Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (12)

This week's trailer is for Vixen, by Jillina Larkin.  Now I'm not usually a fan of historical fiction books, but wow, I love this trailer!



The music is gorgeous, the clothes are fabulous... I love the "snapshot" style of this video, and the way that everything comes together perfectly!  I think this might be my favorite book trailer I've seen in a while now.

(If you're interested in Vixen, it's coming out in December and is the first in a new series!)

Music Monday

So basically Music Monday is where I tell you about some awesome music that you really should listen to.

Dance Floor Anthem - Good Charlotte

Good Charlotte in general is a pretty great band, but this song is one of their best.  It's got an irresistable beat, irresistable lyrics, and just makes you feel good.

Bad Day - Daniel Powter

This song cheers me up every time I'm upset, without fail.  Enough said.

Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song) - Enrique Iglesias

So the lyrics don't make a whole lot of sense, nor are they exceptionally original... but this song is worth a listen (or three) just for the ping-pongs.  Seriously, I laugh every time I hear this song.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: The Last Song



Ronnie's parents divorced three years ago, and she's spent three angry, sullen years in Manhattan partying and making trouble.  And the summer before she turns eighteen, her mother decides it would be best for everyone if Ronnie and her little brother went to stay with their father, in remote Wrightsville, North Carolina, for a while.

Ronnie is outraged and resentful, determined to hate everything about her father and his town.  But as she slowly begins to open up, to her father and to her new friend Will, she starts to think that maybe, just maybe, she might have been wrong.  As she slowly falls in love with Will, she finds herself changing dramatically... and possibly for the better.

Entertainment: ★★

I'm not big on mushy romances.  And the mush and the romance is definitely here, and that's just not my kind of book.  Romantic mush-ness aside, Last Song is actually quite a decent book that I actually really enjoyed... at times. The non-mush times.

Plot: ★★★

Really, who hasn't read a similar plot line ten times before? Boy meets girl, boy and girl are of course soul mates forever, events conspire to try and push them apart... Kudos to Sparks for making an old plot line interesting, but there's no getting around the fact that it's just a little tired by now.

Characters: ★★★★

Now, I take issue with characters who lay eyes on another person and promptly announce to themselves, wow, I can't believe how gorgeous/amazing/etc they are. Obviously we are Soul Mates.  Especially when the characters are teens.

Putting that aside, however, the characters were fabulous.  They all had great dimensionality, and I really connected with all of them.  Even Marcus was a believable villain  and their interactions with each other were realistic and sweet without being sugary.  Overall I liked the characterization.

Writing: ★★★★

Sparks is a fabulous writer.  A little mushy at times, but overall fabulous.

End Result: three stars.  A decent book, but not amazingly excellent.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Life Is Good Award



Thank you so much, Mad Scientist!  Basically, you are amazing, and your blog is absolutely gorgeous.  It's too bad you gave me this award, because otherwise I would have given it to you.

Awardation rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2. Answer the 10 survey questions.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award.

Questions!

1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?

Welllll to be honest, Nova isn't my one hundred percent real name.  So I guess that makes me anonymous.  Yes, I'm happy being anonymous, although if anybody actually cared about this enough to track down my real name I wouldn't really mind either.  I guess I just don't really think it's that important. 

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:

In my freshman year, I decided I wanted to graduate high school in three years instead of four.  I've known several people who graduate college early, but nobody who chose to skip a year of high school.  This idea outraged many adults, who for reasons I don't really understand apparently felt threatened by my attempts to graduate early.  Anyways, I've worked hard, and here I am in my senior year, finishing my third year of high school.  It took a lot of stubborness - probably downright pigheadedness - but I did it.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?

I see a girl who's mostly happy with life, usually smiling, and (hopefully) going places.  No, make that (definitely) going places.

4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?

Honestly, water.  Ice water.  But I assume readers want something at least a little more entertaining than that, so my second-favorite drink is root beer.  The kind that comes in an old-fashioned glass bottle, because it tastes about ten million times better than plastic-bottled stuff.

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

I have a couple TV habits: Psych, White Collar, Caprica, and Bones, plus some British shows when I can watch them.  TV's my guilty pleasure.  I like to write, too, everything from blog posts to novels to short stories to poems.  And if I have enough time to myself, I go for a drive.  On the Interstate, windows down, radio up.  That's probably my single favorite thing to do, ever.

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?

