Friday, April 30, 2010

Spotted: Sneak Peek of Pretty Little Liars

What secret just became outed?

Checkout the First Look for the new show coming this summer

Review: City of Bones

Clary's life is far from normal, and she's just discovering a new world. After a fight with her mother, she comes home to find their apartment trashed, her mother gone, and a demon waiting for her. After a vicious fight, she barely escapes with her life. A boy helps her and guides her to safety - The Institute - where they can gather information. Clary has no idea what to expect, but she doesn't expect to hear that demons are real creatures and someone very bad has captured her mother. Clary knows one thing, she's not about to sit back and do nothing. She needs to find her mother.

Before long, she's uncovering hidden truths to her past, double crossings upon double crossing, more monsters than she thought possible, and potentially fallen in love. Will she figure out how to get back her mother without dying or getting her new friends killed in the process?

My Thoughts: An interesting start to a very intriguing series. After hearing raves about this book, I decided I needed to read it. I was hooked. I liked the demons and the secrets and the double crossings. Reading this book was like trying to peel an onion, so many fabulous layers. I can't wait to see what happens next.

The Cover: Cool

Source: my Library

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review: Wish

Olivia doesn't know what to do anymore. She feels nothing, nothing since her twin sister died. She didn't feel anger when her family decided to move back to her mother's family home. She didn't feel sad when her parents drifted away in their own grief too tired to be there for her. She didn't feel excited, scared, or nervous to be the new girl at school and start her life all over again.

When she needs a dress for a welcome party, she takes her sister's dress to a seamstress to fix. Instead of fixing the dress, she gains a completely different dress - that grants wishes.

Olivia only wants one thing in the world - her sister back. Voila, her sister comes back as a ghost to help guide her through life. But is she living her life or the life that her sister might lead? Will she stop being scared and start wanting to life again and starting feeling emotions?

My Thoughts: I'd heard such good things about this book that I couldn't wait to read it. I loved the different layers. Yes, there was the layer of a death in the family and the family working through their grief. There was the layer of a new girl in school and a girl attempting to find a place for herself. There was a girl who fell for a boy who might be off limits. Finally, there was a girl looking for find her true identity - separate from her previous life and from her dead sister.

The Cover: I LOVE it!

Source: My Library

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spotted Guys Read: Funny Business - the Joke

Someone on the YALSA_BK list spotted this and sent it around. I found it hilariously funny and chock full of great authors. Enjoy!

Review: Charmed and Dangerous

In the days before the Pretty Committee, life wasn't good for it's members but one New Year's Eve everything came together:

Massie Block was stuck in a clique whose leader had no interest in her ideas and she was getting mighty tired of being shot down all the time. Massie knew she's make a great alpha, if only someone gave her the chance. At a rocking party, she meets with a psychic who mentions, "When all five pieces are together, you will reach your full potential as a leader." All she has to do is wait for it to happen.

Alicia can't wait to dance in front of millions at the biggest New Year's Eve party, but she might not get the chance. First her co-dancer becomes ill. Second she might be able to convince someone to take her place, but will it mean giving up something she truly loves? Will the spotlight be hers to claim or will she go down in shame?

Dylan isn't interested in being part of the New Year's Eve show, but on her mother's orders gets ready. First she meets this girl who tells Dylan her outfit is all wrong. Then she meets these two cute boys who teach her how to burp. But then when it's her turn on TV, something goes drastically wrong. Can she save face?

Kristen's stuck co-babysitting with her horrific cousin. She can't seem to do anything right or anything right at all. She's tired of spending all her time studying. Yes, she goes to school on a scholarship but that doesn't mean she doesn't deserve to have fun. When the parents come home early, she has one chance to make her dreams come true.

Meanwhile in Orlando...

Claire's having a sleepover with her best friends when they hear a radio contest. To her good fortune, she wins a limo ride to a party and to be kissed by rock stars. She can't wait for her first kiss, but first she and her friends have to sneak past her babysitter and into the limo.

My Thoughts: I really liked seeing how the Clique came together and each girl in her life before the Pretty Committee. I adored the charm aspect.

