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Friday, December 24, 2010

In which I am crazy. Again.

So last night I was at Best Buy in line to return something. And Best Buy has these reaaalllyyy tiring lines, especially during the holidays. I was zoning out and then I look to my right. WHAT DO I SEE? A FAMILIAR BLONDE GIRL.

"But whoooo...." I thought.. And then a familiar boy walks up to her. THEN IT HIT ME. SHE LOOKS LIKE GRACE...WHO DOES HE LOOK LIKE? He looks like Sam O_O. GRACE AND SAM FROM SHIVER. My mind had been blown. The guy had that crooked nose complete with that sadness look too! What do I do? I stare for another five minutes before doing somethingmore crazy.

I don't know what was stranger...me seeing a lookalike Sam & Grace at Best Buy...or me taking a picture of them from behind (did not want them to think I was loony XD)... I will leave that up to your judgement...

BUT HOLY SPRINKLES. SAM AND GRACE!!! :O


I have witnessed a Christmas miracle. Unless, of course, it's just me. And that looks exactly nothing like them. And I'm crazy. Yup. That's probably a more reasonable evaluation.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE! :D

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Rating: 5/5
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis: When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.

Review: OHMYGOD. HOW AMAZING WAS THIS BOOK? I am still reeling from its awesomeness. A little bit dazed still.

Angelfire was the perfect read for me to cuddle up with in midst of all the rain in California. Like an open fire, it was warm and bright, setting off many sparks for my eyes to see. Not only were the characters molded into such beautiful beings by the author, but the story itself had a life of its own. It breathed and it lived, like all books should. The only qualm I have about this book--ONLY one--is that the beginning was a bit slow. It was a nice introduction into Ellie's life but it dragged. The upside to the beginning, though, was KATE. I LOVED KATE. I wish all best friends were that awesome.

I loved, loved, loved Ellie!!! I developed such a strong connection with her that I wasn't able to do with many other YA characters. When she felt frustrated, I was pulling out my hair with her. I felt like I was going through every event in the story along with her. I even had mini spasms throughout her sword-pwning battles. Every time she was in the middle of a fight with a reaper, I had to constantly remind myself that she was going to make it through! I mean, there was another two hundred pages after this scene. SHE WAS GOING TO LIVE, RIGHT? RIGHT? Well, with this book, you never really know. Bravo to the author for keeping you on your toes and guessing throughout. It's not a work of fluff and romance. Angelfire is the perfect balance of romance and action.

Angelfire is a book that will make you giddy and grin like an idiot. You will squeal like a crazy fangirl over Ellie and Will's endearing romance. You will get weird looks from your mother and possibly forget to eat because you just can't put this book down. And when it ends? You'll be wanting to trade your soul to the reapers for more.

(Let me digress... Since it is the holidays, I have a tradition with my sisters: We have a Sailor Moon YouTube/VHS marathon because...well... just because!! O_O DO NOT JUDGE. I am currently watching Season 3 episodes and well, I AM STILL HIGH ON SAILOR MOON. [again, do not judge xD] AND I LOVE GIFS so voila! Plus I am getting tired of my "What I thought of..." parts in my reviews SO I AM CHANGING IT UP!)

~~A Reviewer's Journey GIF Style~~

The beginning was okay~
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The middle:

THIS STORY IS AMAZING. KICK THEIR BUTT, ELLIE. KICK THEIR BUTT.Photobucket


OH MY GOD. ELLIE AND WILL ARE SO CUTE. AH!H!H!H!H
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GO ELLIE!!!! KILL ALL THEM PATHETIC REAPERS. REALIZE YOUR LOVE FOR WILL. YOU LOVE HIM. YOU LOVE HIM! YOU MUST LOVE HIM.
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The End:

NO, ANGELFIRE. YOU CANNOT END. You must last FOREVAAHH! SOB.

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No! IT HAS ENDED! NOOOooo000oo.*stares at book for another half hour*
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TAKE MY SOUL. TAKE MY SOUL. PLEASEEEEE. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK!! PLEAASSEE.

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And for all you Sailor Moon fans out there: Angelfire is like heaven for people like us. Ellie and Will? They are about as epic as Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. Now that is saying something.

Yup. Read it. Read it now. Or Sailor Moon will punish you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Before That Night - Lauren Barnholdt


AH!! FREAKOUT SESSION. Why, you ask?

Lauren Barnholdt has just posted up a prequel to One Night That Changes Everything (LESS THAN THREE. LESS THAN THREE.)

It is available to read online. Just click here! NOW!! O_O

This is the best Christmas gift! :D

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

(Why yes, this blog is not dead anymore. At least I hope not...be warned this post reflect upon a very hyper and giddy Kim)

This post sort of coincides with THE book I am waiting for in 2011. Now, I call it THE book because this is the book I am most excited for in the new year. It sounds so edgy and alluring that I deem it to be THE book. The cover is beautiful; the synopsis is amazing--basically, every piece of it is a burst of beautiful.

....DUNDUNDUN...

This is THE book...

