Thursday, December 8, 2011

Book Wish Foundation Contest

Win a literary agent or acclaimed author's feedback on your unpublished manuscript for young adult or middle grade readers.  This rare opportunity is being offered to the six winners of an essay contest recently announced by the literacy charity Book Wish Foundation.  See for full details.

You could win a manuscript critique from:

Laura Langlie, literary agent for Meg Cabot
Nancy Gallt, literary agent for Jeanne DuPrau
Brenda Bowen, literary agent and editor of Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust
Ann M. Martin, winner of the Newbery Honor for A Corner of the Universe
Francisco X. Stork, winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for The Last Summer of the Death

Cynthia Voigt, winner of the Newbery Medal for Dicey's Song and the Newbery Honor for A Solitary Blue

All that separates you from this prize is a 500-word essay about a short story in Book Wish Foundation's new anthology, What You Wish For.  Essays are due Feb. 1, 2012 and winners will be announced around Mar. 1, 2012.  If you win, you will have six months to submit the first 50 pages of your manuscript for critique (which means you can enter the contest even if you haven't finished, or started, your manuscript).  You can even enter multiple times, with essays about more than one of the contest stories, for a chance to win up to six critiques.
If you dream of being a published author, this is an opportunity you should not miss.  To enter, follow the instructions at

Good luck and best wishes,
Logan Kleinwaks
President, Book Wish Foundation

What You Wish For (ISBN 9780399254543, Putnam Juvenile, Sep. 15, 2011) is a collection of short stories and poems about wishes from 18 all-star writers: Meg Cabot, Jeanne DuPrau, Cornelia Funke, Nikki Giovanni, John Green, Karen Hesse, Ann M. Martin, Alexander McCall Smith, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joyce Carol Oates, Nate Powell, Sofia Quintero, Gary Soto, R.L. Stine, Francisco X. Stork, Cynthia Voigt, Jane Yolen.  With a Foreword by Mia Farrow.  Book Wish Foundation is donating 100% of its proceeds from the book to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to fund the development of libraries in Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The Guardian, a newspaper based in London, England is partnering with Random House Publishers for a new interactive novel called ROOT. Below is a little synopsis about this book:

Meet Molly Root, geek heroine on the most dangerous of missions.

Her best friend has been murdered, revealing his secret life as a notorious hacker, and suspicion falls on a corporation with shady secrets to hide. Teenage computer expert Molly must recruit a highly-skilled team to help her solve the mystery – before it's too late…

Sounds amazing, doesn't it? I'm so excited to read this and by going to The Guardian's website here you can check out the story. Also, the first chapter is up with other chapters and I'm reading them right now and am in love with them. Who doesn't like a good hacker novel. There's not many of those books on the market and I'm so glad The Guardian is doing this, plus, you can read it for free on their website.

So far, I'm blown away from this novel and I hope there's more of it because I'm already hooked. If you're looking for a new novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat, ROOT is for you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Daughters Join the Party by Joanna Philbin

Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: YA
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

They didn't ask for fame. They were born with it.

In the third Daughters novel, The Daughters Take the Stage, Hudson found her own place in "the family business," aka: show business. Now, for the first time, readers will meet Emma Conway, daughter of a powerful New York State Senator.

Emma has never fit into the sweater-set-wearing world of her political family, opting for purple hair and Chuck Taylors to keep herself out of countless photo ops, but when she accidentally lets her father's presidential plans slip on national television, Emma finds herself thrown into the spotlight. Facing pressure to be the perfect First Daughter-in-training, Emma must learn to speak up for herself and for what she believes in. Thankfully, she has her new friends and fellow daughters - Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson - to help her along the way.
The moment I started reading THE DAUGHTERS JOIN THE PARTY, I immediatly feel in love with it. I found the whole idea of being a senator's daughter was simply fun to read. I thought Emma was a strong willed character and that's what I loved about her. She didn't back down to anything. Even though she did get in trouble a few times, she was supposed to because she was only a child.
But when her father announced he was going to run for president, her life turned upside down. She was now in the spotlight and every move she made was being watched and she had to be perfect like her brother, Remington, only she soon finds out that Remington himself wasn't as perfect as she thought he was.
I never wanted to stop reading this book and who knew Emma, the daughter of a senator, was as normal as us. Joanna Philbin's writing is spectacular and there was never a dull moment in the book. After reading THE DAUGHTERS, I'm excited to see what Joanna comes up with next.
Overall, if you're looking for a break in the paranormal or dystopian, this book is a great read. Read when you're traveling or just want to have a nice relaxing evening. It'll keep you up all night wanting to finish this book and find out more about Emma.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Possession by Elana Johnson

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: YA
Source: Publisher

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Lately, I've been craving dystopians like crazy and this book hit the spot. I first want to point out the eye capturing cover POSSESSION has. Yes that cover screams out dystopia, but it also screams out "great book inside." I love how the cover is so simple yet it feels as though so much is going on.

