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Book Buzz

    Book Buzz: Forever

    I’m doing another “Where are they now?” Book Buzz post for a book that was released just over three months ago. As it was the final book in the series, I didn’t want to wait too long after release to see what people are saying.

    If you’re like me and love to avoid series ending books, this is a tough one to see end, but at least Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races is out now to keep you entertained.

    The Book:

    Forever is the final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, a paranormal young adult story written by Maggie Stiefvater. It was released on July 12, 2011.

    Loved it or Hated it?

    I loved it. Not the cuddly, happy smiles, warm fuzzies kind of love, but the haunted, pining, aching, hollowed-out kind of love. The kind of love where you feel like a part of you is torn away. Forever.

    The Early Buzz:

    I was definitely around for the early buzz, if not the earliest. But I was stalking this book long before it turned up at BEA, so I definitely feel like an early buzzer.

    Everyone was dying to find out just how the author would end this trilogy. Once the shock wore off that there would be no more Sam and Grace after this book’s release, people were desperate to find out if their story would have happy a ending or not. With the way Maggie Stiefvater wrote the previous two books, it was very much up in the air as to just how this book would end.

    Adding to the chatter was the book’s description. Talk about a teaser. Bigger stakes, wolves being hunted, lives in jeopardy and death right around the corner. That alone sent everyone into a mild panic.

    And when photographs from around BEA started showing up with those Forever ARCs in the hands of many a blogger, the excitement for this book and jealousy toward those who had one, grew pretty significantly.

    Fizzle or Sizzle:

    The overwhelming majority say “SIZZLE” with the biggest divide being about the ending.

    The Goodreads average comes in at 3.96 and Amazon comes in at 4 (since they don’t round).

    On Goodreads, 70% of the 10,265 people who rated the book were evenly split between 4 and 5 stars and 23% gave it 3 stars. Amazon had far fewer reviews, but the percentages pretty much broke down in the same way.

    Sizzle Buzz

    Beautiful writing. Poetic. Haunting. Realistic. Gut-wrenching. Heart-breaking. Bittersweet.

    Fizzle Buzz

    Slow pace. Anti-climactic. Character disconnect. Unresolved issues. Dissatisfying ending.

    What Happened?

    I hadn’t heard too much talk around the blogosphere about Forever, which has been out for just over three months, until the chatter started up for the recently released The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.

    As is inevitable with any new book by an author following a very popular series, comparisons will be made. Good or bad, they certainly help to bring the author’s writing into the spotlight. And so the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy is being talked about by bloggers once again.

    But the reviews have been consistently pouring in for Forever, even if the bloggers haven’t kept the chatter going. And the readers on Goodreads are still discussing that ending and the hopes for a Cole and Isabel spin-off.

    What’s Left to Buzz About?

    The ending. How can anyone who read this series not want to talk about the way the story ended. Whether you love it or hate it – and there were definitely a few who downright hated that ending – there’s a lot to talk about. And while the majority of people loved it, the detractors were right when they said there are things left unresolved.

    The characters. From the first book to the last, many readers fell in love with Sam and Grace. Their relationship was different, unusual and heartbreaking, but also filled with hope. Even for those who didn’t make that character connection, their relationship is still worth talking about, even if the conversation isn’t all positive.

    Then there’s Cole and Isabel, the secondary characters who play a large part in this last book. Whether readers love their story more than Sam and Grace’s or less, their story is one to buzz about.

    And of course there’s Beck. Throughout the series he was so deeply woven into the fabric of Sam’s life. And just as there was no Sam without Grace, there was no Sam without Beck, either. There are fans of the series who made their strongest connection with him and would love to keep the buzz on Beck still going.

    The writing. I don’t think there’s anyone who couldn’t continue the conversation about Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. Her writing is just that beautiful and different and haunting. Whether readers loved or hated the pace, they all are pretty clear in that they love her writing.

    Buzzworthy?

    Absolutely. Whether you loved or hated just how this series ended, there are still so many questions about the characters’ futures that will give readers plenty to buzz about.

    And the fact that this series was so unique – unlike any other werewolf tale – makes this truly stand out as a buzzworthy book.

