Mundie Moms

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

YA Crush Tourney: Final Four; Vote For Will

It's time to start voting again!! Will needs our help!

Hi guys! Alyssa with TMI Source & I (Katie w/ Mundie Moms) are back to help Will advance to the next round! You helped Will advance in his first match  here, his second match here, and his most recent match here. Today's match may prove to be the hardest yet, as he's up against Jem, another guy we love! Being Will's advocates, Alyssa and I want to tell you guys for ourselves why WILL is the ONE TO VOTE FOR. 

Will has always been the brighter burning star, the one to catch attention.”

Will would be the first to tell you that Jem is the better man. But in Will saying that—and in his actions toward those he loves—shows just how great of a person he is.

The first thing that comes to mind when one mentions Will Herondale isn’t his blue eyes or his gorgeous looks, it’s the sacrifices he has made in his life. Even at age 12, when he left his family because he believed he was endangering them, Will has always put the well-being of those he cares for first.

Will is willing to give up his true love, Tessa, because he would rather Jem be happy than himself. Will has suffered too much in his life and yet he puts his parabatai’s happiness above his own regardless of how much it tears him up inside.

“If Jem dies, I cannot be with Tessa,” said Will. “Because it will be as if I were waiting for him to die, or took some joy in his death, if it let me have her. And I will not be that person. I will not profit from his death. So he must live.” He lowered his arm, his sleeve bloody. “It is the only way any of this can ever mean anything.”

Will is a caring person and the person he cares most about is his parabatai Jem. Will insistently searches for a cure to Jem’s “disease” and has even admitted that Jem is more deserving of life.

And despite the way he treats those he cares about sometimes—due to the curse he believes was cast upon him—those people see the good in him no matter how hard he tries to hide it.

“You are good, Will. There is no one better placed than I am to be able to say with perfect confidence how good you really are.” –Tessa

"I thought him a pretty bit of poison to start with, but I have come around. There is a soul under all that bravado. And he is really alive, one of the most alive people I have ever met. When he feels something, it is as bright and sharp as lightning." -Magnus

Will doesn’t recognize that he is someone worth fighting for—someone who deserves love and deserves to be happy.

“You fear for Jem,” Will said.
“Yes,” she said. “And I fear for you, too.”
“No,” Will said, hoarsely. “Don’t waste that on me, Tess.”

Will is definitely someone worth fighting for. So will you fight for him? Vote Team Will!

Book Review: Anastasia Forever by Joy Preble

Published by: Source Books
Released on: August 7th, 2012 TODAY
Source: ARC from TLA, signed
4 stars: I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Source BooksAmazon | Barnes & Noble
Series: Anastasia Dreaming, Book #3

Is it possible to change the past?

No one ever knew what happened to her except her half–brother, Viktor—and he'll do anything to keep it that way.

She just wants a normal boyfriend, a normal family–no visions of the past, no evil mermaids, no Brotherhood trying to kill her. But Anne is not normal...and she's capable of a lot more than she thinks.

He's been eighteen for nearly a century, and finding Anne is the best thing that's ever happened to him. But the magic in his blood is turning darker, forcing him to wonder whether he's the most dangerous threat of all...

A rich Russian lore with a light yet intense romance, and a plot line that has moments of humor, suspense, mystery, and shocking discoveries, Joy Preble's Anastasia Forever wraps up Ethan and Anne's story perfectly. I've really enjoyed reading this series, and being that this is the last book in the series, I found it to be just as fabulous as the first one. Which isn't always the case for me when reading a series. I always find myself favoring one book over the rest, and in this case I've really enjoyed all three books the same. Maybe that has to do with the fact this is one series that's stayed true to it's voice over the entire series, and it's really shown in the way Joy connected all three books together. All three books really compliment each other well, and each one plays a crucial role in unraveling the mystery that Anne finds herself mixed up in. 

