Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Highway to Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Highway to Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Maggie Quinn was expecting to find plenty of trouble with Lisa over Spring Break. Give a girl a bikini, a beachfront hotel, and an absent boyfriend, and it’s as good as a road map to the dark side. But Maggie doesn’t have to go looking for trouble. Trouble has started looking for her. One dead cow and a punctured gas tank later, she and Lisa are stuck in Dulcina, Texas—a town so small that it has an owner. And lately life in this small town hasn’t been all that peaceful. An eerie predator is stalking the ranchland. Everyone in town has a theory, but not even Maggie’s psychic mojo can provide any answers. And the longer the girls are stranded, the more obvious it becomes that something is seriously wrong. Only no one—not even Maggie’s closest ally—wants to admit that they could have been forced on a detour down the highway to hell.

This is the biggest adventure of the whole trilogy and it is amazingly awesome! As always, I love the combination of humor and the supernatural. Maggie's voice is just spot-on and I love reading these books in her perspective. The mysteries of Dulcina were so much fun and intriguing to read about and really kept the pages turning. The relationship between Maggie and Justin was still so great to read about even though they were apart for most of the novel; it was cute reading their conversations and scenes together. The ending was done so well and was the most action-packed of the trilogy and I really saw it in my head like a movie. This whole series needs to be made into a movie; Hollywood, forget about Twilight and take a look at this trilogy! I really hope this isn't the last we see of Maggie Quinn, but I'm happy that I get to read another book by Rosemary soon- The Splendor Falls, which I should be reviewing soon!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In My Mailbox- Week of August 24

So since I have no money, I can't buy more batteries at the moment, and that means no vlogs for the time being. What I want to do instead is spotlight the books that I wanted to get this week and then the rest are at the end of the post with links to Amazon. Hope you all like it! :)

Confessions of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway
Morgan is so over being first daughter.

Morgan Abbott has no social life and no privacy, and her one major talent is screwing things up. Unfortunately for Morgan, every mistake makes front page headlines—because her mom is the president of the United States. To top it all off, she's been assigned a brainiac secret service agent who's barely older than she is and won't let her out of his sight (never mind that he's kind of cute). Torture!

But when her mom has to slip away on secret business and needs a decoy to cover for her, Morgan is the only one who can help. With a bit of makeup, a little ingenuity, and a lot of family resemblance, Morgan soon has everyone calling her “Madam President.” Can she pull it off? Or will she mess everything up . . . again?

The Hollow by Jessica Verday
When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead?and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Can love last beyond the grave?

Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.

Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.

Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?

Positively by Courtney Sheinmel
"When my mother died, I imagined God was thinking,'One down, and one to go.'"

Emerson Price cannot remember a time when life was ordinary. She was four years old when she and her mom were diagnosed as HIV-positive -- infected with the virus that causes AIDS -- and eight when her parents divorced. Now she is thirteen and her mother is dead. Emmy moves in with her father and stepmother, but she feels completely alone. Even though everyone has always accepted her, no one -- not her father, or stepmother, or even her best friend -- understands what it's like to have to take medicine every single day and to be so afraid of getting sick. Now Emmy misses her mom more than she ever thought she would.

When Emmy's dad and stepmother send her to Camp Positive, a camp for HIV-positive girls, Emmy is certain she is going to hate it. But soon she realizes that she is not so alone after all -- and that sometimes letting other people in can make all the difference in the world.

Author Courtney Sheinmel has written an unforgettable novel about strength and hope in the face of tragedy.

Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner
Nefertiti was far more than just a pretty face.

Nefertiti may be the dutiful daughter of a commoner, but her inquisitive mind often gets her into situations that are far from ordinary, like receiving secret lessons from a scribe. And she’s the kind of girl who acts first, and apologizes later whenever she witnesses injustice or cruelty. But she is also extraordinarily beautiful. And news of her striking beauty and impulsive behavior attracts the attention of her aunt, the manipulative Queen Tiye, who sees Nefertiti as an ideal pawn in her desire for power. Even though Nefertiti is taken from her beloved family and forced into a life filled with courtly intrigue and danger, her spirit and mind will not rest. She continues to challenge herself and the boundaries of ancient Egyptian society.

