Monday, November 30, 2009

An Award & Nominations of My Own

It's been quite some time since I actually posted about blog awards, so I thought I should feature one that I got recently.
Here are the rules: Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So here are my nominations:
Choco at In Which a Girl Reads (she nominated me, but I recently discovered her blog, too)
Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books
Juju at Tales of Whimsey
Lea at YA Book Queen
Katie at Read What You Know
Laura at The Bookie Bunch (just discovered her blog this weekend)
Patty at Yay!Reads
Aubrey at My Pile of Books
Andrea at Buried in Books! (The blog design here is so cute!)
Jill at The O.W.L (a great site for Middle Grade & YA books)
Callie at Handle Like Hendrix
Ruby from Ruby Loves Adventure
Sandy from Pirate Penguin's Reads

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In My Mailbox (November 29)

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 didn't get any books this week! I did, however, buy Series 2 of Doctor Who.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'll be posting a review tomorrow, but today I'm spending time with my family, and attempting to keep the cats from running off with the turkey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (November 25)

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

Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White

When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

Published by Greenwillow Books
Release Date: March 2, 2010

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (November 24)

What is teaser tuesday?
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

"You see it don't you?" It was barely a question.
I wanted to go to her, but I was afraid to get closer, to touch the luminous haze."

The Mark (ARC edition),Page 29, by Jen Nadol

Saturday, November 21, 2009

In My Mailbox (November 21)

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 didn't get any books this week, but I forgot to mention one that I got a few weeks ago. I picked it up as part of the Everything Austen Challenge.

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre starts where Pride and Prejudice ends and introduces a dark family curse so perfectly that the result is a delightfully thrilling, spine-chilling, breathtaking read. A dark, poignant and visionary continuation of Austen's beloved story, this tale is full of danger, darkness and immortal love.

Friday, November 20, 2009

What's On My TBR Shelf

I thought I'd do a post where I discussed what exactly is in my TBR pile. Currently, it's taking up my entire desk...

Here's my list:
The Trouble with Magic by Madelyn Alt
The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy
Being Nikki by Meg Cabot
Ransom My Heart by Meg Cabot
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Accidentally Engaged by Mary Carter
Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Fifteen Minutes of Shame by Lisa Daily
Fortune's Folly by Deva Fagan
The Guidance by Marley Gibson
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange
Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley
Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler
Need by Carrie Jones
The Monster Variations by Daniel Kraus
Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie
Oracles of Delphi Keep by Victoria Laurie
What's A Ghoul to Do by Victoria Laurie
The Mark by Jen Nadol
Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
Geek Charming by Robin Palmer
The Dashwood Sisters' Secrets of Love by Rosie Rushton
Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott
Fire Study by Maria V Snyder
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer
Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner
Donut Days by Lara Zielin

So, you can see why I've been trying to stop myself from buying more books. I have read a few in the past week, so at least I'm making some progress. I'm also expecting to get a few done over Thanksgiving break...Thank goodness for vacations!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Review: Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

Patient Name: Leigh Nolan Age: 18 years Presenting Concerns: Leigh Nolan has just started her first year at Stiles College. She has decided to major in psychology (even though her parents would rather she study Tarot cards than Rorschach blots), despite reporting that she thinks, "Psychology is a load of crap." Patient has always been very good at helping her friends with their problems, but when it comes to solving her own...not so much. Patient has a tendency to overanalyze things, particularly when the opposite sex is involved. Like why doesn't Andrew, her boyfriend of over a year, ever invite her to spend the night? Or why can't she commit to taking the next step in their relationship? And why does his roommate Nathan dislike her so much? More importantly, why did Nathan have a starring role in a much-more-than-friendly dream? Aggravating factors include hyper-competitive fellow psych majors, a professor who's badly in need of her own psychoanalysis, and mentoring a middle-school-aged girl who thinks Patient is, in a word, nave. Preliminary treatment will include Introduction to Psychology, but may require more if she's going to answer these questions and make it through her freshman year. Diagnosis: Psych Major Syndrome

I actually picked this up after reading some reviews on Goodreads, and I really enjoyed it. Of course, I'm a psychology major who over analyzes everything.

