Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wanderlust

*Barnes and Noble is acting up so no pictures*
Wanderlust
Lucy Silag
Razorbill
$16.99
December 2009
FTC: I received this book from the publisher with the understanding that I would provide an honest review for no compensation.

Total grade: B

Total rating: 15+


Summary: (amazon)
Will they save their lost friend before it’s too late?

Angst and betrayal abound as teens search the French countryside for their missing classmate in this exciting sequel to Beautiful Americans.

The book opens with PJ on a train, racing toward Rouen to meet her sister, Annabel. But Annabel’s life may be fraught with troubles far worse than her own.

Alex persuades Jay and Zack to hunt for PJ at one of her absentee father’s ritzy estates in the country. But a painful encounter with her dad leaves Alex weeping—on Jay’s shoulder. Three’s a crowd for Zack; he heads to Amsterdam seeking an old friend, and a place to belong.

Back in Paris, Olivia’s escapades with Thomas are interrupted when they discover reason to believe PJ is in more peril than she knows. Will the crew find PJ in time? Have they lost themselves along the way?

My Thoughts:
If you read the first Beautiful Americans book you fell in love with the characters and storyline. We were all left waiting for an answer to some very gripping questions. I hate to say it, but Wanderlust didn’t do anything for me. I felt as if the author had to dig for a plot. About half of the pages I feel were just fillers.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely, because I loved the first book! I am hoping the final installment will be so much better!

Quotes:
Here is a random quote I found by opening to a random page:

I am laughing too hard to answer.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tricks

*Barnes and Noble is not working so no pictures.*

Tricks
Ellen Hopkins
Mcelderry Books
$18.99 USD
August 2009
FTC: This is my friend’s book. I am not being compensated in any way for reviewing this novel.

Characters 20/20
Plot 15/20
Setting 20/20
Cover 20/20
Ending 15/20
Total grade: 90% A

Sexual content: 20/20
Violence: 15/20
Drugs: 15/20
Underage drinking: 15/20
Swearing: 15/20
Total rating: 16+


Summary: (Amazon)
"When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival."

Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching...for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I love you" are said for all the wrong reasons.

Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story -- a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, "Can I ever feel okay about myself?"

My Thoughts:
I had super high hopes for this book but I felt that it did not fully meet the needs of this topic. Teen prostitution is rarely covered but its super important. I think people a tough topic should not wait till halfway through the book to begin. There was too much wasted plotline.

I love how there is five characters. They were all so clear you had to have someone to connect with! They each had their own story and it was started. There were just too manu unneeded gaps to fully fill the plot.

I recommend this book to fans of Dark Literature.

Quotes:
Here is a random quote I found by opening to a random page:

I followed, found sheets cold as death.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wherever Nina Lies Contest


This contest is for all US Mail Boxes. If you are under 13 remember I will need your parents email, not yours.

This contest starts today and runs to the 12th. There will be 3 winners.

To enter go to: http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dG9iRHk4OC04M0NNQ0xhQU1lMXhHWkE6MA

all entries on this page will not be counted.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tenners- Kristen Walker

The release date for A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL is Feb 4th.

1. What has been the most exciting part of getting published?
Getting that first phone call from my agent and signing my contract with Razorbill are moments I’ll never forget. Plus, I’m finally not an embarrassment to my kids!
Aw I'm sure you never were Kristen!

2. How long did it take you to get published?
It took the better part of ten years. But I had some babies in there as well, which soaked up a good amount of time. When I started, I knew very little about writing and nothing at all about publishing. I had a lot to learn before my work was good enough to sell, and that took a while.

3. Were you faced with rejection at first? How did you handle it?
Well, yes, at first. And at second. And at 203rd.

I’ve had hundreds of rejections. Some were easy to handle, and some really stung. If a rejection contained suggestions for improvement, I used it to work on my manuscript. If not, I generally pouted for a little while, and then stuck the rejection in a file and pushed onward.

4. Where did you get your ideas for this book?
I woke up from a dream with the original idea. That sounds clichĂ©, but it’s true. I just wish I’d woken up with the whole book written and sitting on my bedside table. That would’ve been so much easier.
Sleep writing, sounds nice :)

5. What do you think or hope readers will gain from your novel?
I hope they get some laughs -- a little break from the real drama of being a teen today.
That would be oh so nice :)

6. When writing do you outline or just begin?
I just begin. Sometimes partway through I’ll sketch out a plot, but these tend to stink so I end up abandoning them.
Maybe you should have a chat with High School teachers :) Thats how I prefer to write but they think we should have big long outlines before we write a word!!!

