Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September Spectacular Reading Challenge & Giveaway

Steph over at The Thoughts of a Book Junkie is a holding a fun contest/challenge. The point is to read 5 books through September and post your link to your review at the end of each week. I've decided that I read more than that anyway, so why not enter? Here are the rules:

  • It will start September 1st and go on through September 30th.
  • There will be a 5 book reading challenge, ( one book a week) that you will have to read. Which books? Any 5 you want. Its your choice... Easy huh. At the end of that week you will post your review on your blog and add your link to the Mr. Linky at the bottom. ( If you don't have a blog you can either post a comment, letting everyone know what you think about the book or sent me an email with your review) * Sep first starts on a Wednesday so you can start your first book on Sunday the 29th if you want.
  • At the end of each week a giveaway will be posted. That's 5 giveaways!! The only thing you have to do to enter is, link your review on that weeks Mr. Linky. Plus get an extra entry if you add the September Spectacular button to your post or sidebar! (Open Internationally)
I haven't decided on all my books yet. I know three of them though and they are:

The others will depend on what type of mood I'm in after Hold Still. I was planning on reading Hold Still first but after reading the wonderful and heartbreaking How To Say Goodbye In Robot (a review will be up soon), I need something a little lighter. 

Make sure to visit the link above if you want to sign up for this fun challenge too!

TEAser Tuesdays (3): How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford

On My iPod: "Electrify" by Mutemath

TEAser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others!
Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles!

Set-up: Beatrice receives a note from Ghost Bot (Jonah)


- Pg. 21 "How To Say Goodbye In Robot" by Natalie Standiford

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cover Envy (5)

On My iPod: "Sick Muse" by Metric

It's that time of week again! I'm showing another couple of covers that make me green with envy and stuck sitting on my hands until the novels they cover come out.

I hope you enjoy!

Entwined by Heather Dixon- *Sigh*. Seriously, look at this cover. This is like someone asked a seven-year-old to describe their dream cover and then an artist went crazy to make one of the most breathtaking covers I've seen lately. Everything from the poofy white dress to the lush greenery, her hair spilling down her back to the castle in the near distance is beautiful. I also love the material her dress is made out of it. It looks a little beat up like something has gone slightly array. The vines swirling around the cover and the font just complete the package. This book is gorgeous!

Here's the blurb (from Goodreads):

Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . . Lush, romantic, and compelling, this debut novel by Heather Dixon will thrill fans of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Edith Pattou.

Entwined will be out March 29, 2011.

Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston- This has always been a really wonderful series and each cover gets better. I loved the first two covers but this one out does itself. The dark background really sets off Kelley's vivid red hair and I love how the dress gives the hint of wings with it's fabric in the back.

The blurb isn't even out yet. This is the third in the series. The first novel is Wondrous Strange and the second is Darklight.

Tempestuous will be out January 7, 2011.

Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0439023513
ISBN-13: 978-0439023511
Source: Bought from Borders.com
Cover: I realize I'm reading a lot into it this but I really like this cover for a few key reasons. The biggest reason I like it is in comparison to the last novel. It was about catching fire and was red and gold in it's burning glory. This one with it's cool blue and silver tones feels a lot more like the cool and calculated district 13 with it's grey uniforms and strict schedules. This cover also works well because it stripped the mockingjay of it's circle pin, much like Katniss is stripped of everything in the last book and can finally decide if she's going to fight. This cover is a yes for it's simplistic beauty and the meaning that can be found under the clean lines.
First Sentence: "I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather."

The Mini-review: Yup, it's that good... seriously.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell. and it by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans-- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.


I can't think of one other book that I've put down sometimes and exclaimed "I hate this novel" and had to pick it right back up to see what was going to happen next. The Hunger Games caught me, Catching Fire tighten the noose and Mockingjay kicked the chair out from under me and laughed while I was hanging. It is because of this that these novels are so amazing and they hold such a special place in my heart.

Collins goes farther than any other novel series I've read. She pushes all of her characters to their absolute limits, takes a step back to assess what they truly fear, and then makes it ten times worse. Just as the precious Hunger Games she created, no one escapes her brilliant cruelty. And it is because we see these characters sink to the lowest they can possible go (and way beyond) that we truly relate to them. The best part about this is no character is exempt from this rule and often times, the characters that do die are in a far better place than those who continue on.

