Friday, April 30, 2010
Along with posting those two things, there are a lot of Young Adult books coming out tomorrow or after (and many I still have to read), but I will try my hardest to post reviews for most of the May releases I have. Some of the reviews you can look forward to seeing are Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready, Jekel loves Hyde by Beth Fantasky, Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti, and a bunch of others.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
In the blogging world, you can almost always find somebody who has the same obsessions as you. This has been the case for me. From Doctor Who (Sarah), David Levithan (Khy), 10 Things I Hate About You (A bunch of awesome people on twitter), The Vampire Diaries (Khy, Sarah, Catt, Mitali, Heidi, and a bunch of others), Coffee (CHELSEA!), and many more things that I love watching/doing. My blogging friends are also my beta readers for what I’m writing. They tell me if anything I write it utter crap, which is really important to do when I’m on my high horse gloating or something.
The blogging world has also brought me to meeting my some of my favorite authors and bloggers! Since starting my blog, I have met:
Sarah Reese Brennan
Heidi R. Kling
Cheryl Renee Herbsman
C. Lee McKenzie
Khy of Frenetic Reader
Alicia of Shooting Star Mag
Nancy of Ravenous Reader
And there are probably some people I am forgetting, which I’m sorry about!
The blogging world is like a family. There are the weird cousins, the sisters (or brothers), the family members you look up to, and whatever other relatives. Most of us get along with one another and help each other out. I am proud to be a book blogger. My blog is a getaway for me. There are some bloggers that I talk to on a daily basis and my life wouldn’t be the same without. If I hadn’t started blogging, I wouldn’t be reading as much as I do. I wouldn’t have read David Levithan (my all time favorite author), Sarah Dessen, and a bunch of other authors that I absolutely adore. I don’t know what I would do without this blogging world that I’m apart of. I love the people who read my blog and I love the bloggers I talk to.
Others people talking about the Bright Side of Blogging-
Sunday April 25th: Sarah's Random Musings
Monday April 26th: The Book Cellar
Wednesday April 28th: Frenetic Reader
Thursday April 29th: Persnickety Snark
Friday April 30th: The Page Flipper
Saturday May 1st: The Compulsive Reader
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Marshall Seaver is being haunted. In the first installment of this chillingly compelling trilogy, sixteen-year-old Marshall discovers that something beyond our world is after him. The eerie clues pile up quickly, and when people start dying, it’s clear whatever this isit’s huge. Marshall has no idea what’s happening to him, but he’s soon convinced that it has something to do with his best friend Cooper, who’s been missing for over a week. Together with Coop’s sister, Marsh searches for the truth about what happened to his friend, ultimately uncovering something bigger than he could ever have imagined
I don’t really know how to sum up my opinions about this book. I wanted to like it, I really wanted to like it. No matter how hard I tried to like this book, nothing really clicked with me. D.J. MacHale is a wonderful writer, Morpheus Road was written really well and the plot was creepy and many people will probably love it. The characters seemed a bit annoying to me, which is part of the reason I didn’t really like it.
For the genera that is recommended for Morpheus Road, I think this story will really take off. It is marketed as Middle Grade. Long time readers of Zoe’s Book Reviews know that I am not a Middle Grade fan.
I recommend Morpheus Road to younger teens who are/used to be a fan of Goosebumps. It my personal favorite book, but it also wasn’t a bad book. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.
I want to just make a quick note on the cover. Isn't is creepy? I love it!
*I received this book from the publisher.
Alessandra is desperate to escape—from her stepmother, who’s locked her away for a year; from the cloister that awaits her if she refuses the marriage plans that have been made for her; from the expectations that limit her and every other girl in fourteenth-century Italy. There’s no tolerance in her village for her keen intelligence and her unconventional ideas. In defiant pursuit of her dreams, Alessandra undertakes an audacious quest, her bravery equaled only by the dangers she faces. Disguised and alone in a city of spies and scholars, Alessandra will find a love she could not foresee—and an enduring fame.
I will be honest with you all. I didn’t expect to like this book very much. I am not a big historical fiction fan, actually, historical fiction is one of my least favorite things to read. Much to my surprise, A Golden Web pulled me in. This was my second time trying to read it and after the first two chapters I was completely devoured into the story. The characters were written well, Alessandra and her brother were lovely characters that I loved reading about. I recommend this book to lovers of Historical Fiction and people who are trying to love Historical Fiction more.
