Monday, January 31, 2011

Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are 16-year-old identical twins, the daughters of a district court judge father and politician mother running for Congress. Everything on the surface of their lives seems Norman Rockwell perfect, but underneath run deep and damaging secrets.

Kaeleigh is the good girl-her father's perfect flower, something she has tried so hard to be since she was nine and he started sexually abusing her. She cuts herself and vomits after every binge, desperate to feel something normal. Raeanne uses painkillers, drugs, alcohol, and sex to numb the pain of not being Daddy's favorite. Both girls must figure out how to become whole, but how can they when their world has been torn to shreds?

Once again, Ellen Hopkins never disappoints! Identical wasn’t easy to read. It makes you work and it makes you go into a dark place that most people don’t want to go into. But one thing is for sure- Identical is amazing.
Hopkins does an amazing job developing her characters. As a reader, you always care about what happens to the characters she creates. The actual plot to this story was heartbreaking, riveting, and engrossing. Everybody should read Ellen Hopkins’ books, all of them are amazing. Many people, however may have a bit of trouble reading her books. All of them are incredibly hard to read. One of her books, I got twenty pages into and stopped reading because I couldn’t handle what was going on.

FTC- Library.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past. The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.

Alexandra Bracken, can I marry your writing? I rarely like fantasy books. The only fantasy books that I can remember liking are Harry Potter and The Iron King series. Luckily, another book has been added to that short list. Brightly Woven was captivating. Alexandra Bracken created an incredibly well developed world that I loved being in. Her characters were flawlessly written and fun to read about.
North is the ultimate love interest. He is snarky, flawed, stubborn, and utterly amazing. There were so many points in this book where I wanted to slap him, yet to many where I wanted to jump into Brightly Woven and give him a hug. Sydelle was a fantastic leading lady that I would love to be friends with.
Alexandra Bracken needs to write more books about North and Sydelle because I really want to visit them again.

FTC- Library.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

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

Courtney Summers is deep. Her writing makes me want to crawl up into a ball for the rest of eternity. Courtney Summers has built a name for herself. I always expect so much out of her books and she always delivers. Books about death are everywhere, but none even touch Fall for Anything. With this book Courtney Summers out did herself and the rest of the Young Adult books about death. None of those books made me feel so much, as Fall for Anything did.
This isn’t my favorite book of hers, mostly because I can’t pick a favorite. Fall for Anything has that authentic feel that Courtney Summers has mastered. I wasn’t able to put this down, and I hope you won’t be able to either. Courtney Summers never fails to amaze me with any of her books.

FTC- Publisher.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan

Here Comes the Bride — If She Can Pass Chemistry.

Eighteen-year-old Bronwen Oliver has a secret: She's really Phoebe, the lost daughter of the loving Lilywhite family. That's the only way to explain her image-obsessed mother; a kind but distant stepfather; and a brother with a small personality complex. Bronwen knows she must have been switched at birth, and she can't wait to get away from her "family" for good.

Then she meets Jared Sondervan. He's sweet, funny, everything she wants — and he has the family Bronwen has always wanted too. She falls head over heels in love, and when he

proposes marriage, she joyfully accepts. But is Jared truly what she needs? And if he's not, she has to ask: What would Phoebe Lilywhite do?

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else was one of those books that everybody will need to read. Erin McCahan has written a book that will put her on the map of readers who like Susane Colasanti, Sarah Dessen, and Sarah Ockler. This book was undeniably adorable and impossibly hard to put down. I stayed up until 4am reading this book and only got 3 hours of sleep. Not for one second do I regret it.
Reading this book gave me butterflies, it was so well written. The fairy tale romance that Erin McCahan writes is addictive. Bronwen was a character I would love to be friends with and Jared was a character I’d love to know and talk to.
McCahan does an amazing job of making this book alluring to the reader. I Now Pronounce You Someone Else is up there with one of my favorite books. I highly recommend it.

FTC- Library.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Beautiful Between by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

If high school were a fairy-tale kingdom, Connelly Sternin would be Rapunzel, locked not in a tower by a wicked witch but in a high-rise apartment building by the SATs and college applications—and by the secrets she keeps. Connelly's few friends think that her parents are divorced—but they're not. Connelly's father died when she was two, and she doesn't know how. If Connelly is the Rapunzel of her school, Jeremy Cole is the crown prince, son of a great and rich New York City family. So when he sits down next to her at lunch one day, Connelly couldn't be more surprised. But Jeremy has a tragic secret of his own, and Connelly is the only one he can turn to for help. Together they form a council of two, helping each other with their homework and sharing secrets. As the pair's friendship grows, Connelly learns that it's the truth, not the secrets, that one must guard and protect. And that between friends, the truth, however harsh, is also beautiful.

I am in love with this book. When I started reading it, the fairy tale comparisons really annoyed me, but I eventually got used to it. The Beautiful Between was lyrical and addictive. Alyssa Sheinmel has made a fan girl out of me, because even a month after reading it- I still can’t get this book out of my head.
When I’m reading, I don’t cry in front of people. The Beautiful Between hit me so hard that I cried in front of people while I was reading it.
This story was as emotional as they come. It is emotionally draining, yet oddly uplifting. I read it in an hour, in one sitting. I think that’s the way that this book needs to be read in order to get the full impact of the story that Sheinmel is telling. I can’t recommend this book enough to people and I really hope you read it.
Alyssa B. Sheinmel is an amazing author that you should all watch.

FTC- Library.

Classic Thursday: The Stranger

icon by Caroline*

The Stranger by Albert Camus



Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.


Albert Camus is so lyrically brilliant. This book was hectic, loud, and moving. Despite the fact that I read this book impeccably fast, it made a really big impact in my mind. The main message in the book deals with the meaning of life. Though hidden behind that, Albert Camus has written a story that questions humanity and human emotions. He makes readers think about the line between being human and inhuman. The main character in The Stranger, Meursault is told that his lack of emotion makes him inhuman.
I felt a lot of sympathy towards Meursault because of how detached he is from the world. How he can do something as troubling as killing someone, yet not be torn up about it. The amusing thing about this novel is that Meusault is portrayed as such a weird non-relatable character. When the truth is, everybody can relate to him. We all feel awkward and different and annoyed with other people, like he does.
I love the writing of Albert Camus because he plays with existentialism*. He is extremely quotable, and I would put a few quotes into this review, but I checked this book out from the library which means I no longer have a copy. But if you enjoy writers who talk about existentialism and have yet to read The Stranger, you must read it. If you have the funds, I also recommend buying a copy because it is one of those books that you can highlight (if you are the highlighting type).

