Tag Archives: Sarah Rees Brennan

Waiting on Wednesday (41)
Waiting on Wednesday
May 15, 2013 posted by Nichole

Waiting on Wednesday (41)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


15801763Free from bonds, but not each other

It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?


Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Published by Simon & Schuster

To be released on October 10th, 2013

In My Mailbox #34
In My Mailbox
May 13, 2012 posted by Nichole

In My Mailbox #34

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren, inspired by Alea and explores the contents of our mailbox on a weekly basis

Welcome back!

It’s been a few weeks since my last IMM post, and books have been arriving at my doorstep day by day. I want to give you guys a quick look at some of the awesome books I’ve received recently. Rest assured, you will eventually see all of them. You just got to keep coming back for more[;

For Review

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle

What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen

Intentions by Deborah Heiligman


I am really excited about some of the great books that have been arriving at my door. I have been especially dying to read these five books, and I can’t wait to tell you guys what I think of them. Is there a specific one you can’t wait to see a review of? Or is there another book not mentioned here that you want our opinion on? Let us know in the comment section below! And make sure you let us know what books you got in your mailbox this week. Happy reading!


Want to see what I’m currently reading? Go check out my goodreads page here or check out yareads goodreads page here. It’s the perfect place to see what we’re reading, what page we’re on, and what we’re about to read!

Book Reviews
August 22, 2009 posted by Nikki

The Demon’s Lexicon – Sarah Rees Brennan

Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick’s mother stole — a charm that keeps her alive — and they want it badly enough to kill again.

Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon’s mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase…and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is des-perate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.

Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians’ Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.

This is The Demon’s Lexicon. Turn the page.

As if being on the run from demons isn’t bad enough. When Mae and Jaime walk into Nick and Alan’s life, Nick reckons that things couldn’t get any suckier. Jamie has been marked, and his sister (Mae) is desperate for Nick and Alan’s help removing it. But then Alan gets marked and Nick’s priority is solely and absolutely focussed on getting that devilish thing the hell off his brother. And so starts their journey – all FOUR of them.

Yep, that’s right – Mae and Jamie are along for the ride. Alan insists he’ll help them – probably because he’s jonesing for Mae, Nick reckons, but whatever. Any reason is a bad reason. Alan should be focussing on getting his own mark removed, not removing someone else’s.

Then the unthinkable happens. Nick – although he refuses to acknowledge it initially – totally starts falling for Mae. A kid like Nick could probably use the loving of a good girl like Mae. Might break his rock hard exterior somewhat. Teach him a thing or two on the treatment of human beings. Problem is, though, that Nick can’t possibly like the same girl as Alan. Brothers just don’t do that to each other, right? And what about Mae? Nick is pretty sure she likes Alan, but then, he kind of thinks she likes him to. Typical. Damn girls.

And freaking hell, girls only complicate things. Girls shouldn’t be his priority right now. Alan should be. Alan IS. Really. He’s got to get that freaking mark off of Alan if it’s the last thing he ever does. His life is meaningless without Alan. And while Alan is marked, his days are pretty much numbered.

Just when you think its all over, that they’re all going to die, the story takes an unimaginable turn…

This one is a little slow on the uptake kids, but I guarantee that once the action starts you’re not going to want to put it down. If you’re not into the dark and agro characters normally, you might have a few issues processing your feelings towards Nick at the beginning, but I assure you, you’ll fall in love with him soon enough. Reading The Demon’s Lexicon taught me that I need to take my time with the narrative a little more. I’m always in such a hurry to get to the action, the hot spots of the novel. This is one of those foundation laying kind of stories. Every word is important. When you turn the last page, you’ll realise just how important.

Like a good fantasy novel? Love The Demon’s Lexicon.

Rating: : ★★★★☆

Author Interview: Sarah Rees Brennan
Author Interviews
August 18, 2009 posted by Nikki

Author Interview: Sarah Rees Brennan

The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan is our Book of the Month here at yaReads. Sarah added to her already huge stack of awesomeness this week and agreed to an interview with us for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.

So, since we’re running a contest that offers both the UK and the US covers as prizes, I have to ask: which one is your fave cover and why?