*I received this book from the publisher.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Hope you all had a lovely week!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Not to worry! You can still ask him all your questions about Morpheus Road on publication day!
Here’s how to do it:
Go to: http://www.ustream.tv/simonandschuster
Login on the right side via Twitter or Facebook to post questions for him.
D. J. will be answering the questions LIVE on the day the book is published (Today) day, 4/20 at 6:00 PM Eastern time, and you can watch it there then!
I encourage you all to go and watch D.J. MacHale talk about Morpheus Road.
Monday, April 19, 2010
I am here to give you all a chance to win a copy of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles and Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles. Both are amazing books that I love.
To enter this contest, fill out the form below.
US residents only, sorry international people!
One person will win a copy of Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction and some bookmarks.
+2 entries if you follow Zoe's Book Reviews.
You can find my Rules of Attraction review here.
My Perfect Chemistry review here.
My interview with Simone here.
1. Why did you change the makers of the Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction book trailers?
They’re two totally different trailers. I hired an independent film director to do my rap video book trailers because the budgets were smaller and it was filmed on green screen versus filmed on location with an entire crew. The director for my rap videos helped write the raps, he filmed the rap, he hired people he knew as actors, and edited the trailer. It was kind of a one-man-show. It was perfect for what we were doing, but it wasn’t filmed like a movie with an entire 20 person behind-the-scenes crew. They were parody rap videos filmed on green screen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr0OtYYpyek&feature=related
For Rules of Attraction, I wanted the book trailer to look like a real movie trailer. I had an entire film company, Spotlight Films, do the project with me. It was filmed with a Director of Photography, an entire cast who’d auditioned for parts (besides Alexander F. Rodriguez, who I hand-picked to be production assistants, and a really big behind-the-scenes crew. We even hired extras. It was filmed on location in , and I gave myself a bigger budget because it was a bigger project. I was on set the entire day, and was Fuentes), a director who works on major motion pictures, producers who’ve worked on major motion pictures, a sound engineer, shocked at how much detail and how many “takes” it takes to make one scene.
2. Do you like the fact that your most recent covers all have the same theme with the dark backgrounds?
I learned something when I had my first book published: covers matter. If you have a cover teens don’t like, it will hurt sales. I want a cover that reflects what you’re going to read inside the book. I like my recent covers – they’re dark, sexy, and edgy. It’s great because my books are edgy and sexy. Teens seem to love my dark covers better, so I’m really happy with them!
3. What is your favorite thing about writing?
Writing THE END! Finishing a book is an amazing feeling. But even better is the fan mail I receive. My fans are so passionate about my books; they inspire me to write more. So I’d say my favorite thing is meeting my fans and reading their fan mail. I could never get tired of it.
4. Why did you decide to make a companion novel to Perfect Chemistry?
I wrote Perfect Chemistry, I thought it would be amazing to write about all three Fuentes brothers. When I sold Perfect Chemistry, though, I wasn’t sure I’d get to write a trilogy or even a sequel/companion novel. When my editor Emily Easton at Walker said that fans definitely wanted another Perfect Chemistry novel and weren’t ready to let my characters go, I was so excited. I didn’t want to have Brittany and Alex be the main characters because their story was already written – I wanted to let Carlos and Luis have their own stories. I’m so happy to announce that it will be a trilogy, so all three brothers can have their own story!
5. Is there anything you would like to add?
Hmm, let me see. I get a lot of fan mail asking if my books are going to be made into full-length movies. I hope one day they will. It would be amazing to see my entire story come alive on the big screen. In the meantime, I’m happy writing books and working on the next adventure. I have the best job ever!
Thanks for coming to Zoe's Book Reviews, Simone!
When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.
Rules of Attraction was magnificent! I have been waiting to read this book since I first read Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. Both are wonderful and I have re-read them too many times to count. In Rules of Attraction, Simone digs deeper into the story of the Fuentes family. This time she focus’s on Alex’s brother Carlos. This book was so good that I read it in a car *I get car sick* without getting sick. It pulled me in and didn’t let go of me until I was done reading.
I believe that there is one more book in this series, and I totally can’t wait to read it! Simone wrote a really interesting, relatable, young adult read. I found it easy to relate to many of the characters in the book. Not because they are involved with drugs or anything like that. But because a lot of them are just trying to fit in. Carlos wants to rebel (like any other teen) but in a way, it seems like he doesn’t want to be the bad guy. I loved Kiara because she was the shy girl who follows the rules and she slowly breaks out of her shell.
