Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday randomness

I took dance lessons until I graduated high school, and while I wasn't all that great, I did enjoy going every week (tap dancing, and taking jazz lessons). A few years ago, Fox began airing the show So You Think You Can Dance, a show which I'm not completely addicted to. I usually skip the audition episodes (I hate watching the people who get rejected). Unfortunately they don't completely fit with my layout, but most of them work fine. are a few of my favorite routines -

Mercy (the dance starts around 1:30)

Night of the Dancing Flame (dance around 3.5 minutes)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Review: Clueless (1995)

Clueless (1995)
Directed by Amy Heckerling
Starring: Alica Silverstone, Paul Rudd

Based on: Emma

For the Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word

Cher Horowitz and her friend Dionne, two of the most popular sophomores in school, play matchmakers for two teachers. Inspired by their success, Cher takes under her wing Tai, a "clueless" transfer student. While trying to make an advantageous match for Tai, Cher attempts to find a boyfriend of her own. Several misfires take place, due to poor communication, before she finds the Baldwin of her dreams (from

This is one of the first teen movies that I ever saw (of course, I understood about half of it, since I was about 11 years old). Now that I actually understand and appreciate the pop culture references, it's one of my favorite teen movies. I've found that recently the teen movies have lost their charm for me. Not because I don't get the references, but because I don't find them as smart. Austen fans will certainly be able to draw the connections between the characters, and those who haven't read Emma can enjoy it for what it is: a fun teen comedy (with Paul Rudd). Have I mentioned that he is my celebrity crush? I'm not sure why (maybe it was because he married Phoebe on the TV show Friends?).

Quote from the movie:
Heather: It's just like Hamlet said, "To thine own self be true."
Cher: Hamlet didn't say that.
Heather: I think I remember Hamlet accurately.
Cher: Well, I remember Mel Gibson accurately, and he didn't say that. That Polonius guy did.

The slightly PG-13ish trailer

Waiting on Wednesday (July 29)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's basically books that haven't been released yet, but that I can't wait for.

This week:

The Maze Runner
By James Dashner

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Release Date: October 6, 2009
Published by Random House

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Teaser Tuesday & A Note (July 28)

Here's my teaser this week -

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the rules:
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the page
Don't include spoilers!

"I should have known tonight's watch would kiss the
mule's bum when Sergeant Ahuda stopped me after baton training. "A private word, Cooper," she told me, and pulled me into a quiet corner of the yard.

Page 1, Bloodhound (Beka Cooper Book 2), by Tamora Pierce

I'm also finally on vacation (dances). That means that I'll have time to catch up on my reading/reviewing. I may only post the weekly meme's on the blog, so I can get caught up. I've already finished two books on my reading pile, and I'm hoping to get more done today.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

In My Mailbox (July 26)

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

I'm still trying to avoid purchasing books...I gave in and bought Gone when I had to purchase my GRE study guide.

Bass Ackwards and Belly Up (Borrowed)
By Elizabeth Craft, and Sarah Fain

Harper Waddle, Sophie Bushell, and Kate Foster are about to commit the ultimate suburban sin--bailing on college to each pursue their dreams: write the next Great American Novel, make it as a Hollywood actress, and backpack around the world. Middlebury-bound Becca Winsberg is convinced her friends have gone insane...until they remind her she just might have a dream of her own. So what if their lives are bass ackwards and belly up? They'll always have each other. Harper is going to be the next Jane Austen. Or Sylvia Plath. Or Plum Sykes. Figuring out which should be easy. It?s living with the lie she told her three best friends that?s going to be hard. Kate doesn't know exactly what she wants. But whatever it is, she won't find it at Harvard. Maybe the answer is in Paris, or Athens? or anywhere Kate can be someone besides the girl with perfect grades, perfect hair, and the perfect boyfriend. Sophie is a star. She?s already got the looks, the talent, and a list of demands for her dressing room. Now that she?s wrangled a furnished guesthouse in Beverly Hills, it?s only a matter of time before she?s discovered. Unless she isn't. Becca is dysfunctional. At least, her family is. Which is why she can't wait to flee the drama and get to college. But Becca?s friends know she needs more than a spot on the Middlebury ski team and a cozy dorm room. They know sheneeds to fall in love. Dreams are complicated. They almost never turn out like you imagine'they almost always change. Sometimes, they change you.


By Michael Grant

In the blink of an eye.

