Sunday, May 29, 2011

Review: Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly

Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly

4 of 5 Stars

Gooreads summary:
Willow knows she's different from other girls. She has a gift. She can look into people's futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows Willow's secret and is on a mission to stop her. The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous - and irresistible.


I decided to do a video review for this one.  I hope you enjoy it!  Also the song in the intro is one from the Angel Burn Playlist.

I just want you to know I loved this book and I hope you pick it up!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Books that would make my year

Last night I was in a chat with Stephanie and Jen B about May releases and of course we got side tracked and I started talking about books that I would DIE if I can't read.  I know a bit dramatic but still I thought I would let you know these are the books that will make my year!  What are some of the books you are dying to read?

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: 07/12/11

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Release Date: 11/15/11

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Release Date: 08/23/11

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
 Release Date: 09/29/11

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
Release Date: 08/16/11

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (I HAVE)
Release Date: 10/18/11

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Release Date: 06/21/11

Lost in Time by Melissa de la Cruz
Release Date:  09/27/11

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

THE BIG THRILL RETURNS



Anticipation mounts as those who dare to scare plot their return to the Big Apple for ThrillerFest VI July 6-9, 2011

This year’s Thrillermaster is R.L. Stine, a name that is sure make those young at heart shiver in anticipation. The mastermind behind the wildly popular Fear Street and Goosebumps series, Stine has written 330 books for children and four adult thrillers and has sold almost 400 million books around the world.

ThrillerFest will also welcome special guests:

Robert Crais, author of the bestselling Elvis Cole series and winner of the 2006 Ross Macdonald Literary Award. His novels are bestsellers in 42 countries.

Diana Gabaldon, whose unique novels blend 20th-century science-fiction with 18th-century historical romantic adventure in a way that is impossible to categorize. A true word-of-mouth sensation, she inspires writers everywhere to keep the faith.

John Lescroart, who took 20 years to become an overnight sensation, but today has novels translated into 16 languages in 75 countries.

For more information visit www.ThrillerFest.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Trends

Trends. We see them in everything from fashion to home design and yes, even books have them. I always go back to the beginning, before I started blogging and I had no idea books came out regularly and my usual M.O. would be to just walk down the aisles of books and pick a cute cover and then read the back and if it still held my interest I would read a few pages. I sort of miss that. Now it's all about discovering the next big hit before everyone else does.

With that said many of us fell into YA with Twilight and devoured anything paranormal. I found great books by Kimberly Derting, Melissa Marr, Rachel Caine, Maggie Stiefvater, Melissa de la Cruz and on and on. Only at the end of 2010 some of our favorite series came to an end and the one that seem to make the most impact was the Hunger Games Trilogy.


With 2011 came a huge flood of dystopian novels from both established YA authors and debut authors. They have made us feel what it would be like to find love or fight for freedom in a different world. I will admit I was a bit hesitant to follow this genre because it's usually sad but novels like The Hunger Games, Divergent, Wither, and Delirium make you love this genre.


Even though 2012 is half a year away I have noticed a lot of books that will debut next year will be historical. I have a hard time with historical novels just because I find it hard to relate to the language and that way of life. So just as I was skeptical about the dystopian genre I'm unsure about how I feel concerning these new crop of books soon to be released. I will say I look for one of them to change my mind and make me fall in love with the Historical YA genre.

What are your thoughts? Do you follow the trends? Are you excited about historical novels? Is there a genre you want to see more of? Do you miss paranormal novels? Do you love Dystopian worlds?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mini Review: Die For Me by Amy Plum


Die For Me by Amy Plum

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Amy Plum’s debut novel is about guardian angel type zombies. The technical term is Reverants but it isn’t really clear what that means. Reverants started out as humans and died while saving people’s lives and three days later they wake up. They still have the need to keep saving people but if they die they just wake back up. Also they never sleep and after a few weeks of being awake they go into a dead like rest. They feel cold to the touch and their spirit leaves to roam and can talk to other Reverants. There is also a group of Reverants that instead of saving lives push humans to kill. So when good and evil meet they have battles each other.

The story felt a bit predictable and you can easily see what is coming next. I also never felt caught up in the romance between Kate and Vincent. Also for some reason I could never picture what Kate looks like. I did love that the story was set in Paris. I hate to say it but the story feels a bit like Twilight only with zombies instead of vampires, I won’t go into detail but if you enjoy stories that are similar to Twilight you might enjoy this book.

