Friday, December 31, 2010

End of the Year Blog Survey

So last year, towards the end of the year I posted a survey for you all to fill out about how you like my blog and if there's anything you think I should improve on. This year I've decided to do the same thing. The survey is completely random and it will help me get a chance to see your opinions on my blog and what would make reading Zoe's Book Reviews a better experience for you. I hope you fill it out! Thanks!

New Years List Week!

So since tomorrow is January 1st, I've decided to make January 1st-January 7th 2010 list week. The schedule is as followed-

January 1st- Books Read in 2010
January 2nd-Top 10 Books Read in 2010
January 3rd- Top 5 Must Read 2011 Books
January4th-Top 6 Blog/Author Moments of 2010
January 5th- Top 10 Blogs
January 6th- Top 10 Author Twitters
January 7th-Top 10 Books on My 2011 Wishlist

Thursday, December 30, 2010

NPR's list of Best Teen Reads 2010

So, NPR (National Public Radio) just released their list of "This Year's Best Teen Reads". You can find the article here.
I normally don't post about news articles on the blog, but I made an exception for this article because of the books on the list. Out of the five books listed, I've read 4 of them and all are favorites of mine. I encourage highly you to read the article.

Also- It's written by Gayle Forman who is the author of If I Stay, Where She Went, and a few other books.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey + Giveaway

Out for Blood is the third book in The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey. This review/summary may contain SPOILERS.

Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends—or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?

Out of the three books (so far) in this series, Out for Blood is my second favorite. The first book, Hearts at Stake is my favorite because I love how Alyxandra introduced the story to her readers. The beginning of Out for Blood was a bit slow, but as I dove further into the book the plot started picking up. One of the things I loved about Out for Blood was the action. I’m a sucker for characters that kick-butt, and this book delivered! I admire Alyxandra Harvey for the way she is able to include every character in the Drake family tree. Out for Blood kept me intrigued and wanting more! I can’t wait for the next book in this series.
These books aren’t just another vampire series. They’re well written and incredibly original. Harvey knows how to capture readers properly. This series is a must-read for everyone!

FTC- Publisher.

To enter to win a copy of Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey, fill out the form below. None of the information will be shared with anyone besides the person who is shipping out the book. Open to US addresses only.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I'm here to wish you a Merry Christmas! Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a lovely day filled with joy and family.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hothouse by Chris Lynch

If you do it right, it can be a life. The hothouse, the guys, the glory. But just like that, it can all go up in smoke.

In the beginning it was strange, ya know, because of all that we had lost. But there was something about it that felt so good and so right, too: "I'm so proud of you, Russ." "We'll always be here for you, man." "Heroes don't pay for nothin' in this town." It was nonstop. The mayor shook my hand. Ladies sent food. I've never eaten so much baked ham in my life.

And now? Now the phone won't stop ringing from the crazies ready to blame me. My mom has to cry herself to sleep. They take a firefighter, a man, and they pump him up so big. . . . But once they start taking it away from you, they don't stop until they leave nothing on the bones.

First they needed heroes, then they needed blood.

Going into Hothouse, I didn’t think I would like it at all but it surprised me. I ended up liking Hothouse more because under its tough firefighter exterior, there is a really sweet and meaningful center. I felt that Chris Lynch did a wonderful job writing about loss in a beautiful, productive way that will appeal to both girls and boys.
The two boys in this novel struggle with trying to find out the real meaning of a hero and what makes a good father. I found out that reading Hothouse is hard. The emotional impact is monstrous. Russell is a character that teen boys will be able to relate to (even though it might not be in a direct way).
I couldn’t put this book down. I hated reading it because it was so emotionally draining, but I loved that I read it. The two boys in this novel are stunning in their own way and I loved reading about them. This is an amazing book that I recommend to anyone, especially boys.

FTC- Publisher.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian

Feeling left out since her long-time best friend started a serious relationship, sixteen-year-old Emily looks forward to a summer program at the Philadelphia College of Art but is not sure she is up to the challenges to be faced there, including finding herself and learning to balance life and art.