7. What authors inspire you?
I get something from just about every author whose work I read. But when I think of inspirations, Anna Quindlen jumps to mind right away. She writes for the adult market, but I’ve always felt drawn to her work and to her personality on the written page.

8. Complete this: While writing this book I learned...
Patience. Stamina. And the awareness of my addiction to Starbursts. (Which I have absolutely no intention of giving up, so don’t even bother with the intervention. Unless you’re serving Starbursts there.)
Pink starbursts?? :)

9. Complete this: You should buy my novel because...
It’s low-cost and funny. Just like my fashion sense.

You all should check out A Match Made in High School :) I know I'm getting my own copy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday Wishlist

Here is what I hope to buy this week:

Barnes and Noble Still hates me so no pictures.
The Girls
Tucker Shaw
Summary: Barnes and Noble
Meet Mary: She’s beautiful, and her ski-star boyfriend is cheating on her.
Meet Crystal: She’s a townie, and she’s cheating with Mary’s boyfriend.
Meet Sylvia: She’s nasty, and she’s got something up her Prada-designed sleeve.
Meet Amber: She’s a flake, she’s the barista at the hottest coffee shop in Aspen, and she serves up gossip even hotter than grande skim lattes.
Meet Peggy: She’s Mary’s best friend, and she has no idea how to cope with all these girls.
Why?
Okay I know your not supposed to judge books by the cover but I LOVE this cover. The plot is also fun sounding.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Must Monday

*Barnes and Noble is again acting up so no pictures. Sorry!*
The Sky is Everywhere
Jandy Nelson
Summary: Amazon
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.
Why?
It was recomended to people like me so I want to try it :)
BUY IT March 9th

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wish You Were Dead

*Barnes and Noble is acting up so no pictures*
Wish You Were Dead
Todd Strasser
Egmont
$16.99
September 2009
FTC: This is a library book. I did not receive it from the publisher or author.

Characters 15/20
Plot 15/20
Setting 15/20
Cover 15/20
Ending 20/20
Total grade: 80% B

Total rating: 13+


Summary: (Amazon)
When a high school student announces on her blog that she hates Lucy Cunningham and wishes her dead, no one takes her seriously—until a few days later, when Lucy disappears. Madison Archer is particularly shaken by the disappearance, as she was the one who drove the missing girl home and was the last to see her that night. In addition to her guilt over not seeing Lucy safely to her door, Madison is also trying to uncover the identities of a cyber stalker who sends her Facebook messages lecturing her about her cliquishness and an anonymous "friend" who leaves her hastily scribbled warnings and pleas for help. When the blogger posts another name, a second student goes missing. And then a third. Madison needs to find her missing friends before it's too late—for them and for herself. The action proceeds at a smooth pace and hits all the right notes of a teen thriller: revenge-seeking outcasts, betrayal, mysterious strangers, and some violence and torture (though it is not graphically depicted).

My Thoughts:
This book had been on my Amazon list for a little while and I found it on my last trip to the library. To be honest I felt that for a “thriller” it was kind of lacking. I wouldn’t go so far to say it was “totally lame” but I would not go buy a copy now. The plot lacked a real spark so I could never feel super connected to the story. I would say fans of not-to-scary stories would enjoy this and should pick up a copy in paperback (once they can) or try it at the library before spending seventeen bucks on it.

Quotes:

Here is a random quote I found by opening to a random page:

“Adam took another slug of the JD.”

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Comeback

Cover Image
The Comeback
Marlene Perez
Point
$8.99 USD
August 2009
FTC: I received this book from the publisher with the understanding that I would provide an honest review with no compensation.

Characters 20/20
Plot 20/20
Setting 18/20
Cover 20/20
Ending 20/20
Total grade: 98% A


Sexual content: 1020
Violence: 0/20
Drugs: 0/20
Underage drinking: 5/20
Swearing: 5/20
Total rating: 13+


Summary: (Amazon)
Sophie Donnelly is one half of the most popular and powerful couple in school, until new girl Angie Vogel shows up and compromises everything. Angie steals Sophie's starring role in the school play, and, worse, her super-popular boyfriend. Sophie has been quickly dispatched to social Siberia, but not for long--she'll do anything it takes to make a triumphant comeback.

