Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
5: Clay Jensen - Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Because I loved reading his story through his mind and he seems like a fantastic guy and person; someone I would love to meet. He seems genuine.
4: Simon Something-or-other - The Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Clare
I actually JUST finished reading this series, uh, THIS MORNING. Maybe it's because it's still fresh in the brain or something, but Simon rocked. He just simply rocks.
3: Spencer Martin - Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
I couldn't have said it as good as Khy did: "He's not the romantic lead of the book, but who cares?! He's Spencer. He's hilarious and completely adorable." dittodittoditto
2: Jonah Griggs - Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
I loooooooovedlovedloved Jellicoe Road and Jonah was sooooo great. I just can't find a way NOT love him.
1: Owen Armstong - Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Owen has, and always will, own the top place in this list and my heart. (Cheesy, I know.)
Now, the YA Boys that I seriously have trouble knowing WHY they are so hyped up about. ( No order)
1: Edward Cullen - Twilight Saga
YUCKITY YUCK YUCK.
2: Wes - The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
He is just so, gah. He bothers me.
3: Nate - Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen
I do not find anything special about him. Not saying he's bad, but just, what's the appeal?
4: Cabel - Wake & Fade by Lisa McMann
I like him, but again, what is the appeal? I just don't see it.
5: Damen - Evermore by Alyson Noel
Damen was perfect. Too perfect. WAY too perfect. He's just, ugh.
Now it's your turn. Go go go go go go. Link it!
Friday, June 26, 2009
- Three winners.
- One winner each will get a paperback copy of Suite Scarlett.
- US only. Sorry international readers!
- Contest will go from now until July 17th at midnight Pacific time.
- Comment on here with the answer to this question:
- Post about this on your blog, myspace, facebook, whatever and in a SEPARATE comment, give me a link for an extra entry.
- Follow me or tell me if you are following me for an extra entry in a SEPARATE comment, please.
- Have a way for me to contact you, I'm not going to be searching everywhere for an email address.
And here is a video of Maureen discussing Suite Scarlett:
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
(no cover yet)
Fifteen year old Joy Stefani has a strange superpower, inherited from her mother: she can tune in to other people's secret wishes. Lonely as it sometimes makes her feel, Joy's "Hearing" has always guided her in life, letting her know just how to keep her parents, friends, and teachers happy. In fact, granting people's wishes is what Joy lives for, unlike her mean sister Icka (Jessica), who uses the gift of Hearing as a weapon, to hurt people. When Icka's nastiness ruins Joy's birthday, she finally blows up at her sister... and wishes her out of her life. But when Icka disappears, Joy's mind suddenly starts picking up scary, awful wishes she never wanted to Hear.
Monday, June 22, 2009
But I'm also open to authors who want to do any, all you have to do is email me (preferably with it done already!). But all you have to do is answer this question with a guest blog size post thingy: How did the title and/or cover of your newest book come to be? If you need more help with it, you can read the ones I have already done here.
Anyone can do this! Old books, books that aren't out yet. books that just came out, whatever! Just email me and I'll get it set up! It's a great way to promote your book!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
This week I was in LA. This week I got a TON of books. Most bought too. Sorry I didn't do a IMM post this past week. I was on my way to Los Angeles then.
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
I got these at Borders on . . . I dunno when. It was sometime the week before last. And that was all I got the week before last, seriously. And, yes, I did buy City of Glass before City of Ashes.
Death by Denim by Linda Gerber
My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters by Sydney Salter
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
I bought these three at the Books, Inc. that was in Downtown Disney on Monday when I went to Disneyland. I think they are more special for being bought at Disneyland. :)
Bleed by Laurie Faria Stolarz
The Center of The Universe (Yep, That Would Be Me) by Anita Liberty
The Devouring by Simon Holt
I got these at Borders with that huge coupon thing they had. I also got a cute three dollar tote bag and a book light that was originally $5.99 for $0.99. Cool huh?
Sisters in Sanity by Gayle Forman
Me, My Elf, and I by Heather Swain
TMI by Sarah Quigley
I got these at the first Barnes and Noble I was in in more then two years. I have to say, Barnes and Noble, YOU RULE! Borders does not have half as great a selection as B&N does. Funny thing is this B&N and the Borders where I bought the three book ahead of these three where a 2 minute walk from each other.