*Existentialism is the “focus on the conditions of existence of the individual person and his or her emotions, actions, responsibilities, and thoughts” (Taken from Wikipedia.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Amanda Project by Melissa Kantor

Amanda Valentino changed everything. Callie Leary has exactly one thing, and one thing only, in common with Nia Rivera and Hal Bennett: They were each chosen by Amanda to be her guide. When Amanda arrived at Endeavor High, she told Callie she moves around a lot and always picks one person to help her navigate the choppy waters of a new school. Why did Amanda lie? Following a course that they suspect Amanda deliberately plotted, Callie, Nia, and Hal piece together some cryptic clues. But they find more questions than answers and quickly realize that before they can figure out what happened to Amanda—the girl who changed their lives—they'll need to solve the most important mystery of all: Who is Amanda Valentino?

I really didn’t expect to like this book. I start reading it with no expectations. During the beginning, I got really confused about what was going on. I kept referencing the summary of the book making sure I wasn’t getting it mixed up with a different novel. Luckily, after awhile the story started to come together and everything made sense once again.
Once I started to get into it, The Amanda Project got really good! I love the concept of the series and how it’s written. I was a little worried about how each author would write a book in the series. I’m glad the Melissa Kantor wrote the first book because she has a really fluid way of writing that easily captures readers. She worked her magic on The Amanda Project and made it a really good, complicated, mysterious book that I loved reading.

FTC- Publisher.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Favorite Authors?

So a question that is asked and avoided in the YA Lit. world a lot is "who is your favorite author?". A lot of authors and bloggers avoid this question because it's hard picking favorites when you've read so many books. I have "favorites" shelves where all my favorite books/authors go. There are a lot of books on those shelves. Today I thought I will tell you all about my favorite authors.
Just as a warning though- my list of all time favorite authors is only for authors that have more than one book out. Or if they have a book out coming later this year and I've already read it. Some of my favorite books of all time are by authors who don't have another book out yet. Their books are still on the "favorite" shelf, but aren't going to be included in this list.
A lot of the authors on this list are some of the very first YA authors I ever read. There is only one author on the list, who isn't one of the first YA authors that I ever read. Here is the list-

1. Hannah Moskowitz-
Since she is the author who has made her way on to my favorite authors list, without being one of the first authors I read- I think she should be first on this list. Hannah must think I'm crazy and a creeper because this is the 4th or 5th "favorites" list of mine that she's been on. But, I mean guys... I don't fangirl just ANY author. Break, Hannah's first book is so freaking amazing that I read it in public. I don't read much in public. Invincible Summer, her April 19th release is so damn addicting. Her Fall Middle Grade book release, Zombie Tag is the only Middle Grade that I can remember ever being excited about (I'm not a big MG fan). She also writes really fast, it's amazing. Hannah is an all around amazing person/writer. And, she has really awesome hair. If someone asked me what writer I wanted my writing-career to be like- Hannah would be tied with the next author on this list.

2. David Levithan-
If he has google-alert on his name, I am pretty sure I sound like a stalker with how many times he is mentioned on here. David Levithan has made an impact in lives. His books change peoples lives, and that is pretty freakin' powerful. His writing is so precise and lyrical. I love it. He has also written and published so many books. I think he's written around 15 books including the ones he's co-authored. You need to read his books. Need to. Now. Go do it.

3. John Green-
Yes. I know. John Green. Favorite author to many people. The reason he is on this list is because he was my first favorite author. Looking for Alaska was the first book that made me realize how complex YA books could be. He may not be number one on my favorite author list, anymore. But I will still buy his books the day they come out. I will also continue to fangirl him into oblivion.

4. Sarah Dessen-
Girl, your books make my heart sing. I read This Lullaby before I even knew the YA genre existed. I actually thought it was an adult book, until I looked up Sarah Dessen online. I own all of her books and have read them all multiple times over. To me, Sarah Dessen embodies the perfect cute-romance-YA-book.

5. Maureen Johnson-
SO. FUNNY. To get a new Maureen Johnson book- I would go to the end of the Earth and back. She can take you to places across the world and you will still feel at home. Follow her twitter and you'll think she is crazy- but that is why we all love her. Maureen is an extremely talented writer who needs to publish a book like, every week so I can escape to Europe more often.

6. Scott Westerfeld-
The only sci-fi author that I will read for forever. I picked up the first book in the Uglies series right when I was beginning to get addicted to reading. Never in my life, had I thought that I would love reading books like the ones he's written. Scott has remained one of my favorite authors for the past four years, and I wouldn't want it any other way.


Obviously if you haven't read these authors, you must. They are six of the best authors the Young Adult community has to offer.

Vesper by Jeff Sampson

Emily Webb is a geek. And she’s happy that way. Content hiding under hoodies and curling up to watch old horror flicks, she’s never been the kind of girl who sneaks out for midnight parties. And she’s definitely not the kind of girl who starts fights or flirts with other girls’ boyfriends. Until one night Emily finds herself doing exactly that . . . the same night one of her classmates—also named Emily—is found mysteriously murdered.

The thing is, Emily doesn’t know why she’s doing any of this. By day, she’s the same old boring Emily, but by night, she turns into a thrill seeker. With every nightfall, Emily gets wilder until it’s no longer just her personality that changes. Her body can do things it never could before: Emily is now strong, fast, and utterly fearless. And soon Emily realizes that she’s not just coming out of her shell . . . there’s something much bigger going on. Is she bewitched by the soul of the other, murdered Emily? Or is Emily Webb becoming something else entirely— something not human?

As Emily hunts for answers, she finds out that she’s not the only one this is happening to—some of her classmates are changing as well. Who is turning these teens into monsters—and how many people will they kill to get what they want?

This book was… confusing. I spent half of the book wondering what was going on, and I felt like I was lost the whole time. Despite those things, Vesper was written well. I think it will get a large fan base because of the way it’s written. The synopsis is really alluring, which is why I wanted to read the book. This book was dramatic, I love dramatic. The plot was good and it kept me reading, but I just couldn’t get past how confusing it was. I know that not knowing what was going on was supposed to build suspense, and it did! But not knowing what was going on was also slightly annoying.
Sampson wrote a book that many people will enjoy. The cover is lovely and so is the plot. I just personally didn’t like the way it was written.

