Thursday, September 30, 2010

Interview with Dia Reeves

Dia Reeves is the author of Bleeding Violet and the forthcoming Slice of Cherry. When she isn't writing, she is a librarian. Her books are in the fictional town of Portero, which is based in East Texas, where she grew up. Bleeding Violet is amazingly original and Slice of Cherry appears to be just as unique. Here is an interview that I had with her.
1. Bleeding Violet is about Hanna who can appear smart and charming, while other times she is impulsive and unpredictable. What inspired you to make Hanna such a vibrant and changing character?
Well, ostensibly it's because she's bipolar and has mood swings, but mostly I think it's just that she's human. People don't behave one way all the time. It's like Hanna says in the book--people are complex.
2. Bleeding Violet is one of the most original books that I have read. Where do you come up with your ideas?
Thank you! The ideas are just there in my head, millions of them swimming around like tadpoles. Every now and then I go fishing. *shrugs*
3. You have Slice of Cherry coming out next year. Are there any other books that you are working on?
SoC comes out in January, and then in May, a short story I wrote will be featured in an anthology called Corsets and Clockwork. Right now as we speak, I'm working on a third Portero novel about a girl who was born without a heart. After I finish that one, I have three other books waiting in the queue. I like to have things lined up, so that I know what to focus on next.
4. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about writing?
Favorite: the act of creation. I like making up stuff. It's deeply satisfying.
Unfavorite: deadlines. I don't get to spend as much time as I'd like polishing my work. Not saying I don't need deadlines--I have a tendency to hang on to things and not want to show them to people; deadlines force me to let things go. I still hate them, though.

5. You are always posting music videos on your blog. What are some of your favorite artists? Also how does music effect your writing?
I like too many people in too many genres to pick favorites, but a sampling would be: Funkadelic, Tricky, Massive Attack, Arctic Monkeys. If it's dark and trippy, I'll probably like it. But I like bright happy crap too like The B-52's and Weezer so...I'll listen to anything that sounds cool. Music helps me in my writing by getting me into the right headspace. Like while I was writing Slice of Cherry, I listened to a lot of old-timey music from the 1920s and 1930s because that's what the sisters in the story were listening to. They're sorta stuck in the past, and the music helped to set the mood.
6. Do you think being a librarian has helped you as a writer?
Not really. They're very separate professions. Librarians work with the public all day, and writers work alone. Two different skill sets.
7. Is there anything that you would like to add?
I'm having a Goodreads giveaway for a signed, finished copy of Slice of Cherry. So if anyone's interested, sign up!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (73)

Title: Slice of Cherry
Author: Dia Reeves
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date: January 4th 2011
Happiness is a bloody knife.
Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around.
It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren’t killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from the mistakes of their father, and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious and invisible doorway to another world, she opens a door to endless possibilities....
I loved Dia Reeve's last book and this one looks awesome. Also the over is fantastic.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

“Before the Split” Blog Tour

To honor National Domestic Violence Awareness month, author Swati Avasthi is combining a blog tour for her debut novel, Split, with a fundraiser for Family Violence Prevention Fund. She’ll be on twenty-six blogs with contests, cut scenes, and guest posts about Split and will donate $1/comment with a goal and cap of $250. If she receives 250 comments, she’ll double her donation. She has a lot of fund raising help from more than 40 agents, editors and authors who have donated personalized books, memberships, and critiques for an online auction. Follow the tour, get stuff you want, and help out a great cause all at once.

Trailer Tuesday (14)


I love this trailer. As someone that has addiction probelms on both sides of my family, I could totally relate to Fallout. I really hope that you check out this trilogy. It is stunning and realistic to what I know about drugs and have seen in people that are addicts.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

Rating:
Characters: 17/20
Plot: 17/20
Originality: 18/20
Writing: 17/20
Recommendation: 17/20
Overall: 86/100 or B
Source: Bought
I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin…
Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears a frightening whisper from Jessica's own mind, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.
Joy was very positive, which balanced with Jessica's very negative point of view most of the time. I liked that part of the book. It made it more interesting, because most sisters are really different. I didn't like how the narrative was more focused on Joy's world collapsing and less on Jessica. I also adored Jamie, he seemed like such a minor character, but he turned out to be amazing. The plot of this book was rather engaging. I found the idea of hearing another person desires to be both astounding and almost a curse. I enjoyed that Kitandis put this ideal forth in her characters. I was surprised about most of the twist and turns in the book. I found that this book was full of originality. I loved that it was a paranormal book, that was still realistic. Kitandis created a stunning debut. I am excited for what will come from her next and hope that it as easy as to relate to and just as engaging. I think that you would enjoy Whisper, if you want a unique and interesting book.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In My Mailbox (Week of September 26th)

