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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

In My Mailbox- Week of Sept 24 + Retrospective

Here's a vlog for this week! I do a lot of rambling (and there's two cute cats!) so I hope you all enjoy!

Books Shown:

Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth (paperback, Oct 2012)
The Suburban Strange by Nathan Kotecki (ARC, Oct 2012)
Vanity Fare by Megan Caldwell (ARC, Dec 2012)
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (ARC, Jan 2013)
Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum (ARC, Jan 2013)
Everbound by Brodi Ashton (ARC, Jan 2013)
Prophecy by Ellen Oh (ARC, Jan 2013)
Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel (hardcover, Oct 2012)
Lovely, Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara (hardcover, Oct 2012)
All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin (hardcover, Oct 2012)
The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges (hardcover, Oct 2012)
Flutter by Gina Linko (hardcover, Oct 2012)
The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab (hardcover, Oct 2012)
Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay (hardcover, Oct 2012)
The FitzOsbournes at War by Michelle Cooper (hardcover, Oct 2012)
Velveteen by Daniel Marks (hardcover, Oct 2012)

and here's my retrospective. None of these posts have comments, so please go show them some love!:

Monday- I reviewed Wuftoom by Mary G. Thompson, which is out in stores now!

Wednesday- I interviewed Mary G. Thompson, author of Wuftoom.

Friday- I reviewed The Wednesdays by Julie Bourbeau, which is out in stores now!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Wednesdays by Julie Bourbeau

The Wednesdays by Julie Bourbeau
"Max’s village is absolutely normal in every single way and on every single day—except Wednesday.

Most of the townsfolk shutter their windows and lock their doors to hide away from the many peculiar things that happen—things like cats getting stuck in the vacuum cleaner and birthday cakes meeting fiery and horrific ends. But Max is too curious for that, and so, breaking every rule in the village, he searches out the cause of all the Wednesday weirdness.

What he uncovers is a secret so devious—so dastardly and mischievous—that life as he knows it will never be the same. Max himself is not the same. Suddenly the mysterious little accidents so common on Wednesdays are happening to him on Thursdays, Fridays—even Saturdays!

What’s come over Max? And more importantly, is there any cure for a case of the Wednesdays?"- summary from Amazon

This was a really interesting story and I actually read it at the same time as Wuftoom, which was purely coincidental. I had no idea that I'd end up reading two transformation stories at the same time.

Anyway, Bourbeau creates a unique world here and the idea of The Wednesdays is fascinating, but not thoroughly explained. I may have missed how the first Wednesday came to be since it seems that a lot (if not all) of them had previously been human like Max, so if anyone else read it and knows, please tell me. But I felt like there wasn't really an origin story and I'd have liked to read about it to get more insight.

Aside from that, Max's journey into Wednesday-dom was fun to read and it eventually became a race against time to stop becoming a Wednesday. It was a thrilling and suspenseful ride through those last 50 pages and I really liked the ending.

Overall, another great book for middle-schoolers who should be able to identify with Max (aside from the aspect of becoming a Wednesday) and enjoy his story.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Author Interview- Mary G. Thompson

1) There's such an imaginative, detailed underground world in Wuftoom that I'm wondering how you got the idea for it.

The initial idea started with the picture of the boy, Evan, sitting in his bed in the dark all covered in membranes, with the creature sliding toward him across the floor. From there, I quickly realized that Evan had to be turning into the creature. As for the underground world, it seemed like a logical extension of the transformation. To have a real story and not just an idea, the Wuftoom had to live somewhere and have a civilization, with motivations and culture and morals of their own. They had to eat something (or someone) and sleep somewhere and have friendships and rivalries. Basically, I put myself in the position of the Wuftoom and asked, how would I live if I faced this unique set of circumstances? If I were Evan, how would I react to this transformation if I wanted to survive?

2) What are you currently working on?

I just finished going over the proofs for my next book, Escape From the Pipe Men!, which will be out June 11, 2013. It's a sci-fi action/adventure story about a couple of kids who have grown up in an alien zoo and go on an adventure across the universe. I had a lot of fun with this one because it has all sorts of different aliens and space travel and action, and much more humor than Wuftoom. My biggest dream would be to travel through space and meet aliens, whereas, of course, what happens to Evan in Wuftoom probably isn't what anyone wakes up in the morning wanting. So I got to live out my fantasies a little more.

