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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your having a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve. I haven't posted much this week because I've felt like I got run over by a freight train. -_- Had a great Christmas though! Got a copy of Captivate by Carri Jones from the lovely people at Bloomsbury USA and a copy of Beautiful Creatures from my grandmother. I honestly wasn't going to read Beautiful Creatures but since I picked it up I haven't been able to put it down. Absolutely amazing. =) I plan on posting the review soon, as well as a list of the top 15 book (in my opinion) that were published in 2009.

Until then,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Girl with the Mermaid Hair by Delia Ephron

The Girl with the Mermaid Hair by Delia Ephron 4 of 5 stars.

Click. Sukie Jamieson takes a selfie after her tennis lesson. Click. She takes one before she has to give a presentation in class. Click. She takes one to be sure there's nothing in her teeth after eating pizza at Clementi's. And if she can't take a selfie, she checks her reflections in windows, spoons, car chrome--anything available, really. So when her mother gives her an exquisite full-length mirror that once belonged to her grandmother, Sukie is thrilled. So thrilled that she doesn't listen to her mother's warning: "This mirror will be your best friend and worst enemy." Because mirrors, as Sukie discovers, show not only the faraway truth but the truth up close. And finding out that close-up truth changes people. Often forever.

The Girl with the Mermaid Hair wasn't what I expected. The beginning felt very unrealistic and unfeeling. I couldn't stand the first half to be honest. The only reason I kept reading is while I wasn't crazy about the characters or even the story Delia Ephron is a good writer. The second half was almost like a different book. I really enjoyed it. While this isn't something I typically read I'm sure someone who likes say Chick-Lit would enjoy it. Over all I would give it a three but because of the ending and Ephron's prose, I'll give it a four.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Voices in the Dark by Catherine Banner

Voices in the Dark by Catherine Banner 5 of 5 stars.
Voices in the Dark is the 2nd and latest book of The Last Descendants Trilogy.
Asking for the truth can be as painful as telling it...

Anselm Andros has clearly defined roles in his family and they are roles he plays very well - he is confidante to his mother, Maria. He is the confessor to his stepfather, Leo, a man haunted by the secrets of his past. And Anselm is also the patient, caring brother to his precocious sister, Jasmine. When the political landscape of Malonia starts to shift, this unassuming family begins to unravel. Even though they've spent the past fifteen years leading a quiet life, Maria and Leo's actions are forever linked to the turbulent history of Malonia and its parallel world, modern-day England. With so much uncertainty at home and in his world, it is more important than ever for Anselm to put all the pieces of the past together. He must listen to his own voice and acknowledge his fears and desires - whatever the cost.

After reading the first book in this trilogy, Eyes of a King, it took me a while to figure out where this book picks up. This book provides very little review of the previous book and to fully respect and understand it you must read the first. I loved the first book by Catherine Banner and in turn I loved this one. When you read a series that is crafted so carefully with such love and attention and that has such a realistic disposition even despite the unbelievable world you come to love the characters and to feel for them. I found myself crying with them and laughing with them. Catherine Banner's writing is beautiful and consoling but at the same time the story will break your heart. Its filled with such melancholy it hurts. Leo was our narrator in the first book but now, sixteen years later, his step-son takes over the narrative. In the beginning he seems much different from Leo, less miserable, angry, and thoughtful, but toward the end he picks up the same grief and guilt that filled Leo's world. While the little girl, Jasmine, seems to have a bit too large a vocabulary for a six year old she is a wonderful character that adds more texture to the story. I would suggest this trilogy to anyone who loves a good fantasy.

For fans of: Gemma Doyle Trilogy, Inheritance Cycle

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday!

This week I thought I'd dedicate this to the Twi-hards since I just found something out last night. Apparently, the next thing in the line to make the Twilight franchise even more money from loving fans is... *drum roll, please!* a REALITY SHOW! And yes, your first thought is probably the same as mine, our we going to watch the lives of Twilight fans? Really? Just come to my/my friends house. Haha. Nope. This is going to be based on the real life inhabitants of Forks, Washington. After reading this article I decided it actually sounds pretty neat, and if it does make it to the television I will most definitely watch it!

'Twilight': The Reality Show?

Producer heads to 'Twilight' town in search of the supernatural

By Josef Adalian

"Twilight" town Forks, Washington, could soon be the setting for a new reality docusoap.
Producer Zig Gauthier has begun casting for an unscripted project designed to tap into the "Twi"-hards' interest in all things related to Stephenie Meyer's book and movie franchise.
But don't expect to see Forks townies pretending to be vampires and werewolves.

"We're not going up there looking to cast people who have claims to the supernatural," Gauthier told TheWrap, just hours before hopping a flight to Forks. "We want people who have a true connection to the community. We want to avoid people with outlandish claims."
So just what will the show be?

Gauthier said the goal of the as-yet untitled series is "to peel back another layer of the onion that is Forks and see what the real people there are like."
There's certainly evidence that "Twilight" fans will respond to all things related to the franchise. As TheWrap reported last month, tourist traffic has boomed in recent years as readers and moviegoers flocked to see the town where Meyers set her novels -- even though very little filming of the movies took place in Forks.

The exact format of the series hasn't yet been worked out and won't be until Gauthier finishes casting. He also wants to give potential network partners maximum flexibility in shaping the series.

Possibilities for the structure of the show include focusing on a group of high-school students (the real life Bella!), following one or more families who live in the town or a "Real Housewives" model, in which cameras tag along with several interesting personalities in the town.

Forks has been hit hard by the Great Recession, so the tourist dollars that have come from
"Twilight" have been helpful. Gauthier hopes exposing the real Forks via a reality show could further boost tourism.

Mike Gurling, who manages the visitor center for the Forks Chamber of Commerce, said residents were aware of planned casting sessions for the Gauthier project -- but not yet sure what to make of the idea.

"It's pretty hard to imagine the concept," Gurling told TheWrap. "This is a really small logging town. If you were to compare what happens here to Las Vegas or Los Angeles, it's hard for us to believe" there's enough interesting content for a show.

That said, Gurling said that he just hopes that anything that's produced "sheds a positive light on Forks. If it's hokey or embarrassing, my personal impression is that's not something we'd want to see."

Not a problem, says Gauthier: He wants to be considerate of locals who might not be keen on a Hollywood camera crew hanging out in the town of 3,000.

"I come from a small town of 100 people in Northern California," he said. "I do expect some people to be resistant. But we want to be respectful of what the town has gone through. I think we're making our best effort to make this a good experience."

Gauthier is developing the Forks project via his Red Varden Studios banner. Before launching his own company, he served as co-head of alternative for SyFy (then SciFi) and had gigs at Fox Cable Networks and GSN.

Much love and Merry Christmas,


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

On Teaser Tuesday I will post a few sentences from the book I am currently reading and you will do the same. =) Today I will post my excerpt from Voices in the Dark by Catherine Banner on page 157. Enjoy!

"It is not just because of my father," Leo said. "Anselm, it was a very bad thing that I did. If it ever comes out--if anyone ever learns about it--I will be in trouble. And so will you--all of you."

Now, please share and teaser excerpt with me from whatever wonderful book your reading in the comments.

Also, I have now signed up for BookMooch.com and I can't believe what I've been missing out on! Its totally awesome. My username is AryaSmith. =)

Much love,

Monday, December 21, 2009

First Day of Winter!

