Friday, July 31, 2009

Mark Your Calenders

What are you doing tomorrow evening? I don't know about you, but I'll be spending it helping Michelle Zink celebrate the release of her book, Prophecy of the Sisters at the Total Chaos Twitter Party. Here's a blurb about it:

The Book of Chaos is nothing compared to the havoc we will wreak at the Total Chaos Twitter Party on Saturday, August 1st from 8pm-11pm EST/5pm-8pm PST!!! Prizes include gift cards and other items of awesomeness to be awarded for answers to Prophecy trivia and other random things that come to mind at the time. Could be Best Tweet of the Night. Could be Biggest Blonde Moment. Who knows?! You’ll just have to show up to see!

To be eligible for prizes, make sure you're following @MichelleZink . During the party, we'll be using the hashtag #unlocktheprophecy . So how about it? Will you be there?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The O'Reilly Factor for Kids by Bill O'Reilly and Charles Flowers

From the back cover: There's no one more blunt, more opinionated, or more outspoken than the average teen. Except, of course, Bill O'Reilly, veteran star journalist, anchor of the most watched cable news program on TV, New York Times bestselling author, husband, father of two and former teacher.

In this book, O'Reilly talks straight to the readers most likely to appreciate his direct style -- teens. To be sure he's addressing their most pressing concerns, he responds to actual letters from kids who tune in to his radio and TV shows regularly and collaborates with an award-winning former high school teacher and college professor Charles Flowers.

This title is weird. Although the book is aimed at teens, the title says "for kids." That threw me off when I initialy saw the book. However, once I read the summary on the back of the book I was interested in what I would think of what Mr. O'Reilly had to say.

Overall, not bad. In fact, I didn't even talk to the book, as I sometimes do when I disagree with something he says on TV. I can't really say that I completely disagree with anything he had to say in this book. He even managed to surprise me with his view on teen sex.

The O'Reilly Factor for Kids does give some sound advice that help teens out if they're of a mind to listen to it. It definitely got me thinking!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street

*If you haven't read Pride and Prejudice there are spoilers in this review.*

When Darcy comes to stay with the Bingleys at their newly rented home, he expects to detest the people and manners from the country. What he doesn't expect is to be captivated by a charming lady who wants nothing to do with him, Elizabeth Bennet.

This was such an entertaining book. It wasn't supposed to neccasarily be funny, but I found myself laughing again and again. I knew I was going to love this book within the first couple chapters. The book soon takes us to the ball where Darcy initially sees Elizabeth. Instead of admitting that he may be attracted to her, he is sure she is employing some unknown charm to catch his attention.

At times, I felt sorry for Darcy, at others, I thought he totally deserved what was coming. It never even occured to him that she might not accept his proposal. It was intriguing to see how he took Elizabeth's words to heart after the proposal. I think that may be part of the attraction of Darcy. Because of Elizabeth's words, he changed.

This book follows Pride and Prejudice very well. The only thing that I would have liked to have seen a bit more of in this book is Darcy's time after the proposal. Did he wander the streets aimlessly, Elizabeth's words pounding into his head? It was covered, but I would have liked to have seen just a bit more detail.

The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy flew by for me. The characters were portrayed pretty much as I'd always imagined, and it was a lot of fun to see things from Darcy's point of view.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fairies and Demons: A Star-Crossed Prophecy

Eyes Like Stars: Fairies and Demons Contest
This is such a cool contest! Basically, the goal is to play out, through pictures or video, who you think would win in a fight between the fairies and demons. To hear it explained much more prettily, just click on the pic of the poster. Did I mention that there are awesome prizes? I didn't? Well, there are awesome prizes. It's open until the 8th of August, so you should definitely go check it out! I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the entries! :)

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren. No books IMM this week. However, I did manage to pick up a book at Books A Million.

The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street is, simply put, Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view.

Remember how I said (earlier this week) that the first copy I bought was a misprint? Well, my dad took it to them, and the manager was awesome enough to give me another, this time correct, copy of the book! Yay for nice bookstore people. I'll post my review later, but the short story is that I loved it! I literally laughed out loud more times than I can count. I can't really explain why I was laughing so much, though. I'll have to figure that out. :)

Random Reading Challenge

The Random Reading Challenge is hosted by CARIBOUS MOM and will run from August 1, 2009 to July 31, 2010. I'm hoping to read twelve books for the challenge. The Random Reading Challenge is just as the name suggests, completely random! To find out all the official info, check out the original post.