3) You were a practicing attorney before becoming a full-time writer. What prompted the switch? Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I had always thought about writing and had written a couple things, but I didn't get really serious about it until I got out of the Navy in 2007. At that time, I started resenting all the time I had to spend at my day job, and I knew I had to do whatever it took to be able to focus on writing. I loved law school for the intellectual challenge, but let's face it, imagining crazy worlds all day is a lot more fun than anything else. So I used my GI Bill to come to New York and do the MFA in Writing for Children at The New School. Once I came here and started meeting other authors and getting into the world of publishing, I finally felt like I was in the right place!

4) What's your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor(s)? Or, if those aren't your thing, favorite snack?

I just ate a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie frozen yogurt for dinner. I hope my mom doesn't read this! I'm going to have some vegetables later, I swear.

5) Now that Wuftoom's been out for a few months, how does it feel having your debut out in the world?

Not too different! I'm really happy that people are reading it, but they aren't doing it in my living room. I wish I had a live video feed of everyone reading the book so I could see their real time reactions! But no, I sit in my cave in front of my computer all day just like I always did. I like to think that no matter what happens in my career, some copy of Wuftoom will survive. Maybe after the apocalypse a ragged child will sift a charred copy out of the rubble of a library and reintroduce the world to the joy of reading. One can dream.

6) What book(s) are you currently reading, or are about to start? I saw you picked up some books at BEA- have any of those caught your eye?

I haven't gotten to many of the BEA books yet. Lately I've been reading a lot of adult books, because I got into a place where I couldn't read YA without editing, and I needed to take a break to renew my ability to just sit and enjoy. My favorites lately have been The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, and (in YA) The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech and The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson. I also love to read nonfiction, especially science. It's important to know what's really going on even if, when it comes to my novels, I end up throwing the real world out the window!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wuftoom by Mary G. Thompson

Wuftoom by Mary G. Thompson
"Everyone thinks Evan is sick ... Everyone thinks science will find a cure. But Evan knows he is not sick, he is transforming. Evan's metamorphosis has him confined to his bed, constantly terrified, and completely alone. Alone, except for his visits from the Wuftoom, a wormlike creature that tells him he is becoming one of them.

Clinging to his humanity and desperate to help his overworked single mother, Evan makes a bargain with the Vitflies, the sworn enemies of the Wuftoom. But when the bargain becomes blackmail and the Vitflies prepare for war, whom can Evan trust? Is saving his humanity worth destroying an entire species, and the only family he has left?"- summary from Amazon

This was a very interesting book. Thompson has created an imaginative underworld full of things that go bump in the night that's simulataneously fascinating and repulsive (I'm squeamish when it comes to bugs). As Evan adjusts into the Wuftoom world, there are descriptions of other creatures, some of which they eat. I do think young boys would like this kind of book though; there's gross descriptions but also a depth to Evan's predicament that will hopefully provide some questions about good and evil and if there's really such a thing as well as why there's war among other things.

Overall, this is a greatly crafted book though the ending is a bit vague and it makes me wonder if there's a sequel coming. I'd definitely like to see what's happening next as well as more backstory and history on these creatures.

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

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blog Tour- Butter by Erin Jade Lange (Spoilery)

Butter by Erin Jade Lange
"A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans?"- summary from Amazon

Let me start off by saying that this will be a long review, so buckle in. It will also be a tad spoilery so keep an eye out for that too.

Alright, let me also get this out of the way: I really liked this book. I just want to make this clear from the get-go, so you aren't confused while reading the rest of the review. It's not that I'll be making bad comments about the book, but I will be raising issues and discussions, which I think this book was meant to do.

There are probably two main things to discuss; the first being the extreme morbid fascination his classmates have once Butter puts up the website. It caused me to go "WOAH" while reading at the comments made both on the site and to Butter in person. I do think though that there's this combination of teenage immortality as well as not really grasping the consequences of doing something you say you're going to do. I feel like no one really grasped the consequences until Butter actually did it and they were watching it.

Also, I did a google search and did find a few articles about people committing suicide on webcam for people. I also feel like I read a book with a similar concept (either actual suicide or just choking themselves to get a high or something), which if anyone knows what it is, please tell me because it has been bothering me SO MUCH.

