Monday, January 31, 2011

February Reading List

So here is my schedule of what I plan to read this month. Feel free to join me and then we can discuss. Also I am always up for taking recommendations. If you check my blog often you will find I add and remove books just depending on my moods. Happy reading!

Currently Reading:



To Read:



Finished Reading:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Vesper Winner




The winner of Vesper is Jennelle from Reading is Dreamy who has been contacted via email and has 48 hours to reply or I will pick a new winner.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and check the giveaway tab for more chances to win!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Courtney Allison Moulton will soon release her debut novel Angelfire which looks amazing. What do you think? Is this going to be on your to read list? Courtney is currently touring with Ellen Schreiber, Cynthia Hand, Claudia Gray, and Kimberly Derting on the Dark Days of Summer Tour.

Courtney sent over a few signed bookmarks so if you comment below with your name, email, and "I want a signed bookmark" I will draw 3 winners Feb 4th!

Release Date 2/15/11


This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.

Source: Goodreads

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ganzfield Series Giveaway

Hello All,

Legacy the third book in the Ganzfield Series is released today! So I'm giving you a chance to win one of the three books. This way if you can pick the book based on where in the series you are. All you have to do is sign up using the google form.








Rules:
  • US and Canada only
  • One entry per person
  • Direct links are required for extra entry
  • Winner will be picked with Random.org
  • Winner will be chosen February 5th.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lauren Oliver on Delirium

Author Lauren Oliver discusses how she came up with the idea for Delirium and what she would do in the same situation. Check out this video and look for my review on 2/1.  I will also be talking about Lauren Oliver's event in Houston on 2/3. Have you started Delirium? Are you excited for the release? So far I can tell you I have not heard one bad review of this book.




Sneak Peek inside the book


You can find Delirium in stores 2/1/11 or you can pre-order a signed copy from Blue Willow Bookstore in Houston.  Also my friend Ginger at  GReads! is hosting a giveaway for a signed copy!

Winner of Signed Luxe


*Throws Confetti*

The winner is: Jessy who has been emailed.


Winner was picked using Random.org and has 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be picked. Thanks so much for entering and check back Saturday for a new giveaway!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Crafting with Kojodesigns

Today I have a special treat for book lovers who also love to craft. I spend hours on Crafty blogs and one that really stood out is Kojodesigns. They combined my love of books, crafts, and blogging! I'm not great at crafting so I love when I find really great easy projects. So I reached out to Kojodesigns and asked if they would like to be featured on my blog. Please welcome them and make sure to visit their blog.




Hello there! I am Kirstin (I blog over at kojodesigns about everything from sewing to DIY home decor to throwing awesome parties with a heavy dose of upcycled projects thrown in for kicks). I was so excited when Cari asked if I would put together a round up of Projects Using Books for y'all.

You see, I love everything about books- reading them (though, my current reading material is heavy on the Eric Carle and light on the Jane Austen), collecting them, using them in my decor/projects. I even love the smell of them (I know, it's weird). In fact, my two and half year old son calls Goodwill, "The Book Store." Haha!

And if you're here, I bet you love books, too! Onto some Project Using Books:
Piper Jane's name sign using vintage Reader's Digest condensed books

Burke's "book shelves" using old text books

Cat in the Hat bunting

PhD party decor (almost all of the decor was made using pages from the text books from Burke's book shelves... the how to's are here)

Padded upcycled mailers

Favorite book Christmas ornaments

Thanks again for having us Cari! Happy reading, y'all!

***I probably don't need to say this, but I will anyway. For these projects, I used books that were either A-Destroyed by my children or my students (I used to be a 2nd grade teacher), B- No longer relevant (like the old text books), or C- Found at Goodwill and already falling apart. If it'd hurt you to tear apart a perfectly good book, I am with you! :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Vesper


Vesper by Jeff Sampson

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Vesper is a complicated puzzle of a story. The story is told from Emily Webb’s point of view but also a main character is Emily Cook who is often referred to as the other Emily. Confused? Well right off the bat super popular girl Emily Cook is murdered in a small town in Washington. Emily Webb is a film geek who simply wants to get through high school without being noticed. The problem is since the night Emily C is murdered Emily Webb begins to act erratic. She can break herself into two personalities. Day time Emily is awkward and shy while night time Emily is strong, confident, and wild.