And if that wondertastic (yesh, I am making up words. That's how excited I am!) fireball of amazing does not astound you and make you want to read it now, now, NOW, watch this video:



Harhar, do you want to read it NOW? Why, yes, yes you do.

Why is this beautiful novel not in my hands? Why is it haunting me everywhere I go? The other day when I was in my horrid Chem class learning empirical formulas, I was thinking, "Divergent! Divergent!" Who does that? What do empirical formulas have to do with the word anyway? Nothing--nothing I tell you! -Sigh- I need this book NOW, NOW, NOW. But patience is key. Only less than 150 days before I get my hands on this book. I might actually write a letter to Santa about this...(one can dream...) XD

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Haunted by Jessica Verday

The Haunted by Jessica Verday
Rating: 3.4/5

Synopsis: An impossible truth. An impossible love.

After a summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with—the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead—Abbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, ready to leave the ghosts of her past behind. She throws herself into her schoolwork, her perfume-making, and her friendship with Ben, her cute and funny lab partner, who just might be her ticket to getting over Caspian once and for all.

But Abbey can never get over Caspian, and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side, for Caspian is a Shade, and Abbey is his destiny. They are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow, and to the famous legend that binds their fates—a legend whose dark truths they are only beginning to guess....

Review: I wasn't sure if I should give the series another try, but I did, and I've got to say: it was better this time. While far better than its predecessor, The Haunted is still lacking that quality that makes me fall in love with its characters. The characters are definitely not three dimensional, but for some reason I can't build any connections with them. I hate that. Hopefully the next book will change that.

I think the reason this book was much better was because The Hollow was just dripped and painted with just so much sadness. The Haunted differs from that. We definitely do not get the same melancholy Abbey for hundreds of pages. Her character changed, and new characters were introduced. And Caspian...he was just so lovable in this book! Honestly, the best character out of this entire novel.

While The Haunted is not the perfect read, it leaves you hanging with unanswered questions. Those of which will make you want to read the third book. :)

What I thought of...

The Beginning: Very slow, but I am loving the changes to Abbey!

The Middle: This is getting so much better. I am actually turning the pages faster :D

The End: ARGH. CLIFFHANGER JFLSDKFJKSLDFJ.

FTC: Checked out from library


Friday, November 12, 2010

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: 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

Review: Going into this book, I had high expectations--I'd heard so many positive things about it that I was confident it was going to be worth reading. I'm so glad to say that it was. It was strange how the plot unraveled. I hadn't expected it to happen that way. I hadn't expected smile like a giddy schoolgirl whenever Bianca and Wesley were together. I loved the wittiness of the author's writing and the way every word flowed effortlessly naturally.

While the romantic aspect of this novel was very endearing, what I liked the most was how the author tackled so many life issues in one book--and again, it was done just SO naturally. I mean, who HASN'T felt like the DUFF? Reading this book just made me feel like I was worth something, and maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much. Because I was able to see the empowering message it radiates.

I loved, loved, LOVED the characters. They had so much depth and their own unique traits that they never left my mind. Usually in books, there's a character who's seemingly perfect. Well, in The DUFF, no one is. Every single character had their flaws. Flaws that made the book stand out from others. In other books, I didn't feel like I knew most of the characters well, but in The DUFF, I understood them. Like I said, it was just strange and remarkable how this one book changed how I viewed all the books I read in the past. The only downside to this book is probably the ending. Everything happened a little too quickly. Otherwise, The DUFF was absolutely amazing.

What I thought of...

The Beginning: The perfect build-up! :D

The Middle: LOVEEEEE.

The End: I was not satisfied :( Gah, why was it so short? xD

Favorite line:
Wesley Rush doesn't chase girls. But I'm chasing you.
FTC: Thank you to We Love YA Tours

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fins are Forever COVER REVEAL!


As part of the Splash Team, I had the opportunity to reveal the cover along with the other Splash Teamers. Isn't this cover just gorgeous? I really can't wait any longer for it to come out. I mean, JUNE 28 of NEXT YEAR? -tear- I know one thing for sure, though...the bright colors are outrageously out of this world! Count on them to brighten up your day.

Thankfully, I can countdown with this widget...


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nightshade Trailer



Nightshade is one awesome book. Too bad I can't show its awesomeness with my trailer. The audio tracks don't blend well together :( Buuuuuut, I WILL fix this. I just need to watch a bunch of tutorials of garageband so I can blend the tracks together. Then, I will reupload, lol. I've tried EVERYTHING on my program to no avail...I guess it isn't that bad though... I know it's not my best trailer.

BUT, Nightshade is one AMAZING book. You can read my review below this post! Nightshade is the book I'm most looking forward to in October, even if I've already read it. CALLA FTW <3

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Rating: 4.6/5

Synopsis: Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice

Review: I loveeeeeeed this book. I'd heard fabulous things about it before, but I was hesitant to start it. I mean, another werewolf book? No, thank you. Fortunately, I opened it up and sped through it like it was my only way to survive. I remember going back to reread parts because I didn't want to finish the book. It was just that good. I LOVED Calla. She represented such strength that most girls would die to have. Cremer's hand at a werewolf book is like no other. Starting it, I realized, "Whoa," because it was just SO different from what I usually read in books. It had layers underneath layers, proving that it was a real gem. Do you know how everyone says each book has its own world? Well, I never wanted to leave NIGHTSHADE's.