    Buzz factors – A haunting and potentially heartbreaking love story. Beautiful, poetic writing. A tense build-up to a dramatic conclusion. And an end that isn’t quite “the end.”

    What do I say?

    This is a story and series that I loved. I am a huge fan of that ending, though at first I wasn’t. It took sitting with it for just awhile to make me fall in love. But regardless, I couldn’t wait to see what everyone thought of how it ended for Sam and Grace and for Cole and Isabel.

    The love-hate factor about that ending boils down to just how much unfinished business can the reader live with? As much as I hate incomplete endings, I don’t mind open endings. And this one, while for a moment it felt incomplete, it was actually simply just open-ended. As is life.

    Because, no matter how a series ends, even if it’s wrapped up in a perfect bow, once it ends there will always be things left up in the air. Unless the author writes more, we’ll never know what happens that next day to the characters. They could get trampled by a herd of elephants for all we know. Nothing is certain. But in Forever there was nothing so disquieting that readers will toss and turn and lose sleep. (Not like that ending to Demonglass.)

    I say this book, and especially this series, is one I will remember for a long, long time. And I can’t wait for the chance to read all three books in a row, to experience it without that long wait in between each read where I become distanced from the story and have to fall in love all over again.

    But if you’d like to know what I really thought, here’s my review for Forever.

    Buy it, borrow it, pass on it?

    For this book, I say it depends on whether you’ve started the series or not.

    If you have read only Shiver or both Shiver and Linger you have to follow this series to its end. And I say “BUY IT.” Complete that collection. Even if you may not end up loving the very end of this book, it is far more unfinished if you stop after book one or book two.

    If you haven’t started the series, go into it with the understanding that the word is unique, the writing is beautiful, the pace can be slower than in other stories, you may not make a connection with the characters and the series will have a somewhat open ending. So, for those of you who haven’t read the first book yet, I say “BORROW IT.” If you love the first book, then you have to read this story to its end and then I say “BUY IT.”

    But what do you think?

    ***

    Any item related to this book is up for discussion. Just because I haven’t mentioned it here doesn’t mean you can’t bring it up in the comments.

    And feel free to discuss any points of interest from reviews that you’ve seen and would like to talk about. But please talk about them in general terms and don’t point out specific reviews unless they are my reviews or your own.

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    Book Buzz: A Touch Mortal

    This time on Book Buzz, I decided to do a “Where are they now?” post for a book that was released just over six months ago and is at the midpoint between the first book’s release and the second.

    If it’s still on your TBR pile you should check it out, so you can see for yourself whether this is a book to be buzzed about and whether it’s time to start buzzing about book two, due out in February.

    The Book:

    A Touch Mortal is a paranormal/urban fantasy young adult novel written by Leah Clifford. It was released on February 22, 2011.

    Loved it or Hated it?

    Loved it. Deeply, darkly and intensely. Possibly verging on book obsession. The cover caught my eye. The description drew me in. Life and death. Heaven and Hell. Darkness. Betrayal. Cliffhanger. Hit all the right notes. Loved it so much it turned me into an official book stalker.

    The Early Buzz:

    I wasn’t a super early buzzer, but I joined the buzz well before this book’s release.

    First came the cover buzz. Everyone was talking about how riveting and utterly captivating it was. From the pink highlights to the single, focused, bright blue eye, everyone wanted to know more about this girl and who she was in this upcoming debut novel.

    Then it turned to intrigue about the description. Talk about a brilliantly written description. Anyone who’d seen it couldn’t help but fall victim to its lure. Fallen angel? Check. A deadly power? Check. A dark future for the main character? Double, triple check.

    Just these two simple items were enough to whip up the frenzy for this book. Add to this the author’s presence on YouTube, Twitter, on her blog and around the web and the frenzy would not die down.

    Fizzle or Sizzle:

    The majority say “SIZZLE” but the readers are divided. And this time it’s into three groups: Those who loved it from beginning to end; those who loved the second half; and, those who just didn’t love it.

    The Goodreads average comes in at 3.5 and Amazon’s at 4 (since they don’t round). But according to Goodreads’ rating details, over fifty percent of the readers who rated the book gave it four or five stars.