Hope everyone is having an amazing weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Secrets of Truth and Beauty by Megan Frazer

As a kid, Dara was really cute, so cute, in fact, that she won the Little Miss Maine pageant. Between her cuteness and her singing skills she was irresistible. Her dad used to spend hours practicing with her, and her mother was always there to cheer her on. Those days are long gone. She’s gained a lot of weight. Her parents aren’t really involved in her life anymore. When an English project gets hugely misinterpreted, it finally pushes Dara over the edge. She’s tired of it all, so she goes to the only place she can think of. To the home of the sister she has never met. There she learns about her family and herself all while finding out who she wants to be.

I had mixed feelings about the book. On the one hand, Dara was a really cool character. I felt like I understood her. Dara’s trip to meet her sister, Rachel, was great. It takes up the majority of the book, and the characters that live on the farm were really interesting. They all had such vibrant personalities, especially Owen, a guy that becomes Dara’s friend.

The plot in this book was interesting as well. Not everything was a big surprise, but there were just enough shenanigans to keep me interested. It moved along fairly quickly which was nice. Also, I loved the setting. Rachel lives on a goat farm. Not exactly your average setting, huh?

On the other hand, I felt like a lot of info was left out that I would like to have had. The reason Dara had never previously met Rachel was because their mom believed that Rachel was a bad person and had done some really horrible things. I never really understood what Rachel had done that was so horrible. Dara didn’t really, either. I wanted to know but never got the chance to find out.

A smaller qualm I had with this book was the cover. It’s really pretty, and it was what initially drew me to the book, but after reading it, I don’t feel like it fits. Dara is supposed to be overweight, and Owen, if I understand the book correctly, is supposed to be half African American. Neither of the models look like what they are described as in the book.

Overall, I feel like Secrets of Truth and Beauty was a good read. A few things could have made me like it more, but it was still definitely worth the time I spent reading it.

My rating- 3/5 stars

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A First

My parents always tell me that there is a first time for everything. Yesterday, I experienced one of those firsts.

As you may know, I'm currently reading The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street. It's a really good book, showing Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view. I laughed out loud more than a couple times!

I had gotten to the end of chapter sixteen. This is the point where Darcy is going to tell Bingley what he did to seperate Bingley from Jane. The chapter ended. I continued reading, and it didn't make any sense. The book had gone back to chapter fourteen! I skipped to the very end of the book and saw that it ended at chapter sixteen. Obviously, this was a misprint.

My dad is taking this book back to the bookstore today, and I want to know have you ever had a similiar experience? I still can't wait to know how the story ended, and now I have to wait!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd tells stories that every geek will enjoy. With short tales written by authors including M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Cynthia and Greg Letich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Tracy Lynn, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfeld, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr there's a writing style for everyone to love!

When I first began to read this book my initial thoughts were of doubt. Was I really geeky enough to read this book? I'm happy to say that although a few Star trek references went flying high above my head, this book was a ton of fun and held a lot of stories I could personally relate to. The stories are made of awesome, and I know I literally laughed out loud more than a couple times!

Overall, this is a great book that every person with even a little bit of geek (You know you have some!) will thoroughly enjoy. I most definitely recommend. This book will be released on August 1st, but you might want to check your bookstores because I saw it at the local Barnes & Nobles a couple of days ago.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

I just recently found out about this and thought it was pretty interesting. BBAW is set for September 14-18. It looks like a lot of fun! Here's some info off the site:

WHO Anyone who blogs about books is invited to participate. In fact, we want everyone who blogs about books and reading to be a part of this week!
WHAT A week where we come together, celebrate the contribution and hard work of book bloggers in promoting a culture of literacy, connecting readers to books and authors, and recogonizing the best among us with the Second Annual BBAW Awards. There will be special guest posts, daily blogging themes, and giveaways.
WHY Because books matter. In a world full of options, the people talking about books pour hard work, time, energy, and money into creating a community around the written word. I, Amy, the founder of Book Blogger Appreciation Week love this community of bloggers and want to shower my appreciation on you!

