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Win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ends 2/20)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Brain Won't Work--Winners, Awards, and News!

So the contest winner has been decided for my IN A HEARTBEAT contest. I had a whopping 156 entries (I gave up halfway double checking if anyone entered more than once), which is really surprising! It's actually been one of the best contest for a single book in regards to unique entries. At any rate the winner is:

Lisa (A Life Bound by Books)

Award Time! Yes I realize that this is really, really late.

This was awarded to me by Aimee from A Book Dork and by Lucy of Delightful Reviews. The rules are to: 1) List 10 honest things about yourself and 2) Pass it on to 10 other honest bloggers.
  1. I can't swim, float, paddle, or waddle in water. I am, however, capable of drinking it. Look at me go drink!
  2. I tried learning how to ride a bike when I was 9, 10, and 12. At the age of 12 I finally mastered pedaling on a bike whose breaks did not work. Shortly after learning to ride I ran into a pole (after I tried to emergency break twice times), chipped one of my front tooth, bleed profusely, and was promptly banned from riding ever again. Well that was a good 3 hours of having wind blowing through my hair!
  3. I can't seem to be able to bake chocolate chip cookies, but I can bake a chocolate chip cookie cake to perfection. Yeah I don't understand the logic behind that either as the cake version is just like the cookie version but bigger.
  4. Whenever one of my friends ask if I have a crush on someone I reply back saying that I'm asexual and reproduce by budding. It works every time.
  5. I am a Twi-hard so shut it. (Just not the really crazy ones).
  6. I hate the number '6'
  7. I have a bad cold right now so I dare you to get within two feet of me. I double dog dare you.
  8. I am rather shy in right life. But once I get to know you and we've become friends I get somewhat violent towards you. But don't take it the wrong way! It's my way of showing I care.
  9. I once mailed a book out using dimes, nickels, and pennies. Let's just say the USPS worker wasn't very happy with me.
  10. I dislike hanging posters above my bed. Why? Because I have an unhealthy fear that it'll fall on my face whilst I sleep and I'll suffocate because of it.
I'm passing this on to:
  1. Dannie
  2. Carol
  3. Kate
  4. Lenore
  5. Steph Su
  6. Krystle
  7. Lenore
  8. Diana
  9. Jenna
  10. Sharon
And since I was awarded two I'm going to list more! :)
  1. Gail
  2. Ka-Yam
  3. Brooke
  4. Adele
  5. Khy
Okay I'm going to stop there. I feel nauseous now.
was given to me by Turning Into YA Books. Rules are: answer the following questions with Single Word answers then pass this along to 5 other bloggers. Make sure you let them know about it though.

Your Cell Phone? Old
Your Hair? Straight
Your Mother? Loud
Your Father? Child-like
Your Favorite Food? Edible
Your Dream Last Night? Black
Your Favorite Drink? Water O_O
Your Dream/Goal? Live!
What Room Are You In? Bedroom
Your Hobby? Reading
Your Fear? Failing
Where Do You Want To Be In Six Years? House
Where Were You Last Night? Bedroom
Something That You Aren't? Male
Muffins? Crumbly
Wish List Item? Tissues (for my cold)
Where Did You Grow Up? America
Last Thing You Did? Dishes
What Are You Wearing? Clothes
Your TV? Useless
Your Pets? None
Friends? Happy
Your Life? Sick
Your Mood? Amused
Missing Someone? Friends
Vehicle? None
Something You Aren't Wearing? Jewelry
Your Favorite Store? N/A LOL
Your Favorite Color? Depends
When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Now
Last Time You Cried? idk (that's one word!)
Your Best Friend? Missing
One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Bedroom
Favorite Place To Eat? Table

Five blogs:
  1. Cat
  2. Velvet
  3. Eleni
  4. Jenny
  5. Brizmus (because I love one of her blog names)
from Little Miss Becky! I'm going to skip this one as I've already done this twice before :)
Last but not least, Awesome Adventures!

Get in on the action with Awesome Adventure!

Discover new adventures from middle grade authors like Frank Cottrell Boyce (Cosmic), Megan Whelan Turner (A Conspiracy of Kings), Herbie Brennan (The Shadow Project), Maryrose Wood (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place), Paul Adam (Max Cassidy: Escape from Shadow Island) and Jon Berkeley (The Hidden Boy) and see the stories come to life with free online games, book trailers, podcasts, and more.