*Cue sappy love music.*

Siobhan Vivian is one of my favorite writers and I’ve never been disappointed by anything she’s written. Same Difference was a lyrical book that I absolutely adored. Out of all three of her books (the other two are A Little Friendly Advice and Not That Kind of Girl), this one is my favorite. I loved the art component in this novel. I’ve always dreamed of being one of those super-talented-artsy-people. So in a way, this book has let me live out my dream. Yay!
I couldn’t stop reading this book. I brought it with me everywhere- hockey games, roadtrips, the dinner table-everywhere. This is one of those books that is a permanent fixture in my mind.
Siobhan Vivian is an amazing author that everyone should read.

.FTC- Library.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Grace by Elizabeth Scott

Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

I’ve loved everything that I’ve read by Elizabeth Scott, but I didn’t know how I would like Grace. It seemed very different from the variety of books she’d written in the past. In the beginning of this book I felt mildly lost but as I read more, I really started getting into the story more.
Grace was a haunting novel that I think everyone should read. Elizabeth Scott never disappoints in anything she writes and this was no exception. This story will stick inside your head and keep you thinking about it for days. I read it a few months ago and I still think about it.
Grace provides insight into a world that not many people know about, which I think really sets this book a part from the other ones on the Young Adult shelves.
Grace is a touching, heartbreaking, haunting book that you won’t forget after reading.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

An Interview with Blake Nelson

I recently had the opportunity to ask Blake Nelson, author of Destroy All Cars a few questions (you can read my review of Destroy All Cars here). Here they are, and I hope you enjoy-

1. The main character of Destroy All Cars, James is strongly against the traditional ways of trying to save the environment. Do you share his views?

yeah, I do, but he's sort of exaggerating things the way some people do. James likes to be shocking, and to make "big pronouncements" about things. Not everything he says is actually a good idea. One thing about him though, is his basic concerns are very real. His idea that "organic salad bars aren't going to solve global warming" are pretty accurate.

If not, how did you get the idea of destroying all cars?

I don't think James really thinks we could actually destroy all the cars in the world. the way I got the idea for the book was i wa sin my hometown of Portland and I got stuck in a traffic jam and I noticed all the cars around me were like, one mom inside a huge SUV, like a Suburban or something. Adn all of sudden I saw how absurd this was, and how wasteful. like to move a physical object that big and heavy around, just so she could pick up some milk or whatever. suddenly i thought: WE ARE SO WASTEFUL. that is one of the main ideas of the book. How we generate all this trash and waste all these materials all the time. and once I really started noticing all of that going on around me I was sort of shocked. and then I channeled those feelings into James.

2. What was it like having a book adapted into a movie?

It's always fun when the movie's good. My first book GIRL got made into a movie and it wasn't very good, and so that was frustrating. but it still made a lot more people read the book. and then PARANOID PARK, was really fun. Especially because it was artsy and sort of beautiful. I love movies like that.

3. How did your high school experiences inspire Destroy All Cars?

I was really into going to the library downtown and hanging out with these other high school kids and we would read Karl Marx and talk about how screwed up our society was. This was my revolutionary phase. I read a lot of philosophy and drank espressos and I fetl like I was practically in Paris. but I was actually still in portland. So that was a fun time. Pretending to be an intellectual.

4. Is there anything you would like to add?

Check out my new book RECOVERY ROAD which is about a girl who falls in love in rehab!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Win a Copy of Entice by Carrie Jones!

Entice by Carrie Jones was released today, and you have a chance to win a copy! You can check out my review of it here.

To enter, please fill out the form below. You must be a US resident with a mailing address (no PO Boxes, sorry!)

Rosebush by Michelle Jaffe

Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run.

Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface not just from the party, but from deeper in her past . . . including the night her best friend Bonnie died.

With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she's forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller

This is the first book I’ve read by Michele Jaffe. In some ways I was disappointed and in others I wasn’t. Rosebush started off a little slow and progressively got more interesting. At one point, I put it down because I just wasn’t in to it. Once I continued reading, I found that it was a really good story. Michele Jaffe knows how to write the creep-factor.
Rosebush is a mysterious, thrilling, page-turner that you won’t be able to put down. Jaffe writes amazing dialogue and killer scenes. People who are into reading books by Sara Shepard will adore Rosebush.

