Jane Austen Classics Turn Horror


I had heard about the book "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, a few months ago. It astonished me at first, since someone would re-do a Jane Austen classic...not to mention add zombies! But I actually loved the idea - it was funny and really original.

And now, I recently came across another Jane Austen classic re-do..."Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters" by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters. Haha this just keeps getting better and better! Haha next, I bet there will be a "Persuasion and Werewolves" or "Emma and the Vampires" kind of book out!

Summary: "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters" expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest—and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!

Best of all, watch this amazing book trailer. I was laughing so hard at the end and it's very amusing - trust me.



Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott



Title:
Perfect You
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Published: March 2008 by Simon Pulse

My Rating: 4.5 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Girls | Romance
Includes: Profanity, Sexuality

First Lines: Vitamins had ruined my life. Not that there was much left to ruin, but still.



Kate's life seems to be falling apart. Her dad quit his job so he could sell overpriced vitamins in a mall booth, and their family has gone so far in debt that they're asking the rich nightmare of a grandma to come live with them. Not to mention that her best friend, Anna, has completely ignored her ever since she became popular and pretty. And then the cute and popular Will comes into the picture. The guy who Kate pretends to hate and tease, yet secretly is crushing on. So when Will starts acting like he likes her back, Kate isn't sure whether it's real or if she's just his latest hook-up which he's known for.

This was my first novel I've read by Elizabeth Scott, and I have to say that I'm impressed. It was full of very distinct characters, each with their own personality. I instantly could feel for Kate, since I have either experienced what she was going through in the past, or in the present. However, it did get annoying sometimes when she'd continuously complain about her awful life.

From Page 276
"Well, I hate it. And this year, my life hasn't been change, Grandma. It's been an end. A long, horrible end. The life I had is gone. Over. Done."

As surprising as it might sound for those of you who have read it, I really liked Will's character the best! In so many books now a days, the guy/boyfriend is this 'perfect, gorgeous, flawless' boy that every girl wants. However, in this novel, he was completely realistic. He'd had his fair share of hook-ups and rumors spread about him, and there was a deeper side of him that not many people got to know. He had faults, which were exposed, yet I still was drawn to him.

On another note, the two people in the book I couldn't stand!? First of all, Anna. This so-called best friend of Kate's from the past, who now doesn't even acknowledge her, was so irritating! And it made me dig deeper into the novel. Throughout the story Kate repeatedly wishes more than anything that they can be friends again. And so when they finally do, the real, new Anna is exposed.

From Page 128
A part of me hated how pathetic I was around Anna, how desperate I was to have her talk to me. I couldn't help myself, though. I missed her enough to take crap from her that I wouldn't take from anyone else because I wanted her to come back to me for real.

The other character who got on my nerves, yet made the book that much better? Kate's dad. He was unbelievably immature, ignorant, and selfish. Really makes me appreciate my own father more. But on a brighter note, the book was filled with so many different emotions, that I felt right along with Kate. I laughed out loud at parts, cried near the end, got angry at her parents, and blushed during awkward scenes. Elizabeth Scott did a great job portraying the emotions, and I'll definitely be reading more books by her. The ending made me sigh with relief, and I was content with how it closed. A great book that I recommend reading.

Book Supplied by: Bought it at Borders! :)

On My Bookshelf (9)


(Originally by The Story Siren, as "In My Mailbox.") On My Bookshelf is used to share what books I bought, won, received for review, or got from the library this week. It's to let you know what to expect for me to read/review next. (:



BOUGHT FROM BOOKSTORES:

"A Great and Terrible Beauty" by Libba Bray: It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

WON FROM CONTESTS:

"Prada and Prejudice" by Mandy Hubbard: To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815! There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant. But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

"The Hollow" by Jessica Verday: When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead?and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special. Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

"Gingerbread" by Rachel Cohn: After getting tossed from her posh boarding school, wild, willful, and coffee addicted Cyd Charisse returns to San Francisco to live with her parents. But there's no way Cyd can survive in her parents' pristine house. Lucky for Cyd she's got Gingerbread, her childhood rag doll and confidante, and her new surfer boyfriend. When Cyd's rebelliousness gets out of hand, her parents ship her off to New York City to spend the summer with "Frank real-dad," her biological father. Trading in her parents for New York City grunge and getting to know her bio-dad and step-sibs is what Cyd has been waiting for her whole life. But summer in the city is not what Cyd expects -- and she's far from the daughter or sister that anyone could have imagined.

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW:

"The Pencil Test" by James Guilford: Kendry wants a life as hearty and remarkable as the lives of the black girls. Kendry wants a cheating boyfriend who "gets on her last damn nerve." Kendry wants to smoke marijuana and be bold enough to announce it on a crowded train. Kendry wants the black girls' struggles, their tragedies, their poverty, and their resilience. Kendry wants to stand among them and complain sassily about her mother. Most of all, Kendry wants to be friends with the black girls. Kendry wants to belong.

"Explorer X-Alpha" by LM. Preston: For most kids, a trip to space camp is the trip of a lifetime for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. He realizes what is happening too late for a change of fate. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. This turn of events forces him to grow up quickly, accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do dominate it. His power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides a decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.

