Sunday, July 31, 2011

Purple Daze by Sherry Shahan

imagePurple Daze is a young adult novel set in suburban Los Angeles in 1965. Six high school students share their experiences and feelings in interconnected free verse and traditional poems about war, feminism, riots, love, racism, rock 'n' roll, high school, and friendship.

Although there have been verse novels published recently, none explore the changing and volatile 1960's in America-- a time when young people drove a cultural and political revolution. With themes like the costs and casualties of war, the consequences of sex, and the complex relationships between teens, their peers, and their parents, this story is still as relevant today as it was 45 years ago.

Purple Daze was an interesting read. It didn’t completely suck me in, but it kept my attention enough to where I was able to finish reading it. I liked how Sherry Shahan wrote the novel in verse, and found it fairly surprising that she was able to pull it off well.

I really enjoyed reading about the 60s because it is modern enough to where it doesn’t remind me of something historical. Though Purple Daze is a little slow, and a bit confusing, it was still a decent read. I would check it out from the library before buying it, but if it seems like your cup of tea I’m certainly not going to discourage you from buying a copy.

FTC- Received from another blogger.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Victoria Schwab’s Book Picks!

imageToday I have the amazing Victoria Schwab here to tell you about her favorite books!

I'm a fan of saying that I like a lot of books, but love very few. The result of this is that when I do love a book, I am very vocal about it! As in, hunt you down in the bookstore and put it in your waiting-and-perhaps-already-full-hands vocal. 

A handful of the books I might force on you if we were to cross paths in a bookstore are: 


Fairy tales gone dark. This book is equal parts haunting, gripping, gross, and beautiful.  

STOLEN by Lucy Christopher 

This one is wow. Gripping, psychological. I make people read it so we can talk when they're done. 


I've been a Laini Taylor fan for awhile now, and this book was DELECTABLE. Taylor, like Gaiman, is a true wordsmith/worldsmith.

NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman

I am a huge Gaiman fan, the way his worlds are tilted and his words are spun. All beauty and a touch of grunge. This is my favorite. Also, if you can, get it on AUDIO. He reads it. 


This is my most recent BUYITNOW book. NOT my normal fare, and yet I'm so, so glad I read it. Powerful, harrowing, stunning. 

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

The perfect lighter read, Perkins' characters are amazing, her stories totally devourable. 


imageSo those are the books I would force on you, but as I said, I read and like a lot! If you were to enter my room, you'd find a spectrum. I should start by saying my "library" consists of three bookcases, each broken down into several meandering attempts at sections that only make sense to me. It looks something like this:

1. The Red Bookcase –– 4 shelves - one for journals (I made a vow five years ago to journal every night, and haven't broken it), one for classics, one for favorites, and the top one for to-read. 

2. The Divider Bookcase –– this runs between my bedroom and the little office that stems off of it, and has cubbies for books I've read, but the Eiffel Tower bookends on top contain another to-read shelf. The books on that shelf tend to be bigger, ones I take bites of now and then.

3. The Black Bookcase –– this is a very mismatch set of shelves, with books on art, old french paperbacks, school books, etc. It sits in my little office nook. 

4. The Bedside Table –– this is my on-deck space, or my currently-reading space. Generally 3-7 books sitting here, including a go-to in case I can't sleep. As I write this post, the books on my bedside table are: Beauty Queens, Beat the Reaper, Legend, Shatter Me, A Reliable Wife, and Lola and the Boy Next Door. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

imageThe 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.

And 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.

The Near Witch was phenomenal. This novel seriously blew my mind, never in my life have I read such an addicting fairy-tale type of book. Victoria Schwab’s writing is eloquent, lyrical, and electrifying. Reading The Near Witch was like being in a dream state, everything was so wonderfully dark and magical that I didn’t want to leave.

Lexi is a strong female character that I would be honored to be friends with. She won’t take no for an answer and knows what she wants. Along with Lexi, all of the characters in The Near Witch are amazing. They are all just so themselves and true to who they are, I love it.