The Cover: Adorable , but I think I would have liked to see them previous to the Pretty Committee and not as they are now.

The Source: my Library

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Created: READ posters

I hang these up around in my library. Some of these authors I've met and snapped their photos and others I begged to send them to me. I made some earlier and their posted to my facebook page, but I did some tweaking since I've learned a thing or two since then. Enjoy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Meeting Marissa Doyle

Last week, I had the good fortune to attend the CT Librarian conference, where I sat in on a fabulous program with Melissa Doyle.

She's the author of two awesome books, Bewitching Season and Betraying Season.

And she has a new book in the works called MAGIC IN SEASON and it contains the story of the twins' mother from her previous two books. You can read the teaser here. (Look for the April
News post). I think it sounds amazing, but the bad news is that it's not available for another year.

She talked about her love for history, facts, and mixing fiction with history. You can read about that at my friend's site here.

She mentioned how the first novel started during a writing exercise with the words "Oh My God, you killed me." From there she imagined a brother saying these words to his sister in a world with a young girl soon to be Queen Victoria. As a young girl, her role was threatened by her own mother who wanted her to sign over her crown to a regent. What if this man had an control and an assassination plot to kill the girl in line for the throne. Would he be the next king? What would happened if magic was involved - would that change things.
The movie Young Victoria gives viewers a sense a of the political drama. I love these period movies because I do love the time period, but I also love seeing the clothes.

If you notice the above book covers, they also have the power to draw in readers by the clothes, but stay for the story. Overall, I loved hearing her speak (and getting her to sign a book for me too!)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mysterious Saturday Review: Town in a Blueberry Jam

Candy attends the 41st Berry Festival in her sleepy Maine town where she sells all things blueberry made from the blueberry she owns with her father. She attends the Blueberry pageant with her friend (who's daughter could become Queen this year) only to find it a most entertaining program.

While usually contestants are in high school, this year social gossip Sapphire Vine enters. When she wins the pageant, everyone is surprised - but more so when she turns up murdered in her own home.

When a friend gets accused of murder, Candy knows he couldn't possible have committed the crime. Now she's off to prove what really happened that night.

Breaking and entering, interviewing towns people, and taking over Sapphire Vine's job to search for clues help get Candy started in her investigation. She's just hoping she can prove the police wrong before something happens to her.

My Thoughts: An adorable first book in a new series complete with small town charm

The Cover: Cute - I love the sleepy town look, just perfect

Source: My Library

Friday, April 23, 2010

Review: Alpha Bet

Grace Kelly has no idea what she's getting into. She graduated high school early and now she's heading to college roughly an hour away from home and her overprotective mother. At 16, she's ready to let life take control.

She and her roommate decide to rush the Alphas. Grace Kelly admires the sisters, but unfortunately for her, she's asked to leave due to an altercation with another girl.

Grace Kelly's not ready to let go of her dreams so she creates the mother of all lies and worms her way back into the running. Now the three pledges must complete the Alpha Bet, a series of 26 tasks set up by the sisters of the house. How far will Grace Kelly go to secure her rush spot?

Grace Kelly knows that while he roommate took care to make her look like an Alpha, she's starting to feel like one too. She's also feeling guilty about the lie she told to become accepted. What will the sisters do if her secret becomes public knowledge?

My Thoughts: A cute fun read with romance, friendship, and one evil girl. I liked the relationships between Grace Kelly and her roommate, especially considering how they first met! I liked the tasks set by the sisters and the sisters themselves. I loved the geek to glam part of the book - and not just on the outside.

The Cover: cute and different

Source: My Library

Previous books by same author: Revenge of the Homecoming Queen

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Review: Secrets of My Hollywood Life: Broadway Lights

Kaitlyn's leaving for New York City and ready to make her Broadway debut. She's not happy about leaving her boyfriend behind for so long, but she's convinced they can make it. She's not ready for a costar who likes her and a jealous boyfriend.

She and Austin keep missing phone calls and thus stop sharing details. Kaitlyn has enough on her mind trying to get ready for a live audience, a snarky costar, adjusting to a new city, and a media fight with two former friends.

