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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Book Review: Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler

Title: Evercrossed

Author: Elizabeth Chandler

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication date: March 8, 2011

Hardcover: 288 pages

Stand Alone or series:  Series–this is the second in the series

How I got this book: EGalley from Simon & Shuster

Why I chose this book:  I read Kissed by an Angel, the first installment in the stories, and it is truly breathtaking.   If you haven’t checked it out yet, get on it!

Synopsis:

It’s been a year since Ivy’s boyfriend, Tristan, died. They’ve both moved on—Tristan to the other side of the afterlife, and Ivy to sweet, dependable Will. Now Ivy’s heading to Cape Cod, hoping to leave the horror of last summer behind. She wants nothing more than to lie on the beach, sip lemonade, and hang out with her friends.

But then a car crash ends Ivy’s life.
 
As she floats to the beyond, looking down on the life she’s left behind, Tristan breathes life back into her with a passionate kiss. She wakes up in the hospital, surrounded by Will and her family, but all she can think about is the love that she lost.
 
But memories aren’t all that’s come back from the past. And this time, Ivy’s not sure love will be enough to save her.

Review:

Epic does not even begin to describe this novel.  In all honestly, I think the Kissed by an Angel novels are the best books I have ever read.  And I’ve read a lot of books.

The story starts off in Cape Cod, where Ivy, Will, Beth, and some new friends are working at in inn for the summer.  It’s almost the anniversery of Tristan’s death, and things aren’t going well for Ivy.  Then Ivy and Beth get in a car accident, and Ivy dies.  But in a gut-wrenching series of events, Ivy comes back, more touched by Tristan than ever. 

In this heartfelt novel where your emotions are privy to all, the past comes back to haunt as Ivy fears for her life, and for her love.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review: Clarity by Kim Harrington

Title: Clarity

Author: Kim Harrington

Publisher: Point

Publication date: March 1, 2011

Hardcover: 256 pages

How I got this book: ARC from Point

Why I chose this book: It seemed like it would be such a fun read.  I’ve never read about a “family or freaks” and wanted to change that.

Synopsis:

When you can see things others can’t, where do you look for the truth?

Clarity “Clare” Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It’s a gift.

And a curse.
 

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare’s ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case–but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare’s brother–who has supernatural gifts of his own–becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

Review:   With a writing style similar to that of Meg Cabot, Clarity was utterly amazing!  I was surprised by how addicting this book was.  At first, reading about the love life of Clarity Fern, I assumed this book would be predictable and simple.  Was I wrong, or what!  I was on the edge of my seat (figuratively) for the entire novel.  As we follow Clarity (Clare) as she works with the police to find a killer, we get to sit back and analze every other character.  While my disappointment was there for the characters of Perry (her brother) and Nate (her friend), who seemed childish compared to their ages, I thoroughly enjoyed the personalities of everyone in the story.  With Clare, it seemed there was a boy for her around every corner, but things are not as they seem.  Personally, I’m voting for Justin.  I would recommend this book to fans of any genre, and will be watching closely for the next installment.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Interview With Author Hannah Sternberg