FTC- Publisher.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Subject Seven by James A. Moore

Years ago, scientists began developing the ultimate military weapon: deadly sleeper assassins housed within the bodies of teenagers. Now, Subject Seven, the dangerous alter-ego living inside a 16-year-old boy, has escaped the lab and is on a mission. His objective? To seek out others like him and build an army capable of destroying their creators.

Hunter, Cody, Gene, Tina, and Kylie: five teenagers leading typical lives, until the day they each receive a call from a mysterious strangerÑand learn that their destinies are intertwined. Subject Seven holds the key that connects them all. And a vicious, bloody battle for their lives is just beginning.

I wasn’t expecting Subject Seven. This was a fast-paced novel that kept me reading up until the very end. It had a slow beginning but the rest of the book was really good. The plot of the book was really original, as well as the characters. Reading Subject Seven is like a non-stop thrill ride for your brain. The tension between the characters will keep you reading and wanting more. I definitely recommend picking this book up. Anybody can read it!

Side note- I also love this cover. I don’t know what about it grabs me, but I just love it!

FTC- Received for review.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Classic Thursdays?

I have this HUGE stack of classic books in my room. I have probably 30 or more of them. I'm going to start posting a review of a classic book each Thursday. Hopefully that means I'll be reading at least one classic book a week (and getting through that pesky book pile of mine).
There will be reviews of anything from plays to poetry, drama's to fairy-tales. I want a little icon/picture for Classic Thursdays but I'm not good at designing those sorts of things. So, if anyone wants to- just email me!

I want your thoughts about my plan. If you all totally hate the idea and won't read the reviews, then tell me so. If you love it, then tell me that to. I love opinions! And if you're shy and don't feel like commenting- you can email me at zaser_jam AT yahoo DOT com.

EDIT- Also, the "classics" won't just be the common classics. Have you every seen the movie Cheaper By The Dozen? The book was written in 1947. It's in the pile. Expect a review at some point.

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

The Challenge: Piper has one month to get the rock band Dumb a paying gig.

The Deal: If she does it, Piper will become the band's manager and get her share of the profits.

The Catch: How can Piper possibly manage one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl? And how can she do it when she's deaf?

Piper can't hear Dumb's music, but with growing self-confidence, a budding romance, and a new understanding of the decision her family made to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, she discovers her own inner rock star and what it truly means to be a flavor of Dumb.

I was really surprised how much I liked this book. I hadn’t heard much about it so when I was asked if I wanted to get it for review, I was really interested in the story. First of all- this is not a plot that you would expect. The plot is incredibly original with the main character being a deaf manager of a band. I read this book in a quick two-sittings. Some of you may know this, but I love music. And I love YA books involving music. Five Flavors of Dumb hit my love of music right on the nose and made my reading experience fun and enjoyable.
The cover of this book I don’t feel represents the novel well. When I saw the cover, I cringed. But the book isn’t at all cringe-worthy.
I think that Five Flavors of Dumb is a book that everybody should read. Watching Piper’s journey is amazing and fun to read about. I highly recommend this book.

FTC- Publisher.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She gave her soul to the wolf to save him and lost her beloved mother. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven. Desparate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot - a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel begins to crumble. Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace becomes prideful in her new abilities - not realizing that an old enemy has returned and deadly trap is about to be sprung.

Paranormal books will be the death of me. I loved The Dark Divine. I couldn’t get enough of it, but I could have done without reading The Lost Saint. It was addicting and it was full of action, which I love. But it seemed like it was just another paranormal book. I’m sick of just normal run-of-the-mills paranormal books. I want something that pops! Something that isn’t reminiscent of Twilight and other Paranormals that are popular.
The ending of The Lost Saint surprised me a lot. I think the ending was my favorite part of the whole book because I wasn’t completely expecting it. The Lost Saint was predictable. It was a good sequel, but there wasn’t anything special about it.
People who really enjoyed The Dark Divine will most likely enjoy The Lost Saint. I just don’t think it was my particular cup of tea.

FTC- Publisher

Friday, January 21, 2011

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastians, a boys' school that's pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas who specializes in musical burping to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.

Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, along, and without an inkling who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.

For the longest time, people kept telling me to read books by Melina Marchetta and for some reason I kept putting it off. When I dove into Saving Francesca, I wanted to read fifty pages and then go to bed. That wasn’t the actual case. I stayed up until the early hours of the morning to finishing reading this book.
Melina Marchetta has a refreshing but deep writing style that is incredibly addicting.
Marchetta took a simple topic that is pretty common and made it into something touching and beautiful and not at all simple or common. If I recall correctly (I read this book a few months ago) but when I was done or in the middle of reading Saving Francesca, I turned into my pillow and cried.
I cried because it was sad, because it was hopeful, because it was touching, because it was real. Melina Marchetta is a gifted writer that I am proud to have read.

FTC- Bought.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I thought I would announce some contest winners today. So drum-roll please!

The winner of Entice is...

Jessica B.

The winner of Out for Blood is...

Britney W.

Congratulations to both of you, I'll been sending your addresses to the publisher so they can get the books out to you!

The Lovers Dictionary by David Levithan

A sweet and touching modern love story, told through dictionary entriesbasis, n. 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?

There is something subtly sweet about The Lovers Dictionary. This is David Levithan’s first adult book and I think he did a nice job writing it. The book had the same essence as his Young Adult books. Each line is fluid and concise to the point of it feeling like you’re reading a long piece of poetry. Every few lines I had to stop and process what I had just read, because of how much was said in just a few words.
Despite popular belief, I don’t just love The Lovers Dictionary because David Levithan is my favorite author. It has it’s flaws. I didn’t like how the book was so cryptic. Throughout this whole piece of literature, you don’t know the main characters names or genders (I don’t think it tell you the gender). For some people this may add to the appeal of the book, but I’m one of those people who like to know quite a bit of information when I’m reading.
I loved the format The Lovers Dictionary because it was so original. I have never before seen a book that is written through dictionary entries which made this very refreshing. I highly recommend this book to fans of love and Mr. Levithan!

FTC- Bought.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer

Abby Goodwin is sure her sister Tabitha isn't a murderer. But her parents don't agree. Her friends don't agree. And the cops definitely don't agree. Tabitha is a drop-out, a stoner, a girl who's obsessed with her tutor, Clyde Andrews...until he ends up dead. Tabitha runs away, and leaves Abby following the trail of clues. Each piece of evidence points to Tabitha, but it also appears that Clyde had secrets of his own. And enemies. Like his brother, who Abby becomes involved with...until he falls under suspicion.

