Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: The Lifecycle of Software Objects - Ted Chiang

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 3 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Cute, there are similar illustrations throughout.)  
Genre: Adult  
Publication Date: July 31, 2010
Publisher: Subterranean
Page Count: 150 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Ana and Derek were both there to help start up the new Digients (pets/robots/virtual creatures). As the years pass and the technology grows obsolete, and more and more people put their Digients to sleep permanently. Ana and Derek keep on going with their babies though, even after their company shuts down. Year after year we see the slight evolution in these virtual companions and see the effects that new technology has on their lives. Ana and Derek have to face many things to protect their Digients from a state of permanent sleep, including realizing that a person can love an object with AI absolutely.

So this wasn't a bad read by any means. There just wasn't a whole lot of meat to it. Maybe if you are really into Sc-Fi you would enjoy it more. I liked the illustrations in the book, even though one was a bit much. This was an interesting look at technology and how bigger and better things always crop and threaten the existence of older items. A lot of this story seemed like to people who were raising adopted children. I mean the Digients spoke like children and played like children. For this reason I can see why they would be hesitant to sell them to the company that approaches them. This was a nice little novella, and I'm glad I read it, because it was pretty interesting. If you like Sci-Fi and technology than I would recommend you check this out.

First Line:
"Her name is Ana Alvarado, and she's having a bad day."

Favorite Line:
"'Why you want us stay angry forever?'"

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #42

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

So Kimberly Derting revealed her cover and title for the final Body finder novel. It is gorgeous. I love how all the covers in this series look. I adored The Body Finder (review) and Desires of the Dead (review) and I'm sure this one will not disappoint. Unfortunately we will have to wait until April 17th 2012, though maybe they'll release it a little earlier ;) In case you've been living under a rock and haven't heard about this series here is the synopsis of the first novel The Body Finder.

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers. 

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him. 

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Withering Tights - Louise Rennison

Where I got it: Amazon Vine
Rating: 5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (I love the pink and black and the owl!!! Fantastic cover!)  
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: June 28, 2011  
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 275 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Tallulah decides that this summer will be different for her. She will not be spending it at camp with her brother feeding her butterfly sandwiches. Instead of all that silliness, she will be going to a Performing Arts College. Unfortunately she signed up late and can't stay at the school, but ends up staying with a peculiar family with boys who stay at her and a dad trying to find his inner woman. Tallulah thought this year would be different, but she could have never imagined it to be this loony. Owls, boys and best mates are only a small part of this hilarious tale. The adventures of Tallulah will have you laughing your knickers off.

So Tallulah is Georgia's quirky younger cousin. Now I absolutely adore Georgia, and know that anyone related to her must be fairly marvy. Tallulah is funny and awkward and a bit odd. In otherwords, a fantastic girl to read about. I was laughing so much through all of Tallulah's (and her mates) misadventures. Apparently people in England are just filled with far more hilariousity than people in the U.S.. Tallulah and her friends were quirky and fun. The teachers at the school bordered on completely insane (they are ar-tists!). There were quite a few people, so you did have to pay attention to remember who's who, but I imagine that as the series continues each of the characters will grow even more and then it won't be a problem. There were plenty of dark, brooding boys in this novel, and they were just as loony as the girls. I loved the parralels to Wuthering Heights, and just the whole theater-y element in the novel. Although it did make me think a bit of the end of the Georgia Nicolson series, and I was waiting for someone to yell PANTS! Alack though no one did.  I could not put this book down, and never wanted to. I can not wait for the next installment. If you enjoy a good laugh then pick this up. I assume that you will pick this up if you are a fan of Georgia Nicolson, so I don't need to tell you twice.

First Lines:
"Wow. This is it. This is me growing up. On my own, going to Performing Arts College."

Favorite Lines: (there are sooo many)
"You wouldn't say, ' You've got the crappest eyes I've ever seen. Your eyes make me physically sick.'"

"You are clearly an intelligent girl as well as being very tall."

"THEN I come back from London. Much, much more criss than when I went I've got a jacket and a scar and my mustache. And sideburns."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In My Mailbox #95

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren
1st I got a signed bookplate and card from Nova Ren Suma (Thanks!)

I already had an ARC, read it and loved it, so I needed a finished copy.
Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby. But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistakeNatalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school's Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn't share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie's nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party - when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead. From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should've messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrove. Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth in this seductive, riveting tale of conscience and consequence.

