Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

The book that I'm waiting on this week is...
Title: You Are Here
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: May 19, 2009

Emma Healy has never fit in with the rest of her family. She's grown used to being the only ordinary one among her rather extraordinary parents and siblings. But when she finds a birth certificate for a twin brother she never knew she had, along with a death certificate dated just two days later, she feels like a part of her has been justified in never feeling quite whole. Suddenly it seems important to visit his grave, to set off in search of her missing half. When her next-door neighbor Peter Finnegan — who has a quiet affinity for maps and a desperate wish to escape their small town — ends up coming along for the ride, Emma thinks they can't possibly have anything in common. But as they head from upstate New York toward North Carolina, driving a beat-up and technically stolen car and picking up a stray dog along the way, they find themselves learning more and more about each other. Neither is exactly sure what they're looking for, but with each passing mile, each new day of this journey, they seem to be getting much closer to finding it.
-Amanda

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita

****Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita****

Originality- 17/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 7/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 17/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend to read- 8/10
TOTAL- 83/100
Grade- B

When Sam's best friend gets her first boyfriend, she's not ready to spend the summer listening to the two of them call each other "pookie." Sick of being a third wheel, Sam applies to be a counselor-in-training at Whispering Pines camp in the New York Catskills. But what she doesn't realize is that it's not going to be all Kumbaya sing-alongs and gooey s'mores. If Ashley, the alpha queen of Whispering Pines, doesn't ruin Sam's summer, then her raging crush on the surfer-blond and flirtatious Hunter just might. At least she has playful Cole, who's always teasing her, but is oh-so-comfortable to hang out with, and the singular gang of girls that become fast friends with Sam-they call themselves the Sleepaway Girls.

Sleepaway Girls was very fun for me to read because I love stories set at camp. The summery feeling of it made Sleepaway Girls even better. I already expected that there would be a lot a drama but maybe not in the way it was presented. I wanted more camp style pranks and less of destroy your life stuff. Even though there was a lot a drama Sleepaway Girls was a cute story too.

The friendships put together are very realistic because friends are easy to make at camp. As a main character Sam was awesome, her other friends were great too but I didn't like how they thought she did too much for other people and made her feel bad about it. Also I understand now why Ashley was so mean to Sam, but after that was sort of resolved I don't know why they're still mean to each other. Now let's talk about the guys.The only one you really get to know is Cole, who seems like the jealous type. He worried too much about if Sam liked Hunter or not. Besides that I loved Cole. He's the kind of guy that every girl wants to know, and he made the story so much better.

Sleepaway Girls was an enjoyable read that I read while sitting out in the sun. It's the perfect book to read on a lazy day; not too serious yet not too fluffy. With it's funny characters, realistic relationships, and camp setting you won't be able to put this one down until you're left wanting more. I really hope I'll get to read more about Whispering Pines!

-Amanda

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa

****The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa****

Originality- 20/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 8/10
Quote-ability- 9/10
Entertainment- 19/20
Ending- 9/10
Recommend to read- 8/10
TOTAL- 91/100
Grade- A

Meet Haruhi - a cute, determined girl, starting high school in a city where nothing exciting happens and absolutely no one understands her. Meet Kyon - the sarcastic guy who sits behind Haruhi in homeroom and the only boy Haruhi has ever opened up to. His fate is now tied to hers. Meet the S.O.S. Brigade - an after-school club organized by Haruhi with a mission to seek out the extraordinary. Oh, and their second mission? Keeping Haruhi happy . . . because even though she doesn't know it, Haruhi has the power to destroy the universe. Seriously.

The story sort of revolves around Haruhi but it's told in the persepctive of Kyon. As a main character Kyon was very likeable. He was persistent enough with Haruhi but still couldn't control her. He was very cute and somewhat quirky. Haruhi on the other hand was wild. She was out of control and even before Kyon knew the dangers of Haruhi he still didn't try to stop her as much as he should. Some of the things that went on I found very unbelievable and I'm not even talking about the "Haruhi controls the universe" stuff. It was small things like Haruhi forcing one of her club members to dress very sexy and taking off her clothes in front of everyone. I knew she was strange but you have to draw the line somewhere right? In a way I like that the line wasn't drawn. It gave Haruhi room to grow and expand to something bigger.

