Sunday, October 31, 2010


Just wanted to say Happy Halloween! Hope you are all having fun and getting ready for NaNoWriMo!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


The winner of Hush is Em.
The winner of Where the Truth Lies is: Korianne
The winner of Suite Scarlett, Scarlett Fever, and Paper Towns is: Carol
The winner of Split is: Emily @ The Ninja Librarian

Congrats to you all!

Friday, October 29, 2010

10 Best Horror Movies Ever!

Other then books, I love movies. In celebration of Halloween, I give you my ten favorite horror movies.
10. It (1990)
A group of adults take a blast from the past. They remember when they were nerds in school, hanging out, victim of bullies. But nothing out of the question compares with one big bully of Evil unspeakable. the bully is a monster in a clowns suit. He is deadly, can be any were anyone, at any time. with supernatural powers. They call him "IT".
All that I have to say, is that I will never like clowns again...
9. Poltergeist (1982)
While living an an average family house in a pleasant neighborhood, the youngest daughter of the Freeling family, Carol Anne, seems to be connecting with the supernatural through a dead channel on the television. It is not for long when the mysterious beings enter the house's walls. At first seeming like harmless ghosts, they play tricks and amuse the family, but they take a nasty turn- they horrify the family to death with angry trees and murderous dolls, and finally abduct Carol Anne into her bedroom closet, which seems like the entrance to the other side
This movie just creeps me out. Carol Anne's talking to static and her prolmation that "They're here" is frightening. The plot is interesting and keeps you engaged and excited the whole time. This haunting also is well paced and the action keeps on intensifying. Spielberg create a masterpiece. Also, with the proper actor, I feel that this movie would have fell to pieces.
8. The Omen (1976)
Robert and Katherine Thorn seem to have it all. He is the US Ambassador to Italy and they want for nothing in their lives, except one thing: they do not have children. When Katharine has a stillborn child, Robert is approached by a priest at the hospital who suggest that he take a healthy newborn whose mother has just died in childbirth. Without telling his wife he agrees to to so but after relocating to London, strange events - and the ominous warnings of a priest - lead him to believe that the child he took from that Italian hospital is evil incarnate.
Gregory Peck is amazing in this movie as Robert Thorn. He is what makes this movie so frightening. He finds out that his son isn't as innocent as he seems. Through several things that happen off screen, a mistique is created and makes this movie so hauntingly beautiful and scary.
7. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Chaos descends upon the world as the brains of the recently deceased become inexplicably reanimated, causing the dead to rise and feed on human flesh. Speculation rests on a radiation-covered NASA satellite returning from Venus, but it only remains a speculation. Anyone who dies during the crisis of causes unrelated to brain trauma will return as a flesh-eating zombie, including anyone who has been bitten by a zombie. The only way to destroy the zombies is to destroy the brain. As the catastrophe unfolds, a young woman visiting her father's grave takes refuge in a nearby farmhouse, where she is met by a man who protects her and barricades them inside. They both later discover people hiding in the basement, and they each attempt to cope with the situation. Their only hope rests on getting some gasoline from a nearby pump into a truck that is running on empty, but this requires braving the hordes of ravenous walking corpses outside. When they finally put their plans into action, panic and personal tensions only add to the terror as they try to survive.
I love low budget movies that are executed with such skill and percision. This movie is also more dramatic, as black and white, because you can see the vast difference of each movement and action. Instead of blood, this movie uses murder and canbalism to display the horrors that are going on. A great thing about this movie, is that it feels like that you are being told it, instead of actually inside it. It creates enough detactment to enjoy this movie. George A Romero has since become an icon and his movies keep on buliding off of this masterpiece.
6. Alien (1979)
When a mining ship lands on a planet to investigate upon a suspected SOS, the entire crew are unaware of the terror which they would unleash upon their ship. When a alien life-form attach's itself to the face of a crew member, the rest of the team act fast to try and separate the two organisms. Unbeknownst to everyone, this is the start of the terror which would affect every member of the seven person crew.
When I watch this movie, I find myself in constant supense. The Alien is rarely seen and only in quick flashes or shadows. I find the unknown more frightening. The Alien is prue cruelty and finds happiness in killing. Ripley Scott is an amazing director and had a clear vision of the movie. Sigourney Weaver is a fablous actress and her fear just radiated off screen. There is also the fact that this movie create such claustrophic feel as the movie goes on.
5. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse move into an apartment in a building with a bad reputation. They discover that their neighbours are a very friendly elderly couple named Roman and Minnie Castevet, and Guy begins to spend a lot of time with them. Strange things start to happen: a woman Rosemary meets in the washroom dies a mysterious death, Rosemary has strange dreams and hears strange noises and Guy becomes remote and distant. Then Rosemary falls pregnant and begins to suspect that her neighbours have special plans for her child.