You should definitely go check the site out! The award nominations are now open. There are so many categories, definitely plenty of awards to go around Go check it out and get involved!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

In My Mailbox (9)

I admit it. I failed. I refuse to take full responsibility, though. It wasn't my fault. Those books were practically screaming my name. I couldn't resist! What's this, you may ask? This is me lamenting the fact that I bought books. Like some of you, I tried to go on a book buying hiatus until my TBR pile dwindled. Last week, if I do say so myself, I did exceptionally well managing to get only one book from the library, Rumors. But before I tell you which books made me cave, I'll start off with the books I got in my actual IMM. Well, I don't actually have a mailbox. I only have a post office box, so I guess that makes it IMPOB? Anyway...

First off, I received
The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James from a contest at Brant Flakes. That's a pretty cool blog by author Marilyn Brant.

Though poor, plain, and unconnected, Charlotte Bronte possesses a deeply passionate side which she reveals only in her writings—creating Jane Eyre and other novels that stand among literature's most beloved works. Living a secluded life in the wilds of Yorkshire with her sisters Emily and Anne, their drug-addicted brother, and an eccentric father who is going blind, Charlotte Bronte dreams of a real love story as fiery as the ones she creates. But it is in the pages of her diary where Charlotte exposes her deepest feelings and desires—and the truth about her life, its triumphs and shattering disappointments, her family, the inspiration behind her work, her scandalous secret passion for the man she can never have . . . and her intense, dramatic relationship with the man she comes to love, the enigmatic Arthur Bell Nicholls.

Doesn't that sound cool? Oh, and the "e" in Bronte is supposed to have those two little dots over it, but I have no idea how to do that. Next, I won a few books from Elizabeth Scott's blog, Elizabeth Writes.

Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian
The last thing sixteen-year-old Emily wants is to pool hop and tan her way through another summer in Cherry Hill. Now that her best friend has a boyfriend, everything feels...different in a way Emily doesn't quite understand. So when offered a spot at a prestigious art program in Philadelphia, Emily jumps at the chance to leave her hometown for a few hours a day. But it takes more than a change of scenery and a new group of friends to discover yourself. As Emily bounces between a suburb where everyone tries to fit in and a city where everyone wants to be unique, she struggles to find her own identity. And while the rules may change, the pressures remain the same. Friendships can be hard to navigate. Boys are both deeply mysterious and utterly predictable. And the line between right and wrong is always a little blurry.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
According to her best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie--she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago."

I was totally excited when I saw those two books in the box, but I was kind of surprised to see that there was yet another book in there. I pulled it out, and I'm pretty sure I squealed!

Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott
It's been seventy-five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her. And she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone, and Amy doesn't want to talk about it. No one knew Julia like she did. No one gets what life is without her. No one understands what it's like to know that it's all your fault. Amy's shrink thinks she should keep a journal but instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia. And as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past holds its own secrets--and that the present deserves a chance.

I also got a book from the library. About a month and a half ago I put a bunch of books on hold, and they have been very slowly trickling in. Emphasis on the "very slowly" part. :)

Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris
The next generation stands on the brink of a "rebelution."
Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life and map a clear trajectory for long-term fulfillment and eternal impact. Written by teens for teens, Do Hard Things is packed with humorous personal anecdotes, practical examples, and stories of real-life rebelutionaries in action. This rallying cry from the heart of revolution already in progress challenges the next generation to lay claim to a brighter future, starting today.

Here's where I get to the part of failure. My family and I went into town (we live in the sticks) and my dad wanted to go into a used bookstore. Usually this book store doesn't have very many books that really interest me, so I erringly assumed I would be safe. Wrong! They had a lot of good books. Although I failed, I didn't fail epically because I only bought the three books that sounded the very best most interesting to me.

Funny Cide : How a Horse, a Trainer, a Jockey, and a Bunch of High School Buddies Took on the Sheiks and Bluebloods...and Won by the Funny Cide Team with Sally Jenkins
They had no business being there. They were up against million-dollar horses owned by patricians and oilmen and Arab sheiks and Hollywood producers. They were ten working-class men, and all they wanted was to win a race.

That's only the first part of the blurb on the jacket, but I think that sums it up pretty well. Funny Cide ran in the Triple Crown races a while before I started watching, so I thought it would be interesting to learn more about this fabulous horse. Plus, I've been wanting to read more nonfiction. Some title, huh?

Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume edited by Jennifer O'Connell
Whether laughing to tears reading Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great or clamoring for more unmistakable "me too!" moments in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, girls all over the world have been touched by Judy Blume's poignant coming-of-age stories. Now, in this anthology of essays, twenty-four notable female authors write straight from the heart about the unforgettable novels that left an indelible mark on their childhoods and still influence them today. After growing up from Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing into Smart Women, these writers pay tribute, through their reflections and most cherished memories, to one of the most beloved authors of all time.

This one looked really cool. I remember reading a couple books by Judy Blume a while back and I really enjoyed them. So many awesome authors contributed to this book! Last but certainly not least:

Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier
Following the accidental death of their middle son, the Kellaways, a Dorsetshire chair maker and family, arrive in London's Lambeth district during the anti-Jacobin scare of 1792. Thomas Kellaway talks his way into set design work for the amiable circus impresario Philip Astley, whose fireworks displays provide the same rallying point that the guillotine is providing in Paris. Astley's libertine horseman son, John, sets his sights on Kellaway's daughter, Maisie (an attention she rather demurely returns). Meanwhile, youngest surviving Kellaway boy Jem falls for poor, sexy firebrand Maggie Butterfield. Blake, who imagined heaven and hell as equally incandescent and earth as the point where the two worlds converge, is portrayed as a murky Friar Laurence figure whose task is to bind and loosen the skeins of young love going on around him—that is, until a Royalist mob intrudes into his garden to sound out his rather advanced views on liberty, equality and fraternity.

The only other book I've read by this author is Girl with a Pearl Earring. I really enjoyed it, so I thought I'd give this one a try as well.

And that is the end of my IMM post. Most of the summaries came from the book jackets, but a couple came from Amazon. I can't wait to read all of these books! I'm planning on starting on LYHYMY tomorrow. Thanks to Kristi from The Story Siren for hosting this awesome meme! Hope you all have a great week in reading!

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay comes home one day to find a package waiting for him. Excited to see what it holds, he opens it to find cassette tapes. When he listens, he hears something he can’t believe. Hannah, the girl who committed suicide, says that he and twelve other people caused her death. They are the thirteen reasons. Barely believing what he hears, he listens, and he finds out things about himself and others in his community that he never would have thought of.

I can’t honestly say that I “enjoyed” this book, not in the traditional sense, anyway. I didn’t finish the book and say, “Oh, that was a really cool book!” smile, and move onto something else. It was raw and emotional, and it made me have this sick feeling in the bottom of my stomach. This book was full of suspense, for me. Halfway through the book, I a part of me wanted the story to be some sick joke. I didn’t want Hannah to be dead. Maybe she just wanted to teach some people a lesson and disappeared for a couple weeks. I was thinking this even though I knew it wasn’t true.

I didn’t really like Hannah that much. If I had met her, I probably wouldn’t have liked her and instead been one of the people who believed all those rumors about her. This book made me think of the way I treat other people. Aren’t I a bit quick to believe what others tell me about people I don’t take the time to know, instead of finding out for myself? Even though I didn’t like Hannah, in a way, I could sympathize with her. Have we not at one time or another felt completely alone?

As I was nearing the end of the book, I couldn’t see how it would end in a way that I would feel like the story had come to a close. I read the final chapter, still not seeing what could come out of such an event. However, in the last two or three pages, I felt like everything had come to a close. When I finished Thirteen Reasons Why, I closed the book, and felt like the story was done.

My rating: 4/5

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fonts in Books

Yesterday, before I returned North of Beautiful to the Library, I opened the book up to look over my favorite passages. Then I stopped and looked at the book. I picked up another book. And another. I probably looked at around fifteen to twenty of my books. Why you might ask? Looking at North of Beautiful, I noticed that it was printed in Calibri. Every single other book I looked at was written in Times New Roman. I wonder how Times New Roman became the default font for books. Personally, I like Calibri a lot better. What about you?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Death By Denim by Linda Gerber

Aphra is on the run, again. Someone has found out where her mom and her have been hiding. Someone who wants her dead. When Aphra and her boyfriend, Seth, slipped through The Mole's grip last summer that made The Mole mad. And making The Mole, whoever he is, mad is not something one wants to do.

First off, I really like the name "Aphra". Not a name I hear everyday. Actually, I don't think I've ever heard it. Anyway, I think it's cool. Now, down to the review.

