Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Rating:
Characters: 19/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 16/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 20/20
Overall: 91/100 or A
Source: Publisher
Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry and also because it is the last piece of mail that her sisters gets.
After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.
But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills and finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.
I could relate to Phe a lot through out the book. I lost a sister and the grief, while intense was perfectly mastered in this book. I love that Phe was curious about Shadow Hills and wanted to uncover what was happening there. I liked that she was brave and would go against what was safe. I also love Zach. He was so sweet to Phe and also cared about his family and friends. I love that there was humor in this book, even though it is a mystery. Hopcus crafts the story as she weaves it into a story that will keep you guessing and turning the page. I hope that there will be a sequel for Shadow Hills, because I have so many questions left about this book. I felt that this book has it cliches and could have been more original, but the town and there secrets did make for some interesting and unique book. Hopcus is an awesome writer that created a fantastic book that kept me guessing. I recommend Shadow Hills to fans of Paranormal Romance.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Rating:
Characters: 20/20
Plot: 19/20
Originality: 18/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 94/100 or A
Source: Publisher
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa.
As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

I will start off by saying that I was a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments Series. I love the world that Cassandra Clare creates and how immersed that I felt in that world while I was reading these series. I felt the same way, when I started Clockwork Angel. I love Victorian London and Cassandra Clare paints it so vibrantly, while still approaching the problems that were prevalent in Victorian Society like Women issues and Racism. Tessa seemed like a normal girl, but it turned out that she was more then that. Tessa is a Downworlder. I liked that she developed as a character and became a lot more open minded about what seemed to be a strong beliefs to her at the beginning of the book. I also looked that each chapter started with a quote from a book that Tessa enjoyed. I adored Will and Jem. Will was very honest, charming, and could be a sweet at times. He reminded me a lot of Jace, and I am excited to see why Will is this way. Jem was sweet and I also adored the strength and courage that he had. Like Jem, I have been dependent on things like he is and I also have been labeled as the weak one within my group of friends. Charlotte and Henry were also so sweet and I loved how they cared about the teens in the institute. Jessamine annoyed me at times, but she was also kick ass when she had to be. I love that there were a ton of names that I recognized and I can't help, but wonder whose family came from which character. I also loved the fact that Magnus Bane was in the book. I also can't wait to learn more about the Magister. The plot had it's slow spots, but overall I found the book to be thrilling and exciting. I liked that there was an original feel for this book, because it doesn't seem like a normal historical novel. I love Clare's writing and enjoy how she weaves the story together. I would recommend this to fans of Paranormal Young Adult Fiction and The Mortal Instruments. I can't wait to reenter the world of Shadowhunters again.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Ivy by Lauren Kunze & Rina Onur

Rating:
Characters: 18/20
Plot: 19/20
Originality: 17/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 17/20
Overall: 89/100 or B
Source: Publisher
Freshman year at Harvard--glamorous parties, blossoming friendships, steamy romances, and scandalous secrets. Skip the campus tour and get right to the good stuff: classes are for scoping guys (and their Facebook profiles), not taking notes. The library is for study dates (the medieval history stacks get a lot of action), not studying. And success is a 4.0 GPA... plus getting into the most exclusive parties. How will Callie--a California girl with brains, beauty, and big dreams--and her three roommates survive? Get admitted to The Ivy, the first book in a provocative new series about the world of the Ivy League.
Callie is a pretty relatable character, because she wants to fit in at a place where a social structure has been established for years. I also like that she is excited for school and also very nervous. I love Mimi and her slacker attitude. Also the fact that she would randomly burst into speaking french. Vanessa's desire to please people annoyed the hell out of me and I wish that she would just disappear. I really like the secret society aspect of the Final Clubs that were such an important part of The Ivy. I also liked that the plot was fluffy and cute. It was also predictable like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and Private series can be. I found that there was some originality with the fact that it was set in Harvard and not high school. That part brought more hijinks, parties, and other random fun to the book. Kunze and Onur make a great duo in The Ivy and create a unique voice for Callie. I think that this book is great for anyone that is looking for a cute, but fast read.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Rating:
Characters: 19/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 20/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 94/100 or A
Source: Bought
My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.
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 is 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 don't know how to explain Mockingjay. I read it on Wednesday and I am still thinking about parts of it. It is one of those books that you will either love a lot or hate it. Luckily I adore this book and found it to be realistic for the environment that they were in. I loved that the characters developed and some of them became better people and others failed. I felt more connected to Katniss then the previous books, because her emotions felt more real to me. The first two-thirds of the book were close how I imagined it, there was action, politics, and war. While the last third was a bit rushed, I did like the ending. Collins creates an amazing finale for a stunning series that I am sure many people will like and others will hate.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Interview with Violet Haberdasher