"Possessions" by Nancy Holder: New-girl Lindsay discovers all is not right at the prestigious Marlwood Academy for Girls. Ethereal, popular Mandy and her clique are plotting something dangerous. Lindsay overhears them performing strange rituals, and sees their eyes turn black. It doesn’t help that the school itself is totally eerie, with ancient, dilapidated buildings tucked into the Northern California woods, a thick white fog swirling through campus. There are hidden passageways, odd reflections in the windows at night, and scariest of all is the vast lake rumored to have captured the ghost of a girl who drowned many years ago. What Lindsay doesn’t yet realize is that Mandy and her cohorts are becoming possessed by spirits who have haunted the school for two hundred years. Spirits who want someone dead... And that someone is Lindsay.

RECEIVED FROM TRADING:

"Two-way Street" by Lauren Barnholdt: This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation. Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet. It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care. But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot. Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.

Saturday Spotlight - Darling Reviews


Saturday Spotlight is where I feature another book blogger, for you to check out! You should take a look at their site and leave a comment. (: [I got this meme from Kristen.]

Name: Kaylynn, my alias [:
Age: 16
Blog Name: Read Darling Reviews
URL: http://darlingreviews.blogspot.com/


Share a little bit about yourself:

Let’s get this rolling. I’m sixteen, and turning seventeen –cringe, much? – in December. Music is my haven, I love alt-rock. I’ll be honest, I also listen to country sometimes; Believe me, I don’t see a problem in that [: I text more than I should too, a little bit of info for you.

How long have you been blogging and what made you want to start?

I can’t recall the reason why I wanted to start a blog. I think it started when I landed on The Story Siren’s Page, during my I’ll-read-tons-of-books-in-one-month kind of mood. We all know what happens from there [:

What does your site have to offer?

Well my site has been going on for awhile now, but it’s still kind of new. I host the normal reviews, of course. And the normal memes, like IMM or TT. I host ‘Friday Night Cover Wars” where I’ll compare book covers every Friday night. ‘PhotoQuote of The Week’ is my own meme, I post a picture that I liked that week and then a quote that I liked. Then there are ‘Sunday’s Vintage Darlings’, which are just interviews with authors. [;

What are your favorite things about book blogging?

One of my absolute favorite about blogging would be sharing my thoughts with different people! Oh, talking to other bloggers and authors is also very cool. I love it [;

What are your favorite books and/or authors? What about genre in general?

Awww, you had to pull this one? Haha. I love paranormal romance most. But I’ll read just about anything except sciencey type ones.

Now for the random questions!
What's the best kind of weather to read in?

The BEST? When it’s bright and sunny, but cool out. The perfect fall weather, and my favorite reading weather. Haha.

If you could visit any country, which would it be?

Well that can’t be singular, ya know. I have quite a few, curious? Australia, Ireland, France, and Canada! See what I mean about it can’t be singular?

What super power do you wish you could have?

This is a toughie. I’m going out on a cliché limb here and say flying! It’s much faster than walking, and I can see everything from high in the sky. I’m lame, yes I already know :D

Thanks for having me!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! Any of you who aren't followers of her site yet - what are you waiting for!?

If you would like to be featured on a Saturday Spotlight post, shoot me an email at booksobsession(at)gmail(dot)com

It doesn't matter how long you've been blogging - I'll interview anyone!


Read "The Amanda Project"


Just thought I would share this link where you can read "The Amanda Project: Book 1" by Stella Lennon and Melissa Kantor, online for free! No strings attached, but I think that it's only up for a limited time - so if I were you, I'd go read it now.

Summary:

Amanda Valentino changed everything. Callie Leary has exactly one thing, and one thing only, in common with Nia Rivera and Hal Bennett: They were each chosen by Amanda to be her guide. When Amanda arrived at Endeavor High, she told Callie she moves around a lot and always picks one person to help her navigate the choppy waters of a new school. Why did Amanda lie? Following a course that they suspect Amanda deliberately plotted, Callie, Nia, and Hal piece together some cryptic clues. But they find more questions than answers and quickly realize that before they can figure out what happened to Amanda—the girl who changed their lives—they'll need to solve the most important mystery of all: Who is Amanda Valentino?

So again, click here to read the book for free online and if you liked it, buy your own copy!

Ooh and here is a book trailer for it too! :)


For the Future (1)


Here's a list of some young adult books that are still in-the-making or will be published in the future. This can range from being released tomorrow, to two years from now! (These covers and release dates might not be permanent, it's just what I saw on Amazon, Goodreads, or the author's website.) Hope this will be efficient to expand your reading pile!

I'm not sure if this will become a new meme on the blog or not..what do you think? It's similar to my "Waiting On Wednesday" posts.. but highlights more than one book, excluding the summary.




