Next to be reviewed:

Waiting on Wednesday!

So, I decided to join in on the Waiting on Wednesday fun. This meme was created by Break the Spine.

This week's Waiting on Wednesday is The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but The Mortal Instruments is one of my favorite series. Ms. Clare likes to post little teaser excerpts and quotes from the book on her Twitter and Google Group, which makes me even more excited for the new series! Anyway, I think that this will be one hell of a good read. It will be coming out in the US on August 31, 2010.




Slightly cheesy synopsis:
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination 
is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting 
for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk 
stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world 
of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare 
ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, 
the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his
 own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute,
 who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds 
herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty 
hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep 
everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws 
them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, 
Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her 
new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
(from amazon)

*I promise I will have reviews for Audrey, Wait!, Little Blog on the Prairie, and 
The Returners up by Monday!
I decided to try out this new thing called sleep everyone's been raving about, which 
means not much free time left.

Random Question of the Week!


I'm one of those people who wonder about very random topics throughout the week. I've decided to start posting some of these questions here, and I would love to read your thoughts on them!

This week's question is:
Why did you start blogging in the first place?


I decided to start blogging after Staysi, my lovely friend in the real world (YES, THE REAL WORLD!), told me about her blog while we were scouring Barnes and Noble looking for books on palm reading and Greece one day. She told me a little about blogging, but I didn't think much of it until I visited her site, which lead to me discover a lot of other great blogs out there. I'm a very opinionated person, so I thought that a blog would be the perfect place to store all of my thoughts. Now I actually have some people who read my posts, which is amazing! So, that's how it started for me and I would love to hear your stories on how you got started too!

Suite Scarlett Review!


Overall Rating: 3.6
Characters: 3.2
Plot: 3.8
Cover Art: 4

Favorite Line:
The entire verbal smack down Scarlett gives to Marlene. It was awesome and well deserved.

Synopsis:
Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small hotel in the heart of New York City. Her nineteen-year-old brother, Spencer, is an out of work actor facing a family deadline to get his career in order. Eighteen-year-old Lola has the delicate looks of a model, the practical nature of a nurse, and a wealthy society boyfriend. Eleven-year-old Marlene is the family terror with a tragic past.   When the Martins turn fifteen, they are each expected to take over the care of a suite in the once elegant, now shabby Art Deco hotel. For Scarlett’s fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite, and a permanent guest named Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn’t quite know what to make of this C-list starlet, world traveler, and aspiring autobiographer who wants to take over her life. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn.   With Mrs. Amberson calling the shots, Spencer’s career to save, Lola’s love life to navigate around, and Marlene’s prying eyes everywhere, things won’t be easy. Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, and theatrical deception.
Suite Scarlett is a light and fun tale of a dramatic teenager learning to deal...
I'm just going to get it out of the way now, I absolutely adore Maureen Johnson. Seriously, The Bermudez Triangle made me worship her. Now that that's over with I'll get on with it. Scarlett is a teenage girl living in a not so lucrative hotel that her family owns. All she wants is to get a job so she'll have money to do things with her very wealthy friends. The plan is on track, until Mrs. Amberson moves into the room Scarlett is assigned to take care of. I love Mrs. Amberson. I think she's a complete riot and reminds me of the old socialite you get stuck next to at Starbucks. You know, the one that will throw the barista out the door if she has three ice cubes instead of two. I also love Spencer. He's the awesome guy that you talk to at a party once but never forget, the one that sheds a little light on any situation. (Can you tell I'm into analogies today?) Now onto the characters that I hate with a burning passion. First up, we have Marlene. This one hits home, because I know someone who is exactly like her. He had cancer when he was in first grade (I was in his class that year, and will never forget him leaving the same time every wednesday to get treatments). Anyway, after he was cured everyone treated him like royalty and I totally understood that. The only problem is now he's a complete and total jerk. Hello Marlene-male edition. So yeah, I hate her. One of my favorite parts in the entire book was when Scarlett called her out on the Queen Bee act and basically told her where she could shove it. Another one of my favorite parts was when Spencer decked Eric. I guess that gives away the next character I dislike, Eric. I don't hate him nearly as much as Marlene, but I'm not a fan. I'm still not buying the whole, "I'm perfect because I'm from the South" routine he keeps trying to pull. If he becomes some mass murderer in the sequel I will scream "I told you so" to the high heavens. Now that I've very thoroughly described my thoughts on almost every character, let's dive into the plot. Mrs. Amberson's antics make the story. She adds pizazz to any scene she's in, and makes you wish she was a guest in your house. The rest of the plot isn't up to the par I've come to expect from Ms. Johnson. The main idea of this book is that you're following Scarlett on her journey through the summer as her world is turned upside down. The problem is that most of the problems aren't her problems at all. Besides her Eric issues (which I'll get to next), her siblings are the ones with all the drama. Spencer's acting career takes the spotlight for most of the novel, and besides Scarlett wanting to help her brother, it doesn't involve her. Then, she meets Eric. His character traits are hot, southern, and actor. Scarlett knows basically nothing about him besides a few stories he tells her and yet she becomes completely obsessed. He should literally mean nothing to her and yet she's desperate to see him all the time. Then, when she finds out some unflattering things about him she's irrationally surprised. After that, she of course becomes infatuated again. Even though it may seem like I've done a lot of bashing in this post, I actually did enjoy this book. Even though I didn't like every detail, I did enjoy other parts of the story. I recommend to anyone looking for a light read for spring break.

