Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (6)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week's pick is...

Fall For Anything
Coming December 21, 2010 - Preorder it below

From Goodreads:
When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. He seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on… but some questions should be left unanswered.

My thoughts:

I really wanted to feature this novel sooner, but I also wanted to wait for the cover release. Isn't it just so... Courtney? I farking love Courtney Summers. You can read my reviews of her first two novels, Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are, if you need some convincing. She is who I want to be when I grow up. (Nevermind the fact that I am grown up...) She writes the best female protagonists - the ones you wish you could hate if you knew you weren't exactly like them. Even the best of us have a little Parker and Regina in us, and I just bet Eddie will be just as familiar.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Today, I am SPEAKing up.

I have been a reader all my life, but it wasn't until last year that I truly discovered what an important part of my life reading has been. I also realized around the same time that while I enjoy books of nearly every genre, I am most passionate about young adult fiction. Be it contemporary or fantasy, YA speaks to my heart like no other genre can. In fact, it is only in YA that I truly lose myself and carry that story with me forever.

One such story is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, which was actually the first book I read this year and the first review I posted on this blog. To say that Speak has become one of my favorites is an understatement, and I can't think of a single YA book blogger or author who won't list Anderson as a favorite or as an inspiration.

Speak is about a high school girl named Melinda who is raped. Although she calls the cops which ends the party, no one knows why or what happened. Melinda is then treated as a leper; everyone in school knows her as the loser who ruined their night. Throughout the story, Melinda struggles with keeping her secret and having to face her rapist every day. In the end she rises above and finds the courage to SPEAK LOUDLY of her rape.

Now, I have no personal connection to this story. I have not and I know no one who has been raped. However, this does not make Melinda's story irrelevant to me. While sad and disgusting, Melinda's story actually empowered me. Here is this teenage girl without a friend in the world who gets up every day and faces her rapist. And then she finds the courage to speak up and tell the world! If she can do this incredibly scary and brave thing, then I can do anything.

Each September there is a week dedicated to the freedom to read. This week is called Banned Books Week, and it was created in response to a huge increase in the number of books being challenged in schools, bookstores, and libraries. During this week every year, people all across the nation fight against those who challenge books. This of course spawns more challenges, which is always very disheartening to me. If you are uncomfortable with violence, profanity, or sex in a book, then don't read it. That is your choice. I do not believe, however, that it is your choice to make for others.

While I am always disappointed when books are challenged, I have never been more personally offended than I was today when a man compared Speak to soft porn. To call this man ignorant is an understatement and too nice of a description in my opinion. I wish I had some earth-shatteringly poignant thing to say to this man, but I'm afraid anything I could come up with would be lost on someone who obviously has no understanding of the written word.

Instead, I am joining my fellow book lovers by SPEAKing LOUDLY. I am so proud to be a part of such an embracing community that is so quick to stand up and fight against the challenging and banning of our beloved books. I ask you to do the same. Blog, tweet, spread the word online, but also SPEAK LOUDLY in schools, libraries, and bookstores. Spread the word wherever you can whenever you can, not just today but any day someone tries to take away our freedom to read.

In My Bag (20)

In My Bag is my version of the weekly meme, In My Mailbox. IMM was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren, and it explores the contents of my mailbox or shopping bag on a weekly basis.

For review:
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
*copy provided by We Love YA Tours*

I only received one book this week, but what a book. I've already finished it, and I have to tell you - I LOVED it. I can't wait to finish mulling it over so I can type up a review.

What'd you guys get this week?

Friday, September 17, 2010

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy (Little Brown)
Released: September 7, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Source: We Love YA Tours

*Debut Author Challenge
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Haven't we all felt like the Duff? Bianca is what most of us are - short, a little too curvy, with hair that isn't blond and can only be tamed when extreme measures are taken. She is me; she is you; she represents how every girl feels at least once in her life. Add to that the fact that she's hilarious, and you've got yourself a pretty darn lovable main character. You know that scene in You've Got Mail where Meg Ryan is telling Tom Hanks she wishes she could be the type of person who thinks of the perfect thing to say at the exact moment she means to say it? Bianca is that type of person. And I freaking love her for it. With lines like, "Those girls must have IQs low enough to trip over," Bianca's feistyness keeps Wesley - and the reader - hooked and wanting more.