The only aspect I'm concerned about is the romance. Sure, both boys are lovely, but I felt like I failed to grasp their importance to the story and Calla. To me, the romance never really happened. I hope this improves in the second book.

All in all, NIGHTSHADE is perfect even with its imperfections.

What I thought of...

The Beginning: The first sentence hooked me in right away.

The Middle: SO. MUCH. GOODNESS.

The End: Such a cliffhanger...it pains me to have to wait for the next book D;

I am part of a tour stop for Nightshade! Check back tomorrow for a fanmade trailer :)

FTC: Won an ARC

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to Books Contest Winners

Nightshade Contest has been extended (Date to be announced!

HUSH, HUSH WINNER: @KaitorTot fromKaitlyn in Bookland

Rules of Attraction/Perfect Chemistry: Haven't heard from previously announced winner so...a new one has been chosen! Kathy, from I Am a Reader, Not a Writer, please send me your addy!

BEFORE I FALL: Ashley from Ashley's Bookshelf!

Thank you to EVERYONE who participated in this event, you were awesome. I hope readers enjoyed this!


<3

Saturday, September 11, 2010

High School Book Clubs: What would YOU want in them?

Okay, let me rant a little: ever since school started, it has been such a pain. It's barely the second week of school and I've already had about 9 tests. I'm so sick of it. Only 171 days of school to go. I'm already counting down...

But anyway, the most exciting thing that happened since then was that my friend came up to me, and asked me if I wanted to start a book club with her! We actually had this idea last year, but the school year was already ending x) Plus, I don't think freshmen could have started clubs...

So, we're actually copresidents of the book club! (Once we're approved that is...) It is called Friends of the ABC (props to those who know what book this name refers to. Hint: the title is French...) ABC, for us, will actually stand for Awesome Book Club. My friend (she came up with the name! :D) is actually huge on classics and historical fiction while I'm big on anything YA...so yup, our club will have a lot of variety~

Maybe it's not a big deal to you, but our high school doesn't even have a LIBRARY. It's called the "Media Center," but all it has are textbooks and school books. The only books in there that we don't use are ANCIENT. I'm talking yellow-paged, dog-eared, and smelly books. :(

\rant over.../

What I'm asking is: What would YOU want in your high school book club, if you were part of it? Please, please leave suggestions in the comments! We've already thought of going to book related events like signings and book festivals, reading to children, and doing book fundraisers, but then...we ran out. SO PLEASE SUGGEST ANYTHING. NOTHING WOULD BE STUPID TO US. I KNOW NOT MANY PEOPLE WILL COMMENT SO LET'S "BRIBEEEE!"ANYONE WHO COMMENTS WILL BE ENTERED IN A RANDOM DRAWING TO WIN A HUNGER GAMES T-SHIRT! (YOU WILL CHOOSE WHICH ONE) JUST COMMENT WITH A SUGGESTION. IF YOU FIND OUT WHERE FRIENDS OF THE ABC COMES FROM, THEN YOU GET ANOTHER ENTRY. Okay, I'll stop yelling in caps now....contest will end Sept 31. US only.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I'm working on reviews so my blog won't be dead anymore...doing homework on Fridays have become a habit so I'm freeeeee. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back to Books: Judith Graves

[It has been a week since the latest B2B post. Lauren and I are SO sorry. People haven't been sending in their posts on time, and school got in the way. Now, life is all about school, school, school, and other stuff. I have no time for anything. So here is today's post! Wednesdays are supposed to be giveaway posts, but please bare with us XD]

Coil Notebooks: A Writer’s Obsession

Back to school can be a dark time in my house. Not because my husband is a high school social studies teacher and I’m an elementary school library technician – and back to school means an end to summer. Nope. I’m talking about my coil notebook obsession and how it drains our bank balance every fall.

As a young adult paranormal fiction author, I’ve made it my duty to scoop up any gothic notebooks I find. But I write edgy YA as well, therefore I stand in line for the tattoo-ish, doodle designs as well. And I have a few picture books I’ve been working on, so I have to nab the cutise ones too.

What do I use all these notebooks for, you ask? Well, some are for future plot ideas, character trait journals, random dialogue, nifty word diaries, flash fiction pieces, lyrics, poetry….and some are too stunning to write in at all. Those are for pure wow-ain’t-that-pretty moments of inspiration.

I found a few of my favourite notebook companies online, you can check them out here:

Ecojot (http://www.ecojot.com/) - recycled paper, cute designs and Canadian! Can’t ask for more.

Carolina Pad (http://www.carolinapad.com/) – cool notebooks, bags, you name it.