My Thoughts:
To be honest when I started this book I told my friend I thought it was dull. I admit that I was only on page 20. Then the plot came at me fast and I fell deeply in love. In love with a unique plot and great characters.

Dev and Sophie were adorable. Their story line was very predictable but I’m a sucker for those cheesy romances! They were the people you rooted for the whole way through. I also loved how Sophie changes through the story. She makes some important realizations.

I recommend this book to those of you who want an awesome girly romance with a twist.

Quotes:

Here is a random quote I found by opening to a random page:

“At this rate, everything will be melted by the time he gets back to the table.”

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tenners

Today Kimberly Derting is here for an interview. If you have a book coming out in 2010 (even if its your 10th) please email me! I would love to interview you!

1. What has been the most exciting part of getting published?
Since The Body Finder is my first book, almost everything is exciting…getting “the call” that it was going to be published, seeing my cover for the first time, holding my ARCs! But, for me (and probably most writers), the biggest thrill is knowing that my book is going to be in the hands of real life readers. And not just the readers in my head…

2. How long did it take you to get published?
That’s a trick question. Technically, I’ve been writing since I was about twenty (I even had an agent back in the day), so I could say for, like *ehem* forever. But it wasn’t that long for The Body Finder. I decided several years ago that I was going to get serious (really serious) about writing again, and everything happened pretty quickly after that. I wrote the last words of The Body Finder, found my agent, and had my first offer all within the span of about two and a half months. By publishing standards, that’s a whirlwind!

3. Were you faced with rejection at first? How did you handle it?
Definitely! Like I said, I had an agent when I was younger for a horror novel I’d written. But I didn’t give up. When that agent couldn’t sell it, I tried and tried again, only to be rejected over and over. And that horror novel, let’s just chalk it up to good practice. For writing and for rejections.

4. Where did you get your ideas for this book?
The idea for The Body Finder actually came from my husband, who’s always throwing around random ideas, and one day he just looked at me while we were driving and said: “What if there was this person who could find dead bodies?” Of course, in his head it was a middle grade boy, but by the time we got home I was practically racing through the front door to jot down notes. That was how my main character Violet (and her creepy ability) was born.

5. What do you think or hope readers will gain from your novel?
What I really want? For readers to have fun. I want them to have a hard time putting my book down, to be scared when the characters are scared, and to be caught up in the love story. Deep, no. But honest, yes.

6. When writing do you outline or just begin?
I’m not an outliner. Mostly I just open whatever document I’m working on and go for it. But even though I don’t have a true outline, I do have a very distinct idea where I’m headed with the story. I may have even written parts of it down (in not-too-many words) I just don’t always know exactly how I’m going to get there. That’s what revisions are for, to clean up my first draft mess.

7. What authors inspire you?
I have to say there are SO MANY authors who inspire me, but I definitely have some all-time faves! Books like To Kill A Mockingbird (which everyone says, but it’s true!), The Shining (which is the complete opposite of TKAM, but I’m a rabid Stephen King fan), The Kite Runner (because I cried), Night by Elie Weisel (because I was appalled) and The Golden Compass (because Philip Pulman created such an amazing world). I’m a really eclectic reader; I like a whole lot of everything…if you pushed me I could even spout off some great historical romances!!!

8. Complete this: While writing this book I learned...
…that a writer should be in love with their story! The Body Finder, for me, was a crazy obsession. I loved my characters, I loved Violet’s ability, I even loved the setting. I was positively giddy. That’s important after you’ve edited, read, and re-read it, like, 500 times…and hopefully you still love it!

9. Complete this: You should buy my novel because...
…I put my heart and soul into it. And I hope that comes through on the pages!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

In a Heartbeat

Cover Image
In a Heartbeat
Loretta Ellsworth
Walker
$15.99
February 2010
FTC: I received this from the author with the understanding that I would provide an honest review for no compensation.

Characters 20/20
Plot 20/20
Setting 18/20
Cover 20/20
Ending 20/20
Total grade: 98% A


Total rating: 13+

Summary: (Goodreads)
When a small mistake costs sixteen-year-old Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart. When fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different — dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy —her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan’s life,meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure they all need to move on. Told in alternating viewpoints, In a Heartbeat tells the emotional and compelling story of two girls sharing one heart.

My Thoughts:
This book was not what I expected, it was awesome though! Each character had a distinct voice that made you feel like you were living in their body. I was able to see everything through the characters eyes. I loved the flow between chapters and how the voice changed in a huge way.