Death by Denim had a great plot. It moved along quickly, and it was a fast read. I rarely had any idea what was coming, other than the ending. The ending was a bit predictable, but I really can't think of any other way the book could have ended satisfactorily.

Characters in this book were all well developed and interesting. Seeing everything from Aphra's view was intriguing. She had opinions about everything, as we all do, and it was interesting seeing whether her presumptions ended up being correct or not.

Overall, this was an interesting book. Not a OMG-read-as-fast-as-you-can-rush-to-the-ending, but it did hold my attention. I recommend.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Death By Denim Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered! I had 37 people enter, which was more than I had even dared to hope for. I counted all the entries and told my mom to pick two numbers. She did, and the winners are... *insert drum roll here*

The Book Pixie



I'm about to go send out emails to you both, so if you'd email me with your address, I'll get those out to you ASAP. I'm going to hold another contest in the not-too-distant future, so keep checking back!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rumors by Anna Godbersen

Once again, we start at the end. Henry Schoonmaker, still the most eligible bachelor in NYC, is getting married. But to who? And are the rumors that Elizabeth Holland is actually alive really true? For that, you'll have to read the book.

I think that I'm really starting to settle into the story of this series. I'm finally beginning to form attachments to the characters. My favorite character is Diana Holland. She's so young, only sixteen, and full of so much life and vigor. Just as I've fallen in love with Diana, I've also began to form serious dislikes against some of the characters as well. Mrs. Holland seems to be concerned about only what everyone else's opinion is of the family. It seems to be the most important thing to her, even to the detriment of her daughters' lives. Penelope Hayes is also beginning to majorly get on my nerves. She's so cunning and full of evilness!

The plot in this book is just as captivating as that of The Luxe. This book encompasses just the last few days of 1899, yet still, so much manages to happen! I love the way the book starts at the end. It left me wanting to rush to the end to find out how things had ended up like this. The ending was great as well. I am most definitely going to be looking for a copy of Envy, the third book in this series.

Rumors is a great continuation of the Luxe Series. I most definitely recommend both this book, and the series, to all with a love of historical fiction and the lives of people who lived long ago.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Monday, July 13, 2009

Last Call

I took the weekend off blogging, and what do I find when I come back? I have over fifty followers! Thanks, you guys. You made me smile.

In other news, my Death by Denim giveaway is ending tomorrow at midnight, so if you haven't entered, be sure to head over and check it out!

Hope your week is off to a great start!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

ns Terra is on her way out. She's going to graduate high school this year. She plans on going to a college over three thousand miles from home. That is, if her over controlling father doesn't get in her way. She's bent on getting out of this stifling small town. Terra isn't known for her art skills or her brains. She's known for her face. Her face with a birthmark running down accross one cheek. She covers her face with an inch of makeup, making sure no one can see what lies beneath. Then she meets Jacob, an Asian goth boy, who challenges her beliefs and shows her a new meaning to the word, "beautiful."

During the first few chapters of this book, I didn't really understand why Terra was trying to escape. Then, I was introduced to her father. Her father isn't physically abusive. He never resorts to hitting or punching Terra or her mother. Instead, he uses words as a weapon. With carefully constructed sentences, he bruises his family over and over again. Within a chapter of being introduced to this man, I absolutely hated him. How dare he wound them in such a way?

Terra was by no means perfect. She even annoyed me a few times with her indecision. However, once she met Jacob, and the real, true Terra began to reveal herself Ibegan to like her a lot more.

The writing in this book was great. Told from Terra's point of view, it really helped flesh out the reasons she reacted the way she did. The style of writing fit the story perfectly.

North of Beautiful was a great read, and one that I would most definitely recommend. I'm very happy that I took the time to read this book.

Other Reviews:
The Book Muncher
The Story Siren
Pop Culture Junkie

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

From Goodreads: A big, sumptuous tale of catty girls, dark secrets and windswept romance unfurls in this compulsively readable novel of late-19th-century New York City socialites. Godbersen weaves a tenuous web of deceit, backstabbing and pretense that follows four teens: Elizabeth Holland, a prim and proper lady of old-money society, is betrothed to one man, though furtively loves another; Henry Schoonmaker, a debauched playboy who must marry Elizabeth or be disinherited; Diana Holland, Elizabeth’s younger sister who is in love with her fiancé; and Penelope Hayes, a member of the nouveau riche who will stop at nothing to win Henry’s affections. As Elizabeth and Henry’s wedding approaches, the spectacle unfolds in a wondrously grandiose scene, making for a fun, though not entirely unexpected dénouement. A delicious new twist along the Gossip Girl vein, readers will clamor for this sharp, smart drama of friends, lovers, lies and betrayal.