Daytime Emily reaches out to her friend Megan for help. She is scared that maybe she is possessed by the other Emily or that she has suddenly become sick. Emily feels as if she is a quiet observer in her own body while her nighttime self acts out. Are you confused, intrigued, and hooked? Yeah that’s how I felt.

Her best friend Megan is a real pain. She tried being popular but when that failed she decided to go the angry misunderstood kid. She isn’t always the best of friends either. Megan freaks when she thinks that nighttime Emily wants to be part of the popular kids and she will be left behind.

Night time Emily is all about the fun. She dresses in slutty club clothes and is on the search for her mate. She loves that she can make guys lust for her but they are just a distraction until she finds the one. As daytime Emily she knows that she needs to find the killer and seek out others like her.

It isn’t until about 2/3 of the way into the story that you find out what causes Emily’s strange behavior and that the person who Killed Emily Cooke is out to kill others. If you like suspense and mystery than this book is for you. While there is some drinking, underage clubbing, there isn’t any inappropriate sexual content. If anything I wish the romance had taken more center stage. I wasn't completely hooked, but I will give the second book a chance.

For a chance to win a copy of Vesper fill out the form below.  Winner will be announced 1/30/11

Rules:
  • US and Canada Only
  • One entry per person
  • Must reply within 48 hours
  • Direct link must be provided for extra entry
  • Following not required but appreciated

Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: The Iron Queen

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars


The intensity of this book was at an all time high. Your heart has to be made of iron to not fall in love with this series. In The Iron Daughter, Meghan, Ash, and Puck saved the specter but lost a friend to battle. When they returned to Faery both Winter and Summer made them choose to return to their court or be exiled if they chose to be together. When we begin The Iron Queen Ash and Meghan both chose exile than to be apart. [Ash I love you!] Meghan also discovers that the memory she traded in The Iron King was important and her first mission is to get it back. Ash is willing to do anything to make Meghan happy that he even talks about marrying her someday, if that’s what she wishes. [Ash I love you so much!] Seriously these outbursts are what happened as I was reading The Iron Queen.

With each minute that passes Faery is dying and the false Iron King is hunting Meghan in the human world. Trust me when I say there is never a dull moment. In the back of Meghan’s mind she knows that one day she will have to kill the False King, but to be successful she might have to sacrifice it all. Once Meghan realizes what she lost in her memory she seeks refuge with Leanansidhe, Queen of the Exile. While there she finds out that Puck disobeyed Oberon and went after Meghan so the team is back together. Meghan spends her time getting to know someone from her past and training with Ash for the day she will face the False King. If I was Meghan I would have wanted to live in this part of the story forever.

Winter and Summer come to realize that Meghan is their only hope to save Faery and send for her to help save what is left of Faery. As before Ash and Puck will not let her go alone and know that spending time in the Iron Relm will kill them. There are intense battles, sacrifices, broken hearts, and an ending I would never have guessed. I was crying for hours after I finished this book. Trust me when I say this book lives up to the hype. If you loved City of Glass, Mockingjay, Ink Exchange, the battles in Lord of the Rings than this book is for you. Just fair warning there will be intense sadness. Julie joins my top fey authors along Maggie Stiefvater, Melissa Marr, and Holly Black. The only reason this book did not get a 5 star is because I was so heart broken by the ending.

The Iron Fey series in order:
The Iron King
Winter's Passage (mini online novella)
The Iron Daughter
The Iron Queen
The Iron Knight (coming soon)

Thank you to NetGalley & HarlequinTeen for the review copy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weather Warden Series

Texas author Rachel Caine not only writes the very popular YA series Morganville but started with The Weather Warden Series for adults. I love Morganville and Rachel Caine is hands down one of my favorite authors so at the last signing I picked up the first few seven books in the Weather Warden Series which I plan to start reading soon. What are your thoughts on this series? Are you a Rachel Caine or Morganville fan?

