Friday, April 30, 2010

Sing Me To Sleep By Angela Morrison Review #59

Author: Angela Morrison
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 320
Thanks: Angela Morrison & International Book Tours
Available: Now!!
Rating:

THE TRANSFORMATION
Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.

THE LOVE AFFAIR
When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.

THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE
When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?

THE HEARTBREAK
The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything.

This is the type of a book that leaves you thinking afterwords. It's a book that you can't get out of your head. It makes you sad, but knowledgeable at the same time. Originally I was going to rate this 3 stars, because until the end I found this a so-so book. Derek's secret was obvious, Beth was annoying *even though probably a really realistic portrayal of people* and I couldn't stand her until the end, and it was a slow book. It was slow until 100 pages in, then it would go fast, then slow, then fast and continual of pattern until the end. Where it would stay at a fast pace. But man does this author have a way of words. The writing will seem weird to readers, especially since the author describe every little detail *some which are really unnecessary*, but makes it a beautiful portrayal of life. The end is a tear jerker, you won't be able to stop *even when the book is finished*. Even though you will know what is going to happen in the end, you can't help but weep. And that is what really proves to me that this a beautiful book worthy of, four stars. It's a story that can happen in real life, and the author did it in the way it would happen.
The romance between Derek & Beth was strong. Beth was a innocent, naive and selfish girl who really was still growing. I really hated it when she always accused Derek of cheating, or not liking her. I also didn't like it when she would believe what her friends (who probably only liked her because she had a makeover) told her. The main issue I had with this book is the transformation. I really think that is sending girls the wrong message. I really hated Beth for changing herself, and I think she wouldn't have been bullied if she hadn't been so insecure of herself. I understand her childhood problems, but changing yourself isn't the answer. I mean she changes herself (gets the cute boy & all the popular girls <--who were mean to her before). Also some of the minor characters that bullied Beth should of been in there longer. I also really enjoyed Scott!! He was the coolest guy, though I did start to get angry with him when he changed his attitude (and tried to force himself on Beth). Overall this is a really good book. It's most certainly a tear-jerker, and will leave you with inspiring thoughts. Yours Truly,

Where Have I Been!!! Blog Aniversary!!


Today I sat in history class, thinking "Today's My First Blog Anniversary"! My blog is 1 years old. Usually (if I had a personal blog, or a activity) I would never last that long with something. I like change, but my blog grew and grew over the year. Which shows I love it. It was only last April, when I was eager to write my thoughts on my blog. And over the year I change my reivew (made it long, made it shorter, made it more quirkier), saved my money and bought a custom layout. Made many friends, and learn new things. I was asked by many wonderful authors to review they're amazing books. And in all of that, when I thought that in History all I could think back to my thought was: hmm (probably to do with the fact that we were talking about Mussolini & Adolf).

Over the past 2 weeks, I was majorly loosing interest in my blog. I think because I was letting my blog take over me and not me controlling my blog. I was pressure into, I guess, what you call a popularity contest. You see these types of blog post all over the blog sphere and you always think: that won't happen to me, but it does. I think as writers, you can be proud of your work but also intimidated by others. As bloggers your always trying to compete with others to make your blog known.

I was thinking over the last two weeks to just stop my blog, but I couldn't write that post. I felt ashamed if I did. I was even thinking: oh how about wait until summer and then try your blog again. But I can't do that!!

I can't stop book blogging, I just can't. Even if right now in school I have a really heavy load. I just can't!!

Today in my e-mail I got a really nice one. From someone who reads my blog. They said they missed my posts, and wished me a happy anniversary. I felt so happy, that I actually started to cry. Literally was bawling my eyes out.

So I'm not going to stop, I'm going to promise you that I will be here for year 2. But from now on , this blog does not control me: I control it. I won't be posting everyday (I'm in a high school's final month with a heavy load & finals) , but I will do as much as I can. I will still review all books that I get for review/and books I'm reading/bought/library as well, but I'm not going to put myself under a countdown/time limit.

I hope you all understand this!!! I will have a Blog Anniversary contest soon!!!
Yours Truly,

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'M BACK!!!!Whats in my Mail Box (Wk 17)

I'm back everyone!! :) I've been having a busy week (school, been sick and lots of exams). But now I'm back, and the site shall get back into swing XD Including of a long awaited, Sing me to Sleep review tomorrow :) And the Radiant Shadows winner. And the winner is...Aik!! I've e-mailed you and you have 72 hours to reply, if not I'll be forced to pick a new winner. Ok everyone, here's my What's In My Mailbox.