My favourite cover out of all my covers? Definitely my Japanese cover! Check it out: http://www.sarahreesbrennan.com/japancoversmall.jpg Is it not the greatest cover in the world? I’m having it made into posters to pass out when I am on tour with Scott Westerfeld in October. (Yes, you heard that right. Imagine that phone call as ‘You free to go on tour with Scott Westerfeld?’ *scream* *crash* *gurgling sound of someone trying to both faint and have hysterics* ‘… Yes, that sounds acceptable to me.’)

I like both my UK and US covers: I love how noir and dangerous the UK cover looks, and how the boy on the US cover is good-looking with just a hint of something dark in the eyes – and that underneath the US cover there’s a Secret Cover.

The Demon’s Lexicon world is kind of a mash of a whole bunch of urban fantasy genres. You’ve got everything magical in there. Was that a conscious decision or did it just kind of happen naturally?

I feel magic is like chocolate – adding it makes everything better. I’m never really able to believe that just one fantastical thing is true (witches are real but nothing else is, vampires are real but nothing else is) and I wanted to have a secret world that was believable, and magic that was used in a dozen different ways. Including using it for profit!

Nick is a very fierce character. Please explain.

Well, Nick has a lot to be upset about… Heh. I kept seeing characters who were watered-down versions of the mad, bad and dangerous to know type like Rochester and Heathcliff, and I really wanted to write a character who was mad, bad and dangerous to know – but from the inside, so nobody was distracted by the smouldering good looks (well… not very distracted) and so I could see how that character really ticked, make it clear that this kind of behaviour didn’t come from a good place and also (with some luck!) write a character who was still compelling despite all that.

I’m always interested in how authors choose names for their beloved characters. So, how did you choose yours?

Honestly I am always freaked out by characters with bizarre names in books. So many people with strange names like Faraday Moonfeather, so few explanations like ‘My parents were vampire elders/hippies/thought being beaten up on the playground would build moral fibre.’ So I knew I wanted really normal names for my characters, in order to fight the trend. So, Nick and Alan, normal names that I like. Plus it amuses me that Old Nick is one of the names for the devil, and it seemed a good fit for my slightly villainous hero.

Mae and Jamie, the other two main characters, were chosen to be not so strange and yet say something about their characters: Mae calls herself Mae after Mae West, truly one of the most awesome old movie stars ever (a couple of Mae West quotes: ‘Marriage is a fine institution… but I’m not ready for an institution yet’ and ‘Used to be Snow White, but I drifted’) and Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, which says a lot about Mae, and Jamie goes with a cute, non-threatening nickname rather than ‘James.’

Of course then I found out that ‘Jamie’ can also be a girl’s name in America. I’m so sorry, Jamie!

Did your plot, or your characters for The Demon’s Lexicon come first?

I knew the end of the book first, so you could say that plot came first, but the plot is really bound up with the characters: things only pan out the way they do because the people in the book are the people they are – a compulsive liar, a power addict, someone with an anger management problem and someone with a huge secret – so it’s very hard for me to disentangle the two.

How long did it take – from start to finish – to write The Demon’s Lexicon?

From having the idea to being totally finished, with revising it myself, revising it with my agent, revising it with my editor and copy edits done? Two years. (But I was writing other stuff by the time I was in copy edits… like the sequel!)

You were a Librarian before you were a writer. Do you miss it?

I was a library assistant, not even as fancy as a librarian. 😉 I will tell you one thing I miss about it – story hour at the library every Wednesday. I love reading aloud and running around, and we’d read Where the Wild Things Are and then scream ‘LET THE WILD RUMPUS BEGIN!’ and jog around the children’s space as we all screamed and threw up our hands.

… My bosses never need to know this about me.

You lived in New York for a short period. What did you love most about that? Why did you decide to move back to Ireland?

Well, I moved back to Ireland because I only had a year’s visa as an intern, and the Law asks Questions of a young lady who stays on when her visa is expired…

But I did live in New York, yes, and I loved it. Part of it was just how different life is over there. ‘And what do you call this?’ ‘Mac and cheese…’ ‘Ah, MAC and CHEESE. Mmm, exotic.’ ‘And this delicacy?’ ‘Meatloaf.’ ‘Today I sampled the dish known as the Meat Loaf, Mother. I have as yet suffered no ill effects!’