Etsy (www.etsy.com) also has an amazing selection of handmade, unusual designs. I could spend hours skimming through the online shops to find steals like these (some are more elaborate and expensive than others):

http://www.etsy.com/listing/54582093/apocalypse-xxiv-awesome-leather-journal

http://www.etsy.com/listing/34524093/wildflowers-notebook-recycled-paper


You can even go to a site like Vista Print (www.vistaprint.com) or Café Press (www.cafepress.ca) and have notebooks custom made – a great idea for a school fundraiser, art class projects, or team/club bonding thingie. ;)

I feel I’m neglecting another important facet of back to school shopping. Along with each gem of a notebook, there must be an equally fantastic pen…but that’s another post. Happy Back to School Season!

Who am I? I’m Judith Graves, YA paranormal author of Under My Skin (Leap Books, 2010) and Second Skin (Leap Books, 2011) and a member of the amazing Class of 2k10. Check out my site: www.judithgraves.com and the 2k10 site to meet 23 coolio debut authors: www.classof2k10.com

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to Books: Giveaway from Me | Day 008



Before I say anything, can you believe it is ALREADY September?



By the time this post is up, it'll be the first day of school for me. All those relaxing summer days? THEY'RE GONE...the bright side is, today is Wednesday, which means school starts at 9. More sleep? Heck yes. *happy dances*

And there's always those pesky rumors about your new teachers. Sometimes, they turn out true, and other times, they don't. First days aren't usually "first days," just teacher introductions. Gah, I wish I had one more week...Please cross your fingers for me to have a very good first day! In case you are wondering, I'm going into my sophomore year of high school...



When school starts, I always say to myself, "Hey, at least you'll have more books to read!" And it's true! For today, I'm going to give away a SIGNED ARC of NIGHTSHADE--something for all of you guys going back to school to look forward too. It is a wonderful, wonderful book. Expect the review to come this month...and a trailer... ;D




To enter, just comment on this post with a short paragraph on the funniest thing that happened during this summer. If we get enough entries, I will pick from the funniest. If not, randomizer FTW. If our contest is THAT lonely, we'll just open this up to extra entries...let's see how it goes ;) I'll leave this contest up until the end of the B2B special. Ends 09/13 midnight, California time

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to Books: Wendy Toliver + Contest | Day 007

Back to school!

I admit it. When I was in elementary, middle, and high school, I absolutely loved going back to school. I'd have my first-day-of-school outfit picked out days in advance, from shoes to earrings. I was always something new and cool that didn't look like I was trying too hard. I'd daydream about who the teacher would assign me to sit next to. An interesting new kid? The guy at the pool I'd been crushing on all summer? A snarky girl with lipstick on her teeth? New school supplies, a new book bag, a home-packed lunch complete with a foil-wrapped drink (to keep it cold)--I loved every last detail.


I'd know who my teachers were and when I got into middle and high school, I'd have my class schedule memorized. But then I went off to college and something strange happened. On my first day, I got up late, threw something on, and biked to campus with absolutely no clue what classes I'd signed up for, let alone where on the enormous campus they were located. Of course, with time I figured things out, but those first couple of weeks, I just kind of walked around in a haze, unpunctual, uncoiffed, and unstyled.

So, what about you? Are (or were) you one who planned everything out when school started, or did you just kind of show up and hope for the best?

Wendy Toliver
Author of Teen Fiction
visit me at http://www.wendytoliver.com/


To win a SIGNED copy of The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren, use this form! Swag is also included in this giveaway, and will be mailed by the author! Ends 09/13 at midnight! (California time)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to Books: Lauren Oliver | Day 006


As I am writing this, it’s August 24th and I’m in Paris, eating loads of baguette and watching vespas zoom on the single-lane, cobblestone-lined street beneath my window, and I am thinking about school.
You might wonder why I’m thinking about school. Shouldn’t I be thinking about accordian-playing mimes, and cute French waiters, and more baguettes?
Mais non, mes amis.
Parisians take summer vacation very seriously. VERY seriously. Everybody takes vacation in France in August—and not for one week, or ten days, but for the entire month. That is not an exaggeration. Bakeries shut down. Butchers shutter their windows; boutiques lock their doors. The streets are empty of Parisians. The mornings dawn misty and quiet, the evening smolder in silence. It is actually a very peaceful time to be in France…if you don’t want to buy anything!
Here’s another example of how seriously French people take les vacances d’ete (summer vacation). There is a famous, famous ice cream shop here called Berthillon. It has exactly one location, on the Ile St Louis, an island in the center of Paris. It does not export its ice cream. You cannot find its ice cream outside of France, or even outside of Paris. And it sells nothing but ice cream—no cookies, no chocolate, no bars of nougatine. Just ice cream.
It is also closed for two full months of every year. Guess which ones?
July and August.
And then, suddenly, at the end of August is la rentree: literally translated to the re-entering, it is when Parisians pour back into Paris, and the bakeries fling open their doors again and begin churning out their heavenly baguettes, and the boutiques and papeteries are packed with families shopping for back-to-school clothing and supplies. This might be my favorite time to be in Paris: la rentree is all about optimism, and energy, and hope for the new year.
That’s what I always loved about going back to school in the fall. It offered a chance of reinvention: new clothes, new binders, untouched sheaths of paper, unused pens. The promise of new friends and (possibly, please God, please God) new adorably hot transfer students who would fall madly in love with you during chem..
And okay, yeah—so most of the time it didn’t work out that way. Within a week, your new clothes are just newer old clothes and you still have nothing to wear, while that annoyingly perfect student body vice president looks like a freaking runway model every day of her life—meanwhile, the only transfer student is weird and short and smells permanently like meatball subs. (Or, if he is cute, he’s already dating the student body president.)
But the point is the start of the school year is all about hope and new beginnings—so much more so, I think, than the actual new year. (Who wants to celebrate new beginnings when it’s like, negative five thousand degrees outside and everyone you know has the flu?)
So make a wish. Heck, make a resolution. And happy New Year!

