7.31.2009

Feed Your Ears XI: Sea of Love


To read about the origins of Feed Your Ears, check out my first post.


This week I'm featuring a cute Simon Pulse romantic comedy, Sea of Love by Jamie Ponti.


  1. 1. Sea of Love - Cat Power

  2. 2. Wouldn't it be Nice - Beach Boys

  3. 3. The Beauty in Ugly - Jason Mraz

  4. 4. My Funny Valentine - Miles Davis

  5. 5. Sea of Love - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

7.30.2009

Review Policy

I figured that while I’ve been sprucing up my blog – got a lovely new layout from Laina, started archiving, and so on – I should probably write up my policy for reviews. Let me know if there’s anything I didn’t cover.

How to contact me:

Email: Kristin at dazdnconfusd@comcast.net

What I’ll review:

Age and genres: I will review nearly any young adult books. I particularly enjoy fantasy and historical fiction, as well as anything with some romance and/or a mystery. I generally (there of course have been exceptions) do not enjoy non-fiction and memoirs. I also read and review some adult books that are “crossovers” and would interest young adults (for example, Maria Snyder’s Storm Glass). You can see all of the titles I have reviewed previously and have highlighted through the Waiting on Wednesday meme to get a better sense of my interests over here.
Format: I much prefer hard copies of books. Still, I will accept e-books and pdf files if acquiring a physical copy is not possible.
Self-published: I will occasionally accept self-published books. Contact me for more information.

What to expect if you send me a book:

Timeline: I will try to read and review all books I receive within six weeks. If the book is not yet released, then I will wait in order to try to post the review a week or so before the release date (unless requested otherwise).
Guarantee: If I receive a book, I guarantee I will review it at some point. As mentioned above, I hope to read and review all books within six weeks. The only two exceptions I can imagine are: 1) if I am sent a large bundle of books at one time. In this case, I will at least read and review some of these right away, but depending on how many books I have at the time, I may not be able to get to every single one within six weeks. 2) if something bad happens to me (super sick, start failing school, etc). I’m hoping this won’t EVER be the case, but I figured I should mention it just in case.

My reviews:

Format: Generally my reviews are two to three paragraphs in length. The first paragraph will include my own summary of the book, and then one to two paragraphs of my opinion. I also give every book I read a rating from 1 to 10.
Opinion: First of all, I use “I” in my reviews. I think it’s important to emphasize that in any review, what’s being said are my personal thoughts and therefore not everyone is going to agree. Which brings me to my second point. I am completely honest when I write reviews. This means that if I did not enjoy a book, I will say so in my review. I try to be completely fair in these reviews, and am never cruel. I should mention, though, that it’s rare that I dislike a book.
Other locations: I also post all of my book reviews on GoodReads. If requested, I will also post on Amazon.com, BN.com, and/or other book review sites.

Other stuff you might want to know:

Traffic and other stats: Feed Your Imagination was started in mid-March 2009, and a Sitemeter tracker installed at the beginning of July 2009. As of the end of August, I have 103 followers, and for the months of July and August I received over 1,200 visits and 2,400 page views. To see the traffic on my blog at any given moment, scroll to the bottom of the blog and click on the Sitemeter rectangle (it will link you to a page full of stats).
What happens to books I receive: The books I receive often end up on my bookshelf and stay there, or I will pass them on to a friend. I never sell the books I receive, though I may pass them on to other readers through a contest or donation to my public library.
Authors: I think you are all so fascinating! I would love to do an interview or have you do a guest blog here. Just send me an email; I’d be honored to have you. :)
Giveaways/contests: I love them! If you’re interested in having me host a giveaway or contest, email me. I’ll try to come up with something creative.
Bloggers: I like meeting new people so don’t hesitate to drop me an e-mail about anything, really. I’m also up for link exchanges if you’re interested.

I think that’s everything! Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if there’s something else I should add.

A Shakespearean Summer: The Taming of the Shrew

I'm participating in A Shakespearean Summer, a challenge hosted by Liv of Liv's Book Reviews. For this challenge, you read three of Shakespeare's plays and post about them. I love Shakespeare and I'm thrilled to be participating. So for my first play, I reread The Taming of the Shrew.

Summary: The Taming of the Shrew is framed by the story of a Lord who tricks the drunken Sly into believing he is a nobleman. The Lord proceeds to have a play enacted out for Sly, and it is this play that most people recognize. The Taming of the Shrew centers around four individuals: Katherina Minola, her younger sister Bianca, Petruchio Guicciardini and Lucentio della Rovere. Bianca, with her many suitors, is frustrated as she is not permitted to marry until her elder sister does. However, with Katherina’s insolence and temper, this shrew frightens off any man who dares to get to close. In the meanwhile, Lucentio and Petruchio arrive in Padua. In order to compete with Bianca’s other suitors, Lucentio disguises himself as her tutor in order to get close to her. At the same time, Petruchio, aware of Katherina’s wealth and reputation, sets forth to marry her, return her to his home, and ultimately, tame this shrew.

My thoughts: There's something weird about reviewing a Shakepeare play (maybe it's all those analytical English lit courses), so instead I'll just say what I think about this play. This is one of my favorite Shakespeare comedies, mainly for the witty banter. Plus, in my personal opinion, Grumio (Petruchio’s servant) is one of the funniest characters in any of Shakespeare’s plays. The ending, of course, is controversial. I don’t want to give away too much, but I think it’s pretty well-known (or at least predictable) that Katherina is tamed by the end of the play. I don’t read The Taming of the Shrew as a completely anti-feminist work (trust me, if I thought that was how this play should be interpreted, I wouldn’t like it). Instead, I think the taming and Katherina’s speech can’t be taken at face value, but rather read in a Shakespeare’s-bringing-an-issue-to-the-table and Katherina’s-speech-is-tongue-in-cheek sort of way. But that’s just my take, of course. Anyway, as far as Shakespeare goes, I found this play easier to understand, and all of the plotting and messing around with identity is very entertaining.

