Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (10/19/10)

I find it hard to write lately. Its become quit a bit of a chore just sitting down and writing a review. So, I've been doing what I do best - spread the word by word of mouth, hand sell or recommend it to librarians that I know. In the last few months I have read many fantastic books, and I wish I had the time to write a review for every single one of them but unfortunately college, transfer applications, work and just having a life to deal with have gotten in the way. But I'm going to try my best to slowly get into blogging again. Hopefully.

So, today I am going to talk about Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (October 10, Philomel).

There's THREE things you need to know about this book.

1) I loved this book.
2) I LOVED this book.
3) No, I REALLY loved this book.,

I cannot... CANNOT stress how much I loved this book! I enjoyed every single page of it. Nightshade is a mixture of pure 452 ages of history, kick-ass female protagonist with a sharp wit, keen sense of loyalty, two REALLY hot guys, LATIN (hello, I LOVE Latin), and just plain old awesomeness. I guess the history part of it can be accredited to Ms. Cremer's background as a history professor, but the writing was just so beautiful, I can't stop gushing about it.

Things I never do with books:
1) Write in/highlight them.
2) Dog-ear them.
3) Read them atleast 4 times before they come out.
4) Email the the author 40 times in a span of 4 hours (Midnight -4am).
5) Carry it around everywhere. LITERALLY.

Things I did with Nightshade:
1) I highlighted almost every other line.
2) I folded pages to mark the spots that made me cry, or scream or just in general evoked a powerful emotion.
3) I read it 6 times by my last count. (May-October 2010).
4) I did email Andrea about every single chapter starting with Chapter 6.
5) I took the book with me to Washington, Boston and Pennsylvania.

I have literally surpassed my own records with previous books that I loved. Nightshade was just this complete mix of beautiful language and alluring history that made you want to put the book aside and go look up the references mentioned about all the different historical figures/books, etc. (which I also did). There are no words that can aptly describe how much I enjoyed Nightshade. Every page was like a masterpiece. Every line was worth quoting. Every word was worth memorizing.

Nightshade created a world so powerful and beautiful and just so attention-grabbing you did not want to leave it. If I had to pick between Calla, Ren and Shay, I would pick Ansel. :)

So, what CAN I say about this book?
1) It is a definite roller-coaster ride you want to experience.
2) It's a whole new take on werewolves. (I'm not a huge fan of them. Which says A LOT about why I liked this book. It was different than the usual stuff).
3) It's a guarantee that you'll be either Team Ren or Team Shay by then end- its just THAT good. Unless you're me and have developed a REALLY good immune system to resist all the HOT YA boys. ;)
4) You'll end the book wanting more of Andrea's writing and Nightshade world.
5) You'll go insane waiting for Summer '11 for Wolfsbane. (I know, I already am!)

Go see my special video for Andrea on her release day (today) here!

HAPPY RELEASE DAY!!!!!!!! <3

You can find Andrea here and more about the Nightshade series here. Visit her and let her know hwat you thought of the book! And leave me a comment too!

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Two Cents on Reading Slumps + Something Else

My Two Cents on Reading Slumps + Something Else


When you read as much as I do, what is the worst that could happen to you?
A reading slump.

What, you may ask, is a reading slump

From Alley of Book’s Dictionary:

Reading Slump: A period when no book, of any genre, seems appealing enough to read. When one knows that picking up a book will only end with reader hating the book for no rhyme or reason.


I would like to say that I tried beating the slump again and again and again. In the end I failed. For the past three weeks, I have tried to pick up various books gotten 40 pages into it and given up for numerous reasons. Annoying mc, disgusting setting, scenario is implausible. You name it. When I reached the 8th book, I realized I had to stop or the poor books would start hating me. (Yes, I think that books are human beings and have feelings. Yes, that sounds insane. I know.)


I could feel them starting to look at me with sad little eyes and implore me to stop. I gave up. I tried to read other genres. Same result. I had many friends suggest books- books that they’d recently read and LOVED and they kept badgering me to read it. But honestly, I knew the minute I started reading it I would hate it. So for now, I’ve decided to catch up on reviews and stop reading anything new. This should help me catch up to everyone else.

I also would like to add that I sympathize with every writer out there who has ever experienced writer’s block. If it’s anything like the slump I’m in, I feel your pain. It is killing me inside that I am in such a position where I want to read a book but nothing is working for me. Until I find that phenomenally mind-blowing book I am going to be stuck in this rut. I just hope it ends sometime soon.

