Saturday, January 30, 2010

In My Mailbox

Here's what I received this week:

For the One ARC Tours:
The Kindling of GreenFyr

Twitter contest from @fluxbooks:
A Summer of Silk Moths

Contest at Book Blather:

Signed Donut Days

Fire (Should I read Graceling first?)

And along with those two fabulous books, signed swag for:

Shadowed Summer

The Espressologist

The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading

Great Call of China

It was a great week for books! Whatcha think?

Book titles are Amazon Affiliate links.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WoW: Perchance to Dream

If you haven't read Eyes Like Stars, (If you haven't, you should!) the following summary from Amazon has spoilers.

From the critically acclaimed author of Eyes Like Stars

We are such stuff as dreams are made on.

Act Two, Scene One

Growing up in the enchanted Thèâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned everything about every play ever written. She knew the Players and their parts, but she didn’t know that she, too, had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and determined to follow her stars. She is ready for the outside world.


But the outside world soon proves more topsy-turvy than any stage production. Bertie can make things happen by writing them, but outside the protective walls of the Thèâtre, nothing goes as planned. And her magic cannot help her make a decision between—

Nate: Her suave and swashbuckling pirate, now in mortal peril.

Ariel: A brooding, yet seductive, air spirit whose true motives remain unclear.

When Nate is kidnapped and taken prisoner by the Sea Goddess, only Bertie can free him. She and her fairy sidekicks embark on a journey aboard the Thèâtre’s caravan, using Bertie’s word magic to guide them. Along the way, they collect a sneak-thief, who has in his possession something most valuable, and meet The Mysterious Stranger, Bertie’s father—and the creator of the scrimshaw medallion. Bertie’s dreams are haunted by Nate, whose love for Bertie is keeping him alive, but in the daytime, it’s Ariel who is tantalizingly close, and the one she is falling for. Who does Bertie love the most? And will her magic be powerful enough to save her once she enters the Sea Goddess’s lair?

My first thought when I finished reading the summary was:

Woo! Love triangle!

My second thought was:

What the heck does "swashbuckling" mean?

Answer (according to the handy-dandy dictionary by my desk): Adventurer.

Anyway, I'm so excited to read this! It doesn't come out until May, so there's still a few months of waiting. How will I ever survive? How will other Thèâtre Illuminata fans survive? There is hope! Lisa Mantchev is holding a contest for an ARC. Go enter!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sing Me to Sleep Book Trailer

When Kym McNabney from Writing from the Soul commented on my blog yesterday, I went over to check her blog out. I was incredibly excited to see that Sing Me to Sleep (read my review) has a trailer! Turn your volume up because you don't want to miss the song that starts near the end. It's gorgeous.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison

Beth's first memory is of being called "damn ugly" by her father. She's come to accept it, and lies low at school, trying to stay out of the way. There is one thing that Beth knows she can do. She can sing. When she lands the solo part in the 80 girl choir she's a part of, things change. After a massive makeover, Beth's physical beauty comes to the surface. Scott, Beth's only friend before the make-over, says she looked fine before, but Beth knows that's not true.

Things keep getting better for Beth when her choir goes to Switzerland to compete in an international competition. She meets Derek who's incredibly handsome and charming. She falls in love.

But life can't be a fairytale forever. When she returns home, Scott makes a confession. One that leaves her feeling torn. To top it all off, she's sure Derek's keeping a secret, but she has no idea what it is.

Sing Me to Sleep is the kind of book that will stay in your mind for quite a while. While I was reading it, I spent a lot of time speculating over what the ending would bring. When I finished, I went over the ending again and again in my mind, trying to sort through my feelings over it. It is a captivating story with characters that you can't help but feel for.

That said, it wasn't a perfect book. There's so much going on. Beth's romance with Derek, singing, her relationship with her mother, Scott, and her self confidence. Some things didn't have as much of an ending as I would have liked, especially Beth finding peace within herself.

However, that was basically the only qualm I had with this book. It's a lovely story with strong yet completely human characters. One that made me smile, then feel like I wanted to cry.

Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison will be released on March 4th by Razorbill.