Its official, Winter is here! I'm sad to say that while its relatively cool here now it will be 70 and raining on Christmas in Ga. =( I hope wherever you are you are enjoying a wonderfully white and safe Winter break. But I'm not writing a Hallmark card here, I know how stressful the holidays can be. So, in honor of that "other side" to Christmas, I thought I'd share something with you that might make you smile. =-) Enjoy!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Eragon’s Guide to Alagaësia by Christopher Paolini

Eragon’s Guide to Alagaësia by Christopher Paolini 4 of 5 stars.

From the creators of the bestselling books Dragonology, Egyptology, Piratelogy, and others, this is a never-before-seen glimpse into the world of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance cycle. Alagaësia comes alive in a lush and detailed look at an unforgettable magical land. From elves, dwarves, Urgals, humans, and dragons, to the natural landscape and the magic it contains, Eragon himself offers the reader an unsurpassed tour. This oversized, full-color book provides 15 spreads chock full of spectacular artwork, engaging novelty elements, and fascinating insights into Eragon’s home. With gorgeous jewels adorning the cover and pages filled with envelopes, gatefolds, samples of dragon skin, and more, Eragon’s Guide to Alagaësia is sure to appeal to the legions of fans of Christopher Paolini’s bestselling Inheritance cycle.

When I got Eragon’s Guide to Alagaësia in the mail I was thrilled! It is a sapphire blue hardcover book that looks and feels like it is bound in “dragon skin”. I marveled at the beautiful pictures the book contained. My favorite of all would have to be the elves and the landscapes. While it is a beautiful and relatively informative book it verges on the corny side. Stuck in little packages on the different pages are paper flowers, “dragon knucklebones”, and other little things. You can feel a dragon’s wing (glitter), or a Fuldunost’s fur, which in all honesty reminds me of some little books my cousins had in preschool. Something about that just feels like they were trying to hard. This is a wonderful keepsake and a simply gorgeous book, but for a diehard Inheritance fan it might not seem much. On the other hand, I do think it could get younger readers interested in the exciting series by our much loved author Christopher Paolini. Overall, I enjoyed looking at it, and believe it is a nice collector’s item but doesn’t quite serve to satiate my thirst for CP’s thick and exciting prose.

For fans of: Inheritance Cycle

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In My Mailbox (3)

I've gotten some pretty great books in the mail so far this week! =) Check this out.

Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia by Christopher Paolini from the wonderfully ladies of BookDivas

From the creators of the bestselling books Dragonology, Egyptology, Piratelogy, and others, this is a never-before-seen glimpse into the world of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance cycle. Alagaësia comes alive in a lush and detailed look at an unforgettable magical land. From elves, dwarves, Urgals, humans, and dragons, to the natural landscape and the magic it contains, Eragon himself offers the reader an unsurpassed tour. This oversized, full-color book provides 15 spreads chock full of spectacular artwork, engaging novelty elements, and fascinating insights into Eragon’s home. With gorgeous jewels adorning the cover and pages filled with envelopes, gatefolds, samples of dragon skin, and more, Eragon’s Guide to Alagaësia is sure to appeal to the legions of fans of Christopher Paolini’s bestselling Inheritance cycle.

Voices in the Dark by Catherine Banner from RandomBuzzers.

Asking for the truth can be as painful as telling it. . . .

Anselm Andros has clearly defined roles in his family and they are roles he plays very well—he is confidante to his mother, Maria. He is the confessor to his stepfather, Leo, a man haunted by the secrets of his past. And Anselm is also the patient, caring brother to his precocious sister, Jasmine. When the political landscape of Malonia starts to shift, this unassuming family begins to unravel. Even though they’ve spent the past fifteen years leading a quiet life, Maria and Leo’s actions are forever linked to the turbulent history of Malonia and its parallel world, modern-day England. With so much uncertainty at home and in his world, it is more important than ever for Anselm to put all the pieces of the past together. He must listen to his own voice and acknowledge his fears and desires—whatever the cost.

The Girl with Mermaid Hair by Delia Ephron from my lovely friends at HarperTeen

Click. Sukie Jamieson takes a selfie after her tennis lesson. Click. She takes one before she has to give a presentation in class. Click. She takes one to be sure there's nothing in her teeth after eating pizza at Clementi's. And if she can't take a selfie, she checks her reflection in windows, spoons, car chrome—anything available, really. So when her mother gives her an exquisite full-length mirror that once belonged to her grandmother, Sukie is thrilled. So thrilled that she doesn't listen to her mother's warning: “This mirror will be your best friend and worst enemy.” Because mirrors, as Sukie discovers, show not only the faraway truth but the truth close up. And finding out that close-up truth changes people. Often forever.

I've got plenty of good books to read over the holidays! I hope you are all enjoying your time out of school. Remember not to shop, cook, and decorate to hard. Take some time to sit down, relax, and maybe reflect on the meaning for the season.

Love you all,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday!

So, I'm guessing I should probably read Need first but after receiving the trailer for Captivate from my friends at Bloomsbury I'm dying to get my hands on it! =) If you haven't heard of it check this out.

Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

Sounds great, huh? The cover is gorgeous too!

It will be out January 2010.

Much love,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Golden Web by Barbara Quick

A Golden Web by Barbara Quick 5 of 5 stars.
To be released April 2010.

Alessandra is desperate to escape from her stepmother, who's locked her away for a year; from the cloister that awaits her if she refuses the marriage plans that have been made for her; from the expectations that limit her and every other girl in fourteenth-century Italy.
In defiant pursuit of her dreams, Alessandra undertakes an audacious quest, her bravery equaled only by the dangers she faces. Disguised and alone in a city of spies and scholars, Alessandra will find a love she could not foresee--and an enduring fame.

A Golden Web sat unread for over a month as I read books I thought would be more exciting, saving this until last. By the second chapter I realized how horribly wrong I was. The story of Alessandra Giliani is historical fiction at its best, a beautifully and thoroughly structured book that is vivid and full. Nothing lacks from the descriptions of the setting and the time--though not over done, I assure you--to the characters themselves that live and breathe and speak through the pages. I was surprised to find that Alessandra is not believed to have lived and done the things this book says she did. She is more like a legend, really. There is no hardcore proof that she ever existed. You would never suspect this reading how wonderfully and elaborately Barbara Quick was able to weave the story of her life.
The story ties humor, romance, tragedy, and the unfairness of the 14th century to create an unforgettable story. A new favorite.

For fans of: Barbara Quick, Staton Rabin, The Sacrifice

Friday, December 11, 2009

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink 5 of 5 stars.






Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.

Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.

They just know they can't trust each other.

Michelle Zink's first published novel is a gothic fantasy that easily rivals that of Libba Bray. Prophecy of the Sisters is a wonderfully dark story filled with frights and delights from beginning to end. The book is beautifully written from the point of view of the sister Lia. Though you see through her eyes you begin to question even the narrator when it comes to which side she is on, the good or the evil. Though the book was very dark and held little humor I enjoyed it immensely. It reminds my a great deal of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy. Don't let that fool you, though. The originality of this story is hard to find in bookstores these days. Hidden behind much worn plots, this book is free of common cliches and will make you wonder if a happy ending is at all possible. That alone is something I like. I don't want to start reading a book knowing that its going to end well, despite whatever danger the characters are currently in. This is something that will really keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

I can't wait to read the next book!

For fans of: The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, Devil's Kiss, Oracles of Delphi Keep

Pitch Black -- Books with Bite

You may be familiar with HarperTeen's Pitch Black from Pimping your Coffin or maybe taking the "Do you have what it take to slay a vampire?" quiz. Now, just in time for holiday shopping, Pitch Black is allowing you to make your Books with Bite wish list!! It even helps you find great books by letting you pick the type you enjoy and then giving you a list. They have some of my favorites including The Faerie Path books by Frewin Jones as well as Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis. So, whether you're a Lover, a Fighter, or a Biter your sure to find something you'll love. After you've made your wish list you can then share it with your friends on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and more! Nothing helps get you through the winter like a good fantasy novel and some hot chocolate.
Click here to check it out!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler 5 of 5 stars.