Esther Friesner offers readers another fresh new look at an iconic figure—blending historical fiction and mythology in a thrilling concoction.

Other Books:
The Other Girl: A Midvale Academy Novel by Sarah Miller
Slumdog Dreaming: Rubina's Journey to the Stars by Rubina Ali
The Magical Ms. Plum by Bonny Becker and Amy Portnoy
Catwalk: Strike a Pose by Deborah Gregory
The Fatal Child by John Dickinson

Can't wait to see what everyone else got! :) See you all next week for In My Mailbox.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fresh New Voice of YA- Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . . Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years. Or not. Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries. However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student . . . an attraction that could jeopardize everything.

Peterfreund's debut YA is a stunning overseas urban fantasy adventure and a wonderful read. The action scenes are extremely well-written and detailed and are balanced by the romance with an Italian boy and the friendships with the other female hunters that Astrid meets at the Cloisters. The story is fast-paced and hard to put down; I read 130 pages in one sitting and that's a big deal for me. The beginning hooks you and keeps the pages turning. Astrid is a wonderful, multi-layered character who is easy to relate to, despite the whole unicorn hunting thing. The ending was fantastic and leaves me wanting more, and I'm excited for the sequel.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Excerpt Vlog- Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Here is the short, cut off excerpt vlog featuring Rampant by Diana Peterfreund. I hoped that maybe I could finish the excerpt in a second vlog, but the camera cut out after 26 seconds so obviously it couldn't handle a couple extra minutes. So unfortunately, this is all you get- 5 minutes of Chapter 1. But I'll have fun links after the vlog for you to make up for it! :)

Listen to Diana read an excerpt from Rampant (a different, much more exciting excerpt!) here and you can check out the first five chapters at Harper's site! Woo!

Then after you've done all that, go buy the book! The cover alone is worth the price!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fresh New Voice of YA- As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce
Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes. Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.

Pearce's debut is an extremely cute and compelling read. I read this in three days (was also reading two other books at the same time) and loved every minute of it. It's a fresh take on the paranormal genre, dealing with a genie rather than vampires, werewolves, or fae. What I also really liked was how Pearce did the chapters- going back and forth between Viola and Jinn's perspectives. It was great seeing them through each other's eyes and how they both fell in love with each other. The characters were all fleshed out and written well. I loved the humor in this book too, particularly around page 50 where Jinn reveals that he gave Keanu Reeves fame- I laughed out loud reading that whole scene. And of course I loved Lawrence, the gay best friend/ex-boyfriend, as I always do whenever a gay person is around in a book; he was a great friend to Viola and was just all-around awesome. I kinda want to be his boyfriend- Jackson, could we work something out? :P Anyway, the ending was great, and had me smiling like a loon. A highly recommended read!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fresh New Voice of YA- Diana Peterfreund interview

1) How did you get the idea for Rampant?

One day I thought I heard someone on TV say something about a unicorn hunter (they almost certainly did not). A short while later, I had a dream that I was being chased by a killer unicorn. I woke up and was totally weirded out by that -- after all, everyone knows that unicorns are very sweet and gentle. Except, when I went online and started looking stuff up to see what my dream meant, I discovered there was this whole side to the unicorn legend that I knew nothing about -- that there were once myths about very dangerous, man-eating unicorns. But no one was writing books about those.

Yet. That was a challenge I certainly couldn't resist! I threw myself into research: reading medieval bestiaries, lives of saints, ancient Greek histories. I traveled to England and Rome, watched videos of wild animals, climbed into Etruscan tombs, learned how to shoot a bow and arrow... the list goes on and on. Out of that came my book.

2) According to your online bio, you volunteer for the National Zoo in DC. How did you get involved with that, and what do you do there? Do you have any fun anecdotes to tell?