Katniss is a complex, real heroine if I ever met one. Weighed down by each life her decisions take, she a mess trying to sort through the past two games, the destruction of her home, the capture of Peeta and the pain this causes Gale. Rather than taking this all on at once, she hides, often relying on her own form of the bottle (sleep or morphling) to take away the awful truths that have just begun to surface from her previous torment. She battles with the essential question-- how can I lead when I'm not able to face up to the consequences? No matter what she does, lives are going to be lost. She relies on her friends but her strength, her unpredictability (think the berries) and her ingrained knowledge to always question the motives of those around her are what always gives her the edge. I love that we finally get a heroine who understands what comes first. At times, her inability to figure out who she wants to love got somewhat annoying, especially since at the heart of her character she's pretty calculating and decisive, but her reasoning for being unable to think about it during such an extreme period of time make a lot of sense. After all, love has never been a necessity in District 12.

The plot wouldn't allow me to put the novel down for long periods of time. Unfortunately, this novel came right as I was going through one of those reading lags and that kept me away a bit but this in no way is the actual novel's fault. I raced through the pages (mostly to see when I was finally going to get Peeta back) and just as with the last two, could never guess where I was being lead. Every time I thought I was catching on, the twist came throwing me off the trail. Collins writes herself into a corner, pulls a brilliant hat trick and before  I know it, we're out of it and moving on to the next thing. I was particularly impressed with Peeta's cruel but completely engrossing journey in this novel.

As always, I enjoyed the bare minimum style of Katniss's voice. Her descriptions of people, places and situations are always almost on a need to know bases but what I love is we get one or two amazingly perceptive details that we can file away for later and most of the time, they come into play. For instance, Gale's a hunter at heart and we know he's good with traps because that was his role to play in their hunting pair back in book one. In this book, his trapping skills come into some powerful plays and cause some pretty catastrophic, if not effective, results. I also loved that we got to finally see Prim. We saw Prim in The Hunger Games but during this time, Katniss thought of her as a child still. Mockingjay brings us a fully realized adult version of the 13 (I'm pretty sure that's her age) year old and I have to say, I'm in love with her! Katniss makes a fascinating observation about Prim saying she got the best of all the family traits-- "her mother's healing hands, her father's level head, and her [Katniss's] fight" and then goes on to say "there's something else there as well, something entirely her own. An ability to look into the confusing mess of life and see things for what they are" (Pg. 184). For some reason, this out of all the other things Katniss observes really stuck with me and while before, Prim was just the little girl with blonde hair, she became an entire and whole character right before my eyes that I desperately wanted to know.

I've heard that there has been some discontent over the ending. I honestly can't think of a better way to end it than the way it did. Katniss finally learned the ability she credited Prim for, to pull out the truth in life, and used this knowledge to thrust the entire world back into the hands of those who really want change. After, she just is. There is no going back, no erasing the thousands of lives she feels responsible for. She can never feel completely secure because she felt that before and had everything taken from her. Katniss learned to live-- maybe not a well adjusted life-- but a life that was finally mostly in her control. The only thing I wish we'd gotten a little more of is Katniss and Peeta finally falling in love. We get this lovely little game of "real or not real" along with that memory of what the love was between them "always" but we've just spent the entire book watching Peeta not be his old lovable self and I would have liked to see a little more of that transformation to believe their new life.

In my opinion, a good book will feel good even after you close it. A great book will be there forever. A permanent part of you that you'd never dream of severing. Mockingjay, and really the entire set of books, has taken hold of me and it will never let go.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

In My Mailbox (2)

In my mailbox is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren that encourages other book bloggers to share what they bought, won, begged for or borrowed. It is usually held on Sundays!

This week was a slow week for books for me but I did get one that I've been waiting for! Of course the book I'm talking about it Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins! I also go a book for the contest I'll be holding soon!

  1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins- Bought from Borders.com
  2. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (signed!) (But not for me, for you!)- Bought from The Book Center (Vero Beach, Fl)
If YOU want this signed book, make sure to enter my contest coming soon!

So how did you do this week?