I love reading historical fiction, especially the books that are set in the late 19th, early 20th century periods. The clothes, the speech, the way people lived; almost everything from that time period intrigues me! I'm happy to say that this book did, as well.

Thrown into a world where appearance was everything, I found myself being immersed in the story. The beginning of the book was interesting, and it was fun to get to know all of the characters. Halfway through I came up with a theory of how it would end, and after that, I couldn't wait to finish it. I ended up getting more and more excited as I neared the end, wanting to see if I was right or wrong. I was kept in suspense until the very end! I loved it.

The characters in this book were really interesting. Watching them struggle with finding a balance between what everyone else wanted and what they wanted, seeing who they trusted and who they used for their own gain.

Overall, The Luxe was an immensely satisfying read, and I'm looking forward to starting the next book in the series, Rumors, very soon. Thankfully, it's lying on my shelf, just waiting for me to pick it up.

My rating- 4/5 stars

Other reviews:
YA Reads
Stop, Drop, and Read!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Current Contests: July '09

Hi everyone! I haven't done one of these in a while, so here's just a few of the contests going on around the blogs.

There's a giveaway for Candor by Pam Bachorz over at Sharon Loves Books and Cats.
You can win an ARC of Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen at Reading Keeps you Sane.
Carrie's YA Bookshelf is giving away an ARC of The Hate List and Beautiful Creatures.
A giveaway is being held for Tempo Change at Pop Culture Junkie.
The Story Siren is giving away the Elite Series as well as season 1 of Gossip Girls.
Mrs. Magoo Reads is holding a contest for 2 copies of Twenty Boy Summer.
Lauren Barnholdt is giving away a signed ARC of Catching Fire.
Addicted to Books is giving away 9 books to 3 winners.
There's a chance to win 4 books at So Adam, How's That Book?
Genevieve's Blog is holding a giveaway featuring 15 books!
And finally, Kay Cassidy is having a giveaway to launch her awesome new blog, You 2.0!

Enjoy and good luck!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Bertie has lived in the theatre all her life. It has been all she’s ever known. Always in the midst of trouble, one day she slips into a meeting with all the players when she is supposed to be meeting the theatre manager to hear the worst news of all; she has to leave the theatre. Not one to leave without a fight, she convinces the manager to let her stay if she proves herself invaluable. Doing this will be harder than she ever imagined.

I was incredibly happy to receive this book after reading many great things about it and seeing it featured in several Waiting on Wednesday posts. I’m happy to say that it certainly lives up to all the hype that it’s receiving. Eyes like Stars is a fabulous read!

The plot in this book is not something you come across every day. It’s refreshingly different and keeps the reader absorbed into this new and exciting world. It did take me a while to figure out how this world worked, but once I did the book flew by. I couldn’t put it down!

The characters in this book were absolutely intriguing! The fairies were full of vitality and had me chuckling several times. Bertie was always getting into something; either on purpose or by accident. Through the entire book, I was always wondering what would happen next.
Isn’t the cover of this book absolutely gorgeous? I think it’s great. I loved learning the story behind that blue hair. This cover fits the book perfectly.

Overall, this is an absolutely amazing read! You should definitely give this book a try. It will be released tomorrow, the 7th, but it's already been spotted in several bookstores! You’ll love it. This is the first book in a series, and I can’t wait till the next one comes out!

My rating: 5/5 stars

Steph Su Reads
My Favorite Author
Carrie’s YA Bookshelf

Saturday, July 4, 2009

In My Mailbox (8)

This meme is hosted by The Story Siren. Thanks, Kristi!