Zita is not an ordinary servant girl--she's the thirteenth daughter of a king who wanted only sons. When she was born, Zita's father banished her to the servants' quarters and she can only communicate with her royal sisters in secret. Then, after Zita's twelfth birthday, the princesses all fall mysteriously ill. The only clue is their strangely worn and tattered shoes. With the help of her friends--Breckin the stable boy, Babette the witch, and Milek the soldier--Zita follows her bewitched sisters into a magical world of endless dancing and dreams. But something sinister is afoot--and unless Zita and her friends can break the curse, the twelve princesses will surely dance to their deaths.

Though I thought the cover beautiful but a bit corny, I cannot deny the wonderful story Diane Zahler has woven into the pages of this book. Princess Zita is a fiery and brave narrator who tells the story of how she saves her sisters from their enchantment. The other character are life-like and full of passion that drives the story at an exciting pace. Re-writing a well known and well loved story is a risky thing, but Diane Zahler has done it with originality and beauty. I would suggest this book to anyone who loves a good fairy tale!

For fans of: Gail Carson Levine, Princess of the Midnight Ball, Fairy Tales

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Interview with Jaclyn Dolamore

I hope you all got a chance to read my review on Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore and maybe pick up a copy for yourselves when it comes out in January! =) Ms. Dolamore is a wonderful debut author, who I sincerely hope to see more of. She has kindly agreed to do an interview with me. Enjoy!

Do you remember where the idea for Magic Under Glass came from?

The best ideas seem to come from nowhere, like an unexpected package on your doorstep. Magic under glass was like that, although it came from a long love of the Victorian era, novels written in or set in that time, automata, and the relationships between cultures in a world that was starting to become smaller. The best way to get that unexpected package is to fill your head with as much awesome stuff as possible.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have. Occasionally I thought I might be something else, like an artist. But I kept coming back to writing. Even as a kid I idolized other writers and filled notebook upon notebook with stories. Or at least, the beginnings of stories. My attention span wasn't great back then...

Are there any authors you look up to?

I look up to a lot of writers, for different reasons. In a creative sense, there is no *one* writer I look up to to a huge degree. I get something different out of so many different people's work, and I don't think my work is modeled after anyone. In a career sense, I definitely look up to Maggie Stiefvater right now. She's my friend and we're very close in age, and we have some similarities to our work and background, and since she has obviously been very successful, and a step or two ahead of me in the publication journey, I watch what she does and how well it works for her.

What is your favorite cure for writers' block?

If I have writers block, it's because I either haven't planned out the story enough, or I took a wrong turn and I'm being stubborn about admitting it, or I can't see what's wrong. Or sometimes I get writers block just because I need a break and I don't want to admit *that*. So the best cure is to take a day or two off, maybe, and if the problem hasn't worked itself out, I might need to talk to my boyfriend or a friend, or listen to music and sketch the characters for a while... something to get connected to what needs to happen.

From what I can tell reading Magic Under Glass, you are fairly vague on the mechanics of magic usage. Did you think about that much while writing?

Well, magic is not my favorite part of a fantasy novel. I'm much more interested in inventing new cultures and dealing with the ramifications of different magical species interacting, and things like that. So it's true I don't get extremely excited about developing magic systems, compared to some other things. Also, I have a fantasy world I've been writing about since I was 12. The magic in that world is very developed, and in my brain, that is how magic "works", so while I wanted Magic Under Glass to have its own magic, I have a hard time getting away from my other world sometimes...
BUT, if I'm contracted for a second book, the magic will be more specific! I already have some ideas along those lines...

Do you ever base any of your characters off of people you know?

Very rarely. If they are, it's probably a side character based on an old coworker or something...haha. if I know someone who's gone through a situation similar to a character, I will consider how they reacted, but most of my characters are based on some aspect of myself, another character I love in some other story (obviously, I change a lot of things), or someone whose autobiography or biography I've read...

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

Yes! At least, I love to. This year I've had a repetitive stress injury and I write with voice recognition software, so I can't listen to music at the same time anymore. I miss the music a lot... I listen to different music for every book. My favorite ever is David Bowie and Roxy music. But my taste keeps getting more weird, too where I go to the library and come out with, like, old ragtime recordings and Bulgarian folk singers and bluegrass or something.

Do you have any advice for young writers?

The worst enemy of creativity are the voices -- both your own, and other peoples -- that tell you creativity should not be a priority. Writing, when you're young, and it isn't a school assignment, is quiet and personal and it often seems like no one will care or it's a waste of time. Our society does not value time spent sitting alone, reading, thinking, and creating something that might not be good, that might not be successful, that no one will ever read. But it is valuable. Immensely so. Even if I was never published, I know my writing would be the thing I was most proud of on my dying day. When I learn something, if I use it in my writing, I remember it. When I was sitting in the hospital in the middle of the night waiting to find out if my boyfriend was okay when he broke his arm, I thought of my characters and how strong they are. If it's your passion, it's always worth giving priority to. It will enrich your life in so many ways.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson

A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson 5 0f 5 stars.

For nineteen-year-old Harriet Morton, life in 1912 Cambridge is as dry and dull as a biscuit. Her stuffy academic father and her oppressive aunt Louisa allows her only one outlet: ballet. There, in Madame Lavarre's famed school, Harriet is finally able to come to life for a few hours each week. When a Russian ballet master comes to class searching for dancers to fill the corps of his ballet company before their South American tour, Harriet's world changes. He chooses her to be the "eighteenth swan." Defying her father's wishes and narrowly escaping the clutches of the man who wishes to marry her, Harriet sneaks off to join the Russian ballet on their journey to the Amazon. There, in the wild, lush jungle, they perform Swan Lake in grand golden opera houses for the wealthy and culture-deprived rubber barons, and Harriet meets Rom Verney, the handsome and mysterious British exile who owns the most ornate opera house. Utterly enchanted by both the exotic surroundings and by Rom's affections, Harriet is swept away by her new life, completely unaware that her father and would-be fiance have begun to track her down...

Eva Ibbotson is easily compared to Jane Austen. Her prose is thick and flowing with a beautiful style and tone. I reread this book so that I could share a review with you, and I promise, it is just as good the second time. The story is narrated with humor all the way through. The characters are wonderfully imagined and beautiful as the third person narrative slips throughout each one, emphasizing their personalities. Rom is a dashing gentlemen, think Rhett Butler, people. Harriet is a witty yet innocent heroine, and it is a joy to watch her story unfold.

For fans of: Eva Ibbotson, Jane Austen, Magic Under Glass

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Interview with Jessica Day George

I recently had the honor of doing an interview with the wonderful Jessica Day George author of Dragon Spear, Princess of the Midnight Ball, Dragon Flight, Sun Moon, Ice and Snow, and Dragon Slippers. You can visit her website here.


Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I've always loved writing stories, but when I was twelve it became a conscious decision.

In your opinion, once you get a book published does writing go from being fun to being a job?
Nope. It's even better, because now you're paid to do what you love!

Do you ever base your characters off of people you know?
Occasionally, and only minor characters, like cameos. Like one of my professors from college is the doctor in Midnight Ball, stuff like that.

When do you come up with your best story ideas?
You never know. Driving down the street, in the shower, making toast. They strike at any time!

