5 ARCs Giveaway (Amy), March 30
Saturday, February 28, 2009
5 ARCs Giveaway (Amy), March 30
A series of terrifying events leads Jenna into feeling betrayed by people whom she love, and she attempts to retaliate by taking advantage of and hurting those who love her. It will take an acceptance of the past and lots of growing up before Jenna realizes her true feelings and learns to control her behavior.
O.Y.L. was an amateur literary attempt, and it shows. Besides for grammatical and syntactic inconsistencies, the characters are caricatures of people with serious and important issues. This book touches upon themes that every teen must face when growing up—the distinction between love and infatuation, selfishness and selflessness—but the issues are handled awkwardly and incompletely. I was very disappointed in O.Y.L., but can see why, for example, middle school girls might be able to finish this book.
Friday, February 27, 2009
My name is Sophie, I'm 16 and I live in Crawley in England. I obviously love to read, watch movies and generally lay about all day!
Surely you can't be lying around the house all day reading! What's school like? Do you participate in any activities there?
I wish! College takes up most of my time; I usually don't get home until five. I don't like it too much which is probably why I don't participate in any activities there.
Tell us about your blog. When did you start it and why? What interesting things can visitors expect?
I started my blog at the end of January. I'd been reading book blogs for ages and I got home from college one day and just decided to set my own up. I didn't realise it'd take over my life (in a good way!)
Hehe, I can attest to that! Now quick! Name 3 (yes, I'm giving you 3 because everyone knows it's impossible to choose just one) favorite books and why you think everyone should read them. They can be any genre.
Aah, horrible question! Ok, Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles because I couldn't stop smiling, The Twilight saga - Stephenie Meyer becaudse like most girls I'm in love with Edward (heard that one before I bet) and The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins because it completely blew me away. I so wasn't expecting something so amazing.
I know we all agree, but why, personally, did you think The Hunger Games was so mind-blowingly awesome?
What's a book that changed your life?
Hmm. I think Matilda - Roald Dahl. This was the book that made me fall in love with books. Dahl was a genius storyteller.
Have you seen the movie version of Matilda? If so, what did you think of it?
I've seen Matilda so many times I can recite entire passages! It's great, I love it!
Favorite authors? Why?
Stephenie Meyer for obvious reasons. I also have a real soft spot for Nicholas Sparks' novels; they make me cry!
Favorite Sparks novel?
Hmmm, I think The Notebook or A Walk to Remember. Or maybe The Choice. I love the way he writes and the setting of North Carolina so it's very hard to choose just one!
Nice favorites. I’m a fan of The Rescue myself, although I haven’t actually read many of his more recent novels. What are some of your favorite movies?
I'm a sucker for romance so I love The Notebook and Dirty Dancing but I also love musicals like Rent and Grease. And Juno and The Lost Boys are brilliant.
And what are some things you just LOVE to receive for presents? :)
Books. Seriously, if I just got a stack of books for Christmas or my birthday I'd be a happy girl!
And finally, 2 things about yourself that can spark conversation. (e.g. I'm ambidextrous, I can recite the alphabet backwards in less than 10 seconds, etc...)
I'm actually not that interesting. Let's see, I have 5 brothers and 2 sisters and I'm studying Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and English Literature at A-level. I hope they're slightly interesting!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
However, as a high school sophomore, Alice is beginning to want something more. She has a major crush on Simon Murphy, a popular and gorgeous football player who is clearly out of her league. So Alice can hardly believe it when Simon starts talking to her. Pretty soon they are apparently an item—the oddest, most incomprehensible item the school has ever seen, perhaps. There’s no pretense about Simon when he’s around her, though. He is a genuinely good and sincere guy who understands his popular crowd is not all that great sometimes and envies the artsy crowd—Alice included—for being able to be themselves.
But her budding relationship with Simon puts a strain on Alice and Jewel’s friendship, which was so close they were practically a couple. A week ago Alice had no prospects; suddenly she is stuck choosing between two. Either she begins a new life with the guy of her dreams and explore a new social life, or she remains with Jewel and continues to be invisible to the rest of the world.
Which one will Alice choose? Or can she have both?
I absolutely loved this book because all the characters are so real. There are no annoying stereotypes because it seems like every character defies them. There are no easy answers because, well, that’s life, and Liz Gallagher portrays it so very sweetly. This is a short and quick read, but it will linger with you.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Me, the Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine
Me: Lucas Swain—I'm nearly sixteen years old and live in London. I was fairly normal until the night I found Violet. Then everything changed.
The Missing: Dad. He disappeared five years ago. Nobody knows what happened to him, and nobody cares except me. It's enough to drive you crazy.
