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Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Mystery: Dia Reeves


Welcome Dia Reeves, author of Bleeding Violet. You can stalk her at her twitter and site.
If you're named after a food/snack would kind would you be?
I think I'd be something like chocolate-covered kettle corn. Cuz I am both salty and sweet. Mostly salty though, if I'm being honest. ;)

You're given a roll of tinfoil. What would you do with it? Or better yet, duct tape!
I'm really unimaginitive when it comes to household tools. If you gave me tinfoil, I'd wrap a potato in it and bake it at 350 degrees. And if you gave me duct tape, I'd probably take someone hostage and strap em to a chair. I seriously can't think of what else anyone would use duct tape for, except for use on actual ducts and, you know, strapping hostages to chairs. Call me old-fashioned.

Sock puppets!
Radio isotopes! Milkbone! What other random things can I shout out? I know: jock straps!

You've mentioned how you're the queen of emoticons so show us some skills and beat Lara's pirate kitty!
I3 <-- That's me mooning Lara's pirate kitty. :p

I dare you to lick something (preferably Sharon's cat [Sabrina looks scary O_O])
Sorry. I only like Sharon as a friend. xD

Choose: a mud bath/wrestle against a baboon or being dunked in a tub of lard or watch Sharon do a belly dance.
Belly dances are mating rituals. I do NOT want to mate with Sharon. That said, do you have a video of her dancing or something? Not that I'm interested. I'm just, you know, making conversation. ;)

What's your patented battle cry?
Back off, sucka! Totally strikes fear into the hearts of evildoers.

Give yourself a question then answer it.
Why do I know only the zaniest bloggers--*cough* Yan *cough*--on the planet? I suppose it's because like calls to like. Still, you definitely pwn zany, Yanyan.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Devoured


Devoured by Amanda Marrone (September 22nd 2009—Simon Pulse)

Grade: 2.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “Megan’s twin sister Remy died in an accident nine years ago, and she’s been haunting her ever since. Knowing how crazy that sounds, Megan keeps this secret to herself and tries to lead a normal life. But when she takes a summer job at Land of Enchantment to keep an eye on her new boyfriend and his lovesick best friend, Samantha, she meets fellow employee Luke who can see Remy, too. Things get even twistier because Megan’s new friend Ari is sporting a massive crush on Luke, who seems to be developing a massive crush on Megan…making for a love triangle that’s positively possessed.

Megan wants to keep her distance from Luke, but when Remy’s visions get crazy violent; she knows she needs his help. Because someone’s definitely in danger...the only question is who?”

Review: There has been a lot of hype from this book. Many people seem to love it. Others didn’t like it. Devoured is claimed to be a re-telling of Snow White with an evil witch and the talking magical mirror, but it wasn’t truly like Ash by Malinda Lo. The author draws aspects of the fairy tale then moves it forward to modern time. Spinning the old lore into a darker theme of betrayal, lies, lust, and jealously and transforming it to one more focused on the mirror.

Despite the originality that I found in the beginning, things went downhill for me. It started to get predictable, harder to read because I found more and more things annoying. For one thing the love between Luke and Megan was extremely fast. The other thing was Remy. I can make a lot of stuff to counter my opinion of the reason why I dislike (a) was because (b) but you really can’t blame it since (c). I’ve done that in the past I’ll admit. But it still leads to the point where I really could not stand reading Remy’s scenes. She was far too irritating and infuriating.

I might be a little hazy with the details since I read this book eons (months) ago but if Luke and his grandmother are a little physic why didn’t they have an ounce of clue how wickedly evil Ari is? And the whole Land of Enchantment biz?

Then the ending was so “perfect”. Maybe I’m a pessimist but not even an ounce of greed or nastiness Luke and Megan? Not one bit?

Overall: I am sad of how disappointing this book was. I think this is either a love or hate book.

Cover B-
It looked better online.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Name Is My Giveaway

I've reached 500 followers (yay thank you lovelies!) and I'm almost up to 250 books for this year! To celebrate this and the fact that it's Turkey Day I'm hosting a giveaway! Happy Turkey/Tofurkey Day!

