiff after I sleep for more than ten hours, what more hundred years.

Tia Nevitt’s retelling is by far the most unique one I’ve encountered of all retellings I’ve read so far. Instead of focusing on the main character, the author shifts the focus to the people we readers rarely focus on in a story, to some random person in the town. The usual faceless and nameless people in the crowds are put into spotlight in The Sevenfold Spell, putting quite a unique twist in the story of Sleeping Beauty.

This is a quick read, more of a novella than a novel. However, the first part of the book felt long for me. Terribly long, mostly because of all the sex. I wasn’t expecting that, really, but I was surprised to read that Talia would resort to that to cure her of her loneliness. Mind you, she didn’t really become a whore so she could earn money — she did it out of loneliness.

I can’t really question the motivations of the characters, given Talia’s situation. Reading this told me that I am pretty conservative with what I read, and I could only stand to read so much sex in one book before I feel sick of reading it. I’m not saying that they were pointless in the book — I got the point. It had some kind of bearing in the story that made the character grow, which was good. I liked how Talia eventually outgrew her need for physical intimacy, and instead focused on other more important things, like patching things up with her mother (who can’t get any other livelihood besides making thread using their spinning wheel —health care jobs are not so hot in their time). I just didn’t like reading about how Talia did it with Willard and how Talia seduced an old man to do it with her. Just not my thing.

Fortunately, the story picked up by the second half, and there was a surprising twist. The resolution felt a bit too easy, and too clean cut for my taste. I guess that’s where the author really meant to go, to a happily ever after ending. It is a fairy tale, after all.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad book. It’s just not for me, I guess. If I want another retelling, I think I’ll stick with Gail Carson-Levine and similar authors.

The Sevenfold Spell will be out on September 2010. Much thanks to NetGalley for the advanced reading copy ebook!

Rating: [rating=2]

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 71 out of 100 for 2010

My copy: ebook, Advanced Reading Copy from Netgalley

Cover & Blurb: Goodreads

Red Riding Hood strikes back

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Hachette Book Group, 336 pages

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris– the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax– but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they’ve worked for.

Twenty-five-year-old Jackson Pearce delivers a dark, taut fairy tale with heart-pounding action, fierce sisterly love, and a romance that will leave readers breathless.

There is something about a re-telling of an old, popular story that fascinates me. It started when a friend recommended Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, a re-telling of the book of Hosea from the Bible, and I’ve read a lot of contemporary young adult (YA) stories based on fairy tales–but not all re-tellings work. Some authors simply retell the story with different names and twists that have little impact on the story. However, for those that manage to infuse an old tale with originality, the result can be a clever and creative read. Such is the case with Jackson Pearce’s second book, Sisters Red.

The cover is very pretty, but don’t be mislead by it (and the fact that Pearce’s first novel was light and romantic): Sisters Red is not your ordinary fairy tale retelling. Pearce goes in an entirely different direction from her debut by writing a modern version of Little Red Riding Hood that is dark, dangerous, and quite violent. The novel starts with Scarlett and Rosie March as kids, when they first encounter a Fenris – a wolf who assumes the form of a handsome man, and who feeds on beautiful women. Scarlett kills the wolf to save her sister, but not without the Fenris killing their grandmother and leaving Scarlett scarred and blind in her right eye. Seven years later, the sisters, together with their childhood friend Silas, have devoted their lives to hunting these soulless beasts who continue to prey on other women. When the three of them realize that Fenris from different packs have started to hunt together, they know something was up: the Fenris are looking for the Potential, a possible new werewolf recruit. Scarlett, Rosie and Silas head out to the city to find the Potential before the wolves do. Scarlett is thrilled that she’ll be able to kill more Fenris; Rosie, on the other hand, is excited for an entirely different reason: she longs to spend more time with Silas, who has started to point her in the direction of jobs besides hunting, and toward a life resembling normalcy.

It’s brave of Jackson Pearce to put a dark twist to this fairy tale (although it must be pointed out that the original versions of Little Red Riding Hood were dark indeed). Click here to read the rest of the review.