I can’t recommend The Near Witch enough. Victoria Schwab is an amazing writer who has serious talent. I can’t wait to read her next novel. Five stars for The Near Witch, which is an all around delight to read! Creepy and addicting, The Near Witch is the perfect novel!

FTC- Publisher.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

imageWitch Eyes by Scott Tracy

September 8, 2011


Seventeen-year-old Braden was born with witch eyes. He has the ability to see the world as it truly is: a blinding explosion of memories, anguish, darkness, and magic. The power enables Braden to see through spells and lies, but it comes at the cost of horrible pain.

After a terrifying vision reveals imminent danger for the uncle who raised and instructed him, Braden is lured to Belle Dam, an old city divided by two feuding witch dynasties. Rival family heads Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe are desperate to use Braden's powers to unlock Belle Dam's secrets, but Braden refuses to become their sacrificial pawn. His resolve is tested when he learns that Jason is his father—and that Trey, the enigmatic guy he's attracted to, is Catherine's son.

To stop an insidious dark magic from consuming the town, Braden must master his gift—even if the effort destroys him.

You guys, this is an LGBT Paranormal book. I need it in my life. Now. Everything about this book makes me want to read it. The summary, the cover, how nice the author is- everything. This is one novel that I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

imageThis thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended.Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer,one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

The Nightshade series is another series that has received a bunch of mixed reviews. I’m personally not a huge paranormal fan, but this series is one of my favorites. Wolfsbane is the second book in the thrilling series by Andrea Cremer.

Wolfsbane sucked me in from the start of the novel until I turned the very last page. I didn’t want it to end, and even tried reading the novel slowly to try and prolong reading it. Cremer has a way of writing that sounds lyrical while still sounding sharp enough to keep you on the edge of your sear. Calla is a kick-butt heroine who I would love to be friends with in real life. I loved how she tried to take charge of situations and how determined she was to get what she wanted.

My only huge problem with Wolfsbane was Shay. I loved Shay in the first book. I still like him a lot, because I’ve never been much of a Ren person. I didn’t like how annoying and possessive he was in this novel. It was so annoying every time he came into the scene and started acting clingy and trying to control Calla.

As for comparing Wolfsbane to Nightshade, I think that Wolfsbane is just as amazing as its predecessor. The two released books in this series match up perfectly to form an unbeatable paranormal series. The characters nearly always continue improving upon their lives. You can trust Cremer to give you exciting twists and turns throughout her novels.

Andrea Cremer wrote a thrilling, addicting, and completely irresistible book that I really hope you will read and enjoy.

FTC- Publisher.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blood Ties by Mari Mancusi Interview and Giveaway

I recently had the opportunity to ask the characters of Mari Mancusi’s new novel Blood Ties, a few questions. At the end of this interview, I also have an international giveaway for a copy of Blood Ties. So, lets get to the interview-

1. What is the hardest thing you have overcome?

Sunny: Being bitten by a vampire, of course, in the worst case of mistaken identity ever! You see, the vampire Magnus was supposed to bite my gothy twin sister, Rayne, instead. She's the one who got her certification to become a creature of the night. In fact, until that fateful night at Club Fang, I didn't even know vampires existed. So imagine my horror to find myself transforming into week before prom! Ugh. Luckily, Magnus felt terrible about his mistake (as well he should!) and together we figured out a way to turn me mortal again before the vampire thing became permanent. In the meantime, we fell in love. So, like, I guess the hardest thing turned out to be the best thing in the end, go figure!

2. What book has impacted you the most?

Mari (Author): The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I've always been a fan of Arthurian legend, but that book -- which gave the story a feminist twist -- really changed my life. I could never write like her--her prose was so lyrical and rich--but I just love reading the book over and over again. I even named my new daughter (who is 5 weeks old as I write this!) Avalon after the legendary island.