And partly it was that New York is one of those sprawling, wonderful cities full of discoveries to be made. like a street with quotes written on every paving stone, and biker gangs who end up adopting you (long stories) and friends who don’t abandon you even though you shame them in your paroxysms over bubble tea.

As a first time novelist, is being a writer lived up to everything you thought it would?

I don’t think I ever had a clear idea of what it would be like: I spent years and years having it be a dizzy dream – I wasn’t able to think past publishers saying yes before they did, and when they did I didn’t spend any time thinking: I spent my time either ecstatically dreaming of huge success, or coldly fearing terrible failure.

Even now, there have only been a few moments where I could quietly process what’s happened: when I’m sitting down writing a book that I know someone besides my Great-Aunt Jemima will read, or reading a lovely email from someone who enjoyed the book, or curled up with tea and copy-edits. And then I think ‘Wow, I am so lucky’ and try to think about something else fast lest the luck be broken.

What is your fave fantasy novel?

I absolutely cannot pick one. I love far too many. But possibly my favourite fantasy novelist in the world is Diana Wynne Jones, who makes fantasy both funny and believable all the time, and ties it into issues like fantasy, love, family and betrayal in a way that hits all my fantasy-loving buttons at once with a massive hammer.

Do you get into contemporary/realist fiction?

I get into every kind of fiction there is! I love historical, crime, classics, romance, and everything in between. An extremely brilliant contemporary novel I’ve read recently is Jaclyn Mitchard’s The Deep End of the Ocean, about a young boy stolen from his family, and how his loss affects both his mother and his rebellious older brother. (It’s obvious at this point that families in fiction are one of my favourite things!)

You did an MA in Creative Writing. Is this something that you would recommend to all aspiring writers?

It would depend on the course, and also what they wanted to write. My tutor Liz Jensen (The Ninth Life of Louis Drax) was awesome and taught me a lot, but there were also a few people who thought fantasy was a waste of time. On the whole, I’m really glad I did the course, but I think it’s something everyone has to think over very carefully and then decide for themselves.

Which do you prefer…

Coffee or tea?

Tea. You might think this means I don’t have a problem, but tea actually has more caffeine in it than coffee, and I am on a good thirteen cups a day. Tea is my heroin. baby.

Summer or winter?

Summer! I love the sunshine. Which is sad for me, as the Irish summer lasts approximately three days.

Carrot or icecream?

How can you even ask me that? What do you take me for? Ice-cream! I just had burnt sugar and butter ice-cream while I was in Massachusetts, and honestly I still dream about it.

London or New York?

Oh. That one is really, really tough. I will say New York, because America has being exotic going on for it, and there is always something fun and strange happening in New York (though there’s mostly something fun and strange happening in London.) Still, given the Victorian tea parlour that’s secretly a bar, the library that’s secretly a bar, the underground spyhole that’s secretly a bar, the beauty shop that’s secretly a bar (What… I’m IRISH) I’ll have to go with New York. But I love both!

Guest Reviewer: Sarah Rees Brennan
Guest Reviews
August 10, 2009 posted by Nikki

Guest Reviewer: Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan is the author of the popular novel, The Demon’s Lexicon, which also happens to be our Book of the Month right now. Sarah kindly agreed to review one of her fave YA books for your reading please. She chose The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong…

One of my Favourite Teen Books, and Thoughts About Sequels

So, I really loved The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong, (http://sarahtales.livejournal.com/136884.html a tale of Chloe, a girl who immediately assumes that she has mental problems and not super powers, and the people she meets at the institution: fire starters, telekinetics and one incredibly sullen werewolf.

Reading the second book in a series you love is always a little scary. You really don’t want it to let you down, and the second book in a trilogy is even scarier: you always have a sneaking suspicion that the writer might be saving the best stuff up for book three.

However, I have a rule for all good trilogies. Book 1: set up. Book 2: make out. Book 3: defeat evil!

Obviously this is not all that goes on in trilogies, but I really mean it. Book one introduces you to the world, and the characters, to the way the writer’s going to be handling the story and the way s/he runs with and wraps up a book. And then book two takes you further into the world, and since the overarching plot can’t be resolved, it gives you time to show us more of the characters, and how the storyline is developing and affecting them: how the characters change and grow, and how their relationships become more intense and complicated. (Which often leads to making out…)

The Awakening delivers exactly what I want in a second book, and did a lot of things I would find cool in any book.

