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Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week 2013 started yesterday.  To learn more about Banned Books Week and why we need it, check out the ALA’s page on Banned & Challenged Books. In honor of Banned Books Week, here are some of my favorite Challenged and Banned Books.

Speak
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
The Handmaid's Tale
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
The Awakening
The Hunger Games
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Just Listen
A Study in Scarlet
Invisible Man
As I Lay Dying
The Great Gatsby
Looking for Alaska
The Outsiders
Their Eyes Were Watching God
A Wrinkle in Time
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Giver
Winnie-the-Pooh
Leaves of Grass
Charlotte's Web
The Color Purple
Cat's Cradle
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Gulliver's Travels
The Giving Tree
The Lorax
Green Eggs and Ham
Where the Wild Things Are
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Lolita
Gone with the Wind



Kim’s favorite books »

 

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian

Today on the blog I’m participating in my very first blog tour! This tour also has a little extra something for all of you. Check out the rafflecopter at the end of this review to enter to win a copy of the book.

Cobweb Bride Review at Quintessentially Bookish

Release Date: July 15th 2013
Publisher: Norilana Books
Series: Cobweb Bride Trilogy (#1)
Pages: 293

Cobweb Bride

From the book jacket:

Many are called…
She alone can save the world and become Death’s bride.

Cobweb Bride is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.

What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?

In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill….

Covered in white cobwebs of a thousand snow spiders she lies in the darkness… Her skin is cold as snow… Her eyes frozen… Her gaze, fiercely alive…

While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war… A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father … Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court…. Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living…

Look closer — through the cobweb filaments of her hair and along each strand shine stars…

And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.

As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death’s own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North…

And everyone is trying to stop her.

Plot:

Death has lost his bride and, until she is found, he is refusing to continue to allow mortals to cross over.  This means that everyone that should die isn’t – not the dying grandma, the soldiers in battle, the murder victim, even the butchers pig.  This, of course, has dire consequences for the world.  To save everyone, all the young women in the land set out to find Death in the hopes that one will be his bride and restore the natural order.

Overall Thoughts:

I liked this book, but I really wanted it to be about 100 pages shorter.  The first part of the book really dragged for me.  Death makes his announcement in the first few pages and then the next 100 are basically spent saying “This person should be dead but isn’t and we’re all confused” in as many ways as possible.  Obviously, including this information and some background on each of the main storylines and characters is important, but it could have been done in a much more succinct manner. However, once I powered through that first section of the book, the rest of it flew by.  I was so engrossed in the story, I had the last 2/3 finished in less than a day.  Nazarian did an excellent job of smoothly weaving all the different storylines together to reveal the complete plot.  She also managed to navigate the tricky area of ending the book in a satisfyingly complete way while still leaving it open for the sequels.  This wasn’t a perfect book (there are a few areas that I found difficult to suspend my disbelief and a few character motivations that were a bit nonsensical), but it was a fun read and a good start to what will hopefully be a good series.

Characters:

There are many characters in this book, but by far my favorite was Percy.  She was really likeable and had a very unique voice.  I really enjoyed watching her come into herself and gain confidence despite the way her family saw her.

Setting:

I’m a big fan of alternate history fantasy stories.  This is an interesting take on Renaissance Europe.    We get a glimpse into how the government works in this particular realm and it lends a great backdrop to the story.  I’m hoping the political intrigue plays into future stories.

Writing Style:

Nazarian’s style of writing is an excellent fit for the story; it reads like a classic fantasy.   She maintains a distinct voice for each of the characters, despite them all being wildly different.  Her prose is very beautiful at times, but it’s also very easy to read.  Though it has a classic feel, it’s still appealing for a modern reader.

Extras:

This is a much different take on the Persephone myth.

Favorite Line:

 “Since the dawn of existence, you mortals have feared dying, feared the unknown and the pain of it, and yet, pain is a part of life, not death. And I—I am the first moment after pain ceases…It is life that fights and struggles and rages; life, that tears at you in its last agonizing throes to hold on, even if but for one futile instant longer… Whereas I, I come softly when it is all done. Pain and death are an ordered sequence, not a parallel pair. So easy to confuse the correlations, not realizing that one does not bring the other.”

Read This If You Like:

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Abandon by Meg Cabot

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fiction Addiction Book Tours

 Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review. I did not receive any compensation for this review. All opinions here are my own.

Find Vera Nazarian online: Goodreads // Facebook // Website