Happy Endings and Why I Hate Them

No, I don't hate all happy endings, and yes that title was supposed to catch your attention. (; I've been inspired recently by a lot of posts about certain parts of YA fiction and blogging in general to share some of my opinions. You, being educated people, have probably already realized the topic of this rant, the happy ending. This is also known as the point in a book where I groan in frustration if every single problem that any character had or ever will have is solved and all questions are answered. I truly love when you get to the end of a book and there are a few questions left dangling and maybe a few problems still linger. It makes the characters (and the story in general) seem real and alive, like they're still out there trying to figure their lives out a little. When a story's ending is handed over wrapped up tight in a twinkling little package filled with rainbows and sunshine, it dies there. There's no more mystery, and no chance that there's more going on in the magical, imaginary dimension in which the book is set.


Honestly, I feel that some of the magic is lost. I truly hate to name names, but a prime example of a horribly  happy ending is Breaking Dawn. My reaction to finishing it went a little like this: "Aw, they all survived but Irina and they found all the answers to their questions about the child with the really long, impossible to pronounce name... What the hell?" Don't get me wrong, I did like Twilight and The Host was great, but it's just that that particular ending is one of the worst I've ever read. I'm not saying that every novel should finish on the high note of death and decay (I'm not saying any novel should have that), just that the conclusion needs to be realistic. Life imitates art imitates life, right?

It seems that a number of readers prefer these lackluster conclusions to what I believe are more interesting closings. I'm part of a few mailing lists and Google Groups, and most of the others on those actually get angry when an author doesn't reveal every single detail. They argued that an ending needs to leave you feeling elated. I, as you can see, do not agree at all. One of my favorite endings made me ball my eyes out, and not from joy. It was heartbreaking, but it made me reassess my views on what living really is and also death. I believe that those are the best kinds of books, the ones that make you think. You don't sit down and go "Hmmm, what did I think about that message?", it just comes to you. The best thing that anything you read can do is affect you, in any way at all. There are thousands of wonderful books out there that do just that, but I think this 'so happy that it's dull' syndrome is starting to become chronic in recently released YA books. Once again, I'm not knocking anyone, just stating something that I've noticed.

Now that I've done my talking, I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment, and I might include it in a follow-up post.

Author Interview: Cathleen Davitt Bell!


Staysi and I were lucky enough to meet Ms. Bell at the massive signing in New York, and she agreed to answer some questions for me. Enjoy!


-When did you realize that you wanted to write for a living?
I always knew I wanted to write. I was so little when I started thinking about it that I didn’t so much have a concept of making a living at it. I was more attracted to the idea of the furious scribbling, the hours of sequestering myself, the emergence with something that has been transformed. I really loved the image created by Louisa May Alcott in Little Women of Jo March hiding out in the attic with a bowl of apples and a sheaf of paper, coming downstairs ink stained, with her hair askew, a story in her hands.

-Does anyone really stand out for inspiring you to become an author?
My father was a professor, and I was very impressed that he had a book. And I LOVED seeing my own name in the dedication. But my real inspiration is the experience I had reading. When I finish a good book, I am so excited to get down to writing myself. When a writer is really good, they make it look easy...and that makes me want to give it a try myself. 