    Sizzle Buzz

    Phenomenal. Dark and twisty. Original. Fantastic characters. Heartbreaking. Fast-paced. Killer ending.

    Fizzle Buzz

    Character disconnect. Complicated opening. Insta-love. Confusing first half. F-bombs. Suicide.

    What Happened?

    At the six month mark this book is still being talked about. The chatter really never died down completely. From the author’s constant online presence to word of mouth, loved or hated, this book is still part of the chatter and continues to make its way into the readers hands even if it can’t be found on every store’s bookshelf.

    New readers are just as divided as those who grabbed it on or around release date, but there are new readers. With such a wild swing between those who gush and those who don’t, there are readers who aren’t relying on the ratings and/or reviews and are opting to make the choice for themselves.

    And as we’re at the midpoint between the first book and the second, the buzz is getting louder from those in the majority who said it sizzled. And once again the cover reveal got people talking. No longer is the cover model facing forward, no longer are the highlights pink. What does it all mean?

    What’s Left to Buzz About?

    The ending. The overwhelming majority of readers have said the action really picks up in the second half of the book and continues to build. Right up to that unbelievable ending. The ending that left everything in uncertainty. The ending that left readers speechless, shocked and in dread of what might happen next. There is just no way to avoid buzzing about a book with an ending like this one.

    The possibilities. With such a complex world that author Leah Clifford created, the door was left wide open for speculation and seemingly endless possibilities for the characters’ futures and the plot’s development. And with so many directions this story could take, it’s really no surprise the buzz goes on.

    The characters. Every single one of the main characters has a very distinct personality. Even though the story’s premise was the initial draw for readers, it’s the characters that made them read on. From the darkness in each of them, to their abilities, their flaws and their charms, or lack thereof, each one of these characters is undeniably memorable.

    The sequel. Whenever a book is written as part of a series and it contains a nice little cliff to hang from, it is inevitable that the sequel will be buzzed about. And the closer it gets to release date for that next book, the louder the chatter will be, as the excitement over finally getting answers becomes more than a distant hope.

    Buzzworthy?

    Most definitely. Having such a large chasm between supporters and detractors alone would make this book buzzworthy. Add in a potentially controversial subject (suicide), and the 67 F-bombs that were dropped, and no matter whether you’re a fan or part of the opposition, there’s a lot to talk about.

    Buzz factors – Not one, but two, strong female characters, a dark premise, a shocking betrayal, a twisty-turny plot, a love story, a cliffhanger ending that borders on cruelty to readers, and some unusual but wicked cool powers. Heck yeah, there’s enough to keep this buzz going well beyond the second books’ release.

    What do I say?

    Fan-freaking-tastically cool.

    Every single sentence in the description grabbed hold of me. I just knew that this would be my kind of book. And I was forever ensnared from the moment that Eden said goodbye to happily-ever-after.

    As much as I like my books warm and fuzzy and filled with sunshine, I find that I really connect to, and fall in love that much more deeply with, books with a bit of an edge. And there were all sorts of edges in A Touch Mortal.  Sharp ones at that.

    I instantly fell in love with Az and Kristen, and even Gabe. My connection to Eden took just a little while longer. But it was after I finished reading it the first time that I started falling for Luke. And the more time I spend with this book, the more of a connection I feel to him.

    Yes, this is one of my favorite 2011 debuts. My love for this book went so far beyond cover love that as gorgeous as it is, it doesn’t hold a candle to what’s between the covers. I did manage to read this book three times so far, so yeah, I love this book.

    And with everything this story had to offer, I found that I did not walk away unscathed. I will be forever stalking each new book’s release in this series and hoping for more than just a trilogy.

    Will this book be one for everyone? No. But most books aren’t. And this one isn’t trying to be. Not everyone will feel that same connection to the characters that I do. But there are those that will.

    Not everyone will feel comfortable with the amount of language liberally peppered throughout this story. I actually hadn’t really noticed until it was pointed out to me.

    And still others may feel that the way suicide is incorporated into this story is not something they want to read about. And they have every right not to.

    But if you really want to know just what I thought, here’s my review for A Touch Mortal.

    Buy it, borrow it, pass on it?

