Thursday, 30 August 2012

Fan Expo 2012, In Pictures!

Day 1--Friday.

Steampunk Red Riding Hood

John Barrowman

Photo op #1-- James Marsters

Christoper Lloyd still looking great.

Dual autograph! Capt. John/Capt. Jack from Torchwood!
(James Marsters/John Barrowman)

Me and James Marsters
Day 2-- Saturday

Gender-bending Jayne Cobb

The InnerSPACE panel I waited 4 hours to get into.
Teddy is wearing the Jayne hat I made for him.

The Merlin script I won, signed by the cast. 

THIS is why I waiting 4 hours in line for the
InnerSPACE panel.
The first 80 people got to see an advanced
screening of the Series 7 Doctor Who premiere!

At the premiere.

Day 3-- Sunday

Donna Noble from Partners in Crime
(Doctor Who companion)

Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead
I missed him later that day when I wanted his auto.

(Julian Richings plays Death on Supernatural)
I got his autograph on a movie poster.

Darth Vader

Kate Mulgrew, Capt. Janeway on ST: Voyager.
What an elegant, graceful woman.

John Rhys-Davies, Gimli from LotR
(among many other roles)
He was literally the most charming man
I've ever met.

The gorgeous Cynthia Loyst (InnerSPACE host)

Alan Tudyk. (Wash from Firefly)
This is the pose you get when you
tell him he doesn't age.

John Barrowman
(Captain Jack Harkness, Doctor Who/Torchwood)
Unbelievably friendly, gorgeous and racy!

Scott Gill, John Barrowman's long-time boyfriend
I was so happy I recognized him, and
even happier he agreed to take a pic with me!

Juliet Landau, James Marsters and me.
(Drusilla and Spike from Buffy/Angel)
Juliet was absolutely beautiful.
She admired my Buffy ink and pulled me close for a squeeze.

Not a bad weekend, eh? ;)

Until next year, Fan Expo!!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Toronto Fan Expo 2012!

It's that time of year again!! 
For those of you who've been here since the beginning, you'll remember that Fan Expo was one of the first things I blogged about last year.

This year I'll be attending 3 of the 4 days. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
And, yes, I'm making good on last year's promise. I WILL be cosplaying all three days!

Day 1 I'll be in my steampunk Red Riding Hood costume.
Day 2 I'll be in my Jayne Cobb (Firefly) costume.
Day 3 I'll be in my Donna Noble (Doctor Who) 'Partners in Crime' costume.

I've already got my photo op tickets with James Marsters (Spike from Buffy), a James Marsters/Juliet Landau duo (Spike and Drusilla from Buffy), Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly) and John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who/Torchwood).

I've got my two comics to be signed set aside, I've got the money put away for the books I want to purchase and have signed by the authors who will be there and I've got the schedule printed out so I don't miss any panels (I'm talking to you, SPACE channel!) . ;)

But what I'm REALLY looking forward to is seeing the friends I only get to see once a year, meeting friends I've only spoken to online, and making brand new friends!

So if you're going to Fan Expo, please let me know so we can hook up to say hello!
Email me at JustAGirlGeek <at> gmail <dot> com!

There will also be live-tweeting happening from some of the panels and such (and many pics, I'm sure!).
You can follow me @ChristinaBWho.
And be sure to check this space next week for my Fan Expo recaps!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Book Review: Touched by Cyn Balog

Release date: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Author: Cyn Balog
A big thanks to Net Galley and Delacorte for providing this eARC for review!

Nick Cross always listens to the voice in his head. Because if he doesn't? Things can go really, really wrong. Like the day he decided to go off script and saved a girl from being run over . . . and let another one drown. Trying to change the future doesn't work.

But this summer at the Jersey Shore, something's about to happen that Nick never could have predicted. He meets a girl named Taryn and finds out about the Book of Touch. Now the path that he thought he was on begins to shift . . . and there's no way to stop things from happening. Or is there? 

In a life where there are no surprises, nothing has prepared Nick for what he's about to discover--or the choice he will be forced to make. . . .

So that's a pretty cool blurb up there, right? Well let me tell you, it does NOT do this book justice!
I couldn't put it down!

Touched is about this guy named Nick who can see his future. ALL of his futures. Every decision he makes changes what will happen in his life, but he remembers futures that COULD have happened too.
His marriages, his deaths, his children, it's all there in his head.
Crazy, right?!

What a fascinating concept! I LOVED it!

Enter Taryn, who changes Nick's future yet again....but this time it's NOT a future Nick wants.
The two must do everything they can to change what will happen.
It's quite a roller coaster ride for the reader, let me tell you!

I love the characters. Your heart goes out to Nick when you realize what the poor guy has to go through everyday.
And I adore Nan.

But the best part? The ending! Oh em gee, that ending! I can't say a word about it, but it's twisty and shocking and it'll leave you teary.