The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez (May 2010)
You Wish by Mandy Hubbard (August 2010)
Undead Much? by Stacey Jay (Jan 2010)



The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (Feb 2010)
Sea by Heidi R. Kling (June 2010)
Spells by Aprilynne Pike (May 2010)



Swoon At Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter (April 2010)
Getting Revenge On Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook (Jan 2010)
The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor (Feb 2010)



The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (Dec 2009)
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves (Jan 2010)
Blind Love by Aaron Elkin (Jan 2010)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Again, should this become a new weekly post, along with my "Waiting on Wednesday" posts? Let me know in the comments, thanks!


Waiting On Wednesday: Stupid Cupid


This week's WoW book is Stupid Cupid by Rhonda Stapleton! It will be released on December 22, 2009.

Book Description:


Felicity's no ordinary teen matchmaker...she's a cupid! Felicity Walker believes in true love. That's why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company Cupid's Hollow. But when Felicity gets the job, she learns that she isn't just a matchmaker...she's a cupid! (There's more than one of them, you know.) Armed with a hot pink, tricked-out PDA infused with the latest in cupid magic (love arrows shot through email), Felicity works to meet her quota of successful matches. But when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend Maya with three different boys at once, disaster strikes. Felicity needs to come up with a plan to set it all right, pronto, before she gets fired and before Maya ends up with her heart split in three.

This sounds adorabley cute, and it's the start of a new series. :) I'll definitely be reading this one. RELEASED ON DECEMBER 22, 2009!

Interview with author Alyson Noel


I was lucky to interview Alyson Noel, author of many teen books including Cruel Summer, Faking 19, Saving Zoe, and Laguna Cove. She has also written the Immortals series. (You can read my review for "Evermore: Book One"right here!)


When writing a novel, do you like to plan ahead/outline or just write whatever comes to mind?

Once I get the idea, I’m usually pretty eager to jump in and start writing—but I don’t. I make myself draft a brief outline first, listing all the major turning points along the way, it helps me stay focused and on track.

How many books do you plan to be in the Immortals series?

There will be six! SHADOWLAND, book three, will be in stores on 11.17.09, and DARK FLAME and untitled books #5 & 6 will be out sometime in 2010/11 (I don’t have the exact dates yet). Also, starting in Fall 2010, Riley, Ever’s ghostly sister, will get her own series! I’m about to get started on that now, and I’m really excited about it!

Who is your favorite author and why?

Well, I have many, and I love them for different reasons. Though I will say that Judy Blume was the one who inspired me. She wrote about adolescence in such an open, real, and frank way at a time when few were doing that. Her books not only helped me through some tough times but also made me want to become a writer too!

Where was the most exotic place you visited/lived?

The most exotic place I lived was on the Greek island of Mykonos—I spent seven years there!

The most exotic place I’ve visited so far was Marrakech, Morocco—it was absolute magic!

You seem to have had an assortment of jobs - department store sales clerk, office manager, jewelry maker/T-shirt painter, hotel front desk clerk, flight attendant, author - how do you manage to find time to do it all?

Well, due to necessity, I started working at sixteen and I’ve been at it ever since! Those jobs all represent different phases of my life, though I must say I like this “author” phase best!

Top 5 favorite songs?

Wow, this is one of those impossible questions to answer since it changes all the time for, so I’ll just say that my Top 5 songs this week are:

Edge of Seventeen- Stevie Nicks

Something- The Beatles

Lush Life- All versions are good—but this week I’m really like Queen Latifah’s!

Magnificent- U2

Rain King- Counting Crows

What's been your favorite/best award given to you?

Hitting #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list was a dream come true!

Since you became an author, what's been the best thing about it? The worst thing?

The best thing about being an author is the readers—I have the nicest, sweetest, most awesome-est (!) readers ever! The worst thing—well, I have far less time for reading! I used to read several books a week and now I’m lucky if I read one a month!

Thanks for the interview Alyson!

Thanks so much, Ashley!!

Some 'Sweet-smellin' Winners!

Soooo who are the 3 lucky winners for my perfume contest based on the book "The Hollow"?

Veronica (The Veronica Project)

Kaylynn (Darling Reviews)

Just Blinded Book Reviews

Congrats!!! I just emailed the 3 winners and they have 3 days to reply before I'll pick a new winner. This was a fun contest, and thanks for entering everyone. :)

Remember...Secret Santa!


I just wanted to remind everyone that I'm hosting a Secret Santa, which I started 2 weeks ago. Click here! Deadline to sign up is December 1st, for now - so go do that, and spread the word please! Thanks. :)

For those who have never done it, here's how it works. After everybody sign's up/enters, I will pair everyone up so each person has a partner. You'll be given a wishlist of 10-15 books from your partner, and you simply mail them out a book from that list! (Or, if you're very generous, you can include more than one book!) And you'll get your own package in the mail, too. But the fun part is, you don't know who your partner is or what your exact gift will be!

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


Title:
Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Published: October 2007 by Razorbill

My Rating: 4.5 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Gothic

Includes: Profanity, Suicide, Sexuality

First Lines: A shoebox-sized package is propped against the front door at an angle. Our front door has a tiny slot to shove mail through, but anything thicker than a bar of soap gets left outside.




