Teaser Tuesday: The Dead of Night

teasertuesdays31 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week comes from John Marsden’s The Dead of Night, book #2 in the Tomorrow series.

In order not to spoil book #1 for those of you who haven’t read it, I will only quote a brief excerpt from School Library Journal just so you can get a feel of what the series is about.

A few months have passed since Ellie and six of her friends returned from a camping trip deep in the Australian outback to find their country invaded by an unidentified, non-English-speaking nation.

My teaser (which is the opening paragraph of the book and does not spoil book #1 either, for those of you who haven’t read it).

Damn this writing.  I’d rather sleep.  God how I’d love to sleep.  It’s been a long time since I had a peaceful night’s sleep.  Not since I went to Hell.  Since I went to that complicated place called Hell.

Book Review: Tomorrow, When the War Began

Tomorrow, When the War Began

John Marsden


276 pages

Honestly, before you go any further, I would suggest not even reading this review.  Instead, you should just go out and get a copy of this book and start reading NOW.  It’s not the best literature around, by any means, but I promise you’ll be entertained.

Tomorrow, When the War Began is the story of some Aussie teenagers who decide to go camping in the Outback over school break.  They are gone for a week and the grouping is sort of odd.  Ellie and her friend invite five other teens that are somewhat of a mish mash.  They all get along—for the most part—and have a fun little getaway.  But then they go home.  And they discover a lot has changed since the left a week before!

The seven pull up in Ellie’s driveway to discover four of her dogs dead.  They are all chained up as usual, but for whatever reason, Ellie’s home has been deserted, to the point where the dogs died from neglect and starvation.  Ellie immediately realizes something has gone terribly wrong.  She and her friends rush off to investigate each of their own homes only to discover the same conditions—no humans and dead or dying animals.  The teens eventually realize that their families and friends are all being held hostage in the city.  Guards patrol the streets and try to capture, wound or kill anyone that has escaped imprisonment.  The friends retreat back to the woods but are torn between saving themselves or attempting to help those they love that have been imprisoned.

One interesting factor of the book is the idea that life goes on despite major upheavals such as the one Ellie and her friends have experienced.  They are all deeply worried and fearful of the new circumstances of their country, and yet they still are subject to basic human emotions.  Love is still blossoming despite the ordeal they are all dealing with.  Ellie, for one, is caught in a love triangle, and although she becomes a fugitive dealing with a sudden war on her country, she is still affected by love, lust and romantic tendencies.

If you are a fan of YA dystopian fiction, you will love this novel.  It kept me completely engaged—I read it in the span of a day and although it has been a week since I finished it, the excitement I felt while reading it has yet to wear off.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Other reviews:

Books and Movies

Bart’s Bookshelf

The Ya Ya Yas

Becky’s Book Reviews

Persnickety Snark


A Book Blog. Period.

Book Review: The Hunger Games

hungerThe Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

Scholastic Press

374 pages

I read The Hunger Games during Dewey’s 24 hour read-a-thon.  And I loved it.  But really–what could I possibly say about ti that hasn’t been said already?

First off, if you haven’t read The Hunger Games by now, you’ve at least heard of it, which leads me to believe that those of you who haven’t read it are actually pretty stubborn.  I was in the same boat.  I saw this book everwhere but kept telling myself that it wasn’t my schtick.  And then I got tired of being the odd man out.  So I bought it (along with Catching Fire) then waited anxiously for the read-athon because I wanted to save it and by then I had convinced myself I would absolutely love it.  And right I was!

Katniss Everdeen is a sixteen year old who lives in a world where the government subjects the population to a horrible tradition known as the Hunger Games.  Children from the age of eleven up until eighteen are chosen at random to compete in the games–two from each district.  Katniss belongs to the twelfth, and last district.  Hers is a district that has only ever won the games twice in over decades and decades, so the district is filled with hopelessness and shame.  Although they are supposed to act celebratory during the tribute ceremony, where the tributes (ie the two competitors from disrict 12) are chosen, the mood is sullen and Katniss, along with her peers, all fear that they will be chosen.  However, it is not Katniss but her younger sister Primrose who is chosen at random as a tribute, and suddenyl Katniss is forced to make a terrible decision.  She knows Primrose will die if she goes in.  But Katniss is equally convinced that she herself has no chance of winning the games.  Even so, she cannot fathom allowing her sister to compete, so she boldly offers herself up instead.  Katniss then begins the journey to the secret location of the Hunger Games, along with Peeta, the male tribute from District 12, where they first train and then begin the wretched game.  And thus begins the book . . .