Something I really love is the deconstruction of tropes: when the things we think we know will happen don’t happen, when it all goes differently. My favourite movie this summer was (unexpectedly, as I’ve never seen the TV show) Star Trek, and one of my very favourite things about it was how they handled the romance. You know how it goes. Arrogant Good-Looking Guy meets and tries to woo Discerning Lady. She turns him down, and then he proves to her that she can take him seriously, and she learns to respect his mad skillz, and after that… she gets with someone else, because she really meant it when she said he wasn’t her type.

You see what they did there.

In The Awakening, there’s a small blond girl who’s easily scared, and a big rough tough dark guy who’s easily angered, and occasionally the guy yells and the girl shrinks back, and… it’s not at all good times. Chloe thinks to herself that she has to stop succumbing to damselitis and takes action, and Derek realises what he’s doing and tries to take a step back and be more reasonable. And instead of being romantic traits about them, these things are seen as stuff they have to work on, and evidence that they’re both young and finding out who they really are.

CHLOE: Omigod now it’s in the paper that I was being INTIMIDATED by a HUGE DUDE yelling at me.
CHLOE: … Um.
CHLOE: But kind of, you were. Because you are a HUGE DUDE. And you were YELLING.
CHLOE: That’s okay.

‘But Sarah’ you might say at this juncture. ‘I believe you were talking about making out?’

Now, The Awakening has a love triangle in it. Love triangles can be tricky, as you can end up going ‘Lady, make up your mind, nobody’s getting any younger and this is not fair to these poor boys.’ The Awakening deals with it in a way I really enjoy – by having Chloe, Derek and Simon – Derek’s adopted brother, who is gorgeous and biracial (nice to see! Plus look, families, yay!) all just be young, and fairly unaware of what’s going on, especially considering the terrifying stuff happening around them. Derek is kind of hideous, which is a refreshing change for a sulky young hero, and thus has never had any luck with the ladies. Chloe is a late bloomer and not used to picking up any cues.

CHLOE: Simon’s so awesome. Any girl would be lucky to go out with him.
SIMON: *holds Chloe’s hand*
CHLOE: Shame he thinks of me as a sister, but there you go.
SIMON: As a SIXTEEN YEAR OLD DUDE, I would just like to say I would never dream of holding hands with MY SISTER.

CHLOE: Oh Derek, here we are hiding in the bathroom after facing down crazy werewolves! We are wet and distraught and clingy and you have no shirt on! I have this funny feeling…
DEREK: … Um…. me too maybe… um…
CHLOE: Probably indigestion.

It is pretty clear that I want Derek and Chloe to end up together. And evil to be defeated, naturally. I like the characters and the world a lot: I’m looking forward to the third book not only so I can find out what happens next, but just because I really enjoy being with these fictional people and seeing how things play out for them. I recommend both books a LOT.

I’ll also take this time to thank my pal Aprilynne Pike (Wings) who sent me a copy of The Awakening signed by Kelley for me… in tribute to Derek’s rockin’ bod…

Thanks to Sarah for taking the time to write this!

Demon’s Lexicon Giveaway
August 4, 2009 posted by Nikki

Demon’s Lexicon Giveaway

For those that may not have figured it out yet, The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan is our book of the month for August here at yaReads. Just in case you’re not familiar with the book yet, here’s a synopsis from amazon:

Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick’s mother stole — a charm that keeps her alive — and they want it badly enough to kill again.

Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon’s mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase…and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is des-perate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.

Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians’ Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.

This is the Demon’s Lexicon. Turn the page.

As part of this, Sarah has been kind enough to donate two books for giveaway to our loyal readers.This month, though, the giveaway has a little bit of a twist. We’re giving away one book with the US cover:

And one copy with the UK cover:

We’ll be drawing the competition on August 30 via an online random selector, so please don’t ask to be entered into the draw for a specific cover. To enter, all you have to do is leave your details and your name in the comments below.

Stay tuned for my review of the novel, an interview with Sarah herself, and a guest review by Sarah.