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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush. Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life. When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

Review: Forgive My Fins was more than merely pages of an adorable romance. The characters popped, and the plot consisting of mermaid drama was as delicious as ever. I heard people call this an easily predictable romance, but honestly, my guesses were WAY off. I guess my brain is just not suited enough to make legit predictions. Let's start with the blurbs--it's vague, which makes it all the more better. Many blurbs give out the entire story! I didn't even expect anything but the climax happening. And that epilogue? It definitely added a shocking twist to the story.

The main character had her perks--many, in fact--but there were times I wanted to strangle her. Give her a good beating! (Har-har) The inevitable is going to happen anyway, just deal with it, Lily!

I've always loved mermaids, and I can imagine most of the people who read this blog do too! Forget Ariel, Lily has me hooked!

What I thought of...

The Beginning: It had me quite hesistant, but within minutes, I warmed up!

The Middle: So. Much. Cuteness!

The End: I did NOT see this coming! O_O Sequel? Heck, yes! :D

Favorite quote from book:
Didn't really have one! Just so good!

I am a member of the street team for this, and I have a couple of leftover swag from this book that will be in the blogoversary giveaway! (12 more days!)
FTC: Bought this!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

13 to Life by Shannon Delany

13 to Life by Shannon Delany
Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis: Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction…

When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide--secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.

Review: I absolutely loved this book. It had almost everything I looked for in a book; a satisfying heroine, mystery, and action. The pacing was as natural as it could get, and Jessie's voice was very distinct. Her relationship with Pietr is very sweet, not like most relationships in YA today. Even the secondary characters were molded in very well. I have a soft spot for her friend Amy.

Delany's retelling of werewolves is very refreshing. I happen to really like Russian history so that just made the book more appealing! Of course, the whole revelation thing with the wolves drags out til the end, but it works. This is one of the best werewolf stories I've ever read!

There's only several things I disliked like the characters, Jenny and Macie. They just seemed a bit superficial. And it was also frustrating when Jessie kept lusting after her crush, and her constant acts of self-sacrifice. However, I could see why she always lives for others and not herself.

Other than that, the writing itself was brilliant! I don't think I've ever read a book where the voice of the character stood out so much. It's like you're RIGHT inside her head. I can't wait for the sequel!

The book officially releases today so...happy birthday book!

What I thought of...

The Beginning: I was hooked very early on. I found myself already understanding the backstory and everything at pg. 18!

The Middle: So, so good! I flipped through this one.

The End: Ends on a mini cliffhanger, but it was satisfying. :)

Favorite Quotes/Lines From Book:

"Oh. Your name's not Peter," I said, wondering if I'd been pronouncing it all that correctly. Huh. P-i-e-t-r. "It's Pie-eater--" ..."No, Pee-yoh--ter."..."Pay-oder?"

"I have never heard so many--creative--pronounciations of my name."

FTC: Bought at store

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Win Clockwork Angel and Beautiful Darkness

I was chosen as one of the judges for Lauren's new contest. This is my first time being a judge for ANY contest so *breaks out into happy dance* Anyway, I haven't read both of the books offered in the giveaway, but I can tell they will be awesome. I believe there are TWO copies of Clockwork Angel to be given out along with some awesome swag, and ONE copy of Beautiful Darkness also with swag. So enter now! You never might be able to win...go on over to here, and enter!

And now for pictures of the fabulous prizes, please see below:

Here is an awesome video with Lauren, herself, talking about the contest (And if I may say, awesome accent! xD): what are you waiting for? Get your butts on over to her site! It's really easy. Heck, I could have gotten FIVE entries just for writing up this post here! ;D I look forward to judging your vids for Clockwork Angel. *cough* Bribery is recommended. I accept marshmallows of any kind.*cough* Just kidding. Good luck to everyone!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dream Reading Room

Summer is here, and I'm fantasizing about various things. For one, how cool would it be to have my own dream reading room? Just because I know that won't ever happen, I'm going to lay it all out here in this post.

