Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
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.
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 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.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Be sure to check out our stop on the Tell Me A Secret Virtual Tour, which is at
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
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!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
- You started watching after all the hype.
- You started mid-season. (you'd understand, but that connection would be missing).
- You just simply weren't interested.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
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
- Totally out of my comfort zone.
- It literally screams POTENTIALLY MINDBLOWING (potentially being optional).
- I FEEL compelled to read it.
- Inexplicable impulse to drop everything (even studying for finals) to read it.
- It just sounds so darn amazing!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
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.
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.
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
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.
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!!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
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.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
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
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?
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.
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
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!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
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,