Lauren, the other one, is giving away a copy of BEFORE I FALL. Click here to enter!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back to Books: Shelby | Day 005

"The Time I Leaped Across Desks", AND A BOOK GIVEAWAY! :D

Hi everyone! :) I think Lauren is going to mention this anyway, but I’m Shelby (
@sbarwood, sbarwood.livejournal.com). This is my first real guest blog, so I’m pretty excited. I’ve decided to tell you a True High School Story. (Wow, MTV should totally get the rights to that. Just sayin.)

My high school experience was…incredibly bizarre, really. I live in a town of approximately 15,000 people. Sounds small, right? It is. My graduating class only had about one hundred people. If I didn’t know all of their names, I at least knew all of their faces. As you can imagine, this made it incredibly hard to just stick to myself and read, the way I like to do. I didn’t fit into any cliques, and let me tell you, in a rural Alabama school, if you’re not in a clique you might as well be dog shit. (Wait, can I say that? Whatever. Let’s PG-13 it up.) Sure, I had friends, but let’s face it: I was an outcast. And not the cool one with a k who can drop beats.

Enter Mr. Jameson. Mr. Jameson was fresh out of college when they hired him to be our Geometry teacher, and…well…sometimes I felt sorry for him. Mr. Jameson was very good at Geometry, but he had no idea how to teach Geometry to his students. He could work the problems in just a few minutes, but showing us how to do the problems put so much stress on him you would have thought he was trying to teach a bunch of Portugese-speaking Rottweilers. About a week into the school year, he decided that from then on, every day, we would come into Geometry, and he'd hand us a Connect-the-Dot and if we did it, we’d get an A.

You can’t make this up. To this day I have no spatial sense whatsoever.

Well, Mr. Jameson’s class was in the middle of the long hallway that comprised the 300 building. Apparently, way back in the sixties when our high school was built, one set of workers had started building on one side of the building, and another set of workers had started building on the opposite side of the building, and when they met in the middle, they didn’t have enough room left for a complete classroom. So the Geometry classroom was inanely small. We had so many desks in our classroom that there were no aisles; you literally had to climb across the desks to reach your seat. As you can imagine, the fire safety people conveniently overlooked it.

Into the middle of this cruel and unusual torture-chamber I was thrust. I usually got the Connect-the-Dot done in the first five or seven minutes of class and read a book the rest of the block. Mostly everyone else, of course, behaved like monkeys, which only further disturbed our on-edge Geometry teacher. Well, for some reason that September day, this nightmarish girl LaShonne who always had something to say about anyone decided that it was time to start firing her mouth off about me.

Now, I wasn’t having the greatest day. I had just found out that the boy I had been crushing on for weeks had started dating one of my band frienemies. On top of that, I had forgotten my lunch money and had only been able to get a Rice Krispy Treat for lunch, even though our school had promised our parents that they were instituting “Healthy Lunches.” (Oh, please! Since when is fried chicken and pizza a part of a healthy lunch?!) So I was very ready to snap at someone, if they gave me the chance.

LaShonne was as dumb as she was mean-hearted (she actually graduated a year late) so she didn’t notice the Look of Doom glaring out of my eye sockets. She started loudly telling me how ugly my outfit was and how fat it made me look. When I fixed her with the Death Glare, she demanded, “What the hell are you looking at?”

“Shut up, LaShonne,” I warned.

“Bitch, don’t tell me to shut up! I’ll say whatever the hell I want! You can’t tell me to do nothing, you fatass.”

“Shut. Your mouth, LaShonne.”

“You need to take your fat horse away from me before I knock you out!”

I’m still not sure why, but something inside me kind of…snapped. I slammed my book down on my desk, flung myself out of my seat, and shouted, “I’m not putting up with this anymore!” I spun around to storm away, but was trapped by the blockade of aisle-less desks. In a fury, I climbed on top of them, walking and leaping over several people’s (thankfully) empty desks, and stomped to the door, slamming it painfully behind myself.