With a reading room, you need books, of course. Most of mine are all over the place in boxes right now, so what would be a great solution? A book wall. Or a bookcase. I'm not going to complain with either one... There isn't one that flows endlessly, but I can dream. And you know, maybe one or two sectional sofas on the side of the room along with a desk. The floor needs to be either wooden flooring or purple/pink carpetting to make the room go POP! Maybe a stereo somewhere--who am I kidding? I NEED a stereo to be in there. I can't read without some good music.

If only money came from a tree. Is there a money tree anywhere that I can buy? What do you say? There is NOT? *sniff* One day...just wait...bahaha.

Back to business here, what's the point of having such a big room without BOOKS? Books of any kind because quite frankly, I want my own library. Everything would have to be in alphabetical order by an author's last name, because I'm just nitpicky like that. Of course, I'd love for the books to be in genres, but that would take forever! Have I mentioned I'm also very lazy? Maybe I have...

Well, just last week, my dream started coming true! CSN contacted me to do a giveaway OR a review. Because I needed a bookshelf so, so badly, I jumped at the chance and opted for a review, but don't fret. I felt kind of bad doing a review when I should have chosen a giveaway so I chose to have a giveaway of my own! Since my blogoversary is coming up, I will be hosting a little practice for the upcoming giveaways. I'm not sure how much the gift certificate will be for one lucky reader here, but since CSN has so many offers, it wouldn't be that hard. So stay tuned for a giveaway post!

Anyway...what's YOUR dream reading room like? Please comment! Maybe it's better than mine--heck, it probably is!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Let's have a chat with Wendy Toliver

Today, we have Wendy Toliver, author of LIFTED. You can find my review of it here. LIFTED comes out today

1. Is writing rom-com novels different from writing books like Lifted?
Yes. There are certain things the ro-coms need, like humor, lots of romance, and the happiest endings possible. Those are the things readers expect and want when they pick up a ro-com. Now, with Lifted, I had more freedom because it didn't need to fit into a certain "type" of book. It does have funny parts, romance, and a somewhat happy ending, but that's because it's a) part of my voice and b) what I thought worked well for the story. Also, because I'd never written a so called "edgy" novel, it was a huge and exciting challenge for me. I hope I succeeded!

2. What is your favorite citrus fruit?
Limes. Love them in my Diet Coke, water, and Mexican beer! :)

3. How do you come up with character names? (I like Poppy!)

Aw, thank you! I actually put a LOT of thought into my characters' names. Mainly because when you write a book, you have to look at the same names over and over so you better like them. Poppy is a name I chose because of the whole idea of the book. Do you remember the poppy fields in The Wizard of Oz? Poppies were dangerous because Dorothy and her friends fell asleep while in the field. Poppies symbolize eternal sleep, and they also symbolize how Jesus Christ died but then rose from the dead. Lots of really interesting, deep meanings! And there's the simple reason that poppies are pretty flowers and I think Poppy is a cool name.

As for names of other characters, I choose names I like and that fit the physical appearance of my characters. I never intentially name my characters after real people in my life.

4. When did you start writing books?
While I've always loved writing, I only started writing books when I was about 30.

5. What are you working on? Can you please share?
I am currently working on a paranormal romance YA and a cute fairy tale-like middle grade novel. I'm always looking for a new, exciting challenge.

6. What do you like to do in your free time?

Free time? What's that? LOL
Lately, I would just like to get a little sleep. I also like to do yoga, and now that it's finally getting warm, I like taking long walks and going wakeboarding.

7. What would you do if you won the lottery?

Travel, do fun things for my friends and family, and start a foundation for children.

8. What has been your favorite book to write?
While I consider all of my novels my "babies," I have to admit that I'm the most excited for Lifted. I put so much time and attention into this project and I think that with each book, I get better at writing.

