Thursday, April 30, 2009

One Lonely Degree by C. K. Kelly Martin

Title: One Lonely Degree
Author: C. K. Kelly Martin
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Publication Date: May 26, 2009
Pages: 256
My Edition: ARC
Amazon Page

Rating: B
Plot - 17/20
Characters - 17/20
Writing - 19/20
Originality - 16/20
Entertainment - 9/10
Recommendation - 9/10
Total: 87/100

Anything is possible. . . .
Finn has always felt out of place, but suddenly her world is unraveling. It started with The Party. And Adam Porter. And the night in September that changed everything. The only person who knows about that night is Audrey—Finn’s best friend, her witness to everything, and the one person Finn trusts implicitly. So when Finn’s childhood friend Jersy moves back to town—reckless, beautiful Jersy, all lips and eyes and hair so soft you’d want to dip your fingers into it if you weren’t careful—Finn gives her blessing for Audrey to date him. How could she possibly say no to Audrey? With Audrey gone for the summer, though, Finn finds herself spending more and more time with Jersy, and for the first time in her life, something feels right. But Finn can’t be the girl who does this to her best friend . . . can she?

I was so excited to receive a review copy of this book. I loved C. K. Kelly Martin's first book, I Know It's Over, and I was seriously excited to read her sophomore novel.

This one was good, really good. But it didn't live up to her fantastic first novel. But I'm not going to sit here and compare it to I Know It's Over.

In One Lonely Degree we got to see C. K.'s first take on her female voice. She tackled a fifteen year old girl dealing with feelings for her best friends boyfriend a couple months after a incident she had before. Of course we've probably seen this plot before, you might consider it a cliche. But me? No, this novel was much more different and wonderful for it to be a cliche. It wasn't the most exciting novel, the most amusing, or the most promising, but it was still great.

Martin's voice is fantastic. Her voice to write something that doesn't seem like a novel you're reading, but real life is amazing. How many other authors can clearly do that? Martin is an impeccable writer.You might just have to call me a fan-girl.

Finn was a girl I could see myself relating to, or, if not, becoming best friends with. She felt so real and three dimensional. The supporting characters were definitely anything but unpalatable. All the characters were alive and thrown at you.

This novel is sure to be a hit. It's a novel nobody should be missing. I loved it, and I eminently recommend it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday (21)

Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan
August 25, 2009

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.

Okay, okay. Yes, this if I get this book, it would be my first David Levithan book. I know! Some of you probably want to eat me because I haven't read a book by him before (Khy) but this one I know I have to get my hands on. I takes place during 9/11, I have to read it. I really love hearing about stories of people in 9/11, it always makes me sad, and it just always makes me feel grateful for not being there and for my life and everything. So, yes I reallllly want to read this book.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty

Title: Perfect Fifths
Author: Megan McCafferty
Publisher: Crown
Reading Level: Young Adult, 15+
Publication Date: April 14, 2009
Pages: 272
My Edition:
Amazon Page

Rating: A
Plot - 17/20
Characters - 18/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 20/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Total: 93/100

Old flames are reignited in the fifth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series.

Captivated readers have followed Jessica through every step and misstep: from her life as a tormented, tart-tongued teenager to her years as a college grad stumbling toward adulthood. Now a young professional in her mid-twenties, Jess is off to a Caribbean wedding. As she rushes to her gate at the airport, she literally runs into her former boyfriend, Marcus Flutie. It’s the first time she’s seen him since she reluctantly turned down his marriage proposal three years earlier–and emotions run high.

Marcus and Jessica have both changed dramatically, yet their connection feels as familiar as ever. Is their reunion just a fluke or has fate orchestrated this collision of their lives once again?

Told partly from Marcus’s point of view, Perfect Fifths finally lets readers inside the mind of the one person who’s both troubled and titillated Jessica Darling for years. Expect nothing less than the satisfying conclusion fans have been waiting for, one perfect in its imperfection. . . .

Boy, was I excited to read this book.

I have always loved this series mainly because Jessica is a character who we first meet as a sophomore is High School who feels alone and stressed after her best friend moves away. Between the last three books we see Jessica, a girl, whom one would depict as the average teenage girl, go from a immature teenager to a Columbia-bound confused college kid, so a girl who get's proposed to, and finally to a professional young woman. The journey in the five books was fantastic and I am terribly sad that it's over.

The summary doesn't do anything for the novel itself. It actually a terrible summer, in my opinion. We get a tiny glimpse of what will happen and then it tells us it's told partly in Marcus's point of view, that got me really worried, and my expectations were put down because of it.

But, nonetheless, this book was fantastic. I loved how the book was divided into sections that had it's on writing style. Totally original and unique. The writing was fantastic, as this was the first novel written in third person and those different writing styles, I think McCafferty did a great job.