The whole premise of the story was very interesting. I started to ask my friends questions that were from the book and they thought I was getting philosophical on them. I also enjoyed how the story was set in Japan. I was able to get a view of their culture and how the schools are like there. The ending felt a bit unfinished but I believe that's because the author is still working on the Japanese Manga, which is what this book was translated from. I honestly can not wait to see how Haruhi reacts to what Kyon has to tell her about all of the things he learned that we right in front of her the whole time.
-Amanda

Sunday, April 26, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. Check out The Story Siren to learn more!

For Review:

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel R Russell

New school. New mean girl. New crush.
New diary so Nikki can spill about all of it...

Thoughts: Sorry, that's the best description I could find. The book also came with a purse filled with goodies.

From Contests:

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she's got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showcasing photos of pretty girls and his party lifestyle all over the Internet, and her mom was once one of her dad's girlfriends and is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for way too long, Hannah has mastered the art of staying under the radar...and that's just how she likes it. Of course, that doesn't help her get noticed by her crush. Hannah's sure that gorgeous, sensitive Josh is her soul mate. But trying to get him to notice her; wondering why she suddenly can't stop thinking about another guy, Finn; and dealing with her parents make Hannah feel like she's going crazy. Yet she's determined to make things work out the way she wants — only what she wants may not be what she needs....

Thoughts: Thank you SOOO much Kristi!! I checked the mail yesterday not expecting a thing, and when I saw it, I started opening the envelope in my jammies on the porch. Thanks again!!

-Amanda

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fade by Lisa McMann

****Fade by Lisa McMann****

Originality- 19/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 8/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 19/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend to read- 9/10
TOTAL- 89/100
Grade- B


For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck. Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open — but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both. Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability — and it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd feared....


Can I PLEASE squeel like a fangirl!? I am completely obsessed with these books! I think I liked Fade more than Wake because Janie is actually accepting and living with her ability rather then resenting it. I also like the mystery in this one more as well. Janie is becoming more brave, which is fantastic, but we also learn that Cabel is the jealous type. Of course we know that he doesn't want to see Janie in danger but he also doesn't like when other guys touch her...which was a little strange to me, because he was coming across as over protective. Luckily, later we learned why Cabel was acting this way. That said, you can tell I loved all of the characters. I even enjoyed reading about the "bad guy". Speaking of him, I kind of knew all along, I just didn't know what all he did and was attached to. I was constantly at the edge of my seat waiting to see how the next interaction with him and Janie went. That's another thing I loved about Fade, McMann was able to make me FEEL the story. Overall I think that Fade was a improvement over Wake even though they were both fabulous!

-Amanda

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Look Inside

"A Look Inside" Is a post where I'll have a featured author, and I'll choose a book that they wrote. I always come out after finishing a book with a favorite character, so I'll also have a featured character, and one of my favorite quotes from them.

Author: Lauren Myracle
Book: TTYL
Character: Angela
Quote: SnowAngel: yeah, baby. i can groove to that.

Bonus Quote: SnowAngel: me again. turn on the WB- that old navy commercial is on! I AM IN LUV WITH MR. BOOT CUT! *struts about to funky big band music*

If you have a favorite YA author, book or quote e-mail me it at txmandaxt@yahoo.com I'll make sure to give you credit! (AKA FREE promotion.)
-Amanda

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

The book that I'm waiting on this week is...

Title: Tempo Change
Author: Barbara Hall
Release Date: June 9th

Blanche Kelly's dad is a famous indie rock icon, but not many people at the private school she attends on scholarship know this. Her father left when she was in the first grade, and she can’t quite forgive her mom for not understanding that an artist like her dad needs the time and space to connect to his muse.When Blanche creates an all-girl rock band, their sound captures a wide audience and the band is invited to compete at the Coachella Music Festival. Blanche feels this could be the perfect time for a reunion with her father. Won’t he be proud to hear her band? Won’t he be happy to get to know his only daughter?