3. What would you like people who have read Blood Ties to know?

Magnus: That despite what Sunny may tell you in the story, I never once put her interests second. At least not on purpose. Heck, I'm always thinking about her and how to make her happy. But sometimes it's tough to balance my role as her boyfriend and Master of the Blood Coven. How I wish those two things didn't constantly seem at odds. I would never want to hurt my darling Sunny, but I don't want to put the lives of the vampires who trust me in danger either. It's tough to be the Master, let me tell you!

4. What is your all time favorite moment?

Jayden: When Sunny kissed me. I know, I know. It was probably wrong. After all, I know about her history with Magnus and I don't want to always be that guy--pining over the perfect girl, who belongs to someone else. But I just can't help it. Sunny's become my best friend and so much more. She's perfection, wrapped in fairy wings. So to have her lips on mine--even for a moment--is a memory that will last a lifetime for me.

5. Is there anything you would like to add?

Rayne: There's a lot more to come after Blood Ties! Book Seven in the Blood Coven Vampires series, Soul Bound, will be out in March 2012. It will go back to my point of view as I, once again, must work to save my sister. (Wait til you see what I have to do THIS time! Sunny better be grateful!) And then, in October of 2012, we go back to Sunny for the very final chapter of the Blood Coven Series - Book #8 (still untitled...) Hope you enjoy them!


imageBefore you enter the giveaway, here is a quick summary of the book-

The final battle is brewing between Vampires and Slayers. But for Sunny McDonald, the true war is being fought over her heart.
Though now officially back in the arms of her vampire boyfriend Magnus, Sunny finds she still can't forget the gentle mortal Jayden who once saved her life. And when the darkness threatens to steal his humanity, Sunny finds herself with a choice. Stay true to Magnus and the Blood Coven or defy them in a desperate attempt to save Jayden’s soul.
Meanwhile, the Blood Coven is gearing up for its toughest fight yet--going head to head with a splinter group of Slayer Inc who's regrouping in Tokyo, Japan, still determined to take over the world. In dark blood bars and hidden temples, it'll be Vampires vs. Slayers in a showdown that could cost Sunny not only her heart...but also her very life.

You can enter to win a copy of Blood Ties, here-

Fury Playlist and Giveaway!

imageToday I have the opportunity to give you a signed copy of Fury by Elizabeth Miles. But before I do that, I want to show you all the Playlist for the novel and two questions that have been answered by the books main characters, Chase and Em. Enjoy!

Here is the playlist-

Here are two questions that have been answered by the main characters of Fury, Em and Chase-

1. My motto in life is: 

Em: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you imagined.” Henry David Thoreau said that.

Chase: Work hard, play hard, baby!

2. One thing I don’t want anyone to know about me is… 

Em: I sometimes feel invisible next to Gabby. 

Chase: Where do I begin?


Now, for the giveaway. Here is a summary of Fury-

Sometimes sorry isn't enough....

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

imageSometimes sorry isn't enough....

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Fury has lived up to the hype. I was really weary to start Fury because of how much promotion it has received over the past few months. I didn’t want to dislike it, and I wasn’t sure if it would live up to all of the praise it has received. Honestly, I loved it. I read Fury in a couple of hours and it literally had me holding my breath at some parts. I couldn’t wait to read what was going to happen next, yet I was scared to find out what was going on with Em and Chase.

Miles’ writing is lyrical and flows together nicely. The story is spooky, intriguing, and oh so addicting. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series! Though both characters had their own annoying flaws, I really liked them. I think Chase got on more nerves more than Em did, but his emotions also seemed more real to me.

I really liked the contrast between what Em did compared to what Chase did. But what I didn’t understand, was why the punishments they received were so similar when their secrets were so different. That was the only thing I disliked about Fury. The discipline for Em was more difficult than it should have been, in my opinion.