Of course, I couldn’t make quite the exit Anger had planned for me. Anger wanted me to triumphantly storm home. (I was just a freshman, too young to have a car yet.) As I walked down toward the band room, though, I realized that Anger had grossly miscalculated, as it is wont to do.

I had left my purse in the Geometry class. Keys, money, learner’s permit, all there in that bag. I stopped, feeling hot, humid Alabama air on my face. I didn’t want to go back, but I didn’t want to leave anything valuable in there alone, either. Sighing, I turned back.

As I walked, anxiety crept into my throat. I had just broken at least twenty school rules and slammed the door in my teacher’s face. My feet got heavier. I was in so much trouble. I wondered how many weeks of detention I would get for this. Detention in a rural Alabama school isn’t like detention in a normal school. In a rural Alabama school, you’re shoved in a room with no air conditioning and no fans even though it’s a hundred plus degrees out. Talk about hell. On top of that, they would probably call my parents, and who knew what they would do to me. I’d never really been in trouble in my life, or been grounded. I was just a “good kid,” y’know?

I hesitated outside the peeling door of my Geometry class before steeling myself for the onslaught that waited for me and shoving open the door. It was silent as the grave inside—fitting, since I figured I’d soon be in one. Mr. Jameson looked up at me as I came in. “All right, people,” he barked. “We’ve had about enough for today, so just finish your work.” And we did, sitting with our heads down, not speaking at all. I sent furtive glances in Mr. Jameson’s direction, certain that at any moment he would tell me how much trouble I was in.

As I dreaded, when the bell rang Mr. Jameson called me to the front. I didn’t have any excuses on hand. I’d never acted like that before. I considered pretending to cry. I considered crying for real. Mr. Jameson leaned over his stool, staring into my face. I stared back, trying to remember how to make my chin quiver.

His face burst into a smile. “Great job, Barwood. I’ve been waiting to tell that girl off for weeks. She really needs to learn when to keep her mouth shut.”

I gaped. Was he serious? “Ummm…”

He flashed me the thumbs-up sign before turning away, effectively dismissing me. I stood there numbly for a few seconds before I remembered how to operate my legs. As if that weren’t disconcerting enough, a girl from band smiled at me and said, “That was seriously awesome. She’s awful, isn’t she?” I just nodded, realizing that I had apparently done something cool.

And you know what? LaShonne didn’t say another word to me the whole year. :)

Hope you guys enjoyed! A gigantic shout-out to Lauren and Kim for hosting this thing and being completely awesome about my procrastination addiction!

And now, just for fun, I have a shameless promotional
GIVEAWAY of Maggie Stiefvater's SIGNED SHIVER and LINGER! :D Get excited.

...Not that excited. Pull it back, pull it back.

Here are The Rules:

1. Open to anyone on the continent of North America. (If you don't live on the continent of North America,
follow me on Twitter to learn about my upcoming inter-continental contest! :D)

2. The Giveaway will be open until
September 5th, 2010 at 7:00 CST. The winner will be announced and notified the next day, September 6th, 2010 (Labor Day) between 10:00 and 12:00 CST.


3. Fill out the
Entry Form. All fields marked with an asterisk MUST be filled out! If they are not filled out, your entry will not be counted.

4. Extra entries will be factored in accordingly, and each individual entry will receive a number. A winner will be randomly selected using random.org.

***FOR EXTRA ENTRIES***
Before you attempt extra entries, please be aware that I
WILL be checking to make sure no one is attempting to cheat. Also, please don't create blogs/Twitter accounts merely for the purpose of entering this contest. (It's just dishonest!)
If you have any questions, feel free to leave comments and ask them! Have fun, and good luck! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to Books : WORD For Teens | Day 004

The Library Before First Period
Or, in which we learn that throwing books is a really bad idea.

I am a nerd. I wear the label proudly, as do most of my friends. We call ourselves the Nerd Herd; I've been called Queen of the Nerds; our favorite English teacher calls himself our Emperor, and our librarian argues with him and insists that she is the one who really leads us.

Either way, last year was my last year of high school. (Sad!) The group of us spent as much time as possible in the library before we left - during lunch periods, whenever we had a free period, when our teachers would let us out of class.

But, most importantly, we hung out in the library before first period.

This was something that we had done since freshman year. The entire point of this post is that going to the library - or at least, in my case - is a great way to make friends. I would need both hands and both feet to count the number of people I've met and become friends with just by hanging out there. We're computer geeks, book nerds, comic obsessed, manga lovers - you name anybody who falls under the 'May Be Socially Awkward' division, and we're in the library. And you become really good friends with your librarian.

This is very beneficial. And I can't even start with the number of stories I have from the library that would have gotten us in trouble had my friends and I not been close to my librarian.

For instance:

Sophomore year, my friends Keith and Gerald and I were working on a project for our English class. We had two options: make a video of whatever skit we were working on, or present the skit live to the front of the class. None of us liked the idea of presenting the skit live. We were all rather awkward in front of large groups.

Besides, our skit involved throwing things.

See, we had to write a scene, ten years after the end of the play, for The Taming of the Shrew. I was playing Kate, Keith was playing Petruchio, and Gerald was playing a poor servant who gets hit as I throw books.