Rating: [rating=4]

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 57 out of 100 for 2010

My copy: ebook, $9.99 from Amazon Kindle Store

Cover and Blurb: Goodreads

Sample Fridays (3)

Let’s start off Sample Fridays # 3 with…a logo! Yay!

Yes, it’s a play on Amazon’s logo and Kindle, since I get my samples from Amazon and I read it in Kindle (for iPhone). Hee.

Before I continue, just a sharing. I am still contemplating on getting a Kindle for myself since I seem to be reading ebooks more and more now. So last week, I was browsing and comparing the different ebook readers, namely, the Kindle, the nook, and the Kobo reader (thanks to Chachic for sharing the last one with me). I read reviews, weighed pros and cons and wondered if maybe, the other ebook readers are more worth it than Kindle. I was already leaning into the nook, but then it hit me:

  • I already bought books from Amazon.
  • If I get a nook, that would defeat the purpose of getting those books, right? I’d have to acquire them again.
  • I am really just an Amazon fangirl.

I still haven’t made a final decision, because I’m not even sure if I want to buy. The price drop in the readers ($189 for Kindle, $149 for nook WiFi and $199 for nook WiFi & 3G) made them even more tempting though.


But anyway. I’m not in a hurry. Onto the samples! Book covers and blurbs from Goodreads. :)

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

I got curious with Mandy Hubbard when I put You Wish in my WoW for this week. This seems like a fun, normal YA/chicklit/sorta fantasy since Callie ends up being in the past. I bet it’s a dream, though. I just wonder how much similarity this book has with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? I hope it has a lot, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin…

Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears a frightening whisper from Jessica’s own mind, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.

I finished reading the sample of this last night, and it left me wanting for more! It seemed like a really good story, and it has a lot of good reviews, too! The capitalization of words that refer to their gift/curse kind of threw me off while reading, though — I mean, if you can Hear Whispers, it’s kind of hard to ignore that, right? See what I mean?

Beauty Sleep by Cameron DokeyBeauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty by Cameron Dokey

The Princess Aurore has had an unusual childhood. Cursed at birth, Aurore is fated to prick her finger at the age of sixteen and sleep for one hundred years — until a prince awakens her with a kiss. So, to protect her, Aurore’s loving parents forbid any task requiring a needle.

Unable to sew or embroider like most little princesses, Aurore instead explores the castle grounds and beyond, where her warmth and generosity soon endear her to the townspeople. their devotion to the spirited princess grows as she does.

On her sixteenth birthday, Aurore learns that the impending curse will harm not only her, but the entire kingdom as well. Unwilling to cause suffering, she will embark on a quest to end the evil magic. The princess’s bravery will be rewarded as she finds adventure, enchantment, a handsome prince, and ultimately her destiny

Fairy tales! Beauty Sleep’s sample is charming, especially at the part where Aurore discusses how magic works in her world: “If you haven’t grown up here but come to live, one of two things can happen, of course: Either the magic leaves you alone, or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, it does the same thing to you as to the rest of us: It makes you more of what you are.

Three samples only, since I was pretty busy this week. :) More for next!

If you also sample in Amazon (or even in Barnes and Noble or other sites), what have you sampled lately? Share them in the comments and I’ll check them out!

OH AND DON’T FORGET! Feed by Mira Grant giveaway is still ongoing — if you haven’t entered, then what are you waiting for? :D

Sample Fridays (1)

NOTE: I’ve been thinking on how to organize this blog and add more content in this blog, so for the past week, I’ve been looking and reading about book blogging and taking note at what people do to their own blogs. So here’s something I thought of doing weekly, just to add more content in the blog. Yay. :)

I’ve mentioned it before here: I love sampling. Ever since Mina told me about sampling in Amazon‘s Kindle store, I’ve been sampling like crazy. I love that I can read the first few pages of the books to help me decide if I really want to read the whole thing. Sometimes blurbs can be misleading, and reviews, too. Sometimes we need to read the first few pages of the book to know if it’s worth reading, and we can’t always read them in a bookstore. What better way than in the convenience of an ebook reader? (Okay, wait, I’m not sure if that made sense :p)

