Sunday, August 30, 2009

Author Interview: Gabrielle Zevin

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Gabrielle Zevin is the Author of the adult novel Margarettown and the two YA novels Elsewhere and Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac. She graciously obliged to do a short interview and answer a few questions for you readers!


Question #1
Your books Margarettown and Elsewhere incorporate fantasy with real life. Do you think it is important for people to see a little fantasy in their everyday lives?


A: I don’t know if it’s important, but I think we can use fantasy as a way to make sense of reality, if that isn’t too pretentious to say. At least, that’s what I use fantasy for in my writing – Elsewhere is a fantasy about the afterlife, but for me it was really a way to discuss the things that matter to me in this life.



PhotobucketQuestion #2
What helps you develop your female characters Naomi, Margaret and Liz? What about your male characters Owen, Ace, James and N.? Are they somewhat based off of real people you know?
A: The thing that’s helped me most in developing characters of either sex has been just living and having my eyes open to the world and the people around me. I think one of the most useful things in creating characters is to see yourself as clearly as possible. Until I was able to be honest with myself about myself, I wasn’t able to write anyone else particularly honestly either. But yes, I definitely base my characters on aspects of real people… But it’s always just parts – never the whole thing.





Memoir of a Teenage Amnesiac Pictures, Images and Photos
Question #3
In Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac you are constantly referring to different songs and bands. What is some music that really influenced your writing? Do you have any favorite bands?

A: The reason there’s so much music in MEMOIRS was because that book was really about the importance of ”reference” in relationships and what happens when a person no longer shares the same references with another person. I was very Emo in my listening tastes when I was writing that book. James was definitely, like, Bright Eyes for me. Especially “First Day of My Life.”
My favorite artists at the moment: I’m really liking Thao, Arcade Fire, The Mountain Goats, Neutral Milk Hotel, Griffin House, Stars, and Joshua Radin. I definitely enjoyed The Killers latest album. Although pop is not usually my sensibility, I think there’s something really touching about Beyonce’s song “If I Were a Boy.” And Pink’s “So What” is also pop, but it’s remarkably intimate and it’s almost like reading someone’s dairy. I love Thao’s “Bag of Hammers” and I adore Josh Ritter’s album “The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter.”



Question #4
Do you have a special ritual or place you like that enhances your writing? Do you have any advice for some aspiring authors out there?

A: My only advice to young writers is to avoid special rituals and places. Once you get in your head that writing is attached to a certain desk or sofa or a special pen, you start to mystify writing and I’ve found that’s usually creatively destructive. Writing should be able to happen anywhere on anything – in a hospital bed, on a cocktail napkin, on an airplane, in the back of a cab. Writing happens when you’re not really writing, too. It happens in your head – all the time.



Question #5
What are some of your favorite books and literary characters?

A: I love AN EQUAL MUSIC by Vikram Seth. It’s an amazing love story with an intricate classical music backdrop. I recently read a fantastic short story collection by Amanda Eyre Ward, called LOVE STORIES IN THIS TOWN – so good. In terms of literary characters… I’ll tell you some of the ones I still think about. I think about Holden Caulfield pretty often – and I think about his sister Phoebe, too. I feel an odd sympathy for the Dursleys in Harry Potter – my publisher told me I should keep this to myself. I always think about Lily Bart from THE HOUSE OF MIRTH. I think about Humbert Humbert in LOLITA now and again – and that scene at the end where he says he still loves her even though she’s pregnant and married. There are probably others, too, but those are a couple that come to mind.


elsewhere Pictures, Images and Photos
Question #6
In Elsewhere, Liz discovers how to enjoy life (ironically) while she's dead. What do you think are some of the real joys in life?

A: Love, dogs, books, music, winter coats, and dessert.



Question # 7
In Margarettown Margaret seems to be many women at once. Do you have any alter egos?If so, care to name a few?

A: In a way each of my books has been an alter ego. Now that I’m older, I guess I find less need to be different people. I’m mainly myself though there’s definitely a marked difference between Gabrielle with and without espresso.



Question #8
Are you working on any new material? If you are can you give us a little sneak peek?

A: I have another book for adults coming out in March. It’s called “THE HOLE WE’RE IN” and it’s completely different from anything that I’ve done. It’s about faith and politics and just about everything I think is important in the world.