I strongly recommend Rules of Attraction, and the first book in the series Perfect Chemistry.
FTC- I received this book from the publisher
Friday, April 16, 2010
What's the worst thing you've ever done? When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace? Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her counselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all. Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth. Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault
This book was amazing. I finally bought it on my trip to LA and I read it in the car straight through. I am now in love with Courtney Summers’ writing. I never really understand how an author so nice you could write characters with such an attitude. I love how Parker isn’t perfect *I also love her name*. I haven’t read much books where the main character is far from perfect, so reading this was oddly refreshing. Since reading it about a month ago, I have already re-read it numerous times and my love for it never dies. Courtney Summers is a seriously talented author and I can’t wait until her next book!
FTC- I bought this book.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The winner of Athena the Brain is...
The winner of Persephone the Phony is...
I'll email the author your addresses to send you the book you have won! Congrats!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Meet Will Carter, but feel free to call him Carter. (Yes, he knows it's a lazy nickname, but he didn't have much say in the matter.)
Here are five things you should know about him:
1. He has a stuttering problem, particularly around boobs and belly buttons.
2. He battles Attention Deficit Disorder every minute of every day...unless he gets distracted.
3. He's a virgin, mostly because he's no good at talking to girls (see number 1).
4. He's about to start high school.
5. He's totally not ready.
Join Carter for his freshman year, where he'll search for sex, love, and acceptance anywhere he can find it. In the process, he'll almost kill a trombone player, face off with his greatest nemesis, suffer a lot of blood loss, narrowly escape death, run from the cops (not once, but twice), get caught up in a messy love triangle, meet his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer, and surprise the hell out of everyone, including himself.
This book was hilarious! Carter was so awkward and realistically depicted what many teens are like. I was originally hesitant to pick this book up because it didn’t seem like my thing. I love the cover but I didn’t really want to read about a boy with a stuttering problem when he see’s girls. I thought the idea was over-done.
Carter Finally Gets It took be about 2 days to read. I liked it way more than I thought I was going to. At times I was like “Did I just read what I think I read?” whereas at other point in the book I was a total mushy girl. This book will probably be offensive to many, but I personally loved it. It is a good example of adolescence and that stage of life.
FTC- I got this book from the library.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
On Solange’s sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that’s not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father’s killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family. Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange’s right to a normal life, whether she’s being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange’s eternal life—Lucy and Solange’s brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover’s heart.
This book was amazing. Sarah of Sarah’s Random Musings suggested it to me and at first I kinda didn’t want to read another vampire book. I admit though, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Alyxandra Harvey has a knack for writing Vampire books. I can’t wait to read the second one because the first one was amazing.
Alyxandra wrote a unique book that put a lovely twist on Snow White. Nicholas was totally swoon worthy and I wish he was real. Hopefully Blood Feud (the second book) is just as awesome if not more, I can’t wait to read it and tell you all what I think.
I recommend Hearts at Stake to anybody. It was an interesting spin on Snow White, it has characters that will make you wish you were in the book, and some kick-butt adventures!
FTC- I bought this book.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Today I have for you all, the two authors of the Goddess Girls series; Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams. For this interview, they each will ask each other a few questions along with asking a few other people some questions having to do with the Goddess Girls books. Enjoy!
We’re thrilled to be here as guests, and are excited about the release of the first two books in our Goddess Girls series. Of course it takes lots of people to create a book, not just authors. So we’ve included some Q & A with three of the fabulous people who also worked on Goddess Girls: Editor: Emily Lawrence, Book Designer: Karen Paprocki, and Cover Artist: Glen Hanson.
Joan: I’ll start us off. So, Suzanne, what went through your mind that night over dinner, when I asked if you might like to co-author a chapter book series? Was your “yes” instantaneous, or how long did your “yes” take?
Suzanne: As I remember it was almost instantaneous—after I got over the initial surprise at being asked, that is. Collaboration was just something I’d never thought about before. But as soon as I’d wrapped my mind around the idea, I thought it would be fun. Especially since it would give me the chance to work with you!
Let me ask you a question. It’s the one I’m asked most often about collaborating: What are the plusses and minuses of working with a co-author?
