Sunday, October 26, 2008

An Interview with Robin Brande

I recently "interviewed" the author of Evolution. Me & Other Freaks of Nature, here is what she had to say:

1. How did you come up with the idea for Evolution. Me & Other
Freaks of Nature?

In high school I was a girl like Mena, so I thought it would be interesting to write about someone caught up in the controversy. I can tell you she did a lot better sorting the whole thing out than I would have!

2. Do you plan on writing ore books?

I’m working on the final edits to my next book right now (as in RIGHT NOW, as in due tomorrow—yikes!).

3. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Three things:

1. Read A LOT. Read what you’re interested in. It might be comic books, graphic novels, romances, science fiction, comedies, tragedies—whatever. The more you read, the better you get at recognizing how to put a story together. Plus you build your vocabulary, you learn about different times and cultures and worlds—there’s so much treasure to be found in the pages of a book. And if you don’t like reading, you’re never going to enjoy a long career as a writer. The two just go hand in hand.

2. Write every day, if you can. Write something. I start off every morning writing in a journal, and that’s been the best thing for me in teaching me to write like myself. When you write every day you take the pressure off yourself to be perfect, to sound “literary,” to only write when you think you have something profound to say. Instead you can just practice your skills, like a musician playing scales or an athlete keeping in shape. If writing is the skill you want to improve, there’s no substitute for practicing every day. (And practice might include writing a blog post—that certainly counts!)

3. Lead an interesting life. You don’t have to do wild, exciting things like climb Everest or jump out of planes, but you do have to pay attention to what’s going on around you in the life you’re already leading. I get so many ideas from talking to my friends, seeing something on TV, reading the newspaper, watching how people interact in the world—there’s material all around us, big and little dramas every day, and our job as writers is to take what we observe and turn it into stories for each other.

4. Who is your favorite author?

I have two: Charles Dickens and J.K. Rowling. I think they’re both masters at plot, character development, dialogue, comedy, drama—they have the whole package going in every one of their books.

5. If you could change anything about Evolution. Me& Other Freaks of Nature, what would it be?

Boy, that’s a hard question! I never think my work is perfect, which is why it’s hard to finally stop tweaking and revising. That’s why deadlines are good—you have to just stop and turn over the book as some point, even if you think you could still tweak it a little more and still make it better. Sigh. So don’t get me started on what I could do differently—I’ll drive myself crazy!

6. When did you first know you wanted to become an author?

When I was in 5th grade. I had a teacher who let us write short stories for class, and I just loved it so much I never wanted to stop. But it took many years for me to build up the courage to make it my career. It just seemed too wonderful that I might actually grow up to be a writer one day. And now that I’m here, I can say it’s even better than I imagined!

7. Why did you choose to write Young Adult Fiction?

The books I read in junior high and high school had such a long-lasting influence on me, and I still love reading young adult books today. It just felt natural to write books in that genre. Plus I still have a lot of leftover emotions from when I was in high school, so it’s fun to be able to work those out with characters who are smarter, funnier, and braver than I was!

8. What was it like finding out you first book got published?

Oh, my gosh, that was one of the happiest days of my life. It still makes me giddy. But what I love even more is knowing that my next book will be published, and then the one after that, and the one after that . . . . I have a lot of ideas, and it’s such a pleasure to know that it’s my job now to write stories all day—truly a dream come true.

9. Do you have a special place where you do all your writing?

I have an office that looks out over a garden, and while I type all day my big black Lab sleeps on the couch nearby or on the rug next to my desk. Bliss!

10. Is there anything you would like to let the viewers of the blog know?

As thrilling as it is to be able to spend my days making up stories, it’s even more satisfying to hear from readers who have read them. I hope any time you read a book that touches you or entertains you in some way, you’ll take the time to send that author an e-mail and say so. You have no idea how much that means to us!

Thanks, Zoe, for your review of my book, and for taking the time to put together these questions. It was fun!

Now back to work on those edits . . .

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Evolution. Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande

This is Robin Brande's first book, and it is really awesome. So, here is summary (type thing) taken from the back of the book:

I knew today would be ugly. When you're single-handedly responsible for getting your church, your pastor, and every one of your former friends and their parents sued for millions of dollars, you expect to make some enemies. Fine. It's just that I oped my first day of school-high school, thank you, which I've been looking forward to my entire life- might turn out to be at least slightly better than eating live bugs. But I guess I was wrong.

I started reading this book this morning (at around 8:00a.m.) and couldn't stop reading. As I was making and eating my breakfast- still reading-I finished it about 3 hours later (about 11:00 a.m) and still, at midnight after finishing it, I am still amazed at the wonderful thought that was put into this book. I immediately fell in love with the characters. And I discovered I have a soft spot for nerdy boys. Robin did a wonderful job writing this book. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who reads YA, loves evolution, loves nerdy people, or just loves reading.