I read that Collins got her inspiration from flipping back and forth on the TV between a reality TV show and war coverage.  Eventually, she said, it”began to blur in this very unsettling way”.  I found her remark to be very interesting.  It’s true that many times dystopic literature can be a heightened portrayal of current social situations.  And I think a lot of that can be seen in The Hunger Games.  For one, social standing still plays a large role.  The poorer you are, the more likely you are to be entered for the games because you receive charity if you about_the_author_image_01are willing to enter more than once–something Katniss has been forced to do.  The scare tactics used by the government in the book are also based on reality, although magnified to an extreme in this instance.  The Games are a way to force the people to see that they have no choice but to obey their government.  And obey they do–some districts even going so far as to believe that entering the Games is an honor.  These districts train their youth almost from birth so that they may be able to succeed if they are lucky enough to be given the chance at becoming a tribute.

The second book in this trilogy, Catching Fire, came out about two months ago.  I have it waiting in my TBR pile–hopefully I’ll be able to get to it soon.  There is also a third book, completing the trilogy, which is supposed to be released sometime next year.  From what I understand, Ms Collins is still writing it.  I can assure you though, I will be pre-ordering a copy as soon as I am able!

Collins is also adapting The Hunger Games for film, so that should be interesting.  I am not a movie person, in general, but I will make it a priority to see The Hunger Games on film once it comes out!

The Hunger Games counts toward the YA Dystopian Reading Challenge going on right now over at Bart’s Bookshelf!


Here are some reviews–once again, there are too many to list all of them.  However, if you have reviewed this book and would like me to post a link, just leave the link in the comments section of this post.

Hey Lady! Watcha Readin’?

Devourer of Books

Booking Mama

Books and Movies

Beth Fish Reads

Linus’s Blanket


Presenting Lenore

1 More Chapter

At Home with Books

S Krishna’s Books

Nose in a Book

The Zen Leaf

Bart’s Bookshelf

Fizzy Thoughts

Medieval Bookworm

Sunday Salon

TSSbadge1This week was a good one for me reading wise.  I read and reviewed five books.

Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill, by Maud Hart Lovelace

The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness

College Girl, by Patricia Weitz

Love the One You’re With, by Emily Giffin

Labor Day, by Joyce Maynard

Love the One You’re With was an audiobook and the only one on the list that I didn’t particularly care for.

I have now read 3/10 of the Betsy-Tacy books for the Maud Hart Lovelace Reading Challenge.  It runs through October 31, 2009 so I am sure I won’t complete them all by that time.  I wish the challenge were longer but I still plan to read them all, hopefully by the end of the year, challenge or no challenge.

I also joined the YA Dystopian Reading Challenge over at Bart’s Bookshelf.  I have quite possibly been more excited about this challenge than any other challenge to date.  It runs through the end of the year and the goal is to read between 1-4 YA dystopian novels.  My boyfriend was working all day yesterday so I stayed in bed all day and finished up The Knife of Never Letting Go.  It was fabulous (both the book and the staying in bed part).  If you haven’t signed up for this challenge yet, I urge you to do so.

dystopia_lgeSo now this week will be spent preparing for the read-a-thon.  It’s my first one and I’m really excited and a bit indimidated too.  I’m still figuring out my TBR pile and will be adding to it throughout the week.  Plus just trying to figure out the logistics of everything.  My boyfriend’s nine year old daughter will be with us so that should be interesting.  I am hoping to lock myself in my bedroom and let him entertain her for the day, although she has turned into quite the reader so I am sure she’ll participate with me for a little bit.  Other than that, I just need to stock up on coffee and snacks!

How are you preparing for the read-a-thon?