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After taking a course all about Shakespeare in the modern day, I’ve become absolutely intrigued by adaptations of Shakespeare’s works and references to Shakespeare in pop culture. So, for these Shakespearean Summer posts, I’ve decided to include other ways to find The Taming of the Shrew. Here are my faves:
  • Kiss Me Kate – This Cole Porter musical has an interior play that’s a musical version of Taming of the Shrew. Great music and lots of witty banter. You can see it on stage and there’s also an OK video version.

  • 10 Things I Hate About You – Teen romantic comedy featuring Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles set in high school. Full of other Shakespeare references (including his sonnets, Macbeth, and more). I love it because it’s part of a golden age of teen movies (gotta love the 90’s). The new TV series, though, you should avoid.

  • Deliver Us From Eva – A modern, urban adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew with LL Cool J and Gabrielle Union. It’s pretty awful, but I’ll admit that sometimes I love those movies that are so bad they’re almost good (well, at least good in the entertaining because you can poke fun sense).

7.29.2009

Lipstick Apology

Here's another book trailer for y'all. Of the two trailers for this book that are out there, this is my fave. This one is for Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley, due out August 6th (so soon!). First, here's the video description, which is basically just the book synopisis:

Four little words written in lipstick mean Emily must say goodbye to everything she knows. Emily Carson has always been a good girl. So when she throws a party the night her parents leave for vacation, she's sure she'll get busted. What Emily doesn't know is that her parents will never return. That their plane will go down. And the only thing left amidst the wreckage will be a tray table with the words: Emily please forgive me scrawled in lipstick - her mother's last words. Now it's fall in New York City and Emily's trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Her public tragedy captures the attention of more than just the media - and soon two very different boys at her new school are pursuing her: the cute, popular Owen, and the quirky chemistry partner slash pastry-baker-by-night, Anthony. But even with such delicious distractions, Emily can't let go of her mother's mysterious apology. Does she have the courage to face the truth? With help of a whole new kind of family - one that includes a make-up artist to the stars, a teen hand model, and a wacky hairdresser - Emily must choose between the boy who makes her forget it all, and the one who encourages her to remember, and ultimately, heal. Sometimes goodbye is just the beginning.

Enjoy!


Waiting on Wednesday: July 29

Title: Sea Glass

Author: Maria Snyder

Series: Glass series, book #2

US Release date: September 1, 2009

Summary (from Maria Snyder's website): Like the colorful pieces of sea glass washed up on shore, Opal has weathered rough waters and twisting currents. But instead of finding a tranquil eddy, Opal is caught in a riptide. Her unique glass messengers which allow instant communication over vast distances have become a vital part of Sitian society. Once used solely by the Councilors and magicians, other powerful factions are now vying for control. Control of the messengers equals control of Sitia. Unfortunately that also means control of Opal. If that isn’t enough of a problem, Opal’s determination to prove blood magic is still being used is met with strong resistance. The Council doubts her, her mentor doubts her, and even her family is concerned. When her world is turned upside down, she begins to doubt herself. In the end, Opal must decide who to believe, who to trust, and who has control—otherwise she will shatter into a million pieces and be swept out by the tide.

Why I'm interested: Simple: I read Maria Snyder's Study trilogy and loved them all. Then I read Storm Glass and loved it even more (and I didn't think that was possible). And then finally I read the chapter 3 excerpt from Sea Glass and now I don't want to wait a moment longer.


So what are you waiting on today?

7.28.2009

Teaser Tuesday: Week 7

Teaser Tuesdays is sponsored by MizB of Should Be Reading. Teaser Tuesdays go like this:

  • 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 week, my teaser is...

"There was, of course, nothing to beware of on Selkie Island. But I couldn't shake the sense that there would be plenty to discover."

--page 12, Sea Change by Aimee Friedman


What's your teaser this Tuesday?

7.27.2009

Flashback of the Month IV: Legacy

For a short explanation and the first Flashback of the Month post, go here.

So this month I decided to go with a book that's sort of a flashback and flash-forward hybrid. The book I'm talking about is Cayla Kluver's Legacy - the self published paperback edition is out of print, but AmazonEncore will be releasing a hardcover edition this August. On to my review...

Set primarily in the world of Hytanica, Legacy by Cayla Kluver is a fantasy flushed with detail and full of romance. After years of war between the kingdoms of Cokyri and Hytanica, the Cokyrians draw away and cease fighting. Or so everyone thought. Instead, a total of forty-nine infant boys are abducted and returned dead by the Hytanica city gates as a final warning from the Cokyrians. Despite the following peace, one mystery remained – only forty-eight bodies were returned. Sixteen years after this ceasefire, while the dutiful Princess Alera of Hytanica is occupied balancing suitors (namely the man her father has in mind, Lord Steldor), a teenage Cokyrian is found within the walls of Hytanica. As Alera develops a kinship with this boy, Narian, she realizes that being a princess doesn’t just mean being a good, submissive wife. At the same time, Narian discovers the truth about his past and his nature and is forced to fight against everything he is accustomed to.

At the time Legacy was written, Cayla Kluver was only fourteen. I don’t care what anyone says, writing a nearly 500 page novel as a young teen is an incredibly impressive feat, so I respect Legacy just for that. As the first book in a trilogy, Legacy does a fantastic job capturing the reader’s attention and developing the kingdom of Hytanica without resolving. Cayla Kluver’s writing is full of elaborate descriptions that at times are a bit overdone, but generally help the reader create vivid images in his or her head. Legacy presents stereotypes and then creates characters that challenge them, a message that should certainly resonate with teens today. Despite its length, this book is fast-paced and difficult to put down once you’ve gotten into it. Legacy is full of action, well-developed kingdoms, mystery, and romance - everything I could hope for in a fantasy. Cayla Kluver’s Legacy leaves enough loose ends that I cannot wait until its sequel, Allegiance, is released. 8 out of 10.

P.S. Check out the FAQ with Cayla Kluver on her website.
P.P.S. If you’re in a gaming sort of mood, head over to Legacy’s page on Amazon, then scroll down to play the Legacy game.

7.26.2009

In My Mailbox: Week 7

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi from The Story Siren. Here's what I found in my mailbox, at the bookstore, and at the library this week. Summaries are taken from Amazon, B&N, and GoodReads.