The reader will get to see inside the minds of Jessica and Marcus, which is something you haven't seen before. That part made the novel even more enjoyable and anomalous. We get to see how Jessica has come in the past few years since college and what she is doing and how she has changed. It's really dainty knowing how Jessica has changes throughout the years.

The plot was actually my favorite part. Over the whole book it was 24 hours. At a airport. And a hotel. Jessica. Marcus. Together. Imagine for a second.

Yes, exactly. The concept, the idea, is impeccable. Scintillating. I loved every moment of it. Megan McCafferty is a genius for thinking of this plot for the last book in the series. It's pure genius.

Inclusive, this book was a fantastic, original, and genius (if I can say it again) ending to one of my favorite series. I do hope we see more of Megan McCafferty with a new series soon enough.

On The Outside: Spring Break!

On The Outside is on spring break! Hopefully one will be back next week!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

In My Mailbox (12) + New Layout!

Finally! It's been four weeks since I've done my last IMM post. And that's because I hadn't received any books! It was terrible.

But, anyway! I got four fantastic books this week! Whoo! They are all from the lovely J. at Penguin. Thanks J.!

After by Amy Efaw
August 11, 2009

Who would do something so terrible?

Certainly not someone like Devon—straight-A student, soccer player with Olympic dreams, more mature than her own mother. But desperation and panic drove her to do what most people can’t even imagine. Now Devon ’s in a juvenile detention center charged with attempted murder. If she’s tried as an adult, she faces life in prison. Does Devon deserve that punishment? Your answer depends on whether you believe her story.

I already read this, and to put it easily: Fan-freaking-tastic. This will be the book everyone is talking about. It's wonderful. You have to check it out! Oh, and sorry for the poor cover picture, the best on I could find. Oh, and from the summary you can't really tell what the book is about so much, but just trust me with it.

Hold Still by Nina LaCour
October 15, 2009

An arresting story about starting over after a friend's suicide, from a breakthrough new voice in YA fiction.

dear caitli
n, there are so many things that i want so badly to tell you but i just can't.

Devastating, hopefully, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend's suicide. With the help of her family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons, and start to realize that true friendship didn't die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid's descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid-and Caitlin herself.

I'm reading this one right now and am loving it. It's so unique.

(no cover online)
Wanderlust by Lucy Silag
December 24, 2009
(no summary online)

This is the sequel to Beautiful Americans, which was really good.

(No cover online)
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove
by Lauren Kate
November 12, 2009
(no summary online)

This one looks good to, like a prank gone bad kind of book.

Oh, and if you're on my blog right now, you probably see a new layout, and google readers you should visit my blog to check it out too. It may seem like I have multiple personalities (Khy.) BUT I don't. I just get bored. That gorgeous picture in the header is found here, and don't thank me, thank Irineya for it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti

Title: The Secret Life of Prince Charming
Author: Deb Caletti
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Publication Date: April 7, 2009
Pages: 336
My Edition: ARC
Amazon Page

Rating: B
Plot - 17/20
Characters - 17/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 16/20
Entertainment - 8/10
Recommendation - 8/10
Total: 84/100

Maybe it was wrong, or maybe impossible, but I wanted the truth to be one thing. One solid thing.

Quinn is surrounded by women who have had their hearts broken. Between her mother, her aunt, and her grandmother, Quinn hears nothing but cautionary tales. She tries to be an optimist -- after all, she's the dependable one, the girl who never makes foolish choices. But when she is abruptly and unceremoniously dumped, Quinn starts to think maybe there really are no good men.

It doesn't help that she's gingerly handling a renewed relationship with her formerly absent father. He's a little bit of a lot of things: charming, selfish, eccentric, lazy...but he's her dad, and Quinn's just happy to have him around again. Until she realizes how horribly he's treated the many women in his life, how he's stolen more than just their hearts. Determined to, for once, take action in her life, Quinn joins forces with the half sister she's never met and the little sister she'll do anything to protect. Together, they set out to right her father's wrongs...and in doing so, begin to uncover what they're really looking for: the truth.

I've always liked Deb Caletti. I've read all of her novels, besides the first, starting from her second to her last, this one, and they always seem to get better and better. This one continued that statement.

The beginning, like all of Caletti's other novels, was slow. It was hard to get into, simple, and you just had time to get to know the main character, Quinn. By the hundredth page it had picked up for sure. It was now really exciting and I couldn't stop reading it. I really wanted to find out where Quinn, her sister Sprout/Charlotte, her half-sister, and Jake would go and what stories would come out of it.

The fact that this novel was a roadtrip novel added to the yumminess of the novel. But the best aspect had to be the romance stories in it from everyone Quinn knows and the stories Quinn and the crew learn along the way. They were funny, sad, and heart-warming. It was hard not to love it.

