Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Giveaway, Giveaway, Give-a-WAAAYYY...Gingerbread

Month two of my author spotlight has come and gone. Now, it's time for my second giveaway. This time around I'm giving away a copy of Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn.

From the back cover...
After getting kicked out of her posh boarding school, there's no way wild, willful, and coffee-addicted Cyd Charisse can survive in her parents' pristine house. 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. Cyd has been waiting her whole life to get to know her bio-dad and half-sibs, but summer in the city is not what she expects---and Cyd is far from the daughter or sister that anyone could have imagined.
The basic rules...
***open to followers only***
***worldwide giveaway***
***leave your email address with your comment(s) (no email=no entry)***
***contest ends October 30, 2009 at midnight PST***

How to get the points...
+2 for becoming a follower

+3 if you were already a follower (must be one before this was posted)

+2 for following me on Twitter (@jennay1221)

+2 for each time you advertise this giveaway...sidebar, twitter (@jennay1221), blog post (please provide a link for each one)

+1 leave a comment on my Q&A with Rachel Cohn post

+1 leave a comment on any of my posts related to R. Cohn (must tell me which ones you posted on)

Now go and pick up your favorite cup of tea or cappuccino (or whatever you prefer) and HAPPY readings!!!

Author Spotlight: Rachel Cohn

It's the end of September and I had soooo much fun reading Rachel Cohn's books. I actually read 5 of her books and even had the opportunity to do a little question & answer post with her.

Just a little bio...
Rachel was born on December 14, 1968 in Silver Spring, Maryland and grew up in the DC area. At the age of seventeen, she went off to Barnard College and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. She moved out to San Francisco and started working at a law firm. This is when Rachel started writing her stories. Now, she lives in Manhattan where she is on the search for a great cup of cappuccino.
***information was taken from her website***

R.C.'s Books...
Gingerbread (2003)
The Steps (2003)
Pop Princess (2004)
Shrimp (2005)
Two Steps Forward (2006)
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (co-written w/ David Levithan) (2006)
Cupcake (2007)
Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List (co-written w/ David Levithan)
You Know Where To Find Me (2008)
Very LeFreak (2010)

Books adapted into movies...
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008)

Her favorite YA authors...
David Levithan
Patricia McCormick
Robin Benway
Libba Bray
Cecil Castellucci
Holly Black
Judy Blume
Jacqueline Woodson
Wendy Mass

Rachel Vail
Megan McCafferty
Sarah Dessen
Carolyn Mackler
Kristen Kemp
Billy Merrell
Markus Zusak
E. Lockhart

Julie Anne Peters
Pete Hautman
E.R. Frank
Sonya Sones
Ellen Wittlinger
Gail Giles
Ned Vizzini

Sarah Mlynowski
Kristen Smith
Lauren Myracle
Daniel Ehrenhaft
Blake Nelson
Robert Lipsyte
David Yoo

Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Coe Booth
Jenny Han
Robin Wasserman
Melissa Marr
co Medina
Bennett Madison
Justine Larbalestier
Scott Westerfeld

Jaclyn Moriarty
Siobhan Vivian
Melissa de la Cruz

Where to find Rachel Cohn...

Overall Rating:

***Now go and pick up your favorite cup of tea or because it's Rachel Cohn's fave: cappuccino (or whatever you prefer) along with a Rachel Cohn book and HAPPY readings!!!***

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Question and Answer's with author...Rachel Cohn

Here's a little about Rachel Cohn...

Rachel was born on December 14, 1968 in Silver Spring, Maryland and grew up in the DC area. At the age of seventeen, she went off to Barnard College and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. She moved out to San Francisco and started working at a law firm. This is when Rachel started writing her stories. Now, she lives in Manhattan where she is on the search for a great cup of cappuccino. Now...time for some Q&A's...

