My Pages

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Site Announcements, Updates, Etc

Coming Soon:
~Review: The Whole Stupid Way We Are
~Review: The Tragedy Paper
~Review: The Killing Woods


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book Trailer: Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia!



So like, OMG! I'm really excited about Angel Star and can not wait to read it. It has a beautiful trailer too. What about you, are you looking forward to Angel Star?

In My Mailbox (30)

In My Mailbox
So all of last week's books were won in contests. Yay!

Won from Adriana at ~*Loves to Read*~
~Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
~Identical by Ellen Hopkins (Already read and loved this one.)

Won from April at Good Books & Good Wine
~Willow by Julia Hoban
~Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
~Frostbite by Richelle Mead
~Looking for Alaska by John Green
~Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (Already read and loved this one as well.)
~The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (Second copy which I'll give to my mom.)


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

28 Days of Winter Escapes: Beth Kephart (Day 25)

Welcome everyone to the 25th day of Winter Escapes featuring Beth Kephart and her upcoming YA novel, The Heart is Not a Size. I'm so glad that HarperCollins chose me to help with this fabulous February feature.

The Heart is Not a Size
by Beth Kephart
(Undercover, House of Dance, and Nothing But Ghosts)
(Click HERE or on the picture to go to today's page on the official 28 Day Giveaway site where you can enter to win this book and read browse inside it.)


1. Georgia and Riley have been best friends for over a decade - how long have you known your best friend?

Well, to be honest, my best friend is my husband, whom I've known since 1983. Beyond that, I don't wish to designate my many friends as best or not. They are dear to me - friend I've known from high school and college, from the dance world and from the literary world, from corporate work and volunteer stints, from church and from the neighborhood, from my many, varied walks of life. I am blessed by these deep and abiding friendships that live on and on, over decades.

2. Georgia goes to Juarez because she wants to make a difference - what sorts of things do you do to make a difference?

An interesting question. I'm not sure that we can really measure the difference we make in this world, and that's one of the things Georgia and Riley are grappling with. But I know that I am happiest when reaching out to others; for example, the trip that the girls go on, in Juarez, is a trip that I took and that will always remain with me. I've also been privileged to teach and mentor young readers and writers for many years now; indeed, one of the characters in Heart is based on an extremely talented young poet with whom I worked. I pay attention to charitable organizations - be they Pump Aid or the Fusate homeless shelter in El Salvador, Dancing classrooms Philly, readergirlz, or (most recently) the Kids-N-Hope foundation - and I contribute both time and money (and sometimes photography). There are enormous pressures on my time, but I try to put the right things first. Part of that, of course, involves staying close to home; being the right kind of a mother, a wife, and a daughter matters enormously to me.

3. What's the most romantic thing someone's ever done for you?

It's funny; I believe in these Big Things - beauty, love, faith - and yet I've not lived a life of enormous romance, at least how romance is traditionally defined. My husband threw me a surprise party for my twenty-fifth birthday. That was certainly the most astonishing thing that anyone has ever done. I do dream of flower bouquets, I have to admit. I think flowers are supremely romantic.

4. What was the best date you've ever had?

I can tell you when I felt myself falling in love, and that is when I first viewed my husband's watercolors in his one-room, third-floor walk-up in West Philadelphia.

5. Where have you traveled that helped give you a new perspective?

Travel is what does give me perspective, and I miss travel enormously when it is not possible. El Salvador (my husband's home) and Juarez provided perspective. So did the hill town of Spoleto, Italy. Venice and Prague and Rome were essential. Seville (where I have often traveled) is the backdrop of a book I am writing now. But then there are the 'new' familiar places - previously unexplored sections of Philadelphia, my city, for example, or the foggy wharves of San Francisco.

6. What do you hope readers will take away from The Heart is Not a Size? What do you want them to take away from your other novels?

First, I hope that readers will be drawn into Heart and, indeed, into all the stories I write. That they will want to know what happens to these characters and how they have been changed by the challenges life has set before them. Heart is about the power of friendship, about the importance of telling the truth and of allowing others to step in where heartbreak or hurt hover. Undercover is about emerging bravely, as one's true self. House of Dance is about finding a way to say good-bye. Nothing But Ghosts is about seeing, in the living world, the presence of those who have passed on; it's about emotional survival. I hope readers will find these messages in my books and I hope, too, that they will find language presented in a somewhat new way. I hope to leave behind a legacy of books that read like poetry with sweep - like poetry that moves on and beyond, and ultimately conjures and captures meaningful story.

Review: The Heart is Not a Size

The Heart is Not a Size (ARC) by Beth Kephart
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: March 30th, 2010
Pages: 256
Age Level: 12+


Synopsis
Georgia knows what it means to keep secrets. She knows how to ignore things. She knows that some things are better left unsaid.... Or are they? When Georgia and her best friend, Riley, travel along with nine other suburban Pennsylvania kids to Anapra, a squatters village in the heat-flattened border city of Juarez, Mexico, secrets seem to percolate and threaten both a friendship and a life. Certainties unravel. Reality changes. And Georgia is left to figure out who she is outside the world she's always known.

Beth Kephart paints a world filled with emotion, longing, and the hot Mexican sun.


Review
The Heart is Not a Size was a good read and I liked it but it was not quite as great as I was expecting it to be, I'm afraid.

Georgia, though a likable character, was sadly not very memorable to me. Riley was more interesting and better developed but I found it hard to connect with her or even like her. As for the other characters, well, there were so many of them that you really didn't go to know them or see their own individual personalities. They seemed liked they could have been great characters but the book was just too short for them to have a chance to develop properly. The one character that really stood out to me, however, was Drake. He was just so different then your typical YA guys in books these days and I just wish there had been more of him.

They story itself was thought-provoking and moving. The details were very accurate which makes sense considering Kephart has actually been to Juarez. The secrets mentioned in the synopsis weren't what I was expecting but worked well.


The writing, however, was something I had mixed feelings about. The dialogue and context in general were very beautiful and believable but sometimes scenes and events seemed to change too abruptly. There was also something about the actual writing style that through me off and made it hard for me to establish any kind of flow while reading, at first. Once I got into Part 2, things picked up the pace a bit and the book was more enjoyable.

The ending was good but seemed to happen a little too quickly. Something else that could have benefited from the book being longer.

All in all, to me, The Heart is Not a Size was a worthwhile read though not perfect. I'm not entirely sure if this is one I'd reread though I do intend to read Kephart's other books. If this book sounds good to you then I'd say pick it up, after all, I've noticed most the ratings on this book are high and it is worth the time.