Is there anyone who inspires you with your writing, someone you look up to?
I am a HUGE Robin McKinley geek. Also Diana Wynne Jones.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Please don't forget to read. And not just the type of book you're writing, but read everything you can get your hands on.

What do you think is the best way to get rid of writer's block?
Eat chocolate.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

For this week's Teaser Tuesday (haha, yeah I know I haven't exactly made it an every week thing yet) I thought I would share the teaser trailer for Beastly starring Vanessa Hudgens. Beastly is based on the book by Alexandra Flinn. I haven't read it yet, but I have read her book A Kiss in Time and loved it so I'm sure this book is just as wonderful. Here you go people! Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore 5 of 5 stars.
To be released January 2010

Nimira is a music-hall girl used to dancing for pennies. So when wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing accompaniment to a mysterious piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it will be the start of a better life. In Parry's world, long-buried secrets are about to stir. Unsettling rumors begin to swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers that the spirit of a dashing fair gentleman is trapped within the automaton, she is determined to break the curse. But even as the two fall into a love that seems hopeless, breaking the curse becomes a perilous race against time. Because it's not just the future of these star-crossed lovers that's at stake, but the fate of the entire magical world.

Jaclyn Dolamore weaves a beautiful story of love, loss, lies and magic with the ease more seasoned authors envy. You will be sucked into the story as soon as you open the book. The characters are lovable and real with voices all their own. The mythology of the tale is told in a way that flows easily and seems utterly effortless. Nimira's magical and alluring world somewhat mirrors that of are own but holds its own distinctions with a solid base. I would definitely suggest this book to anyone who loves a good fantasy. There is plenty of action and intrigue. If you enjoy a fast-paced fairytale free of common cliches this is the book for you.
I look forward to seeing more from this talented author.

For fans of: The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, Gail Carson Levine, Faerie Path

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon- Movie Review

Twilight Saga: New Moon 5 of 5 stars

One girl, betrayed by her vampire love finds solice in the company of bestfriend and werewolf, Jacob Black. Bella finds herself going mad. Reckless actions result in an angry voice in her head, his voice.
She craves these moments of insanity and is willing to do what ever it takes to cause them. What could be more reckless than hanging out with a werewolf?
Bella needs Jacob. He's the light at the end of the tunnel for her, but what happens when Bella gets the chance to see Edward again? Can she have both?

I absolutely loved this movie. The best actors, the best music, and the best CGI all add to a wonderful script. I'll honestly be quoting this movie for the next few days. The only problem I see with it is the timeline. If you aren't a fan, and haven't read the books, I don't see how you could keep up. They go so quickly from one scene to the next, you hardly see a change. It was still wonderful though. Some things aren't exactly like the book, but it amounts to the same thing and gives the movie a bit more texture.
My favorite scene is the movie theatre scene with Bella, Jacob and Mike. But, I will say they did an awesome job casting the Volturi. The soft spoken thing was really creepy.
If you're crazy enough to think about not going to this movie, I suggest you give it a chance. Even if you aren't a fan it is enjoyable, but I think you get the most out of it if you've read the book.

Though I laughed the majority of the time, I'll admit it, I cried at the end. Bella is absolutely TOO mean to Jacob. =(

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I officially deserve to be beat over the head with... something.
I am dreadfully sorry about not being on lately. I guess its just that time of year, everyone is busy. BUT I promise to make it up to you with plenty of interviews and contests between now and Christmas! =)
As for now, I am excited to say that I will be going to the midnight release of New Moon. Hooray, hooray! Really excited about that. I'm going into town early to hunt down a Team Jacob t-shirt.
I thought I would also let you all know that the wonderful HarperTeen site inkpop.com is now done with beta testing and is open to the public. It is an awesome site! Created by the publishers at HarperTeen, it takes a new view on YA publishing. Anyone can upload their novel for review by other authors. The project with the highest rank at the end of each month is sent to a review board at HarperTeen where they will decide whether or not to offer the author a publishing contract! You can find me and my Middle Grade novella Gabriela's Gift on there by looking me up. =)
I hope you all check that out and our enjoying the beginning of your holidays!

Much love,

The Struggle by L.J. Smith

The Struggle by L. J. Smith 4 of 5 stars.
A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror...

Determined to make Elena his queen of darkness, he'd kill his own brother to possess her.

Desperate for the power to destroy Damon, he succumbs to his thirst for human blood.

Irresistibly drawn to both brothers, her choice will decide their fate.

The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

Again, no, I am not into vampires. I do love the Vampire Diaries TV show so, I decided to read the books. They are well written and enjoyable even if they aren't my usual thing. I'm learning that it is good to get out of your comfort zone. The Struggle ended just as abruptly as The Awakening, which was really annoying to me. L. J. Smith has certainly mastered the nail-biter. The Struggle is full of action and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda

Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda 5 of 5 stars.

As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilqis Sangreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a warrior in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy.
Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to slide back into Billi's life, but she's met someone new: amber-eyed Mike who seems to understand her like no one else and effortlessly stakes a claim on her heart.
But the Templars are called to battle before Billi can enjoy the thrilling new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure the Templars have guarded for almost a thousand years--King Solomon's cursed mirror, a source of unimaginable power. To save the lives of millions, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than she could have imagined.

Devil's Kiss is a wonderful book, well written and fast paced, it will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. The characters are believable and real, even if the circumstances are not. Sarwat Chadda did a wonderful job weaving together myths, legends, and Biblical tellings to create a story you could believe in. I would suggest this book to just about anyone.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner

Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner 5 of 5 stars.
Her face is a symbol of the glories of ancient Egypt.
Her life was a battlefield of the gods.
Her very name means, "The Beautiful Woman Has Come."
But Nefertiti was far more than just a pretty face...
Nefertiti is a dutiful, docile child, whose only interests, aside from the normal pursuits of a commoner's daughter, are music and dance. But an encounter with a scribe arouses her curious mind, and she cajoles him into secret lessons in the arts of reading and writing. As she enters her teen years, her growing beauty and her developing singing and dancing skills attract attention near and far. And with her aunt, Queen Tiye, summons Nefertiti's family, her life takes an unexpected turn. The strong-willed queen plans to use Nefertiti as a pawn in her desire for power.
Even though she must obey the queen and live in the royal palace at Thebes, Nefertiti's spirit and mind will not rest. She continues to challenge herself, learning how to drive a chariot and hunt with bow and arrow. With control of a kingdom at stake and threats at ever turn, Nefertiti is forced to make choices and stand up for her beliefs in ways she never imagined.

In Sphinx's Princess, Esther Friesner tells the story of yet another beautiful and strong young woman. Nobody's Princess and Nobody's Prize are two of my favorite books, and this one is right up there with them. The characters are believable and interesting. The story is full of action and will make you cheer for the young Nefertiti. The only thing I find funny about Esther Friesner is that in her writing the jerks are always the handsome ones and the heroes are the homely. I guess that's what makes her writing unique. Even while writing about women who are known throughout history for their remarkable beauty she is able to make it seem like a small thing. She shows that strength and character are far more precious than beauty could ever be.

For fans of: Esther Friesner, Mara, Daughter of the Nile, Cleopatra's Daughter

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith

The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith 4 of 5 stars.
Elena is the school beauty, but she's bored. Until a new boy turns up in her class. Stefan is dark and mysterious - and she's determined to get to know him better. But Elena reminds Stefan of someone from his tragic past, and he's just as determined to resist her. Until a series of attacks in the area terrify the school and town and Stefan, the outsider, is held responsible. Elena is the only one who offers to help and, falling in love with her, Stefan tells her his terrible story. He is a vampire, on the run from his evil brother, Damon, who is also a vampire, but doesn't share Stefan's qualms about drinking human blood. And Damon is the one Stefan suspects of really being behind the recent attacks...Can Elena help prove his innocence - without revealing his secret?