The Dead: That's Violet . . . in the urn. Speaking of crazy—I know she's trying to tell me something, and I think it's about my father. . . .
A dead lady may not be much to go on, but my dad's out there somewhere, and it's up to me to find out where.North Korea Kidnapped My Daughter by Sakie Yokota
from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program
On November 15, 1977, 13 year-old Megumi Yokota disappeared without a trace while on her way home from school. Twenty years later a newspaper revealed she was abducted by North Korean operatives and was still in North Korea. Megumi and at least 13 others were taken from coastal cities in Japan during the 1970s and 80s, shoved into holding cells on spy vessels, and shipped off to North Korea to train agents in Japanese culture and customs. The perpetrators of the Korean Air Flight 858 bombing in 1987 posed as Japanese nationals thanks to such training.
North Korea Kidnapped My Daughter is Sakie Yokota’s memoir of the last 30 years without her daughter. Her resounding faith is inspirational as is her unfaltering determination to repatriate Megumi. Mrs. Yokota vividly recounts the horrifying panic when Megumi went missing and the entire ordeal of her daughter’s absence.
O.Y.L. by Scott Heydt
Sent by the author himself for me! Yay! Thanks, Scott! I'll be reading this and putting up a review soon.
Hope everyone had a nice, book-filled week as well! I'll be updating soon with how my weekend of swimming conferences went. It's good news, but I'm glad to be back! :)
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time — quite a challenge, given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask a girl out on a date. But catching a girl in the buff starts to look easy compared to Matt's other summertime aspiration: to swim the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) as a way to impress Kelly West, the sizzling new star of the swim team. In the spirit of Hollywood’s blockbuster comedies, screenwriter-turned-YA-novelist Don Calame unleashes a true ode to the adolescent male: characters who are side-splittingly funny, sometimes crude, yet always full of heart.
As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?
Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.
ISBN Order Ship Title Total
0439895766 1 1 A Curse Dark As Gold $6.99
0803730012 1 1 The Rules Of Survival $6.99
1847381340 1 0 Skin Hunger (Resurrection of Magic, Bk. $0.00
0061284394 1 1 Evernight $5.99
0061236179 1 1 I Love You, Beth Cooper $3.99
0061140988 1 1 The Fury and Dark Reunion (The Vampire D $3.99
076362537X 1 1 Guyaholic $5.99
1842555049 1 1 I, Coriander $2.99
0370326849 1 1 This is All $4.99
0099488167 1 1 A Swift Pure Cry $4.99
0399246754 1 1 Dragonhaven $6.99
1595141162 1 1 Love, Meg $6.99
0441010563 1 1 Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits $2.99
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Jenny: I'm Jenny, aged 21, from Manchester in the North-West of England. I have a full time job at a Borders store, which is pretty much the best place I could ever hope to work! I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, books, music (Jimmy Eat World, Coheed and Cambria, Brand New), movies, TV shows, the internet and the Titanic. I have two pets, a dog called Rupert and a cat called Jess. Jess is mine... I love cats!
S: Ooh, Borders. I’ve always wanted to work in a bookstore. What's the best and worst thing about working there?
J: The best thing about working at Borders is seeing pretty much every book as soon as it comes in, discovering new authors, and getting discount on the books. The worst is seeing lots of books that I want, and giving them a rather large amount of my wages back come payday (lol).
S: Haha, that’s not a bad “worst thing” at all! So tell us about your blog. When did you start it and why? What interesting things can visitors expect?
J: I started my blog almost a month ago, on a Saturday night after work. I used to post all my reviews on the Amazon and Borders sites, but decided that I'd prefer to have them all in one place. I have a thing for book covers, so every week I post a 'Cool Cover', and a 'US Vs. UK' cover debate. I also talk about UK goings on (books sites, etc...), and review most of the books I read.
S: I love your ‘Cool Cover’ and ‘US vs. UK’ posts. It’s so refreshing to look at YA book covers from other countries… especially as some of them are even nicer than the US versions. And now…quick! Name 3 (yes, I'm giving you 3 because everyone knows it's impossible to choose just one) favorite books and why you think everyone should read them.
J: My three favourite YA books are really easy for me to choose: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. I'd also like to mention I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, which is my favourite adult book. I think everyone should read them because they deal with lots of different themes and issues, and are just amazing stories that I found impossible to put down.
S: Is I Am Legend the book that the movie starring Will Smith was based on? That movie creeped me out! Are you a fan of those horror or scary movies?
J: Yes, the Will Smith movie was based on I Am Legend, however, they changed it a lot. The book is an amazing vampire story, about the last man on Earth, and how he survives on his own (and if anyone likes vampire books, you should definitely read it!). The movie was quite different, which was a shame. But to answer the question about horror and scary movies - yes, I love them! Vampires especially. I've yet to find a movie that has scared me, though I keep trying!