The way the story was told was beautiful. Each piece was fit perfectly to the next piece. This made it even easier to enjoy.

I recommend this book to those who can handle the sad books.

Quotes:
Here is a random quote I found by opening to a random page:

I just got my drivers license. But I hit my head on a board.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday Wishlist

Here is whats on my amazon list this week!

Cover Image
Touch
by Francine Prose
Summary:
What really happened at the back of the bus?

Did they, or didn't they?

Did she, or didn't she?

Something happened to fourteen-year-old Maisie Willard—something involving her three friends, all boys. But their stories don't match, and the rumors spin out of control. Then other people get involved . . . the school, the parents, the lawyers. The incident at the back of the bus becomes the center of Maisie's life and the talk of the school, and, horribly, it becomes news. With just a few words and a touch, the kids and their community are changed forever.
Why?
The plot sounds very intriguing to me!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Must Monday

Here is what I am waiting for this week!

Cover Image
Pucker Up
by Rhonda Stapleton
Summary:
In this irresistably romantic trilogy, Felicity discovers that she's no ordinary teen matchmaker...she's a cupid!
Why?
I have the first book and I want to read them all!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heartless

Cover Image

Heartless
Sara Shepard
Harper Teen
$16.99 USD
January 19th
FTC: This is my book. I did not receive it from the publisher.

Characters 20/20
Plot 17/20
Setting 20/20
Cover 18/20
Ending 20/20
Total grade: 95% A

Sexual content: 0/20
Violence: 15/20
Drugs: 0/20
Underage drinking: 0/20
Swearing: 0/20
Total rating: 13+


Summary: (Goodreads)
Hanna, Aria, Emily, and Spencer have been telling some outrageous tales; only, the proof always seems to go missing. The friends insist they’re telling the truth, but all of Rosewood thinks they’re just out for attention—and nobody likes a girl who cries wolf. So when the big bad killer comes after them, will anyone believe the girls . . . or will they be the next to disappear?

My Thoughts:
When I started this book I was disappointed. A lot of new ideas are introduced that just don’t fit in right away. Eventually they all tied in and I was happy with the story, I just had to give it time.

The plot was pretty typical to the series but that’s what I came looking for anyways. The cover bugged me a bit though. The pink with red hair was quite the bright clash. As for the ending… IT WAS AWESOME. There was a BIG shocker and a possible end to the where’s Ali and who killed her madness. You will be surprised, its not who you think it is, I can guarantee.

Shepard leaves us many hints in this book! Look for them!

Quotes:
Here is a random quote I found by opening to a random page.

“Um… no. We’re pretty progressive.”

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Girl on the Other Side

Barnes and Noble had no picture...

Girl on the Other Side
Deborah Kerbel
Dundurn
$12.99
October 2009
FTC: I received this from the author with the understanding that I would provide an honest review for no compensation.

Characters 20/20
Plot 15/20
Setting 15/20
Cover 18/20
Ending 20/20
Total grade: 88% B


Sexual content: 0/20
Violence: 0/20
Drugs: 0/20
Underage drinking: 0/20
Swearing: 5/20
Total rating: 11+


Summary: (Amazon)
Tabby Freeman and Lora Froggett go to the same school, but they live in totally opposite worlds. Tabby is rich, pretty, and the most popular girl in her class. But behind closed doors, her 'perfect' life is rapidly coming apart at the seams.
On the other side, Lora is smart, timid, and the constant target of bullies. While struggling to survive the piranha-infested halls of her school, she becomes increasingly nervous that somebody might discover the unbearable truth about what's been happening to her family.
Despite their differences, Tabby and Lora have something in common - they're both harbouring dark secrets and a lot of pain. Although they've never been friends, a series of strange events causes their lives to crash together in ways neither could have ever imagined. And when the dust finally settles and all their secrets are forced out into the light, will the girls be saved or destroyed?

My Thoughts:
This book was different than I expected. I felt that the back cover was a bit deceiving. I expected the bathroom exchange to be a bit longer than it was. The cover makes it seem like it’s a big deal but really its brief.

The characters were well developed and fully thought out. I loved how both girls were so incredibly different than the other.

I would recommend it to most females. It was an inspirational read.

Quotes:
Here is a random quote I found by opening to a random page:

Under suspicion? WTF!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tenners

Today Angela Frazier is here for a chat! If you have a book coming out in 2010, be it your first or 100th and I have not interviewed you please email me! I would love to interview you!