Fury is a mysterious and riveting novel that I’m sure readers will enjoy. Elizabeth Miles has written the first in what I’m sure will be a flawless book series. I highly recommend Fury.

FTC- Publisher.

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.


Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

October 11, 2011

Egmont USA

A modern retelling of the German fairytale "Tristan and Isolde", Tris and Izzie is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until -- she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school.

This book is so adorable looking/sounding! What first caught my attention was the cover, but when I went on to read the summary- it caught my attention even more. I love modern retellings, even though I don’t read them much. Love Potions and Love and New Boys at School! This book sounds like its own little potion of amazing. I can’t wait to read it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Clean by Amy Reed

imageOlivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They’re addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. But they’ll all have to deal with themselves and one another if they want to learn how to live. Because when you get that high, there’s nowhere to go but down, down, down.

Clean left me breathless. Reed’s first novel Beautiful was magnificent and I didn’t think she would possibly be able to top it. I was so wrong. Clean captured me from the very beginning. All five of the main characters were amazing. They each had their own personalities and problems. I really liked how Amy Reed altered points-of-view between these characters. It wasn’t done in the usual way- only giving each character their own chapters. I love how… different the novel was. It wasn’t just a book about addicts. It was so much more than that.

Ironically, my only problem with Clean was the chapters. Yes, I am a huge fan of how the novel was delegated between the characters. Yes, I admire Amy Reed for having it that way. But having five different narrators was confusing. I was able to follow the various plots, but it was difficult.

Amy Reed has an incredibly strong writing style that, mixed with a topic as serious as addiction, really made Clean stand out from other books I’ve read this year. I think that people really should read this book. It is beautifully written and incredibly engaging. Amy Reed is a fantastic writer and I look forward to reading her future novels.

FTC- Simon and Schuster Galley Grab.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Love Story by Jennifer Echols


For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions—it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

For those of you who don’t already know- I love Jennifer Echols. She is one of the few queens of romantic drama/comedy YA books. Meaning, if you haven’t read her books (preferably all of them) you must. This may be just me, but I love reading books where the main character likes to read and write because I like to read and write so I find it easier to relate to them. The main character, Erin, was awesome. She didn’t just write- she wrote about Hunter.

I won’t lie, sometimes I wanted to punch Hunter in the face. He was confusing, conflicted, and a big *insert curse word here* at some points. He was also adorable, smart, and caring at other points. He was real, and I liked that. Erin was a kick-butt main character. She was written really well, and I loved reading about her.

Love Story was an addicting novel that I think everybody should read. It was shocking, cute, and beyond amazing. I completely recommend it and every other book that Jennifer Echols has written.

FTC- Author.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Tens List with Jennifer Echols

Today I have Jennifer Echols here to tell us about her top 10 Love Stories! Jennifer’s newest novel, Love Story comes out on July 19th.

1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austenimage
2. Tell Me Lies by Jennifer Crusie (adult romantic comedy)
3. A Little Bit Wild by Victoria Dahl (adult historical romance--but funny!)
4. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn (YA)
5. The Empire Strikes Back (really!)
6. The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart (adult romantic suspense)
7. The Beginning Place by Ursula K. Le Guin (YA fantasy)
8. When Harry Met Sally
9. The Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carre (adult spy novel!)
10. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (I hate sad endings, so this is my only one)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spotlight on Penguin: Part 2


This is a series of posts (over the course of weeks, months, etc.) in which I spotlight books coming out that I can’t wait for. These posts will go by publisher. If you click on the book title, you will get linked to the books page on Goodreads. This series of posts are inspired by Absconditas weekly meme “Spotlight On”.

imageThe Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

February 16, 2012

Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate,
hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the
year wandering around Europe. But moments after
the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement:
she’s abandoning their plans—and Colby—to
start college in the fall.
But the show must go on and The Disenchantments
weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing
in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie-
Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing
distance and the most important question of all:
what’s next?