9. Any last words? :)
Thanks for the great interview questions, Kim!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Karma Club by Jessica Brody

The Karma Club by Jessica Brody
Rating: 4.86/5

Synopsis: Madison Kasparkova always thought she understood how Karma works. It’s that mysterious, powerful force that brings harmony to the universe. You know—do good things and you will be rewarded, do something bad and Karma will make sure you get what’s coming to you. A sort of cosmic balancing act.

But when Mason Brooks, Maddy’s boyfriend of two years, gets caught tongue-wrestling with Miss Perfect Body Heather Campbell, and absolutely nothing happens to either of them—except that they wind up the hot new couple of Colonial High School, it seems like Karma has officially left Maddy in the lurch. That’s why Maddy and her best friends, Angie and Jade, decide to start the Karma Club—a secret, members-only organization whose sole purpose is to clean up the messes that the universe has been leaving behind. Whether they’re modifying Heather Campbell’s acne cream as part of “Operation Butterface,” or righting a few wrongs when it comes to Angie and Jade’s own slimy exes, they know they’re just doing what Karma should have done in the first place. They’re taking care of one another.

Sometimes, though, it isn’t wise to meddle with the universe. Because it turns out, when you mess with Karma, Karma messes back. Now Maddy must find a way to balance her life for good, even as everything around her seems to be toppling to the ground.

Review: I've been meaning to read this book for quite some time. I was going to borrow it from my friend when it arrived at my front door in a box! *gasp* I had no idea what happened, but the label said it was from Free Book Friday . Being the old, forgetful me, I forgot I even entered the contest. So after freaking out about actually winning a book--a signed one too!--in many months, I had to resist from reading this. it didn't help that the book kept teasing me on the shelf. Anyway, this is not a personal blog so I'll stop from my ranting here and proceed to review! Yes.

Ever since I watched the trailer, I was intrigued, and wanted to read it right away, but didn't get the chance to until this week! It was so wonderful, funny, and endearing. A lot of the elements in this story were pretty cliche, but they clicked (get it, cliche...clicked?...if you don't take away though "h" sound...alright I'll shut up...)! The Karma Club was full of laughs, especially during their operations to set the balance. Watching them plan and act out their revenge was both hilarious and nervewrecking. The cover already told me that Karma would mess back, so all I could think was...when would that happen? When it did, I wasn't completely shocked, but it definitely kept me eyes glued to the pages, awaiting to see how the MC would fix things.

One of the few things I disliked was how Maddy was in the beginning of the book; the way she idoled Heather and how she wanted to become popular--it just kind of irked me. Nevertheless, she reedeemed herself. The romance was also just the right amount, and her friends? They definitely deserve one of those "YA BFF Awards," which I'm sure they don't have. I can dream though! All in all, I recommend reading this. With summer coming up, this refreshing book will lift your spirits even higher!

What I thought of...

The Beginning: I got hooked on easily, but would have liked the action to start on earlier.

The Middle: Full of laugh out loud moments! It was so enjoyable.

The End: I would have liked more closure. I guess it was tied up well at the end, but something about it throws me off, like the book isn't fully complete yet.

Favorite quote from book:

"Yes. If something you did brought you faliure, then shouldn't the exact opposite bring you success?"

FTC: Won from Free Book Friday

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Win 4 Awesome ARCS from Michelle Hodkin

Just found this over on Twitter, enter now, readers of the blog! ARCs included are below...

Here is the info directly from her blog:

So, to celebrate, I now have some good news for you: I am giving away not one, not two, but FOUR of the most anticipated and buzzed-about ARCs I scored at BEA last week. One winner will receive BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and MATCHED by Ally Condie, and another winner will receive THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger and MATCHED by Ally Condie.

Click here for more details! Amazing books right? I have entered, but we all know my unlucky odds. Fingers crossed! Enter now! Now! Now! Can't stress that enough...or maybe I can! NOW! NOW! (hehe...) And if you entered, feel free to say I referred you! That way, we can get more entries!