FTC- Publisher.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Entice by Carrie Jones

Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that's not quite how things have worked out.

For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he's been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it's taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla?

And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there's that other small problem: Zara's been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn't just turned. She's Astley's queen.

Entice, like the previous books in the Need series, was incredibly addicting. Carrie Jones can combine paranormal and action flawlessly. Sometimes the way that Zara acted was incredibly annoying. Something that Entice is nearly driven by, was the love triangle. In this book, Zara is caught between the amazingly-sleek and kind Astley and the dependable and charming Nick.
Carrie Jones has written a lovely novel that is sure to impress fans of the series. I can’t wait until the next book (I really hope there will be more). Entice has some minor flaws but when it comes down to it, I love this book. I was sucked in from the very beginning and tried to read it at every possible moment. I highly recommend Need, Captivate, and Entice to Young Adult readers everywhere. You won’t regret reading it.

FTC- Publisher.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Secrets of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway

Morgan is a National Disaster.

Morgan Abbott couldn’t be happier. Super-cute Max has quit her Secret Service detail to be her (secret) boyfriend, and the annoying Brittany Whittaker has been ousted from class president, leaving the post open for Morgan! Life is pretty sweet.

Now Morgan just has to tackle college applications—but she has so much else to juggle that looking that far ahead seems impossible! Good thing she’s graceful under pressure . . . well, sometimes.

A trip to London should be just the thing to take her mind off all the craziness, but true to form, chaos follows Morgan wherever she goes—and the trip turns into an international disaster. Can she make it right? Or will she cause a royal mess?

I didn’t read the first book in the series before I read this one, which is the second book. I felt that I didn’t have to read the first book, nothing was too unfamiliar and foreign to me which is good. I do, however recommend reading the first book first. Cassidy Calloway wrote a swoon-worthy, drop dead adorable novel that is so good I couldn’t, for a second put it down.
Morgan is a snappy character that I didn’t get tired of. Max was just… wow. While I was reading this, I was in complete swoon mode. Morgan and Max together was electric. Calloway did a great job writing the chemistry between them.
Every time Morgan did something incredibly clumsy or kind of dumb, I couldn’t help but smile because that’s just what kind of book this is. It makes you smile when you’re feeling down. Secrets of a First Daughter is the perfect night-in read. It’s breezy, addicting, and incredibly sweet. I loved it!

FTC- Publisher

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kiss It by Erin Downing

A girl's gotta do who a girl's gotta do.

Chastity Bryan has never been shy about going after what she wants. And when sexy, mysterious, so-not-from-this-town Sebastian walks into Chaz's life, she knows in an instant that what she wants next is him. Chaz has no intention of playing for keeps—but she most definitely has intentions. Who needs true love when you've got true lust?

Sebastian has no idea what he's in for—but maybe neither does Chaz?

This book is not what you’d expect. I was expecting some light and fluffy novel that I could just read and it would be lovely. Kiss It was so much more and so much more different than what I thought it was going to be. While I was reading it most of what I was thinking was “mysterious boy… ooo. Wow, this book talks about sex a lot. Wow, this book really talks about sex a lot. Dang… this book is talking about sex a little too much.” But looking back at it, Kiss It talked about way more than that. More than anything, Kiss It is about self-discovery. I was so surprised at all the talk about sex because it isn’t talked about a lot in one YA book. It’s talking about a little in every book, but it doesn’t really go deep into the characters feeling about it. I felt that Kiss It did go deeper. Erin Downing wrote emotions that a lot of teens have and that a lot of YA writers don’t write about.
Chaz, like any teenager is trying to find herself. Then Sebastian comes in. Let me just gives you a heads up- if a book contains a love interest who is named something that isn’t very common, like Sebastian… I will most likely love that character*. When Sebastian first came in though, it was just awkward. I don’t really know what to make of this story. It isn’t incredibly memorable, but it is incredibly daring. Within the first few pages, I honestly thought I was going to put it down because of the vulgarity of it. I don’t recommend this to people who can’t handle books that talk about sex a lot. I don’t know whether to praise Downing for writing a novel that nobody expected or to just go on my marry way.