Characters: Leigh (real name: Tuesday), is stuck in a dead-end relationship, analyzes everything that happens around her, and is feeling immense pressure to decide what she plans to do for her senior project. Of course, she's only a freshman. To make things worse, she ends up spending time with younger girls, as part of a mentoring program. While there wasn't a lot of school work mentioned (apparently Leigh can whip out an "A" paper hours after it's due), I did feel like the pressures of college were very present in the book. Over the course of the book, Leigh was able to actually learn from the people around her, particularly the girls that she spent time mentoring. The girls ended up having a reciprocal relationship, with Leigh getting as much advice as she was giving.

Plot: Overall, I really enjoyed the plot. It was fairly obvious how it was going to end, and I didn't really mind. In fact, without giving away any spoilers, that was exactly how I wanted it to end. There were a few times that I was screaming at Leigh in my head, but psych majors are infamous for ignoring what's right in front of them (I should know, haha). I also really enjoyed the humor throughout the book. I've noticed that some of the humor in YA books, and all genres, seems to forced. Maybe it's because slang is constantly being updated, and pop culture references get outdated just as quickly. This book never felt forced to me, which is always a plus. It was a bit fluffy toward the end, just as a warning.

As an added bonus, I got some review on some Intro to Psych theories

I can't wait to read more from Thompson!

Psych Major Syndrome
By Alicia Thomspon
Published by Hyperion
336 Pages
Rating: A-

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (November 18)

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

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

Kayla McHenry’s sweet sixteenth sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla’s secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin’ do.

Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year’s supply of gumballs arrives. And a boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla’s wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride… but they MUST STOP. Because when she was 15? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her.

And Ben is her best friend's boyfriend.

Published by Razorbill
Release Date: August 2010

I really enjoyed Prada and Prejudice, so I'll definitely be picking this one up

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (November 17)

What is teaser tuesday?
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

"Then I met Nash's gaze, hoping panic didn't show in the probably swirling depts of mine. 'So...when you said you can't stop death, what you really meant is that you can't stop Tod?'"

-My Soul To Take, page 130, by Rachel Vincent

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In My Mailbox (November 15)

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...

These week I ended up getting a few books:

From the aweso
me Jen Nadol and Anna from Bloomsbury:

The Mark by Jen Nadol
(Arc/Published by Bloomsbury/Release Date: 01/19/10)
Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?

From Kristi's site Books for Grabs:

The Guidance (Ghost Huntress 2) by Marley Gibson

Kendall and her ghost hunting team is the talk of Radisson, Georgia, but one person isn’t so pleased. Courtney Langdon doesn’t appreciate Kendall’s new popularity or her relationship with Jason, Courtney’s ex.

So Courtney begins dabbling in the paranormal world. At first it’s all a game to draw attention away from Kendall. But Courtney doesn’t know what she’s getting into—or what wants in her. This is one game that’s about to turn deadly serious.


Soulless by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Book Review: Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo

English professor Emma Grant has always done everything just the way her minister father told her she should -- a respectable marriage, a teaching job at a good college, and plans for the requisite two children. Life was prodigiously good, as her favorite author Jane Austen might say, until the day Emma finds her husband in bed with another woman. Suddenly, all her romantic notions a la Austen are exposed for the foolish dreams they are.

Denied tenure in the wake of the scandal and left penniless by the ensuing divorce, Emma packs up what few worldly possessions she has left and heads to England on a quest to find the missing letters of Jane Austen. Locating the elusive letters, however, isn't as straightforward as Emma hoped. The owner of the letters proves coy about her prize possessions, sending Emma on a series of Austen-related tasks that bring her closer and closer to the truth, but the sudden reappearance of Emma's first love makes everything more complicated.

