Sunday, October 31, 2010

Love Sucks! by Melissa Francis

AJ Ashe is moving on. Sure she still has not-so-sisterly feelings for Ryan, her ex-boyfriend-turned-step-brother, but there’s a new vampire in town and his name is Alexander Archer. Caught between the desire to move forward with Sexy Lexy and being drawn to her past with Ryan, AJ thinks life couldn’t get anymore complicated. Yeah, right. When her mother’s pregnancy is threatened, it looks like AJ’s long lost father is the only person who can save her. But Dad’s help comes with a price. AJ is forced join the evil side of her family, and a very creepy shape-shifting demon is there to make sure AJ cooperates. All this and she’s still got to plan the prom. Being a teenager is tough, but being a teenage vampire just flat out sucks. Pun totally intended.

I devoured this book. I hadn’t read the first one (I know, shame on me) so I didn’t get the back-story. But, even diving into the series, I wasn’t confused about what was going on. When I first got Love Sucks I was afraid it was going to be just another fluffy paranormal book that I could do without reading. In some cases I was right and in some I was wrong. It was a bit fluffy, and it was paranormal. But, I’m glad I read it. Francis can write beautifully and this was really addicting, which is always good.
AJ is a cute and funny character that I never got tired of reading about. I felt that I could relate to her easily. This was an action packed book that just didn’t let me go.
The characters were… wow. Lex, I could probably waste paragraph upon paragraph talking about Lex. From the first page that he is introduced, he had gotten me hooked. But it wasn’t only Lex that had be charmed, all of the male characters in this book were fabulous.
I recommend reading the Bite Me!, Love Sucks!, series if you’re looking for an action packed, funny, sweet book. It won’t disappoint!

FTC- Received for review from publisher.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Book News!

So, today I was looking through author blogs and I saw that Maureen Johnson had posted the cover to her new book The Last Little Blue Envelope. For those of you who aren't crazy Maureen Johnson fans (which, by the way... you should be) The Last Little Blue Envelope is the sequel to her amazing book 13 Little Blue Envelopes. It comes out in April 2011 and here is the cover-

I personally love it and can't wait until it comes out.

Maureen also released that she has ANOTHER book coming out in October of 2011.

~The good news never stops, I know!~

I felt the need to share this with you because, let's face it. When I found this out, I almost danced and screamed.

* I've also been going to the library tons, so except reviews and such!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fallout by Ellen Hopkins

Hunter, Autumn, and Summer—three of Kristina Snow's five children—live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years. Hunter is nineteen, angry, getting by in college with a job at a radio station, a girlfriend he loves in the only way he knows how, and the occasional party. He's struggling to understand why his mother left him, when he unexpectedly meets his rapist father, and things get even more complicated. Autumn lives with her single aunt and alcoholic grandfather. When her aunt gets married, and the only family she's ever known crumbles, Autumn's compulsive habits lead her to drink. And the consequences of her decisions suggest that there's more of Kristina in her than she'd like to believe. Summer doesn't know about Hunter, Autumn, or their two youngest brothers, Donald and David. To her, family is only abuse at the hands of her father's girlfriends and a slew of foster parents. Doubt and loneliness overwhelm her, and she, too, teeters on the edge of her mother's notorious legacy. As each searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together—Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle.

This book, like the others in the series (Crank and Glass) were breathtaking. Ellen Hopkins spins a dark, heartbreaking story into something that is truly remarkable. Fallout follows the children of Kristina (Crank and Glass were written about Kristina). It let’s you catch a glimpse into the life of people that have been effected by someone else’s drug use. I think that Hopkins’ ended this series with tremendous grace and had it go out with a bang. I loved seeing how three of five of Kristina’s children were so different from each other, yet so alike.
Once again, Ellen Hopkins laces her books with veiled wisdom and knowledge. Fallout will make you think twice about the decisions you make. I couldn’t stop reading this book. I took it with me everywhere I went, reading it religiously until I was done. I’ve only read the books in the Crank series, but as soon as I can, I’m going to go buy her other books.
I love powerful writers, and Ellen Hopkins is definitely a powerful writer. I have no complaints about Fallout, I highly recommend the Crank series.

FTC- Received for review from publisher.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

NaNo 2010

It’s that time of year again! No, I’m not talking about Halloween. November 1st marks the start of many writers dreams and nightmares. National Novel Writing Month. I’m participating this year, which makes it my third year participating. I haven’t actually gotten to 50, 000 words yet. But, this will be the year I do! (I hope). So, would you guys like me to post teasers when NaNo start? Yes? No? If you don’t want me to, I won’t. I might be doing a post telling what the story is about at the start of November.

Just checking in,

PS- If you are doing NaNo, or have done NaNo in the past, what are your writing tips? Do you plot out your novel or do you just write frantically with no outline? Snacks? Drinks (I MUST have coffee)?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

“I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.” So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

My oh my this was amazing. I’m a huge David Levithan fan, and I also love Rachel Cohn’s books. Out of all of the books that they have written together (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List, and this book) I prefer Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares. It has the adventure of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, but it also includes Chistmas-time and books. Dash was really adorable, probably one of my favorite male characters in a book. Lily wasn’t the strongest female character, but I still liked her. All of the books written by this duo are written beautifully. The mannerisms in this particular one are lovely, both characters have great dialogue and are really intelligent. I cannot recommend this book enough.

FTC- Received from a friend at an independent bookshop.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

What if love refused to die? Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was. In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

This book was really good! I read it unbelievable fast and I really enjoyed reading it. I don’t really know how to put my feelings about this book into words, but I’ll try.
I overall have pretty good feelings about this book. I stayed interested and it was about something that I don’t read about often. I think that all of the hype-buildup for this book made me like it less. I had really high expectations because everybody I talked to said that they loved it. I didn’t absolutely love it. Yes, it was a fast-read. Yes, I really enjoyed reading it. But I really needed there to be icing on the cake, and there just wasn’t.
I think that this book could have been shorter. There were parts of it that I wanted to skip through because I felt that they were unneeded. The Eternal Ones was perfectly ok.
I expected more and I wish it was a bit more interesting. But, I still liked it.

FTC- Received from publisher.

Friday, October 22, 2010

An Interview with Tera Lynn Childs

Awhile ago, I had the opportunity to interview Tera Lynn Childs, author of Forgive My Fins and the Oh.My.God books. You can find my review of Forgive My Fins, here. I hope you enjoy!

1. Whats the difference between writing about goddesses and writing about mermaids? Which do you prefer?

Well, I can't really said that I prefer writing one over the other, because I love both of them. But I will say that writing about mermaids was a little harder because I had to do so much more worldbuilding. In the Oh. My. Gods. books, the stories take place on land in a pretty ordinary human kind of place. But in Forgive My Fins I had to create a whole underwater kingdom as well as rules that apply there and for mermaids living on land.

2. What would your name be if you were a mermaid?

If I were a mermaid, I think my name would stay the same. I mean, they speak English in Thalassinia and they're aware of human culture, so it's entirely possible there would be a mer girl named Tera. Besides, I already gave all the best names to my characters--Waterlily, Periwinkle, and Dosinia.

3. It's the first in a series. Can you tell us anything about the next book?

Yes! (At least a series of two, anyway.) The sequel, Fins Are Forever, will be out next summer. I can't reveal too much, because it would be full of Forgive My Fins spoilers, but I will say that it picks up right where the first book leaves off. And Lily's cousin Dosinia plays a really pivotal part in the sequel.

4. Given the choice, would you rather live on land or water?

Water. I'm a water baby, ever since I was ... well, a baby. I was a competitive swimmer growing up and I still love to be in, on, or around water.

5. Is there anything you would like to add?

After Fins Are Forever, I'm starting a brand new, butt-kicking trilogy about triplet descendants of Medusa who discover it's their destiny to keep the human world free of monsters. Grace, Gretchen, and Greer's first story will be out in Fall 2011. I call this one Charmed meets Buffy meets mythology.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Breathless Trailers

Penguin has 5 books that they are endlessly promoting this year. Those 5 are The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff, Nightshade by Andrea Cremer, Matched by Ally Condie, and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher. While I was on Youtube, I was looking at book trailers and I came across this one. I really like it! It's cool to see the transitions that they made between the books. Enjoy!

I've read Nightshade and The Eternal Ones, but I have yet to read Matched, The Replacement, or Sapphique. This video just made me want to read them more.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.

But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you want to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.

Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.

Siobhan Vivian never disappoints! All of her books are written with such grace and fluidity. Not That Kind of Girl eases you into the characters and how they act, with each step I was more and more in love with her characters and her writing. The main character, Natalie is wonderfully feminist. She was incredibly easy to relate to and I found myself recognizing some of myself in her.
When it first came out, someone told me that since I was going into High School this year, I should read it. That advice couldn’t be more true. If you’re in High School or going into High School, you should especially read this book. It plays with the topic of assuming you know people and what certain people are like, when you really don’t. It’s also (like many other Young Adult books) about finding yourself.
When you read Not That Kind of Girl, not only will you read about someone who finds herself and learns a lot about the people around her, but you will also find yourself a little bit. I really loved this book. If you haven’t read it, you should. If you haven’t read anything by Siobhan Vivian, you should log off your computer and go get one of her books. You won’t regret it.

FTC- Bought.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.

Nightshade is one of those books that you refuse to put down. This is Andrea’s first published book and she did a wonderful job writing it. As soon as I got it in the mail I started reading and I didn’t stop until I was done. I sat in my front yard, yelling at it as I read.*
Ren and Shay were both amazing male characters. Their devotion to Calla was so adorable! The constant fighting over Calla made for an interesting love triangle.
It's no secret that this is a pretty big book, but when reading it; time flies by. Some people may compare it to Twilight. They to have some similarities, but in an over-all opinion, I prefer Nightshade by a lot. It engages it's readers until the very and and leaves you wanting more. This is definitely a highlight in the paranormal books I've read this year.
I want the next Nightshade book, right now. Actually, I want the whole series right now. Nightshade was a perfect start. I strongly recommend this book, it was addicting and written well. I see why Penguin chose to promote it so much, it is totally worth it!

FTC- Received from publisher.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab Cover!

Here is the pitch for the novel-

"The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
There are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

And here is the video in which she shows you the cover! I love this cover, I really do. It's so pretty!

Added- The Near Witch just became available for pre-order on Amazon. You can pre-order it here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Limit by Kristen Landon

An eighth grade girl was taken today . . .

With this first sentence, readers are immediately thrust into a fast-paced thriller that doesn't let up for a moment. In a world not too far removed from our own, kids are being taken away to special workhouses if their families exceed the monthly debt limit imposed by the government. Thirteen-year-old Matt briefly wonders if he might be next, but quickly dismisses the thought. After all, his parents are financially responsible, unlike the parents of those other kids. As long as his parents remain within their limit, the government will be satisfied and leave them alone. But all it takes is one fatal visit to the store to push Matt’s family over their limit—and to change his reality forever.

This book is quite possibly one of my favorite middle grade books that I’ve read. Not only is The Limit a really fast read, but it’s also incredibly thrilling. Landon kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting more. I loved Matt. His determination was really amusing to read. One of my favorite parts of this book were the nicknames that Matt gave the various adults around him (these included the names Honey Lady, Gorilla Man, and Crab Women). The Limit was humorous, serious, action-packed, and fun to read!
Matt's parents can’t control their spending, despite their child being taken away. I think that this book also bares some resemblance to the world today. It deals with debt, but instead of people having their houses taken away or going homeless, the children get taken away to try and clear the debt.
I really enjoyed reading this. I read it in two days and I never wanted to put it down. A book really says something when you abandon your family to go and read it. Kristen Landon wrote a thrilling book that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

FTC- Received from publisher.

Friday, October 8, 2010

iDrakula by Bekka Black

The classic vampire story that started it all gets new life for a generation of connected teens

18-year-old Jonathan Harker is diagnosed with a rare blood disorder after visiting a Romanian Count. His girlfriend Mina and a pre-med student named Van Helsing team up to investigate the source of the disease. The teenagers discover a horrifying truth: the Count is a vampire.

This book was… interesting. I read it in thirty minutes and never quite knew what was going on. It was written in e-mail, text, and instant message form from different points of views of all the characters, which made it more confusing.
After I had read a little bit of it, I starting getting upset with the characters. They were completely clueless to the situation at hand. While reading, I could guess just about everything that was going to happen, which I don’t like in a book. I picked it up thinking it was going to be a cute enjoyable quick read, and only half of those thoughts came true.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the way Black incorporated the use of technology, because I think a lot of teens will enjoy it. It’s good if you’re interested in twitter, email, texting, etc. and if you’re looking for something fast to read. I liked it O.K., it confused me and it wasn’t the best book I’ve read, but it definitely wasn’t the worst book I’ve read either.
It was a short, modern-day retelling of the original Dracula by Bram Stoker. I liked that it used modern-day ways of communicating to tell the story. But, it personally just didn’t click with me.

FTC-Received from Sarah of Sarah’s Random Musings.

Happy Birthday Khy!

Today, the wonderfully amazing spectacular Khy of Frenetic Reader turns...



It's time for a FIESTA.

You should go wish her a Happy Birthday because... you just should. And because Khy is one of the nicest people in the universe. And she has awesome bangs. John Green complemented them.

John. Green.

Khy is my David Levithan fangirl-buddy because there comes a time in a fangirl's life where she just can't hold on to the person inside screaming with excitement. During those times, her and I talk and type and squee with joy.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blogoversary! 2 Years today!

So on October 6, 2008 when I was 12, I posted my first blog post.
It was tremendously awkward, and I doubted my ability to keep up my blog.

But, here I am! I think I've done a fairly nice job with Zoe's Book Reviews.

I can't thank you enough. Readers, Authors, Publishers, other Bloggers. I love this whole community and talking books with all of you!

A Special thanks so Sarah of Sarah's Random Musings, Khy of Frenetic Reader, and Erica of The Book Cellar without whom I would be a complete mess and this blog would have been abandoned.

There are too many authors to thank, but thank you for writing wonderful books!

*raises glass* Here's to another year!

Her and Me and You by Lauren Strasnick

First love, broken friendships, and heartache all play a part in this evocative, voice-driven novel about Alex, a girl whose world is ripped apart when her father’s affair splits her family in two. Alex moves with her mess of a mother to a new town, where she is befriended by hot, enigmatic Fred—and alternately flirted with and cold-shouldered by Fred’s twin sister, Adina. Others warn Alex to steer clear of the twins, whose sibling relationship is considered abnormal at best, but there’s just something about Fred—and something about Adina—that draws Alex to them and makes her want to be part of their crazy world…no matter the consequences.

This book was a fast-paced emotional roller coaster, and I loved every minute of it. It's a small book but even after I finished it, I kept thinking of Alex, Fred, and Adina. From the very beginning, Fred caught my interest. His character was written really well, and I'm sure will capture the hearts of many.
What really gave this book character and made it "not just another book" is Adina. Without her, I think this story would just be your typical romance. With her however, it's this twisty emotional mess of amazing.
Fred is controlled my Adina, and she doesn't just control him. Adina loves to be in control, she is a great manipulator who get's her way easily when it comes to Fred. This was really annoying and it made me dislike Adina so much. But, at the same time I sympathized for her. It's obvious that she has a hard time with many things.
This is an incredibly fast read. I read it in an hour and a half or so. The emotions are realistic and the writing is wonderful. It will leave you thinking about it for hours.

Cover- Let me also say that this cover is amazing. It's the reason I wanted to see what the book was about. The colors are magnificent.

FTC- Received for review from publisher.