Okay, yes, I don't care much for vampires, blah blah blah. But I have enjoyed watching the new show Vampire Diaries on the CW, so after the major cliff hanger last week I decided to read the book. I was surprised by how much different it was from the t.v. show, though I don't know why I didn't suspect it. It was pretty good though and I enjoyed it more than I expected. I felt it was a fairly short read and the ending was way to abrupt, but it was good. I plan on reading the rest of the books. L. J. Smith's writing is nice and flowing, definitely good at creating suspense.

For fans of: Paranormal, Twilight

Friday, October 9, 2009

Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn

Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn 4 of 5 stars.

Voices of Dragons is a tale of pointless rivalry and self-sacrifice.
Sixty years prior a war between dragons and humans erupted. The dragons came out of hiding during WWII when the vibrations from bombs frightened them. Feeling as though they were under attack they waged war against the humans. Realizing that the dragons and humans were too well-matched, the two races formed a treaty, setting off certain land for the dragons.
When seventeen year old Kay accidentally crosses the border into Dragon she is met by the dragon Artegal. A strange, and secret friendship is formed. When the military begins antagonizing the dragons and war looms on the horizon, Kay and Artegal must unveil their friendship and do whatever it takes to stop the fighting, even when they are watching the other side hurt their loved ones.

Voices of Dragons was a wonderful read! I truly enjoyed it. The characters were well crafted and heartfelt while the world was introduced in a way that wasn't harsh or blunt, but easy to understand and flowing. The plot moved along at a wonderful speed and there was action enough for anyone. The only thing wrong with this book is the ending. It ends rather abruptly in a completely horrible cliff-hanger. There's no doubt about it though, Carrie Vaughn will have to write another one!

For fans of: Inheritance Cycle, Girl in the Arena

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

Cleopatra's Daughter a novel by Michelle Moran 5 of 5 stars.

The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony's vengeful rival, Octavian, sweeps into Egypt. Their orphaned children--ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander--are taken in chains to Rome. Delivered to the household of Octavian's sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian's family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts.(From novel)

You will walk in Kleopatra Selene's sandals and see the horrors people of the time were subjected to. You will see the famous character's of this time from several points of view and be made to wonder who was truly horribly and who was simply suffering like the rest of the world. It is a true story that reminds you of the imperfection of humanity and the unfairness of life.

Honest, I don't know quite what to say about this book. It was beautifully and, I presume, accurately written. The story, though, is heart-wrenching to the core. The cruelty of parts of it made me feel honestly sick. It will make you cry and laugh and be glad you read it. It is a wonderful glimpse into what Rome was like during this time. Michelle Moran did a wonderful job with it and I would suggest it to anyone who is a lover of history and doesn't have too weak of a stomach.

For fans of: Michelle Moran, Nobody's Princess, Nobody's Prize, Mara, Daughter of the Nile

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner 5 of 5 stars.

She is beautiful, she is a princess, and Aphrodite is her favorite goddess, but something in Helen of Sparta just itches for more our of life. Unlike her prissy sister, Clytemnestra, she takes no pleasure in weaving and embroidery. And despite what her mother says, she's not even close to being interested in getting married. Instead, she wants to do combat training with her brothers, go on heroic adventures, and be free to do what she wishes and find out who she is.
Not one to count on the gods--or her looks--to take care of her, Helen sets out to get what she wants with steely determination and a sassy attitude. And while it's that attitude that makes Helen a few enemies--such as the self-proclaimed "son of Poseidon," Theseus--it's also what intrigues, charms, and amuses those who become her friends, from the famed huntress Atalanta to the young priestess who is the Oracle of Delphi.

Nobody's Princess is the story of Helen of Sparta before she became "the face that launched a thousand ships". The Helen in this story would never have any part of being a prize, a trophy more than a person. Helen knows from a young age that she wants freedom, not domestic duties. She is willing to fight for them no matter how long it takes. Then when her sister is married to the prince of Mykenae and Helen gets her first taste of freedom, she isn't about to let go.

Again, rereading another favorite. I believe I loved it even more this time. The first time I read it, along with the sequel Nobody's Prize, I was horrified that Esther Friesner wasn't writing one last book, what happened during the Trojan War, how Helen actually felt about it. I decided for a while that I would write the third book if she wouldn't. I gave up that idea quickly enough and I see the wisdom in why she wouldn't write another one. Though, I honestly wish she would. These books are amazing. Helen is the strong female character everyone falls in love with instantly. Her brothers and the kind you wish you had. Her adventures weave through real Greek exploits even if she wasn't known to be in them. It is a wonderful book that I would recommend to ANYONE!

For fans of: Esther Friends, Gail Carson Levine, historical fiction, The Iliad

Monday, September 28, 2009

Seven Tears into the Sea by Terri Farley

Seven Tears into the Sea by Terri Farley 5 of 5 stars.
Beckon the sea,
I'll come to thee...
Shed seven tears,
Perchance seven years...

At the age of ten, Gwen Cooke had a strange encounter with a boy with dark, slightly tilted eyes. He came to her on the beach, whispered strange words in her ear, and then disappeared. Shortly thereafter, her family moved away from their seaside home and Gwen never saw the boy again.
Now seventeen, Gwen is returning to her childhood home. Her nana asked her to come. But Gwen knows it's time to go back for another reason: She yearns for the sea. Perhaps the sea itself is calling to her. Perhaps the memory of the boy and his haunting words are drawing her back to the place they met. Perhaps it's time for her to face her destiny.

I ran out of new books to read so I decided to reread an old favorite. I have read this book at least six times and it never gets old. Terri Farley's prose moves the story along with breathtaking speed and beauty. The characters are all believable and well created. The setting is spectacular. It is a truly sweet love story. I will admit the only downfall to this book--and honestly I'm not sure you would call it a downfall--is the ending has always left me feeling sort of hollow. If it doesn't make you cry it makes you stare off into space and wonder why? Why did it end the way it did. And then you sit there even longer thinking about how the story could begin again. Perhaps that is a good thing. Maybe more books should leave us thinking.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lise Haines & Roman Fashion

Gladiator Sandals…got some?
I’ve been asked about the sandals on the cover of GIRL IN THE ARENA. They were a find by my editor at Bloomsbury. And I know, I know, they don’t have the exact number of straps as Lyn has…but close. The model, by the way, is a dancer with the Joffrey Ballet. And the bracelet she’s wearing cost tens of thousands of dollars (I kid you not) and was on loan from Barneys New York. The nail polish was my choice. I thought Lyn would wear navy blue, at least that day. For those of you thinking about becoming a YA author, I can honestly say: Yes, my editor called me to ask what color nail polish Lyn would wear. That was a pretty cool day.

I know that fashion is fickle but Gladiator sandals have been going strong for a while. I’ve been seeing some modified ones lately with the cuff around the ankle and different types of Roman sandals though not strictly gladiator. Here are my daughter’s pair of Glad sandals from England.

If you’d like to send me a downloadable photo of your sandals, with or without your feet in them, I’ll put some of them up on my site. I’ll only post the first name you want to give me (feel free to make one up) and no other information will be posted. You know, I’m a mom so I am not giving out your personal info to anyone. You can see my privacy statement. I can only take photos in jpg or pdf format.

