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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass


Saturday, October 30, 2010

In My Mailbox (59)


In My Mailbox
IMM is a weekly meme hosted and created by Kristie at
The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

Won from Flipping Pages for All Ages
~The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell

Won from Erika Breathes Books
~When it Happens by Susane Colasanti
~Bloom by Elizabeth Scott
~3 Freefall bookmarks

Won from I Heart Monster
~I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Won from Nikola's Book Blog
~His Last Letter by Jeane Westin

From Simon and Schuster (Not pictured)
~5 surprise books for Birthday Countdown Celebration Giveaway

~~~~~~~

So that's what I got in my mailbox this week and I hope you all got some great stuff as well! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! :D




Review: Kisses and Lies

Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: January 13th, 2009
Pages: 320
Series: Scarlett Wakefield, #2
Age Level: 14+
Source:
Bought


Synopsis via Goodreads

After discovering that someone saw what looked like Dan’s emergency EpiPen in A-lister Plum’s designer handbag, Scarlett and her tough American sidekick, Taylor, sneak into a posh London nightclub, where Plum has a private table. Scarlett is stunned to discover a piece of evidence that might implicate another girl in Plum’s exclusive circle, Lucy Raleigh. Which means Scarlett must cast a wider net in order to catch the right suspect.

Back at school, groundskeeper Jase is hoping to take Scarlett’s mind off her troubles with some heart-stopping kisses. Scarlett can’t help but feel guilty for indulging in romantic rendezvous when she should be hunting down Dan’s killer. However, once Scarlett finds out how Lucy is connected to Dan, she knows she must drop everything and travel to the McAndrew estate in Scotland to hunt for more clues. But when she arrives, Scarlett becomes the target of a dangerous hunt herself.


Review (Spoiler Free)
Kisses and Lies is one of those rarities that proves second books in a series don't always have to be duds, that they can, in fact, even be better than the first.

I felt Scarlett continued to develop wonderfully in Kisses and Lies and I grew to like her even more as a character. She is realistically flawed and I don't mean this in a bad way since I feel these flaws made her very believable. Like in the previous book, I loved how Scarlett also owns up to her faults and that makes her easier to connect with. She, in general, has a great personality and has definitely got guts; I really admired her determination. Towards the end, Scarlett accesses how she sees herself to have grown as a person and I found myself totally agreeing. Now on to Scarlett's bold, ever loyal American friend Taylor. Though at times her character seemed maybe a touch too...masculine...she's absolutely hilarious and I could easily see myself having her as a friend. Also, I got to see a bit of vulnerability from her this time, which I really think helped further her character. As for Jase, we don't really get much of him and so I feel I'm still lacking a connection with him as a romantic interest. However, I think he is supposed to be in the next book a lot more.

In Kisses and Lies, we are also introduced to a bunch of new characters that really help drive the story onward. One that really stood out to me was Callum. Now, while I felt his change of tune concerning Scarlett was a bit rash and never totally explained, I found I actually really liked him and was very sad about how things had to...er...end.

Kisses and Lies was considerably more exciting and suspenseful than Kiss Me, Kill Me thanks to its lack of some of the predictability that I found in it's predecessor. The mystery aspect was also much more dominant. Granted, there were some things I still ended up figuring out but it took me much further in the book to come to those realizations. Also, I loved that about half of this book took place at a castle in Scotland; the setting was so alluring to me, especially considering I've always wanted to go there.

Henderson's writing was pretty good and descriptive and while there isn't really much difference between British and American writing, the difference is still there and distinguishable in the terminology and references. This is one of the reasons I love reading books by British authors.

The ending for Kisses and Lies is kind of a when-one-door-closes-another-door-opens ending. It was also surprisingly bittersweet which is something I was definitely not expecting but believed to be very situation appropriate.

While being a fun and page-turning read, Kisses and Lies is not without its own touching, even heart-breaking moments, especially towards the end. I also appreciated how the series improved concerning both characters and plot. Honestly, I would love to see a lot more books like the Scarlett Wakefield series in YA. We really need more contemporary mysteries such as these and I would highly recommend this series. I know I can't wait to read the next book, Kiss in the Dark.

Grade
Characters: B
Writing: C+
Plot: B
Ending: B-
2nd in Series: B
Enjoyment/Likability: B
Recommendable: B+

Overall: B

Cover: B-


Friday, October 29, 2010

18th Birthday Countdown Giveaway #5: Christine E. Schulze Duo

Bloodmaiden: A Fantasy Anthology by Christine E. Schulze
Publisher: Createspace
Pub. Date: April 10th, 2010
Pages: 198

Synopsis
For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan." These words echo the mystery, horror, romance, and redemption found throughout the stories of Schulze's fantasy anthology. A young woman and young boy must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. A Scintillate princess must defy her only sister and sacrifice all to save the one she loves. A captain braves tempestuous seas to rescue Larimar, his gem of the sea. A blind girl unravels the mystery of the one who grants her sight in dreams and whom can hear her heart's song. A young Elemental survives many dangerous ventures to discover true freedom. All of these and more weave together to create a truly powerful collection.


Tears of a Vampire Prince: The First Krystine
by Christine E. Schulze

Synopsis via author
This short but powerful novella chronicles the early life of Aaryn, who, in mourning the recent death of his wife, Chrystine, reflects upon the girl whose name and healing nature made him fall in love with his wife at their first meeting—the other Krystine, his first love, a lovely, innocent, child-like Veela.

In remembering her, he recounts his early ventures—how he became the very first vampire, how he protected her from the lusts of the Princes of Night and struggled to protect her from himself, how he was forcibly drug into a mission in search for the One who could overthrow the evil of the Enchantress who created him—and how all these tales and misadventures weave together to tell the story of a love so beautiful and yet sorrowful, brimming with both hope and hopelessness.

A tale of mystery, adventure, and passion, Aaryn’s story echoes the unbreakable love and eternal bond between two immortals.

Truly, this is the saddest vampire tale ever told.



~~~~~~~~~~

Contest Info

Prize:
~Thanks to Christine, I have two of her books available for one lucky winner. The winner will receive Bloodmaiden: A Fantasy Anthology and Tears of a Vampire Prince (releases in Nov. so possibe slight delay). Books will be shipped to the winner by the author.

