Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Prophecy of Days by Christy Raedeke Cover!

I LOVE IT! There is just something about this cover. I think it's the colors and the text, but I happen to AB-SO-LUTE-LY love this cover!

ETA: Okay, blogger is being stupid. I uploaded the image and for some reason it wasn't the right hue, instead it was this weird olive green color. So, instead, click HERE, so you can see the cover! I'll try again later to see if it works.

ETA Again: ARGH! Apparently LIVEJOURNAL is being stupid along with BLOGGER! GAH! So I cannot link to the cover, unless you want the one with the olive hue? stupidstupidstupid What you can do, I guess, is go to The Tenners and scroll down until you get to the Christy's cover. Sorry!

Eeek!

Hey everyone!

This summer the ever-so-lovely Kay Cassidy invited me to be apart of her Booklover of the Week feature on her amazing-fantastical-most-awesomeist blog, You 2.0, and I'm finally up! I'm excited and nervous at the same time!

So go on over and try to guess my lie on the three truths and lie part at the end of the post, and even for commenting you get entered into some fabulous contests!

Go-Go-Go! Here: Booklover of the Week

"Waiting On" Wednesday (42)

Very LeFreak by Rachel Cohn
January 12th, 2010
Knopf Books for Yound Readers

Very LeFreak has a problem: she’s a crazed technology addict. Very can’t get enough of her iPhone, laptop, IMs, text messages, whatever. If there’s any chance the incoming message, call, text, or photo might be from her supersecret online crush, she’s going to answer, no matter what. Nothing is too important: sleep, friends in mid-conversation, class, a meeting with the dean about academic probation. Soon enough, though, this obsession costs Very everything and everyone. Can she learn to block out the noise so she can finally hear her heart?

Rachel Cohn makes her Knopf solo debut with this funny, touching, and surely recognizable story about a girl and the technology habit that threatens everything.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell Cover! Plus: Calling All Tenners!

It's here! It's here! And to quote Khy, It's EFFING FIERCE! Love it!
Also, I just wanted to do a shout out to any soon-to-be authors who have their debut books coming out in 2010 who read this blog. I just wanted to let you know, if you haven't heard of this awesome community, or you have an is too nervous to join, about this INCREDIBLE YA livejournal community for the debut authors of 2010 called the, if it's not obvious enough, Tenners. Anyway, there last day to join in this Thursday, so hurryhurryhurry! You do not want to miss out on the stalking/fangirling/drooling that us bloggers do over your debut books. I don't know about the rest of you bloggers, but I *heart* debut* books.

Here's the post where the awesome tenner, Lindsey Leavitt, tells you a bit of details and gives you the link to join!

Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick

Title: Nothing Like You
Author: Lauren Strasnick
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Reading Level: YA, 14+
Publication Date: October 20, 2009
Pages: 224
My Edition: ARC

Amazon Page

Cover Rating: B+
Book Rating: B+

Plot - 17/20
Characters - 19/20
Writing - 19/20
Originality - 16/20
Entertainment - 9/10
Recommendation - 9/10
Total: 89/100

Summary:
"You think he’s yours but he’s not, I thought. You think he’s yours but really he’s mine.”

When Holly loses her virginity to Paul, a guy she barely knows, she assumes their encounter is a one-night stand. After all, Paul is too popular to even be speaking to Holly, and he happens to have a long-term girlfriend, Saskia. But ever since Holly’s mom died six months ago, Holly has been numb to the world, and she’s getting desperate to feel something, anything—so when Paul keeps pursuing her, Holly relents. Paul’s kisses are a welcome diversion, and it’s nice to feel like the kind of girl that a guy like Paul would choose.

But things aren’t so simple with Saskia around. Paul’s real girlfriend is willowy and perfect… and nothing like Holly. To make matters worse, she and Holly are becoming friends. Suddenly the consequences of Holly’s choices are all too real, and Holly stands to lose more than she ever realized she had.
Review:
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick read, but it was also a very enjoyable book. A very easy book to get into and like. It started right after the deed was done and you got a feel of the awkwardness to it all. There was enough time to really know what Holly is really like and why she was doing it.

Lauren Strasnick's writing style is incredibly refreshing it easy going. I loved going back to her writing and will definitely look for it in the future. Strasnick's characters were developed perfectly with flaws and emotions you can relate to. Everything about Strasnick's characters appeared completely realistic and laid-back.