What makes you get up and start writing...even when you don't want to?
The first is the fun one, and that's the simple curiosity of what's going to happen next? I often don't know myself how my own stories will play out - I have to write them to find out. So sometimes the thing that gets me out of bed and to my computer in the morning is that I left my characters in a weird place and I'm eager to find out how they'll unravel the situation. The second thing is totally pragmatic: I write full-time now, and if I don't sit down at the computer, well, the bills don't get paid!
Do you use outlines to write or do you just go at it?
It changes with each book. Earlier in my career I never outlined, then a few books ago I started outlining once I got about halfway through, and now, after book 10 or so, I find I really do need to loosely outline the structure for a whole book out in advance.
If you can be a part of any book (yours or someone else's), which one would it be? And why???
If it's my own, I think I wouldn't mind a night like Norah's in Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. If someone else's, I'd love to step inside the fantasy realm of Gemma Doyle in Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty books - it's so lush, and dangerous, and rich in detail and excitement.
Who are your favorite book characters?
Definitely Gemma Boyle! Also any characters in any of Jaclyn Moriarty's books -they're all so lovable and complicated and quirky. I greatly admire Lakshmi in Patricia McCormick's Sold. I have a huge soft spot for Gail in David Levithan's The Realm of Possibility. I adore Francesca in Melina Marchetta's Saving Francesca and Audrey from Robin Benway's Audrey, Wait! And I have a total girl crush on Jessica Darling from Megan McCafferty's Sloppy First books - she's such a smart and cool everygirl. The list could go on and on.
You co-wrote Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List with David Levithan. If you can co-write with any other author...dead or alive...who would it be?
My author crush at the moment is Jaclyn Moriarty - she's tops on my list because I love her writing so much but also because she lives in Australia, enough of a geographic distance that the chances of me getting on her nerves in person would lessen considerably.
There are a lot of pop culture references in your books. So, what are your favorite TV shows and/or movies?
Favorite TV shows at the moment are Glee, Mad Men, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock. My favorite TV shows of all time are The Wire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Freaks and Geeks, Curb Your Enthusiasm and My So-Called Life. My favorite movies I saw this year are Up and The Hurt Locker. My favorite movies of all time are Coal Miner's Daughter, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Out of Sight, Rear Window, Rushmore, Reds, Being There, Raising Victor Vargas...and so many more, that's a short list. I'd live at the movies if I could.
Your characters are loveable and relatable. They are wonderful family members and/or friends. Do you keep certain loved ones in mind when developing characters?
Not really. I try to let my characters be their own people, flaws and all.
Shrimp (from the Cyd Charisse series) seems like such a cool, mellow surfer dude, yet kind of mysterious...Have you ever considered writing a book from his point of view?
I think what I've figured out about Shrimp is that as much as I love him, he is as mysterious to me as an author as he is as a character. I'm definitely intrigued by the idea of writing from his point of view, but I don't think I could get inside his head close enough - I think the closest I can get is through CC's heart.
CC and company would make an amazing TV series (in my opinion). Are there any developments on that front?
No developments on that front. Every now and then I tinker with the idea of trying to develop a TV series about the characters, but I always get sidetracked by other ideas.
And out of curiosity...if you could pick the actors for this series...who would they be???
It's hard to name actors because they age out of the role too quickly (a problem when writing teen characters). In my head, Cyd Charisse looks a lot like Eliza Dushku as the Faith character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Shrimp looks like a young Deryck Whibley from early Sum41. I could see Nancy being played by January Jones from Mad Men but a few years older. Beyond that, I don't really know! Who would you cast?
The Cyd Charisse series take place in New York City and San Francisco and there is a constant search for caffeine. Which city do you prefer to be in to get caffeinated and any recommendations?
Funnily enough, I prefer Los Angeles for my caffeination! There's an awesome barista named Cesar at my favorite place in West Hollywood who makes great brews and always remembers my orders, even when I haven't been to see him in several months (from this particular place, I like iced skim cappuccinos). In San Francisco, I love Peet's and Caffe Puccini. In New York, I usually hit up Le Pain Quadronno on Madison Ave near the Met is amazing (but a bit of a schlep for me). I also love Sant Ambroeus in the West Village.
Finally, Very LeFreak will be released in January 2010. But are you working on any current projects right now?
I have a new book with David Levithan coming out in October 2010 that I am really excited about - I love how the book turned out. Other than that, I'm in the tinkering with ideas stage right now. Any suggestions? ;)
Thank you mucho to Rachel Cohn for answering these questions. You guys should check out her site and read her books. I cannot wait for the new ones to come out!

