Thursday, April 30, 2009

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund

The release date for this Puffin title is May 14, 2009, so not too long to wait.


With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin—son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance— consistently outtalks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship—and romance—begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. . . .

I was sooo glad when this book showed up in my mailbox. I'd heard about it awhile ago and it sounded wonderful. It was!! From the minute you first meet Aerin, you can tell that hers is a damaged soul. You can tell from the feel of the writing that she's already been through so much and you immediately want her to succeed and find some happiness. The same goes for Dane. You can tell that his bravado is just covering up a world of hurt and it's so heartbreaking. These two characters are incredibly believable and captivating.

From page one, Academy 7 is just a fantastic read. Osterlund's writing is beautiful. Her descriptions of Dane's home planet, Chivalry, are just breathtaking. As is all of her writing. This is a quick read, but reading it quickly doesn't really do it justice. It will definitely be put immediately into my re-read pile so that I can experience it all over again.

I don't know if she's planning on writing a sequel to this book, but I really hope she does. There just seems like there are so many other stories haunting the halls of Academy 7, plus I want to hear more about Aerin and Dane. I really can't recommend this book highly enough. It has everything, romance, sci-fi, action, and suspense. What more can you ask for?

Thank you so much Anne for sharing your book with me. I can't wait to read your next one!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday(13) --Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Here's the description:

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

Sounds good, eh? I'm really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, I will have to wait, because it's not coming out until September 14, 2009. It's being released by Houghton Mifflin and I will be anxiously awaiting it. By the way, I love the cover, too. Can't Wait!!!!!

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to you by Jill!! Go check out what she's "waiting on."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Contest Reminder!!!!

I just wanted to remind everyone that my "First in a Series" contest is ending this Thrusday night.

So enter now for your chance to win, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. Two amazing books!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

Release Date: May 26, 2009
Publisher: HarperTeen


Madison Avery's junior prom killed her-literally. She doesn't know why a Dark Reaper came after her‚ but that didn't stop her from stealing his amulet‚ which she discovered allows her soul to continue living on in a temporary body. But now she's being babysat by a disgruntled Light Reaper who's supposed to be training her‚ while angels try to figure out what's supposed to happen to her next. But Madison can't stay out of trouble for long‚ so along with her prom date Josh (who is getting cuter by the minute) and her guardian angel Grace‚ Madison takes matters into her own hands-only to discover that she is fated to become one of the most powerful leaders in the realm of the dark and light reapers. Well‚ if she believed in that stuff.

I read this a few weeks ago. I was trying to wait to post my review closer to the release date, but I decided I couldn't wait any longer. I should admit up front that I am a huge Kim Harrison fan. I love her Hollows books which star the kick ass Rachel Morgan. They are fantastic and if you read this one and love it, you should definitely check those out, too.

I loved this book. I pretty much knew ahead of time that I would, but there's always that moment when you worry that one of your favorite adult writers might fall flat with YA. Luckily with Harrison that's not the case.

Madison Avery was introduced in the anthology Prom Nights From Hell and I'd been waiting since then for her first full-length novel. It doesn't disappoint. This is a great new spin on the YA paranormal novel. Who would've thought you could make Reapers cool?!

Madison is a wonderful and interesting character who is stuck in a pretty impossible situation. She's literally caught up in a life and death struggle. She's surrounded by quite an exciting cast of characters that I know I will look forward to visiting again and again.

I know that this is Harrison's departure from the Hollows, but for all of you fans out there, this novel certainly has some of that Hollows spirit that we love so much. It's full of witty dialogue, lots of surprises, and plenty of attitude, all of which adds up to a really fun read. Check this one out, I don't think you'll be disappointed. I for one can't wait for Madison's next adventure.

The Elite by Jennifer Banash


From the top, you can see everything…except yourself.

When Casey McCloy steps into the elegant Bramford building, she’s overwhelmed. Fresh from the Midwest, she’s moved to New York’s Upper East Side to live with her grandmother and attend the prestigious Meadowlark Academy. Here all that matters is who you know. The girl to know is Madison Macallister: popular, pretty, platinum blond. She’s not just Casey’s new classmate and neighbor; she’s an icon. So Casey aims to get in with Madison and her gorgeous gal-pals from the start. As the reigning queen of coolness, Madison is capable of destroying reputations with one well timed whisper. Better to be on her good side.

But after a city-haute makeover from her new frenemy Madison, Casey is wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and meeting the right people—including Drew, the boy-about-town who Madison thinks belongs to her and her alone.

I was excited when Jennifer offered to send me these, because I had heard a lot of good things about them. So, I picked up The Elite and started reading it one night last week, and at first, I thought I wasn't going to like it. You know how sometimes you just aren't in the mood for certain books? I sat it aside and read Dream Factory and then I told myself to give The Elite another try. Am I glad I did!!

I read this book in basically one night. Once I got into it, it was like I couldn't stop reading. I've never been able to get into Gossip Girl or The Clique, but I am a fan of the Private series by Kate Brian. To me, this book felt more along those lines. It was very fun, well-written, and compulsively readable and I really cared about what happened to the characters. At times, I could just see where Casey was headed into trouble and I wanted to scream and warn her.

