Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
1. Have you met any fellow bloggers?
No, I have not. The closest blogger is about 4 hours from me, and we haven't had any events nearby.
2. Have you attended any book conventions?
No, but I did meet Suzanne Collins at a Borders event this past Monday! I talked with a lot of really cool people who worked at Borders, in sales and distributions and marketing, and with some Scholastic people as well. It was so much fun!
3. Who is your favorite author?
Ah, too tough to decide! Though after meeting Suzanne Collins, I think I like her even more! She was super sweet, wasn't afraid to laugh at herself, and she went around giving everyone hugs!
4. What are your thoughts on banned books?
I hate it when people ban book! Gah! My opinion on the matter: parents are responsible for what their kids read, not librarians. It's the library's duty to stock books that the public will enjoy, not monitor their patrons' reading habits. If you are concerned about what your kids are reading, help them choose books! Don't expect your library to remove books that you believe are inappropriate--it's your job to raise your kids and decide what they should be reading, not monitoring what the whole community's children are reading!
5. How do you handle the people who are sometimes rude on blogs?
For the most part, just ignore them. If something needs to be said, then I'll say it politely, but perpetually rude people get off on getting reactions out of us, so I just ignore them.
6. When did you begin blogging?
I began my blog in 2006, but it really started to take off in 2007.
7. Did it take time to get it really going?
Most definitely! It took me at least four months to really build up a steady following of readers and get my name out there and start getting review copies. And that was way back when there weren't nearly as many blogs around! It certainly does not happen overnight!
8. Any advice for fellow bloggers?
Be patient and persistant, don't expect to reap the benefits right away. Blogging takes a lot of time and effort. Always be respectful to anyone and everyone, even those rude people, and stay positive.
Thanks again for coming!
If you would like an interview please email me.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Title: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
Author: Judith Kerr
Price: $6.99 USD
Summary: (From Amazon)
Among Hitler's other crimes, he stole Anna's pink rabbit (when he confiscated all of her Jewish family's property) and made her a refugee at the age of ten - moving from Berlin to Switzerland, France and England in search of a new home. While she only vaguely comprehends the events that worry her parents so much (wondering what it means when people say that Hitler will "get" the Jews and that her father has "a price on his head"), Anna writes poems about disasters and suffers from nightmares. Most of the time, however, she is absorbed by the minor difficulties of adjusting to expatriation - the awkward attentions of Swiss boys, struggles with the French language, brother Max's effortless adaptabilty - and the adventure of newfound poverty. The title, though initially disconcerting, really says it all: the repercussions of Nazism seen through a child's personalizing perspective and recalled with autobiographical verity.
This was one of the first holocaust/world war 2 novels I read. I was in the 5th grade at the time and was devouring every holocaust book thrown at me. I didn’t realize until a bit later that there were fiction ones as well. I remember I loved this book! It was great to see such a traumatic time in World History through a Childs eye.
Younger Children with interest in the Holocaust
Friday, August 28, 2009
Author: Johanna Reiss
Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
Price: $6.98 USD on Amazon
Release: October 1 1990
In the part of the marketplace where flowers had been sold twice a week-tulips in the spring, roses in the summer-stood German tanks and German soldiers. Annie de Leeuw was eight years old in 1940 when the Germans attacked Holland and marched into the town of Winterswijk where she lived. Annie was ten when, because she was Jewish and in great danger of being cap-tured by the invaders, she and her sister Sini had to leave their father, mother, and older sister Rachel to go into hiding in the upstairs room of a remote farmhouse.
This was honestly one of the best Holocaust/ World War 2 books I have ever read. This is coming from a girl who was obsessed with this aspect of history for a long time! I read it in both the 5th and 7th grades and loved it each time. The plot was unique, the characters well developed. Even the setting was presented so vividly, it was engraved into the mind.