Soon after I quit my office job to write full time, I realized that all work at home and no interaction with other people made Diana a very dull girl. I'd always loved the zoo and one day I was there visiting and saw a sign at the small mammal house that they were looking for volunteers. Sounded perfect for me. I was already a FONZ (that's "Friend of the National Zoo") so this was just taking it a step further.

The program I volunteer with is the Free-Ranging Golden Lion Tamarins. Every summer, they release a family of tamarins, these adorable little golden Brazilian monkeys, into the trees in the zoo. Volunteers watch them to make sure they aren't getting into too much trouble (wandering into the elephant enclosure, harassing the wild squirrels with whom they have an ongoing turf war, eating gum, running from hawks) and talking to zoo visitors about the program. The most common question, of course, is why they don't run away from the zoo. But as it turns out, these monkeys are extremely territorial. They have a "nest box" that they sleep in and like to stay pretty close to their home and food source. What they don't like is any squirrels, chipmunks, or even deer that get in their way!

They are also some of the most dedicated families I've ever seen. The patriarch of the family I watched, Eduardo, was born in DC and is one of the best dads! He carries his kids around on his back, leaping from treetop to treetop with them. He spends hours every day grooming them and watching them play. His mate, Laranja (who, sadly, passed away in childbirth a few months ago), was a mail-order bride for him from Pennsylvania. She was a very beautiful, deep orange monkey. (Mostly because Eduardo groomed her a lot too, and her coat was very thick and glossy.) While he watched the kids, she liked to climb to the top of the trees and let out "long calls," which are what you think of when you think of monkey sounds, and which are territorial warning signals.

Unfortunately, the program is currently on hiatus as they're doing construction at the elephant enclosure right next door to the woods where we keep the animals. So the monkeys are stuck inside this summer. :-(

Golden Lion Tamarins are what they call a flagship species in the conservation movement in Brazil. Since a big part of my book has to deal with conservation and animal behavior -- even if it's of a very, very different kind of animal -- I've learned a ton about how one goes about designating an animal as endangered or providing it with protective legislation, as well as a ton about monitoring animal behavior.

3) What's your writing process like? Tell us about a normal day for you.

Even after six contracted books, I find it's something I'm still discovering. There's an old writer's adage that says writing a book only teaches you how to write THAT book. My process is one that evolves with every book. One thing I've decided though is that I'm much better as a morning writer. I get my best work done before the day really starts and my head gets filled up with distractions.

I'm a plotter. Prior to starting my books, I like to work out a loose synopsis of what's going to happen. I focus on big turning points for the characters, their motivations and pivotal scenes. then I put that aside and start writing the book. I only refer to the synopsis if I get stuck. My books tend to stick pretty close to this synopsis though, because even if the exact scenes aren't the same, the characters grow and change in the same manner. A big revelation scene might just happen in a different spot than I'd planned. I tend to think of my synopses as a roadmap -- I make take detours, but the destination is pretty much the same.

I find that my first drafts turn out much more cleanly this way, because I've often worked out problem spots before I start writing. I still do a lot of editing, make wrong turns, etc., but this process works well for me.

4) What book(s) are you working on now? Can you tell us anything about it?

Right now I'm working on the sequel to RAMPANT. It's a direct sequel, with the same narrator, Astrid, and it picks up where the first book left off. RAMPANT is set primarily in Italy, but a lot of the action in the sequel will take place in France. The sequel explores more deeply the question of conservation and the complex nature of the hunters' relationship with unicorns. Also, new romances. We don't have a title
yet, but the book should be out in fall of 2010.

5) What brought you to the YA genre? Have you always been a fan, or are you still fairly new to it all?

I've always been a fan. All my life, I've read my favorite children's and YA novels, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Anne of Green Gables series, The Phantom Tollbooth, and some of the selected works of Christopher Pike over and over again. In college, when I was completely burned out from reading my course texts, I turned to Harry Potter, which was just starting to get humongously popular.

When my agent sold my first novel, Secret Society Girl, back in 2005, there was a question about whether it was going to be published as an adult book or as a YA novel, since both adult and YA publishers bid on it in the auction. In the end, it was an adult house that published it here in North America, though I believed it is published as YA in some places overseas. Part of the reasoning is that the protagonist of that series is not a teen. She's 21, which is older than most main characters of teen fiction. The Secret Society Girl series has always enjoyed a large teen audience and the first book was even nominated for the New York Public Library's Books for the Teen Age list.

The question of how something is published has an awful lot to do with what's hot in the book market. When I sold Secret Society Girl, chick lit was hot and PREP, by Curtis Sittenfeld, was an adult book about a teenager that was burning up the bestseller lists. Now, YA is hugely hot, so books that were even previously published as adult novels are being repackaged for teens. One example is Elphame's Choice, by PC Cast.

Anyway, after the close call with Secret Society Girl, I was really dying to write a true YA novel with a teenage protagonist. I started Rampant for NANOWRIMO in 2005. Because of my commitments to the Secret Society Girl series and the intensive research required for Rampant, it took a few years to develop the world and write the book. I can't wait for it to finally be out in the world. Yay, killer unicorns!

6) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor?

Depends on my mood. For Jelly Belly specifically, toasted marshmallow, but that's because any old jelly bean company makes cherry.

7) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start?

Hee. At the risk of making everyone jealous, I'm reading the draft of Carrie Ryan's third book set in her Forest of Hands and Teeth world. I'm also reading LEVIATHAN, by Scott Westerfeld, and GOING BOVINE, by Libba Bray. I'm so pleased that the world at large is about to discover how phenomenally hilarious Libba Bray is. I also just finished a new book out from the adult non-fiction arm of my publisher, Harper Collins. It's called A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE UNICORN, by Chris Lavers, and it's on
shelves the same day as RAMPANT, which I think must be fate. Reading it is downright eerie. It's like reading through a nicely bound, extensively footnoted copy of my own research notes. I guess now unicorns are hot!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fresh New Voice of YA- As You Wish Excerpt Vlog

Hey everyone, here's the As You Wish excerpt vlog. Due to some scheduling issues, there won't be any guest blogs this week, so the excerpt vlogs and reviews will be divided up. The same thing will happen in September, so let me know what you all think of the new format.

Hope you all enjoy it! Tomorrow, there will be an interview posted with Diana Peterfreund, author of Rampant. So be on the lookout for that!

Also, both As You Wish and Rampant come out today, so check your local bookstore for copies!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fresh New Voice of YA- Jackson Pearce interview

1) How did you get the idea for As You Wish?

I really don't know that I can pinpoint the exact moment I got the idea; I just knew that I realized jinn weren't being used in YA, and thought that was a shame-- they're so cool! And then I started thinking about the master/servant relationship, and how love would impact that...and there you go!

2) You've been blogging for several years now and have been writing posts and doing vlogs about every step in your publishing process. What made you decide to do this, and has it helped in letting it all sink in and seem real to you?

I've been blogging long before I got into the writing industry. It's always been an outlet, a way to write something and let others know what I'm up to. I simply continued doing it when I stepped into the professional writing world. I try to be honest and realistic on my blog-- I want people to know that selling a book doesn't suddenly make the act of writing easier, and that I still have insecurities even though I'm very happy with where I'm at. I try to make helpful (and funny) vlogs to share things I wish I'd known when I started writing-- and to help people take the whole "writer/blogger" thing a little less seriously. I never thought about blogging/vlogging making things "sink in" a little more, but I guess in a way it has!

3) What are you working on now? Can you tell us anything about it?

I'm currently finishing up SWEETLY, a retelling of Hansel and Gretal which is a companion book to SISTERS RED. It's been a tough book to write, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. After that I'm working on touching up a contemporary YA piece, and then a secret historical project.

4) What brought you to the YA genre? Have you always been a fan or are you still pretty new to it all?

I've always been a YA fan-- in fact, I don't really read adult books. YA is adventurous and exciting and brazen and adult books just don't scream "read me!" like YA does. To me, anyway.

5) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor?

I like the red. Except the cinnamon-type reds. But those various berry flavored reds, those I love.

6) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start?

I just finished WINTERGIRLS a few days ago, and am FINALLY about to start HUNGER GAMES. I know, I know, I'm the last person on the planet who hasn't read it...*fails at life* But I'm reading it now! Hurrah!

7) Lawrence breaks up with Viola because he realized that he was gay. Has this ever happened to you? If so, did you draw on your own experience to add to Viola's? Was there a particular reason why you made that the reason for their breakup?

I actually did date a guy who ended up being gay in high school. I made Lawrence's realization of his sexuality the catalyst for their breakup because it's SO final. I mean, no matter HOW Viola dresses, acts, laughs, IS, she can never, ever be what he wants. That's pretty intense, and also a reason out of Lawrence and Viola's control! I think I drew on my own experience to create the frustration Viola feels, but I will say her relationship with Lawrence is much better/healthier than the relationship I had with my gay ex (nothing to do with him being gay-- it's just, as it turns out, he was a serious ass). :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

In My Mailbox- Week of August 17

No vlog this week. Too many repeats, not enough books. Also, didn't have the place to myself today really, so wasn't able to do one, lol. But I'll hopefully do one next week. :)

Books I Got this week:
Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
Once A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
Ghost Huntress: The Guidance by Marley Gibson
Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis

Was very excited for Once A Witch. I love books about witches and I can't wait to read this one. It looks very good. Can't wait to see what everyone else got in theirs! :)

Alright, so I saw Kristi's post and she put up bloopers instead of her IMM this week, so I decided to put up an alternative vlog. Yes, I am finally putting up the first of four vlogs in which I answer questions from Ask Book Chic way back when in November 2008. And these were recorded in early May 2009, so it's been a LOOOONG time. But whatever, the answers are still probably the same, lol. Here ya go:

Hope you all enjoyed it. And if you have any questions for future Ask Book Chics, feel free to leave them in the comments. And now since I'm in Seven Book Babes, I could answer a few questions during those vlogs. :)

Traveling to Teens Tour- Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish — only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary "gifts." But as the students claw their way up — reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty — they start to suffer the sideeffects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

Another Faust is a true page-turner and a great contemporary update to a classic story. The Nayeris have done a fantastic job crafting this story, making the prose compelling and dark, and the characters are all three-dimensional (at least until their desires consume them). This book is just such a wonderful, dark, cautionary tale and I would seriously recommend it to pretty much anyone. The ending had me on the edge of my seat and my heart racing- I couldn't have seen it coming how the book ended, but it felt so right. Simply a really great debut novel! Can't wait to read more from these two.

Interview with Daniel and Dina Nayeri
(Photo helpfully resized by Kelsey)

1. What was it like working together, being brother and sister? Was there a lot of bickering and the usual sibling problems during the writing process?

Well, we’re brother and sister, so yeah, there was a lot of fighting. We both have very strong personalities, and we think differently. Dina’s more of a planner, Daniel’s more spontaneous. So we just learned to work together. The thing about being siblings is that you just can’t dump the other one, so you have to work it out! Here’s a video of one of our arguments though (I think this was the moment right before I may or may not have dropped Daniel’s toothbrush in the toilet.)

2. With the title "Another Faust" and with the summary, there's an obvious connection to the original tale of Faust. How much did you look toward the original tale for inspiration, if at all?

We did read the original works (and we’ve both studied them in college, especially Daniel), but with “Another Series” we want to focus each retelling on the main theme of the original work, while attaching our own plot and characters. So the main source of our inspiration (within Marlowe’s or Goethe’s Faust) was the concept and the less tangible features, rather than the plot.

3. Will you two continue to work together, or do you plan on doing separate books after this? Or maybe even both?

Both! The second book in Another Series (Another Pan) is being edited right now and we’re talking about future books in this series, and a new series as well. Plus we’re both working on our own individual books.