Book title is an amazon affiliate link.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another Week, Another WoW

I haven't done a Waiting on Wednesday post in quite some time. When I went looking for a book, I couldn't decide on just one. So instead, I have four. :P

The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor

A part of the summary on Goodreads says, "This is a lyrical tale of love, loss and self-discovery." Doesn't that sound beautiful?

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu has an intriguing concept! Secrets are always tough to keep, and when they come out, something interesting always happens.

Hard to Get by Emma Carlson Berne is a Simon Pulse Romantic Comedy. I've read a few of these recently, and they're really cute!

After by Kristin Harmel has a lovely summary. However, if you make lemonade with only lemons, it's going to be pretty sour.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking The Spine.

Two book titles are amazon affiliate links. Then, for reasons unbeknownst to me, Amazon slowed way down.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

In My Mailbox

This week was an awesome week for books!

I got the following from Yan, from the buying/trading post she posted in December:

Incredibly excited to read all of these!

From contests:

Michelle Zink was awesome enough to sign this for me! Eeee! It is fabulous and wonderful.

I've read the first two books in this series, but it's very nice to have my own copies. And I'm incredibly excited to read the latest addition to the Darcy Saga.

From Sandy, who is made of about a million types of awesome. MUCH squee-ing was made when I opened up the package.

I'm sure all these books will keep me occupied for quite some time. Whadya think?

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.

The Body Finder Movie Trailer

Is that not one of the creepiest trailer ever? To celebrate the trailer's release and the upcoming release of The Body Finder, author Kimberly Derting is having a fabulous contest. Go find out all about it!

Beauty and The Beast Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who stopped by this week! I had a lot of fun with it, and I'm thinking about doing another themed week sometime in the future. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! Now, for the giveaway.

One lucky winner will receive:

- A copy of Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
- A DVD of Belle and The Beast
- A copy of Beastly by Alex Flinn

To enter, fill out the form here.

This giveaway is open internationally and will end on February 15. A winner will be announced soon after. Thanks for taking the time to enter and good luck!

ETA: Google docs has been giving me issues, but I think I fixed them. If I didn't, please let me know.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Lucius has no hands, only hooks, and it's his fault. He blew them off in an explosion of his own making. His family has moved to a new town. As he prepares for his first day at school, he knows he'll be an outcast. In some ways, he might actually prefer it.

Aurora's father insisted that they move. The old house was too full of memories. Aurora steps into this new school a little nervous and a little confident. She'll do just as her mother suggested. Smiling at everyone and giving them the benefit of the doubt.

When they meet, Aurora is one of the few people willing to look past the rumors and the hooks to see him. If only he was sure that what she saw wouldn't send her running.

First off, isn't the name Aurora gorgeous? It just sort of rolls off the tongue. I love it, and it really seems to suit her character.

The best part of this book is the way it's written in alternating viewpoints. It helped me to get a better grasp on the story, as well as get to know both main characters really well. The viewpoint alternates every chapter, and the length varies. It may be a full chapter or just a couple of paragraphs, depending on the character's mood and how much they want to talk. It worked very well.

My favorite character in the story is that of Aurora's father, Mr. Belle. He's such a kind person, the kind that you think wouldn't even hurt a fly. He's a wonderful father to Aurora, even as he struggles with the grief of his wife's death.

One common complaint I have heard about this book was the lack of details over what exactly caused Lucius to lose his hands. Although things may never have been explicitly explained, by the end of the book, I did feel as if I had a good enough grasp on what happened.

I did feel a bit uncomfortable during a conversation Lucius had with Jessup about "jerking off", and Lucius' accompanying thoughts afterwords. However, I could see the point of the conversation. And thinking back to my public school days, are there any subjects that are off-limits in the locker room?

The cover of this book is very captivating. At first, when I saw the cover online, I thought it was purely black and white. However, when I bought a copy of this book, it's easy to see that there is a bit of pink in the lettering, which really makes it pop.

In closing, I really enjoyed reading this story. It's a great modern retelling of the classic tale.

It doesn't happen like that in real life. You don't fall in love with people you've just met for the first time when you don't even know the first thing about them.

