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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Author Interview- Meg Cabot + Contest

1. You’ve always got some great recommendations on your blog for books, movies, and music. What are some of your current recommendations?

Oh, wow. There’s just so much great stuff. What I’m loving right now are all the memoirs! Sarah Silverman’s The Bed Wetter, Molly Ringwald’s Getting the Pretty Back. Even Susan Juby has a memoir out, Nice Recovery, about her recovery from teen alcoholism! Who knew? I didn’t think anything could make me love Susan Juby more, but this book does. It’s brilliant, just like Susan.

2. With the Airhead series wrapping up this month and Allie Finkle with its 6th and final book coming out this fall, what are you working on now?

My first book for adult readers in a while, Insatiable, comes out June 8. So I’m doing a lot of promo for that, including setting up a cool new webpage with a lot of extras—a playlist, deleted scenes, maps, wallpaper, FAQs, maybe even something called the Contessa’s Closet . . . I can’t tell you more or I’ll spoil it!—that will be up soon (http://www.megcabot.com/insatiable/).

A lot more back-story went into this novel than any book I’ve ever written (including about 100 pages on the heroine’s prom night alone that never made it anywhere near the final manuscript, since it’s not a YA, and the heroine’s firmly in her late twenties)!

I’m also starting a new YA series, Abandon. Like Insatiable, there’s a lot of world building going on for that.

But Abandon won’t be out for another year, so there’s not a lot of point in discussing that one yet.
So, I’m keeping quite busy!

3. You recently stated on your blog that Avalon High is to be made into a Disney Channel movie this fall. Several of your other books and series have been optioned. Do you have any updates on those yet?
You know, there’s a lot going on, but nothing I’m at liberty to discuss right now. I’m just really excited about it all! I wish I could say more.

(Note from Book Chic: Cast list has been released here.

4. With your next book, Insatiable (which I absolutely loved), you take on the world of vampires, which is huge right now and many authors are putting their own spin on it. What prompted you to write this, especially since you’ve said before that vampires are icky? What sets your book apart from the other vampire novels?

Well, for one thing, I got an idea for a story about vampires, which I didn’t have before. It’s actually based on something that happened to me (not the whole, “My editor made me write a vampire book and I didn’t want to,” which is obviously a joke). Readers can find out about it when the Insatiable page has its redesign. All I can say for now is that it’s all the fault of this dog:

It’s true I’m not wild about vampires . . . but as your readers know, I love pop culture. And vampire stories have been around (and part of popular culture) for millennia. As I keep telling people, the ancient Greeks, the Romans, and the Hebrews all told stories about demonic creatures who fed on the blood of the living. Vampires aren’t just a trend . . . they’re a tradition!
Just to remind everyone, the first rich, sexy vampire (who was irresistible to women, but sadly preferred to dine on virgin blood) appeared in print as far back as 1819— (“The Vampyr: A Tale,” written by Lord Byron’s doctor, John Polidori)!

Then in 1897, a little-known theatre manager slash pulp fiction author named Abraham (Bram) Stoker wrote the most famous vampire novel of all time, Dracula. Told in epistolary format, it’s basically a collection of letters written back and forth between Jonathan Harker and his wife, Mina, about the strange things that start happening to them when Count Dracula, a wealthy Romanian, decided to buy an estate in England.

Stoker’s protagonist, Mina Harker, was the first feminist of vampire fiction. Mina was talented and ambitious . . . a schoolmistress and a writer! Much of Dracula is told through Mina’s letters and journal entries.

But Mina doesn’t just write about vampires: she battles them! Along with her husband, Mina joins Abraham Van Helsing and his team to destroy Dracula, risking her own life in the process. You could even say Mina Harker was a predecessor to Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I never missed an episode).

Buffy’s true love was a brooding vampire named Angel who, thanks to a gypsy curse, had regained the soul he’d lost when he’d turned into a vampire.

But Buffy and Angel couldn’t consummate their relationship, because every time Angel had one true moment of happiness (sex with Buffy, of course) he lost his soul and became evil again, threatening to destroy Sunnyvale.

So it was splitsville for Buffy and Angel, leading Buffy to date a whole host of other inappropriate men, some of whom were even human.

Tough women like Buffy, who have to choose between love and duty, are direct descendents of the literary tradition that began with Dracula.

So, back to the original question: Why write a vampire novel? Well, like I said, I got an idea for one.