I'm thankful for my name. While it is an unconventional name in America* it is a part of me. I cannot imagine myself with a new name that would not be awkward.

*I can prove that since 90% of my teachers are unable to pronounce my name for the first 2-3 months.

Giveaway:
I'm giving away a YanYan (go on wikipedia if you don't know what this is). The winner's choice of flavor: chocolate dip, strawberry dip, vanilla dip, chocolate/strawberry dip, or chocolate biscuit with vanilla. (If I find more flavors I'll let the winner know).

To enter you must be a follower (stupid rule). You just need to answer the following question: if you were named after a snack what kind of snack would you be? The why is optional.

Does anyone know if it'll be okay to mail food out of the country? Contest will end next week at December 3rd.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (35)

Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story by Adam Rex (July 1st 2010--Balzer + Bray)

"Doug Lee is undead quite by accident—attacked by a desperate vampire, he finds himself cursed with being fat and fifteen forever. When he has no luck finding some goth chick with a vampire fetish, he resorts to sucking the blood of cows under cover of the night. But it’s just not the same.

Then he meets the new Indian exchange student and falls for her—hard. Yeah, he wants to bite her, but he also wants to prove himself to her. But like the laws of life, love, and high school, the laws of vampire existence are complicated—it’s not as easy as studying Dracula. Especially when the star of Vampire Hunters is hot on your trail in an attempt to boost ratings.…

Leave it to Adam Rex to create a thought-provoking novel that takes on teen angst, sexuality, identity, love, and undeath in ways that break it out of the genre."

This cover is made out of win

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Stories

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Stories by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle (September 11th 2008—Speak)

Grade: 4 stars out of 5

Summary: “Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today's bestselling teen authors John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.”

Review: I was really scared of reading this book so I put it off for about a few months. I had the opportunity to buy the book at Borders but instead I bought Magic Study. For one thing I never do well with anthologies; Prom Nights from Hell—no. Love is Hell—no. Mistletoe—first story yes the rest no. And the first two books seem to have gotten a lot of good buzz as does Let it Snow so there lies the problem when I picked the book up.

Let it Snow envelopes the reader into a blanket of snow to the point where it gets frosty warm. Maureen Johnson starts the novel off with the first climax: the train gets stuck in a snowstorm. From there it spirals out into 3 joint stories with different plots of their own.

Maureen Johnson’s “The Jubliee Express” and John Green’s “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” were what shocked me the most. I have read Devilish, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and Looking for Alaska all of which disappointed me. I found myself liking these two separate stories though. Some might say that “A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle” is something completely out of the norm from what Green writes. Perhaps that’s why I liked it so much. It was humorous, touching, and cute.

Johnson’s “The Jubliee Express” has the same issue as do with her full length novels. The fact that the pace of the novel from beginning to middle was decent albeit slow at times then rushed at the end. Johnson, however, had this laugh out loud moments and snarkiness to her writing that makes this problem something okay in this short story that typically would not work for novels.

Lauren Myracle’s “The Patron Saint of Pigs” ties the entire novel together. She brings parts from Johnson’s and Green’s stories to make her story glow. I found myself more interested in the previous stories in her setting rather than interested in her characters. For one thing I felt that there were too many words. Which is rather odd since this is a book…filled with words…and only words. It got to the point where I started to skim some paragraphs like ‘get on with it please’. Far too dramatic for my taste. But then the pig came! From there on end, I was enraptured (but again this was where the previous characters from Johnson’s and Green’s stories came in).

Overall: Something perfect for the holidays (granted I mean when it starts to snow instead of this awful weather for Christmas)! Folbies unite!

