Saturday, April 30, 2011

Teenage Garage Sale with Heidi Araybe + Giveaway

I'd like to welcome Heidi Ayarbe to bookmarked today! She's here courtesy of the Teen {Book} Scene blog tour for her new release Compulsion. Thank you, Heidi, for being here today! The following is a list of items that would have been found at Heidi's garage sale when she was a teen:
FOR SALE: A PEACH-COLORED PAST (Everything must go … really. The peach HAS to go – this eyesore isn’t for just ANY teen but for one who tends to see the world in the nicest, most positive light – hence the PEACH!) Peach comforter, peach pillows, peach shams, all with matching peach sheets (basket not included).
I AM ALSO SELLING THE WORLD! Posters of Paris, London, China, Japan – travel the world in the safety of your room. If you are anything like I was (and still am), you are not chic. You will never get rid of those cowlicks, but the great thing is, as infinitely un-cool you think you are, the world awaits, and one day you’ll get to see these places, take the pictures with your own camera, wander around ancient cities, cathedrals, soak up the most famous art in the greatest museums … cowlicks and all! I think these posters brought me luck – because I woke up every morning looking at the world, dreaming of other places.
They say you can’t sell and buy Christmas, but you haven’t seen my collection of snow globes, ornaments, figurines … rare and unusual items that only a Christmas fanatic – who dreamed of opening her own year-round Christmas store – would have. So, yes, Christmas is for sale.  Everything from holly-decorated toilet paper to napkins to ever-lasting mistletoe.
I’m also selling my memories – about twenty albums of photos, newspaper clippings, Christmas and birthday cards – all kept in this kind of wacky time-capsule of memory. It has everything from the picture Stephanie Ong drew of Billy Borda – the greatest unrequited love of my teenage years – to the Valentine’s cards I got over the years. There’s even an album with six pages of people I can’t begin to remember. Six pages of memories that, though on film, were not recorded in my memory. Can you imagine a better item than that? And, if you buy these, please tell me, who that girl Moona is! (Yeah. You’d think I’d remember somebody named Moona.)                                                    
It’s hard to part with it, but I’m selling my collection of aluminum cans. Yes, I was that girl who took aluminum cans out of the school garbage for recycling. So, you buy this, you save the world, and perhaps, my friends’ absolute embarrassment about the fact their friend used to dig through garbage cans. In retrospect, it might’ve been clever to do a recycling campaign, demanding the school provide us with recycling bins. Alas, that was twenty years ago. Everything is always clearer from a distance. (Except for that Moona girl. Who is she?)
And to finish off the sale, I’ve got to include tickets and memorabilia from the various – yes VARIOUS, NOT ONE – Oak Ridge Boys concerts I’ve attended over the years. I’ll even throw in their Greatest Hits Album with classics like Elvira, Dream On and more. So, Giddy Up Oom Poppa Omm Poppa Mow Mow . I’ve also got tickets from Reba McEntyre, George Strait, Garth Brooks, and Clint Black – all for you to enjoy my years of country. But nobody  beats the Oak Ridge Boys.
As embarrassingly geeky as I come off, I’m totally okay with this. Luckily, you didn’t ask about my primary school years, as you’d have had to buy a porcelain dog collection, a bicycle chain, a newspaper route vest and softball trophies up the wazoo. Now for the giveaway! Fill out the form below for your chance to win a signed bookplate along with a book Heidi read as a teen. Entrants must be 13 years of age or older and a resident of the United States. Deadline to enter is Saturday, May 7, 11:59PM CST.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Giveaway: Invincible Summer

As a part of the blog tour for Hannah Moskowitz's new novel, Invincible Summer, I posted my review yesterday. Now I'm giving one of you a chance to read it for yourself!

Because I want to make it easy for everyone, following is not required and spreading the word won't gain you any extra entries. However, both are infinitely appreciated so feel free ;)

Win a once-read finished copy of Invincible Summer
Fill out form below to enter
Entrants must be 13 years of age or older
Deadline is May 5, 2011 11:59PM CST
Open to residents of US & CANADA

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz

Invincible Summer
Hannah Moskowitz
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Released: April 19, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Source: FinePrint Literary
Noah’s happier than I’ve seen him in months. So I’d be an awful brother to get in the way of that. It’s not like I have some relationship with Melinda. It was just a kiss. Am I going to ruin Noah’s happiness because of a kiss?