Is Abby getting closer to finding the true murderer? Or is someone leading her down a twisted false path?

After many people telling me that I should read this book, I finally did. I haven’t read Schrefer’s previous books, but judging by what I thought about The Deadly Sister, I’ll like his other books. The Deadly Sister kept me constantly hooked and didn’t let me go from its grasp. It did however, take me a long time to get into. I felt that the beginning of the book dragged on a bit. Once I got into it, my mind was spinning like wild because of the story.
The Deadly Sister is a book that will keep you guessing till the very end. I couldn’t get enough of it! Eliot Schrefer wrote an amazingly addicting book that many people will enjoy.

FTC- Library.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell


Ellie was never particularly good at talking to boys—or anyone other than her best friend and fellow outcast, Ruth. Then she met Michael.

Michael is handsome, charming, sweet. And totally into Ellie. It’s no wonder she is instantly drawn to him. But Michael has a secret. And he knows Ellie is hiding something, too. They’ve both discovered they have powers beyond their imagining. Powers that are otherworldly.

Ellie and Michael are determined to uncover what they are, and how they got this way . . . together. But the truth has repercussions neither could have imagined. Soon they find themselves center stage in an ancient conflict that threatens to destroy everything they love. And it is no longer clear whether Ellie and Michael will choose the same side.

The beginning of Fallen Angel was real slow. I kept reading because I thought it would get better. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it. Heather Terrell’s narration sounded too old for her main character, Ellie. The world that this novel was set in seemed underdeveloped.
Despite it being a slow read, I read it in one sitting. Terrell may have not written this book with the voice it could have been, but dang it was addicting!
I recommend this for people who enjoy paranormal books. They may not be my favorite, but they might be yours!

FTC- Received from publisher.

Monday, January 17, 2011

C. Lee McKenzie's Top 10 Pieces of Writing Advice + Giveaway

Today as a part of Teen Book Scene, I have C. Lee McKenzie telling us her Top 10 Pieces of Writing Advice. Stay tuned at the end for a giveaway for her new book, The Princess of Las Pulgas.

My first advice to anyone who wants to be a published writer is, “Never give up.” Of course, this is the most difficult advice to follow if you happen to be sensitive, which many authors are, and if every rejection letter sends you into fits of depression--even short fits.

Pay attention to your craft. Don’t send out things that haven’t been proofed, edited, allowed to marinate so you can have some distance from the writing and be a better critic.

When you totally purple prose.

Find yourself a critique group that you can trust.

Find a critique group that won’t tell you everything you write is lovely. It ain’t.

Here’s a metaphor to remember. If you play tennis with someone who plays worse that you do, you’ll never improve your game. That’s the same for people you write with. Find those who know how to write well and know how to critique even better.

Read all comments about your work carefully, but accept only what you think is valid criticism and praise. This is the most difficult thing you’ll have to do. What I do is think long and hard about what my crit partners tell me, then I reread what they’ve commented on, keeping their comments in mind. Sometimes they’ve opened new ways for me to express something and I find that my writing becomes clearer, even to me.

Write what you love to write.

Read a lot.

My last advice to anyone who wants to be a published writer is, “Never give up.” That’s cheating, I know, because this was also my first advice, but the point is this is probably the most important advice I can offer.

So, now on to the giveaway part of this post.

Here is what Princess of Las Pulgas is all about-
After her father's slow death from cancer, Carlie thought things couldn't get worse. But now, she is forced to confront the fact that her family in dire financial straits. To stay afloat, her mom has had to sell their cherished oceanfront home and move Carlie and her younger brother Keith to the other side of the
tracks to dreaded Las Pulgas, or "the fleas" in Spanish. They must now attend a tough urban high school instead of their former elite school, and on Carlie's first day of school, she runs afoul of edgy K.T., the Latina tattoo girl who's always ready for a fight, even on crutches. Carlie fends off the attention of Latino and African American teen boys, and one, a handsome seventeen-year-old named Juan, nicknames her Princess when he detects her aloof attitude towards her new classmates. What they don't know is that Carlie isn't really aloof; she's just in mourning for her father and almost everything else that mattered to her. Mr. Smith, the revered English teacher who engages all his students, suggests she'll like her new classmates if she just gives them a chance; he cajoles her into taking over the role of Desdemona in the junior class production of Othello, opposite Juan, after K.T. gets sidelined. Keith, who becomes angrier and more sullen by the day, spray paints insults all over the gym as he acts out his anger over the family's situation and reduced circumstances. Even their cat Quicken goes missing, sending Carlie and Keith on a search into the orchard next to their seedy garden apartment complex. They're met by a cowboy toting a rifle who ejects them at gunpoint from his property. But when Carlie finds him amiably having coffee with their mom the next day -- when he's returned her cat -- she begins to realize that nothing is what it seems in Las Pulgas.

The giveaway for The Princess of Las Pulgas will run from today until January 26th.
To enter, please fill out the form below.
You get +1 extra entry if you tweet about this giveaway.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly.

Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one—not even Julia's boyfriend— knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can't mourn Julia openly, and he's tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia's journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he's desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?

The Secret Year was unusual in a good way. It’s from a guys point of view, which is a rare find in the Young Adult world. This is a perfect debut book for Hubbard. Colt is an intense character that I loved reading about. The emotions in this novel were overwhelming at times, like they needed to be. This it he first book I’ve read about a secret relationship, and despite the slightly dark topics at hand, it was oddly refreshing.
Jennifer R. Hubbard has made a very good name for herself in the world of Young Adult books. I know that I’ll be reading whatever she has coming out next.

FTC- Library

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Things I Know About Love by Kate Le Vann

Livia's experience of love has been disappointing to say the least. But all that is about to change. After years of illness, she's off to spend the summer with her brother in America. She's making up for lost time, and she's writing it all down in her private blog. America is everything she ever dreamed of - and then she meets Adam. Can Livia put the past behind her and risk falling in love again?

This book was so adorable and light-hearted. I absolutely loved it! The ending of it seemed a bit rushed, but it sure packed a punch. Livia is a strong character that I really admired. Despite being stubborn at times, I felt like she knew what she was doing. One of my main problems of this story was how short it was. I would have loved to read more. It felt like the author rushed through it when this plot line needed to be carefully written and drawn out.
That being said, I still loved it. By the end of this book, I wanted to go into a slump and cry my eyes out. It was so happy yet so emotionally draining. I think that Kate Le Vann has a lot to offer to the YA world and I’m excited to see what she’s coming out with next.

