Saturday, February 28, 2009

This is one BIG Contest!!!!

So here’s some info on a HUGE new contest. And I mean HUGE, like Hugey McHugerson huge. Basically, it’s really big. And it’s all to promote the new book Willow by the very nice and most awesome Julia Hoban. The contest is the brainchild of Lauren at http://www.shootingstarmag.blogspot.com/ and I personally thank her for including me.

Here are the details:


Start Date: March 1
End Date: April 30

To enter: One must buy the book (ARCs do not count of course) and send proof (receipt, picture of book, etc.) to: Lauren51990 AT aol DOT com


The book Willow by Julia Hoban is not released until April 2, so if someone pre-orders the book in March, that will count, and if they go out and buy the book in April, that will count.

One lucky person will win a, you guessed it, HUGE prize pack consisting of everything listed below. Hmmm…I might have to enter this one myself. By the by, this contest is open to everyone, so all of you international folks can join in too.

Prizes you ask?? Well those are listed below:

Khy is giving away Does This Book Make Me Look Fat?
http://www.freneticreader.blogspot.com/

Kelsey is giving away B&N ten dollar gift card in a cute felt penguin “bag” and some bookmarks.
http://justblindedbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Carrie will give Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby
http://carriesyabookshelf.blogspot.com/

Kelsey is giving an ARC version of Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
http://readingkeepsyousane.blogspot.com/

Alea is giving away Sherlock Holmes Volume 1.
http://aleapopculture.blogspot.com/

Kristi is giving a 10 dollar Amazon gift card.
http://www.thestorysiren.com/

Harmony is making a soundtrack with songs she feels fit the book.
http://harmonybookreviews.wordpress.com/

Lenore is giving 10 dollars to Amazon
http://www.presentinglenore.blogspot.com/

Gabbi is giving Chloe Doe by Suzanne Phillips
http://fivestarreading.blogspot.com/

Lauren will give the winner a book of their choice (has to be paperback!)
http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/

Chelsea is giving a $10 card to Amazon
http://www.thepageflipper.blogspot.com/

My Favorite Author is giving Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson
http://www.myfavoriteauthor.blogspot.com/

Vanessa is giving Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
http://whatvanessareads.wordpress.com/

Shalonda is giving away Sherlock Holmes Volume 2.
http://www.shalondasblog.blogspot.com/

Carol is giving an ARC of Because I Am Furniture.
http://www.bookluver-carol.blogspot.com/


Tirzah is giving Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
http://www.thecompulsivereader.blogspot.com/

Lauren is giving a 15 dollar gift card to B&N
http://www.laurenscrammedbookshelf.blogspot.com/

Laura is giving a 10 dollar Borders gift card and the book Flygirls.
http://laurasreviewbookshelf.blogspot.com/

Sarah is giving The Adoration of Jenna Fox
http://sarahbear9789.blogspot.com/

Alyssa is giving Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston.
http://theshadyglade.blogspot.com/


So, pick up Willow and send Lauren some proof. This contest is toooooo good to miss.


Oh, and did I mention it's HUGE!!

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry


Yes, I'd never read this book before, and I find it as hard to believe as everyone else. All of my co-workers yesterday were all like "You haven't read it?" , "I can't believe you haven't read it."

There's a lot of those award-winning books that I've never gotten around to reading though.


That being said, I really wish I had read this sooner. It's such an amazing and special book. I can see why it won the Newbery Award. I'm reading it for my Children's Lit class, another reason I'm really enjoying this class. It's introduced me to some great books and ones that I might otherwise not have gotten around to.


If you don't know the story, here's the description, although I'm sure many of you have already read it:


Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend, Ellen Rosen, often think about life before the war. But it's now 1943, and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school , food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town.


The Nazis won't stop. The Jews of Denmark are being "relocated," so Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family.


Then Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission. Somehow she must find the strength and courage to save her best friend's life. There's no turning back now.


It's a really quick, wonderful read and a different look at the Holocaust than you might normally get. It was interesting to look inside the resistance movement and to read about the courage and will to survive of these people.


Great book!!

Contest Reminder!!

I just wanted to let everyone know that my contest will be ending tonight at midnight.

So, be sure to enter to win 3 books with a supernatural twist.

1)You Are So Undead To Me by Stacey Jay
2)Evermore by Alyson Noel
3)The Girls Guide to Vampires by Barb Karg

I'll post the winner tomorrow.

Thanks for the great turn out. I'll be starting another contest for March soon!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Fade by Lisa McMann


For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.


Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open -- but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.


Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability -- and it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd feared....


Wowza, this book did not disappoint. I loved Wake and I think this one is even better. It's a quick read that grabs you from the first page and never lets go until the ride is over. Janie and Cabel are such interesting and sympathetic characters and you can't help but root for them in whatever situation they find themselves in.


This was just such a great continuation of their story. It offered a whole new mystery with an ending that honestly surprised me. I hope that McMann plans to write more in this series, because I can't wait to see what happens to these two characters in college.