Across four sun-kissed, drama-drenched summers at his family’s beach house, Chase is falling in love, falling in lust, and trying to keep his life from falling apart. But some girls are addictive....

Not your typical beach read.
I am very excited and honored to be a part of the Invincible Summer blog tour today! Hannah Moskowitz's second novel was just released on April 19th, and I am so glad to be reviewing it here at bookmarked.

I was already looking forward to reading this title, so I jumped at the chance to be a part of this tour. I've heard great things about Hannah's debut Break. Invincible Summer has gotten some good buzz, but unfortunately I was left a bit underwhelmed.

I really expected Melinda to be an Alaska Young - troubled, mysterious, seductive - but unfortunately I could not find the appeal. I realize that, first and foremost, this was a story about Chase, as it was told from his point of view. I also realize that this was secondly a story about Chase's family. However, I thought Melinda's character would have been better developed considering the fact that she was such a common theme in Noah and Chase's lives. There wasn't really anything there that made me like her or dislike her; she was just sort of there. I felt like I should have had some sort of emotion when it came to her character, but I didn't feel like she gave much to the story.

The same could be said about many of the other characters including Noah and Chase, who I thought the story was supposed to be about. Maybe it was due to the broken timeline, but I never got invested in the characters' lives. I also had trouble understanding their family dynamic. I get that not all families emulate the Cleavers, but the lack of parenting from seemingly stable, present parents was questionable. I felt like Chase was more of an adult than either of his parents: constantly looking out for Gideon, trying to protect Claudia's innocence, and keeping Noah grounded.

I didn't hate it, really I didn't, I just wanted more from the characters. The story was good, even if it was a little less than believable at times, and the writing was even better. I jotted down several lines I particularly enjoyed, which isn't something I do very often. I'm definitely still looking forward to reading Break, and I'll certainly give anything else Hannah writes a try. I hope you'll check out other reviews and try Invincible Summer for yourself.

Don't forget to visit the other blogs on this tour for other reviews, interviews, and giveaways!

4/06  Total Bookaholic                          
4/07  The Compulsive Reader
4/08  Allure of Books
4/09  Chick Loves Lit
4/10  For What It's Worth
4/11  The Book Muncher
4/12  Readergirls
4/13  Just Your Typical Book Blog
4/15  The Undercover Book Lover
4/16  The Frenetic Reader
4/17  Electrifying Reviews
4/18  Novel Thoughts
4/19  The Story Siren
4/19  Zoe's Book Reviews
4/20  Sarah's Random Musings
4/21  Bookanistas
4/21  Forever Young Adult
4/22  Consumed by Books
4/23  The Book Butterfly
4/26  Candace's Book Blog
4/27  bookmarked
4/28  IB Book Blogging
4/29  Miss Remmers
5/02  Reading Nook
5/03  Read My Mind

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

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...

But I Love Him
Coming May 8, 2011 - Preorder it below

From Goodreads:
Tonight was so much worse than anything before it.
Tonight he didn't stop after the first slap.

At the beginning of senior year Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything and everyone in its path.

This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.

My thoughts:

Since April is Child Abuse Prevention month, I think it's important to think of all the abusive situations and relationships we can find ourselves in. I'm really looking forward to Amanda Grace's (aka Mandy Hubbard's) novel because I can only imagine how many people out there will need to read it. Bringing light to these terrors can literally save lives.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (21)

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...

The Summer of Firsts and Lasts
Coming May 3, 2011 - Preorder it below

From Goodreads:
Three sisters. One life-changing summer.

Calla loves summer because summer means Duncan. They've been best friends for years, but Calla has never worked up the nerve to tell him how she really feels. This summer, the summer before college, is Calla's last chance.

Violet isn't much of a rule breaker in real life. But this isn't real life, this is summer, and Violet is determined to make the most of it. Besides, a little sneaking out never hurt anyone. And sneaking out with James is 100% worth the risk . . . even though James is completely off-limits.

Daisy has never been the sister that boys notice, but when sparks fly with Joel at the first bonfire of summer, it seems so easy and right. So why is being his girlfriend so complicated?