For more details visit: http://www.rachelcaine.com



Ill Wind
Heat Stroke
Chill Factor
Windfall
Firestorm
Thin Air
Gale Force
Cape Storm
Total Eclipse

Friday, January 21, 2011

Swag Giveaway Winner


The winners of the swag giveaway are:
  1. Genna Sarnak
  2. shala_darkstone
  3. Jasmine (The Reading Housewives)
  4. Shadow Girl
I printed the comments assigned numbers and numbers were drawn from Random.org  Winners have been notified via email and have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be picked.  Thanks so much for entering and remember to enter the signed Luxe giveaway.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Luxe by Anna Godbersen signed giveaway

Saturday I will be attending the Montgomery Teen Festival where Anna Godbersen will be signing.  I happen to have an extra copy of Luxe and will take it to get signed and give it away to you!

*Throws Confetti*


Description:

In the self-contained world of young Gilded Age Manhattan socialites, Elizabeth and Diana Holland reign supreme. Or so it seems. Scratch the surface, though, and you can detect festering jealousies that threaten to topple them. Elizabeth suffers a more literal fall when her carriage overturns and she is carried away by the swift East River current. That's only the beginning of the action and suspense in The Luxe, the launch volume in a teen series by Anne Godbersen's

Source: Goodreads

Rules:
  • One entry per person
  • US and Canada only
  • One entry per person
  • Winner will be picked 01/27/11
  • Winner will be notified by email and must respond with in 48 hours.
  • Following is not required but appreciated.
  • Entries will only be accepted via google document
  • For extra entry you must include the direct link to the tweet. Mean if I click on the link I go directly to that tweet. Example: http://twitter.com/cariblogs/status/26098458725191680

Good Luck!


If author cancels or book cannot be signed a new prize will be announced.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ellen Schrieber comes to Houston



Last night Ellen Schreiber did a signing, Q&A, and reading at Brazos Bookstore in Houston. This was not the first signing I attended for Ellen, but it was my first book signing at Brazos Bookstore. Even though Brazos is about 10 minutes from my job I managed to get lost.  I know don't ask. LOL When I got there I tried to quietly sit and not disturb anyone because Ellen was already speaking. Ellen talked about how Celeste, the main character in Once in a Full Moon, is very different from Raven in Vampire Kisses. Celeste is popular unlike Raven who is goth. She does talk about how Celeste is dating but isn't with "the one" until she meets Brandon the new guy in town. Brandon and Celeste are on a collision course and change each others lives. The cover for Once in a Full Moon looks beautiful online, but it doesn't compare to seeing it in person.  Simply stunning!



What we learned during Q&A:
* Ellen's first published book is titled Johnny Lightning and it was released in Belgium but has never been released in the U.S.

* Cryptic Cravings (Vampire Kisses 8) is scheduled for release in May

* There are two more Vampire Kisses books in the works but Ellen thinks there is a potential for an 11th book.

* Vampire Kisses was originally a stand alone book.

* Once in a Full Moon is set as a trilogy so two more books are planned.


I got to ask about her fans.  The last time I saw Ellen at the HarperTeen Supernatural Summer Tour her fans were so excited to see her.  I would say they're devotion is up there with Twilight and Harry Potter only a little more goth.  I wanted to know if any fan encounter stood out.





Ellen mentioned that at one event she met a fan who came dressed in a purple corset dress with fangs.  The dress was very elaborate and the outfit was very well put together. This actually stayed with Ellen and it gave her the inspiration and helped her decide that Raven would wear the dress.  So in Dance with a Vampire, Vampire Kisses Four, the dress is mentioned and on the cover except the cover is red.

I got to spend some time chatting with Ellen after the event and she was really sweet to sign bookmarks and I made 5x7 photos for her to sign.  Thank you so much Ellen!  I'm trying to think of the perfect giveaway for those so you will have to check back. 