- Slipping is a ghost story, so is there any ghost story that truly terrified you?
Many ghost stories have scared me—and I scared myself a little as I was writing Slipping––but the real live ghost story that actually happened to me wasn’t scary at all. It was funny. It involved my father who died, his house, and Roto Rooter. When I’ve done school visits and kids have visited my website, this is the story they ask me to tell. If any of your readers want to check it out, you can get to it here: http://www.cathleendavittbell.com/myghoststory.html

-What are you currently reading?
I’m reading a lovely book about a boy who escapes feeling like a loser in eighth grade by stepping out of himself and helping others. It’s by my friend (get ready, she has a big name...) Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovitch (she goes by Gbemi). She and I have kids who are the same age and have been in the same class two years in a row at school. Since I’ve known her, this book, her first, has been in production, and it’s so fun and fantastic to read it now. It’s called 8th Grade Super Zero and you can read more about it at www.olugbemisola.com.

Before that I’d read Lorrie Moore’s Gate at the Top of the Stairs, about a girl in college who babysits for a family that adopts a baby girl and then has to let her go. It was heartbreaking.

And before that I read Justine Lardbalestier’s LIAR, which was chilling. At one point, I literally threw the book across the room. At another point, I felt like it was inspiring me to write in an entirely new way. By the end I had that fantastic What the Heck? feeling I used to get watching the Twilight Zone, when the nee-nee-nee-nee music came on at the end: totally freaked out.


-Now a tough one, what is your all-time favorite book and who is your favorite author?
I mentioned above that my dad was a professor. Well, we had the entire canon of British Literature in our living room in cheap paperback editions that publishers mail professors for free, hoping they’ll make all their students buy them for class. (My dad had the American canon in his office.) Every time I was looking for a good book, he’d go to the shelf behind the piano and pull down a dusty paperback that would inevitably have yellowing pages and some sort of oil painting on the front, and tell me to get reading. I really can’t say that I’ve found any books in my life that can beat that first reading of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I reread it a few years ago and found the writing alarming and clear and fresh. Jane was such a complicated child — angry, rebellious, full of hope and faith that there can be more. And then when she grows up, she’s tamed, but she never loses her fire.

I don’t know that that’s my favorite book of all time though. When I was sixteen I read my mom’s old edition of the complete works of Jane Austen straight through. I’ve read some of those novels over and over. Persuasion remains my favorite. I go back to them again and again and find something new every time. The love stories are what you remember and then they fade and you’re left with the perfection of pacing, of dialog, of holding back of information, of getting every single motive and emotion just right and in a not-a-big-deal kind of way. 

 -Random: Who is your favorite character(book/tv/movie/comic/cartoon)?
Maybe Sidney Bristow in Alias. How cool was she? I find that when I watch movies or TV shows with really cool characters in them I feel like I am just a little bit cooler myself. Does this happen to everyone?

-What's one thing that the readers don't know about you?
I played Ultimate Frisbee in college and I was horrible. I was team captain and had a great time even though I could barely throw the frisbee in a straight line (everyone else who qualified was away on study abroad). 

-Can you tell us a little about your inspiration for Little Blog on the Prairie, and about the story itself?
When I was nine, I amused myself in a car trip designing a vacation camp I thought would be awesome: you’d go to a farm, get dressed up in old fashioned clothes, and live like you were on the frontier. One day two summers ago, I was walking down the street remembering that idea and I started to laugh thinking about what a modern teenager might think of that experience. Thus, Little Blog on the Prairie was born.

In the book, a 14-year-old girl named Gen is forced by her mom to go to family frontier camp. She has to leave everything she loves behind––the computer, the phone, shorts, her phone. The cabin they’re staying in doesn’t have screens, the bugs are bad, the chickens are on the war path and don’t even get her started on the outhouse.

She maintains her sanity only by texting her friends, and one of them starts a blog...which goes viral. To find out the rest, you’ll have to read the book! And do — it’s fun and funny! (I hope!)


-Any message for your fans?
Read Gen’s blog!! It’s a total experiment and I want to see if it’s fun or builds any kind of momentum. I’m thinking that if it works—if people are reading and commenting––I’ll try more things like it. Maybe a whole book as a blog, or a series of stories.  Gen’s at www.GensLittleBlogonthePrairie.blogspot.com. Happy reading!