Three Little Words: A Memoir by Ashley Rhodes-Courter
L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad
Bliss by Lauren Myracle
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
I got these at a Barnes and Noble in Pasadena. YES, I bought L.A. Candy! It looked entertaining, OK?
Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
I got this when I was coming home yesterday from Los Angeles when my grandma and I stopped in Solvang, a really cute Danish town. We had Danish food and everything. It was pretty cool.
Dull Boy by Sarah Cross
I had ordered this the week before last from Borders and I finally was able to pick it up on the way home yesterday from LA. It looks so good!
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
I got these from the Sarah Dessen signing I went to yesterday! They are both signed. To me. I *had* to buy another copy of Just Listen because it is my favorite book of hers and I *needed* it signed. And now I have a finished edition of Along For The Ride to go along with my ARC.
How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford
Shiver (repeat copy) by Maggie Stiefvater
Ruined: A Ghost Story by Paula Morris
Operation Yes by Sara Holmes
Daughters of the Sea: Hannah by Kathryn Lasky
Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
How To Steal A Car by Pete Hautman
I just called my house in MN and my dad picked up and he said I got a big package of the books above. All of them from Scholastic, though I thought Crazy Beautiful was from Houghton, I dunno.
I am in much glee of everything though. A TON of books. How will I take them all home with me? Probably UPS-ing them to me. But it's worth it.
I'm scared to count how many I got this week, someone can tell me in the comments if they want.
Now I need to know. What did everyone else get this week?
Friday, June 19, 2009
Pictures and maybe videos will come later. Probably much later for the videos.
I'm nervous. This will be the first author I ever met and the first blogger buddy I have ever met, so yes, I am very nervous.
The Naughty List by Suzanne Young
The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
The Mark by Jen Nadol
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Escape The Tiger by Laura Manivong
The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
Leaving Gee's Bend by Irene Latham
Sea by Heidi R. Kling
The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
So that's it. Thank you Miss Angie Frazier for the help with naming off all of whom had shown their covers. She named a few that I couldn't find a good image of, so if you have a cover that is shown but not above, please send me a good image of it and I will put it on up.
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publisher: Orchard Books
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Publication Date: April 1999
My Edition: Hardcover, library book
Plot - 15/20
Characters - 19/20
Writing - 20/20
Originality - 15/20
Entertainment - 9/10
Recommendation - 8/10
"Eat, Jozzie, eat. Oh, Jozzie, Jozzie. Look at your hair. Why, Jozzie? Why can you not look tidy?"
My grandmother says that to me every afternoon. She says it with a painful cry in her voice as if she is dying. I'm not sure if anyone has ever died of the fact that their granddaughter looks untidy, but I'm sure my grandmother will one day because she'll strain her voice so much she'll choke.
For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it's just been her, her mum, and her grandmother. Now it's her final year at a wealthy Catholic private girls' school where the nuns couldn't be any stricter. But that doesn't seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into Josie's life, including her father!
Caught between the old-world values of her Italian nonna Katia, the no-nonsense wisdom of her mother Cristina, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josie is on the ride of her life.
This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family's past - and the year she sets herself free.Review:
I read Melina's other two books and loved them, so I was sure this book would be a good read, and it was. Melina, after writing three books I have loved, is now one of my favorite authors.
In Looking For Alibrandi, the writing and the characters are the high point in this novel. The writing is of course fantastic. The characters are brilliantly created. The story was told with ease and determination from the amazingly developed characters. I don't think Melina's writing and characters could be bad. She is definitely up there with Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott in some areas.
The plot and originality is the downfall of the novel. The plot doesn't have much too it so it was kind of a tame read. It was also very unoriginal in the time that I read it, but this was written in the nineties so maybe it was a pretty new story in that time?
Melina is a great writing and I for sure recommend this one for a tame novel of one girl coming of age and her first romance.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
(no cover yet)
Doctors have pinned 16-year-old Drea Horvath with everything from ADHD to Asperger’s Syndrome. She has an obsession with sound design, a tendency to blurt out whatever she’s thinking, and a problem making friends, but likes to think of this as following her own rhythm in a confusing world.
Drea is hesitant to befriend purple-haired Naomi Quinn, her teenage neighbor with a kamikaze personality. But Naomi is the first person to treat her like she isn’t a world class dork. Then there’s Justin Rocca, the persistent boy in her film class who has a comeback for every snide remark she makes. If she has learned anything from her mom, it’s that boys are trouble.
