The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Release Date: August 21, 2013
Genre: Fiction, young adult, fantasy, magic, angels, demons
Summary: Clary is just your ordinary girl, until she learns that she’s part of a race called the Shadowhunters who are tasked with killing demons and keeping humanity in the dark about their constant impending doom. Enter Jace, her love-interest who seems to think fixing your hair is the same as acting and his team of leather-clad teens. And also Alec. When Clary’s mom is kidnapped, she is stuck in the middle of a plot that becomes unnecessarily convoluted and is tasked (for some reason) with protecting the Mortal Cup from Valentine, a diabolical villain with the worst hair of all time who picked up all his tricks from the web-series Acting With James Franco.
Let’s talk about The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
We know, we don’t want to either because our hearts still hurt, but it must be done. For the good of humanity. For all the people who loved the book series and wanted to see it hit the big screen but haven’t yet subjected their feelings to this monstrosity playing on screens around the world. And more importantly, for every person who will never read The Mortal Instruments because of this film.
WARNING: City of Glass spoilers that are super duper spoiled by this movie anyway ahead.
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The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Genre: Fiction, young adult, supernatural, paranormal, ghosts
Summary: Rory can see ghosts, which isn’t as awesome as it sounds. For example, as a result of her power she was chased by an entity recreating the Jack the Ripper murders and was left with a nasty scar to prove it. Now she’s got even more troublesome otherworldly powers and a desire to return to a normal life. Whatever that is anymore. Torn by her devotion to her family, her school friends, her new boyfriend and the super secret government ghost fighting organization in London, Rory is struggling to find her place in the regular world and the world of the undead. Because in the Shades of London series, life sucks and then you die. And sometimes you come back as a ghost.
When we last left Rory (full name Aurora) she was dealing with the ramifications of all the events that happened in book one, The Name of the Star (review HERE). In this sequel, she’s healing from all that nonsense, struggling to return some normalcy to her life and trying to deal with the world knowing her as that Ripper girl. We highly recommend you read the first book before you even attempt to tackle this one. Trust us, it’s full of Jack the Ripper goodness. End tedious introductory paragraph.
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The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult Fiction
Summary: Welcome to the Archive, a library for the dead. Spending your afterlife in a library sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? Endless books and comfy chairs! Caveat – it’s spent as a History, an exact physical replica of every person who’s lived. Histories contain the memories of each life and are usually in a deep sleep. Except sometimes the dead wake, and they want more than anything to get back to the world they knew. First, they must get through the Narrows, the shadowy realm between the Archive and the Outer. And that’s where Keepers come in. Keepers stand between the real world and the Histories, and must get them back to Returns before they become violent.
Mackenzie Bishop is a Keeper, inheriting the position from her grandfather. After a family tragedy, she moves to a new apartment building with the fractured remains of her family. She quickly discovers her new home is directly connected to the Narrows, which should make her job easier. Except more and more Histories seem to be waking, overwhelming Mac with work. And that’s not the worst part – someone has been altering the Histories, wiping memories from the dead. Mac has to find the culprit before she becomes a History herself.
Libraries! Tragedy! Intrigue! Special powers! Snarky guys in eyeliner! This book has it all.
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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Release Date: December 14, 2012
Genre: Epic fantasy, Is “Lord of the Rings” a genre now?
Summary: Bilbo Baggins is just your average hobbit who enjoys eating, smoking a pipe, sitting around, and that’s pretty much it. His quiet, peaceful life is very suddenly disturbed when Gandalf the Grey appears at his doorstep inviting him on an adventure. Soon his home is invaded by thirteen dwarves who are on a quest to reclaim their home from the dragon Smaug. A grand journey commences – encounters with trolls, capture by goblins, and of course the discovery of a certain all-powerful ring start us off on the first leg of the tale. Bilbo must learn to be brave and everyone must learn that friendship is magic.
The excitement and nostalgia levels were high among the Bibliomantics as we ventured to the midnight showing of the highly anticipated movie adaptation of The Hobbit. As we settled into the theater, we reminisced happily about our trip to see Return of the King at midnight. How Stephanie and Cassie-wa’s father had to drive us all squished into the car because we weren’t old enough to drive more than one person or after 10pm. How Cassie-la had walked up to a stranger and started eating his pretzel bites. (Okay, she knew him.) And then we mostly just realized that we are really old because that was NINE YEARS AGO.