Today, I have the amazing Violet Haberdasher, who is the author of The Knightley Academy, which came out earlier this year. I hope you enjoy.
1. In Knightley Academy, the Knights of Templar are mentioned. Are there any other legends or myths that fascinate you?
If you can consider it a legend, I'm quite obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. I also love the theories about Shakespeare's true identity, the legend of King Arthur, and collegiate literary societies (which pre-date secret societies).
2. There are three types of Knights in Knightley Academy, which type do you think you are most like? Why?
I secretly wish I could be a Knight Detective. I wrote my thesis on the idea of the gentleman's detective in Victorian London, who settled private scandals outside of the public eye through research, disguise and inquiry. I think I'd quite enjoy having my own office as a prominent Knight Detective, rescuing people's honor and reputations and consulting with the Police Knights on the occasional matter of national importance.
3. Knightley Academy is based in an alternative history of Victorian London. Do you have an other books planned in a sort of alternative world?
I think all fiction is, in effect, set in a bit of an alternative world. You can't help but manipulate reality when you're writing, even in just the smallest ways. I'm just far more obvious about it. I'm also a coward, and I'd be too afraid to tackle historical fiction without the crutch of an alternate history. You don't get any details wrong when you're making it all up! My academic focus has always been, in some capacity, Victorian London--the laws, literature, culture and medicine. I was petrified that I'd get some detail wrong until my agent just told me to make it up, because no one would know the difference. Until then, I'd been sitting on and worrying about Knightley for 4 years! I still do a large amount of research, and 95% of my alternate bits are deliberate, but probably 5% are sheer ignorance/just totally off. I think I'm going to continue with alternate worlds for a long while yet! I am working--quite tentatively!--on a book series which blends my Victorian research and my biotech research into an absurd sort of nostalgic future setting.
4. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about writing?
My favorite thing about writing is probably when something falls neatly into place that I wasn't expecting to happen in the manuscript; I love being surprised by my stories. My least favorite thing is when I have to torture my characters. I feel so bad for them!
5. Is there anything that you would like to add?
If you would like to hear me do impressions of Lord Havelock, Fergus Valmont and all the rest for 8.5 hours, consider investing in the audiobook, which just came out this week, and which I had the hilarious misfortune of narrating. I forget how much the audiobook costs, but mocking me about it is free!

Fragment Friday(2)

This is my first Fragment Friday. Fragment Friday is hosted by James at Book Chic. Pretty much you read a short excerpt or a paragraph of a favorite part of a book you love or currently reading. This week I have am excerpt of Before I Die by Jenny Downham.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Trailer

I am still processing Mockingjay and don't think that I could write a proper review on a book yet. Here is a Trailer of Clockwork Angel made by Vania. I hope you enjoy.
Also I fisrt saw this on MTV, so congrats to Vania on that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stop #5- Where She Went tour

I really enjoyed If I Stay and am really excited to be a part of the Where She Went teaser tour. I am sure that you will have a strong desire to read Where She Went after this tour is over.
Attention If I Stay fans: If you will recall, in If I Stay, Adam’s band Shooting Star was up-and-coming. Before the accident, this was a source of tension with Mia, who was trying to decide whether or not to go to Juilliard or to stay with Adam. The accident changed all that and their musical careers seemed like the least of their concerns by the end of the book. If you’ve been wondering what happened to their musical plans, the wait is almost over: New York Times bestselling author Gayle Forman has written a sequel to If I Stay. It’s called Where She Went, and it comes out April 2011, but right now she’s doing a teaser tour to give If I Stay fans the scoop on what they can expect from Mia and Adam’s new chapter.

Teaser Number 5:
5. Did we mention that Adam’s band, Shooting Star, is huge now, and Adam’s a rock star? Well, they are. We are talking national phenomenon huge. Lady Gaga if Lady Gaga-rocked-it-like-Nirvana-huge. Multi-platinum, multi-Grammy huge. And Adam is the front man. The lead man. The one everyone wants. The one who shot the band to superstardom. And if you think this has made Adam happy, you are very wrong.


Penguin is also awesome enough to offer a signed paperback cover of If I Stay to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment with your email, a song that it your current obsession and live in the United States.



Penguin is also awesome enough to offer a signed paperback cover of If I Stay to one lucky winner. Just leave a comment with your email, a song that it your current obsession and live in the United States.
Preorder your copy of Where She Went here!
Go and visit the other Where She Went Teaser Tour Stops:
August 19: Persnickety Snark
August 20: Hope’s Bookshelf
August 23: Bookworming in the 21st Century
August 24: The Story Siren
August 25: Sarah’s Random Musings
August 26: The Compulsive Reader
August 27: The Book Scout
August 30: Frenetic Reader
August 31: Book Chic
September 1: Presenting Lenore

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Meanicures by Catherine Clark

Rating:
Characters: 17/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 16/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 17/20
Overall: 86/100 or B
Source: Publisher