    For this book, I say it depends.

    If you love dark stories, complex plots, seriously cool abilities, strong female main characters, heartbreak, brilliant writing and a world unlike any other you’ve experienced, then I say “BUY IT.”

    If you don’t like violence, are squeamish about talk of suicide and death, hate cliffhanger endings, think that the number of profanities was too over the top for you to get past, then either “BORROW IT” if you think it’s still worth a try, or “PASS ON IT.” Because even with countless glowing reviews, if these are things that will take away from your reading experience, then it might be best just to take a pass.

    But what do you think?

    ***

    Any item related to this book is up for discussion. Just because I haven’t mentioned it here doesn’t mean you can’t bring it up in the comments.

    And feel free to discuss any points of interest from reviews that you’ve seen and would like to talk about. But please talk about them in general terms and don’t point out specific reviews unless they are my reviews or your own.

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    Book Buzz: Starcrossed

    Back with another Book Buzz post. I decided to skip the Early Buzz post this week in favor of keeping the buzz going for a book that I absolutely adore.

    Not that there isn’t plenty of buzz for this book still going on, but I’m hoping enough readers have discovered the book by now that they want to keep talking about it too!

    The Book:

    Starcrossed is a young adult novel written by Josephine Angelini. It was released on May 31, 2011.

    Loved it or Hated it?

    Loved it. Loved it so much I had to read it twice. Because reading about Helen and Lucas just once was not enough. I’m all about the character connection and I made an instant connection with the two mains. Big time.

    The Early Buzz:

    The very first bit of buzz I heard about this book was about the cover. Everyone had instant cover love. I don’t think I’ve heard one bad word about the gorgeous cover for the U.S. edition.

    Then came the talk about it being a retelling of the Greek myths. When the buzz started on this book it was still early days for this trend. So everyone was talking. They couldn’t wait to get their hands on this story that promised a modern day look at the Greeks. After the success of the Percy Jackson books, readers couldn’t wait to discover a story with a female main character.

    But what seemed to excite everyone the most was the idea of a tragic love story. Star-crossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet, Edward and Bella. This book was going to have it all for fans who missed those sparkly vamps, who sigh at the idea of eternal love, and who believe that in books true love only exists if the characters are willing to give up their lives for the one they love.

    Fizzle or Sizzle:

    The majority say “sizzle.

    Starcrossed has two camps. Those who love it, and those who don’t. The “love it’s” are the largest group. According to Goodreads, Starcrossed’s average rating is currently 4.16 stars and on Amazon it’s coming in at 4 stars. (Amazon doesn’t round.)

    The sizzle buzz: Addictive, enchanting characters, strong heroine, swoon-worthy hero, twists and turns, cover love, the mythology.

    The fizzle buzz: Insta-love, too long, slow beginning, narration/writing style, Helen, too similar to the Meyers books.

    What Happened?

    As always, time passes. At a month past release date the blogger buzz has died down. But the reader buzz is still going strong.

    As word of mouth spreads, which seems to be overwhelmingly positive, more and more readers are picking up this book. It’s pretty hard to miss on the shelves. The cover is beautiful and at least in the stores I’ve been to, it has prominent shelf and table placement.

    It will be interesting to see if the buzz on this book lasts until the early buzz starts for the next book. With the book tours, author signings, publisher’s marketing and publicity efforts, and with that torturous cliffhanger ending, it just might happen.

    What’s Left to Buzz About?

    The main characters. Lucas…and Helen. While this book has so much more, first and foremost it’s all about them. The two ill-fated lovers, with a destiny that’s beyond their control. How tragic and awesome is that?

    The love story. It may not start out as one, but the early intensity is electrifying. And volatile and different. And the wait for it to turn from hate to love is of the “hold your breath until it happens” variety.

    The twists and turns. And there are quite a few. They keep this story exciting. They leave you on edge and keep you guessing as to what will happen next.

    Buzzworthy?

    Absolutely. It’s got all the makings of a book and series that will be extremely popular – a tragic love story, a strong female main character, a super-hottie male love interest, surprise twists, a cliffhanger ending, an elaborate world, a variety of characters including a feisty best friend, and much still to be revealed about their enemies and their fate.