***And if you read the CC books...I'm also curious to find out who you would cast***

***Now go and pick up your favorite cup of tea or because it's Rachel Cohn's fave: cappuccino (or whatever you prefer) along with a Rachel Cohn book and HAPPY readings!!!***

Review: Startled By His Furry Shorts

Title: Startled By His Furry Shorts
Author: Louise Rennison
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-06-085386-0/Harper Teen
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

Oh, poor Georgia...she's on the rack of romance. First off, the Sex God is still in Kiwi-a-gogo Land and she won't even say his name. Then, there's Dave the Laugh...her guy pal/occasional snogging buddy who kinda expressed his feeling for her. And now things are a bit uncomfortable with them. Finally, there's the Italian Stallion...Masimo. With this guy, Georgia expressed her feelings for him and said that she wanted a relationship with him. Masimo tells her he needs to think about it...oh the agony for our girl. So, now she can turn to her friends. But hold on...all of them kind of have their own guys. For goodness sakes Rosie is planning a freaking Viking wedding already.

Is young Georgia destined to be an old maid???

Book seven of the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series continues to be funny. I only thought that this one dragged on a little too long. But it's not going to stop me from continuing the rest of the series. Of course, there were a few laugh out loud moments. Even her made up words and phrases are catchy (thank goodness there is a glossary in the back for some words). After seven books, I'm starting to use some of these phrases/words. I can't wait to get to book 8. Hope you guys pick this series up!!!

Favorite Libby moment...
(Libby leaves Georgia's room b/c Gee isn't feeling well & yells at their mom)
Ginger's got a headache. For CHRIST'S SAKE, SHUT UP! page 122
My Rating:

Now go and pick up your favorite cup of tea (or whatever you prefer) and HAPPY readings!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Time For Some Awards...

Honest Award
(Gracias to Misty @ Book Rat)
This is the Honest Scrap Award. It is for those bloggers who write from the heart. The rules: Pass it along to seven other bloggers and then list ten honest things about yourself.

Jessica at A Booklover's Diary
Krista at Life or something like it...
Nina at J'adorehappyendings
Alyssa & Jake Kirk at Teens Read and Write
Teddyree at The Eclectic Reader
Faye at Ramblings Of A Teenage Bookworm
Jenny at TakeMeAway

My 10 Facts...
1. I became a vegetarian because doctor's couldn't figure out why my face got swollen (it was swollen for months, I even had to go through surgery to remove some of the swelling) mom thought it was something I was I cut out the animal products in my diet & now I just prefer staying away from meats.

2. I prefer to sit in booths at restaurants & I like the inside seat.

3. I had uncontrollable hair when I was a little girl...thus the reason my brother called me Medusa.

4. My nickname Jenn-ay came from my brother's best friend. It happened after Forest Gump & he always entered the house screaming...Jenn-ay!!!

5. I don't let my friends call me Jenny. Only my siblings, their friends (only b/c they introduce me as Jenny & if I don't really like them...I won't respond to them), my niece & nephews. And it took me 3 months to convince my nephews that my real name is Jennifer.

6. My mom and I both get this V-shape red mark on our forehead when we exercise.

7. My dad, brother, and I have two moles on the right side of our left index the same exact spots.

8. I was the team captain on every sports team that I played on in elementary, middle, & high school.

9. I fall on the ground & squirm around when someone tries to tickle me (especially on the side of my torso).

10. I grew up as a dependent to a retired military I had to have a military ID...I lost each and every one of them. I probably went through at least 2 a's a good thing I no longer qualify for military benefits. (And this is probably why my mom & sister-in-law keep all my "important" documents).

Review: Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List

Title: Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List
Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-375-84441-6/Knopf (part of Random House)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

This is the story of two best friends. They grew up across the hall from each other in a Manhattan apartment building. They are inseparable best friends...they have been through everything together. The apartment building's residents consider them soul mates.

Here's the deal...Naomi is a straight, beautiful girl with a boyfriend and many boys love to look at her. Ely is gay with an amazing personality and goes out with many boys. Well, since they both like boys...the two of them came up with a No Kiss List to protect their friendship. They definitely do not want a boy coming between them.

Problem...Naomi doesn't add her current BF to the list and it just so happens that Ely kisses him. Now, everyone is out of sync because the two BFF's are no longer talking.

Do these supposed soul mates let a boy break them up???

This was my first book where one of the main characters was gay. I really enjoyed this book because I've always wanted to read a book like this. Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List was written in a way that each chapter changed its point of view. One would be Ely's story, another one would be Naomi's, and other chapters would be from other characters in the book. I loved that...I imagined it almost like a reality show...where each character has a say on their perspective of what is going on.

