Monday, August 31, 2009

Book Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape—and to survive.

The premise of this book was what drew me in, and I couldn't set this down! After the Heartland War (between pro-life and pro-choice advocates), unwinding has become a common-day occurrence. In fact, it was agreed upon by both parties, and became a peace-treaty of sorts. What is unwinding? Well, after conception a child has to be raised to age 13, but at that point they can be unwound...meaning all their body parts are harvested for transplant. At first I thought, "neither side would agree to that!", but Shusterman makes it believable. He sets this up by explaining that pro-life activists were murdering doctors who performed abortions, and women were selling their fetuses to science for money.

The three main characters have all be chosen for unwinding, although each has different circumstances leading up to it. After they escape their fate, they are forced to deal with various different obstacles, including dealing with feelings of betrayal, guilt, and confusion. In the end, they all have to make major decisions which could start the investigation into what unwinding really is. I felt for these characters, I was frustrated, upset, and I detested the act of being unwound.

The book, for me at least, was less about the characters, and more about the big picture. It leaves the reader wondering about what happens to a person's personality, and what would happen to a soul during the process of unwinding. In fact, there's a section of the book which graphically describes what a person actually goes through during unwinding, and it isn't pretty. In fact, it actually disgusted me, which rarely happens to me in books. It was definitely an interesting read, and I was actually satisfied with the ending. I'll definitely be reading more from Shusterman.

By Neal Shusterman
Published by Simon & Schuster Childrens Publishing
352 Pages (Hardcover edition)
Rating: B

Saturday, August 29, 2009

In My Mailbox (August 30)

I got a bunch of textbooks this week, but I won't bore you with those. The only other book I got was the following (for the Everything Austen Challenge)

The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love by Rosie Rushton

The Walker sisters have always lived a privileged life in their beloved Holly House in Sussex. Even though their father, Max Walker, has left the family to live with his new macrobiotic-food-obsessed trophy wife, Pandora, he has always doted on his girls. But then one day, reality crashes down around them when Max has a heart attack and passes away, uncovering the truth that he was knee deep in debt. The Walkers discover that their home is actually in Pandora's name and she decides she wants it back. So the family has to uproot their lives and move to the seaside town of Norfolk in an old cottage. What happens then?

I'm not a huge fan of the cover, but the premise sounds very Austen-like. So, I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

What did you get this week?

100th Follower Contest!

It took me a few days to figure out what exactly I was going to do for this contest. I wish that I could give away tons of books, but alas, my book supply is limited. So, I thought I would do something a little different in terms of contests. I'm going to have a pre-order contest. I got the idea from Fantastic Book Review (so I should give her credit).

The Rules:

US & Canada only. I'm not really sure what the shipping is like from online we'll just play it safe.

There will be one winner (depending on the response to the contest), and that winner can tell me which book they would like me to pre-order for them. Once the book is released, it will get shipped directly to them.

Some Possible Books to Pre-Order

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler
The Everafter by Amy Huntley
Betrayals by Lili St. Crow
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Gateway by Sharon Shinn
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Tangled by Carolyn Mackler
Liar by Justine Larbalesteir

Leave me a comment and your email to enter. If you don't leave me an email I won't have any way to get in touch with you, and will have to draw a new name.

Extra Entries:
+1 if you become a follower
+2 if you were already a follower
+ 1 If you post about this contest somewhere (i.e your sidebar)
+1 If you twitter about it (please @reply me I'm @cornucopiaofluv)
+5 if you guess which of the follow statements about me is a lie, and you're right (I wanted to add some fun, give people a chance for extra entries, and make it simple to do).

I play the flute
I love to cook
I used to have a pet turtle named Teddy

Contest ends September 14 at midnight EST

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book Review: Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen

It's been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents' divorce - or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she's been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

I picked up this book the day it was released, but ended up waiting a month and a half to read it (oops). I always anticipate a new Sarah Dessen novel. I wasn't a huge fan of Lock & Key, which may have had something to do with the fact that I guessed exactly what was going to happen after the first few chapters. So, when I heard that this one was coming out I hoped it would be a little different. I was pleasantly surprised at how different this book felt. Despite my non-love for Lock & Key, I've found that in all Sarah Dessen novels the characters relatable, and the stories have satisfying endings, so I can't go wrong when I pick one up.

Auden was an interesting character, and was the character who I sympathized with most in the story (as was the point, I'm sure). She wasn't really sure of who she was, aside from a good student, and she spent most of her time trying to act like an adult for her parents benefit. Basically, she missed all the fun of being a child. Eli, the mysterious boy that she meets in town, has acted like a child a little t00 much over the course of his lifetime. After a tragic accident, however, Eli has shut himself off from everyone. Auden and Eli work together to help each other overcome their respective problems. I'm just going to say that it seemed like this book focused a lot more on Auden and her family then it did on her relationship with Eli. Sure, their friendship took up a big chunk of the book, but her main issues stemmed from her family. Eventually, Auden realizes that she needs to start doing things for herself, instead of doing them to gain approval from her parents.