Caletti once again accomplishes a riveting story with captivating storylines, strong female heroine, and wonderful writing. I have to say this may be one of her best. It was highly entertaining with laughs and hilarity.

The originality part of it came from the little stories in the novel that were apart from the novel. Little snippets of the people Quinn loves and the people her father once loved. It was all very funny and I loved reading them.

This novel is recommended to anyone who wants a light story that is funny, heartwarming, and something the will make you fall in love with. I recommend it so very much.

"Waiting On" Wednesday (20)

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
December 1, 2009

"There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave."
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

This one sounds pretty amazing, right? Everything about this summary I love. I absolutely love the sound of it and I can't wait to read it! I've also talked with Kami for a bit and she's really awesome, so I want to read it even more, and also the fact that it's a debut! I love reading debut books more then anything because I love not knowing what to expect and surprises! So, I'm definitely keeping my eye out for this one. Oh! And the cover is absolutely grogeous I love the purple and the font is so interesting! And the loud trees in the background. I just love it all. And the title is so interesting ans striking. I just love everything about this novel. Too bad it's not out till December!

Monday, April 20, 2009

On The Outside: Cindy Pon

Cindy Pon is the author of the soon to be released Silver Phoenix. Silver Phoenix will be release April 28 from HarperCollins publishers. You can visit Cindy's gorgeous website here. And Cindy's blog here.


thanks for inviting me to share my cover

story, kelsey! i couldn't have hoped for a more
stunning cover--one so fitting with the feel of
my story and my heroine. when my editor first
asked me on my own thoughts of the cover for
SILVER PHOENIX, i had thought perhaps a
drawing of my heroine riding on the back of a
sea dragon. she told me she was thinking of doing
a photo shoot with a model.

at the time, i didn't realize how lucky i was! i
was so new to the entire process, i didn't know
that a cover foto shoot
doesn't happen for all novels.

i was included in nearly every step
of the process, which began with helping
to choose a model that we felt looked most
like my heroine, ai ling. i had just watched the
forbidden kingdom and thought golden sparrow
really reminded me of my own heroine. my actual
cover model was a last minute find--and i
cannot think of a better choice. she looks exactly
as i imagined ai ling to look.

this is the same actress in a different film.
i sent the photo to show possible hairstyles, as
it is important to my story. and ai ling wears a
single braid throughout. i love the final hairstyle
for the cover--unexpected, but perfect.

i was also consulted on costumes for the
foto shoot. we wanted various styles to have
many to choose from for the final cover. this
was a more casual travel tunic i found. and below
is the beautiful flowing dress that is seen on the
model for the cover--in that eye catching bright
pink that jumps right out at you!

chris borgman, the photographer and cover designer
did such a wonderful job in bringing the fantastic details
of my book to life, include the glowing jade pendant that
my heroine wears, to the dragons winding its way along
the left side and the distant pagoda. i hope this all hints
to a prospective reader the fantastic adventure that awaits
them within the pages of SILVER PHOENIX.


Thanks Cindy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Four Blogger Interviews in One.

Khy, Sarah, Hope, and Zoe and I were talking on Skype and I felt like interviewing someone, so, here we are. This is about them and their insight on their blogs. Have fun reading! It's pretty funny!

1: How did you name your blog?

Khy: I looked for words that were synonymous (I think I spelled that wrong) with frantic. Frenetic was one. THE END.
Hope: I got my name because I am very unoriginal. And uncreative. And you have to have a bookshelf for books, right? So Hope's Bookshelf was born.
Sarah: I was bored and tried to think up something that didn't sound like anyone else and so Sarah's Random Musings was born
Zoe: It's my name... and "Book Reviews"...

2: Why did you decide to make a book reviewing blog?

Khy: Because I was bored. And I like books.
Hope: For me it was a very impulsive decision. On Feburary 10th of last year I had a snow day and ended up stumbling upon The Page Flipper and The Story Siren, and right after decided that I needed one. xD
Sarah: My family was on the way to shoot me, if I didn't stop talking about books... and I saw The Story Siren and The Page Flipper. So I jumped on the Bandwagon
Zoe: Because I wanted to rant about books without my parents getting annoyed, but, I still rant to them, and they still get I have continued to do it because I love to read, write, and I love the blogging community.

3: Umm...What was your first book review? Do you think you did a good job?

Khy: Guitar Girl. I wrote it so long ago that I don't even remember if i did good.
Hope: It was Love and Other Four Letter Words. And it was horrible.
Sarah: It was Paper Towns... and the review was okay... I guess.
Zoe: Mine was Looking for Alaska... I don't think it was that good because I mostly talked about my fangirling of John Green.

4: How much do you think your reviews have grown?

