Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Two irresistible boys. One unforgettable summer.

Lori can't wait for her summer at the lake. She loves wakeboarding and hanging with her friends--including the two hotties next door. With the Vader brothers, she's always been just one of the guys. Now that she's turning sixteen, she wants to be seen as one of the girls, especially in the eyes of Sean, the older brother. But that's not going to happen--not if the younger brother, Adam, can help it.

Lori plans to make Sean jealous by spending time with Adam. Adam has plans of his own for Lori. As the air heats up, so does this love triangle. Will Lori's romantic summer melt into one hot mess?

Jennifer Echols is just an amazing author, point blank. I am in love with her writing. Endless Summer is the sequel to a romantic comedy that Echols’ wrote called The Boys Next Door. After reading the first one, I couldn’t wait to dive into their world again. The characters were just as amazing as they had been in the previous book, if not more.
Very few authors can pull off writing the second book in a series well, and I think Jennifer Echols is one of the authors that can pull it off. Lori is a character that is too crazy for her own good. All of the plans that she makes are outrageous. The best part of all this is that she believes that they will work.
In Endless Summer, you switch off reading from the point of view of Lori and Adam. Once again, I have found that very few authors can pull off switching points of view. Adding Adams point of view just made me like him more. I don’t think that there was any part in either book where I didn’t like him. Yes, there were parts where I wanted to slap him. But, overall he is a terrific character.
Like every Jennifer Echols book I’ve read, I would highly recommend this book. It is witty, addicting, and totally worth reading. I hope you enjoy it!

FTC- Bought.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Win a Poster! And Swag!

So the lovely Heidi R. Kling gave me two posters for her book SEA (you should go out and buy it). I have decided to give one of you, amazing readers a poster. Along with this poster you will also receive some other swag. To enter, all you need to do is fill out the form below!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Speak Up. Speak Out. Speak Loudly.

There is someone in Missouri, by the name of Wesley Scroggins. Who has decided that he wants to try and get Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler off of the bookshelves and out of the curriculum at a Missouri school. I haven't read Speak or Slaughterhouse Five. But I'm going to. I'm half way through Speak and I'm going to review it within the next week. Trying to ban a book that deals with rape should be a crime.

He is also saying that Speak is soft-core pornography. What about rape is pornographic? A book about rape is not titillating.

Does Scroggins know how many people it's affected? How many rape victims it has encouraged to speak up? How many teens feel like they can tell their story, after reading it?

1 in 4 girls are sexually abused by the age of 18.
1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by the age of 18.
Only about 31% of teen sexual abuse incidents are reported.

Rape is something that isn't talked about in our society a lot. It is something that needs to be brought to attention more, and trying to get rid of a book that helps people Speak Up about rape is a horrible thing.
When I heard what this person was doing, I was furious.
The blogging, writing, and twitter community have all come together and tweeted about what's going on. People have emailed the people who have to do with it. We are trying to make sure that people Speak Up. Speak Out. and Speak Loudly.

Teens need to be educated on sex, abuse, and other things. They get educated by reading and sex ed classes. Trying to stop them from reading books dealing with sex and sexual abuse and trying to stop them from having sex ed in schools won't help anyone.

Don't let people try and stop you from Speaking Up or Speaking Out or Speaking Loudly about anything that has happened to you. Don't let anyone Speak for you.

If you are on twitter, I encourage you to tweet to the hashtag #SpeakLoudly . I encourage you to add this to your twitter icon. I encourage you to write about Speak and all the other books that have touched your life or the lives of people you know.

Read Speak. Read other books dealing with rape*. Read Twenty Boy Summer.

*Other books are Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott and The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney (Coming out November 2010)

Got Ideas?

So, school is eating my time which means I'm not reading much (You guys, I finished 1 book in the past 2 weeks. That's terrible.) Which also means that I am running out of reviews and interviews to post. So I am looking to you, dear readers to tell me what you want to read about. Anything. You name it. I will answer questions, write truth, write fiction, discussion posts, name my opinion on things. You can challenge me to do/write stuff. Anything! Just write your idea's in the box billow. Please, and thank you.
PS- There might also be a SEA poster contest in a few days.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Avery Hood is reeling from the loss of her parents--and the fact that she can't remember what happened to them even though she was there. She's struggling to adjust to life without them, and to living with her grandmother, when she meets Ben, who isn't like any guy she's ever met before. It turns out there's a reason why, and Ben's secret may hold the key to Avery finding out what happened to her parents... But what if that secret changes everything she knows about--and feels for--Ben?