I want to travel.  See the world.  Visit every country in the world, backpack, fly, hitchhike, take obnoxious tourist pictures, meet people, eat things that kind of gross me out, everything.  I'd also really like to make a documentary about my travels, because I like documentaries.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?

I don't really know what I am.  I spend all my time being lazy, reading or writing or goofing off instead of working, and I still get straight A's and most teachers love me.  So the people that are really into studying kind of hate me.  I'm not particularly outgoing, but I'm not at all shy either, especially when it comes to sharing my opinions.  Most people like me, and a lot of them listen to me, but I don't ever really do anything to take advantage of that.  I actually spent a while trying to figure out what sterotype I fit in to answer this question, and eventually gave up.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?

It's actually kind of boring: I was sitting around with some of my friends outside, we were drinking Cokes, just talking.  I have no idea at all, actually, why that memory stands out to me, but it's basically one of the happiest moments of my life.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

I don't understand this question, exactly.  I write basically all my posts about other people or events.  But that doesn't mean that I'm not sharing my true self.  I suppose it's easy for me to share my true self, because I've never really tried to hide my true self.  But I don't write ego-posts just talking about what I had for lunch, either; I write about books.  So I don't know what to answer here.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

Depends majorly on the book and the person.  Overall, I'd probably go with the book, mostly because I'm not a huge talker on the phone - texting or face-to-face is way preferable for me.

My turn to distribute the awards!

Krys, at Bibliopunkk 
Rowena, at The Book Scoop 
Cassandra, at Words On Paper 
Nely, at All About {n} 
Kare, at Epic Book Nerd 
Melissa, at I Swim For Oceans 
Everybody at Teens Read and Write 
Angela, at Reading Angel
Loretta, at Between the Pages
Jami, at YA Addict
Lady Reader and Peep, at Attack of the Book

You are all fabulous.  Enjoy your awards!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge (My First Challenge!)



I've decided to participate in my very first book blog challenge!  The 2011 Debut Author Challenge, hosted over at The Story Siren, is a challenge to read 12 books by debuting YA authors in 2011.

I haven't decided which books I'll be reading yet, but I'm already excited!  Wish me luck on my first challenge!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


And if you are not in the US, HAPPY THURSDAY!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday (10)



This week, I'm looking forward to Darkest Mercy!  I loved Wicked Lovely and its sequels.  Darkest Mercy sounds like another excellent installment - I've seen a couple five-star reviews around the blogosphere - and hello, gorgeous cover!

Darkest Mercy will be coming out in February... I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (11)

I discovered this week's trailer through Random Buzzers, and I liked it so much I had to share it here.



First of all, a book trailer that actually takes place in the pages of a book?  Pretty cool!  Plus the special effects - the animated-sketches feel - was really interesting and new.  After seeing this trailer, I'm pretty sure I want to read this book!  What do you guys think of this trailer?

(Also, The Emerald Atlas also has a lovely website here, if you want to know more!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Music Monday

So basically Music Monday is where I tell you about some awesome music that you really should listen to.

This City Is Contagious - The Cab

From a purely lyrical standpoint, this song is beautiful - the words, the metaphors, the meaning.  "We'll bring neon to its knees" is quite possibly my favorite line of all time.  Although "You're hearing more than sound" runs a close second.  Anyways, if you are only ever going to look up one song from my Music Monday posts, this should be it.


Weightless - All Time Low


If you've ever felt, as they put it, "stuck in a rut," this one's for you.  It's for anybody who's ever wanted to get out there and live life and be free.  I know I've felt that way and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in wanting to be weightless.

Share the Well - Caedmon's Call

This song's a little - okay a lot - out of my usual genres.  And I'll admit I didn't like it much at first.  But when you listen to the lyrics, it's actually kinda beautiful.  Also, the funky music I can't really categorize is kind of growing on me.  I have a feeling this song won't appeal to a lot of people, but it's got a great message that's really worth sharing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Review: Drop



Sanjay needs the money so he can get out of the tiny, barely-getting-by family store. He wants to make it big.

Kat just needs the money to run. Her mother's getting out on parole soon and that's going to force Kat to face her mistakes.

Jerrica doesn't care about the money, she just wants to learn more about her psychic, or psychotic, ability to predict cards.

All of them need to beat the house... but can anyone be lucky forever?

