Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review: Break by Hannah Moskowitz


Title: Break
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Publication date: August 25th, 2009

Summary:
Jonah is on a mission to break every bone in his body. Everyone knows that broken bones grow back stronger than they were before. And Jonah wants to be stronger—needs to be stronger—because everything around him is falling apart. Breaking, and then healing, is Jonah's only way to cope with the stresses of home, girls, and the world on his shoulders.

When Jonah's self-destructive spiral accelerates and he hits rock bottom, will he find true strength or surrender to his breaking point?


Review:
With a summary like that, how could you not want to pick up this book? It's so unique and controversial, something that I find most books to lack these days. Since Moskowitz is a relatively young writer, I wasn't expecting the writing to be great. But I ended up loving it and can't wait to see what other publications she comes out with in the future.

I finished the entire book in one sitting because it was that good. The characters were real and interesting, and the plot was fascinating. As someone heavily interested in psychology, I was intrigued by everything going on in the book. The reasons for Jonah breaking his bones, the conflicts within the family, the relationship between Jonah and his brother... I was just amazed at how well everything fit together.

What made it even more awesome is that it wasn't censored at all. It was raw, with the f-bomb flying all over the place and gruesome descriptions of the bone breaking process. That might turn some people away from picking up this book, but I can't remember the last time I felt so involved in the lives of characters, almost as if I were reading a journal or being a fly on the wall. It's such a powerful book, and anyone with experiences in self-harm will completely relate to it. The author captured it perfectly, which I don't see happen too often with subjects such as this.

The only complaint I have is the ending. I didn't completely understand the way Jonah's reasons for breaking his bones was explained, so it left me with more questions than anything else. I was expecting some phenomenal ending with lots of oomph, but to me it just kind of died out. Regardless of that, I will still hold on to this book and read it again.


Characters: 9/10
Plot: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Overall grade: A

Monday, July 5, 2010

Review: A Field Guide for Heartbreakers

 Title: A Field Guide for Heartbreakers
Author: Kristen Tracy
Publication date: June 1st, 2010

Summary:
Best friends Dessy and Veronica arrive in Europe with wildly different plans. Dessy hopes to heal her newly broken heart by diving into the creative writing workshop that brought the girls to Prague. Veronica's plan, meanwhile, is to conquer as many hot-dudes as possible in one month--and help Dessy recycle her heart in the process. Her method:

- Dress like you are the party.
- Explore the terrain. (Moderate stalking is totally allowed.)
- Be adventurous. And that means being prepared to hide in your suitcase.
- Ask questions that make your hot-dude feel smart.
- Gloss early, gloss often, and bring bum. Because a kiss can happen when you least expect it!

At first, Veronica's plan is working so well that Dessy thinks she might be a love genius. But soon it's clear that Operation Maneater has a few holes. Like its failure to anticipate crazy mixed signals--and worse, its mysterious tendency to plague a friendship with secrets and lies.

Well, no one ever said breaking hearts was a simple craft.... 


Review:
At first, the cover and summary of this book made it seem like one of those fluffy summer novels with little substance, but something told me to give it a try. I did, and I was very pleasantly surprised. This novel ended up having a lot more depth with the plot and characters than I thought it would. There were lots of interesting twists that kept me on my toes, wondering what had happened or what would happen. At times, I thought the contrast between Veronica (extroverted, loud-mouthed, etc) and Dessy (introverted, doormat-like) was too great for them to be such good friends, but by the end I was satisfied. There were many, many times where I found myself laughing out loud at the things that the characters did and said, particularly with Veronica. There were a lot of great little quirks and such that kept this novel interesting (for example, a crazy homicidal girl in their writing workshop.)

The only complaint I have with this book was that the ending felt a bit rushed. As I neared the end and was caught up in all the suspense, I looked at the remaining 10 or so pages and thought, "That's it? There's no way this whole thing can be wrapped up in just ten pages." It was, but I thought it could've been done a bit better. Overall though, I really enjoyed this book. I read it every chance I got, and will likely read it again in the near future. It was a perfect mix of a fun summer read with some depth and adventure to it. 


Received for review from Disney Publishing.

