Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Three Lost Kids & The Death of The Sugar Fairy by Kimberly Kinrade


For this blog tour, we have an interview with Kimberly Kinrade, the author of The Three Lost Kids & The Death of The Sugar Fairy.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
These days, the hardest part to any of my writing is just finding the time! I have so many books I'm working on, that I'm writing non-stop and still behind. Once I sit down to write, it's pretty easy!
Which of your characters can you relate to the most?
The main characters are the Three Lost Kids, three sisters who go on adventures. They're based on my kids, so I see myself in all of them to some degree, though I probably identify with Bella the most sometimes. She's very feisty.
Which part of the book was the easiest to write?
The ending. I had that written in my head before I even started the book.
Which actors would play the main characters in the movie version of the book?
This is hard, since they're all kids. I would pick Edward and Bella's daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) to play Maddie. Landry Bender to play Bella, and probably LexieKinrade to play herself. She's quite the thespian!
Which songs would be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book?
I don’t know which songs I'd pick, but I would pick John Williams (Harry Potter) or Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean, Sherlock Holmes, Batman, etc) to compose the music for the movies.
Any future books in the works?
Oh so many! For The Three Lost Kids, I have a Christmas book coming on November 26th, called The Three Lost Kids and The Christmas Curse. What happens when Bella gets her wish to have Christmas every day? It's not as fun as she thought it would be!

On Jan. 15th I have The Three Lost Kids and Cupid's Capture launching. Valentine's Day will be full of broken hearts if The Three Lost Kids can't save Cupid!

And I also have a series of YA and adult paranormal books coming out in Jan and May!
ABOUT THE BOOK:

Halloween is here and Lexie, Bella and Maddie couldn't be happier. But why does everything feel so different? Fewer houses are decorated and fewer kids are out trick-or-treating. Still, that's not going to stop the three girls from eating as much candy as they can before their parents can stop them, even if that means fighting each other for it.

When they finally discover a haunted house worthy of their favorite holiday, they forget their parents' warnings and go in alone, only to discover that the house really is haunted, and not only that, but they've been transported to a whole different world!

A dying Sugar Fairy in one of the abandoned rooms send them on a quest to find her Sugar Baby and the magic Sugar Flower in order to save her and Halloween. If they fail, Halloween will be gone forever, and they'll never return to their family.

But with Sugar Bug attacks, the Cavity Caves where they must face their deepest fears, and giant gummy bears armed with candy cane swords, the girls aren't sure they'll make it.

Their only chance is to work together, using each of their strengths to help each other. Can they stop fighting over candy long enough? Or will they be trapped in the dying Sugar Land forever?
ABOUT THE SERIES:
The first three books in this series (Lexie World, Bella World and Maddie World) were inspired by Kimberly's three little girls of the same name, who discovered their own worlds where they had magical powers and wanted their mom to write about it!
This special edition trilogy includes full color illustrations and each book is told from the first person perspective of that little girl's world. The paperback editions of these books are 7x10 full color with a coloring book in the back of each. They also include discussion questions to get kids and parents talking about the important themes in each book, such as caring for the planet, emotional maturity and handling bullies.
In The Death of the Sugar Fairy, the Three Lost Kids start a whole new series of chapter books, told from all three kids' point of view. Moving forward, the series will not include illustrations, but will include the same fantastic stories that have made the special edition trilogy so popular.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. She writes fantasy and paranormal stories for children, YA and adults and still believes in magic worlds. Check out her YA paranormal novels Forbidden Mind and Forbidden Fire and her illustrated children's fantasy chapter books Lexie World, and Bella World, all on Amazon.
She lives with her three little girls who think they're ninja princesses with super powers, her two dogs who think they're humans and her husband, also known as the sexy Russian Prince, who is the love of her life and writing partner.
For a list of her books, check out: http://Amazon.com/author/kimberlykinrade
For a fun fan experience, join the team at I.P.I. at http://IPIAcademy.com
For kids and parents of young kids, join the Lost Kids at http://ThreeLostKids.com
ONLINE LINKS:
Website http://KimberlyKinrade.com
Twitter: @KimberlyKinrade
IPI Twitter: @IPIAcademy
Facebook: /KimberlyKinrade
IPI Facebook: /IPIAcademy
GIVEAWAY:

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

And Gimli, though he is noble for a dwarf and grows to be wiser than most others of his race, is yet a dwarf and not the symbol of wisdom in Tolkien's tales.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Seventeen's Terrifying True Teen Stories by Hearst Corporation/Seventeen

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SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
What would you do if your house were robbed—while you were in it? What would you do if you were kidnapped? Or if you needed brain surgery? In Seventeen’s Terrifying True Teen Stories, eleven teen girls share how they bravely handled life’s most tragic and frightening challenges. The details are crazy, but their stories are amazing!
MY TAKE:

During my magazine-obsessed years, one of my favorite magazine features where the articles in Seventeen magazine that were about real teen's experiences. If you've read one of those, then you know what to expect from this book.

Seventeen's Terrifying True Teen Stories is a compilation of stories from teen girls who faced amazing and scary experiences.

The story of the girl with the tattoo was particularly interesting to me because I'm pretty sure I've read her story before. If not that, then I've definitely seen her botched tattoo on the internet because it's pretty distinctive. If you've ever Googled tattoos, you might recognize her tattoo or something very similar.

The length of each story is roughly the length of a magazine article, so the book itself is quite short. The good thing about the articles, though, is that most of the articles have some tips on how to prevent or get through the same thing.

Thanks to NetGalley and Open Road Media for the e-ARC. Publication date of Seventeen's Terrifying True Teen Stories is on October 1, 2012.

THE GOOD:

  1. The stories cover a wide range of topics.
  2. There are prevention tips included for some of the stories.
  3. The stories are written in typical Seventeen style.

THE BAD:

  1. There are only eleven stories so it may seem short.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
After you get your tattoo, wash it with mild soap and water and avoid direct sunlight and hot baths until it heals.
READ IT IF:

  1. You like reading Seventeen magazine.
  2. You like reading about the experiences of other teenagers.
  3. You like reading collections of essays.

RATING:
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SOUNDS INTERESTING?



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Sunday, October 28, 2012

In My Mailbox


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

FROM NETGALLEY:
A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson
Seventeen's Terrifying True Teen Stories by Seventeen
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fiction Feature: Rick & Wylie's Fantastical, Magical Adventures Book 1 [Journey to the Kingdom] by Andi Katsina



For this Fiction Feature, we have an interview with Andi Katsina, the author of Rick & Wylie's Fantastical, Magical Adventures.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
The whole story is to be told over a series of three books, each book is packed with scene changes and fantastic action. In the first book there is a scene where Rick has been taken to Tibet, (the Meru Guardian chapter), here he learns of the evil wizard and the Meru Guardian’s back story. A fair bit of research was needed to get this scene correct, there’re mythical animals, lakes, rivers, monks, gateways, a weeping Buddha, ice fire flames, green mist, mountains, monastery, caverns, a crystal sleeping chamber, Meru Guardians, a battle scene etc., it took some doing to put it all together. For the most part, writing this book was very enjoyable because I really do like the story.
Which of your characters can you relate to the most?
Actually can relate to both Rick and Wylie. Rick is fraught with anguish and driven by determination. He’s been forcibly separated from his daughter and nothing will prevent him from getting to her. Often times in life one must do all to succeed, to stand up and be counted, to support a worthy cause, charity etc.. Wylie is a teenage girl who has been violently separated from her father and told she has to awaken a sleeping kingdom. She must cross a vast mystical forest, mostly by herself, knowing that extreme danger is constantly lurking only feet away. Despite the fact that she really doesn’t want to do this alone, she understands that in order to succeed and be reunited with her father, she must forever go forward and face the danger in her path. I very much relate to this, growing up I was faced with many difficult situations, it wasn’t easy to always choose the right path, and if finding myself on the wrong path, fighting to get back on the right path was often difficult, but necessary. We all of us face these situations, but the measure of each one of us is in moving forward and not being held back, or frightened off the right path.
Which part of the book was the easiest to write?
The beginning of the book was the easiest to write, it’s fresh and moves at a nice steady pace. Father and daughter taking a vacation in Hawaii, the friends they meet and activities they’re involved in, hardly any sign of what is to come, right up until their boat is capsized on the Na Pali coast. I so liked writing this five chapter opener, all the time knowing of the great adventure that was to unfold.
Which actors would play the main characters in the movie version of the book?
At the moment I only have in mind an American teenage actor, Wylie Quinn Anderson, to play the role of Wylie, she’s perfect for this role.
Which songs would be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book?
Mai, I’m much more a word orientated person, presently I have no thoughts on music scores. We’re only in the early stages of negotiating for the film, so I will have to clue you in on the ‘music’ situation at a later date.
Any future books in the works?
Oh yeah, lots. My books tend to be quite involved works. I write long, complex stories with an awful lot happening throughout. The second book in the trilogy, Rick & Wylie’s Fantastical, Magical Adventures book 2 [Hot pursuit on the Road to Discovery] should be released late Spring 2013. And later that year another of my books, a fantasy adventure written in 2007, will be released; Gurk & Whale [The Rose Mane Arrows].
ABOUT ANDI KATSINA:

Hello my friends
I'm English, of rich Irish, African descent. Born in the sound of bow bells, an orphan, I grew up in Manchester, England. Quite a bit more than forty, I‘m a vegan, though occasionally lapse into vegetarianism.
Throughout my school years I was a champion athlete and swimmer, going on to become an athletics coach, swimming teacher and youth leader. After which time I was trained as a Chartered Accountant. Interrupting my training, I branched out, working freelance as a troubleshooter in the field of accountancy. Six years of adding and subtracting, was followed by two years of trading as an international commodities broker. This led me to the sedentary position of ‘trader in antique, oriental carpets’. It was at this juncture that I became completely inspired to become a writer.
As a ‘school kid’ I very much enjoyed writing plays in English, Latin and French. Fortunately for me, writing came naturally. I so, so like writing stories that give people, especially young people, and people young at heart, the chance to exercise their own imagination.
I love taking my readers on fantastic journeys. The enjoyment and taste of adventure my stories give to my readers, warms me greatly.
Best wishes from Andi Katsina
AMAZON LINK:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=rick+%26+Wylie%27s+fantastical%2C+Magical+Adventures
GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13503049-rick-wylie-s-fantastical-magical-adventures 
ABOUT THE BOOK:



Every few thousand years, true evil, the likes of which roamed the earth eons ago, attempts to rise up from the navel of the world, to once again instil its darkness and establish its reign.

Rick and Wylie’s fantastical, Magical Adventures, tells the story of a father and daughter, Rick and Wylie, who go on a week’s vacation to the island of Kaua’i, in Hawaii.

Wylie buys a bag of costume jewellery from a yard sale, to decorate a ship’s anchor, as part of a school project. Amongst the jewellery is a small quartz pebble. Wylie asks her dad can she take it with her on vacation. Rick takes teardrop shaped pebble to the old traditional Chinese jewellers, near his L.A. studio, to have a ribbon threaded through the hole, so that Wylie can tie it to the inside of her pocket, to guard against loss. The jeweller, Mr Fang, says he needs to keep on to the pebble for a few days, Rick doesn’t let him.

Rick and Wylie have a great time on holiday. Friends come to visit them. They go to visit friends in Maui. In Kaua’i they go ziplining, they visit lots of places, and go kayaking. 

On two separate occasions Wylie tells her dad that she has seen the jeweller, Mr Fang, lurking about. Very concerned, he contacts his Production Company staff in L.A.. They go to Mr Fang’s shop to establish his whereabouts. Strangely enough, they are unable to find Fang’s shop, it has disappeared! They all become quite anxious about this, but with only a day of their vacation left, they agree it should be okay.