When three best friends get together, the first thing they talk about these days is always the mean girls in their lives. They decide to banish their enemies by holding a ceremony and burning slips of paper with the mean girls' names on them. But soon afterwards, they discover themselves becoming mean, and they must find a way--with a little help from the owner of their local beauty shop--to reverse the ceremony and revert to the sweet (mostly), kind (if slightly imperfect) personalities. Catherine Clark's first middle-grade novel is a humorous look at the mysterious--and wonderful--nature of friendship
I found this book to be Middle School meets Mean Girl. Madison was just trying to have a balance between her new friends Olivia and Taylor and their teasing and rather mean old friends Cassidy and the other mean girls. I felt that Olivia and Taylor could have been developed more deeply. Also the mean girl's reasoning except for Cassidy's reason seemed realistic. I found the plot to be funny and cute. The cat fight and pranks were realistic to what tweens and young teens are facing today. I didn't find the book to be super original or authentic, but it did have there own clever twist in the plot. Clark is a great writer that creates such a cute book with an interesting plot. I recommend this book to fans of The Clique and the movie Mean Girls. I found it to be a very cute and fun read.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours by Kristina Springer

Rating:
Characters: 18/20
Plot: 17/20
Originality: 17/20
Writing: 17/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 87/100 or B
Source: Publisher
Seventh grade was supposed to be fun, but Tori is having major drama with her BFF, Sienna. Sienna changed a lot over the summer on the first day of school she’s tan, confident, and full of stories about her new dreamy boyfriend. Tori knows that she’s totally making this guy up. So Tori invents her own fake boyfriend, who is better than Sienna’s in every way. Things are going great unless you count the whole lying-to-your-best-friend thing until everyone insists Tori and Sienna bring their boyfriends to the back-to-school dance.
My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours was so cute and such a quick read. Tori hasn't talk to her BFF in a few weeks and is worried that their friendship will be over. That is until she comes up with a new idea. I think that is reasonable to what happened in middle school. The plot surprised me with a few twist and turns, but was mostly what I expected from this book. If the book was longer, I would have expected a bit more suspense. It was pretty authentic for a middle grade book. I also like Springer's sweet, yet realistic voice that Tori had. I would recommend this book to fans of The Espressologist or realistic Middle Grade fiction.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

Rating:
Characters: 18/20
Plot: 17/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 91/100 or A
Source: Publisher

What if love refused to die?
Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.
In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves before all is lost and the cycle begins again.
I really like Haven. She was really sweet and awesome. Sometimes, she annoyed me a bit with her decisions and that she was too trusting at times. I liked that she had a passion for fashion and that it shined through out. Iain was so annoying at times and his character fell flat at time, but the romance between him and Haven was so steamy and hot. I loved Beau, who was a total sweetie and made me laugh a lot. The plot of The Eternal Ones was face paced at times and kept me guessing what would happen next. I really liked that incarnation was a part of the story and that the flashbacks helped with the story. I found it to be very original and unlike anything that I have read. Miller is an amazing writer that created an amazing voice for Haven. I loved this book and highly recommend that you read it now.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Censorship & I

Censorship is not a good thing. Why do you think that the first amendment is freedom of Speech, Religion, Press, and Right to Assemble? Because the British were oppressive and total jerks to the Colonies. Do you really want to treat someone like that? Governments still censor people today, like The People's Republic of China employs some 30,000 Internet police to monitor the internet. So, if you think that is unfair, how is that any different from telling someone what to read, write, wear, listen to, or feel?
My parents don't censor me and never have. They feel that it isn't good to grow up in a glass bubble that can break at any moment as knowledge is surged at me. My mom grew up in a very Mormon household. She was only able to read the Bible and books that were approved by the Church. She was also a long distance runner and would get in trouble for wearing sweat pants over her shorts until she got to the mailbox. She feels that might have been why she wanted to leave her family so early. My mom still reads some of my books and has never been, "Sarah, you shouldn't be reading this." Some of her recent favorites have been The DUFF, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Crank.
The DUFF has sexual content, but so does TV, Movies, and a lot of music. And so do Teens! I probably got exposed to more sexual content, when I went to a normal high school, then the last three years that I have been home schooled. Will Grayson has depression, homosexuality, and porn. Okay, I have been depressed, my sister has been depressed, and I bet my dog has even been depressed. Depression is a fact of life and sure some bad behavior can happen from it. But would you rather have a teen be depressed or read books with depressed characters. I don't personally think that people should be put in group, because who they love or attracted to. I think that is one of the worst thing to censor. I believe that people are born as they are and God loves you as are. The two main characters meet in a porn shop. I actually found that to be hilarious, because I don't think that people want to talk about that. Crank has drug use and rape. Drug use happens. It isn't a wise thing to do, but people want escape their lives, but instead of picking up a book or watching a movie. They decide that this is the only way to find freedom is by diving into something that will destroy their lives. I have seen this happen to friends and family members and rather just read about it. Rape is a horrible thing, but I have seen campaigns to censor books in which a character is experiencing or has experience rape. I know someone that read these books and found hope, which I find amazing for her, since she is afraid to use her voice.
Things happen in life and you can’t censor them, so why do that with what you read. I personally find book banning to not be a sign of wisdom, but one full of only idiotic reasoning. A lot of the time, parents say that their children are too innocent or not ready to take a subject on, when they censor. Recently Ellen Hopkins was uninvited to an event, because a librarian and a group of parents that have not read her books, decided that her books weren’t fit for the event. I read Crank when it came out in 2004, and felt that it was a better book, then the Christian YA that my extended family was trying to push on me.
Anyways, I am a nineteen year old girl from a religious family that has never limited my reading of a book or series. I find books to be relaxing and wonderful, they are an escape into a brand new world. Anyways this is all just my opinion and I don’t mean to personally offend someone.
Other places to read about Censorship are:
The Page Flipper
Bookalicious
Harmony's Book Review
Ellen Hopkins