For Review:
Not That Kind Of Girl By Siobhan Vivian
Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.
But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you wants to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.
Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between

I am really excited for this book. I have loved Vivian's other books and this one looks just as amazing.
StarCrossed By Elizabeth C. Bunce
Digger thrives as a spy and sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse, dodging the Greenmen who have banned all magic. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner and lover Tegen is killed, she has to get out of the city, fast, and hides herself in a merry group of nobles to do so. Accepted as a lady's maid to shy young Merista Nemair, Digger finds new peace and friendship at the Nemair stronghold--as well as plenty of jewels for the taking. But after the devious Lord Daul catches her in the act of thievery, he blackmails her into becoming his personal spy in the castle, and Digger soon realizes that her noble hosts aren't as a political as she thought... that indeed, she may be at the heart of a magical rebellion.
Really excited for this one. This is a series from Bunce and it looks really original. I also loved A Curse As Dark As Gold.
You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz
Annaleah and Brian had something special -- Annaleah is sure of it. When they were together, they didn't need anyone else. It didn't matter that it was secret. All that mattered was what they shared. And then, out of nowhere, Brian is killed in an accident. And while everyone else has their role in the grieving process, Annaleah finds herself living on the outside of it, unacknowledged and lonely. How can you recover from a loss no one will let you have?
I actually haven't heard a lot about this book, it looks absoulutely stunning and I love the cover.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.
I have been really excited about this book, since I have heard about it. I was obsessed with Paris, when I was little. I read this book and absolutely loved this book. It was one of my favorite books that I have read this year. Preorder this book now!
Bought:
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she possesses a unique skill set that has the King of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance.
Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.
But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay…for all of them.
I really enjoyed this book and found it to be interesting.
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate
A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistake.
Natalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school’s Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn’t share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie’s nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party—when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.
From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should’ve messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrove.
This books sound pretty epic and I love the cover.
From Randombuzzers:
The Nightmarys by Dan Poblocki
Timothy July has a secret. And it’s giving him nightmares. Abigail Tremens has a problem. Her nightmares are haunting her…while she is awake. When they team up for a school project, they don’t realize that Abigail’s past and Timothy’s present are making them the target of a terrible curse. A curse that turns their worst fears to reality. But their fears are just the beginning. The curse stems from a strange artifact that gains strength by devouring a human soul. And it needs to feed again. Dan Poblocki (author of The Stone Child) has written another bone-chilling page-turner to give you goose bumps. It’s the kind of book best read on a bright afternoon…which may keep your own nightmares at bay.
This book looks really creepy and interesting. The cover is also awesome.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Five Things that I would love to see in YA

I had dinner with a few YA authors and we got talking about what we would love to see in YA and that really got me thinking, here are a few things that I would love to see:
1. More Older YA. I am nineteen and applying to college. There are only a handful of books that I can think of that have MCs that seriously want to college or are about after high school. Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, Hate List by Jennifer Brown, and Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala are some of the books that I can think of.
2. Mysteries. I love a good Mystery, like All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab and The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma is more middle grade, but a great example. Make something that is Veronica Mars-ish. Also Spies are kick ass too.
3. Time Travel. I can't really think of any YA books that have time travel, but as a Doctor Who fan, I want to see something like this. Spaceships wouldn't be bad either.
4. Sick books! Okay, they are sad and depressing, but they are amazing! Before I Die by Jenny Downham and Forever Changes by Brendan Haplin.
5. Unicorns... and Zombies. I love Unicorns and I will admit that I enjoy zombies sometimes. I would love to see some originality like Diana Petersfeud and Carrie Ryan's book. And there is no such thing as too many unicorn books.
My friend Khy, also did a post about this. So what do you want to see in books?

Friday, September 24, 2010

A few things...