And have you noticed, the thing for spring is the toga? At least that’s what they’re saying over at the NYTs. Click here to see the modern toga. I think I’ll go watch Roman Holiday now. You know that great movie with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck…

Post by Lise Haines author of the new book Girl in the Arena
Visit her official website here!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday!

Waiting is the hardest part of all...
My birthday is October 27-which happens to also be the release date of the second Warrior Princess book by Frewin Jones!-and my wishlist is already pretty long... It seems though that I am always checking out my favorite authors first. Frewin Jones, Gail Carson Levine, Libba Bray, Esther Friesner... On and on the list could stretch.
I want to know about some of your favorite authors and what books you are waiting on this fall. So, drop me a line and let me know what books are going to have you waiting at the door of the book store, or maybe have already had you pre-ordering them on Amazon.

Much Love,

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines 5 of 5 stars.

During the week, Lyn lives in a big house in Cambridge and hangs out with friends in Harvard Square. But over the weekend, she cheers her father on as he gears up for neo-gladiator competition--a high-profile televised blood sport that rivals the NFL. Lyn's father is the top player in the league, and the paparazzi that have always swarmed him have started to dog Lyn's every move. All this fame comes with another price--Lyn's family lives with the constant presence of violence, uncertainty, and a strict cultural code set by the Gladiator Sports Association. When a skilled young fighter slays Lyn's father, the GSA imposes an unthinkable sentence--Lyn must marry her father's murderer. Though her mother has made a career of marrying into Glad culture, Lyn is prepared to do whatever it takes to claim her independence. Even if it means going into the arena herself. (Summary from book)

Lyn is a strong young woman being raised by a manic mother and four warrior fathers. These fathers participate in Glad sport. She has watched her fathers kill and watched her fathers die. The Gladiator Sports Association has strict rules pertaining to the Glad families. Her mother is on her seventh husband (the only one Lyn has cared for) and after that she is not allowed to marry or love again, not a Gladiator and not a common man either. When Lyn's father falls in the arena, Lyn's dowry bracelet ends up in his hands. Now the GSA is forcing Lyn to marry her father's killer, that or take away everything they own. With her mother breaking down and a special needs younger brother a heavy burden falls on Lyn's shoulders. The fact that Uber, her father's killer is a good man doesn't make matters better when she finds herself facing the choice of marrying or fighting him.

This is the first novel by Lise Haines that I have read and she is certainly an amazing author. She introduced the Glad culture, intertwining it in history and modern day, in a way that wasn't imposing or undescriptive but fluid and natural. All of the character's are believable and very real. The book isn't as horrifically bloody as it sounds, you would find gorier scenes in the Inheritance books. All and all this is a wonderful book and I would suggest it to anyone.

For fans of: Lise Haines, The Hunger Games, Graceling

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday!

Fire by Kristin Cashore to be released October 2009.

She is the last of her kind...

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her. Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don't need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven't, you'll be dying to read it next.

Why I want to read it: Because I absolutely adored Graceling. Its one of my all time favorites! Plus, I love the cover!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

*New* New Moon Trailer

Okay... So, I feel like jumping up and down and yelling "OMG! OMG! OMG!" like really bad right now. Haha! I just watched the VMA's and this new trailer for New Moon and was completely thrilled. The first trailer I saw I was a bit skeptical but this... I honestly believe the movie might actually be better than the book just this once... Taylor Lautner is completely gorgeous, he and Kristen Stewart are such amazing actors its unbelievable!

Now, at least I still have a few months to figure out how I'm going to keep the squeals down in the movie theater...

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray 5 of 5 stars.

It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father alaudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength to turn catty schoolgirls into loyal friends, and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic on herself and forged unlikely alliances with headstrong Felicity and timid Ann; with Kartik, an exotic young Indian man whose companionship is forbidden; and with the fearsome creatures of the realms. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.
Rule-breaking Felicity must do as she's told or risk losing her inheritance, and Ann's dream of a life onstage slips away. The Order, the mysterious group Gemma's mother was once part of, is grappling for conrol of the realms, as are the Rakshana. It is there that the girls meet their adored fried Pippa, who is not the same... or is she? The power to change everything--both in and out of the realms-- rests in Gemma's hands.

The Sweet Far Thing leaves me a bit speechless. It continues the story of Gemma Doyle as started with A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels with the same wonderful prose of Libba Bray. It shows the struggle we face when given any bit of power. A struggle between who we are and who the power is making us become. The story is surprising and even though it is a fantasy it does not follow the rules of a fairy tale. It does not leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling that the world is right and pure. That things are fair in the least. Though it be incredibly dark, it is a wonderful book, a wonderful trilogy, and I would suggest it to anyone.

For fans of: Libba Bray

Friday, September 11, 2009

Vampire Diaries Tv Premier!

Based on novels of the same name, Vampire Diaries follows Elena, a young heroine, who is the object of passion for two vampire brothers. Four months after the tragic car accident that killed their parents, 17-year-old Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev, DeGrassi: The Next Generation) and her 15-year-old brother, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen, Everwood) are still trying to cope with their grief and move on with their lives. Elena has always been the star student; beautiful, popular and involved with school and friends, but now she finds herself struggling to hide her sadness from the world. As the school year begins, Elena and her friends are fascinated by a handsome and mysterious new student, Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley, Army Wives). Stefan and Elena are immediately drawn to one another, and Elena has no way of knowing that Stefan is a centuries-old vampire, struggling to live peacefully among humans, while his brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder, Lost) is the embodiment of vampire violence and brutality. Now these two vampire brothers - one good, one evil - are at war for Elena's soul and for the souls of her friends, family and all the residents of the small town of Mystic Falls, Virginia.

As some of you may know, I am not the biggest fan of the whole vampire craze. I admit that I haven't read the Vampire Diaries but a friend of mine has and she loved them. So, I decided to watch the show, and I was surprised. The beginning seemed very similar to Twilight to me, but it veered away from that soon after. I really did enjoy watching it, and the music was awesome. Sadly, I have a feeling I shouldn't expect any werewolves in this series. =(


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Pearl Among Princes by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

A Pearl Among Princess by Coleen Paratore 5 of 5 stars.

Welcome to Miramore, where princes learn to be charming...

It's summer on Miramore, and that means one thing: The island will be full of princes in training. This year the rules have changed and a "PIT" may even woo a servant girl--and whisk her away on his royal boat. Since that's the only way to leave Miramore catching a prince's fancy would let Gracepearl Coal chase the faraway destiny that haunts her dreams. If only her heart didn't belong to Mackree the stable boy! As the giggly girls of the island primp for the ball and the princes prepare for the tournament, Gracepearl is torn: Must she betray her true love to discover her destiny? And will she be charming enough to have that choice? (Summary from ARC)

Gracepearl knows she is meant for something more. Something far, far away from Miramore. She dreams of faces, desperate, needy faces all calling to her. She knows she must answer but the only way to do this is by leaving with one of the princes that come to Miramore to train in the Charming Arts. With two princes handsome vying for her affections this wouldn't be so hard if it weren't for the fact that she is already in love with Mackree, a stable boy. Mackree know that Gracepearl wants more than Miramore so he stays away from her, gives her freedom to leave.

What will Gracepearl choose? Does there really have to be a choice?

A Pearl Among Princes is a lovely story. I wouldn't really categorize it under "young adult" but it is still a great read. It is full of nursery rhymes that make you giggle to remember. Coleen Paratore has certainly created a fairy tale worthy to stand beside Cinderella. The characters are lovely and well imagined. The book isn't thick in plot, but in wonderful writing. The ending is pleasantly surprising, and I would suggest this book to anyone with a love of fairy tales.