Me with Ellen
From today's comments I will draw one comment and they will win a signed bookmark.  Simply say "I want a Once in a Full Moon signed bookmark!"  Also if Ellen isn't stopping by your city but you want a signed copy of her book contact Brazos Bookstore because they have signed copies in stock and will ship!


For more on Ellen visit: www.ellenschreiber.com

Brazos Book Store:
2421 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 523-0701
Open Mon-Thu 10am-7pm; Fri-Sun 10am-6pm
www.brazosbookstore.com

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review: Bloody Valentine

Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars


Warning if you haven't read the Blue Blood series you might feel lost because so much has happened in the previous books, but trust me this is an amazing series.

No one can tell a short story like Melisa de la Cruz. For five books in the Blue Blood Series we have known practically nothing about Schuyler’s dad. We know that he’s not in her life and that Allegra broke the rules by falling in love and marrying her human familiar. She also did the unthinkable and had a child by him which had never been possible before by any blue blood. Well we finally find out how they met! We also get to see the story from Allegra’s point of view which is really interesting because in the current books she is either in a coma or gone. Allegra knew she was destined to be with Charles but she wasn’t happy about it as the the cycles went on. She wanted to be carefree not Gabrielle Queen of all the Blue Bloods. In the current books Charles Force is dignified and handsome but when he was a teen he was geeky and uptight.

In Oliver’s story we follow him after Misguided Angel and he has discovered the blood houses. He’s so heartbroken by loosing Schuyler. In his story he has to hit rock bottom before he can come back to life as he knew it. Also it’s very cool that Oliver gets help from one of the witches from Witches of East End which is a new adult series Melissa is writing that will be released this summer.

Jack and Schyler’s bonding is by far my favorite story. They have been through hell so they deserved to finally be bonded which is sort of like a wedding, but only for vampires. Of course nothing comes easy for them so before doing so they had to fight Venators (police), save their friends from danger, deal with the hectic nature of finding a dress, oh and yes possibly betray each other. There are also illustrations in Jack and Schyler’s story which make me wonder if they will tie into the graphic novel which is coming out later this year.

The cover is stunning and the stories are ones that no Blue Blood fan should miss! I hope Melissa continues to write short stories! I loved it!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Swag Giveaway

I love swag! You love swag! We all love swag!  I mean seriously when aren't you looking for a bookmark?  I always end up with a receipt, ipod, or chopstick in the middle of my book.  No that isn't weird I simply take the unused chopstick and put it in the page.  Ok maybe a little weird but you won't have that problem because I'm giving away three FOUR prizes and each has a post card, two bookmarks, and a sticker.  Oh and some of the swag is signed!



*Throws Confetti*

Rules: 
Comment below with your email and "I want swag" if you throw confetti I will smile.  

Open international.

Winners will be chosen on 01/21/11 by email and have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be picked.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vesper by Jeff Sampson

I just finished Vesper by Jeff Sampson which is described as a supernatural thriller and it's interesting.   Vesper is also quoted as "The best kind of page-turner" by Michael Grant, author of the Gone Series. I wanted to share the book trailer with you and look for my review closer to the release date but what do you think? Is Vesper on your to read list?



Vesper by Jeff Sampson

Release Date: 1/25/11

Description:

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?

Source: Goodreads

Entangled by Cat Clarke

Can I tell you how much I love this cover! Currently Entangled is not for sale in the US but you can get around that by buying it at Book Depository. UK readers have you picked this book up? I'm sure I'll be adding this to my book collection! What about you?



Description:

The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?
AM I GOING TO DIE?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?

A story of dark secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction.

Source: Goodreads

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Talking Last Sacrifice

I never did a full review of Last Sacrifice so here is a condensed version of what I thought.  If you haven't finished this book you might want to skip this.


4 of 5 Stars

I thought Last Sacrifice was long and it could have even been split into two books.  Richelle gives us so much detail about everyday from both Lissa and Rose's point of view that some points just drag.  Also Last Sacrifice was close to 600 pages so you would expect everything to be wrapped up in a nice little package.  Well that wasn't the case in fact Richelle only wrapped up Rose's story and left a lot undone for her spin off series.  While I understand that Sidney, Jill, and Rose's ex will move on so much wasn't finished.