Grade
Characters: C
Writing: C +

Plot: B-
Ending: C+
Enjoyment/Likability: C
Recommendable: C
Cover: A-

Overall: C


Monday, February 22, 2010

Contest Winners!

Sorry this took so long folks but hey, better late than never right? Ok so here are the winners.

My Soul to Save
1. Mandy from MandyCanRead
2. Mariah from A Reader's Adventure
3. Marian

&

ARC of Restoring Harmony and Swag
robin_titan of T.V. and Book Addict



I will be emailing you all sometime tonight. You will have 48hrs to respond to email or another winner will be chosen. Also if you read this post and see you are a winner before I email you, feel free to go ahead and email me your address. Congrats to you all.



Saturday, February 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (29)

In My Mailbox
So today's In My Mailbox contains book from the past three weeks since things have been slow.

For Review from Publishers
~WTF by Peter Lerangis
~Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
~Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook
~Blood Ninja by Nick Lake
~ARC Birthmarked by Caragh M O'Brien
~Hourglass by Claudia Gray

BookMooch
~The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn

P.S. Don't forget to enter my contest to win 1 of 3 copies of Wherever Nina Lies. Winners of past two contests will be announced later today.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Wherever Nina Lies Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Thanks to Chelsy I have THREE copies of the great book, Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten to give away! Yay.

Here is the synopsis:
Nina was beautiful, wild, and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But, one day, Nina disappeared. Two years later, everyone has given up home that Nina will return, but Ellie knows her sister is out there. If only Ellie had a clue where to look. Then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing. Determined to find Nina, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she's got a chance-her hot, adventurous new crush. Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn't planning on. Like love. Lies. And the most shocking thing of all: the truth.



Author Bio:
Lynn Weingarten spends a lot of time writing in coffee shops while
occasionally reading strangers' laptops over their shoulders. In the
she has been a book editor, a barista, a counter girl at a bakery in Ireland, a waitress at a bar, and a seller of tiny homemade clay animals. She lives in New York City. Wherever Nina Lies was her first novel. Please visit her online at
http://www.lynnweingarten.com/.
(Photo by: Jena Cumbo)

Useful Links:
Book website
My Review of Wherever Nina Lies
My Noteworthy Passages of Wherever Nina Lies

Contest Details:
~There will be 3 winners, each receiving a copy of Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
~This book giveaway is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.)
~Contest will end March 5th at 11:59PM EST. Winners will be announced the following day and will have 48 hours to respond to email.
~Comments, though appreciated, do not count as entries. YOU MUST FILL OUT THE FORM.






Thursday, February 18, 2010

Noteworthy Passages: Wherever Nina Lies

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
Publisher: Point
Pub. Date: February 1st, 2010 (First Published: February 1st, 2009)
Pages: 311
Age Level: +15/YA


Synopsis
Nina was beautiful, artistic, wild . . . and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But one day, without any warning, Nina disappeared.

Two years later, Ellie can't stop thinking about her sister. Although everyone else has given up hope that Nina will return, Ellie just knows her sister is out there, somewhere. If only Ellie had a clue where to look.

And then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing tucked into the pages of a book. Determined to find her sister, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she's got a chance -- her hot, adventurous new crush.

Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn't planning on. Like love. Mysteries. Lies. And something far more shocking -- the truth.


Noteworthy Passages

Ellie; pg. 55
Have you ever seen a house burning down? If you landed from another planet and didn't know what fire meant, you'd think it was beautiful, gentle even - delicate orange and gold and red and yellow flames, licking the house into nothingness.

Exchange between Sean and Ellie; pg. 66
"Sorry about all the cups, you can just kick them out of the way," Sean says. "Iced coffee is my crack."
"What a coincidence," I say. "Crack is my iced coffee."