I think I enjoyed the chapters written from Sophie and and Phoebe's points of view even more than Casey's and Madison's. Their stories were both really compelling and I can't wait to see where they are headed next. I'll definitely be reading In Too Deep soon. I just love it when I find a new series that I am really into. It's interesting to revisit characters that you like and follow them through their triumphs and tribulations.

Thanks so much Jennifer for letting me check these out. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a great and fun read.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

In My Mailbox (10)

In my mailbox is brought to you by the oh-so-talented Kristi over at The Story Siren. Drop by and see her sometime.

For review:

I got three books in the mail this week, YAY!!

From author Jennifer Banash I got:

The Elite

From the top, you can see everything…except yourself.

When Casey McCloy steps into the elegant Bramford building, she’s overwhelmed. Fresh from the Midwest, she’s moved to New York’s Upper East Side to live with her grandmother and attend the prestigious Meadowlark Academy. Here all that matters is who you know. The girl to know is Madison Macallister: popular, pretty, platinum blond. She’s not just Casey’s new classmate and neighbor; she’s an icon. So Casey aims to get in with Madison and her gorgeous gal-pals from the start. As the reigning queen of coolness, Madison is capable of destroying reputations with one well timed whisper. Better to be on her good side.

But after a city-haute makeover from her new frenemy Madison, Casey is wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and meeting the right people—including Drew, the boy-about-town who Madison thinks belongs to her and her alone.

I've already read this one, so a review is imminent, probably Monday.\

In Too Deep, the second book in the elite series.

If you don’t belong here— you just don’t belong…

The Bramford building’s newest resident and small-town transplant Casey McCloy is adapting to life in the Big Apple and loving it. She’s got the look, the attitude, and a delish new boyfriend, Drew Van Allen. But she’s starting to have second thoughts as to whether the “New York” Casey is the real Casey. And she’s not so sure she likes herself much anymore. She’s not the only one.

Madison Macallister has always had her Manolo Blahniks firmly planted on the top rung of the social ladder—until that corn-fed cow Casey stole Drew away from her and made her look the fool. So what if Madison wasn’t exactly dating Drew at the time? She wanted him. And everyone knows that Madison gets what she wants, like Drew—and a little revenge.

Thanks Jennifer!!

And from author Anne Osterlund, I got a signed ARC of Academy 7, woohoo!! Actually she sent me two so I will probably be giving one away sometime soon, maybe next month's contest. I'm reading this one now.

Academy 7

With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin—son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance— consistently outtalks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship—and romance—begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. . . .

Thanks so much Anne!!

I bought some books too, of course, but I think I'm about to cut myself off for awhile. Now I'm thinking about all of the cool books coming out soon, so I've officially decided not to cut myself off just yet. New Kelley Armstrong, new Charlaine Harris....looks like I chose the wrong time to try to quit buyin' books. Oh well, so here's what I picture, just titles and authors.

At B&N:

Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

At Half Price Books, where I should never go, for just this reason:

Suzi Clue: The Prom Queen Curse by Michelle Kehm
The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante
Geek High by Piper Banks
Geek Abroad by Piper Banks
The Declaration by Gemma Malley

So there you have it. I'm really going to try not to buy so much next week. I have so much reading to do already, but those books just beckon me sometimes.

So, what did you guys get this week? I can't wait to find out.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rooftops of Tehran--Winners!!!

The winners of my Rooftops of Tehran contest are:




I'll be sending you e-mails momentarily, so get back to me with your addresses sometime this weekend.

Thanks and thanks everyone for entering.

Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler


When the Disney World character actors go on strike, teens are hired as replacements. Ella is assigned the role of Cinderella simply because the shoes fit. And every afternoon at three o'clock she gets married to Prince Charming. A perfect dream come true . . . except Ella doesn't believe in dreams anymore. Meanwhile, Luke is one of the fur characters (Dale, the chipmunk), and his girlfriend, Cassie, plays his counterpart, Chip. Cassie is perfect in every way, so why does Luke want to be with Cinderella? Then Luke and Ella are brought together during a scavenger hunt, and as they uncover the Magic Kingdom's hidden treasures, they discover an undeniable magic between them. Perhaps dreams really can come true after all . . .

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, it's no secret that I love Disney Theme Parks. I went to Disneyworld in March and loved every minute of the over-crowded awesomeness. It's exhausting and exhilarating, cliched and yet still magical. And this book captures all of that perfectly.

I don't remember seeing this book in hardcover, but when we received the paperback at my store, it immediately caught my eye (what with the bright pink cover and all). Then I read the back (the above synopsis) and I knew I had to buy it and read it right away. I wasn't disappointed.

This book would've hooked me even without the Disney element. Well, it was the Disney that drew me in, but the characters and story kept me reading. Barkley and Hepler have created a wonderful, quirky and yet believable romance between two people I would love to spend some time with.

Ella has a devastating secret that she feels like she can't share with anyone and which she is running away from as fast as she can. Luke is running, too, from the life his parents and brother have planned for him back at home as part of the family business. These two star-crossed loves, Cinderella and Dale, are wonderfully written. Their dialogue is right on and the authors truly get that feeling of being young and lost with no idea which way to go.

