From that time on, the world was hers for the reading....


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lauren Kate: Passion

I'm a big fan of Lauren Kate's Fallen series, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on Passion.

Luce and Daniel are soulmates, destined to find each other and fall in love over and over again throughout time. Unfortunately, their love story always has a tragic ending. Luce dies and Daniel mourns until they meet again in another life.


Now Luce is determined to find answers and sets off on a journey through time to witness her past lives with Daniel. Her travels take her to Russia, England, China, and Jerusalem, to name a few. She witnesses major wars, sees the wonders of the world, and meets royalty. But she also watches a previous version of herself meet Daniel and then burst into flames when they fall in love. It's not easy, but she knows she'll find a way to break the curse that has followed her around for centuries.

Luce isn't the only one traveling through time. Daniel is on a journey of his own, desperate to find Luce and keep her from interfering with the past and rewriting history.

She's also being followed by Cam, several fallen angels, and outcasts determined to stop Luce's journey. The balance of good and evil is threatened by Luce's curiosity, and her journey isn't just a threat to her future, but the future of the world as we know it.

I have to admit that I almost gave up on this book and returned it to the library after only 50 pages. It took me awhile to get into the story. But once I did...wow! Intriguing.

As a history buff, I loved the time travel and felt like I was actually visiting the ancient Pyramids or watching a Shakespearean play at the Globe Theatre. It was obvious that Lauren Kate did a lot of research and carefully planned the story, which made it a fascinating read.

The action tumbled and built until the story's intense conclusion. I was on the edge of my seat and can't believe I have to wait until next year to find out how it all ends.

For more information on Lauren Kate, visit:
@laurenkatebooks
laurenkatebooks.net

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hunger Games Trailer



Jenny Hubbard: Paper Covers Rock

I saw Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard on the new release shelf at my local library and really liked the title, so I brought it home with me.

Set in 1982 at an all-boys boarding school, the story follows sixteen-year-old Alex and Glenn as they try to cope with the drowning death of their classmate Thomas.

Alex feels guilty, like he could have done more to save Thomas, and keeps all of his thoughts in a private journal hidden in the school's library behind an ignored copy of Moby Dick. It's through his writing, which also includes letters, poetry, and class assignments, that readers learn more about the events that lead up to Thomas's drowning. We also learn that Alex is a very talented writer, something his English teacher Miss Dovecott recognizes, encourages, and nurtures.

This makes Glenn paranoid. He thinks Miss Dovecott knows more about the drowning and the role they played and is using Alex to get more information about what happened and maybe pry a confession out of them. That's when he decides to devise a plan to get her fired.

Alex must choose between his friendship with Glenn, his feelings for Miss Dovecott, and his future as a student, which only adds to his guilt and confusion.

Paper Covers Rock is a powerful look at the many layers of boarding school life, especially honor and loyalty. I thought the use of Alex's journal was a smart storytelling technique, entwining literary quotes, observations of the world around him, and the innermost thoughts of a teenage boy brilliantly.

I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more by Jenny Hubbard.

For more information, visit:
papercoversrock.co

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy Anniversary Jessica Darling!

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty was first published on August 28, 2001. Can you believe it's been 10 years since we first met Jessica Darling?

If you've read it (And if you haven't, WHY? Read it. Now.), I'd love it if you left a comment with your favorite quote from the book.

I'll share mine this Thursday. =)

And, again, if you haven't read it (Seriously?), here's the Synopsis:

"My parents suck ass. Banning me from the phone and restricting my computer privileges are the most tyrannical parental gestures I can think of. Don’t they realize that Hope’s the only one who keeps me sane? . . . I don’t see how things could get any worse."


When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?


A fresh, funny, utterly compelling fiction debut by first-time novelist Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts is an insightful, true-to-life look at Jessica’s predicament as she embarks on another year of teenage torment--from the dark days of Hope’s departure through her months as a type-A personality turned insomniac to her completely mixed-up feelings about Marcus Flutie, the intelligent and mysterious "Dreg" who works his way into her heart. Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.

I'm not kidding. Read this book. If fact, read the series. It's one of my favorites!




For more information on Megan McCafferty, visit:
@meganmccafferty
meganmccafferty.com

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday First

What is the first line of your favorite book?