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fragment Friday

This is my first Fragment Friday. Fragment Friday is hosted by James at Book Chic. Pretty much you read a short excerpt or a paragraph of a favorite part of a book you love or currently reading. This week I have am excerpt of Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Interview with Kristin Miller

Today, I have Kirsten Miller for an interview. She is the author the Kiki Strike series and The Eternal ones. Kirsten Miller lives in New York City where she currently spends her time drinking coffee and exploring the city. She also manges a blog for her character Ananka Fishbein from the Kiki Strike series here and a blg about recranation and other things about The Eternal Ones here.

1. The Ouroboros Society is a society that is in the public eye, but still is full of secrets. What is your favorite part of secret societies?
The most intriguing thing about secret societies is that I’m not a member of any! (Or am I? Ha.) I think some people (including myself—and definitely my mother) are fascinated by secret societies for the same reason they find conspiracy theories entertaining. Both offer explanations for why the world works the way it does. Haven’t you ever wondered why some people get ahead and others don’t? Or why those in charge often seem to be the least suited for the job?
The Ouroboros Society grew out of these questions—and a few more: What if some people were able to bring talents and skills from previous lives? What if these people had their own club? How would they choose to use their power—for good or for evil?
2.  Both of your blogs are based on aspects of The Eternal Ones and Kiki Strike Series. How does that help, when you start creating the story and the characters?
Well I just started the blog for The Eternal Ones, so I can’t really say how helpful it might prove to be in the future. Right now, it’s just a LOT of work and a LOT of fun. I love “reading” people’s past lives.
As for the Kiki blog, it’s an endless source of inspiration. When the next Kiki book (The Darkness Dwellers) comes out (soon!), I think my blog readers will be tickled to see how many ideas can be traced back to the last four years of blog posts. (I hope they have fun with this. It should feel like a scavenger hunt for Kiki fans/real life Irregulars. Wait a second! That kind of sounds like the beginning of a secret society!)

3. Beau was definitely one of my favorite characters in The Eternal Ones. What inspired you, when you wrote about this character?
I had a very good friend in high school who grew up gay in our small Southern town. (Actually, he’s still my friend.) I saw first-hand how tough it was for him, and that provided a great deal of inspiration. But I didn’t want to base Beau on him, because my friend has a very beautiful and powerful story to tell, and I really hope he writes it himself.
Instead, Beau is a mixture of two other people I’ve long admired. The first is my brother, who shares Beau’s sense of humor. The second is another person who grew up gay in the South. I didn’t know him that well, but I was always awestruck by his refusal to be anyone other than himself. Even as a little boy he showed more guts and confidence than most people will ever be able to muster. (The Barbie lunchbox scene was “borrowed” from him.)
I know the “gay best friend” is a bit of a cliché in YA literature, but I think of Beau as more of a real person than a character. He’s not just in the story for witty repartee or comic relief.
4. Kiki Strike is based most on girl power and the story of six girls, while the Eternal Ones was mostly about romance. How different was it for you to be writing a story that is romantically centered, then your previous books?
The search for love is the ultimate adventure, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather risk my life than my heart. And poor Haven . . . just like the rest of us, she has to go through it all alone! That takes some serious guts.
The truth is, I don’t really think of The Eternal Ones as a “romance” in the classic sense. I think of it as a romance/thriller. I like books with a little lovin’ in them, but I need some adventure mixed in as well. Hopefully The Eternal Ones will provide readers with a satisfying helping of both love and adventure.
But writing this book was a much different experience. The Kiki books are a reflection of how I see the world. The Eternal Ones really forced me to enter another person’s life. It was much harder to write, but I’m glad I set myself the challenge!
5. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thanks so much for the interview! I had a blast!