The plot had a little twist to it, with the fact that Holly becomes friends with Paul's girlfriend Saskia and that just makes what she is doing with Paul a bigger mess. The ending was a bit predictable, but it fit with the story.

I was really entertained by this novel and with Strasnick's easy-going and refreshing writing style and impeccably made characters, Nothing Like You hits a home-run. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to Strasnick's future work very much.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Excellent Banned Book Week Post

I'll go ahead now and direct you over to fellow book blogger, The Book Munchers, blog where she bravely takes on a post about the controversy for the book Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner, which was released in May from Random House.

I read this book over the summer after I bought it. I haven't reviewed it yet because it was on my personal bookshelf instead of review but I have to say that I did enjoy this book and I completely agree with what Rachael says in her post.

I haven't posted about Banned Books Week, but I'm sure it's safe to say that I like everybody else in the book blogging community am strongly against banning books.

I enjoyed reading Rachael's post and congratulate her for sharing it with it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien Cover!

Formally known as The Baby Code and The Orion Tattoo, this is the cover of Birthmarked by tenner Caragh O'Brien. I think it's really neat.

IMM Update

I thought I should update on this because I haven't posted one in three weeks. The thing is because I've only gotten three books, one of them being BALLAD by Maggie Stiefvater, I haven't read Lament, but I read Shiver and I loved it! Then I got this kind of graphic novel from scholastic that's like a how to book about dating vampires or something? I don't remember the title. Then I got a package from my grandma with a writing book in it that I'm very excited about along with some pictures that she developed that we took over my summer in California! That made me happy. But otherwise, that's it, I didn't feel the need to post a post for only one book. Sorry! Hopefully next week I'll get something!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

Title: Love is the Higher Law
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: YA, 14+
Publication Date: August 25, 2009
Pages: 176
My Edition: Hardcover

Amazon Page

Cover Rating: B
Book Rating: C

Plot - 17/20
Characters - 15/20
Writing - 15/20
Originality - 17/20
Entertainment - 7/10
Recommendation - 7/10
Total: 78/100

Summary:
First there is a Before, and then there is an After. . .

The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.

Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.

David Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever.

Review:
This was my first book by David Levithan and I had some problems with it. I don't know if it was his writing, or just the characters he created but they just didn't fly by me greatly. I was definitely not impressed by this novel.

Reading about September 11th, 2001 usually makes me cry. I went into this novel expecting to cry, but I didn't. I was far from crying actually. Levithan's writing did not make me feel like I was there, the characters felt unreal to me. Levithan's writing just didn't have the right feel I think this novel should have had; it was realistic. That left me disappointed.

I did like how this novel was spread over a few years after 9/11. We got a look at how people who were there deal with it years after. When 9/11 happened, I lived in Germany where my dad was stationed in the military. I was in the first grade. I don't remember but a minutes of that day. So I really appreciated a fiction book about people affected by it in a much bigger way then I was.

Overall, the only thing I really cared for about this novel was what it was about, the fact that it centered around 9/11 and the look in several peoples lives from it. Otherwise I was disappointed by the feel of the novel and the two dimensional characters.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Reading Level: YA, 12+
Publication Date: October 13, 2009
Pages: 400
My Edition: ARC

Amazon Page

Cover Rating: A+
Book Rating: B+

Plot - 17/20
Characters - 16/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 19/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 9/10
Total: 89/100

Summary:
Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those who have fallen -- and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

Review:
I was so incredibly excited to read this book. I mean, just look at that cover, that summary! Everything sounded amazing (besides Patch's name, is it just me or does someone else agree with me that this name is just, bad?). So when I started Hush, Hush I had some expectations. And . . . my expectations fell short.

Hush, Hush was definitely not what I expected. Which disappointed me a little bit. I expected something entirely different from what Hush, Hush is. Maybe it's my fault for not reading the summary carfully or maybe it's whomever wrote the summary's fault. But Hush, Hush didn't meet the expectations I had set for it. Besides that, Hush, Hush was a really good novel.

It got to the plot point a little bit slow, not too slow because I obviously kept reading. But it did save up enough suspense for the big reveal for Nora (since we all know what Patch is from the summary). The characters didn't seem as realistic (the human characters) as they could have been and some (the fallen angel characters) were a little awkward. Though there was a really interesting twist with Patch that I would like to say, but I don't want to spoil it so I won't.