I love Rosemary's Baby. It is a pyschological horror that goes to the basis of paranoia. Someone else is controling your life and making all of the decisions. Roman Polanski sets the tone of this movie at the very beginning, with the hauntingly strange lullaby that Mia Farrow sings as Rosemary. For the rest of the movie, Rosemary appears haunted and in despair. Can I also say that Minnie Castevet is the worst type of villan ever, she seriously made me scared of nice old people for a while. My favorite scene is actually when Minnie goes to the phone and the camera is based so that you only see her back. Everytime, I find myself, attempting to look over the door frame.
4. Halloween (1978)
On Halloween 1963, the small town of Haddonfield is shocked when six-year-old Michael Myers returns from trick-or-treating and for some unknown reason stabs his older sister to death with a big kitchen knife and is found by his parents staring into space with the bloody knife in his hand. Sent to a mental institution, Michael spends the next 15 years just sitting, still staring into space despite the best efforts of his Doctor, Dr. Samuel Loomis. Now, on October 30th 1978, something triggers Michael off and during a storm manages to steal a car from Dr. Loomis and Nurse Marion (who was coming to take Michael to a court to keep him locked up) and goes back to Haddonfield where he steals a white mask. There, Laurie Stode, Micheal's younger sister, finds that Michael is stalking her during the day (at school, at her home etc - but she doesn't know who he is.) As Dr. Loomis arrives and with the Sheriff frantically looks for Michael he doesn't know that Laurie is baby-sitting Lindsey and Tommy and that Laurie's friends Annie, Lynda and Bob are disappearing one by one...
Halloween is the first teen slasher, but unlike today's horror movies, it doesn't rely on gore, but the idea of someone watching you and deciding to kill you. For days after seeing this movie, I still feel that someone is right behind me. That is the defintion of horror. Instead of blood, John Carpenter used lighting and sound to capture the horror of Micheal Myers. The suspense of this movie keeps you going and guessing what will happen next as you hear the iconic song for Halloween, you know what is next. A hocky mask and a butcher knife never appeared to be so scary until now...
3. Pyscho (1960)
In a spur of the moment decision, Marion Crane decides to leave Phoenix with the $40,000 her boss entrusted to her to deposit at the bank. She's headed to her boyfriend Sam in Fairvale, California and the money will finally let them start their life together. After having spent a night in her car, she can't quite make all the way and spends her second night at the Bates Motel. There she meets Norman Bates, a shy and withdrawn young man who seems to be dominated by his mother. They chat for a while and as a result she decides to go back to Pheonix and return the money. She's still going to spend the night at the motel and decides to have a shower before going to bed. A week later Marion's sister arrives at Sam's store in Fairvale to tell him Marion has disappeared. Together with a private detective, Milton Arbogast, they begin searching the area and eventually come across the Bates Motel.
I am a total Hitchcock fangirl. He is my favorite director of all time. The shower scene is what makes Pyscho so intense. You never actually see a cut or Marion Crane actually dead, instead a tangle of a shower curtain and Norman Bates' obsession with his mother, or as he says, "A boy's best friend is his mother." Norman isn't a simple villian, there is so much depth to his character, which inhances the excitement. Also, how often do you see a heroine dead halfway in a movie. Hitchcock was also forced to shot in black and white, because Paramount Pictures was worried about it being too graphic. The score is brillant and helps bring suspence... I also, will never be able to stay in a hotel by myself.
2. The Shining (1980)
Jack Torrance becomes the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel up in the secluded mountains of Colorado. Jack, being a family man, takes his wife and son to the hotel to keep him company throughout the long and isolated nights. During their stay strange things occur when Jack's son Danny sees gruesome images powered by a force called "The Shining" and Jack is heavily affected by this. Along with writer's block and the demons of the hotel haunting him Jack has a complete mental breakdown and the situation takes a sinister turn for the worse.
The first time that I saw The Shining, I was haunted by a lot of the imagery. The two twin girls. The elevator and the wave of blood down. The maze. Room 237. Most of all, the axe going through the door, with the infamous line, "Heeere's Johnny!" I know this movie, but at some point each time, I will get scared.
1. The Exorcist (1973)
A movie actress taking up temporary residence in Washington D.C. has her troubles. The script for the movie she's filming seems inadequate. Her ex, who is also the father of her adolescent daughter, Regan, neglects to call the girl on her birthday. And the attic has rats. Meanwhile, Father Karras, a priest and a psychiatrist, is losing his faith; and he's dealing with a sick mother who needs medical care he hasn't the money to provide. Another priest, the old and ailing Father Merrin, has just returned from Iraq with forebodings of evil. These three persons meet when the sweet and cheerful Regan turns foul-mouthed and violent. But her sickness is beyond the reach of a medical doctor or a psychiatrist. What Regan needs is an exorcist.
You don't have to religious for this movie to be scary. It just is. You watch the transformation of Regan from an innocent girl to this evil being that has no though of anyone. This movie is extremely disturbing and scary. Also, I will never eat pea soup...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