Page 28, Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Movie Review: Belle and The Beast

Well, today's post is a bit late *sheepish smile*. This is mainly due to the fact that I had a piano lesson today, and I've had hardly any time to practice. Which is mainly due to the fact that I've been really busy with school, and I also really hate playing Sonatinas. I like listening to them, but my fingers never seem to be moving fast enough. But enough with the *cough*excuses*cough* reasons. On to the review!


Belle lives at home with her father, younger brother, and younger sister. Along with taking care of them, she also has a part-time job and attends college. Her plate is pretty full, but it's about to get even more crowded.

Eric's rich, handsome, and a jerk. When Belle's father accidentally breaks a vase while working on the fireplace in Eric's house, Eric wastes no time in telling him that he plans to get him fired for his clumsiness. Their family can't afford to not have that income coming in, so Belle takes action and becomes Eric's assistant, replacing the one Eric fired earlier in the day.

She's in for a very interesting time.

Belle and The Beast has the subtitle A Christian Romance. The subject of faith comes up a few times, but never enough to be overwhelming.

The first half of the movie, the one thought that dominated my mind was what a jerk Eric was. I mean, really!! He's self-centered and has a huge temper. Belle must have more patience than I could ever imagine having. However, as the movie progresses, it's nice to find out what Eric's reasons are. Knowing the reasons behind a person's behavior always helps.

The person that had me laughing the most in this movie was Belle's very persistent wanna-be boyfriend. He was absolutely over the top in a hilarious, oh-my-goodness-you've-got-to-be-kidding-me sort of way!

Overall, this was a pretty good movie. The ending may have been a bit too easily concluded for my liking, but it still managed to make me smile.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Guest Post: Alyssa from The Shady Glade

Alyssa from The Shady Glade wrote today's post on why she loves Beauty and the Beast. Thanks, Alyssa!

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m a Disney nut. Grade A and certified. And some of you might be wondering how I got that way. Well, even I’m a little fuzzy on that, but I suppose that a lot of it has to do with the fact that I was raised on Disney. Every new year a new movie would come out and I’d have to have the latest merchandise.

When Beauty and the Beast came out in 1991, it was no different. I had to have the tights, the Barbies, the mirror, you name it, I had it. And then as usual a new movie came out the next year and I moved on to new stuff.

But somehow Beauty and the Beast was different. There was something about it, though at the young age of 4 I wasn’t quite sure what it was. In some ways I moved on, true, but a part of me still loved that movie despite my other “new favorite”.

Since then, I’ve grown up with this story. The illustrated Beauty and the Beast was the very first chapter book I was able to read by myself from start to finish. I went to see Beauty and the Beast on Ice for my 7th birthday. My first Broadway play was the theater version of Beauty and the Beast. I got Belle’s autograph at Disneyland. The list goes on and on.

I suppose one thing that kept me coming back was how much I admired Belle’s character. She was brave, smart, and not afraid to stand up to a jerk like Gaston. When I finally read the original version of the fairytale I was surprised at how bland the character of Beauty seemed. Beauty was more like other fairytale princesses I had read about, but Belle was new and vibrant. A strong female role model who still got her happily ever after in the end.

Belle taught me that it was okay to be a bookworm, even when a lot of my friends thought it was funny to be reading so much. At Disneyland, they have a building called the Animation Studio and there’s a room entitled the Beast’s Library where you can take a personality test to determine which Disney character you are most like. It wasn’t surprising to me at all when I found out I’m most like Belle.

These days, the music is the thing I love most about this movie. In fact, if you haven’t seen the Broadway version, I would highly recommend it. The songs they’ve added are my favorites these days. The production as a whole adds a whole new level of complexity to the personalities of the Beast and Belle, and they did a wonderful job adding the new music to the old familiar tunes from the movie.

No matter where I go, Beauty and the Beast will always be a special movie. Call it crazy if you want, but I still get choked up every time I hear the music. It truly is “a tale as old as time.” My time, anyway.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beauty by Robin McKinley

The first time I heard of Beauty was when Eva from A Striped Armchair put it on her list for books she'd recommend for the Women Unbound Reading Challenge. I'm so glad I chose to read it.