The book was very original. I have yet (before reading this novel) read a book about fallen angels, so that was very interesting concept. It was very entertaining. I recommend this novel if you would like a unique book about something that hasn't been done yet (or very little, at least).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday (41)

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Harcourt Childrens Books
April 1, 2010

It's been over a month since Miranda Evans has written in her diary, a month of relative calm for her and her family. It's springtime, and with warmer weather comes rain, and the melting of the winter's snow. The shad are running in a nearby river, and Miranda's brothers Matt and Jon leave home for a few days to see if they can catch some to supplement their food supply.

When they return, Matt brings with him a girl named Syl, who he introduces as his bride. But that's not the only shock Miranda and her family have to deal with. A few weeks later, Miranda's father, stepmother, and baby brother show up at her door. Accompanying them are three strangers, a man named Charlie Rutherford, and two teenagers, Alex and Julie Morales. These five people have crossed America together, becoming, in their own way, a family.

Miranda's complicated feelings about Alex, curiosity, resentment, longing, and passion turn into love. Alex's feelings are equally complex. His plans to escort Julie to a convent where she can be taken care of, so that he will be free to enter a monastery, are destined for failure. He wants desperately to live up to his moral code, but his desire for Miranda is too strong. He proposes to Miranda that they take Julie and go to a safe town.

But before Miranda and Alex can go off together, a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and in its aftermath, Miranda makes a decision that will change forever her life and Alex's, and the world that they live in will never be the same.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

Title: How to Say Goodbye In Robot
Author: Natalie Standiford
Publisher: Scholastic
Reading Level: YA, 12+
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
Pages: 288
My Edition: ARC

Amazon Page

Cover Rating: B
Book Rating: A

Plot - 18/20
Characters - 18/20
Writing - 19/20
Originality - 17/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Total: 92/100

Summary:
New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn't made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It's not romance, exactly - but it's definitely love. Still, Bea can't quite dispel Jonah's gloom and doom - and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?
Review:
Let me first say: I absolutely loved this book. It was just such a nice, refreshing novel that made me extremely happy to read. Natalie Standiford is a brilliant writer. She drew me into Bea's word incredibly quickly and I didn't want to stop reading!

I really adored the simple plot of this novel. It was cute and nice and I absolutely loved the radio show and the people, it was just extroadinary, the characters they are. Standiford was able to craft so many different and bizarre personalities in these characters that just made her a master-mind.

The writing was genuine, believable, and soft. It was natural and it was just gorgoues writing overall. I was happy how the end came about it, was happy, yet, it was sad. But it felt like it was the right ending.

How to Say Goodbye in Robot was a genuine, cute, and natural novel that I fell hard in love with. I can pretty much guarantee that you will too. I deeply recommend it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala Cover!

I don't think she's in the official tenner community, but she is a technically a tenner (I think). Her debut book premieres in 2010 so I'm think I'm good to post this. Plus the cover is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS so I had to. Holly is also one of the readergirlz!