Towards the end of Last Sacrifice Lissa is put in danger and Rose takes a bullet for her which is so like Rose but Lissa is rushed away to safety and doesn't see her for days.  Knowing that Lissa can heal her I would think she would have fought harder to save Rose but that doesn't happen.  I was also hoping that somewhere along the way Dimitri would get to visit his family because they think he is dead, but that didn't happen.

In the end I didn't like Lissa any better.  Dimitri still holds my heart and Rose will always be one of my favorite characters.  I didn't feel this book did the series justice but I guess we will see where the spin off takes us.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Talking Spirit Bound

As may of you might have noticed I never reviewed Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead so I thought I would give you my thoughts on Spirit Bound today and Last Sacrifice tomorrow.   Note if you haven't finished the series you might want to skip this review.


4 of 5 Stars

Rose is trying to graduate while Dimitri is still a deadly strigoi.  Rose returns to St Vladimir defeated after trying to save Dimitri and he torments her with love notes about how he plans to kill her.  Oh Dimitri if I didn't love you so much I would hate you!  Rose and Lissa use their enemy to find out the secret to saving Dimitri, but have to break all kinds of rules to do it.  Lissa goes along with the plan since she had made a promise to Rose that she would help her try and save Dimitri and in the end she does manage to save Dimitri and he is grateful to Lissa but what I wasn't expecting is his reaction towards Rose.  Hello Rose gave up everything to save you and you just don't want to see her?  All the gratitude is for Lissa?!?  I have never been a fan of Lissa so this just reminded me why I disliked her.  What made matters worse is she gets all protective over Dimitri.  How could Dimitri forgot that Rose went through hell to honor him and everything he did to her in Blood Promise.  I wasn't happy with the book but I still loved the series.  Check back tomorrow for my thoughts on Last Sacrifice.

For Buffy Fans: This is like when Willow brings Angel soul back and instead of being grateful to Buffy he is all at Willows feet.  No!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Help Texas Book Bloggers Give Back



My Austin book blogger pals Stephanie and Jen from I Read Banned Books are helping out the Austin Children's Shelter. They are asking for donations of YA books the Austin Children's Shelter needs.  I have promised them 25 YA books off my shelf and I'm asking you to make a donation as well.  For more details visit Steph or Jen's blog.  Remember media mail is really cheap where you can ship 5 books for about 5 dollars.  Also if you give some of your books away you clean off space for more books!  Even if you pull one book every little bit helps!  For more details visit Stephanie or Jen's blog.

Jen: http://jenbigheart.blogspot.com/2011/01/texas-book-bloggers-give-back.html
Stephanie: http://www.stephaniepellegrin.com/2011/01/donating-to-austin-childrens-shelter.html

Cari

Texas Needs the Dark Days of Supernatural Tour!

Book Bloggers are pleading HarperTeen to bring Ellen Schreiber, Cynthia Hand, Claudia Gray, Courtney Allison Moulton, and Kimberly Derting to Texas! Yes we know that we shouldn't beg but for great authors we will make an exception! Texas is a huge state and we love our YA book events. I have even heard that the lovely ladies of Blue Willow Book Shop are willing to host the event. Also if Dark Days of Supernatural comes to Texas I would buy books for me and books to give away! Texas are you with us? Now let's get The Dark Days of Supernatural here!



Are you a blogger and want to create your own post link up here:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review: XVI


XVI by Julia Karr

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars


XVI is set in 2150 where life is different and a lot more dangerous for young girls. At sixteen girls are considered adults and the government and media encourages them to become ready for sex at sixteen often called sex-teen. Nina is raised by Ginnie, a single mother who instills in her never to become one of those girls and Nina listens. Sandy, Nina’s best friend buys the hype and believes that the only way out of the lower tiers of society is to become a sex-teen. Sandy dresses the part and watches the government videos about how to better attract a man and is over the top. Nina would prefer not to turn sixteen and fears the idea of what will happen when faced with being eligible.