Silence is silver, but Books are golden...

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

When I bought this book, for some reason I was bouncing off the wall with excitement. Now I know why, here is the summary of this wonderful book (taken off the back):

Beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic heaven, the kind you only see in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss with a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks.

Wow, just Wow. Though it isn't December yet, this book made me want it to be winter. John, Maureen, and Lauren did wonderful jobs writing their stories, and they should pare up again. I lost many hours of sleep trying to finish reading this book, it dragged me in and I love it. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who loves YA Fiction. And, its in Paperback so it doesn't cost a lot of money!

Silence is silver, but Books are golden.

Along for the Ride Cover

This is the cover of Sarah Dessen's upcoming book, which is set to release in June 09' . I like this cover way more than Lock and Keys'. It is more like her previous book covers, all whimsical and sweet. It also kind of makes me interested to read the book, because the bike and dress are kind of vintage, but the outfit that the boy is wearing is modern looking. I can't wait for this book!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You Can Punish Me

Okay, so I finished My Almost Epic Summer, Let it Snow (which was AWESOME), and The Last Days. But I cant bring myself to read the other four. I really want to , but I just can't. So you can go shed and punish me. Leave suggestions in the comments, and I will go back to reading other books. I'm getting really busy with school, because grades go out next week, but I'll try my hardest to post.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Almost Epic Summer by Adele Griffin

This is the first book, that I am challenging myself to finish reading. At the end I found myself wanting the book not to end. Now, I will give you a summary that I found off of Amazon:

Irene loves hair and plans to open a salon someday. In the meantime, she combines her stylist yearnings with her love of literature, drawing hairdos from great novels in her ever-present sketchpad. After she flops at washing hair at her mother's beauty shop, she's forced to take a job babysitting. It's at the beach, where she takes the kids to swim, that she first observes lifeguard Starla, a beautiful drama queen on whom she gets a girl crush. Soon Irene is checking out Starla's blog, and she quickly realizes that Starla has noticed her--and appointed her the Witness, the person who will observe her vengeance against D., the boyfriend who dumped her. The role includes Irene's watching Starla key D.'s car. With Starla so hung up on D., it's disconcerting for Irene to realize that D. is interested in her.

Like I said before, I didn't want this book to end, I got so caught up in the gossip, and literature talks that it pulled me into its crazy beautiful written world. I strongly recommend this book to anybody who enjoys reading YA Fiction. Though, I did start getting annoyed with two of the younger characters, they add flavor to the novel, and without them it wouldn't be interesting.

When I was at the library, I needed a book to read, and without reading the back, or knowing anything about this book, I checked it out. Now, because of this book I have restored my trust in the "random book-picking at the library" technique. Thank You Adele Griffin for writing this wonderful novel.

Silence is silver, but Books are golden...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Order in which I Shall Post

Okay, to get me to read the books I have been putting off reading (or finish reading), I have devised a plan. I will list in order the books I will be reviewing in the next month or two (depending on how busy I am). These books will be, books that I just got, books that I am in the middle of reading, books that I have put off reading, and books that I have forgotten about. If I don't post the book reviews in order and for every book, you guys/girls can punish me. The punishment can be many things (but I have veto power). For example... you can have me read a crazy amount of books in a certain time limit or you can make me read a certain amount of books written by a certain author or in a certain genera that I wouldn't normally read ( i.e Jane Austen or Sci-Fi). So here is the list of books:

1. My Almost Epic Summer by Adele Griffin

2. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

3. The Last Days by Scott Westerfeld

4. King Dork by Frank Portman

5. The Melting of Maggie Bean by Tricia Rayburn

6. Violet on the Runway by Melissa Walker

7. Lily B. on the Brink of Cool by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

Expect a review of My Almost Epic Summer soon!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Yes, I fan-girled this book... No, this isn't going to be a fangirling rant about how Twilight is remarkable. FYI: I have given up my fan-girling Twilight ways, and I don't like the book that much now. I'm not going to put up a summary for a few reasons, the first reason is that it is late and I am tires, the second reason is that there are so many different ways to sum up this book I can't choose which one, and third, most of you have probably already read Twilight.

Fist I am going to talk about the reasons why I like Twilight, and why at the time, I was obsessed. Twilight is a thrilling book to read. Not only is there romance and forbidden love. But there is also that teen angst type of stuff that is so fun to read about. You find yourself falling in love with Edward with Bella, and you just keep getting sucked into this dangerous pit of compassion and fast-moving thoughts. I got obsessed with this book the same way most YA readers did. Twilight is an addictive book. Because its from the perspective of Bella and she meets this ultra handsome guy, you feel like you are meeting him too, and you get to live this dream from whole new character, who lives in the wonderful world of YA Fiction.