*What can I say? Uncommon names are awesome.

FTC- Library.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

The Lying Game was completely addicting. I took it with me everywhere until I finished reading it. Despite me loving this book, I feel that Sara Shepard is kind of writing the same thing over again. She writes the whole murder-mystery thing well, but The Lying Game has a lot of resemblance to Pretty Little Liars. That being said, I think that Shepard has incredible abilities when it comes to building characters. All of her characters are so well developed that you feel that you are apart of their lives.
This book kept me on the edge of my seat. Every page was lined with a mystery.
I couldn’t put down this book. I recommend it to people who liked reading Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series. Sara Shepard wrote a mysterious, amazing, addicting book that will thrill its readers! I can't wait for the next boo in this series!

FTC- Publisher.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep's clothing. He's handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He's a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened -- of himself or some other fiend.

This book is what inspired the Showtime series Dexter. It took me a week to read because this series is just plain creepy. Being inside Dexter’s head was one of the weirdest reading experiences I’ve had. He is psychotic but it’s written so well that at some point, you start seeing it like he does. Knowing the rules he must follow, knowing why he kills killers, you become Dexter when you read this… which is a scary thought. Dexter struggles because he is trying to fit into life. He can’t feel emotions so he has to fake it. He goes as far as faking his emotions for a girl he eventually gets into a relationship with.
I love Dexter. Love him. Jeff Lindsay does an amazing job with character development. Dexter’s voice is incredibly strong and seeps through the pages of this book.
Lindsay wrote a book that will get into your head and mess with your mind until you’re done reading it. This is marketed toward adults so I don’t recommend it to small children. Fans of the show will like it and people who are looking for a good murder story. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the Dexter series.

FTC- Bought

New Layout

So, I got a new layout. This might be temporary, but I still want thoughts! What do you think of it? Hate? Love? I-Couldn't-Care-Less?


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

This book is stunning. Actually, stunning doesn’t even begin to describe how much I loved it. It’s characters are magical and the story is enchanting. While I was reading it, I was speaking to the book*. St. Clair is the perfect guy character. Never in my life, have I wanted to meet a book character so much. Many people might not want to read this book because of the “French Kiss” part of the title. To those people I say, if you don’t read this book… you are missing out on a book that is beyond amazing.
YA Romance books (in my opinion) have been getting a bit forgettable, and it’s hard to find a good one that isn’t paranormal. Look no further! This is the perfect YA Romance. It is unforgettable, realistic, and fun to read. This book weaved in realistic topics in a way that seems natural. The issues don’t slap you in the face and at the same time, they aren’t nonexistent. Within the first chapter, I was laughing my head off. The humor is awesome!
The characters in this book aren’t perfect. Which is why I love them so much. Anna is believable, while I was reading I continuously thought to myself “Wow, I would love to be friends with her.”. St. Clair is just, wow. He is real and vibrant and messed up and gorgeous**.
As you can tell by this review, I loved Anna and the French Kiss. Stephanie Perkins wrote one of the best Young Adult books that has hit the shelves this year. I can’t recommend this book to enough people. It is simply amazing.

*My parents thought I was crazy.
** Can you tell I’m a fan of St. Clair?

FTC- Received from publisher.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart. She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition. Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Yet again, Sarah Ockler’s book doesn’t cease to amaze me. Before I started reading Fixing Delilah, I didn’t think it could surpass my love of Sarah’s previous book; Twenty Boy Summer. I loved Delilah’s story. It was realistic, addiction, and just plain magical. Patrick as such an adorable male character. He makes you want to jump in the book and get to know him and listen to his music. I like how Delilah is such a strong main character, she is strong throughout all of the Hannaford drama. Not only is the writing awesome, but when reading, you feel the characters emotions.
Sarah Ockler is, and will always be an author to look out for. Fixing Delilah and Twenty Boy Summer both are about amazing things and are wonderfully addicting. I recommend her books to anyone.