Everyone disappears.


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.

Kaplan's GRE

Do I need to post the explanation? No, not really.

50 Followers...hurray!

Sometime in the past 24 hours I hit 50 this is just a short little post to say thank you! I jumped up and down a little (I was really excited). I'm also really happy with how well my first contest is doing!

Alas, I'm off to work for the evening...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Book Review: Ghost Huntress: The Awakening by Marley Gibson

Psychic Kids, Paranormal State, Haunting Evidencethese and countless other television shows are making believers out of millions of people: Ghosts exist, and they’re living right beside us. For centuries, individuals have been trying to prove the existence of ghosts. But without hard evidence, it’s been difficult to make the case. But now as science and technology have progressed, ghost hunters have been able to use scientific means, along with more traditional psychic tools, to make their case. Photographs, video recordings, and sound recordings are all producing some amazing results. In this new series, Ghost Huntress, meet Kendall Moorehead, a seemingly typical teen. When her family moves from Chicago to the small historical town of Radisson, Georgia, her psychic abilities awaken. She’s hearing, feeling, and seeing things that seem unbelievable at first, but with the help of the town psychic, Kendall is able to come to terms with her newly emerging gift. So, together with her new BFF, Celia, Kendall forms a ghost hunting team. They’ve got all the latest technology. They’ve got Kendall for their psychic. Now they’re going to clean up Radisson of its less savory spirits. The story is fiction. The science is real. Welcome to a new reality.

It took me a while to get into this book. In fact, at first I was worried that I wasn't going to like it at all. Generally, I'm a fan of paranormal lit, as well as TV shows (I secretly love watching Ghost Hunters). So, that meant I understood most of the technical terms that were thrown around. Since the first half of the book was spent introducing characters, and ghost hunting tech, that could be a reason why it wasn't holding my interest. The first half also chronicles Kendall's discovery of her new found abilities, and trying to cope with the fact that she can see and talk to spirits.

I think my main issue was the language used by the teens. Seeing "BRB" as part of a conversation, or extended vowels (i.e "yeeeeeeah") really pulled me out of the story. While I'm sure some teens talk like that, I've personally never heard it. There were also a lot of brand names mentioned in the descriptions. While I appreciate what the author was trying to do (hey, who doesn't love a little more description in books), I personally would rather read more description of the surroundings as opposed to the clothes. It feels awkward, because I never think to myself "I'm wearing _________ brand jeans and a cute top from _____". In the second half it had toned down, possibly because that was when the action began. So, I was able to concentrate more on the story.

Overall the book was okay. It's the start to a series, and I'm looking forward to book two, Ghost Huntress: The Guidance. Now that the author doesn't have to introduce the characters and tech, I think that the story will flow more. Definitely an interesting read if you want to learn a little bit more about ghost hunting, or feel like getting creeped out right before bed.

Ghost Huntress: The Awakening
By Marley Gibson
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
352 Pages
Rating: C+/B- (First half/second half respectively)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (July 22)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's basically books that haven't been released yet, but that I can't wait for.

This week:
Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda

As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy.

Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to reclaim his place in Billi's life, but she's met someone new: amber-eyed Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart.

But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years -- a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London's firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.

Release Date: September 01, 2009
Published by Hyperion Book CH
Author's Website:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (July 21)

Here's my teaser this week -

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the rules:
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the page
Don't include spoilers!

"I see her cheeks stain red and know I've touched a nerve. There's definitely something she's not telling me and I can't seem to break through her mind to find out what it is."

Page 89, Ghost Huntress: The Awakening, by Marley Gibson

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Little Bit About Me

Since I didn't create one at the start of my blog, I thought I would do an "about me" post today. I've lived in Vermont all of my life, so I'm used to very small cities, and huge backyards. So I get to look at the stars at night, and a few major cities are located fairly close to me (NYC, Boston, Montreal). For people who've never been here, we have a lot of festivals (i.e. Applefest, Maplefest, Jazzfest), and Ben & Jerry's, but quite honestly that's about it. I spent my first year of college in Worcester, but the school didn't really fit who I was, plus freshman weren't allowed to have cars so I was trapped on campus all year long. I'm going to be a senior this year, and am currently dreading applying to graduate school for psychology (another standardized thanks) .