N&ENKL had a lot of pop culture references. There's a scene about High School Musical, but Ely plays Gabriella and Naomi plays's pretty entertaining. They also reference Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse (I love this b/c I'm a huge fan of the Gingerbread books by R. Cohn). Robin (girl) compares some of the characters in this book to the classic cartoon, Scooby Doo. Gabriel's chapters involve music...he basically makes CD mixes that relate to what is going on in these characters lives...there are some awesome songs. Bruce the First loves to use quotes and he tends to love the ones written by Nicholas Sparks.

Cohn and Levithan did an amazing job on this book. I enjoyed it way more than their other one, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. The characters in this novel were better developed and way more relatable. I was really rooting for the friendships in this story. (BTW there is a reference to N&NIP in this look out for it, too). This was an easy & fun book to read...I hope you guys pick it up.

Favorite quote...
Things that matter are not easy. Feelings of happiness are easy. Happiness is not. Flirting is easy. Love is not. Saying you're friends is easy. Being friends is not. Ely, page 199
I loved so many parts of this book, but I really enjoyed this part about Dawson's Creek...
Ely's a Dawson-Joey 'shipper (and I don't think that's because Dawson is so clearly gay; I think Ely really believed that girl-next-door Joey was Dawson's true love), whereas I am all about the Pacey-Joey true love, and debating the issue with Ely is useless when the final episode proves me so clearly right. page 189
***this totally reminded me of middle school & watching the WB with by best friends (oh & I was also rooting for team Pacey***

My Rating:

***Now go and pick up your favorite cup of tea or because it's Rachel Cohn's fave: cappuccino (or whatever you prefer) along with a Rachel Cohn book and HAPPY readings!!!***

Shout Out...Another Contest

The Book Resort is giving away a copy of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Check it out by clicking on the cover!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Finds at the Store (09/25/09)

Friday Finds at the Store is a meme hosted by Jennay at My Tea Time is Book Time. It is totally easy and everyone can join. Basically just post the books you found at the bookstore or library. Now others can see the great finds you had and maybe they will pick it up on their next bookstore/library run. HAPPY readings!!!

Here are my finds...

From the back cover of Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

Charlotte and Sean O'Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, if they'd been given the choice. Instead, they are consumed by sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of "luckier" parents, and worst of all, the what-ifs. What if five-year-old Willow had been born healthy? But it's all worth it because she is smart as a whip, pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and Dean to confront the most serous what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow's illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?

The description found on Goodreads

Nearing 30 and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, Julie Powell resolved to reclaim her life by cooking, in the span of a single year, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respect for calves' livers and aspic, but a new life--lived with gusto.

From the back cover of If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

Miah and Ellie are in love. From their first glance to their first words to each other to their first kiss, they could tell you exactly how it happened---in their hearts and in their souls. Theirs is a rare and special first love. But the people around them don't see their love. They can only see black and white: Miah is black, Ellie is white, and Jewish; and their love, no matter how real, is too strange and scary for the world they live in.
What did you find???

Review: A Great and Terrible Beauty

Title: A Great and Terrible Beauty
Author: Libba Bray
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-385-73231-4/Delacorte Press (part of Random House)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

The first book of the series starts off on Gemma Doyle's 16th birthday in India. But Gemma doesn't want to be India. All her life she has always wished to live in London, England and to attend the schools like any other British teen.

Well, a family tragedy strikes and her wish comes true. Gemma is sent to the Spence Academy to learn impeccable manners and the ways to becoming a good wife. But Gemma isn't like any other girl. She knows her mothers real cause of death and this power to see the future. Oh, and young Gemma has this mysterious "guardian" watching her.

At Spence, Gemma befriends some of the popular girls and a girl on scholarship. Gemma feels comfortable enough with these girls to share her secret. And has enough faith in them that she takes them to this whole other magical place to visit her mother.

Will opening up this magical realm lead to problems for Gemma and her friends???

I was so intrigued by Gemma's power to see the future. I felt miserable for her that she had to witness her own mother's death through these "great" powers. And since, she had no idea where these powers were coming from, I really wanted to see her discover the history of it.

This was based in the Victorian Era and it gave readers a glimpse into the life of a teenage girl back then. School was basically training ground for young ladies to become good wives or in Ann's case a good governess.