Come back soon to check out another interview from Sephanie Kuenhert author of Ballads of Suburbia!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Playlist for Ballads of Suburbia!

Ballads of Suburbia
Listen To This!
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Wasted- The Runaways
I Wanna Be Sedated- The Ramones
Smells Like Teen Spirit- Nirvana
Don't Need You by Bikini Kill
The Drugs Don't Work by Verve
Jesus of Suburbia by Greenday

Ballads of Suburbia

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Ballads of Suburbia
by Stephanie Kuehnert
Rating: Incerdible
Difficulty: Normal
Pages: 398


Synopsis
Kara hasn't been back to Oak Park since the end of junior year, when a heroin overdose nearly killed her and sirens heralded her exit. Four years later, she returns to face the music. Her life changed forever back in high school: her family disintegrated, she ran around with a whole new crowd of friends, she partied a little too hard, and she fell in love with gorgeous bad-boy Adrian, who left her to die that day in Scoville Park....


Amid the music, the booze, the drugs, and the drama, her friends filled a notebook with heartbreakingly honest confessions of the moments that defined and shattered their young lives. Now, finally, Kara is ready to write her own.

Review

Through out reading this book three words kept ringing in my head- raw, acidic and real. Stephanie perfectly portrays a  generation lost amidst drugs, depression and family troubles. It was really a great read! The characters in this book strike me as shockingly familiar to ALL teens through out ALL generations though, fighting against the heartaches and addictions the world has to offer.

Kara- the main character and primary narrarator of the story first struggles with a painfull loneliness brought on by her best friends sudden departure- soon she befriend another young girl Maya who has troubles all her own and consequently leads Kara into a world of drugs and addiction.

First of all Kara was a great character, her eerie portrayal of her addiction to cutting really hits home for alot of kids. You feel her pain and see her scars, its all very real for you but its so heartbreaking that you just can't look away. Her punk rock style and her "willing to try anything once" attitude really gets me hooked to her exciting yet thoughtfull narrative.

The rest of the characters in the story seem to mash so well together i can almost see them as real people living in the twisted suburbs of Chicago. Adrian the bad boy, Christian the good guy with a dark side, Maya the outgoing but innerly depressed free-spirit and Cassie the girl trying to escape her past. They all combine to make a wonderfull, interesting plot that shocks and disarms the readers, grabbing their attention and holding on for dear life.

In My Mailbox (11)

This week i recieved my first review copies!!! I'm really excited to get the chance to review some of these books for the authors and i really can't wait to read all of them! Also, sorry for the books without pictures, it seems my computer is having technicall difficulties right now and im not able to put them on! :( But they are really great books so be sure to check them out!

Recieved:

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Ballads of Suburbia
by Stephanie Kuehnert

Plot
Kara hasn't been back to Oak Park since the end of junior year, when a heroin overdose nearly killed her and sirens heralded her exit. Four years later, she returns to face the music. Her life changed forever back in high school: her family disintegrated, she ran around with a whole new crowd of friends, she partied a little too hard, and she fell in love with gorgeous bad-boy Adrian, who left her to die that day in Scoville Park....


Amid the music, the booze, the drugs, and the drama, her friends filled a notebook with heartbreakingly honest confessions of the moments that defined and shattered their young lives. Now, finally, Kara is ready to write her own.



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Hush, Hush
by Becca Fitzpatrick

Plot
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.




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Heavenly
by Jennifer Laurens

Plot
I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister's guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoe's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he's legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can't last forever.







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Sleepless
by Thomas Fahy

Plot
SOMEONE ELSE WILL DIE SOON,

she tells herself.

SOMEONE ELSE WILL DIE, AND I'LL BE RESPONSIBLE.

A few days after the first time you

walk in your sleep, you kill someone.

That's how the end begins

Emma Montgomery has been having gruesome nightmares. Even worse, when she wakes up, she isn't where she was when she fell asleep. And she's not only the only one. One by one the students of Saint Opportuna High start having the nightmares, and sleepwalking. And the next morning one of their classmates turns up dead.


Something is making them kill in their sleep. Emma and her friends need to band together, to keep themselves awake until they can figure our what's behind the murders—before anyone else dies.


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How It Ends
by Laura Weiss

Plot
All Hanna's wanted since sophomore year is Seth. She's gone out with other guys, even gained a rep for being a flirt, all the while hoping cool, guitar-playing Seth will choose her. Then she gets him — but their relationship is hurtful, stormy and critical, not at all what Hanna thinks a perfect love should be. Bewildered by Seth's treatment of her and in need of understanding, Hanna decides to fulfill her school's community service requirement by spending time with Helen, her terminally ill neighbor, who she's turned to for comfort and wisdom throughout her life. But illness has changed Helen into someone Hanna hardly knows, and her home is not the refuge it once was. Feeling more alone than ever, Hanna gets drawn into an audiobook the older woman is listening to, a fierce, unsettling love story of passion, sacrifice, and devotion. Hanna's fascinated by the idea that such all-encompassing love can truly exist, and without her even realizing it, the story begins to change her.
Until the day when the story becomes all too real...and Hanna's world is spun off its axis by its shattering, irrevocable conclusion.

Want It Wednesday!

Adoration of Jenna Fox Pictures, Images and Photos

The Adoration of Jenna Fox
by Mary E. Pearson

Plot
Sometime in the near future, Jenna Fox, 17, awakens from an 18-month-long coma following a devastating accident, her memory nearly blank. She attempts reorientation by watching videos of her childhood, "recorded beyond reason" by worshipful parents, but mysteries proliferate. Jenna can recite passages from Thoreau yet can't remember having any friends. As memories return, however, Jenna starts picking at the explanation her parents have spun until it unravels.

Clues are supplied by the supporting cast: Jenna's father, who made his fortune in biotechnology; a classmate whose loss of limbs has turned her into a crusader for medical ethics; Jenna's Catholic grandmother, who is hostile to her. A few lapses in logic- if Jenna's father is world-famous and the family in hiding, why does she enroll in school under her real name?-can be forgiven in favor of expert plotting and the complex questions raised about ethics and the nature of the soul.



generation dead Pictures, Images and Photos

Generation Dead
by Dan Waters

Plot
Phoebe Kendall is just your typical Goth girl with a crush. He's strong and silent.and dead.


All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. But when they come back to life, they are no longer the same. Feared and misunderstood, they are doing their best to blend into a society that doesn't want them.

The administration at Oakvale High attempts to be more welcoming of the "differently biotic." But the students don't want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn't breathing. And there are no laws that exist to protect the "living impaired" from the people who want them to disappear-for good.


When Phoebe falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids, no one can believe it; not her best friend, Margi, and especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Adam has feelings for Phoebe that run much deeper than just friendship; he would do anything for her. But what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vote Now for YALSA's 2009 Teens' Top Ten YA Novels!

Voting for the 2009 Teens' Top Ten is currently open! At the link here you can pick up to three of your favorite titles from this year! Voting is open until September 18th so hurry up!

About the Teens' Top Ten:

Teens' Top Ten is a "teen choice" list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Support Teen Literature Day during National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Readers ages twelve to eighteen can vote right here, online, anytime between Aug. 24 and Sept. 18; the winners will be announced in a webcast featuring WWE Superstars and Divas during Teen Read Week.

Help choose this years top ten!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Playlist for Reincarnation!

Reincarnation
Listen To This!
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Up Against the Wall- Boys Like Girls
Empty Room- Majorie Affair
My Baby's Better Then Yours- Meg and Dia
Our Time is Running Out- Muse
Memory- Sugarcult

Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn


Reincarnation
by Suzanne Weyn
Rating: So So...
Difficulty: Normal
Pages: 304
Synopsis
From prehistory to the present, theirs was a love for the ages. It starts with a fight in a cave over an elusive green jewel . . . and then travels over time and lives to include Egyptian slaves, Greek temples, Massachusetts witch trials, Civil War battlefields, Paris on the eve of World War II, America in the 1960s . . . and a pair of modern-day teenagers. For readers who believe that love is stronger than time or death, this is an unforgettable novel from a wonderful storyteller.
Review
When i read the plot for Reincarnation, it sounded like a good story but when i began to read i was little dissapointed. I'm very interested in the thought of reincarnation and other then Dust of 100 Dogs and Elsewhere i hadn't really heard about alot of books like this.
Okay so lets talk about the less positive stuff about this book so you can see my side. Although it had a very good overall plot, the short stories were kind of empty in the way that they didn't vary much. After you read the first two stories you kind of knew what was coming in all the rest- it was just inevitable. It would just be the same situation in a different time period. Also, in the beginning which took place in pre-historic times the young man and woman really didn't like each other at all. They actually killed each other fighting over some green jewel. It was very frustrating after that knowing that no matter what they would always end up dying- it wa like there was just no hope! Another thing that down right sucked was there were some parts tossed in there that just didnt make any sense! I can think of at least three parts that i really did not know what was going on and i really felt like there was some large chunk missing from the book.
But don't think this book was all bad, because really it wasn't, there were alot of things that i really enjoyed about the book. Some of the parts, the ones i could actuall understand, were actually very interesting no matter what the ending was. I especially liked the chapters that took place in Greece and Egypt, those two stories were definitely rich culture and intruging too. Another thing i liked is the similarities between the people in different times. For example, in an early period the female character might've sprained her ankle and so then for now on through out the rest of the periods of time you could recognize her character because the reincarnation of the previous girl would have a bad ankle...see? So it was alot of fun to recognize all the little details that were popping up throughout the book that made you recognize previous characters. Another great thing about this book was the end, it was very settling and you didn't find yourself asking too many questions. It was just an end. The end also took place during todays time which, compared to the other stories in previous times, made it alot easier to uderstand.
I wouldn't normaly recommend this book but if your interested in the subject matter then it would definitely be something to consider!

In My Mailbox...a little early! (10)

Other then getting some pretty interesting books this week i also have some great news!!!! Hopefully tonight i will be welcoming a new baby sister into the world- Scarlett! I can't wait for her to get here already!!! Haha...But back to books, on Monday i went down to Goodwill (aka my favorite place to shop for used but incredible books for exactly 99 cents) and picked up these two books!



Dear John
by Nicholas Sparks

Plot
An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life—until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life.



If any of you have seen the movie Freedom Writers starring Hilary Swank, you know that the actual journals in the movie were turned into a book. I can't tell you how suprised i was to see that exact book sitting all alone on the shelf at Goodwill! I just had to get it!



The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them
by The Freedom Writers, Erin Gruwell (With), Zlata Filipovic

Plot
As an idealistic twenty-three-year-old English teacher at Wilson High School in Long beach, California, Erin Gruwell confronted a room of “unteachable, at-risk” students. One day she intercepted a note with an ugly racial caricature, and angrily declared that this was precisely the sort of thing that led to the Holocaust—only to be met by uncomprehending looks. So she and her students, using the treasured books Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo as their guides, undertook a life-changing, eye-opening, spirit-raising odyssey against intolerance and misunderstanding. They learned to see the parallels in these books to their own lives, recording their thoughts and feelings in diaries and dubbing themselves the “Freedom Writers” in homage to the civil rights activists “The Freedom Riders.”



With funds raised by a “Read-a-thon for Tolerance,” they arranged for Miep Gies, the courageous Dutch woman who sheltered the Frank family, to visit them in California, where she declared that Erin Gruwell’s students were “the real heroes.” Their efforts have paid off spectacularly, both in terms of recognition—appearances on “Prime Time Live” and “All Things Considered,” coverage in People magazine, a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley—and educationally. All 150 Freedom Writers have graduated from high school and are now attendingcollege.


With powerful entries from the students’ own diaries and a narrative text by Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers Diary is an uplifting, unforgettable example of how hard work, courage, and the spirit of determination changed the lives of a teacher and her students.

Another Book i picked up was before i left California, i've been wanting to see this movie so i decided long ago that i would try the book out to!
The Time Travelers Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
Plot
The Time Traveler's Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare's marriage and their passionate love for each other, as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals — steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Playlist for The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle!

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle
Listen To This!
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Help, Im Alive- Metric
Spellbound- Lacuna Coil
Kind of Girl- The Tinted Windows
Black Sand- Jenny Lewis
Bones- Little Big Town

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and the Struggle

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and the Struggle
by L.J. Smith
Rating: So so
Difficulty: Normal
Pages: 492

Synopsis
Elena: the golden girl, the leader, the one who can have any boy she wants.


Stefan: brooding and mysterious, he seems to be the only one who can resist Elena, even as he struggles to protect her from the horrors that haunt his past.

Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him. Determined to have Elena, he'd kill to possess her.

Review
I wanted to read this book because i knew that there would be a tv series based on it coming out soon. The tv pilot looked good so i decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, i was not impressed. This book is actually a combination of two books-The Awakening and The Struggle, the first in a series of vampire novels by author L.J. Smith. It is about a girl torn between two vampire brothers who are both fighting for her heart and her soul.

The object of these vampire brothers who's names are Stefan and Damon, is Elena a prissy and, in my opinion, cocky teen girl who thinks she can get whatever she wants including the newcomer Stefan. Luckily for him Stefan is not immediately drawn to Elena but rather stay away from her for the first half of the novel. I don't know if its just me but as i was reading this, i kind of got tired of Elena's stuck up attitude. She acted more like a middle school-er then a high school senior and it seemed weird that everyone around her was just listening to anything and everything she was saying. In the beginning of the book when it was just her point of view the book was quite boring and i felt as though she had no depth to her whatsoever. The only thing that she could come up with to excuse her actions was the fact that her parents had recently died tragically.

When Stefan entered the picture things became a little more mysterious and i found myself getting into the book a little more. HE was the one who added the right amount of depth and emotion to the novel and i really don't know how i would've lasted with out him. His stunning portrayal of his long lost love Catherine, who Elena apparently looks like, is very sad and you can't help but hate his brother Damon for tearing them apart.

Damon doesn't even come into the novel until the end of The Awakening so really, Elena wasn't really even "torn" until the ending of The Struggle. Actually she hated Damon's guts up until the confusing and shocking ending of The Struggle. Yes- it was shocking but it was more confusing then anything! The only reason i am continuing with this series is because of the ending and the fact that i can't just leave it like that.

Overall i won't recommend this book to just anyone, you have to trust your instincts when reading it and try to bare it until the end when it gets a little more interesting.

Want It Wednesday!

So im finally back from my month long vacation in California! I had a beyond great time there and i can't wait for my return! But as of now I need to bunker down and focus on school, volleyball and of course my blog! Here are some books that I can't wait to read!



Sleepless

by Cyn Balog

Plot
Eron DeMarchelle spent seventeen years on earth before his death in 1908. Now, he’s part of another world that invisibly coexists with earth. He is what humans call in their bedtime stories a “Sandman,” and his only purpose is to seduce them to sleep night after night. This dull, meaningless existence wears on him until he falls for the one girl he cannot seduce, a human named Julia. He conspires with his oldest friend, the princess Chimere, to find a way to be with the object of his affection forever. But even the most carefully made plans sometimes have unexpected consequences . . .






The Adoration of Jenna Fox
by Mary E. Pearson
Plot
Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?


When It Happens
by Susane Colasanti
Plot
Sara and Tobey couldn't be more different. She is focused on getting into her first-choice college; he wants to win Battle of the Bands. Sara's other goal is to find true love, so when Dave, a popular jock, asks her out, she's thrilled. But then there's Tobey. His amazing blue eyes and quirky wit always creep into her thoughts. It just so happens that one of Tobey's goals is also to make Sara fall in love with him. Told in alternating points of view, Sara and Tobey's real connection will have everyone rooting for them from the minute they meet!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

In My Mailbox (9)

In my mailbox...


Ooops! My mailbox is pretty much empty except for one book which i really look forward to reading!



Twenty Boy Summer
by Sarah Ockler

Plot
"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."



"Okay."


"Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?"


"Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"


According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Adventures in blogging world! (For a new blogger)

It's been barely three months since I've started my small, homely blog. Since I've started, I've had the pleasure of interacting with many readers, bloggers and reviewers like me but just like every good blogger I'm always searching for more information. The how's and who's and why's...

Like how do we get in touch with authors and publishers for ARC's? And who's the best person to turn to for advice on blogging? And why do some bloggers choose to be mean or overly critiscizing? There are so many questions out there that many of us are still trying to find out for ourselves and being a new blogger there seems to be alot more questions then answers. At this time...

If you're new to this world like me you might have some questions too. The first thing i asked myself when i started my blog is "How and the hell do i do this??" I found this article very helpful. When i first started my blog i felt like a naked camper thrown into the wilderness with no sense of direction or purpose-all i knew is i wanted to share with people my love for books. I started off with a few reviews and little sections about authors, then i joined in on some weekly memes and commented other blogs. Once i got a bit of content to my blogs name, i sent out mass emails to fellow book reviewers telling them about my blog and asking them to put me on their blog roll just to get my name out. It all proceeded very slowly from there, working hard to get alot of reviews on my blog and entering contest and reading more then I've ever read before! Starting a blog is no walk in the park people and most of us bloggers already know that!

Another question is "ARC etiquette?". Books are expensive and really, I'm just a teenager doing what i love which is reading, so how do i turn something i love into a blog without breaking my or my parent's bank? I am VERY shy and i hate asking for help. I also hate asking my parents for money for books (since i don't have a job because school is my number one right now) so i decided to get a library card (which was not as easy as it sounds due to city buses and old fees!) I had a steady flow of books coming in every week but then i read about ARC's and i thought "hey this is a good way to interact with authors and get my hands on some new books! I'm very new too this whole asking thing so i needed some help on what to do and not do. This post at Presenting Lenore helped me alot in that area. ***But let me tell you right now!*** Do not get into the blogging biz or ask authors for books with the wrong intentions because then you are just abusing your rights as a reader and blogger and taking advantage of authors and publishers- come on guys! Always be respectful of the person you are getting the book from and do not ask for a book that you have no intention of reviewing!

Which takes me to the last topic today-Manners. Why is it that this generation lacks so much in this area? We already get a bad enough rep for texting to much and foul languge... so why give them a chance to criticize us so harshly!? The Story Siren recently posted a great article about "The Dark Side of Blogging." I, personally have not had any nasty experiences with readers of my blogs of this calliber and for that im gratefull but as a fellow blogger i am deeply disturbed by the things that some one like her had to take. As i stated before blogging is not an easy job alot of us work really hard to have the little amount of success that we have. For some of us blogging is like our little babies and who on earth would pratically spit on someone else's baby just because they're maybe jealous or plain ol' mean hearted? So i ask all bloggers out there- please have consideration for others' feelings and do not spit on our babies!

Well taking all of that and summarzing it into a little paragraph- blogging is hard and there are plenty of places where you can get help, ARC's are not "free books" but publicity for authors and your chance to give your honest and sincere opinion and mean bloggers are not good bloggers!

For now im OUT!

Love,
Christina

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Want It Wednesday!

Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak Series #1), Vol. 1
by Darren Shan
(Again i heard about this book from The Green Bean Teen Queen and i just have to get it now and i also cant wait for the movie!)
Plot
Two boys who are best friends visit an illegal freak show, where an encounter with a vampire and a deadly spider forces them to make life-changing choices.





The Last Thing I Remember
by Andrew Klavan
(My cousin spotted this book at a christian bookstore in Los Angeles and told me all about it. Now i can wait to buy it!)
Plot
Charlie West just woke up in someone else's nightmare.



He's strapped to a chair. He's covered in blood and bruises. He hurts all over. And a strange voice outside the door just ordered his death.

The last thing he can remember, he was a normal high-school kid doing normal things--working on his homework, practicing karate, daydreaming of becoming an air force pilot, writing a pretty girl's number on his hand. How long ago was that? Where is he now? Who is he really?


And more to the point . . . how is he going to get out of this room alive?
North of Beautiful
by Justina Chen Headley
(Does anyone else think this looks kind of like the cover of Evermore, except with out the red tulips? I dont know, but i love this plot and i cant wait to read it!)

Plot
"As he continued to stare, I wanted to point to my cheek and remind him, But you were the one who wanted this, remember? You're the one who asked-and I repeat-Why not fix your face?"



It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.


She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?







Coming Soon...

Cirque du Freak The Vampire's Assistant
Directed by Paul Weitz
Starring John C. Reilly, Josh Hutcherson, Chris Massoglia

I heard about this from Green Bean Teen Queen and i never even heard about this book until i actually looked it up. This book is now on my wishlist and I am eagerly waiting to read the series!




The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasses
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Starring Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp and Jude Law

This wasn't originally a book but I am dying to see it and i thought it'd be interesting to put on my blog since it is Heath Ledger's last movie! Also Johnny Depp will be in it and he's uber hot :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

So Memorable...

The Bell Jar
by Sylvia Plath
Character: Esther Greenwood
Quote: "How did I know that someday - at college, in Europe, somewhere, anywhere - the bell jar, with its stifling distortions, wouldn't descend again?"

Song Cry: Lithium by Evanescence

In My Mailbox... (8)

Shiver
by Maggie Stiefvater
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.


Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.



 
 
 
 
 
 
Gone
by Michael Grant
 
In the blink of an eye.


Everyone disappears.

Gone.

Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent.

The first in a breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves, gone is a page-turning thriller that will make you look at the world in a whole new way.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Another BBAW post!

I've only been blogging for a couple of months, so i didn't get to participate in last years BBAW, so im really excited that i got the chance to enter this year! I love blogging and i love reading so it couldn't make me more happy to lend my services to you...

Here are some questions BBAW gave out to new applicants!

1) What has been one of the highlights of blogging for you?
Everything. I love reading and i love writing and i love interacting with different people. My blog is basically an extension of regular conversations with my close friends about the books we love.


2) What blogger has helped you out with your blog by answering questions, linking to you, or inspiring you?
All of them. Haha just kidding! Well, blogs like The Story Siren, B.A.M. Book Reviews and Another Page Is Used are very inspiring and enlightning. They're all so humble and very informative, plus they give great reviews and loads of interesting content.

3) What one question do you have about BBAW that someone who participated last year could answer?
I'm just anticipating the great blogs, i'll be intoduced to and the cool guest posts, themes and giveaways! I'd really like to know about those things!

Coming Soon! (Two Movies I Am Dying To See)

The Lovely Bones
Book by Alice Sebold
Directed by Peter Jackson
Alice In Wonderland
Book by Lewis Carroll
Directed by Tim Burton




Both Peter Jackson and Tim Burton are amazing directors, they know just how to take an idea and make it a magical journey through any time or place! Other then New Moon, these are my two most anticipated movies of this year!

Want It Wednesday!!

Here are some books that I would love to have!

Gone
by Michael Grant
Plot
In the blink of an eye.

Everyone disappears.
Gone.

Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.

It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent.

The first in a breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves, gone is a page-turning thriller that will make you look at the world in a whole new way.
 
 
I Heart You, You Haunt Me.
Lisa Schroeder
 
Plot
Girl meets boy.



Girl loses boy.


Girl gets boy back...


...sort of.


Ava can't see him or touch him, unless she's dreaming. She can't hear hisvoice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she'scrazy, but she knows he's here.


Jackson. The boy Ava thought she'd spend the rest of her life with. He's back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds.

Chasing Brooklyn
by Lisa Schroeder
Plot
Restless souls and empty hearts.
Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.
Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.
As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Yay! An Award:)

 Briana over at B.A.M. Book Reviews honored me with this here award!
This award is to honor certain bloggers that are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn't for them, my site would just be an ordinary book review blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendship trhough the blog world.
Thanks so much!!!
Christina <3

Monday, August 3, 2009

So Memorable...


This Lullaby
by Sarah Dessen

Character: Remy

Quote: "There was only so much space between us, not even a real distance if measured in miles or feet or even inches, all the things that told you how far you’d come or had left to go. But this was a big space, if only for me. And as I moved forward to him covering it, he waited there on the other side. It was only the last little bit I had to go, but in the end, I knew it would be all I would truly remember. So as I kissed him, bringing this summer and everything else full circle, I let myself fall, and was not scared of the ground I knew would rise up to meet me."

Song Cry: Chemicals React by Aly and AJ

In My Mailbox! (7)

Yay! Another In My Mailbox! Lately i've been able to purchase a ton of books here in Los Angeles, so of course I would take full advantage of my book buying abilities! I bought these two books at Costco, (haha) which I find pretty comical for some reason! I got Marked due to Brianna at B.A.M. Book Reviews' recommendation and I got City of Bones because of it's large scale success and other great reviews! I can't wait to read them and I can't wait to review them for you!




City of Bones
by Cassandra Clare


Plot
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?


This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . .




Marked
by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Plot
In this first book of a new series, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night, a school where she will train to become an adult vampyre. Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been marked by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling with special powers.
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