Contest Rules:
~You must FILL OUT THE FORM to be entered.
~Contest is open to US residents only unless you know someone who lives here that can except your prize for you.
~Contest will run until 11:59PM EST on November 15th. Winner will then be announced on the 16th, my birthday. Winner will then have 48 hours to reply to my email or another winner will be chosen.

Extra Entires:
You can earn extra entries by promoting this contest in your sidebar, on your twitter, and by adding my button. (Should be where people will notice it. Not at the bottom of your page or in a slideshow box.)



Thursday, October 28, 2010

18th Birthday Countdown Giveaway #4: The Ivy

The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pub. Date: August 31st, 2010
Pages: 320
Age Level: YA


Synopsis via Goodreads
Freshman year at Harvard--glamorous parties, blossoming friendships, steamy romances, and scandalous secrets. Skip the campus tour and get right to the good stuff: classes are for scoping guys (and their Facebook profiles), not taking notes. The library is for study dates (the medieval history stacks get a lot of action), not studying. And success is a 4.0 GPA... plus getting into the most exclusive parties. How will Callie--a California girl with brains, beauty, and big dreams--and her three roommates survive?

Get admitted to The Ivy, the first book in a provocative new series about the world of the Ivy League.


~~~~~~~~~~~~

Contest Info
I somehow ended up receiving two copies of The Ivy for review. Instead of including this with my other duplicates and extras in the YA Mix and Match giveaway, I wanted to do a seperate giveaway of this book and make it international.

Prize:
~One International winner will receive a finished copy of The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur plus some swag.

Contest Rules:
~You must FILL OUT THE FORM to be entered.
~Contest is open to INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTS ONLY. In other words, this contest is only open to those living OUTSIDE the US. This way someone international is guaranteed to win.
~Contest will run until 11:59PM EST on November 15th. Winner will be announced on the 16th, my birthday, and have 48hrs to respond to my email.

Extra Entries:
You can earn extra entries by promoting this contest in your sidebar or on your twitter. (Should be where people will notice it. Not at the bottom of your page or in a slideshow box.)





18th Birthday Countdown Giveaway #3: YA Mix and Match Pack



Contest Info
So over time I have accumulated some extra books. I happen to have duplicates of Sea Change, Airhead, and Wings. Plus I have a copy of Hunted which I can't read because I don't have the first four, and I Shall Wear Midnight. How lucky for you?

You will be required to choose on the form which three books you would like to win. 1st place will get the ones they chose and then 2nd place will be determined based on what's left. For example, if Wings and Hunted are left, I will select a winner from the people who had both those books checked.

Prizes
~Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
~Airhead by Meg Cabot
~Wings by Aprilynne Pike
~I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
~Hunted by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Winners
~1st place will receive three books of their choice from above.
~2nd place will receive the remaining two.
~Both winners will receive swag.

Contest Rules:
~You must FILL OUT THE FORM to be entered.
~Contest is open to US residents only unless you know someone who lives here that can except your prize for you.
~Contest will run until 11:59PM EST on November 15th. Winners will then be announced on the 16th, my birthday. Winners will have 48 hours to reply to my email.

Extra Entires:
You can earn extra entries by promoting this contest in your sidebar, on your twitter, and by adding my button. (Should be where people will notice it. Not at the bottom of your page or in a slideshow box.)


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

18th Birthday Countdown Giveaway #2: Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman

Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman
Publisher: Blair, John F. Publisher
Pub. Date: September 28th, 2010
Pages: 200
Age Level: 14+


Synopsis via Goodreads
In Heart With Joy, fifteen-year-old Julian Hale’s life is turned upside down when his mother suddenly moves from North Carolina to Venice, Florida under the pretense of running her parents’ motel and finishing the novel she has been working on for years. While Julian has always been closer to his mother and wants to go with her, she tells him he has to stay with his father until the end of the school year.

Six weeks after his mother leaves, Julian’s father decides to run a marathon. This surprises Julian because he has never seen his father exercise, but once he agrees to help him train the two develop the sort of close relationship they’ve never had before. Also, with the help of an elderly neighbor, Julian learns that the most important thing in life is to follow your heart. And Julian’s heart leads him to a passion for cooking and a young cashier at the local grocery store. By the end of the novel, Julian is forced to choose between staying with his father and going to live with his mother.

Heart With Joy is an uplifting coming of age novel about cooking and bird watching, about writing and pottery, and about falling in love and the sacrifices we all make. But ultimately, it’s about the importance of following your heart and trusting that it will take you where you need to go.


~~~~~~~~~~

Contest Info

Prize:
~Thanks to Steve Cushman, one winner will receive a copy of his YA novel, Heart with Joy.


Contest Rules:
~You must FILL OUT THE FORM to be entered.
~Contest is open Internationally so everyone can enter!
~Contest will run until 11:59PM EST on November 15th. Winner will then be announced on the 16th, my birthday. Winner will then have 48 hours to reply to my email.

Extra Entires:
You can earn extra entries by promoting this contest in your sidebar, on your twitter, and by adding my button. (Should be where people will notice it. Not at the bottom of your page or in a slideshow box.)



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Noteworthy Passages: Lure

Lure by Deborah Kerbel
Publisher: Dundurn
Pub. Date: September 20th, 2010
Pages: 193
Age Level: 12+

Source: Received from publisher in exchange for honest review.

Synopsis via Goodreads
A Victorian garden, a fishing lure, and a ghost named John.


Absolutely nothing is going right for Max Green. His parents have just uprooted their family from Vancouver to the bleak suburbs of Toronto, he has no friends, and everybody at his new high school is ignoring him. To make matters worse, he's in love with an older girl who's completely out of his league.

When Max discovers a local library rumored to be haunted by ghosts, he's immediately drawn to it. With the help of some cryptic messages, he begins to piece together the identity of the teenage ghost and the mysterious chain of events that have connected its spirit to the building for over a century. But just who was John, anyway? Why has he chosen to contact Max? And what does an old fishing lure have to do with solving the mystery?