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Overall grade: A

Monday, June 28, 2010

Review: Mackenzie Blue series


Title: Mackenzie Blue
Author: Tina Wells

Summary:
Book 1:
Meet Mackenzie Blue, aka Zee
She has it all—smarts, talent, humor, and style. . . .
Is it enough to survive middle school?
Countdown to a 7th Grade Meltdown
1. Your BFF moves away.
2. Someone steals your diary and reveals your deepest secrets—to the entire class.
3. You have one chance to become a rock star and one chance to totally blow it. Guess what!? All three happened to me! School's a disaster already. Don't get me wrong—I love Brookdale Academy and I have a fabulous crew of friends. (At least, I think I do.) But, if I'm going to survive, I need all the help I can get! 

Book 2 (The Secret Crush):
Mackenzie Blue has a crush!
But how can she get Landon—the cutest boy in school—to notice her? The class's new rock-and-roll musical is her chance.
Reasons why our musical is going to be amazing:
  1. I could be the star!
  2. Landon could be my co-star . . . which means we'll hang out together.
  3. Working on the sets, props, music, script, and costumes will be tons of fun.
There's so much to do, I'd better get started!
Between her crush, the musical, and her friends—not to mention school work—Zee is torn in a thousand different directions. With all the real-life drama going on, will she lose sight of what's really important?

Book 3 (Friends Forever?):
Mackenzie Blue is hitting the trails!
It's time for Brookdale Academy's camping field trip, but Zee has much more to deal with than a lesson about nature. . . .
Pros:
1. My BFF, Ally, is visiting all the way from Paris! Ooh la la!
2. My friends and I are so going to win the environmental scavenger hunt!
Cons:
1. We have to stay in teeny-tiny log cabins. How will we all fit?
2. The legendary (and terrifying) Mountain Man . . . 

Review:
Since this series is geared more towards pre-teens, which is an audience I don't usually review for, I'm reviewing the whole series in one post. Even though my main focus is on young adult books, I'll sometimes review books meant for either a bit younger or older audience. This series looked interesting, so I figured, why not?

There were so many things in these books that reminded my of myself in 7th grade. Zee being embarrassed to have her dad drop her off at school, problems making new friends, first crushes, etc. The series was a really fun and positive one. Something I could definitely see myself reading in 6th or 7th grade. I liked how there were bits of her diary entries and IM conversations included, but sometimes the IMs were a bit annoying because I can't stand chat speak. I also enjoyed the aspect of the band, which ended up playing a big part throughout all 3 books. I was a "band geek" in middle school, so I could really relate to a lot of that. It's refreshing to see a book with groups other than the typical jocks, cheerleaders, etc.

Overall, I think this is a great series for a younger audience. It deals with a lot of problems that girls at that age can relate to, and ultimately a positive solution was found for each of the problems. I'd definitely recommend it to tween girls looking for something cute to read.

Characters: 8/10
Plot: 7/10
Originality: 7/10
Writing: 7/10
Overall grade: C

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review: Lifted


Title: Lifted
Author: Wendy Toliver
Publication date: June 8th, 2010

Summary:
Being bad never felt so good.
Poppy Browne never stole anything in her life before moving to Pleasant Acres and meeting Mary Jane and Whitney. But when Poppy walks out of the mall with her two new friends and her first pair of stolen jeans, she's hooked.
Before long, Poppy is lifting whenever she gets the urge--it's never about the merchandise, it's always about the thrill. But when her secret gets out, Poppy's clique turns on each other. As she watches her life collapse around her, Poppy must decide where her loyalties lie...and how far she'll go to protect herself.

Review:
This book had a great way of showing two important lessons: 1) People aren't always as nice or mean as they might seem to be; and 2) Trying something just once, even if on accident, can lead to a spiraling addiction. I absolutely loved this book. Poppy seemed like someone I would get along with great, minus the shop lifting, of course. It just goes to show how easily someone can be influenced by peer pressure when they're trying to fit in in a new place. Watching Poppy get into shoplifting and then becoming fully addicted to it was interesting and eye-opening. It's amazing how quickly something that seems innocent at first can escalate into a huge problem.

The fact that Poppy attended a Baptist school threw me off at first. Until the shoplifting started, I was wondering how in the world that would be incorporated into a book that seemed so pure otherwise. But everyone at Calvary High seemed to have their own little secrets, which was really interesting and made me think twice about my view of religiously oriented schools. Addiction and peer pressure can influence anyone, no matter how "pure". 