S: Oh, wow. It’s actually a vampire book? Count me in, then! Although you can watch your horror and scary movies yourself, hehe. *shudders* Speaking of which, What's your opinion on the hype over Twilight? Since you have it listed as one of your 3 favorite YA books.
J: The Twilight hype... hmm. Well. I think it's great, as it means more people will read the book, and fall in love with the amazing story and characters. I think Stephenie Meyer deserves every bit of her success, even though I'm sure a lot of people would disagree with me on that. I also love the movie, and saw it many times at the cinema. I first read the books about a year and a half ago, when I'd just started at Borders. Back then, no-one really knew what it was over here, and we had about four copies in store. I never imagined it would take off the way it did, but it’s been very interesting watching it all happen. And, yes, I'll admit, I'm one of those obsessed Twilight fans! (And can clearly ramble on about this for ages, so, moving on...)
S: Hehe, it’s no problem. We all have things to say about Twilight, and I, too, like how it, like Harry Potter, gets kids and teens to read more. Now for something different. What's a book that made you cry?
J: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak left me in floods of tears. Literally, I'm not kidding. It's the most emotional and heartbreaking story I've ever read, and hardly a day goes by when I don't think about it.
S: I agree with you on that one. What a powerful, powerful book. Wow. So, share with us: favorite authors?
J: My favourite authors are: Stephenie Meyer, Richard Matheson, Markus Zusak, Sarah Dessen, Cassandra Clare and Louise Rennison.
S: Speaking of Cassandra Clare... are you a Simon fan or a Jace fan? :)
J: Jace! Definitely. Simon's cool, but... nah. Jace has that whole bad boy thing going on, and I love his quick quips and sarcasm. Plus, he's good with a weapon. I'm currently hoping and praying that he and Clary aren't... y'know.. I don't want to say too much because it's a spoiler for the other books. Lets just say I'm keeping my fingers crossed until March 24th!
S: I’m a Jace fan too! We just love our bad boys. [For those of you who haven’t read the first 2 books in the Mortal Instruments series yet, GO DO IT!] Alright, favorite color?
J: My favourite colour is red. I don't really have a reason why, it just stands out to me!
S: What are some things you just LOVE to receive for presents?
J: I love receiving money or gift cards for presents, because then I can buy some books or music/DVDs. Failing that, I always like the rare Buffy memorabilia my Mum and Dad hunt out for me!
S: And finally, 2 things about yourself that can spark conversation.
J: I can recite the names of all 144 Buffy episodes in complete order, and I'm a staff member on www.bellaandedward.com. Are those two interesting things? Probably not, but hey!
Nope, definitely interesting, Jenny! Thank you SO much for chatting with me—it was a lot of fun. I hope you all hop on over to Jenny’s blog and send her some love, engulf her in questions about the 144 episodes of Buffy, discuss Twilight with her, and whatnot. Stay turned for more Featured Friday Bloggers! :)
Thursday, February 12, 2009
In her journal, Hope writes about always being prettier/skinnier/more talented than everyone else, and thus being the object of everyone’s envy. At Starwood, she has no friends except for her “boyfriend” Logan Rose, the good-looking senior with a score of commercials and TV roles—even a part in a movie!—to his name. Hope believes that they are madly in love, and Logan even talks of them running off to New York or LA together.
Then Logan hatches The Idea, which involves them faking Hope’s kidnapping, demanding a $20,000 ransom from her parents, and Logan dramatically rescuing her, thereby putting him in such good graces with her parents that they will allow the two teenagers to go wherever they’d like, school be damned. Strangely, however, as opening night and the initiation of The Idea nears, Logan seems to draw away from Hope, hanging out with another girl instead. Borderline desperate, Hope is convinced that the only way she can prove her love for him is to carry out with the faked abduction.
However, things do not go as planned, as Hope goes from being famous for her acting ability to being famous for being the harbinger of the hoaxed abduction…and learns a few startling things about herself and her life as a result.
NOW YOU SEE HER is sort of strange, but strangely satisfying. Hope comes off as a slightly whiny, narcissistic teenager, but through her journal entries and her revelations--not to mention the shocking ending--we come to empathize with her. I have not read Jacquelyn Mitchard's other books, although The Deep End of the Ocean is on my TBR bookshelf, and maybe I was a little too old to appreciate Now You See Her for what it's completely worth: a heartbreaking tale of one girl's attempt to find her identity in the highly competitive world of acting she's in. This book is a telling of an adventure such as only a drama queen can tell it…and it is really good.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Noel is writing her notes, Jackson is giving her frogs, Gideon is helping her cook, and Finn is making her brownies. Rumors are flying, and Ruby’s already-sucky reputation is heading downhill.