For Review
In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren! In My Mailbox is a way to share the books you received each week.

Hunger for nourishment.
Hunger for touch.
Hunger to belong.

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.

Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries' coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani's death.

Ani isn't one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin's plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in the penultimate volume of Melissa Marr's New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.


I'm really excited to read this one!! The book trailer looks awesome, and it sounds interesting.

Book Trailers


Yours Truly,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Whats in my Mail Box (Wk 16)

For Review
In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren! In My Mailbox is a way to share the books you received each week.



THE TRANSFORMATION
Beth has always been “The Beast”—that’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.
THE LOVE AFFAIR
When Beth’s choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek’s untethered passion—for music, and for Beth—leaves her breathless. Because in Derek’s eyes? She’s not The Beast, she’s The Beauty.
THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE
When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?
THE HEARTBREAK
The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek’s been hiding a dark secret from her …one that could shatter everything.

I'd gotten this recently from a contest I had one. But this copy is from the International Book Tours. I'm currently just finishing the last 20 pages off, and am literally bawling my eyes out. It's so emotional. Expect my review up, early this week.

Shamira is considered an outcast by most, but little do they know that she is on a mission. Kids on Mars are disappearing, but Shamira decides to use the criminals most unlikely weapons against them the very kids of which they have captured. In order to succeed, she is forced to trust another, something she is afraid to do. However, Valens, her connection to the underworld of her enemy, proves to be a useful ally. Time is slipping, and so is her control on the power that resides within her. But in order to save her brother's life, she is willing to risk it all.

I got this one, thanks to the author :) I've read the first three chapters, and so far I'm liking it.


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

Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

I've seen the third book,Jealousy on everybody's WOW lately. So I decided to pick up a copy of the first book and see how I like it :)

Stuff I Received, But Don't Have Photographs/Images Of
- 1 Shadow Hills Book Mark (it came with last week review copy of the Shadow Hills)
- 2 Teens Read & Write Book Mark
- 1 Japanese Children Book (Host Sister Gave me to translate :) )
Book Trailers






Yours Truly,

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Gardener By S.A Bodeen Review #58

Author: S.A Bodeen
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 240
Available: May 25th, 2010
Thanks To: Ksenia @ Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Rating:

Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener. Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?

Simply a irresistible & captivating read. S.A Bodeen does a great job at taking an important topic, and turning it into something uniquely new. I literally could not put this book down, and when I did I was left thinking about it afterwords.

The most fascinating thing about this book, is you really felt that you were on the run from something. Everything was fast, there was no time to catch your breath. And I loved that!! I really did!! The characters were all fantastic, and I didn't hate a single one of them. My favorites were Mason & the girl (I won't say her name, since that might be a bit of a spoiler). Mason was your typical, nice guy. He is similar to one of my friends. He is the tall, love-able type (even with is scary scar on his face). And he always wants to do the right thing. Which did get him confused at times, but made him the first male protagonist (that I've read) who isn't turned down by how popular/uncool he is or how strong/weak he is.

This book is a page-turner. The writing, dialogue, characters, realism and so fourth was perfect. I can't find anything that I hated about this book, or bugged me. Yes the identity of The Gardener is a bit obvious, but who was the real antagonist blew me off guard.

Overall, this is a great and easy read that you can definitely do in one sitting. The novel will make you think and wonder. And the ending, will most certainly leave you screaming for more.
Yours Truly,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Shadow Hills By Anastasia Hopcus Review #57

Author: Anastasia Hopcus
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 400
Available: July 13th, 2010
Preorder: Here!!!
Thanks To: International Book Tours & Anastasia Hopcus
Rating: 2

After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA -- a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died.

Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach -- the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after -- seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.

So far the Best Book Of 2010!! I loved it, it was fantastic. I coudn't stop reading it. I agree with Lauren from Laurens Crammed Bookshelf "it's still a book that I can't help but suggest you run out and buy once it's released because it's definitely going to be ONE GIGANTIC HIT this summer;"

I'll definitely be buying a final copy of this, once it's released :) I certainly, can't pinpoint the exact reason why I loved it. Maybe because it was enthralling, you never wanted to put it down. The writing flows nicely, and is quick to the point. The characters are very realistic, and I had a easy time understanding each of them. Even though this was a 1st person POV, I felt that I could understand each characters motive. Also the male (romance) lead was not perfect, and I loved that. He was a typical guy, who I can see being in my school right now. He was a normal person, he got in trouble if he stayed out to late. He wasn't invincible. I love perfect guys, but it's nice to see a change in YA a bit. Regular guys are being to overshadowed, and it nice to see them brought back down, to the playing field.

