Monday, November 29, 2010

Winners of the Gratitude Giveaway!

Woo hoo!  Thanks to everyone who follows and entered the giveaway.  I had over 100 entries and that's just so fantastic!  I now have four winners to announce. 

The winner of Extraordinary is: #151 Wendy of

The winner of Picture the Dead is: #34 Missy of

The winner of Speak is: #109 Kristie Abbott

The winner of The Replacement is: #268 MarcyKate Connolly of

Congrats to you all and I should have send an email to you each already.

Thanks again for following my blog.  Stick around, I have some great reviews coming up and I'm sure I'll do another giveaway before too long.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

Here's a quick bit from the goodreads page for this book:  One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

My Take

This has to be one of the most amazing, funny, and heartwarming books I've ever read.  The character development in this is stunning.  I felt as though I knew both Will Grayson's and Tiny.  It was obvious when another character was writing that chapter because they were all so distinct. 

I can't even count the number of times that I laughed while reading this book.  It was hugely funny and made me want to read it again and again.  I love Tiny Cooper!  I love his confidence.  I love that instead of changing himself to conform to everyone else's idea of "normal", Tiny challenges their conventional ideas.  He's on a one-man mission to spread love and help others understand that love is the most common miracle.

I can't recommend this book enough.  So funny, so touching, so fabulous!  Go read it right away.  Tell me how you like it once you do.  I give this one four fabulous over the top kisses!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Freefall by Mindi Scott

Here's a blurb from Ms. Scott's website: How do you come back from the point of no return?

Seth McCoy was the last person to see his best friend Isaac alive, and the first to find him dead. It was just another night, just another party, just another time where Isaac drank too much and passed out on the lawn. Only this time, Isaac didn’t wake up.

Convinced that his own actions led to his friend’s death, Seth is torn between turning his life around . . . or losing himself completely.

Then he meets Rosetta: so beautiful and so different from everything and everyone he’s ever known. But Rosetta has secrets of her own, and Seth will soon realize he isn’t the only one who needs saving . . .

My Take
This is one of the books in The Contemps Challenge.  Grief is a difficult thing to deal with.  Adults grapple with it, but it's even tougher as a teen.  It's difficult to go on with your life and be happy without feeling guilty for doing so sometimes.  Seth McCoy is trying to overcome so much; his feelings of loss, his stage fright, his lack of anyone to talk to, his inability to cope with everything he's mired in.  Rosetta is like a breath of fresh air that blows into Seth's life at just the right moment.

I really enjoyed this book.  It got me to thinking about the process of letting go and letting things happen.  Thinking about the fact that we are also a culmination of our experiences, good or bad that we've encountered in our lives.  Rosetta is smart and funny.  Seth is such a great guy.  He's complex, loyal, and tender but such a regular guy too. 

I love how Seth's determined to carve his own path through life.  Not just letting himself wind up a drop-out in a dead end situation.  It's great he gives IC class a real chance and let it change how he dealt with his own issues too.  I think both guys and girls would love this book.  I'm giving it four big smooches!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gratitude Giveaway!

I can hardly believe that over one year has gone by since I started blogging.  I also can't believe that I have over 100 subscribers.  Each and every one of you rock too!  I appreciate the comments and just the fact that you read my reviews.  I've wanted to host a giveaway for awhile now.  When Kathy Habel of I'm a Reader Not A Writer blog asked if I wanted to be a part of the Gratitude Giveaway, I jumped on board.

This giveaway runs from November 17th thru November 28th (my birthday!).  There will be four different winners.  Each will win one of the books listed in my giveaway.  It's super easy too.  All you have to do is be a follower (US only, sorry), fill out the form here.  Extra entries for old followers, tweeting about the giveaway and even one extra for adding it all up (hey it's my birthday and I don't want to spend it doing math). :o)
Here's the books that are up for grabs:
There are over 175 blogs participating.  So after you fill out this form, click on the image above and go check out the other blogs participating too. I've included a link to it as well.