Blue Moon by Alyson Noel - Eager to learn everything she can about her new abilities as an Immortal, Ever turns to her beloved Damen to show her the way. But just as her powers are increasing, Damen’s are waning. In an attempt to save him, Ever travels to the magical dimension of Summerland, where she learns the secrets of Damen’s tortured past; a past which he has always kept hidden from her. But in her quest to cure Damen, Ever discovers an ancient text that details the workings of time. Now Ever must choose between turning back the past and saving her family from the accident that claimed their lives—or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows sicker every day...

Bad Apple by Laura Ruby (ARC) - from a book trade with Alyssa from The Shady Glade - Junior Tola Riley doesn’t care what people say about her. She knows her ever-changing hair color and goth clothes make her an easy target. Whatever. But the latest rumor is different.... The entire school believes she had an affair with her art teacher. The rumors may be a lie, but the fallout is all too real. Will Tola finally stand up for the truth? With a heroine you'll root for and a truly relevant story, Laura Ruby has once again brought the authentic teen experience to life for readers who relish dark humor and razor-sharp wit.

Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman - He smiles. "Hello." It's a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes. I know I should leave, but I don't want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I'm all eye, all ear, all skin. Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more—something dangerous and exciting—something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself. In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who—and what—she really is.

Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison - Leesie Hunt has many rules: No kissing. No sex. No dating outside the Mormon faith. When Michael Walden—a deep-sea diver who lost his parents in a violent hurricane—arrives in town, Leesie sees someone who needs her. They fall for one another, even though his dreams are tied to the depths of the ocean and hers to salvation above. Will their intense chemistry be too strong to resist? Leesie and Michael must make the hardest choice of their lives: whether to follow their beliefs or their hearts. Readers will be swept away by this tale of forbidden romance told in online chats, Leesie's chapbook poems, and Michael's dive log. It's as steamy as Twilight and just as clean.


That's it for me this week. What books did you find?

7.24.2009

Feed Your Ears X: Front and Center

To read about the origins of Feed Your Ears, check out my first post.
This week I'm doing something a little different. After spending a bunch of time on Catherine Murdock's website, I found Beaner's playlist. Though he's in the first two DJ novels, he's much more important in Front and Center. So anyway, for today's Feed Your Ears post, I recommend heading over to Catherine Murdock's site for Beaner's playlist from Front and Center, including hits such as Elvis Presley's A Little Less Conversation and Aretha Franklin's Respect. You can even download it on iTunes. Enjoy!

Candor trailer

Check out the awesome trailer for Pam Bachorz's Candor. Well, first read this summary of Candor, then check out the trailer below.

Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, he's found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He's got them all fooled: Oscar's the top student and the best-behaved teen in town. Nobody knows he's made his own Messages to deprogram his brain. Oscar has even found a way to get rich. For a hefty price, he helps new kids escape Candor, Florida before they're transformed into cookie-cutter teens. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor, and Oscar's carefully-controlled world crumbles.

Wings

Aprilynne Pike’s Wings lifts readers up and sweeps them into a world with a faerie realm at their fingertips. When Laurel and her family move to a new town, she has a hard time fitting in her new high school, what with her unusual eating habits and attachment to the outdoors despite the cold. Once a zit on her back blossoms into lovely petals, Laurel becomes determined to figure out what makes her different. With the help of her only friend (and perhaps more…), David, and the dangerous Tamani she meets in the woods by her old home, Laurel begins to learn the truth about herself and figure out what’s worth fighting for.

In this first installment of a tetralogy, Aprilynne Pike creates a world of faeries and wonder that readers can escape to. This new take on faeries and their origins is absolutely refreshing. Aprilynne Pike’s writing is marvelously fluid and filled with remarkable imagery that will draw the reader in to Laurel’s story. While the romance between Laurel and David is not as developed as I would have liked it to be, the love triangle that develops once Tamani is introduced adds interest to this story. Readers are likely to pick one to root for throughout the course of the novel and those to come (I’ll admit that personally I’m going for Tam). I would say that Wings is geared towards a younger teen audience, so I probably would have appreciated it more a few years ago. Nonetheless, Wings is an impressively charming quick read. 9 out of 10.

P.S. I assume everyone’s already heard about the possibility of a movie by Disney, so instead check out deleted scenes from Wings at Aprilynne Pike’s website.

7.22.2009

Waiting on Wednesday: July 22

Title: A Pearl Among Princes

Author: Coleen Paratore

US Release date: September 17, 2009

Summary (from Amazon.com): Gracepearl Coal is the cook’s daughter on Miramore, the island all princes visit for their summer program in the Charming Arts. Each year, the princes-in-training arrive on gallant seacraft, guided by captains trained to navigate the island’s treacherous waters. Passage on one of these boats is the only method to leave the island—thus betrothal to a royal is the only way for Pearl to find her far-off destiny, the one that’s started haunting her dreams. Luckily, this year’s crop of princes include some promising prospects, but how will Pearl leave behind her ailing father or—hardest of all—marry a boy other than her long-time beloved, Mackree . . . who now finds it too painful to even speak to her?

Why I'm interested: First the cover caught my eye. Then, as someone who loves fantasy and romance, I got completely hooked by the summary. And I mean, a summer program in the CHARMING ARTS? What an awesome, clever idea. I'm not sure whether this is going to be a stand alone title or the first in the series, but it sounds like it could be the latter and I think I'd love to read more stories about Miramore.


This Wednesday what are you waiting on?

7.21.2009

Teaser Tuesday: Week 6

Teaser Tuesdays is sponsored by MizB of Should Be Reading. Teaser Tuesdays go like this:

  • 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 week, my teaser is...

"Celia had never liked the idea of Lara to begin with - she wanted to be the most important woman in Bree's life, and it was clear that Lara had won that title. April always marveled at how competitive some Smith women could be, over friendships, and boyfriends, and grades, and weight, and pretty much everything else."

--page 99, Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

What have you got for a teaser this week?