Cover B-

P.S. Pet peeves of mine—I dislike it when authors use ALL CAPS for words but it really strikes a cord when it starts TO BECOME FOR THE ENTIRE SENTENCE. That and when people start saying “Brrrr” and “Grrrr”. I do not know many people who actually say these onomatopoeias (wait am I getting my English mix up?).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Confessions of First Daughter

Confessions of First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway (September 1st 2009—HarperTeen)

Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “Morgan Abbott has no social life and no privacy, and her every screwup makes front page news. That’s what happens when your mom’s the president of the United States—and Morgan is sooo over it. But now her mom needs a presidential stand-in! With the help of Morgan’s cute new secret service agent, a little makeup, and a lot of family resemblance, she’s soon seeing things from the other side of the desk.”

NOTE: This review isn’t really a review because I have to idea what to write.

Review: Confessions of a First Daughter was one of those novels like Never Cry Werewolf. There’s no real plot to it. I mean there is a plot but nothing complex. Morgan’s running for school president but things go awry when your rival is an evil witch who steals your speech! But never fear, having your mom be the President can have its perks when you learn the trick of the trade: impromptu motivational speech while still downgrading your opponent. Bur Morgan needs to find her inner zen soon because things start to spiral downhill when her hot boyfriend starts to pressure you, you’re national picked upon when a certain evil witch takes an embarrassing and mortifying photo of you, and you’re caught between a hard place and a really cute-but-unavailable (emphasis on the “UN”) guy.

Morgan’s life is just like a regular teenager’s life. She has boy troubles. She has heinous bully problems. She just has a little extra attention. Which makes this book oh so predictable and oh so fun to read. You’re trapped in a roller coaster ride of giggles, sympathy, a ‘ha-ha you so deserved that karma’, and a happy ending. I found myself wholly enjoying this book and excitedly awaiting the next installment to this series.

Overall: Think Macey from Gallagher Girls series but no spy action. Think fun, guilty read book.

Cover B-

Monday Mystery: Dan Elconin

Dan wrote NEVER AFTER when he was 14. Check out his website here. And while you're leave, buy his book!

NEVER AFTER:
"There is no place like a dysfunctional home.
Leaving everything behind for the Island was Ricky's dream come true. When his happily ever after is not quite what it seems, he discovers that running away means running toward bigger problems.

Trapped on the Island, Ricky must join together with the only people he can trust to help him face his fears and return home. But the only way off the Island is to confront the person who trapped Ricky and his friends in the first place. With countless enemies and true peril staring them down, Ricky's mission to leave this so-called paradise will become a battle for their very lives."
1. Have you ever worn tights? Be honest now.
- No, but I have worn a skirt, a tube top, high heels, nail polish, and makeup. I’ll do almost anything to get a laugh.

2. Aside from Peter Pan, what other Disney movies have you watched and enjoyed?
- I pretty much like them all. My favorite is Mulan.

3. Have you read any fairy tale retellings before? If so what's your favorite?
- I actually haven’t read any other fairy tale retellings. I like to pretend mine’s the only one =)

4. An apple a day keeps the doctor away--what can a hammer keep away though?
- At least two doctors.

5. Do you like tap dancing? I have a sudden urge to break out with some jazz hands.
- Tap dancing is cool to watch. As for tap dancing myself, I have enough trouble with teen dancing, and that’s basically just moving your hips slightly while holding a drink.

6. It's Turkey Day! What are you planning to do? Like for example, dare to watch New Moon?
- As one of the characters in my book says, I’m planning to eat and eat and eat until I cannot POSSIBLY eat another bite. And then I’m gonna eat some more.

I think I’ll save New Moon for the next time I dress up like a girl =)

7. Sparkly vampires, does this rob them of their manhood?
- No, but being in Twilight does.

8. So for some reason or another I decided to post a picture of a banana slug on my blog. What is the most vile animal you can imagine?
- My roommate. But isopods are a close second. Particularly the tongue-eating variety.

9. So you wrote Never After when you were 14? Impressive! Did you ask your English teacher for help along the way?
- No, I never liked talking about my book. Besides, I believe the best teacher of writing novels is reading novels.