And then I got excited. What did I as a storyteller have to bring to an ages-old tradition that’s always struck a chord with popular culture?

Well, I knew I wanted to bring back all those great original vampire myths from the Romantic period, as well as old school vampires.

But I also wanted to bring back strong, confident heroines like Mina (not to mention Buffy!) who battle against them, women who aren’t virgins waiting around to be rescued: They’re too busy saving the world.

So . . . that’s what I did. With a Meg Cabot twist, of course.

5. I usually ask authors what their favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor is, however I believe I’ve asked you it before. So instead, what’s your favorite snack to have while writing?

I switch back and forth all the time. But right now it’s M&Ms.

6. Time for some celebrity questions since I know you love talking about them. Are you excited about the sixth season of Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List? What did you think of the last one? Did you see Kathy on Law and Order: SVU last month, and did you love it? Also, what do you think about Betty White hosting SNL for Mother’s Day? Christina Aguilera’s newest single “Not Myself Tonight” just came out- what do you think about it? Are you excited for her new album?

I would just like to point out that when I was in LA I stayed in the exact same hotel where Kathy Griffin had her poolside PAP smear. I can’t believe I missed her by ONE DAY.

I’m super excited about Betty, Xtina, everyone. I just wish I didn’t have as much work to do! Although I’m just as excited about my work as I am about all these upcoming events and releases!

7) You were recently named as Stark Megastore’s spokesperson and have filmed some video ads for them. How did it feel being named as their new spokesperson? Was the video shoot fun?

I had really mixed feelings about all that. As you know, Stark lied to us. So, when I was first named corporate spokesperson, I was so excited.

But then when it turned out—well, you can find out by reading Runaway!

Ha, no, it was so fun. My editor Abby, her assistant Zack, my publicist Charisse, and everyone at Scholastic who helped put the videos together were super amazing.

Stay tuned for some book trailers for Insatiable, too. I would like to assure your readers in advance that yes, my wardrobe was ruined. And yes, that’s fake blood.

8) You’ve done quite a few videos with your friend and fellow author Michele Jaffe dispensing advice to readers after having done it via just regular blog entries for a bit. It’s been a while since any have been posted. Do you plan on doing any more, or are you both too busy? What prompted the switch from blogs to vlogs?

You know, it’s tough because I spend most of my time in Florida and she’s in NYC and Vegas. We’ve been popping back and forth but usually we’re having too much fun to get serious and spend a day filming.

We’re totally going to make more someday, though!

And look out for Michele’s new book Rosebush. Kind of like Insatiable, it’s a total departure from what Michele has done in the past. And it’s amazing.

Even though it doesn’t have any vampires ;-) I don’t think Michele is ruling them out for the future though!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Meg!! And I've got an extra copy of Runaway, her latest YA title, to give away as well as some fun Insatiable swag! All you have to do is leave a comment telling me your favorite Meg Cabot book and why it's your favorite or why you're excited for any of Meg's future books (Insatiable, final Allie Finkle book, Abandon). You can also get an extra entry by commenting on my Insatiable review that will be posted later this week; the comment has to be a substantial comment too with some thoughts or it won't be counted. This contest will stay open until June 19, 2010 at 9pm EST. The winner will be notified shortly after. This is North America only! Sorry international readers!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In My Mailbox- Week of May 24

Two vlogs this week because of batteries running out during first one. All of these books are from BEA- total of 53 received. Hope you all enjoy!

Full list to come later- at least if people want it. Am too tired to do it now. Heading to bed now- NYC and BEA have tired me out. Recaps to come this week!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So um yeah...

Apparently wifi costs money, so Susan and I are sharing her computer which means that I can't write long blog posts about my travails through NYC, sooo I'll just be writing them on my computer and posting them when I get back.

But know that I'm having an awesome time meeting up with other bloggers and authors, and getting fun ARCs!! Last night at Teen Author Carnival, I got The DUFF by Kody Keplinger, Trance by Linda Gerber, and Fixing Delilah Hanniford by Sarah Ockler. YAY!!

Anyway, must be off. Later!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

In My Mailbox- Week of May 17 + Retrospective

Just a picture this week as I didn't get much this week, which is fine considering how many books I'll be getting next week at BEA, lol. Which reminds me, while I'm at BEA, I'm going to do my best to blog a bit at the end of each day and upload some photos and whatnot of my trip to NYC and BEA so all my readers (at least those not going to BEA) can see what's going on. Nothing else is scheduled this week, so let's hope I'm able to blog a bit.