I had the chance to ask Hannah Sternberg, author of Queens of All Earth, a few questions.  Check it out:
The Book Heist: Where did you get your ideas for Queens of All Earth?
HS: Queens of All the Earth is inspired by one of my favorite novels, A Room with a View by E. M. Forster. The events of my story are loosely based on Forster’s book, though I did end up changing a lot as I dove into the little world I was creating for my version. I first read A Room with a View when I was 14, and just like the heroine I was emerging from childhood and beginning to understand that one day I’d have to direct my own life’s adventures, even if it sometimes pitted me against some of my most trusted mentors, even my parents. Plus, the romance and beauty of the setting swept me away. That book had a profound effect not just on my imagination, but on how I came to understand life. It might be a slim little romantic novel, but sometimes books are bigger than they seem!
The Book Heist: Have you ever been to Barcelona?
HS: Yes; in fact, I started writing Queens of All the Earth while I was in Barcelona for a weeklong vacation. That year, I participated in a college study abroad program in London. It was the first time I had ever been outside the United States, and while I’d always been obsessed with British culture, almost as soon as I got there, I was overwhelmed with homesickness. I spent much of that year learning about myself and adulthood, in addition to trying to see the sights like any college exchange student. My Barcelona trip was especially stressful at first because I’m usually a very meticulous, cautious person, and here I was plunging off to a country where I barely spoke the language, staying in a hostel room with a bunch of strangers, where everything–even the plumbing!–was unfamiliar. One of the friends I was traveling with was also a big fan of A Room with a View, and I felt comforted talking about how much fun it would be to retell the story, folding in our experiences in Barcelona. The idea calmed me down enough to finally start enjoying the trip, and in the late evenings when my friends went to bed, I started writing Queens of All the Earth in a little notepad I’d brought with me.
The Book Heist: What kind of research did you do for Queens of All Earth?
HS: Well, I finished the first draft of the novel in one month, directly after returning to my London dorm after my trip to Barcelona. So many of the most vivid descriptions of places in the book came directly from my memory. Over three years passed between writing the first draft and handing in my final revision to my editor at Bancroft, however, and when I had to revise major scenes, it became increasingly difficult to recall what I had seen with the strength I had before. In those times, I’d set up a collage of postcards I’d bought in Barcelona, many depicting the places described in the book, and I’d surround my computer with all these little tokens of my visit: ticket stubs, guidebooks, even old gift bags! It helped me remember what it felt like to be there. I did a little bit of research online just to confirm the dates and names of some of the landmarks I’d mentioned. But, like Olivia, I don’t feel like I’m really seeing a place unless I’ve read about its history, so I went into the manuscript armed with all the information I’d already stocked up on previous to the trip.
The Book Heist: Who do you relate to more: Miranda or Olivia?
HS: I think it’s inevitable that every character I write is a little piece of myself, because they all came from my imagination, and are colored by my way of observing the world. When I wrote the book, I definitely felt more like Miranda. I used to joke with my friends that Miranda was an amalgamation of everything that’s annoying about me, with none of the good bits. I’ve been told by those friends that’s an unfair assessment of myself, so I guess that means either I have an exceptional imagination or exceptional friends. Olivia started as a much more ambiguous character, and eventually she became the fragile, child-like version of me that has long since been wrapped up under layers of responsibility. Sometimes I try to peel them back just to see if I still recognize her.
The Book Heist: How long have you been writing?
HS: Oh, as long as I knew how! My mom, Libby Malin Sternberg, is an author too, and she’s always encouraged me. She’s my best writing teacher and my best friend. I’ve been writing so long, I can’t comprehend a life in which one doesn’t spend every available moment writing.
The Book Heist: What made you decide to write a YA novel?
HS: joke with my agent that I write young adult literature unwittingly, because I haven’t been an adult for very long. I didn’t intentionally set out to write a YA novel, but the themes and the age of the heroine naturally made it one. My publisher, Bruce, calls it “an adult novel for young adults.” I never tried to “write down” to my audience in terms of how I used language; instead, I hope that young adults will feel an affinity for Olivia, Greg and Miranda’s struggles and growth.
The Book Heist: What are some of your favorite novels and authors?
HS: E. M. Foster, clearly, the inspiration for this novel! I also admire the works of J. D. Salinger, and his portrayal of a nervous breakdown in Franny and Zooey was a huge inspiration for Olivia’s own psychological problems. I love the historical fiction of Louis Bayard and Mark Helprin, and their vibrant, emotional use of language. The poetry of E. E. Cummings figures prominently in the story, too; he, too, hugely influenced my perspective on life as I crawled out of my shell and into adulthood. Other favorites, in no particular order: Charlotte Bronte, Dorothy Parker, Umberto Eco, Virginia Woolf, David Foster Wallace, John Cheever, Edgar Allen Poe, Jane Austen. And, of course, my mom!

Book Review: Queens of All Earth by Hannah Sternberg

Title: Queens of All Earth

Author: Hannah Sternberg

Publisher: Bancroft Press

Publication Date: 2011

Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone

Softcover: 158 pages

How I got this book:  Sent to me from the author

Why I chose this book: When I read what this book was about, I was very exicted to read it.  (I love all books where the setting is another country!)