Told from Beauty's perspective, the story starts when Beauty's father, a widower, loses his fortune when his entire fleet is lost. Beauty and her two sisters have been accustomed to a life of ease, so when they move to a small house in the country, they must learn to adapt.

After some time, her father hears that one of his ships has returned and he rides back to see if that is true. On his way home, he is lost in the woods, and he encounters the beast. What was once to be a happy homecoming is now laden with sorrow as he recounts his tale and what the beast wants.

Beauty decides she must be the one to go and with her horse, Greatheart, she sets off into the unknown.

I believe this is my favorite adaptation of the fairy tale I have read thus far. Beauty is an amazing character. She's very strong, and I don't think I would have been able to do what she did. Especially not willingly. She's someone that is easy to admire, yet she's still human. And since I love horses, her relationship with Greatheart was awesome. They really trust each other.

Everything in this story was done really well. I'm pretty sure I could ramble for a fairly long time, but I'll just leave it with this: great story, great characters, great book.

Monday, January 11, 2010

An Interview with Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Today, an interview with Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of Crazy Beautiful.

Why did you choose to rewrite Beauty and the Beast versus, say, Cinderella or Snow White?

I'd just seen Beauty and the Beast on Broadway and I got to wondering why of all the Disneyfied fairy tales it's the one that's translated best to stage and screen - certainly, it's the one I've enjoyed the most! I decided it's because it's the only one where the male is actually a fully formed character too, more than just mere window dressing for the female. It struck me that it would be fun to try to do a contemorary re-visioning - not a strict re-telling, but rather using the classic as a springboard to say something hopefully fresh about the world we live in now.

What was the writing process for Crazy, Beautiful like?

A lot of fun! I'd never tried to write from the point of view of a boy before, which is what half of Crazy Beautiful is written from, the story told in alternating chapters by Lucius Wolfe and Aurora Belle. The first draft I wrote thinking it was for the middle grade market, with the characters a few years younger than they wound up being in the final version. But then an editor was resistant to the idea of Lucius having hooks for hands - she thought he should have mechanical hands - and while I was doing research that did validate that a double amputee would be more likely to wind up with hooks, it occurred to me that the story would be much more strong and interesting if I made the characters a few years older. Once I began rewriting the thing with the characters a few years older, I saw that it was a good decision: the stakes were so much higher for Lucius and Aurora.

Did you do any research prior to writing Crazy, Beautiful?

I re-watched the movie and read the classic version again - no great hardship as far as research goes!

What are you working on now?

My next novel for teens, and the growing ranks of adults who enjoy teen fiction, is called The Education of Bet, due out in July. It's about a 16-year-old girl in Victorian England who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education.

Other than Beauty and the Beast, what is your favorite, favorite fairy tale?

I really like Rumpelstiltskin! That said, I'm not sure I do have a favorite. I just love the idea of taking classics or fairy tales and finding new things to say, taking beloved source material and discovering a new angle.

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks to Lauren for taking the time. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Beastly is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast from the Beast's viewpoint. In this case, Adrain/Kyle. He's used to getting practically everything he's ever wanted. The kind of guy you probably hate, but still somehow wish you could be who he is. And he knows it.

All the girls at school have a crush on him. He uses that fact to his advantage. One night, though, his actions come back to haunt him, proving that karma really can be a bitch. His one solitary good deed on that fateful night garners him a second chance. One that will lead him on an emotional roller coaster like he's never been on.

I confess. I originally picked up this novel because of the upcoming movie. I simply hadn't heard of it before then. While I may be a bit uncertain of the movie, the book was amazing.

Kyle was an intriguing character. He's so arrogant at the beginning of the novel, but even then, he has his weak spots, making him truly human. After the curse, watching him become immersed in classic literature was great. His speech even ended up being affected by it. That was a bit humorous, but since he knew it was a little silly, it turned out to be pretty cool.

The romance in this novel was just right. It's beautiful.

Even though you know basically how this story will end before you begin, Flinn manages to make the fairy tale completely captivating all over again. I recommend.

Bloggiesta Wrap-Up


A) It's past midnight.