    What do I say?

    This book is ultra crush-worthy. I loved how the mythology formed the basis for this tale. I loved each and every twist and turn. But it was ultimately the characters that made this story an off-the-charts read for me. I adore Lucas and Helen. And I so totally love Hector.

    Too long? No. I didn’t even notice the book’s length. Not with either of the two reads. Length was not a problem for me.

    Similarities? I’m not blind. If I strip this story down as others have, I can see the comparison to that other series about vampires. But I didn’t feel like I was reading those other books when I read this one, aside from when I read the initial discussions about their wealth and the remoteness of their house.

    But when I was reading that other series, I ended up making comparisons to the classics that were referenced in each book. Yet in this series, probably because I’m not as familiar as I should be with the Greek myths, I didn’t feel as if I was reading a copy of a classic tale. If you want to know just what I thought, here’s my review for Starcrossed.

    Buy it, borrow it, pass on it?

    Buy it, buy it, buy it! How could you not want that gorgeous book on your shelf. Oh yeah, and it’s a must read and great start to this new series.

    ***

    Any item related to this book is up for discussion. Just because I haven’t mentioned it here doesn’t mean you can’t bring it up in the comments.

    And feel free to discuss any points of interest from reviews that you’ve seen and would like to talk about. But please talk about them in general terms and don’t point out specific reviews unless they are my reviews or your own.

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    Early Buzz: If I Die

    Book Buzz is back again this week with another “Early Buzz” edition. This one may be too early to buzz about, as those receiving their copies at BEA may be holding off until closer to release date before jumping in, but I just couldn’t resist.

    And, perhaps those who have a copy might want to pick this one up sooner just so that they can start buzzing, because I think this installment in the series will definitely create a frenzy.

    The Book:

    If I Die is the fifth book in the Soul Screamers series written by Rachel Vincent. It will be released on September 27, 2011.

    Loved it or Hated it?

    Loved it. Did not expect to fall in love this deeply five books into a series. I mean, the honeymoon has ended. We’ve been together for four previous books and two novellas, you think the love would have plateaued. That’s what I thought would have happened by now. I expected it. But, oh I fell in love all over again and about fifty times harder.

    The Early Buzz:

    I think I’m part of the super early buzz on this one. The book won’t be out for three-and-a-half months. I think by September I’ll even have forgotten that I wrote the review and will think there’s a brand new book coming out.

    But there is a fair amount of buzz for the book. And I certainly hope to do my part in adding to it. Most of it, though, is pre-read book buzz, although I have stalked and found a few reviews.

    What’s the pre-read buzz been about?

    Everyone’s wondering what is going to happen in this book. There is a lot of speculation.

    Will Kaylee forgive Nash? Will Kaylee and Tod hook up? And if they do, how will that happen? Will Sabine continue to be a problem? Will Sabine and Nash hook up? Will someone die? Will it be Kaylee?

    What’s the post-read buzz been about?

    I have stalked the Internet looking for reviews and there are only just a few that I found, but they are all super enthusiastic.

    Some say this is the best one of the series. Some have simply just gushed. Others recognize that some readers will be happy and others won’t be so happy with the outcome.

    And of course to add in my own chatter, I will say this is my favorite book in the series. Unbelievable isn’t even a good enough word to describe it. I had about twenty OMG moments when reading this, a few panic moments, a few tearful moments, about a million sighs and my heart definitely skipped a few beats.

    Fizzle or Sizzle:

    This one has got sizzle. And not just from some of the H-O-T scenes. Love it or hate it, this is going to be one book that will be talked about. Over and over and over again.

    Buzzworthy?

    Heck yes. There are so many things in this book to buzz about. The author has taken this series to a completely new level. Not common so far into a series. That alone makes this buzzworthy. But you guessed it, there is so much more, or I wouldn’t be creating this post.

    Buzz factors – shocks, surprises and twists and turns that will throw you for a loop; tension that will keep you tied in knots; a whole lotta love and some pretty steamy eyebrow raising scenes; all leading up to an ending that will keep you breathless until the very last page.

    Is There Buzz Longevity?