There's no excessive sex or language or anything too mature in Touched, so I'd be comfortable recommending it to kids 12+, and it's written from a boy's perspective, so it's perfect for boys, too!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Book Review: Lucretia and the Kroons by Victor LaValle

Release date: July 23, 2012
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (Random House)

Author: Victor LaValle

Lucretia's best friend and upstairs neighbor Sunny-a sweet pitbull of a kid, even as she struggles with a mysterious illness-has gone missing. The only way to get her back is for Lucretia to climb the rickety fire escape of their Queens tenement and crawl through the window of apartment 6D, portal to a vast shadowland of missing kids ruled by a nightmarish family of mutants whose designs on the children are unknown. Her search for Sunny takes Lucretia through a dark fantasyland where she finds lush forests growing from concrete, pigeon-winged rodents, and haunted playgrounds. Her quest ultimately forces her to confront the most frightening specter of all: losing, forever, the thing you love the most.
Lucretia and the Kroons is a dazzlingly imaginative adventure story and a moving exploration of the power of friendship and the terror of loss. This all-new novella serves as the perfect companion piece to The Devil in Silver, a thrillingly suspenseful work of literary horror that continues the story of Lucretia.

This was a weird book. Not at all what I expected, and that's not a bad thing. It was creepy and a bit disturbing and it made me think. It was sneaky that way, with the thinking.

These are always the toughest reviews for me to write. The ones where I didn't love the book, but I didn't hate it either.
This book is really just kind of ho-hum for me.

It's a novella, so it's an easy day-read. The characters are interesting, and I did really like Loochie.

It's the horror bits that were just okay for me. I prefer my horror to be realistic, and Lucretia and the Kroons is more a fantasy-horror.

That being said, it did interest me enough to want to read it's companion novel, The Devil in Silver, but only because it continues the story of Loochie...without the odd Kroons.

If you're looking for a short read and you like off-the-wall kind of stuff, you might like Lucretia and the Kroons.
I'd say it's for ages 16+. Some of the horror bits might gross out younger teens.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Book Review: Rift Healer by Diane M. Haynes

Release date: March 12, 2012
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Author: Diane M. Haynes
HUGE thank you to the author for providing this copy for review!

After a minor earthquake, the enchanted forest in Bidwell, MA, is infested with monster-spewing rifts. Gisele's great nephew, the gifted Micah, and his distant cousin, Selena, arrive to assist. Together with Gisele's summer students, twins Haley and Lacey, they will try to help the magical forest. Much to the consternation of the beautiful Selena, Micah identifies Haley as The One whom he'll share his future. But after witnessing a terrifying display of Micah's Gift, Haley cools to his advances and unexpectedly discovers her own Gift-- she can heal the earth. 
Monsters, mayhem, and teenage angst follow the small group as they confront evil in the forest and a dangerous prediction that 'one will fall'. Will they heal the rifts in time? Can they save the unicorns? And is Haley really destined to be with Micah?

Okay, I'm ashamed to say that this book is a classic 'don't judge a book by it's cover' case for me.
I'm not really a fan of the cover, and the blurb on the back was only mildly interesting. Those things almost made me pass on this book.
HOLY COW, that would have been a HUGE mistake!!

Let me try to put this into perspective for you--
I have a 4 year old daughter, and I've been buying YA and MG books for her. Yes, I realize that she won't be able to read them for years. I just want to have the books I LOVED on hand for her for when she's ready.
I have Anne of Green Gables, Black Beauty, Heidi, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Are You There, God...?, The Book Thief, and many more.
All classics, all amazing books.
Guess what else will be on that shelf soon? You got it. Rift Healer. THAT'S how much I LOVED this book, and THAT'S how much this book means to me now.
It easily deserves a spot on my daughter's shelf with the classics I fell in love with as a girl.

Rift Healer transported me back in time. I was again 12 years old, adventuring beside our heroes, twins Haley and Lacey.
I could feel my heart pounding during the battles, I held my breath during the anxious moments, and 12 year old me blushed right along with Haley when Micah would say something sweet.

This book is like a mash-up of Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz, Narnia and The Lord of the Rings--but it's so fantastically UNIQUE.
The characters are amazing and wonderful. The writing is so vivid that you WILL be in the forest alongside Giselle. You WILL hear The Terrors. You WILL feel the grass beneath your feet. You WILL see the beauty of the flowers.

Without spoilers, I can tell you that the last battle will have your heart in your throat, and that you'll fall in love with the Greenman. ;)

I don't know if Rift Healer is the first in a series or if it's a stand-alone novel--but I truly hope this isn't the last we've seen of Haley, Micah and the rest.
I can tell you most definitely that every single one of these books, if written, will find it's spot on my shelf ready and waiting.

I HIGHLY recommend Rift Healer for middle graders and teens 10+. There is NO excessive language or sexual scenes, and I'd be very comfortable letting my daughter read this book when she's ready for it.

Thank you SO MUCH, Diane, for allowing me to read this gift.

You can purchase Rift Healer here.... And I really hope you do.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Young Adult Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Reading Teen.

Are you ready for an EPIC giveaway?! Want to know what you'll win?! Okay!

ONE winner will receive a hardcover copy of Ashfall by Mike Mullin, a Hunger Games back sack, a Saving Angels series postcard signed by Tiffany King, an Innocent Darkness bookmark signed by Suzanne Lazear, a Velveteen bookmark signed by Daniel Marks AND an Auracle wristband!

The best part? This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL! ANYONE can enter! 

Just fill out the rafflecopter form below!

(Open internationally.
ONE winner will be chosen.
Contest is open from Aug. 8 to 11:59pm ET on Aug.14, 2012.
The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another winner is chosen.
Not responsible for items lost or damaged in the mail.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please hop over to these awesome blogs for more great YA giveaways!