Getting To Know You... (2)

...Through Favorite Books
Most of us have a little common ground to stand on. Pretty much every single blog I follower or who follows me blogs about books. It's odd to me that I visit sites everyday, read reviews and posts and don't really know too much about anyone. That's why I started these posts. So on to that common ground. Here's a list of my top 5 favorite books (in no particular order)!

1) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer- Some people love it, others hate but there's no doubt about it, this book sparks some pretty powerful feelings. I understand both sides and I get the flaws of this book. But all of those terrible things people say don't change one thing and that's the way I felt when I was reading this book. Going back to 9th grade, I can remember wanting someone so bad it hurt. I can remember my whole day being ruined because He didn't wave to me in the hall. Bringing that back today, most of my days are ruined when my husband says something rude to me or ignores me. So I get that crazy, do-anything-for-the-other person love Meyer's was striving to create. I traveled up to Seattle to see her on her Breaking Dawn Concert Tour and walked through the woods she describes in the novel. The thing I've always loved about walking through the woods is that feeling that anything can happen right beyond that tree. She brought that feeling back for me and whispered into my ear "yes, all those daydreams are true". By God, I want to believe her. Love them or hate them, this is one of my top favorite novels. Even now her characters stay with me and after the last page was turned I was still thinking about them.

2) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- (A.K.A. The Lottery and Most Dangerous Game tied into one amazing bow.) I still sit up at night thinking about the horror Cato (and Katniss and Peeta) went through at the end of this first novel. I hate novels with little to no dialog, The Hunger Games was paragraph after paragraph, page after page of nothing but Katniss's thoughts. This novel told me what I liked and what I didn't like and by the time it was over, I believed it. Everything about the story, the characters and the writing pulled me. The moment I'm sure things can't get any worse, they deteriorate even further. It only took me one chapter to care about Katniss and her cause. The best thing about these books is they are all on the same par as the first one. Catching Fire is just as powerful, just as mind numbingly horrifying as the first installment and Mockingjay has already made me almost break down a few times. I worry about these characters not as fiction printed on a page but as real friends.

3) Rampant by Diana Peterfruend- So it's this book about killer unicorns. That's the part where I lose most people. But let me say, this novel is incredible. I loved being whisked off to Rome with Astrid and seeing the hidden beauties just under the citizen's noses. It was also great to watch this girl grow into a kickass heroine. In the beginning of the novel, you can tell it's there and by the end, she screaming it at the top of her lungs while cutting off your head. Yeah, she's that good. The writing is what really impressed me with this one. Everything felt so effortless, and page after page, this book kept getting better. I love when author's aren't afraid to ask the hard questions and this author doesn't shy away from the dicer subjects!

4) Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater- I'd heard a lot of things by the time I got around to buying this novel. I was not expecting to be blown away by the icy, fast paced mood of this novel. Everything about it felt cold and desperate which really fit the story well. Stiefvater has such an amazing way with the written word and I loved being in both perspectives. I have to admit, Sam was more fun for me. I loved all the characters, and they also stuck with me. Another awesome thing about this novel is how Stiefvater turned the werewolf legends on their head a bit and made them her own. Instead of sticking safe and playing by the rules, we get this really imaginative reinvention. I was also impressed that she allowed the wolves to actually be wolfish in that form. They did some bad things and while they are wort of sorry about it, they own up to it. Stiefvater did an amazing job of letting the reader for their own opinion from there. It gave me that sense of danger without out right stating "I'm dangerous".

5) If I Stay by Gayle Forman- I can't say enough about this book. I knew going into to expect something horrible to happen but I had no idea how heartbreaking this novel was going t be. It gave me moments of pure joy, watching her evolve, but they was always this underlying urgency pulsing through them. I loved spending time with all of the characters, My favorites were Adam, Grandpa and the parents. But the lovely thing about this novel is all the characters feel three dimensional and I was interested in hearing their stories. The writing was so smooth with some of the most beautiful lines I've ever read. I wanted to laugh, I wanted to cry, I wanted to yank Mia out of the novel to make sure she makes the right choice. This novel stuck with me long after I was finished reading and I can't wait for the sequel!