Khy: I don't use lists anymore. that's good.
Hope: I think I talk a lot more about the content of the actual book more than I did before. In the beginning I also was kind of scared to give my real opinion sometimes, and now, I'm not.
Sarah: My reviews are starting to show my voice and opinion.
Zoe: I think I rant less about the authors and more about the book. And I'm not afraid to give a bad review.

5: How long have you had your blog?

Khy: Almost a year! 4/26 is my blogoversary! *sniff*
Hope: A year and two months!
Sarah: Since September 2nd...2008
Zoe: October 6 2008!

6: What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Khy: Everything.
Hope: Pretty much everything. I love meeting new people and talking to all the bloggers and authors and getting to know them better.
Sarah: Meeting New People, getting my opinion out there and much more.
Zoe: everything, but I specifically enjoy talking to bloggers; they are awesome!

7: Least favorite thing about blogging?

Khy: Err...the feeling that I will never ever finish all the amazing-sounding books out there.
Hope: When people leave you bad comments. I think I can speak with for all of us when I say that we put TONS of time into our blogs, and when you leave us mean comments (not in a nice way) it makes us really, really sad. :(
Sarah: That my TBR list keeps on getting bigger...Oh, and the bad comments too.
Zoe: I agree with Khy.

8: How long do you think you will be blogging for?

Khy: Until I run out of time?
Hope: A looooooooooooong time.
Sarah: Until I die or get stuck in a parallel world with no books and blogs
Zoe: Until there is no more books to read Or until I die?!

9: What's something you never would've ever gotten to do without being a book blogger?

Khy: Go to NYC and stalk authors. *cough* I mean. Talk to them. Fangirl them a bit. Never stalking.
Hope: Join various social networking sites *cough*TwitterSkype*cough* and meet and talk to lots of sweet people.
Sarah: Um, get Twitter, Start Seven Book Babes, get Skype, E-mail Authors, and more
Zoe: Talk to awesome authors, such as David-freaking-Levithan! Go on Skype, Twitter, and Facebook.

10: What's something you hope to do in the future with your blog that hasn't happened before.

Khy: Something festive. I dunno. I'm bad at ideas. Interview JK Rowling. Stalk JK Rowling And provide evidence.
Hope: Interview major big-time authors. Like John Green. Or Maureen Johnson.
Sarah: Interview John Green, that would make my life. Also Sarah Dessen would be nice oh my goodness... JK Rowling for sure... she got me into reading
Zoe: Interview John-freaking-Green! Interviewing JK Rowling would make my life. Interview Markus Zusak and other awesome authors.

Thanks for that insight in your blogging world!

Authors: You see that last question right? So get on it!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Awesome Blog!

The awesome bloggers on Skype (including me!) have created a blog for The Skype Fiesta Bookclub and Bean Awareness Movement!

So, check it out and if you have Skype (Or are going to get it.) then chekc out this blog! And if you love beans! Then check it out too!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman

Title: Breathing
Author: Cheryl Renee Herbsman
Publisher: Penguin
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Publication Date: April 16, 2009
Pages: 272
My Edition: ARC
Amazon Page

Rating: B
Plot - 15/20
Characters - 16/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 17/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Total: 86/100

Savannah would be happy to spend the summer in her coastal Carolina town working at the library and lying in a hammock reading her beloved romance novels. But then she meets Jackson. Once they lock eyes, she’s convinced he’s the one—her true love, her soul mate, a boy different from all the rest. And at first it looks like Savannah is right. Jackson abides by her mama’s strict rules, and stays by her side during a hospitalization for severe asthma, which Savannah becomes convinced is only improving because Jackson is there. But when he’s called away to help his family—and seems uncertain about returning—Savannah has to learn to breathe on her own, both literally and figuratively.

Breathing is a story of first love. The love in this novel was realistic and heartwarming. Breathing is a true novel full of laughter, heartache, sadness, and love.

Cheryl Renee Herbsman is a talented new author to welcome to the YA community. Her writing style is different and something that makes her stand out. Herbsman uses a southern dialect that makes a truly fun read.

But I must point out something that Em at Em's Bookshelf said in her review for Breathing. Savannah, the main character, is supposed to be academically advanced. So why does she talk with improper grammar? That part really confused me on this. Is it because it's how everyone talks in the South, or is it just for affect? I don't know. So that was probably the one and only thing that irked me about the novel. That and it was a bit boring when Savannah was moping around after Jackson left. But that didn't stop me!

The supporting characters of this novel was a blast to know. Dog, Jackson, Mama, all of them were fantastic supporting characters. They were fun and very alive in the pages. The vibrant characters of all made this novel what it is.

The plot wasn't much. There was very little happening besides the love swooning around. A few others things of course, but not much. On most novels it wouldn't of really worked, but I think since this novel is such a hardcore romance, and there was nothing but romance, it worked well enough.