Leave me a comment wishing me a happy birthday and let me know what ya' think of the giveaway.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

Here’s a quick bit about this book from its amazon page : “Do not go gentle into that good night.” Cassia’s feelings of security disintegrate after her grandfather hands her a slip of paper just before his scheduled death at age 80. Not only does she now possess an illegal poem, but she also has a lingering interest in the boy who fleetingly appeared on her viewscreen, the one who wasn’t her match, the man she will eventually marry. What’s worse, she knows him—his name is Ky, and he is an orphan from the Outer Provinces. How could she love him as much as Xander, her match and best friend since childhood?

The stunning clarity and attention to detail in Condie’s Big Brother–like world is a feat. Some readers might find the Society to be a close cousin of Lois Lowry’s dystopian future in The Giver (1993), with carefully chosen work placements, constant monitoring, and pills for regulating emotional extremes. However, the author just as easily tears this world apart while deftly exploring the individual cost of societal perfection and the sacrifices inherent in freedom of choice.

My Take

This is one of those books that pulls me in and keeps me locked into it the entire way through. I find this type of immersion signifies not only great world building but wonderful story telling capability. I found myself deep in thought over things happening within it. I was surprised by the events as they happened. I can’t imagine having my freedom of choice taken away. Imagine not being able to choose your vocation, where you live or even who you love. You don’t get to choose your clothing or food.

I felt for Cassia, who was trying so hard to find her way. Her parents were wonderful and supportive. Ky was a great character. Not nearly as naïve as Cassia but very caring and guiding where she was concerned.  Her grandfather was inspiring, a man living on his terms as much as possible. 

This book had me looking around at our society. While it may not be perfect it’s certainly far from anything contained within the pages of MATCHED. The circumstances in the book, present a scary look at a future, while I know it would likely never occur, still a chilling tought.
As a writer, not being allowed to write was terrifying enough.  It almost made me weep to think of all of the art, poetry, books, songs, etc. destroyed.  I’m won’t spoil any of this for anyone. I only want to say, I hope there’s a second book. I’m dying to see what happens.

I loved the cover! I thought it had kind of a double message too. While on the surface it looks pretty enough, if you tilt it or the sunlight hits it, you see all the iridescent coloring on the cover. Giving the message that there’s more than surface beauty, most things require closer examination to truly shine.

This I’m giving 4 giant kisses!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Librarything as part of their early book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I've got a Bubbl Fascination

Okay, my son came home and showed me  I've since become obsessed with bubbl.  It's only the coolest thing to outline a novel, to do flow charts (yeah, like I'd do that), or to collaborate on these maps or flow charts.  Whatever you choose to call them, bubbl rocks.  You can post the html to a webpage.  I'll throw and example up of a chart I did for tenatively planning some of my NaNo novel.  Soooo preeety!

Now, click on the minus sign...go ahead you know you want to.  Drag it around.  See isn't that totally cool?!

There's nothing to carry with you or anything.  You just log on to and away you go.  I thought it was one cool tool that I would share with my peeps. :o)  Stop by on November 17th!  I'm part of the Gratitude Giveaway.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Here's a quick bit from it's goodreads page: Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.
My Take
First I would like to thank Jen at The Secret Life of a Bibliophile who I won this book from.  Thanks Jen! Stop by her awesome blog and say hey sometime. 
Now for the book.  It took me awhile to figure out exactly what the heck was going on below the town of Gentry.  I knew whatever it was couldn't possibly be good though.  I like Mackie because all he wants is to live a normal life.  He's into his friends and his family.  He seems like a cool guy.
I love Tate.  Tate is the quintessential bad ass chick.  She's tough, she's smart and she knows what she likes.  It happens to be Mackie.  I liked the fact that the love story was woven through this.  It wasn't super heavy on the love story, but was creepy and the perfect read for right around Halloween.  That's when I was reading it. 
Ms. Yovanoof's descriptions, especially of the 'things' that lived below Gentry were very vivid.  I liked how she played things close to the vest until towards the end of the book.  I liked this book and am giving it 3 1/2 deadly kisses!  If I gave love for the cover alone it would be 4. 
*NOTE: Starting November 17th, I will be participating in the Gratitude Giveaway!  So please stop back and check it out.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

Here's a little blurb from the Simon & Schuster website:
The higher you aim, the farther you fall….