Books Shown:

The Sons of Liberty by Alexander and Joseph Lagos
Runaway by Meg Cabot
The Mosts by Melissa Senate
The Outer Banks House by Diann Ducharme


Monday- I interviewed Tara Kelly, author of Harmonic Feedback.

Tuesday- I read an excerpt from Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony.

Wednesday- I reviewed Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly, which will be released May 25.

Thursday- I interviewed Joelle Anthony, author of Restoring Harmony.

Friday- I read an excerpt from Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly.

Saturday- I reviewed Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony, which is out in stores now.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fresh New Voice of YA- Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
"The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities.

Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help."- summary from Amazon

I haven't read many dystopian novels, but I feel like I need to read more because the plots are always so interesting. It's a bit weird too to see how our world could turn out in the not-too-distant future. Anthony has a wonderful voice and Molly's journey is a really interesting and occasionally fast-paced story.

I really enjoyed the romance in the book, though it's just a fairly minor thing. It builds up slowly and realistically and ends on a happy note. I liked the idea of a group (sorta mafia-like) be in charge of the town and keep an eye on who does what and who gets what. The suspense in having to get away from them keeps the pages turning and is such an interesting addition.

Seeing that Molly had a hobby too that was used a lot made the character more realistic. Being in this sort of world where you don't have much, you put so much into one thing that makes you happy and it was nice to see that in Molly. You also don't see the fiddle much anywhere, so it was cool to have that be her instrument of choice.

Overall, this is a fantastic debut that I suggest you all pick up!

FTC: Received book from Around the World tours. Link above is Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fresh New Voice of YA- Harmonic Feedback Excerpt Vlog

Here's my excerpt vlog for Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly. Hope you all enjoy it!

Harmonic Feedback will be out in stores on May 25, so be sure to go grab a copy!

Also, check out all the other wonderful posts this week and leave some comments!! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fresh New Voice of YA- Joelle Anthony Interview

1)How did you get the idea for Restoring Harmony?

Tim Wynne Jones, a Canadian children’s author, just told me that when he’s asked that question, he always answers, “I got it at the Idea Store.” He thought he was being quite clever until a child said, “Oh, I’ve been there. They have all kinds of furniture and cool stuff!” Of course, he meant Ikea.

In a way, the world around us is an idea store though. If you just pay attention, anything can spark a story. My husband saw an article on the end of oil posted on a community bulletin board when we were on our honeymoon and our discussion and a bit of research after that got me going on Restoring Harmony.

2) What was The Call like? Tell us all about it!

My manuscript had been out on submission for almost three months (summer is really slow) and I’m very patient, so honestly, I hadn’t thought about it too much. I knew my agent would call if he had news, so there wasn’t any point in asking him about it. My agent likes to surprise his clients, so he hadn’t hinted that he’d be calling or anything, even though he knew ahead of time he was going to get an offer from Putnam. I am a very bubbly happy person and so is my agent so usually our phone calls are filled with laughter and jokes, but this time, he was the only bubbly one. I was totally in shock. He even emailed me afterwards and asked if I was okay because I’d been so quiet. By then I was skipping up and down the porch and jumping up and down though, so I was able to reassure him!

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

I’ve just handed in my second book. It’s called The Right & the Real. It’s about a girl whose father gets involved in a cult and when she won’t join with him, he kicks her out on the street. She doesn’t have any adults in her life she can rely on, and she’s afraid her friends will tell their parents, so she tries to hold her life together as best as she can and keep everyone from finding out.

We still have all the editing to do so I don’t think it will be out until sometime in 2012. I’ll probably start something new to work on in the meantime and to do between rounds of editing, but I’m not really sure what that project is yet.

4) Have you always been a fan of YA, or are you still new to it all?

I have always read YA and it’s always been my favourite genre. I even read it when I was an actor and before I started writing. That’s how I knew without question what I wanted to write.

5) What book(s) are you reading now?

I’m rereading my childhood favourites, The Children of Green Knowe series by L.M. Boston. The librarian suggested them and I got all excited because I haven’t read them in about thirty years. They’re so good at any age.

6) What's your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor?

Something sour…like lemon or green apple. I can’t actually remember the last time I had one though because I’m not that into candy that leaves a sugary aftertaste and jellybeans definitely do.

7) You used to be an actor playing bit parts in movies. Did you enjoy doing that? What prompted the career change? Do you still do any acting on the side?

Being in the movies isn’t nearly as glamorous as it seems. In fact, it’s a real drag. You sit around a lot and usually you’re freezing or really hot or super hungry. I think some actors feel like when they hit it big, it will get better, but honestly, every time I looked at the stars they were either freezing or hot or hungry and mostly standing around too! Theatre, I love though. I was in a production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding for ten months (200 performances) and I loved every single show and would do it again in a heartbeat!

The main reason I gave up acting is because you have to do so much crap…be a hand in a commercial, wear a clown suit for a used car dealership (I never did that), it’s just sad. If I could act all the time, it would be different, but even in theatre, you often have to play roles that don’t interest you. I prefer to write because I can choose my projects and I don’t have to leave the house.

As strange as it might seem, one of Canada’s most celebrated actors, Antony Holland, lives here on our tiny island and has a small theatre. I’ve done a one woman show there that his wife directed, and I hope to do some more in the fall. It’s great fun because I am doing it for the love of theatre. My husband also used to do a bit of professional acting, so we’re hoping to do a show together at Antony’s theatre sometime.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fresh New Voice of YA- Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
"Sixteen-year-old, music- and sound design-obsessed Drea doesn’t have friends. She has, as she’s often reminded, issues. Drea’s mom and a rotating band of psychiatrists have settled on “a touch of Asperger’s.”

Having just moved to the latest in a string of new towns, Drea meets two other outsiders. And Naomi and Justin seem to actually like Drea. The three of them form a band after an impromptu, Portishead-comparison-worthy jam after school. Justin swiftly challenges not only Drea’s preference for Poe over Black Lab but also her perceived inability to connect with another person. Justin, against all odds, may even like like Drea.

It’s obvious that Drea can’t hide behind her sound equipment anymore. But just when she’s found not one but two true friends, can she stand to lose one of them?"- summary from Amazon

This was a wonderful debut. I enjoyed the small look into the little-known world of Asperger's. Drea is a really compelling character that I loved reading about, and the whole cast of characters shines. Kelly's writing is lyrical and flows easily. I liked reading about the formation of the band and their practices; music is something that doesn't seem to be touched on much in YA and I really liked the addition of it. It was really interesting to read about Drea's sound equipment and how she put together tracks.

The romance was predictable, but still very fun to read; what was good about it is that it was realistic. The connection is developed over time and not rushed at all, mainly due to Drea's social awkwardness. The ending was unpredictable and was a surprise (at least to me), but made sense in the grand scheme of things. I'm excited to read more from Kelly. Definitely a debut to check out!

FTC: Received book from Around the World tours. Link above is Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fresh New Voice of YA- Restoring Harmony Excerpt Vlog

Here's the excerpt vlog for Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony! Hope you all enjoy!

Restoring Harmony is out in stores now! Go grab a copy!!

Also, be sure to check out my interview with the other Fresh New Voice of YA this month, Tara Kelly, from yesterday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fresh New Voice of YA- Tara Kelly Interview

1) How did you get the idea for Harmonic Feedback?

Harmonic Feedback wasn't so much an idea as a character I couldn't get out of my head. Having some socially-unusual people in my family (including myself), I've always wanted to write from the POV of a character who sees the world a little differently. And Drea fit that bill perfectly..she just has a voice that demands to be heard. The majority of my story ideas start with characters first, plot later . Which isn't always ideal, but I can't fight what works for me!

2) What was The Call like? Tell us all about it!

Ha--that's a funny story.

Well, first I woke up to an email from my agent, saying something like...we have an offer, here's what it is, call me...NOW. But my agent called before I could pick up the phone *grin* and said my editor, Kate Farrell, LOVES Harmonic Feedback--so much she had her boss read it overnight and she's making an offer on her day off. Which was amazing, surreal, and just many emotions I can't describe.

But that's not the funny part. Kate called later on--right as I was getting out of the shower. And the first thing she said was--is this a good time to talk? And of course I was still in shock and totally nervous...so I blurt out--oh, I just got out of the shower. But it's okay, I have a towel on.

Yes, headbanging moment. But Kate just laughed it off and we had an awesome conversation about the book. I think I spent the next week walking around in a daze...

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

My next book, C-Side Tales, comes out next year, and I'm very excited about it. Harmonic Feedback deals with music, obviously, but C-Side focuses solely on what it's like to be a band in today's music world--which has changed significantly in the last ten years. To steal my agent's summary--the story revolves around a 17-year-old girl who has to battle wicked stage fright (and a crush on the superhot bass player) to convince the members of her new band that she can hack it as their lead guitarist.

The other book I'm working on is called Nyx & Thor. Told in alternating points of view, it's a love story about two Vegas teens--a bully and the girl he torments.

4) Have you always been a fan of YA, or are you still new to it all?

Yes! I got hooked on Christopher Pike novels in junior high and never really stopped enjoying YA. Even as a teen, I knew I wanted to write for teens. I even saved all my old stories, journal entries, and notes passed back and forth in class so I wouldn't forget what it was like to be a teen :)

5) What book(s) are you reading now?

Right this second I'm finishing up Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves, which has been a wild and crazy ride. I'm in love with the MC--she's unique, insane, and lovable at the same time.

6) What's your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor?

Wow, it's been years since I've had jelly beans. But I know I enjoyed the pineapple. I'm pretty much obsessed with pineapples...

7) In both your life and your book, music and movies play a huge part. What about those fields fascinates you, and do any of the skills involved cross over to your writing?

I think it's safe to say art fascinates me. I was born to be an artist, really. I even love the mediums I'm terrible at--like drawing or painting (although I'm not half bad with charcoal). Probably because it's messy--I'm good at being messy :) Honestly, I'd be bored just doing one type of art...I crave and need variety. I also love challenging myself. Although, I have to say music and writing are my two biggest loves. I can't do one without the other. So, yes, my other skills definitely cross over into my writing. Art has been a huge part of ALL my books so far.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

In My Mailbox- Week of May 10 + Retrospective

Here's this week's vlog. Hope you all enjoy it! It's pretty short considering all the stuff I talk about in it.

Books Shown (too lazy to do links):

Numbers by Rachel Ward
You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Lifted by Wendy Toliver
One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt
The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan
Sincerely, Sophie/Sincerely, Katie by Courtney Sheinmel
The Deathday Letter by Shaun Hutchinson
White Cat by Holly Black
Sleepless by Cyn Balog
The Beautiful Between by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas
My Fake Boyfriend Is Better Than Yours by Kristina Springer
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Darklight by Lesley Livingston
Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
Folly by Marthe Jocelyn
The Fire Opal by Regina McBride
Daria: The Complete Animated Series DVD

Now, for the retrospective:

Monday- I reviewed Runaway by Meg Cabot, the final book in the Airhead series

Wednesday- I posted the third edition of Ask Book Chic, which will be the last one until June.

Please comment on both and send me questions that I can use in future Ask Book Chic editions!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ask Book Chic (3)

Time for the third installment of Ask Book Chic!! You can leave questions in the comments below or email me and I'll answer them in a future installment. Questions can be about anything at all- personal, blog-related, writing-related, whatever crosses your mind. Anyway, let's get to the questions!

Katie asks "Have you read any debut novels this year and if so, which one would you recommend to everyone else? There are so many coming out this year that I just don't know which ones I should read. =]"

I've read a lot of debut novels so far this year and actually feature two debut authors each month. I don't even know where to start; there's a ton that are really amazing. I'll try to narrow it down to just a couple.

1) Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey- Yes, a paranormal, BUT it's really cool and features new creatures. I also loved the connection with Maori folklore, and the fact that it takes place in New Zealand. Plus, it's got a hot romance. Definitely one to check out.

2) Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White- This is under a new term called "magical realism" (at least, I think that's what Amy called it, lol). It's very much in the real world and deals with real world problems, but it has a slight magical tint to it. A wonderfully written, original tale.

3) The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk- This book features a unique main character to the YA genre: a deaf, big boned boy. Containing a male narrator in general is unique enough but add in those other two things and that's something hardly seen anywhere. Aside from that, it's also a hysterical book and has a really interesting mystery to it as well.

Of course there are plenty more worthy debut books to check out, so be sure to check all the summaries out to see which ones interest you the most!

Cindy asks "1. Of all the authors you have met who is your hands down favorite?