The book is filled with a cast of enchanting characters who will remind you of people you've known and loved throughout you life, so basically reading this book is like hanging out with old friends.

And then there's the Disney. It would be so easy to turn the park into a joke and to make a joke of the travelers who flock to this place every year. The author's don't do that though. There are mentions of the more unpleasant parts of the theme park experience, but underneath it all is the magic, and a love for what Disney offers. This book is love and I loved it for that. I will certainly be picking up the other two books by this exceptional team of writers.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Operation Retirement Rescue (2) --Sweep series by Cate Tiernan

The Sweep series is by Cate Tiernan. Originally published in 2001, the first book in the series is entitled Book of Shadows. Here's the synopsis:

Morgan and her best friend, Bree, are introduced to Wicca when a gorgeous senior named Cal invites them to join his new coven. Morgan falls for Cal immediately- and discovers that she has strong,inexplicable powers.

Okay, this series has basically already been rescued from retirement, but it is still worth a look. I read these books the first time around with their sort of cheesy mass market covers. This is a great series. I highly recommend them to basically anyone who loves a great story that captures you from the get-go. Also, they fit in perfectly with the new round of supernatural titles available out there.

They've been re-released in a trade size with pretty cool new covers(pictured). It's a lengthy series, 13 books in all I believe, but they read really quickly and are completely addictive. Go get them, read them, and love them. My sister recently started reading them again and she says they still hold up. I plan to dive back in when I get the time. They really are a lot of fun.

Operation Retirement Rescue is brought to you by Adele AKA Persnickety Snark.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Award Awesomeness!!

So, I received an award this week from two different, yet equally wonderful people: Liyana and Ashley. Thank you guys!! It means a lot that you like what I'm doing. After all, I plan to keep at it for quite awhile.

Here are the details:

This award is given to new blogs and blogging friends.
The rules to follow are:
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Okay, I know I'm supposed to pass it on and everything, but I am in the midst of my last two weeks of school and I have a ton of homework. I'm going to pass on passing it along, but it doesn't mean that I don't appreciate it very, very much.

Thanks again!!

Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez


Welcome to Nightshade, California—a small town full of secrets. It’s home to the psychic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom-shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic powers and some sisterly support, they can crack any case!

Teenage girls are being mysteriously attacked all over town, including at Nightshade High School, where Daisy Giordano is a junior. When Daisy discovers that a vampire may be the culprit, she can’t help but suspect head cheerleader Samantha Devereaux, who returned from summer break with a new “look.” Samantha appears a little . . . well, dead, and all the most popular kids at school are copying her style.

Is looking dead just another fashion trend for Samantha, or is there something more sinister going on? To find out, Daisy joins the cheerleading squad.

Oooo...what a fun, cool and quirky series!! This book was such a quick, easy read that I read it in less than a day and that was with work and school included. I loved hanging out with Daisy Giordano and all of the characters that live in Nightshade.

Daisy is a completely likable character whose inner voice is so real you can really relate to her. I would love to spend a day or two in the Giordano household with Daisy, Rose and especially Penny, who is wonderfully snarky (there's not nearly enough snark in the world).

I read a review somewhere which compared this to Veronica Mars and it really did remind me of that great show. It had a healthy dose of mystery, laughs and all-around wacky hi jinks. Did I have the mystery figured out early? Yes, but I still enjoyed every minute of the journey to get there.

Here's what I love about paranormal fiction. There's room for all types of writers within this genre. I love that you can find noir, humor, romance, suspense, horror, etc....there's just such a wide range of styles that falls under this umbrella of "paranormal," and I love them all.

I'm hoping we get the other two books in at work soon, so that I can sneak back into Nightshade for a little while. Yay to Marlene Perez for creating a wonderfully supernatural town that I would love to call home.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (12)--Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Release Date: September 22, 2009 from Delacorte Books for Young Readers


Can Cameron find what he’s looking for?

All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

Can't wait for this book!! I love Libba Bray and I think it's great that she's trying something completely unlike her other books. It sounds fantastic and it involves a certain Disney theme park which I love a lot. It's just so wonderful when Disney and YA come together. Two great tastes that taste great together!!

As always, Waiting on Wednesday is brought to you by Jill and I thank her for it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wings by Aprilynne Pike

Available May 5, 2009 from HarperTeen!


Laurel has never been the kind of girl who believes in fairy tales and myths, fables and legends...until the day she learns the stunning truth about her own identity, forever changing her world.

Okay, I really loved this book. Aprilynne Pike has taken everything you think you know about fairies and put a completely different spin on it. Her spin on fairies is not the beautiful darkness of say the awesome Melissa Marr, but instead is light and airy, natural and new.

Laurel's journey of self-discovery is one that any young girl could relate to. Although the circumstances may be different, we can all relate to that feeling of not belonging, of feeling just a little outside of what's happening around you. I think that's what I like so much about these books about Fae. It gives you that feeling that we all belong somewhere.

Pike has a way with words and dialogue, which made this a quick, easy, can't-turn-the-pages-quick-enough kind of read. I was a little sad when it ended and I had to set it aside and pick up something new. The characters are fantastic. Laurel, of course, is a breath of fresh air; she's so real and likable that you can't help but root for her and feel for her all at the same time. And David? Well, he's almost too good to be true.