I would have liked to see the book travel a little bit father from the typical path that some of Dessen's books take, but it was still a very enjoyable read.

Along For the Ride
By Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin Group
384 Pages
Rating: C

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

100 Followers (and a contest coming soon)

Sometime today I reached 100 followers! I'm amazed, and I jumped about a little when I noticed. So, to celebrate this, I'll be posting a contest. Check back soon for details

Waiting on Wednesday (August 26)

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.

I picked two this week, and since I'm completely indecisive I couldn't choose one.

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Micah freely admits that she's a compulsive liar. And that may be the one honest thing she'll ever tell you. Over the years she's duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents. But when her boyfriend, Zach, dies under brutal circumstances, the shock might be enough to set her straight. Or maybe not. Especially when lying comes as naturally to her as breathing. Was Micah dating Zach? Or was Sarah his real girlfriend? And are the stories Micah tells about inheriting a "family gene" real or are they something that only exists in her mind?
Breathtaking in its plotting, and narrated by one of the most psychologically complex young
women to emerge since Sybil, Liar is a roller-coaster that will have listeners grasping for the truth. Honestly.

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
I couldn't find a US cover, so here's the UK edition

Furnace Penitentiary: the world’s most secure prison for young offenders, buried a mile beneath the earth’s surface. Convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, sentenced to life without parole, “new fish” Alex Sawyer knows he has two choices: find a way out, or resign himself to a death behind bars, in the darkness at the bottom of the world. Except in Furnace, death is the least of his worries. Soon Alex discovers that the prison is a place of pure evil, where inhuman creatures in gas masks stalk the corridors at night, where giants in black suits drag screaming inmates into the shadows, where deformed beasts can be heard howling from the blood-drenched tunnels below. And behind everything is the mysterious, all-powerful warden, a man as cruel and dangerous as the devil himself, whose unthinkable acts have consequences that stretch far beyond the walls of the prison.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (August 25)

Here's my teaser this week -

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

"The book quivered in her hand. Even with gloved fingers Miss Allardyce could feel the magic inside it. Had this man felt it too?"

Bewitching Season, Page 40, by Marissa Doyle

Monday, August 24, 2009

What Are You Reading & Live Your Five

I thought I would participate in this meme this week, since I'm a bit behind on my reviews. I'll definitely be posting one later this evening, but I haven't had time to go over it yet.

Books I read last week:
Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
The Plague by Joanne Dahme

Currently Reading:
Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle

To Read:
Fire by Kristin Cashore

Have you guys heard about Living Your Five yet? It's a fun new blog from the authors Kay Cassidy (The Cinderella Society), Tera Lynn Childs (Oh. My. Gods. & Goddess Boot Camp), Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush), and Alyson Noel (Evermore, Blue Moon, and more). I shamelessly stole their header so that you'd have a picture to go with this!

Here's the little blurb from the site

Living Your Five is about making the world a better place, one person at a time. It's about understanding what you care about most and how you can make a positive difference in your world.
Are you ready to live your Five?

Go check their website out, and think about what your five are. They're having a contest in honor of their project being launched. You can win a gift card to Barnes & Noble, a book from each of the founders, and a 100 dollar donation made in your name to the non-profit of your choice (a very cool prize, in my opinion).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In My Mailbox (August 23)

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 actually got quite a few b
ooks this week, mostly from the library. I also bought a few used from Better World Books. It's an interesting site, because a portion of the proceeds from each book you buy goes toward a literacy program. They also offer free shipping, and an option to offset your carbon footprint. So, if you like to be green, it's a good way to buy books.

From the library -
Swoon by Nina Malkin

Torn from her native New York City and dumped in the land of cookie-cutter preps, Candice is resigned to accept her posh, dull fate. Nothing even happens in Swoon, Connecticut...until Dice's perfect, privileged cousin Penelope nearly dies in a fall from an old tree and her spirit interwines with that of a ghost. His name? Sinclair Youngblood Powers. His mission? Revenge and while Pen is obvious to the possession, Dice is all too aware of Sin. She's intesely drawn to him—but not at all crazy abolut the havoc he's wreaking.

Determined to exorcise the demon, Dice accidentally sets Sin loose, gives him flesh, makes him formidable. Now she must destroy an even more potent—and irresistible—adversary before the whole town succumbs to Sin's will. Only trouble is, she's in love with him.

What do you do when the boy of your dreams is too bad to be true?

Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
In 1837 London, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic. At least, most of them didn’t. Shy, studious Persephone Leland would far rather devote herself to her secret magic studies than enter society and look for a suitable husband. But right as the inevitable season for "coming out" is about to begin, Persy and her twin sister discover that their governess in magic has been kidnapped as part of a plot to gain control of the soon-to-be Queen Victoria. Racing through Mayfair ballrooms and royal palaces, the sisters overcome bad millinery, shady royal spinsters, and a mysterious Irish wizard. And along the way, Persy learns that husband hunting isn’t such an odious task after all, if you can find the right quarry.

Evernight by Claudia Gray

Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

Purchased -

Oh. My. Gods by Tera Lynn Childs

A modern girl's comedic odyssey in a school filled with the descendants of Greek gods.

When Phoebe's mom returns from Greece with a new husband and moves them to an island in the Aegean, Phoebe's plans for her senior year and track season are ancient history. Now she must attend the uberexclusive academy, where admission depends on pedigree, namely, ancestry from Zeus, Hera, and other Greek gods. That's right, they're real, not myth, and their teen descendants are like the classical heroes—supersmart and superbeautiful with a few superpowers. And now they're on her track team! Armed only with her Nikes and the will to win, Phoebe races to find her place among the gods.

Fire Study by Maria V Snyder

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder--able to capture and release souls--spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before....

Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself--and save the land she holds dear.

The Plague by Joanne Dahme

In a land overshadowed by death, fifteen year-old Nell’s uncanny resemblance to Princess Joan brings her to act as her double—what young girl wouldn’t want to leave a life of poverty and pretend to be a princess? But when the plague catches up to the royal entourage, thwarting the King’s plan for the princess to marry the Prince of Castile and seal an alliance between their kingdoms, Nell’s life could change forever. Princess Joan’s brother The Black Prince schemes to make the wedding go on declaring Nell will no longer double for Joan, she will become the princess and dupe Prince Pedro into marriage! With the aid and protection of a quirky band of friends—a Spanish minstrel, a monk, a gravedigger, a band of merchants—Nell must evade not only the Black Prince, a practitioner of the dark arts, but the plague as well, as she fights to return to the King and country. Based on historical truth, Dahme beautifully captures the dark terror of a Plague-infested fourteenth century Europe, while bringing to life the daily existence of medieval life for young adult readers.

Fortune's Folly by Deva Fagan

Ever since her mother died and her father lost his shoemaking skills, Fortunata has survived by telling fake fortunes. But when she’s tricked into telling a grand fortune for a prince, she is faced with the impossible task of fulfilling her wild prophecy—or her father will be put to death. Now Fortunata has to help Prince Leonato secure a magic sword, vanquish a wicked witch, discover a long-lost golden shoe, and rescue the princess who fits it. If only she hadn’t fallen in love with the prince herself ! (From Goodreads)

I'm also only 5 followers away from 100 (Yay)! I think that once I hit that number, it will be time for a new contest. I've got a few ideas, so we'll see how it goes.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Book Review: Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

I chose to read this as part of the Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word

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?

There's something very light and fun about the idea of a modern-day girl going back to the time of Austen. Perhaps it's the idea of meeting a handsome, charming man at a ball. What's the modern version of that? Meeting a cute guy at a club? It just doesn't have the same appeal.

I really enjoyed this book, particularly the character Callie. She grows immensely over the course of the book, and that's what made her so likable. At the start, she's very insecure, which typically results in some act of severe clumsiness. Eventually, she gains some confidence, and is able to make some new friends along the way. I think that's what makes her such a great character. In my experience, most girls experience some sort of insecurities over the course of high school, but Callie is able to overcome that.

While some parts may have been a bit predictable, I don't think it detracted from the reading experience. I knew what was going to happen, but I still couldn't wait to see how it would happen. I also liked how Callie brought some of her 21st century mannerisms into the 19th. Every time Callie accidentally used a slang word, I could imagine the other characters staring at her like she was mad. Callie also refused to let her new friend, Emily, be married off to a man she didn't love, no matter the cost. While I thought this was brave of both girls, I was actually worried about how that was going to end.

This is definitely a good choice when you need a quick, entertaining read. I can't wait to see more from Hubbard!

Prada and Prejudice
By Mandy Hubbard
Published by The Penguin Group
288 Pages
Rating: A-

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Review: Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Strange Angels
By Lili St. Crow
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 affections, 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?

This is going to be a fairly short review, because I'm not really sure how to express my feelings about this book. I was hesitant about reading this book after I read a few reviews, but I picked it up anyway. I liked the sound of the premise, so I thought "why not?".