1. What has been the most exciting part of getting published?
It keeps changing! First, it was getting to see the book’s cover. Then, it was the arrival of the ARCs. Now, I think I can firmly say the best part about being published is the idea that people are going to be reading my words. They’re going to be meeting the characters I know so well, and I’m excited about sharing them with everyone.

2. How long did it take you to get published?
I spent seven solid years writing and querying. I wrote three novels that I tried to get published (a middle grade, a YA, and an adult novel), and I queried editors and agents, small publishers and large houses… it was a very long process!

3. Were you faced with rejection at first? How did you handle it?
Oh, absolutely! And I deserved it, too. My writing wasn’t up to snuff yet when I first started querying. I took the rejection as an opportunity to improve. One agent flat out told me that he “didn’t like my style of writing at all” and then told me why (all telling, no showing). It was harsh, but it was the most helpful piece of criticism I’ve ever received.

4. Where did you get your ideas for this book?
I was renting a caretaker’s cottage one winter with my husband (then fiancĂ©) and the ceilings were all covered in vintage travel posters, many of them advertising places in Australia. I was snowbound a lot that winter—the snow drifts were crazy tall, blocking the long driveway and even the front door!—and I spent the time thinking up a story that could be set in Australia. It seemed exotic and adventurous, and so very far from frigid New England. The story wove itself from there, building up around the setting.

5. What do you think or hope readers will gain from your novel?
Ultimately, the book is about a girl on the cusp of adulthood who is faced with some weighty decisions that will lay out the path to the rest of her life. I hope there will be readers who will identify with Camille and the confusion and pain—and the need to trust your heart—that come with hard decisions.


6. When writing do you outline or just begin?
I usually just begin. If I attempt to outline, the story veers off in its own direction anyway. I start with about a paragraph hook, and some glimmerings of what the end might be. Many times various scenes will pop up in my head all out of order and I’ll need to figure out how to bring them all together. My writing process is very messy!

7. What authors inspire you?
I take inspiration from a lot of different writers. I find I can usually learn from each book I read, even if it’s something I didn’t particularly enjoy or like. In that case, I learn what I don’t want to do! But as for writers I am in awe of, there is Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Lois Lowry, Natalie Babbit, Katherine Paterson, Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, Avi, and I’m sure more that I am just overlooking right now.

8. Complete this: While writing this book I learned...
That there is no such thing as perfection.


9. Complete this: You should buy my novel because...
It is one big adventure, with love at the heart of it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chasing Brooklyn

Cover Image

Chasing Brooklyn
Lisa Schroeder
Simon Pulse
$15.99
January 5th 2010
FTC: This is my friends’ book. I borrowed it from her and did not receive it from the publisher.

Characters 20/20
Plot 20/20
Setting 20/20
Cover 20/20
Ending 18/20
Total grade: 98% A


Sexual content: 5/20
Violence: 0/20
Drugs: 0/20
Underage drinking: 0/20
Swearing: 0/20
Total rating: 13+ (death is not an easy topic and the book is a tad creepy)


Summary: (Amazon)
Restless souls and empty hearts
Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.
Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.
As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.


My Thoughts:
Anyone who knows me and those of you who have read my blog for a while know I get creeped out easy with paranormal stuff. I however LOVED Chasing Brooklyn. They split parts of the characters were awesome. I loved seeing the same thing through different sets of eyes.

Nico is adorable and the kind of boy we all want. He had the hidden feelings most guys have but he occasionally let them shine through. I found myself enthralled in his gripping tale. There was something about him, a charm that made me fall for his character.

Brooklyn was a gentle person. She was timid and afraid of getting hurt. I felt a strong connection to her. I wanted her to succeed, to be happy. I felt like she was my friend and I’d do anything to protect her.

I recommend this book to everyone, BOYS and GIRLS! The story was unforgettable.

Quotes:

Here is a random quote I found by opening to a random page:

My words,
my heart,
my soul,
shredded by someone
who seems intent
on hurting me

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Loretta Elssworth

What was the best part when writing this book?
Research. I tend to really get into the research aspect of writing, maybe because I started out writing historical fiction, which always requires a great deal of it, and because it’s something I enjoy. Of course, it also takes away from the actual writing time and you can easily get off track.