I'm having such a hard time with this review because there was just something about this book that I had a hard time with. I can't figure out what it is...I felt like it was missing something. I guess it was because I wanted to know more. Thankfully, this is only the first in the series and hopefully things will get better. Any thoughts on this friends???

My Rating:

Now go and pick up your favorite cup of tea (or whatever you prefer) and HAPPY readings!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Review: Cupcake

Title: Cupcake
Author: Rachel Cohn
ISBN/Publisher: 978-1-4169-1219-4/Simon Pulse (part of Simon & Schuster)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

***WARNING...This may contain spoilers because it is part of a series (and it is kind of hard to discuss this book without referring to the previous novels in the series)***

Yay...Cyd Charisse graduated from high school and is leaving San Francisco. She moves to NYC and shares in apartment with her half-sib, Danny. CC (the name she prefers) can live the life she wants (finally), but she's not quite sure what to do. She knows school isn't her thing because she tried culinary school for one class and bailed on it.

Life away from Nancy and Sid-Dad is going to be great, right? Except, CC breaks a leg and is stuck in her apartment where she eats and eats and spies on her neighbors (on the plus side, she gets some curves that she's wanted). Her NYC family tell her to get off her butt when she's better and to do something with her life.

So, Cyd makes some friends, then loses some friends. She attempts to date (post-Shrimp) and hooks up with a guy. But there's something still missing from her life and she decides to find self-actualization with a great cup of caffeine.

CC finds a few good jobs and starts to discover who she is in the Big Apple. But guess who shows up on her doorstep, when things are just going right??? That's right, her supposed true love, Shrimp.

Can CC's new life involve Shrimp or is she better off without him???

I was so excited to read Cupcake and to see how Cyd's single life will be without surfer dude, Shrimp around. This was a great book to follow the previous two in the series because we do get to see what her semi-independent life is like in NYC. I was totally rooting for her to find her identity (and not the I'm the GF of Shrimp type identity). I will also say, there were times when I was pissed at her, too. CC is great character because she isn't perfect.

She's a girl out of high school and wants to experience life. With that said, there are situations in this book that aren't always easy to talk about. Cohn once again talks about some serious issues. There's pregnancy, irresponsible drinking that leads to sex, and also the morning after pill.

But, overall Cyd Charisse (I mean CC) is a total punk-rock girl with a great heart that most people can relate to. She's a character that I became attached to after reading Gingerbread, but love after finishing this series. CC is an unforgettable character that I hope others will enjoy.

A quote I enjoyed...
New experience, let's get this party started. CC page 69

My Rating:

***Now go and pick up your favorite cup of tea or because it's Rachel Cohn's fave: cappuccino (or whatever you prefer) along with a Rachel Cohn book and HAPPY readings!!!***

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time For Some Awards...

A few more awards from some wonderful bloggers...and now my turn to give some away...

Who Loves You Baby! Award
(ThanksThanks a bunch Jessica(BookLover) at A Booklover's Diary)
This award is designed with one purpose in mind. Pass this on to other bloggers who have awarded you in the past.

And it goes to...
April at Good Books & Good Wine
Jenny at TakeMeAway
Nikola at Nikola's Book Blog
Misty at Book Rat
Faye at Ramblings Of A Teenage Bookworm
Dani at Reading is like must be done

Thanks to everyone for all my awards...its mucho appreciated!!!
HAPPY readings!!!

Review: Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers

Title: Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers
Author: Louise Rennison
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-06-058939-4/HarperTempest
Age Group: Young Adult

***Warning...This may contain spoilers because it part of a series (and it's hard to talk about this book without referring to the previous books in the series)***

The sixth book of the Confessions of the Georgia Nicolson series continues to follow her adventures with her friends, boys, and her crazy family. However, this time around, the Nicolson family take a trip to Hamburger-a-gogo land (aka the USA).

Georgia brings along Jas on the family trip to Memphis (the "clown car" convention is there). Georgia's loony family is all about the cowboys and fun in Tennessee, but Gee wants to find Masimo in Manhattan. According to Georgia's map skills, Masimo is only a few inches away from it'll be easy breezy to get a hold of him.

Will Georgia find her Italian dreamboat???

Rennison does it again. Book number six still had me laughing out loud. (And by the way I guess I really don't care if people look at me while I laugh my butt off in a Starbucks). I really liked how this book took place in America and how we can "see" America through Georgia's eyes. It was extremely hilarious!!!