With this book Joy reveals some surprising secrets, answered any remaining questions I had, and wraps up Anne and Ethan journey in a very fitting way. Not only do fans of this series get a closer look into the back ground of the mythology that plays a huge part in this series, we also see how the past, present and future are tied together, and how one character's selfish desires can alter them. I liked how Anne had to go back in time in order to get some of her answers, and how that past directly ties to Anne and Ethan's life now. This part of the series's mystery is uncovered in a way that's both well paced, and exciting. It made sense and was believable for me. I also enjoyed seeing how both the mythology and the characters are all tied together even more so than I first though. They really all come full circle in both their growth, and how the choices that have been made through out the three books have changed, and altered them.  

There's a lot of specific things I felt Joy did a fabulous job at explaining through this book being told through Anne, Ethan and Voktor's points of views. It didn't slow the storyline or make it confusing on who was talking, but instead it kept the flow of the story line exciting, and it was incredibly easy to distinguish who was talking, even if each new chapter wasn't titled by that character's name. I give huge kudos to Joy for being able to write characters who all stood out like that. She surprisingly made it hard for me to dislike Baba Yaga. In-fact, I surprisingly admire her more than I have in the other two books, because I felt like I got to know her more in this one. I respect her for the fact she's stayed the same and honored her same ways, no matter how right or wrong they are, for centuries. She by far has been the most interesting character for me to get to know in this series.

Really there's a lot of things I can point out about her and the rest of the characters that I liked, but in doing so, I'd spoil some of this books plot line. I will say I love the role Anne's family and friends played in this book. Her grandmother totally surprised me in the end! What a great twist. This is a book that fans of Joy's series, as well as YA paranormal reads will enjoy reading, and one I'd recommend picking up.

Don't miss my guest post with Joy talking about Baba Yaga & enter to win the entire three book series HERE

Anastasia Forever Blog Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway

Happy release day to Joy Preble's Anastasia Forever! I'm excited to have today's blog tour stop to celebrate her book's release. Today stop is a guest post from Joy and a giveaway! 1 lucky blog follower will win all three books from Joy's series. First, here's a little bit about Anastasia Forever. 

Stories within stories. Secrets within secrets. In accepting powers from the legendary witch Baba Yaga, Anne must tackle a complex set of missions: Discover the secret of their enemy's newfound immortality; decide whether she can kill him to free her family from a vicious curse; come to terms with the magic that now resides inside her; and finally find true love with Ethan. The riveting conclusion to the trilogy that began with Dreaming Anastasia. -quoted from Goodreads

Top Ten Things to Know About Baba Yaga the Witch
Joy Preble
Author of the DREAMING ANASTASIA series, Sourcebooks

  1. She is the most famous witch in Russian fairy tales/folklore.  In most (maybe all) Slavic languages, ‘Baba’ means ‘old woman.’ The ‘Yaga’ is also from Slavic roots, but it’s a bit more varied in the stories of its etymology. But the easiest way to think of her name is Grandma Yaga. In the DREAMING series, I have Anastasia refer to her as Auntie Yaga, which I thought an interesting little twist. I imagined the witch as asking her captive Anastasia to call her this, perhaps as a joke, perhaps to give Anastasia the sense that the Baba Yaga is gentle, perhaps even benign, which couldn’t be farther from the truth!

  1. Many authors have used her in their stories—from picture books like Babushka Baba Yaga by Patricia Polacco to genre fiction by Orson Scott Card and Neil Gaiman. There’s even a Buffy the Vampire Slayer novelization with Baba Yaga in it! She’s in movies, cartoons, anime… you name it and the old girl has appeared in it! My books are in very good company.