I liked the book, and I definitely sympathized with Dru. It sucks beyond all reason to become an orphan and have to deal with the things that go bump in the night coming after you. Personally, I know that I wouldn't be able to keep my cool, or sanity, if my dad showed up at my door Zombie-ified.

While I thought the beginning felt slow, I definitely felt myself get sucked into the book after Graves befriended her. It felt like that was when all the action really started, and things started coming after her. When Dru finally started asking questions about what happened to her father she met Christophe (a half-human, half-vampire), who has some of the answers she was looking for. I'm personally a fan of Graves, probably because he's the outcast. He is also trying to get by on his own, and has developed some street smarts to get him through.

I'm looking forward to the sequel, which promises to hold more action, and some suspense. Of course, I'll also be reading it to see who wins in Graves v. Christophe.

Strange Angels
By Lili St. Crow
Published by Penguin Group
304 Pages
Rating B-

I guess that review wasn't all that short (oops).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shutter Island Preview

Normally I hate scary movies. I always end up scared out of my mind later that night, when I've somehow ended up home alone. I wanted to post this preview, because this thriller actually looks good (and I might overcome my fear of all things scary to see it)

I've never read the book, so I can't compare them...but I might wait until after I see it to read it (so I can be surprised).

Waiting on Wednesday (August 19)

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:
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: December 01, 2009

I can't wait for this one, and I love the cover!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (August 18)

Here's my teaser this week -

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

"Lev wakes up to a dull ache in his shoulder. He thinks maybe he slept funny, but he quickly realizes the ache is from an injury. His left shoulder was the entry point of a tranq bullet, though he doesn't realize that just yet."

Unwind, Page 40, by Neal Shusterman

Monday, August 17, 2009

Book Review: Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
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.

I participated in theater throughout high school, and I absolutely loved it. I worked backstage (I can't sing or act), and I fell in love with the people and the absolute chaos that is the theater. That's probably part of the reason why I loved Mantchev's Eyes Like Stars so much. It reminded me of how it felt to be in the theater, surrounded by people who become a second family.

Bertie's life is chaotic to say the least. She's grown up with constant scene changes, without the knowledge of how she came to live in the theater, and with the fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream as her best friends. Needless to say, she gets into a lot of trouble.

The characters in the book were great. Bertie was a strong, confident, sometimes stubborn lead. She never took no for an answer, and even during absolute chaos was able to improvise. The supporting cast was what was most spectacular to me. Many of the characters were from various different plays, and none of them seemed out of character. I imagined that's just how they would act if they were living in the real world (especially the fairies). I think I should also mention Ariel, from The Tempest, who ended up being my favorite character from the book. I was intrigued by his character, then I hated him, I pitied him, and I loved him. I ended up understanding his motivation to bring down the theater, and also saw him grow as a character.

Fans of the theater will enjoy seeing their favorite characters outside of their respective plays, while other readers might be inspired to go read those plays to find out more. I loved this book, and can't wait to read the sequel.

Eyes Like Stars
By Lisa Mantchev
Published by Feiwel and Friends
352 Pages
Rating: A

Sunday, August 16, 2009

In My Mailbox (August 16)

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 ended up buying a few used books this week, and they were so inexpensive it was worth it.

Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott
Kate Brown's life has gone downhill fast. Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.

And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.

Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen — but only if she lets them....

Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer
Prom fever has infected LA—especially Cindy's two annoying stepsisters, and her overly Botoxed stepmother. Cindy seems to be the only one immune to it all. But her anti-prom letter in the school newspaper does more to turn Cindy into Queen of the Freaks than close the gap between the popular kids and the rest of the students. Everyone thinks she's committed social suicide, except for her two best friends, the yoga goddess India and John Hughes—worshipping Malcolm, and shockingly, the most popular senior at Castle Heights High and Cindy's crush, Adam Silver. Suddenly Cindy starts to think that maybe her social life could have a happily ever after. But there's still the rest of the school to deal with. With a little bit of help from an unexpected source and a fabulous pair of heels, Cindy realizes that she still has a chance at a happily ever after.

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
As he continued to stare, I wanted to point to my cheek and remind him, But you were the one who wanted this, remember? You're the one who asked-and I repeat-Why not fix your face?

It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.

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

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Saturday Update

I thought I would try out a new/occasional post in which I talk about the books I've read, things I've learned over the past week.

Books I've read:
Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

I'm purchasing my books for this semester, and it looks like it's going to cost me somewhere around the 300 mark. How ridiculous is that? You use the books for a semester if you're lucky. Last semester, one of my "required" textbooks wasn't even used. SO, I think I'm going to email my professors and see if older editions will be ok. Sure, you have to deal with finding the right page numbers, but I'd rather save the money for books I'd actually enjoy reading.

Random fact I learned by watching educational television: A giraffe's heart can be about 2 feet long.