As Kaitlyn explores the city, she can't help but wonder why her relationship is falling apart. Nor can she help wonder about the future. There's a great pilot she read, but it might mean working with Sky again. With Sky, in the city for work, they've moved towards friendship. Could she risk it all by attempting to work with her again? All she knows is she's not letting the future scare her anymore and she's ready to take back control of her life.

My Thoughts: Love this series - its fun, flirty, and even though it's about Hollywood, Kaitlyn is a down-to-earth girl adjusting to life's curve balls

Cover: My 2nd favorite in the series

Source: My Library

Sad Fact: This is the 2nd to last book in the series. The last book comes out in Mach 2011

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review: Home Sweet Drama

Sasha's still dealing with the fallout from her birthday party and trying to put her relationship back to normal with Paige all while dealing with Homecoming. Sasha wants nothing to do with homecoming, but since she's nominated for the court, she must attend events.

Paige, on the other hand, can't stop talking about homecoming. It seems as though Heather is the only other person not interested in homecoming. When Sasha needs a break from all the chatter, she can always talk to Heather. The two are surprisingly becoming friends...or sort of friends.

Heather's the only one who knows the truth about Jacob and Eric. Sasha can't deny her feelings any longer, but she tries hard not to look at him, talk to him, or even think about him too much. Paige keeps wanting to know the truth and the secrets Sasha is keeping could be ruining their friendship.

Will Sasha and Paige's friendship return to normal before their vacation together? Can Sasha and Heather survive homecoming without major incidents? Will Sasha attempt to patch up her relationship with Callie?

My Thoughts: Still awesome - love this series, it's addicting.

Cover: Still adorable - love them all

Source: My Library

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chatting with Kay Cassidy

Welcome Kay!

How did you think up such an awesome twist on Cinderella?
LOL. I'm so glad you think it's awesome! :-) It actually came from an article I read several years ago on high school sororities. I'd never heard of that before. I started thinking about what I would've wanted it to be like and decided a girl power society dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world (on a global scale!) would've been seriously cool.

It's one of my favorite reads!

What's up next for Jess (and how many books do you envision in the series)?
The series is open-ended. Right now I'm working on the sequel to The Cinderella Society, titled Cindy on a Mission. It follows the further adventures of Jess and the Sisters as the Wickeds launch an offensive that threatens everything the Cindys hold dear. Cindy on a Mission will be on shelves in Spring 2011.

I seriously can't wait for more!

What is it like being a debut author and did you do something special to celebrate?
It is completely amazing. I celebrated on release day by having lunch with a friend (cupcakes for dessert, of course!) and enjoying the gorgeous day we had. We also popped into a local bookstore and I got to see the book on the shelves. Really and truly on the shelves! This just blew my mind. The gal was super sweet about having me sign them, so it was fun all around. And then I settled in for a 7-hour Twitter launch party that Team Cindy planned for me! It was completely exhausting in the most wonderful way possible.

Cupcakes! Of course :) and the Twitter party was great fun

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." by Mahatma Gandhi. It inspires me every day and is the reason I founded Living Your FiveTM in 2009.

Awesome quote - I love it!

What's the last book you read that you've been recommending to everyone?
There are so many! I love Christina Diaz Gonzalez's The Red Umbrella (on shelves next month) and I'm rereading Graceling by Kristin Cashore right now. I almost never read books twice, so that's a big deal for me. :-) I'm also counting the days (like everyone else is) until Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins hits shelves.
I can't WAIT for MockingJay and Red Umbrella is going in my TBR pile once it hits. I LOVED Graceling.

I had the extreme good fortune to read this book early.
Here's my Review:
Jess hates her school and desperately needs to find friends to keep her off of the mean girls' radar. On the final day of the school year (after two humiliating events), she finds an envelope in her bag inviting her to a secret society. At first, she thinks it's just another prank, but then she realizes that it's for real. Jess has no idea why they want her, but she's willing to find out why.