But, I also decided to write this post and at the end of my brainstorming session I ended up asking myself the question a lot of us (bloggers), authors, and other kidlit-ish people have been asking.


Why do I read YA?

Here’s a little conversation I had with myself following the moment said question popped up in my head. (Please don't judge)

Me: Why do I read YA? Hmm, why DO I read YA?

Me: Well, the very obvious answer would be because I am a teen.

Not for too long though”. A little voice in my head added.

Me: (Freaks out) Umm.

Me: (Chews on lip) Besides that.

Me: Well, you read because-

Don’t you mean I. You’re talking about yourself to yourself. You’re weird.

Me: So are you.

Mom: Are you talking to someone?

Me: Yeah. Myself.

Don’t forget me!

Me: And the voice in my head.

Mom gave me the I-can’t-believe-this-child-is-mine look.

Me: I read YA because? I read YA because it makes me feel alive.

Cliché much?

Me: Well, I do!


After much pondering I came up with a few that sounded incredibly lame. So this is what I will be doing this week. I am going to think about why I read YA and what is it that is so addicting about it.

Have you written a similar post? Had a similar conversation with yourself? Tell me! I am open to all of your suggestions! I need to be out of this reading slump yesterday!

I will be back when I have thought of at least 5 reasons why I read YA!

Until next time,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tell Me Secret by Holly Cupala (Review)


Tell Me Secret by Holly Cupala

Synopsis:



Tell me a secret, and I'll tell you one...

In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda’s death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister’s world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all—Miranda has a secret all her own.

Then two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears. Stripped of her former life, Miranda must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister’s demons and her own.

In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her future.

Review:

Where to start. TMAS is a fresh new

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala





Hi everyone!


Today I have the distinct pleasure of bringing to you a fabulous debut book by Holly Cupala - Tell Me A Secret. It is no secret how much I love contemporary fiction and TMAS makes my top favorites
for this year!

Watch out for my review on Sunday with a special video for Holly!

Watch the video's from Holly as a part of her Blog Tour!



I love this video. I'm envious of the artwork in Holly's house! I loves the coasters she made! And the tree she with her daughter!


This video of Holly reading from her book is really cool! Check back for my review because this is one book you DON'T want to miss out on!

Here's a sneak peak of what I thought while I was reading it!

She mentioned this picture on her wesbite here


Time for a CONTEST! I have four one-of-a-kind Tell Me A Secret two-chapter samplers to give away.
Leave a comment on this post by June 25th at 11:59pm EST to be entered. I'll pick winners randomly and you'll be notified via email. Please leave your email address in your comment so I have a way to contact you. Good luck to y'all!

Be sure to check out Monday, June 21st tour stop on the Tell Me A Secret Virtual Tour, which is at
Melissa Walkera cover story!

Holly's giving away tons of prizes on her site throughout the tour, go check it out here!

Until next time,


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy Release Day!




HAPY RELEASE DAY TENNERS!!!!

I would imagine its a joyous day for The Tenners. Three of their own have books coming out today!

Emily Horner with A Love Story: starring My Dead Best Friend (Dial)


Suzanne Young with So Many Boys (Razorbill)

and

HEIDI R. KLING with SEA! (Putnam)


Happy Release Day to all three of them and here's a little video that we made for Heidi's release day since we love Sea so much! :)





Enjoy your day ladies~!

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian


Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian



Waiting on Wednesday is a meme created by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.


Synopsis (From Siobhan's website)

Slut or saint? Good friend or bad friend?
In control or completely out of it?


Life is about choices, and Natalie Sterling prides herself on making the right ones. She’s avoided the jerky guys populating her prep school, always topped honor roll, and is poised to be the first female student council president in years.

If only other girls were as sensible and strong. Like the pack of freshmen yearning to be football players’ playthings. Or her best friend, whose crappy judgment nearly ruined her life.

But being sensible and strong isn’t easy. Not when a prank nearly gets her expelled. Not when her advice hurts more than it helps. Not when a boy she once dismissed becomes the boy she can’t stop thinking about.

The line between good and bad has gone fuzzy, and crossing it could end in disaster . . . or become the best choice she’ll ever make.


I have been dying to read this book since I heard about it. I have a little surprise for you guys!