Legacy - Cayla Kluver
In an award-winning YA fantasy debut, 16-year-old novelist Cayla Kluver brings a magical touch to an unrelentingly suspenseful coming-of-age tale. Duty-bound to wed her father's choice in successor to the throne, Princess Alera of Hytanica believes that she is being forced into the worst of all possible fates' a marriage to the arrogant and hot-tempered suitor, Steldor. When a mysterious boy from enemy Cokyri appears bearing secrets and an entirely different view of what's appropriate behavior for a young lady, Alera learns that her private desires threaten to destroy the kingdom. When Narian's shocking past comes to light, Alera finds herself in a shadowy world of palace intrigue and ancient blood feuds, facing an uncertain future with dwindling options - and must learn to decide between right and wrong all alone. Marked by witty, rapid-fire dialogue and dramatic complexity that belie the writer's age, Legacy brings a fresh, new sensibility to age-old questions of duty and inheritance and to a young's heroine's quest to find her true voice.

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.

Goodman's Gifts & Stationery Store 
 February 14 Cashier: Elyse 
 3 boxes of heart-shaped chocolate . . . $12.00 
 Chocolate is the only good thing about this nauseating holiday. 
4 containers of candy hearts . . . $5.00 
Ever since my ex cheated on me, I've sworn off love. Too bad my new neighbor Patrick didn't get the memo. 
1 Valentine's Day card . . . $4.50 
I'm not interested. Although, he is pretty cute. And sweet. And funny. 
1 singing Cupid doll (promotional item) . . . $0.00 
 Stupid Cupid! Point your arrows at someone else. . . . 
Subtotal . . . $21.50 
 It's going to be a complicated Valentine's Day.

Captivate - Carrie Jones

So that's what I got this week. What did you all get.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: Don't Stop Now - Julie Halpern

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Map!)  
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: June 7, 2011  
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Page Count: 232 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

It all started with a phone call from Lillian's (sorta) friend Penny. When Lil checked her voicemail all she heard was "I did it." Lil wasn't sure what Penny did, until she recalled a recent conversation where Pen said she was going to fake her own kidnapping. Now Lillian is getting calls from the police and the FBI, she decides she needs to find Penny and get her to turn herself in. Lil decides to take her best friend (and crush) Josh on a little road trip. Lil is completely in love with Josh and hopes that this road trip can make them more than friends. Even though Josh loves Lil, he doesn't want to ruin what they have. Across the states from Illinois to Washington they travel, Lil looking for love and Penny and Josh looking to not face his future.

I feel like Julie Halpern is an undiscovered treasure. She is just such a fantastic author. I loved Get Well Soon and Into the Wild Nerd Yonder (my review), but I believe this one is my absolute favorite. The dialogue and characters in this novel were just hilarious and spot on. Lillian and Josh are fantastic characters, and I really wish they were my friends. They had so much fun and were just so comfortable with each other. I like how there was this added quest, of having to find Penny. It gave a destination for the road trip, even though the reason Lil wanted to go is because she wants Josh to love her as more than a friend. This was a fantastic summer book, short but amazing. I was laughing and gasping the whole time as everything unfolded. I felt awkward when the characters had uncomfortable silences but I felt swoon-y when Josh would casually put an arm around Lil. I really didn't want it to end, I wanted to keep reading about the two of them forever. I wish I could go on a road trip, these sort of books always make me crave the open road. I've been on some mini ones, but it would be great to have a rich best friend so that we could just take off and go and not have to worry about anything. Make sure you pick up this book this summer, in fact pick up all of Julie's books this summer. Julie Halpern is just such an amazing author, and everyone should read her.

First Line:
"'I did it,' Penny's voice whispers on my voicemail." 

Favorite Lines:
"I'm on my knees in the woodchips, trying to make sense of the Penny messages." 

"While I battle with my crappy fairy-tale metaphor, Ethan makes my decision for me."

Friday, June 24, 2011


We got some books in at the library, one a new release and one a reorder, and I was looking at them thinking...that looks awful familiar. So here you go two more cover look-alikes.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) - Sarah Mlynowski

Where I got it: Amazon Vine
Rating: 3.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (Flirty and fun, but typical)  
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: June 7, 2011  
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 354 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

There are always moments in life, when you do something that you immediately regret. For April, there were ten things specifically that she did and would come to realize that they may have not been the best ideas. From lying to her dad to buying a hot tub, April's life is pretty crazy. Then again, her mom left and took her brother to Paris and her dad moved to Ohio and left her behind at her friends house. Though, he did think that Suzanne, her friend's mom, would actually be home not off doing theater in Chicago. This is April's story about how she kept her life from falling apart...sort of.