A huge thank you to Cathleen for taking the time to answer my questions amidst preparing to release her new book. Little Blog on the Prairie will be released on May 11, 2010; make sure you grab a copy from your local B&N (or bookstore of choice) and follow Gen's journey on her blog linked above! Also, check out her official website here!

Great Post!


Meg from In Which a Girl Reads posted about the very interesting topic of love, lust and everything in between in YA fiction. I highly recommend checking it out, even if you don't agree with her thoughts it may give you a different outlook on the subject. Check it out here!

Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner

Overall Rating: 4.4
Characters: 4.1
Plot: 4
Cover Art: 4.6 [I love the creepy jumping people who look like they've been drugged, and of course the huge gaudy font used for the title.]

Favorite Line:
"Let's Do a Little Shakepeare"- Last song in Castration Celebration

*WARNING: This story contains many conversations with um... sexual origins.

Synopsis:
It’s High School Musical— rated R ! When the girl who’s foresworn men meets the boy who’s devoted himself to picking up women, there’s bound to be drama—perfect for a sixweek summer program devoted to the arts. Olivia’s summer goal: to write a musical that censures men with wandering eyes. Max’s summer goal: to hone his acting skills, along with his talent for attracting the ladies. Before camp is over, they’ll perform Olivia’s musical onstage and in real life—though the ending may turn out differently than either expects. Jake Wizner’s story within a story takes the battle of the sexes to a whole new level in a bawdy, uproarious romp that’s laugh-out-loud fun.


Castration Celebration is a feel good tale that details why sometimes castration is the best answer...
I won't lie to you, my dear followers, by saying that I picked this book up because I thought it would lead me to the meaning of life. It sounded funny and I like funny books, who can blame me? Anyway, I'm very happy I did decide to read this because I loved it! The characters are hilarious and the story isn't packed full of action every second which makes seeing the progression of the characters throughout the book much more enjoyable. It's hard for me at least to get to know a character when every five pages there's another life or death situation. One of the best things about Celebration is the story within the story, Olivia's musical. The musical parallels her life at the time she's writing it complete with dramatic counterparts of everyone she encounters at Yale. It's interesting to see so deeply inside Olivia's head through her writing. We get to see how events affect her and how she wants things to work out. Another thing I love about this book is the honesty. It really is High School Musical when the cameras aren't rolling. The ups and downs Max, Olivia, and the whole gang face while discovering a little more about the difference in the way guys and girls think of the opposite sex is mostly full of laughs, but there is no shortage of drama. Jake Wizner is an awesome guy who can bring humor to any story and I highly recommend Castration Celebration to you all!

MASSIVE NYC TEEN AUTHOR FESTIVAL POST!

So as you may know, Staysi from Lost In Ink, our friend Jenny, & I headed into the city for the 2nd annual NYC Teen Author Festival. It was fantastic, & I urge everyone to try and make it to next year's because it was an awe-inspiring experience. We had a little trouble getting there (darn GPS), but we eventually made it into the city. Once we got there, some people *cough STAYSI cough* wanted to go shopping and me being the worry wart that I am had us on a very tight time schedule. We did make it on time, after a few trips around town and one very disgusting bathroom visit that no one needs details about. Everyone was so nice and friendly and I met a lot of great people, including many of my favorite authors! I posted the pictures from today & a brief summary of what we talked about with each author for those who want to (or are bored enough) to check it out. Enjoy!

*Just FYI I'm in the sweet Run DMC shirt, & Staysi is the lovely girl in the white skirt. :)


Libba Bray: My initial reaction was "Holy crap I'm meeting Libba Bray!!!" Then, I gained my composure and we had a nice conversation where I praised her and she said that she liked my shirt. She was wearing a Green Day t-shirt & decided we were the only ones who got the memo about the band t-shirt dress code.



Maggie Stiefvater: The line to meet her was LONG, but it was okay because it's Maggie Stiefvater. She signed our books and asked what our favorite parts were. She also promised more lyrics from Sam in Linger to which I smiled, a lot.


Susane Colasanti: She was so cool, and didn't mind taking pictures even though her signing time was over. She was also dead set on getting a picture all of us approved of. :)
David Levithan: I was so excited to meet this man I couldn't even process, he was very nice and wrote a very cute message in my book.


Gayle Forman: She was so cute and appreciated that we both like old school things.