On the last day, Rick and Wylie go on a boat trip, during which, Mr Fang can be seen on the cliff tops, screaming up to the heavens, screaming out to the ocean, as if controlling the elements. A storm ensues. The boat capsizes. Rick and Wylie are separated. 

Wylie is taken by the magical, invisible Manini fish, to an underground seawater cave, where she meets the Forest Keepers, Cherub like people, caretakers of the Mystical K├╝pono Forest; a mystical, magical forest, deep within the island of Kaua’i.

The Manini fish tell Wylie that she must wake up the Sleeping Menehune Kingdom, and that’s where her dad will find her. On her journey she passes from region to region, encountering many trials, and creatures. Wylie makes it to the kingdom, discovers the underground palace, and waits for her dad to rescue her. 

After the boat capsized, Rick began sinking. When he realised Fang was after the Wylie’s quartz teardrop, he took charge of it. Sinking, he remembers Wylie had said there was a name scratched on the back on the teardrop. He utters the name. Suddenly he is flying up in the air, in a little fluffy cloud. Rick zooms off to a holy mountain in Tibet, it opens up, and still in his cloud he plunge deep down, ending up on top of the sacred Mount Meru. It transpires that the cloud is the hat of a genii, a Meru Guardian, one of the guardians of the world.

The Meru Guardian takes Rick back to Kaua’i. His brother, and members of his Production Team have come to Hawaii to join the search. Two of Rick’s friends, and his brother, return to Los Angeles to try to contact the holy people from the sacred Mount Kailash monastery in Tibet, who’s help they need in dealing with Mr Fang, who is in actual fact a ten headed man-snake demon, in the form of an evil wizard, Wan Chu Fang.

Rick and three friends go into the Mystical Forest to search for Wylie. The route they take leads to many trials and mishaps. In the kingdom, Rick and Wylie go down a dry water well to retrieve a stone key. It’s very hair-raising with bubbling lava hot on their tail. In the underground palace their friends remain in one of the grand stone chambers, whilst Rick and Wylie go along a passageway to insert the stone key into a stone disc. They hear a loud voice, claiming to be that of the Menehune king, asking them to come forwards and declare themselves…. It’s at this point that Book 1 ends, and book 2, with a whole new fantastical, magical adventure, begins…

This is a wonderful story, enjoy, and have fun reading it, best wishes, And Katsina

PUB DATE: June 2012
RELEASE DATE: 1st September 2012
PUB: KatsInc. UK
GENRE: Fantasy Adventure
NUMBER OF PAGES: 550; words: 173,477
ISBN: 978-0955579523
PUBLISHER HUB: www.theindieoracle.com
GIVEAWAY:

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: Backstage Pass by Gaby Triana

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SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:

Gaby Triana's first novel about Desert McGraw, a famous rock star's daughter who wants nothing more than to lead a perfectly annonymous life.
In this hip debut novel, rising star Gaby Triana uses her immensely accessible voice and humor to paint a mesmerizing picture of a life not quite in the spotlight-but not quite out of it, either. As the daughter of a famous rock star, Desert McGraw has led a glamorous existence. But now that she's sixteen and living in yet another new town, she just wants to call one place home. In fact, Desert will do nearly anything to lead a normal life-even if it means breaking up the band.

MY TAKE:

When it comes to YA books, I usually like ones about music the most.

In Backstage Pass, Desert is the daughter of a famous rock star. Of course, that means that she gets treated differently. Who can she trust, especially now that things aren't so great at home?

This book was a fun, breezy read. I found Desert interesting in that she sounds very much like any teenager would. I didn't really warm up to Desert's friend Becca. She was okay, but she could be annoying at times. The love interest, however, seems a little too perfect sometimes. When he did get angry, it didn't seem like a completely believable escalation of emotion.

There were some interesting plot twists, but not so much that it seemed like they came out of left field. What I liked most about the book was its realistic take on relationships. It's not often you find young adult books wherein the characters' relationships aren't all happy and perfect.

THE GOOD:

  1. The characters' relationships are realistic.
  2. The plot isn't very original but it doesn't feel completely rehashed.
  3. It has its fun moments.