The Debs and Little Brown are giving 100 copies of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. I loved this book, so I suggest that you go enter, like now. Banned Books Weeks starts tomorrow. My local indie had an awesome display, I wish that I had a camera then. Here is a list from ALA of commonly banned books here.
All of the Panelists for Cybils have been announced. I want to wish all of them luck in reading all of the books. I had so much fun, when I did Cybils last year. You can nominate books pretty soon.
Lastly, new Harry Potter trailer:

OMG, I need this now!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Clockwork Angel Contest

Hey, I got a few awesome things to giveaway from the folks at Simon & Schuster.
One winner will get a finished copy of Clockwork Angel, a poster, and a notebook like in the book. The other winner will get a finished copy of Clockwork Angel and a poster. This contest is open till October 7th and is international. Just fill out the form below.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Haunted by Jessica Verday

Rating:
Characters: 16/20
Plot: 17/20
Originality: 18/20
Writing: 17/20
Recommendation: 17/20
Overall: 85/100 or B
Source: Publisher

After a summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with by the bridge where her best friend drowned - the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead - Abbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, determined to leave the ghosts of her past behind. She throws herself into schoolwork, perfume-making and her friendship with Ben, her cute and funny lab partner, who just might be able to help her get over Caspian once and for all. But Abbey is never going to truly be able to move on from Caspian and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side: for Caspian is a Shade and Abbey is his destiny. The two are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow and the famous legend that binds their fates - a legend whose true ending and dark truths they are only just beginning to guess...
I found that Abbey to have matured a lot, since where we left her in The Hollow. Her store ideas are more developed and she seems to know what she wants more. Her kind nature and sweetness was easy to relate to. You learn more about Caspain. You also figure out why Abbey can see him and that was rather interesting. Also, new characters are introduced, but their part in the story is unknown. I found the story to be interesting after page 200. A lot of the questions from the last book are answered and others created more mystery. The ending left me wanting more. I found The Haunted to be very original. Veraday created a new world that seems like it could be developed. The scenery in the story felt so realistic and interesting to read. Verday's writing style has developed a lot, since The Hollow. I found that there was more depth in this story and that it was more interesting. I am sure that you will like The Haunted, if you like The Hollow.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (13)


This is the trailer for Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Tish McBride.
Here is the summanary: Sam's life sucks. He dropped out of college, and works at Wimpy's. Then he meets Douglas, who tells him he is a necromancer - and he's after Sam's "power." Now his life really sucks...
I really like the sarcasim in the main character's voice and it seems like it will be a funny read.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Rating:
Characters: 17/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 16/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 17/20
Overall: 86/100 or B
Source: Bought
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she possesses a unique skill set that has the King of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance.
Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.
But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay…for all of them.
Frannie's indecisiveness drove me crazy. It was like a ping pong match, but I will admit that it was very entertaining and exciting. I also liked the though that people were tagged for hell or heaven. I didn't feel really connect to Frannie's grief about her brother, because I have lost a sister and experienced it at around the same time. Luc was the bad boy that everyone loves and Gabe seemed so sweet. I adored both of them for different reasons. I loved that there was a switch of Luc and Frannie as narrators. I wish that Gabe's view was in there, because I didn't feel as connected to him. I found the plot of Personal Demons to be exciting and kept me at the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. It wasn't the most original book, but it had a few unique attributes that made the story seem new. Desrochers' writing was amazing and exciting, I felt immersed in the story every second. I would recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance.

Hush by Eishes Chayil


Rating:
Characters: 19/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 18/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 93/100 or A
Source: Publisher

Inside the closed community of Borough Park, where most Chassidim live, the rules of life are very clear, determined by an ancient script written thousands of years before down to the last detail—and abuse has never been a part of it. But when thirteen-year-old Gittel learns of the abuse her best friend has suffered at the hands of her own family member, the adults in her community try to persuade Gittel, and themselves, that nothing happened. Forced to remain silent, Gittel begins to question everything she was raised to believe.
A richly detailed and nuanced book, one of both humor and depth, understanding and horror, this story explains a complex world that remains an echo of its past, and illuminates the conflict between yesterday's traditions and today's reality.
This book was so amazing. I was crying, while reading most this book. Gittel pulls you into the world of Jewish Community and all of their secrets. Gittel is bouncing between if she should tell and it is told in flashbacks from what happened. I liked how, while it was centered on Devory's abuse and later suicide, you could still feel the pain and shock that rebounded on the community as effect. I love how the story wasn't revealed right away, but actually slowly unraveled. This writer created a story that I am sure that I will never forget. It is a riveting and beautiful coming of age story and I highly recommend it.
I have a copy for giveaway to one winner. To enter, tell me what fall show are you most excited for, with your email address in the comments. Just do it by October 22th.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Words can't express this...