This was a very fun read, perfect for the summer. There were a couple parts that were not as fun, but April's misadventures quickly turned things around. If you like E. Lockhart books then you will love this one. Very quirky and girly and just a laugh. I loved April, even if she was pretty spoiled at the beginning of the book. Actually by the end she was still sort of spoiled, but at least she was a little more self-reliant. Vi and Marissa were fun sidekicks, I do wish there was more with Marissa though. It didn't seem like April and Marissa hung out that much, but maybe that was just a comparison because Vi and April lived together and hung out constantly. This story was full of bad ideas and hard mistakes. It was just like real life ;) I would recommend that you pick this up before summer's end and breeze right through it. There are teen heartthrobs, parties and other fun and games. I'm sure there's a moral or two in there somewhere also.

First Lines:
"I bolted awake. A police siren. The police were outside my house."  

Favorite Lines:  
"Did I smell? Discreetly, I sniffed my underarms. I did not think I smelled. Had there been hidden garlic in the pasta sauce?"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Lark - Tracey Porter

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Pretty, I love the color and the tree. This book is pretty tiny only like 5"x7")  
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen  
Page Count: 180 p.

Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Lark came to Nyetta one night, because no one else would listen, no one else would look. Nyetta doesn't want to look either, even if it will set Lark free. Eve used to be friends with Lark, before things happened, and she can't help but feel like if they were still friends Lark would be alive. Nyetta and Eve are the only ones who can help Lark, the only ones who can set her free after her vicious murder.

This was a fast read. A beautifully written story about a girl who was murdered, and needs someone to acknowledge the evil done to her before she may pass on. The book alternates between the three girls. Lark's story starts before she is murdered, Nyetta's tale starts when Lark visits her and Eve's story jumps between memories and the present. Each girl had a haunted presence surrounding their voice. This whole story had a creepy dense air about it, even though the writing itself was free and floating. I appreciated that this tale was about grieving, in different ways, but it wasn't wholly depressing. Each girl reflects on how this could have happened, and why they weren't there for Lark. This was a lyrical and heartbreaking tale, that you would do well do pick up.

First Line:
"First he hit her, then he stabbed her with a small knife, but Lark didn't die from this."

Favorite Line:
"heartwood sap beat pulse taproot crown beat pulse leaf bark beat pulse root sapwood beat pulse heartwood sap beat pulse taproot crown beat"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Imaginary Girls - Nova Ren Suma

Where I got it: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Perfect.)  
Genre: Young Adult  
Publication Date: June 14, 2011  
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile  
Page Count: 346 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Chloe and Ruby are sisters, but Ruby has always taken care of Chloe like a daughter. Ruby is five and a half years older, and everyone in the town adores her. Anything Ruby says goes, and people are willing to do anything for her, including Chloe. That was before London showed up dead in a boat on the Reservoir. Chloe leaves to go live her father, rather than face the town where this girl dies. Soon enough though, Ruby decides she wants Chloe back, so of course Chloe comes back. Her sister is still telling stories about the underwater town of Olive and how Chloe can stay underwater forever. Chloe's back, and everything is the same as before she left, exactly the same. Chloe isn't quite sure what is wrong with the town and her sister, but she knows that something is up. If her sister is keeping secrets, Chloe will just have to dig deeper and let go of the ties that hold her to Ruby.

So this book has so many secrets here, there and everywhere. Writing about the book is difficult, because each of these secrets need to be kept until you unravel them yourself. I wish that I had a sister, or even an older sibling. It was tricky relating to Chloe, because I don't have that sibling that I look up to. I have a younger brother, and we get on okay, but brother/sister relationship are quite different from a relationship between two sisters. Regardless, Chloe was a believable and somewhat likable sister. It was a little upsetting that she hung off of Ruby's every word, but everyone else did too. Ruby was a highly interesting character, and even after finishing the novel, I'm not sure where she stands. She does some good deeds, but she did some pretty bad ones too. I loved hearing the stories that Ruby told, they were imaginative and playful. I loved the story of Olive, the town that wouldn't leave even when they faced being flooded. There was an interesting cast of characters, some you can love and some you dislike. I think Nova Ren Suma did a fantastic job with this, her sophomore novel, and I am going to get my hands on a copy of Dani Noir as soon as possible. When I started this novel, I thought it would be a story about Chloe drowning and becoming a ghost. I thought this would be a story about two sisters and their relationship through terrible things. That's not what this story is about at all though. This is a story that has old, deep stories interwoven throughout. Lots of twists and turns that tangle you in their web and refuse to let go until you've read the last page. I can't stop thinking about this book, even now nearly a week later. I will reread this one and recommend it to everyone I come across. This story was creepy and weird, something that will give you shivers and keep you reading into the morning.