I HAVE AN EXCERPT! Siobhan reading from Not That Kind of Girl.

Exclusively on Alley of Books!



So what do you think? I AM SO EXCITED FOR IT! You can probably tell!

Go over to Shiobhan Vivian's website for more information on her other books!

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

For all you GLEE fans! (including ME!)

I think I owe The Frenetic Reader for forcing me to watch a pilot of a show called Glee way back last year. Sometime in the summer, when iTunes had the pilot for free I'd downloaded it. It was on my iPod and I was bored and I decided to watch it. Since that first moment, I was hooked. Until September, when the season aired, all I did was re-watch the pilot over and over again. Until September 9th, when I was there. Right in front of my T.V. waiting for the new episode of Glee!

And since then, I've diligently watched each and every episode and together with many Twitter/Facebook friends gotten others to watch it.



Now, there are some of you who may not have liked the show due to several reasons.
  1. You started watching after all the hype.
  2. You started mid-season. (you'd understand, but that connection would be missing).
  3. You just simply weren't interested.
But no matter what the reason, I will give you that there are times when I've shook my head and said, "Nope. That episode didn't cut it. It bored me. It didn't hold my attention". Its a given I would say. Everything has its up's and down's. Same with Glee. It's not flawless. Some of the plot-lines are ridiculously predictable. My friend from Word For Teens has called pretty much everything. She could practically be one of the writers.

Having said all that, I will add, Glee is a GREAT show. Mostly its REAL.

There have been such awe-inspiring, tear-inducing, rolling-on-the-floor-laughing-till-my-side-hurts moments. It is a show that came out of nowhere and captured everyone's attention.

Why do I say that? My mother hardly watches any T.V. with me. But every Tuesday, she was there. At 9pm. On the couch, with me, waiting for another Glee episode.

So, why am I writing this blog post. Well, tonight was the season finale. Some of you will not be watching it until about 30 minutes from now. But once you do, for your pleasure. I have some *IN REAL LIFE* pictures of some of the cast members for you.

How did I acquire them you ask? Well, you know the Glee Live Concert Tour? No, I didn't see them live. I just, walked past radio City Music Hall -where they were performing- and happened to come upon the back stage with my friend from Penultimate Page (while she was here for BEA).

Well, without further ado, I present you - GLEE CAST~!

Radio City Music Hall


Brittany & Kurt


Brittany


Kurt (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Santana


Santana & Artie


Mike


FINN (!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

(He was signing Em's shirt here).

Puck (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

(MARK SALLING WAS TALKING TO ME).
Jesse

(He asked me something. I can't remember. I was busy having a heart attack).

Here's something extra: Two videos. From......

RYAN MURPHY (Co-creator of Glee)





BRAD FALCHUCK (Co-creator of Glee)




Well, I hope you had fun this past season friends. I have been asking this question for the past 2 hours. I will leave you with that. See you tomorrow!

IS IT SEPTEMBER YET?

Until next time,

Monday, June 7, 2010

Beautiful Darkness : New cover alert!

By now y'all know how much I love Beautiful Creatures. If you don't, well, now you do!

The much anticipated sequel Beautiful Darkness has a new cover!

Old Cover


New Cover

As much as I liked the old one, the new cover is more 'to the book' I'd say. What do you think?


Until next time,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Header & Domain

Hello hello hello!

I got a new domain and a new header! There was a little glitch and it took a while to fix it but now it works! The header is thanks to my friend PeriLynn Harris Glasner who took this picture and showed it to me! I knew I had found what I wanted! A LOT of tweaking followed. And we have what we have!

What do you think of it?
Do you like it? Or have a problem with it? Let me know your thoughts!

Until next time,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Adele of Persnickety Snark fame Sheds Some Light

Hey all,

Today, I am so excited to bring to you Adele of Persnickety Snark fame. She is one of the few bloggers I look upto. I'm so glad she agreed to write this guest post.

ADDITIONALLY: Its Adele's BIRTHDAY TODAY!

Happy Birthday Adele! >

I cannot wait to meet you in August!

-----------------------******************-------------------------

A big hug and a thank you for inviting me to be part of your blogoversary celebration. You are a valued friend and I am beyond excited to meet you in New York in August.

***

It says a lot about a person, what their immediate thought is about a topic.

When I think of Hunger Games, I think of Gale.