Anastasia Hopcus is most certainly going to start a new trend in the YA genre. The supernatural ability that the characters have (including the male lead), is unlike anything I have ever seen or heard of. It's something fresh and new (and it's not vampires or werewolves). The storyline will keep the readers interested, and the ending will leave you wanting more. The emotion was very well portrayed, and I could really feel Phe's (female protagonist) lost. But I thought the characters who most stood out, emotion-wise, was Trent and Corrine. Trent acted all cool, but had a real mean streak/badboyish side to him, and when you read the end you can kind of see why he is like that. Or I did. Corrine on the other hand, wants to protect her family and she is so determined.

My suggestion for this book is italics. I think this because it got confusing telling whether Phe was having a dream/vision or she was awake and narrating.

Stuff that I thought could of been more developed:
-When something important would happen, it would be rushed and because of that I would forget about it. So I felt that some stuff/clues were hard to remember.
-There was little description of the school,and so I had a hard time imagining it.
-Character interactions were a bit rushed, especially in the romance department. I felt that Zach & Phe's relationship was a bit rushed. Same with Graham & Toy. I actually really didn't see the signs of Graham & Toy liking each other,so when it was first mentioned I was very shocked.
-The last thing that I thought could of been developed was between the first chapter & 2nd/3rd. Phe's personality changes from being the shy girl at first, to the tough person who is willing to stick up for herself.

Overall Shadow Hills was a rocking novel, that is a MUST read. An excellent debut!! I'm praying that there is a sequel, because I think I'll die without one.
Yours Truly,

Interview With Julie Kagawa, author of The Iron King

So recently, I got to do a fabulous interview with the wonderful Julie Kagawa, who is the author of The Iron Fey trilogy. The first book, The Iron King came out in February 2010. And the sequel, The Iron Daughter will come out in August 2010. So everyone, mark your calendars :) If you would like to see my take on The Iron King, then please go here!!!

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

1. What inspired you to write the Iron Fey Trilogy? And how long did it take to write?
Julie:I've always loved faery tales, the old, creepy faery tales, where the fey were primal and wicked and dangerous, not flower flitting sprites. But when I first began writing a faery story, I got to thinking: what are the fey afraid of? In myth, the answer is iron, so what if there was a type of faery that was immune to iron, that had evolved with progress and technology? How would that affect the more traditional fey? And then I remembered we already have “monsters” lurking in machines: gremlins and bugs and worms and such, and from that thought, the Iron Fey were born.

I wrote The Iron King in a little under two months, thanks to a lovely program called NaNo Wrimo, which is to complete 50,000 words in 30 days. It was hectic and frantic and I did nothing but eat, sleep, and write, but I hit my deadline and got it done. And then I passed out for a week.

2. The Iron King is your debut novel, was it a hard process to get published? And do you have any advice for people who are inspiring to get there book published?
Julie:Simple answer? Yes. For most writers, it is a difficult process to get a novel published. Finishing a book is only the first step, and just because you finish a novel doesn't mean you're ever going to see that book in print. Usually, it's a lot of hard work, drive, and determination before you even get a glimmer of interest. But writers, remember this: all authors started exactly where you are right now. We were all unpublished at one point, hoping and dreaming for that day a publishing house would tell us: “yes, we want to publish your book.” So, keep writing. The only difference between a published author and a non-published author is that the published one didn't give up.

3. Meghan is a really relate able character, that most readers can connect to. Is there any similarities between you two?
Julie:Not so much, lol. The only similarities between me and her was our status in high school. I was a loner, wore ratty clothes, and wasn't part of the “in-crowd.” But Meghan is a lot more patient than I was at her age. Her solution to being teased was to ignore it or run away. My response was to meet that person after school and punch them in the nose. I was a rather angry teenager.

4, I saw in your bio, on your blogger blog, that you like anime. What is your favorite anime? And does Meghan have any favorites?
Julie:I love anime and manga. Like books, there are sooooooo many great ones that I don't have one absolute favorite. A few favorites include Fushigi Yugi, Naruto, Bleach, Gundam Wing, Kare Kano, Saiyuki, Inuyasha, Samurai X, Trigun, Wallflower, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Weiss Kruss, Grave of the Fireflies…Okay, I should stop. I could go on and on (and on), but we'd be here all day.

Meghan is also an anime fan, and her favorites are Naruto and Escaflowne.

**Maura: I'm a absolute fan of Fushigi Yugi, Wallflower and Inuyasha :)
5. I was wondering, can you tell us anything about The Iron Daughter?
Julie:Oooh, spoilers, eh? Well, I will say that Meghan gets an unexpected ally in The Iron Daughter, and it's not anyone you'd expect. Also, there's that scene where Puck and Meghan--whoops! I almost let something slip. :P

6. Anything else you'd like to add?
Julie:Just a huge thank you to my readers! You guys are awesome.

**Maura: Thank You So Much Julie Kagawa for letting me interview you :) Are you guys excited for the release of The Iron Daughter? Have you read the Iron King? Thoughts? I loved to hear your feedback. Again Thanks So Much XD
Yours Truly,

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Whats in My Mail Box (Wk 15)

For Review
In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren! In My Mailbox is a way to share the books you received each week.
After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA -- a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died.
Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach -- the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after -- seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.

I'm just going to copy, what I posted on twitter earlier:
I'm absolutely in love with Shadow Hills. I think I may just have found one of the best of 2010!!!

Seriously, I'm absolutely loving this book!! I got it from the International Book Tours !!!

Q: How many guys does it take to make your boyfriend wild with jealousy?
A: Only one, if he's UNDEAD.
Megan Berry had a perfectly average new-sundress-and-boy-obsessed life--until her power to settle the Undead returned. Oh, and then her best friend tried to kill her--and ruin homecoming--with a bunch of black magically raised zombies. At least she got a spot on the pom squad and a smokin' boyfriend (Ethan). But now Megan is in deep fertilizer all over again.
Why? Well, let's see...
· Feral new super-strong zombies? Check.
· Cheerleader vs. pom squad turf war threatening half time as they know it? Check.
· An Undead psychic hottie (Cliff) who's predicting a zombie apocalypse--and doing his best to tempt Megan away from Ethan? Yum. I mean, Check.
· Earth-shattering secrets that could land Megan in Settler prison for life? Um, IT WASN'T ME!!!
Everyone thinks Megan's at fault for the new uber-zombie uprising. Looks like she'll need the help of both Cliff and Ethan if she's going to prove her innocence before it's too late...

I got this from Borrow My ARC Tour!!! So far it's ok, but not really my type of book.

Bought
Georgia Nicolson's life is completely bonkers because:
- Her cat Angus is the size of a small Labrador. Also crazy.
- Her sister Libby may have hidden pooey knickers at the bottom of her bed.
- Her parents are spectacularly mad.
- She went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.
But when Robbie, a.k.a. the Sex God, enters the picture, Georgia decides it's time to leave the madness behind and enter the land of full-frontal snogging. And once she does, her lips - or anything else for that matter - may never be the same.

I saw the movie, and was immediately hooked. So hooked, that I bought the book. It's absolutely hysterical.



From Library

Thirteen-year-old Andrea Talbot doesn't want to go to Moose Jaw for her cousin Vanessa's wedding. She's going to miss a really cool bike trip and she's not taking it very well.
At a family dinner party in a local restaurant, Andrea agrees to look at what she thinks is just a phony tourist attraction: the tunnels beneath the streets of Moose Jaw. Legend has it that in Prohibition days the tunnels sheltered crooks, maybe even the notorious Al Capone! Andrea scoffs, until she has a small accident at the tunnel entrance and wakes up in another time.
Unable to return to the present, Andrea is caught up in a dangerous underground adventure. A teenage boy, Vance, finds her a job: working as a courier for the very criminals whose existence she dismissed - including their menacing leader, a man she knows only as Scarface. When she overhears information about a police raid, Andrea has to decide what to do. Should she help Scarface escape? Or should she help Vance, running for his life after a run-in with Scarface? And whatever she decides, will Andrea ever get back to the present?

The only book, I know that is based on where I grew up & it's history. I really love this series, read it when I was 10 and now rereading it.
Fourteen-year-old Andrea would like to forget all about her trip back in time to the Prohibition days of the 1920s in Moose Jaw in Tunnels of Time. But then she agrees to take her younger brother Tony to their grandparents in Moose Jaw. Andrea and Tony arrive only to find that their grandparents are missing! Then Tony learns about his sister's previous tunnel adventure, and decides to have one of his own. But he leaves his medication behind, and Andrea has no choice but to pursue him into the tunnels of the past.
Upon her return to the olden days, Andrea finds that her assistance is needed to expose a local theft ring and a corrupt police force. Will Andrea get Tony his medicine on time? Can Tony and Andrea learn to conquer their fears of growing up and being responsible? Can they expose the real crooks before they become trapped in the past?

The great traction city london is on the move again. It has been lying low, skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground. But now, as its great mountain of metal lumbers along in hot pursuit of its quarry, the sinister plans it has harbored for years can finally start to unfold behind its soaring walls ...
Thaddeus Valentine, London's Head Historian and most famous archaeologist, and his daughter, Katherine, are down in The Gut when the young assassin with the black scarf strikes. Only the quick intervention of Tom, a lowly third-class apprentice, prevents Valentine from being stabbed in the heart. Madly racing after the fleeing girl, Tom suddenly glimpses her hideous face: scarred from forehead to jaw, nose a smashed stump, a single eye glaring back at him. "Look at what your Valentine did to me!" she screams. "Ask him! Ask him what he did to Hester Shaw!" And with that she jumps down the waste chute to her death. Minutes later Tom finds himself tumbling down the same chute and stranded in the Out-Country, a sea of mud scored by the huge caterpillar tracks of cities like the one now steaming off over the horizon.
In a stunning literary debut, Philip Reeve has created an unforgettable adventure story set in a dark and utterly original world fueled by Municipal Darwinism -- and betrayal.

I keep seeing Fever Crumbs around, and I got interested in it. But then I found out that was a prequel, so I decided to read the original series first. I've also heard they're adapting this into a movie.

Book Trailers


Yours Truly,

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bree Despain *The Dark Divine* Author

I was lucky enough to get to interview the author of the awesome book, The Dark Divine Everyone please welcome, Bree Despain.
If you want to see the review I did, then please go here!!!

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

1. If you wouldn't mind, could tell us what your debut novel, The Dark Divine, is about.
Bree: THE DARK DIVINE is a modern exploration of the Prodigal Son with a paranormal twist. The story is about a girl named Grace whose family never talks about the night her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood, and his best friend Daniel disappeared—that is until Daniel returns 3 years later and enrolls in Grace and Daniel’s school. Torn between her loyalty to her brother and her attraction Daniel, Grace must discover the truth behind the boys’ dark secret, and find the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate price to do it—her soul.

2. What was the publishing process like, seeing as this is your first time? Was it hard? And how long did it take to get your novel published?

Bree: I’d say getting published is very hard. I wrote for 9 years (4 of those years working on TDD) before I landed an agent—however, after I got an agent everything unfolded rather quickly. We sold the manuscript within a matter of weeks to my publisher, and then the book hit the shelves only 11 months later.

3. You took a semester off college to write plays, what sort of plays did you write? And did they have any influence on your novel?
Bree: I took the semester off to work with a summer program for at-risk kids as a drama teacher. But when I first arrived at the program, and was told that I was expected to take a bunch of kids (many of whom had never acted or sung before) and put on a three-act musical with only 3 weeks of rehearsal, I just about died. The task seemed impossible, and the kids were having a really hard time trying to learn difficult lines—honestly, nobody was having fun. That’s when I decided to throw out the script I’d been given and write something fun and entertaining for the kids. We ended up doing three different short plays that were all based on fractured fairytales. One was a Cinderella Murder Mystery and another was an urban version of Goldilocks—complete with hip-hop dance numbers and a 250 pound girl with an amazing voice playing the role of Goldie. Watching the audience give her, and the rest of the cast, a standing ovation was one of the best moments in my life.

The plays themselves didn’t really influence my novel, but many of the people I met did. T
hat experience is what made me want to be an author—and what made me want to write for young people.
4. How did you come up with the character for Daniel? Was he based off of anyone you knew?
Bree: Daniel was inspired by three different guy friends who disappeared from my life at different times. In fact, “guys who disappear” is kind of a theme with me. The main inspiration for the book came when I was thinking about the time one of these guys suddenly reappeared at my school for a couple of hours and then vanished again. I always wondered what had happened to him, and why he seemed so messed up and troubled. TDD is kind of an exploration of what might have happened if he hadn’t disappeared a second time.
5. Will we get to see more of Grace's, Daniel's, and Jude's adventure?
Bree: YES! I’m finishing up the sequel to TDD called THE LOST SAINT. It addresses some of the questions left unanswered in TDD, and also explores some of the new possibilities that popped up at the end of Book One. TLS will hit bookstores on December 28th 2010.

Maura:
Thanks So Much Bree Despain for the great interview!!! If you haven't read The Dark Divine yet, then I highly recommend it.
Yours Truly,

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Reckoning By Kelley Armstrong Review #56

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 399
Available: Now
Thanks To: Jessica @ Random House Canada
Rating:

Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I'm on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We're hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We'll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we'd left behind and take out the Edison Group . . . or so we hope.

The end has finally come...or the end of this trilogy anyway. If you didn't know, Kelley Armstrong is doing another trilogy based off the same story line but different characters. This is a book that you will find yourself slowly reading. You'll want to savor each chapter, because in honesty this series is awesome. After reading this book, your thoughts will mainly be on this novel. You'll keep thinking about it, which is a good thing.

The final arc of the story is probably the best out of all three. It has lots of action (way more then previous 2) and twists that you don't see coming. I seriously thought I would be right about where the story was ending, and then BAM! The author would prove me wrong. The romance fully develops, and will leave the readers with a smile on there face. The writing is top notch, like the other two books. And the questions that you've been having from the previous novels, are finally answered and cleared up for us.

What I didn't like about The Reckoning was it brought up some new issues, and left some answers unexplained or left hanging. For example the whole Royce/Dr.Banks, leaves the readers wondering what happened to them. And wonder about there story further, then already explained. Also there is a threat scene between Chloe & Dr. Banks, which is never fully solved. And I thought that could of been erased/deleted because I felt it a bit unnecessary.

Also for anyone who has read The Reckoning, who is Mr. St. Cloud?

I think this series is great, especially this novel in particular. But it left so many new things hanging. Which made the ending, not do it for me. The ending kind of hinted, that there might be a sequel. But I'm not sure!!! I feel that this story would definitely feel incomplete without one. A few things that I felt were unfinished: Demi-Demon, Rae, Mr. St. Cloud, Royce/Dr. Banks, and what happened to them when all this is finish. I think what the ending was trying to portray is that the story will go in the readers imagination, and I hate those type of endings.

There was more Liz though!!! I was so happy about that :) Liz is awesome!!!

Overall the third & final book in the Darkest Powers trilogy, will not disappoint fans. As a reader, I demand more :)

To Learn More About The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong, then check out Random House Canada!!

To Check Out My Other Reviews: The Summoning, The Awakening

To Buy The Reckoning: Amazon,Amazon CA,Chapters, Barnes & Noble
Yours Truly,


Monday, April 5, 2010

Movies That Made You Eager To Read The Books

Have you ever watched a movie, based off a book, and afterwords were dying to read the story. Well that is what happened to me last night. My host sister and I, rented some movies to watch. One of them was Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. Now I had seen this movie before, but have been hesitant on watching it. Simply because of the title. But my host sister wanted to watch it, and the guy on the front looked like Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson).There were two things I didn't realize about this movie until the end. 1) Aaron Johnson was the guy!!!! Now I should have realized it was Aaron Johnson, because he is how I pictured Patch (Hush, Hush) to look. I took an interest in this actor, after reading Hush,Hush.
2) This was based off a book. Throughout the whole movie, I was like "This is so awesome, they should have a book!" . Now if you only saw me, when I did find out that this was an adaptation. My I was so happy, and bouncing with joy. I'm like: "In the morning, I'm going to the library!!".

There are six things very wrong with my life:
1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.
2. It is on my nose
3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.
4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic teachers.
5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.
6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.

In this wildly funny journal of a year in the life of Georgia Nicolson, British author Louise Rennison has perfectly captured the soaring joys and bottomless angst of being a teenager. In the spirit of Bridget Jones's Diary, this fresh, irreverent, and simply hilarious book will leave you laughing out loud. As Georgia would say, it's "Fabbity fab fab!"

Fast Forward to today!!! I found out the libraries are all closed because of Easter :( But Chapters was open :) So I stayed up all night (because it's spring vacation, and who sleeps?) and then fell asleep at 6A.M. Then at 5PM, I rushed to Chapters and picked up: Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison. I've already read half of it, and I'm loving it. Of course it isn't my typical read, but it is very funny.

