Friday, April 30, 2010

Freaky Friday :|: 61

Title: The Awakening, The Vampire Diaries #1
Author: L.J. Smith
Published: September 1991
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pages: 320

A DEADLY LOVE TRIANGLE Elena: beautiful and popular, the girl who can have any boy she wants.

Stefan: brooding and mysterious, desperately trying to resist his desire for Elena...for her own good.

Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him.

Elena finds herself drawn to both brothers . . .who will she choose? (from

Sigh. How original that was back in 1991. I'm sure this is all a little . . . familiar. LJ Smith's been around for a while so it should be no surprise she has a spot in my Freaky Friday. Still haven't read the series yet but I have one of the original paperbacks sitting in my TBR.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Parents in YA

I came across a New York Times article via Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf talking about parents in YA books. Steph Su came across that same article and commented on it for a moment in her well thought out post about what's missing in YA lit. What I wanted to talk about was not what's missing in YA necessarily but what's there already. How do you feel about it?

That NYT article basically states that parents in YA have gone from absentee to degenerate and based on a poll done in the 70s, the depictions of parents in YA were only about 5% accurate. While I thank the NYT for giving us such up-to-date data (O_0), I think the reason why YA books now with less-then-stellar parents are doing so well because teens can, shock! relate to them. While not every teen lives in a shit hole, not every teen lives in Stepford either. I don't know about you but from what I've been reading, it's been a decent balance of "damaged" families to "nuclear" ones.

From the writing side, there is always the problem of what to do with the parents. You can't really focus on them too much because it is, after all, a YA book so focusing on an adult would pretty much defeat the purpose. So we have to dispose of them somehow. So they become workaholics, drug addicts that don't give a shit, alcoholics that are passed out on the kitchen table, or just not there to begin with. In my own manuscript, the parents are totally absent until the last chapter of the book not because there's anything wrong with them. It's July so the main characters are on summer vacation and their parents are at work. Mom's a 9 to 5 office type and Dad's a carpenter. Their presence is not needed in the book so why have them there?

In the book I just finished reading, the main character's mom is an alcoholic that works at a nursing home and the dad's totally absent. There are reasons for this that are revealed at the end of the book but for the most part, we're led to believe that the MC lives in this less than stellar situation kind of complacently. There are parents killed in CIA spy games, mine explosions, car accidents; parents that work too much, that are alcoholics, that are drug addicts, that are just too damn lazy to give a shit. Why not write about them?

That's where my problem is. That article kind of pokes at today's YA parents and asks, "Why don't you just disappear like the rest? Why do you have to cause so much trouble?" Could it be because there are kids out there actually living like this? Broken homes and alcoholic parents are abound all over the world. So why not have YA lit reflect current society? Everything else in the story does. So why stop with the parents? Especially if it fits the story?

There's nothing wrong with having degenerate parents in YA lit because there are degenerate parents in the world that have no business being parents to begin with. Teens suffer with this every single day. At the very least give them some solace in a book with a character they can genuinely relate to because they're going through the same exact thing.

What do you think? Have parents in YA become too degenerate? Too absent? Do you think they should be more involved in a main character's life? Or do you think today's YA has a fairly accurate representation of parents across the board?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

And the winner is . . .

The winner of my Gallagher Girls contest is . . .

Kat O'Keeffe!!!

A big congratulations to you! I'll be emailing you shortly. And a huge thanks to everyone that entered!

Book Wars (19)

After took home the prize last week. This week is a battle of the bodiless. Thanks to barbrafl for this pairing too. FIGHT!

Madison Stanton doesn’t know where she is or how she got there. But she does know this — she is dead. And alone, in a vast, dark space. The only company she has in this place are luminescent objects that turn out to be all the things Maddy lost while she was alive. And soon she discovers that with these artifacts, she can reexperience — and sometimes even change — moments from her life.

Her first kiss.

A trip to Disney World.

Her sister’s wedding.

A disastrous sleepover.

In reliving these moments, Maddy learns illuminating and sometimes frightening truths about her life — and death. (from


When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen.

In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death, and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. (It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swingset.)

With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief--her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor--and begin the difficult process of healing. (from

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Contest Reminder + Winners!

Just a reminder to everyone that my contest for 2 Gallagher Girls books ends tonight at midnight, EST! Be sure to get your entries in by then.

And the winners of my Poetry Speaks Who I Am contest are . . .

Kelsey, Briana (The Book Pixie) and Amber Vargo!!!

A huge congrats to all of you! I'll be emailing you guys shortly. And a big thanks to everyone who entered!

More Harry Potter?

It was an idea that Rowling didn't toss away while she visited the White House for Easter. Sure, Harry's youngest generation of fans will be grown up by the time she re-considers writing more HP books, there is still hope. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a Malfoy series!

Rowling also said that she will write, and is writing, more books as we speak. I remember reading something about children's books, like picture books, that she was penning but I can't be sure. Still, if she writes more YA, even middle grade, I'd love to see her style outside of Harry Potter. Considering her knack for research and meticulous detail all woven around an amazing story, if she were to apply that same level of awesome to another book or series, it could be another hit. Granted her name alone could sell books.

What would you like to see Rowling writing? Will you read her books when she publishes more? What about the Harry Potter series? What would you like to see explored in more books that might not have been touched upon a lot in the canon?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shickman

First published in 2007.

Zan-Gah: A prehistoric adventure has only begun. Pressed by love for his brother and a bad conscience, the hero undertakes a quest which leads to captivity, conflict, love, and triumph. In three years Zan-Gah passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a role of leadership among his people. This dramatic and impassioned story will thrill and deeply move young adults and older readers. They will dream of Zan-Gah at night, and remember it all of their lives! (book back blurb)

Reading this book was like trying a new food: your tongue doesn't really know how to react to it. It's neither good nor bad. It's definitely not bad but your tongue hasn't decided if it actually likes it yet. It might need a few more tastes to adjust.

This book is by far unique to anything I've ever read, in YA or not. How many books out there tell a story from the point of view of a kid living 10,000 years ago? It's a world we know very little about and all of his experiences are entirely new while his emotions are ones that transcend time. Wanting to find a missing brother, playing the opossum when you know you should, stepping up to the plate when it's your time to hit. All of those raw emotions are there without being supplemented by cars, iPods or lockers. It makes it interesting, like a new spice you're not used to yet.

I'd say the only deterrent for me was the voice of the book. It was a little stilted but at the same time, just what is the voice of a 15 year old that could tell you what a Sabretooth tiger tasted like? He's not going to sound like us, he's not going to relay information the same way. Hell, he doesn't even wear shoes! So there is a distance there but at the same time it doesn't make Zan-Gah unattainable. I was able to connect with him on his entire journey.