This is one of the very few mystery books I like. Reading Low Red Moon seems like a blur, I read it so fast. Ivy Devlin is a skilled author. This book combines paranormal, romance, mystery, and murder. What more could you want? I disliked it because there wasn’t really a “wow” factor. The writing was good but the story was just average.
Throughout reading, I kept trying to solve the mystery. I must guessed 10 different people, never once was I right. I’ve never read a mystery book in which I couldn’t solve the mystery. I was oblivious as to who did it, until the last few chapters.
Low Red Moon is a fairly small book and I wish it were longer than it is. The author has a certain way of writing that capture that books essence and makes you love it even more. I recommend this book to paranormal and mystery lovers. I loved it.

FTC- Received from Sarah of Sarah’s Random Musings

Monday, September 13, 2010

An Interview with Adele Griffin

I had the lovely opportunity to ask Adele Griffin, author of The Julian Game a few questions. Here they are-

1. How did you get the idea for The Julian Game?
I love "bad influence" stories. My very favorites are The Bad Seed and The Secret History and the The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I think Julian came out of that love of reading books about "the wild, dangerous friend." It's such curl-up-and-shiver material.

2. You've written a vampire series that is marketed as middle grade and The J
ulian Game (as well as other books) that is marketed as young adult. Which do you prefer writing?
The fun of series books is never saying good-bye to the character, and younger readers are so appreciative, they just delight in the escape. But I think I am more invested (as a writer) in attempting to capture the raw emotions of young adults. Girls on the edge. First love. First heartbreak. I love to write into that peculiar exuberance.

3. I saw on another blog that The Julia
n Game went through multiple cover changes. Out of all the covers, do you like the final one best? If not, what would you change about it?
LOVE the final. We went back and forth in the first, but once I saw that girl with her hand flat, as if she were about to execute some kind of dreadful torture, I just went --- Ahhhh. Yes.

4. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?
We're in the process of putting up vlogs for They are wonderful and absurd and I think people will get a kick out of them, so please visit.

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin

All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity so she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. It's a fun and dangerous thrill at first, but Raye hadn't counted on falling for Julian herself and igniting Ella's rage. As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge, creating an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she's helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter. Adele Griffin's riveting novel explores the issues of generation Facebook: the desire to be someone else, real versus online friends, and the pitfalls and fallouts of posting your personal life online for all the world to judge

After I read what this book is about, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. Even when I was 20 pages in, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. Adele Griffin knows how to write fluidly and uses quirky dialogue that you just can’t help but like. The Julian Game was a fast paced book that I’m sure many people will enjoy. I like the fact that this book is so in tune with social networking and how it is in this day in age. Online bullying is becoming more and more common and The Julian Game tells a story about just one of the ways it can occur.
Something that was kind of unfortunate about this book was that the characters were stereotypical. Raye is the unpopular girl who will do anything to be in the popular crowd. She even goes as far as to pull a brutal prank on someone she likes. The friendship between Raye and her best friend Natalya is the sort of stereotypical friendship that everyone hopes for. Don’t get me wrong, people in real life have these sort of friendships. Even though Raye kept blowing Natalya off for the popular girl that Natalya had warned her about, Natalya still completely forgives Raye. If it were me, I would at least be a bit hesitant when forgiving someone who had betrayed me in a way. Ella is just… gross. She is the typical mean girl that everybody wants to be despite that nobody really likes her.
I read this book in a day, and loved it. It was addicting and I like how it is something that can relate to teens today.

FTC- Received for review.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Authors I Love (and Why I Love Them)

Since school has started, my life has been hectic. So I thought I would make a list of some of my favorite authors and some of the reasons why they're my favorite authors. In no particular order, here they are-

1) David Levithan
I don't think I need to list a reason why he is amazing, he just is. *shout out to Khy here. David fans UNITE* In all seriousness, I love him because his books are incredibly poetic. He was one of the first authors who's writing inspired me to want to write.