* * * * *

imageThe Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

January 17, 2012

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.
But now that she's in heaven, Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend knows a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul who's been D&G (dead and gone) much longer than she . . . and who just might hold the key to her forever after.
With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

* * * * *

imageA Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

March 20, 2012

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendents charged with protecting the world’s past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spotlight on Penguin: Part 1



This is a series of posts (over the course of weeks, months, etc.) in which I spotlight books coming out that I can’t wait for. These posts will go by publisher. If you click on the book title, you will get linked to the books page on Goodreads. This series of posts are inspired by Absconditas weekly meme “Spotlight On”.

imageThe Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

November 21, 2011

It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet.
Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM.
Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future.
Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are  about to find out.


* * * * *

imageBloodrose by Andrea Cremer

February 21, 2012

Is true love worth the ultimate sacrifice?






* * * * *

imageGirls Don’t Fly by Kristen Chandler

October 13, 2011

Myra is used to keeping her feet firmly on the ground. She's got four younger brothers, overworked parents, and a pregnant older sister, and if Myra wasn't there to take care of everyone, they'd probably fall apart. But when her boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her, Myra feels like she's lost her footing. Suddenly she's doing things she never would've a few months earlier: quitting her job, applying for a scholarship to study birds in the Galapogos, and falling for a guy who's encouraging her to leap from her old life . . . and fly.


* * * * *

imageIlluminated by Erica Orloff

December 8, 2011

Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story—and hers—takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniable. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary—and that of Heloise and Abelard’s ancient romance—their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can’t last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

imageA Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton

February 21, 2012

Simon and Schuster

A power she can’t deny. A destiny she’s determined to fight.
When Ari first arrived in the dilapidated city of New 2, all she wanted was to figure out who she was. But what she discovered was beyond her worst nightmare. Ari can already sense the evil growing inside her—a power the goddess Athena will stop at nothing to possess.
Desperate to hold on to her humanity and protect her loved ones, Ari must fight back. But Athena’s playing mind games, not just with Ari but with those she cares about most. And Athena has a very special plan for the brooding and sexy Sebastian.
Ari is determined to defeat Athena, but time is running out. With no other options, Ari must unleash the very thing she’s afraid of: herself.

This is the sequel to Darkness Becomes Her, which I absolutely adored, so naturally I’m excited to read it. Darkness Becomes her was mysterious and addicting, so I can’t wait to see what Kelly Keaton has in store for Ari in this book.

On a sidenote, Doctor Who fans- when you look at this cover, does anybody else think of the Weeping Angels? I first saw it and that was the first thing that came to mind.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Interview with Alyxandra Harvey

I recently had the chance to ask Alyxandra Harvey, author of Haunting Violet and The Drake Chronicles, a few questions. I hope you enjoy the interview! Have you read any of Alyxandra’s books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

image1. Which do you prefer writing, historical or contemporary fiction?

I love them both but I admit historical fiction was always my first love. My absolute favourite though, is to combine the two.

2. Besides Haunting Violet, can you please tell us what other books you have coming out?

I have an urban Faery YA novel coming out in May 2012 called “Stolen Away” which I’m very excited about! I think it has my yummiest and most angsty couple to date.

And, of course, “Bleeding Hearts”, #4 in the Drake Chronicles (US/NA Jan 2012, UK Oct2011)

3. You publish about two books a year, how long does it take you to write a novel?

It takes me on average 3 months to write a novel, but it can take up to 6 months. I once  wrote the first draft of a novel in 3 days for the 3 Day Novel Writing Contest. That was insane! and fun!

4. What about the paranormal genre appeals to you?

I love the capacity for wonder and whimsy and mystery. I love that there are so many possibilities, so many ways to look at the world and so many ways to see your own reflection.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

imageViolet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.

Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

Haunting Violet was a thrilling and mysterious novel that many people will enjoy! I didn’t like Haunting Violet as much as I liked Alyxandra Harvey’s previous novels (Hearts at Stake and the other novels in the Drake Chronicles), though I did still like it. Alyxandra did a good job writing the characters- I think they were all well rounded and true to themselves. The plot was interesting and the writing was superb.