    Oh yeah. The buzz might even sustain until the sixth book in the series. There is just that much to buzz about, even without a major cliffhanger at the end.

    Already going into this book the buzz that’s been following this series around since the beginning hasn’t been quiet. After this book, there’s no way the buzz won’t last until long, long after its release.

    This series has a few things that many don’t – the books just keep getting better, the tension gets more palpable and the love-hate relationship readers have for the two male characters will keep the debate raging as to who is the better boy for the heroine.

    So, even this early on I will predict that this one’s going to be buzzed about for a super long time.

    ***

    For those of you who are fans of this series, what are you buzzing about?

    What do you think about Nash? Tod? Sabine? Where would you like to see this series go?

    Is this book buzzworthy for you? I would love to know!

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    Early Buzz: Wildefire

    Instead of the typical “Book Buzz” post this week, which I had planned on skipping due to the Armchair BEA posts, I thought I’d do an offshoot of my typical Buzz post called “Early Buzz.”

    In lieu of talking about a book that has already been released and fallen out of the spotlight, I thought I’d add to the frenzy for a book that is already being buzzed about that is soon to be released.

    And, of course, for my very first “Early Buzz” post what else could I choose but Wildefire by Karsten Knight. Since I’ve already read and reviewed (but not published) it, and since it’s now available for many on Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab, it’s the perfect time to add to the buzz. (And yes, I always planned on using man-genta for the paragraph headers.)

    The Book:

    Wildefire is a paranormal young adult novel written by Karsten Knight. It will be released on July 26, 2011. It will be the author’s debut novel.

    Loved it or Hated it?

    Loved it. The head-over-heels, steamrolled, shot by Cupid kind of love. I have had such a mad crush on this book for the longest time, I just knew when I met it, I would fall in love. And I did. It was epic.

    The Early Buzz:

    I wasn’t part of the very earliest buzz for this book, but with just under two months left until release date, I’m happy to be a part of the somewhat early buzz for it.

    Now that I’ve read it, twice, and written my review (which is still under wraps), I have officially stalked several other reviews to see what the buzz has been about this book.

    What’s the consensus? The majority love it.

    What’s the love buzz been about?

    They, like me, think Ash is totally kick-a** – snarky, sarcastic, fierce.

    The story is unique – no confusing this book with any other in the genre.

    This one’s got diversity – and it’s not just Ashline, the lone character with different ethnicity. Nope, these characters span the globe.

    It’s gripping – the action will keep those pages turning.

    The writing – poetic, beautiful, amazing.

    The ending – talk about a killer ending. And for anyone who’s read this book to the very last page, that’s what they’re still talking about and possibly ready to slay the author for. Killer.

    What’s the dissent?

    The violence. So far, it seems the main reason for those who haven’t taken part in the Wildefire love fest has been the violence.

    Yes, this one starts off with a bang, or more like a punch. The bang comes later. Ash is no delicate flower, no wilting violet, and this story is not all warm and fuzzy or filled with sweetness and light. It’s got action, violence, and some seriously bad-a** characters with some way cool but scary powers. So, those who are turned off by this element in a story may have a tougher time falling in love.

    No connection with Ash. She’s no easy girl to connect with. She’s snarky, more than a little scary, and is not someone you’d ever imagine giving a hug to without worrying about getting a smack back. But she is real and sympathetic and not completely invulnerable.

    Fizzle or Sizzle:

    Hello sizzle. This is Wildefire after all. I say this one will burn baby burn. It is totally hot. Molten lava kind of hot.

    Buzzworthy?

    Definitely. Buzz, buzz. As if the cover weren’t enough to buzz about. Talk about a gorgeous cover. Seriously, I’d love to talk about it. I cannot wait to get my hands on a finished copy of this book.

    Buzz factors – a kick-a** heroine, the writing is to-die for, the gods and goddesses are wicked cool, the ending is killer, the action is fierce, and that giant heap of sarcasm just keeps on giving.

    Is There Buzz Longevity?

    I think so. I don’t think Wildefire will burn out any time soon. It’s an absolute powerhouse of a debut novel. It’s a story with substance, stellar writing, a strong female lead character and equally strong secondary characters – both male and female. The world is definitely unique, with a new take on this genre and with refreshingly different personalities, backgrounds and abilities in each of these characters that the author has created.