Honorable Mentions: Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray, Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey, The Books of Pellinor by Alison Croggon, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi, and Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

So what about you? What are your favorite books? If you decide to use this to write a post of your own, link it in the comments so I can read it! Happy reading!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tell Me about Your Contests

Hey guys,

I've recently added a link on my sidebar and I'd like to start compiling a list of contests going on. If you are hosting a contest, or know of one running right now, drop a link to it in the comments section of this post! My contest will be up there soon, I just need 25 more amazing people to follow me!

Thanks so much!

Things I've found recently:

  1. Thoughts of A Book Junkie- 100 Follower Giveaway (Ends Sept 5th)
  2. Reading Teen- Back To School Giveaway (Ends Sept. 24)
  3. Scarrlet Reader- 100 Follower Giveaway (Ends Sept. 12th)
  4. Mug Of Moxie- Mockingjay Giveaway (Ends Sept. 10th)
  5. Every Last Page- Mockingjay Giveaway (Ends Sept. 12th)
  6. The Book Vault- Dust Giveaway (Ends Sept. 15th)

Friday, August 27, 2010

100 Followers Contest hosted by ME!

Don't Be Late!

I'm holding a contest when I get to 100 followers! I'm getting so close now I can taste it and I want to thank each and every one of you guys from the bottom of my heart.

So I've decided to hold a contest!

I'll be posting up prizes as I get them. The first one is going to be first place in the contest and it's a little novel signed by this one author... hmm, what's her name? Cassandra Clare! I have a signed hardback of City of Glass just waiting to be in your hands. More details to come soon!

But the proof is in the pudding, right?
That's yours truly holding the signed book

Book Blogger Hop (4): August 27-30, 2010

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy For Books. The whole idea behind it is to link up your blog and check out others who did the same!

For those of you stopping by from the Hop, I want to say welcome!

Feel free to have a look around my site. I'm 23 year old aspiring novelist and on this site, it's all about YA, writing, and movies! I'm really big into following people and (since I have a lot of free time currently) I'm always reading posts and commenting! I can't wait to meet you all!

This week's question is:

Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

It's funny because I just answered this in a post today. I do use a rating system because I feel like it helps readers who just want to scan the review to see if it's worth their time. Since my blog is Alice In Wonderland themed, I went with evil bunnies. 5 evil bunnies are the best and it goes down from there. I didn't think there was any other type of rating system to go by...

The coveted 5 evil bunnies. I've yet to give out one of these suckers!
Here's my question for you guys this week:

Did you read Mockingjay? Why or why not? (No spoilers in the comments please! I'm not finished yet)

Also, I've got a special announcement! I'd love to try and get to 100 followers. When I do I'll be holding a contest and I promise to make it worth while. I'm giving away something Cassandra Clare-y and signed along with a few of some of my favorite YA novels! Please help me get there! I'll do a post about it when I'm closer!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How do you...

... Pick A Main Character?

As I've discussed in previous "How do you..." posts, before my fingers ever touch the keyboard to type the first page of a novel, I have already created character spreadsheets and given them awesome names (full of awesomeness, obviously). That means I know exactly who I'm going to be writing in, right?

Uh, not so much.

There's been this lovely new trend in publishing lately and that it to have multiple main characters. So while I may start writing in one perspective, I might realize that we are missing something completely without another voice. So I guess the more truthful answer to my question is yes, I know who ONE of my MCs is going to be but the rest is up in the air.

For my current WIP out in the hands of betas, the story is told in alternating perspective between Blake (the female protagonist with all the paranormal stuff happening to her) and Aiden (the male protagonist trying to figure out what the heck is happening to Blake). Now besides the fact that I get to write in two separate voices so it's like writing two different novels at once (and keeps my attention better), when I first starting writing this novel I realized it needed Aiden's voice.

The reason why?

Blake's not a very likable gal. I mean, she's alright but she's not in a very good place when the novel starts out. So I decided to add in another voice that will showcase the good in her. By adding in this second male voice, the story ended up expanding and was enriched by his voice. Also, because the paranormal elements aren't directly happening to him, Aiden's perspective really helps to ground the novel in reality.

All of a sudden my novel went from one voice to two and that opened up a word of possibility for me.