Life takes an even more complicated turn when Ginnie is killed and on her deathbed revealed that Nina’s father isn’t dead and she has to deliver a secret book to him. Ginnie also pleads with Nina to keep Dee, her younger half-sister away, from Dee's abusive father Ed. Nina’s world spins out of control with the news of her father and the responsibility to keep her younger sister safe. Ed knew that Ginnie had secrets and will stop at nothing to get them from Nina.

Nina has a great circle of friends who help keep her sane and Dee safe. She even finds love when she stumbles on a group of guys beating up a homeless teen. Only Sal isn't homeless. He is rebellious, hard to read, and protective of Nina. Sal is so wonderful and nothing like the guys who want over sexed teen girls. So very dreamy!

Unfortunately Ed has no problem killing to get to Nina and will stop at nothing to get to her. The suspense and mystery will keep you hooked until the last page. This book is great for teens to read because while this book is fiction it’s not far off from teens growing up to fast and influenced by media. I think the story could have done without some of the futuristic slang that seemed to get in the way of the story but I also get that’s dystopia. I found this to be a great debut book and look forward to more books from Julia Karr.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Author Beth Revis on Across the Universe



Across the Universe: Facebook - Website

Beth Revis online: Website - Blog - Twitter


Visit: http://www.io9.com they will be posting a 111 pg excerpt from 11:11 AM Eastern to 11:11 PM Eastern on 01.11.11. This is an io9 EXCLUSIVE!

Visit the following to pick up your copy today:
Amazon - Book Depository - Blue Willow Bookshop

Check back soon for my review of Across the Universe

Across the Universe Book Trailer

Today is the release date of the highly anticipated book Across the Universe. Have you heard the buzz? I will be reading this soon but in the mean time I wanted to share the trailer and book description. What are your thoughts?



Description:

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.

Source: Goodreads

For more information visit: www.acrosstheuniverse.com

Monday, January 10, 2011

Review: Prom and Prejudice


Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars


Prom and Prejudice is Elizabeth Eulberg’s second novel and her way of paying homage to Jane Austen’s famous novel Pride and Prejudice. I loved her first book The Lonely Heart’s Club but I didn’t have that connection with this book. I have never read Pride and Prejudice but have seen the movies so I’m somewhat familiar with who the characters are and what happens. I think it somewhat helped me granted not as much as if I had read the book.

Prom and Prejudice is set in modern day and Lizzy is studying at a boarding school as a scholarship student. All the trust fund kids treat her horrible except Jane, her room mate and best friend. I felt that description of the characters was lacking and it made it hard for me to visualize who everyone was, but maybe this was lacking because Pride and Prejudice is so famous. Another thing was that every now and then they would speak as if in Victorian times and it threw me off. I know it’s been a while since I have been a teen but guys don’t call each other gentlemen. Lizzy meets Will Darcy at a party and dismisses her for being a scholarship student. Only as the story goes on Darcy tries to get to know Lizzy but she can’t see past the fact he is one of the rich kids. Darcy and Lizzy are thrown together a lot since Jane is dating Charles who is best friends with Darcy. There are plenty of fun and quirky misunderstandings and Lizzy always finds her pride holding her back from truly telling Darcy how she feels.

I was really looking forward to this book and while it was cute I felt it fell short. The cover of the book is gorgeous and one of my favorite covers but the story wasn’t for me. I do look forward to giving Elizabeth Eulberg another chance in the future.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The 2011 YA Contemporary Challenge

Reggie at The Undercover Book Lover is hosting a YA Contemporary challenge for 2011!  While it was vampires who drew me to YA sometimes a girl needs real life.  I also find contemporary to be a great pick me up after dystopia so this challenge is actually perfect.

What is contemporary? It's the genre wherein the events can happen in real life at the present time. The characters in the novel can be present in real life.

Goal: To read a minimum of thirteen young adult contemporary novels published in 2011.

Rules:
- All contemporary books must be in the Young Adult genre
- Books have to be published in 2011
- Open to everybody.
- You can join whenever you want

So are you ready to sign up?  Hurry over to Undercover Book Lover for more details!

My List:
01) Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
02) The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
03) OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy
04) Illegal by Bettina Restrepo
05) My Not-So-Still Life by Liz Gallagher
06) Popular by Alissa Grosso 
07) Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
08) Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
09) Lola and the Boy Next Door
10) The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner
11) Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
12)  Past Perfect by Leila Sales
13) The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

Before I got into YA I would read general fiction if that's the correct term and one of the books I loved was The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. I was surprised when browsing my audible email and saw that Kim wrote a new book. The summery sounds good so I might have to pick it up. What are your thoughts?



With revelations that prove as captivating as the deceptions at the heart of her bestselling phenomenon The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards now gives us the story of a woman's homecoming, a family secret, and the old house that holds the key to the true legacy of a family.

At a crossroads in her life, Lucy Jarrett returns home from Japan, only to find herself haunted by her father's unresolved death a decade ago. Old longings stirred up by Keegan Fall, a local glass artist who was once her passionate first love, lead her into the unexpected. Late one night, as she paces the hallways of her family's rambling lakeside house, she discovers, locked in a window seat, a collection of objects that first appear to be useless curiosities, but soon reveal a deeper and more complex family past. As Lucy discovers and explores the traces of her lineage from an heirloom tapestry and dusty political tracts to a web of allusions depicted in stained-glass windows throughout upstate New York-the family story she has always known is shattered, Lucy's quest for the truth reconfigures her family's history, links her to a unique slice of the suffragette movement, and yields dramatic insights that embolden her to live freely.

With surprises at every turn, brimming with vibrant detail, The Lake of Dreams is an arresting saga in which every element emerges as a carefully place piece of the puzzle that's sure to enthrall the millions of readers who loved The Memory Keeper's Daughter.

Source: Goodreads

Friday, January 7, 2011

Review: Kiss of Death


Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars


First I want to point out that Morganville is one of my favorite series. I love Claire, Shane, Michael, Eve and even the crazy vampires but Kiss of Death was my least favorite book in the series. I’m not sure if it was the timing of when I read this book or was it because I was reading other books but it really took me a really long time to finish it.

In Kiss of Death Michael, Claire, Shane, Eve, and Oliver their vampire escort head to Dallas so Michael can record his music. This should be a fun and easy trip to Dallas but they keep hitting deadly road blocks and instead felt like the road trip from hell or the road trip to hell. Oliver has business to take care of in a small town and instructs the group to stay out of trouble but Claire and crew seem to draw trouble like no one else can. After running into fugitives from Morganville Claire, Eve, and Shane get taken hostage and it’s up to Michael and Oliver to save them…in daylight. They are taken to a town that is crawling with vamps which shouldn’t be possible since all vampires live in Morganville right? With being kidnapped, attacked by strange vampires, and knowing they have to return to Morganville it starts to looks like Michael will never get a shot at recording.

I still can’t pinpoint exactly why I didn’t devour this book like all the others but I can say that I missed Morganville. There is something about being away from The Glass House, Amelie, and Myrnin that just didn’t feel right. I am still really looking forward to reading Ghost Town, the next book in the series and of course Bite Club which will be released May 3, 2011.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Talking XVI with author Julia Karr

Today we are talking to Julia Karr who is the author of XVI. I am ashamed to say I approached Julia at the beginning of December hoping she have time for an interview. Let's face it with the holidays and releasing a new book I was pretty sure Julia wouldn't have time but she is really sweet and took time to answer a few questions!

Julia is also part of the Class of 2K11 authors and of course I had to ask if they are close yet.  She did say they stay close by email.  I can only imagine what goes on in those emails.  To keep with the 2K11 theme I really wanted to discuss high school, XVI, and dreamy guys.

Julia in High School

What was high school like for you?