The Adventures, The Arcade, The (weekly) Sweepstakes, and The Videos & Podcasts.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wherever Nina Lies Giveaway

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten

"Nina was beautiful, wild, and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But, one day, Nina disappeared. Two years later, everyone has given up home that Nina will return, but Ellie knows her sister is out there. If only Ellie had a clue where to look. Then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing. Determined to find Nina, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she’s got a chance—her hot, adventurous new crush. Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn’t planning on. Like love. Lies. And the most shocking thing of all: the truth."

You can look up more info of WHEREVER NINA LIES here. Details for giveaway below.

Special thanks to Big Honcho Media.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me

Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler (May 13th 2010--Viking)

Grade: 2.7 stars out of 5

Source: Sharon who got it from The Strand

Summary: "KJ Carson lives an outdoor lover’s dream. The only daughter of a fishing and wildlife guide, KJ can hold her own on the water or in the mountains near her hometown outside Yellowstone National Park. But when she meets the shaggy-haired, intensely appealing Virgil, KJ loses all self-possession. And she’s not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that they’re assigned to work together on a school newspaper article about the famous wolves of Yellowstone. As KJ spends time with Virgil, she also spends more time getting to know a part of her world that she always took for granted . . . and she begins to see herself and her town in a whole new light."

Review: Just as there was a mistaken identity in My Boyfriends’ Dogs, there was a case of mistaken identity in Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me due to my fault. When I first heard of WMOT (I am far too lazy to type the title several times) my mind immediately thought: another fantasy werewolf book! Some of you may not enjoy werewolf novels, but I actually do. So I was pretty excited when I had a copy in my hands, when I read through the first couple chapters, but then I thought: where’s the boy changing into a wolf part? The answer: that part does not exist. WBOT is NOT a fantasy book; it is a contemporary novel with actual literal wolves.

After I came to facts with this I read the book a tad bit differently. WBOT deals with father-daughter bonding, single parent homes, small rural homes, and bad rumors and evil villains. WBOT has aspects that I loved and aspects that I felt needed a few more pushes.

There are two sides to the wolf tale: the study of the wolves and the impacts they made to the town/resolutions made because of it. I actually really love reading about the wolf pact—the alphas, the betas, and the Cinderella Wolf. It is far more interesting than I make it seem to be. The other half about the town hating wolves, trying to send them back to Canada and potentially harming them if they don’t get their way was a bore sadly enough. It was like shoveling gruel down prisoners’ throats except in this case it was wolf facts down readers’ throats.

Onto the hot and heavy romance now. Decent, okay, nothing terribly wrong, but it just didn’t spark for me. The father-mother bonding gave me the urge to punch the dad in the face. The townspeople are crazy…but the mean classmate developed into one that readers may surprisingly like just as with many of friends.

Overall: It just was not for me. Can I encourage this for PETA fan(atics)?

Cover B
It screamed fantasy to me! Why!?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (46)

Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwasser (November 1st 2010--Flux)

"Alyssa Bondar’s world is falling apart. She has just entered her sophomore year at Glenfair High, the only place to hang out is behind the CVS, Keith her cross-country crush keeps sending her mixed signals, and her best friend Lana has started the school year with large breasts and a sexy attitude–-attracting the attention of the most popular kids in the school, a group Alyssa clearly doesn’t fit into.

Alyssa’s Jewish, like most of Glenfair, but since she’s also Russian, Alyssa feels even more separated from other teens. How many other Jewish families have a New Year’s tree with ornaments? On top of all this, Alyssa’s once stable home environment has become chaotic.

Alyssa is used to alcohol accompanying every meal and event in the Russian culture. But when Alyssa’s mother loses her job, the usual drink or two changes into a full-time happy hour. While Alyssa's father uses news reports of war unrest in the Middle East as his escape from reality, Alyssa is left to pick up the pieces of her shattered family alone. As her mother’s alcoholism gets worse, Alyssa must decide how much she can and should handle before she crumbles as well."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Boyfriends’ Dogs

My Boyfriends’ Dogs by Dandi Daley Mackall (February 4th 2010—Dutton)

Grade: 3 stars out of 5

Source: Publisher

Summary: “If only boys were more like dogs.