The Cindys recruit girls with special powers of kindness, leadership, and generosity, and the group includes some of the most popular girls in school. There's a long-standing tradition of The Cindys nationwide - battling the Wickeds, their evil counterpart. This year, the Wickeds have doubled in size, proving that something's afoot. It's a lot of information for Jess to take in, but she's super-excited about the makeover given to all of The Cindys upon their initiation. Soon, she's picking out her own signature style and having her hair and makeup professionally done. So far, everything about the group has been great, but there's a lot of work ahead of her.

In the midst of the battle for good and evil, Jess snagged the boy she's been crushing on since she moved to town. The Cindys have given Jess a mission to uncover information, but once Jess has it, she can't let go. Will she go against The Cindys and their ways to battle her nemesis?

THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY is the first book in a new series. I LOVED this book for several reasons, including the title (love stories about Princesses), the cover (which is awesome), and the story just rocks. There are makeovers, secret societies, romance, and snarky showdowns

And the book trailer I created:

Here's a little bit of info about Kay:
Kay Cassidy is the author of teen fiction she wishes was based on her real life. She is the founder of the national Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM reading program for kids and teens and the host of the inspirational Living Your FiveTM web project. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, movies, music, and reading. Lots and lots of reading. She hopes her debut YA novel, THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY (April 13, 2010 - Egmont), will help girls embrace their inner Cindy.

What a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn't want to wear it anymore?
Sixteen year old Jess Parker has always been an outsider. So when she receives an invitation to join The Cinderella Society, a secret society of the most popular girls in school, it's like something out of a fairy tale. Swept up by the Cindys' magical world of makeovers, and catching the eye of her Prince Charming, Jess feels like she's finally found her chance to fit in.
Then the Wickeds--led by Jess's arch-enemy--begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers there's more to being a Cindy than reinventing yourself on the outside. She has unknowingly become part of a centuries-old battle of good vs. evil, and now the Cindys in charge need Jess for a mission that could change everything.
Overwhelmed, Jess wonders if The Cinderella Society made a mistake in choosing her. Is it a coincidence her new boyfriend doesn't want to be seen with her in public? And is this glamorous, secret life even what she wants, or will she risk her own happy ending to live up to the expectations of her new sisters?

Curious? Here's a sneak peek!

I opened the card, my hands trembling in dread and the faint remnants of what I used to call hope, as a tiny silver high-heel pin bounced into my hand.
I juggled the pin for a second, barely managing to keep it from falling, and flipped open the note with my other hand. The words inside were not a message but an invitation that sent shivers down my spine:

Your presence is requested at The Grind.
Tonight, 7 p.m.
Wear the pin.
Discretion MANDATORY.

Awesome right?

Thanks for chatting with us Kay. I ran out the minute I could to purchase a copy (but there's always the library too). It's a fabulous read, DON’T miss it!!

Spotted: Harry Potter Poster

Found this through twitter.
So looking forward to November.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Book Nerd in graph

LOVE this graph*:
As a book nerd,
I have an obsession for books (YA in particular),
I'm intelligent (not always around authors = fan girl moments),
and I can talk about books until I'm blue in the face

Therefore, the name fits!

*Spotted from twitter, but article here

Spotted: Shade Booktrailer

Spotted this through Twitter. Doesn't it look amazing?

Review: Shadow of the Moon

Hayden is different from the rest of the werewolf shifter pack. She has the ability to sense powerful feelings from her pack around her. She can't see the future or know who experiences the feelings, but her gift torments her.

She's spent most of her childhood away from her home at boarding school where she can blend with humans and be at peace. However, the time of her changing draws near and she must return home to chose a mate. Hayden has no desire to chose a mate, to become so close to one person would make her head explode.

She creeps away in one night after she's threatened by a creature who steals souls. Content working for a coffeehouse on a mountain, she knows the elders will send someone for her. She never expected Daniel and she never expected to care for him...

My thoughts: The 4th book in the Dark Guardian series is still addicting and full of danger, romance, and friendship.

The Cover: Eye-Catching

Source: my Library

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Review: Secrets of My Hollywood Life: Paparazzi Princess

Kaitlyn Burke's still reeling from the news about her hit TV drama ending. She's been working with the same cast and crew for ten years. She can't believe that it's all coming to an end.

Now, her family and her people are pressuring her to find another job pronto while her star quality remains high. But Kaitlyn can't begin to process the ending of her show let alone start looking for a new project.

She can't turn to her best friend because they're in the middle of huge fight. She barely sees her boyfriend. Her family is driving her crazy setting up meetings without asking her or even telling her in some cases. Even Lani is pressuring her to study more for the SATs and creates crazy schedules. Kaitlyn turns to two new girls - heiresses who might not have her best interests at heart. Will she let them lead her astray with parties, dancing, and attention in the tabloids?

My Thoughts: I love Kaitlyn and how she makes her way through Hollywood and life getting herself into scrapes and dealing with them. She's so down-to-earth, but in this book, she gets a little out of control. A fun episode this great addicting series.

The Cover: My favorite one yet of the series.

Source: My Library

Spotted: Hexbound cover

2nd book in the Dark Elite series

LOVE the cover!

What do you think?

Review: Secrets of My Hollywood Life: Family Affairs

Kaitlyn Burke just wrapped up her summer movie which included her co-star Sky - her nemesis. She's headed back to her day job - the popular drama Family Affairs. This season a new character appears for a story arc. While Alexis seems friendly, nice, and charming, there's something a little off. Sky makes her feelings known to Kaitlyn, Alexis is out to steal their jobs and make them look bad. at first Kaitlyn dismisses Sky's idea, but she vows to take a closer look at her co-star.

The new "IT" girl seems to be making splashes wherever she goes. She's talking up Kaitlyn's boyfriend and making diva demands one minute and then becomes a demure newbie the next.

Will Alexis push Kaitlyn over the edge and drag down the family drama?

My Thoughts: This is the 3rd book in the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series and I adore them. I devour these books that contain drama, Hollywood secrets, romance, friendship issues, and work.

The Cover: I like the diary concept, but overall, I'm not crazy about them

The Source: My Library

Spotted: Pretty Little Liars

Here's the first picture I've seen.
Check out more news here

Are you excited for this show?
I am!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chatting with Amy Brecount White

Hi Everyone, I had the excellent fortune to host a interview with Forget-Her-Nots author Amy Brecount White. I simply adored her novel and I hope you do too. Let's get started.

What made you choose to write?

A love of words. I’ve always loved to read and thought it would be a dream come true to have a novel published. It is!

Where do you write best?

I’m really not picky, other than requiring almost absolute silence wherever I am. I get too distracted in coffee shops listening to other conversations. I also hear the characters speaking more clearly when there aren’t distractions.

What was the last book you’ve read that you’ve been recommending to everyone?

Mistwood by Leah Cypess (Coming out in May. We have the same pub, so I got an ARC! It’s a wonderful shape-shifter fantasy for ages 12 & up.)

I've been seeing this cover around, it looks really good. It's definitely on my list to read!

How do you get your ideas?

I once heard Toni Morrison say, “Write the novel that only you can write.” So Forget-Her-Nots was truly born out of my loves. I love teens, esp. the girls, and flowers. I was also intrigued by the language of flowers, and I garden, too.

Awesome, It's a very unique book.

Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one?

Yes. I did quite a lot of research for FHN – reading fiction and non-fiction for inspiration. One example of a real event is the story of how orchid hunters would risk their life (and those in their entourage) for a rare bloom. That actually happened in Victorian England, and there really was a language of flowers book published under the nom de plume of Charlotte de Latour.

Here's one orchid I found, it's stunning. I find the concept of orchid hunters fascinating.

How do you come up with your title?

My editors did. The original title was Flowerspeaker, but they wanted something a little catchier. I love Forget-Her-Nots, because it makes you do a double-take and because memory is so important to the novel.

It's a great title and it does work on different levels making it clever.

Can you tell us a little bit about Forget-Her-Nots?

Yes, it’s a coming of age story about a girl who discovers she has a special gift of flowers. As with any gift, deciding how, when, and why to use it is both the fun part and the battle.

You can read my review here

When did you discover the language of flowers?

I used to write freelance articles for newspapers and magazines, so I was always on the lookout for fresh ideas. While wandering through a bookstore once, I came across a coffee table book on the language. Originally, I tried to write a non-fiction article about it, but then I realized what a great novel topic it would make, especially with a dash of magic!