Penguin is offering a Penguin 5 Box for a contest here.
Anyways here is what books are included in the Penguin 5 Box:
The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Matched by Ally Condie
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
I have read four of these books and they are amazing, if you want to learn more visit here. The contest will end on September 2nd and is open to US Addresses only. Just fill out the form below.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday 69

Title: Like Mandarin
Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Publisher: Random House
Date: March 8, 2011
It's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin. When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their Badlands town. Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.
This book sounds amazing and I love the cover.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick

Rating:
Characters: 17/20
Plot: 16/20
Originality: 17/20
Writing: 17/20
Recommendation: 17/20
Overall: 84/100 or B
Source: Bought

Claire is a #hopelessromantic.
Lottie is determined to set up her BFF with Mr. Perfect.
Will wants his #secretcrush to finally notice him.
Bennett is a man with a plan.
Claire can’t believe it when her dream guy starts following her on Twitter. She never thought he noticed her, and suddenly he seems to understand her better than almost anyone.
But the Twitterverse can be a confusing place, especially when friends act differently online than they do in person. Things get even more complicated when Claire realizes she’s falling for someone else, the last person she ever would have expected….
Told in an innovative format combining tweets, emails, and blogs, Tweet Heart is a contemporary romantic comedy that will set your heart atwitter.
I found this book to be very cute and sweet, but is lacked something. Claire was such a cute and sweet character, so I don't understand why she didn't notice Will and was obsessed with JD. The same was with Lottie, who was always going after boys that she didn't find interesting. Will was super sweet, but what he did to Claire was stupid. The plot was really predictable and while I enjoyed it. I wish that there was something that had surprised me. This book wasn't too original or surprising. Rudnick was an pretty awesome writer, but I wish that the tweets observed the 140 character limit, because there were a lot that I am sure went over. Overall a cute and fast read that is rather predictable, I would recommend this book to fans of TTYL series.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Winners!

Clockwork Angel Winner: Becky R.
The Space Between Trees: Keitra D.
Yay for the winners! I will have another amazing contest going up this week.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Things I know About Love by Kate Le Vann

Rating:
Characters: 20/20
Plot: 19/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 20/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 97/100 or A
Source: Publisher
Livia's experience of love has been disappointing to say the least. But all that is about to change. After years of illness, she's off to spend the summer with her brother in America. She's making up for lost time, and she's writing it all down in her private blog. America is everything she ever dreamed of - and then she meets Adam. Can Livia put the past behind her and risk falling in love again?
I adored this book. Livia's character's captured the aftermath of illness perfectly. For example, your friends treat you like glass or that you have to get close to your parents. I could relate to her so well. I could relate to her thoughts and feelings so much. Her brother Jeff was also such a sweetie and cared a lot about Livia. Adam was also such a great love interest. I really loved his attitude about her being sick and that it didn't matter. I also liked the idea of a blog and how it was written like a diary. I also loved that Adam kept one too and it was one of my favorite parts of the book. This book was really original in the feelings that it presented about illness and that was true. It also showed the hope and humor that you can have in life at the darkest times. and that the sorrow and pain doesn't seem to hurt you as much. I really wish that this book had a different ending. Le Vann is an amazing writer and I highly recommend reading this book. It is now one of my favorite books.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Guest Post: Where Hollywood should take a page out of the Book Industry

The authors of The Familiars, Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson asked, if they could do a guest post. So I hope you enjoy this post and check out The Familiars, when it comes out.
With the release of our debut novel, THE FAMILIARS, fast approaching on September 7th, we have readied ourselves for a marathon, not a sprint to success. That is the nature of the book industry, or so we have been told. Especially children’s books and book series. It isn’t always the first book, or even the second, in a series that catches on. Sometimes it isn’t until the third book that things really take off. By then the cycle of hardcover to paperback has been given time to play out in bookstores, schools, and libraries, and audiences have been able to discover a series through word of mouth. Which brings me to Hollywood. Oh, how times have changed since the days of our childhood, when a movie like “Back to the Future” played at the local movie theater for what seemed like a year. Now, films live and die not just by their opening weekend, but by their opening day. Whether it’s the so-called Twitter effect or the nature of our viral world, if a movie doesn’t play on Friday night, it’s pretty much toast by Monday. (“The Growing Importance of Opening Weekend”: http://bit.ly/aqA1nK)
Of course, film studios are spending tens of millions of dollars blitzing the airwaves with advertisements for their summer blockbusters, while the publishing industry rarely has much of a marketing budget at all. But rather than lamenting the more grass roots, micro-budget push given to a book’s release, perhaps authors should be embracing it. In the book world, an author has the luxury of sitting back and waiting for their novel or series of novels to find an audience over months, or even years. In Hollywood, you’ve got maybe 24 hours to connect with a very fickle public being asked to shell out their hard earned dollars. We all want instant success, and the corporate entities bankrolling these products – be it a movie or a book – aren’t exactly known for patience. But as screenwriters looking forward to an unknown Friday in 2013 when The Familiars movie gets released, here’s a plea to Hollywood: take a page from the book industry and give a film time to find an audience. Maybe one day just isn’t enough.
You can learn more about “The Familiars” at
www.thefamiliars.com.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway

Rating:
Characters: 19/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 18/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 91/100 or A
Source: Publisher

