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

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Leah Cypess - Top Five Guilty Book Secrets

You know we all have them. Here are mine:

ONE: I don’t love everything written by Jane Austen. I loved Pride & Prejudice, and that was it. I liked Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion. I thought Mansfield Park would have been great if the main character had been anyone but Fanny. And I hated Emma (which I have heard described as “the most critically acclaimed of Austen’s novels”) with an absolute passion.

TWO: I have no strong feelings about Twilight. Either way. At all.I read the first one without knowing how famous it was. And having read every book LJ Smith ever wrote, plus Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde plus, you know, watched Buffy, my reaction could be summed up as: "Oh, okay." I intended to pick up the rest of the books but never got around to it. I don't even remember much about what happens, except that she did some complicated cooking near the beginning.

THREE: I'm not into graphic novels. I tried. With rare exceptions, they just don't work for me. I feel really stodgy and not cutting-edge and stuff, but there it is.

FOUR: When people tell me they like Wuthering Heights, I feel like I should back away slowly.

The best review I ever read of this book was by someone on Amazon (which, unfortunately, I can’t find to link to): "This isn't a book about true love. It's a book about how child abuse perpetuates itself through the generations."

FIVE: I liked the Lord of the Rings movies better than the books. I know, I should just hand in my fantasy-loving credentials right now. But I think Tolkien's genius was in being the first writer to do what he did. Not in being the best writer to do it. (ducks for cover)

What are your guilty book secrets?


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

No words.

I have some very exciting news!

Lauren and I have collaborated once again. This time, it was to create a fansite for The Divergent Trilogy! It is called The Factionless (not to be confused with the livejournal community Factionless--which is an amazing resource btw!)
We've been hard at work on it for exactly one month, and are still in the process of adding more content to the site.

Some notable features include:

- The Pit, an online forum for all Divergent fans to, you know, discuss and gush about the series.
-Diverging Designs, your source for fan-related merchandise! (More designs will be added this coming week. Merchandise will be made from different designers--rather than just one--in order to give more variety to the shop. If you'd like to see how they turn out before you buy them, keep checking back as I will be ordering them.)

There are tons of more amazing features the site offers and we'd love for you to stop by and check it out!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guest Post: Sarah MacManus | Teenage Garage Sale

Hi Kim,

Thanks for the opportunity to unload some old stuff and clear out the attic. Do I have to sell it?! Some of it may have antique value by now.

Okay – first up…

  1. A copy of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album – on vinyl with the cutouts intact. First album I ever bought with my own money.
  2. A copy of The Runaways first record – on vinyl. The first album I ever stole. I wanted to be Joan Jett when I grew up.
  3. A copy of Times Square – the movie. Has Tim Curry in it. On VHS.
  4. A large box of really badly written poetry.
  5. The ancient stereo my big brother left for me when he joined the service. It has an 8-track player in it and the 1-800 number for the Dr. Demento show written on the turn table cover in grease pencil so I could easily call in and request Weird Al’s “My Bologna.” Again.
  6. A stack of scripts from plays I was in or did tech for, including Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet, Camino Real by Tennessee Williams, Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov and The Birds by Aristophanes
  7. A box of handbills from local rock shows and nightclubs. I used to walk around and take them off the telephone polls and tack them up in my room.
  8. A selection of vintage undergarments and lingerie – I used to troll through charity shops and buy up old, hand sewn slips, nightgowns and petticoats.
  9. A copy of The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving that I “forgot” to take back to the library.
  10. An old IBM Selectric typewriter that my parents got me so I could be a ‘real writer.’
  11. A pile of rejection slips from prominent literary journals and magazines that I acquired shortly thereafter, learning that it was going to take something a bit more than an electric typewriter.

Well, that’s about all that’s left.