Entertainment: ★★★★

Drop is really short - 169 pages in the hardback - but it packs a pretty big punch for such a little package. And that cover - can you say gorgeous?

Plot: ★★★

No big surprises or twists in Drop, and Jerrica's weird premonition things confused me a lot. But I liked the ending; it's not that sticky candy-sweet scene you'd expect, but still somehow hopeful.

Characters: ★★★★

Some were better than others, but I'd say they average out to be pretty good overall. Sanjay, in my opinion, was a little flat and obnoxious. But Kat and Jerrica made up for him easily.

Writing: ★★★★★

Let me just say, Papademetriou has this wonderful ability to throw in a beautiful but totally unexpected metaphor at just the right time. She also handles flashbacks/memories with much more tact and grace than many writers. She's quite talented, if you ask me.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Follow Friday Blog Hop!

Hi, blog hoppers! Welcome to novapsych!


Book Blogger Hop


Follow Friday Question: How long have you been book blogging?

Since August. It feels like way longer, but I'm actually only in my fourth month!  It's lots of fun so far. I love writing reviews and I just had my first author interview!

Blog Hop Question: Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, let's use this week's Hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our holiday traditions are!

Holiday traditions... I don't think I really have any, except enjoying the day (and the food!) with family at my grandparent's house.

What I'm most thankful for?  Oh, man, that's a long list.  I'm thankful for having friends and family, for being healthy and happy, for being accepted to at least one college, for enjoying (some of) my classes this year, for getting to read way too many books, for novapsych being pretty successful for a new little bloglet, and of course for all the great people I've met through book blogging!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Graceling



Katsa is a Graceling, one of those rare people born with a special talent.  She's been able to kill grown men since eight years of age.  Her uncle, the king, uses her as a simple thug to intimidate, hurt, and kill anyone who displeases him.  And Katsa can't disobey.

But when she meets Po, everything changes.  She feels friendship, and more than friendship.  She discovers new truths about her Grace.  And she is forced to face the monsters around her... and the monsters within herself.

Entertainment: ★★★★

Graceling was interesting, not incredibly original but a nice new take on the whole "I have special powers" genre. I like the little twists thrown in, like the fact that the Grace is marked by mismatched eyes.  I didn't exactly predict the ending, which is always nice, and overall I liked it.  Also, I loved the names, Katsa and Bitterblue especially.

Plot: ★★★

I was hardly blown away by its originality... it was cliche and slow at times, overfast and confusing at others.  A decent plot, but not really stellar.

Characters: ★★★

I liked Katsa, although she was a little slow about some things.  Po was okay, a little stereotypical and not flawed enough for my tastes.  Ditto for the rest of the cast: a lot of okay characters, not a lot of amazing characters.

Writing: ★★★★★

I will say that Cashore is an amazing writer, minus the fact that I don't particularly like her characters or her plot.  Her actual, technical writing is flawless.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday (9)

This week, I can't wait to read Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card!




Amazon description:
A powerful secret. A dangerous path.

Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg's strange talent for seeing the paths of people's pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him--secrets about Rigg's own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain.
 
Rigg’s birthright sets him on a path that leaves him caught between two factions, one that wants him crowned and one that wants him dead. He will be forced to question everything he thinks he knows, choose who to trust, and push the limits of his talent…or forfeit control of his destiny.

Ender's Game is one of my favorite books and I've liked just about everything I've ever read by Card.  Plus, doesn't that summary sound exciting?  Pathfinder comes out next Tuesday and I'm looking forward to getting a copy... what books are you waiting for?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Music Monday

So basically Music Monday is where I tell you about some awesome music that you really should listen to.

This Is For Real - Motion City Soundtrack

I'm new to MCS; I just got the "Even If It Kills Me" CD a few days ago.  I fell in love almost immediately.  I'm not 100% sure on the meaning of the lyrics... I think parts might be open to different interpretations.  Still, it's a pretty awesome song.

Love Like Woe - The Ready Set

Some people don't like this song, I know.  But you can't deny that it's basically adorable.  When it's on the radio you really have no choice but to sing along!

According To You - by Orianthi

I can never actually decide if I like Orianthi's other songs or not, but I love this one.  It's upbeat and fun.  Plus, I happen to find the lyrics both hilarious and meaningful.  I've heard a few different interpretations of the lyrics, but I think of it as a "ignore the haters - somebody loves you for who you are" kind of song.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Review: Total Oblivion (More or Less)



The end of the world was kind of unexpected, for Macy at least.  But when the Scythians came sweeping down from the North, her family is forced to flee down the Mississippi.  Along the way, they encounter the armies of the Empire, a wasp-borne plague, talking animals, mythical submarines, and all the chaotic fear of a crumbling world...