On The Outside: Lucienne Diver

Lucienne Diver is the author of the novel, Vamped (May 1, 2009). You can visit Lucienne at her website here.

~~~

Kelsey, thanks so much for asking me to guest blog! I first want to say that I love your blog title! Reading certainly has kept me sane. (Well, I think so anyway. Others may beg to differ.) I don’t know how I would have survived childhood without the chance to escape into a good book and have daring adventures through the eyes of others. It’s not that my childhood was so terrible, mind you! My family was wonderful, but I grew up a very severe asthmatic, in and out of the hospital all the time. Well, let me tell you, hospitals are not terribly happening places. The nurses are nice, but they can’t exactly spend the day entertaining you and the television only gets four lousy channels, half of them news. So books were truly a godsend.

I don’t know when I first started creating stories of my own. It might have been one of the many times I was punished for fighting with my sister, forced to sit staring at the wall until I apologized. I’m remarkably stubborn and, of course, in my mind she’d started it. My punishments tended to go on for hours. (My father was equally stubborn.) With nothing else to do, my mind wandered, naturally down the paths of fiction and daring do.

I didn’t exactly sit down to write Vamped, though I’m certainly glad I did! One day my heroine, Gina Covello, began talking in my head and nothing I could do would banish her. I tried giving her a short story. She wanted more. So I gave her a novel. Nope, not enough. A series? Well, she’ll be satisfied with that…for now. Funny that I write characters who out-stubborn me. Anyway, that was how Vamped came to be. For my sanity I had to give myself over to the whims of my character. If I hadn’t, she’d have haunted me until the end of my days.

When Gina was just a glimmer in my eye, her story was called “Unlife Stye,” since she’s a teen fashionista on whom I visit true horror in the form of eternity without tanning options or any reflection with which to fix her hair and make-up. But my agent didn’t love it, and I didn’t blame her. I played around with all kinds of awful puns (Stake Your Life, Biter Babe, etc.) and finally settled on Vamped. Though, looking back, I kinda like Biter Babe. Hmm, maybe for Book 3? (Book 2, Revamped, will be out in 2010).

My agent actually came up with the great tagline used on the cover, “Eternity needs an entourage.” Oh, and that cover! Gina would be so proud. It’s fabulous! It’s funny, people compliment it all the time and I say, “Thank you!” of course, but I actually had nothing at all to do with it. My wonderful publisher, Flux, [Link:
http://www.fluxnow.com/] did ask me for ideas, and I threw a bunch their way, send sample covers I would love mine to look at, like Rachel Vincent’s Rogue or Rosemary Clement-Moore’s wonderful Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil books, but in the end the cover they came up with was truly unique. I absolutely adore it! (My only thought on seeing it was that Gina would never go out in public with those nails – too stubby! Then I realized that she’d just clawed her own way out of the grave, so she’d probably cut herself some slack.)

Anyway, I hope all those reading it have as much fun as I did writing it! If so, I’d love for you to give me a shout out via my website:
www.luciennediver.com. Thanks!

~~~

Thanks Lucienne!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thank YOU!

Sometime from yesterday, Friday, at 6 pm to today, Saturday, at 4:32 pm I went from being at 299 followers to being at 305 followers! Imagine how shocked and pleased I was!

I don't know how much to thank all of you, my fabulous wonderful followers! It means so much to me that people other then me read this blog, haha. My blog means the world to me and to have all of you amazing, intelligent people following my every word, it means more then you will every know.

I wish I could thank each and every one of you separately but, alas, I can't. I wish I could have this huge extravangant giveaway, but I don't have money for shipping or anything exciting to give away. So I guess I'll have to stick with a just a stong THANK YOU! I'm sorry there isn't anything else I could do to thank you for reading my blog, but just know that it means the world and more to me.

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Title: Fire
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Dial
Reading Level: YA, 14+
Publication Date: October 5, 2009
Pages: 480
My Edition: ARC

Amazon Page

Cover Rating: A-
Book Rating: A(+)

Plot - 19/20
Characters - 19.5/20
Writing - 20/20
Originality - 20/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Total: 98.5/100

Summary:
Fire, Graceling's prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells.

Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.
***MINOR GRACELING SPOILER***
Wondering what makes it a companion book/prequel?
Fire takes place 30-some years before Graceling and has one cross-over character with Graceling, a small boy with strange two-colored eyes who comes from no-one-knows-where, and who has a peculiar ability that Graceling readers will find familiar and disturbing...
***END MINOR GRACELING SPOILER***

Review:
How can a book be so outstanding? Kristin Cashore has done it again. I swear, I would do anything to get inside her mind, Graceling was phenomenal, Fire was outstanding, what else can we expect from her? Kristin Cashore is a writing goddess!

If you remember from my Graceling review, you might recognize that they have the same 98.5/100 rating, but for different reasons. In Graceling, the plot was .5 ahead of the characters. But for Fire, the characters got the .5 this time. If asked which one I love the most, I could not decide. Graceling had the fantastic plot that I favored over the characters, but Fire I favor the characters slightly more then the plot.

Fire was one of the most extroadinary characters I have ever seen. Her internal fight with herself about several things, was incredible. Her mind controling the humans, everything about her was incredible. It wasn't just her. I loved every single character in the book. I though Archer brought something great to the story. And Brigan was just fantastic too. Every character was just sensational.

The plot for Fire took a slower pace with not so much exciting scenes as Graceling had. It was a fine pace to it, and the characters really brightened the book up, but Fire was much more a character driven novel, with several suspense scenes that really made the novel. It was great, I loved the ending entirely too much.

Several things that were the same as Graceling were the astounding writing that of Kristin Cashore. The incredible originality of it all, the entertainment and my recommendation for it, were all the same. Fantastic, everything, it is definitely tied with Graceling for my favorite book read this year. Not one bad thing to say about Fire, it was amazing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Getting To Know The Characters of FIRE: Contest!