THE BAD:

  1. Desert's poems might not appeal to everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
The separate parts—drums, guitar, bass, and vocals—all click together like magic, and poof, you’ve got a musical work of art.
READ IT IF:

  1. You like music.
  2. You like YA that has realistic relationships.
  3. You're looking for a fun, breezy YA read.

RATING:
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SOUNDS INTERESTING?



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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: The Universe of Fair by Leslie Bulion



SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

Miller Sanford's parents think he's too young to explore the annual town fair alone with his best friend. Hopeful that this year they will reconsider, Miller works extra hard to be nice to his little sister Penny and her friends.
When his mother can't attend the Fair and his father has to cover her volunteer booth hours as well as his own, Miller ends up with more responsibility than he can handle. Instead of enjoying a freewheeling day on his own, he is drawn into a series of mishaps involving a string of tagalong first graders, his dad's prize-worthy lemon meringue pie, flying death heads, a giant jack-o'-lantern, and his ill-fated science fair project.
Frank Dormer's kid-friendly illustrations enliven the pages of Leslie Bulion's lighthearted take on growing-up and learning to be responsible.

MY TAKE:

Ah, to be young and want to be able to do things for yourself.

In The Universe of Fair, Miller is trying to show his parents that he's already mature and capable of doing things on his own, particularly spending some time with his friend exploring the fair. To do that, however, he must take care of his annoying little sister and a few other neighborhood kids.

I think a lot of kids will be able to relate to Miller, not just because he wants to do things by himself, but also the other stuff, like doing schoolwork and projects that don't really fit with what the teachers want. The mystery subplot was pretty interesting too. Some might say it was anti-climactic, but kids will still like it.

As for the kids, I liked Miller's best friend Lewis the best. He seemed the most mature of them all. Miller is a very typical 11-year-old, which is good. Kids, particularly young boys, will be able to relate to the book better. Miller's younger sister, however, annoyed me a lot. If my kid was like that, I would be a lot stricter with her than Miller's parents were.

Thanks to NetGalley and Peachtree Publishers for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. Miller is very relateable.
  2. There are plenty of things happening in the book.
  3. It's realistic.

THE BAD:

  1. Some of the characters can be annoying.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
I might not be able to eat a whole colossal sugar donut and still have room for the rest of the Fair food on my plan - the fries, the corn on the cob, the chili, and the chocolate banana delight without nuts, and then dinner.
READ IT IF:

  1. You have a middle-grade child.
  2. Your kids are starting to annoy you.
  3. You want your kids to read more.

RATING:
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SOUNDS INTERESTING?




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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: #18 Mallory McDonald, Super Snoop by Laurie Friedman


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Mallory is on a mission. Max, her brother, is spending all his time with his girlfriend and won't allow Mallory around for ANY of it. Mallory wants to know what's going on when they're together. Are Max and Winnie hatching secret plans? Are they causing danger? And as Max's sister, doesn't she have the right to know? Mallory McDonald, Super Snoop, is determined to spy on them. But when she digs up the dirt she's looking for, she'll find that snooping is messy business!
MY TAKE:

I grew up on Nancy Drew, Harriet the Spy, and the Hardy Boys, so I enjoy mysteries like these.

Mallory McDonald, Super Snoop is about Mallory, a girl who becomes curious when her brother and his girlfriend won't include her when they are together.

This book is absolutely perfect for those young girls who are very curious. Even though her friends and babysitter tell her to let it go, Mallory doesn't listen to them. She insists on having her own way and as such, becomes a nuisance to her brother and his girlfriend.

I found Mallory annoying some of the time, but by the end of the book, I wasn't annoyed with her anymore. Much like her brother was with her, actually. I particularly enjoyed the illustrations. They are perfect for this type of book. I also enjoyed the recipe and other extra material at the end of the book. They remind me of the extra activities that could be find at the back part of some of the newer Sweet Valley Kids books. It's great because it gives you more value for your money.