7.19.2009

Give Up The Ghost Quiz

Megan Crewe has put together a cool quiz to figure out what character you are from her novel, Give Up The Ghost.

Here are my results:

You're most like Paige!

Paige McKenna loved nothing more than to be out on the town or down by the lake, having fun with her friends and boyfriend. Mostly she just wanted to be happy, and for everyone around her to be happy--just without making too many waves. Even when she found her younger sister incredibly annoying, she'd have defended her to the death from anyone who said one unkind word about her."

Follow below to take the quiz yourself:











Contest winners!

First, thank you to everyone who entered these contests and thank you to Lauren at Shooting Stars Mag for hosting the YA Book Carnival. I'm sure everyone could agree it was a great idea that will hopefully become an annual thing. Anyway, now for the moment you've all been waiting for...

The winner of Secret Society is...

Steph Su

The winner of two YA books is...

Bianca

who selected The One and Cruel Summer.

Congrats Steph and Bianca! I'll be emailing you soon so that I can get your addresses and send out the books.

7.18.2009

In My Mailbox: Week 6

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi from The Story Siren. Here's what I found in my mailbox, at the bookstore, and at the library this week. Summaries are taken from Amazon and B&N.



The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell - Won in a giveaway by Bridget3420 (thanks!). Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress, Ambien addict). Later, she lucks into the perfect job--interviewing celebrities for a top women's magazine. Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. But while researching an article on her dad's life, she makes an astonishing discovery: he's not the man he says he is--not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them--herself?

Sea of Love by Jamie Ponti - As if it's not bad enough that Darby had to leave NYC and her BF to move to Florida, where her family's started running a hotel, now she has to help with the hotel's annual Valentine's Day Cupid's Ball. Things start looking up when local beach hottie Zach takes Darby surfing and shows her around. Beach life actually starts to grow on this fish out of water. Then -- surprise! A week before the ball, Darby's NYC ex decides to pay her a visit. Darby's knee-deep in guilt because she realizes she's fallen for Zach! This Valentine's Day, is Darby ready to dive into a new relationship with the guy who's captured her heart?

Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson - After discovering that someone saw what looked like Dan’s emergency EpiPen in A-lister Plum’s designer handbag, Scarlett and her tough American sidekick, Taylor, sneak into a posh London nightclub, where Plum has a private table. Scarlett is stunned to discover a piece of evidence that might implicate another girl in Plum’s exclusive circle, Lucy Raleigh. Which means Scarlett must cast a wider net in order to catch the right suspect.Back at school, groundskeeper Jase is hoping to take Scarlett’s mind off her troubles with some heart-stopping kisses. Scarlett can’t help but feel guilty for indulging in romantic rendezvous when she should be hunting down Dan’s killer. However, once Scarlett finds out how Lucy is connected to Dan, she knows she must drop everything and travel to the McAndrew estate in Scotland to hunt for more clues. But when she arrives, Scarlett becomes the target of a dangerous hunt herself.



The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe - Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she can't refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key secreted within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest to find out who this woman was, and to unearth a rare colonial artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge of herbs and other, stranger things. As the pieces of Deliverance's harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem's dark past then she could have ever imagined.

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan - Assigned to the same dorm their first year at Smith College, Celia, Bree, Sally, and April couldn’t have less in common. Celia, a lapsed Catholic, arrives with her grandmother’s rosary beads in hand and a bottle of vodka in her suitcase; beautiful Bree pines for the fiancé she left behind in Savannah; Sally, pristinely dressed in Lilly Pulitzer, is reeling from the loss of her mother; and April, a radical, redheaded feminist wearing a “Riot: Don’t Diet” T-shirt, wants a room transfer immediately. Together they experience the ecstatic highs and painful lows of early adulthood: Celia’s trust in men is demolished in one terrible evening, Bree falls in love with someone she could never bring home to her traditional family, Sally seeks solace in her English professor, and April realizes that, for the first time in her life, she has friends she can actually confide in. When they reunite for Sally’s wedding four years after graduation, their friendships have changed, but they remain fiercely devoted to one another. Schooled in the ideals of feminism, they have to figure out how it applies to their real lives in matters of love, work, family, and sex. For Celia, Bree, and Sally, this means grappling with one-night stands, maiden names, and parental disapproval—along with occasional loneliness and heartbreak. But for April, whose activism has become her life’s work,it means something far more dangerous.

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale - What if you were to meet the number-one person on your laminated list—you know, that list you joke about with your significant other about which five celebrities you’d be allowed to run off with if ever given the chance? And of course since it’ll never happen it doesn’t matter… Mormon housewife Becky Jack is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets celebrity hearththrob Felix Callahan. Twelve hours, one elevator ride, and one alcohol-free dinner later, something has happened…though nothing has happened. It isn’t sexual. It isn’t even quite love. But a month later Felix shows up in Salt Lake City to visit and before they know what’s hit them, Felix and Becky are best friends. Really. Becky’s husband is pretty cool about it. H er children roll their eyes. Her neighbors gossip endlessly. But Felix and Becky have something special…something unusual, something completely impossible to sustain. Or is it? A magical story, The Actor and the Housewife explores what could happen when your not-so-secret celebrity crush walks right into real life and changes everything.


That's all for me this past week. What did you find in your mailbox?

Evermore

In this opening volume of The Immortals series, Evermore, Alyson Noel brings the paranormal into the life of an otherwise normal teenager girl, Ever Bloom. After a terrible car accident leaves Ever practically alone (well, other than the ghost of her dead sister, Riley), she is taken in by her aunt, Sabine. If only adjusting to this new life was the only thing to worry about. When Ever wakes up after the traumatic accident, she finds that she can not only see people’s auras, but hear their inner thoughts. This certainly doesn’t make fitting in at her new school simple, especially since she now lives life with her headphones in order to block the sounds of her peers’ thoughts. Then a new boy transfers to her high school, and when she’s with him her powers don’t feel so overwhelming. She can’t help but feel drawn to this Damen and his secrets (and it’s not just because of his handsome looks).