Three sisters, three extraordinary, life-changing powers!
I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn’t imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.
Three sisters share a magical, unshakable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?
April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family.
They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other. Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood
April, May, and June were such amazing sisters and their relationship seemed so realistic. I grew up with two sisters, so I could relate to how they felt. April reminded me a lot of myself. She was constantly stressed about school and never though that she would ever have a boy like her. I still feel this way and understood what April was experiencing. May also reminded me a lot of myself. I felt that I could also relate to her. I think that everyone has felt like they were invisible and no one cared about her. I could also relate to the fact that June wanted to fit in and be popular. I believe that everyone can relate to that feeling sometime in their life. I also loved how their voices didn't blend together and that there The boys were also dreamy. I loved the romances that developed in the book and how they seemed so realistic. I really like the idea of having a contemporary plot with a mix of a supernatural element. I found it to be well balanced and well written. The plot was also funny at times like Benway's last book Audrey, Wait! The sister dynamic was a great part of the plot and also very sweet. April, May, and June were all very original. Benway is an amazing writer and I can't wait for there to be more books from her in the future. I would really recommend this book to sisters or people that loved Audrey, Wait!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey

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

The action and romance continue as the Drakes face a new vampire with a 200-year-old grudge. It’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely surv...more The action and romance continue as the Drakes face a new vampire with a 200-year-old grudge. It’s been centuries since Isabeau St. Croix barely survived the French Revolution. Now she’s made her way back to the living and she must face the ultimate test by confronting the evil British lord who left her for dead the day she turned into a vampire. That’s if she can control her affection for Logan Drake, a vampire whose bite is as sweet as the revenge she seeks.
The clans are gathering for Helena’s royal coronation as the next vampire queen, and new alliances are beginning to form now that the old rifts of Lady Natasha’s reign have started to heal. But with a new common enemy, Leander Montmarte—a vicious leader who hopes to force Solange to marry him and usurp the power of the throne for himself—the clans must stand together to preserve the peace he threatens to destroy.
This second adventure in the Drake Chronicles—told from both Logan’s and Isabeau’s perspectives—has all the same butt-kicking action, heart-pounding romances and snarky humor that readers loved in Hearts at Stake, as well as exciting new revelations about the vampire dynasties to keep readers coming back for more.

I was so excited to read Blood Feud, after Heart at Stake, because I adored that book. Luckily I wasn't disappointed by Blood Feud. The characters were just as lively as they were in Blood Feud. Lucy, Solange, Nicholas, and Kieran appeared in the book and were really awesome in this book too. I really liked how it changed perspectives to Logan and Isabeau. Logan was really interesting and I loved how sweet he was to Isabeau. He also cared about his family. Isabeau was old fashioned, but she could be very kick ass. Montmarte continues to be evil and you are also introduced to Greyhaven, who is just as evil as his boss. I liked that Harvey allowed us to have an inside view into what the Hounds were and how they worked.
The plot of Blood Feud was constantly going and changing. I wasn't really sure what would develop, except for the romance between Logan and Isabeau. There was a lot of action with the fighting and politics in this book. I still find the various types of vampire to be very interesting and original. The magic that the vampires can posses is very interesting and well developed. Harvey is an excellent writer that creates such a fantastic world that is one of a kind. I highly suggest this book to fans of Paranormal Romance.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (68)

Title: Girl Save Boy
Author: Steph Bowe
Publisher: Egmont USA
Date: Summer 2011

The first time we met, Jewel Valentine saved my life. Isn’t it enough having your very own terminal disease, without your mother dying? Or your father dating your Art teacher? No wonder Sacha Thomas ends up in the lake that Saturday evening… But the real question is: how does he end up in love with Jewel Valentine? With the help of quirky teenage prodigies Little Al and True Grisham, Sacha and Jewel have a crazy adventure, with a little lobster emancipation along the way. But Sacha’s running out of time, and Jewel has secrets of her own. Girl Saves Boy is a hugely talented debut novel, funny and sad, silly and wise. It’s a story of life, death, love… and garden gnomes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You by Charles Benoit

Rating:
Characters: 20/20
Plot: 19/20
Originality: 20/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 96/100 or A
Source: Publisher
This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.
You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?
There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them? Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late? Think fast, Kyle. Time's running out. How did this happen?
You is the riveting story of fifteen-year-old Kyle and the small choices he does and doesn't make that lead to his own destruction.
In his stunning young-adult debut, Charles Benoit mixes riveting tension with an insightful—and unsettling—portrait of an ordinary teen in a tale that is taut, powerful, and shattering.
You is unlike any book that I have ever read. You is told in second person, which I have never see in a Young Adult Novel. I found that part of the book to be really original, because Benoit is trying to capture that all teens have felt like Kyle has. Kyle is a really well developed character. He is a hoodie, meaning that no one expects anything from him, which is what he does. I find that aspect of the book to be so depressing. I mean who would want to know that everyone could care less about them. Also the part about him being bored at school reflects how the education system is failing some people. He also can't tell the girl that he like his feelings. That is until Zack shows up. The plot of You seems rather normal for most teens, but the subplots help make the book extraordinary and fabulous. The plot is suspenseful and gripping. At times, it was so gut wrenching that I had to take a breathe as I read this. Benoit is unlike any writer that I have ever experienced, because instead of being on the sidelines, you are the character. His book is one of a kind and I highly suggest that you buy You as soon as humanly possible.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin

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

All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity so she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. It's a fun and dangerous thrill at first, but Raye hadn't counted on falling for Julian herself and igniting Ella's rage. As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge, creating an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she's helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter. Adele Griffin's riveting novel explores the issues of generation Facebook: the desire to be someone else, real versus online friends, and the pitfalls and fall outs of posting your personal life online for all the world to judge.
I really liked Raye. She was a little immature at the beginning, but I still found her to be really sweet. I also though that she was a believable in her trust with Ella, even though she knew that she shouldn't. Ella is not the typical mean girl. Her insecurities are shared with the narrators, like her gloves and strange catch phrases. Also the fact that she feels that she has been burnt Julian. I really liked that Griffin didn't make him seem perfect, like a lot of love interests are protrayed in Young Adult books.. Natayla was really sweet and I loved her strong personality and the fact that she liked Sci-Fi. Julian seems like a normal jock, but his family has financial issues like a lot of teens are dealing with at the moment. Henry Henry was a great character. He made me laugh a lot and was British, which is awesome. I liked that he was quirky and different, then most characters.
The plot of the Julian Game was very well developed and seemed to be very realistic to how life really is. Raye is an honest, funny, and vulnerable narrator that really kept the plot interesting and fun. The plot also warns you about putting yourself on the Internet like Facebook and that once something is on the Internet anyone can see it and that isn't always a good thing. It also talks about how once bullying starts on a target, it doesn't stop. I have seen this first hand on my sister, who was severely bullied last year on Facebook and Youtube and Griffin represented that part well. I found aspects of the book to be very original, while other parts were very stereotypical. Griffin is a stunning writer and I can't wait to read more books from her in the future. I highly recommend this book. The Julian Game was fresh, funny, and addictive.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In My Mailbox (Week of August 8th)


Books Bought:
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Glee: The Beginnings
Jealousy by Lili St. Crow
Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher
Books for Review:
Fallout by Ellen Hopkins (and a poster)
The Teen's Guide to World Domination
My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent
Books Gifted:
A Japanese version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling (From my friend)
Girl Parts by John M. Cusick, Love, Ghost, and Facial Hair by Steve Herrick, and Swag ( From Alex)
A Letter, Sticky Notes, and Voucher for her audio book (From Holly Cupala)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Why?

Recently, I was reading this fabulous book that shall be left unnamed, because I am about to spoil it. Anyways, I could relate to the main character. She had been sick for a long time and has mostly recovered. The whole time, I was like I totally get what she is talking about. Her fear that she will get sick again, how she has a strong relationship with her siblings and her mom, and the fact that she feels like her friends treat her differently then she remembered, because she is now the Sick Girl.
So, she is finally finding someone that gets the illness and still loves her, despite that. They are having a fabulous time... Then she suddenly dies. This has happened in a few other books that I love that shall also remain nameless. Anyways, the real reason of this rant is where are the optimistic sick main character books, where the character doesn't die and lives to be old and happy. Heck, I would settle for them living past the end of the book.
When I was really sick, I had some odd obsession on finding books where the main character was sick, because that was the reality when I was sick. I know what the medical jargon means, before the main character explains it. Like the book I just finished, the main characters all died. I am not saving that isn't a reality, but most people survive.
Where are the uplifting books about illnesses? Optimism is so important when you are sick, but it seem like that aspect is ignored when the Main Character is the one that is sick. When it is a family member, parent, or friend, they survive. So, why can't a main character live and be happy?
I know that as the sick girl that survived, I feel extremely lucky and blessed, because I beat the odds. I just don't understand why their aren't literary main character that haven't survived and it isn't the best reassurance when you are as big of a reader as I am. And the sick main character just keeps dying. I think the moment that I will remember the most is, when I was reading this book, after being told that I was relapsing and the main character dies. I cried for two whole days, because I was sure that was going to happen to me(I am very irrational, when I am sick.) My challenge for you is to demand books where the sick girl or boy lives, beyond odds and if you write, write one.
Sorry for the rant, but it had to be done...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Winners!