If you haven't read these books yet, you should head to your favorite book haunt and pick them up. You won't regret it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You Are So Undead To Me by Stacey Jay

Megan Berry is a zombie settler. What does this mean? Well, for one thing, it's almost impossible to lead a normal life when zombies are constantly showing up on your doorstep looking for help. Megan is trying as hard as she can though to be normal. She's finally found a date for homecoming and she's getting ready for the big pom squad try-outs.

However, when zombies start showing up with murder rather than therapy on their minds, Megan has a mystery to solve. She has to find out who is raising these zombies to kill her and she'll need the help of zombie settler extraordinaire, Ethan, who just so happens to be drop dead gorgeous.


Can Megan find the would-be killer? Will Ethan choose her over snotty pom squad captain/zombie settler Monica? Will she even make it to try-outs alive? You'll have to read the book to find out.


I thought this book was really well written. It was funny and had some clever plot twists that really kept me guessing. It had almost an Anita Blake (Laurell K. Hamilton) feel to it, which is always good. This is almost what I would imagine Anita's teen years were like, perhaps with less dancing though and more killing.


All in all, this was a great addition to the zombie craze that is apparently sweeping the nation. I'm just so glad that the undead are finally getting their due.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Giveaway!!


Hey everyone, Carrie Ryan is giving away copies of her up-coming book The Forest of Hands and Teeth at her blog. Here's the link:




It ends tonight at midnight so get over there and enter. I can't wait for this book. It looks awesome and it fits my unintended Zombie theme of the week. It's Zombierific!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (5)--Pride and Prejudice and Zombies


I'm posting this somewhat early this week, because I really need to do some homework. Bah...homework. It's really getting in the way of my life. What can we do though?


So I am super-duper excited for this book. As soon as I heard about it, I knew that it had to be mine. And since there seems to be a whole zombie theme to my blog this week, what with the upcoming release of Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby; I decided that this was the perfect week for this title.


Here's the description:



"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton-and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers-and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.


Awesome right?! So my friend Jen from Australia actually sent me an e-mail last week about this book, which just goes to show how similar we are. Although we are thousands of miles apart we both stumbled upon this book and felt the need to share it with one another. Zombies cross many boundaries.


I have to admit that I've never read Pride and Prejudice and probably never would have had they not created a version with zombies, so lucky me. I can't wait...in fact, I so can't wait that I'm going to take this time to let any author or publicist out there know that I would love a copy of this to review for my blog. (Blatant begging)


So, that's all for now, and don't forget the awesome contests going on over at Amanda Ashby's blog for the release of Zombie Queen. It's quite the shindig. http://amandaashby.blogspot.com/

Also, don't forget my contest for 3 supernatural themed titles including the zombierific You Are So Undead To Me, and the wonderful Evermore. The contest ends the 28th, so check it out. Just scroll down to my archive and look for My First Contest.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yay!!

So, I was visiting Amanda Ashby's blog today, because she's having this awesome blog party/contest to celebrate the release of Zombie Queen of Newbury High and what should I see, but a mention of my review and that of prophecy girl at Wondrous Reads http://cityofbooks.blogspot.com

I'm very excited that Ashby saw my review, because I really did love her book.

Everyone should check out the awesome party going on at her blog:
http://amandaashby.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby


Mia's just your average high school senior. Okay, maybe there are one or two things standing between Mia and average. She has a best friend who's a major hypochondriac and she has an unnatural obsession with Buffy, Angel, and Supernatural. Then when the football-playing object of her affection starts to turn his attention to the oh-so-perfect cheerleader Samantha, Mia starts to fear that her prom date dreams are coming to an end. So what does she do? She doesn't bury her sorrow in some Ben and Jerry's; oh no, Mia decides to do a love spell to win back the man of her dreams.


Something goes terribly wrong though, and instead of making Rob the footballer dump Samantha the cheerleader, Mia's spell turns the entire senior class, and a few teachers, into flesh-eating zombies.


Now she has to team up with super-hot zombie hunter Chase to prevent an all-out zombie apocalypse, all while avoiding her fellow seniors who are looking at her likes she's the perfect meal.


I loved this book. It's no secret that I love zombies and this book did not disappoint. It has elements of classic zombie lore, while at the same time turning everything you've ever heard completely on its head. Not to mention that being totally obsessed with Buffy, Angel, and Supernatural myself, I could relate to Mia with no problem.


It was like George Romero meets Sunnydale, or Shaun of the Dead goes to high school. It had the same type of dialogue one would expect from their favorite CW show, while incorporating some classic zombie movie moments. The characters were great, especially her best friend Candice.


I would recommend this book to anyone. It's fun, compulsively readable, and pure escapism. I wish Ashby would turn this into a series. I keep saying that with all of these great books I've read lately, and I mean it. This one especially calls for at least a sequel. Please? Pretty Please?

Yay Zombies! Keep these undead books coming and I'll keep reading.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox was created over at http://thestorysiren.com/ and am I ever glad. I love seeing what everyone got this week. My wallet however, wishes I would just look the other way, since I feel the need to buy, buy, buy when it comes to books.