I wrote this post, when I heard that Ellen Hopkins was uninvited to an event and I was livid. Now someone compares the rape scenes in Speak to porn. I am more then angry and honestly wondering what the moral compass, does he think he has. My older sister was sexually abused, shortly after I was born and I still think that it could have been me. My mom was drugged twice in her twenties, but luckily had a friend there that noticed something was wrong, when my energetic mother was quiet. By the time, I was seven, my mom had drilled me to always get a new drink after I leave, if I am at a party or a bar.
In 2002, I was eleven, and my mom came home with three books for one for her, one for my sister and one for me, not just any book, Speak. We read the book together and I will admit that I may have skipped ahead, when she was working. I was really shy, then. I wouldn't talk unless I was forced to, Melinda Sordino's silence may have been for a difference reason, but she was the first character that I could relate to and her voice helped me find my own. Laurie Halse Anderson is an amazing writer. Speak is a realistic portrayal of high school and also of rape and how hard it is to raise your voice. Her other Young Adult books deal with serious issues in life, that not just teens can relate to, but anyone can. I met her, while she was on tour for Wintergirls, and I can honestly say that she is a remarkable person.
In the same post, Wesley Scroggins also targeted Slaughterhouse-Five and Twenty Boy Summer. Slaughterhouse-Five was removed, for rather unusual reasons(Do they seriously not read the book?). Twenty Boy Summer is being reviewed, because of drinking at a party and having sex and using a condom. I know that drinking at teen parties happens, some of my friends have facebook pictures with this. And I also though that safe sex was a good thing. Writing is suppose to be realistic, and Twenty Boy Summer is about grief and trying to move on after something happens.

I would also like to say that both of my parents are both very conservative Christians. They don't believe in censoring the books that I read, because they rather have me reading about it now, then experiencing it later. My parents have bought me all three books mentioned above and my mom had read all three and my dad has read one. I am sorry if this post offended anyone.

Here is Laurie Halse Anderson's post.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund

Rating:
Characters: 18/20
Plot: 20/20
Originality: 20/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 95/100 or A
Source: Publisher
Now a fully trained unicorn hunter, Astrid Llewelyn is learning that she can’t solve all her problems with a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend has left Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers are mysteriously disintegrating, and her hope of becoming a scientist seems to be nothing but an impossible dream.
So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and use her skills as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants—or can she? At Gordian headquarters deep in France, Astrid begins to question everything she had believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and—most of all—her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns or saving unicorns from the world?

I adore Unicorns, and Peterfreund's kick ass hybrid of killer unicorns are even more epic. After reading Rampant, I was so pumped for Ascendant. Astrid came back just as awesome. She was just as brave and strong as the first book, but now she has a fraction of doubt about what she is doing. She doesn't have time to see her mother or go to school, which made me sad. She is one of the few YA characters that though past the next month and had a plan for what she wanted to do in life. That is until, she get the offer of a lifetime... a job working at Gordian Pharmaceuticals. I loved that it allowed her to make her own decisions in this book and not just what the Cloisters wanted. Also that, you got to see some issues that the world was dealing with, because of the return of the unicorns.
The opinion that I had about Gordian, changed at the beginning, because Isabeau seemed to be a such a sweet and caring person that wanted to no longer be tied to what happened in the previous book, but she turned out to be not the person that she seemed. I hated the abuse on the einhorns and it kept on making me cry like a baby. The plot left me with so many questions about Peterfreund's magical world and the last few chapters were so hard to read. I really hope that there will be a third book. Peterfreund's writing was stunning and ingenious. I could picture every move on the battle scene. I loved Ascendant, more then Rampant. It was unpredictable and ingenious. I think that you should start this series soon, I am sure that you will not regret it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Rating:
Characters: 19/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 92/100 or A
Source: Publisher

Eighteen-year-old Vera's spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she's kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, or even the police. But will she emerge and clear his name? Does she even want to?
An edgy, gripping story, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.

I was enchanted by King's first book, The Dust of 100 Dogs. When I first heard about Please Ignore Vera Dietz, I was so excited to read it. Luckily, it was just as unique and strange as her last book. Vera's voice was so easy to relate to. She felt so lonely and vulnerable, which everyone does at some point. I haven't related to a character as much as I did to Vera in a long time. I loved how the story jumped all over the place, with flashbacks and to what is currently happening. I adored that you could see the transformation that happened to Vera over time, and that we create our own fate. I loved all of the emotions that came out, when she was talking about Charlie. I could feel her love, hatred, and fear for who he was and later who he became. I also found the little changes of point of views to Charlie and Vera's dad gave a great insight into both of the characters. With Charlie, you could feel all of the regret for what he did and how much tiny things ended up hurting him in the long run. With her dad, you could see his reasoning behind the pressure that he put on Vera to not become anything close to what her mother or him were. I loved how there was a hint of mystery in this book and I was surprised for the ending. A.S. King is an author that I will be watching in the coming years. Her writing is insightful and heartbreaking, while inspiring and beautiful in the turn of a page. Please Ignore Vera Dietz is more then a coming of age story. It is one of those books that after you read it, you will be just thinking "Wow!". I highly recommend that you pre-order it now or buy it October 12th. From the first page, you will feel immersed and entangled into this stunning story.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gorgeous Cover...