Entertainment: ★★

Let me be honest: I didn't like this book. There were one or two worthwhile, thought-provoking and/or interesting scenes.  The rest was a mess.

Plot: ★

Plot? What plot?  Everybody ran around like headless chickens, making entirely illogical choices and making a mess of everything they encountered.  There was no plot, just a lot of weirdly-paced action scenes and odd interludes that detracted from what little plot there was.  If I gave out "zero stars" as a rating, this book would easily merit it.

Characters: ★★

Ciaran, a random side character, was actually quite interesting to me, but he was the only redeeming character.  Macy was drab and had little to no personality and was a generally obnoxious narrator.  The side characters alternated being boring and just plain bizarre.  And not in a good way.

Writing: ★

Okay, where to even start?  I don't think there was a single cohesive chapter in the entire book that made actual, logical sense.  Everything was haphazardly everywhere, chapters seemed out of order, nothing made sense
End Result: one star.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In case you were wondering (Victory & Illness)

I just got home from my first Tae Kwon Do tournament.  I placed third in my age group (which is supposed to be one of the most competitive age groups).  This made me happy.

I got home and discovered that I had a fever, which explained the pounding head and sore throat I've had all day.  In fact I am having a hard time staying awake long enough to post this.

Also, I have a few huge school projects due plus a service project plus the tournament, and now I'm sick.  I'll try to keep novapsych running as normal, but if things are a little slow for a few days, please be forgiving :)

Nova

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review: Rot and Ruin



Benny has turned fifteen, and therefore has to find a job to keep getting rations.  The problem is that all the good, easy jobs are taken, so he doesn't have a lot of options.  In the end he reluctantly apprentices to his older brother, Tom.  A zombie hunter.  Under Tom's guidance, he will leave the protected, fenced community and go out into the Rot and Ruin that used to be the United States to hunt down and kill zombies.

He expects the job to be dull and hard, and he is not looking forward to working with his brother.  Although everybody seems to admire and respect Tom, Benny's not sure what the big deal is.  Tom's nothing like the cool bounty hutners Benny looks up to; he's quiet, unexciting, and actually avoids violence.  Benny knows he's nothing but a coward.

What he discovers in the Rot and Ruin, though, will change his life, and him.  As he searches for the Lost Girl and the truth about his world, he will have to discover for himself where the line is drawn between man and monster...

Entertainment: ★★★★

I read Rot and Ruin alone and late at night.  This was a mistake, as I soon found myself desperately wishing for a nightlight so that the living dead couldn't creep up on me in the dark.  Rot and Ruin was a great book that I could not put down, and yes, it terrified me.  In a good way.

Plot: ★★★★

I read this until way too early in the morning because I could not put it down.  I kept telling myself, "I'll stop after one more chapter," and then of course I had to read just one more.  The setting and premise are both excellent, a well-done apocalyptic/dystopian arrangement.  I think the actual plot at times veered towards predictable, as far as the climax and outcome are concerned, but the simple appeal of it made up for that.

Characters: ★★★★★

I was only a chapter or two in when I was already thinking, "This Benny is a major brat."  And he was.  But over the course of the book, he grew, changed, and matured.  It was one of the most realistic character arcs I've read in a long time.  The side characters and villains were both well and tastefully done overall, and even the love interest scenes were realistic and natural-seeming. 

Also, I think I might be a little bit in love with Tom.

Writing: ★★★★

I thought that the book was quite well written, although maybe the action/fight scenes left a little to be desired.  But the characterization and the description were both done quite well, and I liked the take on the zombies.  I mean, everybody's read a zombie book and seen a zombie movie before, and there's only so much material to work with.  But Maberry still manages to make his seem unique and interesting, and they're appealing in that gruesome, non-appealing way that only zombies can manage.  I also very much appreciated that the gore was done tastefully: the book was not a nonstop campaign to gross out the reader, which unfortunately many zombie books devolve into.  Overall, I thought Rot and Ruin was very well done.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Author Interview: Jonathan Maberry

"In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human."