Noteworthy Passages

John; pg. 83-84
We both knew how it would enrage Father to know about my secret ambitions. If I'd been born a girl, becoming a teacher wouldn't have bee a problem. But Robert McCallum considered books to be idle and womanish, and male teachers effeminate and weak. There was no chance that he would sanction a career in book-learning for me. No, he would do whatever he had to do to ensure that his only son learned his trade and took over the forge. A hammer, an anvil, and a coal fire were the tools of my future. Books were not.

Max; pg. 167
I waited until I was sure my parents were asleep before sneaking out of my room. It was twenty minutes past midnight when I crept down the stairs as silently as my big feet would allow and stole out into the late October night. Luckily I didn't have far to go, because the sight of me with the shovel in my hand and my hood pulled down low over my face would have raised red flags in even the most trusting of passersby.

~~~~~~~~~~

First off, I noticed something very interesting about the passages I'd chosen when I was getting ready to post this. Ok so the first passage spanned two pages, 83 and 84. The second one was on page 167. What does 83 + 84 equal? That's right, 167. lol. I promise it wasn't intentional.

Something I really loved about the first passage was that it showed how gender discrimination could apply even to guys back then. Then the second one really had me laughing when I read it. I hope you enjoyed these passages and that you'll decide to get yourself a copy of Lure. Want to know more about it first? Then you can always check out my Review.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and thanks a bunch for stopping by and taking the time to read this. Hope you are having a lovely day. :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.

18th Birthday Countdown Giveaway #1: Harper Teen Duo

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pub. Date: February 1st, 2011
Pages: 304
Age Level: YA

Synopsis via Goodreads
Corrinne Corcoran’s upscale Manhattan life is perfectly on track—until her father announces he’s been laid off and she’s shipped off to Broken Spoke, Texas, to live with her grandparents. All alone in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the glamorous life she’s supposed to be living. But as she grudgingly adjusts—making new friends and finding romance along the way—this city girl begins to realize that life without credit cards and shopping sprees may not be as bad as it seems....

In this sparkling debut that flawlessly balances romance and humor, readers will grow to love sharp and sassy Corrinne as she goes on her totally reluctant but completely irresistible journey of self-discovery.

Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pub. Date: December 28th, 2010
Pages: 336
Age Level: YA


Synopsis via Goodreads
The first book in a dark, edgy new angel series about a girl who finds herself forced to choose sides in the battle between fallen angels, even if that means going against the boy she loves.

When Ellie Faneuil first sees Michael Chase she feels an instantaneous connection. But she does not realize how much they have in common, including the ability fly and to see what others are thinking - not to mention a taste for blood. Reveling in their new powers and their growing feelings for each other, Ellie and Michael are determined to uncover what they are, and how they got this way ... together.
But the truth has repercussions neither could have imagined. Soon they find themselves center stage in an ancient conflict between fallen angels that threatens to destroy everything they love. And it is no longer clear whether Ellie and Michael will choose the same side.

In this electrifying novel Heather Terrell spins a gripping tale of soul-mates, supernatural powers and a truth that will change Ellie and Michael's world forever.


~~~~~~~~~~

Contest Info
This is the first of a series of giveaways kicking off my 18th Birthday Countdown Celebration.

Prize:
~One lucky winner will receive ARCs of both Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley and Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell courtesy of TJ with
Harper Teen. I'll also throw in some random swag for good measure. :D

Contest Rules:
~You must FILL OUT THE FORM to be entered.
~Contest is open to US residents only unless you know someone who lives here that can except your prize for you.
~Contest will run until 11:59PM EST on November 15th. Winner will then be announced on the 16th, my birthday. Winner will then have 48 hours to reply to my email.

Extra Entires:
You can earn extra entries by promoting this contest in your sidebar, on your twitter, and by adding my button. (Should be where people will notice it. Not at the bottom of your page or in a slideshow box.)


Monday, October 25, 2010

18th Birthday Countdown Celebration Kickoff!!!


Hello everyone! Ok so on November 16th, I will have officially been thrown into adulthood whether I'm ready for it or not. That's right, I'll be turning 18. I know, scary right? I realize that the day a teen turns 18 is the day most all of them can't wait for. True, I am a bit excited but I'm also nervous as hell. Most teens view adulthood as freedom; I see it as more responsibility, higher expectations, bills, and...are you ready...taxes. Dun dun dun DUUUUUN! However turning 18 does have its advantages too, like going to college, being able to get jobs you couldn't get before, no longer having to have permission to do things, being able to enter any contest you want, and much more. So I guess you could say I have mixed feelings about my upcoming 18th birthday.

However, I'm sure all of you will be nothing but happy that I'm turning 18. Why? Well because despite not currently having any plans on how to spend my birthday, I have decided to celebrate it here on my blog via my 18th Birthday Countdown Celebration. Can you say contests? Around 10 of them to be exact! Starting tomorrow, I will be posting contests for a variety of books. The event in general will start today, the 25th, and run until my 18th birthday on Nov. 16th. It will be on my birthday that I will announce the winners of all my contests.

So keep an eye out everyone because the first contest will go up in just a few hours and you won't want to miss it. :D

Review: Lure

Lure by Deborah Kerbel
Publisher: Dundurn
Pub. Date: September 20th, 2010
Pages: 193
Age Level: 12+

Source: Received from publisher in exchange for honest review.

Synopsis via Goodreads
A Victorian garden, a fishing lure, and a ghost named John.


Absolutely nothing is going right for Max Green. His parents have just uprooted their family from Vancouver to the bleak suburbs of Toronto, he has no friends, and everybody at his new high school is ignoring him. To make matters worse, he's in love with an older girl who's completely out of his league.

When Max discovers a local library rumored to be haunted by ghosts, he's immediately drawn to it. With the help of some cryptic messages, he begins to piece together the identity of the teenage ghost and the mysterious chain of events that have connected its spirit to the building for over a century. But just who was John, anyway? Why has he chosen to contact Max? And what does an old fishing lure have to do with solving the mystery?


Review
Lure is a subtle, keenly crafted ghost story that is at once both haunting and poignant. After reading, and loving, Kerbel's two contemporary YA novels, I was very curious to see how well she could pull off something like Lure. Well, no surprise here, she definitely didn't disappoint and has me relishing her talent and ability as an author all the more.

