Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: Three Rivers Rising

This week's WoW book is Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards! It will be released on April 13, 2010.

Book Description:

Sixteen-Year-Old Celstia spends every summer with her family at the elite resort at Lake Conemaugh, a shimmering Allegheny Mountain reservoir held in place by an earthen dam. Tired of the society crowd, Celestia prefers to swim and fish with Peter, the hotel’s hired boy. It’s a friendship she must keep secret, and when companionship turns to romance, it’s a love that could get Celestia disowned. These affairs of the heart become all the more wrenching on a single, tragic day in May, 1889. After days of heavy rain, the dam fails, unleashing 20 million tons of water onto Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in the valley below. The town where Peter lives with his father. The town where Celestia has just arrived to join him. This searing novel in poems explores a cross-class romance—and a tragic event in U. S. history.

Wow I haven't heard any talk about this one, but it sounds fantastic to me. PUBLISHED ON APRIL 13, 2010!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

For the Future (5)

This is a monthly meme of mine that I made up! :) It's similar to my "Waiting on Wednesday" posts, but highlights many books, not just one. And doesn't include summaries. If you'd like to do it too, you can. But could you link the idea credit to me? Thanks!

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!

The Beautiful Between by Alyssa Sheinmel (May 2010)
Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw (May 2010)
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus (July 2010)

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles (April 2010)
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black (May 2010)
The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy (April 2010)

Everlasting by Angie Frazier (June 2010)
Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma (May 2010)
The Karma Club by Jessica Brody (April 2010)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Warning: Under Construction

Since Winter is just about wrapping up, I decided to change up the site's look. I want to go for something colorful and fun; kind of like springtime.

So I just wanted to give a heads up that I'm re-doing the site with a new layout I made, color scheme, etc. So if you see it keep changing, that's why. Hopefully we'll all like the finished look. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: My Invisible Boyfriend

This week's WoW book is My Invisible Boyfriend by Susie Day! It will be released on April 1, 2010.

Book Description:

Heidi has the perfect solution to her popularity problems - a fake boyfriend. She's even made him an Internet profile that makes him look like a motorcycle-riding, poetry reading bad boy. *swoon* Heidi's friends are so impressed they start emailing Heidi's fake boyfriend with their problems . . . including their problems with Heidi. As if that weren't bad enough, a delicious and possibly single person called "A Real Boy" emails Heidi to say he knows the truth. Can Heidi escape from her world wide web of lies? Or will her chance at romance disappear faster than you can type gtg?

Awh this one looks really cute, and the cover is adorable. I can't wait to read this one. PUBLISHED ON APRIL 1, 2010!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Beautiful Darkness Cover Unveiled!

Oh my goshhhh! Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl revealed what their sequel "Beautiful Darkness" cover will look like! This will be the second book in The Caster Chronicles series. It's scheduled to be published on October 26th this year - how exciting! :)

There is no description yet on this book but I already know that it will probably be awesome. And I'm in LOVE with this cover; I like how similar it is with the first book, "Beautiful Creatures" and the font is extraordinary! Ooh and click here to see it larger.

What do you think of the cover??

Monday, March 22, 2010

Interview with author Jennifer Echols

Today I have young-adult author Jennifer Echols on Books Obsession for an interview!

Can you start off by telling us a little bit about your book “Going Too Far”?

It’s about a seventeen-year-old who, to avoid prosecution for a high school stunt, is sentenced to ride along on night shift with the nineteen-year-old rookie cop who arrested her.

What inspired you to write the novel?

I love the TV show Cops. Originally I planned to have two teenagers ride along with an older cop and have the teens fall for each other. But I’m fascinated by the line between childhood and adulthood, and I thought it would be more interesting to have the teen riding along be the heroine and the cop be the hero of the story, moving back and forth across that line.

Which of the books that you have written is your favorite and why?

My favorite is always the one I’m writing at the moment! You really have to fall in love with your own work in progress, or this job would be impossible.

What are your favorite things about being an author?

I love to get e-mail from readers. Usually I log on at 4:30 in the morning because I’m about to start writing, and I have a message from the night before that helps me get through my writing that day.

Do you have any writing rituals or a certain writing process?

My process is a big mess. I don’t write in order, and I tend to write books a different way each time. I have tried to straighten this out, but then the book was a mess! Better the process than the book.

Have any favorite must-read books or authors?

Santa brought me lots of books, and four of them were by adult romantic comedy author Jennifer Crusie.

What projects are you currently working on that you’d like to share?

My next romantic drama for MTV Books, Forget You, is coming out on July 20. Endless Summer, the sequel to my romantic comedy The Boys Next Door, will be out on August 3. I’m expecting copyedits for both those books any day now. And I’m about to start writing a brand new romantic drama for MTV Books, to be published in July 2011.