Joan: Like other authors, I’m used to making all of the decisions about my work, with the exception of input from the editor and copyeditor. I think compromise got easier as we went along and began to really trust each other. That went surprisingly well. One plus is that you get to share the workload. On the flip side you also share the money, so it’s basically half the work and half the pay. Collaborating was like having a super-invested critique partner. It was great. Unlike in a typical crit situation where one author makes suggestions, we often actually rewrote each other’s work.
I’ll ask you something I get asked a lot. Which goddess would you like to be? First, I’ll admit that part of me wants to be Athena and part of me wants to be Aphrodite—brains and beauty!
Suzanne: Brains and beauty sound good to me, too! (But in practice, I’m more like an Athena/Persephone combo.)
Joan: I co-authored a picture book, The Man Who Named the Clouds, with my mom, Julie Hannah, and that was a good experience for me. She and I worked long-distance, via phone and email, just as you and I did, Suzanne. Had you ever tried collaborating on a book with another author before?
Suzanne: No, I hadn’t. That’s why I was so surprised when you brought up the idea. I’d just never considered it. But it was such a positive experience that I’m glad we’re busily thinking up new series ideas for possible future collaborations.
Suzanne: So, let’s visit with the creative team at Aladdin now. A question for our editor first. Emily, it took almost two years to polish and sell Goddess Girls. What made you want to acquire the series?
Emily: The idea of a fun, modernized setting -- but still mythically correct -- series about the Greek pantheon really appealed to me. And, my imprint, Aladdin, focuses on kid-friendly, commercial fiction for young readers so Goddess Girls was the perfect fit in a both a business and personal sense. It doesn’t hurt that the Percy Jackson movie released in the same season as the Goddess Girls, and interest in classical mythology is on the rise… We’ll just call that a hunch since I signed the series over a year ago.
Joan: Glen, Suzanne and I really love the cover illustrations for Goddess Girls. As the illustrator, you added many fun details true to the actual myths, so we wonder if you have a personal interest in mythology or if you are just really good at researching these things?
Glen: Thank you. I’m so complimented that you both feel I did your books justice with my illustrations. Creating the covers was a complete joy because I’ve been obsessed with Greek Mythology since my early teens.
Joan: That shows, Glen. Your covers truly shine, and working with you was a pleasure.
Suzanne: Karin, can your share with us something about the process of designing this book?
Karin: Well, I have to say I really enjoyed reading through the manuscripts. I find the stories fun, light, and full of appealing characters. I especially enjoy working on series’ for tween girls, and I was geared up to find some cute art/graphics, girl-centric fonts, and work with Glen’s gorgeous palette for this series. I think all the elements work very nicely together to marry the adorable cover image with the fun modern-meets-myth story.
Joan: Now’s our chance to thank you for those fonts, Karin. We particularly like the swoopy, swirly one you chose for the “Goddess Girl” logotype and chapter headings.
Joan and Suzanne: Thanks, Emily, Glen, and Karin. And now we have a couple of questions for our blog host. Zoe, you have over 250 followers and are asked to review many books. Why this series? Are you a mythology fan?
Zoe: I wanted to read something new. I'm not necessarily a "fan" of mythology, but I've always been interested in it. The series sounded really interesting to me. I don't usually read Middle Grade books or books that include mythology... so this will be a pretty refreshing thing for me to read.
Joan and Suzanne: Which goddess are you most like: Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, Artemis?
Zoe: I don't know! I don't really know much about any of the goddesses. I suppose I should learn more!
Joan: I think I got hooked on mythology in 7th grade, Zoe. I had a great lit teacher that year, and that helped boost my enthusiasm.
Suzanne and Joan: Many thanks for having us as guests here today, Zoe! We hereby crown you a teen blog goddess for agreeing when we asked you to participate in the Goddess Girl blog tour.
Suzanne: And lastly, for those of your readers who can’t get enough of all things goddess, here’s a quiz I created:
Your favorite color is:
a. Yellow when I’m happy, black when I’m not.
b. Dark pink, light pink, hot pink, bright pink. PINK!
c. Whatever. As long as it’s comfortable.
d. Ye gods! Why should it matter what color I wear?
Your general outlook on life is:
a. Sunny, but sometimes your mood turns dark, and that’s okay with you.
b. Viewed through the prism of romance. You love to play matchmaker with your friends!
c. Life’s a contest, and you like to compete. You’re very athletic and you also like board games.
d. Intellectual. There’s just so much to learn, and you sop up knowledge like a sponge.