Thanks to Netgalley and Darby Creek for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. The illustrations are cute and fit the story well.
  2. Kids will be able to relate to Mallory or the other characters in the book.
  3. The recipe and activities at the end of the book are great for keeping kids busy longer.

THE BAD:

  1. Mallory can be annoying.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
It's covered in bread. White bread. Wheat bread. Thick bread. Thin bread. Rye bread. French bread. Bagels. Hot dog buns. And even tortillas.
READ IT IF:

  1. Your kid likes mystery books.
  2. You want to teach your child when it's okay and when it's not okay to snoop.
  3. You are looking for books that have activities that your child can do.

RATING:
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SOUNDS INTERESTING?



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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
What I'm about to tell Crystal is V.I.I., which is short for very important information.
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Monday, October 22, 2012

First Book on the Left: Bright Island by Mabel L. Robinson



Reading piles can get ridiculously huge so you don't get to read and review on time all the books you get. This feature is for the books on my pile that I wasn't able to read in time, but which I'm still excited about.


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

A Newbery Honor celebrates its 75th anniversary.
     Born and raised on Bright Island off the Maine coast, Thankful Curtis is more like her sea captain grandfather than any of her older brothers are. Nothing suits her better than sailing and helping her father with the farm. But when her dreaded sisters-in-law suggest that Thankful get some proper schooling on the mainland, the wind is knocked from her sails.
     Thankful finds the uncharted waters of school difficult to navigate: there's a rocky reception from her rich roommate, Selina; the breezy behavior of the charming Robert; and stormy Mr. Fletcher, the handsome Latin teacher whose caustic tongue masks a tender heart. And while Thankful works hard to make the best of her new life, Bright Island continues to flash in her thoughts, like the sparkle of the sun on the water.
     Mabel Robinson's delightful coming-of-age story won a Newbery Honor in 1938 and garnered extraordinary praise from critics and readers alike. The New York Times raved, "One would be hard put to it to find a better contemporary novel than this," and now this evocative tale can be welcomed by a new generation of readers.

MY TAKE:


I really like the old children's books. It brings back memories of my childhood when I would listen to my grandparents' stories about the old days. The "oldies" vibe is very relaxing, I think.

I was able to read a few chapters of the books and I really liked it. Bright Island seems like an awesome place to live or visit. I can see why Thankful really liked it. Thankful seems like such a strong girl. She's a little stubborn, but she cares a lot about her family and Bright Island. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it soon.

SOUNDS INTERESTING?





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Sunday, October 21, 2012

In My Mailbox


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

FROM NETGALLEY:
No Ordinary Apple by Sara Marlowe
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review: Victoria and the Rogue by Meg Cabot



SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:

Victoria
Growing up in far-off India, wealthy young heiress Lady Victoria Arbuthnot was accustomed to handling her own affairs -- not to mention everyone else's. But in her sixteenth year, Vicky is unceremoniously shipped off to London to find a husband. With her usual aplomb, however, Lady Victoria gets herself engaged to the perfect English gentleman, even before setting foot on British soil.
The Rogue
Hugo Rothschild, ninth earl of Malfrey, is everything a girl could want in a future husband: he is handsome and worldly, if not rich. Lady Victoria has everything just as she'd like it. That is, if raffish young ship captain Jacob Carstairs would leave well enough alone.
Jacob's meddling is nothing short of exasperating, and Victoria is mystified by his persistence. But when it becomes clear that young Lord Malfrey just might not be all that he's professed to be, Victoria is forced to admit, for the first time in her life, that she is wrong. Not only about her fiance, but about the reason behind the handsome ship captain's interference.

MY TAKE:
I like reading novels set in the medieval to Victorian ages, so this book has been on my to-read list for awhile.

Victoria and the Rogue focuses on Victoria, a girl who grew up in India and is shipped to London to live there, and Jacob Carstairs, a captain who makes it his mission to keep Victoria from marrying Hugo Rothschild.

The plot is predictable, but it's not terrible. Victoria is headstrong and not too preoccupied with being proper and dainty. Those are great traits, however, she is also incredibly bossy and mean to the staff. Since this is a period novel, I can understand that, but I still wasn't comfortable with it.