Here's mine:

"A mile above Oz, the witch balanced on the wind's forward edge, as if she were a green fleck of the land itself, flung up and sent wheeling away by the turbulent air."

~ Gregory Maguire (Wicked)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday


"Read to your heart's content.
Though if you are a reader,
the heart is never content."

~ Jenny Hubbard (Paper Covers Rock)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dear Bully (Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories)

I was bullied as a kid. By classmates and teachers. I was told it was just a part of growing up.

I've been bullied as an adult. By friends, strangers on the internet, and co-workers. The adult bullies insisted they were not bullies and the people claiming to be bullied were simply "weak."

It hurt every time. It was wrong every time. 

As a longtime resident of Western Massachusetts, the Phoebe Prince story really broke my heart. All of the stories break my heart. Because I've been there and know how hopeless it feels.

That's why I'm glad the Dear Bully anthology (September 1) was put together. I'm looking forward to reading it and hope everyone--bullies and those who feel lost and alone because of bullying--will read it.

Synopsis:

You are not alone.

Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the “funny guy” into the best defense against the bullies in his class.


Today’s top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.

For more information, visit:
dearbully.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Must Read: The Name of the Star

I love Maureen Johnson's books. I'm fascinated by the Jack the Ripper mystery. The Name of the Star (September 29) is the PERFECT book for me.

Synopsis:

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city — gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific work of Jack the Ripper in the autumn of 1888.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, what is he planning to do about her?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities. 



For more information on Maureen Johnson, visit:
@maureenjohnson
maureenjohnsonbooks.com

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sara Shepard: Twisted

In the span of two weeks last year, I devoured Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars Series. So good! Imagine how surprised I was to find out the series would continue with four more books. So excited!

Twisted picks up one year later. Alison's disappearance, which was a mystery that captivated both the town and national media, has been solved. And the relentless messages from "A" that tortured Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna have stopped.

But a much-needed relaxing spring break vacation to Jamaica doesn't go as planned. In fact, it drives a wedge between the friends, and they want nothing more than to forget everything about the trip.

And things aren't going so well for them individually either.

Aria's boyfriend has a sexy exchange student living with his family. And she's determined to get Aria out of the picture.

Hanna's dad is running for Senate, which brings them closer together until a photo scandal threatens everything.

Emily, after taking some time off from swimming, is determined to get back in shape and score a scholarship. And it looks like she might be close to making her dreams come true--and meeting a new best friend--until she's caught in a compromising position with an older man.

Spencer's found a new friend, who has the potential to become more than a friend. Problem is, he could possibly end up being her future stepbrother. Plus, he's got a secret that might destroy everything.

Still, things are about to get worse for the girls. So much worse. Haven't they learned by now that secrets never stay buried?

The title of this book speaks for itself. The lies are more twisted. The plot takes many twists and turns. And just when you think things couldn't get crazier, they do.

I couldn't put this book down. Every page oozed suspense, treachery, and dishonesty. It was the ultimate guilty pleasure.

I cannot wait to see what the pretty little liars get into next!

For more information on Sara Shepard, visit:
@sarabooks
prettylittleliars.com

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jennifer Hubbard: The Secret Year

I'm so excited that I finally got the chance to read The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard. It's been on my "to read" list for a LONG time.

Julia is from the rich, privileged world on Black Mountain.

Colt lives in the working class flats.

On the outside, it appears as if they have noting in common, but a late-night chance encounter at a local bridge leads to a one-year love affair. A secret love affair hidden from friends, family, and especially Julia's boyfriend Austin.

But a tragic car accident on Labor Day kills Julia and leaves Colt to mourn, come to grips with his guilt, and try to get over her. It's not easy because, just like his relationship with Julia, he has keep his sadness, confusion, and guilt private. And things become more complicated when he is given Julia's diary, which covers their year together in graphic detail.

All Colt wants to do is move on, but reading Julia's words opens old wounds and haunts him. But, more than that, makes him realize that she wasn't really his girlfriend in the first place.

This book was worth the wait. I thought the characters were strong and well-written. The story, which alternated between present tense, Colt's memories, and Julia's point-of-view via her private journal, was well-crafted, painting a portrait of grief, passion, and a harsh class war that was both palpable and touching.

The Secret Year was an impressive debut novel, and I look forward to reading future books by Jennifer Hubbard.

For more information on Jennifer Hubbard, visit:
@JennRHubbard
jenniferrhubbard.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Delirium: The Special Edition

The Special Edition of Delirium by Lauren Oliver is in stores now!

Not only does it feature this gorgeous new cover, it also includes a sneak peak at the sequel Pandemonium (coming March 2012) and a Q&A with the author.

You can check out my review of Delirium by CLICKING HERE.

And in even more exciting news, both Delirium and Before I Fall (my review is HERE) have been optioned for film by Fox 2000 pictures. Congrats, Lauren!

For more information on the Special Edition of Delirium, visit:
harperteen.com/feature/delirium

Monday, August 15, 2011

Coming Soon: Out of Sight, Out of Time

 Ally Carter revealed the cover art for the new Gallagher Girls novel, Out of Sight, Out of Time (in stores March 20, 2012) on her blog.

Fabulous! I love it!

Here's more info on the book:

With more than a million Gallagher Girls books sold, a legion of fans have fallen in love with the New York Times best-selling spy-girl series, and the fifth book delivers the most nerve-wracking, high-stakes adventure yet.

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, her memory is a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails. All she wants is to go home. But even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers as Cammie and her friends face their most difficult challenge yet. With only their training and a few clues to guide them, the girls go in search of answers on the other side of the world. But the Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.


I. Cannot. Wait.

For more information, visit Ally Carter at:
@OfficiallyAlly
allycarter.com

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tara Kelly: Amplified

Tara Kelly asked readers to suggest their favorite contemporary realistic YA Fiction novels/authors. Even better than creating a great discussion, adding new titles to my "must read" list, and generating a fabulous list of books (which you can find by CLICKING HERE), it put me in the running to win one of many great books, including Tara's upcoming release Amplified (in stores October 25). And I won!

Seventeen-year-old Jasmine Kiss just graduated from high school and isn't ready for four more years in a classroom.  She wants to put college on hold and pursue her dream of being a guitarist in a band, which doesn't make her father happy at all. He kicks her out of the house, and she's on her own.

She packs her amp and guitar into her not-so-reliable car and heads to Santa Cruz. Without a place to live and very little money, she scans the classifieds where she finds an ad for a band (C-Side) not only looking for a new guitarist, but a roommate. Two birds, one stone.  The only problem is that C-Side is looking for an experienced MALE guitarist. And Jasmine has a major case of stage fright. But she auditions anyway, knowing she can convince them to change their minds.

Up against a mountain of obstacles--band members who think she's a spoiled, rich girl who could never fit in, a crush on the bassist, and trying to hide her stage fright and inexperience--Jasmine stumbles a bit, but is determined to prove herself and her talent to make her dreams come true.

I really enjoyed this book. It had the feel of a really great episode of VH1's "Behind The Music," fraught with band quarrels, love affairs gone wrong, parties, the struggle to succeed, and an ultimate triumph. The characters were quirky, angsty, smart, and talented. The music reverberated off the pages. Tara Kelly really knows how to write rockin' music scenes.

Amplified is a gritty, rock 'n' roll, roller-coaster ride. 

For more information on Tara Kelly, visit:
@AuthorTaraKelly
thetaratracks.com

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday


"Anger can try to break your heart,
but sorrow is what will.
What can. What does.

~Elizabeth Scott
(Between Here And Forever)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Elizabeth Scott: Between Here and Forever

I was very fortunate to win a copy of Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott! I really enjoy her writing and couldn't wait to read this one.

Abby is seventeen years old and has always lived in the shadow of  older sister Tess. Everyone loves Tess. She's pretty, popular, and makes good grades. She's perfect.

When a car crash on New Year's Day leaves Tess in a coma, Abby finds the shadow has gotten bigger. In fact, it's enveloping her. But it doesn't matter. She'd rather live in Tess's shadow than live without her.

Her schedule is quite simple: wake up, go to school, visit Tess at the hospital, then go home to sleep. Abby's life is on hold for Tess, which she doesn't mind because she knows it will be worth it when Tess makes a full recovery.

She even enlists the help of Eli, a gorgeous, rich boy who works in the hospital gift shop. Abby is convinced that hearing Eli's voice will coax Tess out of her coma and that Eli will fall madly in love with her. Because everyone loves Tess.

Instead, she finds herself intrigued by Eli and enjoying his company. But Eli is meant for Tess, so Abby pushes him away and denies her feelings.

Her guilt about Eli and conversations with Tess's best friend from high school and her college roommate trigger random memories that make Abby think she doesn't know everything about her sister after all. Maybe Tess wasn't as perfect as everyone thought she was.


Flashbacks provide background and insight into Tess, who may be in a coma, but is very alive on each and every page.

All in all, this was a heartbreaking story. Abby was a fascinating character. Insecure and broken, her emotions were electric. I felt her desperation. I understood her self-deprecation. But more than anything, I wanted her to be happy and stand in the sun.


I enjoyed this book. Elizabeth Scott handled sadness, depression, and the road to recovery with sensitivity and a unique voice.

For more information on Elizabeth Scott, visit:
@escottwrites
elizabethwrites.com

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Book Birthday: Juliet Immortal

Today is publication day for Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay. Happy book birthday, Stacy!

Not only is the cover beautiful, but the story sounds intriguing. (More than a few of my college credits were dedicated to the study of Shakespeare.)

Synopsis:
"These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare



The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.


For more information on Stacey Jay, visit:
@Stacey_Jay
staceyjay.com

Monday, August 8, 2011

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011


Book Blogger Appreciation Week is next month!

From the official website:
"Book Blogger Appreciation Week is an annual celebration of book blogs. It’s a jam packed week dedicated to acknowledging the hard work and contribution of book bloggers to preserving our culture of literacy. This year’s celebration takes place September 12-September 16th. The week includes guest posts, daily activities, giveaways, games, special podcasts, and an awards program exclusively devoted to book blogs."

For more information, visit:
bookbloggerappreciationweek.com

Friday, August 5, 2011

Flashback Friday: Favorite Children's Books

Below are just four of my favorite books from childhood. What were some of yours?





Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday


"His mind followed a dozen terrible paths
until he realized, with some comfort,
that there was nothing he could do, really,
about his situation.
He could only sail straight
and hope for the best."
 ~Dave Eggers (The Wild Things)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Judging A Book By Its Cover


This is one of my new favorites. I love the old typewriter keys and how the title and author's name fit into the heart-shaped characters above it.  It's simple, but eye-catching.

Do you have a favorite book cover?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New: Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever, the sequel to Sara Shepard's The Lying Game is out now!

Synopsis:
My perfect life was a lie.


Now I’d do anything to uncover the truth.


Not long ago, I had everything a girl could wish for: amazing friends, an adorable boyfriend, a loving family. But none of them know that I’m gone—that I’m dead. To solve my murder, my long-lost twin sister, Emma, has taken my place. She sleeps in my room, wears my clothes, and calls my parents Mom and Dad.


And my killer is watching her every move.


I remember little from my life, just flashes and flickers, so all I can do is follow along as Emma tries to solve the mystery of my disappearance. But the deeper she digs, the more suspects she uncovers. It turns out my friends and I played a lot of games—games that ruined people’s lives. Anyone could want revenge . . . anyone could want me—and now Emma—dead.

For more information on Sara Shepard, visit:
@sarabooks
prettylittleliars.com/the-lying-game

Monday, August 1, 2011

Must Read: Forgotten

When I'm bored, I spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook. I know I'm not alone in this addiction, which makes me feel less guilty. Facebook has become nothing more than marketing, and it's creepy the way it takes your status update and immediately churns out 10 ads about the topic at hand or, worse, suggests 10 random strangers who like or talk about the same things.

Anyway, as I share my book blog with Facebook friends, I get a lot of book ads and suggestions. This is a GOOD thing. A few days ago, I saw the book cover for  Forgotten by Cat Patrick and was intrigued. I immediately clicked "like" and added the book to my "must read" list.

Synopsis:
Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come.


When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it's time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

For more information on Cat Patrick, visit:
@seecatwrite
catpatrick.com
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