So what about you? Do you know how many MCs you'll have and who they are before you start writing? Or do you jot down a bunch of characters, give them all a test run and then find the right one? Have you ever finished a novel only to realize it's in the wrong person's POV?

Contest: 2011 YA Releases Giveaway! from LA Femme Readers

Don't be late!

So you know there are a bunch of awesome novels coming out in 2011. I've got so many on my wishlist, it makes me dizzy looking at them (but that's the way it should be, right?)! So why not get one of these awesome books for free? Eleni over at La Femme Readers is giving away a pre-order to 6 winners of the following novels:

                            Delirium by Lauren Oliver             Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach             The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong                City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

There are a few on the list I wouldn't mind snagging. I know I signed up for this contest. Have you? Good luck to everyone that enters!

Book Review: Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe

Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe

Reading Level : Young Adult
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805089306
ISBN-13: 978-0805089301
Source: Bought at Books-A-Million
Cover: I was instantly drawn to this book because of it's cover. I like this because it feels like we've stepped into a private moment. The model (who is supposed to be the MC Cass) is smiling like she's listening to a secret (which she is) while putting up her book and it feels like someone just captured this at that second. I guess i'm saying it doesn't feel posed and that makes me feel in on the secret. I also love that the ghost whispering into her ear sort of looks like it could be the hoodie to her shirt. The coloring is also great with all that blue and pops of pink. This cover is a winner!
First Sentence: "You would think it would be easy getting a long with a person after she's dead."

The Mini-review: Give Up The Ghost isn't your normal paranormal novel. While the ghosts play a large part, this is a story about the characters and they don't let the paranormal elements overshadow them. It's a must read.

Here's The Blurb:

Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts over "breathers". Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable. They know the dirt on everybody... and Cass loves dirt. She's on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.
But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass's whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.
As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim's life, she's surprised to realize he's not so bad-- and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it's time to give the living another chance...

The Review:

When I picked up Give Up The Ghost, I really had no idea what to expect. The description at the top could have gone a lot of ways and I wasn't sure how all of it was going to work itself out into a plot. Guess what, it did and beautifully!

The thing that most impressed me about this book was the awesome balance between the paranormal and the regular. Yes, Cass can see ghosts but it's not the only thing about her. The author did an awesome job of fitting the ghosts in so they felt just like real people who happened to be dead and then allowed the wonderful characters she created to shine from the situations they were in. No one or the other was competing for dominance.

Cass was an awesome main character. The thing I loved about her is in the beginning of the novel she was in a position of power and doing with it what she thought was best. Sure, she was alone and friendless, sure her life was no where near perfect but she did have a goal and she was doing what she thought best with the information her ghostie pals gave to her. Reading through her eyes made me feel strong. She was willing to confront people on their crap. Her reasons weren't all noble but she was trying to make people fuss up for the awful things they did to each other. I really liked that about her. As she goes through the novel, she learns, grows and you can physically see her icy exterior cracking with every page you turn.

The supporting characters were also great. I loved her ghost friend Norris and they way he'd help Cass, no questions asked. He was funny, charming and really helped round her out. Tim, the VP in question, also felt very real to me. Watching him desperately search for his mother's ghost, for some way to connect with her, was really heart breaking and worked perfectly to help peel away Cass's tough exterior. The character I was most impressed with was Danielle, Cass's one time BFF. Danielle was rude, sort of bitchy and the quintessential mean girl but she felt real. Her reasonings for the things she did, her understanding of her situations and even the way her attitude only changed slightly (but that was enough) all made her stand up off the page.

Also, the writing was so smooth and seamless, I'd look down on the bottom of the page and 100 pages had passed from when I last took a peek. I enjoyed the way Cass saw things, I enjoyed meeting all the new characters and watching them grow and I liked seeing both Cass and Tim have to learn to give up the ghost(s). It was a quick, delightful read with an ending satisfying enough to leave me thinking about what happens next.

The only thing I can say negatively about this novel is that it doesn't really leave an impact. It's not one of those books that's going to change your mind about the world around you. It's a book you'll enjoy picking up again and again, it's a book that has all the right elements in place and it's a book you should probably be rushing out of your house to grab.