Characters: 19/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 18/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 93/100 or A
Source: Publisher
It’s Violet’s junior year at the Westfield School. She thought she’d be focusing on getting straight As, editing the lit mag, and making Scott Walsh fall in love with her. Instead, she’s just trying to hold it together in the face of cutthroat academics, Scott Walsh’s new girlfriend, and the sense that things are going irreversibly wrong with her best friend, Katie. When Katie starts making choices that Violet can’t even begin to fathom, Violet has no idea how to set things right between them. Westfield girls are trained for success—but how can Violet keep her junior year from being one huge epic fail?
I love funny realistic books and that is exactly what I found in Mostly Good Girls. I knew that I was going to love this book, when I opened it and found Violet's list of goals for this year. Violet was sweet, smart, determined, and funny. I loved that she was so realistic. She reminded me so much of one of my best friends growing up. Her best friend Katie was very awesome too. I loved that they were very loyal to each other and cared about what happened to them. They also had their fights, but no matter what they were friends in the end. I love private school books, because I didn't go to one. All girl schools just don't seem like a good idea, because all of the drama that happens. In this book that is what made it so awesome. All of the antics that Violet and Katie had were so hilarious. This book was really original, compared to most books I have read this year. It focused more on friendship, then on boys. Sales' writing was humorous and I loved that. I also didn't expect everything that happened and that there was some suspense in the ending. Mostly Good Girls reminds me of the Georgia Nicolson series, which I love. I really think that you should go read this book now, it is amazing!

Humor Writing...

I have the awesome part one of Humor Writing from Leila Sales. I hope you enjoy.
Above all else, Mostly Good Girls is a funny book. I gave copies of an early draft to three different friends and asked them to mark every place where they laughed aloud. Whenever there was a page that none of them had marked, I would go in and fix it to make it funnier. That is how important it was to me to have a laugh line on every page.
Humor writing takes instinct, for sure, and I would never claim that I always get it right. That said, I did three years of improv and sketch comedy with a troupe called Off-Off Campus, and I used to write a humor column for my college newspaper and over the years I’ve learned a lot of rules for being funny. On my blog tour, I’m going to share with you a few of my best humor writing tools and tricks. Starting with:
1. “YES, AND.”
Agreement is your number one tool for getting a scene off the ground and making it be funny. If one character says, “Let’s go explore the abandoned library!” and the other character says, “No,” then, um, that’s it. Your scene just ended. But if one character says, “Let’s go explore the abandoned library!” and the other replies, “Yes, and let’s bring our ghost-finding apparatus!” then your story just got the opportunity to go somewhere.
More to the point, this is a rule about all the characters agreeing to exist fully in this world. There’s a scene in Mostly Good Girls called “The Candy and Tampon Locker,” and it talks about the communal all-class locker that’s filled with candy. And tampons. This concept would be a lot less funny if Violet and Katie kept being like, “This is really weird. Why do we have a Candy and Tampon Locker in our school?” (Even though, of course, it is really weird.) It’s funny because they all just go with it, like, “Obviously we have a Candy and Tampon Locker; otherwise, where would we go every time we need Sour Patch Kids? And tampons?”
Unfortunately, since I wasn’t man enough to own up to being the tampon thief, we all got the benefit of Mischa’s lecture. “What if somebody got her period, and there were no tampons in this locker?” Mischa asked us, rhetorically. “Would you just let her bleed all over the floor?”
Rachel’s face paled, and she looked like she was going to puke. I felt the exact same way. I’m all for the female empowerment fostered at all-girls’ schools, but sometimes I really wish Westfield were co-ed because I think if we had guys here we wouldn’t talk so often about menstrual blood.
Mischa’s so picky, anyway. It’s not like the Candy and Tampon Locker was completely empty. There was totally a half-full bag of Rollos in there.
Last thing on agreement: I have found that it’s almost always funnier to be excited about something than it is to be disparaging. Some of my best humor pieces have been about how I love Degrassi, or cider donuts, or Jock Jams. No one is interested in hearing that you hate doing homework. We all hate doing homework. But if you were super-excited about doing homework, well, that’s an opportunity to be funny.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (76)

Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Penguin
Date: March 22, 2011
In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina's father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.
Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive.
It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?
Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

A little before WWII, my great grandma was in Germany and was trying to get her mother out. She ended up hiding a jewish family, before she was caught. My family to this day, doesn't know what happened to her. She disappeared like many people in Europe did at that time. My grandpa also was awarded a few Purple Hearts for fighting in Normady in WWII. I am really interested in this time period. I first read Anne Frank, when I was ten and I loved it. My dad mentioned Stalin several times, while I was reading it and I later went and read about his purges. I was shocked that someone would kill someone over something that they had no control of. I am really excited to read this book and you can watch an amazing video from Ruta, here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trailer Tuesday

I loved The Mockingbirds and the trailer is really well done. I love it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner

Characters: 18/20
Plot: 17/20
Originality: 17/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 88/100 or B
Source: Publisher
For months, Cass Meyer has heard her best friend Julia, a wannabe Broadway composer, whispering about a top-secret project. Then Julia is killed in a sudden car accident, and while Cass is still reeling from her death, Julia’s boyfriend and her other drama friends make it their mission to bring to fruition the nearly-completed secret project: a musical about an orphaned ninja princess entitled Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad.
Cass isn’t one of the drama people. She doesn’t feel at home with Julia’s drama friends, and she doesn’t see a place for her in the play. Things only get worse when she finds out that Heather Galloway, the girl who made her miserable all through middle school, has been cast as the ninja princess.
Cass can’t take a summer of swallowing her pride and painting sets, so she decides to follow her original plan for a cross-country road trip with Julia. Even if she has a touring bicycle instead of a driver’s license, and even if Julia’s ashes are coming along in Tupperware.
Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad is a story about friendship. About love. About traveling a thousand miles just to find yourself. About making peace with the past, and making sense of it. And it’s a story about the bloodiest high school musical one quiet suburb has ever seen.
I actually put off reading this book, because I have heard a lot of mixed reviews on it. I actually enjoyed A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend a lot. Parts of Cass reminded me of myself. In high school, I was always on the fringe of several cliques in high school and never felt that I truly belonged in any of them. I understand how vicious middle schoolers can be and that helped me understand the tough shell that Cass had. The emotions that Cass had were so intense and realistic, I felt all of them. Heather seemed like a bitch at the beginning of this book, but she turned out to be likable and sweet at times. The other characters added humor to the story and kept me laughing. The plot was slow at the beginning, but it quickly became engaging. I liked that the story alternated back in forth and it showed the extreme growth that happened to Cass in such a short time. I found the theater aspect to be entertaining, but I love musicals and it could be boring to anyone that doesn't like it. There was also a lot of originality that was with in the book. I liked the one last legacy part that came from them preforming Totally Sweet Ninja Death. Horner made a fantastic debut. I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary young adult fiction.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In My Mailbox (Week of October 24th)

Just one book for review...
A mysterious outbreak of typhoid fever is sweeping turn-of-the-century New York. Every week more people fall ill, and despite thorough investigation, there's no cause in sight. It's not until the city's most unlikely scientist - sixteen-year-old Prudence Galewski - takes a job as an assistant in a laboratory that the evidence begins to fall into place. It seems one person has worked in every home the fever has ravaged: Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant dubbed "Typhoid Mary" by the press. Strangely, though, Mary hasn't been sick a day in her life. Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination? Or is she the first clue in a new discovery bound to change medical history?
Deadly sounds fantastic and I love the cover. Julie also had S&S send a note from her, was sent with it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Contest for Selling Hope

Here is what Selling Hope by Kristin O' Donnell Tubb is about:
It’s May 1910, and Halley’s Comet is due to pass thru the Earth’s atmosphere. And thirteen-year-old Hope McDaniels and her father are due to pass through their hometown of Chicago with their ragtag vaudeville troupe. Hope wants out of vaudeville, and longs for a "normal” life—or as normal as life can be without her mother, who died five years before. Hope sees an opportunity: She invents "anti-comet” pills to sell to the working-class customers desperate for protection. Soon, she’s joined by a fellow troupe member, young Buster Keaton, and the two of them start to make good money. And just when Hope thinks she has all the answers, she has to decide: What is family? Where is home?
Just fill out the form below.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

Characters: 18/20
Plot: 17/20
Originality: 18/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 89/100 or B
Source: Publisher

A terrible secret. A terrible fate. When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.
As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.
Brie was a regular teen and I found her relationship between her sister and her to be common in teens. I also found the lost feeling that Brie had after her sister's death to be sincere and full of depth. I also loved Alis, who was adorable and I wanted to steal him. He is as social awkward as I can be from homeschooling. Tessa brought a lot of spunk and humor to this book. Reena was just over the top and she scared me for most of the book. The plot was rather slow and the mystery is unraveled slowly. I also liked how faith was a part of this book, but it wasn't preachy or over the top. I am a huge fan of cults, I know that this makes me sound weird. I am fascinated about the inner workings and what drives people to join a cult. I really hope to see more YA books with cults in it. Jaden is a lovely writer that bought something unusual to Young Adults. I would recommend this book to fans of young adult contemporary fiction that are looking for something new.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher

Characters: 17/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 17/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 17/20
Overall: 87/100 or B
Source: Bought
Henry Grim has never been in trouble for borrowing a sword from the headmaster's private stores. He has never discovered a forbidden room in a foreign castle, or received a death threat over breakfast.
All Henry knows is life as an orphaned servant boy at the Midsummer School, bullied by the privileged sons of aristocracy. But all that changes when Henry is the first commoner to pass the entrance exam for the prestigious Knightley Academy, where he will be trained as a modern-day knight alongside the cleverest and bravest fourteen-year-olds in the country.
Henry and his roommates, two other students from decidedly un-Knightley backgrounds, are not exactly greeted with open arms by their classmates. In fact, it soon becomes apparent that someone is going to great lengths to sabotage the trio's chances at becoming knights. But Henry soon learns that there is more at stake than his future at Knightley, and only he can sound the alarm. Is anyone going to believe a former servant on the brink of expulsion?
Brimming with wry humor, page-turning suspense, and surprising twists, this first adventure in a memorable new series is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