In total, this novel was full of spunk, heart and witty style. Herbsman brought a smile to my face and kept it there. With her intelluctual words from the heart she made this novel not one to miss out on when it releases next Thursday. Herbsman is one to watch and I can't wait to see what she brings to the table the next time around.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday (19)

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
August 11, 2009

(No cover yet.)

Tells, from four points of view, the ramifications of a pregnancy resulting from a "one-time thing" between Ellie, who feels loved when boys touch her, and Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life.

I liked Jo Knowles first book, Lessons From A Dead Girl, it was disturbing but strong and very interesting. She had a great writing style and her characters were interesting. This one sounds really interesting and, again, disturbing. Disgusting? Maybe. But it sounds really good and I can't wait for August 11th.

Edit: Geesh, could I have said 'interesting' one more time?

Monday, April 13, 2009

On The Outside: Thalia Chaltas

Thalia Chaltas in the author of the upcoming release of her new Young Adult novel, Because I Am Furniture, which will be released on Thursday! You can find my review of it here. You can visit Thalia at her wonderful website here.


Titles are so personal, aren't they? I always have a one-word working title while I am writing. For me, that one word has to sum up a lot of the book, even if it isn't perfect as a final title. It often comes to me very early on, as I am playing with the main character, brainstorming, asking myself questions about where things could go. This novel's working title was the word Furniture, a reference to Anke feeling like furniture and the thread of physical furniture in the book. When we got to the almost-second-to-last-maybe-third-to-last edit, my editor, the wonderful Catherine Frank at Viking, said that the title wasn't enough and had been nixed by those higher up. I understood that just that one word didn't entice, or explain the story, unless you had already read the book. And, as Catherine said, it was a clunky word on its own. What if someone ordered the novel thinking it was a how-to book?!

So we started throwing ideas back and forth in some very long emails: Breaking Branches, Learning to Shout, Shaking the Family Tree…playing with words like: shattered, breaking apart, splintered…. Whenever I came up with something I really wanted Furniture in the title, but I was told to avoid that word.

And then a very good friend of Catherine's came up with Eight Tangled Limbs, from a particular poem. And I loved it! And others loved it! And then we had reservations…like, wouldn't you ask "Why eight? Why is eight significant?" We tried simply Tangled Limbs, but still it wasn't quite…something. Back to the drawing board.

Finally came this note from Catherine: "So at the risk of sounding like a total lunatic and taking us full circle, how would you feel about using the line from the very first poem: Because I Am Furniture." Okay, I was a bit irritated. They had been telling me not to use the word Furniture! And I didn't like it much because I felt it was vague, but I let Catherine defend her choice, and other friends and family said it makes the reader ask questions and creates intrigue. In the end, it just grew on me.

Honestly? I was thankful to be involved in creating the title. As a first-time author I was prepared to have all of that done without me. And I think that what ever the title ended up officially, I would always have called it Furniture.

The book cover is a different story altogether. Ready? The cover as it has been published is exactly what they showed me the first time. I loved it. They loved it. Done.

The 'invisible' girl debossed ('pushed in', the opposite of embossed or bumped out) into the room of furniture, the colors of black and purply-blue, the thin red font of the title, so wonderful. I was expecting a terrible process - I know many people who have not liked their covers! I was thrilled and I just stared at it for great swaths of my working day. Yup, sometimes I still do. When other things in the day are a struggle, the cover reminds me that I am a published author!

Thanks for having me as a guest, Kelsey!

Thanks Thalia!

If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

And It's Launched!

The amazing awesome and scary Carol, or Bookluver-Carol's Reviews has launched her Blogoversery Celebration 15 minutes ago with an awesome guest post and interview featuring Sarah Quigley!

I've been waiting for this for months now (as I was in on her sekrit!) so I'm so excited for this! Let me tell you there will be a ton of interviews, guest blogs, and CONTESTS! So you better check it out, like now!



Edit: So I got to spend a few hours taking to Carol and Sarah and Khy and Korianne on Skype, it was really cool because we called each other and talked through our microphones. It was hilariously fun. If anyone else has Skype, please let me know your username so I can add you! Then we can all talk/IM!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Say The Word by Jeannine Garsee

Title: Say The Word
Author: Jeannine Garsee
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Publication Date: March 17, 2009
Pages: 360
My Edition:
Amazon Page

Rating: C
Plot - 16/20
Characters - 15/20
Writing - 14/20
Originality - 17/20
Entertainment - 7/10
Recommendation - 8/10
Total: 77/100

The world expects perfection from seventeen-year-old Shawna Gallagher, and for the most part, that’s what they get. She dates the right boys, gets good grades, and follows her father’s every rule. But when her estranged lesbian mother dies, it’s more than perfect Shawna can take. Suddenly, anger from being abandoned ten years ago is resurfacing along with Shawna’s embarrassment over her mother’s other family. As she confronts family secrets and questions from the past, Shawna realizes there’s a difference between doing the perfect thing and doing the right thing. Shawna’s honest and relatable voice will draw readers in and hold them until the last page in this coming-of-age story. Jeannine Garsee has delivered a compulsively readable second novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson.