When it comes to boys:
a. You go for the guy who is different and off-beat, and maybe a bit mysterious.
b. Anyone cute catches your eye; you’re an equal-opportunity flirter.
c. Yuck! Who gives a rip about boys?
d. Sure, you notice them, but you’re much too busy with schoolwork and after school activities to concern yourself with boys.
What some people don’t know about you is that deep down:
a. You “dance to a different drummer,” not always liking the same things your friends like.
b. You sometimes worry that other people—especially boys— like you more for your looks than for your other many good qualities.
c. You don’t really dislike boys as much as you claim to.
d. You worry that you’re not as smart as others think you are.
Given an hour or two of free time, you’d rather spend it:
a. Wandering around in a lovely garden or park.
b. Experimenting with make-up and hairstyles.
c. Playing with a pet or doing anything active.
d. Reading a book.
Add up the number of A’s, B’s, C’s, and D’s. If you have more A’s, you’re most like Persephone, B’s, you’re most like Aphrodite, C’s, you’re most like Artemis, D’s, you’re most like Athena. Or you might be a half-and-half mix of two Goddess Girls!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
All of Spring Break so far, I have spent my time writing and on the Absolute Write forums, which are amazing.
Normally by this time, I would have been sick of what I was writing, but I'm not.
Just wanted to update you all on whats going on!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.
Will Grayson has had a fair amount of spotlight on it this past week. Most of the spotlight has been about John Green, I’m not saying that this is wrong are that I don’t like John… but I think we should give David some credit here. Both writers wrote really well. I loved the idea of Will Grayson, it’s pretty original. I also love the fact that these two authors wrote it. David Levithan’s writing is generally more adventurous that John Greens, David explores different plots and ways to present his writing (like in Will Grayson, his Will’s part wasn’t capitalized.). John Green’s writing, while always having different characters and problems… are generally the same.
In Will Grayson, Will Grayson I like that both authors got to show off what they do best. For John’s Will I really love that there was a gay character. Tiny Copper is probably one of my favorite characters that I’ve ever read. When reading David’s Will, I first was like “Woa… this guy is depressed” but once I read it back and discussed it with Khy of Frenetic Reader, we both kinda think that David’s Will is kinda funny in a dark way. Now, while I’m reading Khy’s review I think she made a lovely point and that you should go check it out here.
Overall my favorite Will was David’s because I like the fact that he went against the norm a bit. David didn’t capitalize and made his character really depressed with a dark sense of humor. I still love John’s part. These to authors are an amazing pair who should really write a book together again. There is a musical, two people with the last names, and an amazing story.
FTC- I got this from the publisher.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
2. Merlins Harp by Anne Eliot Crompton
3. Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire
4. Diary of Anne Frank
5. Wanderlust by Lucy Silag
6. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
7. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
8. Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford
9. Shade by Jeri Smith Ready
10. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
11. Cracked up to Be by Courtney Summers
12. All That Glitters by David Van Etten
13. Red Carpet Riot by David Van Etten
14. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Total Books Read This Year- 31
Favorite Book This Month- So many good ones! I am in love with the Likely Story series by David Van Etten, Hunger Games, Forest of Hands and Teeth, and Cracked Up To Be.
Friday, April 2, 2010
+5 if you follow Zoe's Book Reviews
+2 if you link this somewhere
Thursday, April 1, 2010
For most book bloggers and readers that I know, bookshelves and book storage is a frequently-talked about topic. There are so many different ways that people store and treat their books. Some people use shelves... others use stacks... and for some people the books are just thrown about.
So today I want to know how you story your books and/or treat them.
Bookmarks or Dog-Ear?
Shelved, Stacked, or Random?
Keep, Give Away, or Throw Away?
I personally like to shelve my books and use bookmarks. But, when I was younger (5 maybe?) I was a dog-earer. I keep most of the books I read, because I end up liking most of the books I own. Every few months I go through them and decide which ones I can live without and donate them.
But as of recently. I have been running out of space on my bookshelves. I have one HUGE bookshelf that stretches the length of one of my bedroom walls and it was full about a month ago. Then I made room for one more medium sized bookshelf in my room. But that one is 3/4 full now. So I may end up stacking my books. Only time will tell.
So... how about you?