September 28, 2009

Hi guys. I just wanted to let you all know that I will be going on a short hiatus. I only plan on going away for a week or two. I really just need some time to relax from my blog and create more scheduled posts, so I won’t feel so behind and inactive all the time. =)


Michelle Moran Contest WINNER

September 27, 2009

The winner of the Michelle Moran contest is…


Congratulations! Please e-mail me at towerofbooks(at)gmail(dot)com within 5 days to claim your prize. Thanks to everyone that entered.

Youtube Connection 17

September 24, 2009

Every Thursday, I will post a video (or more) that is somehow connected to a book I’ve read. I’ve also included a Mr. Linky widget at the bottom for anyone that’s interested in posting videos of their own.

This week’s book is one you have all heard of: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The video I decided to show is the 1994 movie version of Frankenstein. Admittedly, I mostly chose this video because it has Helena Bonham Carter in it. 😛 Enjoy!

The White Queen – Philippa Gregory

September 22, 2009

Elizabeth Woodville is a widow who attracts the attention of Edward, the recently crowned King of England. Edward marries Elizabeth in secret. When the secret is revealed, Elizabeth ascends into royalty. She uses her power to put her relatives in high positions. Before long, Elizabeth gives birth to several daughters. However, her family will only remain on the court if she gives birth to a male heir. Then, Elizabeth becomes pregnant again, and this time, it’s a son! After that son, she gives birth to another boy. Suddenly, England is caught in another war, and both her sons are kidnapped!

Before I read The White Queen, I had never even heard of the Plantagenets. As you can imagine, my knowledge of world history is rather limited. Anyway, I read The White Queen with an open mind, and I had no idea if Gregory remained historically accurate or not. After I finished reading the novel, I wikipedia’d and learned exactly what was fact and what was fiction. Did my lack of knowledge about the Plantagenets affect my likes for this novel? I don’t think they did. When I learned the actual history, I realized that the changes Gregory made felt necessary. Of course, if you like your historical fiction to be accurate, then this may not be the book for you.

I enjoyed reading The White Queen. Elizabeth Woodville is a great protagonist. I can definitely see why Gregory would write a novel about her. Readers will enjoy her rags-to-riches story. Picking the time period with the Cousins’ War was also a smart move. This time period really gave Gregory a lot of material to work with and helped create a fascinating story. The only real complaint I had was that the story dragged around the middle. The novel became boring. Here’s an allegory: Have you ever sat in a history class where the teacher discussed something that should have been interesting like a war, but the teacher made it dull? The White Queen was like that in parts of the novel. However, the novel was definitely more interesting than boring, and I look forward to the rest of the series.

Overall, The White Queen is a fascinating story about a little known queen.

Related Links
Youtube Connection 15
Philippa Gregory’s Website

Michelle Moran Contest UPDATE

September 21, 2009

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have extended the deadline for the Michelle Moran contest. The new deadline is September 25, so if you have not entered, check it out. 😉

The Amanda Project: Invisible I – Stella Lennon

September 20, 2009

When Amanda Valentino enrolled in Endeavor High School, she chose a person to be her guide.  That person was Callie Leary. Then, Callie is called up to the principal’s office along with Hal Bennett and Nia Rivera. They learn that Amanda has disappeared, and she’s left each of them clues to find her. Together, they also learn that Amanda secretly chose each of them as her guide. Why would Amanda choose all of them, yet keep it a secret until now? And most importantly, where has Amanda gone? As the trio attempt to unravel the truth, they realize the mystery of Amanda is larger than any of them ever suspected…

Before I begin with my thoughts, I should explain The Amanda Project. The Amanda Project is a collaborative project between several YA authors, all under the alias Stella Lennon. The author of Invisible I, the first book of the series, is actually Melissa Kantor. The series is also interactive. Readers can go to The Amanda Project (theamandaproject.com), where they can help Nia, Callie, and Hal find Amanda and do other fun stuff. The pages of Invisible I are also filled with fun doodles, which create a unique reading experience. The setup is a great idea, and I have to admit, somewhat ballsy.

Overall, I enjoyed Invisible I, but I did have a few problems with the novel. Other than the basic setup, I really liked the characters of Nia, Callie, and Hal. Clearly, Amanda chose these three as her guide because they are all very different. Callie is a part of the popular group, Nia embraces the fact she’s unpopular, and Hal is artsy. Putting these completely different people together helped create a unique group of characters, and these characters will keep readers entertained throughout this novel and hopefully the rest of the series.

Now, for my dislikes. While I realize because Invisible I is the first of a series, many of the questions will not be answered. However, it seemed that all the questions at the beginning of the novel lead to about ten others. So basically, the whole novel is basically just a bunch of questions that never get answered. The lack of closure really frustrated me, but I think the next novels in The Amanda Project series will not have that problem.

I recommed this novel to anyone looking for a unique reading experience.

Related Links
The Amanda Project

Upcoming Books – September Part 2

September 19, 2009

This is the second half of September releases I am looking forward to. For the first half, go here. 🙂 Each book cover is linked to the amazon page for the novel.


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