Both Max and John were well written, realistic male protagonists. I was able to easily connect with each of them and became equally absorbed in both their sides of the story, though for different reasons. I felt Max's witty humor expertly contrasted the grim side of John's life, yet they still shared similar characteristics. I thought Kerbel also did a great job on the supporting characters as well. Caroline was the sweet, quirky type--the kind of person I'd like to have as a friend--and Max's companion for most of his duration of the novel. Then there was William, John's cousin, who is a serious bully and while I never liked him, there were times I almost felt bad for him considering his circumstances.

Lure is more of a low-key ghost story in comparison to some. At first I was somewhat disappointed by this; I wanted a bit more scare. However, I did grow to like it as I found Kerbel really made it work for this book. The fear, suspense, and eeriness were more underlying instead of right up in my face, yet they were still noticeably there. I loved that while sometimes I knew what was going to happen, I didn't know how or why, which really kept me turning the pages. The setting and plot really lured me into it's depths, showing me how the title, Lure, easily applied to two aspects of this story. The historical incorporation wasn't overpowering yet it still enhanced my reading experience. For example, the fact that the library in Lure actually exists made everything all the more intriguing.

Kerbel continues to impress me with her writing ability in Lure. The tone was set perfectly to provide that slightly eerie atmosphere and everything came so vividly to mind. The writing flowed seamlessly from page to page and provided the perfect pacing. The alternating perspectives were well done with each character getting the same amount of attention.

The ending took me for a bit of a surprise and I couldn't help thinking, "How did I not see that coming?" I thought Kerbel ended John's story perfectly but I really wanted more from Max's.

Lure is the perfect read for the Autumn time of the year, especially around Halloween. With an unobtrusive intensity, a chilling mystery, and lovely writing, this is one book you won't want to miss out on. While I enjoy a moderate amount of scariness in a story, I've never been one to like what you would call true horror. If you are the same way then this book is perfect for you and even those true horror fans might like it as well. Even though it's written for YA, I can also easily see Lure appealing to adults. Either way, I highly recommend this engrossing read and can't wait for more work from Kerbel.

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

Overall: B+

Cover: B-


Saturday, October 23, 2010

In My Mailbox (58)

In My Mailbox
IMM is a weekly meme hosted and created by Kristie at
The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

Won from Erika Breathes Books
~Personalized! Minder by Kate Kaynak
~Sticker

Won from Princess Bookie's Contest Craze
~Personalized! Life, After by Sarah Darer Littman
~Bookmark

Won from All About {n}
~She's Gone Country by Jane Porter

BookMooched from Author
~Signed! ARC of Solid by Shelley Workinger
~Bookmark

From Kellogg (Don't judge!)
~Toy Story Alien (Oooooo! Ahhhhh!)
~Toy Story Hamm (Piggy Bank)

~~~~~~~~~

Yes I so totally got the Toy Story stuff from Kellogg. What can I say? I grew up with that movie! Also got some fabulous books in the mail. Hope you all got some great stuff too. :D





Friday, October 22, 2010

Noteworthy Passages: Mermaid Park

Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub. Date: May 10th, 2007
Pages: 248
Age Level: 14+
Source: BookMooched


Synopsis via Goodreads
Sixteen-year-old Amy rush doesn't expect much from her summer at the Jersey shore, until she stumbles on Mermaid park, an old tourist spot where girls dress in fabulous costumes and put on underwater shows. working at the park changes Amy's life in more ways than she could have imagined. she finds romance, a newfound self-confidence, and discovers breathtaking revelations about long-buried family secrets.


Noteworthy Passages

Amy; pg. 1
Packed in the back of our family Freak-Show Wagon O' Fun, I was coming to terms with the fact that I was not a nice person. A nice person wouldn't have just spent two hours wishing severe, incurable illness upon Rebecca Shoemaker, the friend who'd bailed on spending three days with me on this family trip to the Jersey shore.

Pool Sign at Motel; pg. 42
NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY.
WELCOME TO OUR OOL. (PLEASE NOTE WE LEFT THE "PEE" OUT.)

Amy; pg. 104
A little girl said, "Mommy, that was a real mermaid. I could tell." The mom smiled at me, sharing the joke. I smiled back but thought, I might be closer to the little girl on this one, lady.

Amy; pg. 194-195
He breathed out, looked somewhere far away. The raindrops deadened all the sound, the crickets, the birds. It was just me and him and a hundred thousand tiny drops dripping into this pool on top of a spring spurting out of the ground. Where water from the sky met with water from the Earth and mixed into something else completely.

~~~~~~~~

Mermaid Park was a very enjoyable novel that I don't really think a lot of people know about. I hope that by posting my Review, as well as these passages, that you'll be inspired to pick up this lovely novel and read it.
And please do comment if you have the time. I always love hearing what ya'll think. :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.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review: Mermaid Park

Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub. Date: May 10th, 2007
Pages: 248
Age Level: 14+
Source: BookMooched


Synopsis via Goodreads
Sixteen-year-old Amy rush doesn't expect much from her summer at the Jersey shore, until she stumbles on Mermaid park, an old tourist spot where girls dress in fabulous costumes and put on underwater shows. working at the park changes Amy's life in more ways than she could have imagined. she finds romance, a newfound self-confidence, and discovers breathtaking revelations about long-buried family secrets.


Review
Set against a beautiful and enchanting backdrop, Mermaid Park is a complex and delicately woven combination of both serious situations and joyful ones. Don't let the light-hearted cover fool you. While still having a fun and magical side, Mermaid Park is also a grounded and thought-provoking story, making it a wonderful coming-of-age novel.

Amy was a very dynamic character with a witty and authentic teen voice that I thought Mayall did a lovely job of creating. Instead of her being whiny, I found she was easy to connect with and sympathize for. Amy's family situation at first appeared to be fairly black and white, but as the story went on, other things came into play that blurred that definite line, creating shades of grey. Her step-father, Tom, is a jerk, plain and simple; after marrying Amy's mom, he basically takes over. When Amy refuses to comply and roll-over like a dog to his overbearing and controlling ways, he singles her out for the worst of the verbal abuse. I could tell that at times Amy was trying to make things work with her family but there were also a couple of times when I knew she should have held her tongue. Then again, I still couldn't half blame her for when she did let Tom have it. Amy's mom tends to misunderstand Amy but even she, herself, is misunderstood. Then there is Amy's little sister, Mel, who is a little brat but turns out to have a bit of a dark secret of her own. And Dylan, well I just absolutely adored him and though I wasn't overly crazy about the turn things took between him and Amy, I did find I could somewhat relate to Amy's feelings towards him. I thought Lynne and Stephanie were also good supporting characters.