As a hero, Jacob is brooding and cocky but he is the perfect foil for Victoria. For some reason, I couldn't get into Victoria and Jacob's love story. It's not because it's unrealistic or anything, but more of because it felt expected.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's a quick romance read.
  2. Victoria isn't your typical swooning heroine.
  3. Jacob is more good guy than rogue.

THE BAD:

  1. The plot is predictable.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Then, looking down into her upturned face, he said, “What you’ve got to do now is find someone who doesn’t need you, and marry him.”
READ IT IF:

  1. You're looking for a light read.
  2. You like Meg Cabot's books.
  3. You like heroines who are take-charge.

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SOUNDS INTERESTING?



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Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan



SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

"I've left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."
Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.
About the authors:
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan are New York Times bestselling authors of YA fiction. They have co-written three books including Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist which was adapted for a film in 2008.

MY TAKE:

I found the synopsis of this book so intriguing that I just had to read it immediately.

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is about Dash and Lily who correspond through a red notebook that they hide in different places around New York.

I really liked the idea of the scavenger-hunt-like mode of communication. It's such a creative way for the characters to meet and interact. The shifting point-of-views also work as you get to see how Dash and Lily are actually like.

Lily is kind of offbeat and self-centered at times, but she has a good heart. Dash, on the other hand, reminded me of Dan from Gossip Girl. They have the same snarly hipster attitude, as well as a penchant for using big words.

It's the use of so many "big" words, even in normal conversations, which bothered me the most about this. It's not that I don't understand them, because I do. It's just that I find it hard to believe that teenagers talk that way, even if they did have a wide vocabulary.

Other than that, this book was pretty good. There are plenty of quotable quotes and gems that will make you think.

Thanks to NetGalley and MIRA Ink for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:
  1. The premise is clever.
  2. There are plenty of quotable quotes.
  3. Bookish teens and adults can relate to this.
THE BAD:
  1. Some may find the use of so many SAT-level words.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
“You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here's a hint - ask yourself who wrote them. I assure you, it wasn't just the women. It's the great male fantasy - all it takes is one dance to know that she's the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or a look at her sleeping face. And right away you know - this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don't want a very long courtships. They want to know immediately.”
READ IT IF:
  1. You like YA romance books.
  2. You're looking for something a little bit offbeat.
  3. You don't find the use of SAT-level words in ordinary conversation distracting.
RATING:
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review: Hailey's Halloween by Lisa Bullard

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SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

It's time for Hailey's favorite holiday—Halloween! She plans her costume. She also carves jack-o'-lanterns with her family. Finally, it's time for Hailey to trick-or-treat with her friends. Find out how people celebrate this spooky time of year!
Learn the history behind holidays and what people do to celebrate in the Fall and Winter Holidays series, part of the Cloverleaf Books™ collection. These nonfiction picture books feature kid-friendly text and illustrations to make learning fun!

MY TAKE:
This book is perfect for kids who are just learning about Halloween or those who dress up but don't know the origins of the holiday yet.

In Hailey's Halloween, Hailey is trying to choose her costume for Halloween. As she prepares for Halloween, she also shares interesting tidbits about the origins of the celebration.

The plot of the book isn't really groundbreaking, but the insertion of trivia makes this a worthwhile read. It's a good way to teach kids about the history of Halloween without boring them. The illustration style is cute and very colorful so even kids who can't read yet will enjoy the pictures.

I also liked the inclusion of a tutorial at the end of the book on how to make face paint. Too bad I didn't know about this when I was a kid. It seems like a lot of fun for kids and their parents.

Thanks to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The illustrations are cute and colorful.
  2. Kids will learn a lot about Halloween.
  3. There's a tutorial for making your own face paint, as well as links to websites and books for more information kids can use.

THE BAD:

  1. The plot of the book itself isn't all that new.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Long ago, there were no pumpkins in Europe. People there carved vegetables such as beets or turnips.
READ IT IF:

  1. You or your child want to learn more about Halloween.
  2. Your child really likes Halloween.
  3. You are looking for a fun Halloween read.