I actually got books in the mail this week, three of them from our good friends at Penguin...bless them.

You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay

Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a whole bunch of semi-dead people with killer issues. All Megan really wants is to go to homecoming, but when you're trailed by a bunch of slobbering corpses whenever you leave the house, it's kinda hard to score a date. Let's just say Megan's love life could use some major resuscitation.

Megan's convinced her life can't get any worse - until someone in school starts using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into scary, hardcore flesh-eating Zombies. Now it's up to Megan to stop the Zombie apocalypse. Her life - and more importantly, the homecoming dance - depends on it.






I'll be reading this one next. I'm also giving away a copy of this along with 2 other books in My First Contest, which ends the 28th. Just look for the link in my archive below.


Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby

Quiet, unpopular, non-cheerleading Mia is blissfully happy. She is dating super hot football god Rob, and he actually likes her and asked her to prom! Enter Samantha—cheerleading goddess and miss popularity— who starts making a move for Rob. With prom in a few days, Mia needs to act fast. So she turns to her best friend, Candice, and decides to do a love spell on Rob. Unfortunately, she ends up inflicting a zombie virus onto her whole class, making herself their leader! At first she is flattered that everyone is treating her like a queen. But then zombie hunter hottie Chase explains they are actually fattening her up, because in a few days, Mia will be the first course in their new diet. She’s sure she and Chase can figure something out, but she suggests that no one wear white to prom, because things could get very messy.




I was majorly pumped to get this one, what with my love for zombies and all. So, I'm reading this now. I'm almost done, so most likely I will post a review tomorrow.

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow



Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)


Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?





Very excited for this one, too. It will definitely be read very soon.

And then for what I bought,

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz


Some secrets shouldn't be kept...


Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.


Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson

After discovering that someone saw what looked like Dan’s emergency EpiPen in A-lister Plum’s designer handbag, Scarlett and her tough American sidekick, Taylor, sneak into a posh London nightclub, where Plum has a private table. Scarlett is stunned to discover a piece of evidence that might implicate another girl in Plum’s exclusive circle, Lucy Raleigh. Which means Scarlett must cast a wider net in order to catch the right suspect.

Back at school, groundskeeper Jase is hoping to take Scarlett’s mind off her troubles with some heart-stopping kisses. Scarlett can’t help but feel guilty for indulging in romantic rendezvous when she should be hunting down Dan’s killer. However, once Scarlett finds out how Lucy is connected to Dan, she knows she must drop everything and travel to the McAndrew estate in Scotland to hunt for more clues. But when she arrives, Scarlett becomes the target of a dangerous hunt herself.


I read the first book in this series this week and loved it, so I had to pick this one up.


And last but not least,


Shimmer by Dallas Reed

When the box is opened, everything starts to change.
On a freezing night in Winter, Colorado, there's a party going on—and it will change the town forever.
Justin, the party's host, doesn't know that the box in his dad's study contains a shimmering dust that has the power to transform all it touches. Emma, the cute new girl, doesn't know she will spend the next twenty-four hours running for her life through a freezing blizzard. Russ, a local snowboarder, doesn't know that the person he loves most is about to betray him. And Tess, the queen of the school, only knows she wants to see what's in that box.


Nobody knows what's coming—yet. But as the party gets under way, the residents of Winter will find themselves face-to-face with forces darker than any December storm.


So, that's it for this week. Not a bad haul all in all. I can't wait to see what everyone else got. Yay for books!!

Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson


I have to admit, it took me a long time to decide to pick this one up. I think it might have been the cover. I just though it looked like another one of those Lurlene McDaniel, my boyfriend's dying, kind of books. Not that there's anything wrong with McDaniel, she's just not really my thing.


When I saw the sequel come out though, I picked it up and actually read the cover. Hmmm....a mystery. This might actually be good. That was my thought process. So, having finished the book last night, I have to say I am thrilled that I picked it up and shame on me for judging a book by its cover....I really should know better by now.


The book is the story of Scarlett Wakefield and her fatal first kiss. She's invited to a party by the rich, bitch queens of her private school. She thinks her luck has turned around and that she's being accepted by the elite. That all ends, though, when she finally gets a kiss with her major crush Dan. Something goes horribly wrong and Dan dies in her arms. Talk about giving a girl a complex.


She's forced to leave her school in the midst of the scandal surrounding Dan's death. She returns to a girl's school run by her dictatorial grandmother. Her goal is to try to blend in and keep the secret of her "Kiss of Death" girl status. When a mysterious note appears in her desk, she becomes determined to get to the bottom of Dan's death, to find out who's really responsible and to clear her name. She goes into complete spy mode to solve the mystery, which is loads of fun to read about.


It's a great book and a great start to a new mystery series. I love Scarlett and I especially love Taylor, who makes me think of a young Stephenie Plum. This one is definitely worth reading. And of course, I picked up the sequel and added it to my HUGE TBR pile. I'm out of control really.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey


Here's the description from Amazon:


The undead can really screw up your senior year . . .


Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancĂ©. Armed with new found confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.


I had heard and read a lot about this book before picking it up and everything I heard was good. Once again, the YA blog community has not let me down. This was a really wonderful read. Jessica is a character that any girl can relate to I mean, who hasn't wanted a dark prince to show up on their doorstep and offer to wisk us away to a royal life? I love her friend Mindy and her wacky parents as well. And I love that the story is set in rural Pennsylvania, the last place you expect to run across the prince of darkness.


The dialogue is beautifully written, lots of snappy comebacks and funny moments. This book was just a joy to read. I really hope that Fantaskey returns to these characters and this world. I would love to see where she would take the story.


Of all the paranormal books I've read lately, I think this one is definitely near the top of the list. Fantaskey is a great new voice and I can't wait to read more.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blog To Watch--Aussie YA Alliance

So I love Australian authors. I'm a big fan of Melina Marchetta, Justine Larbalestier, Jaclyn Moriarty, etc. And now I have found the perfect place to find more Australian authors and read awesome reviews of their awesome books. In fact, I think this blog made be made of awesome.

So you should check it out at : http://aussieya.blogpost.com

It was created by Adele of Persnickety Snark, Allie of Just Listen Reviews, and Lisa May of Look At That Book.

Luckily for me, I have this very cool friend Jen who lives in Melbourne and if I bribe her with say...an ALA Twilight read poster, she will send me books that I can't get here. So, yay, I have a copy of Finnikin of the Rock on the way and after reading the review on the above-mentioned blog, I can hardly wait.

Go check out this blog people.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (4)--The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong


I can't wait for this book. It looks so great and I loved the first one. I'm a big fan of Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. She's a great writer and a major player in the world of paranormal fiction. I definitely recommend her books. I was so excited when she made her first foray into the world of YA and I was not disappointed. The Summoning is great and The Awakening will be too I'm sure. Now I just have to wait for it to come out...if I can.


Book II in the Darkest Powers trilogy takes us deeper into a world where the supernatural intrudes on the everyday with riveting effect.If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl – someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I’m as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment – not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a group of people who call themselves The Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I’m a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control: I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever. I’m running for my life with three of my supernatural friends – a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch – and we have to find someone who can help us gain our freedom back before The Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.


Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at http://breakingthespine.blogspot.com/

Dead Connection by Charlie Price


Here's a new review I wrote for my children's lit class.


Murray is just your average teenage boy. Average, that is, if every teen boy hangs out in cemeteries and talks to the dead. Murray doesn’t just talk to the dead though, he considers them his best and only friends. When Murray starts to hear a new voice hanging around the graveyard, he struggles to figure out from where and from whom it is coming.

Pearl’s dad works as the groundskeeper at the cemetery where Murray makes friends. She doesn’t like Murray at first sight, in fact she hates him, but as they get to know each other, a tentative friendship forms. Together these two outsiders look into the mystery of the disembodied voice. Could it be Nikki, the cheerleader who’s been missing for months?

Their story is interspersed with those of Billup, the creepy public affairs officer, who likes nothing more than to terrorize Murray, Gates, the cop who is assigned to Nikki’s case, and Robert Barry, a schizophrenic ex-con who may have witnessed Nikki’s abduction.

These stories intersect flawlessly to tell the story of Murray, Pearl and their search to find the missing girl. It’s a great mystery, very readable and interesting. I really enjoyed reading it. I would most certainly recommend it to any mystery fans out there. I love that mystery is becoming more and more popular in YA literature. I think it's a genre that has a lot to offer and I think and hope that Price will keep adding to that genre in the future.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My First Book Trailer

So for my children's lit class, I had to create a book trailer, like I might for a library website sometime. So here's my first attempt. The book Dooley Takes the Fall is great. It's one I reviewed a week or so ago. It was created with books and music from Creative Commons. Let me know what you think. Hope this actually works.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

In My Mailbox (3)

Okay, I got one book actually in the mail this week.
Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson












I also picked up and ARC at work for Shannon Hale's new book The Actor and the Housewife It comes out in June. It's adult fiction rather than children's or teen, but it looks pretty interesting. I shall add it to the ever-growing pile.

I bought quite a few, of course. I really should stop, but I probably won't. I'll just post pictures this week, because I've avoided my homework quite long enough.




Prom Dates from Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore


I haven't read this series before, but I've always been intrigued by the covers and I know there's a new one on the way, so I decided to pick it up. Have any of you read these?












The Chronicles of Vladmir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer


Another series I've been meaning to read....no time like the present.


Fade by Lisa McMann

I just read Wake so I had to immediately pick this up.







Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside by Beth Fantaskey

I've heard so many good things about this one.












Eternal by Cynthis Leitich Smith

In My Mailbox is brought to you courtesy of http://www.thestorysiren.com/ Go check it out!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith


I'd read some mixed reviews on this one before I decided to pick it up, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I enjoyed it though. I didn't have any trouble getting into it and it kept my attention. It was sort of a strange read though.