Still, Drea bonds with both of them when she discovers Naomi's love for drums and Justin's piano prodigy status, and the three form a trip-hop band. Fearing that her new friends will find out about her disabilities, Drea makes up stories about boyfriends she never had--all in an effort to seem 'normal'. Then Justin reveals a disturbing secret about his past, and Naomi runs away with her drug dealer ex-boyfriend--a guy she swore she'd cut out of her life. When Drea finds Naomi unconscious in an abandoned house, she questions what 'normal' really means.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
- I went to a movie and shopping on Friday. (Terminator was goooood.)
- I had to get ready for my trip to LA on Saturday.
- I went on my trip to LA with a spontaneous decision to go straight to LA instread of spending two days in Santa Barbara on Sunday. And I went to Knott's Berry Farm for a few hours.
- I was at Disneyland all day, in fact it is 11 PM and I just got back from being up at 7 AM this morning.
- I am moving hotels tomorrow, going on a celebrity homes tour and possibly the zoo.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Title: It's Not You, It's Me
Author: Kerry Cohen Hoffmann
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Publication Date: June 9, 2009
My Edition: Hardcover
Plot - 13/20
Characters - 14/20
Writing - 16/20
Originality - 14/20
Entertainment - 5/10
Recommendation - 5/10
Funny and touching—this is a heartfelt breakup story. Zoe loves Henry. Henry dumps Zoe. Zoe wants Henry back—at any cost. Zoe’s two best friends come up with a plan to help Zoe get what she thinks she wants. The plan: make Henry jealous. But the plan takes a surprising turn. . . . Spanning thirty-one days in the cycle of a breakup, Kerry Cohen Hoffmann’s humorous and poignant novel depicts a girl whose single-minded focus on her ex-boyfriend has pulled her far from the person she most needs to win back—herself.
This book looked like a short, cute and quick read. And it was. But it was also weird, strange, and stalkerish crazy. Let me explain.
Before I started this novel some people have told me that the main character was very much like a stalker, so I went in a little hesitant about it. Well, what they told me was right. She was very much a stalker in my mind, and that just did it for me. The novel went downhill from there.
The plot was terrible in the way that there wasn't very much to it and that it was very unoriginal and cliche, so it was boring. The characters were very undescriptive and were two-dimensional blah characters. They didn't feel like real human beings in their reactions.
The writing was some-what okay. Everything flowed nicely together. But it was too fast paced for the good of the novel and the emotions and feelings were there, but not taken from the character well.
Overall this novel was short, quick, and not that great. I would not recommend buying this.
I feel terrible, but sadly I don't have an interview for you right now!
Heather gave me absolute freedom on what I wanted to write about and I decided to write about the awesome friends I have made since I started my blog, so be sure to check it out and check out the others too!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
AJ Ashe isn't a typical seventeen-year-old vampire (as if there is such a thing as ‘typical!’) Her ex-boyfriend is now her stepbrother. Her two BFFs are in a huge fight and AJ’s caught in the middle. She's totally framed for cheating on a Lit test. And now, apparently, the fate of humankind lies in her little undead hands. Like that's fair. What ever happened to the good old days when all a vampire girl had to worry about was the occasional zit and hiding her fetish for necks?
Monday, June 8, 2009
As I wrote A MAP OF THE KNOWN WORLD, I had no idea what this book might look like. With the title, I of course had a map in mind, but I wasn't sure what that map would look like. I didn't want to give too much away right up front, so I really struggled with this.
Fortunately for me, Elizabeth B. Parisi, the art director who designed both A MAP OF THE KNOWN WORLD and my previous book, SONG OF THE SPARROW, is a genius, and she really got this book. She came up with the idea of using the heart/sculpture as a central image. Elizabeth also thought of layering it on top of a map. If you look closely at the cover, you can see that in the black background are gridlines of a map.
As soon as she told my editor, the brilliant Aimee Friedman (also a phenomenal author), and me what she was thinking, we were both super excited. Elizabeth showed us photos of the work of a sculptor she knew, Leo Sewell (http://www.leosewell.net/
This process couldn't have been smoother or more delightful. Basically, as soon as she was finished reading the manuscript, Elizabeth had the idea, and Aimee and I were totally on board with it. And in the end, I can't think of a single image that would better capture the spirit of Cora's story, and I couldn't be more grateful for how beautiful or perfect this cover is.~~~
Thanks so much Lisa!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I got a TON of books this week. A TON. So let's get started. I'll even tell you some stories of CA while I'm at it. :) (The pictures are from my cell phone! Sorry!)