I honestly was shocked by this novel. It surprised me. I really didn't expect of what this novel was.

The beginning was a little shaky. The middle seemed kind of odd. But the ending was actually pretty good, though sometimes weird. For a novel being compared to Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson, you would think to have pretty high expectations, right? That's what I thought, so this novel was a pretty big disappointment for me.

The writing felt awkward and tacky. Garsee had this thing in the dialogue where she liked to make emphasis on words by putting a hyphen between them I didn't think Garsee really crafted her characters all that great. They were clumsy and had a odd feeling about them. Honestly, all of the characters just blended together and in the end I couldn't tell them apart. And then with that hyphen thing I said above, she used it for the dialogue and all the characters talked like that. It was really distracting.

I thought the whole plot was a bit of a mess. It seemed like it was all jumbled together. One thing would happen with her mother, then something at school would happen, and oh, look! Her dad got a new girlfriend! It was just too much at once, all whipped together.

So, really. I thought this novel was a distraction, and a mess. I feel it could of been a lot better with a bit more plotting to it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas

Title: Because I Am Furniture
Author: Thalia Chaltas
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: April 16, 2009
Pages: 368
My Edition:
Amazon Page

Rating: B-
Plot - 15/20
Characters - 16/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 16/20
Entertainment - 8/10
Recommendation - 7/10
Total: 80/100

Anke’s father is abusive. But not to her. He attacks her brother and sister, but she’s just an invisible witness in a house of horrors, on the brink of disappearing altogether. Until she makes the volleyball team at school. At first just being exhausted after practice feels good, but as Anke becomes part of the team, her confidence builds. When she learns to yell “Mine!” to call a ball, she finds a voice she didn’t know existed. For the first time, Anke is seen and heard. Soon, she’s imagining a day that her voice will be loud enough to rescue everyone at home—including herself.

Because I Am Furniture is a beautifully written story about a girl coming to her own defense and discovering that she's more then someone makes her out to be. Told in verse, this novel captures the aspect of the feeling of invisibility and wondering if she's worth anything.

Anke's life is simple, in reason. She has the siblings, and the two parents. A big house, a school. Seems ordinary, no? But Anke's father is abusive and since she doesn't hit Anke and ignores her, she feels invisible, like furniture.

Chaltas' writing was gorgeous. You caught the emotion in her words and the intensity she was bringing to the paper. Her writing was definitely the alpine point of the novel, which keeps the reader, well, reading.

The plot was the miss on this novel. It was a bit boring. It felt too quick and like not enough stuff ever really happened in the novel. The charaters were defined, but not so unique as liked. The originality part of it was there, but not so much so. The part of Anke being ingnored by the abusive father, a bit more original then the father abusing everyone. The ending was too quick and didn't cover everything well enough.

All in all, maybe one to buy, maybe one to borrow from the library. I'll let you decide.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday (18)

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

ALL UNQUIET THINGS centers around the murder of teen heiress Carly Ribelli, who was found shot to death a mile from her house in a wealthy Northern California suburb. Carly’s uncle, a dissolute alcoholic, was convicted of the crime, but a year later his daughter still doesn’t believe her father is guilty. Determined to prove his innocence, Audrey Ribelli contacts Carly’s ex-boyfriend, Neily Monroe, the boy who found Carly’s body. She is convinced that he knows more than he thinks about the events that led up to Carly’s death. Despite Neily’s initial reluctance, he and Audrey begin their investigation at the posh private school they attend, identifying prime suspects from among their spoiled classmates and digging up secrets about Carly’s past to get to the truth behind her murder.

This on sounds really interesting and serious and maybe even deep? I dunno but I want to read it really bad. I also really, really love the cover, but the release isn't for awhile so I'm not entirely sure it's final. The title is really cool too. So, I'm definitely waiting for this one.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison

Title: Taken by Storm
Author: Angela Morrison
Publisher: Razorbill
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Publication Date: March 5th, 2009
Pages: 291
My Edition:
Amazon Page

Rating: D
Plot - 14/20
Characters - 10/20
Writing - 13/20
Originality - 16/20
Entertainment - 5/10
Recommendation - 5/10
Total: 63/100

Leesie Hunt has many rules: No kissing. No sex. No dating outside the Mormon faith.

When Michael Walden—a deep-sea diver who lost his parents in a violent hurricane—arrives in town, Leesie sees someone who needs her. They fall for one another, even though his dreams are tied to the depths of the ocean and hers to salvation above.

Will their intense chemistry be too strong to resist?

Leesie and Michael must make the hardest choice of their lives: whether to follow their beliefs or their hearts.