Synopsis:

As her freshman classmates move into dorms at Cornell University, Olivia Somerset suffers a nervous breakdown. When months of coaxing and analyzing fail to rouse Olivia from her stupor, big sister Miranda decides the sisters should fly off to Barcelona for some “vacation therapy.”
When a mistake at their Barcelona hostel leaves the Somersets in a large co-ed dorm room, Olivia and Miranda are saved by kindly Mr. Brown and his son Greg, who happily volunteer to surrender their private room. But while Olivia feels an instant connection with brooding Greg Brown, Miranda sides with fellow guest and cocky American travel writer Lenny:
The Browns are just plain weird, and must be avoided at all costs.
 Review:

Lyric-like in the writing style, Hannah Sternberg’s Queens of All Earth was completely addicting.  Perfect for the YA audience, the story of Olivia, a girl battling what she doesn’t like to refer to as depression, will relate to many teens and adults alike, myself included.  Sometimes confusing in its descriptions, the story has a new ring to it that I have yet to see in the YA genre.  (And I read many a book…)  Set in Barcelona, the adventure of sisters Olivia and Miranda is an unforgettable one.  Throw in a cute boy, Greg; his calm father Emory; and you’ve got a story to read again and again.

Sebastion from Immortal by Gillian Shields

So, I was perusing through Elle magazine the other day, and I came across a picture that took my breath away.  Low and behold, I had found a picture that depicted Sebastian (from the Immortal Series by Gillian Shields–If you haven’t read it–DO!) perfectly.  Or at least, how I picture him.  So, for your eyes only (and everyone else’s) here is Sebastian!
He’s perfect, isn’t he… Thanks Elle magazine!!!!
Tell me what you think.  Do you think he makes the perfect Sebastian?  Do you think that horse it adorable?  Let me know!

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Title: Abandon

Author: Meg Cabot

Publisher: Point

Publication Date: April 26, 2011

Hardback: 320 pages

How I got this book: An ARC from Scholastic

Why I chose this book: Meg Cabot is a literary genius.  Why wouldn’t I want to read one of her books?!

Synopsis:

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

Review: 

This tantalizing prose of a story is, in my opinion, Meg Cabot’s best YA novel yet.  You see, Pierce died.  But she didn’t see a bright light at the end of a tunnel, or pearly gates.  No, she saw him. His name is John–but don’t let his simple name fool you.  John is anything but ordinary.  After several incidents, Pierce and her mother move to Isle Huesos, her mother’s hometown, trying to start over again.  But this turns out to be impossible when John keeps showing up.  Turns out, he’s not the only one that wants her.  Occasionally confusing, the story switches between the present, and flashbacks.  My only disappointment – besides having to wait for the next installment, Underworld – was the instantaneous love that materialized, so uncharacteristic of Cabot’s other novels.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Book Review: Betrayal by Lee Nichols

Title: Betrayal

Author: Lee Nichols

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children

Publication Date: March, 2011

Softback: 288 pages

Stand Alone or Series:  Series–this is the second in a series

How I got this book: ARC from Bloomsbury Children

Why I chose this book: I read the first book in the series–Deception.

Synopsis:

Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great when she’s battling the wraith-master Neos, but terrible when she’s flirting with fellow ghostkeeper (and soul mate) Bennett. When ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power, and that’s not something Bennett can handle. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school with fellow ghostkeeper, Natalie. When a new team of ghostkeepers arrive-one a snarky teen boy, the other a British scholar-Emma finds solace in training for the battle against Neos. But as the team grows stronger, they are threatened by an unknown force. One they thought was good.