Elizabeth Eulberg: Again, VERY nice. We discussed how hard it is to spell some names, & she told me how she once misspelled someone's and felt horrible about it.
Elizabeth Scott: We caught her as she was helping hand out author name tags so we didn't get to talk to her about much, but she had no problem stopping to take some pictures with us.
Lisa Ann Sandell: She was so sweet and actually asked us to send her the picture! (I've really been looking forward to reading A Map of the Known World, so I was extra excited to meet her!)


Lynn Weingarten: She was so excited that I bought her book, that she made me want to buy multiple copies! Our conversation basically consisted of me thanking her for signing my book & her thanking me for buying her book.


Jake Wizner: This man is my new idol. Besides finding a way to use the word castration in the title of his book, he's also hilarious and very nice. Books of Wonder sold out of the five copies of Castration Celebration, & when I told him this he sent an employee to go find some. He then joked about who should get blamed for only having five copies in stock. They thankfully found a few copies & I was able to get one signed!




We also met Cathleen Davitt Bell (Slipping), who told us about her newest book Little Blog on the Prairie. The story follows Gen, a girl who is sent to frontier history family camp. She secretly texts her friends & tells them of all the adventures at the camp. One of her friends starts a blog & narrates Gen's journey. Soon, the blog goes viral & the rest is history. Little Blog on the Prairie comes out this May, but the blog is already live! Check out the blog based on the book here.

The HPA's Second Annual Book Drive!


Today Maureen Johnson (Suite Scarlett, Girl at Sea, 13 Little Blue Envelopes) announced that she's been asked to head the Ravenclaw house for The Harry Potter Alliance's Accio Books! For the entire month of March, you can collect and send in books to be donated to those in serious need of books in the Mississippi Delta area. Since Maureen is the head of Ravenclaw this year, she has some awesome prizes for those who participate and donate their points to Ravenclaw.

The prizes include:
For donating 100 or more books, you will receive a signed copy of any of Ms. Johnson's books;

For donating 250 or more books, you will receive an advanced copy of The Last Little Blue Envelope, Maureen's next book;

For donating 500 or more books, your name will be included in the acknowledgements for The Last Little Blue Envelope & receive an advanced copy of the book;

For donating 1000 or more books, Maureen will name a character in her new series (coming Fall 2011) after you!

This is a great cause, & the prizes are a definite bonus. To learn more about Accio Books visit Maureen's Blog or the Official Website!

Clockwork Angel Cover Released!




The first book in Cassandra Clare's new series The Infernal Devices comes out in late August! I cannot begin to explain how excited I am for this book, or how amazing this cover is! What do you think of the cover?

My First Award!


 Isn't it great?! Thanks so much to Kelsey from The Door to Wonderland

The rules after you've received the award:

1. Thank and link to the person that gave you the award
2. Pass the award onto 15 bloggers you’ve recently discovered and think are fantastic
3. Contact said blogs and let them know they’ve won
4. State 7 things about yourself

My 15 bloggers (I don't know many blogs yet, so I decided to use this opportunity to go check some out!):
1. Staysi from Lost In Ink! [I have to give her one, she's the best!]
2. Lucy from Delightful Reviews!
3. Kate from The Neverending Shelf!
5. Briana, Arielle and Marisa from BAM Book Reviews!
13. Mariah from A Reader's Adventure!
14. LiLi from Chica Reader!
15. Confessions Of A Wandering Heart!

7 Things About Me You Don't Know:
1. I love Batman.
2. I'm deathly afraid of birds.
3. I get very excited over little things.
4. I have a cat named Jingles; he's very overweight.
5. I will one day marry J.R. Celski.
6. I'm very opinionated... about everything.
7. I will be at the NYC Teen Author Festival on Sunday!*

* Staysi & I will definitely be going, so follow me on twitter if you'd like to see updates throughout the day!

Sorry for the Post Overload!

So sorry for the insane amount of posts being added today, I'm still trying to get things set up here. I promise I'm not a psycho-post-everything-I-see kind of person.

*Remember to comment HERE to enter the amazing contest Staysi and I have in the works!

Joint Contest with Lost in Ink!


Staysi from Lost in Ink & I are hosting a contest together to celebrate 200+ followers for her blog! Comment here on what books you want the chance to win, & we'll see what we can do. We're trying to get to the NYC Teen Author Festival this weekend & hopefully pick up some great stuff to give away!