Readers will be swept away by this tale of forbidden romance told in online chats, Leesie’s chapbook poems, and Michael’s dive log. It’s as steamy as Twilight and just as clean.

I've heard good things about this book. But I, honestly, disliked it by a lot. Sure, the writing style was interesting and original. But the writing itself needed help. Leesie's poems were dull and uneventful, the dive logs were interesting, not quite as expected though, and the IM's were the best, in my opinion.

Morrison was repetitive, ordinary, and the writing was not as good as expected for a young adult novel, truthfully. Morrison's characters were very different, yes, but they were also superficial and boring. Michael was a terrible character. He was monotonous and rude. Michael overall was a character that should never be put on paper. Leesie was boring and unoriginal, blasé. I couldn't relate to them at all. When I was in Michael's mind I felt like he was insane, and when I was in Leesie's mind I just didn't care because she was so unimpressive and usual.

The beginning was confusing, I had no idea what was going on and it took a bit to figure it out. The relationship was a adventure, one of those on and off again celebrity romances. The middle was longer then it should've been and the story went on longer then it should and the ending was too quick and prosaic. I really was not impressed with this novel at all.

A Story of Random Goofiness Between Two Bored People Playing a Game

So, Carol and I were bored yesterday and we started playing this game that I remembered playing when I was younger. It's called the 'One Word' Game. The rules are that we take turns saying one word, and combine them to create a sentence. I wanted to share them.


= She was riding sharks while spanking cowgirls who loved riding birds shagging and eating orange babies.


(this one barely made sense.)

= While Carol rode elephants she wished a guy would eat Kelsey because Kelsey is eating Carol the big awesome shrimp eating shrimp.


= Kelsey is fighting the elves while snacking animal fat bosoms, butts, and puppies while snarking Carol for jewels that burnt Kelsey in her happy place.


= Kutner likes fighting chimpanzees, old Oompa ladies, and annoying crying doctors while House wants Cuddy to love his dangling kitty-cat that she found on a ledge near House's apartment window where a stripper threw heels along the ground and Kutner hit the butt of Cuddy.


=New York is a home to zombies that eat Sharon's cats when Superman failed Lois Lane by shooting Elvis Presley and hanging monkeys to ward off evil in ninjas spirits.

That's that, I hope you enjoyed our melancholy boredom/fun.
Carol + Kelsey

Monday, April 6, 2009

On The Outside: Beth Fantaskey

Beth Fantaskey is the author of the newly released, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. You can visit Beth at her website here and buy the book here.


As a new novelist, I expected some people to love my book, and braced myself for the fact that some people might just hate it. What I never anticipated was the reaction I would get to the title.

I’ll admit, as titles go, Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is kind of long, and a little strange, but when I first came up with it, the words sounded right to me. They summed up what I hoped was a romantic, sometimes dark, and sometimes funny novel about an average girl who learns that she’s promised in marriage to vampire prince. A girl who receives an actual “guide” to becoming a vampire, herself.

I was so wedded to the title that when my manuscript sold, my contract specified that the publisher couldn’t change it without my agreement.

Of course, this eventually happened.

Just before Jessica’s Guide was headed to print, I got a call asking me to brainstorm possible new titles.

I swear, I tried hard.

I played around with Lucius’s name, with vampire-related words, and with things like “betrothed.” But nothing seemed to sum up the mix of light and dark that lies at the heart of the novel, and ultimately, everybody decided that Jessica’s Guide – or JGTDOTDS as some Internet reviewers have “acronym-ized” it – would keep its name.

Was this a good idea?

Well, some readers have suggested that the title didn’t prepare them for the emotional intensity of the story. They read the cover and mistakenly thought, “frothy.”

However, others have written to say they plucked Jessica’s Guide from the shelves just because the title intrigued them. They had to see what it was all about.

As for me... the title still seems right.

Maybe when you create something, and name it, and live with that name for over a year, it’s just too hard to rechristen it, any more than I could suddenly rename my children. Something of who we are is embodied in our names, which is why, although I’ve been married for about a dozen years to a Kaszuba, I’ll always be Beth Fantaskey, the name I grew up with, and which I also chose to put on the cover of a book with an equally quirky name.


Thanks Beth!

If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Title: Strange Angels
Author: Lili St. Crow
Publisher: Razorbill
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Publication Date: May 14, 2009
Pages: 301
Amazon Page

Rating: A
Plot - 17/20
Characters - 18/20
Writing - 19/20
Originality - 19/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Total: 93/100

Dru Anderson has been “strange” for as long as she can remember. She travels from town to town with her father, hunting the things that go bump in the night and eat the unwary. It’s a weird life, but a good one–until it all explodes and a zombie busts into her new house.