When I think of Vampire Diaries, I think of Damon.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I am into the dark, mysterious and douchey guys. While you may be cheering (or jeering) my choices there are bigger concerns at play. Why don’t I think of the strong, female protagonists?

I empathise with both of the protagonists. Katniss is a strong, capable girl who does everything to keep her family going. Elena is terminally conflicted by her man, her friends and her family. I understand them, I really do. But I don’t like them all that much. Katniss definitely has the edge. Elena is simply someone who bares a lot of cleavage, annoys me with her stupidity and talks from a weird place in her throat. Plus side...she’s not played by Miley Cyrus and her mouth acting. Boob acting I can live with, mouth acting I cannot. Katniss doesn’t do any of these things. Thank goodness.

What do they have in common?

In my opinion they both choose the wrong guys. Not for the pure reasons of love or being soul mates but for entertainment value. I think that Gale and Damon are vastly more entertaining than their counterparts as they are quite unpredictable and have a tendency to be arseholes when necessary. What can I say? I like guys in books and on television that I would never pick for myself in real life.

Nice guys bore me. In the entire time I have been blogging young adult literature reviews I have only found myself siding with the nice guy around three times – LM Montgomery’s Gilbert Blythe (the ultimate nice guy), Robin Benway’s ginger haired James (Audrey, Wait) and Melina Marchetta’s Jonah Griggs (Jellicoe Road). There are a few that live in my grey area but I err on the side of douche baggery.

It reflects society in some ways. We tend to be much harder on females than we are on males. There is expected behaviour attached to being respectful and step outside those lines and a girl can very quickly become a whore or bitch with the snap of the fingers. A guy does these things and not only is it okay, it’s pretty hot. I am a traitor to my gender.

What I would like to point out is that Gale and Damon would not hold as much charm for me if their counterparts weren’t equally fleshed out (if not as charismatic). Peeta and Stefan are white knights in shining armour. Chivalrous, kind and built – yummy, scrummy, cheeseboard abs built. They are beyond delectable. But even these guys wouldn’t hold any attraction if Katniss and Elena didn’t provide a strong central role in the storytelling.

That’s the message here. While the abs and the banter are bliss, it is the sum of the parts that make both The Hunger Games and The Vampire Diaries so good. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to lust after my fictional hotties, and neither should you!

-----------------------*********************-------------------------

Once again, THANK YOU SO MUCH Adele! Don't forget to look at and comment on the other guest posts about the Hunger Games & Vampire Diaries as a part of my blogoversary celebration!

Until next time,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

NIGHTSHADE (October 19, 2010, Philomel)

Synopsis: (From Andrea Cremer's website)

While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.

Click Here to visit the Nightshade website.

About the Author:

Andrea Cremer spent her childhood daydreaming while roaming the forests and lakeshores of Northern Wisconsin. She now lives in Minnesota, but she thinks of her homeland as the “Canadian Shield” rather than the Midwest.
Andrea has always loved writing and has never stopped writing, but she only recently plunged into the deep end of the pool that is professional writing. When she’s not writing, Andrea teaches history at a very nice liberal arts college in St. Paul.

In the little spare time she can find, Andrea stares up at trees, rescues infant rabbits from predatory cats, and invents names for pug puppies with her husband. She has an unfortunate tendency to spill things – white carpets beware!

Her debut novel, NIGHTSHADE, the first of a YA fantasy series, will be published in fall 2010 by Penguin (Philomel).

Reasons I want to read Nightshade:
  1. Totally out of my comfort zone.
  2. It literally screams POTENTIALLY MINDBLOWING (potentially being optional).
  3. I FEEL compelled to read it.
  4. Inexplicable impulse to drop everything (even studying for finals) to read it.
  5. It just sounds so darn amazing!
Words are not enough to convey how excited I am to read Nightshade!


Until next time,

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Book Review: The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer

The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer

About the Author:

ELIOT SCHREFER is a resident of New York City and a graduate of Harvard College. A contributor to The Huffington Post and a reviewer for USAToday, Eliot has been profiled in Newsweek, New York Magazine, theNew York Post, WWD, and NPR's "Leonard Lopate Show." He was selected as one of the 2007 "Out 100," and as a fellow to the Sewanee Writers' Conference. His first novel, Glamorous Disasters (Simon & Schuster), became an international bestseller. His second novel,The New Kid (Simon & Schuster), was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award.