To read free prequel scenes to Rot & Ruin click here!
Or, read my review!
- - - - - - - - - -

You’ve written a lot of books, as well as several short stories and comics.  Do you have a favorite work (or works)?

Usually my favorite is whichever one I’m currently writing.  I fall in love with each new project.  Of my completed works, it’s an event split between ROT & RUIN (out now from Simon & Schuster), my first teen novel; and THE KING OF PLAGUES, the third in my Joe Ledger series of thrillers (due out March 2011 from St. Martin’s Griffin).  My favorite comic series (so far!) is MARVEL UNIVERSE VS THE PUNISHER, which was released earlier this year and will soon be collected as a graphic novel. 

Rot & Ruin is your first YA book.  Would you say that writing YA is any different from writing for adults?

JM: Adult books tend to be more strongly forced into a category and sub-category, teen novels are much freer and more open to cross-genre writing.  Also, the teen readers I’ve met are so much more open-minded than most of the adults.  And they’re so much more imaginative.  You don’t have to lay everything out for them—they’re with the author from the jump, and they get the story and its implications.  As a result it’s more fun to include them in the collaborative storytelling process.
           
When the reader finishes Rot & Ruin, what is one thing you want them to take away from it?

JM: Hope.  The story about discovering the value of human life, the measure of one’s own courage, and the power of optimism.  The kids in the story are being handed a ‘broken’ world by a generation of adults who have lost all faith in any possible future.  The teens, however, expect to live long lives and to have those lives matter.  So, much of the subtext of the story deals with those teens discovering their own power, and learning how that power can sculpt any future they want.

Rot & Ruin is set in a dystopian world, fourteen years after the First Night zombie attack.  What was your inspiration for the world itself?

JM: Take a look around.  There are a lot of huge, dangerous problems in our world.  Wars, religious and racial intolerance, a damaged ecology, ruined economies, and political unrest. When writers tell a story about monsters, we’re usually using them as a vehicle in order to tell a story about our own world. 
           
That’s how the zombie genre got started.  George A. Romero used NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD to talk about racism; DAWN OF THE DEAD was really about rampant American consumerism; DAY OF THE DEAD was about the runaway buildup of the military industrial complex.  And so on.  Max Brooks’ WORLD WAR Z was about our fears of a global pandemic (such as SARS).  That’s what drives the whole zombie pop culture –and all apocalyptic fiction—they’re stories that use monsters to tell important truths about our real world.
           
Dystopian fiction is much the same.  These are stories that express our fears about society taking dangerous paths.  We write these as truly ‘cautionary’ tales, stories in order to warn ourselves and each other about these dangers.
           
And…on a less complex level, they make darn good stories.  They allow use to explore the phenomenon of a hero (often a stand in for our own idealized selves) facing seemingly impossible odds, and then overcoming them.  

Benny's story is a coming-of-age saga; did you base any of his emotional and mental growth and change off of your own experience?

JM: In small ways, yes.  Mostly Benny is based on a friend of mine growing up, a kid name Jamie.  He was always a little ‘younger’ than the rest of us, even though we were the same age. Jamie was also angry all the time, largely because he was holding onto a lot of assumptions about his parents and the world.  It wasn’t until we were fifteen and Jamie started working summers with his dad that he ‘grew up’.  It was a pretty remarkable change, too, because he went from being grumpy and na├»ve to being very upbeat and worldly.  From them on, he really grew, and wound up outgrowing a lot of the kids in our group.  Sometimes it happens like that.

I probably have more in common with Tom than Benny.  I was a quiet, introspective kid and I’ve been involved with martial arts since I was six.  Of course, Tom is better looking and cooler than I ever was…but this is fiction after all.
           
Elements of my own childhood did play a large part in my first three novels, GHOST ROAD BLUES, DEAD MAN’S SONG and BAD MOON RISING (collectively known as the Pine Deep Trilogy).  The character of troubled teen Mike Sweeney draws heavily on elements of child abuse I experienced, and how I used martial arts to life myself out of that swamp.

You play with religion a little in Rot & Ruin, describing one group of people that comes to consider electricity evil and another that believes God wants them to care for, sometimes even feed themselves to, zombies.  If the zombiepocalyse occurred tomorrow, what effect do you think it would have on your beliefs?