Mermaid Park was such a charming setting for this story, not to mention creative and refreshing. I often found myself wanting to get lost in the enchantment of the park, to be one of the mermaids swimming so gracefully about, putting on a spectacular show for the wide-eyed audience. Throughout the novel, Amy comes to discover not only more about herself, but more about her family and others as well. I found the entire story to be well plotted and was surprised to find how complex Amy's relationship with her family actually turned out to be. That being said, I would have liked to have seen said relationship more thoroughly explored as I was sometimes confused by some of her mother and sister's opinions of her, feeling I needed more background story. Of course, I did really appreciate that Amy's journey of self-discovery and growth as a character was the focus of Mermaid Park, rather than the romance.

I found Mayall's writing style to be both clever and emotional; the dialogue being spot on. It was very well paced and presented a great usage of imagery. At times, I did feel that the first-person perspective made me a touch too biased. However, I enjoyed Amy's voice to much to sacrifice that just for a less biased view of things.

Towards the end, Mayall reveals a twist that she had slowly been building up to throughout the novel. Despite having seen it coming, I still felt it was a very powerful way to end Mermaid Park. The ending overall, was more on the bittersweet side but I loved the glimpse of hope that it provided.

Mermaid Park is one of those books that just really captured my attention. It was like a breath of fresh air amongst all the 'sameness' of some books. I would highly recommend this book to teen girls and feel that Mermaid Park deserves a bit more attention than it has received thus far. I'm hoping that Mayall will eventually crank out another YA book for my reading pleasure as I found myself absolutely captivated by Mermaid Park and look forward to reading it again in the future.

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

Overall: B

Cover: C

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Noteworthy Passages: Awakened

Awakened by Ednah Walters
Publisher: Pill Hill Press
Pub. Date: September 2nd, 2010
Pages: 256
Series: The Guardian Legacy, #1
Source: For review via author
Age Level: 14+


Synopsis via Goodreads
Most teens turn sixteen and get the license to drive, Lil Falcon gets the license to kill demons, but no one told her she is not supposed to fall in love with one. At approximately 87,000 words, THE AWAKENING written by my client Ednah Walters is a compelling young adult paranormal romance novel.

Orphaned as a child and raised by an eccentric grandfather, Lil is concerned with surviving high school and is unaware she's a Guardian—a being with super powers charged with killing demons and protecting humanity. But when she meets Bran, a mysterious boy with amazing abilities, his psi energy unlocks her latent powers.

But Bran has a secret that can destroy their growing relationship. He's part demon. But in her heart, Lil knows Bran is not evil. So when her grandfather is kidnapped by a powerful nature-bender and Bran is the only one who knows where he's being kept, Lil convinces the other Guardians to trust him, not knowing her grandfather is just the bait. And the truth that she discovers in the demonic enclave may just destroy everything she believes in, unless she makes the right choice—love and sacrifice.


Noteworthy Passages

Lil and Doug; pg. 100-101
"I'm Doug," his friend said, flanking me on the other side, his eyes running up and down my jean-clad legs and lingering on my chest. He leered. "You're new, right?"
I rolled my eyes. This was so old. "Right." I didn't mean to listen to his thoughts, but the gleam in his eyes had me digging into his psyche. He thought I was hot. Cool. And he wanted to...ew, bad jock, bad, bad. Forget free will. I'm stopping this bonehead.
No, don't ask me out...go away...leave me alone...pretend you don't know me.
"Are you going to the school dance...?" Doug's voice trailed off in the middle of the sentence then he turned to Sykes. "I've got to go, man."
He took off without looking at me.
I stared after him with round eyes. Did it work?

Lil, Mrs. D, and Kenta; pg. 157
I went through the motions of doing my homework and at the dojo hours later, we concentrated on telekinesis. We used heavier objects--chairs, tables, the ceiling. No, the last one was an accident. I planned to move a hovering table to my left, but instead locked on the ceiling. Plaster and wood tumbled down, leaving behind a gaping hole. My jaw dropped then laughter bubbled through. Mrs. D's gaped when the table danced in the air as if it had a life of its own. The harder I laughed the more the darn thing moved. She joined me.
Running feet in the hallway then the door burst open. "What's going...?" Kenta's voice trailed off, his gaze taking in the crazy scene. Behind him stood the instructors and trainees.
Mrs. D controlled herself long enough to say, "The ceiling exploded," then she laughed harder.