Winner of Extraordinary: Dani Matlon!
Winner of Top 8 Prize Pack: Nancye Davis!
Winner of Other: Zoe Alea!
Congrats!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lost by Jacqueline Davies

Rating:
Characters: 18/20
Plot: 17/20
Originality: 18/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 17/20
Overall: 89/100 or B
Source: Publisher
Essie can tell from the moment she lays eyes on Harriet Abbott: this is a woman who has taken a wrong turn in life. Why else would an educated, well-dressed, clearly upper-crust girl end up in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory setting sleeves for six dollars a day? But Harriet isn't the only one who is lost. Essie wanders between the opposing emotions of her love for the young would-be lawyer who lives next door and her hatred for her mother who seems determined to take away every bit of happiness that Essie hopes to find. As the unlikely friendship between Essie and Harriet grows, so does the weight of the question hanging between them: Who is lost? And who will be found?
I found Essie to be an interesting character. I loved how she cared for Zelda and also her belief in people. Zelda made me laugh and was a humor to this book, through flashbacks and the emotions broke my heart at times. I also enjoyed Harriet's discovery in the reality of life and also the fact that she was based on Dorothy Harriet Camille Arnold and her disappearance that happen around that time. The plot was very rich with colorful memories and historical facts. I enjoyed the atmosphere that was created in the setting and also the colorful characters in a time that people were starving every second. I loved the inclusion of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and the event that later happened. I also found the book to be very original with the twist and turns of the plot. Davies weaves an amazing book that will grab the attentions of readers. I would highly suggest this book to the fans of A Northern Light and other historical fiction books in the Young Adult genre.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (67)

Title: XVI
Author: Julia Karr
Publisher: Penguin
Date: January 6, 2011
In the year 2150, being a girl isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when your sixteenth (read sex-teenth) birthday is fast approaching. That in itself would be enough to make anyone more than a little nuts, what with the tattoo and all – but Nina Oberon’s life has taken a definite turn for the worse. Her mother is brutally stabbed and left for dead. Before dying, she entrusts a secret book to Nina, telling her to deliver it to Nina's father. But, first Nina has to find him; since for fifteen years he's been officially dead. Complications arise when she rescues Sal, a mysterious, and ultra hot guy. He seems to like Nina, but also seems to know more about her father than he’s letting on. Then there’s that murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and just happens to be her little sister’s dad.
This book sounds amazing and I love the cover.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn,

Rating:
Characters: 18/20
Plot: 19/20
Originality: 20/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 94/100 or A
Source: Borrowed

Lily's parents have decided to go to Fiji, her Grandpa is in Florida proposing to his girlfriend, and her brother Langston is infatuated with his new boyfriend Benny, so she finds herself alone during Christmas. That is until Langston makes a Book of Dares and places it on Lily's favorite shelf at The Strand. Dash lied to both of his parents in order to get rid of them for the holidays. Shortly before Christmas, Dash finds the red moleskin notebook and finishes the dares. But it doesn't end there, Lily and Dash trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook. Will they be able to connect outside of the Book of Dares or will it fall flat?
I could really connect to Lily. She was very sweet and naive at times. I really liked her. Dash is my dream boy. He likes books as much as I do and was also very sweet, yet pessimistic at times. I just adored him. The other characters that were minor were all developed well. Boomer was loyal to Dash, just as Cousin Mark was to Lily. Langston and Benny's relationship was cute. Lily's Grandpa reminded me of how my brother and dad are about boys being anywhere near me.
The plot was full of crazy antics and fun from the dare. I could not stop laughing at times. I also loved how the setting was all over New York. I think that this books was really original and unlike anything that I have ever read. David Levithan and Rachel Cohn's writing style is engaging and likable. I could not stop reading and lines in this book will stay with me for a while. This book really touched my heart and I highly recommend it to anyone.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala Trailer...

I was lucky enough to see this trailer at Holly's Launch Party. I think that is very awesome and fits the book so well. I was also a part of Holly's book tour. Anyways, I hope you enjoy it as much I did...

Holly is also doing a huge giveaway and here are the prizes:
Signed TMAS books!
TMAS t-shirts!
Fan-made bracelets from Hannah S!
Music CDs!
Sneak Previews!
Bookmarks and Handmade Magnets!
and...A Tell Me a Secret handmade necklace from Gypsy Wings!

You are probably wondering how you can win these awesome things. You just need to spread the trailer love, you can find ways to share it here. You get five points each for posting the trailer on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, or your blog. That is twenty points! Make sure to tell Holly, here.
Holly is also on Readergirlz all month, so make sure to visit her there. They will be having a twitter chat later this month.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Books Read In... July 2010

70. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
71. Forget You by Jennifer Echols
72. Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
73. Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
74. Matched by Ally Condie
75. Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
76. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
77. Hush by Eishes Chayil
78. The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams
79. Top 8 by Katie Finn
80. What's Your St@tus? by Katie Finn
81. Other by Karen Kincy
82. Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
83. My Ultimate Sister Disaster by Jane Mendle
84. The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

Reviews posted from these books: 7 of these books so far, a few are planned to be posted later.
Books from Library: 0 books
Books for Review: 12 books
Books borrowed: 1 books
My Favorite: Probably Tell Me a Secret, I haven't read a contemporary book that I have connected to that much in a while.
My Least Favorite: I enjoyed these books.
Debut Authors '10: 30 read 20 books left
Dystopian Challenge: 14 read

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