Not only that, she’s also: running a bake sale, learning the secrets of heavymetal therapy, encountering some seriously smelly feet, defending the rights of pygmy goats, and bodyguarding Noel from unwanted advances.
In this companion novel to The Boyfriend List and The Boy Book, Ruby struggles to secure some sort of mental health, to understand what constitutes a real friendship, and to find true love—if such a thing exists.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Meanwhile, stay tuned for Friday, when I announce the winners of my first ever contest giveaway (there is still time to enter!) and introduce our very first Friday Featured Blogger! You'll want to read all about her; she's totally cool, despite what she thinks about her answers to my questions. :)
The Family Fortune by Laurie Horowitz
Tags: adult, Austen retelling
Laurie Horowitz’s brilliant debut novel began as an exercise, as Horowitz, a Jane Austen enthusiast, thought she needed more practice writing the dialogue of mean people. The result is a witty social commentary on the old rich, interwoven with a love story that will make readers sigh.
Technically, THE FAMILY FORTUNE is a retelling of Jane Austen’s PERSUASION. However, it’s interesting to see how Horowitz places the story in modern times. Practical Jane Fortune is 38 years old and perpetually single. She lives in the Fortunes’ old family home with her father, Teddy, and older sister Miranda, neither of whom know the meaning of the word “budget.” Jane spends most of her time either reading books or working for her family’s philanthropic organization, which publishes the literary magazine the Euphemia Review and, every year, grants a promising new writer a place to stay to write his or her novel.
When their family is forced to move due to their financial crisis, Jane stays with her sister Winnie’s family for a while. Unfortunately—or luckily, whatever you call it—this means she crosses paths again with Max Wellman, the first recipient of the Fortune Foundation’s literary grant. Max was her first love, but their relationship was stopped by Jane’s disapproving family, who didn’t want her to be with a struggling artiste. Fifteen years later, Max is successful writer with a womanizing reputation, and Jane is still the same as ever. Go figure.
Circumstances seem to make it impossible for Max to fall in love with the still-besotted Jane again. Meanwhile, Jane struggles to make an identity for herself, separate from the one her ridiculous family gives her. Maybe it’s only after she learns to love herself that Jane can be open to making her own decisions about her life, and her love.
THE FAMILY FORTUNE is a wonderfully told story of the absurdities of high society and the growth of a sensible woman. The romance part of the story left me a bit disappointed (I wanted more--LOTS more--between Jane and Max), but I appreciated this remarkably successful Austenian-type novel.
Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club)
Monday, February 9, 2009
Edmond Dantes loves his father; has a beautiful, perfect, and loving fiancée; and is poised to become captain of a whole ship at the tender age of nineteen. Then, in a couple of hours, he loses everything, the victim of slander by some jealous and ambitious “friends.”
Locked away in an underground dungeon on an island prison for 14 years, Edmond learns of a massive treasure buried on the island of Monte Cristo. When he finally manages to escape, Edmond is a changed man—for better or for worse—and vows to use the island’s treasure to exact complete revenge on the men who ruined his life.
THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO reads easily and contains a myriad of characters you will get to know as well as the back of your hand. What could possibly take 1200 pages to work out? you might think. But don't judge before you start reading: this novel is worth every one of its pages. I am flabbergasted that any author could produce a social world as complicated, satirical, and calculated as Edmond Dantes'. It is exciting and difficult to put down once you start. Get the Penguin edition translated by Robin Buss for the best read. I highly recommend that everyone read this book!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Then someone takes a picture of Audrey hooking up with Luke, and the picture is passed around to everyone. Even Audrey’s teachers and parents see it. Audrey goes from having a fairly decent reputation to being labeled as a slut. The consequences of the photo are far-reaching: Luke isn’t talking to her and her parents don’t know how to act around her.
However, some of what happens in the picture’s aftermath surprises Audrey. She befriends several girls she had always considered as slutty before, and she learns that she does have the ability to be strong while people snicker behind her back.
GOOD GIRLS is snidely hilarious and a surprisingly feel-good read. It’s raw and explicit; I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone not in high school yet. However, Audrey is a great, strong protagonist with a wonderful voice. Not everyone has been in Audrey’s particular situation, but I’m sure that everyone knows how it feels to be hurt, and then to rise above it. This book has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf and in my heart.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
2. Favorite book? Favorite author? Why?
3. What's the book you're reading next and how did you choose it?
4. Who's your favorite fictional couple and why?