Anyway, the second part is this scene with a psychiatrist who reads out loud to Butter some of the comments left on his website by his classmates to get him to realize that they aren't his friends and they were really just bullying him. I had read a comment by awesome blogger Steph Su on Goodreads about this particular scene before getting to it. She vehemently didn't like it (because apparently it went against some code of conduct or something) and I saw no problem with it. The comments had already been read by him, so it wasn't anything new. Plus, it worked. I felt like that was really the only way to get him to realize how his classmates were really treating him. The psychiatrist also makes a comment about Butter's weight loss that Steph thinks is condoning starving yourself and losing weight quickly, but I didn't see it that way either. I saw it as a joke, not condoning or disapproving.

Oh, there's actually a third part where Steph and I disagreed and it was toward the end and it involved Tucker, Butter's friend from fat camp. Personally, I didn't see anything bad about the exchange, but she did.

Talking more specifically about the book, I really enjoyed Butter's voice and his interactions with various characters. Lange wrote him with a very compelling and realistic voice that made me want to read more and see how things turned out. I think another reason why I liked this book is because I'm hard to offend; not that it's necessarily offensive, but I just go with the flow. I will say that there's not a whole lot of character development but I feel like that's because Butter doesn't really get to know anybody. He's by himself and doesn't really open up to people, even when he becomes popular. There's still this disconnect between him and other people.

Overall, definitely a book to pick up and discuss. I have this feeling that this novel will either be loved or hated by its readers. I don't think there will be a middle ground, but I do hope it brings about discussions regarding important issues, like obesity, bullying (both in person and cyber), among other things. If anyone's read the book (or not), feel free to leave a comment and agree or disagree with my thoughts. I'd love to have a discussion about this book, especially with people who made it through this entire review, lol. Comments are moderated, but I will be approving each one.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blog Tour- The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
"She does not know what awaits her at the enemy's gate.

Elisa is a hero. She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country's ruler should be secure. But it isn't.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from both foreign realms and within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears once and for all, Elisa must follow the trail of long-forgotten--and forbidden--clues from the deep, undiscovered catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her goes a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man who--despite everything--she is falling in love with.

If she's lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost."- summary from Amazon

You guys, I cannot speak enough praise for this series. It is just so good. I love reading about Elisa's world and following along on her adventures. Carson writes in such a compelling voice that I find myself reading 100 pages at a time and having trouble putting the book down. It's insane how good this book is.

I loved the budding relationship between Hector and Elisa; it's just handled so well and when the sexual tension gets too much, it bursts out in an amazing scene. Gah, I just loved it.

There's some great twists and turns and tons of travel and adventure. I really enjoyed seeing Elisa come more into herself and what she needs to do. It was such a good character arc. Also, I will warn you that the ending really makes you want the next book, so keep that in mind when reading Crown of Embers. I can tell the final book is going to be even better than this one.

Overall, just go buy the book now and if you haven't read The Girl of Fire and Thorns yet, go buy it too!! This is such a wonderfully constructed fantasy series!

and here's a short interview with Rae:

1) How did you get the idea for the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy?

There were several factors involved, including a bad relationship, a tattoo parlor, and an overindulgence in cookie dough ice cream. But ideas are cheap. I get a dozen a day. The deciding factor for making a go of this particular idea was the freedom I felt after quitting a toxic day job and moving to a new town. The fresh start gave me just the impetus I needed.

2) Aside from the third and final book in the Girl of Fire and Thorns series, what are you currently working on or have coming up?

I just sold a new trilogy to Greenwillow. This one is also fantasy, and it takes place during the California Gold Rush. Pioneers! With magic! I'm so excited to write these books I can't even.

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

Strawberry Daiquiri. If you look up "delicious" in the dictionary, it's defined as Strawberry Daiquiri Jelly Bellies.

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

I just started Mike Mullin's ASHEN WINTER, the sequel to his amazing ASHFALL. I also started Justin Cronin's THE TWELVE, the sequel to THE PASSAGE. Both of them are giant doorstops, which is awesome. I like. Big. Books. And I cannot lie.