My thoughts:

I love family stories, and I love summer stories. So a story about three sisters over summer break is right up my alley. I'm anxious to find out if it's all told in third person or in alternating first person.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Exposed by Kimberly Marcus

Kimberly Marcus
Publisher: Random House
Released: February 22, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Source: won from Random Buzzers
Sixteen-year-old Liz Grayson is photogirl—sharp, focused and ready to take the world by storm with her camera. But Liz's entire life is called into question when her brother is accused of a crime—and the accuser is Liz's own best friend. As the aftershocks from that accusation rip through Liz's world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship and herself, shifts out of focus. And for the first time in her life, Liz finds herself unable to trust her own point of view. Told in stunning, searingly raw free verse, Exposed is Kimberly Marcus's gut-wrenching, riveting debut and will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson and Virginia Euwer Wolff.
A couple months ago I featured this book in a Waiting on Wednesday post. And then a few weeks ago I featured it again in honor of World Poetry Day. So when I saw ARCs were up for grabs on Random Buzzers, I knew I had to try and get my hands on one. To say I was excited to find it in my mailbox would be a major understatement. I wasted little time diving in, and it was exactly what I'd been looking for.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but when one is painted so vividly with only a few, I believe a writer has truly struck gold. In her young adult debut, Kimberly Marcus has created a compelling story told with sparse prose yet amazing imagery.

Exposed begins with Liz in photography class. She moves about the dark room with ease and precision, much like she moves through life with best friend Kate and boyfriend Brian at her side. But soon things change. Liz and Kate have a fight during one of their sleepovers, and even though Liz immediately feels guilty about the things she said, she leaves Kate on her own for the night. The next morning Kate is gone before Liz has the chance to apologize. She won't return her phone calls, and she begins avoiding her at school. Liz can't figure out what's the big deal, and Kate isn't talking to anyone. Without Kate, Liz is lost. She no longer sees things as she once did, and even hiding behind her camera is no longer working.

I'd like to say more, but I really don't want to give anything away. I felt as frustrated as Liz when Kate wouldn't speak to her, and when Kate finally opened up I think I was just as shocked. The big reveal was a punch to my gut, and I'd hate to take away that feeling from my readers. Liz was an incredibly convincing character. She was reasonably confused, upset, and angry, and she had my empathy from the very start.

Kimberly Marcus is an author to watch - Exposed was beautifully written, and the characters were well-fleshed. I'm anxious to see what else she has in store for us in the future.

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's National Library Week!

There are several exciting things going on this week to celebrate.
Visit to see what's happening near you.

Many people forget all that the library has to offer.
In addition to borrowing books, most libraries offer computer classes, book clubs, arts and crafts, storytime, career workshops, knitting groups, cooking demos - you name it, they've got it.
Be sure to visit your local and/or school library this week and check out what's going on.

While you're there, be sure to thank anyone who helps you.
Tuesday is National Library Workers Day!
Think about it: people work in libraries because they love books and promoting literacy. So be sure to show your appreciation this week and every other day you visit the library.

Back in 2007, readergirlz started Operation Teen Book Drop in celebration of Teen Literature Day. Book lovers all over the world are encouraged to leave books in public places for others to find. Visit their original post for more information about participating in this year's Rock the Drop!

How do you guys plan on celebrating this week?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In My Bag (32)

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.

I finally got around to using my BN giftcards from Christmas, and I was able to get a few titles I've been looking forward to reading along with some favorites that have been missing from my personal shelves.

(poor Josh is cleaning the kitchen while I play with the camera)
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Paper Towns by John Green
It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

This past Thursday, Friday, Saturday was the LSU Friends of the Library sale which is one of the highlights of my year. It's huge - like, it's an actual barn full of books. Heaven! My mom and I were a little bummed that we weren't able to get there until the last day, but just after arriving they announced everything was 1/2 off. So, we made off like bandits and had a lot of fun browsing the shelves.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O. McNees
Crazy Good by Charles Leerhsen
One Day by David Nicholls
Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak
Evermore by Alyson Noël
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Generation Dead by Daniel Waters
Jumping off Swings by Jo Knowles
Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle
The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti
Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

Overall, it was a fantastic week for books!
Thanks Grandma, Aunt Sandi and Britt for the giftcards! As you can see, I put them to good use. It feels good to be filling up my shelves :)
My mom wouldn't let me pay for my loot at the book sale (moms are awesome), but she only paid $19.25 for $212.66 worth of books. Score!