Random fact I learned from watching daytime television: You never know who is related to you. Seriously. It's also highly likely you have an evil twin.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Random Things on Friday

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

I saw this on The Ladybug Reads:

Instructions: Copy this into your blog. Look at the list and put an 'X' after those you have read.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (X) I've read this many times!

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (X)

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte ()

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (X)

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (X)

6 The Bible (X)

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte ()

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (X)

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (X)

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens ()

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott ()

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy ()

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (X)

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare ()

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier()

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (X)

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk ()

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (X)

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger ()

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot ()

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell ()

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (X)

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens ()

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy ()

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams ()

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh ()

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky ()

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (X)

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (X)

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (X)

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy ()

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens ()

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (X)

34 Emma-Jane Austen (X)

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen (X)

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (X) This seems a little repetitive to me...I kind of assumed Chronicles of Narnia meant read the series

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossein ()

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres ()

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (X)

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (X)

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (X)

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (X)

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez ()

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving (X)

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins ()

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (X)

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy ()

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (X)

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (X)

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan ()

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel ()

52 Dune - Frank Herbert ()

53 Cold Comfort Farm ()

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (X)

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth ()

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon ()

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens ()

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (X)

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon (X)

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez ()

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck ()

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov ()

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt ()

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (X)

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas ()

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac ()

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy ()

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding (X)

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie ()

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville ()

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (X)

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (X)

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (X)

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson ()

75 Ulysses - James Joyce ()

76 The Inferno – Dante ()

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome ()

78 Germinal - Emile Zola ()

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray ()

80 Possession - AS Byatt ()

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (X)

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell ()

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker ()

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro ()

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert ()

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry ()

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (X)

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom ()

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ()

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton ()

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad ()

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery ()

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks ()

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams (X)

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole ()

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute ()

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas ()

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (X)

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (X)

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo ()

So, assuming I've counted correctly I'm at 39 (39>6).

I also received two awards:
The Heartfelt Award
From Danni at Romantic Harbor
The Heartfelt Award:

Do you reach for a cup of cocoa or tea when
your relaxing, seeking comfort, sharing a plate of
cookies with family and friends? You know the feeling
you get when you drink a yummy cup of cocoa, tea, or a
hot toddy? That is what the Heartfelt Award is all
about, feeling warm inside.

From Kate at The Neverending Shelf
The Spread the Love Award

Thank you to both of them!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book Review: Evermore by Alyson Noel

Evermore by Alyson Noel

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.

I've had this book for quite some time now, but every time I planned to read it, I'd end up choosing something different. I first thought the book was somehow related to vampires, which was probably due, in part, to various reviews I read that compared it to Twilight. As usual, I was wrong, it wasn't about vampires at all. I won't spoil the book, but I will say that the plot was extremely unique. In fact, I'm a little surprised that it was compared to the Twilight series at all. The characters are different, the plot is different, and it isn't a vampire romance. I have nothing against the series, but I feel bad when books get written off as "a Twilight rip-off" (especially because this book wasn't).

I enjoyed the book, but was left with a few questions. For example, we're told that Ever and Damen have had relationships in various past lives, but Damen doesn't tell her any more than that. I'd like to hear more about them, and also about Ever's past lives.

On to the good! I thought Noel did a great job showing how Ever was dealing with grief in a realistic way. Ever was never magically okay after her family died. In fact, even at the end of the book you can tell that she's still grieving, she just dealing with it differently. This book is worth a read if you like paranormal YA, but are looking for something a little out of the norm.

By Alyson Noel
Published by St. Martin's Press
320 Pages
Rating: B-

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

An Awesome Contest!

While I don't usually post blog entries about contests, I think that this one is too good to miss. Princess Bookie aka Cindy is hosting a contest of epic proportions. The winner gets:

1. Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick ARC
2. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen ARC
3. Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters ARC
4. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater ARC
5. Troy High by Shana Norris ARC
6. Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott ARC
7. Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn ARC
8. Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
9. Death by Series by Linda Gerber (3 books total)
10. a 5 dollar giftcard from Walmart (you can buy yourself half of a book with it, lol)
11. 3 Sarah Dessen books ( Just Listen, This Lullaby, Someone Like You)
12. Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
13. Fire By Kristin Cashmore ARC
14. Last but not least, I have some extra amazon cards, so I will also include a preorder for CATCHING FIRE BY SUZANNE COLLINS. It will be shipped to on or around Sept 1st (whenever they ship it)
AND a book of your choice (under $15.00 please and it can be a preorder as long as it comes out in September-so many good books get released)

(I copied and pasted this straight from her site)

Yeah...that's insane. If you click the link and enter please let her know in your comment that I sent you (just say Lizzy for cornucopiaofreviews sent you) and you get an extra entry. Click here to go to that site.