I work part-time at a video rental store, and honestly I can't complain. We're encouraged to get any school assignments done during our shift, and I don't have to pay for my movies. This is usually where I get most of my blogging done, particularly commenting on peoples IMM posts. It's also the reason why I've got almost every disney movie memorized completely. I love spending time at the independent bookstore in my town. It's small, but the owners are amazing (they gave me my first arc! It was a copy of The Hunger Games). It's also the place I celebrated (or mourned, depending on how you look at it) the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I got to dress up, hand out books, and judge the costume contest (and get into general shenanigans).

Hm I'm not really sure what else there is to say...perhaps I'll post more later!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My First Contest (Twenty Boy Summer, Silver Phoenix, Absolutely Maybe, and Blood & Chocolate)

Well, I told everyone that I would hold a contest, and so I shall! I'll be picking 2 winners, first place gets first pick from the list of books (there are only 4, so it's a small list). Second place can pick a book from the remaining three.

The books up for grabs:

Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

On to the rules:
Leave a comment with your email address to be entered (please, please, please put down your email so I can contact you!)
+1 if you become a follower
+2 to current followers (thank you so much, you guys are awesome!)
+2 if you link to the contest (you can do this up to 3 different times for a total of +6). Please leave links so I can verify them
+1 if you follow me on twitter. Please leave me a link or your twitter name

The contest is open until August 5th at 12:00 pm EST

In My Mailbox (July 19)

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

I've had a rather slow week book-wise. I've been working, and also trying to catch up on the 20+ books I seem to have accumulated over the past couple of weeks. I did get one books this week, but it's historical fiction rather than YA.

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Book 5 in the Pink Carnation series)
By Lauren Willig
After twelve years in India, Robert, duke of Dovedale, returns to his estate in England to avenge the murder of his mentor during the 1803 Battle of Assaye. Robert plans to infiltrate the infamous, secretive Hellfire Club to uncover the murderer's identity— but he has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him—one Lady Charlotte Lansdowne.

Having cherished a romanticized view of Robert since childhood, Charlotte is thrilled by his return. To Charlotte, Robert is all the knights of the Round Table rolled into one. That's not exactly the case, but she can't help but search for the man she loves inside this less-than-pristine package. And while Robert works to dissuade Charlotte from her delusions, he can't help but be drawn to her innocence and inner beauty.

When Charlotte is approached by Lady Henrietta Selwick to join her in a bit of espionage—investigating a plot to kidnap the king—Robert soon realizes that Charlotte is not only the perfect partner in crime; she's the perfect partner, period. Caught in a dangerous game with deadly flower-named spies and secret members of the Hellfire Club, Robert and Charlotte must work together to reveal the villain...and confront their true passion for each other.

I also got some goodies from Jessica Verday! You can get them too, at her website here:
Now, all I need to do is wait for my vacation (begins next week), and I'll have a whole week to lounge around, pretend summer break isn't almost over, and read through my stacks of books!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Is it wrong that Lolcats cheer me up when I'm down? Seriously, I'll go to the site and laugh hysterically to the point where people around me think I've gone insane....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Book Review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.

Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.

I had been meaning to read this series by Melissa Marr for quite some time before I actually picked up the book. I'd been seeing the series pop up numerous times on various different review blogs/sites. Plus, they had cool cover art, which, of course, totally drew me in. I picked up the first book, Wicked Lovely, while I was house-sitting, and finished within a few hours (usually a sign that I enjoy it).

I enjoyed the book, and have since finished the sequel (Ink Exchange). I guess what I enjoyed most was the simple fact that the relationships weren't cliché. I can't really go in-depth with that comment without giving away any spoilers, but I'll just say that the relationships seemed very natural/realistic, which is rare in stories involving magic/faeries. In my opinion, the only thing that could have made the book better would have been a little more background on Aislinn's parents. We do get some small tidbits of information, but I was left wondering more about them, and how her grandmother knew about faeries. I'm hoping more will be revealed in the third installment (Fragile Eternity) that can answer that question.

Wicked Lovely

By Melissa Marr

352 Pages (Paperback edition)

Published by HarperCollins

Rating: C

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (July 15)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's basically books that haven't been released yet, but that I can't wait for.

This week:
Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all.

Release Date: September 14, 2009
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Author website:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Teaser Tuesday, A Blog Award, And HP6 at midnight! (July 14)

Here's my teaser this week -

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the rules:
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the page
Don't include spoilers!