With Evermore, Alyson Noels begins what’s sure to be an addicting series of mystery, powers, growing up, forgiveness, and love through the ages. As a long time fan of Alyson Noel’s books, I can honestly say that this is one of my favorites. I love the way colors are featured in this book with such importance. From auras to flowers, Alyson Noel puts a lot of emphasis on the meanings of different colors, using this to more subtly reveal emotions. Ever is a fascinating narrator, and as a reader I was able to connect with her easily. Though I have little in common with Ever, Alyson Noel did a great job writing from her perspective, so that when Ever was lost I felt just as confused, and the same when she was excited, heartbroken, and so on. On the other hand, Damen felt a bit flat to me, but I’m hoping to see him developed more and learn more about his long history in future installments.

Now, a lot of comparisons have been made between this book and Twilight, and all I can say to that is, yes, they’re sort of similar because they deal with similar topics (and how is that surprising considering how popular literature about vampires/witches/zombies/etc. has become?). But the similarities ended there for me. Alyson Noel’s writing is better, the characters more interesting (and realistic), and the powers different. As a whole, I give Evermore 9 out of 10.
P.S. You can win your own copy of Evermore over at Taste Life Twice. The contest runs through July 31st.

7.17.2009

Thank you!

As you can see, I have this GORGEOUS new blog layout :) I just want to thank Laina for creating this layout for me. You can see other layouts she's done over at her blog, so check them out!

Feed Your Ears IX: Suite Scarlett


To read about the origins of Feed Your Ears, check out my first post.



To read about the origins of Feed Your Ears, check out my first post.

Now as a suggestion from Ninja Fanpire, I'll be featuring Maureen Johnson's Suite Scarlett this week (it's now available as a cute paperback, so now's a perfect time to pick up a copy).

1. Summertime - Scarlet Johansson

2. On Broadway - The Drifters

3. Hotel Song - Regina Spector

4. New York Minute - The Eagles

5. What a Piece of Work is Man from Hair

P.S. Check out Scarlett's map of NYC - it includes hints about book 2.

7.15.2009

Waiting on Wednesday: July 15

Title: Ruined

Author: Paula Morris

US Release date: August 1, 2009

Summary (from Amazon.com): Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her aunt. And at the snooty prep school, the filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of the city. There's just one catch: Lisette is a ghost. A ghost with a deep, dark secret, and a serious score to settle. As Rebecca learns more from her ghost friend - and as she slowly learns to trust Anton Grey-she also uncovers startling truths about her own history. Will Rebecca be able to right the wrongs of the past, or has everything been ruined beyond repair?

Why I'm interested: I really like ghost stories and old houses (what can I say? my town was founded in 1675 so I'm into the whole historic ghost scene). Beyond that, I like how this sounds like a coming-of-age novel combined with a mystery.

What're you waiting on this Wednesday?

7.14.2009

All Around the Blogosphere

Hi! I just wanted to share with everyone a few contests being held at other blog locations that are definitely worthy of being checked out. Best part is, they all end soon, so you don't even have to wait that long to see if you won! OK, so maybe that's just the best part for me since I'm so darn impatient. Anyway, here they are...

Enter by July 15th:

-Library Lounge Lizard is having a contest for Intertwined by Gena Showalter. This is a paranormal romance that's part of Harlequin's awesome new line for teens!

-Fantastic Book Review is giving away 2 ARCs of Suzanne Crowley's The Stolen One. And as if that's not enough, each copy comes with lots of great goodies (remember the days when we got goodie bags at parties? yeah, well it's like that except better).

-The Book Girl Reviews is holding a contest for Jacqueline Kolosov's A Sweet Disorder (you know, with the beautiful cover). She was given the book by a friend of Jacqueline's and is now fulfilling a request to pass the book on for another blogger to enjoy. Sweet, right?

Ends after July 15th:

-Over at Megan Crewe's blog, she's holding a contest to win an ARC of her book Give Up The Ghost, along with some really awesome swag. The prize pack includes a tote bag, paper lantern, bracelet and more awesome goodies. There are lots of ways to enter, just head over by July 20th.

-Word has spread quickly about this one, but if you haven't already heard, Lee Verday (Jessica Verday's husband) is giving away an ARC of The Hollow (which is one of my past Waiting on Wednesday picks). Head over to his blog to enter sometime over the next 13 days (all it takes is a comment) and say Feed Your Imagination sent you ;)

Also, there's still time to enter my two contests - you have through July 18th, so check them out if you haven't already.

Teaser Tuesday: Week 5

Teaser Tuesdays is sponsored by MizB of Should Be Reading. Teaser Tuesdays go like this:

  • 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 week, my teaser is...
"The man watched her, and Connie felt the dust of his overcrowded office beginning to sneak into her nasal passages and down the back of her throat... Why would someone back then buy old books, anyway?"
--page 230, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe


What's your teaser this week?

7.13.2009

They like me! They really like me!

First, I want to thank J. Kaye! She's an incredible book blogger (one of the first I ever followed) and I am so honored that she chose to feature me last Friday (July 10th) as part of her 'A Book Blogger's New Discovery.' So again, thanks J. Kaye!


I've also found links to my reviews by two authors fairly recently (okay, so from June, but I only found them recently, so that counts, right?) and was so excited I just had to share. :)

The first mention of one of my reviews I found was by Jim C. Hines At the beginning of June, I reviewed the anthology Terribly Twisted Tales, and his story "The Red Path" was one of my favorites, so he linked to that review from his LJ.

Then, I found out that Malinda Lo has seen my review of Ash. I found one of her June twitter updates that quotes my review!

Thanks everyone!