2) Daisy Whitney
Daisy's book The Mockingbirds (Coming out November 2010) is brilliant and truthful and I love it. She is also one of the sweetest people I've ever met. I mean, you guys, she signed my BACKPACK. If that doesn't shout "awesome!" to you, I don't know what will.

3) Heidi R. Kling
#sealove is the best twitter hashtag in the universe. Heidi is fun to talk to and super nice. Her book SEA is amazing. It had traveling and DENI. *If you don't know who Deni is, you should read the book. Well, actually. You should just read the book period. It's lovely*

4)Hannah Moskowitz
Hannah is a role-model. I don't care if she drops the f-bomb like it's nobody's business. Her book Break is fantabulous and incredibly intense. She also has amazing hair. Oh, and I admit to stalking her blog. *hehe. It's because I love the way she writes.* I also like how she isn't afraid to be edgy.

5) Sarah Ockler
She is my hair twin! Sarah is so, so, so nice. When I was sick, she emailed and tweeted to me and asked if I was doing OK. Her first book Twenty Boy Summer came out last year, and it was one of my favorite books of the year.

6) Andrea Cremer
Andrea is my Soul Sistah! Her book Nightshade is made of amazing, just like her! I've re-read Nightshade more times than I can count. It comes out in October.

7) John Green
His books were the ones that convinced me to read Young Adult books. So he will always have a special place in my heart.

There are tons more authors I love. I just didn't have enough time to write them all down. I know I forgot a ton of authors and I'm sure that two hours after posting this I will be hitting myself in the head for forgetting people.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

The DUFF is a thrilling debut novel from teenage-novelist Kody Keplinger. It tells the story of a high school teen who struggles with being the D.U.F.F. (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). I think a lot of teens will be able to relate to Bianca and her struggles. Not only does she struggle with being the D.U.F.F., she also struggles with boys, and family.
Though it has a lot of sexual scenes, they tie into the book and are there for a reason. Wesley is the boy that you know you shouldn’t love but you do. He is charming and knows how to get what he wants. Bianca is a strong female character who isn’t afraid to insult people, and even though she doesn’t really know who she is, it still seems like she does know who she is.
I keep going back and re-reading it because of how much I can personally relate to it. I'm the "average" one in my group of friends.
This book is snarky, serious, hilarious, and completely relatable.
The DUFF is a really good book, I recommend it to teen girls who are looking for a book where the main character is like a best friend. I loved this book, and I hope you do to. I can’t wait to read more books from Kody.

FTC- Received from publisher

Sunday, September 5, 2010

An Interview with Hannah Moskowitz

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity of asking the lovely Hannah Moskowitz a few questions. Her book Break hit stores last year, her book Invincible Summer *I need this in my life now!* is coming out April 19th, 2011. And in the more distant future you can look for Zombie Tag (2011) *I also need this in my life because ZOMBIES.* and The Animals Were Gone (2012). You can read my review of Break, here. Now, let's get on with the interview!

1. Having a sibling plays a big part in BREAK. Do you have a brother/sister?

I have an older sister! Her name's Abby and she's 21, and she's amazing.

But I don't have any brothers, which always surprises people, because so many of my books (BREAK, INVINCIBLE SUMMER, my upcoming YA and ZOMBIE TAG, my upcoming MG) revolve around the relationships between brothers. I've always been pretty fascinated my brothers, I think, since I grew up without a boy my age in the house but with all-male friends. I've always been really interested in how boys act when there aren't girls around, and this is something that I've never been able to really witness, obviously. I've been "one of the boys" for a long time, but there's still a bit of it I'm not a part of, and I think writing all these brothers is my way of dipping my toes in that water. I've heard feedback that I do a good job of portraying them, so I'm glad my years of research paid off :)

2. How did you get the idea to have Jonah break his bones? Why not have him do something else that is self-destructive? (Cutting, etc.)