Quincie Morris lives in Austin, TX, but it's an alternate Austin. One in which shape shifters, weres of all shapes and sizes, and vampires exist and live along with human, although on the fringes and in the shadows. I always like this idea in books, I think that's why I like Kim Harrison so much. All of these magical creatures coexist and live day to day lives right along with all of us humans. It's an interesting world to me.


Quincie is preparing to open a vampire themed restaurant with her Uncle, all the while trying to juggle her last year of high school and her best friend/ love interest Kieren who just so happens to be half-Werewolf. When tragedy strikes. Quincie is forced to hire a new chef for the restaurant, one who she is strangely drawn to. From there, everything starts to change for Quincie and Kieren.


I like the rhythm of Smith's writing. It was funny, spooky and a little scary in parts. Everything I look for in a good supernatural book. It did seem that the ending was a little rushed, like she tried to throw it all in at the end. I would have also like to have read more about Kieren's world and the world of the other Weres.


Overall, though, I liked Quincie and cared about what happened to her. I really did enjoy this one and I bought Eternal today, so I must want more. I would recommend this one. Good, fast read.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wake by Lisa McMann


I so should not have started this book at 11pm last night. I had just finished Evermore and this was the next one on my pile, so innocently enough I picked it up, thinking I would read for maybe thirty more minutes. Well, needless to say, two hours later, I had to force myself to go to sleep with just about fifty pages left to read. It was sheer torture.


I know that all the other YA bloggers out there raved about this book, so I knew I would at least like it. I loved it though. It grabbed my attention from page one and kept me reading, and reading....and reading.


Here's the description for those who don't know:


Not all dreams are sweet.


For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.


Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....


Janie and Cabel are great characters, who I couldn't help cheering for. They both face challenges and yet find the strength to go on. It's a great read and the start to a great series.


I'll be picking up Fade tomorrow at work and I'll have to force myself not to start it right away, after all, I do have homework. And Friday the 13th comes out this weekend, so I have things to do. I can't read all the time. Just most of the time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Evermore by Alyson Noel


Here's the description:


Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…


Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.


I'm really excited about this book. It was a great read and a great start to Noel's Immortals series. Ever is a very interesting character filled with complex emotions and way more issues than the average teen has to deal with on a daily basis.


The supporting cast is a joy to read, including Riley, Miles, and Haven. They are true-to-life characters that I would love to hang out with.


And then there's Damen. He's a convincing romantic lead. He's got everything a girl could be looking for including some deep, dark secrets.


I enjoyed this book immensely. Just when I though I had it all figured out, Noel took it in a different direction. I like that she didn't just recycle the same old story. It was filled with real emotion....grief, love, guilt, and humor.


I can't wait to read the next book and see where Noel takes us.


By the way, I'm giving away a copy of this book along with 2 other titles in my first contest. Just scroll down, or take a look at the blog archive for My First Contest! Supernatural Prize Pack. The contest runs through Feb. 28th, so be sure to get entered.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (3)--Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby


Okay, so I have a thing for Zombies. I love zombie movies, zombie books, Rob Zombie...it's a whole thing I've got going on. I can't explain it. Maybe it started with Dawn of the Dead (original or remake, take your pick), or maybe I just think that the dead rising is something that just might happen some day and I want to be prepared.


Needless to say, I am excited about this new book coming out Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby. It looks great. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy, but apparently I will have to wait to get my hands on a copy. Unless some wonderful publisher wants to send one my way...hint, hint. Okay here's the description:



Quiet, unpopular, non-cheerleading Mia is blissfully happy. She is dating super hot football god Rob, and he actually likes her and asked her to prom! Enter Samantha—cheerleading goddess and miss popularity— who starts making a move for Rob. With prom in a few days, Mia needs to act fast. So she turns to her best friend, Candice, and decides to do a love spell on Rob. Unfortunately, she ends up inflicting a zombie virus onto her whole class, making herself their leader! At first she is flattered that everyone is treating her like a queen. But then zombie hunter hottie Chase explains they are actually fattening her up, because in a few days, Mia will be the first course in their new diet. She’s sure she and Chase can figure something out, but she suggests that no one wear white to prom, because things could get very messy.


Can't wait. See you next time.


By the way, I have to thank Jill over at http://breakingthespine.blogspot.com/ for creating Waiting on Wednesday. I love seeing what everyone else is looking forward to and adding those books to my ever-growing list.

Monday, February 9, 2009

White Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages


The story of Dewey and Suze which began in The Green Glass Sea picks up in this novel, which starts up a year after those events. Dewey and Suze along with Suze's parents have left "the Hill" at Los Alamos and moved to Alamogordo, where Suze's father is hard at work on rockets. This is the very first stage of the space race and Dr. Gordon is obsessed with making rockets reach the stars and sending man to the moon.


With Dr. Gordon at the missile site all day, and sometimes all night, Suze's mom is obsessed with stopping the bomb that she and her husband helped create. She's horrified by what she saw of Hiroshima and wants to make sure that it never happens again. With her focusing on that, Suze and Dewey are left to their own devices.