While this isn’t one of my favorite books I didn’t dislike it either. I thought it was ok and since this is a series I plan to read the next book and see how the story develops and unfolds. I thought the cover was gorgeous and it will, at the very least, make you to pick up the book and read a few pages while at your local bookstore.

For a sample chapter visit: http://www.harperteen.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

THE SCORPIO RACES Cover Talk

Have you seen the covers of THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater? A few days ago she revealed the US cover on her blog and asked what people thought.

US Cover

On the US Cover I have to say I wasn’t blown away. Now you can slap a paper bag on her novels and I will read them because I’m a diehard fan and what matters is the story and so far I have loved everything Maggie has written.  I do wonder if YA readers who haven’t read Maggie’s books would love the cover enough to pick it up and find out what Maggie’s world is all about. As a blogger and an adult, when I see “New York’s Best Selling Author” written on the cover I ooohhh and ahhh, but I don’t think most teens will pay too much attention to that. Teens, please feel free to tell me if I’m wrong. Book covers are like art (some people frame them and hang them on their walls!) so imagine for a minute that you had never heard of Maggie Stiefvater (I know this sounds crazy) and then think of some of the amazing YA covers out there now would you drawn to THE SCORPIO RACES? Who knows maybe cover trends will change by the time THE SCORPIO RACES is out or it might look better in person, but for now I’ll say it could have been better.

UK Cover

On the UK cover: I feel like this is the exact opposite of the US cover where the US cover is understated this one is bold and in your face. I’m not crazy about this one either but the UK has its own cover trends. I wish that both covers had met somewhere in the middle.

The covers from Scholastic are not always my favorites. I think they did a great job with the Shiver books but if you look at Hunger Games the cover never drew me in. It wasn’t until the buzz around the web that I finally picked it up. I think Catching Fire and Mockingjay were better covers but I wonder if it was because as the series became more popular the covers got better. What are your thoughts?

For more on Maggie Stiefvater visit: http://www.maggiestiefvater.com/

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to PhotogAlice


I want to take a moment to wish Monica aka PhotogAlice who I call my BTFF (Best Twitter/Twilight Friend Forever) a very happy birthday!  See I met her on twitter because of twilight and she's in Texas.  Now she's at the other end of the state (about six hours away) so we haven't met in person but we talk on the phone, video chat, gchat, text, tweet, email, fax...ok maybe not the last one but you get the point.  She was also one of the people who inspired me to start my blog.  So if almost two years ago she hadn't said hey you should start a blog I wouldn't be here today.  Monica also makes sure that what I post has those pesky comas, periods and that I use the correct grammar.  I want to say thanks to her for everything that she has done and let her know that I am extremely grateful. If you would like wish her a happy birthday leave a comment or tweet her.

http://twitter.com/#!/PhotogAlice

PS If there are errors in this post you can blame me she didn't edit her birthday post!

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Book Filled Weekend!

Hi Readers,

I hope everyone had a great weekend after all the craziness with blogger. For me Houston was buzzing with events. I started out Friday at Blue Willow Book Shop to see Katie Crouch who was on the last stop of her tour for The Magnolia Leagues. Katie started the night by reading from her childhood diaries and journals and then read a few passages of The Magnolia Leagues. She was very sweet in answering questions and told us about her adventures on her book tour. For example at the big chain store she wasn’t allowed near 100 feet of the ereaders. I think if I was an author I would have pretended to drop my contact right in front of the display while holding my book.


Saturday I set my alarm for 7:00 AM and yes this was book related. See at 9:00 AM the Houston Public Library was having their annual sale where all hardcover books are $2.00 and paperbacks are $1.00. When the alarm first went off I told myself it was too early and I had enough books. The fact that a thought like “I have enough books” crossed my mind woke me up enough to get ready. I also had a plan see I kept telling myself all week I was only going to spend 25 dollars and my coworkers laughed. I ended up with 19 paperback books and 10 hardcover books. A nice couple who were leaving at the same time saw my bags and the husband even offered to help carry my bags. I smiled and said thanks but I was parked close by. I know I went a little over my budget but it’s for the library so it was really a charitable donation.