"As I fought to keep the contents of my stomach in place, I realized I had been hung upside down and was being moved. I risked another peek and confirmed my suspicion that I had been thrown over the back of a horse."

Page 60, Magic Study, by Maria V. Snyder

I also got an award from vvb32 reads

The Kreativ Blogger Award

Technically, you're supposed to state 7 things that you like, and then nominate 7 other blogs for the award. At this point, however, I won't be doing that since I'm running out of the house. I'll have to update later. But thanks again for the award!!

On a different note, who is seeing Harry Potter at midnight? I know I am (yes, I'm that cool)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Book Trailer: Simply Irresistible

Here's a book trailer for Simply Irresistible, book 3 in the Elite series, by Jennifer Banash. The book was released July 7

Sunday, July 12, 2009

In My Mailbox (July 12)

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
Published by Mira

So far, I've managed to survive. You would think after being kidnapped as a child, imprisoned in my teens and released to become a poison taster, I would have endured enough. But no. The discovery of my magical abilities—powers forbidden in Ixia—has resulted in an execution order. My only chance is to flee to Sitia, my long-lost birthplace.

But Sitia is unfamiliar. I'm treated like an enemy—even by my own brother. Plus I can't control my powers. I want to learn about my magic, but there isn't time. A rogue magician has emerged and I'm targeted as his next victim.

Will my magical abilities save me…or be my downfall?

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Published by Feiwel & Friends

All her world’s a stage.

Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.

She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.

She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.

That is, until now.

Enter Stage Right

NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.

COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.

ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.

BERTIE. Our heroine.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

Have I mentioned how amazingly excited I am for this book? Yep, I think I have...but I'll say it again. I found a copy hidden in the little independent bookshop in my town (I'd rather go there than to a chain store) and I literally jumped around.

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Published by HarperCollins

Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow.

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life.

The tattoo does bring changes—not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils. . . .

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Published by The Penguin Group

Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called "the touch." (Comes in handy when you're traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she's next. Even worse, she's got two guys hungry for her affection

s, and they're not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

Regular Fiction

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

Published by Bloomsbury

What if you were to meet the number-one person on your laminated list—you know, that list you joke about with your significant other about which five celebrities you’d be allowed to run off with if ever given the chance? And of course since it’ll never happen it doesn’t matter…

Mormon housewife Becky Jack is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets celebrity hearththrob Felix Callahan. Twelve hours, one elevator ride, and one alcohol-free dinner later, something has happened…though nothing has happened. It isn’t sexual. It isn’t even quite love. But a month later Felix shows up in Salt Lake City to visit and before they know what’s hit them, Felix and Becky are best friends. Really. Becky’s husband is pretty cool about it. H er children roll their eyes. Her neighbors gossip endlessly. But Felix and Becky have something special…something unusual, something completely impossible to sustain. Or is it? A magical story, The Actor and the Housewife explores what could happen when your not-so-secret celebrity crush walks right into real life and changes everything.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Book Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does — they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

Who hasn't wished to have a super power? I know that I personally would love to fly, or be able to become invisible. McMann's story, however, is a little different from the typical "super" human story. Janie has the power to see into other people's dreams, which is actually a huge pain. For example, when she is pulled into someone else's dream, she ends up unconscious as well. So, she's never really safe. It could be the kid in the back of English class, or someone napping while she walks past their house, she's never really safe from them. She also sees the most subconscious thoughts and feelings manifest themselves. Like, being naked in class, or attacking someone who you hate.

This is going to be a fairly short review, but overall I enjoyed the book. It was realistic enough to make me think, "I wonder if anyone has ever really been able to look into someone else's dream" and then question my friends suspiciously. I wish there had been a little more character development from Cabel. He wasn't the main character of the story, but he plays an important role in helping Janie learn more about her power. It wasn't enough of an issue to detract seriously from the story, and there are two other books to learn a little more about him.

I'll be picking up the Fade, the sequel, soon!

By Lisa McMann
210 Pages
Published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)
Rating: B-

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (July 8)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's basically books that haven't been released yet, but that I can't wait for.

This Week:
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.

Release Date: December 22, 2009 Published by: Egmont USA Visit the author's website:

Also, I reached 30 followers (I did a little dance)! So, to say thank you, I'm going to hold a contest sometime this month, so check back soon for details!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (July 7)

Here's my teaser this week -

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the rules:
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the page
Don't include spoilers!