On a stormy night in St. Louis, Bailey Daley finds refuge in an after-hours diner. Bailey, a girl with three dogs in tow, wearing a soaking-wet prom dress, obviously has a story to tell. See, she wants what every girl wants from her boyfriend: enthusiasm, loyalty, and unconditional love. And Bailey is always falling in love—with boys, and with their dogs. And each of her dogs came from a relationship that didn’t quite work out. But don’t worry: in this fun, clean romance, true love is never far away—it just waits until you stop looking for it.”

Review: My Boyfriends’ Dogs relives the experience of first love three times. I know, I know, with your first love it can only happen once, but with Bailey it’s an exception. See the first was just for practice, the second was a case of mistaken identity, and the third was a fluke. What these three boyfriends had in common was the extreme high Bailey felt and the adorable dogs that own.

With My Boyfriends’ Dogs I expected a very cute, highly dramatizes, sqee-y book, but it had a much different approach. It was slightly saddening but enlightening tale. Each recap of these three boyfriends are very brief—there aren’t many swooning happening ladies—just a basic ‘how they met’, ‘dog dates’, and ‘the letdown’. In fact the entire novel is very brief when considering what it covers,

The book includes 4 POVs with 3 of them only lasting a chapter. I thought it was insightful for the author to describe how this drenched prom-dressed girl affected their lives and could have easily read more.

Overall: If the stories were stretch a bit longer I might have enjoyed it a bit more. The mother-daughter bonding and friendship were a nice touch that brought humor and depth.

Cover B+/A-
I love the concept of it and the back helped so much when the narrator described the dogs.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Mystery: Update?

So I just wanted to mention that my contest for IN A HEARTBEAT is ending tonight. For some reason that contest has been insanely popular, (I'll give you the exact number of entries later) which might be because it was posted on this online sweepstakes website.

Expect reviews tomorrow. Wait, rather than expect, cross your fingers for them because everything out of my mouth right now sounds...unintelligent. I need brainnssssssss <--reading MY ZOMBIE VALENTINE right now, (really disappointing so far). Also be on the lookout for some more contests; it's very shhhhh right now. And by shhhh I mean I have no idea what I'm doing. Alas by brain doesn't want to tell me either, but there will be some (where I'm also have the opportunity to send the winner some Vampire Academy tattoos as well! freaking awesome tattoos :P)

So is anyone watching the Olympics!? Go Davis and White! (Not a huge fan of hockey, opps!).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Swoon At Your Own Risk

Swoon At Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter (April 5th 2010—Graphia)

Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “It’s the summer before senior year and Polly Martin has sworn off boys. Who needs the hurt and confusion? Five recent breakups have left her with an unnatural knowledge of NASCAR, the ultimate hiker’s outfit, a student council position, the sixth highest score on the Donkey Kong machine at the mall, and a summer job at Wild Waves with ex #2 Sawyer Holmes.

Success seems a sure thing when Polly’s grandmother, the syndicated advice columnist, Miss Swoon, moves in for the summer. Polly almost doesn’t mind sharing a room with her little sister, Grace. Think of all the great advice she’ll get!

Everything is going according to plan except... Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy septuagenarian! And then there’s Xander Cooper. If only he wouldn’t keep showing up at Wild Waves with his adorable cousins every afternoon — and what is he writing in that little notebook?

No advice column in the world can prepare Polly for the lessons she learns when she goes on a group camping trip (with three too many ex-boyfriends). Polly is forced to see people for who they are — a blend of good and bad qualities that can’t be reduced to a list or a snappy answer in a Miss Swoon column.”

Review: I loved Salter’s debut novel, My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters, I kid you not. I bawled like a 5 year-old for some reason. I had a huge grin on my face that my mom had to stop and ask why I was happy. When I find a novel that good I stalk the author. Seriously I’m like a rabid dog that will not let go until the owner of said leg dies…or something (preferably the something).

Swoon at Your Own Risk doesn’t deliver the initial love I had. My expectation bar was high, but the jump was just a few notches down from the clear. I think for me the hardest part to read was Polly herself. She was just so easily persuaded. I felt too frustrated to even enjoy the novel completely. I wish her internal mind somehow connects to her external mouth, which eventually does happen….

Swoon at Your Own Risk plays of childhood friends grown apart but grew extremely hot somewhere in between those years. Yes prepare for some swooning of your own ladies. Okay I’m not going to bore with all those needless details; I liked the book, but didn’t love it. There were chapters I gobbled up like a chocolate and some I had to waddle through like thick molasses. Some characters I yearned for more and others I learned to appreciate with a few that I would have been fine to never have read.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Guardian of the Dead

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey (April 1st—Little Brown)

Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “At her boarding school in New Zealand, Ellie Spencer is like any ordinary teen: she hangs out with her best friend, Kevin; obsesses over her crush on a mysterious boy; and her biggest worry is her paper deadline. Then everything changes: In the foggy woods near the school, something ancient and deadly is waiting.

Karen Healey introduces a savvy and spirited heroine with a strong, fresh voice. Full of deliciously creepy details, this adventure is a deftly crafted story of Māori mythology, romance, betrayal, and war.”

Review: I was so terribly excited to read this book. Guardian of the Dead was near the top of my wishlist for tenner books, sadly it did not live up to my expectations.

Karen Healey takes us where few authors published in America have gone, to New Zealand. Going in I had absolutely no idea what to expect of how she was going to incorporate such a new environment in an interesting fashion without being overbearing. Healey crafts together a realm of fantasy amidst the beauty of the island that, surprisingly, works.

I had just finished the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan and was elated to find similar tales between the two. While Riordan applied the Greek and Roman treatment to the mythology, Healey twists the myths with a New Zealand flare! Again she weaves the myths to the story beautifully while still managing to create this ethereal allusion.

While the novel is intricate by its very nature and design I found the novel as a whole tedious. Be it a contradiction but Guardian of the Dead dissected into elements was as wonderful as I had imagined it to be though as a whole it lacked. It lacked a finesse that made me want to read more. Even so Guardian of the Dead had an unconventional ending. Rabid fans of ‘happily ever after’s will face a reality check that will still leave them pleased.

As discombobulated as this review is it is a reflection of my opinion of the book. I wanted to love this book since I first heard of it last year, but I am just disappointed at the final product.

Cover B

Ftc: review copy provided by publishers

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (45)

Forget You by Jennifer Echols (July 20th 2010--MTV)

"There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. With her life about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.

But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people—suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug."

Her other MTV novel, Going Too Far, left a huge impression on me!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Mark

The Mark by Jen Nadol (January 19th 2010—Bloomsbury)

Grade: 2.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?”

Review: And since I am currently on an ice-skating binge I thought I would add some analogies from them. I expected a quad, got a triple…with a two-foot landing. Expected a wonderful performance, but instead received a meek substitution.

The Mark for me was less about the actual mark, but rather a somewhat coming-of-age story rather than this fantasy book. Cassie is basically trying to understand who she is and what her purpose is with The Mark. Throughout the book Cassie delivers several soliloquies (sorry reading Hamlet right now) that question if she should prevent death or accept it. In the book she does both that results in more questioning if she should continue the path. Both options have good and bad consequences. With such a heavy topic it’s no wonder that Nadol incorporates famous philosophers.

Okay first off I have to mention that I took a philosophy class last semester. Why? Because I wanted Calculus, but they gave me philosophy instead for some apparent reason! Anyhow…. A lot of the names mentioned, scenarios given, and possible answers I’ve already dealt with in class. Aristotle, Kant, and all that good stuff. For me I ended up skimming those scenes. I already knew the point and counterpoint arguments, but I believe that this was a highlight of the novel. Readers unfamiliar with these people will find the bantering interesting. I’m not sure if euphemism is specifically mentioned, but that’s one topic I felt really fits into this situation. That was one positive aspect of the book; a negative would have to be the romance.

The romance between Lucas and Cassie was so heavy and so fast that I felt brought the book so down. Even though it mentioned that they spent a few weeks together before “the thing” happened the readers can’t understand what Cassie is feeling. We get a few pages of her swooning and a sentence of how long they spent together.

The ending is bittersweet. While I do love the open-ended feel I also despise it. It felt incomplete.

Cover N/A

Monday, February 15, 2010

Traveling to Teens: Thomas Fahy

So this interview is well overdue. We did a T2T tour all the way back in September '09 for SLEEPLESS and I finally found my interview that was supposed to go with it! Here's my review for SLEEPLESS
1. How much of voodoo do you believe in?
Well, I believe that things happen in the world that can't be explained and that we're all susceptible to forces beyond our control. So in this sense, I'm very open to the power of voodoo. Dreams and trances are a significant part of voodoo, and these things play a big role in Sleepless. I find those aspects of voodoo very compelling.