-Amanda

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hunted by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

****Hunted by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast****

Originality- 17/20
Characters- 17/20
Remembrance- 8/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 18/20
Ending- 10/10
Recommend to read- 8/10
TOTAL- 86/100
Grade- B

The good news: Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. The bad news: Ancient evil with the face of an angel has been let loose – that and various other nasties (whose faces aren’t so angelic). Grandma Redbird is in trouble. Heath is in trouble. The House of Night is in trouble. Okay, let’s face it – Zoey’s whole world is in trouble! But when the trouble comes from a being who appears to be beauty personified, will the world believe it? Especially when only a teenager and a group of misfits are the only ones who really understand the danger he brings. Will Zoey have the strength and wisdom to reveal the truth? Especially when, in the House of Night, the truth is often hard to come by…

The characters this time around were amazingly not as annoying as before. Yeah Zoey still avoids cussing and ends up sounding like she's 8 with her replacement words, but it happened a lot less in Hunted. She actually got angry enough to really cuss, which I think was quite a breakthrough. I felt like some of the characters grew to a good point right now, like Aphrodite, but others are just floating along with nothing major happening to them causing them to grow such as Erin and Shaunee. They're supposed to be some of the main characters yet...I feel nothing from them.

As with the past four House of Night novels, I was mesmerized. A lot of things that I like in a story are present in these; vampires, boarding school, and boy issues. Teens are able to relate to a lot of what was going on with everyone's social life, and yet still have the aura of a fantasy novel right on their tongue. So while they were in this crazy place of a world they can still feel some truth to it, and not be completely put off by the fantasy. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about the whole Kalona thing. I know he's going to be trouble in the future and I'm intrigued in how this issue with him will, ultimately, be resolved. A lot more happened in Hunted than most of the other novels, yet I still wasn't completely satisfied. Let's hope that void is filled in the 6th book in the series to be called Tempted.

-Amanda

Monday, April 20, 2009

Glass by Ellen Hopkins

****Glass by Ellen Hopkins****

Originality- 17/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 7/10
Quote-ability- 7/10
Entertainment- 19/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend to read- 8/10
TOTAL- 84/100
Grade- B

Crank. Glass. Ice. Crystal. Whatever you call it, it's all the same: a monster. And once it's got hold of you, this monster will never let you go. Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she's determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is too strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grips. She needs the monster to keep going, to face the pressures of day-to-day life. She needs it to feel alive. Once again the monster takes over Kristina's life and she will do anything for it, including giving up the one person who gives her the unconditional love she craves — her baby. The sequel to Crank, this is the continuing story of Kristina and her descent back to hell. Told in verse, it's a harrowing and disturbing look at addiction and the damage that it inflicts.

Just like Crank, Glass rendered me speechless. Glass was full of such raw truth that we are able to come to realize and that Kristina might not ever see. I was proud of Kristina in the beginning when I learned that she cleaned up and is actually taking care of her baby. But then of course I had to watch her spiral out of control, which made me really angry at her. She should have know that she couldn't stat in control. That though was pretty much the only time that I could be mad at the real Kristina almost every other action of hers was a result of the drugs.

For the first time I really started to understand her addiction. It was sad to see that Kristina thought that she could "control" her addiction, but I suppose that's how most addicts think. It was hard for me to read about every one of Kristina's mistakes and knowing the consequences would be bad. I was constantly worried about the safety of her baby when he was in Kristina's care.

When you're deep inside Kristina's mind you can sympathize with her and dislike her mother, but in reality her mom is one of the few people trying to keep her grounded. Overall I think that Glass was a fantastic sequel to Crank and I can't wait to see how the story will end in the third and final book of the trilogy titled Fallout.

-Amanda

Sunday, April 19, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. Check out The Story Siren to learn more!

For Review:

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa

Haruhi holds the fate of the universe in her hands . . . lucky for you she doesn't know it! Meet Haruhi - a cute, determined girl, starting high school in a city where nothing exciting happens and absolutely no one understands her. Meet Kyon ­­- the sarcastic guy who sits behind Haruhi in homeroom and the only boy Haruhi has ever opened up to. His fate is now tied to hers. Meet the S.O.S. Brigade - an after-school club organized by Haruhi with a mission to seek out the extraordinary. Oh, and their second mission? Keeping Haruhi happy . . . because even though she doesn't know it, Haruhi has the power to destroy the universe. Seriously.

Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita

When Sam's best friend gets her first boyfriend, she's not ready to spend the summer listening to the two of them call each other "pookie." Sick of being a third wheel, Sam applies to be a counselor-in-training at Whispering Pines camp in the New York Catskills. But what she doesn't realize is that it's not going to be all Kumbaya sing-alongs and gooey s'mores. If Ashley, the alpha queen of Whispering Pines, doesn't ruin Sam's summer, then her raging crush on the surfer-blond and flirtatious Hunter just might. At least she has playful Cole, who's always teasing her, but is oh-so-comfortable to hang out with, and the singular gang of girls that become fast friends with Sam-they call themselves the Sleepaway Girls

-Amanda

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Look Inside

"A Look Inside" Is a post where I'll have a featured author, and I'll choose a book that they wrote. I always come out after finishing a book with a favorite character, so I'll also have a featured character, and one of my favorite quotes from them.

Author: Claudia Gray
Book: Evernight
Character: Raquel
Quote: "You're in love. That makes you actually kind of boring to people who aren't in love. You know, the sane ones."

Bonus quote!: "Did you know that Lucas likes sunshine? He does! Flowers and bunny rabbits, too. Now let me tell you all about the fascinating laces in Lucas's fascinaing shoes."

I really loved reading parts with Raquel. She was so snarky.

If you have a favorite YA author, book or quote e-mail me it at txmandaxt@yahoo.com I'll make sure to give you credit! (AKA FREE promotion.)
-Amanda

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

The book that I'm waiting on this week is...

Title: The Debs: Love, Lies and Texas Dips
Author: Susan McBride
Release Date: June 9th

Now that her dream of becoming a deb is finally coming true, Laura’s confidence is at an all-time high. But when she dares to mess with Jo Lynn’s football star boyfriend, Dillon, Laura finds herself at the center of some heinous gossip.As predicted, becoming a deb is a shallow undertaking that Mac can barely muddle through. Still, things go from bad to worse when the new girl at school starts working her charms on Mac’s best friend, Alex. When Ginger’s grandmother asks her to sit for a formal portrait with the son of a local legend, she discovers that she already knows him—and what she knows isn’t good. The stakes are raised for Jo Lynn when she finds Laura’s digits in Dillon’s cell phone. Is her boyfriend cheating on her with a debu-tank? She will soon find out.

I just finished the first one today and I realllly want to know what else is going to happen!
-Amanda

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Author Interview: Samira Armin Hodges

Here is my interview with the amazing Samira Armin Hodges, author of Milestones.

Check out her website HERE
and her blog HERE
------------------------------------------------

Have you ever been to summer camp?

Ah, the big question. I get asked this question a lot. So here's the official answer: yes.....I did. When I was fifteen, I went away to "science camp" for six weeks. I got high school credit for it, we did research all day, I learned a whole lot about nothing .... and it was truly awesome. I honestly don't think I've ever laughed so much in my life. I made lots of friends and I still keep in touch with two of them. It's been almost fifteen years since our summer at camp "idontwannanameya", we've since grown up, have all gotten married and we now get together once or twice a year, laugh our bottoms off at our fifteen year old selves, make new memories, and then part ways knowing we'll be doing it again in another year. And yes, camp "idontwannanameya" did inspire certain portions of Milestones but truly, the influence was rather minimal.

Would you like to go to a strange camp like Camp Milestone?

Depends on who I meet there. To me, the most fun activities in the world can be made boring if the wrong group of people are involved. Likewise, the most boring activities in the world can become amazing if shared with the right people.

Why lightning? Why not falling in a well, or a tornado?

Ooh, that's a toughie if I don't want to give anything away. Let's just say that I needed it to "make an impact".

Do you have any favorite Young Adult books or authors?

Do I? Heck yes! Where do I even start? I was really influenced by Judy Blume growing up ("Are you there God? It's me Margaret," was one of my all-time faves). I loved the Baby-sitters Club series and I also went through a R.L Stine and Christopher Pike phase. Right now, I completely idolize J.K. Rowling. I suppose you could argue that she's isn't YA per se, but I beg to differ. She is brilliant, humble and a truly fantastic author/storyteller.

Recently though, I went out and bought a ton of YA books to familiarize myself with the new generation of YA authors and I have to say that Sarah Dessen became an immediate favorite.

How many books are you planning in this series?

Milestones is a trilogy. It was planned out that way from the beginning.

Do you plan to write anything else?

Absolutely! I can't live without writing, whether it's for myself or for others. As long as people are interested in what I write, I'll continue to write for others. I have a few more YA stories already brewing so stay tuned!

What are you doing right now?

Right now? I have a little vacation time. I'm using it to buy a house, buy a puppy and move from Michigan to Texas. Once July rolls around, I'll be an honest to goodness Pediatrician by day and YA author by night. Or vice versa (doctors have a lot of night shifts).