Pike has set this up really well for future sequels. I think I read that there are a proposed 4 books in the series. I can't wait to read the next one to see where she takes these characters and her mythology. The book has a blurb from Stephenie Meyer on it, which I hope means that Wings will end up in the hands of many, many readers. It deserves to be read, enjoyed and treasured.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quick Contest!!!

Last week in my IMM post I mentioned a new and upcoming title Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji, which comes out May 5th. The author's publicist would like to award three lucky readers with copies of this book.

Here's the description:

In this poignant, eye-opening and emotionally vivid novel, Mahbod Seraji lays bare the beauty and brutality of the centuries-old Persian culture, while reaffirming the human experiences we all share.

In a middle-class neighborhood of Iran’s sprawling capital city, 17-year-old Pasha Shahed spends the summer of 1973 on his rooftop with his best friend Ahmed, joking around one minute and asking burning questions about life the next. He also hides a secret love for his beautiful neighbor Zari, who has been betrothed since birth to another man. But the bliss of Pasha and Zari’s stolen time together is shattered when Pasha unwittingly acts as a beacon for the Shah’s secret police. The violent consequences awaken him to the reality of living under a powerful despot, and lead Zari to make a shocking choice…

If you would like to win a copy of Rooftops of Tehran, please leave a comment below with your e-mail address. I'm only running this contest through Friday night, so enter soon!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas


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

Wow, what a debut novel! Written in the poetry style familiar to fans of Ellen Hopkins, Chaltas' first book takes a look at the life of a girl living in an abusive household. It's a powerful novel about a family torn apart by a father's rage.

I picked this up at work yesterday, because I wanted something to read on my break and I immediately was swept into Anke's world. I ended up bringing the book home and finishing it last night. It read so quickly, but I felt at times that I needed to slow down to catch all of the magic and beauty of Chaltas' words. She really is a talented new voice in YA literature.

The subject matter of this book makes it hard to read, but at the same time hard to put down, because it is so brutally honest. You can't help but feel for Anke as she struggles with watching her father abuse her siblings, while also wondering why he ignores her. She should be happy to be the ignored one, but it makes her feel invisible and alone.

One of my favorite things about this book was watching Anke change and grow, and gain more confidence, through her enjoyment of volleyball and her love of the team. I think she captures that feeling of belonging wonderfully.

This really is a wonderful and powerful book and I would recommend it to anyone, but especially to fans of Hopkin's work. To be able to take a difficult subject and turn it into a beautiful and moving piece of literature is truly a gift.

New Layout!!

So what do you think?? Pretty in Pink? Too pink? The main goal was to have the 3-column format. I really like that format and since I'm computer illiterate that meant going with a pre-designed template. I sort of like it though. I'm secretly quite the pink fan.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

In My Mailbox (9)

I got two books in the mail this week for review--

How To Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson (May 14, 2009 from Dutton Adult)

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (August 1, 2009 from Little, Brown)---YAY!!! I'm so very excited for this one and I can't wait to read it.

I also bought quite a few books. No pictures on these, just titles and authors, sorry, but I'm feelin' a little lazy today.

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald
Jo-Jo and the Fiendish Lot by Andrew Auseon
The Comet's Curse by Dom Testa
The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones
Dream Factory by Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler

And then I checked out a book from work:

Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas, which I will probably finish tonight and post a review for soon.

As always, In My Mailbox is brought to you by the incredibly awesome and inspiring, Kristi aka The Story Siren.

That's all from me. What did you guys get? Not that I need more books to read, but I always find stuff on your sites to add to my list.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr


Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.

Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

Faerie intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning 21st century faery tale.

My friend Briana told me to read this, that I would love it, and yet still I put it off. There are just too many books and too little time to read them all. Finally tough, I decided to give in and give Melissa Marr a try. With Fragile Eternity coming out next week, it's time to play catch-up. I'm so glad I decided to jump into Marr's world.

Huntsdale is not inhabited by Disney fairies. These are the dark and lethal brand of fairies that you read about in ancient folktales. The deceitful tricksters who have little regard for mortal concerns. So basically, I love them.

Aislinn, who has until now, successfully hidden her "sight" becomes entangled in the fairies dark and dangerous world. It's a fun ride that will definitely keep you turning the pages well into the night. Marr's writing is so atmospheric that you can feel the cold of Beira, the Winter Queen and the warmth of Keenan, the Summer King. It's easy to fall into the pages of this book and want to hang around awhile.

And the characters are fantastic. Seth is the boy we all want to love, while Keenan is the one we just can't resist. Donia is probably my favorite character, though, she's so tragic and yet strong as she watches the events unfold around her. I would love to read more about her and I look forward to reading Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity. Melissa Marr is an incredible talent and I'm so glad I decided to give her a try.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Operation Retirement Rescue (1)--Fire-Us Trilogy by Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher

So, Adele over at Persnickety Snark came up with a great idea to showcase some older titles for once instead of focusing only on new and upcoming books. I like the idea of trying to blend the old with the new, so I decided to jump on board.