Our librarian at the time was Mr. Stevens. (This changed at the beginning of our senior year, and I'm closer to that librarian than I ever was to Mr. Stevens. She also happens to read WORD regularly, so we always have a lot to talk about.) Now, Mr. Stevens was your typical nerdy male librarian. He agreed to let us stay after school and perform the skit, and he would film it for us. He even supplied old, kind of crappy books for me to throw so I wouldn't have to ruin any of mine.

Now, I have really bad aim. It took multiple tries to even get a shot that looked like I had hit Gerald. Most of the time, I ended up hitting Keith.

But none of my bad aim compares to what happened to poor Mr. Stevens. As Gerald went to toss one of the books back to me, it flew at an awkwardly low angle just as Mr. Stevens was standing up.

And it hit him in a very, er, precarious spot.

Needless to say, I coudn't stop laughing, Keith was rolling on the ground, the library assistant was doubled over, and Gerald was trying to help Mr. Stevens stand back up.

He still let us finish filming, too.

What was the point of this story? You can make friends in the library so long as you just say something. Talk to your librarian. Ask what other people are reading. Just say hi and introduce yourself.

Oh, and if you can't aim - don't throw things.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back to Books: Giveaway from Lauren | Day 003

Hello! I'm Lauren from The Here. The Now. And the Books!

Ok, so school...I have mixed feelings to say the least. I have the passion to learn...but only with things I want to learn, which, as you can imagine, are limited.

Getting up at 6:30am for school seems like Hell to me, too. Why can't we have night school? I'd function better!

Yes, school does put a dent in reading time, but it doesn't stop me from reading, of course! We have a specific period of 30min. to read each day, actually.

Usually, I'm the only one reading, though. *sigh*

There aren't a lot of readers at my school, unfortunatly. I blame this on the fact that A.) Some people just don't like to read. B.) Reading is a challenge for some. or C.) The person has not found the right book, yet.

Up until 4th grade, I hated reading. No kid.

I mean, come on! The school's books were pretty boring. And I'm a picky reader. I'm not that reading gal that can pick up any book and read, I don't work that way.

But I started reading A Series of Unfortunate Events, which lead to Artemis Fowl, which lead to Harry Potter, and then to Twilight.

A Series of Unfortunate Events was my starting point. I love those books. I was finally able to see that reading was indeed enjoyable. I found my right book. My starting book, so to speak.

So, in honor of going back to school soon (Or, like me, you're already in school!), I'm giving away 2 books. Hopefully, you'll love them, maybe spread them to a person as their spark for reading.
The books will be given away together, and they are:


Likey?
These books rock! Sexy, edge-y, romantic. Love!

All you have to do is fill out THIS form.

Note: No, you can't enter in both places. If you do, one entry will be taken away. If you lie, faeries will come dance with you until you die. :)



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to Books: J.P. from YA Urban | Day 002


Hello!

So today I'm posting about Back 2 Books. . .and I'm going to be talking mostly about the school environment - oh, and cliques. Maybe some people think there are the same "groups" in every school; maybe you don't. But I'm here to tell you that the school I go to isn't the same as a lot of schools. We are a small Catholic school and we have somewhere around 600 students total, Pre-K through eighth grade. In the higher grades, there are the jocks, and the other people. Not even kidding. We don't have "preppy girls," "cheerleaders." I guess you could call us (the non-jock, book/music people) indies. When we were immature, say, fourth grade, there was an infinite siege between the two forces; now, the "indies" are the matures ones (IMO), and we just ignore it when the sport-obsessed jocks think they're the hottest thing out there. We're cool like that. ^^

So - to celebrate Back 2 Books, I'm having a national giveaway of HUSH, HUSH. Why this book? Because a lot of the story's plot and/or storyline is set at school, and the novel often focuses on that. To enter, all you have to do is comment on this post. If you want +1, tweet "Back 2 Books: School + HUSH, HUSH. @jpmsull @WonderGirl12 "http://tinyurl.com/2e4g6u2" I'll be in charge of the contest.

Thanks!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to Books: Piratepenguin Reads | Day 001