Lil; pg. 183
His laugh came from the shifting shadows around my truck. Like a brush of frosty air, the evil sound spread goose bumps over my skin. I stiffened, looked around. Nothing but darkness hugging beams from headlights of passing cars. And the laughter echoed into the night. So insane and haunting.
You can't be everywhere all the time, Lil.

~~~~~~~~

Well I hope you all enjoyed the passages I chose and that they will encourage you to pick up Awakened. But just in case you need a little extra motivation, check out my Review.

As always, thanks for stopping by and remember, your comments mean a lot to me. :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.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review: Awakened

Awakened by Ednah Walters
Publisher: Pill Hill Press
Pub. Date: September 2nd, 2010
Pages: 256
Series: The Guardian Legacy, #1
Source: For review via author
Age Level: 14+


Synopsis via Goodreads
Most teens turn sixteen and get the license to drive, Lil Falcon gets the license to kill demons, but no one told her she is not supposed to fall in love with one. At approximately 87,000 words, THE AWAKENING written by my client Ednah Walters is a compelling young adult paranormal romance novel.

Orphaned as a child and raised by an eccentric grandfather, Lil is concerned with surviving high school and is unaware she's a Guardian—a being with super powers charged with killing demons and protecting humanity. But when she meets Bran, a mysterious boy with amazing abilities, his psi energy unlocks her latent powers.

But Bran has a secret that can destroy their growing relationship. He's part demon. But in her heart, Lil knows Bran is not evil. So when her grandfather is kidnapped by a powerful nature-bender and Bran is the only one who knows where he's being kept, Lil convinces the other Guardians to trust him, not knowing her grandfather is just the bait. And the truth that she discovers in the demonic enclave may just destroy everything she believes in, unless she makes the right choice—love and sacrifice.


Review
Ednah Walters debut YA novel, Awakened, is a refreshing and action-packed addition to the paranormal genre.

Lil was a very good heroine with a great sense of humor as well as a knowledge of when action needed to be taken. She wasn't exactly what I would call a natural born leader but I feel that just made it all the better when she did take charge. It's one thing to do something that comes easily to you; it's another thing altogether to do something that doesn't. One thing I liked about Lil was that when she first met Bran, despite finding him incredibly good looking, she didn't let her guard down and got away from him when she thought something about him wasn't right. Well, turns out Bran is still a good guy, even though he wasn't always that way. I didn't exactly swoon and fall in love with him but I found I liked him well enough. Also, there was a plethora of supporting characters, all having their own, distinct personalities. This could have been a problem as the characters may have become hard to keep up with but I found that I had no trouble with that at all.

For me, Awakened started out a bit slow and while it never seemed to be exactly fast-paced, things did get much more exciting. The whole imaginative thought process that went behind creating the 'Lineage of the Nephilim' and their world was wonderfully done and very refreshing. The names for the various Nephilim were very creative and I loved the reference pages at the beginning of the book. The story itself, while a bit predictable, had the occasional twist and was full of action.

The writing was easily my least favorite part of the book. Either I'm just becoming far more intuitive to typos or editing is getting sloppy. I could go pages without finding an error in the writing but then there would be three typos on one page. There were letters swapped, missing letters, missing spaces, wrong verb tenses, words that should have been plural but weren't, words that shouldn't have been plural but were, use of contractions where they didn't work, and over usage of particular phrases and words. Maybe it was the bumped up publication date that resulted in some of these mistakes. Don't get me wrong, in general the writing was good but the errors did detract just a little bit from the book. The dialogue, atleast, was still witty and believable which is a definite plus.

While the ending clearly promised a sequel, it wasn't a huge cliffhanger like with some books. I do, of course, love jaw-dropping cliffhangers with books in a series but one benefit to Awakened not having one is that it has made the wait for the next book a bit more bearable.

So despite the editing issues, Awakened was a great, captivating read once it got going. I haven't really noticed anyone else mention the writing errors so maybe it's just me. XD Either way, this book is definitely worth picking up and I would highly recommend it. I know I am really looking forward to Betrayed, the next in the series.

Grade
Characters: B
Writing: C
Plot: B
Ending: B-
1st in Series: B
Enjoyment/Likability: B
Recommendable: B+

Overall: B

Cover: C+

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Giveaway #3: Drowned Sorrow by Vanessa Morgan

Drowned Sorrow by Vanessa Morgan
Publisher: Llumina Press
Pub. Date: December 2nd, 2008
Pages: 188

Synopsis via Goodreads
Megan Blackwood has just lost her son in a terrible accident. Now she has come to Moonlight Creek with her teenage daughter Jenna, hoping a change of scenery might help to put her life back together.

But something odd is going on in Moonlight Creek.

When rain falls over the village, its inhabitants commit grisly murders, leaving the place deserted with the first rays of sunshine.

Beneath the lake's surface, an eerie presence watches... and waits... Waits to reveal a tragic past drowned in mystery and fear. One that doesn't bode well for visitors.

By the time Megan realizes that her daughter's life is in danger, it may be too late to escape.


~~~~~~~~~~

Contest Info

Prize:
Thanks to Vanessa, I have a personalized copy of her book, Drowned Sorrow, up for grabs for one lucky winner!

Rules:
~You must FILL OUT THE FORM to enter.
~Contest is open INTERNATIONALLY!
~Contest will run until 11:59PM EST on October 30th with the winner being announced on Halloween. Winner will have 48hrs to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Extra Entries:
You can earn extra entries by promoting this contest via twitter or in your blog sidebar.

FILL OUT THIS FORM TO ENTER


Saturday, October 16, 2010

In My Mailbox (57)

In My Mailbox
IMM is a weekly meme hosted and created by Kristie at
The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

For Review from Dundurn
~Lure by Deborah Kerbel (Currently Reading)

Won from Book Whisperer
~ARC of Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap
~Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Won from Red House Books
~Beautiful Creatures/Darkness Swag

From Lena
~Swag

From Vistaprint
~Address Labels
~Dual purpose, double-sided Business Cards (Ain't they gorgeous! :D)


I also made some new bookmarks this week and if you'd be interested in buying any, they are $6.50 each plus shipping. :D Just find my email on my contact page.


Well that's everything for my In My Mailbox this week. Hope you all got some wonderful stuff as well and enjoy the rest of your weekend. :D