My first pick is a series I read years ago the Fire-Us Trilogy. The first book, The Kindling, came out in 2002 from HarperCollins.

Here's the description:

It is the year 2007.

The world has been wiped out by a deadly plague that killed all the adults. Without them, children perished of hunger and disease. No more people, no more electricity, no more civilization -- just mildewed houses, overgrown yards, and abandoned cars. Yet on a highway strip outside a small town in Florida, the words "We're Still Here" are painted in letters big enough to be seen from an airplane -- although no planes ever cross the empty sky.

Miraculously, seven children have survived among the ruins. They cannot remember their names, their families, or much else from the Before Time. But they have forged a new family, with new names: Mommy, Hunter, Teacher, Action Figure, Teddy Bear, Baby, and Doll.

They must face each day with enough hope to endure and the strength to realize that there may be nothing out there worth living for. Then one day, a new kid shows up on their doorstep and changes everything. He invites them to join him on a dangerous journey to Washington, to find a man called President if he's still alive -- and seek the answers to the mystery at the heart of the Fire-us.

In this first book of the Fire-us Trilogy, Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher weave a compelling post-apocalyptic tale, luring readers into a world that is inventive enough to intrigue, yet true enough to believe.

I've always been a fan of apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic and dystopian writing. It seems like sort of a downer, but it's a genre that I continue to be attracted to. I think maybe it's the idea that in the midst of utter anarchy, people still find a way to survive. That comforts me.

This is a fantastic series. It takes a look at how children can survive on their own, raising one another and creating their own reality. These books are wonderfully written and there are lots of plays on vocabulary as we see kids who've had no adults to teach them figure out language in their own way. For example, Virus becomes Fire-Us.

I can't recommend these books highly enough; a little bleak, yes, but also uplifting and incredibly moving. Only problem? They are out-of-print, at least I know the first one is, so it may be hard to track them down.

The series is:
Book One: The Kindling
Book Two: The Keepers of the Flame
Book Three:The Kiln

Thanks Adele for giving me a reason to take another look at some old books that deserve a second chance.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yay!! U2 tickets!!

I just had to share my awesome news. I just bought U2 tickets for their October
18th show in Norman, OK. It's about a five hour drive for me, but I don't care. I'm very excited. This will make the, I think 5th, tour I've seen them on. The first was Zoo TV, which was a long time ago now....a long time ago. They are my favorite band and will remain so forever.

Anyway, I just wanted to share. Woo hoo!!!

Waiting on Wednesday (11) The Hollow by Jessica Verday

Here's the description:

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. It only makes things worse that everyone now treats Abbey like either a freak show or a charity case. Thank goodness for Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

Doesn't this sound great?! And I love the cover. It's being released September 1, 2009 from the lovely people at Simon Pulse. Can't wait!!!

By the way, as always, Waiting on Wednesday is brought to you by Jill!! Thanks Jill.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Keeping You A Secret by Julie Anne Peters

Holland Jaeger is in her last semester of high school. She seems to have everything: a loving mother, a boyfriend who can’t get enough of her and a list of colleges to choose from. Holland isn’t happy though. Her mother is constantly pushing her to apply to Ivy League schools and she doesn’t even know what she wants to study yet.

Her boyfriend keeps complaining that they aren’t spending enough time together, but when they are together he wants to do everything except talk. Enter Cece Goddard the new girl at school. Cece is an out and proud lesbian and Holland finds herself drawn to Cece’s confident and outgoing personality.

As Cece and Holland get closer and closer, Holland is forced to examine everything in her life including her own identity. And when she figures out what she wants in life, are her friends and family going to be there to support her?

I really liked this book. I think it represents an honest portrayal of a teen’s quest to find themselves, whether they be gay, straight, or bisexual. It's wonderful as just a straightforward love story. It's also a perfect picture of a high school student who is facing a future for which she has no plans. I think we can all understand that feeling of being pulled in a million different directions, none of which sound like the right one.

I really like Peters writing. It's very honest and open and her characters are easy to love. I also highly recommend Far From Xanadu. Check these out, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Book Survey!! via Katie's Book Blog

So I saw this on on Katie's Book Blog just now and I thought it looked like fun, so here goes:

Hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback?
Doesn't really matter to me. I prefer trade paperbacks over mass market, but between hardcover and paperback, I have no preference.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
It used to be Border's, but they don't seem to have the selection that they used to and the mall store in my town closed down, so now I have to travel 20 miles to visit one. So Barnes & Noble now.

Bookmark or dog-ear?
Definitely bookmark. I never dog-ear unless I'm reading a stripped copy of something. I don't even break the spines on my books if I can help it.

Amazon or brick-and-mortar?
I'd have to say brick-and-mortar just because I like to look at things before I buy it and there's nothing like the smell of a bookstore. I do order from Amazon as well, though.

Alphabetize by author, or alphabetize by title, or random?
Alphabetize?? My books are in stacks on shelves, but in no logical order. It would take a year to organize my books. It needs to be done, but who has the energy. I've worked in a bookstore for 13 years and I've accumulated a ridiculous amount of books in the process. Maybe I should hire someone to go through them.

Keep, throw away, or sell?
I keep most all of my books. I've sold some, but for the most part I keep them.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?
Keep of course, if I don't break spines, I definitely don't throw away covers.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?
Usually I keep the dust jacket on when I read, unless it really starts to annoy me.

Short story or novel?
I choose novel. I'm not a short story fan, but I will occasionally read them if the story is by someone I really like.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Harry Potter!!!! I like Lemony Snicket, too, but Harry is definitely my man.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
I always stop at chapter breaks, or breaks within a chapter. I can't stop in the middle of a paragraph or thought. That would make me crazy.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
Probably "dark and stormy night," but I love those "open upon a time"'s too.

Buy or borrow?
Unfortunately buy. Buy, buy, buy.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations, or browse?
Since I've been reading a lot of blogs, I've certainly been buying more books, so I am influenced by what you guys have to say. I've also changed my mind on buying some books after reading reviews.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
I don't mind a cliffhanger, although it is painful sometimes. I makes me want to keep reading.

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading?
I'm more of a nighttime reader; right before bed, although I read on my lunch breaks a lot too.

Stand-alone or series?
I love a good series, mostly because when I finish a great book, I like to know that the story is going to continue. Stand-alones are wonderful too though.

Favorite series?
There are just too, too many to choose from. Probably Harry Potter, although I love the Oz books, Southern Vampire series, Kim Harrison's Hollow novels, etc, etc. Harry Potter is number 1 though.

Favorite children’s book?
Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself by Judy Blume. I love this book and I read it about a million time when I was a kid. It still is one of my favorites.

Favorite YA book?
I really loved Paper Towns by John Green, I also loooove Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. So it's between those two.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. First in an awesome series, which I blogged about last week. It's just really genius.

Favorite books read last year?
Paper Towns, The Hunger Games many, many more.

Favorite books of all time?
Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Ramona Quimby Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

What are you reading right now?
Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

What are you reading next?
I'm not sure yet, maybe Wings by Aprilynne Pike

Favorite book to recommend to an 11-year-old?
The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman

Favorite book to re-read?
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Ramona Quimby Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Do you ever smell books?
Of course, and they smell awesome.

Do you ever read primary source documents like letters or diaries?
Not so much, unless someone tells me I have to.

So, what do you think. I'm glad I found thanks Katie for posting it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Here's the description:

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father. To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father? In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.


I read City of Bones right after it came out which seems like a long time ago now. I bought City of Ashes and yet I let it sit on my pile all this time and I have to admit I sort of forgot about it. I wish I had picked it up sooner. I loved City of Bones, but I think this one was better than the first. The characters are so well-developed and entering their world felt like going home again.

Clare creates such a believable and incredible environment that you can't help but fall in love with these books. I told my friend Chelsea at work today that I prefer these books to the Twilight saga. Is that blasphemous? What do you guys think? I love the action in these books and the relationships are just so real that you truly feel for these characters. And Simon...oh Simon, I really love him; he just seems like the nicest guy in the world. I find these books fascinating and I enjoy every moment of reading them. In fact, I found myself reading slower in order to make it last longer.

I promise I won't let City of Glass sit around forever. I have to read it and soon. I look forward to everything that Clare does in the future.

Why did I wait so long?!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In My Mailbox (8)

Sorry I haven't been on in a few days, but I had class yesterday. I'll be glad when the semester is over and I can focus on my really important reading. Schoolbooks not so much fun.

Anyway, better late than never, here's my addition to the IMM extravaganza created by the most awesome Kristi over at The Story Siren. By the way, Kristi did a vlog for her IMM post this week and it's very cool.

So, I got one book in the mail this week, which I wasn't expecting. It came from Penguin and it's not YA, but it looks really good.

Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji (May 5, 2009)

Here's the description:

In this poignant, eye-opening and emotionally vivid novel, Mahbod Seraji lays bare the beauty and brutality of the centuries-old Persian culture, while reaffirming the human experiences we all share.

In a middle-class neighborhood of Iran’s sprawling capital city, 17-year-old Pasha Shahed spends the summer of 1973 on his rooftop with his best friend Ahmed, joking around one minute and asking burning questions about life the next. He also hides a secret love for his beautiful neighbor Zari, who has been betrothed since birth to another man. But the bliss of Pasha and Zari’s stolen time together is shattered when Pasha unwittingly acts as a beacon for the Shah’s secret police. The violent consequences awaken him to the reality of living under a powerful despot, and lead Zari to make a shocking choice…

Interesting eh?

And then at work, I got 4 YA ARCs this week. We don't get a lot of kids or YA ARCs at our store anymore, so I was thrilled.

Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow by James Rollins (April 28, 2009 from HarperCollins)

When a mysterious envelope arrives for Jake Ransom, he and his older sister, Kady, are plunged into a gripping chain of events. An artifact found by their parents—on the expedition from which they never returned—leads Jake and Kady to a strange world inhabited by a peculiar mix of long-lost civilizations, a world that may hold the key to their parents' disappearance.

But even as they enter the gate to this extraordinary place, savage grackyls soar across the sky, diving to attack. Jake's new friends, the pretty Mayan girl Marika and the Roman Pindor, say the grackyls were created by an evil alchemist—the Skull King. And as Jake struggles to find a way home, it becomes obvious that what the Skull King wants most is Jake and Kady—dead or alive.