FTC- Received from publisher.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Classic Movie Challenge

Hey everyone!
So I've decided to start a classic movie challenge. It will span over the course of a year so it will end November 29, 2011.
If you join, you're challenged to watch classic movies! Though some people may not think so, classic movies are very awesome. I'm watching one right now.

Since this challenge lasts a year, let's say that if you sign up, you'll try to watch 12 classic movies.
For those who have it, TCM is a great channel for watching classic movies.
If you'd like to join, sign up in the comments. If you'd like to make a button for this challenge, email me at zaser_jam AT yahoo DOT com.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to read this book. I had tried reading it in the past but just couldn’t get into it. This time around, once I started reading I was hooked. Anderson wrote an unforgettable story that will change lives. I honestly don’t know what to say about this book. It should be a book that goes down in History. Melinda is a really strong character for what she faced.
Laurie Halse Anderson has incredible talent when it comes to writing characters. She fills her books with their emotions perfectly, and Speak was no exception. I think everybody should read this book. Anderson wrote an unforgettable novel. Speak is the type of book that involves a lot of waiting. After every few pages I just had to stop reading and process everything that I had just read. This was a hard book to read and it has definitely impacted my life. Laurie Halse Anderson is an amazing writer.

FTC- Bought.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.

Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.

I read Sisters Red before As You Wish so I didn’t really know what to expect since As You Wish was Pearce’s first book published. I actually ended up liking it more than I liked Sisters Red (which was pretty darn good). I found As You Wish addicting and irresistible. I stayed up to the early hours of the morning reading this book, and I never for one minute regretted it. Pearce’s writing is lyrical and snappy in a way that most writing isn’t. The witty humor and tremendous dialogue were some of the things I loved best about this novel.
This book was undeniably adorable while still having a touch of sadness. Jinn made me swoon, I think at one point I was actually yelling at the book because of Jinn. Lawrence was a lovely character despite the breakup that made Viola feel invisible. Their relationship broke the stereotype in YA books where when you break up with someone, you don’t remain friends with them. In As You Wish, Viola still maintained a friendship with her ex-boyfriend, which I found really refreshing.
I liked this book more than I thought I would and I totally think that you should pick it up. Jackson Pearce did a wonderful job writing this novel! She is definitely an author to follow.

FTC- Publisher

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rage: A Love Story by Julie Anne Peters

Johanna is steadfast, patient, reliable; the go-to girl, the one everyone can count on. But always being there for others can’t give Johanna everything she needs—it can’t give her Reeve Hartt. Reeve is fierce, beautiful, wounded, elusive; a flame that draws Johanna’s fluttering moth. Johanna is determined to get her, against all advice, and to help her, against all reason. But love isn’t always reasonable, right? In the precarious place where attraction and need collide, a teenager experiences the dark side of a first love, and struggles to find her way into a new light.

This book was just… woa. It discusses two topics that aren’t discussed a whole lot in books. The characters were written well, and were real. They had flaws and acted like real people. I read Rage in one sitting because I couldn’t stop reading. I wanted to know what was going on. Rage talks about both homosexuality and abuse. Abuse can be a hard thing to read about, and it definitely was hard to read about in this book. We have this strong female character who’s friend is abusive and get’s abused.
The constant changing moods of the characters was a bit confusing but it displays how a lot of people actually act. Julie Anne Peters tore my heart out and stomped on it, with this book.
There are some scenes that some people may find are too sexual to read, so depending on the amount of sexual content you find acceptable to read in books will affect your opinion on Rage.
That being said, when you get passed the sex aspect of Rage it leaves a very serious book that will leave you both hopeful and heartbroken.

FTC- Random Buzzers.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Remember Me by Christopher Pike

She won’t let them forget…

Shari Cooper wakes up dead. The last thing she can remember is falling from a balcony during her friend’s party. Her death has been ruled a suicide, but Shari knows she was murdered. All of her closest friends are now suspects. As she tries to find her killer from the other side, she discovers her friends may not have been so loyal to her after all. Now, Shari is not just out for justice, she’s out for revenge….