However, I am personally not a big fan of historical novels*. Because of this, when reading a historical, it takes even more to impress me. I did like how Haunting Violet was set in Victorian England, because it is probably one of my favorite time periods. At times I found Haunting Violet to be confusing. It lacked details in some places and was overwhelmed with them in others.

Overall, I think that Alyxandra wrote an intriguing novel that I’m sure many people will enjoy. However, I don’t think it is the novel for me. If you have read Haunting Violet and didn’t like it, or it doesn’t sound like your type of book- I strongly encourage you to pick up Alyxandra’s other novels that are a part of the Drake Chronicles.

FTC- Publisher.

*If anybody wants to try and make me a historical fan, feel free to tell me what YA historical books I should check out.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Winner of The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin

Today, I have for you all a video by the lovely Josh Berk announcing the winner of a signed paperback of his novel The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin.

Congratulations Sara! I've given Josh your address and the book will be shipped out shortly! *muahahahahaha*

Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt


On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer. Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction--and one night, into a passionate kiss.
The novel opens on the first day of senior year; the day Hannah is going to see Ava, Sebastian, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, everyone is paired up once again, but not the way you might think...

Though this isn’t my favorite Lauren Barnholdt book, I still love it dearly. I love the way that Lauren Barnholdt writes because it’s serious yet it has a little touch of chick-lit in it. It took me awhile to get into Sometimes It Happens, but once I got toward the middle- it was totally worth the read.

I don’t tend to like books where there is cheating involved because I can’t help but dislike the character( s ) who cheated. This wasn’t the case with Sometimes It Happens because I cared so much for both Hannah and Noah. You can’t help but love them both because both characters are written honestly.

My only complaints about this book were that it had a slow beginning and the alternating chapter confused me at times. Besides that, Sometimes It Happens was an amazing book that I really enjoyed reading. I can’t help but recommend it to anyone I talk to.

FTC- Publisher.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

imageWhen Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.

At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose - between her "true love" and herself.


This novel just blew me away. Jennifer Brown’s first novel Hate List was one of my favorite books of 2009, and Bitter End is sure to be one of my favorite books of 2011. Bitter End is heartfelt, intense, and incredibly moving. Jennifer Brown is an incredible writer. When Cole first came into the picture, I actually thought he was cute. As the story went on and everything was unfolded, I was dumbfounded. Not because I didn’t know what Cole was going to be like in the beginning, I read the summary before I read the book so I wasn’t really surprised. I was dumbfounded because of just how well I was able to follow Alex through her journey. In a lot of books that deal with abusive relationships, it’s hard to understand why the main character is sticking with the abuser. Though it was still hard for me to understand her reasoning towards the end/middle, I feel like I understood Alex more than I have been able to understand other characters who have also been abused.

I honestly don’t have any complaints about Bitter End. Jennifer Brown has stunned me into silence yet again, with a novel that will touch the hearts of every person who reads it. Alex was a strong character who I really felt for. It was horrible to see her fall apart. Zach and Bethany were both admirable friends, despite their hesitation to be friends with Alex during/after she started dating Cole. All of these characters were written wonderfully.

I cannot recommend Bitter End enough. This book should be read by everyone. It is indescribable in the best possible way. I am speechless. Jennifer Brown has written another important addition to  the world of Young Adult literature.

FTC- Publisher.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Interview with Carrie Harris

Carrie Harris is the author of the upcoming zombie novel Bad Taste in Boys. I hope you enjoy the interview!

image1. Are you strictly a "zombie book" author, or do you write other genres?

My books tend to be silly paranormals, but I’m not all zombie, all the time. There are too many cool monsters to commit to one! Like I’d really like to write a book about Frankenthulhu (Frankenstein plus Cthulhu) and one about merpires (mermaid plus vampire) and one about ninja werecats (which go without explanation). But for now, I’ve settled for a second Kate Grable book, which is called BAD HAIR DAY and is about werewolves and nanotechnology and blueberry flavored astronauts and killer coconuts. It’ll be out next summer.

2. If you were living in the world which Bad Taste in Boys takes place, do you think you would be someone who got infected? Why?

High school me would have totally gotten infected. I always picked the WRONG guys to date, and one of them would have bitten my lip off, and I would have zombed out immediately. Now I’m a lot more cautious. In fact, when you meet me, I don’t shake hands. I spray people with Lysol instead.

I’m kidding. Mostly.

3. What is your all time favorite zombie book/tv show/movie/etc.?
My favorite zombie book is really REALLY tough, because there are so many good ones. One of my most recent awesome zombie reads is HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER, by Lish McBride. I love any book that can combine zombies and potato hockey. And my favorite zombie movie is probably Shaun of the Dead, although if someone mashed that up with Zombieland and Resident Evil, I would be a happy, happy girl.

image4. Describe Bad Taste in Boys in 5 words or less.

Campy zombie mayhem. REALLY campy.

5. Is there anything you would like to add?

Just that I am fully prepared for the zombie apocalypse. So if it happens, please come to Michigan and join our commune. I didn’t marry a ninja doctor for nothin.

No, really. I married a ninja doctor. As in, a doctor who is also a ninja, not a doctor that exclusively treats ninjas.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is an amazing weekly topic that is brought to you by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

imageThe Sharp Time by Mary O’Connor

November 8, 2011

Delacorte Press

Sandinista Jones is a high school senior with a punk rock name and a broken heart. The death of her single mother has left Sandinista alone in the world, subject to the random vulnerability of everyday life. When the school system lets her down, her grief and instability intensify, and she ponders a violent act of revenge.
Still, in the midst of her crisis, she gets a job at The Pale Circus, a funky vintage clothing shop, and finds friendship and camaraderie with her coworker, a boy struggling with his own secrets.
Even as Sandinista sees the failures of those with power and authority, she's offered the chance to survive through the redemptive power of friendship. Now she must choose between faith and forgiveness or violence and vengeance.

I found this while I was browsing around on Goodreads and at first I was totally in awe of the cover. I love this cover. I will be the first person to admit that when it comes to books, I am a complete cover whore. When I clicked on the link and read what it was about, I wanted to read it even more. The Sharp Time not only looks amazing, but it also sounds amazing.

Luminous by Dawn Metcalf

imageAs reality slips and time stands still, Consuela finds herself thrust into the world of the Flow. Removed from all she loves into this shifting world overlapping our own, Consuela quickly discovers she has the power to step out of her earthly skin and cloak herself in new ones-skins made from the world around her, crafted from water, fire, air. She is joined by other teens with extraordinary abilities, bound together to safeguard a world they can affect, but where they no longer belong.

When murder threatens to undo the Flow, the Watcher charges Consuela and elusive, attractive V to stop the killer. But the psychopath who threatens her new world may also hold the only key to Consuela's way home.


Luminous is one of those books that I hadn’t heard a lot about, but I was personally really excited to dive into. Luckily, it didn’t let me down. Consuela was a strong main character. Though she was confused by the Flow and what was happening to her, she managed to keep a fairly level head. She had guts which is always admirable in a book character, she wasn’t afraid to take chances and actually be a part of the action. V was so moody, confusing, and adorable- I loved him. The chemistry between V and Consuela was awesome. They worked well together while still butting heads and creating chemistry and conflict.

Dawn Metcalf’s writing flows perfectly and challenges the reader. Some scenes were a bit confusing, but ultimately the writing was perfect. Metcalf wrote the story in a way that fits the tone of the novel perfectly- mysterious, fluid, and intelligent. Luminous is a novel about something strange, different, and wonderful- I loved everything about it.

Metcalf has written a novel that is a thrilling and refreshing addition to young adult literature. I can’t wait to read her future novels!

FTC- Publisher.

Monday, July 4, 2011

An Interview with Jennifer Brown


On the blog today, I have Jennifer Brown. Jennifer is the author of Hate List and the recently released novel Bitter End. I hope you enjoy the interview!

1. Both of your books are about serious topics. Have you ever thought of writing something lighter and more fluffy?
For over four years I wrote a weekly humor column for The Kansas City Star, so I am definitely no stranger to light and fluffy. I gave it up to pursue my novel career, but there is definitely that silly side of me lurking around in there. I actually have written lighter, fluffier novels (in fact, I've written four of them!), but they just haven't sold. In fact, when I wrote Hate List, I was very nervous at first, because it was such a giant departure from what I normally wrote.
I'm a big believer in writing the story that wants to be written, and trying out new genres. So you never know...maybe I'll get a light, fluffy novel out there on the shelves someday.

image2. Was writing Bitter End emotionally straining? How did it effect your life outside of writing?
In some ways, Bitter End was not as emotionally straining as Hate List, because so much of Hate List was personal to me, and Bitter End was not as personal for me. But then on the other hand, I felt a real connection with Bitter End's main character, Alex, and I really hated putting her through the things I was putting her through. So, yeah, it was straining in that way.
I try not to let what I'm writing affect my life outside of writing too much. I'm a stay-at-home mom of three, and my kids deserve to have a mom who is focused on them. If I were writing a book that, say, depressed me, I would likely put it aside, because it wouldn't be fair to do that to my family. That said, I'm much more likely to get depressed or anxious when I have a great story idea and no time to write it. Sooo...yeah. Double-edged sword.

3. If you could say anything to the victims of domestic violence, what would you say?
Get out. Now. I know it feels like love, and I know it seems way too complicated to get out, and I know you think you can make changes and it will get better, but it's not going to get better, and you have to get out. Love shouldn't hurt. Love doesn't leave bruises. You do have the strength to get out. Tell someone what's happening to you and ask for help. Don't wait. Do it now.

image4. Do you plans for another book to be published? If so, can you tell us about it?
Yes, I am in copyedits right now on my third YA novel. It's called Perfect Escape, and it's a road-trippy kind of book, about a sister and brother who "run away" together. It's a little lighter, a little less issues-focused, and I'm extremely happy with it. I don't have a publication date on it yet, but I'm hoping it will come out sometime around spring 2012.

5. Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you so much for having me! This was fun!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando

imageJane has traveled the world with her father and twin brother, but it's not until her fractured family–still silently suffering from the loss of Jane's mother many years before–inherits a house and a history in Coney Island that she finally begins to find a home. With the help of a new community of friends, a mermaid's secrets, and a tattooed love interest with traffic-stopping good looks, the once plain Jane begins to blossom and gains the courage to explore the secrets of her mother's past.

Dreamland Social Club is awesome. I kept putting off reading it because I didn’t know what to expect. Once someone finally gave me a little push and told me to read it, I happily dove in.

Dreamland Social Club is one of those books that you know is contemporary but it feels a little like fantasy- like you’re living in a dream state or something. In Dreamland Social Club, you slowly get eased into the story. I really liked the way it was told and how smooth the narrative was. I could really understand Jane and what she was going through.

Even though I’ve never been to Coney Island or visited a Circus Town, after reading Dreamland Social Club I felt like I had been to Coney Island. Everything was described really well and I think that Tara Altebrando did an amazing job with the story in general.

All of the characters in Dreamland Social Club were incredibly well developed and I wanted to be friends with nearly all of them. The island is nearly a character in the book because of how big of a part it plays in the story. I love books like that. This novel was a wild ride of dreams, secrets, and friends.

I highly recommend Dreamland Social Club. It is a magical book that you won’t be able to put down.

FTC- Publisher.