Alone, terrified, and trapped in an icy town, Dru’s going to need every inch of her wit and training to stay alive. Can she trust the boy who is just a little too adult–and just happens to get bit by a werwulf? Or the strange blue-eyed boy who tells her she’s heir to a long-forgotten power? Can she even trust her own instincts?

Because Dru is not the first in her family to be killed by the darkness of the Real World. The monsters have decided to hunt back–and now Dru has to figure out who to trust, who to fight, and when to run. And not incidentally, she has to figure out how she’s going to get out of this alive.

And she has to do it in the next 24 hours, or it’s all over…

I was really excited to read this one. Paranormal. One of my favorite genres. I wasn't really sure what to expect of it, but maybe some action. I apprehended that it would be kind of like one of my favorite television shows, Supernatural, and it kind of was. Before I begin the actual review I just want to say this to all Supernatural fans out there: This is a novel for YOU!

Strange Angels started out with excitement. We got to know Dru and a little of what would probably come in the 300+ pages. My first impression of Dru was that she was a strong, smart, and impressive independent young woman. And in the rest of the novel, she proved right to me. I am a big fan of strong protagonists, and Dru was one. I loved seeing the Real World through her eyes. It was very interesting and exhilarating.

For those paranormal fans out there, this novel has everything you would want in it; zombies, werewolves (Werewulfen), vampires (Suckers), and freaky little [and sometimes big] monsters/creatures. It was very stimulating and vitalizing.

The plot was interesting and quite brilliant. St. Crow wove some many different things into one story and gave it something exciting. I don't want to spoil it, so I won't talk about it much anymore.

St. Crow is a master at words, she writes with intensity, emotion, and believability all in one. Her first young adult novel was unpredictable, intoxicating, and an acquisitive read. She led you in to a new world that is highly absorbing. I exceedingly recommend you buy this when it comes out on May 14th.

Friday, April 3, 2009

And The Winners Are . . .

I'm SO sorry it's taken this long, I have a good, honest reason though! I started watching the first three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And, well. Yeah, it's obviously addicting. BUT, I finished it, so hopefully this weekend I'll get some reviews written of the 10 (I think, there might be more, but far as I know, it's standing at 10 now) I need to write.

Before I say the two winners of my contest to win a personalized signed copy of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey, I want to tally up the answers to the question I asked.

I will say everyone who got more then one vote, and in order of the most votes:

What fictional YA character would you most like to date and why?

1)-Edward Cullen (Twilight saga)-25

2)--Jace (Mortal Instruments series)-9

3)---Wes (The Truth About Forever)-6
3)---Seth (Wicked Lovely)-6

4)----Shane (Morganville Vampire series)-5
4)----Owen (Just Listen)-5

5)-----Spencer (Suite Scarlett)-4
5)-----Dimitri (Vampire Academy series)-4

6)------Alex (Perfect Chemistry)-3
6)------Cabel (Wake trilogy)-3

7)-------Dexter (This Lullaby)-2
7)-------Luke (Lament)-2
7)-------Ron Weasley (Harry Potter series)-2
7)-------Jasper (Twilight saga)-2
7)-------Char (Ella Enchanted)-2
7)-------Nate (Lock & Key)-2
7)-------Kartik (Gemma Doyle trilogy)-2
7)-------Emmett Cullen (Twilight saga)-2
7)-------Lucius (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side)-2

So, it looks like Edward from Twilight is the big winner! Yeah! Do you agree with this? Why? Why not? Let's see some discussion going on!

This contest was a huge success. We had 191 entries total, and 135 answers to the question!

Now, to the two winners! Randomized by

First we have comment number 172, comment 172 was made by: xdaisyx! Congratulations! xdaisyx's comment was on who she wanted to date was: "I would have to say Emmett from Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer because he's pretty funny. Also Dimitri from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead."

Second we have comment number 24, comment 24 was made by: Jocelyn! Congratulations Jocelyn! Jocelyn's answer to who she would love to date: "Tough question. I guess....Seth from Wicked Lovely? Let's just go with that one :-)"

Congratulations everyone who won! Sorry to everyone who didn't! Jocelyn and xdaisyx, you shall receive and email from Beth soon!

Hopefully a review will be coming your way soon enough!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Release Day!

I know I haven't been posting much, and I will soon, but I wanted to post this before school:


And to the readers out there today:



Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday (17)

Sea by Heidi Kling

Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother's accidental disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna "Sea" Jones, reluctantly travels with her father's volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia. During her stay at the pesantren (Muslim boarding school), she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea then anyone she has ever met. She knows they can't be together, so why can't she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won't her psychiatrist dad tell her the truth about her mother's plane crash? The further she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers. And Sea's real adventure begins.

This book sounds really good. I love books that take place in exotic countries I don't even know about. I also think Sea is a really clever name and title. This sounds like another forbidden romance book with a twist! I love these type of books! So, I'm definitely looking forward to it.