Did you see the post before this? Do you want a chance to win Fire by Kristin Cashore? Keep reading to learn how!

How to enter:

To win the signed hardcover of Fire leave a comment sharing what you could do because your name is Fire. Be creative! I've had a very stressful second week of school, I could use a pick-me-up. :)


For 1 extra entry blog about this post.
For 1 extra entry tweet about this post with the hashtag #firetour and @reply me @kelseybee17.
For 2 extra entries comment on my reviews of Graceling from yesterday and come back tomorrow to comment on my review for Fire.

The giveaway is open to addresses within the United States only. Sorry International readers!

ATTENTION:
All commenters must only have one comment on this post with an added up total of how many extra entries you recieved with the appropriate links and information along with your name and a email address. If it is not in this format the comment will be deleted.

The giveaway will end October 1st at 11:59 pm Central Time.

Getting To Know The Characters of FIRE: Tour!

Today marks the fifth stop on the tour for Fire. Kristin Cashore is visting a blog every weekday for three weeks from September 14 through October 2 for the release of her second novel, the prequel to Graceling (my review here), Fire. I'm only stop five, so be sure to check out the four others and the ten other blogs featuring Fire in the coming two weeks by clicking the icon below. (If the link doesn't work, click here.)
If you haven't heard of Fire yet (How deep is that hole you've been living in?) then let me give you a little refresher. Fire is the companion novel to Graceling, which I absolutely loved. Fire has recieved 5 star reviews and is pretty much brilliant. You can check out my review for Fire tomorrow. Here's the summary:

Fire, Graceling's prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells.

Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.

This tour is all about getting to know the characters of Fire, and I if I might say so myself, if I didn't get Fire or Brigan, I sure as heck am glad that I got Lord Cansrel and King Nax. Two in one. So here's what Kristin had to say about those two:

Lord Cansrel, Fire’s father, is dead, and so is his best friend, King Nax; and the world is better off for it. A monster in form and in feeling, Cansrel used his beauty and his mental power to get whatever he wanted; and all he ever wanted was pleasure. He and Nax sure made a mess of the Dells. Don’t believe me? Just look at the way things are today!

How great is that? If that doesn't make you want to read Fire, then I don't know what will . . . Oh. Wait! How about this?:

Fire by Kristin Cashore height="500" width="100%" > value="http://d.scribd.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=18299444&access_key=key-rtqj35ynmiqa1prkcr2&page=1&version=1&viewMode=">

And here's also the countdown widget for Fire:


So how's that? I'm sure you probably really really want Fire now right? Well, stay tuned for a chance to win a signed finished copy of Fire . . .

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Title: Graceling
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Harcourt Childrens Books
Reading Level: YA, 14+
Publication Date: October 1, 2008
Pages: 480
My Edition: Hardcover

Amazon Page

Cover Rating: B+
Book Rating: A(+ even though my ratings don't agree :))

Plot - 19.5/20
Characters - 19/20
Writing - 20/20
Originality - 20/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Total: 98.5/100

Summary:
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight; she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po. She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace--or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away. . .a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

Review:
This is quite possibly one of the best books I've ever read. It has recieved the highest rating on my blog yet (not counting Marley and Me because that was a memoir). Graceling was just phenomenal! From start to finish it was just an incredible book that I just didn't want to stop. I wished I could just keep reading it forever!

Kristin Cashore has possibly written the best debut book I have ever read before. And even better because she created almost everything from scratched. She created a kingdom, a new world, a new lifestyle. A way of speaking, crazy names! It was created brilliantly and put out even better. I can't possibly say one bad thing about Kristin Cashore's writing or the world she created, it was all excellent.

The plot was exciting. It took just a chapter or two to get me into it and get to know what was going on and how everything worked in that world, but after that, you couldn't pry me away from it. My hands were glued! I've always loved adventure/survival type stories and this one was just so marvelous. It had the perfect pace. It was exciting, sad, happy, suspenseful, and I could just keep going and going. It was amazing, period.

The characters were fabulous. I loved Katsa, and then Po, my gosh. Every character was so unique and interesting in their own way. I loved the point of view Cashore approached this book with . . .