One day, Clay Jensen finds a package on his doorstep addressed to him, but with no return address. Inside there are seven cassette tapes, with a number written in chronic order on each side. As Clay starts listening to the tapes, he realizes they were recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and secret crush, who committed suicide two weeks ago. Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to kill herself, and Clay is one of them. Clay spends the rest of the night listening to all thirteen stories, and visiting places on the map Hannah left him, telling Clay where to go. He must face the truths he's tried to ignore for so long.

This book was very compelling. It had a thick, interesting plot that right away caught my interest. A girl admitting all the reasons why she wants to end her life, and then passing on the tapes to each person the day before she goes through with it? So creative. Now, before you start thinking that she might sound "pitiful or whiny", let me explain.

Hannah Baker's character was so...real. By the end of the book, I completely understood her and felt for her. She went through things in life that not all teenagers experience. It was a mix of betrayal, losing friends, being used, rumors and gossip being spread about her, heartbreak, witnessing rape, and more. Even though throughout the entire novel, it was only her voice speaking through the tapes, I got to know her better than the main character, Clay.

From Page 29
Well, what did you want to hear? Because I've heard so many stories that I don't know which one is the most popular. But I do know which is the least popular. The truth. Now, the truth is the one you won't forget.

Since there were 7 tapes, with a story on each side, that meant that 13 new characters were introduced. In some way or another, most of them were connected somehow. At times it got confusing, and I'd have to skim over the previous chapters I already read, to re-read which story went with which character. Other times I just gave up trying to remember who each person was, but it didn't really affect the overall storyline.

This was a deeply powerful story, and I remember crying once or twice as I stayed up late at night reading, not able to put the book down. Even though the overall story is sad, dark, and depressing, I liked the satisfactory ending. It sounded....hopeful. I actually had to read the end of the last chapter two or three times before finally getting it in my head that the book was over. Because I didn't want it to be!

I really recommend this book to mature readers for both boys and girls. Hannah Baker's stories will hit your heart hard, and leave you breathless. This book highlights how important it is to think before you act. And some great morals and values, like the consequences of your bad actions, are put to the test. If Jay Asher has written any other books, I'm not hesitating to go check them out.


Book Supplied by: Won it in a blogger's contest! :)

Waiting On Wednesday: Beautiful Creatures


This week's WoW book is Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl! It will be released on December 1, 2009.

Book Description:


There were no surprises in Gatlin County. We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere. At least, that's what I thought. Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong. There was a curse. There was a girl. And in the end, there was a grave. Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Ahhhh!! I've been wanting to read this one since I first heard about it over the summer. I adore this cover, and am dying to get my hands on a copy. RELEASED ON DECEMBER 1, 2009!

200 Followers Contest!

CONTEST CLOSED, WINNER CHOSEN.

Hey everybody! :) So just as I promised, to celebrate my getting 200 followers near the beginning of November (the number has now been raised to 218!) I'm holding a contest. There will be one winner, with three books as the prize: Ghost Huntress 1: The Awakening, Ghost Huntress 2: The Guidance, and The Other Side. All are books written by Marley Gibson.

Book Description:

In this first book in the Ghost Huntress series, a move from downtown Chicago to small-town Radisson, Ga., brings about a psychic awakening for 16-year old Kendall, as spirits that roam her house and town recognize her ability to see them and clamor for her attention. Initially seeking rational explanations for these unsettling experiences,
Kendall gradually accepts her psychic powers as a divine gift, believing God has called her to free trapped spirits. Honing her skills under the guidance of Loreen, who runs a New Age store in town, Kendall assembles an eclectic ghost-hunting team: Celia, the brainy techno-wizard; preppy photographer Taylor; and punk Becca, sound analyst. The story is fiction. The science is real. Welcome to a new reality.

How to Enter:
-You must be a follower of my blog!
-Just leave a comment with your email address saying you want to be entered and if you're a new or old follower.

Contest Rules:
-Open to USA only.
-I'll use Random.org to pick the winner.
-
The contest ends on November 30 at midnight. The winner will be chosen and posted/emailed the following day. Good luck! :)

Extra Entries:
+2 Put on your sidebar. Include link!
+4 Blog about this contest. Include link!
+1 For each book review of mine that you comment. The list is here. Just let me know what the titles of the books are that you commented.

Jessica's Guide to Dating Winner!


Whoo! This has been one of my most popular contests, with a new record of people who've entered. :) This must be a very liked and wanted book. Well there were 264 entries out of the 63 entrants! And the winner of a signed, hardcover copy of "Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side" is....


Congrats! I just emailed ya, and you have 3 days to get back to me or else a new winner will be chosen.
Thanks for entering everyone.

----------------------------------------------------------

By the way, be on the look-out for a contest this week for celebrating my getting 200 followers! :)

Who's taking home a tote bag?


My contest for a cute tote bag made by author Katie Alender ended last night. There were 77 entries, out of the 18 entrants. And the winner is....