What’s your favorite type of flower and what does it say about you?

I love all flowers, but I have a special fondness for the scent of gardenias. In the language of flowers, a gardenia (cape jasmine) means “ecstasy and transport.” I think the best books can be a kind of ecstatic experience that transport you out of your own life. (I hope mine does that!)

I think that's the best part of books - traveling into different character's minds, traveling to new places, and experiencing something completely different from your own world.

You used to write articles and essays, was it hard to dive into fiction?

Yes, much harder than I expected. I thought I’d write a novel in two or so years and get it published within 3 or 4. It took 8 years from conception to finish. My learning curve was steeper than I’d imagined.

What’s up next?

I’ve just finished a second novel called String Theories. It has nothing to do with flowers, but is about a 14-year-old girl who gets in over her head, the physics of relationships, a stream, some dogs, and getting even.

I hope to write a companion novel to FHN one of these days. There’s a line in the story I could spin off from wonderfully ….

Sounds interesting. I would also love to read a companion novel.

Are there any authors you’d love to meet?

Yes, Kristin Cashore, Toni Morrison, Vikram Seth, Markus Zusak, and Libba Bray. I’ve been having a great time getting to know all the Tenners, too!

Do you have a favorite quote?

The one at the beginning of my novel by Sharman Apt Russell: “The more we learn about flowers, the less silent they are.”

Listing of your favorites:

Candy – dark chocolate

Pizza topping - mushrooms

Genre of books – YA, of course!

Singer and/or Song – today, Matt Nathanson’s “Come on Get Higher”

Restaurant – Black Salt in DC, yummy fish

TV show /Movie – Glee, The Princess Bride closely followed by Ever After

Color - Blue

Shoe – my high-heeled brown boots

Video Game – Wii tennis

Thanks so much for hosting me and happy spring!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Review: Fat Cat

Cat wants to win the science fair. In order to do so, she's going to need a killer project and she comes up with an idea to makeover herself. While Cat is smart and amazing -she's by no means thin. Now her project will force her to radically change her ways and become a better version of herself - just just thin, but healthy.

Cat decides that she will eat a Neanderthal diet - nuts, vegetables, fruits, and grains that would have been available. This means giving up her Diet Cokes and her processes food. She will also walk most places and go without electronics except when necessary and for safety reasons.

Will her project be good enough to beat her ex-best friend. What will she say to confront him about his past behavior? Will her new look gain her more attention or will people treat her exactly the same?

My Thoughts: I picked this book up because Meg Cabot wrote about it on her blog (and it's a known fact that I adore her). So I wasn't surprised when I didn't want to put this book down - there's an interesting science project, friendship, a little romance, and a past friendship drama to straighten out. I really liked hearing about the project and the food cooked - while Cat is losing weight, I think this is a foodie book and a very good one.

The Cover: Interesting, I like it.

Source: ILL from another library

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mysterious Saturday Review: Sleeping with Anemone

Abby get herself noticed by the bigwigs at the company she's protesting against their use of hormones. At first, they attempt to scare her off, but soon matters escalate. A brick sails through her window at her flower shop with a warning attached. Next, in cases of mistaken identity, someone kidnap three people close to her in an attempt to grab her.

Her whole family is freaked out, but Marco's there protecting her every inch of the way. He's not letting her out of his sight unless someone else is with her. While she loves spending time with her boyfriend, almost finance, she hates the loss of her independence. With this forced time together make her second guess her choice of men? Can she discover why the bigwigs are still after her when she's ceased speaking out against their company before something deadly happens?

My Thoughts: This is the Ninth book in the Flower Shop mystery series (Mum's the Word is the first one) - still fresh, cute, and enjoyable. I love Abby's feisty spirit and her stubborn streak. Add in one crazy family, sweet co-workers, and a lovable roommate to this blend of fun, danger, and romance.

The 10th book - Dirty Rotten Tendrils comes out in October

Fun Fact: Kate Collins has a section on her website entitled What Abby Doesn't Know - fun details about other characters.

The Cover: Cute and perfect for Spring

Source: My Library