Meg Rosoff at Shelf Awareness

Today Meg Rosoff is over at Shelf Awareness talking about her latest book There Is No Dog. And while I wasn't over the moon about this one, I always love getting an inside look on the author's perspective. 

And if you need yet another reason to check out the interview (i'ts MEG ROSOFF, you don't need another reason!) -- there's also a picture of Eck. 
Who is even more adorably odd than I expected him to be.

Have you read There Is No Dog yet? Thoughts?

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Funny books are something I am always on the lookout for. Call it a quest of sorts. But funny books with true cleverness, real characters and an intriguing story? Well, let's just say that combination is a little harder to find. But once in a while I get lucky and stumble upon a read with all those qualifications. Actually Hold Me Closer, Necromancer has all that and more to tell you the truth. I mean with a cover quote like the one it's gotten from Sherman Alexie you just know it's gonna rock.

Samhain Corvus Lacroix -- understandably Sam for short -- is 19 years old, a college drop-out and is currently holding onto one of the more coveted careers of fry cook. And while not totally sure what he wants to do with his life, Sam is happy to go to work, hang out with his best friend Ramon and his co-workers Brooke and Frank and maybe add in a game of potato hockey now and then. However, it's the potato hockey that starts all his troubles when a flying spud damages the car of one Seriously Creepy Guy. Turns out Seriously Creepy Guy (aka Douglas) is a powerful necromancer and he doesn't take kindly to another necromancer (that would be Sam) crossing into his turf unannounced. Previous to their encounter, Sam had zero idea that he too was a necromancer but that doesn't mean squat to Douglas who has given Sam a measly week to join up with Douglas. Or else.

My friends, this is seriously one awesome book. In fact, as I was flipping through trying to decide on a tasty snippet to share with you I found myself reading through whole chapters all over again. Finally I gave up and simply re-read the whole shebang once more, it's just that good. Sam is also that darn lovable. Basically he's a nerd who considers skateboarding a fine mode of transportation and video games the height of entertainment but Lish McBride manages to take all that awkwardness and does something magical with it. He's dorky but sweet and so scared out his mind by all the crazy being thrown his way (understandably) but through it all he remains loyal and by the end has truly come into his own. Plus, the kid has some side-splitting one-liners. No joke, I laughed myself silly over this book even during the totally creepy parts. Like the time Sam watches Douglas raise a dead man for the first time:
The finished body was a man, maybe midforties, with a receding hairline. His suit looked a little dirt-stained, but all in all he looked like your average American businessman. Except he was dead. And not just soul-dead like most cublicle workers, but acutally dead.
"Go ahead," Douglas said. "Ask him a question."
"Why is a raven like a writing desk?" The zombie stared back at me blankly.
Douglas glared at me. I heard Brid stifle a giggle from inside the cage. Good to know I wasn't the only one who'd read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. How come I couldn't meet a nice, naked, well-read girl until I was kidnapped and thrown into a cage?
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is somewhat of an odd duck (sorta like our man Sam) but it's one truly awesome book. And to help tide me over until the sequel comes out next fall (thank you publishing gods!) there's even a free novella about Sam's Harbinger Ashley on Amazon that you'll want to check out for sure. 

series reading order:
~ Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
~ Necromancing the Stone (Sept. 2012)

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy review
The Book Smugglers review
Forever Young Adult review
Good Books & Good Wine review

book source: bought

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lanini Taylor

There are certain books that call to me. It all starts with a tickle when the buzz begins to build around the blogosphere, then a few of my trusted bookish friends simply rave about the book in their reviews and I'm definitely hooked. And hey, a stunning cover doesn't hurt matters much either. Such is the case with Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. It was basically only a matter of time before I picked up this gorgeous book. Really, I am powerless in the face of such an premise:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
This book -- oh, this book is so good. It's utterly intricate and builds to a level of sophistication that made me fall in love from page one. I honestly want to sit down and reread it all over again just so I can go back and smile at all the subtle clues to Karou's unique story that Laini Taylor delicately inserts along the way. It's just that deftly woven. Karou's gorgeous depictions of her artistic life in Prague and her time spent travelling the world over as a messenger from Brimstone - the head of her own personal demon 'family' - could not have entranced me more.

Each character is something special: chimera, seraph, and human alike. Such artistic descriptions of Karou's beloved 'monsters' contrast with the fierce solider-aspect of the 'angels' she encounters. They each have their moments of kindness and brutality but Taylor is quite capable at liberally dosing them all with plenty of wit and sarcasm to keep the story from becoming too heavy.

And if you think the angel and demons trope has been done to death, well, think again. Taylor's mythology is haunting and beautiful and unlike anything else I've ever read. Due in part to her striking language usage (I was all but eating up sections of dialogue and descriptions) this is one truly expertly crafted book. I honestly don't know anyone else who writes like Laini Taylor. She is the definition of Clever. I've been meaning to track down her earlier books for ages but Daughter of Smoke and Bone makes me want to grab them like NOW. Lucky us it's planned as a trilogy. I simply cannot wait to enter Karou's world again.

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Book Harbinger review
Chachic's Book Nook review
The Crooked Shelf review
Good Books & Good Wine review
Janicu's Book Blog review

book source: Paperback Swap