Waiting on Wednesday (August 12)

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:

Betrayals: A Strange Angels Novel
By Lili St. Crow

She's no angel . . .

Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she's just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn't entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England Schola for other teens like her, and there's a big problem— she's the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn't be so bad, but Dru's killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide. . .

Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust—and maybe even her heart

Published by Penguin Group
Release Date: November 17, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (August 11)

Here's my teaser this week -

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

"The worst part about Dad being out on hunting runs was the way whatever house we were in got really creepy around dusk. Night is when most of the stuff in the Real World comes out to play-and by play you can mean "have a little fun," "go grocery shopping because sunlight burns like acid," or "make unwary people disappear, yum, yum."

Page 23, Strange Angels, by Lili St. Crow

Monday, August 10, 2009

Book Review: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

The past few books that I've read have had paranormal themes, and this book was no exception. Despite that, however, this story felt very refreshing and unique. Chloe has moved in with her aunt Lauren, and after being "attacked" by a ghost (and struggling with a teacher), she is sent to the Lyle home. I find places that seem perfect are usually anything but (i.e evil teachers, killer neighbors, Stepford Wives, etc.). So, of course this "home" was filled with secrets (and...the description on the back of the book gave it away). As a psychology student I found this place really interesting (and suspicious). A place that is really quick to diagnose and prescribe medication? Chloe was there a day before they labeled her with mild schizophrenia and gave her drugs to stop the hallucinations.

At first I thought the story was going to be predictable, but I never could have guessed how the book would end. In fact, I ended up finishing the book in the early hours of the morning because I had to know what was going to happen. I'm looking forward to Book 2: The Awakening (I almost gave in and bought it last week, despite the fact that I am trying not to buy anything until I finish my huge TBR pile). I'm hoping to get a little bit more information on Chloe's parents, and also to see the characters again (hopefully exacting revenge on a few, less savory, characters).

The Summoning
By Kelley Armstrong
390 Pages
Published by HarperCollins
Rating: A

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Two Awards!

Rebecca at Everything To Do With Books gave me the Your Blog Rocks award (a little while ago, shame on me for not posting it sooner).
Amanda at The Zen Leaf gave me the awesome Zombie Chicken Award (woohoo)

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all...

My Nominations:
Reggie at The Undercover Book Lover
Megan at The Book Geek
Juju at Tales of Whimsy
Pirate Penguin at Pirate Penguin's Reads
Series(Ly) Ready

There are a lot more, but I'll send the awards on to these bloggers!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

In My Mailbox (August 9)

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...

Well, I'm still trying to get through my reading pile, so this week I only bought one book (and I bought it used).

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Rebecca Bloomwood just hit rock bottom. But she's never looked better....

Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is that she can't actually afford it -- not any of it.

Contest Winners!

The Winners of my contest are:

1st Place: Lesley (who chose Blood and Chocolate)
Runner Up: Amanda (who chose Twenty Boy Summer)

The winners have been emailed, and have picked their books!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Author Interview: Lucienne Diver

Lucienne Diver is a literary agent, and the author of the YA novel, Vamped, which was released on May 01, 2009. She's also published works under the pseudonym Kit Daniels, including Playing Nice.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and why you began writing?

I’ve always been a writer…or at least since fifth grade, when my awesome teacher divided the whole class into critique groups and had us do free-writing assignments which we’d read aloud, take criticism, revise…. Before that the ideas floated around in my head without a whole lot of form. Fifth grade was the beginning of the end. From that time on, I was a holy terror. I’d write plays and make the other kids in the neighborhood perform them with me, charging the parents a quarter a seat. I wrote short stories and “novels,” if 110 pages qualifies. In high school I got involved editing our literary rag, and it college it was our anthropology magazine. I love words, characters, voice. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, it might be that the control enthusiast in me (expression borrowed from Joss Whedon) likes to create characters who behave as I want them to behave and a world that follows my rules (grin).

How has being a literary agent influenced your writing?

I think for one it’s made me hyper-aware of my faults. I’m a perfectionist anyway, and for years I didn’t send out my material for fear that no one I worked with would respect me in the morning. I was afraid that my imperfections as an author would reflect on my work as an agent, which is very important to me. In short, I wasn’t ready. I kept thinking, “I’d reject me.” Then I wrote the Vic and Bob story, “The Problem with Piskies.” I loved the boys. Their voices had to be heard. Not mine, theirs. That made all the difference. When I stopped writing in my voice and started letting the characters take control, of the words if not the actions, I started to both improve and to feel less chutzpah about the idea that I might have what it takes.