Going Bovine by Libba Bray


Overall Rating: 5
Characters: 4.7
Plot: 4.8
Cover Art: 4.5

Favorite Line:
So, I couldn't choose so I have three favorites narrowed down. *There is a lot of language in the lines below and the book, so if you're not comfortable with that this isn't for you. Sorry!
"There are several Dr. Assholes who come in here every day to scribble on my chart and poke me with sharp objects so they can collect points for their Sadism Scout Badges, but so far, no Dr. X."-Cameron Smith to Dulcie

"We human beings can't evolve without pain."-Library Girl to Cameron

"I think about dying every day, because I can't stop thinking about the living."-Cameron

Synopsis:
Can Cameron find what he’s looking for? All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school—and life in general—with a minimum of effort. It’s not a lot to ask. But that’s before he’s given some bad news: he’s sick and he’s going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure—if he’s willing to go in search of it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

Going Bovine is heartbreaking and hilarious...
When the story opens we meet Cameron Smith, just another teenage pothead trying to go through life unnoticed. This is working out just fine until he starts to see and feel things that aren't actually there. He chalks this delusional behavior up to his brain tripping out on the drugs he keeps almost constantly in his system, until it is later confirmed to be Creutzfeldt-Jakob (or Mad Cow) disease, a terminal illness where you basically hallucinate and progressively lose control over your body's functions until you inevitably die. Sounds fun, right? Obviously, Cameron isn't thrilled with this news. He is taken to the hospital where he mourns the things that he never got to accomplish in his life while he waits for death to take him. Then, hope comes in the form of a punk-rock angel named Dulcie. She sets Cameron off on an epic adventure with the dwarf in the hospital bed next to him, who also happens to be a hypochondriac, to find the cure to save Cameron and also save the world. Going Bovine is one of those stories that makes you reassess all of your views on life, death, and whatever's after that. Compare the feel of this story to The Lovely Bones with a boatload of witty humor and laughs. The great thing about this book is that Libba Bray uses a hilarious storyline to deliver a heartfelt message, live while you can. The journey that the guys go on is much more than one of self-discovery, it's about finding who and what makes you want to discover things about yourself. Cameron, Dulcie, Gonzo, Balder, and the rest of the characters are all prime examples of what self-sacrifice and courage truly are. Going Bovine is a fantastic book that anyone who reads it will never forget.


*SEMI-SPOILER ALERT!
I cried like a little girl who just got her puppy stolen at the end of this book. I had read a review previously and while it didn't give anything away it sparked an idea in my head that turned out to actually be the ending of the book. Once again, I'm usually very good at guessing. Those last few pages broke my heart and until I sat down and really thought about the wonderful message Ms. Bray was conveying, I'll admit it I wanted to throw the damn book into oncoming traffic. Again, this happened BEFORE I accepted it as the awesomesauce that is Going Bovine.


Libba Bray's websites:
Official
Blog
Twitter
Facebook

New Contest!

La Femme Readers & A Good Addiction have teamed up to bring the "YA Contest that will Blow you Away!"

The prizes: Six people will get the chance to win these titles- "Linger" by Maggie Stiefvater, "Spirit Bound" by Richelle Mead, "Shadows: A Dark Touch Novel" by Amy Meredith, "The Tension of Opposites" by Kristine McBride, "Sea" by Heidi R. Kling, & "Rules of Attraction" by Simone Elkeles!

The deadline: April 15th @ midnight EST!

The link: You can enter at La Femme Readers or A Good Addiction!

Good Luck!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins


Overall Rating: 4.7
Characters: 4
Plot: 4
Cover Art: 3.1
YA Fiction

Favorite Line:
"Destroying things is a lot easier than making them."- Katniss Everdeen

Synopsis:


Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the bestselling Hunger Games trilogy.