2. Would you like to conscious or subconscious when you murder someone?
I can't speak for my subconscious desires, but I have no conscious desire to harm anyone. :) I'm drawn to the horror genre because it's fun. It's exciting to create characters that have to solve a problem or series of crimes in the face of danger. Part of the fun of horror is that it gives us the opportunity to confront our fears, and at the end of the story we realize that we're okay, that we've survived.

3. Aside from writing do you have any other careers you would like to have?
I already have another career. I'm a professor, and I love teaching!

4. Favorite horror movie?
Silence of the Lambs

Saturday, February 13, 2010

500 Business Cards Giveaway Winner

Contest ended early for reasons I won't mention. Thankfully there wasn't anyone new entering after the first week it was open.

was the winner for the business cards!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Percy Jackson Series

Series Order: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan's Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian

Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5

Summary: No summaries as some may contain spoilers.

Review: I’m going to be as vague as possible in this review as I’ll be covering the entire PERCY JACKSON series without leaving you guys going ‘huh?’ So do bear with me as you’ll probably notice some names you might be familiar with and some names that will most likely come up later in the series.

I had high hopes for this series. For one thing, the movie is going to be released very, very soon so getting a movie deal speaks millions on its own. Because this series is shelved with the other middle grade novels it might explain the perfection of Percy Jackson or vice versa. And by sheer perfection I did not mean I was awe-inspired, jaw-slacked with stars in my eyes for his glorious aura surrounding had naming my first born son after him. No by perfection I call him indestructible, invincible, and frankly, a Gary Stu. Before the screams of ‘what about his dyslexia and ADHD’ comes hurling towards me I do recall Riordan stating that Percy is this way because he is might to be a hero. Dyslexia=able to read ancient Greek. ADHD=his natural instinct to not get killed by monsters. With that said and done I will admit that I did enjoy this series as a nice way to kick back and relax for the day:
  1. The plot is simple enough that you won’t have to scratch your head or take notes to keep up, but it is well done enough that I was still left intrigued and in anticipation.
  2. The various characters that Riordan was able to pack in. He does include an array of ethical characters without stressing so much on it that the reader becomes uncomfortable. Each character is unique enough that the reader can guess which action would best fit which character (aside from the 5th book because that was a slew of names).
  3. The way he was able to incorporate the Greek mythology without cramming it down the readers’ throat while…cramming it down their throat.
  4. The gradual shift from tweens to teens during his adolescent years. The sudden interest in female as well as the density of a typical male without leaving the reader concerned that things might have sped a little too quickly.
  5. The humor for me was not as prominent as what others might believe. A classmate of mine was cracking up at one scene while I barely gave it a second thought. It’ll depend on your sense of humor.
  6. The weaving of the prophecies. Yes those prophecies all the way back when. They come back to bite you in the ass.
What I felt lacked:
  1. Proper editing. There were some blatant errors that gave me a permanent frown for 3 chapters straight.
  2. The last book. I was really irritated by the entire pacing—too fast, too jumbled. The book, to me, was so crammed in 300 or so pages that could have easily stretched. This was not a roller coaster; this was the climb of doom. We went up, and up, and up, then plummeted from the 600th floor in the basement. Countless shifts of time—past, present, more past, further back in the past, wtf is this shit?, skim, headache, yay we’re finally back to where I understand what’s going on! The ending I will have to give kudos to. Wonderful twist.
Annabeth is someone you’ll learn to live with. Tyson reminds me so much of Cheese from FOSTER’S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS. Elizabeth Rachel Dare uhhh okay. Grover is my home skillet goat boy thing that plays a mean reed—I think—you’ll be annoyed in the beginning but it gets better. Thalia is the male version of Percy. Nico for some reason really resonated well with me.

Overall: The epitome of a middle grade series—perfect for nephews and maybe some nieces!

FTC: I was no where near paid for this review 'cause if I was it'll be a whole lot nicer and filled with better vocabulary and less grammar mistakes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Unwritten Rule

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott (March 16th 2010—Simon Pulse)

Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5

Summary: Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like your best friend's boyfriend.

Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.

Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more...”

Review: Some of you may have noticed the eerie similarity between Something Like Fate and The Unwritten Rule that may have resulted in: O_O I know I was. So you’re thinking hopefully both books won’t be identical because that would just be awkward! And while I’m really tempted to do a van diagram to compare these two I won’t.

Elizabeth Scott has a knack for writing family tensions, meek protagonist, and so very squishy romances. I feel like poking the two lovebirds in the tummy and watching/listening to them giggle like the Pisbury Doughboy. Scott is very consistent in her style of writing, aside from Living Dead Girl, that readers can only expect greatness from her. I remember picking up her debut novel, Bloom, from the library reading it twice before returning it only to borrow it again the very next week. This was back when it first came out. Honestly if you haven’t checked scoot out I do recommend you do so. She’s very much like Sarah Dessen an author that I also happen to adore very much so.

The character development seems faint in the beginning and middle with hardly any progression except for letting the snake bites its own tail. A vicious never-ending cycle of one step forward, two steps back, three steps forward, one steps back. If you calculate the numbers you’ll realize there is movement, but very little. This equation represents Sarah and Ryan and Sarah and Brianna. You’ll eventually get there (like near the end where it starts to become five steps forward)!

For me what shines the most is the family in Scott’s novels. I read too many morbid, depressing, broken families to find relief n here. Granted it’s a win-lose situation in The Unwritten Rule, but I love one side of it!

The ending was another reason why I like The Unwritten Rule. And while I know I won’t compare Something Like Fate to The Unwritten Rule I feel as though I need to backtrack that. Scott isn’t afraid to take the road less traveled by. So often you see a book that does well just crash with the ending and I’m happy to report that that was not happened here.

Cover B

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Button Me Up!

All credit goes to Ka-Yam for allowing me to bully her into submission to make me this button! You may also have noticed the new header as well :)

EDIT: okay apparently google reader doesn't show the html code but rather the the button--twice. the html code is visible when you just visit the blog regularly. (plus then you can see my new header ;P)

P.S. Does anyone know how to track who grabs the button?

Waiting on Wednesday (44)

Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder: no summary...sadly. 3rd in the series though. UK cover

Click BOOKS, then SPY GLASS for the summary.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Undead Much

Undead Much by Stacey Jay (January 21st 2010—Razorbill)

Grade: 2.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “Even Zombie Settlers with Super Hot Boyfriends get the Blues...

A few months ago I was a normal girl with a normal life. But that was before my power to Settle the Undead returned and someone tried to kill me with zombies.

Now I work magic and practice kicking butt while trying to find time for pom squad and my boyfriend, Ethan, and trying NOT to think about how freaky my life has become. It can be tough. Still…things could be worse…

Oh yeah, right:
1. Feral new super-strong zombies. Check.
2. Undead psychic hottie predicting a zombie apocolypse. Check.
3. Earth-shattering secrets that could land me in Settler prison for life. Check.
4. Cheerleader vs. pom squad turf war threatening the end of the half time as we know it. Check.

I’m going to need therapy (and a cookie) if I live through the week. Unfortunately I’m learning that’s not something Zombie Queens can take for granted. “

Review: I enjoyed You Are So Undead to Me so much that I had to buy the next book. What made me love the prequel was its relatively cute and charming ways. The fact that it didn’t take itself so seriously made it all much more appealing to me. Undead Much went on a whole different route than what I was expecting. I was dandy the first few chapters. Had some laughs, some giggles, some swooning, a few fist-pumps, but then the zombies started appearing…

When I read a good book I find that I’m influenced by them. If they’re happy, I’m happy. If they’re sad, I’m sad. On the other hand a dull and not-so-great book is a reflection of my current state of emotions. I found myself yawning countless times (at 6 in the evening!) and finding my eyes glazing over passages on auto-pilot. That might give a general gist of how I felt about Undead Much.

Undead Much packs a lot. Relationship issues—both family and romantically—are questioned, new powers are discovered, new villains are uncovered. I was invigorated to dive in, drink like a zombie and be quenched, alas my mood swung the opposite way. I found myself irritated by almost every dialogue throughout the book. Imagine this scenario:
A: Hey guess what I found out!
B: I don’t know, what?
A: Com’ on! You HAVE to guess.
B: Ummm okay your sister went through your stuff?
A: As if.
B: You found out your dog peed all over your shoes?
A: Ewwwww!
Etc. etc. effin etc. Please get on with it! There’s a thing called tension, I understand, but when it’s dragged out through 200+ pages I can only rein in my annoyance to an extent. And Undead Much was pushing it.

Okay now that that’s out my system I know want to talk about Megan’s supernatural ability to NOT you know, die. Girl has been 5 times in one night but can still dance with the best of them. She’s been shoved to a freakin’ slab of concrete, beaten, lost about 2 pints of blood, a lot of skin, and holy freakin’ crap she still manages to defeat the bad guy! Um, okay. Okay, not really okay for me.

I’m so wholly disappointed in this book that I am just about to break down and cry because by golly this was supposed to be FANTASTICALLYAMAZING!

Cover C
Ummm does anyone else hate her flats?

Monday, February 8, 2010

In a Heartbeat Giveaway

Loretta has kindly offered one lucky winner a signed final copy of IN A HEARTBEAT.

US and Canada only peeps, sorry! You know it's the recession and whatnot ;P Contest ends in two weeks (hopefully I can remember....) Enter:

In a Heartbeat

In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth (Feburary 2nd 2010—Walker )

Grade: 3.5 stars out of 5

Summary: A touching novel of last regrets and second chances in
the tradition of Lurlene McDaniel and Gabrielle Zevin.

When a small mistake costs sixteen-year-old Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart.

When fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different — dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy —her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan’s life,meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure they all need to move on.

Told in alternating viewpoints, In a Heartbeat tells the emotional and compelling story of two girls sharing one heart.”

Review: I was pleasantly surprised by how well I liked the book. I initially believed that…well I honestly did not know what I was getting myself into. I typically shy away from contemporary fictions after several bad run-ins because I find them a) too boring; b) too dramatic; c) just not my taste. While In a Heartbeat is not something I plan to reread 10 times a week (though I’ve done that with some books) I do foresee reading some scenes again by the end of the year.

In a Heartbeat had a rather slow start. I began reading the book sometime in late January and reached the high tens—70 of so pages. Then I just abruptly stopped. Something didn’t compel me enough to finish those last 110~ pages. With the deadline looming oh so very close (less than 24 hours!) I needed to finish the book and write my review. The novel eventually picked up fast enough for me to breeze through the rest in about an hour or so. I would definitely recommend sticking with it until the end for this book.

Eagan’s POV I struggled through with in the beginning. I had a hard time coping with the flashbacks. It was a shift from the limbo to Eagan’s past that that did not sit well with me. I also had a hard time with Eagan in the beginning. I felt disconnected and a bit weary of her. This changed as well from the middle to the end with the introduction of several other characters. She grew on me.

Amelia, for some reason, I’ve always like from the start. Case closed.

Overall: Like with a car in winter, it takes a while before you start driving, but once it warms up, you’re breezing by with your favorite radio on.

Cover B
What can I say, I love the typography.

ftc: review copy was provided in return for a review.
go here for the schedule for Loretta's blog tour!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


No school tomorrow!! Oh my god those 20+ inches of snow finally mean something! I am so happy 'cause this essay that I've been on for the past couple days STINKS/SUCKS so much and it's due tomorrow. Sadly I still have to attend 2 other classes outside of school from 12-3:15 which is ehhh. Anyway I typically never update about something like this BUT YES OMG I NEEDED THAT EXTRA DAY!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Match Made in High School

This is a repost
A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker (February 9th 2010--Razorbill)

Grade: 4.5 stars out of 5

Summary: “When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer.”

Review: This book was hi-freaking-larious! The traded insults, the clever pranks, the laugh out loud rants! I spent the majority of the time actually laughing rather than reading, but of course I did love the words, plotlines, as well.

I love the way the characters were done. In the very beginning you just couldn’t help but hate Todd and fall over heals for Gabe, the perfect guy. The transition from hate, to tolerable, to almost, dare I say, liked of Todd was impeccably done. A smooth ride, without a single awkward phase. The other characters were also quite dimensional, the bad side and the good side. It never was this single label you could place on someone, a dumb blond cheerleader, a forever by your side best friend, and even a big awkward music loving, just, guy friend.

This book was so unpredictable! One minute I think I have everything figured out and who ends up with whom then WHAM! “Why didn’t I see this coming!?” Despite the subtle albeit huge hints dropped along the way, my one-tracked though I had it all figured out. I’m actually so happy I was wrong.

I also the ending was extremely well done! Everything pulled in together, a pleasing ending

Overall: An amazing, spectacular read!

Cover B-
P.S. I read January '09 so my "voice" may sound different.