I loved a lot of the characters, but my opinions of some of them were changed drastically by the end of the book. At times, it became almost like a mystery trying to figure out who was doing things with good intent and who wasn't. But of course in the end it all fell together, and I was happily satisfied with the ending. There was something about the style of Wendy Toliver's writing that I loved, and I can't wait to read more of it.
Characters: 9/10
Plot: 10/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Overall grade: A

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cleaning the bookshelves!

It's time for my spring cleaning, which means that I'm also trying to lessen the amount of books on my shelves. But I feel bad just donating them, because I want them to go to loving homes. So I figured I'd ask here, would anyone be interested in getting a flat rate box stuffed with books? I'd ask $15 per box, mostly for shipping but a couple bucks to recoup a bit of the money I've spent on these books. I have too many books and not enough time to type up a complete list, but I'd love to stuff as many as I can in a flat rate box and send them to someone looking for new books to read. I have enough books to do a couple of these, I think. Any takers?

Here's a slightly crappy cell phone picture of a few of the books (I'm still going through the rest of them):

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Review: Auf Wiedersehen


Title: Auf Wiedersehen
Author: Christa Holder Ocker
Publication date: July 21, 2009

Summary:
Auf Wiedersehen by Christa Holder Ocker tells the story of World War II through the eyes of a young German girl. As she and her family move around from place to place trying to avoid the Russians, they wonder how they will ever survive through the war. Their last hope is to find a way to America.

Review:
As someone studying German, I really loved this book. It was a gripping account of one family struggling through World War II. German phrases and words were incorporated throughout, which I felt really added to the feeling of the book. It could have been a bit longer near the end I thought, but overall it was a great read. I felt as if I was right there with the family while I was reading it, experiencing all their struggles. Anyone interested in World War II or Germany would enjoy this compelling autobiography.


Overall grade: C

Book received from bookdivas.com

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Auf Wiedersehen - In pictures!

Spring Break Reading Challenge

The current Random Reading Activity Challenge asks us to post about the book we're currently reading, in pictures. I'm reading Auf Wiedersehen by Christa Holder Ocker, a book about World War II in Germany from the point of a young German girl.

This is Bahnhof Apolda, or the Apolda train station. Christa and her family leave their town in G├Ârlitz to go to Apolda, to escape from the Russians.










An American soldier at the American headquarters there gives her a chocolate bar every day. Then one day, the Americans are gone to round up the SS.






Christa's Mutti writes letters to her old friend in America, in hopes that he can help them out in moving to America.








This is fairly short because I don't want to spoil the book, which is also very short. But it's such an authentic, gripping one. I read it all in one sitting. Review will come soon, but for now, there's a slight bit of it in pictures.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Review: The Straight Road to Kylie


Title: The Straight Road to Kylie
Author: Nico Medina

Publication date: May 22nd, 2007


Summary:
Life is fabulous for Jonathan Parish. He's seventeen, out and proud, and ready to party through senior year with his posse of best girlfriends. But the year starts off with the wrong kind of bang when Jonathan -- in an inebriated lapse of judgment -- sleeps with a friend of his...a girl friend!
When word gets around that hot-but-previously-unavailable Jonathan might be on the market, the school's It girl approaches him with a proposal: pretend to be her boyfriend, and achieve popularity like he's never known. But popularity isn't what Jonathan wants. And suddenly, going back into the closet becomes Jonathan's only way to get what he's after -- a trip to see Kylie Minogue.
Review:
The only GLBT young adult book left on my shelf that I hadn't yet read, I decided to pick this one up for this month's GLBT April Mini-Challenge. It didn't disappoint one bit! Jonathan seemed like such a great, fun guy. There was never a dull moment because there was always some kind of excitement or trouble going on. I hear lots of girls wishing they had a gay guy as a best friend, and Jonathan was perfect for that role, especially with his best girl friends in the book. I'd love to hang out with him in real life; he seemed like so much fun to be around. This book had an amazingly real feel to it, almost as if I was reading about an account of someone's life. Potential readers be warned though, there's a lot of talk about sex, lots of drinking/partying, and lots of cursing. If that kind of thing bothers you, this is definitely not a good book to pick up. But with all of the drama, hilarity, and awesome characters I got to know, this book was a very enjoyable read, especially if you're into GLBT literature.
Characters: 8/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 8/10
Writing: 7/10
Overall grade: B

Friday, April 2, 2010

Random Reading Activity Challenge


Spring Break Reading Challenge

We all love reading challenges, don't we? Well KarinLibrarian is hosting a new one called the Random Reading Activity Challenge. As the name implies, it's random! At any time, she'll post an activity to do that you'll have a certain amount of time to complete. After completing the challenge and posting a link back to your blog on the Mr. Linky, one winner will be chosen from the participants for that challenge. The first prize up for grabs is YOU by Charles Benoit.


Want to participate? Then head on over to the Random Reading Activity Challenge blog!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

GLBT March Mini Challenge: Review: First Love Sisters #1

Title: First Love Sisters vol. 1
Author: Mizuo Shinonome
Publication date: December 15th, 2007



Summary:

During a fateful visit to Tsunojo Girls’ School, Chika Matsusato meets the girl of her dreams--cool upperclassman Haruna Kanzaki. Even though they spent only one short day together, Chika will never forget Haruna’s kindness, and has made it her life’s goal to study hard and get accepted into Tsunojo Girls’ School so that they can be together. But will Haruna share Chika’s feelings...?


Review:
While I usually don't review manga on my blog (though I do occasionally read it), this was read for the GLBT March Mini-Challenge. I've read it previously, but reading it again for this challenge reminded me how much I enjoyed it and how sweet it was. Some of the relationships between the other characters were confusing to me; I wasn't sure who was just being friendly and who might've been more involved, as the main characters were. While reading, I was constantly smiling, being reminded of how giddy and happy a first crush/love can make you. This manga was really cute, both the drawings and storyline, and I'm eagerly awaiting volume two to see what happens! Of course it left off with sort of a cliffhanger. But the publishing of volume two and subsequent volumes has apparently been put on hold due to rights issues! This greatly disappoints me, because I'd really like to continue with the series.

Overall grade: B

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Review: The Black Sheep

Title: The Black Sheep
Author: Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout

Publication date: May 1st, 2007


Summary:
Fed up with her parents and all their ridiculous rules (they keep a binder full of them), fifteen-year-old Kendra Bishop writes away to The Black Sheep, a reality TV show that offers the chance to swap families with another teen. But when the camera crew shows up at her Manhattan apartment, Kendra starts to have second thoughts.

Too late. Kendra is whisked away to Monterey, California, to live with the Mulligan family in a household that couldn't be more different from her own. Of course, when Kendra falls for Mitch, the Mulligans' seventeen-year-old son, it only complicates things further, especially since Mitch despises the reality TV show and everything it stands for. But given the chance, Kendra might just be able to juggle first love, her new stardom, and a pushy TV producer who will stop at nothing for higher ratings.


Review:
The Black Sheep was a cute, fun book with a fresh writing style. I could really sympathize with Kendra and really enjoyed getting to know her and the members of the Mulligan family (whose names all begin with M). Then of course there was Judy the producer and the camera crew, who were definitely annoying, but entertaining as well. I loved how it was set as a reality show; it's a unique kind of idea that I don't see much in YA books. Seeing Kendra stand up for herself and the cause she believed in and going a separate way from her parents was great, and I was cheering her on every step of the way. There was always something fun and interesting going on in the book. I didn't want to put it down because I was always intrigued to see what would happen next. I'm so happy that I picked up this book, and it's definitely one I will read again in the future.

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 9/10
Originality: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Overall grade: A

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wherever Nina Lies winners!

It's time to announce the winners of the Wherever Nina Lies giveaway! Congratulations to:

Addicted Book Reader
Alexa
neonxxlovee

I'll be sending each of you emails shortly. Thanks to all that entered the giveaway!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Review: Lipstick Apology

Title: Lipstick Apology
Author: Jennifer Jabaley

Publication date: August 6th, 2009


Summary:

Sometimes a good-bye is just the beginning…

When Emily Carson’s parents die in a plane crash, she’s left with nothing but her mother’s last words scrawled in lipstick on a tray table: “Emily, please forgive me.”
Now it’s fall and Emily moves to New York City— where she attracts the attention of two very different boys: the cute, popular Owen, and her quirky chemistry partner, Anthony. With the help of some surprising new friends, Emily must choose between the boy who helps her forget and the one who encourages her to remember, and ultimately heal.

Review:
This book was great. It was well rounded with the more serious issue of Emily's parents dying, but also lots of funny moments. The writing was fresh and entertaining, but I expected the book to deal more with the mystery of Emily's mother's message than it actually did. By the end I was satisfied, but it seemed like most of the book was focused on her adjusting to her new life than trying to find out about her mother's message. I would have liked to read more about people like Trent and Anthony, instead of so much about Owen. The romance was kind of predictable as well. Although I really like the message that the book gave, that relationships are about something a lot deeper than just looks and initial feelings.

Characters: 8/10
Plot: 6/10
Originality: 7/10
Writing: 8/10
Overall grade: C

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Layout change

Though I really liked my previous layout, I've decided to change it back again. I've received a couple of emails that people weren't able to comment on my posts with the layout, and I don't know why that is. So for now, it's back to the plain old Minima layout. Not the most aesthetically pleasing, but I'm just glad that it's working again! (Well, should be, at least.)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Review: Wherever Nina Lies


Title: Wherever Nina Lies
Author: Lynn Weingarten
Publication date: February 1st, 2009

Summary:
Nina was beautiful, wild, and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But, one day, Nina disappeared. Two years later, everyone has given up home that Nina will return, but Ellie knows her sister is out there. If only Ellie had a clue where to look. Then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing. Determined to find Nina, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she’s got a chance—her hot, adventurous new crush. Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn’t planning on. Like love. Lies. And the most shocking thing of all: the truth.

Review:
This book was awesome. It managed to be really fun with all of the different characters and things going on, but still kind of serious since Ellie's main goal was looking for Nina. I really admired her determination to keep looking, even though almost everyone else thought she should be over it. The book kind of reminded me of a treasure hunt, in some ways. Full of clues and mysteries that made one thing lead to another, and always kept you guessing. There's also a twist near the end that I wasn't really expecting, and at that point I could NOT put the book down until I was finished. I love the sisterly bond that Nina and Ellie seem to share, as well as all of the other interesting people in Ellie's life. I will definitely read this book again; I think it's quickly become one of my favorites.

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 10/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 10/10
Overall grade: A

*Want to have your own copy? Enter my giveaway!*

Friday, February 19, 2010

Giveaway: Wherever Nina Lies


I have three copies of Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten to give away!

"Nina was beautiful, wild, and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But, one day, Nina disappeared. Two years later, everyone has given up home that Nina will return, but Ellie knows her sister is out there. If only Ellie had a clue where to look. Then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing. Determined to find Nina, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she’s got a chance—her hot, adventurous new crush. Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn’t planning on. Like love. Lies. And the most shocking thing of all: the truth."

Open to:
USA (international readers can enter if you have a friend in the States to ship it to!)

To enter:
Leave a comment below with your email address, and tell me why you want to read this book.

Last day to enter:
March 12th

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Trailer Tuesdays

Trailer Tuesdays is a feature I started in July of last year, meant to be somewhat like Waiting on Wednesday but in book trailer format. Every week I'll feature a book trailer of an upcoming or recently released book that I want to read. I stopped doing this because I got somewhat bored with it, but I've decided to bring it back because I miss doing it.

This week's featured book is Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder, which was just released in January.


Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.

Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.


The cover is so simple, but beautiful. And I think the plot sounds so intriguing! It's written in verse, which I'm usually not a huge fan of (with the exception of Ellen Hopkins), but I really want to give this book a try.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Review: My Soul To Take/My Soul To Save

This will be kind of a double review of both My Soul To Take and My Soul To Save by Rachel Vincent, since I read them back to back and see no point in making two posts.


The plot and concept of these books is something I've not seen in any other book, and I really like that. The idea of "Soul Screamers" is pretty original, and definitely held my interest. In My Soul To Take, I found it a bit hard to get into at first and fit some pieces together. But by the end of the book when I understood the ideas a bit more, I was totally intrigued by them and left wanting more. I did enjoy the first book slightly more than the second, but that's not to say that the second wasn't entertaining. I just liked the feel of MSTT better, getting to know Kaylee's family and all of the mystery that encompassed the whole book. MSTS had a bit of a different feel to it, and was more focused on one goal. Kaylee and Nash's relationship was fun to read about as well, and I can't wait to see what happens with them. Overall, I really like this series and the elements in it, and can't wait to read the third book.

Characters: 8/10
Plot: 7/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Overall grade: B

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Want to win Linger by Maggie Stiefvater?

Linger Cover LargeIn Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.


Comes out in stores everywhere July 20th. Pre-order here.

Enter to win an advanced review copies of LINGER, Sisters Red, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and The Replacement on Maggie's blog.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Soul To Save winners

Congrats to the winners of the My Soul To Save contest!

Alicia
Denise Madness
Catie S

I've sent each of you an email, please reply within 48 hours or I'll pick another winner.

If you didn't win, don't worry! More contests will be announced soon :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Review: Shrinking Violet

Title: Shrinking Violet
Author: Danielle Joseph
Publication date: May 5th, 2009

Summary:
High school senior Teresa Adams is so painfully shy that she dreads speaking to anyone in the hallways or getting called on in class. But in the privacy of her bedroom with her iPod in hand, she rocks out -- doing mock broadcasts for Miami's hottest FM radio station, which happens to be owned by her stepfather. When a slot opens up at The SLAM, Tere surprises herself by blossoming behind the mike into confident, sexy Sweet T -- and to everyone's shock, she's a hit! Even Gavin, the only guy in school who she dares to talk to, raves about the mysterious DJ's awesome taste in music. But when The SLAM announces a songwriting contest -- and a prom date with Sweet T is the grand prize -- Sweet T's dream could turn into Tere's worst nightmare....

Review:
I loved almost everything about this book. I could definitely relate to Tere's shyness because I'm a lot like her. The title didn't make much sense to me until about halfway through the book, but after reading it I think it's a perfect title. Each character was unique and fun to read about. I especially liked the characters and setting at the radio station. That seems like such a fun job, and being a huge music lover, I really enjoyed getting to read about "Sweet T"'s goal of becoming a DJ and her time spent at the radio station. The relationship between her and Gavin was somewhat predictable, but it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling nonetheless. Everything was so interesting and well written; I would have never guessed that this was the author's first book. It was much better than the expectations I had for it; this is a book I will definitely read again.

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 9/10
Writing: 9/10
Overall grade: A-

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Lonely Hearts Club winners!

I've randomly picked the three winners of my The Lonely Hearts Club giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered. It's such a fun book, you won't be disappointed. :) Congrats to the three winners:

Sab H.
Sara
Khy
Ultimate YA Creator

I've emailed each of you, please reply with your mailing address. Congrats!

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Soul To Save giveaway!

The second book in the Soul Screamers series, My Soul To Save, comes out this month! I have three copies to give away to three lucky winners.

When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies. So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn’t wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can’t cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand.

Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk….

Open to:
USA only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.)

To enter:
Leave a comment below.

+1 For posting a linking back to the contest somewhere.

Deadline:
Last day to enter is February 8th.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Review: David Inside Out

Title: David Inside Out
Author: Lee Bantle

Publication date: May 12th, 2009


Summary:
David Dahlgren, a high-school senior, finds solace in running with the track team; he’s a fast runner, and he enjoys the camaraderie. But team events become a source of tension when he develops a crush on one of his teammates, Sean. Scared to admit his feelings, David does everything he can to suppress them: he dates a girl, keeps his distance from his best friend who has become openly gay, and snaps a rubber band on his wrist every time he has “inappropriate” urges. Before long, Sean expresses the thoughts David has been trying to hide, and everything changes for the better. Or so it seems.

Review:
I have mixed feelings about this book. To some extent I enjoyed reading about the characters in this book, but for the most part I felt it was nothing I hadn't read before. It also seemed to make things too casual for my taste (like excessive teenage drinking/sex), so I didn't have a ton of respect for the characters because of the things they were doing so freely. I could sympathize with some of their feelings at times, but at others, not so much. It's an interesting addition to my GLBT book collection, but I can think of a ton of other books on the subject that I enjoyed a lot more thoroughly. I enjoyed this book for what it was, though it didn't meet my expectations.

Characters: 6/10
Plot: 6/10
Originality: 5/10
Writing: 6/10
Overall grade: D

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lonely Hearts Club twitter party!



Join Lonely Hearts Club author Elizabeth Eulberg and Amy of MyFriendAmy for a Twitter party Wednesday, January 20, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. EST!

  • Join the fun! No one expects you or your tweets to be perfect; we’re just happy you made it to the party!

  • Anyone who tweets during this hour using #LonelyHeartsClub is entered to win a limited edition Lonely Hearts Club t-shirt!

  • Watch for questions from @MyFriendAmy and win awesome prizes including an iPod shuffle, $50 iTunes gift card or $25 VISA gift card!

  • Ask Elizabeth questions or chat with other partygoers about how excited you are to read LHC—just use the tag #LonelyHeartsClub in all of your party tweets! (This is added automatically in TweetGrid.)

  • Please don’t post any spoilers and don’t forget to pay attention to the time zones, the party starts at 8:30pm EST.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Review: The Lonely Hearts Club

Title: Lonely Hearts Club
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg

Publication date: December 29th, 2009


Summary:

Penny is sick of boys and sick of dating, so she vows: No more. She’s had one too many bad dates, and has been hurt by one too many bad boys. It’s a personal choice…and soon everybody wants to know about it. It seems that Penny’s not the only girl who’s tired of the way girls change themselves (most of the time for the worse) in order to get their guys…or the way their guys don’t really care about them. Girls are soon thronging to The Lonely Hearts Club (named after Sgt. Pepper’s band), and Penny finds herself near legendary for her non-dating ways – which is too bad, since the leader of The Lonely Hearts Club has found a certain boy she can’t help but like…

Review:
It didn't take me very long to read through this book, but I enjoyed every minute of it. It was cute and funny, and I loved reading about Penny Lane's life. Everything from her Beatles' obsessed parents, to her boy drama and decision to start The Lonely Hearts Club. At the beginning, I thought that too much was introduced at once. There were so many different boys and girls being talked about, and I wasn't quite sure which were the main characters. But as the book went on and some of them were talked about more in-depth than others, I really liked the feeling the novel had. While it is cute and fun, I think there's also a great meaning behind it. A must read for any girl who's ever had her heart broken by a guy.

Characters: 7/10
Plot: 8/10
Originality: 7/10
Writing: 7/10
Overall grade: C

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Lonely Hearts Club giveaway!


Three lucky people will win a copy of The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg. It just came out on December 29th; I've heard many things about it from other blogs and I'm sure you have too. In fact, I just started reading my copy today, and I'm loving it so far!



Open to:
People in the US only (international readers can enter if you have a friend with a US mailing address).

To enter:
Leave a comment below!

+1
For every person you get to enter.

Deadline:
Last day to enter is January 27th.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

GLBT Mini Challenge #1

The January mini-challenge for "The Challenge That Dare Not Speak Its Name" is to write about why this challenge/issue is so important to me.

GLBT issues are something that have always been really important to me. I've always been very interested in promoting GLBT rights, not only because it's an interesting topic but also because it affects me (as well as some of my closest friends) personally. The issue of hate/harassment towards people of different sexual orientations is often shrugged off or turned away from. I can recall multiple instances where I've personally been harassed for it, and I have more memories than I can count of seeing others being harassed or bullied because of their sexual orientation. Especially in high school, people loosely use terms like "that's so gay", and call each other "fags" without taking the time to think about who they might be offending. A group of my friends in another town were denied being allowed to start a Gay Straight Alliance at their school, even after following the proper procedure to start a club, because the staff claimed they "didn't need one". I've had friends in this same town skip school because they were so afraid of how they were being treated by their peers.

I chose to participate in this challenge because I strongly support GLBT rights and believe that GLBT literature is important, especially for young adults. We are all people, we all deserve equal rights, and I think that raising awareness is an important step in achieving that.

Monday, January 4, 2010

End of the Holiday Break Reading Challenge



Last night at midnight marked the end of the Holiday Break Reading Challenge, and I'm somewhat disappointed to say that I only managed to read 4 books from my goal of 10. I had planned to do a ton of reading over the last few days, but unfortunately I got a horrible case of food poisoning starting at 10 PM on New Year's Eve and am STILL recovering. Needless to say, I've been exhausted and spent most of my time sleeping and resting. I still had a ton of fun participating in the challenge though, and hopefully I can do more damage with it next year! Thanks to Karin for hosting such a wonderful challenge.