FTC- Borrowed.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Vampire Dairies, Stefans Diaries: Vol. 1 Origins by Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson

Set during the Civil War, against a backdrop of grand estates, unimaginable riches, and deadly secrets, three teenagers in Mystic Falls, Virginia enter a torrid love triangle that will span eternity.

Brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore are inseparable until they meet Katherine, a stunning, mysterious woman who turns their world upside down. Siblings turned rivals, the Salvatores compete for Katherine's affection, only to discover that her sumptuous silk dresses and glittering gems hide a terrible secret: Katherine is a vampire. And she is intent on turning them into vampires so they can live together-forever.

I was hoping to read this book so I could get a back-story into Stefan Salvatore’s life. It felt like some parts of the book were taken as if they were in the show instead of as a part of the Vampire Diaries books. I think that Stefans Diaries will appeal to people who really enjoy The Vampire Diaries as a television show. The book also kind of tries to make readers believe that Katherine is a good person. Readers and watchers of the series all know that Katherine is not a good person. She is horrible bad-ass vampire.
I also felt like some of the characters in this book were too annoying. I mean, it takes place at a point in time where people were considered to be mature at a very young age and these characters didn’t act very mature.
All in all, I think that Volume 1 of Stefan’s Diaries was an ok book. There wasn’t anything special about it, but it was still a book I enjoyed.

FTC- Received from publisher.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block

Love is a dangerous angel...Francesca Lia Block's luminous saga of interwoven lives will send the senses into wild overdrive. These post-modern fairy tales chronicle the thin line between fear and desire, pain and pleasure, cutting loose and holding on in a world where everyone is vulnerable to the most beautiful and dangerous angel of all: love.

I really wanted to like Dangerous Angels. I’ve heard wonderful things about this book, but I just don’t get why. Don’t get me wrong, when I was reading the first few books in this series, I really enjoyed them. Francesca Lia Block has a way of writing that completely sucks you in. She knows how to writing convincingly in a way that’s unique.
What I didn’t like about Dangerous Angels was that it was too far fetched. I didn’t understand half of what was going on. I still haven’t figured out what genre Dangerous Angels should be put into, which really bugs me. It’s part realistic, part fantasy, part paranormal. I think a lot of people like/will like Dangerous Angels. I can see the appeal in it.

FTC- Publisher.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber

Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever.

Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves—Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight.

Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run.

Psychic predictions, generations-old secrets, a town divided, and the possibility of falling in love with a hot and heroic werewolf are the perfect formula for what happens . . . once in a full moon.

I haven’t read Ellen Screiber’s other books but I had heard the were good, so I went into Once in a Full Moon with high expectations. I was a bit disappointed when I started to read this. The beginning of the book seemed to be really slow and a little stereotypical.
The characters in this novel felt a bit too goody-goody for my taste. The main reason why I disliked this book was because I wanted it to be more than it was. It felt like the Schreiber didn’t spend enough time with Once in a Full Moon. That being said, I think that this book has a lot of potential and I think that a lot of people will really enjoy the story that Ellen Schreiber tells.

FTC- Received from publisher.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules. Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone--one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship--tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next. Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

You know it’s a good book when you stay up until 4am reading it. I wasn’t sure if I would like Across the Universe because I’m not a huge Sci-Fi fan, but I really enjoyed reading this. The beginning of the book stumped me a bit. Revis did an amazing job describing the freezing process to the point where I didn’t want to read the book, but I just had to know what would happen next. Across the Universe was an intense read. It was a whirlwind of fast-paced emotions and daring lies.
This wasn’t just a Sci-Fi book, it was so much more. The struggle that Amy has to go through is gut-wrenching.
Beth Revis did an amazing job creating the world in Across the Universe and the history of Godspeed. The descriptions and dialogue in Across the Universe is priceless, both are written extraordinarily well.
I can’t wait until Beth Revis’ next book. Across the Universe is a thrilling debut that everyone should read.

FTC- Publisher.

Monday, January 10, 2011

An Interview with A.S. King

A.S. King is the author of Dust of 100 Dogs and Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

1. Dust of 100 Dogs and Please Ignore Vera Dietz are very different books. What was it like writing two books that are completely opposite each other?

I try to write completely different books. In the case of these two, yes, I think they couldn’t be more different. But to put it into better perspective, D100D was the 6th novel I wrote and VERA DIETZ was the 9th. The other seven were just as different from each other. 2011’s EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS is also different from these two, and so on. The one thing that stays constant in my work is the A.S. King. Which is to say: my books can be interpreted different ways depending on the reader and are generally not linear. They are usually a bit out of the ordinary and they often contain either magic realism, metaphor or some sort of bizarre happening that is hard to explain. Also, there are jokes intertwined with heavy stuff. That’s me.

2. Was it hard to write Please Ignore Vera Dietz because of the different points of view and the flow charts?

You’re never going to believe this. PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ came out pretty much in the order that you see it in today. There was a bit of shifting, but not much. Each point of view showed up in place as if it grew there and the flow charts were my favorite part! In hindsight, I wish all books were as easy to write as VERA DIETZ.

3. Readers of Please Ignore Vera Dietz know and love Pagoda Pizza. What are your best and worst pizza-related experiences?

Well, Pagoda Pizza is from my imagination, but I did work as a pizza delivery driver for about three or four years in high school and college. My best pizza experiences were the tips. (Seriously. TIP YOUR DRIVER. Even a dollar is good.) My worst experiences usually involved getting lost, being late, going into particularly bad parts of town and nasty dogs who bit.

4. Describe Dust of 100 Dogs and Please Ignore Vera Dietz in five words each.

Impossible! But I’ll try in my own weird way.
D100D: Love prevails. Evil prevails. Choose.
PIVD: Ignoring things makes them bigger.