Quite honestly, I loved pretty much everything about this book. It was fantastic, it is at the very top of my favorite books list, and I think everything by Cashore will be up there. Graceling was one exceptional, astounding, sensational book, one of the best I've ever read.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday (40)

Forget You by Jennifer Echols
July 2010
MTV Books

Zoey’s life in her Florida beach resort town is happy and organized. She’s the captain of her high school swim team, and she works for her dad at his popular water park. Then her dad has an affair with one of his employees, and her mother has a breakdown. But Zoey begins a committed relationship with a hot lifeguard, which makes her feel stable, even if things aren’t perfect at home. Everything is still under control.

Until she has a car accident that she can’t remember. She should have been with her boyfriend that night, but he doesn’t seem to know anything about the accident—and he doesn’t seem to care. The person who does care, and knows more than he’s telling, is Doug, Zoey’s darkly handsome arch-enemy who saved her from the wreckage. As Zoey begins to piece together what happened that night, she finds her sense of control over her life was only an illusion. And she inches closer to discovering the darkest secret of all: why Doug has fallen in love with her.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Positively by Courtney Sheinmel

Title: Positively
Author: Courtney Sheinmel
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Reading Level: MG, 10+
Publication Date: September 15, 2009
Pages: 224
My Edition: Hardcover

Amazon Page

Cover Rating: A+
Book Rating: B

Plot - 18/20
Characters - 16/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 19/20
Entertainment - 8/10
Recommendation - 9/10
Total: 88/100

Summary:

Emerson Price cannot remember a time when life was ordinary. She was four-years-old when she and her mom were diagnosed as HIV-positive – infected with the virus that causes AIDS, and eight when her parents divorced. Now she is thirteen and her mother is dead. Emmy moves in with her father and stepmother, but she feels completely alone. Even though everyone has always accepted her, no one – not her father, or stepmother, or even her best friend – understands what it’s like to have to take medicine every single day, to be so afraid of getting sick, and to miss her mom more than she ever thought she would.

When Emmy’s dad and stepmother send her to Camp Positive, a camp for HIV-positive girls, Emmy is certain she is going to hate it. But soon she realizes that she is not so alone after all – and that sometimes letting other people in can make all the difference in the world.

The author is donating a portion of her proceeds from this book to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Review:
Positively was a remarkable book about a girl who is HIV-positive dealing with the death of her mother from the AIDS disease. This book detailed what someone goes through when they are HIV-positive with-out making it seem like a book listing information. It was a girl learing to see herself without the HIV effecting every though and desicion of her life. It was a wonderful book that was heartbreaking but also enlightening and true.

This book was MG, and I normally don't read MG books because of the fact that I always think that authors don't protray the age of twelve or thirteen as twelve and thirteen year olds really are. In Positively I had that problem. I was thirteen not too long ago (Shh...) and I felt that Emmy was protrayed younger then she really is. That bothered me.

Other then that, this book was great. It was a nice slow start before transition right after her mom died, going to the funeral and moving into her dad and stepmothers house and starting school again, we got to see Emmy in her worst state. Then she went to Camp Positive and we saw the steps it took Emmy to see herself without the HIV taking over her every though about every little thing from talking about cute celebrity guys to wondering if life is even worth it. It was a great change and to see Emmy make it was wonderful.

The characters were very realistic (besides Emmy and her classmates seeming younger then they are) and the writing was very good. It was original and the plot was very developed and flowed nicely throughout.

If that's not a reason to buy this book when it comes out on September 15th then how about the fact that some of the proceeds that Courtney Sheinmel makes of this book will go into the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. It for a great cause!

And may I also say that the Author's Note in the back of the book was just heartbreaking. It was a short and sweet look at the authors reasons of writing this book and I think it was more agonizingly sad then the novel was because it was real. That always gets me.