"There was a low growl-from Freaky Pete, Maia noted with some surprise. He had come back into the bar and was surrounded by the rest of the pack, their eyes fixed on the Shadowhunter."

Page 35, City of Ashes, by Cassandra Clare

Monday, July 6, 2009

Everything Austen Challenge & An Award

The Everything Austen Challenge is hosted by
Stephanie at Stephanie's Written Word

I first read about this challenge at vvb32reads

The rules of the challenge:

It runs from July 1, 2009 to January 1, 2010

All you have to do is pick six Jane Austen-themed items (books, movies, etc), you are going to complete over the course of six months. Then, click on the link to her site above, and sign up at the post for a chance to win Lost in Austen. There is also an option to double the challenge, and complete 12 books/movies by the new year at Austenprose

My choices:

Books -
Prada and Prejudice, by Mandy Hubbard
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, by Amanda Grange
Jane Austen Ruined My Life
, by Beth Pattillo
Austenland, by Shannon Hale

Movies -
Pride & Prejudice (BBC version)
Bridget Jones's Diary

I also got an award this week from
B.A.M. Book Reviews! Thank you!

My Nominations -
B.A.M. Book Reviews
Books, Books, and More Books
BookWorming in the 21st Century
Pirate Penguin's Reads
The Zen Leaf
The Book Geek
Sunshine Edition

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every 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.

When I picked up this 2009 debut, I expected a fun beach read (apparently, I'm not very good at reading the synopses of the books that I purchase). Well, I was surprised when I realized what the subject matter of the book was (dealing with grief, death, and first love). The story is told by Anna, and really begins after the death of Matt, the older brother of her best friend, Frankie. What's even more traumatizing, is the fact that Anna has been in love with him for years, and they had just recently started a relationship (secretly, of course).

Most of the book takes place in California, where the girls are vacationing (which is where the twenty boy game begins). They spend time traveling to see the sights (San Francisco), spending the rest of the time, where else, on the beach. I've vacationed in California, and it was surprisingly different from the chaotic lifestyle that I'm used to on the East Coast. Granted, it was a vacation, but Palo Alto and La Selva Beach had a different atmosphere. Plus, I completely geeked out that I was in the city where the Stanford Prison Experiments took place (have I mentioned I'm a psych major?). But I digress, it was really nice to see that the laid back atmosphere I had experienced was able to translate to the book. I also loved how Ocklwer was able to capture how it feelts to be a teenager, particularly how everything seems like it's the end of the world.

The great thing about this novel is that isn't just a beach read. It's got something special that makes people look forward to, or reminisce about their first love. I can't wait for more from this author. On a different note, is it just me or are the debut authors this year amazing?

Twenty Boy Summer
By Sarah Ockler
304 Pages
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating - A

Sunday, July 5, 2009

In My Mailbox (July 5)

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
Published by the Penguin Group

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips...conks her head...and wakes up in the year 1815!

There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily's family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily's cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex's heart, before her time in the past is up?

Evermore by Alyson Noel
Published by St. Martin's Press

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

Well, it was a slower week for me book-wise. On the bright side, I had a great fourth of July. Hopefully everyone here had a great fourth, too!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Book Review: Poison Study by Maria V Snyder

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooma in the palace--and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust--and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear...

The first in a series, Snyder has created a world filled with lies, betrayal, murder, and magic. It's a place where an eye for an eye is law, and trials don't exist. At the start of the story, Yelena is waiting to be executed for the murder of the only son of a general. Naturally, when she's offered the chance to live, she takes it despite the fact that she has to become the food taster (to check for poison) for the Commander of Ixia. She's escaped being hanged, but she could die at any time....

It was nice to read a story with a strong female heroine. She doesn't need to be rescued, and she makes her own decisions (within the limitations that have been put on her by her handler). Her life hasn't been easy, but she never uses that as an excuse. I also liked that Snyder waited to reveal why Yelena commited murder. I won't give anything away, but it really made me understand and empathize with her character. I also loved the cast of supporting characters! Yes, I used an exclamation mark...I was always suspicious of them (which was, in my opinion, the point). I never knew who was trustworthy, or who would could be leaking information to the rebels.

I'm on my way to go pick up the sequel, and I'm sure I won't be able to put it down.

Poison Study
by Maria V. Snyder
416 Pages
Published by Mira
Rating: A

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