Check out the rest of the tour!:

9/10 One Page Reviews— This or That
9/11 Pure Imagination— This or That
9/12 Candace's Book Blog— Interview
9/13 Two Chicks on Books— Character Interview, Hector
9/14 Books with Bite— Interview
9/17 Laura's Review Bookshelf— Interview
9/18 Short and Sweet Reviews— Guest Post
9/19 The Non Reluctant Reader— Interview
9/20 Book Chic— Interview
9/21 Good Books and Good Wine— Interview
9/24 Short and Sweet Reviews— BONUS TRACK! Author Interview

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

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cover Reveal- Solstice by P.J. Hoover

I have the pleasure of revealing the new cover for Solstice by P.J. Hoover, which is coming out from Tor Teen in June 2013! First off, here's the synopsis:

Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed— a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.

An imaginative melding of mythology and dystopia, Solstice is the first YA novel by talented newcomer P. J. Hoover.

P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek.

Alright, I know you're ready for the cover now so here it is:

“Solstice is one red-hot read—it intrigues, sizzles, and satisfies.” —Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times bestselling author

You can find out more about P.J. and the book by checking out her website, blog, facebook pages (personal and fan), and her Twitter. Don't forget to add Solstice to your GoodReads too!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

In My Mailbox- Week of September 10 + Retrospective

I have a LONG vlog this week. I didn't think it'd be this long, but it turns out I rambled on about a lot of the books, lol. I also apologize for the bad angle; I didn't realize it was that low!! Enjoy!

Books Shown:

Dear Teen Me edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally (ARC, Oct 2012)
Always October by Bruce Coville
Scary School: Monsters on the March by Derek the Ghost and Scott M. Fischer
Grave Diggers: Mountain of Bones by Christopher Krovatin
The Whispering House by Rebecca Wade
Invisible Inklings: Dangerous Pumpkins by Emily Jenkins and Harry Bliss
Coraline: 10th Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman
Ravage by Jeff Sampson (ARC, Jan 2013)
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shephard (ARC, Jan 2013)
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook (ARC, Jan 2013)
Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton (ARC, Jan 2013)
Asunder by Jodi Meadows (ARC, Jan 2013)
Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Married by Heather McElhatton (paperback, Sept 2012)
Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (hardcover from library; June 2012)
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst (hardcover, Sept 2012)
Almost Home by Joan Bauer (hardcover, Sept 2012)
Buddy by M.H. Herlong (hardcover, Sept 2012)
Bully by Patricia Polacco (hardcover, Sept 2012)

and here's my retrospective:

Monday- I reviewed Drama by Raina Telgemeier, which is out in stores now!

Wednesday- I reviewed The Classroom by Robin Mellom, which is out in stores now!

Thursday- I participated in the Annotating Origin blog tour where Jessica Khoury talked about a passage from her debut book Origin.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blog Tour- Origin by Jessica Khoury

I'm so happy to be taking part in this Origin blog tour. It's an interesting concept where all the bloggers post a short excerpt from Origin and Jessica shares her thoughts on that particular excerpt. So here's the excerpt:

I am forced to stare down at the schriveled little man as he pierces my eyes with his own. What is he looking for? My “magic”? I don’t believe in the natives’ spirits and signs – that wouldn’t be scientific – but I cannot doubt the sincerity in their gazes. They are all waiting for Kapukiri to make some sort of announcement, I guess. (Origin, page 117)

Thoughts from Jessica:

Origin isn’t half science-fiction or half-mythical. It’s fully both, and it’s up to the reader to choose which perspective to take. The scientists and the Ai’oans each have a different way of looking at immortality, and these ways are neither wrong nor contradictory to the each other. As Eio explains to Pia, it’s just two perspectives of the same coin; just because you can’t see every side to it, that doesn’t mean those sides don’t exist. Pia views herself and her abilities through the lens of science, but as the story goes on, she begins to see through the lens of myth as well. She’s learned a lot about elysia and immortality through science—but science hasn’t given her the whole picture. Nor do the Ai’oans see the whole picture. It is only through a dual understanding of elysia (through science and myth) that Pia finally comprehends the full truth.

To find out more about Origin, check out the website, book trailer, and Facebook page. If you're more into learning about all the Breathless Reads books this year, check out the Facebook page, Tumblr, and a sampler of all the titles! For more on Jessica, check out her website, Twitter and Facebook.