Seriously, Give Up The Ghost is an awesome, easy read. Cass, her delicious band of ghost pals, and her schoolmates are worth getting to know!


One Lovely Blog Award (x2)

One Lovely Blog Award (x2)!

So I'm feeling particularly loved today. Not only did I get this nifty award from Tina over at Book Couture but also from Alissa over at The Grammarian's Reviews! It makes me feel sort of epic or at the very least like I should be having a cup of tea with this post.

Anyhow, here are the rules for this lovely award:

  1. Accept the award, then post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
  2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs you've discovered.
  3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know that they have been chosen for this award.
So rules 2 and 3 are where it gets sticky. Not that I mind passing on the love. I just don't want to hit someone up whose already posted something. So if you have, feel free to ignore this post! Also, I'm adding something to my post. I'm gonna tell you why I picked these awesome blogs because who doesn't like to know when they are doing something right?

  1. Danya from A Tapesty of Words- For always putting out thoughtful and well spoken reviews. She's also super active in the community!
  2. Books Are My Best Friends!- I don't know this blog too well but I really like the relaxing layout. It's always great that most of the books reviewed on this blog are summer reads and match so well with the header.
  3. Bookspeak- We've got really similar reading tastes and I always enjoy reading the reviews on this blog. 
  4. Noe and Suz over at I Adore Books and Film- I adore the movie and book combo going on at this blog. All of the reviews are well thought out and really entertaining to read.
  5. Tammy at Mug of Moxie- Tammy is one of the most generous people I follow. Every time I blink she has an awesome contest going and she's so active! 
  6. Feliza over at Nerd Alert!- Need I say more? Doesn't the blog name say it all? Seriously though, Feliza always putting up great posts about writing that really get me thinking. Also, she's hilarious so what's not to love?
  7. Caitlin at Scarrlet Reader-Her new layout is amazing, her posts are always interesting and she's awesome at creating alternate covers! 
  8. Molly from Sleep Less. Read More.- I adore this blog's background. We also have similar reading tastes and I always find that I tend to agree with her reviews.
All the blogs are follow are awesome and I try to read and comment on as many things as I can throughout the day. You all deserve the award! Have an awesome night!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (4): Warped by Maurissa Guibord

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where you can post about upcoming books you're looking forward to.

The next book that made my list of things to read is one I stumbled across on Goodreads and am very excited about!

Warped by Maurissa Guibord
Things get weird after Tessa Brody's father buys a dusty old unicorn tapestry at an auction. The wild, handsome creature woven within it draws Tessa, and frightens her too. One day she pulls a silver thread from the tapestry and releases the unicorn. Only he isn’t one at all. He’s William de Chaucy, a young sixteenth century English nobleman with gorgeous eyes, a weird accent and haughty attitude to spare. Will was trapped in the tapestry by Gray Lily, a sorceress who stole the thread of his life and relies on its energy for her eternal youth. Now Gray Lily wants her unicorn back and she’ll do anything to get him.

If that isn’t bad enough “his lordship” de Chaucy seems to think Tessa is someone she’s not: the girl who trapped him so long ago in the forest. Despite the sparky chemistry between them he seems to have the strange idea that she’ll be his undoing once more. Maybe she will. Because there’s a connection, an attraction to Will that Tessa can’t deny. She’s even beginning to dream about events in a forest of long ago. Or is she reliving them? But Tessa knows one thing for sure. She could never be some heartless twit of a virgin who would trap a unicorn.*

I passed over this book a few times because the cover didn't excitement me but then I read the cover blurb. This looks like such a fun and easy read! It has a sort of Beauty and the Beast feel to it with the enchanted (spoiled sounding) prince and an evil witch who put him there. I'm in to it!

Warped comes out January 11, 2011.

*The summary above is from Goodreads.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Review: Vamped by Lucienne Diver

Vamped by Lucienne Diver

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Flux; 1 edition
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738714747
ISBN-13: 978-0738714745
Source: Bought at Borders (It was signed!)
Cover: I'm not in love with this cover. I like it and it works well with the novel but it didn't make me have to buy it. I do like that she's holding lipstick with her fangs extended but the nails don't look like Gina's to me. The cover color works well and though you can't see it from this photo, I love that the picture continues to the back to see her hair. However, Gina was described as having dark hair and the model is blonde. This could be a photo of another character but if so, she needs to have long fingernails as described in the book. 
First Sentence: "I'm here to tell you, rising from the dead just purely sucks."

The mini-review: Overall, this novel is a quick read with a great lead. The biggest problem I had with it is our wonderful lead didn't have much of a plot to shine in.

Book Summary:

Gina Covello's Perks and Pitfalls of Vamp Life
1. Hello?! Eternal youth and beauty!
2. Free. Designer. Clothes.
3. My hot new boyfriend Bobby went from chess dud to vamp stud.
4. No reflection! First order of business: turn my own stylist to stop the downward spiral from chic to eek.
5. Vampire vixen Mellisande has taken an interest in my boyfriend, and is now transforming the entire high school into her own personal vampire army. If anyone's going to start their own undead entourage it should be me.
I guess I'll just have to save everyone from fashion disasters and other fates worse than death.

The Review:

You know that old phrase "all dressed up and no where to go"? For me, this describes Vamped perfectly. Told in first person, we meet Gina, an interesting, savvy, hilarious narrator (with a killer fashion sense) who gets turned into a vamp. I loved her voice, I loved the way she saw the world and her new predicament, I loved her spontaneity and her knack for always speaking what was on her mind. The problem is she was put in drop dead gorgeous heels and then had no where to walk around in them. 

The plot was less than stellar for me. For the most part, we are trapped in a large doom-like room, trying to figure out what's going on before it's too late. Gina has her chances to go kick some butt (and does willingly (and stylishly!)) but there is so much downtime where we are forced to watch her kick around her feet that it seems a little boring. Gina's voice kept me going to the end but without that amazing voice and a great cast of supporting characters, I probably would have been less than enthusiastic.

I say all the time that I am a character writer but this novel is really a case where awesome characters still weren't enough. They needed something to do. There were two fight scenes that were interesting and fun to read and a bad guy that made my toes curl but there wasn't enough of either to give me any sense of urgency. Because of this, it made the book really easy to set down... and set down again. Also, I felt the novel didn't stand on it's own and ended in that sort of cheesy "stay tuned for next time" way making it overly obvious that there was going to be a sequel and you had to buy that to get your questions answered. I wanted to feel more closure than I did.

All that plot stuff being said, I did really enjoy the wide range of characters and Bobby (her new boy toy) was an amazingly great distraction when he was in the novel. I know I was meant to really hate Rick but he ended up being one of the most interesting characters for me and I did really enjoy Alistaire (a.k.a. Psycho-physic) who was creepy behind the max. 

Like I mentioned before Gina's voice is so authetic and what I loved the most about this novel is she didn't really have to change. She was selfish on the outside but really did care for people on the inside and the author rejoiced in the fact that Gina spoke her mind. She didn't have to "learn" anything. She just discovered that she was kick-ass and a natural leader who also happened to have nice hair. 

I am, by no means, saying not to meet Gina. She's worth the read, at least for this first book. I am saying not to expect a killer plot to go along with her killer attitude and tight black jeans.


Spotted: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

So you might have heard of a tiny little novel called If I Stay by Gayle Forman? You know, the one that is being turned into a film and being directed by the one and only Catherine Hardwicke? If not let me refresh your memory:
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make-- and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Well, I just spotted the cover for her newest novel Where She Went to be releases April 19, 2011. 

It's the sequel to If I Stay and according to Goodreads, it takes place three years after the last novel and is Adam's point of view! I love that the model reminds me of Lacey from Flyleaf. It gives me the right kind of feeling for this book. The blue fuzzy background, the white dress, the far off dreamy look on the model's face are all perfect. I really can't wait for this one!

So what do you think?

TEAser Tuesdays (3): Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe

TEAser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others!

Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles!

Setup: The main character is reminiscing about her ex-bestie:

 "The images were like glints of broken glass: her sneer against the bronzed shine of her hair, the notes crinkling from hand to hand around my desk, the backs turned with hers in the middle, tallest. The heel of her shoe crushing my toes in the hall; the pop bottle emptied over the contents of my locker, which only she'd had the combination to."

-p. 25 "Give Up The Ghost" by Megan Crewe
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