It was very interesting to read but I still don't know if I like it. It hasn't swished around in my mouth long enough, I guess. It's weird. I read through it pretty quickly. I was compelled to keep reading by the story. I guess because it's so different that it's kind of hard to digest. That doesn't make it a bad thing. It's just . . . interesting.

As I said, the only real turn-off for me was the voice. Other than that, it told a good story filled with suspense, action, hope and love. You get to look into the lives of people that no longer exist, in a time long past, and you get to see just how raw it all was. It's like reading the Natural History Museum in book form but with personality and life. In order to read this, though, you'd have to be really willing for something different. Like getting up the nerve to try sushi for the first time. Or frogs legs. It's an acquired taste. Not that it tastes bad when you first try it but the flavor doesn't really develop until you sit and think about it. This isn't your standard historical fiction, that's for sure.

But I am looking forward to reading the sequel. It's all about Gael, Zan-Gah's twin brother, who was kidnapped by these crazy people and then sold into slavery. He's got some real PTSD issues to deal with and it's just interesting looking as psychology 10,000 years ago. The notion of a broken soul that they use is just amazing.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Added to the Pile + 32 and a Mini Review

A big thanks to Tricia at Llewellyn for my copy of A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler!

The two South Beach Diet books I got off of Amazon after a long contemplation about whether or not I should do this diet. When I went gluten free due to stomach issues, I gained somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds and I had no idea why. I chalked it up to substituting the bread I had to cut out with higher fat foods and just went on my way. Then I started exercising. After months I'd lost inches but no scale weight. I half figured it was chemical, my body changed and my 123 pound weight was no longer my normal. But as I continued to work out and the scale wasn't budging, I kept getting more and more frustrated.

One of the girls at work swears by this diet so I looked into it and, really, I was halfway there already being gluten free. I'd already gotten over a major hurdle for most people: cutting out things like bread and pasta. While I still ate gluten free breads and pastas, it wasn't the same. My major hurdle was going to be the sweets. So I figured I'd try it out and see what it could do for me. Anything to get the scale numbers down. Now I'm not normally one to fuss over scale weight. I've never been on a diet and I'm not a believer in denying myself anything although consuming treats in moderation.

So day one wasn't bad although I did have a really bad sugar attack in the afternoon. I ended up buying a couple of bags of sugar free candy just so I could give myself that sweet taste I felt I needed. But I didn't cave to any real sugar or anything. By day two that craving was pretty much gone and I actually wanted to eat more asparagus and edamame. I started reading the blue book because it gives you a background of what the diet does and why you're losing weight and it was so informative. I finally realized why I gained weight when I went gluten free: the gluten free products I was eating were worse for weight management than your standard white wheat products. It makes so much sense!

I can tell you, I'm not hungry on this diet. Ever. I'm actually eating more now than what I was before and I feel so much fuller longer. While I'd love to have a piece of cake, I don't actually crave it. Instead I'll have some sugar free Jello (which I've always preferred anyway) or a sugar free Popsicle. The cookbook has a quick and easy recipe for a legal Phase 1 chocolate milk called Chilly Chocolate and let me tell you, it's orgasmic. It feels so wrong to drink it because it tastes so good but the only sugar in it is what occurs naturally in milk! I love it!

This is my first foray into dieting in my life and I have to say, it's a damn good diet. It's not based on deprivation. It's based on eating until you're full. And yes, while you do have to make some sacrifices in the beginning, it lasts for two weeks and then you can start working the fun stuff back into your eating regime. I'm jonsing to be able to eat my daily clementine again (I'm allergic to fruits and oranges are basically the only ones I can eat fresh). In the first two days, I lost 5 pounds. FIVE FREAKIN' POUNDS!!!

My mom asked me if I weighed myself before I started the diet on Thursday (as in this past Thursday) and I said no and I'd just do it on Saturday. I mean really, how much of a difference can 2 days make? Imagine my surprise! Here I am literally gorging myself on ham, turkey, chicken, fish and vegetables and I've actually lost weight. If this keeps up, I won't need to go to Phase 2 and I'll be able to skip right to Phase 3 which is the maintenance phase. In Phase 1 you're expected to lose anywhere between 8 and 13 pounds. Well 13 pounds was my goal to begin with. Yay!

So if you insist on dieting, I'd definitely recommend South Beach. I've only been on it for 3 full days now and I officially love it. It's so versatile, you don't starve and it makes you open your eyes to how you should be eating. Love it!

Okay, now for the books. :)

Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose is hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since her dad left them. Convinced that "creative" equals crazy, Aura shuns her artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked - and together may offer an escape from her fears. (book blurb)

Developed by noted Miami cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston for his patients, The South Beach Diet became a national phenomenon - because it works. It's not low fat. It's not low carb. This clinically proven, healthy plan to lose weight and keep it off teaches you how to eat the right carbs and the right fats. In addition, the South Beach Diet will help reduce your cholesterol as well as help prevent metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes). As a result, you'll lose weight safely and keep it off.

Dr. Agatston's plan allows you to eat many of the foods you love - lean meat and fish, low-fat cheese, healthy oils and nuts, vegetables, and the right carbohydrates. Even desserts are included. You're never left hungry. Structured in three simple phases, this may be the easiest diet that you've ever tried.
(book back blurb)

What better way to maintain your South Beach Diet lifestyle than with a cookbook that celebrates the freshest, healthiest foods of summer? In this new addition to the South Beach Diet cookbook collection, leading cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston brings you 150 fast and flavorful recipes that capture the casual essence of Miami Beach and other warm climates around the world.

Whichever phase of the diet you're on, you'll find ideas for breezy breakfasts; crisp salads and light summer sandwiches; innovative grilling ideas for meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish; tempting vegetarian entrees; refreshing desserts; and cooling summer drinks.

But this is far more than a single-season cookbook. Grilling, whether done outdoors or in, is a year-round pastime, and many of the recipes in this book can easily be adapted to what's best in the garden or the market at any time of year. Among the delicious dishes included are the Greet-The-Sun Breakfast Pizzas, Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, Classic Lobster Rolls, Farmers' Market Pasta Salad, Mediterranean Chicken Burgers, Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peach-Lime Salsa, Spicy Grilled Sweet Potato Fries, Chocolate-Cherry Truffles, South Beach Diet Tiramisu, Iced Pom-Mojito Spritzers - and plenty more.

The South Beach Diet Taste of Summer Cookbook also features a week's worth of sample meal plans for Phases 1 and 2, an expansive glossary of key ingredients used in the book, and tips for maximizing summer's bounty, including freezing fruits, vegetables, and herbs and making fresh tomato sauce, herb vinegars, fruit compotes, and a variety of pestos. The 60 beautiful full-page color photographs show just how appealing these recipes can be and bring the sunny feeling of summer directly into your home. (book flap blurb)

Things I've Learned from Books + 51

You think your iPod breaking is a problem. Try living 10,000 years ago and a good day was not getting eaten by a giant cat. Kind of puts current everyday problems into perspective a little. What a shock it would be to roll out of bed, go and get the paper and bam! Sabretooth.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What is Timely?

I've seen a few posts around lately with tips for bloggers and blogging etiquette and professionalism and mainly I've seen a lot of posts indicating to review ARCs in a timely manner but no frame of reference is actually given. Given the ambiguity of the word 'timely' as it is, plus the subjectivity of it's very definition, it's hard for any blogger (myself included), especially new bloggers, to tell just what timely is.

We've explained the processes of requesting ARCs and hit home the fact that as a reviewer, you can't shirk your responsibility in posting the review as that's essentially your end of the bargain in that exchange. We all know that just sitting on ARCs and reviewing them six months or a year down the road isn't good juju so we say don't do that. But what should we tell them to do?

When we're working with a specific date, like signing up for a blog tour or the publisher/publicist gives you a posting date to aim for to match up with a pub date, that's much easier to work with. Such hard and fast guidelines are pretty infallible and really easy to follow. But what about the rest? What should we do with the books that get sent to us without those guidelines? Is it okay to let them sit for a month or so or are we somehow obligated to crank them out?

Of course it's up to each individual blogger to put their foot down when it comes to accepting and/or requesting ARCs. They have no one to blame but themselves when they have a stack of ARCs five feet high (unless you're someone like Kristi at The Story Siren that's pretty much on an automatic ARC list with publishers and gets books she doesn't even know she's being sent). But what are some tips for balancing what's already in the pile?

Personally, lately when I've received ARCs, they're in bunches. In some cases it has taken me months to get to reviewing a book sent to me, in which case I apologize profusely for the delay and I crank out the reviews (at the natural speed I read, of course). It hasn't affected my relationship with the publicists/publishers any. I do think they know that they're not the only ones sending books out, I don't read at warp speed and they'd much prefer something quality over quantity when it comes to a review. They also know that the books will get reviewed so when I request more, they actually are willing to keep sending them because they know I'll get the word out on their books.

Right now I have 8 ARCs on the burner for review, two with specific blog tour dates they need to be reviewed on. So those for my ambiguity argument are pretty irrelevant. But the rest? I've actually changed the way I read in order to accommodate more ARCs. I do want to get them out in a timely manner so instead of reading an ARC and then reading a couple from my standing TBR pile, I've switched to just focusing on the ARCs until I get their numbers down. I've even amended my challenges lists to adjust to that because I'll be damned if I fail my reading challenges because I'm too rigid with myself!

I am OCD after all.

The thing is, within the last year or so, I've been horrible with keeping track of time. No one's fault but my own, of course, but what I think is a week in responding to an email turns out to be a month. It's just gone (I have a 2 week vacation in September so I'm not really complaining here). So when I look at my ARC pile and I think, "Oh I just got that," it's really longer than I thought and I start to feel a little guilty.

But I still don't know what timely is. I could always ask the people sending the books to me how long is too long but that just seems weird. I just work if they don't give me a time frame, I'll read it when I get to it. But the way everyone speaks about being timely, it seems that there is some kind of legitimate time frame that I'm missing. I know 6 months is too long but is 3? 2? Should I be reading them as soon as I get them?

What do you think? I've been mulling over this for a little while now and I'm wondering if I'm reading too slowly (at most I can read 2 full books a week if they're quick reads), if I should step up my game or what. What's everyone else's take on this? What's timely for you?

Contest Reminder!

Just a reminder to everyone that my contest to win one of 3 copies of Poetry Speaks Who I Am ends tonight at midnight, EST! It's a great book and even comes with a CD so you get a chance to hear the authors read their work. So be sure to get your entries in by then!

Fat Vampires and Other YA Trends

Reading Publisher's Weekly makes me feel a little less than five minutes behind the times. Maybe more like two and a half. And I have to say, I love it when they post trend articles, like their most recent one about the future of teen reading. I love having that "inside" look as to what we may get to see coming out of the bull pen next.

For instance, they're saying that vampires will still be coming out; they just won't be glittering and emo and, well, traditional babe magnets. One of the books the article mentioned was Adam Rex's Fat Vampire, about a kid who inadvertently gets turned into a vampire and now has to suffer through eternity being a fat kid. (For all you BEA attendees, Adam will be signing ARCs (I think they're ARCs) of this on BEA Thursday. I'll see you in line!) Another title is called Blood Thirsty where a scrawny geek boy is rumored to be a vampire and it turned him into a chick magnet.

Personally, I think this is the revolt against the current stream of vampires a lot of us were/are hoping to see. Enough of this emo crap. Give me something that's purposely funny, not inadvertently. Then it's just sad.

Of course they talked about the dystopian trend with The Hunger Games and how the movie adaptation will fare. Hollywood's of the mindset that a movie about kids killing kids isn't going to do too well. Um . . . the book?

Graphic novels were also discussed and we'll be seeing more of those in the YA category in the near future. I'm halfway looking forward to those. While I'm a traditional reader by nature, I don't mind a good comic.

Lastly, and unfortunately, the publishers are still under pressure to get the next big Twilight signed and selling. I understanding that books like that are good for the accounting department but from the writing end, if you're querying and publishers (moreso than agents) don't think your book will sell huge, you might not get a contract. Poopy and I know the overall economic condition is playing into that as well but since no one's yet perfected the "blockbuster" equation, it's hard to tell what's going to be huge and what isn't. No one can predict that. All the promotion in the world can't help a book that isn't destined to be big and very little promotion might not affect the forward momentum of a sleeper hit.

What do you hope to see in the coming years for YA books?

80s Awesomeness! ~ 60

The DeLorean!!!

Also known as 'that car in Back to the Future' or 'don't park too close to someone else.' Created by a guy with a lot of vision and a lot of coke, the DeLorean was the new wave of cars. Something about those upward-opening doors. They were hot shit. Until the company went bust because the owner was arrested for drug smuggling or something like that. But they were cool while they lasted, I guess. And apparently they're making a comeback. Not sure why but I guess history has a tendency of repeating itself. Let's hope they don't decide to remake Back to the Future. That'll just make me cranky.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Freaky Friday :|: 60

Title: Fatal Magic
Author: Janice Harrell
Published: February 1994
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 128
Angry at her boyfriend because of his recklessness, Blythe is intrigued by they mysterious new boy in town, Harry, who lives in the creepy Croger mansion with his magician father. (from
Could be interesting. It all depends on where the plot decides to go. Can't tell very much from the summary but I might be intrigued enough to read it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How to Eat Your Own Foot (Or Not)

If you haven't read Lenore's post titled, Book Bloggers Behaving Badly, and you're a blogger, you need to go read it. Now. That post will give you lessons on what NOT to do straight from the authors' mouths. Really, it's kind of shocking what they've gone through at the hands of some book bloggers.

First and foremost, book blogging should be fun. We don't get paid for this (although the FTC will argue that), it eats a lot of our time and it requires real work. But we do it because we love it and we want to let everyone know what we like (or don't like) to read in the hopes of getting more people reading. But when you start getting publishers and authors involved, you have to kind of evolve your email style to something a little more professional than a fangirl squee. Granted authors do love fangirl/boy squees but if you're asking for something from them, you just have to up to the professionalism just a smidge.

For example, when I request a guest post from an author, I've read their book in question (why would you request anything from an author you're unfamiliar with?) and am ready to hand over some much deserved praise. My emails for requesting guest posts are pretty standard format; first paragraph is what I read, why I liked it, why I connected with it and so on, and the second paragraph is for the actual request, giving some examples of topics they may want to post about if they're interested and so on. I point them to my blog so they can take a look and then sign off.

What you don't want to do is email the author, squee and them slightly demand a guest post or interview by saying something like, "I want you to post on my blog about X topic and I want it by Friday." Thanks, teach. Do I get extra credit to? Or shoot off interview questions with the initial request email. Don't do that. Have the questions ready but just leave the request post for the request. If the author responds in the affirmative, then send them on over (copy and paste, preferably). Demands are a kind of a turn off and I know, personally, I'm much less inclined to do something for someone if they're not really giving me a choice to do it or not.

One of the tips is to not request ARCs directly from the author. I have done this but it certainly never backfired because the author responded and CC'd her publicist in on it so I could receive a copy. In all honesty, I never even thought to contact the publicist for the book directly. At the end of the day, I've only requested one ARC directly from an author so I guess it's kind of irrelevant but I can see why it's best not to do it seeing as how they, themselves, have a very limited number of ARCs as opposed to a heaping pile stored in a garage for all to take.

Again, response comes down to professionalism. Despite the fact that we're not professionals, we should still act with a certain decorum when contacting authors and publishers. If you're looking for an ARC, state WHY you should receive it (things like you've read other works by the author and loved them, your site stats, number of contest entries on any given contest, types of guest posts from like authors you've had on and their reception by your readers, etc.).

If you're requesting something, either from an author or publisher, you need to make yourself appealing. Don't be greedy and request every book you think you can get your hands on. Unappealing. Don't demand. Unappealing. Type in full sentences. Appealing. Make yourself look like you know what you're talking about and that you're someone that can effectively represent the author in a positive light, because that's what you're doing. The more positive you make yourself (beware the difference between confident and cocky), the more appealing you will be.

When contacting authors, fangirl all you want. They really do like to hear from their fans. But lets keep the creepy stalking to a minimum. Don't try to build a BFF relationship with them. That's a little weird. You want to aim to have a professional working relationship with them. Meaning don't come across as needy or clingy and instead show that you're willing to do for the author what you're asking of them. It's a give and take relationship and you need to give and take equally.

So really I just wanted to highlight the professionalism portion of all of this. Head on over to Lenore's for the full shebang. While you don't need to be writing business documents here, acting in a level-headed manner will do wonders for your professional book blogging relationships.

And one more thing, who the hell would request an interview from an author after giving them a negative review and actually expect an affirmative response? Really? And paying for reader plane tickets? WTF?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Book Wars (18)

A big thanks to everyone that contributed to my little suggestion box! I'd love to see the results but iGoogle has other plans, apparently. Hooray for server errors. But I did take a peek a few days ago and the majority of people seemed to like my option of warring based on a combination of covers and blurbs, making it more of a "which book would you buy first." That way you don't have to have read it and you can judge based right on the information I post. Sound good? Hopefully I'll be able to access that spread sheet soon and take a closer look at the results. Until then, thanks to barbrafl for this set of warring books! FIGHT!

Ellie remembers how the boys kissed her. Touched her. How they begged for more. And when she gave it to them, she felt loved. For a while anyway. So when Josh, an eager virgin with a troubled home life, leads her from a party to the backseat of his van, Ellie follows. But their "one-time thing" is far from perfect: Ellie gets pregnant. Josh reacts with shame and heartbreak, while their confidantes, Caleb and Corinne, deal with their own complex swirl of emotions. No matter what Ellie chooses, all four teenagers will be forced to grow up a little faster as a result. Told alternately from each character’s point of view, this deeply insightful novel explores the aftershocks of the biggest decision of one fragile girl’s life — and the realities of leaving innocence behind. (from


Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made—Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there's only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.

And yet gifted author Amy Efaw does the impossible— she turns Devon into an empathetic character, a girl who was in such deep denial that she refused to believe she was pregnant. Through airtight writing and fast-paced, gripping storytelling, Ms. Efaw takes the reader on Devon's unforgettable journey toward clarity, acceptance, and redemption. (from

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Share the Blog Love

I'm usually about 5 minutes behind the times so I'm a little late in getting to this but better late than never, right? Aubrey over at My Pile of Books named me as one of (I'm sure many more than!) 3 blogs she loved and I was so honored! I still am! So I'm paying it forward. This was actually part of a readathon set of activities but I'm carrying it on anyway. Why not? :) Kate over at The Neverending Shelf is the originator of this one so when Mr. Linky's mentioned, head on over to her site to post your links if you want to participate!

Here's what needs to be done -
  • Create a post sharing with us 3 blogs that you love. They can be new, old, or just underappreciated.
  • Your post should include the blog's title, url link, and a small blurb about why you enjoy this blog so much.
  • Leave link to your post in Mr. Linky so that we can all see your picks. And hopefully, we can all discover a few news blogs that we did not know about.
My three are -

Dannie at Opinionated? Me?

I love her voice and I wish I had her strength when I was her age to say what she says now. I admire her for not being afraid to speak her mind. It took me years to come out of my shell and be able to do that so I look up to her seeing that she's already there. She has a confidence that I envy.

Nicole at WORD for Teens

This was probably one of the first blogs I followed when I started book blogging and I've hung onto it ever since. It's kind of like my security blankie. I'm just comforted to know it's there. She offers such great content that's neither overwhelming nor scant and I consider it one of the best YA book blogs on the internet. From excellent reviews to thought-provoking discussion posts, this is a blog that other bloggers should emulate.

Ari at Reading In Color

I admire Ari for showcasing books in the YA book world that we probably wouldn't otherwise know about. I admire her for standing up for what she believes in and never backing down until she feels that the situation's been dealt with to her liking. I thank her for providing us with an amazing voice that's unrivaled anywhere else.

Light Beneath Ferns by Anne Spollen

Published 2010.

Elizah Rayne is nothing like other fourteen-year-old girls. More interested in bird bones than people, she wraps herself in silence. Trying to escape the shadow of her gambler father, Elizah and her mother move into an old house that borders a cemetery. All her mother wants for them is to have "normal" lives. But that becomes impossible for Elizah when she finds a human jaw bone by the river and meets Nathaniel, a strangely hypnotic boy who draws Elizah into his dreamlike and mysterious world.

Only by forgetting everything she knows can Elizah understand the truth about Nathaniel - and discover an unimaginable secret.
(book back blurb)

This is a ghost story. An awesome, awesome ghost story. I can't really say what it is that I loved about this book so much. Maybe because it was a ghost story unlike anything I've ever read. It wasn't scary but at the same time it was kind of creepy. They're not ghosts that haunt and torment but remind and maybe love. It was just so unique that I honestly want to read it again just to soak it in even more.

Elizah is a loner by nature, which some people just can't grasp the concept of. People think that because someone actually chooses to not want to interact with people that there's something inherently wrong with them. The guidance counselor that Elizah goes to feels this is the case and not only she but Elizah's mother forces social interaction on her in a gross attempt to make her "normal." I can kind of relate to Elizah simply because I'm a loner myself. Not quite to the extent she is but I am looked at oddly by some people because I choose not to go out and socialize. Not to say I don't have friends; I'm just horrendously picky of the company I keep and bar hopping every weekend is not only a waste of my money, it's just not my scene. I have better things to do. Like talk to the voices in my head.

My favorite aspect of the story was the imagery of Nathaniel's village. Just the way it was described your mind couldn't really picture it without it being coated in a cold mist, as if looking through an early morning lens. You could see what it looked like but at the same time it was never really clear. You knew it looked like that colonial reproduction village just down stream but it fades in and out of the shadows as the sun casts them through the trees. Or doesn't. It was just so gripping and ethereal, tangible and intangible at the same time. I wanted to go there and see it for myself and just hoped I'd be able to get back. It leaves you (or you leave it) with a sense that just maybe if you took the wrong turn, you might not make it back. It's not scary but it is unsettling.

The adults in this book irk the crap out of me. I kind of half understand the mother's situation because she was married to a degenerate gambler for so long that was so afraid of people coming after him for money that he forced his family into solitude. I get that. But at the end of the day she was really self-involved and didn't so much care about how Elizah felt but more how people would view her because of Elizah's "abnormal" actions. She really wasn't a likable character and I'm not sure if she was supposed to be. She's damaged, yes, but I was in Elizah's head with her in every conversation she had with her mother going, "yeah, it's all about you, isn't it?" I felt it. I don't think you even needed to be an objective third party to know that.

The rest of the adults were kind of stock characters, cookie-cutter cut-outs that were way too into normal. But maybe that was the point. Maybe this overwhelming sense of suburbanite normalcy that ran throughout the book was a means to overcompensate for what they previously lived through. Sure, Dirk was too into playing the father-figure role and took it on way too quickly, but maybe that was the point. He's normal. Elizah's mother wanted normal and fast. I guess it fits.

I loved how Elizah's father was often compared to the actions of a ghost, flitting in and out of someone's life, neither there or not. A presence more than anything tangible. It described him perfectly; except for how much of a creep he really was. Big creep.

Nathaniel is the best part. It's pretty obvious from the beginning just what he is, and it's pretty easy to make the connections once the character start talking about local legends and Indian lore but I don't think it was meant to be subtle. But what was was Elizah's and Nathaniel's inherent connection to each other. That was subtle and I really liked how in the background it was kept. The notion of past lives was barely even scratched but it was there enough to make you question what was going on in that entire situation. It left a whole different, and separate, story lingering at the end that you wished was filled in but you're left to use just your imagination.

It's a sad love story and a sad friendship story really. The only people Elizah connects with are those in the cemetery and really, being a loner isn't all it's cracked up to be. But somehow the entire situation is settling for her. She accepts it for what it is and while she wants to ask more of it, she doesn't because she knows she won't get it.

It's a story about a loner that isn't as much of a loner as she thought she was. It's a ghost story and a love story. A story of loss and healing. But really, it's just a great story.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yeah, Plagiarism Sucks but it's Not an Excuse to Bully

I'm not defending the actions of The Plagiarist (here on out referred to as The Offender, it's just less clunky to type). What she did was despicable and inexcusable, not to mention a violation of the people plagiarized.

I've been in contact with The Offender over the last few days and she is well aware that her actions were inexcusable, despicable and disrespectful of the people she plagiarized. While she is hurt by all of the posts going up because of the incident, including mine, she accepts them almost as a form of punishment for what she did. I didn't apologize for what I wrote and none of us should. In fact I think we should all stand up and scream when something like this happens in order to drive the point home that plagiarism is wrong and these will be the consequences should you do it.

In The Offender's emails to me, she wasn't worried about herself so much as the wrong she imposed on those she plagiarized and the potential impact of her actions on other bloggers she's close to. She is shamed by what she did to them. She makes absolutely no excuses for her actions and has been graciously accepting of the onslaught of criticism and harsh words thrown at her even though her name has been left out of the fray. As gracious as one can be given the circumstances. She takes full responsibility for her actions and doesn't see her own ignorance as being an excuse for what she did. She fully complied with the requests of the offended bloggers and knows full well that with them especially, her reputation is quite probably irreparably damaged. For those of us that knows who she is, she knows full well that she'll have to work long and hard to regain our trust, should we be so willing to give her a second chance. She is fully repentant of her actions and accepts the consequences she brought upon herself.

She has demonstrated to me that she's educating herself on what plagiarism is and will work her hardest to turn her blog around into something truly original and all around her. And she knows the hurdles she'll have to overcome to do it.

I can only imagine what it's like to be plagiarized, in any fashion, and I only hope it never happens to me. Woe unto the soul that even considers the thought. I can't speak for the victims in this ordeal. How they choose to proceed is entirely up to them. In all honesty, if it were me, I'd never trust The Offender again. Cordiality is one thing but trust? With me you only have one shot.

But it's knowing just how repentant and shamed this girl is that really has me irked about what someone did to her. I half expected this kind of thing from an anonymous blogger or someone floating around our world but it was an author. You heard that right. An AUTHOR has me rather disgusted with his actions.

This morning I get an email from The Offender saying that she's accepting of the criticism that's coming her way but why does this person have to rub it in and be so nasty about it? He sent her a very nasty email, which she deleted before even emailing me, and then posted it on his blog to gloat. So I read it and it's shocking. This kind of display? From an author? So I scroll down to the comments and while there are few, I saw that Lenore posted asking if he really sent it and if he received a response. His response to Lenore was not yet but he plans on sending a follow-up.

Disgustingly shocked would be a good way to describe it. So I emailed Lenore because really, I wanted to justify my feelings about this. On one hand I don't want to support a plagiarist but on the other she's fully repentant of her actions. She's not acting like a shit, she's not refusing to take down reviews, she's not placing blame anywhere else but on herself. Luckily Lenore felt the same way with similar sentiments and I didn't feel so bad for feeling so torn. If she had been acting like a shit, I would just say "well, she brought that on herself" and walk away. She brought the overall attention onto herself but does she really deserve to be dug at so maliciously?

William Kostakis is the writer of that email, which can be read in its entirety on his blog. I understand that he's close friends with Adele of Persnickity Snark. If it were one of my friends that were wronged, I'd be really pissed off too. But at the end of the day I know it's not my fight and I'm not going to take it upon myself to kick The Offender's ass on behalf of my friend. You know, rant and rave all you want on your blog. As I said, I think this is something we all should do when plagiarism strikes in order to deter it. But I think there is a line to be crossed here.

He's an author. I wouldn't think it very good publicity to go on your blog and gloat how you essentially bullied a high school kid and kicked her while she was already down. And you're proud of it. And showboat it. And even make mention of doing it again. By his own admission he enjoys taking the low road and wants to have fun at The Offender's expense. While he is only 20 (by no means an adult in my eyes, sorry, I don't even consider myself an adult and I'm 26) he's old enough to know better. I hope it makes him feel better to dig into an already broken girl. I hope he feels like a big man for it. The thing is, if he's so close to Adele, then the likelihood of him knowing just how repentant The Offender was was pretty high, meaning he did this despite that. Real nice.

Rest assured, Mr. Kostakis, I will not be picking up your book any time soon. And don't worry, Mr. Kostakis. If you happen to have second thoughts about what you've posted, I've made sure to save it, just in case.

In a time where kids are committing suicide after being bullied, and young adult authors are binding together and rallying against bullying, I find it wholly, and grossly, ironic that a young adult author is acting the bully.

Some of you may disagree with me on this. Some may think that she deserves whatever she has coming regardless of the extent of it. Do you think that? Or now knowing what you know about how she's acting in the wake of all of this, do you think an attack like this is rendered? Does she still deserve it?

Look at both sides of the coin. Put yourself in the shoes of the victims. Imagine that it was you that was plagiarized. How would it make you feel? If your offender was acting like The Offender, how would you feel? Now take yourself out of the victims' shoes and put them back into those of the observer. How do you feel about plagiarism? Knowing what you now know about The Offender, how extensive do you think her "punishment" should be? Is a rant on your own blog about uncreative shits enough? Is the long-term harm she's done to herself fair enough? Or do you think private attacks are rendered?

If she were a writer, her career would be destroyed. All it takes is just one time to be called a plagiarist and you're screwed. But she's not a writer; she's a reviewer. It doesn't make what she did any better, but I'd like to think we'd have room for a touch of forgiveness, or at the very least less than malicious intent, towards her, especially considering her actions.

I want this to be an open discussion as this covers two important topics - plagiarism and bullying. Anonymous comments are welcome but lets keep the mudslinging to a minimum. And please keep names out of it. Any comment I catch naming The Offender will be deleted.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Added to the Pile + 31

A big thanks to Paul from Sourcebooks for Picture the Dead and We Hear the Dead! A bit of a running theme but this blog tour is in honor of the Spiritualist Movement that started back in the 19th century. And also a thank you to Lisette of TV and Book Addict for my copy of Absolutely Maybe! I was one of the lucky winners of her last big shelf-cleaning contest.

Jennie Lovell's life is the very picture of love and loss. First she is orphaned and forced to live at the mercy of her stingy, indifferent relatives. Then her fiance falls on the battlefield, leaving her heartbroken and alone. Jennie struggles to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, but is haunted by a mysterious figure that refuses to let her bury the past.

When Jennie forms an unlikely alliance with a spirit photographer, she begins to uncover secrets about the man she thought she loved. With her sanity on the edge and her life in the balance, can Jennie expose the chilling truth before someone - or something - stops her?
(book back blurb)

It starts as a harmless prank . . .

But soon Kate and Maggie Fox's ability to communicate with the dead is the talk of the town and neighbors are begging for the chance to hear the mysterious messages from beyond the grave. By the time the sisters regret what they've begun, it's too late to turn back.

Deception becomes a way of life for Kate and Maggie, especially after their older sister, Leah, discovers people will pay to witness their performances. But a chance encounter with a very dashing and famous Arctic explorer turns Maggie's world upside down. He has captured her heart and vows to give Maggie a sophisticated new life full of romance, but only if she promises to leave the family business and give up spirit rapping forever. Can Maggie leave her family behind? Or will she choose to live the rest of her life trapped in a lie?
(book back blurb)

Meet Maybelline "Maybe" Chestnut. She may be named for her mother's favorite brand of mascara, but she has a mind - and a hair color - all her own.

Meeter her mother, Chessy - that is, Chessamay Chestnut Abajian Wing Marshall Wing Sinclair Alvarez and soon-to-be Himmler. The one man she didn't marry? Maybe's father.

Meet Ted and Hollywood, a.k.a. Maybe's best friends. When Chessy chooses her latest scuzzball fiance over her daughter, the trio sets out to find Maybe's dad in California.

Where they meet Los Angeles: city of swimming pools, movie stars, and a whole lot of surprises, including an aging screen goddess, a famous photographer, three makeovers, a Rolls-Royce, and a taco truck. Hollywood makes a film; Ted makes his fortune. But the biggest surprise may be Maybe herself, as a charm-school dropout becomes a drop-dead charmer in Lisa Yee's terrific new novel.
(book back blurb)

Things I've Learned from Books + 50

Sometimes ghost boys are so much easier to date than real boys. At least they can't manhandle you like real boys can and they don't bleed when you punch them in the face for trying. No evidence = win.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

On Plagiarism and Wankery

Jeez, the YA book blogging world isn't itself without some kind of drama, huh? In this issue we have a little bit on blogging plagiarism and blogging superiority. First, on plagiarism . . .

Hey, you uncreative shit. Just don't do it, okay? If you can't think up an original thought and feel the need to take from someone else verbatim and post it as your own, perhaps you shouldn't have a blog. As if people wouldn't find out. As if we're not a well-connected network of people that looks out of each other. Such is the problem with people like this; they underestimate. Big mistake.

And I'm not one to believe ignorance in this matter is okay due to age. I mean, what could possibly be the thought process of copying and pasting someone's post and re-posting it on your own blog as your own and see it as okay? If you're a teenager, you don't have an excuse because the notion of plagiarism of banged into your head in school. You can fail classes for plagiarizing. In college, you run the risk of being kicked out of school. So really, where's the excuse for this? There isn't one.

Plagiarism on a bigger scale, when money starts getting involved, can have very serious legal repercussions. On our scale, copying and pasting reviews from free sites written by amateur reviewers won't put you in front of a judge, but you will be called out and ostracized from the community, absolutely destroying any chances of publishers and publicists contacting you for reviews should you do it and be a shit about it. As one, our voice as the power to change book covers. As if we can't crucify an asshole blogger.

Personally, should I find out anyone ever plagiarizes my blog, I'm not going to take you to court. Really, I don't think it should go that far as we're just not in a position to lose like a professional reviewer or author would, plus it's amazingly costly and you could rightly get fined or wasting the court's time. Not something that I want to deal with, but that's just me. But you can guarantee I will make your life a living hell. Not only am I a blogger but I am a writer and I take plagiarism very seriously. So fuck with me. I dare you.

Copyright law with the written word dictates that the second the words are written down, they are copyrighted to the author. This blog post? Copyrighted. And while you can't copyright ideas (that has been ruled over and over again, it's about the execution of the idea, not the idea itself that can be copyrighted), starting a meme titled "What the Mailman Brought Me" is going to make you look like an asshole for taking an already long-standing idea, changing the title and calling it yours. Just because you change a few minor things doesn't mean you can call it your own. That's not how originality works.

We live in a derivative word and we are subconsciously influenced by so many things and it's impossible to keep track of it all. But be aware of what you're writing. As other bloggers have said, don't read reviews of books you're reading until after you've already posted your review, for instance. Keeping your exposure down on something is very beneficial and it'll keep you from ending up with egg on your face. Accidental egg on your face isn't so bad. It can be cleaned off. But throwing egg in your own face? That'll stain.

As for wankery and blogger superiority, I read on a blog (for the life of me I can't remember the name) a rebuttal for a post on yet another blog (whose name escapes me) that basically trashed American book bloggers for their unintelligent content and elevated UK bloggers for being of such a higher level.

Um, fuck you.

This self-aggrandizing blogger chastised US book bloggers for reviewing books she'd never heard of, not seeking out UK books to review, for the amount of memes we may or may not use and for how loud and obnoxious we are in how we advertise our blogs; apparently, according to this blogger, UK book bloggers are all about content, not comments or followers or any of that.

Again, fuck you.

I'm American and I have lived in the UK for an extended period of time and this kind of hypocrisy really chapped my ass, even now. We are accused of being narrow-minded, unintelligent and sheltered from the rest of the world. Funny, because everyone I heard making such accusations were just as sheltered, ignorant and uninformed about how Americans really are. When I was over there (mind this was in 2006, height of Bush World so American sentiments were in the shitter) I was looked at as representing everything that was wrong with America, as if I had something to do with it, while at the same time being chastised for not knowing more about the greater world around me. Isn't that a bit contradictory?

For this particular UK book blogger, she mentioned she'd never heard of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn until very recently. So can I call her an uneducated moron for not knowing about one of our classics? Or would that just make me a brutish oaf and there the American goes again, expecting everyone to know everything about them while they know nothing about everyone else? Why does she get to sit there and accuse us of of being so closed off while she's exhibiting the same exact signs of being sheltered?

I follow a lot of book bloggers. Some of my favorites are from the UK and I've never noticed any stark differences in how anything is portrayed on their blogs. I don't even know a blog is outside of the US until they start having contests and I realize they're in Australia or England or Pakistan. I also didn't realize we're writing theses on books here either. Should everyone have a college degree before deigning to write a book blog? A lot of these blogs are maintained by teenagers and it's insulting to insinuate that they, nor anyone else, has unintelligent content because they do a few memes or their reviews don't live up to particular unwritten standards.

Any lobotomized chimp can tell you that the center of the publishing world, the WORLD, is New York City. Not London. Not Bologna. Not Stuttgart. New York City. USA. America. I'm sure that brings major chagrin to that particular UK blogger but it's true. Also, what does sell in England might not sell in America. Different tastes. US publishers also aren't willing to ship internationally when promoting ARCs. At least most of them don't. I haven't seen any that do. It doesn't make them assholes; it just makes them cost effective. Plus why would they try to promote a book across the pond when it's not even being released there? And vise versa? I've never been contacted by and UK publishers to review ARCs. Why would they? The market's completely different. Why am I going to help promote a book that the majority of my readers can't even get? Duh?

It's this nonsensical masturbatory logic that gets to me. Don't accuse us of basically being showboating idiots when you haven't even thought your argument through. Don't be so quick to judge us and pat yourself on the back as if it makes you look good. You look like a sack of shit. While I may be the boorish American that's slinging insults and swears around, I'm not as dumb as you may think I am, and neither is anyone else. My IQ's 12-fucking-6, bitch. So don't think you can insult me, or my counterparts, and get away with it. We don't judge each other over here based on country of origin. No one's any better than anyone else and we all support each other. We don't shit on each other because we think someone's somehow lesser.

I'll say it one more time: FUCK YOU.

ETA - Thanks to an anonymous comment (that has been removed due to other information posted), the link for the offending superiority blogger is here. And just an FYI, if you happen to know which blogger caused this plagiarism debacle, please don't post the name or any identifying markers. Your comment will be deleted if you do. It's just not necessary to point fingers.

80s Awesomeness! ~ 59


Dude, totally. A spawn of the 80s, the word 'lame' is used to describe anything not cool. Which, apparently, includes David Hasselhoff's chest hair. Lame.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Calling Stacy Stewart!!!

Hey Stacy! You're one of the winners of my 500 Followers Love Contest! I emailed you Tuesday but I've yet to hear from you with your book choice and address. You have 24 hours from this posting to email me your information or I'm going to have to choose a new winner. Hurry! You don't want to miss out!

Freaky Friday :|: 59

Title: Twin Sisters, Twin Sisters Book 1
Author: Janice Harrell
Published: 1996
Publisher: Troll Communications, LLC
Pages: 222
When seventeen-year-old Elizabeth hears that her twin, Isabel, has been murdered, she slips into her place and tries to find the murderer.
Not very detailed but interesting enough. I might read it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Original Sin by Allison Brennan

Published 2010.

Haunted by chilling memories of demonic possession and murder, Moira O'Donnell has spent seven years hunting down her mother, Fiona, whose command of black magic has granted her unprecedented control of the underworld. Now Moira's global search has led her to a small California town that's about to become hell on earth.

Tormented by his own terrifying past and driven by powers he can't explain, ex-seminarian Rafe Cooper joins Moira's dangerous quest. But Fiona is one devilish step ahead. Hungry for greater power, eternal youth, and stunning beauty, the sorceress is unleashing upon the mortal world the living incarnations of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Together with a demonologist, a tough female sheriff, and a true-crime writer chasing the ultimate story, Moira and Rafe are humanity's last best chance to snatch salvation from the howling jaws of da
mnation. (book back blurb)

I read a review of this book where the reviewer said that it was too religious for her so she had a hard time getting into it. O_o Uh, duh. With a title like Original Sin, part of the Seven Deadly Sins series, it certainly wasn't going to be nondenominational, now was it?

Anyway, have you ever read a book where it feels like you're reading forever and when you go to stop and put the bookmark in, you look at the top of the book to see how much more you have to go before the end and it looks like the bookmark hasn't moved at all? That's what this book was like for me. I had a hard time getting into it and staying interested.

It's not that it was bad. There were some parts I enjoyed. One was the execution of the Seven Deadly Sins (not as in their deaths but in how they were used in the story). These are sneaky little bastards that don't need to actually possess a body but they can infect them with their sin of choice with a brush, or even a presence. The sin overwhelms a person, like they lose self control and start acting purely on their id. They feel like they're not acting like themselves but it doesn't feel like a separate entity's invaded their body. I just really like that concept and I really liked how it was played out in the story.

The rest of it . . . meh. I felt the action was cyclical and redundant at times. A lot of the time I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over because it felt like the same action was being replayed, as were the same emotions and the same circumstances. It got old quick and kept me from wanting to read on.

The demon thing overall was just a little too campy for me. It read like something out of a cheesy B horror movie made in the 90s or something. Moira's snarky lines when she was faced with one didn't come off as working but as something contrived. Yeah, because when I'm faced with a demon, I'm going to crack jokes, right? I think it was meant to portray her personality but I didn't think it worked.

I didn't feel any growth for any of the characters at all in the book. Moira, Anthony, even Skye, I felt all stayed the same from beginning to end. I didn't see any of them reaching beyond their character. They all stuck firmly to their roles and didn't branch out. Despite all the demon stuff, it kept the story kind of boring.

I'm also not a fan of the "all magic, black or white, is evil" notion either. Maybe it fits into the plot the story dictates, but it's not something that sits well with me, especially witches actually preferring to be called magicians. Pardon the pun, but not a snowball's chance in hell.

The gratuitous sex scene was interesting. Rather random and unnecessary but there you go. It was a way to wedge the word 'cock' into the manuscript. The story wouldn't have been any less lively without it.

The ending irked me, especially Fiona's too-easy hand-over of the situation. It was like, "You've won this time, but the battle's just begun." Very cliche and the situation was wrapped up way too easily for my liking. I felt Fiona as a whole was just a very cliche villain. Basically she's out for world domination and eternal beauty and youth. Just not very original to me and I didn't find her a very compelling antagonist because of that.

I mean, it's not a bad book. The writing's okay but the overall story really isn't for me. I like a certain kind of cheese but this isn't it. I think it might be just a little too much for me. But it's supernatural and it does have some interesting takes on the ways of demons. I think it'd make a decent beach read but it'd be a one time thing and then just pass on the book or donate it to the library or something.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Book Wars (? part deux)

Okay, I received an overwhelming 'yes' to keeping Book Wars going but that doesn't exactly correspond to the 6 comments a week I've been getting on the posts. So what can I do to get you guys posting? Not to mention I need books! One more form to go so fill out the one below and help me get a better idea of what Book Wars should be like and what'll get you commenting on them. Thanks so much!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

And the winners are . . .

The winners of my 500 Followers Love Contest are . . .

The Book Vixen and Stacy Stewart!!!

Congratulations, you guys! I'll be emailing both of you shortly. And a big thanks to everyone who entered!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Added to the Pile + 30

Library book sale! Oh I can't figure out if this was a really good idea or a really bad idea. Books in and of themselves are always good ideas but now I think my TBR pile stretches to the ceiling. Bad idea. So for a whopping $8.50, I got . . .

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
The Grey King by Susan Cooper
Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper
(The above books complete my The Dark is Rising set which I've been wanting to finish. Imagine the luck! I like the covers of the newly released books better but I'm not complaining with first edition paperbacks.)
Go Ask Alice by "Anonymous"
(Believe it or not, I've never read this one. *ducks* Good enough time as any!)
ttyl by Lauren Myracle
Daughter of Eve by Lois Duncan
(Cheesy 90s horror!)
Terror Academy: Spring Break by Nicholas Pine
(Cheesy 90s horror!)
Beige by Cecil Castellucci
(It's an ARC. *twitch*)
Resistance by Craig Simpson
(This one sounded amazing!)
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
The Perfume by Caroline B. Cooney
(Cheesy 90s horror!)
Twins by Caroline B. Cooney
(Cheesy 90s horror!)
Fear Street Super Chiller: Party Summer by RL Stine
(Cheesy 90s horror!)
The Thong Also Rises edited by Jennifer L. Leo
(Is that not the best book title ever? And it sounded funny as hell!)

Not a bad pull, I don't think. I'll have to do it again sometime. Bad! I have BEA in a month! *faint*
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