To see all the other Annotating Origin posts, go to these blogs:

Monday 8.27 - The Book Smugglers
Tuesday 8.28 - Pure Imagination
Wednesday 8.29 - Steph Su Reads
Thursday 8.30 - Mundie Moms
Friday 8.31 - Forever YA

Monday 9.3 - Novel Thoughts
Tuesday 9.4 - Page Turners
Wednesday 9.5 - Frenetic Reader
Thursday 9.6 - Bookshelf Banter
Friday 9.7 - The Story Siren

Monday 9.10 - Green Bean Teen Queen
Tuesday 9.11 - The Book Muncher
Wednesday 9.12 - The Book Cellar
Thursday 9.13 - Book Chic
Friday 9.14 - The Compulsive Reader

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Classroom by Robin Mellom

The Classroom by Robin Mellom
"A documentary crew has descended upon Westside Middle School to detail the life of an average seventh grader and his classmates.

What they uncover, though, is far from average. Mostly, it is upper average along with moments of extreme average, highlighted by several minutes of total epicness.

Trevor Jones has been preparing for the start of seventh grade his entire summer. But he is NOT ready for the news his best friend, Libby, drops on him at the bus stop: he needs to branch out and make new friends. Oh, and he must ask a girl to the fall dance. By the end of the day.

Trevor decides that he would rather squirt hot sauce in his eyes than attend the dance. Everything changes, though, when he meets mysterious new student Molly. Trevor starts to think that going to the dance maybe wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. But with detention-wielding teachers, school gossips, and, worst of all, eighth graders conspiring against him, Trevor will have to do the one thing he wasn’t prepared to do: be epic."- summary from Amazon

I loved Mellom's YA debut and her middle-grade debut didn't let me down either. I loved reading this story and the illustrations were great to look at too and complimented the story really well; I loved being able to see the drawn characters. I laughed out loud a lot while reading this book and would love to read more about Trevor's adventures. I really hope this becomes a series.

Overall, such a pitch-perfect novel that will definitely appeal to middle-graders with its unique format. Definitely check this one out!

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
"Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she's a terrible singer. Instead she's the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!"- summary from Amazon

You guys, I LOVED this book. First off, the inclusion of theatre, but not just that, it was also the inclusion of stage crew, which I feel is often pushed to the side when I read books involving drama productions. Stage crew was front and center in this book and I LOVED it. It brought back memories.

Anyway, I also loved the inclusion of gay characters too; I won't say who, as it's a bit of a spoiler, but I can tell you I had guessed from the beginning, lol. Callie was a great main character and I really enjoyed following her journey of making this production happen as well as a budding romance with one of the cute brothers. It was adorable.

I really enjoyed Telgemeier's drawing style, which seemed to incorporate some manga elements, but kept things pretty realistic-looking. I can't really comment more about it since I know nothing about art, but it was good.

Overall, pick this book up regardless of if you like graphic novels or not. It's just such a good story and I want everyone to read it! I had problems putting it down though I did have to twice, usually because I needed to get to bed. I'll be looking forward to more from Telgemeier.

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

Friday, September 7, 2012

Blog Tour- Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught

Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught
"When Jason Milwaukee's best friend Sunshine vanishes, Jason knows that something is terribly wrong, but solving her disappearance will require pushing through all the voices in his head and then getting the world to listen to him. His schizophrenia is stopping him from remembering the events leading up to her disappearance, and often he discounts his own memories, and his own impressions. But his deep knowledge that he would never hurt his friend, plus the faith of his parents and a few others in the town bring him to the point of solving the mystery. In the end, it's Sunshine's own love for Jason (Freak) that persuades him of his own strength and goodness."- summary from Amazon

This was such a good book. I wish I had had more time to just sit and read it straight through instead of reading it over several days. I did read big chunks at a time, but I always hated having to put it down and return to real life.

I really liked how Vaught handled the mental illness aspect of the characters. It's handled with respect but isn't too cautious with it; there are instances of humor, like with Jason's friend Drip calling him Freak but not in a bad way or the three friends' calling each other "alphabets" because of their respective diagnoses (OCD, ADHD, etc.). Basically, it's done realistically and I enjoyed that.

The prose is almost stream-of-consciousness for the most part, I felt, and that made for quickly turning pages. As a reader, I was sucked in by that voice and just fell into this world.

The mystery was handled well too and I enjoyed all the twists and turns that got us to the surprise (for me) ending. I didn't see that coming.

