Other places you can find me at: here and here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Let's have a chat with...Leah Cypess

Today is April 27th. Possibly the best day of this month; even my date of birth does not live up to this day. It is...the release of MISTWOOD by Leah Cypess!!! *happy dances* If my copy does not arrive today, I am hitting the bookstore. I've seen some hardcopies online and they are very SHINY! Yay for shiny books!

I had the wonderful chance to interview the lovely author herself. Without further ado, here is Leah Cypess...

1. I've developed a love for shape-shifters. If you could shape-shift into any other object or creature, what would it be?

A bird. Which might seem like a strange answer given that I'm somewhat afraid of heights and hate flying in airplanes, but I assume as a bird I wouldn't have those problems.

2. As I know, you spent many years writing Mistwood. Was the final product different than what you had a few years ago?

Oh, yes. The main plot points never changed, but during the revisions process, entire scenes were taken out, entire new scenes were written,and at least one scene skipped all over the book before finding its proper place. I also did a lot of adding and refining descriptions,something I usually don't have much of in a first draft.

3. How did you come up with the character names in your book?

I came up with most of these names so long ago that I don't remember exactly, but I can tell you that usually, I go with some combination of syllables -- or some variation of a real-world name -- that feels"right" to me. (A very rigorous scientific method.) Usually, either this comes to me right off the bat, or else I fill a page with invented names until I hit upon one that I like. Sometimes, when I haven't thought of the right name for a character yet, I'll just use a blank line as a "placeholder" until I make my decision. If I'm doing this for two characters at once, it can get a little confusing.

4. I can't wait to read what you have next for us. What are you currently working on?

Thank you! There will be a companion novel to Mistwood, which I am currently revising with my editor and which I hope will be published in 2011. I'm also working on a third book set in the world of Mistwood, and simultaneously on a fantasy novel set in our world.

5. What is the best restaurant you have ever eaten at?

In Jerusalem, Israel, where I studied for a year, there is a place near the central bus station that makes these gigantic stuffed laffas. I'm not sure I can call it a "restaurant" because it's more like a hole in the wall, and you can smell the grease from the street, but those laffas were the best things I have ever tasted. It was especially amazing because they were filled with things I usually don't like -- meat, chicken, french fries, etc. -- but somehow the combination was addictive.

6. What are three things in nature you find the most beautiful?

Mountains, sunsets, and the sea.

7. Can you remember your last dream?

Oh, yes. I was in school (either college or high school, I don't remember) and it was the end of the semester. I hadn't attended any of my classes or opened any of my books and I couldn't even remember which of my finals was on which day.

Thank you Leah! And to those who are reading this post, get your butt out there and buy yourself a copy of Mistwood!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mistakes You Shouldn't Make at Festivals

Hey all !

Yesterday, I went to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and had loads of fun. I met many authors, including Cherry Cheva and Robin Benway. It's unbelievable how gorgeous they look in person! And seeing some of the authors was so surreal because they look NOTHING like their author pictures...possibly even more dazzling!

Being the dorky me, I made an awful lot of mistakes. Make sure you learn from mine because I regret them so much! *facepalm*

1.) Look up schedule beforehand
2.) Bring the RIGHT books! (The books I brought from home were apparently for Sunday's signing...Had to cough out money for books that I already had at home just because I wanted them signed...)
3.) Say hi to anyone you know and introduce yourself! (Especially if this person's a blogger !)
4.) Know that when they mean the YA Stage, it's actually a STAGE and not just a tent. (Yeah, I always thought I was at the stage when it was just the area for the signings -.-)
5. ) Go on Twitter and look at tweets about the festival BEFORE you go! Lots of important stuff on there...

Unfortunately, my mishaps above resulted in me not having the ideal trip I wanted. On a brighter note, at least I know this for next year!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Win Mistwood and Brightly Woven!

Click here to win two amazing books signed by the authors! :) Contest ends on April 27 and 9!

Mistwood is very, very awesome, and for sure, I'm going to buy more than one copy of it. So go enter for a chance to read it if you aren't doing so already! Plus, it's signed by the amazing LEAH CYPESS HERSELF.


P.S. I know I used the words awesome and amazing a lot in this post...XD

Monday, April 19, 2010

What a Small Role for Such a Person!

(Haven't done one of these posts in a while, although I procrostinate every day...)

As I've been reading books, I notice one character who does not make enough appearances in the pages! But then again, there is a reason why they appeared in the first why is it that I need more? Why is it that I like them even more than the main character? I'm a bit surprised myself. Usually, I go gah-gah over the main character and his/her struggles, but honestly, I don't even care. I find myself caring more for THE SUPPORTING CHARACTER!

What does the word, "supporting," mean?
adj. accompanying and assisting, but secondary to, the main action or the main participants in something

Sorry, but you are more worth than that, Character! You don't need to assist! I don't want you to be SECONDARY. I want you to be the STAR. I want to hear about your past. Your present. Your future. I don't want you to just fade away as the book nears its end! NO. I. Want. You. You and only You. So come! Come and share me your story. Or else I'll be forced to go off and write some cheesy fanfiction about you. After all, you make the story worth reading. You outshine the other characters like a diamond in the mud. I experience all my emotions with you, so why are you just disappearing? Come back! Come back! (I am not crazy...)

On a more serious note, I understand why they are there, though. They're there to give the story depth, movement, and who knows? Maybe they're just there in case you just absolutely HATE the main characters...

~Oh and in case you're wondering what character I'm talking about, it's Juliet from Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.

...And so I've come to a rational conclusion. They need their own book.