From the previous books, we know that Georgia's geography/map skills aren't that great. And here is an example...
I leafed through the maps until I got to America and found New York, New York. I said to Jas, "Now, where is Memphis, Memphis?" page 49

On the plus side, Manhattan is only about an eighth of an inch long. page 49
My favorite laugh out loud moment...
In German class, Georgia asks her teacher about characters in their textbook...
Herr Kamyer, did all the Kochs go camping or was it just the little Kochs, and the big Kochs stayed behind? Or was it a mixture of little and big Kochs that came out? page 24

My Rating:

Now go and pick up your favorite cup of tea (or whatever you prefer) and HAPPY readings!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Finds at the Store (09/18/09)

Friday Finds at the Store is a meme hosted by Jennay at My Tea Time is Book Time. It is totally easy and everyone can join. Basically just post the books you found at the bookstore or library. Now others can see the great finds you had and maybe they will pick it up on their next bookstore/library run. HAPPY readings!!!

Here are my finds...

From the back cover of Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Ah, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy---spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Simon Middleton. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify---visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain.

The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Fel
icity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world to which Gemma takes them. To the girls' great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.

But all is not well in the realms---or out. Kartik is back, desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face to face with her late mother's greatest friend, now Gemma's foe---Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. but finding Circe proves a most perilous task...

Rebel Angels teems with Victorian thrills and chills that play out against the backdrop of 1895 London, a
place of shadows and light...where inside great beauty can lie a rebel angel.
From the back cover of The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti

Eighteen-year-old Indigo Skye feels like she has it all---a waitress job she loves, an adorable refrigerator-delivery-guy boyfriend, and a home life that's slightly crazed but rich in love. Until a mysterious man at the restaurant leaver her a 2.5-million-dollar tip, and her life as she knows it is transformed.

At first it's amazing: a hot new car, an enormous flat-screen TV, and presents for everyone she cares about. Indigo laughs off the warnings that money changes people, because she knows it won't happen to her. Until the
day she looks around and realizes everything important is slipping away, and no amount of money can buy it all back...
From the back cover of Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
Fifteen-year-old Colie has never fit in. First, it was because she was fat. Then, after she lost the weight, it was because of a reputation that she didn't deserve. So when she's sent to stay with her eccentric aunt Mira for the summer, Colie doesn't expect too much. After all, why would anyone in Colby, North Carolina, want to bother with her when no one back home does?

But Colby turns out to be a nice surprise for Colie. Almost without trying, she lands herself a job at the Last Chance Bar and Grill. There she meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel---two best friends who teach her what friendship is all about and help her learn to appreciate who she really is.

What did you find???

Review: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Title: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
Authors: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-375-83533-9/Knopf (part of Random House)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist takes place in one night in NYC and begins at a bar where Nick is playing with his queercore band (Nick's the only straight guy in it). Nick sees the girl that dumped him with a new guy and doesn't know what to do. So, he asks the girl next to him to be his girlfriend for a few minutes.

Norah of course agrees and is totally surprised that this boy can kiss. The queercore bandmates witness this and totally get Norah to go on an adventure with Nick. Their first date involves tons of music (Norah loves Nick's mixes), some ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend drama, and a mission to find their favorite band's late night performance.

Will the two of them actually fall for each other or do the ex's get in the way???

I was really excited to read this book because I so wanted to watch the movie and I really wanted to like this book. I guess that was my mistake...I already had some expectations for it.

This book was written by two authors and it was my first time reading a book like this. I really enjoyed the he-said/she-said perspectives. The chapters would alternate between Nick & Norah's viewpoints. I also enjoyed all the pop culture references and the idea of all this fun music was great. I loved that Nick wrote songs and we could read them. I guess my only issue was all the F-bombs and usually I don't care if there are swear words in books, but this seemed a bit overdone.

Nick & Norah was a quick and easy read, but I will only recommend it to those mature YA readers. Also, I wouldn't rush to the store and buy it. If you can borrow it from someone or get it from the library that might be best.