So summer’s ending and that means it’s time to go back to school.
I can already feel my internal clock readjusting itself in preparation for getting up early.
But you know what school can’t take away from me? The time to sit down and read a book; sure, I’ll have to carve out a few minutes of each day but as an intense bookworm, I make that commitment (even when it’s time for finals!). While I love gobbling up new stories, there are some books that I always revisit every year. You could call them my comfort reads; I’m pretty sure everyone has some. Today I’ll be telling you my Top Five Comfort Reads.
Maybe we’ll have some in common! :D
Top Five Comfort Reads
1.) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte-I was first introduced to Jane Eyre when I was around 11 or 12. My friend (who was also the same age as me (and they say kids don’t read!)) lent me the book, saying that I’d love it. Her copy had a dark, almost dreary cover and was very beat-up; I wasn’t convinced that I’d love it—but I gave it a try and ended up falling passionately in love with the story. The main character, Jane Eyre, had all the traits that I wanted in a heroine. She is clever, brutally honest and has an iron will that wouldn’t bend for anyone-not even the love of her life. She goes through so much but gets her happy ending without compromising her moral values. It’s an amazing book and it’s perfect for a rainy day!
2.) Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen-who hasn’t heard of Mr.Darcy? Again, the same friend who introduced me to Jane Eyre made me try P&P and my life hasn’t been the same since. Jane Austen was the author that really pulled me into the British regency period and made me curious to know more. Tall, handsome, intense and insanely rich, Mr. Darcy also happened to be my first major literary crush and although he’s no longer #1 in my heart (Mr. Thornton has that title now), he still holds a special place in my heart (and has a fanbase that could rival Edward Cullen's stalkers--er, fangirls.)
3.) Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes-I found this gem by accident one day when I was looking through a pile of books at the dollar store. The cover didn’t do much for me but the summary caught my attention; on a whim I decided to buy it and it sat on my bookshelf for months. Another friend of mine had picked it up from the library and once she finished it, she raved about it—realizing I had it on my shelf already I picked it up and read. I was transported into a world where there was a war between two classes of shape shifters—add some political intrigue and romance and I was set! If you’ve had any doubts about Atwater-Rhodes, I suggest you pick this one up first. Her writing in this book truly shines.
4.) Just Listen by Sarah Dessen-
Oh Sarah Dessen; you’ve been with me since the beginning of my high school career. Dessen is one of the reigning queens of YA and if you haven’t read any of her work, you should be ashamed. As for those that are familiar with her novels, most readers think The Truth about Forever stand above the rest. I used to agree until I reread Just Listen and sawooned over Owen, the bad boy with a penchant for honesty and eclectic music. He’s been my favorite Dessen boy ever since. Every girl needs to meet the Dessen boys—they are hot!

5.)
The Host by Stephenie Meyer-Don’t be put off by the fact that Stephenie Meyer is the author. There are no sparkly vampires in this book! There are aliens instead ;) Don’t look at me like that—whether you admit it or not, Stephenie Meyer can tell a story; she excels with this particular novel where she seamlessly blends sci-fi with romance. I was initially skeptical but once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I loved this book so much I even have a copy of it in Spanish! I would definitely recommend this one for anybody that wants a thought-provoking read (with romance, of course.) ;D

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Guest Post: Lauren Hammond

Twitter @NovelistLauren


The book can be puchased at www.punkinbooks.com and www.amazon.com

We are constantly offered so many choices in our everyday lives. We have opportunities to decide what we want out of life. But what if you weren’t given a choice? What if the life you are leading was chosen for you?

That’s what happened to Cara Jones in Love Sucks. Cara never chose to be a vampire. That life was chosen for her.

When I began writing this novel, the first mental image I ever got of Cara Jones was her punching her fist through the lid of her coffin and the rest is history. I tried to put myself in her shoes. What would I do in her situation? What would I do if I woke up buried in the ground in the middle of nowhere not knowing who or what I had become? I truly believe by doing this I created a great character that not only I could relate to but one that my readers could relate to as well.
I wrote this novel completely from Cara’s point of view. I wanted my readers to feel like I did, I wanted them to put themselves in Cara’s shoes. This book, takes you on the journey of a lifetime. You’ll follow Cara through her years of life beginning in the 1700’s until she wakes up in the year 2010. A vampire around that long can get into a lot of trouble, right?

I want my readers to enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. There is a sequel in the works and A Sucker For Love will be out sometime in the summer of 2011.

So now I only have one thing left to say, are you ready to be sucked in?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

YA SISTERS! And BACK TO BOOKS! (All caps intended)

Lauren and I have EXCITING NEWS! First of all, we have a new webseries together called YA SISTERS! We promise the webseries will be full of crazy shenanigans! This week, I went around asking random people in B&N and Target to be in my video about PARANORMALCY (awesome, awesome book). It was quite the experience. It would be an understatement to say I got turned down. LOL. Nonetheless, there is still some fun footage! At first, we wanted to do a podcast-type thing, but then, we ended up with this!

Here is the first episode! Please comment and subsribe! :) Or just comment below this post! Either one will work with us ;)




Our second piece of news is BACK 2 BOOKS. You can find more information on Lauren's page. Feel free to contact either of us if you are interested!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

In my Mailbox

Wow, it's been a very long time since I had the time to do an In My Mailbox! :O

Anyways, I only got two books in my mailbox this week--both of which I finished, and found to be very, VERY good. SO good, that in fact, you will be possibly seeing one or two of them given away on this blog soon.

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer - Won from Kristen over at Bookworming in the 21st century

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - This was a TOTAL surprise. One of my friends, Annie, went to Comic Con and got this for me. *squeeeeeeeee*

Well, that's all I got this week! I was hoping for my Shadow Hills poster to come, but it didn't. I also got a new cell phone in the mail (mine had broken, but luckily we had insurance to give me a new one) What did YOU guys get? :]