My plan was to write about a boy on some sort of strange quest. After I had that idea, breaking bones fell into my head. The thing that really stuck to me of that premise was that it was *all* of his bones. I really liked that there's a definite goal in mind--an endpoint for the quest. That's the kind of journey that's fun to write a book around, because the tension keeps building as he gets closer to his goal but further from the opportunities to finish it.
It was only after I thought of that that I realized the implications of bone-breaking. Self-injury is not at all a foreign topic for me, but it wasn't my intention when I thought of the idea for BREAK. But after I'd settled on that, I of course realized I'd need to build his motivation around that, which obviously included some of the reasons common to a lot of self-injurers.

So it went the other way, really--I didn't set out to right a book on self-injury and end up with breaking, I set out to write a book about breaking and ended up with self-injury.

3. What do you think about the difference between the Break and Invincible Summer covers?

They're totally different, right? I love that I've had the chance to have two such completely different styles, and I'm SO excited to hear people's reactions to INVINCIBLE SUMMER's cover. I think they're such a cool example of the power of marketing in YA. BREAK and INVINCIBLE SUMMER are pretty similar in terms of style and themes, but if all you saw was the covers, you might not even guess they're in the same genre. I'm so into that, and, like I said, so excited to see how the response to this cover differs from BREAK's (most people really liked BREAK's cover, but early responses to INVINCIBLE SUMMER's have been positive, too, so maybe they're not as different as I thought...haha)

4. You have a middle grade book coming out in 2011. Do you prefer writing YA or MG?

That's kind of like asking which kid you prefer...writing MG is right now easier for me, not because the stories are simpler (they're not!) or because they're shorter (well, that helps a little) but because the voice is coming more naturally to me at the moment thanks to all the time I've spent lately on ZOMBIE TAG. But the last manuscript I finished before those edits was a YA, and it took a little bit of work to get back into the MG zone after that. So...essentially I prefer writing whichever one I've been working on, haha. My next project is an MG, which I'm looking forward to a ton, and after that I have two YAs slated for the rest of the year, so...I guess the vague but correct answer is that I love both of them and I'm not planning to give up either any time soon!

5. Is there anything you'd like to add?

Can't think of anything...but thank you so much for the interview!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Break by Hannah Moskowitz

Jonah is on a mission to break every bone in his body. Everyone knows that broken bones grow back stronger than they were before. And Jonah wants to be stronger—needs to be stronger—because everything around him is falling apart. Breaking, and then healing, is Jonah's only way to cope with the stresses of home, girls, and the world on his shoulders. This is the story of his self-destructive spiral, his rock-bottom moment, and how he finally learns to accept help and find true strength through recovery.

Let’s not discuss how long I put off reading this book, it’s really pathetic. I should have read it WAY sooner.
This book was amazingly intense. Every moment of it was enthralling. This was Hannah’s debut novel and I don’t think it could have been a better one! This book really makes you want to read more of the author’s writing. After I read a book, I write down what I like and don’t like about it. Looking at my notes now, there wasn’t one thing I didn’t like about Break.
The character’s were amazing. All of the emotions felt real. The brotherly love between Jonah and Jesse is something that is really admirable and beautiful to read.
Break was a fast read that I couldn’t put down. It was fast paces, memorable, and unbelievable intense. Every time Jonah would break another bone, it was like a kick to my stomach. Despite the gut wrenching feeling, I felt, not once did I think to put the book down. Hannah Moskowitz is an author you must look out for. I love this book beyond belief and will most likely re-read it, a lot. After reading this book, I’m speechless. I can’t give it enough praise.

FTC- Bought.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Books Read in August

Here are the books I've read in August, some have already been reviewed.

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Dear Anjali by Melissa Glenn Haber
Fallout by Ellen Hopkins
Enders Game by Orson Scott Card (re-read)
Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block
The Julian Game by Adele Griffin
Love Sucks! by Melissa Francis
The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur
7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando
YOU by Charles Benoit
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
The Frenzy by Francesca Lia Block
Remember Me by Christopher Pike (Part of the Remember Me bind-up)
The Return by Christopher Pike (Part of the Remember Me bind-up)
The Last Story by Christopher Pike (Part of the Remember Me bind-up)
Break by Hannah Moskowitz
Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
RAGE: A love story by Julie Anne Peters
As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Books read this month-19
Books read this year- 100

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

Fall for Anything
Courtney Summers

When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. He seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on… but some questions should be left unanswered.

I've loved all of Courtney's books and this one sounds fantastic as well.