What'd you guys get this week?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Forgotten Friday (5)

Forgotten Friday is something new here at bookmarked! After researching other memes, I discovered there really weren't any that featured the books we've always wanted to read but keep forgetting about. This is an idea I've had floating around for a while because I am notorious for wanting to read old releases and getting side tracked by the new books constantly coming out.

This week's featured book is . . .

They promised Meredith nine years of safety, but only gave her three.

Her father was supposed to be locked up until Meredith turned eighteen. She thought she had time to grow up, get out, and start a new life. But Meredith is only fifteen, and today her father is coming home from prison.

Today her time has run out.
Such a Pretty Girl
Laura Weiss
first published 2007

It's been several weeks since I've posted one of these and because it's National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I thought it'd be a good idea to feature a book on the subject. I first heard about this book a few years ago when several ladies in my online book club were talking about it. I've always been a fan of rough subject matter, but unfortunately I haven't been able to get to this title yet. It's received no less than four stars on goodreads from several people I trust tremendously. I just put it on hold at the library, so hopefully I'll be able to pick it up this weekend. What books have you guys forgotten lately?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (20)

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...

Back When You Were Easier to Love
Coming April 28, 2011 - Preorder it below

From Goodreads:
What's worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you've been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan - the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah - unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan's former-best-friend Noah.

Original and insightful, quirky and crushing, Joy's story is told in surprising and artfully shifting flashbacks between her life then and now. Exquisite craft and wry, relatable humor signal the arrival of Emily Wing Smith as a breakout talent.

My thoughts:

I love the idea of this book because let's face it, when the guy you liked in high school didn't like you back you seriously thought you would die. I don't know why people won't just admit that! Yeah it's embarrassing and seems incredibly stupid now, but at the time it was tragic. I was that girl, and I love reading about those girls now when I can sit back and laugh at what a fool I was.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In My Bag (31)

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:

Bitter Melon by Cara Chow
Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen
(Thanks to Book Divas!)


Exposed by Kimberly Marcus
Love Is the Higher Law by David Levithan
(Thanks to Random Buzzers!)


Nothing by Janne Teller
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi

Friday, April 1, 2011

April is (fill-in-the-blank) month!

Can I just say it feels good to be typing up a post again?

I'm sure many of you know (and the rest of you will soon enough find out) that planning a wedding can be awfully time consuming! Who knew table linens could be so important? Lately, my attention has been centered more around flowers, cakes, and tuxes rather than books so I do apologize for the lack of posts. However, even though I've been laying low, I have been working on a few special projects :)

I have been thinking about April for months. There are several causes being celebrated this month, and because they each mean something to me, I'll be featuring books and information accordingly throughout the next four weeks.

April is School Library Month with April 10-16 being National Library Week. All month long I will feature ways you can get more involved in your school and public libraries, and I will spotlight different library programs across the country.

April is also National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Here are a few scary statistics:
- An estimated 702,000 children were neglected or abused in 2009.
- Children from birth to age four had the highest rate of victimization.
- 78.3% suffered from neglect, 17.8% suffered from physical abuse, 9.5% suffered from sexual abuse, and 7.6% suffered psychological maltreatment.
- An estimated 1770 children died from neglect or abuse. 80.8% of these fatalities were under four.

National Donate Life Month is something that means a lot to me personally. It is largely due to donor blood she received as an infant that my sister is here today. This along with the recent loss of a friend to leukemia has pushed me to promote donation more than ever. From blood, to tissue, to organ, to bone marrow - an ungodly amount of people each year need more than their bodies can provide. That need can be supplied by you.

I'm really excited to promote awareness about these very worthy causes, and I hope you'll join me. Feel free to leave links, share stories, or spout off ideas in the comments. There are several reviews, book features, and even a few discussion posts scheduled to appear in the next few weeks. Again, I'd love to get feedback with all the ways you guys are celebrating April.
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