If you're still not convinced of this book's worthiness, let me tell you a little bit about Wesley Rush. Wesley is a Paul Newman of a guy. (Google that name kids and discover true hotness.) I swear he makes the pages of this book steam. He is sexy and dirty, but at the end of the day he really cares about Bianca. I devoured this book in one sitting and I definitely loved many aspects of this debut novel, but Wesley definitely gave The Duff a drool factor.

And if you're participating in the Debut Author Challenge, you should totally add this one to your list. Author Kody Keplinger, who by the way was only 17! when she wrote this novel, has earned her place on my radar.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

The week's pick is...

The Iron Witch
Coming February 1, 2011 - Preorder it below

From Goodreads:
Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic - the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

Then the darkest outcasts of Faerie - the vicious wood elves - abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend - even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

My thoughts:

Karen Mahoney has contributed to both The Eternal Kiss and Kiss Me Deadly which include short stories by several authors including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maggie Stiefvater, Becca Fitzpatrick, Carrie Ryan, and Michelle Zink, just to name a few. To be included in such great company definitely puts her on my radar. Lusting over the cover is an added bonus.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blogfest was a huge success!

I am so happy to have been a part of Blogfest this year. I was introduced to a ton of new blogs, and my readership has more than tripled. It exceeded any of my expectations by far. I'd like to thank all of my old followers and welcome my new ones - I really hope you all enjoy this blog. I sure enjoy doing it.

Now... to get on with what I'm sure you've all been waiting for... the WINNERS! Thank you to everyone who entered the contests - I was blown away by the number of entrants. All winners were chosen by

The winner of Looking for Alaska by John Green is...

#152 Becky B.

The winner of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is...

#51 Doreen R.

The winner of the 2010 Debut novel of his/her choice is...

AND... because I was so thrilled by gaining so many new followers, I decided to choose a second winner of a 2010 Debut novel! The second winner is...

#42 Saba M.

Congratulations to all the winners! Becky and Doreen, your books will be mailed to you this week. Novels on the Run and Saba, I will be emailing you for your book choices. Thanks to everyone who entered and participated in Blogfest!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In My Bag (19)

In My Bag is my version of the weekly meme, In My Mailbox. IMM was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren, and it explores the contents of my mailbox or shopping bag on a weekly basis.

For review:
Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
*copy provided by 1 ARC Tours*

Forget You by Jennifer Echols
Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
*copies provided by We Love YA Tours*

What'd you guys get this week?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Blogfest Giveaway #3

In case you haven't heard of it, there's this little blog out there called The Story Siren. This blog is run by Kristi and features the best the YA world has to offer. In addition to reviewing the latest books, interviewing the most popular authors, and hosting a meme you may have heard of  (In My Mailbox ring any bells?), Kristi is also dedicated to promoting debut authors and their novels. For the past two years, she has done an ah-mazing job hosting the Debut Author Challenge, which I have been honored to participate in this year.

I am often blown away by debut novels in the Young Adult world, and The Story Siren plays a leading role in getting these novels noticed. I think it's safe to say that most book bloggers value Kristi's opinion and look to her for advice, guidance, and what to add to their library lists. I'd like to take this opportunity to shout out a huge THANK YOU! to Kristi for being such a eminent part of the YA book blogging community.

So what does all of this have to do with you? Well I promised three giveaways, and I am here to deliver. In honor of the 2010 Debut Author Challenge, one lucky INTERNATIONAL winner (I told you I keep my promises) will win a 2010 debut of their choosing. If said winner choses a book that has not yet been released, it will be preordered and delivered on or near the publication date. You can visit the Tenners website or Goodreads page for a list of titles.

As with the previous giveaways, to enter you must fill out the form completely by EXPIRED. Following is not required, and while I definitely appreciate you spreading the word, linking the contest will not gain you extra entries. And remember, this contest is open internationally.

To enter, fill out the form EXPIRED.

Blogfest Giveaway #2

I recently featured the upcoming Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan in a Waiting on Wednesday post. I gushed then about my love for both Cohn and Levithan individually as well as together, and Dash and Lily is one of the books I've most looked forward to releasing this year.