This is a mash-up of the books in the Remember Me series by Christopher Pike. When I started the first book, it was pretty slow. I have a reading rule that many other bloggers also have. If I get to page 50 and I still don’t like it, then I stop reading. I got to page 50. I didn’t like it. Since the book is so large, I told myself that I would try to get to page 150, and if I didn’t like it by then I was going to put it down for sure. I got to page 150 and right as I did so, the book started getting better. Book 1 was slow, stereotypical, and a bit predictable. Half-way through it started getting addicting though, and the characters emotions were written well.
In Book 2 in my opinion was the best out of the three books in this mash-up. All of the characters blended together nicely, it was addicting, and original. What I didn’t like was that there were parts that seemed scattered which caused me to be confused and the plot was kind of complicating. Book 3 was the worst in my opinion. I know it’s hard to close up a series but book 3 just seemed to drone on and on. It was a crazy emotional rollercoaster (and not the good kind). There were parts that I skipped because I didn’t see how they related to the story and they felt like filler.
Overall, these books aren’t something that I would re-read. While I was reading them, it was definitely interesting. The idea is original but the writing just wasn’t very good.

FTC- Bought

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren, and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Let's get started! This also includes a few of the books I got from last weekend. If you click on the book title, you should be led to the books goodreads page.
For Review-

From HarperTeen-

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Origins (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries, #1) by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, and Julie Plec
The Trust by Tom Dolby
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard *2 copies*
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand *2 copies*

From Candlewick and Dial-

Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Beat the Band by Don Calame
Stork by Wendy Delsol
Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Books Read This Week-
Actually.... it's books read in the past two weeks. No links here since there are so many books.

The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson
Vesper by Jeff Sampson
Emily the Strange:Dark Times by Rober Reger and Jessica Gruner
The Samantha Granger Experiment by Kari Lee Townsend
Babe in Boylanbd by Jody Gerhman
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber
Origins (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries, #1) by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, and Julie Plec
Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
The Odyssey by Homer
The Sweetness of Salt by Cecilia Galante
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Friday, November 19, 2010

ARC Giveaway

I have a couple ARC-doubles that I'd like to get off my hands so it's giveaway time! One person will win-

1 ARC of Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
1 ARC of Blue Fire by Janice Hardy
A Bunch of Bookmarks and Book Post-Cards

You get 1 extra entry if you follow my blog.
Open to US residents only, sorry!

To enter, fill out the form below-

I'm Part of a Group!

Every Friday I'll be posting on the YA Lit Six, which is a blog abut writing. It's really awesome and you should check it out. There's six of us and we post Monday-Saturday. Before I joined the YA Lit Six I loved reading it, and if you don't read it I totally think you should go and check it out.
Just wanted to let you all know where I'll be blogging about writing every Friday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Destroy All Cars by Blake Nelson

James Hoff likes to rant against America's consumerist culture. He also likes to rant against his ex-girlfriend, Sadie, who he feels isn't doing enough to change the world. But just like he can't avoid buying things, he also can't avoid Sadie for long. This is a fantastic, funny, sexy, cool masterpiece from one of the best YA writers at work today, an anti-consumerist love story that's all about idealism, in both James's relationship with the world and his relationships with the people around him.

Destroy All Cars is an enthralling book about James Hoff, who wants nothing more than to destroy all cars and get his girlfriend back. I went into this book, not expecting a lot. I hadn’t heard much about it* and I only had a rough idea of what the book was about.
I started reading Destroy All Cars while I was in the middle of my reading slump. This book is what got me out of the slump. All I wanted to do was read it. It challenges our way of thinking about the environment and how we plan to “save” it. I loved that the story switched off being told from James’ point of view, James’ AP English essays, and dialogue written like a screenplay.
Blake Nelson wrote an A-plus book that captures the emotions of teens perfectly. His characters were real, as were their actions.
I couldn’t stop reading this and I hope you read it. This book gets into your head and it never let’s go.

*Last December the editor of the book and my favorite author, David Levithan mentioned it at a book signing he was doing.