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

Actually, yes. I’d love to take a minute to thank you, Zoe, and to thank my readers and the many bloggers who have spread the word about my work. If it wasn’t for people like you, I’d be out of a job. Also, from my fortune cookie last night: “Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you.” Isn’t that awesome?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything. So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

And A.S. King does it again! I really enjoyed reading King’s previous book Dust of 100 Dogs and I was interested in how she was going to present Please Ignore Vera Dietz since the premise of the novels are both so different. Vera is such a unique character, she just amazes me.
I love how A.S. King took so many different forms of writing a story and combined them. Through flow charts and different points of view, King told this story beautifully.
This book is unexplainable. It’s crazy. It’s amazing. I love it. But, it is so darn unexplainable. The emotional journey that Vera takes is fun and heart-wrenching to read about. With every book she writes, A.S. King gets even better. I highly recommend this novel, it was unforgettable.

FTC- Borrowed.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

An Interview with Shaun David Hutchinson

1. What would you do if you got a Deathday Letter?
I'm pretty happy with the life that I've led up to now, so if I got my own Deathday Letter I'd want to spend the 24 hours with my family and friends just goofing off and having a good time. When my Nana died, I didn't go to the funeral because I had to work. It was a new job and I thought it was important that I stay. Never once have I found myself grateful that I stayed and worked that day. I do, however, regret not going to my grandmother's funeral. The people in our lives are so important and writing The Deathday Letter is my own personal reminder to stop and smell all the roses.

2. What sort of responses have you gotten towards The Deathday Letter?
I'd say that most of the responses I've gotten toward The Deathday Letter have been great. People seem to be responding positively toward Ollie and his last day. It's been an uplifting and great experience. I was worried when the book came out that all the raunchy boy humor would alienate the huge female readership that YA enjoys. But that hasn't really been the case. I mean there are definitely exceptions. One person on Goodreads said that they were subjected to boy humor all day in school and didn't want to read about it--which struck me as particularly funny--but for the most part, people get that Oliver Travers isn't some idealized guy. He's your brother and your boyfriend and your father and that weird kid you sit next to in History. Boys--especially teenage boys--are gross, hormone driven creatures that seem like they come from another world. But I think watching Ollie grow beyond his hormones is one of the things that makes him so compelling, and I think that readers are responding to that.

3. Quick! Describe The Deathday Letter in five words or less.
Funny, sweet, raunchy, sad, pudding.

4. What are some of your favorite Young Adult books?
It honestly changes from day-to-day, but right now I'm really in love with Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking series. I think it's criminal how little attention it's getting. I think that it was swallowed up by the popularity of The Hunger Games (which was also a great series) and I've been doing whatever I could to tell people about it. I also recently fell in love with The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith. It don't think it's a book for everyone but I think it's an important book. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta was brilliant as was Liar by Justine Larbalestier. Margie Gelbwasser's book Inconvenient was one of my favorite reads of last year. Her characters are so honest and raw that it can be painful to read them sometimes, but totally worth it. There are just so many, to be honest. Right now I'm actually in the middle of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. I bought it on the strength of the title alone, but the voice in it is outstanding and hilarious.

5. Is there anything you would like to add?
Don't wait to live your life. Carpe Mortediem. Seize the Deathday and seize a copy of The Deathday Letter while you're at it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson

The clock is ticking?

Ollie can't be bothered to care about anything but girls until he gets his Deathday Letter and learns he's going to die in twenty-four hours. Bummer.

Ollie does what he does best: nothing. Then his best friend convinces him to live a little, and go after Ronnie, the girl who recently trampled his about-to-expire heart. Ollie turns to carloads of pudding and over-the-top declarations, but even playing the death card doesn't work. All he wants is to set things right with the girl of his dreams. It's now or never?.

Can we discuss how much I loved this book? It was so terrifically amazing. I read it straight through, which I think everybody should do when reading this. Shaun David Hutchinson has pushed his way on to my favorite authors list, with this book. The Deathday Letter was so unusual and real. It’s from a boys point of view (I love books with male points of view). The main character, Ollie is so realistic!
The first thing that drew me to this book was the summary. I mean… this kid finds out that he’s going to die soon and his response is “bummer”.
Shaun David Hutchinson brought something to the YA world that not many authors can- humor involving a dark story. There were times when I was literally laughing out loud while reading this book. Don’t get me wrong- death is not a funny thing, but you can’t help but laugh when reading The Deathday Letter.
Shaun David Hutchinson made a serious topic unbearably hilarious. I loved this book and I hope you read it, so you can love it too.

FTC- Library.

10 Books On My 2011 Wishlist

In no particular order...

1. Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
2. Zombie Tag by Hannah Moskowitz
3. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
4. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
5. Luststruck by Kody Keplinger
6. Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
7. Twisted by Sara Shepard
8. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
9. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
10. Supernaturally by Kiersten White

There are way way way more 2011 books that I want, these are just a few out of the never ending wishlist I have!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she’s determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for “completers”— www. through-the-light. com

While she’s on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she’s not on the Web, Daelyn’s at her private school, where she’s known as the freak who doesn’t talk.

Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she’s waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she’s made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won’t give up. And it’s too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life…isn’t it?

This might sounds weird- but I love depressing books. This one went beyond depressing though. By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead was just plain creepy. This novel scared me. This novel made me paranoid. This novel made me want to throw it against my wall and hide under the covers.
Once you read this, you won’t be able to forget about it. The story will haunt you for days.
Julie Anne Peters writes beautifully and By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead showcased her abilities wonderfully. I think this book will help teens who are struggling. Despite how depressing it is, it’s equally uplifting in a way. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope you will/do too.

FTC- Library.

Top 10 Author Twitters

In no particular order-

1. @HannahMosk

Hannah Moskowitz fills her twitter with everything real. Unlike many authors, what she tweets isn't mainly about her books, which is refreshing. Even though she doesn't like it to be a big deal, Hannah is a teenager. Her twitter isn't written like someone who is older. By looking at her tweets you know that they aren't staged.

2. @joshberkbooks

His tweets are all SO. FUNNY. Oh my gosh, Josh Berk should just be a comedian.

3. @LaurenDeStefano

Lauren is so nice! She keeps in contacts with her readers, which is really hard to do.

4, 5, 6, 7. @LeahClifford @CAMoulton @scott_tracy @chelseaswiggett

Again, all four of these authors don't promote their books a whole lot! I am also a creeper who reads their conversations about music (they recommend some pretty good stuff).

8. @HeidiRKling

Damon! Afghan Boy! I love all of Heidi's tweets. They're so funny!

9. @DaisyWhitney

Daisy responds to her readers, which is a really important thing on twitter. I also love reading about the tech things she tweets about.