JM: None, really.  I’m a very Big Picture guy when it comes to religion.  I more or less believe that everyone is right. My circle of friends range from the most cynical atheists to Right Wing evangelists. That said, if an apocalypse happened, AND if I was inclined to want to assign blame somewhere, I’d probably focus most of my attention on deliberate human action, human error, or human inaction.
           
I’m not entirely jaded, mind you.  More of a realist.  I’m idealistic enough to remain optimistic that we won’t actually bring about some kind of science-based apocalypse.  But I’ve also done a lot of research for my adult science thrillers, and have interviewed enough people in the military, government, and the sciences, to know that greed often outstrips both our common sense and our moral judgment.
           
 So…I doubt my religious beliefs would be affected, but I would be sorely disappointed in my fellow men.

You've written a lot about zombies in the past few years, so you know a lot about them.  What precautions do you take in real life against the eventual zombie apocalypse?  Do you lock your doors and stockpile automatic weapons, just in case?

JM: I’m not a survivalist, though I have friends who are.  I have a close friend who actually has an apocalypse bug-out kit in the trunk of his car.  And over the last few years I’ve been a guest on dozens of zombie apocalypse panels at SF and horror conventions.
           
So, even though I don’t have weapons and a stockpile of canned foods in my trunk…I have worked out escape scenarios.  Just for fun.  And as a way of getting in the mindset necessary to write these kinds of stories.  I’m also an experienced martial artist (46 years and counting), and as a former bodyguard I have extensive experience in real-world violent confrontations.   Bottom line: if an apocalypse DID occur, I’m pretty sure I’m getting my family to a safe place.  Zombies?  Well…there had better be a lot of them, otherwise I’m leaving a trail of parts behind me.

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer.  His books have been sold to more than a dozen countries.  His novels include the Pine Deep Trilogy: GHOST ROAD BLUES (winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel), DEAD MAN’S SONG, and BAD MOON RISING; the Joe Ledger series of action thrillers from St. Martin’s Griffin: PATIENT ZERO (winner of the Black Glove Award for Best Zombie Novel of the Year, and in development for TV), THE DRAGON FACTORY, THE KING OF PLAGUES; THE WOLFMAN; the Benny Imura series of Young Adult dystopian zombie thrillers from Simon & Schuster:  ROT & RUIN and DUST & DECAY; and the forthcoming standalone zombie thriller DEAD OF NIGHT.  His nonfiction works include: VAMPIRE UNIVERSE, THE CRYPTOPEDIA (winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction; co-authored by David F. Kramer), ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead (Winner of the Hinzman and Black Quill Awards and nominated for a Stoker Award), THEY BITE! (with David F. Kramer), and WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE (with Janice Gable Bashman).  His work for Marvel includes BLACK PANTHER: POWER, KLAWS OF THE PANTHER, CAPTAIN AMERICA: HAIL HYDRA, DOOMWAR and MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN.  Jonathan has been a popular writing teacher and career counselor for writers for the last two decades.  He teaches a highly regard series of classes and workshops including Write Your Novel in Nine Months, Revise & Sell, Experimental Writing for Teens, and others.  Many of his students have gone on to publish in short and novel-length fiction, magazine feature writing, nonfiction books, TV, film, and comics.  In 2004 Jonathan was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame largely because of his extensive writings in that field.  Visit his website at http://www.jonathanmaberry.com/ or find him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, GoodReads, Library Thing, Shefari and Plaxo.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (10)

Today's trailer is for a book called Unwind.  I'd never heard of it until, browsing YouTube, I clicked on this video... well, watch it for yourself.





Can you say creepy?  But so exciting at the same time.  Plus, I love the music!  I wasn't too sure about some of the pictures flashed, though - maybe they make more sense once you've read the book, but for me they seemed a little disjointed.  Regardless, I have to get my hands on this book!

What do you think of this trailer?  And what's your favorite book trailer?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Review: Dragonsong



Menolly loves music.  Above all else she longs to be a Harper, responsible for songs that entertain and songs that preserve the culture of her planet, Pern.  Too bad that she's a girl, and girls can't be Harpers.

After a tragic accident, Menolly flees her home for the wilds, and ends up being adopted by/adopting an odd group of friends: the mini dragons known as fire lizards.

Entertainment: ★★★★

I enjoyed reading Dragonsong a lot.  I actually read it all in one sitting, I was so curious to see how everything played out.  It's actually kind of short, and I found myself wishing it were a lot longer!