They continue to use their skills, Dewey's mechanical and Suze's artistic, to create wonderful projects together. They are getting used to a new town, growing up and getting ready to start high school. The book tells of their struggles with fitting in at school, while they make new friends and meet boys. As the future of the Gordon's marriage comes into question, the girls both struggle with many issues and are pulled both apart and closer together.


Then when an unexpected visitor shows up on the doorstep, there's a chance that Dewey and Suze's lives could change forever.


Klages has written another wonderful book. I loved returning to the story of these two girls and also the fascinating character of Terry Gordon, Suze's mother. This is a time in history that is often ignored, but the post-WWII years in many ways shaped the world we are living in today. She captures the time period beautifully and makes me want to walk right onto the page and spend a day with Dewey and Suze.


I also like that fact that these girls are interested in more than Home Ec and dances. Too often, even in this day and age, girls are thought odd if they show an interest in science. It's nice to see a different side of girlhood.


I can't recommend these books enough. I don't know if Klages plans on revisiting their world, but I wish she would. I would love to see Dewey and Suze in the future, and see what they can achieve. Great books!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Contest---Enter before Midnight CST tonight!!


Eternal Grand Prize Giveaway Package:


In celebration of the Feb. 10 release of Eternal (Candlewick), author Cynthia Leitich Smith is giving away several prize packages, some including signed copies of the novel, tie-in T-shirts, finger puppets, stickers, guardian-angel tokens, and more! See details here.Deadline midnight CST Feb. 9! All Cynsational readers are eligible to win!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

In My Mailbox (2)

Okay, I once again didn't get anything in my mailbox, but I did buy some books this week. It's a sickness; I can't seem to stop myself.

Let's see....



Oh, I bought Wake by Lisa McMann. I 've read a lot about this book on various blogs, so I decided to pick it up. This guy I work with just read it and he liked it a lot, too. Here's the description:


For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old.

Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.


She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....



Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta


I loved Jellicoe Road, so I decided to go back and read her other books. Here's the description for this one:

Limitation placers in Francesca's life:

St. Sebastian's: Pretends it's a coed school by giving the girls their own toilet.


The Psycho Girls: The only female companions to be found at St. Sebastian's: Tara Finkle, ultra-feminist; Siobahn Sullivan, former "Slut of St. Stella's Academy"; and Justine Kalinsky, impossible dorky accordion player.


The Sebastian Boys: Thomas Mackee: Specializes in musical burping. Probably dropped on his head a few times as a baby. Will Trombal: Perpetually frowning, smug moron with no personality. Now if only Francesca could stop daydreaming about him....


Mia: The Queen of the Limitation Placers--Francesca's vivacious mother. Thinks she knows what's best for Francesca and makes her attend the hateful all-boys school--until the day she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling who she really is.






Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs


In a world where “witches, vampires, werewolves, and shape-shifters live beside ordinary people” (Booklist), it takes a very unusual woman to call it home. By day, Mercy Thompson is a car mechanic in Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shape-shifter with some unusual talents, Mercy’s found herself maintaining a tenuous harmony between the human and the not-so- human on more than one occasion. This time she may get more than she bargained for.


This is a great series so I was anxiously awaiting this one.


Well, that's all for this week. See you next time.




Friday, February 6, 2009

The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages


I've read this book before, but since the sequel came out this fall, I decided to read it again. Also, I've chosen it as one of my reads for my children's lit class, so that works out great.


I enjoyed this book that first time around, and I have to say that I enjoyed it just as much if not more this time. It take place in Los Alamos, NM during WWII. Dewey and Suze are two girls who have nothing in common other than the fact that they are both stuck living on the Hill. Their parents are all scientists working on the top secret weapon that could end the war. Of course, the girls have no idea what their parents are really doing and their parents have no idea of the power of the weapon they are creating.


I love this time period. It makes me think of my grandparents and how they lived during the war. Dewey and Suze are likable yet flawed characters. They both have obstacles to overcome and when unforeseen circumstances bring them together, they have to learn to deal with each other as well.


Klages has created a wonderful look at a time and an event often ignored in children's and young adult literature. She inserts real-life scientists like Oppenheimer and Feynman into the story. These characters blend seamlessly into the tale of Dewey and Suze and the secret gadget.


There's a sequel as I said at the start of my post. It's called White Sands, Red Menace and it's next in my TBR pile, so expect a review of that soon. This is a really great book...check it out.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King--Believe the Hype!!


So, I just finished reading The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King. I'd been reading about it for awhile on various blogs and was really looking forward to its release. Here's the description from the back of the book.


In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.

Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.


Let me tell you, I was most definitely not disappointed. This book grabbed me from the first page, the first sentence really. I loved Saffron/Emer. She was a completely readable character and her story was fascinating. This was unlike anything I've ever read before. It was original and there were pirates....I mean, how cool is that. Who doesn't love pirates? And as a lover of all things Irish, I was interested in the story of Cromwell and Ireland.