Synopsis (From Borders.com)

Abby Goodwin has always covered for her sister. Maya's screw ups started out ordinary enough: Broken curfews. Failed classes. Hanging out with the wrong crowd.

But now Maya's been accused of murder. And Abby's not sure she'll be able to cover for her anymore. Abby's certain of Maya's innocence--but she's the only one.

With the police closing in, Abby helps Maya escape...and then starts investigating, hoping to clear her sister's name. What she finds, though, shows that you can't trust anyone - not even the people you think you know.

From the author of The School for Dangerous Girls comes a page-turning thriller about the things we do for family--and the limits we can reach.


Review:

This book first caught my attention when I attend a panel discussion during The NYC Teen Author Festival in March where the author, Mr. Schrefer was a panelist. The excerpt he read of The Deadly Sister was quite gripping. I wrote down the name of the book and made a note to look it up later.

A few weeks later, much to my surprise I received The Deadly Sister in the mail from Scholastic and I was pretty excited to read it. And now that I have, boy did I enjoy it! The Deadly Sister is one those books that when you’re done reading them , you need a minute to process all that had happened and what you take away from the book is not just momentary but rather long-lasting. It stays with you at weird times of the day and night and makes you question some of your own actions and makes you rather pensive. The Deadly Sister is classified under Mysteries & Detective Stories and Family/Siblings according to Scholastic and there is not one page in this book that does not make you stop and analyze YOURSELF and your family/siblings and your behavior/attitude towards them. TDS was one horrendous rollercoaster ride, at the end of which the reader is left aghast. I won’t go too much into detail but until pg 250 the reader doesn’t have ANY inkling of what’s coming next.

The Deadly Sister is a fast paced, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat kind of book. I’ve always liked a good mystery and The Deadly Sister is definitely one I would pick up again. Schrefer portrays the damaged relationship between the Goodwin family in way that makes it believable AND relatable. The relationship between the two sisters- the protector and the protectee is complicated albeit one that many teens can relate to. The first page sets the tone for the novel where Abby is firmly set into her role of Maya’s protector. The book follows a chain of intricately intertwined events that at the end culminate into a shocking discovery that will leave the readers minds reeling but at the same time absolutely and thoroughly entertained.

What I especially liked about this book: Cheyenne, the best friend. Despite her flaws, she stood by Abby. Not to say that Cheyenne wasn’t flawed either, but she was definitely the better person of the two. Readers will enjoy this book immensely as Schrefer’s writing style is very simplistic not throwing too many tricks into the story. Although sometimes things jump out at you without the reader realizing it was coming. This is the first book I’ve read by Mr. Schrefer although I have to say I am definitely looking forward to reading his backlist.

Plot: 5/5

Characters: 4/5

Writing: 4/5

Believability: 5/5

Ending: 15/5

Overall: 92/100 = A

GIVEAWAY! I'm giving away my copy of The Deadly Sister.

To enter fill out this from HERE.


Until next time,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Librarian Alyson Beecher weighs in on The Hunger Games

In honor of Alley of Books blogoversary celebration, I am writing a guest post on THE HUNGER GAMES more specifically:

What do you think will happen to Peeta? Will he & Katniss have their happily ever after? Or do you think she will go with Gale? Who will survive?

Peeta? Katniss? Happily ever after? Together? Ummm, I don’t think so. I realize that there are a ton of Team Peeta folks out there, but I think this is somewhat unfair to Gale. Frankly, he has not been given an equal or even equitable amount of page time for anyone to properly to rule him out. Despite my personal preferences that Katniss end up with Gale and have their own happily ever after, here are some of my thoughts about what will happen in MOCKINGJAY (THE HUNGER GAME #3).

Suzanne Collins’ HUNGER GAMES has been a series of surprises from the beginning. In book three, I believe that we will be seeing “the real” Hunger Games being played out. Not that the stakes weren’t high enough in the first two books, but this time, the battle is being played out for the lives and freedom of millions of people in the various districts.

*********************SPOILERS**************************

When we last saw our protagonist, Katniss had awoken on an aircraft and was being taken to District 13, which supposedly had been destroyed or no longer existed. She found herself in the presence of Haymitch, Finnick, Beetee and Gale. Katniss was then told that Peeta and several others were captured by the Capitol. Finally, Gale informed her that though he was able to rescue her family District 12 no longer exists.