This book was fairly entertaining. Henry is a likable character and is easy to relate to, since he from a poor background and feels like an underdog. Adam and Rohan bring some comedy into the book. The plot had points that were constant excitement, but it took me a while to get into the beginning of this book. I liked that this book was set in an alternative history and found myself excited about each new thing that I learned about this world. This book was rather unique, but some of it remind me of Harry Potter. Haberdasher's writing was very enchanting and I can't wait to return to this world for the next book.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan

Characters: 18/20
Plot: 17/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 91/100 or A
Source: Publisher
Seventeen-year-old Bronwen Oliver doesn't just want a family. She has one of those, and there's nothing terribly wrong with them apart from bickering grandparents, an image-obsessed mother and a brother she describes simply as Jesus. But there's no natural sense of connection between Bronwen and her family, leaving her with the belief -- and the hope -- that she was switched at birth, that she was never supposed to be Bronwen Oliver but someone else entirely.
When she begins dating college senior Jared Sondervan, she finds herself thoroughly embraced by the loving family she has always wanted and does not hesitate to say yes when Jared proposes on her 18th birhday. Plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her junior year of college become plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her freshman year of college. And a wedding so soon isn't exactly what Bronwen wants. But Jared is. And his family is. Or so she thinks.
Before Bronwen can determine what she truly wants, she must first determine who she truly is, and the answer, she discovers, is only partially what she thought it was. She wasn't switched at birth, but she's also not Bronwen Oliver and hasn't been for a very long time.
I really loved this book! Bronwen is extremely easy to relate to. Everyone feels out of place at times and wants to be someone else. I also loved that she was authentic and seemed like that girl that everyone knows. Jared was just wow! Seriously, he was so sweet and thoughtful. Bronwen and Jared's relationship made sense and kept me reading. The plot was adorable, but at the end, it seemed a bit rushed. I found this book to be very original. McCahan is a lovely writer and I can't wait for more from her. This was a cute book, with some substance. I would recommend this book to fans of Sarah Dessen and the Jessica Darling series.

Waiting on Wednesday (75)

Title: Stay
Author: Deb Caletti
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date: April 5, 2011

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is--and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.
Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough....

I loved Deb Caletti's other books and am really excited for this one. Ilove the cover too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (17)

I have had this book for a while and have yet to read it. The trailer is super cute.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Interviewing Survivors

Today, I have a guest post from Swati Avasthi, the author of Split. She talks about her work with domestic victims.
When I coordinated a domestic violence legal clinic, I heard so many
stories, thousands of stories, of abuse. As many as 26 people came to the clinic in the two and half hours we had our doors open for new clients seeking emergency orders of protection. My staff of volunteer interns and I went to work - leading our clients into private room and listening to what had happened to them. For these interviews, I remember closing the heavy metal door, and making sure tissues were available, I recorded their stories. Some clients wanted me to share their fear, sadness, panic or anger. Others wanted to hear it wasn't their fault. And still others were defensive, afraid of judgement. But what every person really wanted was to feel safe again, to make the violence stop.
In the first few weeks or maybe months I wanted to be able to ease their pain. Over time I settled for the handshake or the look of relief on their faces after they left our office, with their orders of protection in hand. I developed the professional distance required to go in day after day without falling apart or burning out. I focused only on the courage of the people in front of me and let that inspire me. Leaving someone is always hard, but considerably harder when you believe that you are worth little and you know that you don't have that much control over your life, whether financial, emotional or practical. And so it was easy to see the strength when they were in the office.
And though they left reassured, for me that was when the worrying began. I was acutely aware that a piece of a paper was not a shield and I was skeptical that this thin, carbon copied order could offer the protection it claimed. I clearly remember hearing a news story about a domestic violence victim who was killed by her abuser when I was working there and listening for her name. Was she one of our clients? I dreaded the day when we would hear that story or have our documents subpoenaed. It never came.
About a year into my tenure I finally asked my boss: why do these thin pieces of paper work? Clearly these are men who don't care about the law. But I found that they did. That abuses have a bully mentality and that if they are told my someone who has power over them to leave their victim alone they do, for the most part.
Which gave me comfort. And hope which I could then give to our clients.
It was only after I left the clinic that the impact of the stories, the horrific aspects that I had kept at bay, with professional distance and faith in a piece of paper, began to strike me. I remember with extreme clarity, the man who a man who lifted his shirt and showed me the stitches that arched from the notch in his collar bone to his navel; a woman whose abuser was being released after seven years in prison and who was threatening her; an aspiring model who was so terrified that she brought a friend and sat shaking as she talked. I can't say that I was noble enough to write Split to honor them. Instead, I wrote it to try to make sense of something that seemed senseless and to try to put on the page what clattered around in my head. I couldn't erase from my mind their stories, anymore than I could erase their pain. Writing Split was like therapy for me. I no longer need to erase the stories. Instead, I have come full circle, finding hope again in the courage the survivors who came in had. Hope that if they could find a way to end their abuse, we can find a way help prevent it.