Book Review: The Knife of Never Letting Go

KnifeNeverLettingGo_82764sThe Knife of Never Letting Go

Patrick Ness

Candlewick Press

479 pages

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’ve likely seen this book on some other blogs.  It’s been doing the rounds a lot recently and I kept seeing it and thinking nah, not my thing.  But eventually, after seeing (almost) everyone raving about it, I figured I needed to pick it up at once.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the story of a boy named Todd Hewitt.  In a month’s time, he will be thirteen and thus considered a man in his village of Prentisstown.  Prenstisstown is inhabited by men only, all the women having died years ago.  Something else odd about Prentisstown?  The thoughts of every man are transparent.  Their thoughts are spoken aloud in what is referred to as Noise.  Now obviously, this is cause for concern, mainly for two reasons, the first reason being how would you like for everyone to know your thoughts?  I shudder at the possibility! The men have sort of discovered a way to conceal the thoughts that they want hidden by kind of tucking them away and putting more innocuous thoughts at the forefront, but still–it’s a bummer.  Plus, think of how loud it would be.  You’d never have any respite!  I know by reading some reviews that even some readers had a problem with the concept of the Noise and being distracted by it.  Imagine living with it!

The book opens with Todd being forced to flee Prentisstown with a girl he’s met named Viola, obviously not an inhabitant of the town as she is a girl.  Other than that, I won’t say much more, for obvious reasons.  Rest assured, however, that you’re in for an action packed adventure with this one.  This would be a book to choose for the facst moving plot as opposed to image5499literary quality.  In fact, the plot moves so quickly that that was another complaint I read in reviews regarding this book.  That didn’t bother me in the slightest.  With a book like this, I want my attention to be captured every second of the way and it was.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first book of Ness’s Chaos Walking series.  (Is it supposed to be a trilogy?  I’m not sure.) Anyway, the second book, The Ask and the Answer, is already out.  Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I rarely ever am so bowled over by the first book in a series that I have to immediately read the following book(s).  Even if it was a book I liked, I’m likely to take a break of at least a few weeks before continuing with a series.  I just prefer to wait awhile and with some books I never even continue on in the series, even if I enjoyed the first book.  But with The Knife of Never Letting Go, I got to the end and then cursed myself for not having the second book waiting.  I need to know what happens and I need to know NOW.  So what did I do?  Within five minutes of finishing the book, I reserved the second book from my library.  Likely it will arrive in time for the read-a-thon, so it could definitely be a contender.  Which reminds me, for those of you who think you’ll be reading this book, it is a great choice for the read-a-thon.

So there you have it–another rave review for The Knife of Never Letting Go.  It was a fun, fast paced read and if you’re looking for an action packed book that will captivate you, this one is a great choice.

It also counts towards the YA Dystopian Reading Challenge over at Bart’s Bookshelf.

dystopia_lgeFor more reviews:

Bart’s Bookshelf

Farmlane Books Blog


Vulpes Libris

YA Reads

Fantasy Book Critic

Regular Rumination

Jenny’s Books

things mean a lot


A Book Blog. Period.

Reading the Leaves

Torque Control

Persnickety Snark

Karin’s Book Nook

Killin’ Time Reading


books i done read

Bookannelid Book Reviews

The Page Flipper

The Zen Leaf

There are even more reviews out there but I think it would take me a day or two to list them all!

Another Challenge!

Well, I did it.  I signed myself up for another challenge.  I can’t help myself though.  This one looks like so much fun.


It is being hosted by Darren from Bart’s Book Shelf.  Darren has also posted a pretty big list of books for inspiration.

Here is the definition for dystopia:

Dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος, alternatively, cacotopia, kakotopia, cackotopia, or anti-utopia) is the vision of a society in which conditions of life are miserable and characterized by poverty, oppression, war, violence, disease, pollution, nuclear fallout and/or the abridgement of human rights, resulting in widespread unhappiness, suffering, and other kinds of pain. (Source: Wikipedia)

The rules are very simple.  Just choose between one and four YA dystopic novels and read them between October 15, 2009 and December 31, 2009.  Personally, I may read more than three but that’s my goal at this point.  My list is—

*The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness (I read the first few pages on Oct 14 but I am including it anyway!)

*The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

*Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins

I’m really enjoying The Knife of Never Letting Go, so there’s a good chance I’ll decide to read the second in that series, The Ask and the Answer.  I’ve also seen a lot of Meg Rosoff around so I’d love to read some of her books.  The Maze Runner looks good too.  And I read Uglies last year, so I may continue on with the other books in that series.

Are you joining this challenge?  If so, what are you reading?