Thanks so much for answering my questions Jennifer! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Title: Things Fall Apart
Author: Chinua Achebe
Published: In 1994 by Anchor

My Rating: 1.5 stars
Tags: Adult | Africa | Historical Fiction | Tribes
Includes: Violence, Difficult Vocab/African terms

First Lines: Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond. His fame rested on solid personal achievements. As a young man of eighteen he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat.

[Description from Amazon because as hard as I tried to come up with my own synopsis, I couldn't since I barely understood the book...] The novel chronicles the life of Okonkwo, the leader of an Igbo (Ibo) community, from the events leading up to his banishment from the community for accidentally killing a clansman, through the seven years of his exile, to his return. The novel addresses the problem of the intrusion in the 1890s of white missionaries and colonial government into tribal Igbo society. It describes the simultaneous disintegration of its protagonist Okonkwo and of his village. The novel was praised for its intelligent and realistic treatment of tribal beliefs and of psychological disintegration coincident with social unraveling.

I hated this book. The end. Sigh, we were dreadfully forced to read this book in my English class. There were three parts to the story, and the only semi-decent section was part two where it finally started to pick up. There were so many things wrong with this book, and I don't mean to be a downer but as much as I tried to enjoy the reading, I simply couldn't.

Just after the first chapter, I already was confused with what was going on. There are so many characters introduced, and they all have foreign names that are difficult to pronounce. Also, the author includes so many African words that half the time I had no idea what he was referring to. It was hard to grasp the concept and plot of this book; the title didn't even make any sense to me up until the last chapter. Achebe's writing is confusing and bland; I didn't get to know the main characters that well at all, and he failed to include details in the story.

I did, though, like the short folktales that the author weaved into the book. They all seemed to fit along with the current situation that the characters were facing - and taught little lessons. There were many inspiring proverbs included in the story, too. Also, it was interesting learning about African tribal culture back then and their beliefs.

I seriously have no idea why this book was included in my English class reading list/curriculum. I didn't get anything out of it, and was so thankful when I finally finished reading it. Such a waste of time and not to mention had a horrible ending. Again, I don't mean to sound really negative about this book - I'm just stating my honest feelings about it!

Book Supplied by: Teacher, to read for my English class.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

On My Bookshelf (14)

(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. (:


"The Alchemyst" by Michael Scott: He holds the secret that can end the world. The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty. The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

"The Shack" by William P. Young: Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives as the shack on a wintry afternoon and walk back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.


"The Naughty List" by Suzanne Young: As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility! Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty! When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe? The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

"Fat Cat" by Robin Brande: Cat smart, sassy, and funny—but thin, she’s not. Until her class science project. That’s when she winds up doing an experiment—on herself. Before she knows it, Cat is living—and eating—like the hominids, our earliest human ancestors. True, no chips or TV is a bummer and no car is a pain, but healthful eating and walking everywhere do have their benefits. As the pounds drop off, the guys pile on. All this newfound male attention is enough to drive a girl crazy! If only she weren’t too busy hating Matt McKinney to notice. . . . This funny and thoughtful novel explores how girls feel about their bodies, and the ways they can best take care of their most precious resource: themselves.


"Forever..." by Judy Blume: When you build up something in your mind -- really imagine it, wish for it -- sometimes, when it actually happens, it doesn't live up to your expectations. True love is nothing like that. Especially not for Katherine and Michael, who can't get enough of each other. Their relationship is unique: sincere, intense, and fun all at the same time. Although they haven't been together all that long, they know it's serious. A whole world opens up as young passion and sexuality bloom. But it's senior year of high school, and there are big changes ahead. Michael and Katherine are destined for another big "first": a decision. Is this the love of a lifetime, or the very beginning of a lifetime of love?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: Brightly Woven

This week's WoW book is Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken! It will be released on March 23, 2010.

Book Description:

When Wayland North brings rain to a region that's been dry for over ten years, he's promised anything he'd like as a reward. He chooses the village elder's daughter, sixteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabel, who is a skilled weaver and has an unusual knack for repairing his magical cloaks. Though Sydelle has dreamt of escaping her home, she's hurt that her parents relinquish her so freely and finds herself awed and afraid of the slightly ragtag wizard who is unlike any of the men of magic in the tales she's heard. Still, she is drawn to this mysterious man who is fiercely protective of her and so reluctant to share his own past. The pair rushes toward the capital, intent to stop an imminent war, pursued by Reuel Dorwan (a dark wizard who has taken a keen interest in Sydelle) and plagued by unusually wild weather. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers North's dark secret and the reason for his interest in her and learns to master her own mysterious power, it becomes increasingly clear that the fate of the kingdom rests in her fingertips. She will either be a savior, weaving together the frayed bonds between Saldorra and Auster, or the disastrous force that destroys both kingdoms forever.