  1. Baba Yaga lives in a hut that stands on chicken legs so that it can help her evade her enemies. (This is such a great visual that it’s been taken over in other stories too. If you’ve seen the anime film, Howl’s Moving Castle, Howl’s house also runs around on chicken legs! This is the folklore that image comes from) In some stories, including mine, pikes with the skulls of her enemies surround her house like a fence. Cool, huh?  And when she travels, she rides in a huge mortar (that big black that you use to grind spices… those big black bowls they put guacamole in sometimes look like it, too!) and she stirs the air with a huge pestle. (That’s the grinding tool)

  1. The idea of ‘grinding’ from that pestle in #3 connects to another fact about Baba Yaga: her forest is a place of change and transformation. Once you enter her forest, you will not come out the same… even if you survive. Baba Yaga is all about duality both in appearance and behavior.  Like all strong women, she’s complex. She may use her considerable power for good. Or she may grind your bones and stick your head on her fence. She’s mercurial and powerful and she can’t quite be defined. I found this particularly fascinating in terms of women and power, which is definitely a motif that runs throughout the series. Societies tend to marginalize old women, to define them by beauty lost, to de-sexualize them. But Baba Yaga won’t stand for that and I love that about her. I thought about this a lot in building her backstory, which continues in ANASTASIA FOREVER. I wanted to know exactly how she became who she is when Anne meets her. Exactly why she agreed to protect Anastasia for the Brotherhood. And I loved the complexity of what developed from that!

  1. Lots of people have written amazing articles about Baba Yaga! A good place to start if you want to read more is here:

  1. Physically, Baba Yaga is very tall. She has iron teeth and a huge nose and these enormous removable hands that detach from her body to do her bidding. I use all of these physical factors in my series.

  1. In many Baba Yaga tales, she has three horsemen who serve and protect her. Each rides a different color horse – one black, one red, and one white, reflecting different times of the day.

  1. In most of the folktales, Baba Yaga has boundaries that she cannot cross. Although I do have her appearing in Anne’s real world, this is still a factor in the DREAMING series, both literally with a river that runs through her forest as well as metaphorically in terms of Anne. There is only so much Baba Yaga can tell Anne. The rest Anne must figure out on her own terms.

  1. In her stories, she is never defeated. Ever. She always comes back!

  1. And here is how I envisioned Anastasia first talking about Baba Yaga, my version of the Vasilisa story that used in DREAMING ANASTASIA:

"In the story, there was a girl. Her name was Vasilisa, and she was very beautiful. Her parents loved her. Her life was good. But things changed. Her mother died. Her father remarried. And the new wife - well, she wasn't so fond of Vasilisa. So she sent her to the hut of the fearsome witch Baba Yaga to fetch some light for their cabin. And that was supposed to be that. For no one returned from Baba Yaga's. But Vasilisa had the doll her dying mother gave her. And the doll- because this was a fairy tale and so dolls could talk - told her what to do. Helped her get that light she came for and escape. And when Vasilisa returned home, that same light burned so brightly that it killed the wicked stepmother who sent Vasilisa to that horrible place. Vasilisa remained unharmed. She married a handsome prince. And lived happily ever after.

When I listened to my mother tell the story, I would pretend I was Vasilisa the Brave. In my imagination, I heeded the advice of the doll. I outwitted the evil Baba Yaga, the fearsome witch who kept her enemies' heads on pikes outside her hut. Who rode the skies in her mortar and howled to the heavens and skittered about on bony legs. Who ate up lost little girls with her iron teeth.

But the story was not as I imagined...."

The Giveaway:
To be entered to win a copy of Dreaming Anastasia, Haunted and Anastasia Forever, please fill out the forum below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Twitter Tuesday - Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins posing in Emeril Lagasse's kitchen.

You may have heard my gasp when I read this wonderful news from Stephanie Perkins:

Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss) signed a world English rights, two-book deal with Dutton Children’s v-p and publisher, Julie Strauss-Gabel. The first book—both will be YA novels—is slated for 2014; per the publisher, it will be a horror novel in the vein of the movie Scream in which a cadre of high school students are being stalked and attacked by a mysterious killer with no obvious motive. Kate Schafer Testerman at kt literary represented Perkins in the deal.
Horror book from Stephanie?? Yes, please. Now one other thing that I was amazed to find is that iTunes (through audible) has both Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door as downloadble audiobooks. Mhmm. Now I can take both Etienne and Cricket with me on my walks. That should help me stay cooler in these last dog days of summer. Or perhaps it won't?