2. What was the craziest thing that has happened to you on the way to say a book event or suthor signing?"

1. Meg Cabot is totally up there because, well, she's Meg Cabot! But I'd have to say that Maggie Stiefvater is probably my favorite and here's why: She's so funny, down-to-earth, has great advice, is very sweet (she will probably deny this as it will hinder her plans for world domination) and loves bloggers. She and I have been chatting and hanging out with each other for like a year and a half now (essentially from around the time Lament came out) and I love going to her signings. After a joint Elizabeth Scott/Claudia Gray signing, she gave me a surprise advance copy of Shiver because she knew I didn't have one. She's just a great person and what's funny about this is that we met because she vehemently disagreed with something I said in a He Said, She Said post on GuysLitWire back in August 2008 and wrote a whole blog entry about it.

I've obviously loved every single author I've had the pleasure to meet, and have enjoyed my time chatting with them, no matter how long or short it was. So I hope no authors are offended that I didn't choose them, or that I do even have a favorite because I really don't mean to offend.

I'm excited for BEA this month because I'll get to meet and hang out with a TON of authors, which should be a lot of fun.

2. So Maggie was my favorite author to meet, and she's also the one where the crazy things happen. I'll link to the two instances where crazy stuff has happened, but long story short: Maggie is turning me into a criminal. For what reason, I don't know, but there must be some method to her madness.

As for that speeding ticket I got, I went to court for it last month and got it knocked down to just 9 over so that less points were put on my record and I didn't have to pay as much. It would have been better if the whole thing had been taken off but whatever. I'll take what I can get.

Lili asks "What has been your favorite part about having your book blog? Why is it your favorite?"

I think my favorite part of it is being able to connect with authors, other bloggers, and all kinds of book lovers. Talking about and buzzing about books is just so much fun, especially with this wonderful YA community. I've made so many great friends through this blog and found out so much from starting this blog. I just love it and hope to keep doing it for a long time.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Runaway by Meg Cabot

Runaway by Meg Cabot
"Emerson Watts is on the run: from school, from work, from her family, from her friends, from herself.

With everyone she loves furious with her for something she can't explain, and nothing but the live Stark Angel fashion show on New Year's Eve to look forward to, Em's reached the end of her rope. . .what's the point of even going on?

But when she discovers the truth about Nikki's secret, she knows there's only one person she can turn to.

Will Christopher be able to put aside his personal feelings and help her expose her employer to the world? Is it even fair to get Christopher involved--since if he agrees, there's every chance that Stark Enterprises will try to have them both killed--this time, permanently?

Maybe it would be better for Em to just keep on running."- summary from Amazon

This was a page-turning, exciting conclusion to a wonderful series. Cabot knows just how to write a thrilling climax. The book was a fast read filled with twists and turns, and a wonderful reveal. The ending was absolutely fantastic and worked out so perfectly; each step was carefully constructed.

Of course, again, I could not get enough of Lulu- she's just so wonderfully and unintentionally funny. I don't really know what else to say without giving too much away, but this is definitely my favorite series from Cabot. Definitely check this series out if you're looking for something different.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In My Mailbox- Week of May 3 + Retrospective

I did another vlog this week and it's only like 5 minutes long! YAY!! Here it is:

Books Shown:

Party by Tom Leveen
The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
The Keeper's Tattoo by Gill Arbuthnott

and What I'm Reading:

Insatiable by Meg Cabot
Winging It by Jenny Gardiner

Here's this week's retrospective:

Monday- I reviewed The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen.

Wednesday- I posted the second edition of Ask Book Chic.

Friday- I posted my review of Being Nikki by Meg Cabot.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Being Nikki by Meg Cabot

Being Nikki by Meg Cabot
"It's not easy being Nikki. Ever since former tomboy Emerson Watts' accident at the SoHo Stark Megastore--and subsequent brain transplant into the body of teen supermodel Nikki Howard--her life has changed dramatically. Em's trying to handle the demands of school, modeling, fending off Nikki's creepy ex-boyfriends, and living with celebutante Lulu Collins.

Will this former tomboy be able to make it in the world of high fashion? What will happen if she can't?

How can Em balance all her new, crazy life demands of her with school, runway shows, and weekend jaunts to St. Johns--especially when she's got ex-boyfriends crawling out of the woodwork who want more than just a photo op; a sister who is headed to the high school cheerleading championships; a company she represents that seems to be turning to the dark side. . .

Not to mention trying to convince the love of her life that models aren't really airheads after all. . .especially one model in particular.

But then, nobody said it was going to be easy being Nikki."

Being Nikki offered up some fun and shocking twists and turns while still containing Cabot's wonderful humor. The novel is a quick read, mainly due to Cabot's flowing prose; her style is very much like a best friend telling you their story and it provides for compelling reading. The pages fly by fast, and the reader is left with a cliffhanger that made me glad I had Runaway already in my TBR pile.