    ***

    So, for those of you who have read, are reading, or want to read this book, what do you think?

    Is this book Buzzworthy for you? I would love to know!

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    Book Buzz: Before I Fall

    As this is now the third “Book Buzz” post on the blog I thought I’d leave off all the background information and get right to the book I want to buzz about. If you are new here, feel free to check out one of the older “Book Buzz” posts under the category by the same name, or check the features list on the About page for more information..

    And so, without further ado…

    The Book:

    Before I Fall is a contemporary young adult novel written by Lauren Oliver. It was released on March 2, 2010.

    Loved it or Hated it?

    Loved it then. Loved it afterwards. Love it now. The ending…oh, the ending.

    The Early Buzz:

    I wasn’t part of the early buzz for this story. I happened upon it one day last fall when I started reading contemporary YA books. But, I was around for the second round of buzzing, right before the author released Delirium, which is the first book in a planned trilogy.

    Everyone was talking about what a phenomenal author Lauren Oliver is. They compared this book with her newly released dystopian novel. The buzz about Before I Fall was that although this story was categorized as a mean girls story, the level of the writing was so much better and the story had much more depth.

    Fizzle or Sizzle:

    Sizzle? Try smoking hot. The reviews are still coming in for this book as people continue to discover it. Those newly introduced to Lauren Oliver when they read Delirium of course realized what a talented author she truly is and just had to read this first book with its haunting and beautiful cover.

    It still has prime shelf placement and this came out over a year ago. Every single time I walk past the contemporary young adult section in Barnes & Noble I gravitate toward this book, which is kept, face forward, on an eye-level shelf.

    What Happened?

    Not a thing. This book is still being talked about. I just love this book so much that I want to keep that conversation going here on the blog. As a blogger I haven’t yet chatted this book up with anyone, but I’m dying to.

    This is one of those books that definitely has longevity. The subject matter will stand the test of time and can be read years down the road by a completely different group of young adults who will be just as connected to the story as the young (and not so young) adults reading it today.

    What’s Left to Buzz About?

    The writing. It’s rare to see someone with as much maturity in their writing from the beginning of their career as Lauren Oliver does. Even looking at Stephen King’s early works you can see just how much he grew over time. I would never have guessed Before I Fall was written by a first-time author. Never in a million years. Her writing is amazingly beautiful, her passages haunting and by the end of every single book you will feel like you are drowning.

    The ending. This book is all about the ending. Some may say it’s about the journey, but from the beginning you just know that there will be this ending. The author sets up the book that way. And even though you follow the journey, you still hope it might lead you one place, but you know it will lead you somewhere else entirely.

    Buzzworthy?

    More than buzzworthy. Award worthy. It’s one of those books that you can see being recommended to young readers years down the road. It’s all about redemption and the choices you make and about what truly is important in life.

    ***

    Any item related to this book is up for discussion. Just because I haven’t mentioned it here doesn’t mean you can’t bring it up in the comments.

    And feel free to discuss any points of interest from reviews that you’ve seen and would like to talk about. But please talk about them in general terms and don’t point out specific reviews unless they are my reviews or your own.

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    Book Buzz: Demonglass

    As I recently announced in my “Random Thoughts” post, I am starting a new feature here on the blog called “Book Buzz.” It will be a weekly or bi-weekly post in which a “buzzworthy” book will be up for discussion.

    All information in these posts will be my opinions and observations. I do not claim to be an expert, nor do I claim to be all-knowing, these are simply my thoughts and things I’ve observed.

    I would like this to be an open discussion. All viewpoints are welcome as long as they do not contain inappropriate language for readers of all ages. And all opinions should be respectful and they should be respected. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and no one opinion is more important than another. Critical, differing or challenging opinions are always welcome, being insulting or nasty to an author or other commenter is not and those comments will be removed.

    If you would like to buzz about a book on your site, please leave a link to your post in the comments so that I or other readers can visit your blog and participate in your discussion.

    So, without further ado, here is this week’s “Book Buzz.”