B) I ban the computer on Sundays because I'm on it ALL the time for school. I need a break from technology.


C) I'm slightly delirious and have to wake up in six and a half hours with the hope of being semi-coherent, I'll do my best to make this short and sweet.

This Bloggiesta wasn't that successful when I put it up to the previous one. However, I still managed to get a few things done. I finally got some work done for a blog tour I'm working on, I cleared up my inbox a bit, marked books as received on my Bookmooch account (I sometimes forget), and wrote four posts.

Oh, AND I got some Biology schoolwork done! Woot!

Not too bad, not too good. I'll take it.

Once I get a major amount of schoolwork done, I'll be doing my own personal bloggiesta to finish all the things I didn't accomplish this go-round.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by, and I hope to see you around again, especially for a week of Beauty and The Beast!

Over and out.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

In My Mailbox: The After-Christmas Edition

I haven't done an IMM for a few weeks, so let's get started! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.

What I won: The Brain Finds a Leg was won from Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers. It looks quite cute.

Coffeehouse Angel, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, The Family Fortune, and My Soul to Save all came from an Amazon Gift card I was lucky enough to win from Cheryl Renee Herbsman, author of Breathing. Two of these books made my best of '09 lists!

What I traded:From Emilee at Penultimate Page, I traded for a lovely ARC of The Dark Divine. I can't wait to get started on this book!

Royally Jacked and Elegance both came from the awesomeness that is Bookmooch. The first sounds cute and the latter sounds fabulous.

What I bought, with a bit of help from gift cards:I'm going straight to the movie gallery on Tuesday to rent the Post Grad movie and because I always like to read the book first, I grabbed a copy of Post Grad. It was pretty cool, in a semi-predictable sort of way.

I've been meaning to read a John Green book, and since my library has his two previous books I picked up Paper Towns.

I saw the trailer of the Dear Johnmovie when I went to see New Moon (That movie had a lot of great previews!), so once again, I wanted to read the book first.

Blue Moon: The Immortals is the second book in the series. Loved the first!

I loved the movie, Marley & Me, and since the book is generally better, plus it was on clearance, I jumped on it! :P

LEFTY Notebook -Where the Right Way to Write is Left is just made of awesome.

That, my friends, is all I have received. You must tell me, what are your thoughts?

Book titles are amazon affiliate links.

Introducing: A Week of Beauty and The Beast

I'm very excited to get the upcoming week started. I've been working to get it together for a while now, and it's finally here! Here are some of the posts you can be looking forward to:

Review of Beastly by Alex Flinn

Interview with Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Review of Crazy, Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Guest post from Alyssa at The Shady Glade

Movie review of Belle and the Beast

Review of Beauty by Robin McKinley

And on Saturday, the 16th, there will be a CONTEST! Extra entries will be given to those who comment on the daily posts, so be sure to stop by often!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Well, the electrician guy came today to fix the heater which meant that he had to turn off the electricity in the entire house. Totally messed up my plans of getting an early start today, but it's better late then never, right?

I have a bunch of stuff to do with over ten reviews to write. And a LOT of email clearing out to do. What am I waiting for? I better get started...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Resolution: a firm decision to do something

Here are my resolutions! I'd love to hear yours in the comments.

Blogging Goals:

Comment more: I did a really good job of this when I was just starting out (If I do say so myself), but lately I've not been doing such an awesome job.

Relax: I'm going to relax and not worry about how often I post. I do intend to join the Bloggiesta this weekend and get a bunch of stuff done, so I won't be so worried about this stack of books that needs to be reviewed. *eyes warily*

Do more editing: I've been looking back over some of my posts, and it's definitely ringing true that hindsight is always the clearest. So, I'm taking a little more time to think over posts.

And most importantly, have fun!

Personal Goals:

Get in shape: I don't think there's every been a time where I've truly been in shape. I've never been interested in sports at the schools I've attended. While I'm not overweight, I'm not in shape, either. I'd like to see how that feels.

Be more open: I'm slow to trust people and kind of shy, so apparently I don't come across as very friendly. This is the one that will probably be the hardest. Be more extroverted! Yeah! =)

Newer Posts Older Posts Home