First Line:
"Ruby said I'd never drown – not in the deep ocean, not by shipwreck, not even by falling drunk into someone's bottomless backyard pool."

Favorite Lines:
"'But,' she continued, cutting around a slow car, ' if I was going to lie, I figured I might as well make it fun. So I'd say, What do you mean where's her mother? I'm her mother. I'd tell them different things, depending on who asked. Like I married young and now I'm a widow. Or I got knocked up in Girl Scouts, when I was out selling cookies.'" 

"...I sat there in the boat under her stars and her moon, gated on all sides by the mountains, watching the last bits of her breath float up and away."

Monday, June 20, 2011

2 Year Blogoversary Contest!

Hello and welcome, to the third year of Reading Nook! I can't believe how quickly the past two years have flown by, considering the damage they've done to my TBR pile. So to celebrate(and make room) I am having a huge contest! Surprise, Surprise! Up for grabs is....

There will more than likely be a ton more added before the contest is done, all depends on what I get read by then. Also, in case you haven't noticed, please take a look at my new blog design. The header and background were designed by my lovely bf. So, now time for contest details.

Fill out this form
Open Internationally
Contest will end on July 20th
I'm not sure how many winners I will pick, we shall see...
When I add new books I will list them below in purple!
Imaginary Girls - Nova Ren Suma (ARC)
Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) - Sarah Mlynowski (ARC)
Withering Tights - Louise Renninson (ARC)
Luminous - Dawn Metcalf (ARC)
Dreamland Social Club - Tara Altebrando (2nd copy) (ARC)
Supernaturally - Kiersten White (ARC)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In My Mailbox #94

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren

Blood Red Road - Moira Young
The Story of Cirrus Flux - Matthew Skelton
Mercy (arc) - Rebecca Lim 
(Swapped with Shannon from Books Devoured)
See What I See (arc) - Gloria Whelan
(Swapped with Kate from I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read)

That's what I got this week, what did you all get?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Interview with author Tara Hudson

If you have yet check out my review for Hereafter, you can read it here!

1. Why a ghost story? Do you remember the first one you ever told, or one that you loved telling your friends? 

 Certain places – cemeteries, abandoned buildings, sparsely traveled roadways – always make me feel like someone is watching me. When I began to create HEREAFTER, that “someone” turned out to be Amelia. But although I've always loved ghost stories, Amelia's is the first one I've ever told.

 2. What is a book you've read recently, that you think everyone should read? 

 Strictly in YA, Jen Violi's PUTTING MAKEUP ON DEAD PEOPLE is a funny, raw, incredible book; I finished it in one day.

 3. Could you tell us about your pets? I've heard you had quite a few. 

 I do, and they're all terrible! I have two English Bulldogs: Peaches, the imperious and demanding breeder-dog, and Penny, the total spazzy and nervous rescue dog. Then there is Haruko, my sweet but needy cat. Last year, I lost Baby, a cat with Feline Leukemia, and Gilly, my 21 year old chemically-grown frog. And no, you didn't read that wrong.

 4. Any big plans for your release day?

Release day was awesome – I spent it in Chicago, speaking to a group of high schoolers at a public library, and then signing books at Anderson's. I am incredibly spoiled!

 5. Could you describe your novel in three words?

 A ghostly mystery

 6. Which place on your Dark Days tour are you most excited to go to? 

I was most excited to go to Austin, Texas, because it's so close to my home state of Oklahoma, but Portland ended up being a wonderful surprise. What a gorgeous city!

 7. Is there anything else you'd like to say to everybody? 

 Thanks for being a part of HEREAFTER!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Interview with Amy Plum

If you haven't checked out my review of this book yet (I LOVED IT) you can right here. Also, did you know Amy has a map on her website of Paris and it has little notes on the places that are mentioned in the book? Check it out! 

1. So you've lived in Alabama, Chicago, New York, Paris and London, as well as some other small places. Which was your absolute favorite place to live? 

Paris and New York are my favorite places on earth, both to live and to visit. Since my parents are gone, I don’t really have a “home” to go back to. But when I am in either of those cities, I have this happy bubble inside me that feels like it’s constantly on the verge of bursting. In New York it’s the creativity, the energy, the 24/7 activity, and the fact that no one looks twice when some guy wearing only a Speedo and a leather jacket dances by them on rollerblades. In Paris it’s the ancient history of the city, the millions of ghosts that are everywhere, pulling on the edges of your consciousness, that seduces me. There’s an ambiance of lazy luxury, appreciating life (whether with the food, art, or beautiful people) being at the forefront of its inhabitants’ minds. Paris is a woman: she’s incredibly sexy, sophisticated and cool. New York is a man: he’s artistic, bohemian, and has so much nervous energy that when you’re with him you can’t help but buzz and jump around with his contagious excitement. I love both of them equally! 

2. What is a book you've read recently, that you think everyone should read? 

I know they’re the books on everyone’s favorite list at the moment, but I have to say the Hunger Games series. 

3. How close are the actors in your book trailer to what your characters actually look like? 

The kids they chose are super-cute, but they don’t look anything like Kate and Vincent. 

4. For those wishing to live abroad, what is some advice they must know? 

Don’t judge anything in your new country by the same standards you would back home. Wherever you go, try not to have the attitude “Our way is better”. Try instead for “Our way is different”. And then, even if you come across something you don’t like, attempt to find the charming side in it. You will have a much better experience if you do! 

5. Did you know Kate's story would be paranormal to begin with or did her early draft life start of differently? 

Yes, I approached the idea of the book knowing it would be a paranormal romance. But before I even thought of what paranormal creature I would write about, I tried to figure out what Kate, my human protagonist, was like. The book began when the first sentence (which has since been cut) came to mind: “Ten days after I got my driver’s license, my parents were killed in a car accident.” That defined Kate for me, and everything else grew from that. Once I had her personality down, I tried to think about what kind of supernatural being she would fall for. 

6. Which was your favorite character, if you have one? 

Kate and Vincent are my favorite characters, of course. But after them, I would have to say Jules. Since we don’t see him much in Book 1 the reader doesn’t know this, but he has a very three-dimensional personality in my mind. He has found a way to deal with his fate that I completely understand and empathize with. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Interview with Tara Altebrando author of Dreamland Social Club

 If you haven't yet, make sure you check out my review of Tara's latest book!

1. How did you spend your release day?
On Coney Island! Looking for shade with a photographer from a local NY
paper so she could take my picture. Fun fact: There is no shade on the
beach at Coney Island. Ever. The Native American inhabitants of the
land that is now Coney Island, the Lenape, called the island
Narrioch—meaning "land without shadows"—because its orientation means
the beach gets sun all day. That night, I had a small book release
party with friends and colleagues at a bar called Angels and Kings. I
just love that name, don't you?

2. Out of the three books you have published thus far, which was
your favorite?
Books are like children, as they say. You love them all! But right now
I do feel like DREAMLAND SOCIAL CLUB is my favorite in that it feels
like my best work to date. It was also a very long path to publication
for this one, involving at least one entirely massive revision and
re-imagining. So I'm especially proud of this latest offspring, it's

3. Have you ever worked in a carnival or were you close to someone who did?
No. That would have been cool.

4. What is one book you've read recently that you recommend to everyone?
The book I've been pushing the most lately is a picture book, ALL THE
WORLD by Liz Garton Scanlon with illustrations by Marla Frazee. A
friend gave it to my daughter as a gift and told me she cried whenever
she read it and I sort of inwardly rolled my eyes. But WOW. There is
something incredibly powerful about this book. I seriously get choked
up, too, almost every time I read it aloud to my daughter. Try it!
It's like magic! I've also been doing a ton of raving about SHINE by
Lauren Myracle, which is just lovely and heartbreaking.

5. What was the most exciting thing about living in Dublin?
Irish men! No, seriously, it was the music scene there in the early
90s. There were more bands per capita in Ireland at the time than in
any other country in the world, which is a sort of hilariously useless
statistic but it's true. The Cranberries and The Frames were just
coming up then so it was a great time to be there and an especially
great time to be there working for a music magazine like I was.

6. Is there anything you can share about what you are working on
now book-wise?
There is. I am working on another YA novel for Dutton. It takes place
entirely during a senior week scavenger hunt, following a team of high
school underdogs of sorts as they try to have one big night they'll
never forget.

7. Is there anything else you'd like to say to everyone?
Have a great summer! And check out my author video if you want to know
more about Dreamland Social Club and Coney Island.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini

Where I got it: Publisher/Joy
Rating: 3 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars (You can't tell online, but in real life the cover has this rainbow effect that is just marvelous.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 31, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 487 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Helen has always noticed that she was different from everyone else on her small island, Nantucket. Lately though, it's been harder and harder to conceal. She's getting frightened, when her dreams of walking in a dry land leave her parched and dirty-footed in the morning. Along with the nightmares came the Delos family. When Helen first sets eyes on Lucas Delos, she has the strongest urge to kill him, and the Furies she sees out of the corner of her eye, urge her on. Helen wants answers, and Lucas has them. So even though they can't stand each other because of fate, destiny still finds ways to bring them together again and again. They both have to figure out what roles they play and if they can play hard enough to trick the fates. If that can't find a way to beat destiny, then history will be doomed to repeat itself.

Helen, Helen, Helen, Helen, Helen...the name of the girl that drives me crazy. So let's start off by saying that you find out you have superpowers. You have superhuman strength and superhuman speed and you can hear and see things from a longer distance than normal. I don't see how you could be calm about that. How could you not be freaking out and trying to come up with some explanation? That's one thing I didn't get about Helen, she never lost her calm, even in the face of flying! REALLY?!?!? You can fly and that doesn't freak you out? You find out that Greek Mythology is actually real, and all you can do is shrug? I just couldn't imagine that a teen girl or anyone for that matter, would be calm about all these events unfolding into her lap. Now, onwards...I did like the dynamic between Helen and the Delos family. I like that once their heads were on straight they were fun and protective. I also loved Claire, even though at times she seemed like a nag. She really was a great friend, even with a few tiny marks against her. The action in this book was fun and intense. The romance was strained and sad. Speaking of the romance, I am really curious if the end revelation about their relationship could possibly be true, or if it's just a sneaky lie. I LOVED that this book centered around Greek Mythology and Tales. I absolutely love mythology, so that aspect of the book was wholly enjoyable. There are still some motives I am unclear about, some circumstances and characters I don't have quite figured out yet, so I am excited to dive into Dreamless next year. With all the content and pacing in this novel, I am confused how there will be a third novel. It seems like it could easily be finalized in the second novel, unless book 2 is really short. This was a fun debut, and I can't wait to see what's in store for us with the next installment.

First Line:
"'But if you bought me a car now, it would be yours when I go away to school in two years.'"

Favorite Line:
"She looked down again and realized that the twinkling comma was her beautiful little island home."

Others Who Loved It: Fantastic Book Review / The Story Siren
Others Who Liked It: Oh My Books / Mindful Musings

Monday, June 13, 2011

Interview with Josephine Angelini

1. So for anyone who has read the "About Me" section on your website, we know how you ended up with your first name. Can you tell us a little about your last name, where your family hails from?

My family is from Massachusetts, and most of my relatives still live there. “Angelini” is Italian (shocker) but I’ve never been to Italy and I don’t speak Italian. My dad does, and I’m bummed he never taught us. My husband’s first language was Spanish and I think it’s so awesome whenever he uses it. I wish I was that cool—to just start blabbing away in Italian or something. I got robbed.

2. What is a book you've read recently, that you think everyone should read?

Die For Me by Amy Plum was great. Her main character speaks fluent French and lives in Paris even though she's from Brooklyn. I wish I spoke French. I took it in high school but I was rotten at it. It seems like everyone speaks another language but me!

3. If you could live anywhere in the world, would you stay in LA, move back to Massachusetts, or go somewhere else entirely?

I miss New York a lot. I went to NYU and I still have friends in the city. Every time I go back I want to live there again. But it’s so cold-- and my husband’s Caribbean blood doesn’t do cold.

4. How much do you love your UK book trailer? Is there anything you wished they added?

I think the UK book trailer is AWESOME! I just have one teeny, tiny thing, though. Lucas doesn’t play basketball. He plays (American) football. I don’t mind, though. I’m sure if he played basketball he’d be fantastic at it.

5. You have eight siblings, what was it like being the youngest?

Humbling. See, all my elder siblings were super-talented and smart. My eldest sister was a gifted pianist. My second eldest sister danced with the Boston Ballet. My brother was a high school track star that lettered in everything by the time he was a sophomore. I even have sisters that were especially good at Hell-raising, so I couldn’t even be the rebel of the family. By the time I came around, all the good “parts” were already taken. Even my teachers in school would forget my name and call me one of my sisters. My algebra teacher used to call me Jerry—that’s my brother’s name—instead of Josie. He didn’t even get my gender right, for crying out loud. So, yeah. Humbling is a really good description of what it was like.

The upside? When you are the baby you get TONS of love, so I guess I lucked out, too.

6. So far it looks like Starcrossed is to be a trilogy, which one of the three books do you think will be your favorite, either to write, or just overall?

Tough question! So far the second book, Dreamless, has been my favorite, but I haven’t finished the third yet, so I could easily change my mind. Not that I don’t love Starcrossed. Wait, maybe I like that one best. You know what? I have no idea.

7. Is there anything else you'd like to say to everyone?

I love the spread that Macmillan did for me on My Kinda Book. You should all check it out. They put the book trailer inside the book cover—so cool.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox #93

In My Mailbox brought to you by The Story Siren
For Review:
Thanks Scholastic and Shadow Mountain publishing

Abby and Luke chat online. They've never met. But they are going to. Soon.
Abby is starting high school—it should be exciting, so why doesn't she care? Everyone tells her to "make an effort," but why can't she just be herself? Abby quickly feels like she's losing a grip on her once-happy life. The only thing she cares about anymore is talking to Luke, a guy she met online, who understands. It feels dangerous and yet good to chat with Luke—he is her secret, and she's his. Then Luke asks her to meet him, and she does. But Luke isn't who he says he is. When Abby goes missing, everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don't, they'll never see Abby again.


Jessamine Luxson lives with her father, Thomas, an apothecary, in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle. Thomas’s pride and obsession is his locked garden full of dangerous plants, which Jessamine is forbidden to enter.
When a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, he claims the boy has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is drawn to the strange but intriguing boy, called Weed. Soon their friendship deepens into love. Finally, Weed shares his secret: He can communicate with plants. For him they have distinct personalities—and some are even murderous. From the locked garden the poisonous plants call to Weed, luring him with promises of deadly power.
When Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, only Weed’s relationship with the Poisons can save her. But Thomas is determined to exploit Weed’s abilities, even if it risks Jessamine’s life—or drives Weed to the brink of madness.…

So that's what I got this week, what did you all get?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: Hereafter - Tara Hudson

Where I got it: Publisher/Joy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Typical, but mostly fitting with the storyline, I wish she was on a higher bridge though instead of a dock.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 404 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Amelia had been dead for a long time, though she can't remember how long. She doesn't know the date she died, or even what date it currently is. She has no reason to keep track in the fog of the hereafter. She slips in and out of nightmares, that tug at a familiarity that she imagines is her death. This all changes however when someone else plunges into the darkness of the river. Joshua sinks into the churning water and Amelia can hear his heartbeat. She does not want him to suffer the same fate and wills him to live. When, surprisingly he does, he can see her. She's never been seen before. There is a connection that draws them together, and they only get closer as they try to uncover pieces of her life and death. There are many who are trying to keep them apart for their own reasons though. So Amelia and Joshua have to figure out things fast, before more bad things start happening.

This book started off slow for me. I didn't really start to enjoy it until somewhere around page 85ish. At the start of the novel, Amelia is in a fog and facing her nightmarish death over and over. Because of this, the writing is fragmented sentences. Brief. Short sentences. To convey the mood. ;) After the beginning though, I got sucked in through Amelia and Joshua's banter. The dialogue was fun and flirty and just perfect; not only between the two of them, but between all the characters. I loved whenever they would be alone and talking. I can't imagine seeing Joshua from outside of the book, holding invisible hands, and sending glances into empty air. I really enjoyed how different parts of Amelia's life and death were revealed, there were lots of very interesting things to find out. The wraiths in this novel reminded me of the Dementors from Harry Potter. They were terrifying and seemed to react to bright light accordingly. I appreciate all the aspects of the haunting nature of the bridge, and how there are even stories about it being haunted. Eli was the perfect villain, that did not act of his own will entirely. He had this slight air of weakness about him, even though he put on a face of ultimate power. If you like paranormal romance, I would certainly check this out. There was a delicious amount of action in this novel too. If you find yourself wary after the first couple of pages, push on. Like I said once Joshua comes into the picture it definitely picks up.

First Line:
"It was the same as always, but different from the first time."

Favorite Line:
"The kiss crashed over me, wave upon wave of fire."

Others who loved it: The Books Scout / Fire and Ice / Fantastic Book Review
Others who didn't love it: Pure Imagination / Katie

Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: Lost & Found - Shaun Tan

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Shaun Tan's illustrations are just so perfectly weird.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Page Count: 128 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Within these pages you will find three stories. Some might make you sad, some might make you feel great. All are beautifully illustrated with sparse words that capture intense emotions. Allow yourself to be swept into very different worlds for a few moments. The front flap tells, in brief what each story is about.
"A girl finds a bright spot 
in a dark world.

A boy leads a strange, 
lost creature home.

And a group of peaceful 
creatures cedes their home to hostile invaders."

I really love Shaun Tan's art. It is weird and wonderful. His images convey such emotion, that you hardly even need a narration to go along with the story the pictures tell. The first story started off super depressing, but there is always a bright spot in the darkness. I love how he kept taking the story deeper down into dark depths and then lit a beacon of light that cuts through. In the second tale a boy finds an odd creature that is simply lost. No one lost it, it simply has always been lost. I loved seeing the interactions between the boy and the Lost Thing. The last story made me think of all the devestation the United States has created time and again. Much like the rabbits we came to this country and destroyed everything that the Natives held deal. We ate up land and spit out filth. This still happens again and again throughout the world, and it is a sad sight. This is a book you should buy, to always have around your house. To lend to friends and keep on your coffee table. It is a book filled to the brim with inspiration.

First Line:
"sometimes the day begins
with nothing to look forward to"

Favorite Line:
"terrible fates are inevitable"

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Happy Release Day for The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum

The Hourglass Door (book 1) 978-1-60641-635-8
The Golden Spiral (book 2) 978-1-60641-093-6
The Forgotten Locket (book 3) 978-1-60908-0495

Publisher – Shadow Mountain Publishing

His past. Her future. Can love bring them together in time? A romance with a mystery twist that dates back to Leonardo da Vinci. In The Hourglass Door, Abby's picture perfect life is turned upside down when a mysterious foreign exchange student from Italy moves to town. Crowned by ForeWord Reviews the 2009 Book of the Year for Young Adult Fiction.


  • Young Adult
  • Fantasy
  • Romance

Visit for more information.

Check out my review of the 1st book here and keep an eye out for my upcoming reviews of The Golden Spiral and The Forgotten Locket!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: Dreamland Social Club - Tara Altebrando

Where I got it: Publisher/ library
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 4.5 stars (Ummm...certainly very bright, I do love the colors, even though there are sooo many. I love the mermaid holding the sign, and the font for the title/author fits nicely.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 12, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count: 389 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Jane and their brother have inherited a house on Coney Island from the grandparents they have never met. They have never really stayed in one place to long. Their fathers job and mother's free spirit took them around the globe. Now with their father unemployed and their mother dead, they take the opportunity to visit their mother's home. Jane is obsessed with finding out more about her mother's childhood. Her brother couldn't care less, he is busy living here like he's lived everywhere. Jane doesn't feel like she can fit in at Coney, there are lots of cliques and none of them seem to accept her. When she sees a beautiful tattooed boy though, some of his tattoos bring up memories that are hidden deep in Jane's mind. With his help and some of his "freak" friends, Jane just might find a place for herself in this strange land that her mother once loved. She might just find some other answers, even if they aren't the ones she was hoping for.

First off, the ARC version I received for review was missing 30 pages near the page 120 mark. Luckily I had a copy of it on order at my library so I snatched that up after I finished, so I could see what I missed. This novel was a weird one, but in a good way. Coney Island sounds like a mythical land full of strange sights and people. Coney seemed to become a place where Carnys gathered, even though there was no more carnival. We come upon Coney in it's slow downfall. Shops and rides are in disrepair, and some are trying to make something new, while others want what is left restored. This novel was about a lot of things, so some messages were half thoughts. This story was about a girl trying to define herself through what her mother once was. A tale of a magical place that could come alive again if people believed in it and wanted it to happen enough. A novel about finding friends and other relationships in unlikely places and finding acceptance. Some may be weirded out by the setting, it's a little freaky-deaky at times, and the teachers seem  a little odd too. I love that they have a local history class with plenty of field trips, but I cringe at the mention of the Thomas Edison electrocution of and Elephant video.  I thought this was a fun novel that was heartbreaking at times. Every time Jane came to a dead end, or was let down I felt myself feel crushed for her. Her memories of her mother are what she should have been holding onto, like her brother did. It sounded like their mom was a ton of fun though. The characters in this novel were very unique and often outspoken. I think this was a great novel about acceptance, above all the other things it was about. It also made good points about how the past was the past. If you get a chance to pick this up, I strongly suggest you do.

First Line:
"I'm at the beach but it's not the real beach; it's indoors and it's called the Ocean Dome."

Favorite Lines:
" Maybe it hadn't really been the seahorse at all. Maybe it had just been him. She remembered the first day they'd talked on the boardwalk, the way she'd imagined climbing into a submarine and telling each other their darkest secrets."

Others who loved it: Buried in Books
Other who didn't love it: Teen Bibliophile


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