One thing that has continued to nag at me as I wonder about Katniss and who she might end up with is “What if she ends up with no one?” For some reason, I would not be surprised or disappointed by this outcome. Please don’t see this as a cop-out ending. Personally, I think nicely wrapped up endings or the happily ever after endings can be the true cop-outs. But let’s think about this one….

First, Katniss is still basically a teenager. She was 16 at the time of her first Hunger Games and the second book was basically a year later which would make her 17. The third book is likely to pick up where book two left off and I don’t anticipate that the book will cover several years, more likely several weeks or months. This would still leave her at 17. It may be nice to think you have found your soulmate at 17, but in reality not so likely.

Second, her life circumstances have never really allowed her the luxury to think about a relationship. Since her father’s death, she has had the responsibility of helping her family survive. Even her connections with both Gale and Peeta have had a role in accomplishing the goal of survival.


Third, her relationship with Peeta has primarily been focused on creating an image that plays on the emotions of an audience or fueled by the adrenalin of the Games. Not truly conducive to building a long-term loving stable relationship.

Finally, surviving a revolution where you are the unwitting poster child for rebellion, I would imagine would leave a person with a lot of stuff to sort through emotionally. Personally, I wouldn’t trust my judgment at that point to make a life choice like that.

So really, I like the ending that she ends up without either one of them. But what might be the endings for Peeta and Gale:

For Peeta – I do believe that the Capitol will find ways to torture him and to use him against Katniss and the revolution. I do not believe that they will turn him into an Avox. I can see where that may be the standard protocol for dissenters, especially one that has the potential to vocally influence people. However, Peeta has already lost a leg in the first Hunger Games and I cannot see Collins subjecting Peeta to this especially if she does have plans to reunite him with Katniss. This would be odd and wrong on so many levels. And even if she doesn’t plan to reunite the two, I still find it illogical. I believe that more likely Peeta will become part of the voice of the new leadership or new government in the end.

For Gale – I imagine him more as the “young general”. He does not come across to me as the voice of the movement but literally more as the muscle of the movement. Less one of words and more one of action. In some ways, I wonder more about his surviving the revolution. However, if he does survive, I see him being part of the “military” of the new government. And to answer a question that I have seen posted out there – No I don’t see him falling in love with Madge. Personally that feels more like an awkward attempt to wrap up endings so that everyone has someone (i.e. Katniss/Peeta and Gale/Madge).

In conclusion, though I am Team Gale and will greatly applaud an ending where Katniss and Gale end up together, I still am going more with the scenario where Katniss chooses neither and figures out her future.

So what do you think will be happening in MOCKINGJAY?!

Thank you Alley of Books for letting me guest post and a very Happy Blogoversary!!

- Alybee930

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard


Synopsis (GoodReads):

It's hard to find beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming. Fourteen-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances and pickup trucks adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild girl Mandarin Ramey: seventeen, shameless and utterly carefree.

Grace would give ANYTHING to be like Mandarin.

When the two misfits are united for a project, they embark on an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and constantly searching for someplace magic. Grace even plays along when Mandarin suggests they make a pact to run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds that plague their badlands town.

But all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, even the best friendships can't withstand betrayal.

I'm doing a friendship week soon, and I've been reading some great books that have been exploring the themes of relationships, be it siblings, strangers, or even family. This sounds like a great book that could be added to my existing list. Pity it's not out until March 2011~!

P.S. Love the cover! Especially the colors!

Until next time,

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Guest post -Pam from Bookalicio.us

Hey all!
Like I said in my Blog-O-Versary post, I have a few guest posts lined up to share with you all, Today I bring to Pam from Bookalicio.us, who's going to share her thoughts on a few questions I asked her about The Vampire Daires- the TV show, not the books!

Is Damon really the bad guy he is perceived to be?
In a way, Damon seems to be learning to have more human feelings againafter a long time of living on his predator instincts. I think we will seeDamon evolve overtime into a more human conscious vampire. Will he be likeStefan? Well no, I don't think we will ever convince Damon that rabbit isthe other white meat.

WILL Jeremy become a vampire?
I really think he will decide against it at the last possible minute.

How will he adjust to it?
Assuming I am wrong and he does turn. I think Jeremy will have a hard timeadjusting to the lifestyle that most vampire lead. We can only hope Stefancan guide him.