    ***

    The Book:

    Demonglass is the second book in the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins. It was released on March 1, 2011. Not too long ago, yet it seems like forever.

    Loved it or Hated it?

    Loved it. Loved the first book in this series. Loved this one ten times as much. Easily. And the ending? Killed me. Absolutely killed me.

    The Early Buzz:

    It seems like everyone was talking about this sequel months before it came out. It was actually all the chatter that got me to finally pick up the first book, which I’d owned for awhile, and start reading.

    People were excitedly tweeting about this cover and then about the fact that they managed to land advance copies. I was not one of those people, so I was in that “anxiously awaiting” group.

    I did not see this one on NetGalley so only those who got the ARCs in the mail had a chance to start the early buzz on this. And there was a ton of early buzz.

    Fizzle or Sizzle:

    Sizzle. Or pretty close. The reviews continued to pour in for weeks after its release. Perhaps it’s because of the limited number of ARCs, but everyone couldn’t wait to start reading Demonglass and when they did, you could hear the shrieks for miles about that cliffhanger ending. Oh, that Rachel Hawkins is a devil!

    Even now, over two months after release there are copies available in a few of my local bookstores and not hidden on the lower out-of-the-way shelves, but at eye level. Great shelf placement. But that’s pretty typical for books that sizzle.

    What Happened?

    Nothing early on. Demonglass had its moment to shine. As with most books, time moves on, people move on to the next hot book, and our favorites move to the back of the line awaiting the next release by the author or a sequel if one is forthcoming.

    When it gets closer to the release of the third book in the series, or the release of this book in paperback format, the buzz will start all over again for the author and this series. No question.

    This was a sizzle book with a ginormous cliffhanger ending which will generate a lot of speculation and buzz as excerpts are leaked, sneak peeks are given and author tweets reveal tidbits to the fans.

    What’s Left to Buzz About?

    (Note: I loved this book and no one I know personally has read it, so I’ve been dying to dissect this story with anyone who wants to talk about it.)

    The Love Triangle. Well, for those who like a love triangle, there’s always the Cal versus Archer debate? Who is the better man for Sophie? Who’s hotter? Who’s the better hero? Who’s more honorable? Who would we choose for her to end up with when the series closes?

    The Cliffhanger Ending. Medieval torture device or the perfect way to close out a book? Demonglass seems to have one of the most cruel cliffhanger endings for readers. Talk about being left hanging?!?

    The Big Move. The series is called Hex Hall but the majority of this story doesn’t take place at Hecate Hall. Was the move overseas a plus or a minus? Did it add dimension to the story or did it veer off from the original path so much so as to make this feel like a completely different series? If the series doesn’t return to Hex Hall, should it be referred to by another name like the Demon Chronicles?

    The Others. There were quite a few new and interesting characters added to the mix in this story. I do not completely trust them nor do I believe they should be trusted. Am I wrong?

    And of course Sophie. The sarcastic heroine. The girl who’s powers landed her at Hex Hall in the first place seems to find trouble no matter where she goes. Even in the quaint countryside of England. Do you love her? Want to throttle her? Probably a little of both, but she is definitely a character worth buzzing about.

    Buzzworthy?

    Heck yes. If you’ve checked out most of the reviews – well those that don’t detest a love triangle – they agree. This book is action-packed, addicting, entertaining, a total “wow” and an amazing follow-up to Hex Hall.

    I’m sad to see it leave the spotlight. I miss the characters, and in a perfect world I would be reading this book again soon, rather than biding my time until the third book in the series comes out next year. But sadly this is not a perfect world and so I have to accept the fact that the buzz will eventually quiet down on this book.

    But for now I want to keep it going just a little bit longer. But what do you think? Is Demonglass a book that’s buzzworthy? Does it deserve more time to shine, or has it had enough time in the spotlight and should now step aside and make room for the next great thing?

    ***

    Any item related to this book is up for discussion. Just because I haven’t mentioned it here doesn’t mean you can’t bring it up in the comments.

    And feel free to discuss any points of interest from reviews that you’ve seen and would like to talk about. But please talk about them in general terms and don’t point out specific reviews unless they are my reviews or your own.

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