If you mean "right at this moment" though, I'm on the beach in Dubai, reading a french novel and sipping on some pina coladas. No honestly! It's my vacation!


Mac or PC?

PC. I tried to use a Mac recently and I got way too confused. I'm very slow to adapt to these things. For instance, I JUST joined Facebook today. It's sad, I know, but it takes me forever to conform to new societal norms. I'm the slow-poke, I suppose.

-Amanda

Monday, April 13, 2009

Milestones by Samira Armin Hodges

****Milestones by Samira Armin Hodges****

Originality- 20/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 9/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 20/20
Ending- 10/10
Recommend to read- 10/10
TOTAL- 95/100
Grade- A
Release Date: August

One day. That’s how long it took for fourteen year-old Faye Martin’s ordinary life to take a dramatic and unexpected turn. First, she gets struck by lightning. Second, Benjamin Parker, the object of her obsession, witnessed her near-death experience. Finally, her parents force her to leave her hometown of Seattle to attend a summer camp, aptly named ‘Camp Milestone’. Only, Camp Milestone is no ordinary camp. Before she knows it, Faye finds herself caught in a whirlwind of uncertainty, torture, calamine lotion and romance….All in the name of summer camp. But as the summer unfolds, she realizes there is much more to Camp Milestone than meets the eye. Will she be able to unravel the mystery that surrounds this unusual camp? And more importantly, will she be able to survive the madness long enough to put the pieces together?


Amazing. Hands down that is the best word I could use to describe Milestones. At first it was a little bit hard to get into. Due to the weirdness of Faye's actions and her overflowing well of jealousy. She seemed to get angry and upset for unusual reasons, and without looking for an explanation. This, my friends, is where my complaints will end. Hodges crafted a fantastic tale that kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. Like the characters I was wary of Camp Milestone. I could feel that SOMETHING was going to happen. And the strange happenings at the camp pushed my beliefs along. I felt like I was there with the characters trying to figure everything out. The camp was so eerie sometimes that I felt like something was going to jump out of nowhere. I don't want to give anything away, but I will tell you that my guesses about the camp at the beginning were useless. The ending was so unexpected that I had to ramble on about it to my sister who just pretended to listen. Milestones should be read by everyone who likes a hard to solve mystery or just a camp tale.

I'll be posting my interview with Samira tomorrow!

-Amanda

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. Check out The Story Siren to learn more!

For Review:
Milestones by Samira Armin Hodges
One day. That’s how long it took for fourteen year-old Faye Martin’s ordinary life to take a dramatic and unexpected turn. First, she gets struck by lightning. Second, Benjamin Parker, the object of her obsession, witnessed her near-death experience. Finally, her parents force her to leave her hometown of Seattle to attend a summer camp, aptly named ‘Camp Milestone’. Only, Camp Milestone is no ordinary camp. Before she knows it, Faye finds herself caught in a whirlwind of uncertainty, torture, calamine lotion and romance….All in the name of summer camp. But as the summer unfolds, she realizes there is much more to Camp Milestone than meets the eye. Will she be able to unravel the mystery that surrounds this unusual camp? And more importantly, will she be able to survive the madness long enough to put the pieces together?

Received:


The Debs by Susan McBride

LAURA DELACROIX BELL—this dazzling trust fund girl’s size 14 figure doesn’t stop her from attracting the sexiest scoundrel in town, or the admiring eye of the Glass Slipper Club. However, a salacious secret could take her out of the running. Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie—brainy, cynical, and maybe a tad judgmental, Mac would rather bury her nose in a good book than embrace her deb destiny. But being a debutante was her late mother’s dream. Ginger Fore—this adorable tree-hugger wants to wear her grandmother’s vintage ball gown instead of splurging on an expensive dress. Yet when she gets tangled up with an older guy, Ginger will have plenty more to think about. Jo-Lynn Bidwill—a former child beauty queen, Jo-Lynn is a bitchy vamp who makes it her mission in life to take out the debu-trash. And Jo-Lynn’s sights are set on Laura Bell.

Thwonk by Joan Bauer
Imagine having a personal cupid—an actual winged being—pop into your life and offer to make your dreams come true. The catch is he can help you in only one way: artistically, academically, or romantically. That's what happens to aspiring photographer Allison Jean (A. J.) McCreary. A. J. knows she should concentrate on getting into a top-notch art school. But she's spent five torturous months obsessed with handsome hunk, Peter Terris. Just one shot from the cupid's bow and thownk, A. J. will have the undying devotion of handsome Peter...forever.


Tithe by Holly Black
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms — a struggle that could very well mean her death.



Ironside by Holly Black

In the realm of faerie the time has come for Roiben's coronation. Uneasy in the midst of the malevolent Unseelie Court, pixie Kaye is sure of only one thing—her love for Roiben. But when Kaye drunkenly declares herself to Roiben, he sends her on a seemingly impossible quest to find a faerie who can tell a lie. Miserable and convinced she belongs nowhere, Kaye decides to tell her mother the truth—that she is a changeling left in place of the human daughter stolen long ago. Her mother's shock and horror sends Kaye back to the world of Faerie to find her human counterpart and return her to Ironside. But when Kaye returns to the faerie courts, a battle of wits and weapons is being waged over Roiben's throne, and she soon finds herself at the center of it all.


The Devouring by Simon Holt

THE VOURS: Evil, demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on Sorry Night, the darkest hours of the winter solstice. When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic. But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it's clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman's imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life.To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?The Devouring is an engrossing tale of terror that will have you wondering: what if your worst fears became your living nightmare?
-Amanda

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Freeze Frame by Heidi Ayarbe

****Freeze Frame by Heidi Ayarbe****

Originality- 18/20
Characters- 17/20
Remembrance- 7/10
Quote-ability- 7/10
Entertainment- 18/20
Ending- 9/10
Recommend to read- 8/10
TOTAL- 84/100
Grade- B

No matter how many times Kyle rewrites the scene, he can't get it right. He tries it in the style of Hitchcock, Tarantino, Eastwood, all of his favorite directors—but regardless of the style, he can't remember what happened that day in the shed. The day Jason died. And until he can, there is one question that keeps haunting Kyle: Did he kill his best friend on purpose? Debut novelist Heidi Ayarbe delves into the depths of the human psyche as Kyle wrestles with inner demons that make him wonder whether the world will ever be okay again—or if the best thing to do is find a way to join Jason.

At first I thought Freeze Frame was going to be really depressing a deep. Since this wasn't what I got in the beginning I was starting to feel disappointed. Then as I read on I learned to love Kyle's voice. He was funny and sarcastic, but still weak and depressed. You could tell that Kyle and Jason and a strong friendship due to the insightful flashbacks which Ayarbe provided. I was able to get sucked into the story at such a fast pace that it was breathtaking. Kyle has to deal with so many swarming emotions and you're there right beside him, feeling his emotions. We learn somewhat about the minor characters but I wish we could have had a deeper look in their lives. Freeze Frame is one of those books that you wish had a sequel so you can find out what happens next and how everyone changes after they accept Jason's death. I loved that we were just as confused about the happenings on the day Jason died. Just like Kyle, we learn little at a time and slowly put the pieces together. Overall I think Freeze Frame was a pretty good book that made you feel emotions without ripping you apart.
-Amanda

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Was Interviewed!

Since I know you guys loooooooove reading about me on Thursdays, I thought I'd post the link to the location of a blogger interview. Oooooh...who might this blogger be? Me. Yupp.

Thanks for interviewing me Steph from Hey, Teenager Of The Year!!

The Interview!

I'm on spring break, but am still managing to update somewhat. I did get plenty of books s far this week, so that'll make for an interesting IMM post.

-Amanda

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

The book that I'm watting on this week is...

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Release Date: May 5th

Romantic and heartbreakingly real, this novel follows 15-year-old Belly through the most important summer of her life. Every year, her family shares a beach house with Belly's mother's best friend, Susannah, and her two sons. Belly has always had a crush on Conrad, the older boy, but he has always treated her like an annoying younger sister. This summer, everything changes. The beautifully written novel captures Belly's realization that she is changing into an attractive young woman with a growing power over the boys in her life. They include Cam, the "nice" boy she should fall for but doesn't, and Jeremiah, Susannah's younger son. Only Conrad is seemingly immune to Belly's charms. Meanwhile, Susannah and her family are dealing with problems that Belly does not fully comprehend. Flashbacks to previous summers show her struggles to make Conrad and Jeremiah notice and include her, and how hurt she was when they didn't. The novel perfectly blends romance, family drama, and a coming-of-age tale, one that is substantially deeper than most, but it will still satisfy those hoping for a soapy story of summer love. Belly's discovery that you can't always choose who you love will appeal to readers, as will the author's expert evocation of a magical time when absolutely anything could happen.