I don’t really have to sell them, right? I was just getting ready to write some poetry, listen to some tunes and maybe start re-reading Hotel New Hampshire again.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
Source: ATW Tours
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

There have been others before who’ve felt the Need, but they’re gone—erased from the memories of everyone whose lives they had touched. It's as though they never existed. This is the fate that awaits Charlotte. But the last thing Charlotte wants to do is disappear, to be Forgotten. She wants to stay with her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. She wishes she could just ignore the Need, but she can’t. And as everyone important in her life begins to slowly forget her, she has to decide if she’ll fight the Need in order to remain herself—no matter how dark the consequences

Review: My mind is still trying to make sense of the ending. I keep rereading the last few pages, and all I can think is: Wow, did that really just happen? Has there been a more beautiful ending? This book takes me to places no book has ever taken me before. I rarely ever cry when I'm reading (Those If I Stay books? Yeah, I didn't get why people cried over them), but this book? It was as if everything bottled up inside of me came out. I got really emotional. I just closed the book up and I'm sniffling and all I can do now is tell you the reasons why you should read it.

It's beautiful. Seriously. The way the author connects every single word in the book together is astounding. It's told from Charlotte's point of view, but your connection to every character reaches well beyond the pages. Every ounce of pain, laughter, and confusion they feel will become your own.

Of course there's romance and friendship here, but the core of it all is something entirely phenomenal. At least, I think it is. Something mind-boggling. It really puts me in a drastic state of awe when a book is this life-changing. It certainly gave me a different outlook on a lot of things. Choices, mainly. The second I closed this book, something came over me and I went out and told my mother I loved her. (Of course, she thought I was crazy, what with the tears and all...)

I'm still trying to think everything through coherently so I'm a little fuzzy on a lot of details. Charlotte might be a Forgetten, but I will always remember her. I will always remember this story.

The one thing I know for sure though is this book? You NEED it.

~~A Reviewer's Journey GIF Style~~

The Beginning:


The Middle:

The End:
I am not going to cry. I am not going to cry. I am not...

In short, there are not enough words to describe how incredible reading this book is.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What Happens to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Another town. Another school. Another Mclean. Ever since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her father have been fleeing their unhappy past. And Mclean's become a pro at reinventing herself with each move. But in Lakeview, Mclean finds herself putting down roots and making friends—in part, thanks to Dave, the most real person Mclean's ever met. Dave just may be falling in love with her, but can he see the person she really is? Does Mclean herself know?

Review: Oh, Sarah Dessen, how homey your books are. Because that's what every Sarah Dessen book feels like when you open it up right? Cozy and comfortable? It is not any different here.

Like every other Dessen book, they resemble one another in their own quirky ways. We always have that female protagonist with the parental issues, not to mention the phenomenal characterization.

And oh, boy. I never expected one of the characters from her previous book to appear again--especially like THIS. Wow, just wow.

I enjoyed this book, but I felt like it had more potential to be something better. I don't think Mclean's relationship with Dave developed well enough in the end. I would have liked to see her interact with everyone altogether instead of just focusing on her own problems. However, no one should ever pass up this book. One of the reasons why I liked this book was because of the characters. I don't think any book in the world has such amazing and life-like characters. If Harry Houdini is the master of magic , then Sarah Dessen is truly a master at people.

~~A Reviewer's Journey GIF Style~~


Lots of background information, but it's okay. It's SARAH DESSEN! She knows how to make these things work!

The Middle: Heh.Heh.Heh. Dave and Mclean...<3

WHAT THE HECK. O_O How did HE end up like this? :O

Oh my gosh. WHAT IS SHE DOING? Poor, poor McClean :(

The End: It feels so open!! I want moaarr XD
[FTC: Received at RT Teen Day]

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In My Mailbox - RT Teen Day/ Birthday Edition

As usual, IMM is hosted by The Story Siren...

It was actually my sixteen birthday this week! Sandy surprised me with a wonderful gift in the mail (picture below)--I love her! Senfaye also gave me an awesome bag full of cool things like marshmallows, The Ivy, nail polish, etc! I wish I could post the picture but I sorta ate all the marshmallows already xD
Yesterday, I went to this awesome convention called RT Teen Day! I met so many wonderful people, and had an amazing experience. My arms are extremely soreeee from carrying around so many bags, but wait until you see what other people and I got!