10. @loversdiction

I don't know if this account is still running, but it hosts teasers for David Levithan's new adult book The Lovers Dictionary. It isn't technically an author twitter since the soul purpose of it is to promote the book, but I like the teasers!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

XVI by Julia Karr

Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world—even the most predatory of men—that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past—one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.

Dystopian books are taking over the universe, and I love it. It’s books like XVI that make me happy to be a reader of Young Adult Fiction. Nina was an amazing lead character, and her friend was hilariously blind to what was going on around her. When I first started reading XVI, it didn’t suck me in immediately. I kept reading because a lot of people I had talked to told me that they loved it. Boy am I glad that I kept reading! XVI turned out to be really addicting after the first 50 pages. I stayed up until the wee hours of the night to finish reading, and even once I had finished I wanted to read more.
One of my favorite things about this novel was how it relates to real life. It takes an issue that is discussed daily, and multiplies it by ten thousand. It was fun to see how the different characters reacted to what was going on around them. I recommend this book to people who love reading dystopians. Karr wrote an addicting book that will keep readers thinking.

FTC- Publisher.

Top 10 Blogs

These are blogs that I check almost every day. If you aren't on the list, that doesn't mean I don't love your blog! There's only 10 slots! In no particular order-

1. The Story Siren

Kristi is the queen bee of blogging! All of her posts are so fun to read and you can tell she puts a lot of time into her blog.

2. Books by Their Cover

Yan's reviews are incredibly honest, which I love. I can always trust that the books she recommends will be good.

3. Pop Culture Junkie

I love all of Alea's meme's and everything that she posts is just pure gold.

4. Sarah's Random Musings

I don't really know what to say. I just love Sarah's blog! I know how much work she puts into it (which is a lot). She's one of the nicest reviewers and we have the same taste in books, so I trust her opinion completely.

5. Frenetic Reader

Khy's posts are so original. I like that she does what she wants to do with her blog. And her lists! I love her lists!

6. The Book Cellar

Erica is one of the most dedicated book bloggers out there. She's so organized with what she does and always tries to get reviews up on time. I truly admire her.

7. Persnickety Snark

I love Adele! She isn't afraid to be straight up to the point. I love the way she writes and presents herself online.

8. The Page Flipper

Chelsea is another blogger who's opinion I trust. (In books, music, TV, and drink of choice *coffee buddies!*) When I first started looking at blogs, I stumbled upon The Page Flipper and immediately fell in love with the content.

9. The Compulsive Reader

Tirzah is well loved in the blogging community, and there's a reason why. She is so nice and so honest. I love reading her blog daily.

10. Book Chic

His posts are always interesting and fun to read or watch!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Got Questions?

I was thinking about starting a bi-weekly feature on the blog for questions. So if you have any questions about blogging, my review process, anything! Feel free to fill out the form below. If I get a lot of questions, then I know do have the feature again.

All You Get Is Me by Yvonne Prinz

A summer of love, loss, and justice.

Things were complicated enough for Roar, even before her father decided to yank her out of the city and go organic. Suddenly, she’s a farm girl, albeit a reluctant one, selling figs at the farmers’ market and developing her photographs in a ramshackle shed. Caught between a troublemaking sidekick named Storm, a brooding, easy-on-the-eyes L.A. boy, and a father on a human rights crusade that challenges the fabric of the farm community, Roar is going to have to tackle it all—even with dirt under her fingernails and her hair pulled back with a rubber band meant for asparagus.

I haven’t really explained how my review process works, but I have a list of all the books I’ve read that still need to be reviewed, and I slowly write the reviews. I rarely read books that I review immediately, but sometimes I read that one really good book that I need to tell the world about. Well, lovely blog readers- today I have read that book.
I read Yvonne’s other book The Vinyl Princess last year and I loved it a lot, so I’ve been anticipating the release of All You Get Is Me for awhile now. I got this book today (or yesterday because I’m writing this review at midnight) and dove into it as soon as I could, and I couldn’t stop reading. Yvonne Prinz writes everything so beautifully. I loved how All You Get Is Me was really serious, but still funny. There were a few cracks about Jewish people and Chinese food*. The characters were perfectly balanced between serious, funny, and playful. Their emotions were real and I wanted to dive in a start talking to them.
Both All You Get Is Me and The Vinyl Princess have really quirky main characters. Roar in All You Get Is Me loved photography and Allie from The Vinyl Princess loves music and records. I’ll let you all in on a little secret- I LOVE quirky artistic/creative characters. They are always so fun to read about!
The only complaint I have about this book is that I want it to be longer so I can spend more time with the characters, especially Forest (a lovely lovely boy). All You Get Is Me is gorgeously lyrical and a must read for Young Adult readers everywhere! Yvonne Prinz is an incredibly talented author and I can’t wait for her next book.

*A lot of people won’t find this funny, but I do since I’m from a Jewish family that likes Chinese food and I know that it’s a stereotype.

FTC- Publisher.

Last Day!

Tomorrow is the last day you can enter the two giveaways that are currently going on.

You can win a copy of Entice by Carrie Jones here.

You can win a copy of Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey here.

Top 6 Blog/Author Moments of 2010

In no particular order...

1. Meeting John Green and David Levithan

I know last year, meeting David Levithan was on my list. But this time, I met both of them at the same time. For some people, this wouldn't be a big deal. For me, it's a big deal because I had never met John Green before and John and David are my two top favorite authors of all time ever. So when I met them and we had a discussion about my favorite movie (10 Things I Hate About You), I basically turned into mush and was barely coherent. The thing I remember most about that night was feeling so happy I felt unstoppable. I was soaring all night, soaking up everything about it. The smell of coffee coming in from the store's built-in coffee shop, the room full of people (over half of which were standing), and how happy both authors looked to be there sharing their thoughts with people.

2. The Pre-Publication Dinner with Andrea Cremer

When I found out that I could go to the dinner, there was screaming. Lots and lots of screaming. I wrote a post about it (which you can find here). Besides feeling very very fancy, I also thought it was really cool to get to hang out and talk to a bunch of amazing booksellers from the area that I live in. It was also fun to actually get to talk to Andrea Cremer. I had talked to her on twitter (Soul Sistahs!), but when you go to normal author signings, you don't really get to spend time talking to an author about things other than how much you loved there book. At the dinner, we talked about movies, shows, books, Joss Whedon, and a bunch of other things.