Will he be a good one? Or a Bad one?
I really don't foresee Jeremy going all Dracula on us. I think if anythinghe will be a poorer excuse for a vampire than Stefan is. Am I the only onewaiting for Stefan to sparkle?

Chime in and let me know what your thoughts are!

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Interview with Kay Cassidy

Kay Cassidy is the author of teen fiction she wishes was based on her real life. She is the founder of the national Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM reading program for kids and teens and the host of the inspirational Living Your FiveTM web project. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, movies, music, and reading. Lots and lots of reading. She hopes her debut YA novel, THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY (April 13, 2010 - Egmont), will help girls embrace their inner Cindy.

The Cinderella Society (Synopsis):

What a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn't want to wear it anymore?
Sixteen year old Jess Parker has always been an outsider. So when she receives an invitation to join The Cinderella Society, a secret society of the most popular girls in school, it's like something out of a fairy tale. Swept up by the Cindys' magical world of makeovers, and catching the eye of her Prince Charming, Jess feels like she's finally found her chance to fit in.

Then the Wickeds--led by Jess's arch-enemy--begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers there's more to being a Cindy than reinventing yourself on the outside. She has unknowingly become part of a centuries-old battle of good vs. evil, and now the Cindys in charge need Jess for a mission that could change everything.

Overwhelmed, Jess wonders if The Cinderella Society made a mistake in choosing her. Is it a coincidence her new boyfriend doesn't want to be seen with her in public? And is this glamorous, secret life even what she wants, or will she risk her own happy ending to live up to the expectations of her new sisters?





Interview:
Mitali: You’re all about Girl Power. That’s understandable in this age. Your book has a lot in the way of boosting a girl’s morale. Why is that? Were you always sure that was the message you wanted to get across?
Kay: Absolutely. I'm a huge believer in girl empowerment (and boy empowerment too!). I was a leadership development specialist in my corporate life and am especially passionate about it when it comes to developing the next generation of leaders. The idea of a society dedicated to nurturing the next generation of female movers and shakers is one that is very close to my heart. It was so much fun bringing that to life!

Mitali: Tell me who some of your role models are. And how they’ve affected you and your thoughts and beliefs.
Kay: My mom is one of my biggest role models. She has a form of cancer that is treatable but not curable, so it's sometimes a roller coaster for her going into and coming out of remission. But she has the most amazing attitude – it's so inspiring. The Cinderella Society is dedicated to her. She is 100% Cindy.
Celebrity-wise, some of my role models are:

  • Oprah Winfrey - Wildly successful because she stays true to herself and helps other people find their joy. Gives back in so many ways.
  • Daryn Kagan - After being let go by CNN, the fabulous former anchorwoman devoted her career to sharing uplifting stories showing "What's Possible".
  • Reese Witherspoon - Able to juggle a successful career and a family while being a positive role model for girls.
  • Carrie Underwood - Amazingly talented and remarkably down to earth despite her meteoric rise to fame.
Mitali: Who would be your ideal Jess Parker?
Kay: I often do a collage of photos to get a visual image of what my characters look like. But I've never found the perfect Jess. If the book had come out five years ago, I think Danielle Panabaker would've been a brilliant Jess. But alas, we all get older as years go by. :-)

Mitali: The chemistry between Ryan Steele and Jess is off the charts. There is a certain conversation on pg 171-173 that is so hot it can burn a hole in the book. What was it like writing that particular scene?
Kay: Ahh… the IM session? That's a fun one. :-) I actually had a good time writing all of the Jess and Ryan scenes. Their chemistry was one of the things that really resonated with me because it's part attraction, part connection that's both scary and wonderful, and part insecurity because they don't know what to do with this newfound wonder.

Mitali: Where do you like writing outside of your office?
Kay: I have a couple of favorite locations. When I'm brainstorming and the weather is nice, I love to bring my plotting worksheets and a notebook out to our screened porch. I've come up with a lot of memorable ideas on that screened porch. Now that I have a fab new recliner in my office, that'll be my go-to place for brainstorming when the screened porch isn't an option. When I'm writing, it's almost always at my desk in my office. I need that focus for first drafting. When I do the full read-through of the paper version, it's always in my recliner with a colored pen handy. And when I proof, it's at my desk. I actually have to touch each word as I read because I'm famous for skipping words like the and for and when. Words that leave you going "Wait, wha?" when they're missing. :-)

Mitali: How’s the new desk working out for you?
Kay: Lovie McLovesalot! I need to finish organizing some of the last bits so I can take pictures and blog about it. But I absolutely adore the space the U-shaped desk offers. Everything is right where I am, so no more commuting back and forth between my computer desk and my executive desk on the other side of the room. LOVE. Plus, it freed up room for me to buy a new recliner for the office so it's fully self-contained now. Score!