A favorite line...
[...] suddenly Hunter and Dev {a band} launch into a fucking Green Day cover, and we're all seven years old again and dancing like we spit out the Ritalin while Mom wasn't looking. Nick, page 22

My Rating:

***Now go and pick up your favorite cup of tea or because it's Rachel Cohn's fave: cappuccino (or whatever you prefer) along with a Rachel Cohn book and HAPPY readings!!!***

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Review: A Northern Light

Title: A Northern Light (aka A Gathering Light)
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-15-205310-9/Harcourt
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

A Northern Light is set in the Adirondack Mountains of New York with sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey as the main character. After her mother dies and brother leaves, Mattie is left on the farm with her sisters and dad. Now, she is left with the responsibility of helping out her dad on the farm and keeping a promise to her mother.

Mattie takes a job at the Glenmore to help bring some income for her family. This is where she meets Grace Brown and also where Grace gives her a bunch of letters to burn. But before Mattie can burn them, Grace's dead body is found in the lake. It is through the letters that Mattie learns what really happened to Grace.

The thing is, Mattie was never good at the whole farming/mothering thing. Mattie was good in school and especially writing. She wants to leave for college, but can she pull herself away from the responsibilities she has with her family and follow her dreams???

I picked this book up because it was a group read for Wild Things: YA Grown Up at Goodreads and I thank everyone there that voted for this book. A Northern Light is a wonderful coming-of-age story that actually deals with some tough realistic family issues that can somewhat still be related to today's having to deal with a parent's death (particularly breast cancer), taking care of siblings, and racism. Donnelly also wrote about childbirth and how it isn't pretty, but the result can be wonderful.

And probably my favorite, favorite, favorite part of the novel was Mattie's love for learning and words. I found myself loving the story as a whole, but I really looked forward to Mattie's word of the day and her duals with Weaver.

Mattie Gokey is one of my new favorite characters and she is hard to forget. I recommend this book to everyone so go pick it up!!!

Favorite parts of this story...
Recouriumphoration. Re for "again," and cour for "courage" and a bit of triumph tacked on, too, for good measure. Maybe it will get into the dictionary one day, I thought. And if it does, everyone will know its meaning: to have one's hope restored. Mattie, page 159

Words are just words, Royal would say. But words are more powerful than anything. Mattie, page 292

I know it is a bad thing to break a promise, but I think now that it is a worse thing to let a promise break you.

My Rating:

Now go and pick up your favorite cup of tea (or whatever you prefer) and HAPPY readings!!!

Shout Out...More Contests

Irish at Ticket to Anywhere is celebrating her Happy Birthday and Happy UnBirthday to the rest of us. She is giving away $32 in an Amazon Gift Card so go check it out!!!

Ticket to Anywhere is also doing a BBAW Big Giveaway. ARC's included are
  1. One gently used ARC of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (Simon & Schuster Oct 13, 2009)
  2. Signed first Chapter of Cassie Clare's next book tentatively titled Clockwork Angel, (Simon & Schuster, Sept 7, 2010)
  3. Signed first Chapter of Holly Black's next book The White Cat (Simon & Schuster, May 4, 2010)
  4. Signed copy of Pingo by Brandon Mull (Shadow Mountain, Aug 5, 2009)
  5. ARC of Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (Little Brown, Oct 1, 2009)
  6. ARC of Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda (Hyperion Books, Sept 1, 2009)
  7. ARC of Forest Born (Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury, Sept 15, 2009)
  8. Signed copy of The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn (Avon, Jun 25, 2007)
  9. ARC of Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (Little Brown, Aug 1, 2009)
  10. Brava, Strega Nona!: A Heartwarming Pop-Up Book (Sealed) by Tomie dePaola (Putnam Juvenile, Oct 30, 2008)
  11. ARC of Fire by Kristen Cashore (Dial, Oct 5 2009)
  12. ARC of The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow by Tom Kehoe (Little Brown, Nov 1, 2009)

The Book Resort is giving away a copy of Rampant by Diana Peterfreund. Check it out by clicking on the cover!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review: Shrimp

Title: Shrimp
Author: Rachel Cohn
ISBN/Publisher: 978-0-689-86613-5/Simon & Schuster (part of Simon and Schuster)
Age Group/Genre: Young Adult

***WARNING...This may contain spoilers because it is part of a series (and it is kind of hard to discuss this book without referring to the previous novels in the series)***

Cyd Charisse is back in San Francisco for her senior year. This time around she is totally looking forward to her partial attendance of school (Sid-Dad hooked her up with a work experience program) and she's also looking forward to getting back together with Shrimp (her true love).