3. Meeting Sarah and Suzanne Young

When I went up to Oregon over summer, I got a ride from my aunt and we drove 3 hours to Powells bookshop in Oregon where I got to meet one of my favorite authors and one of my best friends. Suzanne Young (who wrote The Naughty List series and the upcoming book A Need So Beautiful) is so incredibly nice, and I loved meeting her! You should really read her books.
Sarah and I go waaaay back (well, only like 2 and a half years). For those of you who don't know, I was her first blog follower and she was my first blog follower. Ever since, we've been buddies! Being in a huge bookstore with another blogger is one of the most awesome things in the universe. I was so overwhelmed with what to buy and for once I could finally turn to someone (whose opinion in books I trust) and ask them what I should get.

4. The Smart Chicks Tour Stop

So many amazing authors and bloggers gathered at this event. And bloggers got to sit up front (hello amazing treatment, I love you). There was 10 (or more) book bloggers in that once place, which was awesome! I didn't even know there was that many book bloggers in this area! All of the authors were so incredibly nice!

5. The SEA Launch Party

This is the first and only book launch party I've ever been to. The energy there was so happy and upbeat. Everyone there was really nice and it felt like everyone was a family of sorts.

6. Introducing Authors!

In February (I think it was February, I could be wrong) I got to introduce Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl at an event they had here. For those of you who don't know, I am a very shy person who isn't very good at public speaking. I stumbled over my words and was terrified while I introduced them, but it was so worth it!

I am most likely missing some of my best moments, but I forget things very easily. Forgive me!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson

Sixteen-year-old Sophie knows there is more to the story of her parents' death. And she's on a mission to find the truth. To aid her in solving the decades-old mystery, Sophie has enlisted her best friend, Mikael, whose friendship has turned into something more. It's soon clear that Sophie's future is very much wrapped up in the details of her family's past, and the key lies with information only one man can provide: her parents' former employer, the elusive billionaire Alfred Nobel.

As the threat of war looms in Europe, dangers to Sophie and her loved ones grow. While her determination to solve the mystery doesn't waver, forces beyond her control conspire to keep her from her purpose. Then, news of her great-aunt Tabitha's death sets off a chain of events that leaves Sophie questioning everything.

The more Sophie learns, the more she realizes that nothing—and no one—in her life is what it seems. And coming to terms with the dark secrets she uncovers means imagining a truth that she never dreamed possible. Full of gorgeous settings, thrilling adventure, and romance, invisible things is a novel that dares to ask, what if?

Invisible Things is the sequel to The Explosionist. I haven’t read The Explosionist so I don’t know how Invisible Things works as the sequel. When Invisible Things starts off, it’s a little confusing. However, after awhile it starts getting less confusing and develops into a really good read. I like to think that I’m good at understanding science so Sophie at the Theoretical Physics Institute interested me a lot. Jenny Davidson wrote a lovely historical book that will be loved by many people.
I wasn’t blown away with this book, my opinion about it is neutral. I liked it, which says something since I’m not a big historical fan. But it just felt like parts were missing.

FTC- Publisher.

Top 5 Must Read in 2011 Books

In no particular order-

1. Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

I am in love with this book. Love love love love love. Hannah Moskowitz is quickly rising farther and farther up on my favorite authors list. Invincible Summer was so thoughtful, sad, hopeful, and just plan amazing. No other author can write with such intensity and oomph as Hannah Moskowitz.

2. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

I can rarely find a paranormal book that interests me and keeps me hooked. I read A Touch Mortal every moment I could. I read it under desks, under the dinner table, everywhere! Leah Clifford has a gift for writing. This is a must read for 2011!

3. Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Yet another paranormal book. This is action-packed and I wouldn't want it any other way. Courtney Allison Moulton makes you dive into a world that you are bound to fall in love with.

4. Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Anybody who has read If I Stay knows why everybody should read Where She Went in 2011. It is the much awaited sequel of If I Stay and it doesn't disappoint!

5. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Maureen Johnson is an amazing author who's books always glisten. The Last Little Blue Envelope is the sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes. It encompasses Maureen's witty humor and ever expanding knowledge. I loved it!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Top 10 Books Read in 2010

In no particular order, here are my Top 10 books of 2010-

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Must I explain why? St. Clair, St. Clair, and a little bit of St. Clair. No, in all honesty I just love this book so so so much. Stephanie Perkins is a debut author that will likely become very well known because of her amazing writing abilities. Very few authors can pull off such an amazing romance story.

2. The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

I loved this book from the moment I read the first chapter. Whitney wrote a novel that I really hope will be a classic taught in schools because everybody should read it. She handles a very controversial topic with extraordinary grace while still being truthful to her readers.

3. Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Drama! Heartbreak! Traveling! Sea by Heidi R. Kling has everything you could want in a Young Adult book. Yet another great debut author.

4. Break by Hannah Moskowitz

I regret putting off reading this book. I love Break with every fiber of my being. Hannah Moskowitz tackles the boy perspective perfectly. I am in love with this book and I can't recommend it enough to people.

5. RAE by Chelsea Rae Swiggett

This is possibly the only memoir I've ever read and it has helped me a great deal. I won't go into details, but Chelsea's story gave me somebody I could relate to. I have re-read RAE man times over and I think I'll keep re-reading it in the years to come.

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

This book is just plain lovely. The dialogue, the descriptions, everything! It is not surprise that I am a complete David Levithan fangirl. Out of the three books that this duo have written, this is my favorite. It's so light and gets you into the Christmas mood. I also love Dash, he reads. I love characters that read.

7. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

This book is so real. Kody Keplinger writes a story that you can believe. Nearly everybody can relate to it in one way or another, which I loved. Kody has an original voice that teens everywhere will love. Yet another lovely lovely debut book.

8. Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

There is something to be said for a book that you read straight through in a tour hour car ride. Sarah Ockler is my hair twin and an amazing writer. Her books SHINE with amazing. They're all so lyrical and intense. LOVE.

9. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

I'm not a huge fan of fantasy but I will read anything Julie Kagawa writes. The Iron King is a fantastic series that I am completely in love with. Ash and Puck are both lovely boys *or... men* in these books that always spark a Team Ash or Team Puck discussion. The writing is amazing, as are the characters.

10. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

After much nagging to read Brightly Woven, I finally read it. My oh my, was it amazing! This is another fantasy book that broke my no-fantasy barrier. I couldn't stop reading this book. I love the adventures and the romance! It's priceless.

There are many other books I read in 2010 that I loved. I had to limit this list to only 10 of them, though.