ARCHIVES

REVIEWS

A
Altebrando, Tara - The Pursuit of Happiness

B
Blair, Annette - A Veiled Deception

C
Caletti, Deb - The Secret Life of Prince Charming

D
Decter, Ed - The One: A Chloe Gamble novel
Dolby, Tom - Secret Society
Dokey, Cameron - Wild Orchid
Dunlap, Susanne - The Musician’s Daughter

E
Efaw, Amy - After

F

G

H
Hapka, Catherine - Love on Cue
Herbsman, Cheryl Renée - Breathing
Hines, Jim C. - The Stepsister Scheme
Howard, Chris - Seaborn

I

J
Johnson, Maureen - The Key to the Golden Firebird

K
Kluver, Cayla - Legacy

L
Libby, Alisa - The King’s Rose
Lion, Melissa - Swollen
Lo, Malinda - Ash

M
Mantchev, Lisa - Eyes Like Stars
Marr, Melissa - Fragile Eternity
Murdock, Catherine - Front and Center

N
Neufeld, Sarah - Visibility
Noel, Alyson - Evermore

O
Ockler, Sarah - Twenty Boy Summer
Ostow, Micol - GoldenGirl

P
Patterson, James - Sam’s Letters to Jennifer
Pike, Aprilynne - Wings
Preble, Laura - Prom Queen Geeks

Q

R
Rabe, Jean and Martin Greenberg - Terribly Twisted Tales
Resau, Laura - Red Glass

S
Shakespeare, William - Much Ado About Nothing
Shakespeare, William - Othello
Shakespeare, William - The Taming of the Shrew
Snyder, Maria V. - Storm Glass

T

U

V

W
Wolff, Virginia Euwer – This Full House

X

Y

Z


WAITING ON WEDNESDAY

2009:

June:
3rd: Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? by Louise Rennison
10th: The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson: A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis
17th: Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle
24th: The Hollow by Jessica Verday

July:
1st: Metamorphosis: Junior Year by Betsy Franco
8th: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
15th: Ruined by Paula Morriss
22nd: A Pearl Among Princes by Coleen Paratore
29th: Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder

August:
5th: Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
12th: Candor by Pam Bachorz
19th: Winter's Child by Cameron Dokey
26th: Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner

FEED YOUR EARS

I: Lost It by Kristen Tracy
II: Art Geeks and Prom Queens by Alyson Noel
III: Fade by Lisa McMann
IV: The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper
V: Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey
VI: Old Magic by Marianne Curley
VII: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and Wicked series by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié VIII: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
IX: Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
X: Front and Center by Catherine Murdock
XI: Sea of Love by Jamie Ponti
XII: Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
XIII: Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison
XIV: Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
XV: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

INTERVIEWS/GUEST POSTS
August 18, 2009 - Amy Efaw interview
August 21, 2009 - Lisa Mantchev's Eyes Like Stars playlist

OTHER PLACES TO FIND ME & LINKS TO MY REVIEWS

--J. Kaye Book Blog's "A Book Blogger's New Discovery"
--Jim C. Hines' "Canon Fodder"
--Malinda Lo's twitter update
--Laura Resau's "A few tidbits..."
--The Bradford Novels' "Across the Blogoverse, Part 2"
--Catherine Murdock's advance praise for Front and Center

7.12.2009

In My Mailbox: Week 5

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi from The Story Siren. Here's what I found in my mailbox, at the bookstore, and at the library this week. Summaries are taken from Amazon and B&N.


Miss Match by Wendy Toliver - Sasha Finnegan has always had a knack for setting people up, and at sixteen, she's turned her talent into an online business, molding high school crushes into true love. But Sasha finds her toughest match yet when hottie Derek Urban asks her to set him up with Sasha's gorgeous sister, Maddie. It's not that Derek isn't a good catch. In fact, after spending so much time with him, Sasha can't help but think he's perfect -- for her, that is. Can Sasha push her feelings aside for the sake of her business? Or has this miss finally found her match?


Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough (ARC) - Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all.


Kissing Booth by Lexie Hill - Lisi has never been kissed. Sure, she could practice on her guy friend, Johnny, but he’s like a brother to her! So when it comes time to pick a theme for the Spring Carnival booth, Lisi suggests a "Kissing Booth," hoping it will give her the chance to get a cheek-kiss from her crush, the handsome, popular Brett. But on the day of the carnival, as rumors fly and kisses are stolen, Lisi discovers that the person she should really kiss may have been right in front of her all along.


Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott - It's been seventy-five days. Amy's sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her. And she's really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia's gone now, and she doesn't want to talk about it. They wouldn't get it, anyway. They wouldn't understand what it feels like to have your best friend ripped away from you. They wouldn't understand what it feels like to know it's your fault. Amy's shrink thinks it would help to start a diary. Instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia. But as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past wasn't as perfect as she thought it was—and the present deserves a chance too.


That's it for me this week. What was in your mailbox?

7.11.2009

Red Glass

High school student Sophie had no idea how much her life would change after her family received a phone call, bringing them to a nearby hospital. There they found the six-year-old Pablo, the only survivor of a group of Mexicans attempting to cross the Arizona border. The young Pablo quickly becomes a member – Sophie’s Principito, her Little Prince. A year later, contact is made with Pablo’s remaining family, and so Sophie joins her Aunt Dika, Dika’s boyfriend Mr. Lorenzo, and Mr. Lorenzo’s son Angel on a journey to rejoin Pablo with the only family he has left. Along the way, Sophie is torn knowing the decision Pablo must make and recognizing the risks she faces by allowing herself to get close to Angel.

Red Glass by Laura Resau is easily one of the best books I've read this year, and is one of the few books that has brought me to tears. Despite all of the awards it's been recognized with, Red Glass receives nowhere near enough attention considering how much it deserves. Above all, this is an exceptional story about love – love across the generations, romantic love, familial love, and love for one’s heritage. Even if it is difficult to relate to the exact situation any of the characters are in, their emotions are universal and their dignity is certainly to be admired and respected. This story teaches us about human kindness and forgiveness, even in circumstances that seem unforgiveable. And of course, the quotes from The Little Prince not only extend the multicultural aspect of Red Glass – they help make Sophie and her companions’ journey universal. Laura Resau’s writing is entrancing and this story fascinating, so everyone should pick it up. 10 out of 10.

7.10.2009

Feed Your Ears VIII: The Truth About Forever


To read about the origins of Feed Your Ears, check out my first post.