Thank you Kay for answering my questions! I loved The Cinderella Society. It has such a powerful uplifiting message that not jsut girls but also boys can take in!

Watch out for my review!

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

1 year Blog-O-Versary!

A year ago today, I promised myself that this blog was a medium for me to share my love of reading with others. Alley of Books would be a place where I could voice my thoughts and opinions and feelings and connect with others who felt the same or differently and have 'healthy' conversations about it.

Although I may not have achieved all of what I was aiming for, I have along the way acquired some wonderful friends, made some life-long connections, read FANTABULOUS books and most of all enjoyed every moment of it. But somewhere along the way, I left you out.
This year, I promise you dear readers, to not leave you out. This year shall be more interactive.
I've found a couple of you who love reading and writing as well. A couple of you who are at the moment underage, or do not have parental permission to blog. Well, fear not, I will feature your thoughts on the books that you have enjoyed, right here on the blog!

But, on the topic of my blog-o-versary, there are some people I'd like to thank. I'm going to quickly list . And I want you to know that I'd like to thank ALL OF YOU as well for reading my blog (as far and few between the posts are).
Here we go: (In NO particular order)

· Gayle Forman
· Susane Colasanti
· Coe Booth
· David Levithan
· Khyrinthia (The Frenetic Reader)
· Khy’s Mom
· Michelle Zink
· Devyn Burton
· Zoe (Zoe’s Book Reviews)
· Heidi R. Kling
· Mitali Perkins
· Neesha Meminger
· Sharon Loves Book and Cats
· Vania (Reverie Book Reviews)
· Elyse Marshall
· Adele (Persnickety Snark)
· Suzanne Young
· Marie (NYPL Librarian/ Cupcake Witch)
· Trish Doller
· Courtney Sheinmel
· Sarah (Sarah’s Random Musings)
· Emilee (Penultimate Page)
· Korianne Wey
· Kami Garcia
· Kristi (The Story Siren)
· Margaret Stohl
· Ellen Hopkins
· Josh Berk
· Jenn Hubbard
· Lenore (Presenting Lenore)
· Steph (Reviewer X)
· Alea (Popculture Junkie)


I'm so sure there are tons of people Ihave to thank but I can't remember at the moment! like I'm sure you've had enough of my ramblings! I will be back tomorrow with a series of guest posts that some wonderful librarian/blogger friends have written!


Thank you so much for sticking with me!


Until next time,

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Teen Author Carnival

Hey all!

I'm not sure if you know about the Teen Author Carnival or not, but TAC is an event that Devyn Burton of Five Awesome YA Fans, Korianne Wey of Korianne Speaks, and I came up with last year prior to BEA.

It started with a conversation Devyn and I had via Skype which went something like this:

Devyn: We should meet with some authors for drinks. What would be a good place to meet?
Me: Um, do I need to remind you that we're just 18 and no bar is going to let us in?
Devyn: Mitali, I'm DEVYN BURTON.
(As if that was reason enough. Which is true. There is none other like Devyn Burton! I <3>
Me: How about we do something else? Meet up somewhere else?
Devyn: Like where?
Me: How should I know?
Devyn: Well you're the one who goes to NYC all the time!
(As if that automatically equates to me knowing where all the hotspots to host events are!)
Me: THE NYPL!

And that is how we ended up at the beautiful Jefferson Market Library of the NYPL with the wonderful librarians Marie and Frank to help us! They gave us a wonderful room where David Levithan hosts the Teen Author Reading Night once a month, free reign to do whatever chose our fancy.
How we ended up with over 30 authors, I know not. What happened that night? I remember not. (It was all the excitement that did it, I promise!)
However, here we are in April of 2010, BEA upon our heads in less than a month and guest what else?


YES! The Second Annual Teen Author Carnival! Details on that coming soon!

Are you going to BEA? Are you excited for it? Are you excited for NYC? Are you excited to meet all your blogger friends?

Are you excited for the Teen Author Carnival?

Let me know!

Until next time,