Overall, it's such an interesting book and I'm really curious to read Vaught's previous novel Going Underground now, which is actually in my TBR pile. Definitely check this book out; it's a wonderful read.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Reminiscent Reviews- Total Constant Order by Crissa-Jean Chappell

Reminiscent Reviews is a new feature I decided to do when I was talking with Jordanna Fraiberg and Daphne Grab in August 2012 and I realized that I wanted to recommend their books again. The other plus to this feature is that I'll slowly but surely be moving all my Myspace reviews here onto Blogspot, which will be good in case something ever happens to Myspace. Basically, I'll be reposting my old reviews and then be doing an update on what the author has been up to since that book. Hope you all enjoy!

Total Constant Order by Crissa-Jean Chappell
"Fin can't stop counting. She's always heard a voice inside her head, ordering her to listen, but ever since she's moved to the Sunshine State and her parents split up, numbers thump like a metronome, rhythmically keeping things in control. When a new doctor introduces terms such as "clinical depression" and "OCD" and offers a prescription for medication, the chemical effects make Fin feel even more messed up. Until she meets Thayer, a doodling, rule-bending skater who buzzes to his own beat—and who might just understand Fin's hunger to belong, and her struggle for total constant order."- summary from Amazon

In Chappell's amazing debut novel, she really conveys the character of Fin in a very believable and sympathetic fashion. With patches of humor throughout and a very honest portrayal of the whole cast of characters, this is one book that should definitely not be missed. We here at Book Chic can't wait to see more from this promising new author!

Update: WOW. Short review, lol. I feel like I wrote shorter reviews back then. Crissa was a Fresh New Voice of YA when it was still pretty new back in Nov 2007 (it had started in August of that year). She disappeared for a while but came back this year with a new book called Narc, which came out from Flux in August. She recently sold another book that will be out in winter 2014. She was also one of the contributers for the book Dear Bully. Crissa is awesome and I was so happy to meet and chat with her at this year's BEA.

This will be my final Reminiscent Review for now as it seems like it was a feature that didn't really catch on. I may post another in the future, but it won't be a regular feature like I had planned.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins
"Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year—and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be."- summary from Amazon

I read Triangles (Hopkins' adult debut) last year and have been so excited for this YA companion novel since finishing it. Reading Tilt really made me want to re-read Triangles because I remembered certain moments (both major and minor) and wanted to remember what the adults were thinking during that moment. I did get Triangles out of the library and started to read it, but haven't really been able to fit it in unfortunately. I do want to get to it soon though before my memories of Tilt fade, lol.

Anyway, Tilt is another great Hopkins book. I love reading her verse and getting to know these characters through their own perspective. I particularly enjoyed Shane and seeing what he was going through and thinking during all these events. What I also liked was in between each perspective shift, there was a poem from a prominent side character that had appeared in the perspective just ending (so a poem from Dylan would follow Mikayla's "chapters").

I always look forward to reading Hopkins' books because she tells such great stories. Please give this one a shot and if you're old enough, read Triangles too (it's definitely an adult book, so be prepared).

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

Sunday, September 2, 2012

In My Mailbox- Week of Aug 26 + Retrospective

I did another vlog this week- hope you guys enjoy!

Books Shown:

Foretold: 14 Stories of Prophecy and Prediction edited by Carrie Ryan (hardcover, Aug 2012)
Yesterday by C.K. Kelly Martin (hardcover, Sept 2012)
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan (hardcover, Sept 2012)
Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier (hardcover, 2012)
Beyond: A Ghost Story by Graham McNamee (hardcover, 2012)
Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield (hardcover, 2012)
Island of Doom by Arthur Slade (hardcover, 2012)
The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini (ARC, Oct 2012)
Unstoppable by Tim Green (hardcover, Sept 2012)
Crown of Embers by Rae Carson (ARC, Sept 2012; reading it now!)
Defiance by C.J. Redwine (hardcover, Aug 2012)
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (hardcover from library, July 2012)
Crusher by Niall Leonard (ARC, Sept 2012)

and here's my retrospective:

Monday- I reviewed One Moment by Kristina McBride, which is out in stores now!

Wednesday- As part of Reminiscent Reviews, I reposted my review of Alive and Well in Prague, NY by Daphne Grab. Does anyone care about this feature? I only have one more review planned at the moment, but not sure if anyone cares so I may just end the feature after this coming week.

Friday- I reviewed Boys of Summer, an anthology edited by Steve Berman, which is out in stores now!