For fans of: Gail Carson Levine, Shannon Hale, fairy tales

Waiting on Wednesday!

Sea by Heidi R. Kling- To be released: Summer 2010
Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers. And Sea’s real adventure begins.

Why I want to read this: The summary sounds awesome and the cover is gorgeous. It reminds me a bit of Seven Tears into the Sea by Terri Farley, one of my all-time favorites!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray 5 of 5 stars.
Ah, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Acadmey--spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Simon Middleton. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify--visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain.
The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world to which Gemma takes them. To the girls' great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.
But all is not well in the realms--or out. Kartik is back desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face to face with her late mother's greatest friend, now Gemma's foe--Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task...(Summary from book)

Rebel Angels was wonderful! Honestly, I liked it twice as much as A Great and Terrible Beauty, which I loved as well! These books show what lengths people will go to for power. How anyone can become corrupted by it and change into something far different than they once were. The characters are all believable, and for a fantasy novel this book has a heavy dose of harsh reality. This darkens the story a bit, but I think it makes it even more likable. Libba Bray is a wonderful writer but she doesn't sugar coat anything.

For fans of: To Catch a Pirate, Jane Austen, Gail Carson Levine, fantasy, historical fiction

Friday, September 4, 2009

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis 5 of 5 stars.

When Shelby is packed off to "brat camp" as punishment for one too many broken curfews, things start looking up when she meets fellow camper (and son of a rock star!) Austin Bridges III. But soon Shelby realizes there's more to Authin than crush material--he wants her help guarding a dark family secret. Shelby knows that bad boys get her into trouble...but who is she to turn her back on a guy in need, especially such a good-looking one?(sumary from book)

Add a bit of Cinderella's evil step-mother to a Beauty and the Beast style tale and you get Shelby's story. Her mother died three years ago. Her chemist dad became rich for his new cosmetic and married a horrible woman with way to much plastic surgery. It isn't so surprising that Shelby would feel the need to rebel. But what she didn't know is that her new step-mother's persuasive powers could get her sent to brat camp... Luckily- or perhaps, unluckily- this brat camp is where a hot rock star's son/werewolf is spending his summer as well. Between pushy counselors and a very heavy, very scary secret, can Shelby keep it together and help save her new friend, even when a desert brat camp in hell is hanging over her head?

Never Cry Werewolf is a short read. Some of my favorite books are short, and this one is now among them. Heather Davis creates a unique and quirky voice for Shelby that I totally love. The plot is wonderful, the characters, if not always believable, awesome, and the writing to die for. I'm not big into supernatural novels, but I have a love for Jacob Black like plenty of other girls, and this book looked pretty cool. Austin is closer to your more "classic" werewolf than Jacob, but I think that's part of what makes the story more unique and likable.

For fans of: Twilight, Gail Carson Levine, Supernatural fiction

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones

The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones 3 of 5 stars.

Between hookups, makeups, and breakups, there isn't a day at Lapeer High School without drama turning to trauma turning to tears.
And tears are just as essential as air for Cassandra Gray. She and her family are vampires who thirst for human sorrow, and the energy that they soak in from a good crying jag can keep them fueled up for days.
Anytime a friend needs a shoulder to cry on, Cass is there. Anytime a boyfriend gets too secure, she breaks his heart. Cass's work as a school peer counselor and hospital volunteer also provides the perfect cover and access to her family's energy source. But she to her family's energy source. But she is getting tired of all the lies and manipulation--especially now that she's actually fallen in love with a human. Can she bear to betray her family for a chance at happiness and a life lived with joy?

To say this book wasn't what I expected would be a major understatement. In a few words, it sucked. The plot wasn't that horrible, though, it was the way it was written. The main character wasn't genuine in any way until the last bit of the book. The beginning was painful to read. The majority of it was to tell the truth. Maybe its just me, but I wouldn't suggest this book to anyone.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling by Kristin Cashore 5 of 5 stars.

Deadly Grace.
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight-- she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graces as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.
When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.
She never expects to become Po's friend.
She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--0r about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away.

On the back of this book is a quote from LA Times. It says, "Graceling offers a fresh view of the process of learning self-mastery and has a knee-weakening romance that easily rivals that of Twilight." That Graceling rivals Twilight is a complete understatement. It far exceeds Stephanie Meyer's awkward writing and Bella's lustiness.
Kristin Cashore's writing is amazing. The vividness and reality with which she tells Katsa's story is enchanting. Her characters are beautiful and real. Katsa is the perfect example of a strong female character. A young woman who hates herself for her Grace with killing and who wants power over he life. She is a no nonsense kind of person and I think she is even a character you can look up to. The other characters in the story are just as charming and sure to capture your heart.
The book is fast paced but still captures the beauty of Katsa's world with ease. There is plenty of action, adventure, mystery, and intrigue. It has all the elements of a wonderful fantasy.

For fans of: Inheritance Cycle, Twilight, Gail Carson Levine... etc, etc

Friday, August 28, 2009

Secret Society by Tom Dolby

Secret Society by Tom Dolby 5 of 5 stars.

Once you get in... You can never get out.
Do you ever wonder how some people have it all? The best schools, the hottest parties, the priciest clothes, the easiest jobs? Maybe it's not because they work hard or get a lucky break every once in a while. Maybe it's because they're part of a secret group. A secret society.

Secret Society follows four teenagers as they sink deep into a society made up of the most powerful people in the country. You watch through the eyes of Nick, a rich party kid who is deeper than you would think. Pheobe, an artsy and willful girl moved to NYC from LA. Lauren, a fashionista with a drunk mother and a lowlife dad, the party girl with all the best clothes. And Patch. Patch who is not chosen to join this secret society but who's history is embedded deep within the group.

Secret Society is a uniquely written story that shows how far people are willing to go to succeed. It isn't something I would usually read, but it is good to read outside of your comfort zone (genre wise) once and a while. Honestly, I don't know what genre I would mark this book under. I suppose good will just have to do for now. It is exciting and refreshing, but I wouldn't call it great.

For fans of: Twilight, Alex Flinn

In My Mailbox (1)

I am SO excited! I finally got my copy of Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I've been wanting to read this book for like ever. I've read some great reviews on it and hope to soon add mine to the pile.

Much Love!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Princess and the Bear

The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison 4 of 5 stars.

He was once a king turned into a bear as punishment for his cruel and selfish deeds.

She was once a hound turned into a princess, now living in the form of a hound again.

Wary companions, they are sent--in human form--back to a time when magic went terribly astray. Together they must right the wrongs caused by this devastating power-- if only they can find a way to trust each other.

But even as each becomes aware of an ever-growing attraction, the stakes are rising and they must find a way to eliminate this evil force-- or risk losing each other forever.

The Princess and the Bear, though beautifully written has a painfully slow ending. This is something I usually cannot stand in a book but after reading the second half and the ending it is absolutely worth it. The beginning sets up the rest (the best part) of the book perfectly. It is written in a classic, melodic fairy tale style that is fits it nicely. It is supposed to be the sequel to The Princess and the Hound, but if you have not read the first do not let that deter you from reading the second. It is perfectly capable of standing on its own.

For fans of: The Princess and the Bear, Mette Ivie Harrison, Fables, Fairy tales

Waiting on Wednesday!

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore- to be released Winter 2009
Magic steeps the gas-lit lanes of New Sweeling, where Nimira is a foreign singer, paid barely enough to survive. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to accompany a piano-playing clockwork automaton, she thinks her savior has arrived.