Girlfriend Material by Melissa Cantor
If Kate were Lady Brett Ashley, the devastating heroine of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, she'd spend her summers careering around the Riviera in her coupe, breaking hearts by the dozen--because why not? In reality, Kate's never even had a boyfriend, and she'll be spending the summer abetting her mom's lame ploy to make her dad jealous: running off to Cape Cod and crashing at the seaside home of her wealthy friends, the Cooper-Melnicks. To add to the shame, the Cooper-Melnicks' gorgeous daughter Sarah is a bit like Lady Brett, and she seems less than thrilled to hang out with her new houseguest. Any dreams Kate once had of a perfect summer are ruined.

That is, until Sarah's cute, witty friend Adam starts drawing Kate into the fold--and seems intrigued. With Adam around, Kate feels like she just might have a bit of heartbreaker potential after all. But when a breezy summer romance quickly grows more complicated can Kate keep pretending her relationship with Adam is just a carefree fling? Or will she take the risk and tell him her real feelings? Suddenly Kate is asking herself a question she never thought she'd stoop to: Is she girlfriend material?

I really like the cover of this book. I do that everytime I go to the beach!

Riding the Universe by Gaby Triana
Chloé Rodriguez values three things above all else—her family; her best friend, Rock; and Lolita, her Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster. With a black body, blue airbrushed flames, and perfect sloping ape hangers, Lolita is Chloé's last connection to her beloved uncle, Seth, who left her the bike when he died last summer. So when a failing chemistry grade threatens to separate Chloé from her motorcycle, she vows not to let that happen . . . no matter what.

Enter Gordon. Ridiculously organized, übersmart, and hot in a casual, doesn't-know-it kind of way, Chloé's peer tutor may have a thing or two to teach her besides chemistry. But she has to stop falling for Gordon . . . and get Rock to act mature whenever he's around . . . and pass chemistry so she doesn't lose Lolita forever. Just when Chloé thinks she's got it all figured out, a bump in the road comes out of nowhere and sends her skidding.

I absolutely love the cover of this book! It would be so cool if there actually was a shirt like that.

Secrets of Truth and Beauty by Megan Frazer
When Dara Cohen was little, she was a bright, shiny star. She was the cutest seven-year-old who ever sang Ella Fitzgerald, and it was no wonder she was crowned Little Miss Maine.

That was then. Now Dara's seventeen and she's not so little anymore. So not little, that when her classmates find out about her illustrious resume, their jaws drop. That's just one of her many problems. Another is that her control-freak mom won't get off her case about anything. Yet the one that hurts the most is the family secret: Dara has an older sister her parents tried to erase from their lives.

When a disastrously misinterpreted English project lands her in the counselor's office--and her parents pull her out of school to save face--Dara realizes she has a decision to make. She can keep following the rules and being misunderstood, or she can finally reach out to the sister she's never met--a sister who lives on a collective goat farm in Massachusetts. Dara chooses B. What follows is a summer of revelations, some heartbreaking, some joyous; of friendship, romance, a local beauty pageant; and choices. And as autumn approaches, Dara finds she may have to let go of everything she's taken for granted in order to figure out who she really is, and what family really means.

The subject matter in this book sounds intriguing, and definitely not something I've read about recently. I can't wait to get started!

The Goodbye Season by Marian Hale

Mercy Kaplan doesn't want to be like her mother, saddled with crying kids and failing crops for the rest of her life. Mercy longs to be on her own - until her wish comes true in the worst possible way. It is 1918 and a deadly flu epidemic ravages the country, leaving her utterly alone and penniless.

Mercy soon finds a job with Mrs. Wilder. But there's something unsettling about the woman, whose brother died under mysterious circumstances. And then there's Daniel, who could sweep a girl off her feet if she isn't careful.

Yay for historical fiction! This one sounds great. I haven't read many books set in this time period.

Nothing but Ghosts by Beth Kephart

After the death of her mother, Katie takes a summer gardening job at the estate of town recluse Miss Martine who hasn’t been seen outside since she was 16. Katie herself is burdened with grief, but she has to wonder what kind of tragedy would make you voluntarily disappear from life. With the help of two brothers and a glamorous librarian, Katie begins to decode the mystery and gain the strength to go on.

At first, the title of this book threw me off. But after reading the summary, I think it's gonna be really good. As Marie from Cupcake Witch said, it's nice that there's a glamorous lirarian!

The following two I got from the library.

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.

She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?

I don't think I've read a single negative review of this book. They've all been positive!

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

I've only read the first two pages of this book so far, and I'm already hooked!

Well, that's everything I received this week. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

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