Congrats! I just emailed her and she has 3 days to email me back or else another winner will be chosen. Thanks for entering everyone! :)

----------------------------------------------------------------

Some of the funny costumes people mentioned were:

(From Mary Ann DeBorde): a close relative with a warped sense of humor dressed up a few years ago in a long white men's pj's with ketchup splashed across the crotch ... he told everyone he was dressed up at Lorena Bobblit's HUSBAND omg :P

(From Erica): Ha the best halloween costume i've ever had was when my dad found these 2 huge plastic toothbrushes that were for like a display at a rummage sale. My cousin and I decided to go as dentists, and carry these giant toothbrushes. We were Dr Drill and Dr Fill. People were like, "Oh no, the health freaks on the loose." And offered us apples instead of candy lol.

(From Barbrafl): Funniest Halloween costume would have to be my school librarian dressing as a sumo ballerina :D Amazing.

(From Veronica): The funniest costume I have ever seen was between a plug and socket (the guy was the plug, the girl was the socket!) and my twin uncles' giant boob costume (they were literally a giant boob!) :D

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr



Title:
Sweethearts
Author: Sara Zarr
Published: January 2009 by Little Brown Books

My Rating: 4.5 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Romance | Girls
Includes: Brief profanity, Brief alcohol abuse, Sexuality

First Lines: Some memories are slippery. There are things I want to remember about Cameron Quick that I can't entirely, like the pajamas he wore when he used to sleep over, and his favorite cereal, or how it felt to hold his hand as we walked home from school in third grade.



Jenna Vaughn, a senior in high school, seems to have it all: her cute (first) boyfriend Ethan, lots of friends, and good looks. However, no one knows about her past and childhood memories from elementary school. Jennifer, as she went by, was an "ugly, fat loser with no friends" - that is, except for Cameron Quick. They were inseparable best friends and always there for each other. Until one day when Cameron suddenly disappears, and everyone says he's dead. So eight years later, while Jenna has moved on with her life and trying to live a normal one, Cameron suddenly shows up out of nowhere. And brings with him the memories of their secret, shared childhood. Jenna must face the past, confront her mother, and make room in her life for Cameron.

First off, I solely bought this book just from looking at the cover. I mean, yum?! That pink-frosted cookie looks delicious and I like how plain, yet elegant the cover is. So kudos to that.

This was an awesome book filled with emotion and beautifully written. I loved Jenna's character, and really got into her - she kind of reminded me of myself in ways. And Cameron? Aww, I just loved his character. He was such a sweetheart (ha, no pun intended! :P) and portrayed in the novel nicely. He and Jenna's chemistry seemed so real, unlike some books, when it seems almost forced. Theirs came naturally and I believed every page of it.

Each person in the book had a distinct personality, and I was able to tell each character apart. I particularly liked Alan, the step-dad, the best. I don't think anyone would hesitate to have a father like that. And the author wrote about the family members so descriptively, that it seemed like I was in the same room with them.

From Page 82
Alan's laptop was open on the kitchen table but he wasn't there. I wanted to see his crooked, comforting face. I found him standing at the fish tank, in the bleach-spotted blue sweatpants my mom pretended to hate, his curly hair matted to the back of his head from sleep.

One thing that kind of got on my nerves, though, was how much Jenna would freak out when she ate something unhealthy. Since she was fat when she was little, Jenna now eats healthy and rarely eats junk food. However, about three or four times in the book, when she would give into temptation and eat dessert, afterward she'd get so upset with herself. It's okay to eat sweets every once in awhile!

From Page 186
I found a package of Fig Newtons and took it to my room with what was left of the milk. I ate four, five, and half of a sixth, then stopped. If I kept going, which I could have easily done, I'd spend the rest of the night feeling sick and then be cranky and emotional in the morning.

Goodness, the emotion in this book was so realistic! Jenna's mom basically missed out on her daughter's whole childhood since she was rarely at home. So, when the mom starts taking care of Cameron and is always concerned about him, Jenna's reaction was so appropriate. She felt kind of jealous, left out, etc. And I could feel those mixed emotions for her, too! My heart ached for her, and I was very absorbed in her story.

The ending was sort of unclear. I still had a few unanswered questions, but nothing major. Overall, it was a great book and I'm glad I took the time to read it. I'll have to read something else written by Sara Zarr, soon.


Book Supplied by: Bought it at Borders! :)

Waiting On Wednesday: Fallen


This week's WoW book is Fallen by Lauren Kate! It will be released on December 8, 2009.

Book Description:


There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move. Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her. Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Oooh looks good! I've seen a lot of contests around the blogoworld for this one, and now I see why. And this cover is simply gorgeous! Can't wait to read this one, soon. RELEASED ON DECEMBER 8, 2009!

Winner of Wicked Series :)


Another contest that has ended...this one was for a signed set of 3 books from the Wicked series by Nancy Holder. There were 155 entries out of the 35 people that entered. Thanks all for entering! And the winner chosen is....


Yay, congrats! I just emailed Rachel, and she has 3 days to get back to me before I pick another winner. Thanks :)

Secret Santa




Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I just love the month of December! I thought of maybe hosting something on my blog (like I did in October with The Haunted Blog Tour) and finally came up with something....a secret santa! I love doing this with my friends, and thought it would be a fun game to play with all of my fellow bloggers, plus everyone can get a book they want for the holidays! :)

For those who have never done it, here's how it works. After everybody sign's up/enters, I will pair everyone up so each person has a partner. You'll be given a wishlist of 10-15 books from your partner, and you simply mail them out a book from that list! (Or, if you're very generous, you can include more than one book!) But the fun part is, you don't know who your partner is or what your exact gift will be!