Plot: ★★★

The plot wasn't overwhelmingly original, the ending was a little cliche, and there were really no big surprises.  Bonus points for world-building, however.

Characters: ★★★★

Menolly was a very good character, and many of the side characters were excellent.  Dragonsong is pretty short - less than 200 pages - and yet nearly everybody in the story seems to come alive.

Writing: ★★★

I was definitely dying to know what would happen next!  However, I was a little put off by the occasional overload of information; for example, I now know too much about the anatomy of the packtail (a fish from Pern).

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Follow Friday, Blog Hop

    Book Blogger Hop


What are your feelings on losing followers? Have you ever stopped following a blog?

Since I've just started, I don't have many followers, so I notice when people leave and it does make me sad. But in the end I don't mind too much, because I'd rather have a small number of active followers that actually read my blog than a few hundred followers that never visit.


Have I ever stopped following a blog?  The simple answer is no, because I leave my name on the Google Connect boxy thing.  However, I do stop following blogs in the sense that I stop reading, commenting, etc.  If the blog changes focus, loses momentum, doesn't update often, gets sloppy, or falls prey to any of the other death traps for blogs, I will most likely stop visiting.


Who are your favorite authors?

My all-time number-one favorite author is Scott Westerfeld, no question.  He is quite possibly my idol.  I was hooked on the Uglies trilogy years ago, and since then I've read (and loved) every book he's published.


I also have a lot of other authors I like: John Green, Cassandra Clare, David Levithan, Tamora Pierce, Hilari Bell, and Eoin Colfer are just a few.


Well, that's the blog hop stuff.  Now, hopefully, you'd like to know a little about novapsych!
Here's what's happened lately:
Reviews of Hush, Hush, Magic or Madness and The Dark Divine, as well as Music Monday and Trailer Tuesday.  So that's novapsych! Click around, check it out, and follow if you like what you see! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Review: Hush, Hush



Nora Grey is your average high school overachiever, with an almost entirely average life.  Until she is paired with Patch for a biology assignment.  Nora finds herself frighteningly attracted to him and terrified by his strange confidence and almost telepathic ability to know what she's thinking.

Soon she discovers that Patch is a fallen angel who wants to become human.  She can't decide whether to fall into his arms or run away... but time is running out, and she may not have a choice in the end...

Entertainment: ★★★

Here's the thing: in a general sense, Hush, Hush is a great book.  But I'm a nitpicker.  And there's a lot of things the reader is either supposed to ignore, not notice, or suspend their disbelief for.  And I don't like that.  Hush, Hush is one of those books where it seems like the author herself didn't notice these details.

So, yeah.  The detailing aside, I did like Hush, Hush fairly well.

Plot: ★★★

See above comment about the suspension of disbelief.  There's so many holes in the plot!  Seen from far off, Hush, Hush has a really cool plot.  But when you read it and pay attention... well... the premise is cool; the execution, not so much.

Characters: ★★

Nora and Patch seemed like just another Bella/Edward, Grace/Daniel, human/supernatural YA couple of your choice.  Neither offered anything really exciting or new.  I was actually disappointed; I'd heard very good things about the characters and specifically Patch.  But I don't think any of the characters are anything special.  In fact, I downright disliked many of the side characters.

Writing: ★★★★

If you ignore the holes everywhere, Fitzpatrick is actually pretty talented and the writing is quite good.

End Result: three stars.  A decent book, but not amazingly excellent.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (9)

I read Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty a while ago, so the details are a little fuzzy.  I remember really enjoying it, though.  And so when I stumbled on this trailer, I had to post it.





Now to tell the truth, this isn't actually how I pictured these girls at all.  But it's got great atmosphere, I love the music, and I love the storytelling-narration style of the trailer.  What do you think of this trailer? And what's your favorite book trailer?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Music Monday

So basically Music Monday is where I tell you about some awesome music that you really should listen to.

Dancing Queen - ABBA

So, this probably won't appeal too much to my male readers. But it is a classic great song, so much fun to dance to or sing or just enjoy.

Let's Dance - Hawk Nelson

This is just a feel-good song. It's all about being happy with who you are, instead of trying to change yourself to fit the material world. You just can't stay unhappy after listening to it two or three times.

All At Once - The Fray

If you want to analyze the lyrics, there's a nice message about true love versus temporary love. But I don't even listen to the words, I just listen. There's just something indefinable and beautiful about this song that stays with me for days after hearing it.