Mundie Moms

Friday, March 16, 2012

Book Review: Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: February 12, 2012
Source: Purchased
5 out of 5 stars - I really, really, really love this series

Synopsis: With more than a million Gallagher Girls books sold, a legion of fans have fallen in love with the New York Times best-selling spy-girl series, and the fifth book delivers the most nerve-wracking, high-stakes adventure yet.

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan—an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers that months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home.

Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

What can I possibly say about one of my most highly anticipated books this year? Let me do this in the spirit of one of my favorite YA heroines, Cammie herself:

PROs and CONS of READING Ally Carter's Out of Sight, Out of Time. (A list compiled by a tired mom-of-three who skipped sleep in favor of finishing the latest installment of a beloved series. WARNING: This may not make sense except when read during pre-dawn hours).

PRO: First, and most importantly, I finished this book at 3 a.m. It's that kind of can't-put-this-book-down story. Ally Carter is such a master of increasing stakes in each story and chapter that just when you think it couldn't possibly get worse, well, it does and it does so believably. Her perfectly timed reveals should be studied in writing classes.

CON: You will read these books in a day. There are expected side effects to the resulting sleep loss, so if you see me today, please point me in the direction of the nearest caffeinated beverage.

PRO: Ally has a way of leaving the ending, not quite cliffhanger-y, but giving you that soft landing before you realize another precipice is near. I love this so much because it makes me remember and want to re-read every moment until next year's release.

CON: I may be more crazed than usual when you find me in a book store because I will be talking to perfect strangers and insisting they buy all five books at once. I'll keep muttering to them something about "you'll need to know."

PRO: You will add to your list of Fictional Characters I Love. Yes, even (removed for spoilers).

CON: If Sophie's removing names for fear of spoilers and forgetting that she's referencing herself in third person, those characters are ones you must meet.

PRO: It's not a story just about teenagers. I know, I got those judgy looks at the pool this past summer when "those other moms" walked past me wondering why I was reading a book clearly not meant for my age group. This story, more so than even the other four, is ALL about family. The family we are born into and the family we make with our friends. The adults in this book are so well written that I want to meet them in real life. Especially Cammie's mom.

CON: I want to meet Catherine, too. (Who is she and why am I blatantly referencing her? Read the books. Yes, all five. You'll need to know.)

PRO: Zach.

CON: Your Hot Fictional Boys List will be reshuffled.

Have I convinced you? Are you going to get all five books at once?? Remember my warning -- you'll need to know. As for me, I'm going to re-read this by listening to the audiobook on my way to Ally's San Jose signing next week. If you see me, I promise I'll be much more rested and logical. Or at least more caffeinated.

Oh, and don't forget to check out The Gallagher Academy. You'll want to read the short story there just for all the different POVs (Zach's too) and yes, it dovetails nicely into Out of Sight, Out of Time.

Freebie Friday Giveaway: The Time Traveling Fashionista on Board the Titanic

Saturday, April 14th marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Leading up to this commemoration, Little Brown is introducing young readers to this time period with one of their newest titles, The Time Traveling Fashionsita on Board the Titanic.

Here's a little bit about this fabulous book:

A gorgeous evening dress magically transports a precocious twelve-year-old onboard the Titanic in this adventurous time-traveling series debut for lovers of vintage-fashion.

Thirty full-color fashion illustrations are featured throughout the book, showcasing beautiful dresses and fashion designs throughout history.

Bianca runs the studio of acclaimed artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel, and is happy to speak to her love and expertise of vintage clothing (the book includes 25 full-color fashion illustrations from the time period). Her next book in the series is set in the Marie-Antoinette era. Over the summer, she went to Paris to do extensive research on this period.

Here's an example of some of the illustrations you'll find through the book:

I had the privilege or reviewing this book last year on both Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids, and it's one I highly recommend. You can read my 5 star review here. The illustrations found through out the book are beautiful! I love this is also a book that's extremely fitting for the younger Middle Grade readers.

Thank you to Little Brown, I have 3 copies to GIVEAWAY!!!

To Enter, please fill out the form below:
- US only (no PO Boxes)
- You must be 13 yrs & older to enter (if under you must have a parent/guardian's permission before entering)
- 1 entry per person
- This giveaway will end on April 1st, 2012

City of Lost Souls Special Editions

May 8th is just around the corner and this week Barnes & Noble announced their City of Lost Souls exclusive content, as well as the cover which features their exclusive content sticker!!

The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues- and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

Can the lost be reclaimed? What price is too high to pay for love? Who can be trusted when sin and salvation collide?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge.

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

The Barnes & Noble exclusive content is a letter to Jace from his father. You can pre-order your copy here.


Here's a brief re-cap about my post for the different COLS editions:


BARNES AND NOBLE will be carrying their own special edition. It will contain a letter from Stephen Herondale (Jace’s real father) to Jace, written before he died. It will be detachable and affixed to the back of the book.