Please read everything below before deciding to enter! :

*I made a sign-up/form spreadsheet which you'll find below. But only fill it out if you are seriously going to participate in the secret santa! It won't work out well if you sign up, but then end up not doing your part.

*It's open internationally! But I'll try to pair everyone up with those in like countries. Examples: USA with USA, UK with UK, Australians with Australians, etc. However, if you're willing to ship anywhere, please say so on the sign-up sheet! That would really help me out.

*Books mailed out should be new or gently used and in good condition. I mean this is a Christmas present.. :) And only mail out book(s) that are on your partner's wishlist!!

*Sign-up ends on December 1 for now, but this date will most likely change. I'll email you all of your partner's information probably a week after, no later than December 10. Please mail your package no later than December 17!!

*When you have sent out your partner's gift, please email me, letting me know! Also, once you get your own package, email me so I'll know.

*My email is: booksobsession(at)gmail(dot)com

If you have any questions or comments, etc. just email me and ask! I want this to be fun and enjoyable, and as easy and stress-free as possible. I've never done anything like this before but cross your fingers it will turn out well.


Also: PLEASE re-post this or put the button on your sidebar, so many people will enter!! The more people that enter, the better. That way, it will be much easier to pair people up with corresponding countries.





**Credit for this idea goes to Kate! Thanks, love ya girl.

Winner of Strange Angels!


Sorry this post is a few days late, but I've been really busy this week. Well there was a total of 332 entries out of the 38 people that entered in my contest for a signed copy of Strange Angels.

And the winner is.....

Congrats! I just emailed the winner and she has 3 days to reply, or else I'll pick another winner. Thanks for entering everybody. :)

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan



Title:
The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
Published: March 2009 by Delacorte Books

My Rating: 3 stars
Tags: YA | Zombies | Suspense | Apocalypse
Includes: Violence, Sensuality, Murder, Zombies!

First Lines: My mother used to tell me about the ocean. She said there was a place where there was nothing but water as far as you could see and that it was always moving, rushing toward you and then away.



Mary lives in a world much different than ours. She is trapped in her village surrounded by a fence, to protect the villagers from the undead - the Unconsecrated, who are what we call "zombies". These flesh-eating creatures live in what they call 'the forest of hands and teeth', which no one is allowed into. After her mother is bitten and and becomes one of the Unconsecrated, Mary is sent to live with the Sisterhood. This is a group of very religious women who reside in the cathedral and protect the village. But, after the fences are breached, and the Unconsecrated swarm into the village, they begin killing off the villagers one by one. Mary and her friends/family are forced to do everything they can to survive, and fight back.

I bought this novel based off of watching this book trailer, which is one of the best I've seen. However, don't let it fool you! Sometimes movie trailers make the actual movie seem a lot better than it really is, am I right? I LOVED the plot of this book, and the summary really grabbed hold of my attention. It reminded me a lot of the movie The Village, which is obviously a village surrounded by a fence to keep out deadly creatures in the forest.

However, no matter how fantastic the plot of a book is, the characters in it play a big role, too. And unfortunately, I didn't favor the dull Mary. I couldn't bring myself to root for her stubborn, rebellious, and selfish character. Even at the end of the book, she still seemed detached - maybe from lack of character development? - and I couldn't believe the fact that two men were in love with her. In fact, I think it's her philosophies that really got under my skin. Throughout the entire book, she continues to talk about her dream of seeing the ocean, over and over and over. By the end of the novel, each time 'her dream of going to the ocean' was mentioned it made me roll my eyes. Mary also put this dream of hers, before her family and friends. It came down to: she had to choose between one or the other. Sure, you should always strive for your dreams. But...to risk it and put your family's lives in danger? No.

Mary also continuously says to herself how she refuses to believe in God anymore, after her mother becomes part of the Unconsecrated. The whole first half of the novel is just setting up the plot, and introducing the Unconsecrated - they don't actually show up/breach the fences until after page 100, which I think was too long. I preferred the second half, which had a change of setting, new characters, lots of actions, and not to mention many detailed and gory zombie attacks. Yeah, now that's what I was waiting for!

From Page 129
Something pulls at my hair and I stumble, fall to one knee. I roll to the side as slick gray arms lunge for me. I'm on my back, Argos barking madly as an Unconsecrated woman falls toward me. I thrash at the grass around me with my hands until I feel the smooth wood of my knife. I swing up and around and bury the blade in the Unconsecrated woman's shoulder.

Some of the scenes involving the Unconsecrated zombies put me on the edge of my seat. During one night while I was reading in bed, I ended up not putting the book down until an hour and a half after my bedtime (it was a school night)! Plus, all of my fingernails on one hand were completely chewed off, ha. The author wrote about the Unconsecrated in very descriptive and gruesome ways - she didn't hold back. Unlike some books (cough Twilight) that play up and change around what vampires usually are, Carrie Ryan did not mess with zombies. She kept them as bloody, flesh-hungry, rotting and decaying, slow, moaning undead creatures. And I am so glad.