Oh and did I mention? Samples are free. :D

So presenting…Sample Fridays! Every Friday, I’m going to post about five to seven samples I got from Amazon’s Kindle Store this week, to share what I’m eyeing and contemplating to get. Note that these aren’t unreleased books, since you can’t sample those yet, but books that I just spotted while jumping around in Amazon. :D All blurbs are from Goodreads. :)

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

I liked Tera Lynn Childs’ Oh. My. Gods. (review coming soon), and I just finished reading the sample earlier, and I kind of have a feeling how this would turn out, but I’m still curious, nonetheless. :) Plus, mermaids? That’s something I haven’t read before. I’m curious. :)

Violet Eyes by Debbie Viguié

When a storm brings the dashing Prince Richard to her family’s farm, Violet falls in love at first sight. Richard also gives Violet his heart, but he knows his marriage is destined to be an affair of state, not of passion. For the king and queen have devised a contest to determine who will win their son’s hand in marriage.

To be reunited with her prince, Violet must compete against princesses from across the land. It will take all of her wits – and a little help from an unexpected source – if Violet is to demonstrate the depth of her character and become Richard’s bride.

This is a retelling of the Princess and the Pea. I love retellings, and The Princess and the Pea is one of my favorite fairy tales. I’m curious at how this would fare. It seems like something I’d find in local bookstores though…maybe I should search around Fully Booked again. Reminds me a bit of Gail Carson Levine…don’t you think?

Donut Days by Lara Zielin

Emma has a lot going on. Her best friend’s not speaking to her, a boy she’s known all her life is suddenly smokin’ hot and in love with her, and oh yes, her evangelical minister parents may lose their church, especially if her mother keeps giving sermons saying Adam was a hermaphrodite.But this weekend Emma’s only focused on Crispy Dream, a hot new donut franchise opening in town, where Harley bikers and Frodo wannabes camp out waiting to be the first ones served. Writing the best feature story on the camp for the local paper might just win Emma a scholarship to attend a non- Christian college. But soon enough Emma finds the donut camp isn’t quite the perfect escape from all her troubles at Living Word Redeemer.

In a fresh, funny voice, newcomer Lara Zielin offers up a mesmerizing, fast-paced narrative full of wit and insight.

I saw this on one of the Teaser Tuesdays this week, and the title got me curious immediately. Plus isn’t that just the cutest cover? I read the sample this week, and I think it’s very interesting. I’m curious at how they’ll discuss the religion aspect here, especially with the female minister. I hope they tackled religion well here. Aaaand I think I’ll stay away from Krispy Kreme when I get to read this. :P Too tempting.

After the Kiss by Terra Elan McAvoy

This moment changes everything.Becca has been head-over-heels for Alec from the instant they met. He’s a brainy jock with a poet’s heart—in other words, perfect for her.

Camille is careful with her words and protective of her heart, especially since Chicago. Then a new boy in her new town catches her off guard with a surprise kiss.

Too bad that new boy is Becca’s boyfriend, Alec.

Camille and Becca have never met, but their lives will unravel and intertwine in surprising ways as they deal with what happens after the kiss.

Ah, good old contemporary YA. This sounds like those friends falling for their best friend’s boyfriend and stuff, but only, the two parties don’t know each other. Very, very interesting, and I hope the sample doesn’t disappoint.

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris– the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax– but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they’ve worked for.

Thanks to my friend Grace for telling me about Jackson Pearce (who is only two years older than I am, wow). I think this is also a retelling? I remember reading a story about Snow White and Rose Red…or is that a different one? Anyway, I’m curious about this, and I have a feeling that there’s a werewolf in this store. I’m reading Jackson’s As You Wish right now, and it’s been very enjoyable so far, and I think this will be a good one as well. Plus the cover’s really pretty. :)

So that’s it for this week’s samples. Have you read any of the books above? What do you think about them? Do you have any books you’d like to recommend for me to sample (and drool for? Haha).

Happy weekend, everyone!