How is writing YA fiction different than other genres?
It’s really more about the setting and storyline than the voice. Teens can and frequently do read adult novels, so it’s not as if you have to modify your language or sentence structure, and you certainly don’t want to talk down to them. The difference is that YA is more relevant to teens and their current experiences. There are more young characters. They’re at the same point in their lives as your audience and going through the same pressures, insecurities, joys, pains….

What steps did you take to become a published author?

I got myself an agent (grin). Being in the biz, I know the advantages to a good agent, and I wanted someone at a remove from me to handle my work while I handle that of my authors. Even though I know all about negotiation, when it comes to my work, I’d be too likely to jump on the first offer that comes along. She handled finding a publisher, haggling terms, sending Vamped out for subrights submission….

Why do you think Vampires are so appealing to readers of all ages?

Oh, so many reasons. I think the idea of eternal youth and beauty is appealing, for one thing. Mostly, though, I think it’s about power. I have to admit that as a good Catholic girl (at least, so I was raised), the idea of a strong, mesmeric hero who might be hypnotic enough to make me drop my inhibitions was very compelling. (Or is that a little too much information?) I love strong characters, but I also like vulnerability. With vampires, you get all of the above – the enhanced senses, including strength, agility, speed, coupled with the need for blood and the sun and pointy stick allergies.

At Gina's senior prom she gets turned into a vampire, do you have any special prom memories you'd be willing to share?

You bet. Senior prom, the after-party was at my house. Guess which is the only car that didn’t make it back to my house. You guessed it. Me and my directionally-challenged cohorts nearly ended up in New Jersey before we finally got going the right way. My friends, in the meantime, had thrown rocks at my windows to wake my parents to let them in, panicked at our continued absence, called all the hospitals and finally fallen asleep in exhaustion. By the time we finally got to my place, everybody was say too groggy to party. Am I the hostess with the mostess or what?

You're working on a sequel to your novel, Vamped. Can you give us any hints about where this will take Gina (and my new favorite vamp, Bobby)?

It’s all very hush-hush. I’m working on the revision for Flux right now, but you should be able to find out for yourself when it comes out in September or October 2010.
(And I love Bobby too. Thanks so much for saying!)

Did you base any of your characters off of people in your life?

Gina started off as the big-haired girl with the reputation from high school who used to torment my sister, but that only worked as long as I thought she was a short story character. In order to spend an entire novel with her, she had to grow and evolve into someone I wanted to hang with for a while.

Are you currently reading/watching any addictive books/tv shows?

I love my authors’ works, which is why I represent them: Marjorie M. Liu, Susan Krinard, Rachel Caine, Chloe Neill, Carol Berg, Vickie Taylor, Jasmine Haynes, Crystal Jordan, Rosemary Clement-Moore…. I could go on and on.

TV shows: I don’t get much time to watch, but I can’t resist anything by Joss Whedon. I also love Castle, Psych, Monk, So You Think You Can Dance, Burn Notice, Leverage, In Plain Sight and True Blood. Sadly, because of that limited time, I’m behind on almost everything, and my DVR is filled nearly to capacity!

(Lizzy's Note: Some of my favorite shows are on that list, and the new season of Psych starts tonight at 10)

What's one question you wished you were asked more in interviews?

Can’t think of anything. You asked some great ones! Loved the one about the prom, even if it does show my ditzy side (grin).

My first author interview! Is there really anything more to say? I was so excited about this that I geeked out a little bit. So, thanks again Lucienne!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Book Review: Vamped by Lucienne Diver

Vamped by Lucienne Diver

Gina Covello's Perks and Pitfalls
of Vamp Life
1. Hello?! Eternal youth and beauty!

2. Free. Designer. Clothes.

3. My hot new boyfriend Bobby went from chess dud to vamp stud.

4. No reflection! First order of business: turn my own stylist to stop the downward spiral from chic to eek.

5. Vampire vixen Mellisande has taken an interest in my boyfriend, and is now transforming the entire high school into her own personal vampire army. If anyone's going to start their own undead entourage it should be me.

I guess I'll just have to save everyone from fashion disasters and other fates worse than death.

After Gina wakes, and is forced to claw her way out of her grave, she knows something is off. This is confirmed after she is greeted by Bobby, a geek-turned-vampire, who tells her that she's a vampire, too. One mistake on prom night, and she's now the undead. After being abducted, she is a forced to live in a dorm setting with her other classmates (who have also been vamped). That's when the trouble really begins.

This book has been called "Clueless meets Buffy", and it doesn't disappoint. Gina acts a lot like Cher, except less clueless, and more undead. At first Gina seems like a typical "popular" teen girl. She's a fashionista who concentrates on her looks (which is pretty hard to do with no reflection). When it's necessary, however, she is able to take control, and lead everyone against some of the less savory characters (without giving too much away). That's why I connected with her character. In high school I acted fairly immature most of the time, but certain situations required me to take charge, and act like an adult.