Review:

In Betrayal, Lee Nichols’ highly anticipated second novel in the Haunting Emma series, Emma learns what it’s like to be betrayed.  Led in a fast-paced chase throughout the book, Nichols captures your senses and lets them skyrocket in this thrill ride.  We’re back with a fun cast of characters that make you laugh out loud–Coby, now a ghost; Emma, still seeking to capture Neos, the evil being; Lukas, the new hottie ghostkeeper; Simon, the British rule enforcer; Bennet, the hunky love interest; and Natalie, the go-to girl.  There’s someone for everyone.  Everyone has a chance to fear for their lives, and the battles are never-ending.  Nichol’s cooks up some surprises that will have everyone on the edge of their seats. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Review: Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Title: Eyes Like Stars

Author: Lisa Mantchev

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: July, 2009

Hardcover: 368 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Series–this is the first in a series

How I got this book: Bought

Why I chose this book: Well, the cover got my attention first.  I have to admit, this is an amazing cover.  Second, as I was flipping through the book, I noticed that it was written as a semi-script.  Since I love acting, I automatically picked this book up.  So glad I did!

Synopsis:

All her world’s a stage
Enter Stage Right
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith (Bertie): Our heroine.
Nate: A dashing pirate who will do anything to protect Bertie.
Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed, and Peaseblossom: Four tiny, mischievous fairies, and Bertie’s loyal sidekicks.
Ariel: A seductive air spirit. Disaster follows in his wake, but Bertie simply cannot resist him.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the characters of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. The actors are bound to the Théâtre by The Book, an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of the actors, but they are her family. And she is about to lose them all because The Book has been threatened, and along with it the Théâtre. It’s the only home Bertie has ever known, and she has to find a way to save it. But first, there’s the small problem of two handsome men, both vying for her attention. The course of true love never did run smooth. . . .
 
Review:
 
There are no words for my love of this book.  I thought the writing style was so uniquely creative, so expressively original, so…  I need to take a trip to the thesaurus.  But do you catch my gist?  This book has a certain… je ne sais quoi.  (See how I threw in my french there.)
 
We follow Bertie, a thirteen year old who lives at Theatre Illuminata.  The Theatre has been her home since she was left on the doorstep when she was a baby.  The actors can’t leave the theatre–and Bertie doesn’t know why they would want to.  When Bertie discovers a way that they can leave, hindering the theatre in the process, the information leaks down to Ariel, the sweet-talking air spirit, and the theatre becomes in danger of collapsing all together.  
 
Bertie is a laugh-out-loud, lively character to follow.  I loved the details of how she loved to dye her hair.  (I considered dying my hair blue after reading this.)  In this unique style of writing–similar to that of a script, Mantchev captures your heart and stashes it away at Theatre Illuminata.
 
Other books by this author:  Perchance to Dream, So Silver Bright (Coming in September).

So Silver Bright *Cue Halleluja Chorus*

So Silver Bright, the highly anticipated upcoming novel in the Theatre Illuminata series by Lisa Mantchev, hits bookstores September 13th *Cue Crying*.  But, Lisa Mantchev is giving a few lucky (Read: Excessively, Epicly Lucky) people the chance to read some ARCs of So Silver Bright.  And I happen to be one of the people begging on her doorstep.  So, to prove  my worthiness, I have written a little poem.  Here goes:
It was perchance I chose this book,
Sitting in the corner of my local novel nook.
It was in my stars that day, I see,
To grab this book and read read read,
And when I finished with a gasp,
The Theatre Illuminata Series never left my grasp.
So, you see, I may be a little obsessed.  I know.  But it’s okay.  Right?  Anyway, if you haven’t read the Theatre Illuminata series yet, then you haven’t lived.  Seriously.  Run, Walk, Drive, Crawl to your nearest bookstore, and grab the first copy you see.  I’m starting to rant now, so I will bid you adieu.
P.S. I’m Team Ariel





In My Mailbox

So, I got some books today, and I’m thrilled!!!  So, here’s what was in my (real) mailbox…

So, yes, I have a lot of reading to do!  My next post will (read: should) be a Dark Mirror Review.

Book Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Queen
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: January, 2011
Softback: 368 pages
Stand Alone or Series: Series–this is the third in a series.
How I got this book: Bought
Why I chose this book: I’ve read the other books in the series, and I was really looking forward to this one.  If you havent’ gotten the chance to read this series, or it’s on your to-be-read pile, pull it up to the front, ’cause this one is epic.
Synopsis:
My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who’s sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.
 