I've been in the mood for books like this. I can't wait until it is released!
-Amanda

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Center of the Universe: Yep, That Would Be Me by Anita Liberty

****The Center of the Universe: Yep, That Would Be Me by Anita Liberty****

Originality- 17/20
Characters- 18/20
Remembrance- 7/10
Quote-ability- 8/10
Entertainment- 18/20
Ending- 8/10
Recommend to read- 8/10
TOTAL- 84/100
Grade- B

Anita Liberty is awesome right? Nooo she's fantastic. Except she does have a couple of problems. For one her parents. They are constantly doing things that just don't benefit Anita in the way she wants them to. And boys? Not much luck there for her either. I mean, the guys are okay, but they keep turning hot and cold on her. And everytime she finally feels she found a good guy, he just doesn't seem that great anymore. Anita's friends are okay but they definately have their faults. I mean who wants to deal with a faux wiccan? Way too much work. So what is Anita gonna do about all of this? Complain of course. Because it should all be about her.

After reading several fantasy and serious novels for the past couple of weeks I was really happy to dive into a nice fluffy novel. That's exactly what I got. I wasn't near disappointed. Anita has a fresh and hilarious voice. She said what she felt (most of the time) I was never bored, because Anita was always changing it up. I really liked the SAT words, and the cute example sentences. I felt like I was actually learning something while I was laughing. Better yet, I LOVED, the poetry. Sometimes they were funny and gut-busting, and others they were sad and angry. I got such a wide variety while reading The Center of the Universe, that I was surprised. I got my much wanted fluff but I also got to see Anita grow, and become less self absorbed. Overall I think that The Center of the Universe: Yep, That Would Be Me, was very amusing. I put the book down laughing, and in a great mood.
-Amanda

Sunday, April 5, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a post where I tell you the books that I received this week either by buying them from the bookstore, going to the library or from my mailbox. Check out The Story Siren to learn more!

For Review:

The Center of the Universe: Yep, That Would Be Me

Welcome to the story of my life. Well, at least the story of my junior and senior years of high school. It's a profound, touching, and hilarious (if I do say so myself) tale told through cunning poems, revelatory diary entries, perspicacious (look it up) word definitions, shrewd bits of advice, and off-the-cuff (but brilliant) insights. You'll probably relate to a lot of it. Especially the parts about hating my parents, never feeling cool enough, failing my first attempt at the SATs, having an incredibly romantic (but one-sided) relationship with the coolest guy in school, and getting hexed by my ex-best friend who became a Wiccan. And if you can't relate? Well, step to the back of that humongous line. You'll probably be right behind my family. If you're lucky, my mom'll bring snacks.

Thoughts: I was so excited to get this! Ever since it came out i've been watching it, and now I have it!

Bought:


Kissed by an Angel Trilogy (Kissed by an Angel Series) by Elizabeth Chandler

When her boyfriend, Tristan, died, Ivy thought she'd lost everything, even her faith in angels. But now she's discovered that he's her guardian angel -- his presence so strong that she can feel the touch of his hand, the beat of his heart. Ivy needs Tristan now more than ever because he knows she's in terrible danger. Only Ivy's guardian angel can save her now that his killer is after her. But if Tristan rescues Ivy, his mission on earth will be finished, and he must leave her behind forever. Will saving Ivy mean losing her just when he's finally reached her again?

Thoughts: I could only get two books from Borders and I kept going hot and cold picking the other one but I was sure I wanted this one!


Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin


Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere’s museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatric practice. Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?

Thoughts: I read this one last year, but I loved it so I just HAD to buy it!

-Amanda

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Author Interview: Nicole Johns

Author Interview with Nicole Johns
-------------------------------------

What, ultimately, made you want to share your story?

I wanted to share my story for several reasons, including wanting other people struggling with eating disorders to know they aren't alone, to show that recovery is possible, to show people what living with an eating disorder is like and what treatment is really like as well as to help others. Helping other people with eating disorders (especially EDNOS) was my
main purpose in writing Purge.