Things aren't all that simple for CC because she is a teenager. Her little sister tries to doll nap Gingerbread, Sid-Dad learns about the abortion and is totally disappointed, Mom wants Cyd to go to college, and then...her favorite half-brother breaks up with his "true love."

Does true love really exist??? And is Shrimp Cyd's true love???

When I first started this book, I really wanted to know how Cyd Charisse's life would continue. And Shrimp was an awesome follow up to Gingerbread. I really liked how Cyd and Nancy came to a better understanding in their relationship. It wasn't perfect, but no mother/daughter relationship is. Also, this time around it was about Cyd and finding friends and not just boyfriends. She gets to learn that there are other relationships to life besides the physical type.

Again, Cohn deals with teenager topics that aren't usually in the books they read. Topics include lust, sex, oral sex, and the aftermath of abortion. The main character, Cyd Charisse is not your everyday girl in young adult fiction, but one that is unforgettable in her own ways. This is a great read to those who want to know what happens after Gingerbread and I can't wait to read the third and last book of the series.

Favorite quotes...
True loves may come and go in your lives, but your best friends, those are the people who will be with you throughout your lives, the ones who will stay with you. Sugar Pie, page 163

Life is funny, baby, and that's no joke. Sugar Pie, page 174

My Rating

***Now go and pick up your favorite cup of tea or because it's Rachel Cohn's fave: cappuccino (or whatever you prefer) along with a Rachel Cohn book and HAPPY readings!!!***

Monday, September 14, 2009

And the Winner is...

The winner of my first giveaway contest is...Shooting Stars Mag!!! Be sure to keep checking for the next contest...the book still to be determined!!!

Thank you all for participating and HAPPY readings!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Finds At the Store (09/11/09)

Friday Finds at the Store is a meme hosted by Jennay at My Tea Time is Book Time. It is totally easy and everyone can join. Basically just post the books you found at the bookstore or library. Now others can see the great finds you had and maybe they will pick it up on their next bookstore/library run. HAPPY readings!!!

Here are the books I decided to get at the store...
From the back cover of Prom Nights From Hell, by Meg Cabot, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe, Stephenie Meyer, & Lauren Myracle
In this exciting collection, bestselling authors [...] take bad prom nights to a whole new level---a paranormally bad level. Wardrobe malfunctions and two left feet are nothing compared to discovering you're dancing with the Grim Reaper-and he isn't here to tell you how hot you look.

From vampire exterminations to angels fighting demons, these five stories will entertain better than any DJ in a bad tux. No corsage or limo rental necessary. Just good, scary fun.

From the back cover of Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult

For years, Jane Jones has lived in the shadow of her husband, renowned San Diego oceanographer Oliver Jones. But during an escalating argument, Jane turns on him with an alarming volatility. In anger and fear, Jane leaves with their teenage daughter, Rebecca, for a cross-country odyssey charted by letters from her brother Joley, guiding them to his Massachusetts apple farm, where surprising self-discoveries await. Now Oliver, an expert at tracking humpback whales across vast oceans, will search for his wife across a continent---and find a new way to see the world, his family, and himself: through her eyes.
Description of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (found on Goodreads)

When we first meet Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. As she looks down from this strange new place, she tells us, in the fresh and spirited voice of a fourteen-year-old girl, a tale that is both haunting and full of hope. In the weeks following her death, Susie watches life on Earth continuing without her-her school friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her family holding out hope that she'll be found, her killer trying to cover his tracks. As months pass without leads, Susie sees her parents' marriage being contorted by loss, her sister hardening herself in an effort to stay strong, and her little brother trying to grasp the meaning of the word gone. And she explores the place called heaven. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. There are counselors to help newcomers adjust and friends to room with. Everything she ever wanted appears as soon as she thinks of it-except the thing she most wants: to be back with the people she loved on Earth. With compassion, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie sees her loved ones pass through grief and begin to mend. Her father embarks on a risky quest to ensnare her killer. Her sister undertakes a feat of remarkable daring. And the boy Susie cared for moves on, only to find himself at the center of a miraculous event. The Lovely Bones is luminous and astonishing, a novel that builds out of grief the most hopeful of stories. In the hands of a brilliant new writer, this story of the worst thing a family can face is transformed into a suspenseful and even funny novel about love, memory, joy, heaven, and healing.