I just saw this cover and it is possible that it has been out for a while. Since I have been trying to limit internet time, because I am on a self made deadline for my senior project. Anyways, here is the gorgeous cover.
I am in love with it. Suzanne is a very local author and I have loved her other books. So I am very excited for this one. Here is what the book is about:
Writing her own love story could drive a girl insane! When you’re the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can’t write it. Alice needs a story for her mother—and she needs one fast. That’s when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol’s voice in her head and see things she can’t explain, she must face the truth—that she’s either inherited her mother’s madness, or Errol is for real.
It sounds fantastic...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Interview with Jessica Verday

A life-long book lover, and avid reader, Jessica Verday wrote her first story when she was much younger. Titled "Bobby's Bazillion Bananas" it was about a boy named Bobby who planted a banana in his backyard and it sprouted into a banana tree overnight. There were - you guessed it - a bazillion bananas.
If she could have any superpower, she'd want to have X-Ray vision and the ability to make no-calorie cupcakes appear out of thin air. When not daydreaming about moving into a library of her own, she can be found working on her next story, taking a nap, or buying vintage furniture. She likes: rainy nights, warm blankets, old postcards, baby animals, cemeteries, Johnny Cash, handmade jewelry, zombie movies, L.J. Smith books, abandoned buildings, trains and snow.

1. How do you think that The Legend of Sleepy Hollow inspired The Hollow and The Haunted?
I've always loved the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but the town was the real inspiration. Being able to walk where Washington Irving walked was amazing.
2. On your blog, you talk about how music inspires you. What songs are currently helping you write more?
Good question! I've been listening to She Moved Through the Fair by Skully, White Houses by Vanessa Carleton, If You Could Read My Mind by Johnny Cash, Cat and Mouse by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Endlessly, She Said by AFI and The Ghost of You by Good Charlotte.
3. Abbey makes perfume and you also have a perfume line for the book. What compelled you to do that?
I thought it would be really neat to have the chance to bring Abbey's fictional hobby to life, and when I started doing research on perfume making I found several people who made perfume exactly like how I pictured Abbey making perfume. I found the whole process so fascinating (And addicting! I make my own perfume now too), that I wanted to share that experience with my readers.
4. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about writing?
Favorite thing is finishing, my least favorite thing is getting started.
5. Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thanks for having me! I hope you enjoy THE HAUNTED!

Waiting on Wednesday (72)

Title: Invincible Summer
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date: April 19th, 2011
Across four sun-kissed drama-drenched summers at his family's beach house, Chase tries to come to grips with his family's slow dissolution while also finding himself in a chaotic love triangle, pitted against his own brother in pursuit of the girl next door. Invincible Summer is a gritty, sexy, page-turning read from a talented teenaged author that readers won't want to miss.
I loved Break. Her book was just wow and made me want more. Invincible Summer sounds astounding. I also love the cover.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Guest Post: Natalie Standiford on Siblings and how they shape people

Natalie Standiford used to be an editor at Random House, before she became an author. She is the author of How to Say Goodbye in Robot, Confessions of The Sullivan, and several other books. Natalie is part of the all-YA-author-band called Tiger Beat. She lives in New York City, and she can be found on her website at www.nataliestandiford.com.
I'm the oldest of four: I have one sister and two brothers, and I love having siblings. It fascinates me how people with the same parents and upbringing can turn out so different, and yet there's always a thread of similarity running through somewhere. A sibling relationship is unlike any other.
As a child I loved reading books about big families and I used to write stories about a family of seven sisters. My favorite part was naming all the girls, first names and middle names (andpets, for maximum naming fun). At night I told these stories to my own sister (we shared a room). She's only a year younger than I am and has always been my best friend. As kids we played endless games of cards, danced to songs on the radio, gossiped about boys. We're alike and we're not alike. You can tell that we're sisters, even though she's tall and brunette and I'm short and blonde, even though she's a science whiz and I love language. Puzzling out the family traits in all their incarnations is part of the fun of having siblings.
With one of my brothers (two years younger) I share a love of books, movies, music, radio, and a sense of the strange. My other brother was the baby, born when I was eight. My sister and I dressed him up like a doll in our old ballet costumes, taught him dance routines and French phrases, and put on shows starring him. Poor boy! But he didn't seem to mind, and he was so CUTE. He still has something of a performer's personality. I don't know whether that was shaped by his sisters or whether he was born with it.
I never lost my fascination with big families full of girls, and I finally got to indulge it in CONFESSIONS OF THE SULLIVAN SISTERS. I agonized over the names of every family member, of course, and enjoyed playing out that special dynamic sisters have. They know each other so well—better than anyone else in the world—and that can foster both warmth and tension. In my experience (and in the book), the warmth always wins in the end.

Scholastic was kind of enough to offer each stop a giveaway of How To Say Goodbye in Robot and Confessions of The Sullivan Sisters to one winner. The contest last until September 28th at Midnight and is for US addresses only. To enter, just fill out the form below.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

Rating:
Characters: 20/20
Plot: 19/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 20/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 97/100 or A
Source: Publisher
The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die . . .and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.
Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year's Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.
And so the confessions begin....

I loved the characters. Each one of them seemed so realistic and familiar. Norrie remind me so much of myself. We are both goal oriented and polite. I found the romance between Robbie and Norrie to be sweet, even if he was an older guy. Brooks Overbeck was a horrible match for Norrie and I am glad that she didn't fall for him. Jane was cynical and funny every moment. I loved the entries into her blog (which you can actually read here). The secrets that she exposed about her family kept on making me laugh. Sassy was cute and whimsical. It was so odd that she though she was immortal and could be hit by cars. Sassy reminded me a lot of my little sister. All of the sisters had a genuine relationship between siblings. Takey was also a cute younger sibling. St. John and Sully were both awesome protective brothers and remind me of my own brother. Ginger and Daddy-O kept on making me laugh with their eccentric and random behavior. Almighty was also so spirited and funny for an old lady, even though she didn't seem that way. The plot was very character driven, which I loved in this premise. Each letter read as it's own story and even though there was some overlapping, I found each voice to bring on a fresh and distinct feel to each part of the story. I also liked how Standiford made the confessions freeing to the characters and made me believe in it. It felt to be a very original book. I loved Standiford's prose and how she built the characters up with what seemed to be a small detail, but turned out to be very important. I would highly recommend this book to fans of Standiford's previous novel How To Say Goodbye In Robot or Lockhart's The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. It is also a good read for anyone that has a sister.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In My Mailbox (Week of September 12th)

For Review:
Need by Carrie Jones
The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel
Heart at Stake, Blood Feud, and Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey
Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (and swag)
Fixing Deliliah by Sarah Ockler
Love Drugged by James Klise

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Contest

I have an extra copy of Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin. So, I decided to have a contest for it.
Here is a summary about Low Red Moon:
The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. When Ben reveals he's a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died.Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting—by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.
The contest is international and ends on October 2nd at Midnight. Just fill out the form below.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham

Rating:
Characters: 19/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 20/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 94/100 or A
Source: Publisher
Carly never meant to become a stalker. She just wanted to find out who Brian started dating after he dumped her. But a little harmless online research turns into a quick glance, and that turns into an afternoon of watching. Soon Carly is putting all of her energy into following Brian’s new girlfriend — all of the sadness she feels about her mom’s recent breakup, all of the anger she feels over being pushed aside by her dad while he prepares for his new wife’s new baby. When Carly’s stalking is discovered in the worst possible way by the worst possible person, she is forced to acknowledge her problem and the underlying issues that led to it.
Let me start by saying, that I was excited for Stalker Girl, since I heard about it. I knew that I would either love this book or I would hate it. Luckily I wasn't disappointed and could actually relate to Carly. I mean I have been curious about what an ex-boyfriend was up to and glanced at their facebook once or twice, but I have never went as far Carly did. Carly was vunerable, because she though that she loved Brian. Sadly he didn't feel the same way. I also love that Graham flashed back to Carly and Brian's relationships, and told you how it happened. The plot was exciting and kept on surprising me. Also, it is one of the most original books that I have read in a while. It is not often that you read about a book that is based on stalking. Also, Graham surprised me with this book. I have never read any other of her books, but I plan to. Stalker Girl is about first love and how quickly it can be twisted by jealousy and fear. I recommend this book to fans of contempary fiction.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Justine Larbelestier and Holly Black

Rating:
Overall: 91/100 or A
Source: Publisher
It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking is it Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?
I really enjoyed this book. Both the Unicorn and Zombie's story were full of originality and made me laugh. I loved the commentary that was between Black and Larbelestier. It was full of snarky and funny remarks. It also gave a brief glance into what the story was about, before you read it. I liked that it switched between Unicorn and Zombie stories. "The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn" by Diana Peterfreund was my favorite story, but I love her novels about killer unicorns. I also enjoyed Carrie Ryan's "Bougainvillea" and Meg Cabot's "Princess Prettypants". I found that this anthology to be a great book, which each short story giving you just a glimpse into a world that the author has created. There is no clear winner between Team Unicorn or Team Zombie. Honestly I think it is up`to the reader. Team Unicorns all the way.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (71)

Title: Fall for Anything
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin
Date: December 21st, 2010

When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. He seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on… but some questions should be left unanswered.
This book will be amazing for five reasons:
1. It is written by Courtney Summers
2. There is photography in the plot and the cover.
3. Did I mention that the cover is pretty?
4. Also Courtney Summers is my idol
5. I am sure that there will be some plot twist.
In all seriousness, Courtney Summer is my favorite author and I would read a book that is anti-unicorn, if she wrote it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

Rating:
Characters: 18/20
Plot: 19/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 93/100 or A
Source: Publisher

Hunter, Autumn, and Summer—three of Kristina Snow’s five children—live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years.
Told in three voices and punctuated by news articles chronicling the family’s story, FALLOUT is the stunning conclusion to the trilogy begun by CRANK and GLASS, and a testament to the harsh reality that addiction is never just one person’s problem.
Fallout is a stunning book, in the way that it shows that drugs don't just effect the user. It show the damage that can come to their families in the future. Hunter's voice was strong and while he lived with Kristina's parents, he still felt out of place and like he was abandoned. Hunter had his issues with his on and off girlfriend, because of this. Autumn lives with her grandfather and aunt. She also met the first boy that has paid attention with her. That is until her dad comes in and she learns about the family that she never knew about. Summer goes from foster home to foster home with the occasional stop at her dad's house. Her family doesn't seem real anymore. Hopkins weaves all three of these stories in ease. She shows that all of Kristina's children have had their problems in the past and present. All of the tension build up to a stunning ending that keeps you wanting more, while resolving what happened. I enjoyed the fact that there were news paper clippings through out the book. Fallout was an original book, because you usually don't get to see what happens after someone continually does drugs. Hopkins is a stunning writer. Her books are gritty, fierce, and honest that will keep you wanting more. I highly recommend this book to fans of Courtney Summers, Julie Ann Peters, and Ellen Hopkins' previous books.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Rating:
Characters: 17/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 17/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 17/20
Overall: 87/100 or B
Source: Publishers

Avery Hood is reeling from the loss of her parents--and the fact that she can't remember what happened to them even though she was there.
She's struggling to adjust to life without them, and to living with her grandmother, when she meets Ben, who isn't like any guy she's ever met before.
It turns out there's a reason why, and Ben's secret may hold the key to Avery finding out what happened to her parents...
But what if that secret changes everything she knows about--and feels for--Ben?

I was really excited about Low Red Moon, because Ivy Devlin is the pseudonym for an author that has written a lot of contemporary novels. Anyway, I liked Avery. I could feel all of her grief over her parents and also her reluctance to leave her home. I also enjoyed that she was reunited with her grandma after such an absence from her. I think that the relationship between Ben and Avery was a bit rushed and seemed to be very superficial. Even with that, I still liked Ben and was interested in what he was. I really enjoyed the mystery that I found in Low Red Moon to be very engaging. Every single moment I was anticipating what would happen next. I read Low Red Moon in one day. Devlin's choppy and intense, which made me more engaged in it. This wasn't the most original book, but I still enjoyed this read. I found this book to be haunting mystery with a hint of romance. I also can't wait for more from Devlin in the future.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Interview with Kiersten White

Kiersten White started writing after having her first child. As a stay-at-home mom and writer, she uses whatever time possible to write, which usually happens late at night. Kiersten also blogs daily, which you can check out here. Paranormalcy is her first book and is available now. She currently lives in San Diego with her husband and her two children.
1. Your book is really original. Where did you get the idea for the International Paranormal Containment Agency?
I was playing around with the question of what you'd do with a vampire if you didn't want to kill it, and the idea of a huge international government agency popped into my head. It all spun out from there!
2. How do you manage to write with being a stay at home mom?
I don't sleep much. It's always a struggle finding the time to write, because my kids come first, plain and simple. I do let other things slide, though. My apartment is almost never clean and I make terrible dinners!
3. What are some of your favorite young adult books?The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart, Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins, the Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling, and whatever I am reading at the moment.
4. Your blog has an amazing following. Where do you get the ideas for your awesome posts?
Sleep deprivation mostly, I think. I just write whatever comes to mind at the moment, and am amazed and grateful that people enjoy reading it!
5. Is there anything that you would like to add?
Not numbers, that's for sure. I hate math. But addition is easier than division. I hated division. And times tables.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Rating:
Characters: 18/20
Plot: 19/20
Originality: 20/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 95/100 or A
Source: Bought

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.
Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

I adored Evie. She was quirky, smart, and strong. I sort of felt that I could relate to her, even though she is in such a different world, then I am. Lish was also such of an awesome character. I loved that she was a mermaid and was also unlike most best friends in Paranormal Romance. I loved Lend. Seriously, I wanted to kidnap him. He was so sweet and unique. I have never seen a shape shifter like him. I am intrigued to learn more about him in the future. Evie's ex-boyfriend Reth was so creepy, every time he was in the book I was engross with him, while I also couldn't wait for him to leave. It added another character to Evie's character. Paranormalcy had such an action packed plot that kept me guessing the next move. I loved how the plot flowed together in such a stunning way. Paranormalcy is the most authentic book that I have read in a while. White is a fantastic writer that created astoundingly realistic characters, a thrilling plot, and incomparable originality. I highly recommend that you read Paranormalcy. I don't think that you will be disappointed.

In My Mailbox (Week of September 5th)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren. This is my In My Mailbox for the last four weeks. I have been really busy later.


For Review:
Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor
Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
Greek Double Date by Marsha Warner
The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green
Beautiful Dead Arizona by Eden Maguire
Jane by April Lindner
Split by Swati Avasthi (Duplicate copies)
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by AS King
When I Was Joe by Keren David (Duplicate copies)
Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein
Hush by Eishes Chayil
Where The Truth Lies by Jessica Warman
Torn by Amber Lehman
The Limit by Kristen Landon
The Haunted by Jessica Verday
Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

From Jackie Morse Kessler:
A Poster, a pin, and a postcard

From Random Buzzers:
Poster for Flipped
Meridian by Amber Kizer

From Liz of Consumed by Books:
Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison (Thanks Liz)

Bought:
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The Candidates by Inara Scott

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Books read in... August

1. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
2. The Julian Games by Adele Griffin
3. Things I Know About Love by Kate Le Vann
4. The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur
5. Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
6. You by Charles Benoit
7. My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours by Kristina Springer
8. iDracula by Bekka Black
9. The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway
10. Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
11. Meanicures by Catherine Clark
12. Notes from the Blender by Brendan Halpin and Tricia Cook
13. Betrayal by Lili St. Crow
14. Jealousy by Lili St. Crow
15. Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick
16. Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher
17. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
18. Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
19. Small-Town Sinner by Melissa Walker
20.Confession of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
21. Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham
Reviews posted from these books: 10 of these books so far, a few are planned to be posted later.
Books from Library: 0 books
Books for Review: 18 books
Books borrowed: 1 books
My Favorite: Confession of the Sullivan Sisters or Fallout. Both were wow!
My Least Favorite: iDrakula... it sucked.
Debut Authors '10: 36 read 14 books left
Dystopian Challenge: Finished with 15 books read

Friday, September 3, 2010

Winners!

Here are a few recent winners:
Winner of Penguin Five: Daisy Underhill
Winner of If I Stay: Pamela Keener
Congrats to these people. Also, Pamela send me your address as soon as possible.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Rating:
Characters: 19/20
Plot: 20/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 20/20
Recommendation: 20/20
Overall: 98/100 or A
Source: Publisher
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
The DUFF is a magical novel that is honest and full of emotions. Bianca is a cynical, yet lovable character, with Wesley as a lovely counterpart. Both character's snarky dialouge is well balanced and full of emotions and humor. I loved how Bianca and Wesley both changed for the better. Bianca's friends are really sweet and amazing at times, but other times I wanted to jump into the book and stab them. The DUFF is a book that grips you from the first sentence and keep you want more after the last word. The plot is full of teens being teens, but it doesn't seemed to be forced or overdramatic. Keplinger was also an amazing writer. Her writing was true to teenage girls everywhere that are trying to figure what love is and it's meaning to true beauty. She also knows how to create an amazing voice for a character. I would reccomend this books to anyone looking for a realistic book with depth and reality. I loved this book so much. The DUFF for me is a modern verison of Forever, which is one of my favorite books. I can't wait to discover more books from Kody Keplinger in the future.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (70)

Title: Last Sacrifice
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin
Date: December 7th, 2010

Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them.
I need this book like now. I love this series so much and I can't wait to see what happens. I know what I am doing on December 7th...

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