What advice would you give teens struggling with their self image or an eating disorder?

I would tell them to talk about it, and not keep it to themselves or keep it a secret. They should talk to whomever they trust. Keeping their struggles to themselves is only going to allow their negative self image or eating disorder to grow stronger. Talking about it takes away the power of negative self-image and eating disorders.

What should someone do if they suspect their friend of having an eating disorder?

If you suspect a friend has an eating disorder, you should talk to them about it, and remind them that you care about them and love them no matter what. Also, try to encourage them to talk to an adult they trust, and try to get them help.

Who has always been there for you when you needed them?

My fiance, Brady, as well as my best friend from when I was a kid, Jess, a group of friends from boarding school, and my friend Liz who I actually met in treatment, as well as my grad school adviser Julie and my cousin Jocelyn. Before they died I was very close to my maternal grandparents (I actually grew up in the house next to them) and they were a constant source of support and love. I am lucky to have so many wonderful, caring people in my life, and to have so much support both in recovery and while writing and publishing Purge.

Do you have any favorite books or authors?

If I listed all my favorite books and authors, this list would be very long! I'll tell you my newest favorites. I just finished reading Chalked Up by Jennifer Sey, which is a memoir detailing the author's childhood and adolescence as an elite gymnast, and before that I read The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang, which is a memoir about the author's childhood in a Thai refugee camp and her family's immigration to Minnesota. I'm really on a memoir kick lately, although I'm also reading Louise Erdrich's The Antelope Wife, and I just finished up Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated.

Are you going to write anything else?

Yes. I'd love to write a sequel to Purge, but I'm also in the beginning of writing a book about the so-called "boy crisis." A few years ago Newsweek magazine ran an article about how boys are supposedly disenfranchised by a girl-focused educational system, and how feminism and Title IX are causing boys to backslide academically. I disagree with this view, and I am writing about and trying to debunk the myth of the boy crisis.

What are you doing right now?

Right now I'm sitting in my office draped in my favorite blanket while simultaneously answering interview questions and browsing amazon. I'm also trying to avoid helping my fiance do laundry because I hate doing laundry. ;)

Mac or PC?

PC. I have a Dell.
Thanks so much for your lovely review of Purge, and for interviewing me!!

Thanks so much Nicole!

-Amanda

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Purge: Rehab Diaries by Nicole Johns

****Purge: Rehab Diaries by Nicole Johns****

Originality- 19/20
Characters- 19/20
Remembrance- 10/10
Quote-ability- 9/10
Entertainment- 19/20
Ending- 10/10
Recommend to read- 9/10
TOTAL- 95/100
Grade- A
Release Date: Today, so go buy yourself a copy!

Purge is a beautifully crafted memoir that has a Girl, Interrupted feel. In this raw and engaging account of her months in rehab, Nicole Johns documents her stay in a residential treatment facility for eating disorders. Her prose is lucid and vivid, as she seamlessly switches verb tenses and moves through time. She unearths several important themes: body image and sexuality, sexual assault and relationships, and the struggle to piece together one's path in life. While other books about eating disorders and treatment may sugarcoat the harsh realities of living with and recovering from an eating disorder, Purge does not hold back. The author presents an honest, detailed account of her experience with treatment, avoiding the clich├ęd happily-ever-after ending while still offering hope to those who struggle with eating disorders, as well as anyone who has watched a loved one fight to recover from an eating disorder. Purge sends a message: though the road may be rough, ultimately there is hope.

Purge, in short, was amazing. I was immediately drawn in by the truthness of Nicole's words. Even though I've never had an eating disorder I do know people who have struggled with their self image, and the whole time I read, I thought about them. Don't even start to think that this was some kind of big depressing self harm story. It was a real and powerful tale of a women finally accepting herself. I've read other books that talked about eating disorders but nothing that truly happened. Which is probably why I loved it so much. It WAS real, which filled me with hope. And I won't lie, I love me a good story taking place somewhere BESIDES the home. Nicole's story helped me fully realize that eating disorders aren't just about thinking that you're overweight, it's a total distorted view of your body that you forever think about and try to change. I would love to thank Nicole for having the courage to go to treatment and sharing her story with people who might decide to do the same. Overall I think that Purge: Rehab Diaries was a breathtaking true story that brought me laughs and tears.

Check back tomorrow when I'll post my interview with Nicole Johns herself!

-Amanda