So what do YOU think? Is there a character that you just love more than anyone else in the book, but they're just supporting ones? Please leave a comment with your choice (could be more than one!) and why you think they're downright awesome! (Who knows? Might have a little prize...) A follow-up post will be up soon with some of your choices!

-Till the next time I procrostinate from school. (This time, it's just studying...)

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Rating: 5/5
Synopsis: (From NetGalley): Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

Review: The Iron King was like a rollercoaster made me laugh, angry, and cry. For those who've read The Iron King (and I'm sure there are plenty!), this is NOTHING compared to that stack of pages, which is also filled with awesomeness. Personally, I think the book is TEN TIMES more action-packed and jaw-dropping than the first in the series. I remember just reading the first chapter, my eyes popping. I could not stop reading!

Forgive me for being fan-girly, but I had so many panic attacks that I lost count. I know it made my mom's day when she heard me scream in the living room (hehe!). I think this book was better than the first because not only did it provide the answers I had from the first one, but it also heated things up more. I have to admit though; sometimes being in Meghan's head at certain points of the book aggravated me. Her love for Ash is sometimes...too much? However, she's still one of my favorite characters! It's not often that a sequel is even better than it's predecessor, but for Kagawa, it is.

The ending makes me anxious to know how the story will continue. Granted, I just want to read more!

What I thought of:

The Beginning: Lots of shocking news! O_O

The Middle: The middle was filled with more shocking news, revelations, and awe-worthy scenes. I am telling you this book is FANTABULOUS.

The End: It left me surprised and lingering for more! I can't wait until the next book comes out. The ending was beautiful.

Favorite Quote From Book:
Even if I was turned ninety, lost my mind and forgot everything else, the memory of the Winter prince would be a shining beacon that would never fade.

...and for the record, I am TEAM ASH because he pwns Puck any day of the week!

[FTC: Read an online galley from the publisher on NetGalley]

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Spanking New Look

I don't know about you, but I got really tired of my old Blogger template. It was just too squished, hehe. So during my free time today, I browsed through a bunch of templates until I fell in love with this one. What do you think? I think it's pretty good. It certainly brings in a new look to the blog, a colorful one at that! I was itching to get a three-column one and finally managed to pull it off (I had wanted to do this for MONTHS but was too lazy).

Other than inserting new review links into the review archive, I'm done switching layouts. If you see anything funky, please let me know! :)

In other news, there are only a few more months before this blog gets another year older, like I just did. Let this change be good! :)

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler
Rating: 4.4/5

Synopsis: Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all at Paradise—the resort in the Caribbean, that is—for different reasons, but in Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Over the course of four months, through four voices and four stories, what happened in Paradise will change them all.

Carolyn Mackler…how have I not read any of her books before? Tangled just leaves me in awe! Every one of the four stories was crafted so uniquely. All four of the “tangled”, Jena, Skye, Owen, and Dakota, are very distinct from each other. No pair is alike at all. Being told from four points of views, Mackler develops the characters so well that you can tell them all apart just by reading a few sentence from their part.

To write a review for this book would be like writing a review for four. Their stories are so different, but yet so connected. Their insecurities added to the multiple layers of the books. The fact that all four of these people become involved in a way all due to one place is amazing. I am still rereading my favorite parts from this book.

The only thing I didn’t really enjoy about the book was how confusing it was at certain parts, but that was because of the mini cliffhangers at each story's end. Otherwise, this is a very solid read!

One thing that makes this story very different from others is how each character’s story doesn’t just end right there. It’s open, and all your questions are answered by the last turn of a page.

What I thought of…

The Beginning: I loved the beginning. It hooked me in, and never let me go. Jena’s story was sweet, and I could relate to her the most. Definitely a great start!

The Middle: There were many things going around here. I just couldn’t stop reading. It was beautiful.

The End: It was endearing and tied all four stories together in the nicest way possible. I can’t stop rereading the last couple of pages…

Favorite quote from book:
"...but for now, nothing has to happen. For now, I can just be here in this strange bed at sunrise..."

[FTC: Received from publisher for review.]

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lifted by Wendy Toliver

Lifted by Wendy Toliver
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Poppy Browne is none too thrilled to be the new girl in Pleasant Acres, Texas--especially after her mother enrolls her in a private Baptist school. But to her delight, Poppy is pulled into the cool clique on her first day at Calvary High, and her new friends, Mary Jane and Whitney, are as genuinely nice as they are gorgeous and rich.

The catch? Her new pals have a nasty shoplifting habit, and before long Poppy is also a theft enthusiast. But when the girls' addictions get out of hand and friendships are threatened, it's up to Poppy to set things right ....

Review: I remember being excited. I remembering tearing the package open. I remember starting on this book even though I had about five tests to study for. Then, I remember putting the book down. The beginning was kind of choppy, and it just played out fair, not enough for me to continue reading it.

So I picked it up again a couple days later, and it turns out, I should have stuck with it in the first place! It was a gripping read; the conflicts just got more and more tangled as the pages turned. I had no choice but to finish the book once and for all. The backdrop of the novel, the school where Poppy attends, really made it more enjoyable. I loved reading about how the classy girls weren't really classy at all.

Poppy shouldn't have shoplifted in the first place. She was already perfect. It did get kind of frustrating along the way, though. I threw a mini fit, if you will. As for the romance, it was just the right amount and will forever make me laugh and smile. ♥ (I'm feeling hearty today, so there! A heart!)

Wendy Toliver did an amazing job with this novel!

What I thought about...

The Beginning: I didn't really get into it; the events just didn't capture my attention. But I have to admit, Poppy's attitude was funny ;)

The Middle: This is where I reached the point of no return, and coincidentally, so did Poppy. Cue the flipping of pages!

The End: It was amazing; made me smile :)

FTC: Received for review from Around The World Tours