It was surreal to be back in a theater at midnight – going back to Middle-earth. Despite our complaining about the pointlessness of the 3-D, our bafflement at how Peter Jackson could possibly stretch the story out into three movies, and even though it wasn’t perfect, I think we are damn glad that the story’s not over yet. Plus there’s musical numbers and shenanigans.
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Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Drama, Awesomeness (That’s a genre, right?)
Summary: After the stunning revelations in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou has a new purpose in life: doing whatever she can to help the remaining chimaera of Eretz survive to fight another day. Unfortunately, none of her newly re-discovered brethren seem to trust her. Especially not rebellion leader Thiago, who had her executed a lifetime ago. When Thiago’s attacks against the enemy become increasingly pointless and disturbing, Karou begins to question whether what she’s doing is right or only driving her world further and further away from the dream she and Akiva shared years before.
Since losing Karou for the second time, Akiva is once again forced to question his own place in the war. He gains fame amongst his brethren as the “Beasts’ Bane,” but nobody but his brother and sister know of his true skill with magic, and that he’s using it to help chimaera civilians escape from the slaughter his father has commanded. Can he continue to fight for his father… or can he do the unthinkable and fight against him?
In this thrilling sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, it’s time for everyone to pick a side. But who says the war only has two sides?
After much anticipation, we finally got our hands on the phenomenal book known as Days of Blood and Starlight. From the gorgeous language to the Monty Python references, to the heartbreaking reality of a war torn world – everything about this book was just epically awesome. Laini Taylor has captured our imaginations and we hope she never lets us go! Guys, we loved this book a lot. Slightly spoiler-y reviews ahead!
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Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel (Galley)
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Genre: Young adult, zombies, romance (ZOM ROM), dystopia, steampunk
Summary: Picking up where Dearly, Departed left off, this sequel deals with growing anti-zombie sentiments and the after effects of the attack on the Elysian Fields. Nora is having problems dealing with her newly resurrected father, her enemy Vespertine Mink is busy making alliances and Nora’s zombie boyfriend Bram is spending his time heading a zombie task force and being the most attractive member of the undead possible. Subterfuge, opposing factions and intermingling plots abound in this steampunk zombie romantic comedy. Who doesn’t love a good zom-rom-com?
The second book in the jokingly titled Gone With the Respiration series finds our heroes Bram and Nora in a world full of zombie haters and lovers alike. They are forced to deal with both groups, from the Changed, zombies who are into zombie philanthropy to an upper-class zombie murdering group called the Murder. With fun new characters, a complicated new plot and a fabulous combination of the old and modern this is the end all be all young adult zombie series. We just can’t get enough of it!
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Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Genre: Young adult fiction, mystery, vampires
Summary: Mel’s life was completely normal before Francis showed up. Well, relatively normal. Mel lives in New Whitby, Maine, a city that was founded by vampires. Despite the window regulations (no UV rays, please!) and infrequent visits to the Shade (the vampires’ area of the city), Mel and her human friends steer clear of the undead. But the enrollment of Francis, a gorgeous and overly-chivalrous vamp, into her high school throws Mel’s world off balance. Her bestie Cathy is soon falling for him, making Mel fear she’s losing her closest friend. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Francis’ appearance coincides with strange happenings around the city. Mel plants herself in the middle of the action, fighting to put her life back in place. But as Mel soon finds out, life has a way of fighting our best intentions. As do zombies and vampires.
Hey! Don’t stop short at the premise of this novel. You may be thinking, “a vampire in high school? Teenage girls falling in love with said vampire? Never again!” Seriously – abolish all thoughts of Twilight, ye who enter here. Team Human is a fresh take on the vampire craze. It’s got crime-solving shenanigans, vampire jokes, realistic female friendships (gasp!), and zombies! What more could you want?? Also, would Twilight ever refer to Edward as an “undead love weasel.” Didn’t think so.
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