Lulu is still one of my favorite characters. Almost everything she says is hilarious, and she's just so well-intentioned you've gotta love her. I also enjoyed the character of Steven, who's brand new to the whole celebrity lifestyle and his humor is very sarcastic, which I loved.

The romance is still on the will-they-won't they road and it's frustrating to see Em and Christopher getting close, then something happens to mess it all up. But it's still fun to read their interactions since I don't think there's ever been a romance like this one.

Overall, this was a really good book and I think the Airhead series might be my new favorite Cabot series.

FTC: Received ARC from author. Link above is Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ask Book Chic (2)

Here's the second installment of Ask Book Chic with questions from when I first brought it back. Thanks for all the new questions on the 1st edition of Ask Book Chic- I hope to get to them all soon! Now, without further ado, more about moi:

The Book Vixen asks "What book should everyone read at least once before dying?"

That's a tough question because not everyone has the same tastes, but if I had to pick one, it would be off of my re-read list that I mentioned last time. My pick is Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman because if the Apocolypse is anything like this, you need to be prepared.

Susan of Wastepaper Prose asks "What author has elicited/would elicit your biggest fanboy response?

If it's already happened, tell us the story. If it hasn't, tell us why you think meeting that person would make you go fanboy."

You know, I don't know. I feel like the more I get to know authors through email and their web presence, I'm getting more comfortable meeting them in person and being able to chat a bit. I have and do still get tongue tied though (and am fanboying on the inside)- when I met David Levithan (who probably does not remember me at all) at a Sarah Dessen signing (while chatting with Melissa Walker, no less!), I was stunned into silence and could not say a word. He was mainly there to chat with Melissa, so they did that, but Melissa did introduce me and I got to shake David's hand. I vowed not to wash it again, but that lasted like a day because it's hard to keep a hand dirty while in the shower. Also, because I like my hygiene even though I tend to fail at it sometimes.

Aside from that, I'd probably say Meg Cabot has elicited the fanboy from me. This is from WAY before I became a blogger and was just a mere member of her book forums. She knew who I was (it helps being the only prominent male on a forum full of girls) and was excited to see and meet me. It happened at the National Book Festival in DC back in September 2005. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture with Meg (to my knowledge; maybe I did- I have no idea.) so I'll need to be sure to get one if I ever see her again.

Ashley asks "Why do you enjoy YA books so much?

What is your favourite genre?"

I guess I enjoy YA so much because it's just so diverse and original. I can pick up a couple books and have them all be different. It's nice to go from a romantic comedy to urban fantasy to murder mystery all in the span of 3 books. I also feel like there's so much originality and creativity happening in the YA genre and I'm happy that it's getting much more coverage in recent years. It's a wonderful genre that more people need to be taking note of.

I enjoy a lot of different genres, but my favorite is probably romantic comedy. I love to laugh, and it makes me happy to read about couples getting together. It's also the genre I'd most likely want to write.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
"Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.

Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?"- summary from Amazon

This was an intriguing novel and had me turning pages very quickly. The premise is interesting and pretty original and I enjoyed reading a bit about the science behind it. Bodeen spends quite a bit of time explaining the process of taking the autotroph aspect and applying it to humans.

The book got a bit slow at times because the chase starts fairly early on, so there are parts where it's boring and not much happens. The mystery is unraveled slowly throughout most of the book, then a lot of things happen at the climax. But I really enjoyed the moral issues and arguments it brought up for both sides of this, and it makes for some interesting discussion.

The ending was a bit too tied up nicely for me (I know I said before I like things tied up nicely, but it depends on the book!) and seemed a bit out of place considering the rest of the novel.

FTC: Received book through Around the World tours. Product link is an Amazon Associate link; all profits go toward funding contests.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

In My Mailbox- Week of April 26 + Retrospective

I did a vlog this week, woo!!! It's also 10 minutes long, but I have some fun stories in there!! So please watch it and comment. Here it is:

Books Shown for review:

Siren by Tricia Rayburn
Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin
A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner
Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Not Shown (received today):
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
The Keeper's Tattoo by Gill Arbuthnott

Now, here's my retrospective:

Monday- I reviewed Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green

Wednesday- I posted my first Ask Book Chic in a while. Go and leave some questions for me that I can answer in a future edition.

Friday- I reviewed Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham.