Archive | March, 2011

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

31 Mar

The Replacement

Author
:                    Brenna Yovanoff

Pages: [hardcover]: 343

Available now!

The Replacement #1

Memorable Quote: “I wanted it in the way you sometimes want to jump into very cold water, even though you know it won’t feel good. I wanted to go numb. To see what it felt like to be someone else.”

Favorite Characters: Roswell & Emma

Summary:

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

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

Review:

This book leaves all thoughts of happy, bright fairy tales behind, instead introducing the darker underside of folklore. I’ve liked this take ever since I read Wicked Lovely.

I loved how Mackie wasn’t immune to the things that creatures like him are ‘allergic’ to-consecrated ground, blood, iron. It was interesting to see how he clung to normalcy and yet a simple car ride could kill him.

I also loved Roswell. He’s definitely Mackie’s greatest friend, understanding that he’s different and yet not pressuring him to reveal the truth. I think everyone needs someone that understands you like this. They make you a better person-or creature, in Mackie’s case-by accepting you as you are.

The only aspect of the story I really didn’t like was the romance between Tate and Mackie. It seemed too forced and definitely too sudden, as if it was just pushed into the plot to placate the readers that would complain about the lack of a love interest. Their attraction to one another made no sense to me.

While The Replacement was definitely an original, gripping read, there was something off about it that keeps it from being one of my favorites. Still, it’s a great read, and I’ll definitely have to look into the next book. The way The Replacement ends doesn’t exactly set up for a sequel, but I’ll read it anyway. I give it 4/5 stars.

Interview with Jennifer Archer, author of ‘Through Her Eyes’!

30 Mar

I am so excited to welcome Jennifer Archer, author of Through Her Eyes to my blog! She graciously agreed to an interview as part of the Through Her Eyes blog tour!

How did you come up with the title, “Through Her Eyes”?

I didn’t! One of the fabulous team of people at Harper Teen came up with the title. I’m pretty sure it came from a scene in the book where the protagonist, Tansy, has recently visited Henry’s past life for the first time, and she thinks: “Who was Isabel? It’s beyond weird that I felt as if I was inside of her, experiencing everything through her eyes and emotions. I don’t even know what she looks like. Did she really exist in the past? Were she and Papa Dan friends? If only he could tell me. Stepping into the photograph added more questions to my list instead of giving me answers.”  

What is your favorite location to write in?

I don’t need to be in one specific place in order to write. When my children were young, I needed a quiet, secluded place where I wouldn’t be interrupted. I usually wrote in my home office with the door shut back then. Over time, though, I’ve realized that noise and activity don’t bother me much as long as it’s not my noise and activity – in other words, noise and activity going on with my family. I find that distracting because I usually want to join them! Sometimes I still write alone in my office, or if the weather is nice, outside in my backyard beneath the pergola my husband built, with the waterfall (he also built) splashing and gurgling. However, working alone every day can get lonely, and lately I find myself heading out the door to go to the coffee shop to write in the mornings. I can usually tune out the sounds around me there and focus on my story, but if the other customers get too disruptive, I just pop in my ear pods and listen to music on my IPod.
 
What did you find most challenging about writing “Through Her Eyes”?
 

That’s a great question. The story is like a puzzle for the reader. Making sure all the pieces clicked together perfectly and at the right time as the story unfolded was probably my biggest challenge. I wanted to keep readers thinking and asking questions all the way through until, one-by-one, all the parts fit and we finally learn the truth. 

If you had to describe your writing in one word, what would it be?

Oh, wow . . . you’re really making me think! As much as I hate to say this, the word is ‘painful.’ For me, writing is a lot like giving birth; the pain has beautiful moments and results in a reward that makes all the suffering worthwhile. 

Have you been inspired by any particular writer’s style?

I think every book I’ve read and admired (and some I haven’t admired!) have inspired and influenced my writing. One of the negative things I experienced when I started writing, was that it ruined reading for me to a certain extent. It’s difficult for me to read simply for pleasure anymore, because I’m constantly scrutinizing how the writer strung the sentences together, the plotting techniques used, the characterization, the pacing, or even how the author managed to stir a certain emotion in me. When I find myself so caught up in a novel that I forget to do these things as I’m reading, I know I’ve discovered a phenomenal book! When that happens, I go back after I finish enjoying the story and reread it with my analytical cap on.

Are you working on any new novels?

Always! I’m working on my second YA novel, The Shadow Girl. I don’t know if the title will change or not, but at least for now, that’s what it’s called.  It should be released in about a year. It’s an emotional story about a girl with a very interesting ability who begins to unravel secrets about herself and her family after a tragedy strikes. She’s also caught up in a bit of a love triangle with two different guys, and one of them has secrets of his own. That’s all I’m going to tell you for now! I’m having a great time with this story. Most of that writing “pain” I mentioned earlier has subsided, and I’m just enjoying the process.

What is your all-time favorite book?

I’m not sure I can name just one, but To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is an all-time favorite. It’s brilliant and so powerful. The story deals with serious issues, but still manages to have humorous moments and warmth. And the characters and setting are so real that I feel as if I actually spent time with those people in that place a long time ago – that they are actually long-lost family or friends.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.

By the time I was eleven years old, I had moved twenty-three times!

I’ve had a great time visiting your blog, Kayla! I hope your readers will look for Through Her Eyes and contact me through my website or blog to let me know what they think of the story. Until then, I invite everyone to stop by www.jenniferarcher.net to watch the book trailer, and www.jenniferarcher.blogspot.com to join in on the discussion.  

Enter Jennifer’s Gargantuan Giveaway by April 4!
Prizes include Kindles, iPods & more! 
To enter and find more details visit: http://www.jenniferarcher.net/news_events.html

Thanks so much for stopping by, Jennifer!

To everyone who’s stopped by, be sure to check out the rest of the tour:

Sunday, March 13: Jami at YA Addict (Author Interview)
Monday, March 14: Lesley at YA Books Reviewed (Guest Post)
Tuesday, March 15: Steph at Steph the Bookworm (Author Interview)
Wednesday, March 16: Kate at I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read! (Guest Post)
Thursday, March 17: Bianca at Nyxen’s Sideways Journey Through Life (Author Interview)
Friday, March 18: Jessi at The Elliot Review (Guest Post)
Saturday, March 19: Lexie at Poisoned Rationality (Author Interview)

Sunday, March 20: Hattie at Mrs. Deraps Reads (Guest Post)
Monday, March 21: Brent at Naughty Book Kitties (Author Interview)
Tuesday, March 22: Lisa at Badass Bookie (Guest Post)
Wednesday, March 23: Tania at Literary Cravings (Author Interview)
Friday, March 25: Nicole at Word For Teens (Author Interview)
Saturday, March 26: Julie at Bloggers Heart Books (Guest Post)

Sunday, March 27: Kari at A Good Addiction (Review)
Sunday, March 27: Tynga at Tynga’s Review (Author Interview)
Monday, March 28: Casey at The Bookish Type (Trailers Post)
Tuesday, March 29: Faye at Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm (Review)
Tuesday, March 29: Anne at Potter, Percy, and I (Guest Post)
Wednesday, March 30: Sab at YA Bliss (Review)
Wednesday, March 30: Kayla at Caught Between The Pages (Author Interview)
Thursday, March 31: Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century (Character Interview: Tansy)
Friday, April 1: Natalie at Mindful Musings (Tens List)
Saturday, April 2: Jessica at A Fanatic’s Book Blog (Review)
Saturday, April 2: Kim at The Book Butterfly (Guest Post)

Sunday, April 3: Kelsey at The Book Scout (Review)
Sunday, April 3: Diana at Books By Their Story (Author Interview)
Monday, April 4: Maria at The Serpentine Library (Character Interview: Isabel)
Tuesday, April 5: Kate at  The Neverending Bookshelf (New Scene)
Tuesday, April 5: Danielle at There’s A Book (Guest Post)
Wednesday, April 6: Casey at The Bookish Type (Review)
Wednesday, April 6: Lindsay at Just Another Book Addict (Author Interview)
Thursday, April 7: Faye at Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm (Character Interview: Tate)
Friday, April 8: Kari at A Good Addiction (Tens List)
Saturday, April 9: JL at An Avid Reader’s Musings (Guest Post)

Sunday, April 10: Kristen at  Bookworming in the 21st Century (Review)
Sunday, April 10: Corrine at Lost For Words (Author Interview)
Monday, April 11: Kelsey at The Book Scout (Character Interview: Daniel)
Tuesday, April 12: Melanie at Reclusive Bibliophile (Excerpt)
Wednesday, April 13: Lea at YA Book Queen (Review)
Wednesday, April 13: Cindy at Books Complete Me (Guest Post)
Friday, April 15: Jessica at A Fanatic’s Book Blog (Tens List)
Friday, April 15: Andye at Reading Teen (Author Interview)
Saturday April 16: Maria at The Serpentine Library (Review)
Saturday, April 16: Melissa at Mel’s Books and Info (Guest Post)

Sunday, April 17: Kate at The Neverending Bookshelf (Review)
Sunday, April 17: Christie at Fiction Enthusiast (Author Interview)
Monday, April 18: Katie at Mundie Moms (Vlog – Places Inspired)
Tuesday, April 19: Zoe at Zoe’s Book Reviews (Scene)
Tuesday, April 19: Sarah at Sarah’s Random Musings (Guest Post)
Wednesday, April 20: Melanie at Reclusive Bibliophile (Review)
Thursday, April 21: Lea at YA Book Queen (Character Interview: Henry)
Friday, April 22: Sab at YA Bliss (Tens List)
Saturday, April 23: Natalie at Mindful Musings (Review)

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

23 Mar

 

A Kiss in Time

Author: Alex Flinn [also wrote Beastly]

Pages [paperback]: 371

Memorable Quote: “Parents always forgive you. Like sometimes, you see parents on the news, and their kid just got busted for murdering a 7-11 clerk, and they’re like, ‘But my Bubba’s a good boy. He’d never hurt a fly.’ So I’m sure your parents would forgive you for whatever you did.”

Favorite Characters: Talia & Jack

Available now

Summary:

Talia fell under a spell. . . .
Jack broke the curse.

I was told to beware the accursed spindle, but it was so enchanting, so hypnotic. . . .

I was looking for a little adventure the day I ditched my tour group. But finding a comatose town, with a hot-looking chick asleep in it, was so not what I had in mind.

I awakened in the same place but in another time—to a stranger’s soft kiss.

I couldn’t help kissing her. Sometimes you just have to kiss someone. I didn’t know this would happen.

Now I am in dire trouble because my father, the king, says I have brought ruin upon our country. I have no choice but to run away with this commoner!

Now I’m stuck with a bratty princess and a trunk full of her jewels. . . . The good news: My parents will freak!

Think you have dating issues? Try locking lips with a snoozing stunner who turns out to be 316 years old. Can a kiss transcend all—even time?

Review:

Alex Flinn’s Beastly is what really got me interested in modernized fairy tales, so I was happy to find another retold classic by her; this time focusing on Sleeping Beauty. Which also happens to be my favorite princess story.

When first reading, I was afraid I’d be annoyed by the alternating narrators, Talia and Jack. They’re both completely full of themselves and snobbish to the extreme. I knew they were written that way purposefully, but sometimes that sort of character just isn’t enjoyable for me. But I got over that fear within a few chapters, because having Talia experience the modern world was completely hilarious. Everything went wonderfully from then on.

I really loved how the evil presence was introduced in this book-Malvolia, the witch that cast the spell on Talia that made her sleep for three hundred years. She didn’t give up on revenge after Jack’s kiss broke the spell, which I liked because it made sense as well as made the plot more interesting.

I’m definitely going to have to check out Cloaked, another fractured fairy tale penned by Alex Flinn. I have a feeling I’ll eventually read everything by her. She’s a wonderfully creative, fresh, and funny author.

I give A Kiss in Time 5/5 stars. I love this new take on Sleeping Beauty!

Books to Movies: I Am Number Four

22 Mar

I Am Number Four has turned out to be one of those rare movies that I actually consider more enjoyable than the book. I’ve seen the film twice; once before reading the book, and once after.

Not only is Alex Pettyfer one of my favorite actors [he was just in Beastly], he was great in this movie. Sure, there were a few elements that didn’t quite fit, but I was drawn into the story. When reading the novel, I couldn’t quite get into it.

I can’t remember the last time this happened to me. Usually, the novel is immensely better. I suppose there’s a first for everything.

If you read the book and were discouraged, I say check out the movie. It’s definitely worth seeing, and I can’t wait for a sequel.

If you’ve seen the movie and aren’t sure whether you want to read the book, I can’t recommend it either way. I say that if you have the time to read it, go for it.

Teaser Tuesday 3-21-11

22 Mar

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This weeks quote is from Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban:

Once we were seated, Tio gave me one of the small boxes he had on his trays and showed me how to drink from it with a bright yellow straw. “It’s chocolate milk,” he said, laughing when Iasked what kind of cow made such a wonderful milk.

I’ve just started this book and will be part of the blog tour coming up in April. Check back April 9 for a full review!

New Book Trailer & Excerpt for ‘Invincible’ by Sherrilyn Kenyon!

21 Mar

I really enjoyed the first Chronicles of Nick book, Infinity, and I’m excited to read the second book, Invincible, which will be released tomorrow!

Plus, these book covers are fantastic. Who could resist them?

Read the first book? Want to get into the series?

Read the excerpt here!

But before you get to reading, check out the awesome book trailer:

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

21 Mar

Paranormalcy

Paranormalcy #1
Book 2: Supernaturally

Author: Kiersten White

Pages [hardcover]: 335

Memorable Quote: “Lish tried to swear–which is always funny, because the computer won’t translate it. It went something like this: “Bleep stupid bleep bleep faeries and their bleep bleep bleep obsessions. He had better stop bleep bleep bleep the bleep bleep rules or I will bleep bleep bleep the little bleeeeeeeeeeep.”

Favorite Characters:
Lish, Lend, & Evie

Available now

Paranormalcy #1

Summary:

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Review:

Why did I take so long to read this book? Because once I started it, I looked every minute of it, and couldn’t put it down.

Evie has to be one of the best female main characters I’ve read about in a while. Not only is she snarky and ready to take down anything paranormal that comes her way, she’s still obsessed with pink and rhinestones. I mean, her taser is covered with them. Who wouldn’t love a weapon in your favorite color?

Evie’s enemies as well as her love interest were nicely defined characters. I absolutely loved Lend! He was so unique as well as funny.

The plot was gripping, and I kept trying to guess what was going to happen next. There were so many great twists!

There were definitely a lot of funny lines in Paranormalcy, most supplied by Evie. Though she tries to make herself as normal as possible, it doesn’t turn out so well for her. Though I wish everyone could get as excited about something as simple as a locker as she does.

Everything about this book was perfect for me. It was so good I was literally pushing everything away just so I would have time to read just a little more! I really recommend this, for any paranormal fans or someone looking for a fantastic YA book. I give Paranormalcy 5/5 stars.

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

20 Mar

You Wish

Author: Mandy Hubbard [also wrote Prada and Prejudice]

Pages [paperback]: 272

Favorite Characters:
Kayl, Ann, & Ben

Available now!

Summary:

Kayla McHenry’s sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla’s secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin’ do.

Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year’s supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla’s wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride . . . but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend’s boyfriend.

Review:

I’ve been looking forward to reading You Wish for a while-and not only because the main character has an awesome name. ;) The idea of getting everything you ever wished for seemed so interesting, and hilarious! This book had me guessing what the next wish might be while rolling on the floor laughing about the current wish.

Iorginally thought this novel would be a cute, fun little story that I’d read, enjoy, and promptly forget about. It was a lot more than that! It was so creative and unique, plus the overall message was wonderful. The characters were well defined and seemed to jump off the page-especially the non-human ones!

It was fun seeing what Kayla wished for at different stages of her life, and then figuring out why she would have wanted that wish at that exact moment. Some of the wishes were more of a nuisance to her than anything, like the unlimited supply of gumballs. Others were ridiculously funny, like having a life-size Ken stalking her every move.

I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a funny, quick read. There’s definitely more substance to it than I first thought, but it was still light-hearted. Sort of like Prada and Prejudice, also written by Mandy Hubbard. I suppose I should stop underestimating this author’s work, and I’ll definitely keep my eye out for more by her.

I give You Wish 5/5 stars. It was amazing, and definitely memorable!

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

14 Mar

I Am Number Four

Author: Pittacus Lore

Pages [hardcover]: 440

Memorable Quote: “There were hugs. There were words said by each of them. I don’t remember what they were. Nothing haunts me more.”

Favorite Characters: Sam & Bernie

Available Now!

Lorian Legacies #1

Summary:

In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now.

The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.

I AM NUMBER FOUR.
I AM NEXT.

Review:

This novel has a very interesting premise, and I loved learning about Lorien and what happened to Number Four’s planet. His maturing through the novel, discovering his powers and finding his own identity, was a nice journey.

I really didn’t like the writing style of I Am Number Four. The sentences were choppy and directly to the point. There was no show of emotions, though it’s told in first person. No descriptions, opinions, thoughts on anything. It was like reading the script for a movie. It was just . . . dry.

But I didn’t hate the book. The plot was enough to carry by itself, and the strange creatures filling it were interesting. Things got a bit confusing in the end, with the alien aspect taking over, and while attempting to understand the various weapons being used, I was lost. I’m still not entirely sure what happened.

While this book was certainly enjoyable, it’s not one of my favorites. I’ll probably end up renting the next, due to be released in August, from the library, but I won’t buy it. I Am Number Four gets 3/5 stars. It was good, but would have been better had it been written differently.

Dead to Me by Anton Strout

12 Mar

Dead to Me

Author: Anton Strout

Pages [paperback]: 368

1st book in the Simon Canderous series!

Memorable Quote:

Favorite Characters: Simon & Jane

First Thoughts: I won this book in a contest, and it looked amazing! Yet it was trapped in my TBR pile for months…

Summary:

A new urban fantasy featuring a man working on the right side of law-with talents that come from left field. Psychometry-the power to touch an object and divine information about its history-has meant a life of petty crime for Simon Canderous, but now he’s gone over to the good side. At New York’s underfunded and (mostly) secret Department of Extraordinary Affairs, he’s learning about red tape, office politics, and the basics of paranormal investigation. But it’s not the paperwork that has him breathless. After Simon spills his coffee on (okay, through) the ghost of a beautiful woman- who doesn’t know she’s dead-he and his mentor plan to find her killers. But Simon’s not prepared for the nefarious plot that unfolds before him, involving politically correct cultists, a large wooden fish, a homicidal bookcase, and the forces of Darkness, which kind of have a crush on him.

Review:

I regret taking so long to pick up this book! Simon was definitely a great main character-still struggling with his powers and figuring out how to work with the Department of Extraordinary Affairs, he shows us how New York City covers up their frequent paranormal activity. He’s working hard to stay on the Good side, against the forces of Evil. He hasn’t had much luck in the love department, because he usually ends up touching something belonging to the girl and spouting random memories from her past. Seeming like a stalker is so not attractive.

I thought he was extremely funny. During the several fight scenes of Dead to Me, Simon would grip his trusty bat before spouting some clichéd line that sounded like it came from a bad superhero movie. And it actually worked for me. His awkward, geeky personality completely won me over.

Half of the book seemed to be building up to a plot, and I had no idea where it was going. It would have been nice to have a more organized approach, but it did give me time to get used to the setting and characters. In the end, it wasn’t a completely bad idea, it just left more to be desired.

There were some awesome plot twists in Dead to Me! I loved that just as things seemed to be smoothly rolling along, something would come out of nowhere.

 I give Dead to Me 3.5/5 stars. It definitely took my interest, but wasn’t anything amazing. I’ll be on the lookout for the next book, and hopefully it will be just a bit more amazing!

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