Has this ever happen to you? Watched a movie, and wanted to read the book so bad? Please comment, and tell me about your experience :)
Yours Truly,

Ruby By Amanda Taber Review #55

Author: Amanda Taber
Format: E-Book
Publisher:Solstice publishing.
Available: Now :)
Thanks to: Amanda Taber
Pages: 195
Rating:

Ruby Matthews is nineteen and alone in the world. Both her parents are dead, killed it seems by an apparent drunk driver.
Lonely and grieving, Ruby’s mysterious grandmother arrives in town to take her home to live with her in her huge manor style mansion in Star’s Landing, Maine.
What Ruby soon discovers turns her world upside down. She learns that she is a witch and not just any witch. She is one of three witches known as the Triple Enchantresses whose coming was foretold during the witch hunts that gripped the world hundreds of years ago. These three young women are destined to combine their powers to form the most powerful witch’s coven ever in existence.
Also living in Star’s Landing is Blaine Hamilton, a young man who comes from a wealthy family of warlocks and who now lives in seclusion, his back turned on his mammoth powers after the murder of his entire family.
The townsfolk wrongly believe that he is the killer, a fact that he doesn’t dispute as he too holds himself responsible for their deaths as he was unable to save them.
He retreats to the family estate just outside town and condemns himself to live there alone for the rest of his life, unworthy of love.
When Ruby and Blaine encounter one another unexpectedly, the wheels of magic, Wicca and destiny turn and they fall deeply in love.
They are unaware, however, that the same demon that was responsible for the deaths of both their families is now after Ruby, determined to see that the Triple Enchantresses never has the chance to form.
Can Blaine find the courage to reawaken his powers to save Ruby when she is kidnapped by the demon? And will Ruby survive to take her place as one third of the Triple Enchantresses as the prophecy has foretold?
‘Ruby’ is the first book in a series about the three girls and is a modern day re telling of the classic fairy tale ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

Amanda Taber has a real talent with writing emotional scenes, and Ruby definitely shows that. That is probably the best thing about this novel, and why I enjoyed it so much. I really felt for the characters, and a lot of time I don't feel that in other books. Especially at this, extreme, length. You feel anger, sadness and pity when you hear Blaine talk about his family. And you really feel for Ruby's loss of her parents. How sad she is at first, is very well shown and I applaud the author for that. For I believe, or I think, that emotion is probably the hardest thing to capture in a story. Readers/authors feel free to correct me if you think that is not true.

This story is a book that you can easily devour in one sitting, I finished 100 pages when I first received it. The reason I didn't complete it at first, is because it was in the middle of the night and I needed to sleep.
The plot and story line is very interesting and you never get bored with it. Even by the end, you'll be excited for the sequel. Though who the antagonists are, is very obvious. I also didn't see the connection between this story and Beauty & the Beast.

I enjoyed the story, but I found many things that I thought could of been more developed. I felt the whole novel was rushed, like it had to be 195 pages and no more. And because of that, I saw more telling of the story then showing.
Like things would be mentioned at random, that I never heard of before. An example of this is when Ruby spies on the house keepers. She tells her Grandmother she did it, but we never see her doing it. Also that should of been shown, because it leads into a major realization in the story.
What else I thought was rushed was Ruby's powers. We hear about them, but we don't really get a good look at them. I also thought that Ruby's & Blaine's relationship was developed to quickly, making there connection a bit unbelievable.
With that unbelievability, came a bit of unrealistic things in the story. Mainly the interaction between the characters. And I thought that was partly due to the dialogue.

Overall this story is enthralling piece of work, and I'm really looking forward to see what the author does next in the series.
Yours Truly,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Whats in my Mail Box (Wk 14)

For Review
In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren! In My Mailbox is a way to share the books you received each week.
My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen, and I would love to be normal.
But normal is one thing I'm not.
For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother—who just happens to be a sorcerer—but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf.
Not normal.
My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us—permanently.
Definitely not normal.
And finally, I'm a genetically altered necro-mancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying.
As far away from normal as it gets.
Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.
Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?


Bought

When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past.
The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.

This is a really, really addicting book. You seriously can't put it down!!!

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Spencer is just like any other teenager at her boarding school. She hangs out with her best friend Kevin, she obsesses over Mark, a cute and mysterious bad boy, and her biggest worry is her paper deadline.
But then everything changes. The news headlines are all abuzz about a local string of serial killings that all share the same morbid trademark: the victims were discovered with their eyes missing. Then a beautiful yet eerie woman enters Ellie's circle of friends and develops an unhealthy fascination with Kevin, and a crazed old man grabs Ellie in a public square and shoves a tattered Bible into her hands, exclaiming, "You need it. It will save your soul." Soon, Ellie finds herself plunged into a haunting world of vengeful fairies, Maori mythology, romance, betrayal, and an epic battle for immortality.


Won

-Beautiful Creatures Unlock The Curse Challenge Runner Up Prize (BC Stick, BC tag, Ethan's Playlist, 2 photos & 2 candies) Thanks To Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl.