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner
Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook
Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
Skinned by Robin Wasserman
Paparazzi Princess by Jen Calonita
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
I got The Awakening on Monday I think. Carol and Yan told me I need the sequel before I started The Summoning, so, I got it. I found it at the Borders Express store in the mall while my grandma was searching for her book club book, Olive Kitteridge, which they did not have.
Then on Thursday, my grandma and I went up to downtown Santa Cruz where we walked all along Santa Cruz and came across a few bookstores. The first was Bookshop Santa Cruz (An Indie! Whoo! Go Indies!) which was so freaking amazing, you have no idea. They had a FANTASTIC Young Adult section and they had an atrium and everything! It was amazing. But first off I looked for Twenty Boy Summer, and found it, luckily! My local Borders didn't have it! Then I looked for LYHYMY, and, again, found it! I was so happy. Then I was mentally trying to remember the books on my checklist, so I was going through the ones that I remembered and I was looking for them, and I found Castration Celebration! I was so happy to find all of these books. Then I only had three books, and they were all hardcovers, so I wanted to leave there with a paperback for some reason. So I looked and looked and looked. Then I saw City of Bones, I know Carol is in love with this series and I've heard some great things, and the paperback was so shiny with pretty colors, so, I got it. Oh! My grandma got my a t-shirt at the Bookshop also, it's navy blue with some block lighter blue letters spelling READ. Simple but completely awesome. :)
Then we headed down the street some more and came across another Borders. A TWO-story Borders. I'm like obsessed with two story bookstores, so this was really cool, even though there weren't any books upstairs, just a Seattles Best Coffee place, so I didn't even go up there, but still. It was awesome. PLUS, I had a 25% off any one item coupon AND they had a sale for buy four books get the 5th FREE, so, ya know, why not? So I looked and I decided on the last group above. Cool, huh? I was in my happy place this week. :)
Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
Crash Into Me Albert Borris
Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley
Ghostgirl: Homecoming by Tonya Hurley
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia andMargaret Stohl
Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
Ash by Malinda Lo
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
I didn't necassirily receive books, but they came in the mail at my house in MN so I kinda did. I got my package from Little, Brown and a package from Simon & Schuster. The LB books actually came last week, I think I even mentioned it in last weeks IMM post, I don't know.
So I had an AMAZING week. Something I haven't had in a loooong time. I'm happy. :)
Now I wanna know. What did you get this week?
Friday, June 5, 2009
Author: Lauren Myracle
Reading Level: Young Adult, 12+
Publication Date: May 14, 2009
My Edition: ARC
Plot - 15/20
Characters - 16/20
Writing - 17/20
Originality - 15/20
Entertainment - 9/10
Recommendation - 9/10
Growing up in a world of wealth and pastel-tinted entitlement, fifteen-year-old Carly has always relied on the constancy—and authenticity—of her sister, Anna. But when fourteen-year-old Anna turns plastic-perfect-pretty over the course of a single summer, everything starts to change. And there are boys involved, complicating things as boys always do. With warmth, insight, and an unparalleled gift for finding humor even in stormy situations, beloved author Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that even very different sisters can learn to help each other stay afloat.
I first have to say that this novel was really cool. It was just a totally fun novel and I loved reading it and had fun while doing so. This is my first Lauren Myracle novel (I think) so I wasn't all so sure of what to expect from her, but it was good. Not amazing, and not bad, but good. Enjoyable. Really, truly, a fun read.
Carly was a cool character. Her personality was different, she was kind of like a teenage, twenty-first century, hippie. Which was cool. I loved that about Carly. Anna was a pretty good character too. She didn't have a varied personality, and it was a pretty typical one at that, but she wasn't a terrible character. Though, I have to say, they were sometimes annoying and Carly was really naive a lot of the time.
I liked the setting of the novel. It was in a very rich neighborhood in Georgia and you can see how the world is in places like that still. Myracle showed how there is segregation out there, and we aren't just living in a web of lies that we are all done with segregation, because it is there, and we do need to realize that.
The writing wasn't anything special. It wasn't awkward, which is definitely a good thing. It got the views across and told the story, but it didn't show so much emotion and intensity to show that she is a fantastic writer, but, nonetheless, a still good writer.