I had a ton of unanswered questions, even after I read the last page. (Which I hated by the way.) The author seemed lazy in the last chapter, and it ended abruptly, not really explaining anything. The book never said what happened to everyone else, if there was any hope, etc.

Now - on a positive note - I'll try to say a few good things about the book, and the reason I gave it three stars. The author's writing at times was just beautiful, and I could visualize what was going on perfectly. I'm a sucker when it comes to details, and they were not left out in this book. The writing was lyrical at times, and I liked how she wrote.

From Page 102
The air is damp, moldy, and my own breath sounds like a windstorm to my ears. I strain to hear in the darkness beyond my weak candlelight, suddenly terrified that there might be someone or something else down here.

It was very imaginative and creative, and certain parts of the book grabbed my attention, not letting me look away. I have mixed feelings about this book, but I still think I will spend the time to read the sequel, coming out next year.


Book Supplied by: Bought it at Borders! :)

On My Bookshelf (8)


Wow. I haven't posted an OMB post in 2 months! I'm soo sorry everyone - October was a hectic month for my blog but I'm gradually slowing back down.

(Originally by The Story Siren, as "In My Mailbox.") On My Bookshelf is used to share what books I bought from the store, won, or got from the library this week. It's to let you know what to expect for me to read/review next. (:


BOUGHT FROM BOOKSTORES :

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr: "
As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also one another's only friend. So when Cameron disappears without warning, Jennifer thinks she's lost the only person who will ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she's popular, happy, and dating, everything "Jennifer" couldn't be--but she still can't shake the memory of her long-lost friend. When Cameron suddenly reappears, they are both confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken."



Bloom by Elizabeth Scott: "There's a difference between falling and letting go. Lauren has a good life: decent grades, great friends, and a boyfriend every girl lusts after. So why is she so unhappy? It takes the arrival of Evan Kirkland for Lauren to figure out the answer: She's been holding back. She's been denying herself a bunch of things (like sex) because staying with her loyal and gorgeous boyfriend, Dave, is the "right" thing to do. After all, who would give up the perfect boyfriend? But as Dave starts talking more and more about their life together, planning a future Lauren simply can't see herself in -- and as Lauren's craving for Evan, and moreover, who she is with Evan becomes all the more fierce -- Lauren realizes she needs to make a choice...before one is made for her."

WON FROM CONTESTS:

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick: "For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment. But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life."


Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway: "When funny, charming, absolutely-normal Audrey Cuttler dumps her boyfriend Evan, he writes a song about her that becomes a number-one hit—and rockets Audrey to stardom! Suddenly, tabloid paparazzi are on her tail and Audrey can barely hang with her friends at concerts or the movies without getting mobbed—let alone score a date with James, her adorable coworker at the Scooper Dooper. Her life will never be the same—at least, not until Audrey confronts Evan live on MTV and lets the world know exactly who she is!"



Savvy Girl by Lynn Messina: "Seventeen-year-old Chrissy Gibbons has landed her dream job—a summer internship at her favorite magazine, Savvy. Being an intern is hard work, but the job becomes a lot more fun when Chrissy is befriended by a glamorous fashion editor who takes her to all the best parties. As the summer winds down, though, Chrissy realizes that in the whirlwind of parties and boys, she’s been neglecting what could be her big break in the magazine business: an opportunity to compete against other interns to become Savvy’s first teen columnist. Chrissy struggles to come up with a winning subject for her column—and in the process, she discovers what is most important to her."



The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: "My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973." So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on eath continue without her - her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable traged and loss, The Lovely Bones succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, and even joy."

GOT FROM AUTHORS (FOR REVIEW):

Milestones by Samira Armin Hodges: "One day. Just one day. That's how long it took for fourteen year-old Faye Martin's ordinary life to take a dramatic and completely unexpected turn. First, she gets struck by lightning a strange and awful experience in itself, but then made worse because Benjamin Parker, the object of her obsession, witnessed her near-death experience. Then she comes home to find her parents are forcing her to leave her friends and hometown of Seattle to attend a summer camp, aptly named Camp Milestone. After several failed attempts to change her parents mind Faye finds herself on a plane headed across the country to a camp she has never heard of. Only, Camp Milestone is no ordinary camp. There are no phones allowed, shabby cabins and only a handful of campers. The only good turn of events is Benji her longtime crush is among the sparsely populated camp. This highlight of her summer is overshadowed by the camps strange and harsh rules given out by the head of the camp Galiana Moore, who seems crazy most of the time, and who unfortunately has taken a liking to Faye. As if things were not bad enough she notices an odd rash that has consumed most of her back from the lighting strike that seems to not only be growing larger but glowing slightly. Before she knows it, Faye finds herself caught in a whirlwind of uncertainty, torture, calamine lotion and romance....All in the name of summer camp. But as the summer unfolds, she realizes there is much more to Camp Milestone than meets the eye. Will she be able to unravel the mystery that surrounds this unusual camp? And more importantly, will she be able to survive the madness long enough to put the pieces together?"


So these are the awesome books that I got this week! Have you read any of them? And what are you reading?

Linger


Check out the cover for Maggie Stiefvater's upcoming book "Linger" (the sequel to "Shiver").

Oh my goodness isn't this just gorgeous? And I love how much it matches the first book's cover, too. They go together perfectly. :) Ahh I can't wait to read this one...coming out July 2010, ugh too far away.

"Shiver" is going to be made into a movie. Hmm I'm not sure if I like that or not, it seems like now a days EVERY new young-adult book is being made into a movie. It kind of ruins the book for me, like how the characters look, what the setting looks like in my head, etc. Oh well. See what the author, Maggie, has to say about that here.

You can also read an excerpt of chapter 1 of "Shiver" here! :)

And lastly in other Shiver news, here is a cute little book trailer made by Maggie, herself.
http://video.scholastic.com/services/player/bcpid1909906994?bctid=32461574001

YEAH!


200 followers!?
Wow, thanks guys!! You just made me smile. :)

Oh and pssssst...I think this deserves a contest. So keep your eyes open this week for a big celebration/giveaway! ;]

Winner of the Nancy Holder Contest


My contest for two signed Nancy Holder books "Possessions" and "Pretty Little Devils" ended last night at midnight. There was a total of 279 entries out of the 30 people that entered! :) Thanks to everyone who participated. I wish I could give all of you the prize pack but sadly I'm not Bill Gates. :P

For one of the extra entries, it was to vote in my poll: Which Nancy Holder book should I read first? The results are:
Possessions = 17
Pretty Little Devils = 7
Wicked (series) = 10

Sooo... I'll be reading Possessions first, yay!

Now onto the winner of this snazzy contest....

Congrats! I just emailed the winner and she has 3 days to reply, or else I'll pick another winner. Thanks. (By the way - kind of interesting - Erica was the first commenter!)

Waiting On Wednesday: Scones and Sensibility


This week's WoW book is Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland! It will be released on December 22, 2009.

Book Description:


Polly Madassa is convinced she was born for a more romantic time. A time when Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables walked along the moors and beaches of the beautiful land, a time where a distinguished gentleman called upon a lady of quality and true love was born in the locked eyes of two young lovers. But alas, she was not. This, however, does not stop our young heroine from finding romance wherever she can conjure it up. So while Polly is burdened with a summer job of delivering baked goods from her parents bakery (how quaint!) to the people in her small beach town, she finds a way to force…um…encourage romance to blossom. She is determined to bring lovers, young and old, together…whether they want to be or not.

What a cute sounding book, not to mention the adorable cover! I want to read this one. RELEASED ON DECEMBER 22, 2009!

Zombie Queen Winner :)


Last night my Zombie Queen of Newbury High Contest ended... and I am very happy with the results. There were 557 entries out of the 50 people that entered! Yeah! :)

The question I asked for an extra entry was: How would you survive a zombie apocalypse?

Some of my favorite answers (out of the many!) were:
Hmsgofita said: "
I would definitely kick some zombie booty in the case of an apocalypse! I have a machete, my survival book for zombies, and some Tai Chi training on my side! HA!"
Mary Ann DeBorde said: "I would survive by energetically rolling around in huge piles of garlic, seeing as how zombies (for reasons not yet understood) have a pronounced aversion to garlic. Except for ITALIAN zombies ... which is a whole 'nother apocalypse lol"
Zombie Girrrl said: "That's easy! Don't get eaten. Seriously, though, I do have a plan! First things first, you have to assess the situation. I'd do this by first determining whether the zombies were of the friendly or dangerous variety by playing Thriller. If the zombies don't fall into formation and start dancing, then I know the situation has gone critical and I need to escape. Weapon of choice: machete. It's hard to be scared when you're swinging a giant, menacing knife around, plus you don't need any special training."
Bunny B said: "By sailing as far as I can (with supplies). Have to make sure I have with me a good captain and awesome fisherman and cook :P Zombies can't swim nor breathe underwater... right?"
Katie said: "I would survive by holing up in a storm cellar full of books, water, and chocolate. "
The Book Pixie said: "Well you know what they say, if you can't beat them, join them. :P"

Alright. Now for the part you have all been waiting for right?


The part where I tell the winner?



Or... should I just make that another post?




Nahh... I guess I'll just say it already. :)



And the winner isssssssssssss..........



Bunny B!!!


YAY! Congrats! I just emailed the winner so Bunny B has 3 days to reply, or else I'll have to pick another winner. Thanks everyone for entering, this was a great contest.

October Re-cap and Winner


Hey everybody! I had an AWESOME month here on the blog, posting everyday for my Haunted Blog Tour. As most of you (hopefully) know, I have a ton of contests/giveaways going on that will be ending at different times in November. So if you haven't entered yet, now's your chance!

Today is the last day to enter my signed Strange Angels book giveaway. And my signed Nancy Holder books contest ends on November 3rd.

My October Comment Contest ended last night (happy Halloween!) and the winner for a signed copy of "The Monster Variations" by Daniel Kraus is....

Mary Ann DeBorde!!

Congrats! I already emailed Mary, and she has 3 days to reply before I choose another winner.