Random
Which Greek god makes the best parent? Would you want to be one of Artemis' Hunters? Why do so many monsters go into retail--and why are they never selling anything a demigod really wants?
Spend a little more time in Percy Jackson's world--a place where the gods bike among us, monsters man snack bars and each of us has the potential to become a hero.
Find out:
* Why Dionysus might actually be the best director Camp Half-Blood could have * How to tell a monster when you see one * Why even if we aren't facing manticores and minotaurs, reading myths can still help us deal with the scary things in our own lives
PLUS, consult our glossary of people, places and things from Greek myth: how Medusa got her snake hair extensions, why Chiron isn't into partying and paintball like the rest of his centaur family and the whole story on Percy's mythical namesake (could it hold clues to Percy's fate?).
Rick Riordan is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and two sons.

I don't know who this is from. Whether it's for review or I won it from a contest, but thanks :) I love Percy Jackson
Yours Truly,

Friday, April 2, 2010

Heist Society By Ally Carter Review #54

Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Pages: 287
Rating:

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.
Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help. For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history--or at least her family's (very crooked) history.

A thrilling, fun and easy read that by the end of it will have you eager for more. You literally can not put this down, it's to adventurous. This is a book that you will not regret picking up.
My favorite aspects of it were: the characters traveling all around Europe/United States in 13 days, a headstrong, independent female lead who strives for the opposite of most teens *normalcy*, witty dialogue and the thief/spy aspect of it.

Ally Carter knows how to write a very good and entertaining story. A novel that teaches the lesson of knowing the true value of home and family. This is the first of her books that I have read, and definitely will not be the last. She sets up the emotion, character development and plot/story line nicely. There isn't a single character I disliked, that includes Arturo ( the antagonist). Each individual (no matter how big or small a part they played) brought something unique to the story, from Hale (the rich guy, who is a bit of a player and whose first name we do not know) to Gregory Wainwright (a guy who would rather sleep all day, surrounded by the paintings in his museum, then deal with the stress of his job). Heist Society has a little bit of everything for everybody. From romance to mystery, action, undercover work and so on. It is impossible not to adore it.

The mystery of Visily Romani (the greatest thief ever lived), will have you guessing throughout the whole novel. And when the end comes, you'll be absolutely dying for more. Luckily Ally Carter is currently working on book 2 :)

Heist Society is an amazing book, but there were some things that I thought could of been more worked on. One of them was, some parts were very confusing. An example of this is the beginning, I got caught puzzled a few times and had to reread it to understand the situation. Another thing was Kat's description, there wasn't much of it. And it was hard to imagine her, I basically went off the cover model.

Over this book is a enjoyable, must read that I recommend to all. Another cool fact is this novel has been give the rights to Warner Brothers. Is anyone else as excited as I am for a movie version?
Yours Truly,

Melissa Marr's RADIANT SHADOWS Tour & Giveaway

Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Pages: 352

Hunger for nourishment.
Hunger for touch.
Hunger to belong.
Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.
Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries’ coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani’s death.
Ani isn’t one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin’s plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?
Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in Melissa Marr’s next volume of Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.

So who is a fan of the Wicked Lovely Series?I know I am am!! Thanks to Karen from Media Masters Publicity , I get to inform you about Melissa Marr's upcoming tour for Radiant Shadows. Not only that, Karen has been gracious enough to let me host a giveaway for all of you. So one lucky reader will win a copy of Radiant Shadows which is the 4th book in the Wicked Lovely series. Radiant Shadows comes out April 20th, 2010. So everyone mark your calendar for this book & the tour dates. I sadly will not be able to attend, seeing as I live in Canada. So the tour dates are:

-DENVER, CO April 22, 2010: Tattered Cover Book Store; 7:00 pm

-LEXINGTON, KY April 23, 2010: Joseph-Beth Booksellers; 7:00 pm

-ST. LOUIS, MO April 24, 2010: St. Louis County Library; 7:00 pm

-BOSTON, MA April 26, 2010: Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, MA; 7:00 pm

-COLUMBUS, OH April 28 – May 2, 2010: Romantic Times Convention

-CLEVELAND, OH May 12, 2010: Joseph-Beth Booksellers; 7:00 pm

-PHILADELPHIA, PA May 14, 2010: Chester County Book Store, West Chester, PA; 7:00 pm

RICHMOND, VA May 15, 2010: The Fountain Bookstore; 2:00 pm

To enter the Giveaway then follow theses simple rules :)
-Open to people of the US & Canada
-You Must be a follower
-You Must have commented on this post
-You have to fill out the forum


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