I think this one sounds pretty exciting. I look forward to reading it.

Next up is Wings by Aprilynne Pike (May 5, 2009 from HarperTEEN)

Laurel has never been the kind of girl who believes in fairy tales and myths, fables and legends...until the day she learns the stunning truth about her own identity, forever changing her world.

Emily the Strange: The Lost Days by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner (June 2, 2009 from HarperTEEN)

13 Elements you will find in the first Emily the Strange novel:

1. Mystery

2. A beautiful golem

3. Souped-up slingshots

4. Four black cats

5. Amnesia

6. Calamity Poker

7. Angry ponies

8. A shady truant officer

9. Top-13 lists

10. A sandstorm generator

11. Doppelgängers

12. A secret mission

13. Earwigs

Emily the Strange: 13 years old. Able to leap tall buildings, probably, if she felt like it. More likely to be napping with her four black cats; or cobbling together a particle accelerator out of lint, lentils, and safety pins; or rocking out on drums/ guitar/saxophone/zither; or painting a swirling feral sewer mural; or forcing someone to say "swirling feral sewer mural" 13 times fast . . . and pointing and laughing.

I've always been a fan of Emily, so it's great to have a copy of the first novel. I looked through this one and it's great. Lots of art in the classic Emily the Strange red and black style.

And last, but definitely not least, as I mentioned in my previous post, I finally have a copy of Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison (May 26, 2009 from HarperTEEN)

YAY to the millionth power!!! I also decided that my sister and I are going to make the almost 8 hour trip to see Kim, Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr on their Supernatural Summer Tour stop in IL. It may seem crazy, but it's the day before my birthday and I've always wanted to meet them. Is anyone else thinking about going to any of the dates on this tour?

Here's the description for Kim's book in case you haven't heard about it yet:

Madison's prom was killer—literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she's stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff.

So there you have it. A great week for me. What did you guys get?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How Kim Harrison Made My Day!!

So there I was at work, feeling all sorry for myself, because all I had to look forward to was a night full of homework. Woe is me. So, I walk back to the back room of our store feeling gloomy and my friend Chelsea tells me she has some good news for me. We actually received some YA ARCs today, which hasn't happened in quite a long while.

Am I excited?! Hell yes! My excitement turned to sheer glee though when I saw that one of the fabulous ARCs was Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison. Woo hoo!! I love Kim Harrison and I've been waiting for this one. I'm so happy. I even did a little happy dance, until Chelsea told me to stop (I think I was scaring her).

So that's my good news for the day. I also picked up a couple more ARCs which I'll mention in my IMM post on Sunday. By the way a review for City of Ashes is imminent, but it might be a day or two. I have class all day Saturday and I still have some homework to finish. Thank the Gods that this semester is almost over. Now that's something to dance about.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (10)--Hunger by Michael Grant

Here's the description courtesy of Amazon:

It's been three months since everyone under the age of fifteen became trapped in the bubble known as the FAYZ.
Three months since all the adults disappeared.


Food ran out weeks ago. Everyone is starving, but no one wants to figure out a solution. And each day, more and more kids are evolving, developing supernatural abilities that set them apart from the kids without powers.

Tension rises and chaos is descending upon the town. It's the normal kids against the mutants. Each kid is out for himself, and even the good ones turn murderous.

But a larger problem looms. The Darkness, a sinister creature that has lived buried deep in the hills, begins calling to some of the teens in the FAYZ. Calling to them, guiding them, manipulating them.

The Darkness has awakened. And it is hungry.

I loved the first book in this series, Gone. I can't wait for this one, so I can see what happens next. It's coming out May 26th from Harperteen. May 26?! I can't wait. That's just too, too long. I'll wait though. It'll be worth it.

New Contest---Firsts in a Series!!

I've had series on the mind lately, so what better way to celebrate my love of series than with a contest?!

So this month I am giving away two books which are the first books in 2 great series.

The first book is City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (PB)

And the second book is The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong(PB)

I'm sure these are books that are familiar to most, but if you haven't read them then now is your chance.

How to Enter:

+1 entry for commenting below and leave your e-mail please
+1 entry for becoming a follower
+2 is you are already a follower
+1 for blogging about this contest--please leave a link
+1 for adding me to your blogroll

Contest will end April 30th.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve

So, I'm deep in the heart of City of Ashes right now and loving it. It made me start thinking about other series I love which of course led me to one of my favorite series of all time, Philip Reeve's Hungry City Chronicles.

This amazing series starts with Mortal Engines. Here's the synopsis thanks to

It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea ...

The great traction city london is on the move again. It has been lying low, skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground. But now, as its great mountain of metal lumbers along in hot pursuit of its quarry, the sinister plans it has harbored for years can finally start to unfold behind its soaring walls ...