The plot wasn't so original. We've seen this story numerous times: Older sister was looked up too. A summer a part from each other. Sisters come together. Younger sister is a hot thing. Older sister is jealous. But it was still a really cute novel, the peace part, the love part and the duckie part was just absolutely cute.
I'd recommend this for a cute, funny, fast paced, fun read. Great for summer.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
(no cover yet)
18-year-old Lainey Pike can tell you everything you need to know about the people in her family just by telling you how they died. Her reckless stepfather drove his motorcycle off the highway and caused the biggest traffic jam in years. Her long-suffering grandmother lived through cancer and a heart attack before finally succumbing to a stroke. And Lainey's mother, still devastated over her husband's death, hung herself in the basement just days after Lainey's high school graduation. Now Lainey's five-year-old brother is an orphan and her estranged older sister moves back home to act as his guardian. Dealing with her brother has always been a struggle, but sharing the responsibility with her sister is proving to be just as challenging.
Lainey knows that this is all her mother's fault, but she also knows that she eventually has to move out of the "anger" phase of the grieving process. What she can't figure out, though, is how to make peace with a dead woman.
Monday, June 1, 2009
My US and UK publishers were deeply cool about involving me in the whole cover-making process, despite the fact that I have all the artistic ability of a duck and had very little in the way of guidance to offer them.
There was a photo shoot for my US cover, and when they sent me a picture of the model they had chosen for my hero Nick, I sent back an email that said he wasn't quite what I'd pictured: instantly they offered an alternative model, who I thought was wonderful, and which I thought was wonderful of them. Not only that, but they asked me to draw Nick's talisman, the necklace he wears to ward off demons. As I have the aforesaid ability of a duck I panicked and then asked an excellent young artist I know called Laura Connolly to draw it, and the talisman on the cover is modeled very closely on Laura's drawing.
My US publisher also noticed that I had a ton of descriptions of different skies, and they mingled sunset, sunrise and strange lightning to make what I think is a wonderfully eye catching background for the cover. The funny thing is, I'd never even noticed I had a lot of sky descriptions! Even more brilliantly, when underneath the cover the hardback would usually be plain, this hardback has a wraparound cover of my hero's sword, thus giving me two different covers in the US - one for those who like iconic covers and one for those who like people on their covers. I find it really hard to choose between them!
My UK cover was drawn by the fantastic Sam Hadley, who also drew the Fratellis album cover. My UK publisher chose him and sent me samples of different ideas of covers: we both agreed we liked the look of the shattered window of the title and the London background best. My hero on the cover used to look very different, though: I kept adjusting his features, gave him a nose job - not to mention shaving him! I must have been a real pain, but I love how it turned out.
My foreign covers, on the other hand, have all been surprises to me: ready for public consumption by the time I saw them, but they were done so thoughtfully and beautifully that I ended up loving them, too!
For instance, my Finnish cover was a demon's eye modeled on the eye I drew for my web designer, and which is the background for my home page. It was redrawn and given eerie glowing light and licks of fire, and made very much its own thing.
My German cover is iconic like my Finnish cover, showing a silhouette ringed in fire against a silver foil background. It's bright and simple and I think looks the most like an action movie poster: it reflects all the adventures with swords and guns and demons' circles I had fun writing and hoped people would have fun reading.
It's really hard for me to choose a favorite cover, but my Japanese cover might be up there. Like my UK cover, it's drawn, and in this case my Japanese publisher chose a famous manga artist, Hiromu Arakawa, best known for Fullmetal Alchemist. It was an amazing choice, and I felt honored not just because of her talent but because of how excellent the choice was: Fullmetal Alchemist is also about brothers united against the world and having magical adventures, so it fitted in really well, and best of all this cover had most of the important characters on it, characters I never dreamed I'd see on any cover: not just Nick but his brother Alan, my pink-haired heroine Mae and her brother Jamie, the demons and the villains.
Perhaps my favorite part about seeing all these covers was seeing how different people saw my book: swords or strange skies, action and adventure, the horror of demon's eyes or the gritty noir feel of the city landscape behind shattered glass. You try to put so many different things in a book, and it's so fantastic to see that people saw so many of them.
I feel really lucky to have received six amazing covers: I can only hope the book does them justice!
Thanks so much Sarah!