In the end, Emma learns that doing the right thing has very little to do with other people's expectations and everything to do with her own beliefs. Laced with fictional excerpts from the missing letters, Jane Austen Ruined My Life is the story of a woman betrayed who uncovers the deeper meaning of loyalty. (From Goodreads)

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

Ok, so I'm starting to admit to myself that maybe taking on the extra challenge for the Everything Austen Challenge may be a bit too much. Why, you ask? Well, the original number was six Austen-themed books/movies to read/watch. That means that this would technically be my final post in the challenge. I guess I just didn't anticipate the work I'm doing right now, and preparing for graduate school admissions. I'm sure I'll finish, though. I may be cramming the last few review in during December...

I'll just say that this book was cute. In all honesty, I think most Austen-themed books are meant to be this way. They're fluffy, and fun. What I liked about this one in particular, was that it spent some time focusing on Austen's past. One of the things that attracts me to Austen's books is the mystery behind who she was. There isn't all that much factual information on her life, and this book created an interesting theory behind why Jane remained unmarried.

I wish there had been a little more information about the past relationship between Adam and Emma. We know that they were once best friends, but I would have liked to have seen more. I wanted to know more about the nature of their friendship. I also wish that Emma could have fought against her sleazy ex-husband. If I had been in her situation (cheating husband, grad student who falsely accuses me of plagiarizing her paper) then I wouldn't run off to England. Although, I might blame Austen for giving me false expectations about love, like Emma did.

Overall, it was light and fluffy. I just wish that Emma had been a stronger main character.

Jane Austen Ruined My Life
By Beth Pattillo
Published by GuidepostsBooks
320 Pages (Paperback)
Rating: B-

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blog Disclaimer

So, the FTC has basically done some wonky things, and now we're supposed to have blog disclaimers?

I'll start off by saying that I don't make money posting my reviews (and I personally think that would take the fun out of it). I honestly review all books I read, although I try to maintain some professionalism while writing negative reviews.

As a student who makes very (very, very) little money, I don't really have much for the gov't to take. Nonetheless, I do acknowledge where I got my books from (library, store, trade, etc).

Waiting on Wednesday (November 11)

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

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy
(I love the cover!)

When the Prom Queen becomes your fairy godmother…

Sixteen year old outsider, Jess Parker, gets the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to join a secret society of popular girls dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world. The Cinderella Society guides all new recruits through its top secret ultimate life makeover. It’s all part of preparing them to face down the Wickeds and win. Determined not to let the Cindys down, Jess dives in with a passion. Finally, a chance to belong and show the world what she’s made of.

… be careful what you wish for.

Jess’s transformation wins her the heart of her dream crush and a shot at uber-popularity. Until the Wickeds–led by Jess’s arch enemy–begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers the real force behind her exclusive society. It’s a high stakes battle of good vs. evil, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairy tale and honoring the Sisterhood… and herself.

What’s a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?

Published by EgmontUSA
Release Date: April 13, 2010

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (November 10)

What is teaser tuesday? 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 pag
Don't include spoilers

"I was covered in mud and blood, and Grace was getting stitches in her forehead by Gordian technicians in the room next door. 'I want to come home.'"

Rampant, page 186, by Diana Peterfreund

Monday, November 9, 2009

Privacy Policy (and other blog-related info)

After seeing a few posts pop up (at The Story Siren and Pirate Penguin's Reads) about privacy policies I figured I should probably post one, too. While I don't know if other people feel this way, I've noticed a marked increase in spam email over the past few months (around 100 a day, on average).

So, I've decided that the best way to go about contests is to now try contest forms. I've already participated in a few contests that use these forms, and, in my opinion, they're a lot easier to use for everyone. Readers don't have to tally up points, and the forms get sent to the blog owner immediately.

The only personal information that I require is an email address and the winners mailing address (both of which I will delete once the contest has been completed).

If a contest winner is 13 years old or less, they'll have to have parental permission. This means that parent will have to communicate with me so I can get the address and written permission.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

In My Mailbox (November 8)

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...

Ok, so I did buy a book this week. I know, shame on me.

Need by Carrie Jones

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

What did you get this week?

