Friday, September 30, 2011

Deb Winner + Feedback

In August, I featured Victoria Schwab as my first ever debutante of the month on my blog. Then, for September my deb of the month was Kiki Hamilton. The winner of Kiki's awesome debut book
The Faerie Ring is Sherre from Beckoned By Books!

The "Debutante of the Month" posts are becoming one of my favorite, unique things to do on my blog. I'm getting a pretty good turn out on the whole giveaway part of the post, because who doesn't like free books!? So I really appreciate you all entering the monthly giveaways. But I was just wondering what you guys think about my fairly-new "Deb of the Month" posts? Is it interesting? Is it something you look forward to reading at the beginning of each month? Is it something that I should continue doing? I'm just curious because I usually only get a comment or two from followers, so it's hard to see if it's something I should keep up. It's A LOT of work for me and the cooperating author to put together, but it's fun and something I really enjoy doing.

So if you wouldn't mind just leaving me a quick comment with your feedback I'd so appreciate it; if I should continue with the Deb posts, what you like about it, any suggestions, etc. OR just leave a comment on tomorrow's Debutante of the Month post! :) Thanks, love you all.

p.s. MY BIRTHDAY WAS YESTERDAY AND I AM OFFICIALLY 18 YEARS OLD NOW!! Ahh so crazy that I'm an adult now... that doesn't mean I have to stop reading YA books though does it?! :P

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: Eve

This week's WoW book is Eve by Anna Carey! It will be released on October 4, 2011.

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

I've read so many positive reviews for this book, and I absolutely love its gorgeous cover! PUBLISHED ON OCTOBER 4, 2011.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bookshelf of the Week (13)

This is so awesome..imagine if they had these in libraries!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mini Challenge: Scariest Word

This is the Scariest Word Challenge, hosted by The Non Reluctant Reader and Princess Bookie.

For this mini-contest you had to:

  • Open a book you are currently reading
  • Turn to the 13th chapter
  • Scan for the scariest word you can find
  • Search the word on Google Images, and select a picture
The book I'm currently reading is: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

The word I chose is: KILLING

Eeep I'm so excited for Halloween!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler

Title: I'm Not Her
Author: Janet Gurtler
Published: May 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire

My Rating: 3 stars
Tags: YA | Realistic | Cancer
Includes: Sexuality, Death

First Lines: No matter how much I don't want to care, it's not easy being stranded all alone in the middle of a crowded room, like the ugliest dog at the animal shelter. Kristina shoved me into her shiny red Toyota like she's my fairy godmother, insisting I do the party "for my own good."

Tess is artsy and smart, while her older sister Kristina is the athletic and beautiful one.
Tess is a freshman nobody, and Kristina is the exact opposite - being an overly popular senior. But all of this changes once Kristina discovers that she has cancer in her knee and may never be able to play volleyball again. Kristina immediately withdraws into herself at the horrible news, refusing to see any of her friends from school. Which leaves Tess to deal with all of the many, many eager and curious peers at her school who are concerned for Kristina. As Tess begins to almost fill Kristina's role, and befriends many of the seniors, her home life begins to fall apart. She's forced to struggle between an absent father, a sick sister, and a crazed mother.

If you're looking for a sweet, happy novel then this is the wrong choice for you. I knew from the summary and just the mention of the word "cancer", that this would probably be a sad book. What surprised me is just how much the sadness overtook the happiness...because there was none. Every time that I thought maybe something positive would happen, an even worse event in the story would take place. It came down to the point where there was simply no hope left, and I just wanted the book to end already. At least on a happy note, (which it did not). Another thing, and this may just be a personal opinion, but it was hard for me to relate to Kristina, and sometimes Tess. I understand how Kristina would be depressed about having cancer, but the negativity was just flowing out of her in every chapter. I kept waiting for the moment that she would accept her fate and make the most out of her new life, but that failed to happen. Maybe it's just because I personally am a positive person, but this was just such a negative book and I do not recommend it to people suffering from cancer themselves.

On a better note, the novel had pretty strong character development. Tess' family members each had their own personalities and stories, and I liked seeing them all weave together and watch how each person coped with Kristina's cancer. The mother fascinated me the most. At the same time though, I felt detached from Kristina and never really grew to know her, which lead to me not feeling that sorry for her. Even though this was a sad book, it wasn't emotional and it didn't spark a single tear. I did like the author's writing style and I'd like to check out more books she has written, even though this one wasn't a favorite of mine.

Cover Thoughts: It's sweet, simple, girly...I like it. It doesn't really have anything to do with the story, but I do like the photograph and the placement of the text.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: A Beautiful Dark

This week's WoW book is A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies! It will be released on September 27, 2011.

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past. In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine. A Beautiful Dark is the first book in a captivating trilogy by debut author Jocelyn Davies.

I really love this cover and the summary got me interested. I haven't read any reviews about this one yet, so we'll just have to cross our fingers that it's as good as it looks! PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 27, 2011.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bookshelf of the Week (12)

These are just too cute! I loved playing with legos as a kid, but was never able to build an actual bookcase out of them. These would be a great addition to a child's room. It's nifty how you can choose the height, too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

This week's WoW book is The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin! It will be released on September 27, 2011.

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is. She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

Not quite sure what this book is about since the summary is pretty vague - however, I'm in love with this cover, and the title is catchy, and there are tons of great reviews written for it already. PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 27, 2011.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: All the Earth, Thrown to the Sky

This week's WoW book is All the Earth, Thrown to the Sky by Joe R. Lansdale! It will be released on September 13, 2011.

Jack Catcher's parents are dead—his mom died of sickness and his dad of a broken heart—and he has to get out of Oklahoma, where dust storms have killed everything green, hopeful, or alive. When former classmate Jane and her little brother Tony show up in his yard with plans to steal a dead neighbor's car and make a break for Texas, Jack doesn't need much convincing. But a run-in with one of the era's most notorious gangsters puts a crimp in Jane's plan, and soon the three kids are hitching the rails among hoboes, gangsters, and con men, racing to warn a carnival wrestler turned bank robber of the danger he faces and, in the process, find a new home for themselves. This road trip adventure from the legendary Joe R. Lansdale is a thrilling and colorful ride through Depression-era America.

I really like the sound of this one, and it's taken place during an interesting part in history. PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2011.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti

Title: The Nature of Jade
Author: Deb Caletti
Published: February 2007 by Simon & Schuster

My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Realistic
Includes: Sensuality, Profanity

First Lines: When you live one and a half blocks away from a zoo like I do, you can hear the baboons screeching after it gets dark. It can scare the crap out of you when you're not used to it, as I found out one night right after we moved in.

Jade DeLuna, a senior in high school,
is struggling with her family relationships, along with her Panic Disorder. After figuring out that the elephants at the zoo seem to keep her calm, Jade watches the zoo's live webcam on her computer daily. It's there that she first sees the cute boy in the red jacket with a baby - and not just once because soon he's visiting the elephants every day. When the two finally meet, they quickly hit it off and begin spending time with each other frequently. Sebastian is unlike any other guy Jade has ever met, but is he too good to be true? After all, everyone has their secrets...

Right from the start, I felt very connected to Jade, which is an important factor in a book for me. Her character was so real and easy to relate to; sometimes she would say or think things that I never thought anyone else had thought of before. From reading the book's summary, I was imagining the main character to be extremely paranoid and have anxiety about everything (since Jade is diagnosed with Panic Disorder), however this played a very, very small role in the story. In fact, there are only one or two times that I remember her even having a panic attack. So just be aware that the whole Panic Disorder concept is not a big portion in the novel.

I really wish there were more Sebastian's in the world. I liked him from the beginning and he had such a sweet and caring personality. His maturity for being 20 was believable and I liked how he could be sophisticated but also goofy. He had his flaws - every character in the book did - so I liked how he was actually human rather than perfect (unlike many of the guys in YA fiction). I thought the relationship between Jade and Sebastian was sweet and it took up just enough part of the story, rather than having the whole book center on them. The other half of the storyline focused on Jade and her family. Her mother is trying to live Jade's life, her father is slowly becoming distant, and her younger brother Oliver is being forced to play sports he hates. I grew to love Oliver and thought he was just plain adorable.

At the beginning of each chapter, the author includes short excerpts from "The Fundamentals of Animal Behavior" about how certain animals show human traits. These were so interesting and really leave something for the reader to think about. My biggest complaint is the vague ending that kind of drops off and leaves for the reader's own interpretation. It wasn't solid, which I prefer. However, this was such an enjoyable read with a great set of characters. It really put me in the mood to take a visit to the zoo and spend an afternoon watching the elephants. Who knows, maybe I'll meet my very own Sebastian there?!

From page 126
I sprawl on my bed and look through my lava-lamp frame, at the stars glittering, at the wisp of a cloud drawing across the sky like the tip of a paintbrush. I hold up the moments with Sebastian, gaze at them again with a gentle eye, with careful hope. I do the necessary work of falling in love, that time spent alone with your imagination. I close my eyes, remember the smell of mint, the baby's cheek against his back, his smile, not quite perfect.

Cover Thoughts: It's alright I guess.. not too memorable though.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Debutante of the Month: Kiki Hamilton

A person's first appearance or performance in a particular capacity or role.

Welcome to author Kiki Hamilton's debutante ball...

Kiki enters the ballroom wearing a sleek, dark dress. Escorting her is actor Pierce Brosnan.

And now (mostly) ladies and (a few) gentlemen, I introduce to you...Kiki Hamilton! *cue applause* This new author in the literature realm is debuting this month with her fantastic book The Faerie Ring.

The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood. Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist. Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…

(Read my review here!)

As guests begin entering for the party, the DJ gets to work!

The setting of your party: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I love London. I want to live there. The city is so full castles, kings, culture and history. I LOVE

The guest list: Who are the top three authors (dead or alive) that you would like to meet?
JK Rowling, Robert Ludlum and Dan Brown.

The menu: What do you consider your "brain food", the snacks that kept you going while you wrote your novel?
Always some form of chocolate. I’ve been addicted to plain M&M’s since I was a kid and often eat them while I’m writing. Or when I’m reading. Or hanging out. Or pretty much anytime. You get the idea.

The deb's high heels: If you could step into someone else's shoes for a day, who would it be and why?
I’d love to be in JK Rowling’s heels (and her head) for a day. I think that would be fascinating.

The table centerpiece: What's the #1 thing that you can't go anywhere without?
My iphone.

Now it's time for the debutante and her date to share their first dance! What song has stuck with you through life?
There are so many, but Stairway to Heaven came out when I was in high school, so that’s always a good one. But so did Aerosmith’s Dream On and I love that one too.

We have a special guest tonight at the ball...Tiki from The Faerie Ring! Tiki, what was your favorite scene from the novel you starred in?
Thanks for letting me attend and not making me sneak in! ;-) I’d have to say that one of my favorite scenes occurred in a different ball room - this one was in Buckingham Palace. When you read the book you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

The heartfelt speech: How has the publishing process changed you?
What I used to think was the most important point in the process (besides selling my book) was getting my cover but I know better now. I have met so many wonderful authors through the Elevensies and the Class of 2k11 that will be friends forever. Also, I am very grateful for all the kind and wonderful notes that I’ve received from readers who have either read an advanced copy of the book or are so excited to read the book and that, by far, has been the best part of my path to publication. What have you learned from your experiences? Patience!

The future: Now that you are officially introduced to society, what's next? Do you plan to write another book?
I have written the next book in THE FAERIE RING series and I’m waiting to hear back from my agent on whether we can send it on to my editor. So while I’m waiting for her response I just finished a realistic contemporary novel called THE LAST DANCE that I absolutely loved writing. Now I’m either going to work on a new paranormal or a steampunk novel I’m halfway through.

To finish up this debutante ball, Kiki is giving out a party favor to one of her lucky guests! One blog follower will win a signed copy of her book, The Faerie Ring.
Just fill out the form below if you'd like to be entered.

Must be a new or old blog follower. Ends on September 30. USA only.

FIND KIKI ONLINE: Website | GoodReads | Twitter