Sean; pg. 90
"Ellie, I once drove to Canada for pancakes in the middle of the night because I didn't like the syrup they gave me at IHOP."


~~~~~~~~

Well everyone, thanks for stopping by and I hope you all enjoyed the passages. Sorry there weren't more but some of the others I would have liked to have included would have been a bit spoilerish. Feel free to comment, you know I loves da comments. :D In case you missed it, you can find my review
HERE. Stay tuned because tomorrow I will be giving away 3 copies of this great book.









PLEASE NOTE: This is a feature hosted here at my blog in which I present you with selected passages or quotes that I deem Noteworthy from a book I've just reviewed. My hopes are of course, that these passages will make you want to pick the book up and read it. This feature was started and created by me in January in hopes of making my blog more unique. That being said, I would like to kindly request that you do not use this feature as it was intended to be for my blog only and is not a meme. If you see some one else using it, please know it is without my permission. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review: Wherever Nina Lies


Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
Publisher: Point
Pub. Date: February 1st, 2010 (First Published: February 1st, 2009)
Pages: 311
Age Level: +15/YA


Synopsis
Nina was beautiful, artistic, wild . . . and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But one day, without any warning, Nina disappeared.

Two years later, Ellie can't stop thinking about her sister. Although everyone else has given up hope that Nina will return, Ellie just knows her sister is out there, somewhere. If only Ellie had a clue where to look.

And then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing tucked into the pages of a book. Determined to find her sister, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she's got a chance -- her hot, adventurous new crush.

Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn't planning on. Like love. Mysteries. Lies. And something far more shocking -- the truth.


Review
Wherever Nina Lies is the perfect intertwining of suspense, mystery and romance from debut YA author, Lynn Weingarten. It's a total page turner that sucked me into the story and held me captive, heart and mind alike, refusing to set me free even after I was done.

One thing I really admired about Ellie was her sheer determination to put it all on the line to find her sister. Some have said that they found it unbelievable and stupid that Ellie just hopped into a car to go on a road trip with some guy she barely knew. However, I feel differently. I think to myself, Ellie is a girl who has been longing to find her missing sister, Nina. Finally, she comes across a clue that she truly believes can lead her to Nina. Then Ellie meets a guy, Sean, who is the only one willing to help and shows what seems to be a genuine interest in helping find Nina, even uncovering another clue before they ever leave. I can't and wouldn't say that what Ellie did was unbelievable, a little reckless maybe, but at least she acknowledges that what she is doing isn't normal. Besides, who are we to judge, those of us who have never had a missing sibling. To be honest, if I thought I had found my only chance to find my missing sister, I may would have done the same thing Ellie did. Of course, I'd have been sure to bring along a can of mace just in case.

In all, I thought the characters were great. Nina was so intriguing and really spiced up the book even though she wasn't really there physically. Ellie was a character I really connected with and, despite what others may say, found to be very realistic in both emotions and actions. Sean really ended up surprising me though there was a point where I started to see it coming. Amanda, though I could at times see where she was coming from, annoyed me. Then there was Brad who was just straight up hilarious.

I thought the story line was great and wonderfully crafted. It was fast-paced, twisted, and utterly gripping. I felt everything was slowly being revealed at just the right times. Though the book only takes place over about a weeks time, it seems longer. Honestly, though, I do think the book could have done even better if it'd been longer.


One of the things I really loved and thought made this book stand out were the drawings throughout the novel. The writing itself was really good though not quite great. At times it seemed that Weingarten would repeat a previously stated fact not long after it was first mentioned. Other than that I don't really have any specific complainants about the writing.

The ending, which was a touch on the bittersweet side, left me satisfied and content. I think the end was very suited to this story though I do believe there are other endings that probably would have worked just as well.

All in all, I think Wherever Nina Lies is an unforgettable, captivating read that both teens and adults could enjoy. If nothing else, you should take the fact that I got a teensy bit defensive of the book as a sign it's great and should be read, as that is something I rarely do. lol. So...um...yeah. READ IT. Or else...or else you'll really be missing out. :P

Grade
Characters: B+
Writing: B-
Plot: A-
Ending: B
Enjoyment/Likability: A
Recommendable: A-
Cover: C+

Overall: B+


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Noteworthy Passages: The Den of Shadows Quartet

The Den of Shadows Quartet by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: August 11, 2009
Pages: 608
Age Level: YA


Synopsis
FOUR COMPLETE NOVELS—ONE CAPTIVATING WORLD

In the Forests of the Night
Three hundred years ago Risika had a family—a brother and a father who loved her. Three hundred years ago she was human. Now she is a vampire, a powerful one. And her past has come back to torment her.

Demon in My View
Jessica isn’t your average high school student—she’s an acclaimed published author of vampire fiction. Now two new students at her high school strongly remind her of her favorite characters. But those characters only live in her imagination—right?

Shattered Mirror
Christopher Raneva and Sarah Vida may look like a normal high school couple, but he’s actually a vampire who’s sworn off human blood and she’s an incredibly powerful, vampire-hunting witch. As if that weren’t enough to prevent their love, his past and her future collide when they get tangled up with Nikolas, one of the most reviled vampires ever.

Midnight Predator
Once a happy teenager, Turquoise Draka is now a vampire hunter. Her current assigment is to assassinate Jeshikah, one of the cruelest vampires in history. But to do that, she’ll have to enter Midnight, a fabled vampire realm, as a human slave. . . .


Noteworthy Passages

In the Forests of the Night
Risika; pg. 7
A cage of steel.
It is a cruel thing to do, to cage such a beautiful, passionate animal as if it was only a dumb beast, but humans do so all too often. They even cage themselves, though their bars are made of society, not of steel.

Risika; pg. 9-10
The vampire myths are so confused that it is easy to see they were created by mortals. Some myths are true: my reflection is faint, and older ones in my line have no reflection at all. As for the other myths, there is little truth and many lies.

I do dislike the smell of garlic, but if your sense of smell was twenty times stronger than that of the average bloodhound, would you not dislike it as well? Holy water and crosses don't bother me -- indeed, I have been to Christian services since I died, though I no long look for solace in religion. I wear a silver ring set with a garnet stone, and the silver does not burn me. If someone hammered a stake through my heart I suppose I would die, but I do not play with humans, stakes, or mallets.


Demon in My View
Exchange Between Aubrey aka Alex and Jessica; pg. 133-134
"It's her nature to try and draw people out of the dark," he said.
"You two know each other?"
"Unfortunately," he answered. The scorn in his voice palpable.
He silently watched Caryn for a moment, until she looked up as if she could feel his gaze. When she saw Jessica and Alex sitting together, she stood, gathered her belongings, and hurried away.
"She sure doesn't try to draw you out of the dark," Jessica commented.
"They've tried, and they've failed miserably," was his reply.

Exchange Between Aubrey and Fala; pg. 154
"Damn you, Aubrey," Fala cursed. She scowled but was wise enough not to insult him again.
"Already been done," he answered calmly.
"Damn you again!" she shouted, delivering a glare that would have stilled serpents in their dens.
"Too late," he quipped. "And after five thousand years, I'd think you could come up with something better than that."

Exchange between Fala and Jessica; pg. 223-224
"You picked the wrong person to fight, Jessica," Fala told her, pacing near her head. "Because I like pain--your pain-- and I really like causing it."
"That's called sadism, and I think it is some kind of psychological disorder," Jessica grumbled, rolling onto her front so that she could use her left arm to push herself up.
Fala kicked her in the back of the head while she was still on her knees. "So are suicidal tendencies," she countered.

Exchange Between Aubrey and Jessica; pg. 243
"You live to make trouble, don't you?"
"Life is nothing without a little chaos to make it interesting." She turned to face him and playfully raised her gaze to meet his, challenging. "What do you want to do about it?"


Shattered Mirror
Poem from Christopher to Sarah; pg. 276

Blue like sapphire beneath a morning sun,
Burning with a fire of a crystalline soul.
A laughter that never quite reaches inside,
Where secrets weather like untouched gold.


Midnight Predator
None

~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you all enjoyed these Noteworthy Passages and if you haven't already, please feel free to check out my review HERE. I sure loves my commenters. :D









PLEASE NOTE: This is a feature hosted here at my blog in which I present you with selected passages or quotes that I deem Noteworthy from a book I've just reviewed. My hopes are of course, that these passages will make you want to pick the book up and read it. This feature was started and created by me in January in hopes of making my blog more unique. That being said, I would like to kindly request that you do not use this feature as it was intended to be for my blog only and is not a meme. If you see some one else using it, please know it is without my permission. Thank you.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Review: The Den of Shadows Quartet

The Den of Shadows Quartet by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: August 11, 2009
Pages: 608
Age Level: YA


In the Forests of the Night

Synopsis
Three hundred years ago Risika had a family—a brother and a father who loved her. Three hundred years ago she was human. Now she is a vampire, a powerful one. And her past has come back to torment her.

Review
In the Forests of the Night is the first actual vampire book I've read - sparkling 'vegetarian' vampires so don't count - so I wasn't entirely sure how I would take to it.

When I started reading this, I found it very interesting to realize Amelia was only 13 when she wrote In the Forests of the Night.

I liked Risika as a character. The inner battle going on within herself between who she was before and who she is now made her a complex and riveting character. The alternating chapters between past and present helped me to understand her even more. I also thought her friendship with the tiger was such a beautiful and unique edition to the story. Aubrey was......well......I'm still not entirely sure what I think of Aubrey. Part of me was inexplicably drawn to him and the other part of me hated him.

My main qualm with this story was that I wanted to know more about Risika's brother, Alexander. Who/what he was, what happened to him, what took him so long to come back, etc. Other than that, In the Forests of the Night was a good, though extremely short, story that I mostly enjoyed.

Demon in My View

Synopsis
Jessica isn’t your average high school student—she’s an acclaimed published author of vampire fiction. Now two new students at her high school strongly remind her of her favorite characters. But those characters only live in her imagination—right?

Review
Even though I liked In the Forests of the Night, I LOVED Demon in My View. The story itself was even more gripping than the previous and I just loved the main character, Jessica. She was such a brave and kick ass heroine.

Also, I got to learn a little more of some of the vampires history and as an even bigger plus, I got to know Aubrey more. Okay so I know I said before that I wasn't sure what I thought of him but now I know. I love him! I really got to see his sweeter side in Demon in My View and there is something about that dry, sardonic humor of his that I can't resist. XD

Now unlike In the Forests of the Night, Demon in My View is written in third person and alternates between three points of view. I liked this because it gave me a totally unbiased look at the characters, leaving me to form my own opinions without influence from the MC. As for the quality of the writing, it didn't disappoint.


Shattered Mirror

Synopsis
Christopher Ravena and Sarah Vida may look like a normal high school couple, but he’s actually a vampire who’s sworn off human blood and she’s an incredibly powerful, vampire-hunting witch. As if that weren’t enough to prevent their love, his past and her future collide when they get tangled up with Nikolas, one of the most reviled vampires ever.

Review
So far I would say Shattered Mirror is my second favorite.

One thing about Shattered Mirror was it was a little more twisted than the other two. I also loved the poems through out. I was however a little disappointed with the ending. It was predictable and I was hoping for something...well...different.

The characters were likable and somewhat complex, and the writing was great.

Midnight Predator

Synopsis
Once a happy teenager, Turquoise Draka is now a vampire hunter. Her current assignment is to assassinate Jeshikah, one of the cruelest vampires in history. But to do that, she’ll have to enter Midnight, a fabled vampire realm, as a human slave. . . .

Review
Ok so this one comes in third place for me. It wasn't quite as great as I was hoping, however I did like how different it was from the others.

The story was compelling, fast paced, and fairly well written. Turquoise wasn't my favorite of the main characters but she was likable. I found that her and Risika had a lot in common as far as how both were struggling with their past and present. Who they were versus who they are now. It was almost repetitive, like Turquoise was the vampire hunter version of Risika. As for Jaguar, I liked him mostly but then there was something about him that rubbed me the wrong way.

The ending was good, leaving things a little bit open for your mind to wonder.


Overall Review
Amelia's writing is dark but beautiful, though definitely not perfect. There was more depth to the stories than I expected and I loved how each story was preceded by a poem. I also enjoyed how Amelia went about tying each individual story to the next. Though some people haven't liked the somewhat open endings, I actually liked being left to wonder a little bit since the ending would already give you a pretty good idea. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes is a good writer and story-teller that I think most people would enjoy. I, however, wouldn't recommend this to those looking for light-vampire-romance-fluff.

Grading
Characters: B-
Writing: B-
Plot: B-
Ending: B
Enjoyment/likability: B
Recommendable: B
Cover: A+

Overall: B-


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Author Interview: Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Hello and welcome everyone. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of Crazy Beautiful, The Education of Bet and other YA and MG novels. I hope you all enjoy this interview! :D