Monday, September 14, 2009

On The Outside: Sydney Salter

Sydney Salter is the debut author of the hilarious My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters
~~~

The title just popped into my head right before I started writing. What else could I call a book about a girl who hates her nose and experiences one disastrous event after another? I loved my title, yet, I found myself blushing every time I told someone. I don’t exactly have the smallest nose… I felt like saying my book title drew attention to my own nose. And sometimes it does. “So you think you have a big nose?” more than one person has asked. I mutter something like, “well, yes, but the book is fictional.” Some people feel compelled to tell me that I don’t have a big nose. I don’t know what to say to that either. Um, thank you?

There was a brief moment when my publisher’s marketing team considered shortening the title to My Big Nose (so it wouldn’t be confused as a book of short stories). I freaked out! I could just imagine people asking my book’s title, me blurting out, “My Big Nose!” The person’s forehead would crinkle with confusion. “No, I asked about your book not your face.” I also thought the humor in the title came from the And Other Natural Disasters part. So they added the words “A Novel” at the top of the cover. Phew!

The funny thing is that my title has forced me to really deal with my feelings about my own nose (my inner 17-year-old is still absolutely horrified). I do sometimes laugh out loud when I get emails with BIG NOSE in the subject line. I hear a sitcom-style mafia guy saying, “Hey, you, you with the big nose. You’ve got an email.”

I love my cover! The brilliant, amazing, beautiful, talented, charming, and artistic Carol Chu of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt designed it. I love the way the Barbie serves as a metaphor for the perfection my main character seeks. I also think the spine is so cute! (My name covers the Barbie’s nose.) I like the colors used too. I did not have input on the cover, which is a good thing since I have trouble figuring out what color to paint my walls and I need a lot of saleslady help when I buy clothes.

I also love having my own Barbie at last! My feminist mother refused to purchase Barbie dolls. I played with the dorky Sunshine Family who had big feet, flat chests, and drove a hippie van so they could sell macramé owls at craft fairs or something. I haven’t bought my book any outfits yet, but I am thinking I might get it that cool pink convertible...

~~~

Thanks Sydney!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard Tweaked Cover!

Here's the cover that the publisher tweaked a bit. You can see more of the faces now, the title has a different font and is bigger and there is now a tagline. I personally like the other one a bit better because I think the fonts that they now use don't fit as well with the book (which is BRILLIANT, FYI). I also think now that you can see the faces more, it's a bit awkward.

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken Cover!

I've seen this several times but i couldn't find a complete jpeg of it online, but it's here now and I personally love it!

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly Cover!

Here's the cover! I don't think it's completely final, Tara said they are still working on the title font, but it's pretty final I think. What do you think?

The Mark by Jen Nadol New Cover!

The Mark had an cover, but there was a close lookalike to it so it got a new cover and here it is. Do you like it? I love it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Title: Hate List
Author: Jennifer Brown
Publisher: Little, Brown
Reading Level: YA, 14+
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Pages: 416
My Edition: ARC

Amazon Page

Cover Rating: B
Book Rating: A-

Plot - 18/20
Characters - 19/20
Writing - 20/20
Originality - 17/20
Entertainment - 7/10
Recommendation - 9/10
Total: 90/100

Summary:

it was just a list. nobody was supposed to die...

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saves the life of a classmate, but is implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things they hated. The list her boyfriend used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

Review:
Before I started Hate List I had heard fantastic things of it, so my expectations were very high for it. Though it was a heartbreaking, amazing, incredible, etc. book, my expectations weren't met, though they were extremely close.

Let me first say that this is a very character-driven novel. The characters were impeccable and incredibly realistic. The writing was wonderful, Jennifer Brown is a fantastic debut author that definitely can write emotional books with great depth. Brown had an amazing voice to this novel.

The one problem I had in this novel is, that, I guess, it didn't really 'wow' me as I had expected. I don't really know what brought this to me, but I just didn't feel so amazed as other reviewers were.

Knowing that, though, doesn't change the fact that this novel is a marvellous novel that was just pitch perfect.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

TAC Icons

The icons made below were made by me for the wonderful author Kay Cassidy, who is hosting a contest to make an icon for her fantastic year-long Teen Author Challenge on her blog, You 2.0. I made all of these below for the contest, which do you like that best?




Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday (39)

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
January 5, 2010
St. Martin's Griffin

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard–-falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome. And just like the other members of this all girl clique, she was both feared and revered by the students of Hallowell High... that is until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around. Now she's been "frozen out" and her ex-friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth, and the bullying is getting more intense by the day.

Out of desperation, she takes solace in the companionship of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship–and eventually romance–doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina makes amends for her past, a bond begins to form, while threats from the Fearsome Foursome are poised to break them both.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to School I Go . . .

So today is the first day of school. I'm starting my freshmen year of high school. I'm not really nervous about being in High School because my High School is grades 7-12 so I've unofficially been in High School for two years now, but now I'm officially in High School. Now is when it really counts towards everything. I have to start racking up those credits and doing the best I can, that part I think is the part I'm the most nervous about.