I loved the world Johnson created with this book. With so many dystopian novels coming out, I worry that ideas will be recycled, but Elana Johnson made a world where girls are no longer allowed to walk with boys. The Thinkers have taken over everyone and society seemed like zombies to me. Now, The Thinkers are on Violet and they want to make her one of them.

In most books I've read, there are the bad guys/girls and the good guys/girls, but in this book, I didn't see that. The only thing that Violet wanted was freedom and that was the prize she was aiming for. I guess maybe The Thinkers were the bad guys since Violet didn't want to be apart of them.

There were, however, a lot of my questions not answered in the end of the book and I'm so excited for the next book to see what will happen next. If you're into dystopia, this is a great book to try out because it'll leave you hanging to read more.

Joanna Philbin Interview


           1.    Did publishing a book come easily to you since you are a daughter of a celebrity?

Well, before you can get a book published, you have to know how to write.  And that took me some time!  After I got my MFA, I lived like a hermit, writing stories that I never showed anybody, and the better part of a novel that is still in a drawer.  I went through a long period of being my own harshest critic.  And then when I got the idea for The Daughters, I didn’t tell anyone about it because I was so incredibly embarrassed.  I would think to myself, Oh my god, you can’t write this!  It felt way too personal.  And I was determined to write about anything BUT my personal experience.  But the idea never went away.  It wasn’t until I’d moved out to California and written professionally for television that I got up the courage to tell my friend the idea.  He almost hit the roof.  He said “You have to write this!  Go home and start tonight!”  About a month later I finally pitched an agent the idea.  But even then I had to convince her that I could actually write the book.  I wrote the first eighty pages and that’s when we took it out to publishers.  But we took my name off the submission.  I didn’t want anyone to want it because of my last name.  Fortunately people wanted it anyway, but it was satisfying to know that my last name had nothing to do with it!

2.    Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be an actress or something else growing up?

I loved doing theater and taking drama classes when I was a child and a teenager, but I always had a stronger passion for writing.  So often I’d read a script and think to myself, “That line shouldn’t read like that.  It should read like this.”  I think that’s how I knew.

3. How did the idea of THE DAUGHTERS come to you?

          One day in my twenties I was coming out of the Times Square subway and right above me, on the Jumbotron, were my mom and dad, hosting my dad’s show.  It was such a surreal moment.  There I was, standing on the sidewalk rushing off to my job as someone’s assistant or intern, and there were my parents on this enormous screen.   And I thought to myself, Okay, this is weird.  That’s when I really got the idea for The Daughters: three girls all living “under the Jumbotron,” so to speak.  At first they were in their early twenties, just out of college, and starting their lives.  Years later, I decided to make them teenagers, and that’s when the book really clicked for me.   

4. Can you relate to any of the characters?

          I relate to all of them.  Sure, I’ve never been the daughter of a supermodel or a pop star, but the issues these girls are dealing with are ones I had consider as well: Do people expect me to be like my mom or dad?  Do I have to be what people think I’m supposed to be or is it okay to just be myself?  And I think no matter who our parents are, we all grapple with these issues of learning to accept and be ourselves.

5. Have you received special recognition in school or with friends when you were young?

          My teachers and close friends in highschool always knew me as me, not as the daughter of Regis Philbin.  Of course, there were some perks, such as getting to travel or meet people I admired (meeting Michael J. Fox in seventh grade just about blew my mind) but for the most part, I wanted to be as “normal” as everyone else.  Like most teenagers do!

6. Is it easy or hard for you to walk down the street or somewhere and have people recognize you?

          That only happens if I’m with my parents.  But most of the time, nobody recognizes me.  I think I’d be kind of shocked if that ever happened! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why I haven't been blogging....

I'm sure many of you have noticed my absence her on the blog and Twitter. I've been caught up in everything lately. School has taken over my life and I just sent out my college apps and even though I should feel relieved, I don't because I'm just so nervous!

Also, I haven't been able to read much because I've had the reading slumps. I just can't get into a book! But don't worry my lovelies, I will get back just as soon as I get my life back on track. I will however be writing posts this week and hopefully getting some reading done.

Thanks for staying here with me! ♥

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Everything We Ever Wanted by Sara Shepard

Publisher: Harper
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

How do you choose between your family and your history?

Emotional and compelling storytelling from Sara Shepard, author of All the Things We Didn't Say.

A late-night phone call on a Sunday evening rarely brings good news. So when Sylvie, a recently-widowed mother of two, receives a call from the head teacher of the school she's on the board of, she knows it won't be something she wants to hear. The school was founded by her grandfather, and she's inherited everything he strived to build up - a reputation, a heritage, the school and the grand old family house. And with this inheritance comes responsibility. So when her son Scott is whispered to be involved in a scandal that led to the death of one of the boys he coaches at the school, it throws the family into chaos: Sylvie has to decide between her loyalty to the school that has been part of her family legacy for years and her son who she feels wants nothing to do with her. She starts spying on the dead boy's father, making an unlikely connection.Sara Shepard's compelling new novel tells how hard it can be to really, truly connect to people, how making quick, easy judgments can come back to haunt you, and how the life you always planned for - and always dreamed of - often doesn't always turn out the way you imagined at all...

I didn't know what to expect when I began reading this book. Was it going to be a good mystery? Was the ending going to be obvious? And most importantly, was this a good book? This was more than a good book; it was fantastic!

I haven't really been a Sara Shepard fan, but after this book, I was hooked. There was never a dull moment and all the characters were real. Joanna had grown up with the idea that the Bates-McAllisters were the perfect model. Her mom was obsessed with Sylvie and that obsession reached Joanna. She would collect pictures from magazines of the Bates-McAllisters, but she never thought she was going to be one of them, until she met Charles, Sylvie's son, and they got married.

By knowing just that description, you would think Joanna had the perfect life. It was like a rags to riches story and Cinderella. But Joanna wasn't happy. I wasn't happy while reading the book. I didn't want to have Joanna's life. It wasn't filled with excitment and joy. She didn't work because she now had a boat load of money, but she did nothing with her days. She just stayed home and wondered what she was going to do next, and often, she had nothing to do. Her neighbors were simply cold and Joanna had no friends and she didn't even feel close to Charles.

But then there's the problem with Scott, Charles adoptive brother, in which he is being accused of a death of a boy. I liked Scott's character more than Charles's. Charles seemed rude to me, but Scott seemed warmer. I really enjoyed the parts where Joanna was with Scott because I saw a connection between the two that Joanna was never going to feel with Charles.

EVERYTHING WE EVER WANTED is my favorite book so far. I couldn't wait to come home everyday and continue reading and when I was done with the book, I wanted more. I enjoyed Sara Shepard's fluent writing so much that I now want to read all of her books. Sara Shepard truly is a talented writer and she showed it with this book by taking a simple idea and turning it into a story that stays with you after the last page.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Unforgettable by Loretta Ellsworth

Publisher: Walker Books
Age Group: YA
Source: Publisher

Baxter Green isn’t like everyone else. While most people would forget about the little details of everyday life, Baxter never forgets—not pain, not hurt, not embarrassment. In fact, Baxter never forgets anything—not even a string of account numbers, flashed before his eyes by his mother’s criminal boyfriend, Dink, for use in a credit card scam. Years after his testimony has locked Dink away, Baxter and his mother are in a new town, trying to forget the danger Dink brought into their lives. Baxter wants to hide his unique ability, but it becomes increasingly more difficult when he reconnects with Hallie, a girl from his childhood who has lived on in his memory long after she has forgotten him. Can Baxter win Hallie’s heart? Loretta Ellsworth’s newest novel is one readers will never forget.

Wouldn't it be great if we had photographic memory? Everything would be easier. We wouldn't forget where we put our keys, wallet, etc. Also, when it comes time for finals, everything we learned would be grounded in out brains and studying wouldn't be a hassle. Meet Baxter Green and his amazing gift.

At first I thought Baxter was lucky to have a gift like this, but he wasn't. He remembered everything that ever happened to him, especially Dink, the guy who bullied him. When bad things happen to us, we hope that with time we'll forget and we try our hardest to forget, but Baxter can't. I loved Loretta Ellsworth's writing. It was easy to read and UNFORGETTABLE was a fun new read that explored this phenomena.

The characters were well developed and Baxter was a real person. He didn't act different. You would think he would with his goft, but he was a regular teenage guy trying to win the heart of Hallie, the girl he loved, except everything that ever happens to him, he remembers forever. There were funny parts in the book when teachers would forget something and Baxter would remind them.

If you're looking for a quick fun read that will put you in a world that not many authors have explored, UNFORGETTABLE is your book.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Frail by Joan Frances Turner

Publisher: Ace
Age Group: Adult
Source: Publisher

Being human is a disadvantage in post-apocalyptic America...

Now that the Feeding Plague has swept through human and zombie societies, it seems like everyone is an "ex" these days. Ex-human. Ex- zombie. Except for Amy, that is. She's the only human survivor from her town-a frail. And if the feral dogs, the flesh-eating exes, and the elements don't get her, she just may discover how this all began. Because in this America, life is what you make it...

Since I haven't read the first book in this series, DUST, I was a worried that I was going to be all over the place and not know what was happening, but that wasn't the case. The book starts in a way that it doesn't matter if you read the first book or not.

The story starts off with the main character, Amy, who has survived this plague that killed off everyone she knew. Just once the book began, I was scared. Right in the first chapter, everything starts  and Joan Frances Turner does a nice job with the description. Zombie novels are becoming very popular and if you're into finding a new genre or new creatures to read, zombies seem to be taking over everything whether it be books or movies.

Now if you're not too into zombies, then this book might not be the best fit for you because the story revolves around what has happened after this plague hit and how now zombies are taking over and there are a lot of descriptive parts which may be grusome to some readers. But Turner's writing was amazing in this book. She described everything and didn't leave anything out or rush and parts of the story.

Overall, with Halloween just around the corner, this book would make for a great fright.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S King

Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Age Group: YA
Source: Publisher

Lucky Linderman didn't ask for his life. He didn't ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn't ask for a father who never got over it. He didn't ask for a mother who keeps pretending their family is fine. And he certainly didn't ask to be the recipient of Nadar McMillan's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.
Lucky has a secret—one that helps him wade through the daily dysfunction of his life. Grandad Harry, trapped in the jungles of Laos, has been visiting Lucky in his dreams—and the dreams just might be real: an alternate reality where he can be whoever he wants to be and his life might still be worth living. But how long can Lucky remain in hiding there before reality forces its way inside?
Printz Honor recipient A. S. King's distinctive, smart, and accessible writing shines in this powerful novel about learning to cope with the shrapnel life throws at you, and then taking a stand against it.

Lucky Linderman is anything by Lucky. He's afraid of Nadar McMillan who bullies him constantly and because Lucky is nowhere near as big as Nadar, there's not much he can do about it. Nadar also has a very powerful lawyer dad so no matter whom Lucky tells about his bullying problem, no one will do naything to Nadar. Then, there's Lucky's parents. I didn't like them at all. They didn't love their son and I felt horrible for Lucky because he now was all alone. He didn't have the comfort of his mother to make him feel better or the manly figure of his dad to show him to stand up. He had nobody.

The only place he escaped the real world was through his dreams where he was in the jungle with his grandfather in Vietnam. Lucky's character and his qualities were very realistic. Teenagers who are being bullied in school often do dream about their safe haven. We all have our safe haven. When we have a bad day whether it be at work or at school, we just want to come home, crawl under our sheets and escape realitly.

EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS showed how depression runs through someone and even though Lucky didn't have the support from his family to help him get over his problems, he found a way out himself - through his dreams. That shows a lot about how strong Lucky is. He overcame his parents' inadequacies and took a stand for himself. He didn't let himself fall. Even though this book does deal with bullying, it's not heavy in a sense that it'll make you cry. A.S. King did a great job with keeping the balance neutral.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and was glad I discovered a new author with such remarkable talent to take a subject that becoming such a big issue and creating a book that everyone should read, whether they are being bullied or not.

Friday, October 7, 2011

October - National Anti-Bullying Month

As you may know, October is National Anti-Bullying Monthand every year, people are wondering when there will be an end to bullying. To me, bullying is a silent killer. It works in a way that only the victim suffers and no one else knows about it because the victim never does anything because they're either scared or it doesn't feel right to them. This month, our voice has to be heard and help all the victims.

Many of you who read my blog, know that I've been a victim of bullying myself. I know the pain and that's why I created Show Love, Not Hate. I gathered authors together and Eleni from La Femme Readers and they each shared their stories. If you would like to read an author's story, click on their name below.

Kirsten Miller

Gwen Hayes

Melinda Metz

Eleni (La Femme Readers)

Laurie Faria Stolarz

Jennifer Murgia

Lisa Cach

My Story

No one deserves to feel unloved and you always have to remember that it gets better.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Age Group: YA
Source: Publisher

Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s suspected. With Jess’s realization that the Rusakovas’ mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group’s choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite long enough to free their mother and people who Jess always just took to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more.

I loved 13 TO LIFE and have been dying to get my hands on SECRETS AND SHADOWS for a long time, but as I began reading, I found the book to be a bit slow. I found myself comparing the second book with the first one. I found that the idea fell short. Delany's writing was superb which was why I kept reading because her flawless writing kept on sucking me in.

I liked how Shannon didn't only write mythology in this book, but she incorporated real life events, the Russian Mafia. But once the action began forming, it fell very quickly and I wasn't kept on the edge of my seat as I was for 13 TO LIFE. Jess's life is out of control. She has everything thrown at her and at the beginning of the book where she sees her best friend Sarah kissing the guy she loves, Pietr, I was jealous, let alone Jess. She also has to be dealing with werewolves and the Russian Mafia.

When the high school drama began, I was a little hesitant. I didn't think that high school drama would go well into this book because of what it was dealing with, but it did mix well. I found Pietr and his family a bit awkward at times on the way they acted as though they were just perfect in everything, but Jess's character made up for it. She was developed much more in SECRETS AND SHADOWS and I began seeing that her life was only getting harder to understand as she stayed with werewolves. Her emotions were real and what she felt was written very vividly that I could feel it.

Now because there wasn't as much action as I wanted, it doesn't mean this book was bad. I enjoyed it and I would read anything Shannon Delany writes because her writing just sweeps me away. I will continue reading the rest of the series because I just want to know what happens.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can't stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They're wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it's neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It's Alan's cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.

I had heard so many great reviews about AFTER OBSESSION that I couldn't wait to dive into it. Right from the beginning, the story captured me. The voice that Jones was writing for her character, Amiee, was captivating and I also loved Wedel's writing in Alan. At times, I couldn't even guess that this book was written by two different people, alternating chapters. Usually, when two authors co-write a book, I've had a heard time switching to another authors writing in a chapter, but not in this one.

I'm so glad that exorcism is becoming big. It's not that I enjoy exorcisms (I have nightmares after watching those movies). It's that the whole YA genre has been taken over by vampires, werewolves, and witches and even though I still enjoy reading about them, exorcisms have their own creep and excitement factor that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

I really liked both of the main characters. Even though Alan was this football guy, he cared for his cousin Courtney and I thought that was cute. I was never too fond of Blake in the story. He has this aura following him saying "I'm jealous of eveyone better than me." He didn't really deserve Aimee and I'm glad Aimee stood up for herself and told him flat out what she felt.

AFTER OBSESSION has become my obsession and I so hope that there will be a sequal following this book. I've never read a book by Carrie Jones or Steven Wedel and after this one, I'll be going to the bookstore and picking up a book from these too. They've created a world that real, yet takes you on a journey that you've never been before and you'll be asking for more.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Frost by Marianna Baer

Publisher: Blazer and Bray
Age Group: YA
Rating: 3/5
Source: Publisher

Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school begins with a shock: Frost House, her cozy dorm of close friends, has been assigned an unexpected roommate: confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar. But while Leena’s anxiety about a threat to her sanctuary proves valid, it becomes less and less clear whether the threat lies with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind, or within the very nature of Frost House itself. Mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and Celeste’s brother, and the reawakening of childhood fears, all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. Frost is the story of a haunting. As to whether the demons are supernatural or psychological . . . well, which answer would let you sleep at night?

A story about a creepy boarding house and a hot guy, you can count me in. What first captured me was the eerie cover of the book. I mean, that cover brought chills through me and the synopsis gave me even more. I was hooked.

Frost is the house Leena and her friends have always wanted and because they are seniors now and Leena is close friends with the dean, she got in with her friends even though boys have been living there for decades. They're so excited for this, but something ruins everything. Celeste is going to be living with them as well. Celeste has "mental problems" and the girls don't want her there, but there's not much they can do, but Leena is falling for Celeste's brother, David.

But then the creepy stuff begins. It's obvious Frost House doesn't want them there and it wants them to leave. Especially when there's strange smells coming from the closet. Baer took a simple idea like boarding houses and turned it into a horror story to which it would be good if you kept the lights on if you're reading at night.

I really enjoyed Baer's first book and can't wait to see what she has in store for us next.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Flawless by Lara Chapman

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

Sarah Burke is just about perfect. She's got killer blue eyes, gorgeous blond hair, and impeccable grades. There's just one tiny-all right, enormous-flaw: her nose. But even that's not so bad. Sarah's got the best best friend and big goals for print journalism fame.

On the first day of senior year, Rock Conway walks into her journalism class and, well, rocks her world. Problem is, her best friend, Kristen, falls for him too. And when Rock and Kristen stand together, it's like Barbie and Ken come to life. So when Kristen begs Sarah to help her nab Rock, Sarah does the only thing a best friend can do-she agrees. For someone so smart, what was she thinking?

This hip retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac is filled with hilariously misguided matchmaking, sweet romance, and a gentle reminder that we should all embrace our flaws.

FLAWLESS was a fun and quick read. I immedaitly liked Sarah and didn't actually realize what was up with her nose until I read the summary in the copyrights page. Lara Chapman doesn't really tell the reader what the problem with her nose was, execpt saying that there just was a big flaw.

Sarah's friend Kristen, well I didn't like her much. She kept on making Sarah do all these things for her just to show Rock how amazing she was which seemed completly unfair to me. Even though Sarah and Kristen had been best friends since ever, at times Kristen was taking advantage of Sarah and I wished Sarah would just stand up already and tell her flat out.

But as the book progressed, things became really interesting. Jen, well let's just say I thought there was something weird about her and how nice she was being towards Sarah and her mom and I wanted her to get out of the picture and Chapman does a great job with showing what happens with these characters and I also began liking Kristen as well.

FLAWLESS was a great read and I enjoyed Lara Chapman's writing and story telling. If you're looking for a break from paranormal books, I would say to give this one a shot. It doesn't disappoint.

Monday, September 19, 2011

College Rules! How to Study, Survive, and Succeed in College

Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Age Group: High School/College Students
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

In high school, students have lots of safety nets. In college, they sink or swim. This completely revised guide to college success educates students in the basic college survival skills that professors don't teach, such as how to study, take tests, balance school and social life, and more. Filled with advice on how to hit the campus running, this fun-spirited crash course in the rules of college provides tools to equip students for a lifetime of learning. A thorough revision of the popular guide to all things college, with three completely new chapters on research papers, theories of learning, and Q&As. Includes helpful sidebars, such as sad-but-true student stories, study tips, and info for nontraditional students, as well as special coaching for struggling students.

Having seven months left of high school, I'm really freaking out about college. I'm already nervous about the whole college apps thing. I tell myself that once I know I'm into the college I want to go to, everything's going to be okay. Until the guidance department hit my entire senior class by letting us know that college is even harder than high school.

But COLLEGE RULES! helps with all the stress. I know that when I go to college, this is going to be another college book I'm going to be carrying around. If you're a senior in high school or freshman in college, this book will help. It's filled with great tips that aren't hard to read at all and fun stories that I enjoyed reading so much.

Since I'm planning on majoring in Computer Science, I'm worried how hard the major's going to be and how will I survive college itself. But COLLEGE RULES! walks you step by step, making you feel as though you can do it and everything will be okay as long as you keep yourself organized and ontop of everything.

I'm so glad this book arrived to me during my "freaking out college moments". It's been helping me a whole lot and I'm sure it will do the same for you.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.
At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose - between her "true love" and herself.

When I began reading the book, I thought it was okay. Alex seemed like a normal girl with great friends and Cole like an okay guy. But as the book progressed, I felt myself unable to stop reading. I wanted to know more about Cole and who is was. After the first couple of pages, there was this sort of evil aura that I felt was following Cole throughout the book. I didn't like him much and I couldn't understand why Alex fell for him.

When the first abuse came to Alex from Cole and she didn't leave him immedaitly, I thought there was something with her. If that had happened to me, I would have left, but it wasn't easy for Alex. She was in shock and didn't know if what had happened was acutally real. She felt as though it was a dream and when Cole ask for forgiveness, she forgave him. She knew there she was just dreaming. It was never real, only it was.

Then Alex meets Cole's parents. It was obvious Cole got his abusive nature from his father who only sat down and bossed his mom around and when he wasn't around, she was a different person - not a zombie.

Alex's friends always stayed true to her and without them, she probably wouldn't have been able to get out of this abuse. The way Jennifer Brown created her plot and characters made everything real. The way the abuse came was real. The book didn't start out with Alex meeting Cole and then jumping to several months later and we see Cole hitting Alex. She took her time with it.

BITTER END shows the dangers of domestic violence and if anyone is in this sort of situation, they should get help immediatly. You're not doing anything wrong by telling. You're saving yourself.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do? is where I ask a question of a senario and you get to respond on what you would do if that happened to you.

What would you do if all the bookstores in the world including Amazon were closed?

I would just start writing books on my own because living without them would be torture. Since books take me to different worlds, I would create them myself.

What would you do if this happened to you?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Publisher: Poppy
Age Group: YA
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

Inspired by Aristophanes' play Lysistrata, critically acclaimed author of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) Kody Keplinger adds her own trademark humor in this fresh take on modern teenage romance, rivalry and sexuality.

I LOVE Kody Keplinger! When I first read THE DUFF, I fell in  love with her writing. The book instantly became one of my favorite books. When I found out another book by Kody was coming out, I couldn't wait to read it.

The moment the book arrived to me, I read it and finished it that day. There's something about Kody's writing that just sweeps you away. I never had heard of Lysistrata before, so when I heard that this book was going to be inspired by it, I was a little nervous. Usually, books that I've read that were inspired by classics, have turned out to be very bad, but this one was amazing. Kody knows how to take an idea and turn it into something so unique.

Lissa had a lot of peer pressure at school for being the quarterback's girlfriend. I thought Randy was plainly a jerk. As sweet and caring as Lissa was, she did not deserve a boyfriend like Randy who literally was hurting her feelings. When I first met Cash, I didn't like him either, but as the book progressed and Cash's character developed, I liked him a lot and how at the end of the story he stands up to Randy to leave Lissa alone.

Kody Keplinger has taken a subject that's very controversial in YA literature and made a story that makes you forget that you're even reading about it. This book is not just about hookups. It's seeing Lissa's character grow and see that Randy only wanted her for one thing. He never loved her for being herself.

I cannot wait to read more of Kody's future books because I know they're going to be just as good!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: November 15, 2011

Words are the most dangerous weapon of all.

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

I was so excited when I found out Kimberly Derting was writing another novel. I loved THE BODY FINDER and  couldn't wait to read Derting taking on a dystopian. Lately, I've been craving dystopians. I can't get enough of them and this one didn't disappoint.

Charlie lives in Ludania and no one can come in and no one can get out. The Queen is strict and anything wrong and get someone killed. Each society is divided. The poor have thier own laguage and so one. No class speaks the same language. But Charlie can speak and understand them all. Anyone who is able to do that will die and there were quite a few times where Charlie almost got herself killed.

I thought the idea of Charlie understanding languages was amazing because that was never used in YA literature. But what really got me was all the twists and turns throughout the novel. Especially the ending. Oh, the ending....

Charlie's qualities were great. She really fought for herself and was her own person. She didn't depend on anyone and I loved the whole love triangle between Charlie, Max, and Xander. My favorite of the two boys was Max. For some reason, there was something about him that made me fall in love with him and add him to me list of literary crushes.

Overall, Kimberly Derting hasn't disappointed with her new novel and I'm always excited to see what she comes up with next. THE PLEDGE is a must read if you loved Kimberly's THE BODY FINDER or just love dystopians.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I didn't post anything up today due to it being 9/11, the ten year anniversary. I can't believe it's been so long. I remember that day very well. I was in second grade and remember seeing teachers running around and they turned on the T.V. Some kids were getting picked up in my class and I remember this girl, she was crying.

At first I didn't realize why. Then, I found out. Her dad died inside the Twin Towers. Everything was scary that day and I still have the image of the T.V screen showing the Twin Towers burning and falling and people screaming and running away.

I still can't believe time went by so fast. Ten years ago, I was in second grade when tragedy struck our nation and now I'll be graduating high school.

Let's all have a day of silence and remember all the ones who lost their lives and honor the heroes who risked their lives.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do? is where I ask a question of a senario and you get to respond on what you would do if that happened to you.

What would you do if you woke up one day and realized all your books were gone?

If that happened to me, I would immediatly try to retrace my steps. And if I don't remember doing anything wrong or probabaly being half asleep and throwing them all away, then I just would freak out.

What would you do if this happened to you?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crossing Lines by Paul Volponi

Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

Adonis is a jock. He's on the football team and he's dating one of the prettiest girls in school. Alan is the new kid. He wears lipstick and joins the Fashion Club. Soon enough the football team is out to get him. Adonis is glad to go along with his teammates . . . until they come up with a dangerous plan to humiliate Alan. Now Adonis must decide whether he wants to be a guy who follows the herd or a man who does what's right.


CROSSING LINES was a book I’ve never read before. The whole concept about it was different and not something that is always written in YA. I’ve had this book sitting on my TBR pile for a while, but never picked it up, until now.

Adonis is a football athlete. He wants to be up there because football players have it all. Enter Alan, football team calls him Alana, and he’s completely different from every guy in the school. He’s gay. He’s also in the Fashion Club and sadly for him, his dad is a Colonel. Later on, Alan wears red lipstick and the football team hates him for that, until Alan comes in wearing a dress and then the football team explodes.
Adonis is different from the members. He sees the bullying that happens to Alan by his team members, but he does nothing to stop it. He’s a bystander. His sister, who also is in the Fashion Club and friends with Alan, protects Alan and expects him to so the same as does his girlfriend Melody.
But the ending shocked me the most. The trick the football players were going to do on Alan during the Fashion show. I hated them after that. They hurt Alan, they destroyed him, and they landed him in the hospital. But in the end, they got what they deserved. The two players, who attacked Alan, were arrested. Adonis in the end realized what he was doing by not standing up was wrong. Alan could have died.
This book shows how dangerous hate and bullying can go. Alan still forgave them in the end, but the attack should have never happened to him. No matter who you are, what you do, remember that’s you. Don’t change because you may be getting hurt now, but in the end, it’s the bullies who suffer the tough consequences.  Whether people accept you or not, you were born this way and you’re perfect.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen

Publisher: Dutton
Age Group: YA
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

The football field is a battlefield

There's an extraordinary price for victory at Oregrove High. It is paid on - and off - the football field. And it claims its victims without mercy - including the most innocent bystanders.

When a violent, steroid-infused, ever-escalating prank war has devastating consequences, an unlikely friendship between a talented but emotionally damaged fullback and a promising gymnast might hold the key to a school's salvation.

Told in alternating voices and with unapologetic truth, Leverage illuminates the fierce loyalty, flawed justice, and hard-won optimism of two young athletes.

I’m not a big fan of books about sports and LEVERAGE was my first one that I read and since this one was on my TBR pile for a really long time, I decided to give it a shot. This book had the most beautiful and lyrical writing I’ve ever read. You can spot a talented author and Joshua C. Cohen is one.

The book centers around the bullying that three football team captains always give to the gymnastics team. I hated Mike, Scott, and Tom. They were simply mean and couldn’t believe this was happening and they were just getting away with it. Now I don’t know much about high school football teams since I go to an all girls private school, so there’s no football and being that my school is small, there’s not much bullying going around and if there is, the guidance department fixes it. You’re never alone, but for Danny and his teammates, they were.

But my heart broke apart when Ronnie committed suicide. Ronnie was just a freshman and to me he wasn’t weak. He was young. So three huge, steroid infused football players beating and destroying the life of a small gymnastic freshman, you bet he’s going to be weak. The football players were huge and evil.

Kurt was one of my favorite characters. I felt bad for what he had gone through and how he felt it was his fault for Lamar’s death. And the three football captains didn’t help at all. At times, especially Scott, they would be so nice they made you feel important and as though they cared for you, and the next thing you know is they are punching you.

The ending was perfect. All three of them got what they deserved and even though no one was going to believe them, Tina had made the perfect plan. No one deserves to be bullying and their evilness made Ronnie kill himself. No one protected him and they kept on telling him to forget it ever happened. You can’t forget something like that. It stays with you forever.

Overall, I loved this book and I can’t wait for Joshua C. Cohen to write more books because I’ll definitely will be reading them.

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

When I first began reading POSSESS, it was at night and I had just finished another book and my insomnia was kicking in so I decided to read more. I was terrified reading this at night! I thought I was hearing noises coming from my kitchen and I was too scared to even go in there to see. Then, I thought the lights were going to turn off and I was going to be left in the dark.
I didn’t exactly know POSSESS was going to be about exorcism. The only exorcism movie I ever watched was THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE and I couldn’t sleep for a week. I’ve heard of THE EXORCIST, but I don’t dare watch that one. The whole book revolves around Bridget Liu who has this cool ability to banish demons, otherwise known as exorcism. She’s not very fond of her gift, I wouldn’t be either, but it’s who she is and after school she goes with Father Santos and Monsignor Renalt to perform exorcisms.

The scary parts of the book are when the humans are possessed by the demons and the description McNeil uses to describe what’s happening is flawless. I felt as though I was watching a movie and an exorcism was being performed and the demons were talking.

Overall, this book is great and it would be a whole lot of fun reading this one on Halloween night! But just make sure you read it during the day.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

I hope you all have an amazing Labor Day today and wish you all luck on your new school year ahead!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What Would You Do?

What Would You Do? is where I ask a question of a senario and you get to respond on what you would do if that happened to you.

What would you do if you loaned a book to a friend and when they returned it, some of the pages were missing, plus the book was bent in every way possible?

If that happened to me, I would probably die. I love my books so much and keep them in pristine shape. Having someone attcking my books like that would actually make me go out and buy another copy because I just wouldn't be able to look at the book in such horrible conditions. And with the bented up/destroyed copy, I would tell the friend she could keep it.

What would you do if this happened to you?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

Publisher: Hyperion
Age Group: YA
Rating: 2.5/5
Source: Bought

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

Could those vampire legends really be true? Steeped in vampire lore and set against the glittery backdrop of New York City, Blue Bloods will be devoured by Melissa de la Cruz's legion fans.

For some reason, when I started BLUE BLOODS, I wasn't as captivated as I thought I was. The cover is beautiful, the synopsis grabs you right away, so what not to love? I guess I'm not being bored with vampires. Having read so many books about vampires, they seem to be getting a little dull for me. So when I begin reading a book about vampires, I hope that it will grab my attention right away.

BLUE BLOODS began a bit slow for me. The book didn't even feel like a paranormal book because there were so many "chick-lit" moments. If this book didn't have vampires in it, it would be a chick lit.

I know there are more books in the series, but I don't think I'll be reading them because I just wasn't captured by the first one.