Anyway, as I continue to work through the suggestions I've gotten from you guys, these week I'm featuring Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever as suggested by Briana from The Book Pixie.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen


1. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from The Phantom of the Opera

2. Whatever it Takes - Lifehouse

3. Let Go - Frou Frou

4. Wishful Thinking - Wilco

5. Let There Be Love - Oasis (I especially like that this is off their album entitled Don't Believe the Truth)

Contest close date changed

Sorry for the late notice, but I've decided to postpone picking the winner for Tom Dolby's Secret Society. Now, the mixed giveaway and the Secret Society will both end July 18th (to make my life a little easier).

7.08.2009

Waiting on Wednesday: July 8

Title:The Unwritten Rule

Author: Elizabeth Scott

US Release date: April 6, 2010

Summary (from Elizabeth Scott's site): I liked him first, but it doesn't matter. I still like him. That doesn't matter either. Or at least, it's not supposed to.

Why I'm interested: So, I know it's not released until 2010, but I couldn't help but choose this book since the cover was just released. I 've read all but one of Elizabeth Scott's books so far and loved them all. I'm glad they released the cover finally - it reminds me of the cover for Perfect You. But anyway, I want to read this not just because I like her books, but because by being about about a girl who falls for her best friend's boyfriend, who can't relate on some level? Considering girl code forbids even looking at a friend's bf or dating him too soon after a break-up, I think this should be a really interesting read.

What are you waiting on?

7.07.2009

Teaser Tuesday: Week 4

Teaser Tuesdays is sponsored by MizB of Should Be Reading. Teaser Tuesdays go like this:

  • 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!

My teaser this Tuesday is...

"Little do I know that by the end of that longed-for party, I'll be looking back and yearning for the chance to take back that nod. To rewind this entire encounter, like running a DVD backward on fast speed, as I get up, walk backward down the path, seemingly followed by Nadia, cross the road backward (not too safe, that, but I don't get knocked over), reach my friends, and press Stop and then Play again - and change the outcome."

--page 34, Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson

What's your teaser?

7.05.2009

YA Book Carnival: Hunted Winner

Sorry I'm getting this up so late. After writing out lots of little slips of paper and digging through my closet for a hat, I have a winner. So, the moment you've all been waiting for, the winner of my first contest, part of Shooting Star Mag's YA Book Carnival, is...

Briana, The Book Pixie!
CONGRATS BRIANA! You won a copy of P.C. and Kristin Cast's Hunted. I'll be e-mailing you soon to get your mailing address.
Anyway, thank you to everyone who entered! I'm glad my first contest was such a success (and that I got such a great summer playlist out of it heh). If you didn't win, I still have a pick two of five YA titles contest going on, plus a contest for Tom Dolby's Secret Society. If you're not interested in either of these, don't worry, I have more books to give away later in the summer.

In My Mailbox: Week 4

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi, The Story Siren. :)

After missing last weekend, I've got two weeks' worth of books to post, so this is gonna be a long one (sorry!). Here's what I've found in my mailbox, at the bookstore, and at the library this week. Summaries are taken from Amazon and B&N.


Front and Center by Catherine Murdock (ARC) - After five months of sheer absolute craziness I was going back to being plain old background D.J. In photographs of course I’m always in the background . . . -- But it turns out other folks have big plans for D.J. Like her coach. College scouts. All the town hoops fans. A certain Red Bend High School junior who’s keen for romance and karaoke. Not to mention Brian Nelson, who she should not be thinking about! Who she is done with, thank you very much. But who keeps showing up anyway . . .

Drive Me Crazy by Erin Downing - Kate and her two best friends, Sierra and Alexis, are geared up for a week of fun and freedom on the road to their family lake houses in Love, Wisconsin. Best of all, when Kate reaches Love, she'll be reunited with Lucas, with whom she shared a steamy end-of-summer kiss last year. She can't wait to see Lucas again and pick things up exactly where they left off. Then Kate gets some seriously bad news: Alexis's sarcastic, condescending, hot-but-he-knows-it cousin is crashing the girls' road trip. Adam bugs Kate in every possible way. Now Kate just wants to get the road trip over with so she can spend the summer in Lucas's arms. But the road to Love is full of surprises....

Wicked: Resurrection by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie - What the Cahors witches thought was the end of their troubles was only the beginning. A threat more powerful and more frightening than anything they have faced has been watching and waiting. The Cahors witches must come together and find Jer and Eli as both the Deveraux and the Cahors family lines face eradication. All the secrets of the Cahors will be revealed, forcing them to overcome their greatest weaknesses in order to achieve their most powerful strengths. And only united do they have any chance at victory. Before the end, sacrifices will be made, alliances forged, and old friends lost forever.

The Diamond Secret by Suzanne Weyn - A Retelling of "Anastasia." Nadya is a mischievous kitchen girl in a Russian tavern. Having nearly drowned in the Iset River during the turmoil of the Revolution, she has no memory of her past and longs for the life she cannot remember. Then two young men arrive at the tavern and announce that Nadya's long-lost grandmother has sent them to find her. Yearning for family and friendship, she agrees to accompany them to Paris for the joyful reunion. Nadya eagerly embarks on her journey, never dreaming it will be one of laughter, love -- and betrayal.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman - In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George - A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn… Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.


Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (ARC) - In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself. Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her. But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering. Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King - In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact. Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

Red Glass by Laura Resau - One night Sophie and her parents are called to a hospital where Pedro, a six-year-old Mexican boy, is recovering from dehydration. Crossing the border into Arizona with a group of Mexicans and a coyote, or guide, Pedro and his parents faced such harsh conditions that the boy is the only survivor. Pedro comes to live with Sophie, her parents, and Sophie's Aunt Dika, a refugee of the war in Bosnia. Sophie loves Pedro—her Principito, or Little Prince. But after a year, Pedro’s surviving family in Mexico makes contact, and Sophie, Dika, Dika’s new boyfriend, and his son must travel with Pedro to his hometown so that he can make a heartwrenching decision.


Sophomore Switch by Abby McDonald - Take an administrative snafu, a bad breakup, and what shall heretofore be known as "The Hot-Tub Incident," and you’ve got two unprepared sophomores on a semester abroad. For American party girl Tasha, an escape to Oxford may be a chance to ditch her fame as a tabloid temptress, but wading Uggs-deep in feminist theory is not her idea of a break. Meanwhile, the British half of the exchange, studious Emily, nurses an aching heart amid the bikinis and beer pong of U.C. Santa Barbara. Soon desperation has the girls texting each other tips — on fitting in, finding love, and figuring out who they really are.