I can't recommend this book enough. If you like adventure, it's there. If you like the supernatural, it's there. If you like love stories...well, that's there, too. And if you just like a good story about a girl overcoming obstacles, I promise you will love The Dust of 100 Dogs.


I can't wait to see what King comes up with next.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (2)--Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison


So, I love Kim Harrison's Hollows novels which are shelved in the regular Sci/Fi section of your local bookstore. Her characters are great and she's created a believable world in which the supernatural is an everyday occurrence.


She introduced a new character, Madison Avery, in the anthology Prom Night From Hell. Here's the first paragraph of that short story:


A British general, a damsel in a dress, and a pirate walk into a gym, I thought as I gazed over the bodies moving in a mind-numbing chaos of pent-up, teenage, inexperienced lust. Leave it to my mom and her over-the-top reactions to turn prom into a joke. What was I doing here? Prom was supposed to be real dresses with a live band, not rented costumes with canned music and streamers.


Well, the publishers liked what they read and so they asked Harrison to flesh out the character and turn it into a new YA series.


The first book, Once Dead, Twice Shy won't hit shelves until May 26, 2009, but I was tooling around Amazon today and came across a cover. I don't know if it's the official cover, but it looks pretty darn cool. I can't wait for this one. I hope it's successful for her. You might want to check out her other books, they really are a lot of fun.


Monday, February 2, 2009

My First Contest!!!--Supernatural Prize Pack

Okay, my blog is a week old and I think that means it's time for my first contest. The lucky winner will receive 3 books, all with a supernatural feel to them.

1) You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay---the description is below under my first "In My Mailbox" post.


2) Evermore by Alyson Noel








Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…


Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.




3) The Girl's Guide to Vampires: All You Need to Know About the Original Bad Boys by Barb Karg



The good news is: He’s tall, dark, and handsome.The bad news is: He’s a bloodsucking creature of the night. Not to mention arrogant, predatory, and immortal.


What’s a girl to do? No worries—in this guide, girls learn everything they need to know about these romantic rogues, including how to:


Know when they’ve met a vampire
Avoid falling prey to a nightstalker’s charms
Resist even the most aggressive advances
Protect themselves against the undead
Destroy a vampire—using everything from holy water to decapitation


Complete with a review of vampire books, TV shows, and films as well as accounts of real-life encounters with vampires, this book is all girls need to surrender to the night—and still make sure they’re around to see another day!



To enter:



One Entry: Post a comment below with your e-mail address

One Additional Entry: Post a link on your blog to my contest. Leave another comment below letting me know and with a link to your blog.

One Additional Entry: Become a follower of my blog. Leave another comment below letting me know.

One Additional Entry: Add me to you blog roll. And yet again, leave a comment below with a link.


So there you go, four possible entries and three wonderful books.

Thanks for welcoming me to YA blog world with open arms.

The contest will run until, Feb. 28th. Winners will be notified by March 2nd.
See you next time!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer



Here's a review I just wrote for my Children's Lit class.




Miranda lives in small-town Pennsylvania. She’s a high school student who loves her family and ice skating and worries about how she’s growing apart from her two childhood friends. These worries are nothing though compared to those she will soon face. An asteroid has hit the moon sending it out of its orbit and closer to earth. At first everyone marvels at this new look at the moon, up close and personal, but soon events take a turn for the worse and Miranda’s story becomes one of survival.


I had read this book when it first came out, about two years ago. When I saw I was assigned this title I picked it up again and gave it another read. It was just as powerful a read for me as it was the first time. Miranda’s story, which is written as her journal entries, is scary and yet fascinating. No one really knows how they will react in a crisis until faced with one, and it’s compelling reading to see a teenager faced with the need to find some freedom and yet the responsibility to keep your family alive and together.


Emotionally it was little harder for me this time. I don't remember being as affected by the story as I was this time. Since the first time I read it, though, I've lost two people who I was very close to. I think it goes to show how your life events can affect how you read. It would be interesting to me to take a look at other books I've read and see how my reaction to them has changed.




I highly recommend picking this one up. Even though it made more of an impact this time, I have a feeling I will pick it up and read it a third time in the future. I’ve never read anything quite like it, at least not in the YA section.



The sequel The Dead and the Gone, is equally as good, and yet slightly more brutal. It is the story of the same time and events seen through the eyes of a teen living in New York City. Pfeffer is also working on a third book in the series, which I look forward to reading.

In My Mailbox 1

I actually didn't get anything in the mail this week, but I did buy a few books.

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
Readers as yet unfamiliar with Link (Magic for Beginners) will be excited to discover her singular voice in this collection of nine short stories, her first book for young adults. The first entry, The Wrong Grave, immediately demonstrates her rare talents: a deadpan narration that conceals the author's metafictional sleight-of-hand (Miles had always been impulsive. I think you should know that right up front); subjects that range from absurd to mundane, all observed with equidistant irony. Miles, hoping to recover the poems he's buried with his dead girlfriend, digs up what appears to be the wrong corpse (It's a mistake anyone could make, interjects the narrator), who regains life and visits her mother, a lapsed Buddhist (Mrs. Baldwin had taken her Buddhism very seriously, once, before substitute teaching had knocked it out of her'). Other stories have more overtly magical or intertextual themes; in each, Link's peppering of her prose with random associations dislocates readers from the ordinary. With a quirky, fairytale style evocative of Neil Gaiman, the author mingles the grotesque and the ethereal to make magic on the page.