Catching Fire adds more depth to the characters that captivated in the first installment...
After reading this book, I feel like I know Katniss, Peeta, and Gale on a personal level. We've seen their ups and downs, how they handle basically every kind of emotional situation, and what it takes to break them apart. Catching Fire brings with it a very emotional outlook and shows the characters questioning everything they feel. One minute you think the characters will do one thing, then the next minute they're changing their minds completely. Book 2  becomes a guessing game with stress being the key factor. Everyone's so tightly wound that  that they sometimes act irrationally which adds a whole new level to the plot. Suzanne Collins definitely knows how to leave an audience on the edge of their seats; and I can't wait for Mockingjay in August! Once again, I highly recommend this series to all YA lovers.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Overall Rating: 4.6
Characters: 4
Plot: 4.2
Cover Art: 3
YA Fiction
Favorite Line:
"District 12: Where you can starve to death in safety."- Katniss Everdeen

Synopsis:


In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

The Hunger Games is an epic journey through discovering that who we think we are isn't always who we're destined to be...
Everyone's been raving about this book, so I finally decided to find out what all this buzz is about. I now know that the buzz is well deserved! I'll admit, when I first started this story Suzanne's writing style put me off a bit. After I got over her unique way of weaving words, I really appreciated how amazing this book really is. The best part of Hunger Games is the way the characters relate to each other and the situations they've been placed in. Katniss's reaction to being sent into the Hunger Games with Peeta is so genuine and raw that you truly feel for her. She's thrown into a setting where she very literally will have to kill someone whom she believes to have saved her life. Most would fall apart under the pressure of having to do this, but Katniss being Katniss just rolls with it and focuses on surviving. I admire her character for being completely self-sufficient. She doesn't need anyone's help and doesn't ask for it. This is why Katniss is so kick ass. She may feel better with someone else around (i.e. Peeta/ Rue/Gale) but she isn't relying heavily on them for any extended period of time. Now I love Peeta and all but I'm getting it out of the way right now.. I'm 100% Team Gale.The whole 'dark and brooding' thing is much more appealing to me than 'sweet baker/painter.' I honestly could rave about this book for hours, but I'd rather stop now than risk having anyone fall asleep at their computers. So basically, The Hunger Games is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone!

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater!


Overall Rating: 4.1
Characters: 3.8
Plot: 4
Cover Art: 4.2
YA Fiction


Favorite Line:
"World of words lost on the living, I take my place with the walking dead. Robbed of my voice I'm always giving, thousands of words to this nameless dread."- Sam Roth's lyrics

Synopsis:

Every summer Sam spends a few precious months being human, until the cold causes him to shift to a wolf once again. Discover what happens when he meets Grace in this chilling romance.

Shiver is a fantasy for the hopeless romantic...                                                                                                         
Werewolves and feelings and lyrics, oh my! Whether you're a romance fanatic or a werewolf obsessor, you'll find something that draws you to this story. If you come for the wolf-men, you'll end up staying for the very intense love story that unfolds between Grace and Sam. In the beginning, Grace actually comes off slightly creepy to me. She seems to be completely engrossed in Sam's wolf form 24/7. Her character seems uninterested in anything else, and rather dull until Sam comes along and almost literally brings her to life. Usually I don't like male characters that are, for lack of better words, 'mushy' all the time, but Sam is different. He has such a kind soul and love for life while human that I dare someone to try to hate him, seriously, I dare you. Sam and Grace balance each other out to make a couple that you can't wait to hear more about. Like the high school sweethearts that seem perfect and you secretly want to something to happen to them. The 'test' of Sam and Grace's relationship comes in the form of Sam's struggle for the impossible, to remain human. This major hiccup + the 'Jack drama' = one serious page-turner. I think that the drama is spaced out and paced nicely to keep the book interesting without turning it into a soap opera. I really enjoyed Shiver and would recommend it to anyone with a well stocked supply of tissues!

New Contest at La Femme Readers!

La Femme Readers is giving away ARCs of both Siren by Tricia Rayburn and Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey! The Siren giveaway ends March 30, 2010 and the Jekel Loves Hyde giveaway ends April 8, 2010. Enter and check out the rest of her blog while you're there!

Clockwork Angel Cover Reveal!

The cover for the first book in the new Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare is being unveiled on March 18th @ 10 AM (next Thursday!) Cassandra released the news earlier today on her Livejournal blog and also announced a contest to win ARCs of the Clockwork Angel that will also begin on the 18th. 25 randomly selected winners will be chosen to win an ARC of the Clockwork Angel signed by Cassandra herself! The cover and more contest details will be available at THIS LINK, so make sure you check it out!  I will definitely be entering the contest, and have also emailed Cassandra to request an ARC for review. If you don't win, don't fret because the Clockwork Angel comes out in late August! Is anyone else extremely excited about this series?