10. Ever fell asleep somewhere you really shouldn't fall asleep?
- Yeah. During a college final exam.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Espressologist

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer (October 27th 2009—Farrar Straus Giroux)

Grade: 2.7 stars out of 5

Summary: “What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?” [from GoodReads]

Review: Eh. I’ve had some doubts about this book when reading the reviews. People call this book too short or cute. If you’ve read my previous reviews where I use the word cute, you’ll find that grade accompanied with it isn’t very high. And neither is this. “Too short” is the key default to this book. Before I could get a grip of this book and plant my feet firmly to the ground it ‘whooshed’ by and I’m left suspended mid-air. That and the fact I was confused by the lack of information helped a bit.
  • Jane=okay. Nothing really pops out about her. She’s the typically girl-next-door that cuts class more often than naught with an atypical idea. Surrounded by her friends she fades out into the shadow which is something not really good when she’s the main character.
  • Em=er. Liked her. Didn’t like her. She’s a good friend to Jane most of the time but when something good happens to her she’s too focused on that.
  • Melissa and Ginny=predictable. It’s a slapped into your face predictable. Melissa is the evil school bully, Ginny is the sidekick that doesn’t really go well with Melissa but still hangs out with her for some apparent reason.
  • Cam=typically boy interest. Smart, hot, funny, great smile, caring, sweet. Here’s a hint at what he says about Jane: “she’s much smarter, stronger, and more beautiful than she realizes”—pg 117.
The Espressologist has a fun and interesting concept one that would do well if it expanded more. Add some cinnamon sass, some energize shots, some rich, smooth, mocha! I’m not sure if it was just me but I would have liked to see some cracks in this happily-ever-after book.

Overall: Stopped by Wired Joe’s for 5 minutes then headed back to my regular coffee shop.

Cover: B+

P.S. Did anyone else really really liked Derek for some reason? And was anyone else annoyed by the all cap words?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (34)

Keep Sweet by Michele Dominguez Greene (Simon Pulse March 9, 2010)

"Alva Jane has never questioned her parents, never questioned her faith, never questioned her future. She is content with the strict rules that define her life in Pineridge, the walled community where she lives with her father, his seven wives, and her twenty-eight siblings. This is the only world Alva has ever known, and she has never thought to challenge it.

But everything changes when Alva is caught giving her long-time crush an innocent first kiss. Beaten, scorned, and now facing a forced marriage to a violent, fifty-year old man, Alva suddenly realizes how much she has to lose--and how impossible it will be to escape."

After reading The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams, I'm interested how this book will differ from that.

This meme is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Invented Life

My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman (September 29th 2009—Henry Holt)

Grade: 3 stars out of 5

Summary: “With Roz and Eva everything becomes a contest—who can snag the best role in the school play, have the cutest boyfriend, pull off the craziest prank. Still, they’re as close as sisters can be. Until Eva deletes Roz from her life like so much junk e-mail for no reason that Roz understands. Now Eva hangs out with the annoyingly petite cheerleaders, and Roz fantasizes about slipping bovine growth hormone into their Gatorade.

Roz has a suspicion about Eva. In turn, Eva taunts Roz with a dare, which leads to an act of total insanity. Drama geeks clamor for attention, Shakespearean insults fly, and Roz steals the show in Lauren Bjorkman’s hilarious debut novel." [from GoodReads]

Review: Roz is a character that will not be silenced. She has a personality that rushes into things head first without understanding the consequences. Her kooky attitude shows no restraint in her ‘Invented Life’ or in the real life. She has a good will, one that may be blinded at times by her sense of karma. Her over-exuberance may be her downfall though when the reader thinks that enough is enough yet she still pushes forward.

Eva has a conflicting opinion by me. Either you can understand her or you just wish she would stop hiding. Eva has a secret that she herself wasn’t aware of until much later in her life. Roz has a clue and in an impulsive dare she decides to make Eva realize and come out with her secret. On one hand you can sympathize with Eva. On the other hand you want to take that hand and slap her silly. Her fear creates a hostile personality; one takes it mostly to Roz (though not something I can’t entirely blame her for, but can still be irking). She can be the sweet older sister or the sister you wish just pack up and leave for college already. You can’t always take and never give back and I feel that Eva doesn’t give back enough half the time.