About 11:00 I went home to have lunch and get ready because at 1:00 PM I had to be back at Blue Willow for Christina Mandelski’s book party. Chris is part of the Class of 2K11 and was super nervous that no one would show up. It was just the opposite she had a great turn out. She talked about the recipe for how she got published and her father was in the audience and he spoke of Chris writing poetry as a child. Chris baked cupcakes that were delicious and everyone was very friendly. It was a great event and I’m really glad to meet another Class of 2K11 in person.


Sunday I met up with my two blogger pals Cynthia from A Blog About Nothing and Lena from Addicted to Novels and watched Something Borrowed and Bridesmaids. Dex run away with me I seriously love you and not just because you are hot. OK seriously he is so freaking hot! Bridesmaids was so unbelievably funny that the previews don’t do it justice. Seriously you want to watch these! So that was my crazy but book filled weekend what did you do?



I would also like to wish my friend Michelle from Windowpane Memoirs a very happy birthday!  She is super sweet and we will be roomies at ALA in New Orleans.  Hugs Michelle!!!

Book Trailer: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater




Forever will be in stores July 12, 2011

You can purchase an autographed copy from http://www.fountainbookstore.com/autograph-maggie.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Comic strip: The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Today I have a special treat for you. Instead of your ordinary guest post I asked author of The Pull of Gravity Gae Polisner to do a comic strip for my blog.  I know this sounds like a random request but when I first introduced the Class of 2k11 Gae didn't have a cover so she drew one for me.  She is so funny and I am super excited to read her book.


About the book:
While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.

Characters you’ll want to become friends with and a narrative voice that sparkles with wit make this a truly original coming-of-age story.








I want to thank Gae for visiting my blog and look for my review of The Pull of Gravity soon! The Pull of Gravity is in stores now! You can find Gae online at: http://gaepolisner.com/

Book Event: The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski

For those in the Houston Area you are in for a treat! Local author Christina Mandelski will be having her launch party for The Sweetest Thing at Blue Willow Book on Saturday May 14th at 1:00 P.M. and for one lucky person in the audience they will win a signed Advance Readers Copy.  Oh and I hear there will be sweets.

For Teachers/Librarians: The school with the most people in attendance will win a free author visit for next school year.

About the book:
In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she's decorating a cake. Unfortunately everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable.

But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems - only her dad's about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed.

Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.


For more details visit: http://www.bluewillowbookshop.com/event/christina-mandelski

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Interview with Amy Fellner Dominy

I would like to welcome debut author Amy Dominy. Amy wrote the funny, smart, and sweet OyMG which is in stores today. I loved OyMG giving it 5 Stars so I hope you pick up a copy.


Can you tell readers a little about OyMG?
OyMG is about fourteen-year-old Ellie Taylor who goes to a summer speech and performing arts camp determined to win a private scholarship—and discovers she’ll have to hide that she’s Jewish if she wants to win.

How did you come up with the story?
I knew I wanted to write about a Jewish girl challenged about her identity. Mostly, because I could relate. I grew up as one of the only Jewish kids in my school, so I knew how it felt to be different. I was proud of my faith, but at times (especially Christmas!) it was just plain hard. I wanted to be like everyone else.

Then something happened to me when I was Ellie’s age. I got fired from a babysitting job when the family found out I was Jewish. Of course that’s stayed with me over the years. It’s hard to understand hate like that—at any age. The question is how do we handle it? How far will we go to conform and fit in? What part of ourselves are we willing to hide? From that question, Ellie Taylor and OyMG came to life.

Who is your favorite character and why?
This is such a hard question to answer. I relate to Ellie, I have a crush on Devon, I love Megan, I want to be a good parent like Ellie’s mom and dad…. But if I had to pick one, I’d say Ellie’s Zeydeh (her grandpa.) He’s so wise and loving but also crazy and outspoken. And no, I don’t have a Zeydeh like him, but in some ways I think he’s an embodiment of my dad, who I still miss every day.

Like all great contemporary novels there is a gorgeous guy. How did you come up with Devon?
Devon is the guy I would have fallen for. Smart, funny, gorgeous…sigh. At first, I thought he might be English, which is why I named him for a region of England. But now that I’m thinking of it, it might have been a subconscious connection to my undying love and adoration for Mr. Darcy. (Yes, Darcy was from Derbyshire and not Devon, but who wants to read about a guy called Derbyshire?)