This time, there will be no turning back.

Review:

What can I say about the Iron Fey Series?  Ummm… EPIC!  In this mesmerizing third installment of the Iron Fey series, we follow the dubious trio of Megan, Ash, and Puck as they travel into the Iron Realm and try to defeat the false king.  All the while, Megan and Ash explore a tantalizing relationship.  But in the end, can it survive? 

A false king has taken over the Iron Realm, even though Megan possesses the magic it takes to rule.  So now the false king is looking for her, wanting to kill her and take the power for his own.  But there’s one problem in his plan.  Megan’s coming to him.  She’s tired of sitting around, watching people die for her.  With some sword practices from Ash, and an iron determination, Megan takes on the false king, with the fate of the Nevernever resting on her shoulders.  No pressure, right?

The Iron Queen was stunning, with a new twist at every corner.  And, the next installment, The Iron Knight, will be written from Ash’s point of view. (I’m pretty sure.  Keep your fingers crossed.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Book Review: The Demon Trapper’s Daughter by Jana Oliver

Title: The Demon Trapper’s Daughter

Author: Jana Oliver

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Publication Date: February, 2011

Softback: 368 pages

Stand Alone or Series:  Series–this is the first in a series

How I got this book: Bought

Why I chose this book: When I saw this book was coming out, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon.  I mean, who doesn’t love a good story about a kickass girl who hunts demons?

Synopsis:

Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps.  The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood.  And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?

Review:

The cover: Awesome cover, overall.  After reading the story I thought the cover really illustrated this new world perfectly.

The characters: Riley is badass.  She hunts demons.  Even though she’s only an apprentice – which means she hunts grade 1 demons – she took down a grade three demon all by herself.  She’s got natural abilities, and people are afraid.  I really loved reading through Riley’s point of view.  Even though she’s very different from me, I also found that she was relatable.

Beck is a pain in the ass.  Or at least to Riley.  While it was sometimes annoying reading his personal dialect, it encompassed his nickname, “backwoods boy” perfectly.  Yes, Beck seems like a selfish, alcoholic jerk.  But take a closer look.  There’s pain, love, and the hope that everything will be okay. 

Simon is a goody-two-shoes.  He loves god.  He resists temptation.  He has a thing for Riley.  A demon trapper like Riley, Simon is moving up in the ranks, almost to becoming a journeyman.  And he has a secret.  He wants to be a hunter (which is frowned upon by trappers.)

The plot: Set in Atlanta, Georgia, Riley Blackthorne is the first ever female demon trapper.  But it’s not easy when most people in her own trapper’s guild are against her being there.  And then her dad dies.

Riley’s time is divided between trapping demons so she has money to pay the rent, spending time with the cute and sensitive Simon, and sitting vigil at her dad’s grave to make sure the necromancer’s don’t get ahold of his body. 

But then everything starts going down the drain.  The Holy Water isn’t working, the Demon’s are starting to work together, and life is falling apart.

I had a hard time getting into the romance between Simon and Riley.  It wasn’t as believable as I would have liked.  We only read about Riley and Simon a couple times before they become a couple.  Then we learn of Beck’s feelings for Riley.  I also had trouble with this.  Beck just seemed like more of a brother figure than anything else.  I guess we’ll have to wait for the next book.  (Personally, I’m rooting for Ori) (Ori is a demon hunter!  Uh-oh!)

Overall: The book was okay.  I will definitely read the next book in the series.

Spare Thoughts: Please please please more Ori!

Final: The Demon Trapper’s Daughter is enchanting and creative.

Sorry for the not so great review.  I’m a little sleep deprived…

Step Aside Stephenie Meyer?

Here’s the deal: Josephine Angelinin, author of the upcoming novel, Starcrossed, a “Percy Jackson for teenage girl,” struck a major deal.  The American rights were just sold, as well as the film rights. 
So what is Starcrossed?  Greek Tragedy comes to High School when a shy nantucket teenager named Helen Hamilton attempts to kill the most attractive boy on the island, Lucas Delos, in front of the entire class. 
Hmm?  So, tell me what you think.  Will Starcrossed be the next Twilight?

Across the Universe has TWO covers?!!!

So, I may be a little late on the upkeep.  But that’s okay, but this discovery still blew my mind.
Did you know…
Across the Universe has TWO different covers!
Beth has dubbed them Amy:
And Elder:

And here’s the best part!  If you own an American hardback copy of Across the Universe, then you have both of these covers!  Just turn the cover to the flipside, and there ya have it!  Lucky for me, I have two copies, so I keep one on the Amy side and one on the Elder side!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nook Giveaway!

Hey all!  So, there’s this awesome giveaway going on where you can win some awesome prizes.  One of them: a Nook!  How cool is that!  So head on over to In The Outhouse, and enter to win!  Or check it out at Between the Covers

Friday, February 11, 2011

10 Books to Cuddle Up to on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching–or as I have dubbed it, Single’s Awareness Day.  Don’t have plans?  Then cuddle up with one of these heartfelt reads!

1. Sarah Dessen’s Along for the Ride (or any other Sarah Dessen novel for that matter!)

2. Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss (Ah-mazing!)

3. Meg Cabot’s All American Girl (There’s a sequel, too!)

4. Suzanne Harper’s The Juliet Club (When in Rome!  Or, uh, Verona!)

5. Lauren Barnholdt’s Two Way Street (Check out her other sizzling novels, too!)

6. Lauren Kunze’s The Ivy (A sexy beginning to a sizzling new series!)

7. Rosemarie Clement-Moore’s The Splendor Falls (Love in New Orleans!)

8. Elizabeth Scott’s Something, Maybe (Check out Perfect You and The Unwritten Rule too!)

9. Susane Colasanti’s When It Happens (Colasanti writes perfect romances!)

10. Elizabeth Eulberg’s The Lonely Hearts Club (Beatle-mania up in here!)



I’m Not Crying–I Swear!

Have you read Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler?
It’s a tearjerker, let me tell you.  And I’m not a weeper.  Really.
Well, here comes the highly anticipated sequel:
Get it March 8th, 2011!
Keep an eye out for my review of Kissed by an Angel, coming soon!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Five Star Books

Books that deserves five stars:



Immortal by Gillian Shields



The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins



Thriteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher




Across the Universe by Beth Revis



Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey



Just Listen by Sarah Dessen



Bleed by Laurie Faria Stolarz



Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead



The Mediator: Shadowland by Meg Cabot



The Hollow by Jessica Verday



Book Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Title: Revolution

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: October, 2010

Hardback: 496 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone

How I got this book: Bought

Why I chose this book:  I really never thought I’d read this book.  I liked the cover, but reading the inside flap, I just wasn’t interested.  But I thought I’d keep with my streak of buying books I didn’t think I would like.  I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

Synopsis:

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Review: 

The Cover: I love this cover, how it shows girls from two different times.  They are different, yet similar. 

The Characters: Andi is an amazing character to read about.  I felt so close with her throughout the book.  I think she really encompasses teen hardships perfectly.  I found my self on edge throughout the whole story with Andi as the protagonist.

Virgil is a rapper.  He’s a taxi driver.  He lives in the bad part of Paris.  He’s truly not what he seems.  I was a little iffy on him at first, but was thoroughly surprised later.  He has a deep side that he lets shine without hesitation.  I especially love when he gets angry.  I’m not going to spoil anything here, though.  You’ll have to read the book.

Alexandrine isn’t nice.  This is what I think of here.  She’s selfish and self-gratifying.  But she’s also human.  Who hasn’t been selfish in their life.  But as we go through her story, we realize that in her selfishness, there is also love.  Love for a little boy who experienced what no little boy should ever have to experience.

The Plot: We follow Andi in here music encompassed world as she travels with her father to Paris for winter break.  In those three weeks, she has to complete the outline of her Senior thesis, or she might not graduate.  But she doesn’t really give a damn.  All Andi wants to do is end her pain and suffering.  And all it takes is one step…

Reading from Andi’s point of view, I was trapped, on the edge of my seat the entire time.  It’s writing like this that I would call epicly epic.  I connected with Andi so well.  And then Andi meets Virgil, and I got to read about an honest-to-God relationship–with REAL problems.  It was a breath of fresh air.

But then came the scenes from Alexandrine’s point of view.  They were only okay.  Some of them were mesmerizing, but few.  Most of the time, I felt like I was in school, doing the mandatory reading.  Maybe I was the only one who felt this way; but these were the scenes that held the book back from being a 10. (Out of 10).  

Overall: Very good book.  I would love for their to be a sequel.

Spare Thoughts: My favorite scene was the Eiffel tower one.  If you haven’t read the book, I would tell you to, just for this scene.  It was mesmerizing.

Final: An extraordinary tale that brings to light the everyday (and not-so-everyday) struggles of being a teen.

Other books by this author: A Northern Light

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Contest! Contest! Contest!

Yes, you heard correctly, there is a contest going on!  Head on over to the contest page, and you can see how to win Wake by Lisa McMann, The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima, or Thirst by Christopher Pike!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

E-BOOK TIE-INS

 

  As I was gallivanting through amazon e-books the other day, I realized that several authors wrote short tie-ins, or novellas, that related to a book or series they had written.  I then thought, “I wonder which ones I haven’t heard of?”  There were a lot.  So I decided to make a list; for you, for me.  Here it is:

1. Winter’s Passage by Julie Kagawa.  This short e-book is a tie in to Kagawa’s Iron Fey Series.  It takes place between the first and second book, and let me tell you: it is heartwarming.  I don’t want to straight-out call it fluff.  It has a few important details.  But it centers around time between Meghan and Ash.

2. Old Habits by Melissa Marr.  I haven’t had a chance to peruse this short novella, but it is tie-in to Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, set between the second and third book.  This story revolves around Niall, the newly appointed King of the Dark Court, and Irial, the former king.

3. Before That Night by Lauren Barnholdt.  I’m excited about this one.  Lauren Barnholdt is one of my favorite authors, and short story is a prequel to One Night That Changes Everything.  Read about the sweet nothings of Eliza and Cooper’s relationship before that night.

4. Beasts and BFFs by Shannon Delaney.  This is a bonus novella/prequel to the novel Thirteen to Life.  Everything is not as it seems in the town of Junction, and Jessie is about to have the experience of her life.  This novella also happens to be free!  Oh, how I love free things!

5. Retro Demonology by Jana Oliver.  This bonus story is a tie-in to the recently released novel, The Demon Trapper’s Daughter.  Take the thrill ride with Riley Blackthorn as she traps her very first demon.  Another free novella, BTW.

6. Remedial Magic by Jenna Black.  This novella is a Faeriewalker bonus story.  Follow Kimber as she tries to step out of the shadow of her prodigy of an older brother.  I haven’t yet had a chance to read the Faeriewalker series, but I’ll be sure to read this novella as soon as I do.  (This novella  is also free!) (PS I love love love this cover!)

7. Cat Calls by Cynthia Leitich Smith.  This novella is a bonus short story set in the same haunting world as Smith’s other books, Tantalize, Eternal, and Blessed.  This novella revolves around 16-year-old Tiffany and her fight against fate.  Another free e-novella available on Amazon.

8. Necromancer: a novella by Lish McBride.  This short novella, Death and Waffles, is a bonus story from McBride, author of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.  This story shows centers around Matt, who starts seeing his childhood friend, Ashley, again.  Only problem?  Ashley died years ago.  This novella is free to read!

9. Reaper by Rachel Vincent.  This novella, a tie-in to Vincent’s Soul Screamers series, show us the story of Nash’s older brother, Tod Hudson.  His very long life, the car accident, and a decision that would change his life.  This Soul Screamers novella is available for free. 

I really wish I had one more novella, just so it would even out to a Strong ten.  Oh, well.  If you know of any novella/tie-ins that I forgot, let me know!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Author of the Month
February
Beth Revis
For information and interview, check out the Author of the Month Page!