This is also my 150th post!! I actually just realized it, and it's inspired me to actually schedule some posts.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Book Review: Candor by Pam Bachorz

Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, he's found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He's got them all fooled: Oscar's the top student and the best-behaved teen in town. Nobody knows he's made his own Messages to deprogram his brain. Oscar has even found a way to get rich. For a hefty price, he helps new kids escape Candor, Florida before they're transformed into cookie-cutter teens. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor, and Oscar's carefully-controlled world crumbles.

Part of 1 ARC Tours

First, I think it's important to point out that the synopsis makes Oscar seem extremely selfish. Well, he is selfish, but only to an extent. He's helping people to escape a place that's devoid of any creativity or conflict, and receiving some sort of payment seems like a fair trade. He's also dealing with a father who spends more time dealing with the community than he does with his own son, and missing the other half of his family. When a girl named Nia moves to town, he is immediately attracted to her. This attraction leads Oscar to try and save her from the brainwashing messages, and even to think of escaping himself.

The story was a really interesting one. The town seems perfect to the outside observers. So perfect, in fact, that people are willing to pay millions to get a small plot of land far from the center of town. But inside the borders, Candor is a sinister place . One of the main reasons why people go to Candor is because of their "troubled" teens. I guess these parents don't really mind that the personality gets sucked out of their kids...or that they suddenly are all doing well in school, and participating in all the same activities (of course, the adults don't realize they're getting brainwashed, too).

The book was fairly short, and a quick read. The only thing I would have liked to learn more about was the messages. We know the why of them after learning more about Oscar's sad family history, but I want to know how.

I had just finished reading this book when I saw an interesting commercial. It was for a program created by some behavioral psychologist (although who really knows) and it promised to get rid of "all the problems your teen has". Um, what? The commercial just screamed "Candor", and I cringed a bit at the saccharine smiles of the hired actors posing as happy families. Maybe it was because I'd just finished the book, but this commercial was disturbing.

By Pam Bachorz
Published by EgmontUSA
256 Pages
Rating: B+

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (November 4)

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

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Scarlett never believed in the Fenris—werewolves drawn to the delectable charms of young girls. That all changed when in one swift attack, a Fenris murdered her grandmother and left Scarlett half-blind and horrifically scarred. Only her younger sister, Rosie, escaped unharmed as Scarlett shielded her from the Fenris’s jaws.
Now eighteen, Scarlett’s life’s mission is to destroy the Fenris and save other girls from her fate—a mission she’s grown to love, despite herself. Armed with red cloaks and hatchets, Scarlett, Rosie, and a young woodsman, Silas, move to the city in search of answers—and vengeance. If they can find a Potential Fenris, tainted by the pack but not yet consumed by it, they can unlock the mystery that transforms them- but better yet, use him as bait.
But unlike Scarlett, Rosie doesn't feel the thrill of the hunt in her blood. Longing for a life away from heavy responsibility and something sweeter than steel determination, Rosie finds herself drawn to Silas. More and more often, they find themselves abandoning the search for the Potential, stealing kisses, sharing secrets.
When Scarlett discovers the romance blossoming in her midst, she abandons her sister to the woodsman, certain that her own heart has no room for love, not when it's filled with her mission, her purpose. Still, the bond between Scarlett and Rosie is too deep to truly sever, and when Scarlett discovers a way to bring her sister back to her side for good- even if it means destroying Rosie’s happiness—she is forced to make a decision that will change the course of both their lives.

Published by Little, Brown
Release Date: June 03, 2010

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (November 3)

What is teaser tuesday? 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 pag
Don't include spoilers

So, technically I did a teaser for this same book last week. However, I'm really enjoying it (possibly due to all the psych jargon that I understand). So, once again you'll get a teaser from Psych Major Syndrome

"Signs that Sydney was definitely a narcissistic personality: Grandiose self-importance, check. Fantasies of unlimited success or power, check. Believes she is "special" or somehow deserving of excessive admiration, check, check."

-Psych Major Syndrome, page 105, by Alicia Thompson

Sunday, November 1, 2009

In My Mailbox (November 1)

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 didn't get anything this week. I'm still trying to work through my TBR we'll see how that goes.

On the up side, I haven't purchased a book in a few weeks...good for me!

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