It's Violet's junior year at the Westfield School. She thought she'd be focusing on getting straight As, editing the lit mag, and figuring out how to talk to boys without choking on her own saliva. Instead, she's just trying to hold it together in the face of cutthroat academics, her crush's new girlfriend, and the sense that things are going irreversibly wrong with her best friend, Katie.

When Katie starts making choices that Violet can't even begin to fathom, Violet has no idea how to set things right between them. Westfield girls are trained for success—but how can Violet keep her junior year from being one huge, epic failure?
*Note: I got this book for review from the Traveling ARC Tours (which sadly is ending its tours).
My Take
These girls were hilarious!  I was laughing through most of this book.  And yes, they were really mostly good girls.  Vi swore like a sailor most of the time.  That was about her only vice.  Katie was struggling with who she is and who she wants to be.  Those are big things to ponder. 
I really enjoyed this book.  It allowed me to laugh.  The characters beyond Vi and Katie are rich and some funny in their own right.  Ms. Sales does a fabulous job at character developement.  I loved Emily, the girl who could sleep anywhere and was even noted to drool on her desk.  Pearl, not the sharpest crayon in the box but sort of loveable in her own way. 
I would recommend this because it was funny and conquered some large issues while retaining its humor and not going too dark.  These were characters that could be both looked up to and relatable.  Oh, and I'm sending some love for the cover too.  I think it's striking.  I'm giving it four big kisses!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Bit of Pig & Twig on the Blog

I'm a little pre-occupied with NaNoWriMo right now.  However, I have planned out posts to stretch over most of November, so we should be all good there.  I even am taking part in a giveaway event towards the middle to end of November.

I did take some time to update my "What I'm Working On" page and (more importantly) added a page with a short excerpt from Pig & Twig, my YA contemporary novel that I recently finished. 

I would love, love, LOVE it if some of you would read it and leave your thoughts in a comment.  I promise to love you foever if you do. :)

I've linked to the page above or you can find it at the top of the blog. :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Candidates by Inara Scott

Here's a quick blurb about The Candidates (Delcroix Academy #1) from Ms. Scott's website (which is really gorgeous and you should check out):
Dancia Lewis is far from popular. And that’s not just because of her average grades or her less-than-glamorous wardrobe. In fact, Dancia’s mediocrity is a welcome cover for her secret: whenever she sees a person threatening someone she cares about, things just … happen. Cars skid. Structures collapse. Usually someone gets hurt. So Dancia does everything possible to avoid getting close to people, believing this way she can suppress her powers and keep them hidden.

When recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy offer her a full scholarship, Dancia fears her days of living under the radar may be over. But Delcroix is a school for diplomats’ kids and child geniuses — why are they treating Dancia like she’s special? Even the hottest guy on campus seems to be going out of his way to make her feel welcome. And then there’s her mysterious new friend Jack, who can’t stay out of trouble. He suspects something dangerous is going on at Delcroix, and he wants Dancia to help him figure out what…But neither Jack or Dancia could have imagined what’s really going on behind the gates of Delcroix Academy.

*Note: I would also like to thank Adventure's in Children's Publishing who I won this book from.  Do drop by and visit their blog and maybe even become a subscriber if you aren't already.

My Take
 It didn't take me long to read this book.  It pulled me in and kept me reading to find out what was going to come next.  I like Dancia.  She's a nice girl, likeable in all respects really.  She gets recruited to go to Delcroix Academy, which is supposed to be this awesome school but becomes kind of creepy too.  Dancia winds up caught between two guys also.  She develops this huge crush on Cam, who would be a typical choice for a girl to be swooning over.  But the moment she met Jack, it complicated things.  I'm the girl who always seems to go for the less obvious choice.  I don't know, maybe Jack is obvious because he's more the 'bad boy' choice.  He's not really a bad guy though.  Okay, I'm rambling.  I won't tell you what all happens and I have to wait until book two to really see where things go anyway.  Needless to say, I'm hooked into the Delcroix Academy series now.  Go check it out.  The only thing I didn't really like, Cam was very distant and I agree with Dancia's grandma, it took him way too long to kiss her.  I'm giving it 3 1/2 supernatural smooches!

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