My schedule somewhat sucks. I have gym/health the first hour of the day. Gym should seriously be illegal in the first hour of the school, really. But whatever. I get to do a whole year of Art though which I am extremely excited for. I haven't done Art since the first semester of seventh grade.

Anyway, wish me luck. I have posts scheduled from now until Friday while I get adjusted to getting up at 6:30 again.

Monday, September 7, 2009

On The Outside: Cyn Balog

Cyn Balog is the author of the debut novel, Fairy Tale. You can visit Cyn at her website here.

~~~

The cover story for Fairy Tale is pretty simple. I had some ideas (nightmares?) about what my cover might look like, but I was really hoping for something more iconic and less literal. I had this sinking feeling they’d throw a picture of a guy with wings on the cover (see attached pic), which brought me several sleepless nights. Luckily, the second I opened that jpg on my computer, I fell in love. It’s so beautiful, and I think that nearly every day someone tells me that. In fact, I haven’t heard anything negative yet.


The title story for Fairy Tale is a bit more involved. For over a year after I sold the book in November of 2007, the plan was to call it Fairy Lust. I’d had that title, actually, before the book was written in early 2007. It just popped into my head, sounded pretty cool, and so I started wondering, “What could a book with that title be about?” Since all the books I’d ever read were about girls who learn that they’re fairies, I thought it would be fun to shake things up. In Fairy Lust, the guy would be the fairy, and his girlfriend would defend him by attempting to keep him human. So I wrote the draft and for nearly two years, I called it Fairy Lust. Everyone seemed to love the title; I heard that people at Random House were running around saying, “We love lust!”


Then, late December 2008, I got a call. It seems that quite a few bookstore reps were concerned about a book being displayed face-out on the shelves of the YA section with a word like “lust”. They asked if I would be open to changing it. Now, though I knew it would be hard to think of the book under any other title, this is my first novel, and when it comes to marketing books, I fully admit that I am a doofus. So I decided to leave that in the hands of the professionals. And so early 2009, the title was quickly changed to Fairy Tale. Since then, I have heard numerous comments about the title; some positive, some negative. Okay, Fairy Tale doesn’t raise eyebrows the way Fairy Lust does, but my novel leans more toward a sweet romance than a torrid sex romp, anyway. And my mother-in-law and the priests at my church are thrilled.

~~~
Thanks Cyn!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

In My Mailbox (20)

IMM was inspired by Alea and memefied by Kristi.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hold Still Trailer

As you might know, I loved Hold Still by Nina LaCour (You can see my review here.) and I was just informed of this excellent trailer that Nina and a few of her friends did for Hold Still, so I thought I'd share it.

"Waiting On" Wednesday (38)

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
June 2010/Little Brown

(No cover available.)

Scarlett never believed in the Fenris—werewolves drawn to the delectable charms of young girls. That all changed when in one swift attack, a Fenris murdered her grandmother and left Scarlett half-blind and horrifically scarred. Only her younger sister, Rosie, escaped unharmed as Scarlett shielded her from the Fenris’s jaws.

Now eighteen, Scarlett’s life’s mission is to destroy the Fenris and save other girls from her fate—a mission she’s grown to love, despite herself. Armed with red cloaks and hatchets, Scarlett, Rosie, and a young woodsman, Silas, move to the city in search of answers—and vengeance. If they can find a Potential Fenris, tainted by the pack but not yet consumed by it, they can unlock the mystery that transforms them- but better yet, use him as bait.

But unlike Scarlett, Rosie doesn't feel the thrill of the hunt in her blood. Longing for a life away from heavy responsibility and something sweeter than steel determination, Rosie finds herself drawn to Silas. More and more often, they find themselves abandoning the search for the Potential, stealing kisses, sharing secrets.

When Scarlett discovers the romance blossoming in her midst, she abandons her sister to the woodsman, certain that her own heart has no room for love, not when it's filled with her mission, her purpose. Still, the bond between Scarlett and Rosie is too deep to truly sever, and when Scarlett discovers a way to bring her sister back to her side for good- even if it means destroying Rosie’s happiness—she is forced to make a decision that will change the course of both their lives.

A modernization of Little Red Riding Hood, SISTERS RED is told in alternating viewpoints of Scarlett and Rosie as the sisters struggle to find the Potential, destroy the Fenris, and unwind their own tangle of romantic complexities and the deeply rooted bond between them. SISTERS RED is approximately 80k words in length, aimed at a mid to upper teenage audience.