Friday, October 15, 2010

Author Interview: Steve Cushman

A little while back I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Cushman, author of the lovely YA novel, Heart with Joy! I recently read Heart with Joy and absolutely loved it. I hope you all enjoy the interview.

~~~~~~~~~

The Book Pixie: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Steve Cushman: I was born in Massachusetts, but grew up in Florida (St. Pete and Orlando) and currently live in Greensboro, North Carolina with my wife and son. My wife and I moved here ten years ago so I could attend the UNC-Greensboro MFA program in Fiction Writing. For the last seventeen years, I have worked as an X-ray Technologist and currently work at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital. Yes, I work full-time and write as much as I can. My favorite band is the Avett Brothers, and the TV show The Office makes me laugh out loud.

TBP: Give us a brief description of Heart with Joy.

SC: Heart With Joy is about cooking and bird watching, about writing and pottery, and the sacrifices we all make. But it's also about falling in love and finding your passion in life, about following your heart, and trusting it will take you where you need to go.

The basic story is that 15 year old Julian Hale's life is turned upside down when his mother announces she is moving from North Carolina to Florida to help run her parents' motel and finish the novel she has been working on for years. Julian wants to go with her but she tells him he has to stay with his father, whom he has never been particularly close to. Over the course of three months, Julian and his father do develop the sort of close relationship they have never had before. Also with the help of an elderly neighbor, Julian learns that the most important thing in life is to follow your heart. And Julian's heart leads him to a passion for cooking and a young cashier at the local grocery store even as his own parents drift apart. By the end of the novel, Julian is forced to choose between going to live with his mother or staying with his father.


TBP: What inspired you to write Heart with Joy?

SC: All I had when I started the novel almost 8 years ago was the idea of a father and son who hadn't been particularly close being left alone together and seeing what would happen. As writers we're always looking for ways to put our characters into situations that force them to confront some problem/issue. I wasn't sure what was going to happen between Julian and his father but I was hopeful that they'd grow closer somehow. I just didn't know how. That took me about six years to figure out.

TBP: In Heart with Joy, the characters all have something that 'fills their heart with joy'. Some of the passions are cooking, bird watching, pottery, and writing. You are obviously passionate about writing but are you, yourself, interested in any of the others? If not, what inspired you to choose those particular ones?

SC: This was a very enjoyable novel for me to write in many ways because most of those things you mentioned--cooking, bird watching, and writing--are things that I enjoy and try to spend some time each day doing. So this book really gave me a chance to show this. Many of the thoughts on writing, for example, are what I think about writing: some times it's great but other times you want to pull your hair out and scream why bother. And many of the dishes that Julian cooks in the novel are dishes that I cook regularly.

TBP: Do you have anything in common with your main character Julian? Shared characteristics or situations? If so, what?

SC: Like Julian, my parents split up when I was teenager. I was a bit of a mama's boy (and still am). And of course, as mentioned before--the interest in cooking.

TBP: Do you plan on writing any more books for young adults? If so, do you currently have anything in the works?

SC: Yes, I do. I have written the first draft of another novel that feels like it could be a young adult novel, not that I necessarily know what makes a book 'young adult'. When my agent was shopping Heart With Joy around many adult editors told him it was too young adult and then when he sent it to young adult editors they said it was too adult. As I wrote Heart With Joy, and this new novel, I wasn't trying to write for adults or young adults, I was just writing stories with these younger narrators who are going through struggles. But I think many of these struggles--dealing with parents, finding your purpose in life--are things that we grapple with well past our teen years. But if Heart With Joy is a young adult book, then the next one is too.

TBP: If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be and why?

SC: There are so many writers and books I love, but for today I would say Sherman Alexie. He is smart and funny and one hell of a writer. I love so many of his stories and poems. I'm not so sure I could keep up with him, but it would sure be fun trying.


TBP: If you could go back in time to spend a day with any author that's no longer living, who would it be and why?

SC: Raymond Carver. He was a short story writer, and poet, who died in the 1980's. His writing had a huge impact on me and was really the reason I started writing in the first place. One of my teachers was his student and she told me how he was this gentle giant of a man. Sounds like someone I'd like to follow around for a day.

TBP: What is one of your absolute favorite books and why?

SC: Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian." I read it in one sitting a couple weeks ago. I love the book because it made me laugh and cry and made me root for the main character and when I closed the book I felt better about the world for a while. What else can we ask of a book?

TBP: Anything else you'd like to add?

SC: Thank you, Briana, for being so kind to me and for reviewing my book on your blog. My biggest, simplest piece of advice is to never, ever, give up on your dreams no matter what anyone else tells you.
Cheers, Steve


~~~~~~~~~

And thank you Steve for approaching me about your great YA novel and allowing me to interview you!

Also, a big thanks to all of you who have stopped by and taken the time to read this post. Remember though, I won't know you read it if you don't comment. :P Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and if you want to learn more about Heart with Joy, check out my Review and Noteworthy Passages.



Thursday, October 14, 2010

Noteworthy Passages: Trick of the Light

Trick of the Light by Marina Cohen
Publisher: Vanwell Publishing Limited
Pub. Date: October 1st, 2007
Pages: 222
Series: 2nd in Trilogy
Age Level: 9+


Synopsis via Book
When Sherman Glutz receives a mysterious package in the mail, he has no idea his life is about to become another exciting and dangerous adventure. Unwilling to believe the bizarre clues, Sherman is more concerned with surviving the bully, Billie Binkleburg. And yet, when Sherman accepts he has no choice but to rescue his old pal Drake Livingstone, and when Billie comes along for the ride, a trip through a black hole bridging time and space seems to be the least of Sherman's worries.


Noteworthy Passages

Sherman & Billie; pg. 50-51
"You're a bully, Billie!" said Sherman, as they rode home on the school bus.
"Am not," she scoffed, leaning over his shoulder. "I like you, Klutz. Really. You don't bully someone you don't like, now do you?"
Sherman shuddered at the thought of what The Beast might do to him if she actually disliked him.

Drake & Umbra; pg. 117
Drake was itching to press Umbra for more details. Perhaps if he knew the connection he could undo it. But he couldn't risk thinking. Not now. Not when he was this close.
He willed his mind shut. Every muscle in his body contracted. Sweat trickled down the side of his head. Don't think. Don't think. Sing something. Quick.

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine...


Umbra shot him a malevolent look. He was less than amused.
"Oops. Bad choice, huh?" said Drake.

~~~~~~~

I really loved that last passage. For those of you just hearing about Trick of the Light, the sequel to Shadow of the Moon, Umbra is the bad dude and represents darkness. No, that isn't a spoiler either. I just thought that particular passage was so hilarious and clever.

Anyway, if you would like to learn more about the first two books in Marina Cohen's MG trilogy and the author herself, here are some links for ya:

Review of Shadow of the Moon
Noteworthy Passages of Shadow of the Moon
Review Trick of the Light
Interview with Marina

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave your thoughts. If you would like to see a giveaway for Shadow of the Moon and Trick of the Light, please let me know. These books are out of print so this will be one of the only chances you'll have to get them until Cohen can get them republished.










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, October 13, 2010

Halloween Giveaway #2: Lure by Deborah Kerbel

Lure by Deborah Kerbel
Publisher: Dundurn
Pub. Date: September 20th, 2010
Pages: 192
Age Level: 13+


Synopsis via Goodreads
A Victorian garden, a fishing lure, and a ghost named John.

Absolutely nothing is going right for Max Green. His parents have just uprooted their family from Vancouver to the bleak suburbs of Toronto, he has no friends, and everybody at his new high school is ignoring him. To make matters worse, he's in love with an older girl who's completely out of his league.

When Max discovers a local library rumored to be haunted by ghosts, he's immediately drawn to it. With the help of some cryptic messages, he begins to piece together the identity of the teenage ghost and the mysterious chain of events that have connected its spirit to the building for over a century. But just who was John, anyway? Why has he chosen to contact Max? And what does an old fishing lure have to do with solving the mystery?


~~~~~~~~~

Contest Info
I am a huge fan of Deborah Kerbel's books. Some of you may remember her two YA novels that I gave away earlier this year: Mackenzie, Lost and Found and Girl on the Other Side. I'm very curious to see how well Kerbel does creepy because this book just sounds spookalicious!

Prize
~One very lucky winner will receive a copy of Lure by Deborah Kerbel thanks to Marta with Dundurn publishing.

Rules
~While comments are appreciated, you must FILL OUT THE FORM to gain entry into the contest.
~Contest is open to residents of the US and Canada. However, if you don't live in either country but know someone who does and would be willing to accept your prize, you may enter.
~Contest will end at 11:59PM EST on October 30th. Winner will then be announced October 31st, Halloween. Winner will have 48hrs to respond to my email before another winner is chosen.

Extra Entries
~You can earn extra entries by promoting this contest in your sidebar and on twitter.

FILL OUT THIS FORM TO ENTER



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Review: Trick of the Light

Trick of the Light by Marina Cohen
Publisher: Vanwell Publishing Limited
Pub. Date: October 1st, 2007
Pages: 222
Series: 2nd in Trilogy
Age Level: 9+


Synopsis via Book
When Sherman Glutz receives a mysterious package in the mail, he has no idea his life is about to become another exciting and dangerous adventure. Unwilling to believe the bizarre clues, Sherman is more concerned with surviving the bully, Billie Binkleburg. And yet, when Sherman accepts he has no choice but to rescue his old pal Drake Livingstone, and when Billie comes along for the ride, a trip through a black hole bridging time and space seems to be the least of Sherman's worries.


Review (No spoilers, at all!)
After reading Trick of the Light, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, while I liked Shadow of the Moon, I actually enjoyed this one even more.

Trick of the Light mostly focuses it's attention on Sherman, whom I liked getting to watch develop more, and Billie, who's a new addition to the journey. The two of them made for an awesome pairing with their witty banter and humorous personalities. Though this particular book focused on Sherman and Billie, I did get to see more of Drake and found myself really liking him in this one despite his sporadic presence; Stella didn't really appear much. Then we had Virgil, another new character. He was a tricky and manipulative little ole troll but he really added to the plot. Something I have found interesting while reading Shadow of the Moon and Trick of the Light is that I actually find Umbra, the villain, to be a more intriguing character than Aura. Go figure.

Trick of the Light continues the unique, fast-paced, and fun adventure that began in Shadow of the Moon. I love how both books incorporated a little bit of mythology into them and Trick of the Light even had it's own refreshing take on 'the nine circles of hell' from Dante's Inferno. Only each circle represented other things and there were only five. While the middle graders that these books are more geared towards may not pick up on this intriguing aspect, many teens and adults likely would. This is one of the reasons I think teens may enjoy these books.

The writing, while not exactly amazing, was noticeably more polished than in Shadow of the Moon. Since I more successfully connected with the characters this time, I found that I didn't mind the third-person narrative. In fact, I sort of grew to like it.

The ending wasn't the same big cliffhanger type ending as the one in the previous book. Rather, it could of actually gotten away with being the end to the overall story. However, I have reason to believe that this is indeed a trilogy and Cohen is planning to write a third and final book.

In the end, Trick of the Light went on to prove me correct when I said these books had the potential to be a great trilogy. The majority of the flaws that I had found with Shadow of the Moon were fortunately absent in Trick of the Light. This really is a lovely set of books for kids and middle graders. Also, if at nearly 18 I could enjoy these books, then I'm sure other teens out there can too. I just find it such a shame that they are out of print as I feel they would make a great addition to the literary world. I'm really hoping Cohen will write the third book and find a larger publishing house to take on these books. So if anyone from Penguin, Little Brown, Harper, Simon and Schuster, Scholastic, etc happens to be reading this, do yourself a favor and contact Marina Cohen. I can honestly see these exciting, magical, and action-packed books becoming big hits in Children's literature.

Grade
Characters: B
Writing: B-
Plot: B+
Ending: B-
2nd in Trilogy: B
Enjoyment/Likability: B-
Recommendable: B+

Overall: B

Cover: C+


Monday, October 11, 2010

Halloween Giveaway #1: Contagion by Joanne Dahme

Contagion by Joanne Dahme
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Pub. Date: September 28th, 2010
Pages: 400
Age Level: YA with crossover appeal


Synopsis via Goodreads
In her fourth novel Joanne Dahme creates another page-turning tale in which a youngwoman named Rose strives to rid Philadelphia’s water of the deadly typhoid bacteria. Set in the late 19th century, Rose Dugan is a young wife who is actively involved in her community. But when her best friend is killed while working at Philadelphia’s Water Works' gardens, the mystery around her death pulls Rose in. Will she save the city from a deadly typhoid outbreak that is threatening the city’s water system? Will Rose unravel the mystery behind her best friend’s murder—a fate that was actually meant for her?

~~~~~~~~~~

Contest Info
Personally, I'm not the hugest fan of Halloween. It's not that I dislike but since I've gotten older I guess you could say I've just grown out of it. Maybe if I actually had a half way decent social life with Halloween parties to go to I'd be more excited about it. XD However, I still wanted to do something on my blog to celebrate. Thus the first of three Halloween giveaways.

Prize
~One lucky winner will receive a copy of Contagion by Joanne Dahme thanks to the lovely Nicole with Running Press.

Rules
~While comments are appreciated, you must FILL OUT THE FORM to gain entry into the contest.
~Contest is open to residents of the US and Canada. However, if you don't live in either country but know someone who does and would be willing to accept your prize, you may enter.
~Contest will end at 11:59PM EST on October 30th. Winner will then be announced October 31st, Halloween. Winner will have 48hrs to respond to my email before another winner is chosen.

Extra Entries
~You can earn extra entries by promoting this contest in your sidebar and on twitter.

FILL OUT THIS FORM TO ENTER


About Me

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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!