The reasons I don't like this book (I'm getting ready for a hundred Twilight fans to throw metaphorical books at me) are as follows: though Stephanie Meyer wrote this world wide bestselling book, the characters have no depth, the plot isn't that strong, and the characters don't speak how people speak.

Though I believe that this book isn't well written, I can't deny that I have read it a lot of times over (I think five to be exact). I still re-read it again once and a while when I'm feeling in the mood for a sappy love story! I may not agree with ll of the fan-girls, but I still think you should read it if you haven't, if you don't you are missing out on a big part of our teen culture impactors. Twilight is the first in a four book series, the other books are : New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn.

Silence is silver, but Books are golden...

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I've been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard of it, just because of its spreading fan base. I have to say, it is a slightly small book though. Here is the summary (from the back of the book):

Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where all you need is that perfect song on the perfect drive to feel infinite.

The thing I didn't like about this book, is that it was pretty dirty. I don't enjoy reading "dirty" books, because I just wish for once there was a young adult book that doesn't involve a lot of romance. This book only has around 215 pages, but it took me forever to read, I really don't know why. What I liked bout this book was that, though Charlie is only a freshman in high school, he still can hang out with seniors. This book made me cry, and laugh, and smile all within a few chapters. Stephen Chbosky did a wonderful job writing this books, and part of it really touched me.

The thing about a good book, is that when you finish it, you feel kind of empty with disbelief that this wonderful book had ended. After I finished this, I stared at the book for five minutes just waiting for it to hit me...

Silence is silver, but Books are golden...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Book Suggestions Anyone???

Ok, I'm sorry for the lack of posting recently, I know its only been four days, but I planned on posting more frequently. Some of the reasons are as followed:

1. School has been hectic
2. My life outside of school had been hectic
3. I need more books to read!

Well, the last one isn't that true, but the thing is that I have books to read and they are boring which makes me read slower. I'm going on a trip tomorrow, so don't expect any posts until Saturday at the least. The next book I'm reviewing will be The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Ummm... also if anybody has any book suggestions or books they want me to review, please tell me in the comments. Other than that, see you soon!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Paper Towns by John Green

Before I say anything about Paper Towns let me just say, this picture--->
show both of the two covers. If you pre-ordered Paper Towns, or if you but it off Amazon, the cover will be pre-selected for you and you won't get a choice of which one you want. For instance, I pre-ordered mine, and got the blue cover. You may be thinking "hmmm... there are different covers, does that mean the books are different?", well the answer is no, its the same exact book, except with a different book jacket. And before you go run off and buy it, it doesn't officially come out until the sixteenth of October. If you pre-ordered it from Borders or Barnes and Nobles, or some other bookstore that isn't Amazon, you may have gotten it early due to the bookstores not really paying attention to the release date. So, it is my great pleasure to give you the summary of this book (taken from Johns websire

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life--dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows.After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues--and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

I finished this book yesterday, and I still can't put it down. I find myself wishing the books was bigger, just so I can get lost in th magnificent world in which John Green wrote Paper Towns in. Though all three of his books are in a way similar, they are also one of a kind and really addicting, and I don't mean in the Twilight way, I mean in the "holy crap this books is so awesome I can't put it down" way. I have read Johns other books numerous times around, but this one is definitely my favorite. His books just keep getting better and better, I can't wait for the next one!

I also love the two covers, they depict the two miss imagined versions of Margo, and once and if you guys read the book, I hope the covers of the books, and the books themselves have as big of an effect on you, as they did on me. Five cheers for John Green and his wonderfully magnificent books! So I strongly encourage you to go out to your local bookstore on October 16th and but a copy, you won't regret it!

Silence is silver, but Books are golden...


UPDATE: John just became a bestselling author! He ranked #5 on the New York Times Bestsellers, thank to everyone who bought it! I know for a fact that this was one of Johns dreams!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lets Get Lost by Sarra Manning

I've already read one of Sarra Manning's books, and it was really good. So when I saw Lets Get Lost at the bookstore I immediately bought it. Before I rant on and on about what I thought, her is the summary (taken from the back of the book):

Isabel is the girl who rules the school with an iron fist and a gang of minions doing her bidding. Her friends are scared of her, her teachers can't get through to her, and that's just the way she likes it. With her razor-sharp edges and tall walls, nothing gets to Isabel- and no one, but no one, is going to discover her dark, sad secrets. Then she meets Smith. And Isabel learns that sometimes when all the expectations and pressures are too much, you just need someone to help you get lost.