~~~~~~~~

The Book Pixie: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted: I'm probably older than you think, shorter than you think, and not as nice as you think. Is that what you had in mind?

TBP: What inspired the idea of writing a book, Crazy Beautiful, about a character with hooks for hands?

LBL: I'd just seen "Beauty & the Beast" on Broadway and got to wondering why of all the Disneyfied fairy tales it's the one that's translated best to stage and screen. I decided it's because it's the only one where the male is as compelling, even more so than the female. That's when it hit me to do a contemporary story where the male main character is judged by most of the world based on his surface appearance and how that in turn affects how he behaves, which in turn affects how he's treated. And of course I wanted it to be romantic too.

TBP: What inspired the idea for The Education of Bet?

LBL: I have a history of writing books where characters do over-the-top things, going to extremes to get a chance to experience something life would not necessarily afford them. In this instance, I wanted to do a story - sometimes dramatic, sometimes much lighter - about a 16-year-old girl in the 1800s, denied a proper education because of her class and gender. So, of course she has to impersonate a boy to get what she wants.

TBP: What has been your reaction to the cover for Crazy Beautiful? The Education of Bet?

LBL: Crazy Beautiful - I instantly loved it. The Education of Bet - you have to understand, I had a specific idea in my mind for that cover, so seeing the one that it has, it was kind of like if I'd given birth to a gorgeous child who looked nothing like what I'd been imagining. So I'd say it's stunning...and surprising!

TBP: What do you consider to be the most rewarding aspect of being a published author?

LBL: Honestly, it's tough to pick a single thing to label "the most." I adore the actual writing. I even adore the opportunity revision affords to make something that was already (hopefully) good as good as I can make it. And I'd be lying if I claimed it didn't make me feel special to receive fan mail from those people who, for whatever insane reason, like my writing.

TBP: What are some of your favorite YA books?

LBL: My favorite YA of 2009 was Freeze Frame, by Heidi Ayarbe, but mostly it's easier for me to name authors rather than specific books: Lisa McMann, A.S. King, Ellen Hopkins, Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, Barry Lyga, Greg Logsted (of course!), and all my sister authors at Teen Fiction Cafe.

TBP: Out of all your characters, who is your favorite?

LBL: Now that is an impossible question, but I can name a few: Lucius (Crazy Beautiful), Bet (The Education of Bet, forthcoming), Kit Tyler (The Twin's Daughter, forthcoming).

TBP: Are you currently working on anything else?

LBL: I'm always working on something else! In addition to the two YAs and the next two volumes of The Sisters 8 series for young readers that I have coming out in 2010, I'm currently working on a comedic adult novel called... Actually, I'm keeping mum about that at the moment.

TBP: What do you like to do just for fun in your spare time? Any hobbies?

LBL: I shoot pool, watch "General Hospital" and hang with cool people like you on Twitter.

TBP: Anything else you'd like to add?

LBL: Thank you? Really, thank you. You rock.

~~~~~~~~~

I would like to give a huge thanks to Lauren for being here, it was such a pleasure to interview you for my blog. Also I'd like to thank you readers for stopping by. :D






Thursday, February 11, 2010

Review: Dancing with Ana

Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker
Publisher: The Golden Road Press
Pub. Date: July 13th, 2009
Pages: 170
Age Level: 14+


Synopsis
Beth is a lucky girl... She comes from a loving family. She has three best friends. She loves to surf and lives five minutes from the beach. She also recently discovered that the boy she's grown up with has the most amazing green eyes... Beth has every reason to smile. Every reason to be happy. Every reason to feel blessed.

Then why is she sticking her fingers down her throat?


(WARNING! The following review is somewhat spoilerish. Particularly the next to last paragraph pertaining to my thoughts on the ending.)

Review
Well it was bound to happen sooner or later. Eventually there was going to be that book that was going to throw off my great reading streak and I'm sad to say Dancing with Ana just happened to be it. Don't get me wrong, it was...good...but it had the potential to be so much better.

In general the characters and their personalities were likable however it was in their development where the problem lay for me. Within the first 20 pages the girls have already decided to start a 'diet' and Beth and Jeremy have discovered their feelings for one another. Another thing that annoyed me was that these girls were at healthy weights already. Yes, I know in real life this tends to be the case but there was something about the way they decided to diet that seemed forced. Now with Beth and Rachel, they have other crappy stuff going on in their lives and as the book went on everything did become more realistic and understandable. It was mainly how quickly everything started that annoyed me. Also, though I cared for the characters and what happened to them, I didn't really feel connected to them.

The idea of Dancing with Ana was a great one but once again, I run into the same problems with the story as I did the characters. It all just seemed to develop way too quickly. I read this book and kept thinking that all these events could have easily been spread across a months time instead of just two weeks. This is something that could have easily been fixed by making the book longer. Aside from my issues with the development, I actually did enjoy the story a fair amount. There was a certain element of suspense that kept me wondering what would happen next to Beth. How far would she take things? And then there was something else that made me like this book that I just can't seem to put my finger on.

The writing was just okay for me. It wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. One thing that particularly grated on my nerves was the over usage of exclamation points when the sentence(s) really could have been satisfied with a simple period. Another thing, and maybe my copy of this book is just a fluke, but there was something totally hinky going on with the spacing, which could at times disrupt my flow of reading.

Everyone loves a good ole fashioned happy ending, however there comes a time when you have to think about what is realistic. The ending for Dancing with Ana was just too fairy-tale-happily-ever-after for me. It wasn't in the least bit practical. When a story starts with four girls deciding to go on a diet, three of which continue it, and two of which have other destructive issues going on in their lives, you just can't end it with all problems being resolved and each girl ending up with near too good to be true guys and expect it to sound believable. Trust me, things just don't end that way in real life.

In the end, I think this book could have been great had it simply been longer and been given a more appropriate ending and with better writing it could have been amazing. But it wasn't. I still think there are some good lessons to be learned from this book and I liked it well enough so I would recommend it. Just not very highly. Will I re-read it, maybe but not likely. I do hope that if this is a book you had been wanting to read, that you will look at other reviews because I've noticed many people have really liked this book.

Grade
Characters: C
Writing: C-
Plot: C+
Ending: D+
Enjoyment/Likability: C
Recommendable: C+
Cover: D+

Overall: C


(Note: There will not be a Noteworthy Passages for Dancing with Ana.)


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blogger Interview: And Anything Bookish, Part 2


Welcome back peeps. Today will conclude my interview with the awesome Kim of And Anything Bookish. Enjoy. :D

~~~~~~~~

Name: Salena
Alias: Kim
Blog: And Anything Bookish


Part 2: The random, the wacky, and the deep.

TBP: If dared to try out for American Idol, what song would you pick to sing?

AAB: Possibly Wannabe by the Spice Girls...heehee. Coincidentally (or not) it is my class song as school! Haha...

TBP: You murdered a celebrity. Who was it and why?

AAB: Miley Cyrus. She gets on my nerves. Enough said. (Ooo. Can I help?!)

TBP: It is late at night and you are going to lock the doors when you see Edward Cullen jump out of a dark corner at you. How do you react?

AAB: How did he get in there?!!! O_O I'd scream, that's for sure. Who wouldn't? What does he want? Too bad it's at night...would have been nice to seem him sparkle. LOLOL.

TBP: You are walking outside when a frog hops up to you and tells you that he is really a prince and to kiss him. How do you react?

AAB: A talking frog?! How cool. I'd believe him because he's a talking animal...but I wouldn't kiss him. Maybe eat it? I'd have royalty in my blood...heeeheee.

TBP: You see a $20 bill on the sidewalk but when you go to grab it, it moves away. Do you continue to chase after it?

AAB: Of course, it's money!! O_O I am known to be a cheapo...

TBP: If you could turn into any animal, which animal would it be and why?

AAB: A giraffe. I want to be tall, even if my neck is super long, and look at the world like I've never before.

TBP: If today was your last day, how would you spend it and why?

AAB: I would spend it with my family and take on my fear of heights. My fear of heights has always bugged me so I would like to conquer it. As for my family...I just love them.

TBP: Anything else you'd like to add?

AAB: Give me your lunch money!!

~~~~~~~~~

Thanks again to Kim and a huge thanks to all of you for stopping by. I hope ya'll enjoyed getting to know Kim a little better and if you don't already, will go follow her blog. :D In case you missed Part 1, you can check it out HERE.







Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blogger Interview: And Anything Bookish, Part 1


Welcome everybody. Today I would like to introduce you all to another one of my best blog/twitter buddies. Everybody meet Salena aka Kim. Kim this is everybody. :D

~~~~~~~~

Name: Salena
Alias: Kim
Blog: And Anything Bookish


Part 1: Bookish/Bloggish


The Book Pixie: Tell us a little bit about your blog.

And Anything Bookish: My blog started out as a place where I can use to rant about books that won't get out of my head, but now it's just a nice home away from home.

TBP: Who or what made you want to start blogging?

AAB: I started blogging because I couldn't get some books out of my mind. I was thinking of them 24/7 and it drove me nuts. Once I wrote out my thoughts on a word doc, I felt better so I decided to make a post instead, especially after seeing some blogs online.

TBP: What is your favorite part of blogging and why?

AAB: My favorite part of blogging is meeting other bloggers because they are all so nice. Most importantly, they share something in common with me that I don't with my friends and it is: books.

TBP: On average, how many books do you read/review a month?

AAB: I used to read about 20 a month, and only review about 10 (Yeah, I know. I stink.) With school going on though, those numbers have decreased...dramatically.

TBP: What is your most recent favorite book? Your oldest favorite?

AAB: My most recent favorite book would have to be Mistwood by Leah Cypess. Oldest favorite would have to be Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt. (I WANT MISTWOOD! :P)

TBP: What are three books you are most looking forward to the release of this year?

AAB: Of course the third book in the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (have a feeling Peeta is evil.) One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt. Lastly, Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis.

TBP: Do you write? Working on anything in particular?

AAB: Yes I do write. I'm not very good at it, but I enjoy doing it. Right now, I'm restarting my NaNo because it truly stunk the fifth time I rewrote since November.

TBP: Any advice for those bloggers/reviewers just starting out?

AAB: If you enjoy reading, keep on doing it. Don't worry about how often you update or how many followers you have--just worry about reviewing/blogging about those books because in the end, the reason why you are blogging will always be there and it is that you love books.

~~~~~~~~~

Thank you to Kim for letting me inerview her and thanks to all of you for stopping by. I hope you will all join us again tomorrow for Part 2 of the interview. :D





Author Interview: Kristin Walker

Hello everyone. I would like you all to welcome Kristin Walker, the talented author of the debut YA novel, A Match Made in High School, who was kind enough t let me interview her.

~~~~~~~~~

The Book Pixie: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself.

Kristin Walker: I'm pretty basic. Mom, 3 kids, husband, mortgage, ridiculously hairy dog. Seriously hairy. Chewbacca hairy. Like so bad that at dinner, someone always wins "the dog hair award" for finding the first hair in the food.

TBP: Please give a brief description of your novel.

KW: When a mandatory marriage education course forces Fiona to “try the knot” with super-jock Todd Harding, she’s convinced life couldn't get any worse. Until her crush is paired with her arch enemy (otherwise known as Todd’s obscenely hot, slightly sadistic girlfriend). But that’s nothing compared to her best friend’s fate – a year with the very goofy, very big Johnny Mercer.

A series of hilarious pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.


TBP: What inspired the idea for A Match Made in High School?

KW: I guess it came from dreamland, because I got the idea as I woke up one morning. It seemed like it could be really funny, and it was a topic I knew a bit about. I'm really glad I didn't wake up thinking about tax law. Besides the fact that I know nothing about it, I suspect it might be lacking in the humor-potential department.

TBP: If you had to choose, which character would you say you were most like when you were in high school?

KW: Oh, man, this is awful, because I think I was most like Callie Brooks. Ugh, I can't stand her. She's such a goody-goody. She means well, though. But blech.

TBP: Do you have a favorite line or scene from A Match Made in High School?

KW: I love the part where Fiona narrates Todd's interaction with the varsity quarterback. I've been waiting for years to use that material. It's not something you can just work into a conversation, you know?

TBP: What is one of your funniest memories from high school?

KW: I had this friend, Anita who was so hilarious. She had this one slumber party where we made crank calls and had one guy convinced that we'd met him at a business convention in California or Las Vegas or somewhere. He was totally sure he remembered us, too. Any day spent goofing with Anita was the funniest.

TBP: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a published author?

KW: The opulent riches and decadent Hollywood parties! (Those are coming sometime soon, right?) Nah, the most rewarding thing is hearing from a reader that s/he loved the book and picked up on the little things I tried to pack into it. Surreal, but definitely rewarding.

TBP: Is there anything you hope your readers will take from A Match Made in High School?

KW: Remember that people aren't necessarily what you've painted them to be, and make sure the butt-head in the situation isn't actually you.

TBP: Throughout your whole experience of writing and being published, is there anything you would go back and do differently if given the opportunity? If so, what and why?

KW: No way. Everything I did lead to this point, and I'm so lucky and grateful to be here. I never would be such a jerk as to regret any of it.

TBP: Are you currently working on anything else?

KW: Yes, yes. Working on ideas for another young adult novel. Revising a middle grade. But right now I'm really focusing on enjoying MATCH's release. It was a long road getting here, and I don't want to miss any of it.

TBP: Anything else you'd like to add?

KW: Just a thank you to everyone who has read MATCH. Time is precious and limited, and the fact that you gave some of yours to my work is humbling and amazing. Thank you!

~~~~~~~~

There you have it everyone. I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Kristin a little bit more and I would like to thank Kristin for being here. Below are a couple of links you may want to check out regarding MATCH. :D

Review: A Match Made in High School
Noteworthy Passages: A Match Made in High School






Monday, February 8, 2010

Noteworthy Passages: Forever Changes

Forever Changes by Brendan Halpin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub. Date: September 2nd, 2008
Pages: 192
Age Level: 14+

Synopsis
5:30 a.m., Brianna Pelletier gets ready for her daily pounding. As she lies on the couch, her dad beats her chest, then her back, coaxing the mucus out of her lungs. The pounding doesn’t take care of everything. Brianna’s held out for a long time, but a body with cystic fibrosis doesn’t last forever. It doesn’t matter that Brianna has a brilliant mathematical mind or that she’s a shoo-in for MIT. Or even that her two best friends are beautiful, popular, and loyal. In the grand scheme of things, none of that stuff matters at all. The standard life, lasting maybe seventy-five years, is no more than a speck in the sum total of the universe. At eighteen, and doubting she’ll make nineteen, Brianna is practically a nonentity. Of course she’s done the math. But in her senior year of high school, Brianna learns of another kind of math, in which an infinitely small, near-zero quantity can have profound effects on an entire system. If these tiny quantities didn’t exist, things wouldn’t make the same sense.

Funny, tear-jerking, and memorable, the author’s second novel for teens introduces readers to an extraordinary girl who learns that the meaning of forever can change, and that life – and death – is filled with infinite possibilities.


Noteworthy Passages

Brianna/3rd Person Narrative; pg. 8
So Dad beat her every morning, then turned her over and beat her some more. She got a fair amount of mileage out of this joke--when people asked how her day was, she would often say something like "It started with some huge tattooed guy beating me, so it can pretty much only get better from here."

Third Person Narrative; pg. 49
Well, that was certainly it for Todd. It wasn't like he'd been some great love or anything; they had been friends, and they'd helped each other. She made sure Todd didn't fail Algebra 2 for a second time; he made sure she didn't die a virgin.

Third Person Narrative; pg. 50
She didn't like the coughing, but she was used to it, and everybody understood. The spitting, though, never stopped being gross and embarrassing, but once she had seen what that stuff looked like on a tissue, there was no way she was going to swallow it.

Adam and Adam's Mom; pg. 137
"Just so you know, Brianna, I don't usually wait on him. I'm trying to teach him a little bit about hospitality here, though it's probably a lost cause. Smart boy, but kind of clueless socially," she teased.
"Hey!" Adam said, grinning, "I resemble that remark!"
"See what I mean?" his mom said. "Gets that corny sense of humor from his father. I can't seem to break either of them of it."
She set the pie down, and Brianna thanked her. "You see, Adam?" Mrs. Pennington said. "That's what you do when someone does something nice for you!"
"Thanks, Mom. Can you get back in your cage now?"

Mr. Eccles and Brianna; pg. 148
Mr. Eccles: "Do you know why I love mathematics?"
Brianna: "Because it blew your mind for free when you couldn't get drugs?"

Kevin and Adam; pg. 157
Just then, Kevin, Stephanie's ex who had been replaced by Tom, staggered up to them. "Hey," he said to Melissa, "where's the whore?"
Melissa would surely have come up with a fantastic reply, but, unfortunately for everybody, Adam beat her to it.
"Aw, jeez, we left your mom on the corner!" he said. "Were we supposed to pick her up?"



~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you all enjoyed today's Noteworthy Passages and please feel free to comment with your favorite. You can check out my review of Forever Changes HERE! :)









PLEASE NOTE: This is a feature hosted here at my blog in which I present you with selected passages or quotes that I deem Noteworthy from a book I've just reviewed. My hopes are of course, that these passages will make you want to pick the book up and read it. This feature was started and created by me in January in hopes of making my blog more unique. That being said, I would like to kindly request that you do not use this feature as it was intended to be for my blog only and is not a meme. If you see some one else using it, please know it is without my permission. Thank you.

Review: Forever Changes

Forever Changes by Brendan Halpin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub. Date: September 2nd, 2008
Pages: 192
Age Level: 14+


Synopsis
5:30 a.m., Brianna Pelletier gets ready for her daily pounding. As she lies on the couch, her dad beats her chest, then her back, coaxing the mucus out of her lungs. The pounding doesn’t take care of everything. Brianna’s held out for a long time, but a body with cystic fibrosis doesn’t last forever. It doesn’t matter that Brianna has a brilliant mathematical mind or that she’s a shoo-in for MIT. Or even that her two best friends are beautiful, popular, and loyal. In the grand scheme of things, none of that stuff matters at all. The standard life, lasting maybe seventy-five years, is no more than a speck in the sum total of the universe. At eighteen, and doubting she’ll make nineteen, Brianna is practically a nonentity. Of course she’s done the math. But in her senior year of high school, Brianna learns of another kind of math, in which an infinitely small, near-zero quantity can have profound effects on an entire system. If these tiny quantities didn’t exist, things wouldn’t make the same sense.

Funny, tear-jerking, and memorable, the author’s second novel for teens introduces readers to an extraordinary girl who learns that the meaning of forever can change, and that life – and death – is filled with infinite possibilities.

Review
The best word I can find to describe Forever Changes is bittersweet. It was both sad and funny and was also very thought-provoking, making me put things in perspective. Which, might I add, is something I've really been needing to do lately. XD

One thing I loved about Forever Changes was how all the characters seemed to play equally important roles in Brianna's life, from her friends to her dad to her math teacher. It was almost like there were no minor characters and I really liked this about the book. The relationship between Brianna and her math teacher Mr. Eccles was an original and interesting aspect as well. Brianna's friends all carried their own unique and funny personalities, especially Adam, whom I loved. Someone who really stood out to me though was Brianna's dad who, despite his tough guy exterior, was a real sweetie who loved his daughter more than anything. And of course, I really liked Brianna's character, and not just cause we share a name. tehehehe. She was so smart and likable,(Hmm, maybe we have more than just a name in common. :P) plus her love of math made her really stand out against other YA characters.

It took me a little bit to get into this book but once I did, I really enjoyed it. There are plenty of books out there about teens suffering from illnesses like cancer, so it was refreshing to read about a girl with Cystic Fibrosis. Mom and I know a woman who has CF, she is one of the lucky and rare cases as she is in her fifties now. Also, the mathematical aspect to this story, though math is not my favorite subject, was intriguing and really made this story unique. I only wish Forever Changes could have been longer.

The writing was really good and I can say Forever Changes is one of those few books where I'm actually GLAD it was written in third person. To say why would spoil the book a bit which is also why I'm not going to tell you why I liked the ending, which I did. So there, HA! You'll just have to read the book won't you. I know, I'm such a meany. :P

So I confess, what really drew me to this book was the fact that the MC and I have the same name. How shameful, right? Yeah I know. Well anyway, though I figured I'd at least like this book, I didn't really have any major expectations for it. In the end, I really liked it as it was not only original but also a great combination of engaging, funny, serious, thoughtful, and sad. Since the main character, Brianna, is 18-19yrs old in this book, I can easily see both teens and adults enjoying this lovely, touching novel. I'll definitely be re-reading it and I highly recommend it. :D

Grade
Characters: B
Writing: B-
Plot: B+
Ending: B
Enjoyment/Likability: B
Recommendable: B+
Cover: A+

Overall: B



Friday, February 5, 2010

Noteworthy Passages: A Match Made in Highschool

A Match Made in High School (ARC) by Kristin Walker
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: February 4th, 2010
Pages: 277
Age Level: 15+/YA


Disclaimer: Please note that this is an ARC and passages and quotes below are subject to change in the final copy.

Synopsis
When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.


Noteworthy Passages

(Warning, one or more of the following quotes or passages contain a bit of sexual innuendo.)

Principal Miller; pg. 7
"The school board and I have formulated a plan to address an escalating problem in our country." Principal Miller paused to check her notes. "The divorce rate has exceeded a staggering fifty percent. One out of every two married couples will divorce. The family unit will seperate. The marriage will dissolve and you will be left alone." She looked at us. Scanned the room. Took a shallow breath. "all by yourself. With no one. In your forties...way past your prime." She steadied her trembling body against the podium.

Fiona; pg. 8
We unfroze pretty quickly here.I mean, this was a new low for ECHS. I thought the cafeteria food that tasted like wet navel lint was plenty bad. Or the eye-watering stench of the third-floor girls' bathroom. Or the gym uniforms that looked like they were left over from a 1970's porno flick. Weren't those humiliating enough? Apparently not. Our groans rolled through the auditorium like a thundercloud. But it wasn't until she said the next thing that the lightning hit.

Exchange between Fiona, her mom, and dad; pg. 28-29
"Why? Dad asked. "What happened; did you get a dud?"
I slowly spun my knife on the table. "Not a dud. The complete opposite. Extremely popular and a total jerk. There isn't one thing about this guy I find at all appealing."
"Hey now. Come on. Don't be mean. Popular guys have feelings too," he teased.
"Not this one. Unless you count feeling up his girlfriend in the hallway before class."
"Feeling up a girl always counts," he said.
Mom swacked him with her cloth napkin, "Ethan--"
"It's true. I've counted every single time." And I swear to God, he reached over and honked her boob right in front of me.

Fiona; pg. 69
Mom beamed. She had successfully allied herself with the most powerful group of women in our little town. Housewives with anger issues, plenty of disposanle income, and way too much free time.

Fiona and Sam; pg. 78
Sam marched forward, positioned herself between Todd and me, and pinned her fists on her bony hips. "My name is Samantha Louise Pickler, not that it's any of your buisness, because you are a rude, ugly fart-face."
Even though Sam had her back to me, I covered huge grin with my hand. I knew I was supposed to correct her, but I couldn't. She was too freaking adorable.

Exchange between Fiona, Todd and Maggie the counselor; pg. 148
Maggie Klein reeled herself down from her counseling-induced high. "So. First, I want to congratulate you on winning the monthly prize for October. Here is your voucher for Stueben's" She held it out but neither Todd nor I took it.
Finally, Todd snatched the voucher, saying, "I may as well take this. I know Fiona doesn't go for sausage."
I came right back with, "Todd, though--once he wraps his hands around a long, thick sausage, he can't get it in his mouth fast enough."



~~~~~~~~~

This book was so frikin' hilarious and there were many more quotes and passages I would have liked to include but to do so would have defeated the purpose of reading the book because there were THAT many. You can probably understand my 15+ age level rating from some of the passages above, can't you? lol. I couldn't help posting them though. :D Hope you were able to get a few good laughs. You can check out my review HERE!









PLEASE NOTE: This is a feature hosted here at my blog in which I present you with selected passages or quotes that I deem Noteworthy from a book I've just reviewed. My hopes are of course, that these passages will make you want to pick the book up and read it. This feature was started and created by me in January in hopes of making my blog more unique. That being said, I would like to kindly request that you do not use this feature as it was intended to be for my blog only and is not a meme. If you see some one else using it, please know it is without my permission. Thank you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review: A Match Made in High School

A Match Made in High School (ARC) by Kristin Walker
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: February 4th, 2010 aka TODAY!
Pages: 277
Age Level: 15+/YA
(Numerous double entendres and some language.)

Synopsis
When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.


Review
A Match Made in High School is a delightful, laugh-riot-a-minute, side-splitting good time. An unforgettable debut novel from talented author Kristin Walker.

One of the things I liked so much about this book was how authentic and well developed the characters were. Fiona's inability to keep whatever thought popped into her head from popping out her mouth made her so funny and relatable. At times she could be selfish and judgemental, but then again, can't we all? I really enjoyed watching her change through out the story and getting to go on that journey with her.

I admit, I couldn't stand Todd at first. However, as the story went on, I actually grew to like him. There was a lot more to him then what originally appeared. Sam, the girl Fiona babysits, was, as Fiona says, "Too freakin adorable." She was so spunky and sassy that I wish she could be my little sister. Marcie wasn't exactly my favorite person but she had her moments. Even Amanda, who wasn't really in the book all that much, had changed some by the end. Last but not least is Johnny who was so sweet and reminded me a lot of someone I know, though I wish I could have gotten to know him better. Hmmm, did I say last. My mistake, how could I possibly forget Fiona's parents who were so gosh darn freakin' funny.

The story itself, though a bit predictable, was very original as well as fast paced and down right hilarious. Like seriously, by the time I could calm down and compose myself after rolling on the floor laughing about one thing, something else just as funny would happen or be said. Of course, I like to think that there are some underlying messages about friendship and getting to know a person better before you judge them, too. The writing was good and the dialogue witty with a bit of bite.

I thought the ending was perfect and everything was tied up so well. I don't know that I'd have changed anything about it.

All in all, A Match Made in High School is a great, fun read that I think most anyone, even adults, would enjoy and I highly recommend it. Two thumbs up to Walker for this wonderfully humorous and satisfying debut novel. I can definitely see my self reading this book again in the not so distant future.

Grade
Characters: B+
Writing: B-
Plot: B+
Ending: A-
Enjoyment/Likability: A
Recommendable: A
Cover: B-

Overall:
B+


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blogger Interview: Pirate Penguin, Part 2


Welcome back peeps! Today concludes my interview with Sandy and I hope you all enjoy reading her answers to my out of the ordinary questions. :D

Name: Sandy
Alias: Pirate Penguin
Blog: Pirate Penguin Reads


Part 2: Wacky, Random, Thoughtful


The Book Pixie: What is one of your favorite quotes?

Pirate Penguin: I love quotes! I have a few favorites..
"If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it." -Toni Morrison
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt
"Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art." -Eleanor Roosevelt


TBP: You wake up in the hospital and are told you were electrocuted. What stupid thing were you doing to cause that to happen?

PP: I probably got into a fight with my microwave. I get into fights with inanimate objects a lot these days *shakes head*

TBP: If forced to dye your hair an unnatural color, what would you choose?

PP: Oh gosh. I would have to say...blue. But a specific kind of blue. Like turquoise or periwinkle for example. :D

TBP: Zombies are taking over the world and it is up to you to stop them. You can choose four people to help fight them off and one supernatural power? Who do you pick and which power?

PP: I would choose my friends Meggo, Cristina, Diana and Tanya. Meggo & Cristina are amazingly creative so they'd find some genius way to divert the evil zombies... Diana is more book smart so she'd formulate a perfect getaway plan and Tanya's a goofball so she can ease the tense moments with a silly joke. As for a power? Just one? Damn! Okay... To be able to run at top speed so I can run away from the zombies. I could carry all my friends and just run into the night!

TBP: A mob of people with pitch forks and torches are chasing after you. Who are they and what did you do to piss them off?

PP: They're probably a mob of librarians. See, I made the mistake of telling them that I was taking their entire YA collection...without any intentions of giving it back! And I might have taken too many free bookmarks... ;)

TBP: If you could be any supernatural/mythical creature, what would it be and why?

PP: I'd like to be a shape-shifter. I find it so fascinating to be able to just turn into another creature... and maybe a faerie x)

TBP: If you were to create your own 'Bucket List' (Things to do before you 'kick the bucket'), what would be the first 3 things on it?

PP: Cliche as this sounds, travel the world! There are so many places that I want to visit and I love learning about new cultures. And (here's another cliche) to write my own novel. I'm not sure when it'll happen, but I'd like it to :) Also, I've been wanting to learn how to belly dance since it looks like so much fun!
(Belly dancing? I can honestly say I'd have never guessed. lol.)

TBP: Anything else you'd like to add?

PP: Just that I loved these questions, Bri. Thanks for the fun interview! :)

Thanks again, Sandy, for letting me interview you. It was really fun and I hope all of you readers enjoyed getting to know Sandy better. In case you missed Part 1 of my interview with her, go HERE to check it out.


About Me

My Photo
Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

My Partner in Crime...er...I mean reading. :P

My Partner in Crime...er...I mean reading. :P
Meet Rudy everyone!