My freshman year was great! I was living in my hometown and going to school
with my lifelong friends. Aside from boyfriend issues (and who doesn’t have those?)
things were awesome. Then I moved to Chicago. I loved the city! But... school. No. In the 1960’s in Chicago (and all across America) things were changing. The first school I landed in was a racial hotbed. After three race riots, (one in which I recall huddling under a cafeteria table hoping I would get out unscathed) my mother moved us to a different school district. This one had police in the hallways and a staff of teachers who were just trying to make it from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. without too many problems. My experiences in that school were so bad that I ended up dropping out after my sophomore year and getting a secretarial job. Side note: I did get a GED a few years later, and attended college.

What are some of high school memories you that you think about often and those you want to forget?

I think about my freshman English Literature class. Totally loved it. My teacher was odd, but so cool. I also was in the drama club, had a small part in My Fair Lady, and that was fun. And, dating. I loved riding around with my boyfriend in his incredibly cool car (a 1966 Chevelle SS, if I remember correctly.) And, kissing. Yeah, I loved kissing.

I was in an Honors lit class in Chicago and my teacher there was so good, too. She was the only good thing about that school. Dating and kissing in Chicago = totally different world. Not nearly as innocent or sweet as my hometown.

Would love to forget the race incidents in my first Chicago high school. They scared the beejeezus outta me! Would also love to forget the hot boy I had a major crush on and how he totally dissed me at a party. Times weren’t always easy.


How did you choose Dystopia?
I think Dystopia chose me! This story sort of poured out of me - I didn’t have a lot of say in the genre!

Is it more difficult to create a whole new world and how did you paint a picture so we could understand what 2150 is like?
Difficult - yes. I tried to show 2150 in the details. I hope readers will feel that it works.


You book is set in 2150 can you tell me what life is like for teens in that time?
School, friends, fitting in - about the same as now. Except for this whole sex-teen thing for girls. At sixteen, girls are considered adults and sexually available.


Does Nina fit in with all the other girls?
Not really. She’s scared of the sex-teen image and what that will mean personally.


Can you tell me more about Nina?
Nina’s incredibly loyal to her friends and family. She has her doubts about the government, but mostly keeps that to herself. She’s creative, loves drawing and art. The Art Institute in Chicago is one of her favorite destinations - and she loves her little sister.


What is the style or fashion like in 2150?
From a young age, girls are encouraged by the media to wear clothes that will make them attractive to boys. The height of fashion is Ultra-Chic - expensive clothes that only the top tiers can afford. Knock-offs come from giant (Walmart-like) chains like Mega-World and Sale-O-Rama.

What are girls goals and dreams in 2150?
The lowest tier girls hope to be chosen for the Federal Liaison Specialist program (aka FeLS) or to catch the eye of a higher tier boy, in order to get out of their poverty. Some girls are Creatives, a designation that puts them in The Arts and gives them the opportunity to make their own way. Higher tier girls are mostly concerned with looking good, spending credits and having a suitable boyfriend. Some girls go on to university and get jobs. Then - there’s the whole underlying sex-teen issue. Some girls are completely fine with having sex, with whomever...


I'm glad to see that in 2150 there is still a dreamy hot guy. What can we expect from him? Will there be a relationship? Will there be lots of kissing? (always important)
I think we can expect some ups and downs and questionable motivations from said dreamy-hot-guy. Relationships = complicated. And, kissing is my favorite sport!

You currently have two other projects in the works can you tell us a little about Sisterhood and Cinderella Girl?
The Sisterhood is a sequel. There are some unresolved issues in XVI (as in real life!) and The Sisterhood continues on... actually picking up from the very end of XVI.
Cinderella Girl currently exists only in my brain and several pages of notes and partial scenes, so I can’t say much about it.

Will you be touring?
I’m currently setting up some book signings. I’ll have dates/locations posted on my website as they are confirmed.

You can visit Julia on  ~ Web  ~ 2K11 ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

XVI is in stores today so run out and get a copy! 

 Once again I would like to thank Julia for visiting my blog and look for my review soon!