Thaddeus Valentine, London's Head Historian and most famous archaeologist, and his daughter, Katherine, are down in The Gut when the young assassin with the black scarf strikes. Only the quick intervention of Tom, a lowly third-class apprentice, prevents Valentine from being stabbed in the heart. Madly racing after the fleeing girl, Tom suddenly glimpses her hideous face: scarred from forehead to jaw, nose a smashed stump, a single eye glaring back at him. "Look at what your Valentine did to me!" she screams. "Ask him! Ask him what he did to Hester Shaw!" And with that she jumps down the waste chute to her death. Minutes later Tom finds himself tumbling down the same chute and stranded in the Out-Country, a sea of mud scored by the huge caterpillar tracks of cities like the one now steaming off over the horizon.

In a stunning literary debut, Philip Reeve has created an unforgettable adventure story set in a dark and utterly original world fueled by Municipal Darwinism — and betrayal.

The other three books in the series are:
Predator's Gold
Infernal Devices
A Darkling Plain

I love these books. It was one of those things I just picked up on a whim and I couldn't put it down. I love the characters of Tom and Hester. And Hester is one of the most tragic and yet badass characters in YA. You want to simultaneously hug her, hate her and hang out with her.

If you like Sci Fi, dystopian literature, steampunk, or just a great adventure story, then you should check these out. You might have to hunt for them now, but it's totally worth it.

While I was thinking about these books again, I decided to visit Philip Reeve's website and what should I see, but a new title called Fever Crumb, which is a prequel to these stories. It comes out May 4th in the UK and I will probably be buying it from Amazon UK, because I can't wait for a US release date. I actually squealed when I saw that there was a new Hungry Cities book. I can't wait.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

In My Mailbox (7)

Okay, I'm feeling lazy this week and I bought a ridiculous amount of stuff, so no pictures just titles and authors. In My Mailbox is brought to you by the most awesome The Story Siren.

Here goes:

The Circle of Blood by Alane Ferguson--I read the first two in this series and liked them a lot, so I decided it was time to pick this one up as well.
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (YAY!!)
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Hottie by Jonathan Bernstein
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

So there you have it. The bookstore loves me, but my wallet does not.

By the way I saw Fast & Furious today. I wasn't going to see it, but well....Vin Diesel and all. It was actually a lot of fun and the perfect movie if you want to escape the world for 2 hours.

The Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Here's the blurb from the back of the book:

Meredith and Mallory Brynn are mirror twins born on either side of midnight one snowy New Y ear's Eve. They have always been inseparable. But after they are nearly killed in a mysterious fire on their thirteenth birthday, the bond that has always joined them unravels. They begin to have visions and dreams that reveal the deep secrets kept by the people around them. Meredith and Mallory realize they have each been given a gift: Mallory can see deep into the past; Meredith can see the future. But when they discover that one boy is not what they imagined, their lives will be changed forever. If they can survive . . .

Okay, so I have some mixed feelings about this one. I liked it; it kept me reading, but I didn't love it. When I read the first chapter I had high hopes. It had that folk-tale storytelling kind of feel going on and it felt almost like the first time I read Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. This was no Practical Magic though.

I thought the idea behind the book was very interesting. Twins that see visions, but not the same type of visions. They each see a different side of the same event. It's a very interesting concept and I was intrigued enough to keep reading. I liked the character of the next door neighbor Drew almost more than I liked the girls though. He was much more likable and quite honestly easier to follow.

The book just seemed a little disjointed at times and often I found myself looking back to pick up a thread of the plot or to just try to figure out which twin was talking. It wasn't a bad read by any means, but it wasn't as good as I'd hoped. I'll probably still read the next book in the series just to see where she takes the storyline. Has anyone else read it? What did you think?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Contest Winner!!

Okay, the winner of my second contest is

Erika Lynn

Congrats Erika and I'm sending an e-mail to you now.

Thanks everyone for entering. I'll be announcing a new contest soon.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Swoon by Nina Malkin

Here's the description:

Sin is Coming...Prepare to Swoon!

Torn from her native New York City and dumped in the land of cookie-cutter preps, Candice is resigned to accept her posh, dull fate. Nothing ever happens in Swoon, Connecticut...until Dice's perfect, privileged cousin Penelope nearly dies in a fall from an old tree, and her spirit intertwines with that of a ghost. His name? Sinclair Youngblood Powers. His mission? Revenge. And while Pen is oblivious to the possession, Dice is all too aware of Sin. She's intensely drawn to him—but not at all crazy about the havoc he's wreaking. Determined to exorcise the demon, Dice accidentally sets Sin loose, gives him flesh, makes him formidable. Now she must destroy an even more potent—and irresistible—adversary, before the whole town succumbs to Sin's will. Only trouble is, she's in love with him.

I will admit that this is a book I blatantly begged for. Once I read the above description I knew that I would love it and that it had to be mine. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. It's a great premise and definitely something new. I've never read a YA book quite like this one.

It's compulsively readable. I love the character of Candice,or Dice, this street smart city girl who has been dropped in the middle of a Stepfordesque little town in Connecticut. We, the reader, are plopped down in Swoon, CT right along with her and we watch in horror and sometimes glee as the events of the novel unfold around her.

The dialogue seemed very genuine to me, especially between Candice and Pen and Candice and Ruby. And Ruby, who couldn't fall in love with her? She such a great character.

I just really loved this book. I can't recommend it highly enough. I think Nina Malkin has a real hit on her hands and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

It's hitting shelves May 19th and it's brought to you by the good people of Simon Pulse.