Did you learn anything while writing it?
This was the first book in which I used alternating voices and I learned about consistency and character development in writing in that form. I also learned a great deal about heart transplants, about how much is involved and how far they’ve come. A friend of my daughter had a heart transplant and was only in the hospital for one week! I learned about cellular memory, the theory that memory may be stored at the cellular level. I read more than I wanted to about the connection between the heart and the brain and how they communicate via nerve fibers, and about the heart’s nervous system. (None of that ended up in the book, but I think it was important for me to learn.)

Was it hard to write a book that involved death so young?
It was hard because death isn’t something we want to think about when we’re young – we want to think about the bright future awaiting us. Unfortunately, it’s something that happens – we’ve all known someone who died young and our hearts ache for a lost future and for the family.
Did you have knowledge of heart transplants before writing or was there lots of research?
I didn’t know much about it beforehand, so it did involve a great deal of research. While I was writing this book, though, my daughter’s friend ended up getting a heart transplant.

Do you have any writing must haves? (I.E. a certain song or coffee?)
When I first started writing I had four very active children and I was teaching middle school. I wrote wherever and whenever I could find a few moments alone, whether it was on the bleachers at a soccer practice or early in the morning before everyone else was awake. So I guess my only writing must have is time to myself, which I have more of now, but I’m still pretty busy. Of course, coffee is really nice!

How long was the process to get In a Heartbeat published?
I spent two and a half years working on it before my agent sent it out – I was a student in the MFA in Writing for Children Program at Hamline University and it was my creative thesis, so I worked on it with several of my advisors as well. It sold quickly and I did several revisions with my editor over the next year before it was released.

What would you tell aspiring writers?
Learn your craft and read. Also, keep writing and don’t worry about the market or any of those things you don’t have control over except the page in front of you. Lose yourself in your writing, and most importantly, don’t lose faith in yourself.

Describe your book in 8 words or less: Two girls sharing one heart.

People should buy your book because… They’re intrigued by those 5 words in #8.

Wednesday Wishlist

Here is whats on my Amazon list this week!

Cover Image
Summary:
assistant at a major movie studio. But when her catty coworkers trick her into almost getting fired, she realizes that the old saying "Hollywood is like school with money" just may be true. The thing is, Taylor wasn't exactly a social butterfly in high school-how is she supposed to do any better the second time around?
That's when she meets her boss's popular sixteen-year-old daughter Quinn, and has an epiphany: maybe this teenager can teach her how to use her queen bee tactics to succeed in the Hollywood popularity contest. Quinn comes up with a plan to teach Taylor one lesson a week-everything from "Fake it 'til you make it" to "It's *never* your fault"—and soon Taylor finds herself winning the war against rival assistant Kylie. Until, that is, she's directed to steal Kylie's boyfriend, and something happens that's not in the game plan: Taylor falls for the guy. Now she must do the impossible— harness her inner mean girl while staying true to herself.
Why?
I adore Zoey Dean books and cant wait to dig into this one!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Must Monday

Here is what I'm waiting for this week!

Vintage Veronica
by Erica S. Perl
Summary:
Veronica Walsh is 15, fashion-minded, fat, and friendless. Her summer job in the Consignment Corner section (Employees Only!) of a vintage clothing store is a dream come true. There Veronica can spend her days separating the one-of-a-kind gem garments from the Dollar-a-Pound duds, without having to deal with people. But when two outrageous yet charismatic salesgirls befriend her and urge her to spy on and follow the mysterious and awkward stock boy Veronica has nicknamed the Nail, Veronica’s summer takes a turn for the weird. Suddenly, what began as a prank turns into something else entirely. Which means Veronica may have to come out of hiding and follow something even riskier for the first time: her heart.
Why?
It sounds like a cute novel about being who you are! I enjoy this type.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bungalow Mystery

The Bungalow Mystery
Carolyn Keene
Grosset & Dunlap
$4.95 usd
Many years ago
FTC: This is my mom’s collection. I did not receive it from the publisher.

Total grade: A

Total rating: 10+


Summary: (Goodreads)
While trying to help a friend out of a difficulty, teenage detective Nancy Drew has a perilous experience in and around a deserted bungalow.
[close] While trying to help a friend out of a difficulty, teenage detective Nancy Drew has a perilous experience in and around a deserted bungalow.


My Thoughts:
I love Nancy Drew and took a break from the YA world to read some “children” literature. I think everyone should take a break and enjoy the classic’s of Nancy Drew.

Quotes:
Here is a random quote I found by turning to a random page.

“I presume he meant to hand over the jewels.”

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Virginity Club

Cover Image
The Virginity Club
Kate Brian
Simon Pulse
$5.99 USD
April 2008 (for the newer edition, older is called The V Club)
FTC: This is my book. I am not being compensated in anyway for reviewing this novel.

Characters 10/20
Plot 15/20
Setting 15/20
Cover 20/20
Ending 20/20
Total grade: 80% B


Total rating: 14+

Summary: (Amazon)
Mandy, Kai, Debbie, and Eva have one thing they must do before graduation...win the prestigious Treemont scholarship. It's a free pass to the college of their choice. But the award has one very bizarre requirement; "Purity of soul and body."

In an effort to proclaim their "purity" to the whole school, Mandy starts the Virginity Club. The friends agree that a social service club is a great idea, but agreeing to keep the big V until graduation is another story. Because Mandy, Kai, Debbie, and Eva are each hiding something from the others. Something important.

Their secrets may cost them a whole lot more than just a scholarship.

My Thoughts:
I expect so much out of Kate Brian because I adore the Private series. This was lacking. I believe the reason it was lacking was because she tried to have too many points of view with no real distinguishing characters. Yes the characters were all different but their voice was practically a copy of each other.

The whole plot was unique but not well filled. I felt that too many aspects were just left “as is” and many details were not needed but just filler.

I would recommend this to those people who have never read Kate Brian and wont have such high expectations.

Quotes:
Here is a random quote I found by opening to a random page:

“She’ll totally corrupt you.”

Friday, February 5, 2010

Perfect You

Cover Image

Perfect You
Elizabeth Scott
Simon Pulse
$9.99
March 2008
FTC: This is my book. I did not receive it from the publisher or author.

Characters 20/20
Plot 15/20
Setting 18/20
Cover 20/20
Ending 18/20
Total grade: 91% A

Total rating: 13+


Summary: (Goodreads)
Kate Brown's life has gone downhill fast.

Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate's invisible.
And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she's sure she's just his latest conquest.
Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen -- but only if she lets them....

My Thoughts:
This was not what I expected out of Elizabeth Scott. I thought the plot was too common. Usually she can tackle a “common” plot in a unique way but not this time. This time she just made it seem ordinary.

There was definite chemistry between the characters which is always good but there was no huge “spark”.

I recommend this book to Scott diehards.

Quotes:
Here is a random quote I found by opening to a random page:

“Yeah, it’s crazy. You want to sit down?”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tenners

Before I start this interview I want to clarify a bit of confusion. When I say tenner's I mean an author who has a book coming out 2010 not just the "specific" Tenner group. I can change the title of this feature if anyone is offended. Please just email me.

Anyways today Irene Latham, author of LEAVING GEE'S BEND is here to chat

1. What has been the most exciting part of getting published?
The whole process has been SO exciting, it's hard to pick just one part. But I can say that seeing the cover for the first time was hugely emotional for me -- something about those bare feet and how one is raised, actually walking -- that really got me. Because that's Ludelphia. That's my girl

2. How long did it take you to get published?
I published first in the genre of poetry, but moving to fiction was quite a leap. From the time I first started writing prose pieces to the point of sale was about four years.

3. Were you faced with rejection at first? How did you handle it?
I subbed to a few editors first - not just LEAVING GEE'S BEND, but other stories I was working on - and got lovely, warm rejections. Which are nice, but what I wanted was a sale. So basically I got impatient and decided to pursue an agent. LEAVING GEE'S BEND at the time was a novel in verse (poetry: my comfort zone), and when I sent it to my now-agent, she said, "I like the concept, but I can't sell it." She didn't ask for a rewrite, but I took it as a challenge and rewrote the darn thing in prose. When I resubmitted, I didn't mention the previous submission -- just threw her the new story, as if I'd never contacted her previously. This time she said, YES.

4. Where did you get your ideas for this book?
LEAVING GEE'S BEND was inspired by The Quilts of Gee's Bend art exhibit, as seen at The Whitney Museum of American Art in 2003. I was moved by the colors and textures of the quilts, and the voices of the women. The more I read, the more fascinated I became, especially by the history of this community of strong survivors. I knew I wanted to write a story that included the real-life 1932 raid on Gee's Bend and the subsequent Red Cross rescue.

5. What do you think or hope readers will gain from your novel?
That no matter if your feet are bare and it's cold outside and you're all alone, go your own way. Create the life you want, and tell your story -- maybe even in a quilt.

6. When writing do you outline or just begin?
I start out with a character who has a strong desire. Then I "outline" the obstacles and ultimate resolution. This basically amounts to a sentence summary for each chapter. So I always know where I'm going. But all the in between stuff? I let that fly.

7. What authors inspire you?
So many! I really enjoy "brave" writers, ones that aren't afraid to give kids credit for their depth of emotion. Writers like Katherine Paterson and Sharon Olds.

8. Complete this: While writing this book I learned... not to use so many exclamation points!
9. Complete this: You should buy my novel because... "Ludelphia Bennett defines survival and reaffirms the human spirit in this beautifully stitched quilt of a novel." (Richard Peck said it, and he's awesome!)

Wednesday Wishlist

Here is what I hope to buy this week!

*No pictures because Barnes and Noble is acting up! Sorry :(*
Five Minutes More
Darlene Ryan
Summary: Amazon
D'Arcy’s dad used to tell her that she could survive anything for just five minutes more, but when he drives his car off a bridge, it appears that even five minutes more with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) was too much for him. While trying to cope with her grief and adjust to her new, fatherless life, D’Arcy distances herself from everyone she was previously close to but finds a modicum of comfort in math tutor Seth’s unquestioning and uncomplicated presence. She also begins to cut class and drink, playing off the sympathy of teachers and counselors to get away with her indiscretions. Soon, though, Seth turns out to be much more complicated than D’Arcy had noticed in her fog of self-absorption, and his suicide attempt provokes her to run away from home. Some revelations and final reconciliations seem rushed, but this compelling drama’s bittersweet and hopeful conclusion is its salvation.
Why?
I like sad books and have been craving a good book with real emotion lately.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday Wishlist

Here is what's on my Amazon.com wishlist this week!

Cover Image
Sloane Sisters
by Anna Carey
Summary:
Style. Sabotage. Sisterhood.

When Cate and Andie Sloane's Upper East Side dad met Stella and Lola Childs's British-model mom, nobody thought a transatlantic relationship would last. But then their parents drop the M-bomb—marriage—and it looks like Cate, Andie, Stella, and Lola are going to be one big happy family. Well, big anyway. Meet:

Cate Sloane: She dominates the ninth grade at exclusive Ashton Prep. Tantrum-prone and competitive, Cate would rather wear Laura Ashley every day than be second best at anything. Luckily there's not a rival in sight. Yet.

Andie Sloane: Twelve-year-old Andie desperately wants to walk the runway. Her face is flawless, and boys flock to her like love-struck sheep. There's just one leetle problem: She's only 4' 11". But with a new supermodel stepmom, she'll be voguing in no time. Right?

Stella Childs: With her take-charge attitude and a closet full of supermodel swag, Stella was the It Girl at her London middle school. She's determined to rule Ashton Prep—even if that means dethroning the current queen bee. Can you say British Invasion?

Lola Childs: London boys called gawky Lola "Sticks," but she's got a new mission in Manhattan: boyfriend or bust! With the help of her boy-magnet stepsister, Lola sets her sights on supercute Kyle Lewis. Too bad Kyle's only got eyes for . . . Andie.
Why?
This sounds really quirky and light. I am craving a light read!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Review Rewind (1)

I am going to take the time every now and then (once a week or every other week) to list some reviews that never got commented on! I just want everyone to have the chance to see them and be reminded of some now older great books!

My first review EVER http://booksaremylove.blogspot.com/2008/03/every-boys-got-one.html

Perfect by Sara Shepard http://booksaremylove.blogspot.com/2008/03/perfect-sara-shepard.html

The Band: Finding Love http://booksaremylove.blogspot.com/2008/03/band-finding-love.html

Split by a Kiss http://booksaremylove.blogspot.com/2008/03/split-by-kiss.html

Airhead http://booksaremylove.blogspot.com/2008/05/airhead-meg-cabot.html

The Juliet Club http://booksaremylove.blogspot.com/2008/05/juliet-club.html

Monday, February 1, 2010

Must Monday

Here is what I am waiting to be released this week!

Cover Image
The Unwritten Rule
by Elizabeth Scott
Summary:
Another sweet and funny coming-of-age novel by the author of bloom; Perfect You; Something, Maybe; and Living Dead Girl.
Why?
It's by Elizabeth Scott! Need I say more? :)