OyMG is funny and lighthearted but you touch on a very serious problem that affects everyone in society. If you had to deal with discrimination or racism as a teen or adult how would you handle it?
This is the big question. I’d like to think that I’d stand up and stand out—no matter what the consequences. But it isn’t always that easy. It’s hard when you’re faced with hatred, and the instinct for self-preservation can make you want to clam up and hide. One thing I’ve discovered is that it can be easier to be a voice for others. As a society, it would be great if we could be better about standing up for each other.

How did your life influence OyMG?
I’ve certainly felt the pull between fitting in and standing out. I’ve been proud of my differences but I’ve also walked into situations wondering if I ought to hide my Jewish star. I think my experiences have made me more aware and empathetic of minorities of all kinds. I hope that comes through in the book.

Can you share some of your favorite Yiddish phrases or words?
I had a grandma who would use the Yiddish word, farkakte. (Think stronger word for crap.) She would say things like, “You’re going out with that farkakte purse?” So that word is definitely a favorite, and one I couldn’t resist using in the book.

What is your next project?
I’m so excited to have a new book coming out next year! Audition and Subtraction will be out fall 2012, from Walker & Company. (Yay, I get to continue working with my editor!) It’s about fourteen-year-old Tatum who could suddenly lose her spot in District Honor Band—and her best friend—when a new guy transfers to her school. Friendships change and romance sparks in unexpected places.

You belong to Class of 2K11. What has that experience been like?
Life-saving. (And that’s an understatement.) I joined the group to help with joint marketing and promotion, but the members have become my friends and I’ve relied on them so much to share experiences, vent, learn, laugh, cry and basically survive this crazy thing called publishing. I think everyone should have their own version of a Class of 2k11—a group of people they can share their journey with—whatever that journey might be.

How do you do it to balance life and writing?
I’m not sure, LOL! My hubby deserves a lot of the credit, because he’s really supportive. Luckily, we’re at a place in our lives where I don’t have to work full-time and that’s really freed me up to write. I’m able to write during the day while my teens are in school and then I can be available when they get home. (Though they often hear me say, “Just let me finish this one thing…” And then I don’t turn up for another hour.) But it is a balance, and I try not to forget that.

Thanks Cari, for inviting me to your blog and for being such a great supporter of debut authors!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Winners of the 4 Books = 4 Winners











Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit won OYMG by Amy Fellner Dominy (ARC)

Amy B from The Pages of Brooks won OYMG by Amy Fellner Dominy (ARC)

Alli from Magnet 4 Books won Popular by Alissa Grosso

Ashley from Basically Amazing won Illegal by Bettina Restrepo

Elisha won The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski (ARC)

Thank you to everyone who entered, the authors of these books, and publishers.  These are some of the books I picked up at TLA and I'm so glad to get to share them with you.  I will be emailing winners shortly and they have 48 hours to reply.  If a winner does not reply a new person will be picked.  Please check back soon for another giveaway!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review: My Not So Still Life by Liz Gallagher

My Not So Still Life by Liz Gallagher

Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

Pages: 192 (ARC)


My Not So Still Life is a really short novel by Liz Gallagher. It’s also the companion novel to The Opposite of Invisible which I have not read. I figured that since My Not So Still Life is a companion novel I should be able to just jump directly into the story without trying to figure out everyone’s backstory, but that didn’t happen.

My Not So Still Life is about Vanessa who is suppose to be all about art but I didn’t feel that art was the main focus of the novel. Vanessa like most teens is in a hurry to get over a broken heart and what better way to do it than to change your hair and makeup over and over which really screams look at me. Also another way to deal/avoid her problems is to fast forward and become an adult. Vanessa is convinced that life doesn’t start until after high school. I was that teen so I can relate and I can see how that seems like the answer but forcing yourself into adulthood has real consequences which the novel only glosses over. Also Vanessa is described as being art savvy, but I don’t think that came across in the novel. She spray painted a basketball court and a few walls and made a city out of cardboard boxes, does this an artist make? I was hoping for passion and great art pieces that would be described in vivid detail, but I didn’t get any of that just a girl who paints graffiti.

Vanessa goes head first into potentially dangerous situations that without help from real adults she would never get out of. I think if the consequences had been explored deeper this would have been a great story line. The background characters also fall short. We barely hear any background story about them and they never seemed to come to life to me. I will look for the first novel and see if maybe it fills in all the gaps but I’m not convinced that this book can stand alone.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 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: