Thursday, September 9, 2010

DBF or "How I Fangirled For Two Days & Didn't Get Kicked Out"

Last weekend I bribed convinced my husband to take me to the Decatur Book Festival. All I had to hear was the word "book" and I was sold, but then I found out that Rachel Hawkins and Cassie Clare would be there. I think my head might have exploded from the awesome. I also may have ordered a Hot Boys With Swords bag. And I may have convinced several authors to sign it. (Picture at the end of the post!)

Let me tell you: they all lived up to it. I couldn't believe how genuinely NICE all of the authors were! They were funny, they were insightful, and they were real. (I touched a few of them!!) (*fangirls*) See?

Me (Leigh), Myra McEntire, and Victoria Schwab taking a ninja-stealth-pic with Cassie Clare

Saundra Mitchell and Jessica Verday were absolutely adorable talking about what went into creating their fantasy worlds. (I mean adorable in the best sense of the word, by the way.) Saundra explained her not-at-all-creepy use of Google Maps Street View: she used it to pick the spot on the highway to make her fake town for Shadowed Summer.

Rachel Hawkins and Nancy Werlin were wonderful as they discussed their (sometimes different) views on paranormal literature. Rachel had a TON of perfect examples/quotes. She pointed out that Buffy took a normal teen experience ("I slept with my boyfriend and now he won't talk to me") and turned it into: "I slept with my boyfriend and now he wants to kill me." Nancy talked book covers for a bit, and about how even if a book cover doesn't fit a book (*cough* there's-no-cat-in-Hex-Hall *cough), that doesn't mean it's not a good cover. If you've read the book and can COMPLAIN that it's not right, then the cover did it's job. So, it was the right cover. Deep, no?

Also? Rachel let me touch her blue streaks. Because she is.. wait for it... AMAZEBALLS!

Rachel Hawkins, who says I didn't scare her off

Of course, I also got to listen to Cassie Clare read from CoFA and have her sign my book! AND my Hot Boys With Swords bag. She is every bit as awesome as you have heard, and she spent at least two hours sitting in the heat signing books. She deserves her #1 on the NYT bestseller list and THEN some.

"Team 'They Should Be Doing It" - Cassie Clare, "Yes!" - Nancy Werlin, and "Caspian FTW! HBWS + RH = 4-eva!" - Rachel Hawkins

But most of all? I just flat-out had fun meeting a TON of people who I recognized from the blog, from Twitter, and just from their general good-taste-in-books! Vania, who makes awesome book trailers, is so nice! (I've already decided I want her to do my headshot someday!) You should all watch out for these debut authors (who were so ridiculously sweet and I can't WAIT to read their books!): Myra McEntyre (Hourglass), Victoria Schwab (The Near Witch), and Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer).

In short? I loved it, loved them, and so incredibly lucky to have had the chance to meet everyone who was there. Book people ROCK!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Reading Rainbow: Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

I was recently tweeting with Julie Kagawa (and you know we love Julie around here!) and asked her what book she was planning on reading during her vacation. Vacation books are a big deal for me. I put so much importance on them that when Julie said she was thinking of reading Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel, I figured I would have to read it too.

From Goodreads:
Lenah Beaudonte is, in many ways, your average teen: the new girl at Wickham Boarding School, she struggles to fit in enough to survive and stand out enough to catch the eye of the golden-boy lacrosse captain. But Lenah also just happens to be a recovering five-hundred-year-old vampire queen. After centuries of terrorizing Europe, Lenah is able to realize the dream all vampires have -- to be human again. After performing a dangerous ritual to restore her humanity, Lenah entered a century-long hibernation, leaving behind the wicked coven she ruled over and the eternal love who has helped grant her deep-seated wish.

Until, that is, Lenah draws her first natural breath in centuries at Wickham and rediscovers a human life that bears little resemblance to the one she had known. As if suddenly becoming a teenager weren’t stressful enough, each passing hour brings Lenah closer to the moment when her abandoned coven will open the crypt where she should be sleeping and find her gone. As her borrowed days slip by, Lenah resolves to live her newfound life as fully as she can. But, to do so, she must answer ominous questions: Can an ex-vampire survive in an alien time and place? What can Lenah do to protect her new friends from the bloodthirsty menace about to descend upon them? And how is she ever going to pass her biology midterm?

Okay, so maybe you're thinking, "Another vampire book. Really?" But, wait! This is one of those vampire stories that turns the tables, and I loved it for that. You won't get the "Oh look! I'm a beautiful vampire with lots of money and my eternal life is so fabulous and don't you want to be me?" story here. Nope. Rebecca Maizel looks at the dark side of being a vampire. They cannot feel anything under their touch, they cannot cry without horrible pain, they feel desperate longing for human emotion, and any sort of human happiness inspires the need to inflict suffering. You won't find many friendly neighborhood vamps in this story. And, I liked that.

Now, that's not to say I liked the savage nature that Lenah had as a vampire. What I like is how this book explores the desire to be human and what exactly that means. It crosses the age-old story of a high-school crush with the story of a centuries old vampire queen. And it's wonderfully done.

The ending of this book left my jaw on the ground, but thankfully there is a chapter from the next book included, so you won't be left completely dumbstruck. And make sure you read the chapter - I almost feel like it could have been part of this book instead.

Have you read Infinite Days? Are you planning on adding it to your TBR list?