Recommendation: Fans of holocaust literature will love this gripping novel.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
by Jessica Verday
Have you heard? The Hollow is about to come out. September to be exact! Are you excited? I sure am! Take a look at me in my snazzy new The Hollow shirt and the summary I found.
When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead?and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.
Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.
The Hollow! Order your copy now!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Director: Catherine Hardwicke Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Jeremy Sisto, Brady Corbet, Holly Hunter
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
1. Who inspired you to begin blogging?
No one really inspired me to begin blogging specifically about books, but I've wanted to have a review blog for a long time. I even set up an anime blog, which I stopped updating after the first review. I think one day last summer I found Susan's blog and decided to set up a book blog. Long summer days can make me act on a whim.
2. Do you have a favorite author to contact?
Hmm, I don't really talk to many authors as much as I'd like, but I do follow them on twitter or their blogs. Some of my favorite blogs or twitter followers are Jackson Pearce, John Green, Frank Portman, and Lisa Schroeder.
3. Does blogging take a lot of your time?
Maintaining my blog does not take a lot of time. A typical review for me takes about 30-60 minutes. Other posts generally take less time than that. What does take a lot of time is following and commenting on other blogs. If I stopped doing that, however, I would not enjoy blogging as much as I do.
4. Do books influence choices you make in your life?
Good question! While I'm sure books have influenced my choices (I mean how could they not?), it's in those small seemingly insignificant ways, so I can't really pinpoint specific examples.
5. Have you ever had a role model from a book?
Another good question! For a long time, Jerry Renault from The Chocolate War was my role model. I don't really see him as a role model now, but I would like to be more like him in some aspects. In the novel, he is a nonconformist no matter how much he is tormented, and I would like to be like that too.
6. Favorite picture book as a child?
The Mouse books by Kevin Henkes.
7. Do you mind reviewing younger kids books?
Not really, but I would not want to review too many because generally, they don't appeal to me as much as YA novels.
8. How about adult books?
Pretty much the same as younger kids books. :)
Thanks again Krista. If you want an interview please email me.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Title: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Price: $19.99 USD HB
Release: June 16, 2009
Summary: (From Amazon)
Auden is about to start college in the fall, and decides to escape her control-freak professor mom to spend the summer with her novelist father, his new young wife, and their brand-new baby daughter, Thisbe. Over the course of the summer, Auden tackles many new projects: learning to ride a bike, making real connections with peers, facing the emotional fallout of her parents’ divorce, distancing herself from her mother, and falling in love with Eli, a fellow insomniac bicyclist recovering from his own traumas.
Before you all stone me due to the B minus rating let me explain myself. I loved parts of this book, what I didn’t love though was the feeling I got that I was being talked down to. At parts it got so repetitive that I began to wonder just how stupid Sarah thought her readers were! I love Sarah Dessen, do not get me wrong. Maybe it is unfair of me, but I hold her at a very high standard. I have seen how great she can write and I believe that is what disappointed me. The plot was great, the characters were well developed! The only thing that kept me feeling like it wasn’t a great book was how she repeated every miniscule detail so many times. Overall a good book, if you can handle the few parts that are just too slow.
Fans of chick lit and Sarah Dessen.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
1. You seemed to know a lot about Seattle in Death by Latte. Spent much time there?
I have friends who live on Mercer Island and I've visited Seattle and the surrounding area several times, but I did have to enlist help from some locals to make sure I got the details right (for the most part - I've heard from a few readers who corrected me on some details. ; ) )
2. How did you know so much about the CIA? Were there many hours of research involved?
Many, many hours - but since I'm a research junkie, I probably went overboard!