Thank you, Swati Avasthi for that amazing story. As a family member of people that have been domestically abused, I found Split to be a stunning story. Swati is also having several auctions that were donated by authors, agents, and editors that will benefit Family Violence Prevention Fund. You can find the auctions here. I have a copy for giveaway, just fill out the form below.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (Week of October 17th)

For Review:
Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwasser
The Other Girl by Sarah Miller
The Last Good Place of Lily Odilon by Sara Beitia
Across The Universe by Beth Revis
Freefall by Mindi Scott
Losing Faith by Denise Jaden

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Characters: 13/20
Plot: 15/20
Originality: 17/20
Writing: 16/20
Recommendation: 15/20
Overall: 78/100 or C
Source: Publisher

Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.
I was really excited for Halo, when I heard the premise. Sadly it didn't live up to my expectation. My main problem was the characters and the over drawn out plot. Bethany didn't seem to have any personality, after she see Xavier that is all that she talks about. She also doesn't seem to really having an interests. Her bother and sister, Gabriel and Ivy are very dry and didn't really bring anything to the story. Xavier on the other hand, has had a hard last few years, but it didn't really seem to effect him as it should have. He also tried to protect Bethany by her siblings instruction, who is the supernatural being. That is just ridiculous.. Seriously, you have to have a guy to protect, even if you are an angel. That was just way over the top for me. Her friend Molly was also boring and brought little to the story. I also didn't understand exactly why Bethany and her were friends. The only character that actually in liked in this book was the bad guy. He had a personality and actually believed that Bethany could protect herself, unlike everyone else in the book.
The plot was also extremely slow and also very predictable. The details were over the top and I felt that it could have been edited down. The plot doesn't start till past page 300. Before that it is just about romance and school, which I didn't find entertaining. Can I also say that this book was very cheesy? I found myself laughing at what were suppose to be serious or intimate moments. I did find parts of the plots intriguing, but there wasn't nearly enough. The concept was very original, but the execution left a lot to be desired. It seemed like almost every other paranormal book that I have read. Adornetto has a basis for becoming a great writer. She has a keen eye for detail and can make a stunning scene. My biggest problem was that it wasn't edited down enough. I would recommend this book to fans of Twilight, because it has a lot of similarities. I am sort of excited for the sequel Hades, because I can see a glimpse of what could be a decent book

Friday, October 15, 2010

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Characters: 17/20
Plot: 16/20
Originality: 18/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 88/100 or B
Source: Publisher
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.
Sometimes life-ending.
Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

I really enjoyed Beautiful Creatures, and had huge expectation for Beautiful Darkness. There were a few things that I loved and a thing or two that I didn't. It picks right up where the last book ended. Lena and Ethan are still star crossed lovers that can't be together for obvious reasons. Lena is a Castor and Ethan isn't. I didn't feel that the characters developed as much as I would like. Lena seems to be come childlike and lost into a pit of darkness, because all that she can feel is the darkness. Ethan tries to assure her that it will passed. Instead a huge wedge is formed between them and their relationship seems to slowly crumble. This play a great part in the actions of Lena and Ethan. Link and Ridley returns and they bring in a comedic effect to the book and also both developed a lot. The Sisters, Amma, and Marian the Librarian return. Along with plenty of new characters, such as Liv, who is fantastic. There were a few characters that weren't developed as I hoped.
The plot of Beautiful Darkness was full of so much information. A few times, I felt a little overwhelmed with all the information that came at one time and also the pacing was all over the place. I felt that parts of it could have been shortened, because it was so slow at times. It felt like it could have been simplified. I did like how original it was. I love the Castor world and how unique it is. I honestly can't compare it to any book. Stohl and Garcia are stunning writers. It blends so well together. I am sure that you would love this book, if you liked Beautiful Creatures. I enjoyed it despite my complaints.

Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa M. Klein

Characters: 17/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 17/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 89/100 or B
Source: Publisher

The greatest unsolved mystery of American history--what happened to all the colonists who landed on Roanoke Island in 1587? This novel traces the fortunes and misfortunes of one Cate Archer, banished to Virginia by a jealous Queen Elizabeth because of her dalliance with Sir Walter Ralegh. What will be her fate in this dangerous New World?
I have always been enchanted in the mystery of Roanoke Island and the missing colonist. Klein creates an enchanting portrait of what could happen through the eyes of Kate. Cate was such a strong character and that radiated in the narrative. The details of history in the plot didn't overshadow what was happening to Cate, but enriched the plot and made it and experience. This book was unlike anything in the historical fiction genre and I recommend it to people that don't usually read it. Klien's previous books were the reason that I wanted to read this. I am glad to find another book that enthralls and keeps me wanting more.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Lately, I have gotten a few duplicates that need a new home, so it is contest time.
These are the books up for grabs:
I will admit that I loved each of these books, which is probably why I already have a copy, when I was sent these. Just fill out the form below by October 31st for the chance to win all three books. Also it is open international.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (74)

"The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
There are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget."

I am so excited for this book. It sounds amazing and I adore the cover. Plus Victoria writes such eloquently in guest post, I am sure that a full book will be fabulous.

Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Characters: 19/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 20/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 96/100 or A
Source: Publisher

“Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.”
Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?

I really enjoyed Hunger. I have always been interested in the apocalypse as said in the Bible and I really liked how Kessler presented it. I mean imagine of all the four horsemen being an anorexic and also in charge of famine. Lisabeth's mind was perfect for an anorexic. She was calculating everything and constantly planning ahead on what she could eat. It was also shown in her action. I found the plot of this book to be slightly fun, even that it is surrounded by such huge issues, such as famine and eating disorders. It was a really quick and interesting read. I also found this to book to be extremely original. I honestly can't think of a book like this. Kessler's debut in to young adult is stunning. I can't wait to see what else she will be bringing in the next book, Rage.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (16)

This book sounds really good and I love the cover. I haven't heard much about it so far...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Love Drugged by Jame Klise

Characters: 17/20
Plot: 17/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 17/20
Overall: 88/100 or B
Source: Publisher

Fifteen-year old Jamie Bates has a fail-safe strategy for surviving high school: fit in. Keep a low profile. And, above all, protect his biggest secret—he’s gay. So when a classmate discovers the truth, a terrified Jamie decides it’s time to change. After accepting flirtatious advances from Celia, the richest and most beautiful girl in school, Jamie steals an experimental new drug that’s supposed to “cure” his attraction to guys. At first, Jamie thinks he’s finally on track to living a “normal” life. But at what cost? As the drug’s side effects worsen and his relationship with Celia heats up, Jamie begins to realize that lying and using could shatter the fragile world of deception that he’s created—and hurt the people closest to him.
A star-crossed romance with humor and heart, Love Drugged explores the consequences of a life constructed almost entirely of lies . . . especially the lies we tell ourselves.

Jamie was a very easy to relate to. He made me laugh a lot and showed the inner struggle that all teenagers have to fit in. The rest of the characters all had their quirks and continued to make me laugh. I wish that there had been more about a few of the characters or that they were in the book more. The plot was rather unique and I seriously can't compare it to any book that I have read. I found this book to be very funny, while having serious undertones about being an outcast while being a teen and unsure about who you are. Klise made a fantastic debut that I enjoyed immensely. I would recommend this book to anyone that has ever felt alone or like an outcast. Love Drugged is an authentic book that is sure to keep you thinking.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In My Mailbox (Week of October 10th)

For Review:
Selling Hope by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
Violence 101 by Denis Wright
Her and Me and You by Lauren Strasnick
Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz
Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves
The Dragons of Noor by Janet Lee Carey
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Identical by Ellen Hopkins
Burned by Ellen Hopkins

Saturday, October 9, 2010


The winner of Clockwork Angel, a poster, and a notebook like in the book is Megan Earley.
The winner of Clockwork Angel and a poster is Mable L.
Congrats to the winners.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Khy!
I am watching a zombie movie in your honor. Also look below...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Her and Me and You by Lauren Strasnick

Characters: 17/20
Plot: 18/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 18/20
Recommendation: 18/20
Overall: 90/100 or A
Source: Publisher
First love, broken friendships, and heartache all play a part in this evocative, voice-driven novel about Alex, a girl whose world is ripped apart when her father’s affair splits her family in two.
Alex moves with her mess of a mother to a new town, where she is befriended by hot, enigmatic Fred—and alternately flirted with and cold-shouldered by Fred’s twin sister, Adina. Others warn Alex to steer clear of the twins, whose sibling relationship is considered abnormal at best, but there’s just something about Fred—and something about Adina—that draws Alex to them and makes her want to be part of their crazy world…no matter the consequences.
I could relate to Alex, so much. She was such a likable character. It isn't the main character that you love. It is Fred and Adlina's twisted relationship is what makes the story so enchanting and quirky. I found Adlina's overprotective nature was enough to freak me out. Fred was so sweet and tried to defend his sister, until she went overboard. I felt so connected to these characters in this book, even though it was such a brief glance into their life. I enjoyed the plot of Her and Me and You. I loved how Strasnick made sexuality seem so unimportant and that Alex's orentation could be interruptated either way. I found this book to be really unique. Strasnick is a stunning writer that created a memorizing story that pulls you in from the first word. I am defitely going to have to read Nothing Like You soon. I would highly recommend this book to fans of Natalie Standiford's How To Say Goodbye In Robot.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman

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

On the surface, Emily Meckler leads the perfect life. She has three best friends, two loving parents, and the ideal setup at the Connecticut prep school where her father is the headmaster. But Emily also suffers from devastating nightmares about fire and water, and nobody knows why. Then the enigmatic Del Sugar enters her life, and Emily is immediately swept away—but her passionate relationship with Del is just the first of many things that aren't quite what they seem in Emily's life. As the lies she's been told start to unravel, Emily must set out to discover the truth regarding her nightmare; on a journey that will lead her to question everything she thought she knew about love, family, and her own idyllic past.
This companion novel to Warman's critically acclaimed Breathless proves that sometimes the biggest lies are told to the people you love the most.

I really enjoyed Where the Truth Lies. I could relate to how Emily kind of felt empty in her life and that there were secrets in her past. She also made a lot of stupid choices, but I felt that I could relate to them. Del Sugar was enchanting and interesting. I loved every moment with him, even though he was such a bad influence. The plot was so addicting. Half of the time, I didn't know what was going to happen next and a lot of the times my guesses were wrong. I loved how Warman weaved in the lies and secrets into the basis of this book. It also showed how hard it is to tell the truth. I found this book to be stunningly unique, with how everything leads you to your future. Warman's writing is gorgeous. I found the characters, plot, and scenery to blend together and entertain me. I have yet to read Warman's first book Breatheless, but I definitely plan to, since it is the companion book to Where The Truth Lies. I recommend this book to fans of Courtney Summer and Amy Reed's Beautiful.
I also have a copy to giveaway. Details in the form below.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (15)

I need this book in my life. Luckily it comes out out today. So, I am actually planning on hunting down a copy later today.

Monday, October 4, 2010

iDrakula by Bekka Black

Characters: 14/20
Plot: 13/20
Originality: 10/20
Writing: 13/20
Recommendation: 13/20
Overall: 63/100 or F
Source: Publisher
18-year-old Jonathan Harker is diagnosed with a rare blood disorder after visiting a Romanian Count. His girlfriend Mina and a pre-med student named Van Helsing team up to investigate the source of the disease. The teenagers discover a horrifying truth: the Count is a vampire. The harrowing events unfold through emails, text messages, web pages, Twitter feeds, and instant messaging-the natural modernization of Bram Stoker's original Dracula, which was written in letters, diary entries, and news clippings.
This book was just really odd, I didn't feel that I knew any of the character and wouldn't have known what was going on, if not for reading the original book. I don't think that a classic should be turned into a text formated books. The scenery of Dracula is completely ignored and I didn't feel the fear or spookiness that is ussually convened with vampires or of course Dracula. This is a very quick read, but I didn't feel any connection with the story and it was too predictable. I think that this book would be perfect for someone that is in their early teens and are looking for quick read.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Torment by Lauren Kate

Characters: 16/20
Plot: 16/20
Originality: 15/20
Writing: 17/20
Recommendation: 15/20
Overall: 79/100 or C
Source: Won

How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for? In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean - and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future...and that Daniel hasn't told her everything. What if his version of the past isn't actually the way things happened...what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?
I was not a fan of Fallen at all. I believe that Torment was a lot better. Luce is still the same idiot that she was in the last book. Whenever someone tells her not to do something, she does that. It was so annoying. I also don't feel connected to Luce, like I do with most characters in books that I love. I didn't like that there was another love triangle in this book and it was with a different character. I did like Luce's new friends Shelby and Miles. They seemed to be genuine and sweet. I enjoyed the plot in Torment a lot more then Fallen. A few questions were answered, while other parts were unraveled. It had moments of originality, but a few parts seemed so much like other books. I found that to be annoying. Kate's writing has improved a lot, since Fallen. Torment seemed to be more intense and exciting. I am sure that this book, will be enjoyed by fans of Fallen.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Contest Winner and Happy Birthday!

The winner of Low Red Moon is: Bookish in a Box.
The winner of Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters and How To Say Goodbye In Robot is:
Rachel Stark.

Happy Birthday to my baby sister Elizabeth. I love you!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Books Read In September 2010

106. Split by Swati Avathi
107. Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman
108. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
109. Love Drugged by James Klise
110. Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein
111. Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
112. Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
113. The Haunted by Jessica Verday
114. Torment by Lauren Kate

Reviews posted from these books: 3 of these books so far, a few are planned to be posted later.
Books from Library: 0
Books for Review: 8
Books borrowed: 0
My Favorite: Anna and the French Kiss! Go buy this now. I am in love with St. Clair.
My Least Favorite: Probably Love Drugged, it was really predictable.
Debut Authors '10: 38 read 12 books left


Blog Widget by LinkWithin