Hollin may treat her with the kindness and respect she’s yearned for, but buried secrets stir–including a rumor he may have murdered the former head of the Sorcerers’ Council on the brink of a peace treaty with the fairies. Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the automaton’s stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break his curse. As Nimira and Erris fall into a love that seems hopeless, Nimira must uncover the truth behind the councilman’s disappearance, or not just her fate, but all the magical world may be in peril…

Why I want to read this book- It sounds like a wonderful fantasy and the cover looks absolutely awesome. What more is there to say?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Teaser Tuesday!

Its that time of week once again! Open the book you are reading to page 33, pick out the 2nd and 5th sentences(Or you can cheat and pick out the two best sentences on the page. =)) and post them, along with the book title in the comments!

The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison

The animals were afraid of the cold death.

Fear alone would not protect them if the cold death spread farther into the forest.

Much love!

Monday, August 24, 2009

In My Mailbox (2)

Yup, I got Secret Society by Tom Dolby and Rebel Angels by Libba Bray in the past few days. I am so excited about reading them. Secret Society isn't really the kind of thing I would usually read but it sounds great nonetheless. I've been dying to read Rebel Angels since I finished A Great and Terrible Beauty.

That's about it.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Allan Frewin Jones Fan Club

For those of you who, like me, are huge fans of Frewin Jones and his Faerie Path and Warrior Princess books you should definitely check out his new fan club. It was created by a fan and he supports it completely. They are even doing a writing contest right now where the prize is a signed copy of The Enchanted Quest (2nd in the Warrior Princess Series)! Join up and show your support for Mr. Jones and his wonderful books!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday!

Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble. To be released Fall 2009.

Sixteen year old Anne thinks her life is pretty ordinary – until she smacks into handsome, mysterious, and okay, annoying Ethan on her way to chemistry class. Now Anne has powers she doesn’t understand, a history altering mission she may not want, and a growing attraction to this blue-eyed stranger. And Ethan – who at eighteen made some choices he’s starting to regret – realizes that Anne is the girl from whom he’s been searching – for a very, very long time. Stir in doomed Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia – who is definitely not quite as dead as the history books say – and Baba Yaga, the legendary witch from Russian folklore, and you’ve got DREAMING ANASTASIA, a contemporary YA fantasy that alternates between the voices of Anne, Ethan, and Anastasia as Anne and Ethan join forces to battle the bad guys and save Anastasia. Only problem is – no one’s quite sure who’s really bad and who’s good. And everyone has some secrets
Why I want to read this book: The cover looks awesome, the synopsis makes it sound totally cool. Plus, I love the stories about Anastasia. I can't tell you how many history channel shows I've watched about her.

The Season by Sarah MacLean. To be released Spring 2009.

Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford doesn’t fit into the world of Regency London – she’s strong-willed, sharp-tongued, and she absolutely loathes dress fittings. Unfortunately, her mother has been waiting for years for Alex to be old enough to take part in the social whirlwind of a London Season so she can be married off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring. But Alex is much more interested in adventure than romance.
Between sumptuous balls, lavish dinner parties and country weekends, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet. When the Earl of Blackmoor is killed in a puzzling accident, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. It’s a mystery brimming with espionage, murder, and suspicion. As she and Gavin grow closer, will Alex’s heart be stolen in the process?

Why I want to read this book: Because is sounds absolutely amazing. Duh.

Monday, August 17, 2009

In My Mailbox (1)

The Princess and Bear by Mettie Ivie Harrison. I'm really excited to read this book. The Princess and the Hound was wonderful, and I am sure this book will be too.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn 5 of 5 stars.

Talia fell under a spell . . . . Jack broke the curse.

I was told to beware the accursed spindle, but it was so enchanting, so hypnotic. . . .

I was looking for a little adventure the day I ditched my tour group. But finding a comatose

town, with a hot-looking chick asleep in it, was so not what I had in mind.

I awakened in the same place but in another time—to a stranger's soft kiss.

I couldn't help kissing her. Sometimes you just have to kiss someone. I didn't know this would happen.

Now I am in dire trouble because my father, the king, says I have brought ruin upon our country. I have no choice but to run away with this commoner!

Now I'm stuck with a bratty princess and a trunk full of her jewels. . . . The good news: My parents will freak!

Think you have dating issues? Try locking lips with a snoozing stunner who turns out to be 316 years old. Can a kiss transcend all—even time?

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn was a wonderful read. There were times where I was laughing so hard a cried. The characters are believable and the situations hilarious.

Talia is a selfish and sheltered princess with a curse on her. Jack is a typical American teenage boy with stuffy parents who only worry about him getting into college. When he and his friend decided to sneek away from their tour group, a European tour being another thing Jack's parents are supposedly torturing him with, they get the wrong directions to the beach. They end up in a thick forest. After fighting their way through a thick, evil, prickly hedge they find a sleeping town. Everything resembles Colonial times. The even stranger thing is that every one is asleep. They then stumble upon a sleeping princess, and in the tradition of Sleeping Beauty Jack kisses her and makes her wake up, and her kingdom becomes visible to the outside world once again.

Now is the hard part. Talia's father is angry with her for touching the spindle and ruining his kingdom. Jack is nothing more than a commoner that has taken advantage of a sleeping princess and is thrown in the dungeon. Despite Jack and Talia's dislike of each other, they have to work together to get what they want. But, when the witch Malvolia turns up, angry that her enchantment was broken unfairly, by a commoner rather than a prince and certainly not by true love's kiss, can Talia make Jack fall in love with her and save herself and the kingdom from another three hundred year sleep?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (Week 3)

Okay, you know how this goes by now. Pull out the book you are reading and open it to page 88 then pick out the 11th and 8th sentences ((or the two best sentences on that page)) and post them in the comments box!=)

I am reading A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

8th I've tried it now it's sort of gamy and ough, like duck in a really bad Chinese restaurant.
11th We have peacocks, we don't eat them, though.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday! (Week 2)

Okay, so here I will let you know about a couple of upcoming novels I'm looking forward to.

The wheel of burning light divided and pulled back, and suddenly Branwen was staring up into Blodwedd’s two golden eyes.

“What did you do to me?” Branwen shouted as the world slithered and writhed around her.

“I showed you the future that will be forged if you forswear your true calling,” said Blodwedd. She angled her mouth in a sharp grin. “Did you like what you saw?”

“Lies!” shouted Branwen. “It was all lies!”

A look of disdain crossed Blodwedd’s face. “I do not lie,” she said.

Her Destiny Must Be Fulfilled!

Branwen refuses to take orders from anyone – even the Shining Ones, the ancient gods whose power is feared throughout the land. They want her as their Chosen One, destined to save her country from the Saxons. But Branwen doubts she’s truly ready to be a leader.

Then a messenger from the skies shows her a vision of a bleak and violent future, a future in which Branwen has abandoned her destiny, and those most dear to her suffer unspeakable horrors. There’s a blurry line between good and evil, and those Branwen trusts the most are capable of the greatest betrayal. The Shining Ones have spoken. Will Branwen answer their call?

Why I want to read this book: Because the first one was absolutely AWESOME! Frewin Jones is one of my all-time favorite authors. This book is sure to be just as great or BETTER than the last.

It’s a fight to the death—on live TV—when a gladiator’s daughter steps into the arena

Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through. Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family. Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator. Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him... For fans of The Hunger Games and Fight Club, Lise Haines’ debut novel is a mesmerizing look at a world addicted to violence—a modern world that’s disturbingly easy to imagine.

Why I want to read this book: It just sounds really good! I haven't read the Hunger Games yes, sadly, but I've heard that it was a great book. Anything compared to it has to be wonderful.

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