Braless in Wonderland by Debbie Reed Fischer - Allee Rosen is a lot of things: high school senior, overachiever, brain. The one thing Allee is not is supermodel material-at least that's what she thinks until modeling scouts spot her and she moves to Miami to work with an elite modeling agency. Suddenly Allee is swept up?p in a whirlwind of designer labels, photo shoots, go-sees and some seriously backstabbing models. Will this fabulous new life go to her head?

Being Nikki by Meg Cabot - Things aren't pretty for Emerson Watts. Em was sure there couldn't be anything worse than being a brainiac the body of a teenaged supermodel. But it turned out she was wrong. Because that supermodel could turn out to have a mother who's gone mysteriously missing, a brother who's shown up on her doorstep demanding answers, a former best friend who's intent on destroying Stark Enterprises to avenge the death of his lost love, and a British heartthrob who's written a song about her that's topping the charts. How can Em balance all that with school, runway shows, and weekend jaunts to St. Johns - especially when she's got ex-boyfriends crawling out of the woodwork who want more than just a photo op; a sister who is headed to the high school cheerleading championships; a company she represents that seems to be turning to the dark side... Not to mention trying to convince the love of her life that models aren't really airheads after all...especially one model in particular. But then, nobody said it was going to be easy being Nikki.

That's all for me. What's in your mailbox?

Books + Boys + Summer

So... this is my first vlog ever. As clue 20 of Sarah Ockler's 20 Things in 20 Days scavenger hunt, I put together this video about great beach reads that feature dreamy guys (and then thought of drool-worthy celebs to match). It was scary, but I'm glad I did it. I think I'll try vlogging every once in a while. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it :)

video

Books mentioned in this post:
Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Thrill Ride by Rachel Hawthorne

7.04.2009

Feed Your Ears VII: Harry Potter and Wicked

Ahhh... sorry again! I was so caught up in baking/meal-planning for today that I forgot yesterday was Friday! Speaking of which, happy July 4th everyone! Hope the fireworks and BBQs and such are/were spectacular.


So now for two weeks worth of Feed Your Ears posts (coincidently, both are series, which made choosing songs really tough). Thanks to Lauren at Shooting Stars Mag and Sarah at The Blog That Must Not Be Named for this week's book suggestions!

To read about the origins of Feed Your Ears, check out my first post.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

  1. Harry’s Wondrous World (theme) – John Williams (OK, it’s not my fault that since the movies came out, this song plays in my head whenever I crack open the cover to one of the HP books)
  2. Don’t Panic – Coldplay
  3. Strange Magic – Electric Light Orchestra
  4. The Real Mad-Eye Moody – Philosopherock (I promise that I really did mean to stay away from Wizard Rock when choosing these songs. It’s just that this is so funny, I couldn’t resist)
  5. With a Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles

Wicked series by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié

  1. Soulmate – Natasha Bedingfeld
  2. Dare You To Move - Switchfoot
  3. True Love Waits – Radiohead
  4. Strange – Jason Mraz
  5. Romeo Had Juliette – Lou Reed

P.S. Don't forget, today's the last day to enter my contest for Hunted.

7.02.2009

Front and Center

DJ Schwenk returns in Catherine Murdock’s conclusion to the Dairy Queen trilogy, Front and Center. After receiving more attention than she ever desired during football season, DJ looks forward to returning to basketball and her life in the background. It turns out, though, that fading into the background isn’t going to be possible for her. From college basketball scouts to her paralyzed brother to her best guy friend, DJ is getting just as much attention as before, and she certainly doesn’t want it all. And of course, DJ can’t seem to get her ex, Brian Nelson, out of her mind. In this final novel, DJ faces challenges on the basketball court and at home, learning how to build self-confidence, front and center.

Though not as exciting as Dairy Queen or The Off Season, Catherine Murdock brings DJ’s story to a close in this strong, well-written conclusion to the trilogy. Like the other DJ novels, Front and Center captures the reader’s attention through DJ’s down-to-earth voice. Though told from the perspective of a female, teens of both genders will appreciate DJ’s honesty and wit. At the same time, Front and Center will gain the approval of any parent with its mild language and DJ’s moral dilemmas.

Catherine Murdock addresses the fears and concerns of any high school student through DJ and her struggles. While DJ’s personal situation is unique, her feelings and emotions are not, and these will resonate with young adult readers. Murdock develops a cast of characters, each with their own flaws, to surround DJ, and while some of these players lack depth, they are all realistic and needed to complete DJ’s world. All in all, Front and Center by Catherine Murdock is a satisfying conclusion to the Dairy Queen trilogy with a message that lasts long after you’ve read the last page. By emphasizing the importance of family, friendship, and support, all of which are sometimes overlooked in young adult literature, this book will motivate its reader to reach out and take risks. 8 out of 10.

7.01.2009

Waiting on Wednesday: July 1

Title: Metamorphosis: Junior Year

Author: Betsy Franco

US Release date: October 13, 2009

Summary (from Amazon.com): Life. Love. Death. Identity. Ovid’s got a lot on his mind, and he pours it all — as confessions, observations, narrative poems, and drawings — into the pages of a notebook. Inspired by his namesake, he wryly records his classmates’ dramas as modern-day Roman mythology. There’s Sophie and Caleb, the Psyche and Cupid of cyber-couples; poetic Paula, who pursues filmmaker Franny like Apollo chasing Daphne; and graphic novelist Duwayne, a Proserpina shuttling between divorced parents. Meanwhile, Ovid hides his own Olympian struggles: his meth addict sister Thena has run off, leaving him with a suffocating home life and a disturbing secret.

Why I'm interested: First, I'm excited about a YA book nowadays referencing Ovid's "Metamorphoses" (again, I'm an English dork), plus I love notebook-style books. Beyond that, it looks like the graphics (done by Betsy Franco's son) will add a lot to the novel.