3. Did writing about murders ever creep you out? Any nightmares?
No. Does that say something evil about me? : o
4. What kind of music were you listening to as you wrote this?
I'm one of the weird ones who can't listen to music with words while I write because I want to sing along. But when I'm researching or editing, I had a kind of eclectic playlist on my iPod, including Shattered by Rolling Stones • Come to Life by Alter Bridge • Drown Me Slowly by Audioslave • Not an Angel by City Sleeps • The Pretender by Foo Fighters • Skin and Bones by Jet • Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by This Providence • Hero/Heroine by Boys Like Girls • Hi'ilawe by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole • Never Too Late by Three Days Grace
5. Since Latte is in the title I have to ask, what is your starbucks drink of choice?
I like the Tazo herbal teas, but now that it's hot, I'd go for a frappacino or a smoothie.
6. Who would you want to play Aphra if the series became a movie?
How about Michelle Trachtenberg? I liked her in 17 Again.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Title: Kim: Empty Inside
Author: “edited” by Beatrice Sparks
Publisher: Avon Books
Price: $5.99 USD PB
Summary: (From Amazon)
A high school senior, is on a downward spiral into anorexia. Speaking through her journal, she confides the hopes, fears, and pressures typical of a teenage girl. Her weight figures prominently in her wish to be accepted into the UCLA gymnastics program, and eventually she blames food for most of the bad things that happen to her. Kim progresses from not eating to the use of laxatives. Her rapidly changing emotions ring true, as do her feelings of helplessness-even though she is ashamed of her actions, she cannot stop herself. However, her willingness to admit her problem and accept help seems artificial and diminishes its severity. This book may encourage readers to search for additional material in the resources listed.
My thoughts: This book had been sitting on my bookshelf awhile before I finally got around to reading it. I must say it was a great book but not one I enjoyed reading. Let me clarify what I mean.
The plot and characters were very well developed. If this really is a teen’s diary (I know that is debatable) then she was very intelligent. I consider myself a smart person but this book had a few words I’d never heard of.
The part I didn’t like with this book was that it turned my stomach. This truly is a form of self-destruction and it was very upsetting. It made me stop and think what kind of body image I have, what my friends encourage.
Recommendation: Teen girls should all read this.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Title: Invasion of the Boy Snatchers
Author: Lisi Harrison
Price: $9.99 USD PB
Release: 1st Ed. edition (October 5, 2005)
Summary: (From Amazon)
The holidays are over and Massies room is chock full of new things from Santa: jeans, sweater, and a new . . . roommate? Once Claire unpacks, Massies room feels more crowded than a Zac Posen sample sale. But whats worse, Claire isnt the only person moving into Massies territory Alicias hot, Spanish cousin, Nina, shows up from Spain and starts edging in on all the Briarwood boys, including Massies crush! Will Nina, with her super-tight mall clothes, make every boy in Westchester fall in love with her? Or will Massie toss her out faster than last seasons Sevens jeans? The social minefields of Westchester Countys most privileged middle school girls drive the page-turning action of this addictive series, set in New York Citys most elite suburban county. The Clique . . . the only thing harder than getting in is staying in.
My thoughts: I loved this fourth installment. I loved how there was suddenly a new girl in the mix who didn’t quite fit into the picture. This was the book where lines began to be drawn and drama started to unfold. What a great book!
My recommendation: Middle School girls will love this series!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
by Zoey Dean
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Recently there was an attack on one of my favorite bloggers. I won’t mention names but I’m sure most of you will know after I conclude this post. She was attacked simply for not being a teen and reviewing YA books. I have a few points I’d like to make as well as show some support from some authors, so here goes.
- The genre is called young-adult. Who has the right to decide when someone is no longer a young adult? At my grandma’s church there are still 30 year olds who attend the young adult class they offer. If a 40 or even 65 year old wanted to attend they would not kick them out. What gives any blogger the right to try and force someone out of their blog and/or a genre?
The lack of respect for people has shrunk but this last outrage was incredibly horrid. I am appalled that people who consider themselves book reviewers feel it is okay to call people “bit**es” and “attention whores”. I’m sorry to introduce a new point to these people but there is such thing as the “golden rule”.