Ahhh this book looks and sounds really good! I'm in love with the cover and the summary sounds really original. PUBLISHED ON MARCH 23, 2010!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Title: Beastly
Author: Alex Flinn
Published: In 2007 by HarperTeen

My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Fairytale Retelling
Includes: Brief Profanity

First Lines: I could feel everyone looking at me, but I was used to it. One thing my dad taught me early and often was to act like nothing moved me.

Kyle Kingsbury is arrogant, rude, and stuck up. His popularity at high school is solely based on his looks. So one day in English class, when he embarrasses a goth new student, he's in for a surprise. Later that night, Kendra, the freaky new student, turns out to be a witch in disguise and turns Kyle into a beast. Claws, fangs, hair, and all. She tells him that the only way to break the curse (and become a human again) is to have someone fall in love with him, and kiss him. Oh, and he has exactly two years before the spell is permanent. No pressure.

This was the first modern retelling of a fairytale that I've ever read, and I gotta say that I really enjoyed it. The entire novel was super predictable, but I had fun reading it along the way. I personally love the story of "Beauty and the Beast", and this book is very similar to that - except it's set in contemporary New York City. Kyle is such a conceited jerk the first few chapters into the story, and the author did a great job at making the reader despise him. The whole "lesson" of the book is obviously that inner beauty is what counts, not appearance.

I really loved seeing the symbolism of the roses, which appear throughout the whole novel. It makes me enjoy and understand the cover better now, and even the font (with the thorns) is an awesome effect. I'm also glad that the story was written in first person - it was insightful reading the mind of such an egotistical protagonist.

From page 38
"Second grade, you told Terry Fisher that the reason her head was lopsided was because her mother had slammed it in the car door. She cried for an hour. Do you think that's funny?" Yeah. Kind of.

There were interesting side plots in the book, such as between chapters when the author would write in AIM lingo. Kyle would go on the Unexpected Changes Chat Room, where he would talk with other people that were morphed into creatures - frogs, mermaids, etc. These were usually humorous, and I really enjoyed these sections of the story.

I think the ending was a little too over-the-top and fairytale-ish, but that's just my opinion. Linda, the girl who Kyle wants to fall in love with, is such an adored character; I really liked her.
Overall, this was an enjoyable book. It was predictable and down to the point, but yet still cute and a light, breezy read. I'll be reading more from this author.

Book Supplied by: Publisher for Review.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: Epitaph Road

This week's WoW book is Epitaph Road by David Patneaude! It will be released on March 23, 2010.

Book Description:

2097 is a transformed world. Thirty years earlier, a mysterious plague wiped out 97 percent of the male population, devastating every world system from governments to sports teams, and causing both universal and unimaginable grief. In the face of such massive despair, women were forced to take over control of the planet--and in doing so they eliminated all of Earth's most pressing issues. Poverty, crime, warfare, hunger . . . all gone. But there's a price to pay for this new "utopia," which fourteen-year-old Kellen is all too familiar with. Every day, he deals with life as part of a tiny minority that is purposefully kept subservient and small in numbers. His career choices and relationship options are severely limited and controlled. He also lives under the threat of scattered recurrences of the plague, which seem to pop up wherever small pockets of men begin to regroup and grow in numbers. And then one day, his mother's boss, an iconic political figure, shows up at his home. Kellen overhears something he shouldn't--another outbreak seems to be headed for Afterlight, the rural community where his father and a small group of men live separately from the female-dominated society. Along with a few other suspicious events, like the mysterious disappearances of Kellen's progressive teacher and his Aunt Paige, Kellen is starting to wonder whether the plague recurrences are even accidental. No matter what the truth is, Kellen cares only about one thing--he has to save his father.

Oh my gosh...this one looks awesome! I have heard absolutely no talk about it though which is really surprising. This summary sounds so original. PUBLISHED ON MARCH 23, 2010!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trailers, Trailers, and More Trailers!

I'm a sucker for book trailers; I love watching them no matter if I even liked the book or not/haven't read it yet. I came across a few, all for very different young adult books.

"The Dead-Tossed Waves" by Carrie Ryan

"The Iron King" by Julie Kagawa

"Leviathan" by Scott Westerfeld

Monday, March 1, 2010

Interview with author CK Kelly Martin

Today I'd love to welcome young-adult author C.K. Kelly Martin to Books Obsession, for an interview! She has the written the books One Lonely Degree and I Know It's Over; along with her soon to be published book, in May, The Lighter Side of Life and Death.