I say this about a lot of books, but, this book was awesome. Sarra Manning's books just keep getting better and better. After I finished reading it, I was looking through the back of the books and I found the note from the author. And I think reading that made me like the book even more! She said "I started writing Lets Get Lost about three months after my mum died. I never got a chance to say goodbye to her, so I wrote this instead." All writers need a reason for writing their book(s), but hers sticks out to me, because she wrote it for her mother. It was really interesting reading about how Smith, helped Isabel break out of her protective shell. Some of the characters in Lets Get Lost are intertwined with some of the characters in one of Sarra's other books called Guitar Girl. Both Lets Get Lost and Guitar Girl are really good books, and if you haven't, I encourage you to read them!

Silence is silver, but Books are golden...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Before reading Suite Scarlett, I had already read a few of Maureen's other books, so I already knew she was a magnificent author! And reading Suite Scarlett made me love her writing even more. Here is the summary:

Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small hotel in the heart of New York City. Her nineteen-year-old brother, Spencer, is an out of work actor facing a family deadline to get his career in order. Eighteen-year-old Lola has the delicate looks of a model, the practical nature of a nurse, and a wealthy society boyfriend. Eleven-year-old Marlene is the family terror with a tragic past.
When the Martins turn fifteen, they are each expected to take over the care of a suite in the once elegant, now shabby Art Deco hotel. For Scarlett’s fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite, and a permanent guest named Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn’t quite know what to make of this C-list starlet, world traveler, and aspiring autobiographer who wants to take over her life. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn.
With Mrs. Amberson calling the shots, Spencer’s career to save, Lola’s love life to navigate around, and Marlene’s prying eyes everywhere, things won’t be easy. Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, and theatrical deception.

I read Suite Scarlett so many times, after getting this book. The way Maureen describes Scarlett's life is awesome. The characters seem real and so do the scenarios Scarlett has to go through. People who love to act, who love hotels, and who love New York will love this book. You get to know the characters as if they were your own friends, and you feel the emotions that rage through the story. All of Maureen's previous books are awesome and with Suite Scarlett she takes it up a notch. You can find out Maureen's other books and read her blog at

Silence is silver, but Books are golden...

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

I finished Nick and Norah's a few days ago, and finally got around to reviewing it. Before I post the summary I just wanted to say that I fairly enjoyed this book, it was exciting and fun to read. So here is the summary:

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

As I said before, this was really fun to read. Though it was a good book, it wasn't my favorite from from these authors. I haven't read any of Rachel Cohn's books yet, but I have to say that I enjoyed Are We There Yet by David Levithan more than this. Compared to Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List (The other book Rachel and David co-wrote together) I liked them the same. But if I were to put them side by side and try to "summarize" them, I would say that Nick and Norah's is more exciting and thrilling than Naomi and Ely's. Both books are great, and I encourage you to read them...also Nick and Norah's just came out in theaters about a week ago, I haven't seen it yet.. but the actors who are in it are awesome.

Silence is silver, but Books are golden!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Let me start off by saying this was an AWESOME book. Now, here is the summary (taken from the book):

Miles "Pudge" Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

This book, is amazing. It isn't my favorite book, but it is up there. The way John Green takes Pudge's story and crafts it into this awesomely written book is unbelievable. This was the first book I have read in the point of view of a boy, and let me say...this book made me want to read more books that are in the point of views of boys. Some things I didn't really like about this books were that the beginning doesn't pull you in that much. Therefore it took a lot of self-persuasion to try reading it, but after the first couple "chapters" it starts pulling you in more.
This was John Green's first book, but since then, he has published three more. The book that was published after this one is called An Abundance of Katherine's, it is a really awesome book. The second one of his books, he co-wrote with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle is called Let it Snow, it came out on the second of October 2008, his third book is called Paper Towns, this book comes out on October sixteenth (be expecting a blog post!). John makes video's with his brother Hank...there URL is you should check them out, they're awesome. John and his brother also formed this community claaed Nerdfighters, no they are not people who fight nerds, they are nerds who fight for awesome.
So, check out Johns other books, nerdfighters, and him and his brothers videos.
And remember...

Silence is silver, but Books are golden!

Books are Golden

I decided to make this blog, not for the sake of review the books that I read and to share my love of books with the world. So, join me, on this awesome journey of reading, re-reading, and blogging.
Some books that I will be reviewing coon will be ; Looking for Alaska by John Green, Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson, Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, Are We There Yet? by Davod Levithan, Fly on the Wall by E.Lockhart, Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, and last bot not least... Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.
Not only will I be writing my reviews and opinions of YA books, I will also discuss and revies books of other genres. (FYI most of them will be YA books, because of my ongoing obsession with them)
And remember...Silence is silver, but Books are golden.