You earn things in this world. Nothing is free. This blogger who was attacked puts everything into her blog and excuse me but its inappropriate for someone to tell her that she writes “shi**y” reviews and should not receive free books. She has earned every free book she has received and its not fair to say she hasn’t. I know many new bloggers who are fantastic but its girls like “anon” and “Lena” who give bad names to the new bloggers. Books are a privilege not a right. Obviously the attacked blogger did something right for people to want her opinion.
I know I kind of seem mad, but to be honest I am. I was not attacked but if it would have me I would have got that person found and in trouble. Cyber Bullying is a crime. It was not one message that could simply be ignored and forgotten. This “Lena” or “Anon” person attacked a blogger. I am simply speaking for myself here but those messages would have made me cry!
I know there is a possibility I will now be attacked for stating my opinions but at least I got them out there. Just keep in mind, cyber bullying is a crime and I don’t plan on sitting around and watching it continue. You may be “anonymous” to me or whoever reads your comment but you are so easy to track through the police.
Anyways… I am done with my anger. Read what authors had to say then comment.
"What difference does age matter for a book, the constant pigeon holing books into genres can only be made to look worse by readers and blogger stating that books in a certain genres can only be read and commented on by people of that age. Does that mean only teens can write teen books and people not be allowed to comment on anything but books written by their own age.
That is total garbage, people of any age can read and comment on any age book. My own YA book has had reviews and comments from people between ten and eighty. Just because it gets classed as YA does not mean it can't be enjoyed by people of all ages.
A book is written to be enjoyed by readers no matter WHAT THEIR AGE. Classics like Black Beauty and Winnie the Pooh are not written with a note "to be read by teens only"
What next? Parents un-allowed to watch Disney or cartoons?
As a writer I don't care what age of people read, comment or review my book I am just greatful people have taken the time out to read and ejoy the work we have produced.
I have interviewed numerous writers who have stated over and over again how much the bloggers are appreciated... bloggers of ALL AGES. That is why I try and have blogger guests on my show, as their views are important to any writer." _Barry Eva
"When I first read about this blogger being harassed about her blogging and reviewing YA books, I was outraged on several levels. As an author myself, as a mother of teenagers, as an avid reader - yes, that does include YA. From the attacker's perspective, am I to understand that anyone over the age of 19 should not have anything to do with YA at all? Okay, let's look at that, for a moment. If only teenagers are allowed to have anything to do with YA, then that cuts out about 90% of the books being written in the genre today. But since they're all adults, they shouldn't be writing the books, right? And people in their twenties or so shouldn't be reviewing the books, according to the attacker, but there wasn't a good enough reason as to why. Why can't someone older give their opinion of a book aimed at teens? Does that mean that a teen can't give their opinion of a book aimed at adults? If that's the case, then no teenager should be allowed to tell their teacher why they don't like Lord of the Flies, Shakespeare, etc. Personally, I like hearing what teens think of books I read in school (which are still required reading today) and I like reading what bloggers of any age have to say about any genre of books - and that includes YA. More important, as a mother, I like to be well-informed about the types of books my girls are reading and it's nice to get that information from a wide demographic of the people reading them. I have even found, horror of horrors, that there are many YA books that are very enjoyable to read. Am I not allowed to read them now because I'm an adult? That's like telling a mother she can't read a children's book to her baby because she's too old. And what if I want to recommend them to someone else? Can I not do that because I'm too old to read them? I think it's a sad day when a person is attacked for doing something that they enjoy. I am a subscriber to the blogger in question and I have never had any reason to believe that the attack on her was justified. I can only hope that she shakes this off and continues to do what she does best."
"A well-written story with characters the reader relates to is the key to a successful book. As an author, I welcome any and all readers, regardless of their age. I would never presume to assign an age limit to readers enjoying an engaging story." ~Beth Fehlbaum
"what a time-suck for you and everyone involved! I don't need to state the obvious (but, hey, I will anyway): The behavior exhibited by "Lena" and the anonymous-holes is such a transparent product of their insecurities and fears and has absolutely NOTHING to do with you. Hopefully at some point (like when they're no longer hormonally-charged teens...and therefore banned from reading YA?), they will realize how their inferiority complexes fueled their hate and do something more productive with their lives. (As a hormonally-charged adult, I still have my moments...but I HOPE I'm not this bad. OY!)" _ Alexa Young
Monday, August 17, 2009
Positively by Courtney Sheinmel
An unforgettable novel about a girl struggling with HIV, from powerhouse middle-grade author Courtney Sheinmel.
Buy it September 15th!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
1. How old were you when you started blogging?
I started blogging when I was 21. In fact, it was simply a few weeks after I turned twenty-one that I started blogging.
2. Did your parents read to you a lot as a child?
My mom use to read to me right before I went to sleep. The books were usually classics like A Little Princess and Heidi.
3. What is your favorite thing about blogging? Your least favorite?
I love just being able to talk and share opinions of books with other readers. It is always refreshing to discuss and tell others what I think of a book.
The least favorite is that it seems that some bloggers tend to believe they are more deserving of books than others. I know I'm a new blogger, and don't expect to start receiving books for review for a while, but that doesn't mean others are any less deserving.
4. Is your family more proud of your blogging then you?
I'm not even sure my family knows about my blogging. Well maybe. My mom thinks it's cool that I started doing a blog, but that's about as much I know of what they think of my blogging.
5. Do you like to communicate with authors?
I love talking with authors, but I found out that I'm slightly shy about it. I have talked to very few authors at this time, but I hope that it will change soon.
6. Who is your favorite author and book by them?
Oh that is difficult! I would say my favorite author is Juliet Marillier and her book Heir to Sevenwaters is my favorite. Though the close second is Stephenie Meyer with Eclipse.
7. Any good advice blog related someone has given to you?
That would be not to start a book blog simply because you want free books. It is so true, because if you are in it for free books then there isn't really a point to a blog. Book blogs are started by those who love books not wanting free books. That's just a bonus.
8. Best advice you got from a book? What book?
I think that would be just never to give up. Even when life is hard, and it seems like you will fail whatever obstacle has been put in your path, if you persevere you will find everything your heart desires. This came from a lot of Juliet Marillier's books, but particularly Daughter of the Forest
Thank you Shayla! If you would like an interview please email me!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Author: Sean Beaudoin
Release: August 2009
Publisher: Little Brown
Price: $16.99 USD HB
Sophie Blue started wearing a black skirt and Midnight Noir lipstick on her last birthday. It was also the day her father disappeared. Or spontaneously combusted. Which is sort of bad timing, since a Popsicle truck with tinted windows has started circling the house.Kenny Fade is a basketball god. His sneakers cost more than his Jeep. He's the guy all the ladies (and their mommas) want. Bad.Sophie Blue and Kenny Fade don't have a thing in common. Aside from being reasonably sure they're losing their minds.
Honestly I don’t believe I could give this book an honest review. It was not for me at all so if I was grading for me there would be a big F! But I decided I would try to look at it a different way, from the point of view of the intended audience. The writing seemed to flow fairly well and there were many details that were great. The plot was unique and having comics involved was also great.
Recommendation: Non chicklit fans
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
1. Who is your best friend in the blogging community?
I'm sorry to say, I'm not sure I have one. I guess I'm pretty much loosely friendly with everyone. :)
2. What book must every teen girl read?
Dare I say Twilight? No, actually, I think every teen girl should read Uglies, as it carries such great messages, especially about topics that many teen girls are struggling with.
3. Have you ever met any authors?
Yes! Christina Meldrum, author of Madapple, and Julie Siler, author of The House of Mondavi.
4. Do your friends know you blog?
Pretty much everybody knew after I was featured on TV.
5. How do your parents feel about the blogging?
As far as I know, they're thrilled! Both are very supportive and give me tips about it.
6. Do you consider reviewing books a career?
I wouldn't say what I do specifically is a career- yet ;) - but yes, I do believe being a book review can be a career.
7. Do you want to go into publishing?
Well, I'd love to write a novel someday! But I don't think I'm interested in editing/publishing. Who knows, though? That may change.
8. Any advice for new bloggers?
Leave comments on other blogs. This is incredibly hypocritical of me, as I am horrible at commenting, but I really do think it helps!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
by Zoey Dean
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Title: The Hills- Lessons in Love
Author: Lila Stewart
Release: November 2008
Publisher: MTV Books
Price: $14.00 USD PB
Summary: (From Amazon.com)
Do you have trouble with casual dating but put everything you have into your serious relationships, like Lauren? Are you careful and cautious before diving into a new romance, like Whitney? Do you put yourself on the line for rebellious guys, like Audrina? Do you charge ahead at full speed when you meet the guy of your dreams, like Heidi?
The girls of The Hills are no strangers to dating's ups and downs, and now they're revealing their innermost secrets about guys, romance, and relationships to their fans. From where to look (or not look) for boyfriend material to whether or not you should kiss on the first date, each girl has a unique dating style -- and plenty of stories to share. Lauren, Whitney, Audrina, and Heidi dish on the rules they live by, the truth behind their most notorious relationships, and how you can avoid dating's perils and find the guy who's right for you.
The other day I was wandering through my local Borders and browsed the clearance shelves. They had this book for $4.00 and it was also buy 1, get 1 free time. I also bought Prey. Two books for $4.00 is awesome. I had never even heard of this book before but when I saw this I knew I had to have it. Come on, we can’t deny that we are drawn to the drama of The Hills even if it is possibly scripted. I loved the honesty in the stories the girls told. They were so open with their dating lives, it was fantastic to read. They also had quizzes to tell you who you are most like, I’m an Audrina.
All teen and college age girls should read this. It has romance and self-help mixed in one package deal.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Title: Coffeehouse Angel
Author: Suzanne Selfors
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Release: August 2009
Price: $16.99 USD HB
Summary: (from Amazon.com)
From the author of Saving Juliet comes a romantic comedy that is good to the last drop. When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down. Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be . . .
I had heard little bits about this book before reading it but not a whole lot. Now that I have read it I can honestly say it was a good book. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a great read because the plot seemed to run a little to slow for my taste. I do think the characters were well developed as well as the plot. The setting was very unique, at some points so unique that I thought “huh?” Do purchase this book, but I would wait for a paperback.
Fans of romance novels that will not mind the small fantasy aspect within the plot.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Synopsis by Barnes and Noble:
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
The beginning was a bit for slow for me, but that did not last long. Once I started getting into the book it was hard for me to put it down. I loved the characters in this book. Sam and Grace both became extremely real to me. Stiefvater has a way with words, and that was apparent in the book. I was able to vivdly see what was going on in each scene,, even down to the emotions of the characters. I find my self constantly replaying scenes from the book in my head, and this is after I have finished it. I loved the scenery in the book. It was easy to feel like you were there with the characters. The setting was perfect and also beautiful. I think the plot flowed well, and the ending was so perfect I felt pure relief when the book ended! This was an amazing book, and I am so glad I got to read it early!
This book is a winter read. It is one to curl up in front of a fire under a blnket with a cup of cocoa. The book warms you.
Age: 15 and up. The book is wirtten for an older group and has some very serious elements
Friday, August 7, 2009
1. How long have you been blogging? What made you start?
I have been blogging for a year. When I joined a site called BookDivas, I saw that almost everyone there has a book blog. I thought that having one would be a lot of fun, so I made my blog.
2. Favorite book you've received in the past 6 months to review?
Wow, that's a hard one. I think it's probably a tie between The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams, Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick and Exposed by Susan Vaught.
3. Who is the blogger you are closest to? Do you communicate a lot?
The blogger I'm closest to is you, Ashley. Haha we talk everyday. (:
4. Best advice for new bloggers?
My advice would be to not expect much fast. It takes awhile to get your blog started and to get lots of followers.
5. Do you think adults should tell teens what they can/cant read?
No, I don't. Teens enjoy different books and the main part of reading is to learn. Who are we supposed to learn if we can't read about new, interesting things?
6. What is your opinion of sexuality in teen books?
Sexuality in books doesn't bother me. I think it's a fact of life. If you can't read about it then how are you going to do it? Teens are getting more mature faster in their lives so reading can help prepare us.
7. Has a book ever really touched you? What book?
A lot of books have touched me, I don't think I can really pick one. Maybe The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold or Impulse by Ellen Hopkins.
8. Do you ever review adult or younger readers books?
On occasion I will review an adult book, but I try to stick to Young Adult.
Thanks for coming Lexi. If you would like to be interviewed please email me.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
1. What kind of research did you do for the prominent aspect of stealing?
For the stealing, I read about famous thieves, silver (esp expensive, antique flatware), and even about alarm systems and locks! I did a lot of research for the book.
2. As a teen did you know people who shoplifted?
I actually didn't--my friends and I never even talked about it. Maybe it's because I grew up in a more rural area where stores tended to be smaller and/or you usually knew at least one person who was working.
3. Where did the idea for Stealing Heaven come from?
I knew I wanted to write about thieves, and I wanted them to steal something interesting. I also knew that Dani was really tired of stealing and didn't want to do it anymore. And then I read an article about a failed silver thief and thought--that's it!
4. Was it hard to combine so many aspects (friendship, theft, broken families, etc.) into one novel?
Not really. The hard part was taking that first draft and slowly turning it into something that was readable! :-)
5. Did you have a large knowledge of the East Coast before writing this book? It seems to be very prominent in the story.
Yes. The towns in Stealing Heaven on based on a variety of towns in New England--and those who know what the New York System is will know which state!
6. How far into writing the story did you know how it would end?
Before I started. I can never write a story until I know the beginning and the end.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
by Jenny Han
Some summers are just destined to be pretty
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer -- they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Price: $16.99 USD HB
Danielle, 18, has been a thief all her life. Moving from town to town, she and her mom stay around only long enough to canvas the rich and steal their silver. When she was 15, they moved on at Danielle's request, after she had sex for "the first and only time" with her mother's 20-year-old boyfriend. It's a lifestyle the teen is used to, but she's beginning to long for something more. She wants roots, friends, and a place to call home. When they hit the small resort town of Heaven, Danielle knows the routine. Her mom will chat up the men for information and she, now using the name Sydney, is supposed to do the same with her peers. Only something goes wrong, and "Sydney" begins to make friends with the mark, flirt with a local cop, and generally do everything her mom's always told her to avoid. And when it's time for the heist, Danielle is no longer sure she can follow her mom's demands. This story is deceptively touching. Danielle and her mother are both fully developed, as are the secondary characters of Allison (the friend) and Greg (the young cop). The overriding theme of living up to a parent's expectations instead of following your own path is universal, but the twist of a family of thieves gives the story originality.
On my latest trip to the library I was excited to find that they had this novel. It had been on my wishlist for a long time and I was ready to read it. This book combined so many aspects and I felt a real connection to the main character Dani. Even though I have never personally experienced theft or having my mom battle cancer Elizabeth wrote in a way that I was able to find connections. The relationship between Dani and Greg was adorable and there were a couple times when I gave out loud “Aw’s”. I’m very happy I read this book and I will be purchasing my own copy.
Recommendation: I think all teen girls should read this. There will be at least one aspect for everyone to connect with.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Author: Linda Gerber
Publisher: Sleuth Speak (a Penguin imprint)
Price: $6.99 USD
It was only a few weeks ago that Aphra Connolly’s life changed completely. She had been living a quiet existence on her father’s secluded island resort, until Seth Mulo turned up and stole her heart . . . and provided information that led her to find her mom in Seattle. But the reunion isn’t quite what she expected. Aphra’s mom, Natalie, doesn’t seem happy to see Aphra, and Natalie’s boyfriend, Joe, insists that Aphra go home. Even worse, Seth shows up, only to ask her to return the ring he gave her the previous summer. At least Natalie’s hunky neighbor is sympathetic. But when Joe is found dead at a nearby coffee shop, Aphra discovers her whole trip to Seattle has been based on a lie. And now someone just might be trying to kill her. . .
I was procrastinating on reading this because the first book had bummed me out a bit. Now I see why the first book had to be that way it was. This second installment showed us the behind the scenes look that was necessary to understand just what was going on in the CIA during this time. I found the characters and the plot much more developed and was able to really connect. This was the first book in awhile that has kept me up all night reading. I applaud Linda for such a unique story that is still able to touch everyone who reads it.
Recommendation: I would recommend this novel to fans of the first book in the series or to those teens that enjoy a wild adventure.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Emerson Price cannot remember a time when life was ordinary. She wasfour-years-old when she and her mom were diagnosed as HIV-positive –infected with the virus that causes AIDS, and eight when her parentsdivorced. Now she is thirteen and her mother is dead. Emmy moves in withher father and stepmother, but she feels completely alone. Even thougheveryone has always accepted her, no one – not her father, or stepmother,or even her best friend – understands what it’s like to have to takemedicine every single day, to be so afraid of getting sick, and to missher mom more than she ever thought she would.
When Emmy’s dad and stepmother send her to Camp Positive, a camp forHIV-positive girls, Emmy is certain she is going to hate it. But soon sherealizes that she is not so alone after all – and that sometimes lettingother people in can make all the difference in the world.
The author is donating a portion of her proceeds from this book to theElizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
1. How did you get the idea for your latest book, Positively?
When I was thirteen, I began volunteering for an amazing organization called The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (www.pedaids.org). Over the years, I have spent a lot of time imagining what it must be like to grow up HIV-positive, and that was the impetus for POSITIVELY: it is about a thirteen-year-old girl named Emerson (“Emmy” for short) who is infected with the virus that causes AIDS, and who loses her mother to the disease.
2. Was it hard writing a book on HIV for young readers?
This was the most difficult book to write (at least among the books I’ve written so far). Emmy has to deal with two major things that I (thankfully) have no first-hand knowledge of: being HIV-positive and the loss of her mother. I felt a great sense of responsibility to be accurate and truthful, and sometimes I felt like a complete fraud who didn’t have any right to tell the story. I made myself cry a lot. I also wanted to do right by Emmy – even though she is made up, I didn’t want her life to be all tragic. I had countless discussions with people from the Foundation, and with friends who have lived with HIV. I hope I produced something that makes them proud.
3. What do you hope people get from this book?
I hope they can empathize with Emmy and see themselves in her.
4. Do you have any friends who are authors? Did they support you on this journey?
I have a number of author friends, and they’ve been incredibly supportive. My non-author friends have been wonderful, too. I have a team of people willing to read chapters, talk me through the hard parts, and give me cupcakes when I need an extra boost.
5. Was it hard to just sit down and write?
It depends on what part of the book I was writing. The first part is always a pleasure. The middle is very tough. By the end, I’m so anxious to see how it will turn out that I love to be writing.
6. What music did you listen to well you wrote, if any?
There’s a line in a Sheryl Crow song that I had in my head as I was writing POSITIVELY: “What is yours you’ll never lose, and what’s ahead may shine.” I listened to a lot of Sheryl as I was writing. Her voice just reminds me of Emmy.
7. What author inspires you?
When I was in eighth grade, Anna Quindlen came to speak at my school, and she made me want to be a writer. There was just a moment during her speech when it clicked for me, and I will always be grateful to her for that.