What is your favorite thing about being an author?

It’s sort of like being an actor in that it almost feels like you get to emotionally experience several different lives. That’s pretty magical.

Was it difficult writing I Know It's Over from the boy's point of view?

I didn’t find it especially difficult writing from a boy’s point of view (The Lighter Side of Life and Death, which is coming out in May, is also from a guy’s POV) but because I wrote I Know It’s Over after finishing a trilogy (as yet unpublished) about a female character it was sort of hard to get her way of thinking out of my head initially. Once I really figured out who Nick was, though, the story just flowed.

Which of your books is your favorite?

Of the published ones I don’t really have a favourite but overall I love the trilogy the most because I spent three books with those characters, and also because it’s set two-thirds in Ireland which, as a place, to me feels kind of like the guy/girl you know you can never really get over. Plus, it’s a first love story and they were the first books I wrote so all round when I think of them they have that ‘first cut is the deepest’ vibe.

When did you decide you wanted to be an author? If you hadn't become one, what do you think your profession would be?

I started writing (and illustrating) my own little books when I was seven so I think I even knew then but I didn’t figure out that I wanted to try YA until 1999, after I got addicted to repeats of Party of Five. Now I’m totally hooked on YA and have a difficult time imagine writing for another age group. My degree is in Film Studies so I can sort of envision being a film critic. If not that it would probably have to be some other creative job but I’m not sure what.

Which of the covers for your books do you like the best? Did you have any input in the creation of it?

So far the cover for One Lonely Degree is my favourite because the models look so close to my mental image of Finn and Jersy. I love the chemistry but tentative quality you can see between the two of them in that cover shot. Usually my editor asks if I want to throw an idea into the pot and she and the designer also have various ideas and between all the different concepts (and considering the material they can get a hold of stock photo wise or, if there’s a photo shoot, what the results of that are) they see what works best. There have been covers I wasn’t very keen on and I was lucky that my editor really wants me to be happy with the cover design so when that’s been the case they’ve gone back and come up with something new that everyone approves of.

Have any projects/books you're currently working on?

I recently finished a YA book that has an other-worldly element too it (though I wouldn’t quite call it paranormal) where one of the main characters is really damaged because of something terrible he considers himself responsible for and desperately wants to change, but can’t. Hopefully I’ll be able to reveal more details about it as time goes on!


Now for some fun questions!

Good, good, bring on the cupcakes!

What are some of your guilty pleasures?

The biggest one by far would be Coca-Cola. I don’t like coffee so Coca-Cola is my big caffeine supplier and if I don’t manage to drink one by about one o’clock obtaining a Coke really starts to preoccupy me. It can’t be Pepsi either. I will go out of my way to track down a can of Coke and was incredibly disappointed when, for the first time in decades, I was forced to ask for Pepsi instead because I was on a flight that had no Coke. I don’t like the fountain version of Coke nearly as much as the bottled or canned so I always smuggle a proper Coke into the movies with me. There have been so many pictures of me taken holding cans of Coke over the years that they could make up a photo album themselves.

Also cupcakes (anybody who goes to Vancouver seriously has to visit one of the Cupcakes locations - they’re the best!). As far as TV goes, The Trailer Park Boys and Stargate Atlantis. I’m so disappointed that the SGA TV movie has been delayed.

Which cartoon character is your favorite?

I’ve always been a big Snoopy fan. My stepmother gave me a gorgeous huge plush Snoopy for Christmas years ago and he lives in my bedroom, on top of the TV. I’m a huge Tintin fan too (bought the entire series over time with allowance money when I was a kid) and read them all so many times that they’re completely falling apart.

If you could go back in time to any point of your life, when would it be?

I had such an amazing time living in Dublin, Ireland in the early to mid-90’s. Met so many incredible people and the place had such a buzz about it. It’s still very cool, of course, but there was something about that time that was really special and the people who were there with me then know what I mean. It was just so vibrant and fresh (totally unjaded) and everyone I knew at the time was trying to work stuff out and didn’t completely have it together but we all felt okay about it because we were all in that same headspace. That was before cell phones and the Internet and tons of techie gadgets so people were more grounded in the moment, which was another positive thing about it. Actually, if you listen to the Song After Hours by We Are Scientists it feels so much like that time and place to me. (Wow, I LOVE that song! It's definitely my favorite of theirs. [: )

Where's the most exciting place you've ever visited?

I don’t think I’ve been enough places to fairly judge but I get giddy just thinking about London (or seeing it in a movie) and tend to think of it as the centre of the universe. I’ve been six times over the years and hope to be back many more!

Thank you for answering my questions, C.K.!

Thanks so much for having me visit, Ashley!