RATING:
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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review: Heartbeat by Sharon Creech


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:

Run run run.
That's what twelve-year-old Annie loves to do. When she's barefoot and running, she can hear her heart beating . . .
thump-thump, thump-thump.
It's a rhythm that makes sense in a year when everything's shifting: Her mother is pregnant, her grandfather is forgetful, and her best friend, Max, is always moody. Everything is changing, just like the apple Annie's been assigned to draw a hundred times.
Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech masterfully weaves this story about a young girl beginning to understand the many rhythms of life and how she fits within them.







MY TAKE:
It's been awhile since I read poems, but this book was more of a mix of poems and a novel.

Heartbeat is told from the point-of-view of Annie. Annie likes two things: running and drawing. These two things tie the rest of the story together.

The last narrative poetry book I read was True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff. I really liked that one, so I knew that there was a good chance that I would like Heartbeat too. The thing about narrative poetry is that you can't use as many words to describe things so it's more challenging to make readers feel the emotions and get your message across.

Heartbeat succeeds in making you feel the character's emotions. However, the story didn't feel as satisfying as it might have had it been written in prose.

Annie can be interesting, but there were times when I wasn't a very big fan of hers. Max, the love interest, didn't get a lot of quality screen time either. The character that I liked the most was Annie's grandfather. The description of her grandfather who has Alzheimer's is pitch perfect.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's able to get its message across.
  2. There are some really thought-provoking lines.
  3. It is able to do much in a few lines.

THE BAD:

  1. It might not satisfy some people.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:

And what did I think
when I was small
and why did I forget?

READ IT IF:

  1. You like poetry.
  2. You have a short attention span.
  3. You like running and drawing.

RATING:
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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
and I tell him
he can pick up his own pace
but my pace is fine
thank you very much
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls by Tellulah Darling


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

Why the hell can't chicks be more like guys?
That question plagues high school senior Sam Cruz. Sam is perfectly happy being a player. He just wishes girls wouldn't change the game from sex to relationships. It makes him look like an asshole. But when Sam's best friend, Ally Klinger, gets dumped, she begs him to transform her into someone who can screw around then screw off. No risk of heartbreak that way. It's Sam's chance to create the perfect female AND cheer up his best friend. Armed with Sam's Three Step Guide to Backseat Success, Ally gets the game better than Sam thought she would and before long, Sam has his wish: the female version of himself. Too bad it's driving him nuts. Told from Sam's and Ally's alternating POVs, Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls is a fast-paced romantic comedy that follows these teens as they navigate the minefield of sex, love, and friendship.
This book contains strong language, drinking, euphemisms, and lots of "bow chicka wow wow."

MY TAKE:

This book had a pretty interesting premise, so I was eager to give this book a try.

In Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls, Sam is a major player who is schooling his best friend Ally on how to be a love-'em-and-leave-'em kind of girl. However, as always, things get a little bit complicated.

Sam and Ally's voices are very authentic. Sam sounds like your typical high school guy. He's a bit of a jerk and a horndog. He has his sweet moments too, but sometimes they feel a little forced. Ally, on the other hand, is a brainy, sweet girl. She has a little something there, but most of the time, she keeps it hidden deep within so she can seem forgettable.

The premise is interesting and the lines are humorous. In fact, the book's humor is its strongest point. The bow chick a wow wow is advertised but while it's mentioned a lot, it's not really too descriptive, so some readers might be a little bit disappointed. :P

Thanks to NetGalley and Te Da Media for the e-ARC. Publication date of Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls is on October 17, 2012.

THE GOOD:

  1. The dialogue is realistic.
  2. It's funny.
  3. It's very high school.

THE BAD:

  1. Some may find some parts of the book a little bit juvenile.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
"Seventeen years. Every memory worth having has been with you. And we're only getting started."
READ IT IF:

  1. You're looking for a fun read.
  2. You like characters that are realistic.
  3. You like a little bit of action.

RATING:
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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.
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