FTC- Library.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

You know a book is good when you stay up until 3am reading it. That was exactly the case while I was reading Matched. It kept me on the very edge of my seat with every page. The writing was beautiful and pristine. Ally Condie conveys a world that is gorgeous, horrible, fresh, and full of wonder. The dystopian world that Condie created was original and gradually introduced step by step. I liked that this book wasn’t totally action-packed and focused more on what was going on.
There’s also a love triangle! I have a love/hate relationship with love triangles because of how hard it is to write them. This makes it so that very few people can successfully write a love triangle. Ally Condie is one of the few people that can write a good love triangle. It doesn’t intrude on the story, but you still care a great deal about the two male characters competing for the protagonist.
This book is getting tons of hype, which means that a lot of people have really high expectations. Matched almost lived up to my expectations. The beginning was slow, but besides that I really liked this book.

A quick note on the cover- I love this cover so much. The green and the dress and the formatting of the cover! I love it! The ARC is also sparkly. I love sparkly books.

FTC- From another blogger who got it at BEA.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

Let’s discuss how much I love Julie Kagawa, which is a lot. The Iron Fey series are one of the only fantasy books that I’ve read and enjoyed. They are also the only books about Fey that I’ve read (I promise to fix this, really). Julie’s writing makes you dive head first into Meghan’s world. Kagawa left me on the edge of my seat for the whole book, and I enjoyed every minute of being there.
In The Iron Daughter you still get to experience the awesome that is Julie Kagawa’s love triangle. Puck and Ash. Who would you choose? (I am keeping my opinion to myself because I don’t want to get attacked) Meghan’s scenes with Ash were so intense and lovely to read, but Puck is the cute devoted one. This series will stick in my head. It is written beautifully and is genuinely fun to read. Julie Kagawa nailed it!

FTC- Bought

Friday, November 12, 2010

You by Charles Benoit

This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.

You're just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can't be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?

There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them?

Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late?

Think fast, Kyle. Time's running out. How did this happen?

YOU is a book that will leave you breathless. While I was reading it, I wanted to stop reading but at the same time I couldn't stop reading because I was so interested. The first sentences of YOU are-

“You’re surprised at all the blood. He looks over at you, eyes wide, mouth dropping open, his face almost as white as his shirt. He’s surprised, too.”

How can you not be captured after those lines? You are a 15 year-old boy. Just an average 15 year-old boy. I have to admit, when I was first reading this, the average was kind of boring. But then I realized just how real it made the book. Kyle is just a normal teen. He is an awkward, self-conscious kid that I think a lot of people can relate to.

This book is told as if it were your life, which can be really scary. A lot of people read books to escape, and YOU doesn't allow you to.

Everyone should read this book. Teen girls, teen boys, adult girls, and adult boys. Basically, if you are old enough to where you can read a descent sized book, you should read YOU.

FTC- Received for review.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

The Lovers Dictionary by David Levithan
January 4, 2011
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment
does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.

David. Levithan. Need I say more? This is his first book that's been written for adults, which makes me really interested in (1) the feedback it will get (2)how it differs from his young adult books. I'm also in love with this cover. It's so simple and artsy and just plain gorgeous. I would seriously do anything to get a copy of this book before it is released (anything within reason). January 4th can't come soon enough!

Monday, November 8, 2010


So, I'm hoping that I'll get some sort of eReader for Christmas/Hanukkah this year. So, before I ask for anything I was wondering what you all thought of them?

If you have one- which do you prefer (Kindle, Sony eReader, Nook, etc.).

And those of you who do have one- when you use it, do you feel as if you're reading on a computer? Or like a book? Or something besides those two things?


Sunday, November 7, 2010

7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando

Mary expected her seventeenth birthday to be a blowout to remember, courtesy of her best friends, fellow New York City prepsters Amy and Joon, and her doting boyfriend, Trick. Instead, the day starts badly and gets worse. After waking up in a mortifying place with a massive, unexplainable hangover, Mary soon discovers that nobody at school is even aware that it's her birthday. As evening approaches, paranoia sets in. Mary just can't shake the feeling that someone is out to get her—and, as it turns out, she's right. Before the night is over, she's been killed in cold blood.
But murder is just the beginning of Mary's ordeal. Her soul gets trapped in a strange limbo, and she must relive the day of her death through the eyes of seven people—each of whom, she finds, had plenty of reasons to hate her. As Mary explores the mysteries of her world, discovering secrets that were hidden in plain sight while she was alive, she clings desperately to the hope that she can solve her own murder, change the past, and—just maybe—save her own life.