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan are by far my favorite writing duo in YA. Some things just go together, and Rachel and David are my peanut butter and jelly. Their characters are just so darn likeable, and c'mon, who else can make driving a Yugo cool?!

If you haven't had a chance to read Cohn and Levithan's previous collaborations, you totally should. And look who's giving you a chance! Yep, I have paperback copies of both Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List to giveaway to one of you. To enter just fill out the form by EXPIRED. Following is not required, and while I definitely appreciate you spreading the word, linking the the contest elsewhere will not gain you extra entries. Contest open to US and Canada only.


(Are you international? Don't worry. There's one more contest coming up that's open to everyone.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blogfest Giveaway #1

If this is your first time visiting my blog, then you must know about my relationship with John Green. I like to think of myself as a conservative, level-headed woman, but when it comes to John Green, I will go all fan-girly like a tween at a Justin Bieber concert.

My relationship with John began just this past February when I read Looking for Alaska. I would normally plug my own review instead of the Goodreads page, but I'm afraid my attempt just doesn't do it justice. To say that I think about and quote this book ALL.THE.TIME. is no exaggeration. I swear I love it more than my A/C. And I live in southern Louisiana, so that's a lot.

In honor of John and his exquisite novel, Looking for Alaska, I have a paperback copy up for grabs. All you have to do is fill out the form by EXPIRED. Following is not required, and while I definitely appreciate you spreading the word, linking the contest elsewhere will not gain you extra entries. Good luck!

Fill out form EXPIRED.

***EDIT: Contest is open to US and Canada only. International readers keep posted. There will be one contest open worldwide coming up!

Blogfest is here

... and I am back from hiatus to celebrate.

You can visit the website here for all of the details, but it's basically an excuse for bloggers to mingle and giveaway cool stuff. In honor of Blogfest I'll have three giveaways running throughout the weekend, so be sure to keep your eyes open for those posts.

I would also like to take a moment to feature one of the other participating bloggers:

I must admit that I am new to this blog, but I'm definitely impressed by what I've read so far. I'm actually envious of this content-rich blog run by... a guy! Yep, a guy - there just aren't enough of those out there in the blogoverse. So drop by, say hi, and enjoy Blogfest!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week's pick is...

So Shelly
Coming February 8, 2011 - Preorder it below

From Goodreads:
Until now, high school junior, John Keats, has only tiptoed near the edges of the vortex that is schoolmate and literary prodigy, Gordon Byron. That is, until their mutual friend, Shelly, drowns in a sailing accident.

After stealing Shelly's ashes from her wake at Trinity Catholic High School, the boys set a course for the small Lake Erie island where Shelly's body had washed ashore and to where she wished to be returned. It would be one last "so Shelly" romantic quest. At least that's what they think. As they navigate around the obstacles and resist temptations during their odyssey, Keats and Gordon glue together the shattered pieces of Shelly's and their own pasts while attempting to make sense of her tragic and premature end.

My thoughts:

1. It's a 2011 debut.
2. It sounds (and the cover looks) like it's going to be mysterious and creepy, in a good way.
3. I have no idea if it's written in first or third person, but it's a guy's POV and there just aren't enough of those in my opinion.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It features upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week's pick is...

Other Words for Love
Coming January 11, 2011 - Preorder it below

From Goodreads:
Ari Mitchell feels invisible at her Brooklyn high school. Her hair is too flat, her style too preppy, and her personality too quiet. And outside school, Ari feels outshined by her beautiful, confident best friend, Summer. Their friendship is as complex and confusing as Ari’s relationship with her troubled older sister, Evelyn, a former teenage mom whose handsome firefighter husband fills Ari’s head with guilty fantasies.

When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York—and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn't think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari’s family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future. Meanwhile, Summer warns her that what she feels for Blake is just an infatuation. Not real love. But Ari’s world is awash with new colors, filled with a freshness and an excitement she hasn’t felt in years.

When misfortune befalls Blake’s family, he pulls away, and Ari's world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?

My thoughts:

I love Twitter. If not for it, I may not have heard about Other Words for Love quite so soon. Lorraine thought I was worthy of following a few months ago which led me to discovering her upcoming debut novel. You should know that I have huge support for debut authors, and this paired with an interesting blurb is really all I needed to add it to my list.
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