The supporting characters are just as conflicting. While I love many of them—Andie, Nico, and Jonathan—some I had to grow to love or shove out of the way (Carman, Bryan, and Aunt Sapphire). Each has a quirky personality from flamboyancy to the weird, shy, yet cute/intense sometimes, and the divaesque type.

My Invented Life is a LGBT novel that I have yet to come across where the protagonist isn’t the one trying to find herself but does in the end. Created in two worlds, one in the mind filled with hopeful desires, and the hard cold factual life. In the end they meet eventually to get the happily ever after paint gun and all.

Overall: Humorous, annoying, a tad ridiculous, benevolent but always, always loud.

Cover B-

Amazon; Barnes and Noble; Borders; Indie

FTC: copy provided by publisher and author

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Mystery: YUM!

Inspired by My Invented Life by Lauren Bjokman.

Don't those banana slug look delicious? If you answer yes then I dare you to eat it:

"Move over gummy worms, there’s a new treat in town! These incredibly realistic Gummy Banana Slugs are 5-1/2 inches long and weigh in at an impressive 45 grams each. Delicious banana flavor!

Shipping Weight ~ 1 lb.

Top 10 Banana Slug Facts:
1. Banana Slugs get their name because of the unique flavor of their slime.
2. Banana Slugs communicate using telepathy. [!?!?!]
3. Banana Slugs can grow up to twelve feet long. [gag]
4. Banana Slugs eat dirt, pine needles, and small mammals. [omfg mammals!?]
5. Banana Slugs can be trained to tie themselves into a knot. [why?]
6. Banana Slugs have two pairs of tentacles.... the shorter ones detect light and the longer ones pick up radio signals. [I think they're lying to me]
7. Banana Slugs can survive in outer space. [yeah they really are]
8. Banana Slugs reproduce by biting themselves in half. [me too!]
9. Banana Slugs are immune to human stomach acid, so if you swallow one, it will live inside you. [shudder]
10. Banana Slugs express emotion by wheezing."

Sadly it's out of stock. *deep sigh of regret*

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Giveaway!

Not by me though. Over at the Letter Garden she's giving away some City of Glass signature *signed* cards. Funny thing is, I'm currently re-reading the Mortal Instrument series for the hell of it. It's also perfect because I'm giving away the entire series so now you can have a shot at sticking in a signed card inside! Win-win situation.

It's an international giveaway! It's simple to enter. Seriously, no joke. Just comment. *shoves reader to there* Have fun~ Now if you'll excuse me I'm gonna go enter now LOL

P.S. expect reviews really soon. I've tackled 2 already and hopefully more when this writer's block goes away

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Update (Nothing Important)

Apparently my spontaneous action of deleting my old twitter account to make a new twitter account is stupid. I have nothing to say about that. I got peer pressured into using my old username again so if you see ylin0621 following you, umm that'll be me. Again. With my new account. Also I lost a lot of people when I deleted my account so I don't know who to follow anymore *smiles*

So do you see why I am so freaking stupid right now? I believe you can.

At any rate I will be FREE after I attend to my college applications. I am currently camping out of counselors office I can catch her when she's AVAILABLE. *deep breath* I need Thanksgiving break to come already 'cause that means all that junk will be done with.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Traveling to Teens

I am resigning my position from Traveling to Teens. I am currently butting heads with life and Traveling to Teens has taken a backseat. If anyone is interested in taking my spot as coordinator please email me your resume, or some form of it, by the end the of the month. In your email please elaborate what makes you a good candidate for this position and what credentials you have and please please include your blog URL. I require nothing fancy nor your life story about how you came about blogging. I just need the hardcore information. I will contact him/her once I have decided who will take my place on any further instructions.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Up in Smokes


I'll let you guys decide what this means.
It'll be for just a while though--2 weeks max I hope.