You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay
Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a whole bunch of semi-dead people with killer issues. All Megan really wants is to go to homecoming, but when you're trailed by a bunch of slobbering corpses whenever you leave the house, it's kinda hard to score a date. Let's just say Megan's love life could use some major resuscitation.
Megan's convinced her life can't get any worse - until someone in school starts using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into scary, hardcore flesh-eating Zombies. Now it's up to Megan to stop the Zombie apocalypse. Her life - and more importantly, the homecoming dance - depends on it.

Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
When 16-year-old Scarlett Wakefield transfers from St. Tabby’s to Wakefield Hall Collegiate, she is relieved that no one knows her dark, haunting secret. A few months ago, Scarlett was invited to an elite party with a guest list full of the hottest names in British society, including Dan McAndrew. Before the party, Scarlett had only imagined what it would be like to have her first kiss with Dan, but on the penthouse terrace, Dan leaned in close and she no longer had to wonder. Their kiss was beautiful and perfect and magical, and then . . . Dan McAndrew took his last breath as she held him in her arms. No one knows how or why Dan died, and everyone at St. Tabby’s believes Scarlett had something to do with it. But now that she’s safely hidden away at Wakefield Hall, Scarlett would rather forget that it ever happened. Only she can’t. Especially when she receives an anonymous note that will set her on the path to clearing her name and finding out what really happened to the first and last boy she kissed.
The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.
Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

Okay, so that's it for this week. I work in a bookstore, so I tend to buy a lot of books. Thank God for that discount. Now I have to go actually write the paper I've been avoiding. See you next time.
In My Mailbox was created over at www.thestorysiren.com










Dooley Takes the Fall by Norah McClintock



This is why I love YA bloggers. If not for good ol' bookshelves of doom, I never would've heard of this fantastic book. Here's the description:


A boy maybe twelve years old, on a bike, stopped next to Dooley, looked at the kid sprawled on the pavement and said, "Is he dead?"


"Yeah, I think so," Dooley said. In fact, he was sure of it because there was no air going into or coming out of the lungs of the kid on the pavement. Also, the kid's open eyes were staring at nothing, and his head was twisted, as if he had turned to look at something just before he made contact with the hard surface of the path.


Right away, Dooley knows he's in trouble. For one thing he's got a record. For another, the dead kid isn't exactly a stranger - and he's no friend.


So slowly the net begins to close around 17-year-old Dooley, a troubled lone wolf who has a couple of strikes against him already. Not many are on Dooley's side; in fact at times he even wonders whether his uncle - a retired cop - thinks he's guilty again. There's a big question of trust in their uneasy relationship, and his uncle is the only one standing between Dooley and big time disaster.


The dead kid's sister Beth is someone Dooley would like to have think better of him as well - but she also suspects he's involved in the crime. And all around him are other teenagers at school and in the world he's drawn into who would like to pin him with responsibility for a growing number of murders that swirl through the city.


Norah McClintock, five-time winner of the Arthur Ellis juvenile crime award, has now moved into a different realm with a richly detailed novel aimed at older teens. Gritty, hard-edged, Dooley Takes the Fall is the first in a trilogy of mysteries about a troubled teenager struggling to free himself from the tentacles of his past and the implications of the present conspiracies that surround him.



It's a small press title which means that it's something that wouldn't have just ended up on the shelves of the bookstore where I work. Luckily though, I love YA reviews, so I ordered it right away. I was not disappointed. I knew that I would like this book as soon as I read Dooley's reasons why school sucks:


"Dooley was back to remembering why he has never liked school. Reason number one was standing right up there at the front of the class--Dooley's math teacher, droning out the rudiments of calculus, sounding like he one hundred percent didn't give a crap if anyone was listening or understood what he was saying. Reason number two: having to cram your head full of shit you knew for a fact you were never going to use , like, say, calculus. But the blue-ribbon winner, reason number three, was all the assholes. In Dooley's experience, your average high school had a higher asshole-to-solid-citizen ratio than your average youth detention center. The only difference was, most of the high school assholes weren't violent."


How true, I love this passage and I love this book. It's hard to find good YA mysteries. There are a lot of books that includes some suspense, but not a great many books that I would classify as mystery. Dooley has a real noir feel to it. The characters are flawed and believable. I would highly recommend it, and I'm thrilled that it is the first book in a trilogy. When I finish a good book, I always like to know that there is more on the way.




Speaking of good books, another great YA mystery series is Alane Ferguson's Forensic Mysteries. If you like mystery books, or shows like CSI, then this is the series for you. I've read the first two, but haven't gotten to the third yet. It's on my pile with about a million other books, though.