WALMART will be carrying its own special edition. It will contain the short story “A Dark Transformation” about how Jonathan Morgenstern took over the identity of Sebastian Verlac.

COSTCO will be carrying its own special edition. It will contain “The Act of Falling”: the “alleyway kiss” from City of Fallen Angels from Jace’s perspective.

Target will be carrying its own special edition: the short story “A Question of Power” in which Alec and Camille talk about Magnus and his father.

In Canada:

INDIGO/CHAPTERS will be carrying the same special edition as BARNES AND NOBLE in the US. COSTCO CANADA will be carrying the same edition as COSTCO US.

In Australia/In the UK

Still waiting on more news


At the time of this post no special content was included with these books.

Special Content:

Cassie does NOT have a say about what content goes in which editions. That is strictly a publisher's decisions. However, Cassie and Simon & Schuster don't except fans to buy more than one copy of the book and ALL SPECIAL content will be posted online after an exclusivity period of time, which is usually between 3-6 months.

This makes it easier for fans to pick which edition they'd like to own and instead of stressing over how they're going to afford all of them, or in our case we're wondering how we could possibly justify to our husbands why we own four different copies of the same book. HAHA

Recent Cassie News

I've got quite a bit of exciting news I've complied from the past couple days about Cassie, her news and COLS.

** COLS: Mark your calendars for a month full of COLS! In April we'll have some exciting COLS exclusive posts, along with our COFA read along to contain our impatience for May 8th to hurry up and get here. We'll also be chatting with Cassie in April and then again in June (which will be a spoiler chat then). Dates will be posted soon!! I'm so excited about all the happenings Cassie and I are working on for April and I can't wait to post more for you guys.

** Have you stopped by Cassie's site recently? Her site has been re-designed and looks awesome!! Stop by and check it out.

** The Dark Artifice book 1 has a working title LADY MIDNIGHT, and when asked about who Cassie saw as her characters, she mentioned Colton Haynes as Julian and Teresa Palmer as Emma, hence the awesome graphic Vania made for Cassie here.

** You can read Cassie's post about her working title, Lady Midnight and the meaning behind the title here.

** Cassie recently had an awesome interview with Hollywood Crush in which she talked about her new book deal for The Dark Artifice trilogy, here. Cassie said she's outlined the first book, and quite a few scenes are written. Here's a quote from part of their interview:

What's the inspiration for the series title?
The inspiration for the title! Okay, this is so dorky. The main family, the Blackthorns, of "The Dark Artifices," have a father who is a classicist. He is obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology and history. So "The Dark Artifices" comes from "The Annals of Imperial Rome" by Tacitus. "It would have been less ignominious to die by the dark artifices of Tiberius or the fury of Caligula." I just liked the phrase. And all the kids in the family have Greek or Roman names—Helen, Julian, Marcus, Olivia and even Tiberius. (Poor Tiberius.) As for the individual books, the working title for the first book is "Lady Midnight."

New York and London are such integral elements—almost characters in and of themselves—in your series. How will moving the action to L.A. affect the goings-on? Should we expect surfing Shadowhunters?
Los Angeles is my hometown! Now, I have nothing against surfers. Surfers are hot, and the beach and the ocean play a huge role in "Dark Artifices." But there is a wonderful darkness to Los Angeles that people often don't see unless they live there. There are the wonderful sea caves up by Leo Carillo, the deserts just outside the city, and there are supposed to be ghosts haunting the Hollywood Hills.There's the whole genre of "sunlit noir" and the tradition of hard-boiled detectives like Phillip Marlowe. Los Angeles is this place that has a glittering, glamorous surface but below it is this machine that grinds up dreams and crushes them. Which is so much fun to work with when you're writing!

There's a lovely description of the Santa Ana winds, the hot winds that blow out of the desert, by Raymond Chandler: "Those hot dry winds that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen."

You can read the entire interview here.


I know I've reblogged this before via an old post of Cassie's, but I also wanted to post this on here since Cassie recently mentioned it again on Tumblr. Here's a picture of the Family rings from the Infernal Devices series. Note there is a Herondale ring, but it's not pictured. The top ring is the
Blackthorn family ring.

About the rings:
The Herondale ring would have a pattern of flying birds.
Carstairs, a pattern of castles or crenellations
Lightwood — a pattern of flames around the band
Wayland — a pattern of horseshoes or nails after Wayland Smith
Fairchild: a pattern of faerie wings
Blackthorn: A pattern of thorns.
Starkweather — Pattern of lightning bolts.
Morgenstern: a pattern of stars.
Verlac: A ring in the shape of a serpent.
Branwell: Pattern of waves or water.

You can read more about the rings and their meanings here.