I loved that this vampire novel was completely different from a lot of the other ones being published. Instead of dark, angst-ridden vampires, there was a bubbly heroine. Even the villains were fun in a love-to-hate way (well, except for a certain psychic). I had a lot of fun reading it, which I can't say for some of the "comedy" novels I've read in the past. Overall, I can't wait for the sequel, and more Bobby!

By Lucienne Diver
Published by Llewellyn
240 Pages
Rating: B

This post is a bit later then I would have liked. I ended up working tonight, and it was busy beyond all reason. I was lucky enough to interview Lucienne Diver, and that will be up tomorrow! I was really excited when she said yes, so come back tomorrow to check it out.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book Review: Magic Study by Maria V Snyder

This review will inevitably contain some spoilers for Book 1: Poison Study.

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

With her greatest enemy dead, and on her way to be reunited with the family she'd been stolen from long ago, Yelena should be pleased. But though she has gained her freedom, she can't help feeling isolated in Sitia. Her Ixian background has changed her in many ways--and her newfound friends and relatives don't think it's for the better....

Despite the turmoil, she's eager to start her magic training--especially as she's been given one year to harness her power or be put to death. But her plans take a radical turn when she becomes involved with a plot to reclaim Ixia's throne for a lost prince--and gets entangled in powerful rivalries with her fellow magicians.

If that wasn't bad enough, it appears her brother would love to see her dead. Luckily, Yelena has some old friends to help her with all her new enemies....

I really enjoyed Poison Study, the first book in this series, so I was looking forward to reading this one. I had set pretty high standards, and hoped that this book would hold my attention like its predecessor had. Well, I'm happy to say that it did. This story felt new and refreshing, while maintaining the likability of the characters (well, at least SOME of them). There are new villains, and the reader gets to experience Yelena's new life in the south, a life which is extremely different from the one she had in Ixia.

I liked the new family dynamic. It was nice to see Yelena show a softer side, even though she seemed to perceive it as "going soft". Similar to the first book, there are some scenes involving sexual/physical assault. They're certainly not easy to read, but that doesn't mean the book should be passed by. These scenes/memories allow readers to understand Yelena better as a character. We are forced to relive her worst memories, and watch as she grows and overcomes them.

I was glad to see the return of a few of my favorite characters (the flawed Valek, and of course, Ari and Janco). They didn't appear until the second half of the book, so I'm hoping they'll play a larger role in Book 3, Fire Study. Overall, this book was a great sequel, and I can't wait to read more.

Magic Study
By Maria V. Snyder
392 Pages
Published by Luna
Rating: A

Waiting On Wednesday (August 5)

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 Cupcake Queen
By Heather Hepler

When her mother moves them from the city to a small town to open up a cupcake bakery, Penny's life isn't what she expected. Her father has stayed behind, and Mom isn't talking about what the future holds for their family. And then there's Charity, the girl who plays mean pranks almost daily. There are also bright spots in Hog's Hollow—like Tally, an expert in Rock Paper Scissors, and Marcus, the boy who is always running on the beach. But just when it looks as though Penny is settling in, her parents ask her to make a choice that will turn everything upside down again. A sweet novel about love, creativity, and accepting life's unexpected turns.

Published by Penguin Group
Release Date: September 17, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (August 4)

I thought my teaser would be the first two lines of Vamped, since Thursday and Friday I'll be posting about it.

Here's my teaser this week -

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

"I'm here to tell you, rising from the dead just purely sucks. I woke up in a blind terror."

Page 1, Vamped, by Lucienne Diver

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Computer (and other fun things to expect this week)

Today I got my new laptop delivered (while I was at work, of course). I had basically stopped spending money this summer, aside from books of course, just so that I could save up for a new computer when I head back to college at the end of the month. I have to say, it's beautiful. Once I held it in my hands, any buyer's remorse was gone (I'm just not going to look at my bank account balance until I put a few more paychecks back in).

I also wanted to post a "Coming This Week" type of thing. Expect my regular memes, and on Thursday I'll be posting my review for Lucienne Diver's Vamped! I'm really excited for Friday, because I'll be posting my first author interview! Lucienne Diver was kind enough to take a little time to answer some questions, so expect those this week. Of course, I'll also be announcing the winner of my contest (woohoo)! So, keep checking back!

What's everyone else up to this week?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Contest Reminder

Happy August! I just wanted to post a reminder saying that my contest ends this wednesday, August 5th at 12 AM EST. If you wanted to be entered make sure to leave a comment on this post. I'm amazed at how many people have commented, and can't wait to announce the winner!

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