4. What brought you two to the YA genre? Have you both always been fans of it, or are you still new to it?

We’ve both read and loved many YA books and it seemed natural to us to write a book in a genre that fascinated us so much growing up (and even as adults). But more importantly, when the idea for Another Faust came to us, we realized that given our teenage characters and fantasy plot, YA was exactly the right place for it. Teenagers have a kind of imagination and ability to suspend disbelief that many adults don’t, and so it’s much more fun to write YA!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

First before we get to the review, go read my guest blog on Lee Verday's (husband of Jessica Verday, author of The Hollow) blog that he posted yesterday and leave a comment. As you all should know by now, I LOVE getting comments. They make me happy and I need happy in my life since I don't have money. I wish there were a way to make happy into money...

Anyway, I also want to point out two new blogs on the scene! Reggie with The Undercover Book Lover and Scarlett with Scarlett From the Heart- go check them both out and follow their great blogs!

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeenyear- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

Yes, another book it has taken way too long to get around to. Everyone's reviews about this book are right- this is an amazing book. Forman does an excellent job writing about how Mia deals with her death and having to choose between staying or moving on. It's a powerful story that pulls you along and keeps you turning pages. I really enjoyed how Forman went back and forth between the present day and flashbacks where we learn about Mia's family, boyfriend, and friends and of course more about Mia herself. One of the things that bugged me about the book had more to do with a real-life policy than anything Forman did. I got so PO'd reading about how only immediate family are let in to see the patient; that has got to be the stupidest policy in the world. Is your immediate family the only people in the world who love you? Certainly not- you've got friends, a partner, etc. and they should be allowed to see you as well. It makes no sense to keep them out. Anyway, rant over, lol. This is a highly recommended book that deserves all the praise it gets.

From Gayle Forman: "About hospital policy...it's an ICU thing. Many hospitals--not all, but definitely the ones I've visited-- restrict who can visit the ICU, in particular. And obviously, for the sake of this narrative, Mia's hospital had to be one of the hardass hospitals. It sort of makes sense. ICUs are pretty intense places and they don't want crowds in there. Of course, in MIa's case, it doesn't make sense at all."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Triple Shot Bettys in Love by Jody Gehrman

Hey, why has no one commented on my guest blog for the Word Ninjas? Don't you all love me? Don't you all at least love the Word Ninjas? I mean, they're NINJAS! FOR WORDS! How awesome is that? So go read and comment on my guest blog! I am such an attention whore, lol.

But anyway, back to the point of this post- a (poorly written) review of Jody Gehrman's latest YA novel (which came out back in January and I am just now getting around to; very sorry about the delay!!).

Triple Shot Bettys in Love by Jody Gehrman
Geena is freaking out. She’s been going out with Ben for five months, their relationship is comfortable and perfect, and then Bam! he’s suddenly putting the pressure on to be way more physical. She’s not sure she’s ready. Enter Mr. Rex Sands, Geena’s delectably hot and brilliant English substitute teacher (he speaks to her soul!), on whom her best friend Amber develops an immediate crush when he stops by the Triple Shot Betty coffee shack. Amber needs Geena’s help talking to him because he is such an intellectual, so Geena finds herself writing love notes, MySpace messages, and texts to Mr. Sands under Amber’s name. And he writes back! Geena is just doing it all for Amber (sort of), so it’s not technically cheating on Ben . . . right? In this romantic and playful update of Cyrano de Bergerac, Jody Gehrman reintroduces readers to Geena, Amber, and the Sonoma gang as they walk the rocky and confusing path toward true love. (from Amazon.com)

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was so excited to read this one. I flew right through it because of Gehrman's breezy prose and tone. I really liked seeing two love triangles going on and how that affected the various relationships between the characters. Aside from the romance, the novel is also very hilarious and had me laughing throughout reading it. The characters are absolutely so much fun to read about and are really relatable. Though it doesn't take place in the summer, this is still a wonderful summer read! Another great book from Jody Gehrman!