I picked up this book because someone asked me to read it. I hadn’t heard of it before seeing it in the bookshop, and even if I had seen it in the bookshop before someone pointed it out to me, I probably wouldn’t have bought it.
When I got home I went straight to my room to read this book. After about fifty pages I felt as if my brain was going to explode. I didn’t know what was going on and was completely confused. Little did I know, that me being confused is actually kind of the point of the book. 7 Souls is one of those books that is pretty repetitive and not very interesting for about half of the book, and then towards the end it starts picking up.
I personally didn’t like the book being from the perspective of 7 different people, but having it from that many point of views definitely helps the plot a great amount.
Once I had gotten past the first half and everything started to fall into place. I really liked this book. It leaves you hanging on every chapter and makes you want to scream at the book. There were times when I had every intention of putting down this book because it wasn’t interesting enough. But there were also time where I couldn’t stop reading.

FTC- Bought.

Friday, November 5, 2010

NaNoWriMo Ate My Brain

... and I'm not even writing a zombie book!

I've only posted one thing this week. It's horrible, I know. On the bright side-

I'm 10k into my novel.

The honeymoon stage of writing is over. It was over on day 2. Which basically means for 4 out of the 5 days I've been writing, I've disliked what I was writing. ~Let's hear it for angst!... *crickets*~ I still have to figure all the basics out about my story, because I am a horrible procrastinator and even though I'm writing, I have no idea where what I'm writing is going to lead.

I told you all that I would be doing Teaser Tuesday for this NaNo, but I have yet to find something in it that I like and that I think is worthy to be posted on here. But once I do, you will be the first to know.

Because I've been spending all of my free time on NaNo (and Twitter... ) I haven't been doing tons of reading. With the exception of reading Albert Camus. Camus is amazing. (YA Author Extraordinaire, Hannah Moskowitz has gotten me addicted to reading Camus. Seriously, if you haven't read him you should go out and buy/check-out what he's written).

So, besides reviews- what would you like to read about here on Zoe's Book Reviews?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.

Wow. I am speechless. Daisy Whitney is a debut author who will make a fantastic name for herself with this book. The Mockingbirds is something to watch, this book is making my Top 10 2010 books. Throughout reading, I’ve noticed that books that discuss the topic of rape either take it too lightly (Fade by Lisa McMann) or are so intense that I couldn't read it in one sitting (Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott). The Mockingbirds is the perfect balance between the two. The topic is taken seriously but you want to keep reading. It took me about two days to read, and all the while I was emailing back and forth with Daisy telling her how much I loved it.
I was fortunate enough to be the first teen to read the book. Right away, I knew it was something special. I can practically recite the beginning of chapter 2 because I love it so much. The wording that Daisy used illustrated what the main character was going through really well.
Looking back at the email I wrote Daisy immediately after I finished reading The Mockingbirds, I would like to share with you some of what I wrote to her. “Let me start off by saying it is the first book where I have actually read it when my teachers aren't looking. All through the school day I was sitting there staring at it in my backpack wanting to read it.” This is completely true, when I wasn't reading The Mockingbirds, I was thinking about reading The Mockingbirds. I would wake up in the morning looking like death because I had been up all night reading it.
The characters in this book were strongly written and had gumption. There were a few characters that made me want to drop into the book and slap them (hard, in the face). There was also some very interesting people that I couldn't have been more excited to read about. The Mockingbirds is a book you won’t want to miss. The emotions that the main character has are ones that you know are true. I couldn’t help but sympathize with her. Daisy Whitney wrote an original, truthful, engaging novel that readers are sure to love. This will easily be one of my favorites, if not the favorite book of mine that I've read this year. I can't give this book an amount of praise that will do it justice. I think that everyone should read it. Really, it will change your life.

FTC- Received from the author.

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.