Some really, really cool swag! I am definitely going to be wearing that T-shirt from Simone Elkeles tomorrow! There is a whole mess of bookmarks, CD samplers, postcards, and more hidden under the t-shirt!
I also brought about 8 books from home to be signed, but I will leave them out of this post for fear that it will get really long. Most of these books are from the Teen Party swag bag with the exception of a small few (which were bought during book fair)! Yay!
Sweet Venom (ARC)
Bloody Valentine
Radiant Shadows
White Cat
Perfect Chemistry
Ghost Hunters: The Awakening
The Clearing
Goddess Boot Camp
Dreamland Social Club (ARC)
Demon's Lexicon
Oh. My. Gods
The Summoning
The Ivy
What Happened to Goodbye (ARC)
Wolfsbane (ARC)
Born At Midnight
Darkest Mercy

Thanks for trading Haunting Violet/Dreamland Social Club with me, Lauren! Even though I was like, "This one comes out next month so no thank you," and then five minutes later, I just randomly came up to you and magically decided to trade. I think I just favor contemporary more over paranormal. And I'm really indecisive.

Anyway, I am so stoked to have gone to the convention! However, I did something really stupid. I talked to a whole bunch of people there, but I never asked for their names! And then when I came home, I realized that from all that excitement, I didn't get to meet a lot of those I talked to on Twitter.

Going to this event made me realize that authors do not get the credit they deserve from the world. I cannot wait to start reading!

...Someone there told me I was in book heaven. I completely agree.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Survivors by Amanda Havard

The Survivors by Amanda Havard
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: In 1692, when witch trials gripped the community of Salem, Massachusetts, twenty-six children were accused as witches, exiled, and left for dead. Fourteen of them survived.

The Survivors is the first installment of the tantalizing tales of the fourteen ill-fated Survivors and their descendants, who have been content in hiding for over three centuries. Isolated on a Montana mountainside, only Sadie, the rogue daughter, dares to abandon the family's sacred hiding place. But no matter how far Sadie runs, something always pulls her back.

On a muggy summer night in Tennessee, she witnesses a shocking scene that will change her life forever. It is the first in a sequence of events that will drag her from the human world she's sought to belong to for over a century and send her back to her Puritanical family and into an uncertain future filled with cunning witches, mysterious nosferatu shape-shifters, dangerous eretica and vieczy vampires, millennia-old mythology, and the search for her own mortality. After all...


The Survivors will steal your heart and invade your mind. Fall into the pages of Sadie's life, a world so frighteningly similar to your own, you'll find yourself wanting to go to the Montana mountains to find the Survivors for yourself.

And it is only the beginning.

Review: Never has a book taken me by surprise SO much. I really hadn't expected The Survivors to be anything out of the ordinary, but, whoa, it was amazing! The whole book in general is so ridiculously awesome that I still cannot fathom the fact that it's over. I really regret underestimating the degree of its appeal.

With very developed characters and an intricate plot line, The Survivors keeps readers hooked on from page 1. You're probably going to hear this sentence a lot in other reviews of this book, but it's very true--the protagonist is so relatable. Which brings me to the conclusion that this book is not just a book, it's almost having a conversation with Sadie herself and having her tell you every little detail going on in her life. And even if she is different from us, we're going to be able to draw the similarities out. Every emotion that Sadie will feel--confliction, anticipation, love, fear? (LOVE, repeated again just for emphasis, cuz ya now, Sadie steals many hearts in this book) You're going to feel it too. (And yes, you will yell at her. I did. Very often...No, I am not weird! O_O'')

The language Havard uses is very smart and natural that you actually feel smarter when you read the words from the page. And then there was that one scene where I should have KNOWN what was going to happen, but fjsldfjsljj! AHH. I AM STILL IN SHOCK. OHMYGOSH.

I'm not really sure how I feel about the romance aspect of this book. I would have liked to see her relationship(s) develop a bit slower. I do not know if it is the fangirl inside of me, but I just couldn't see why she fell in love with Other Guy. I do not even want to comment on Other Guy.

...But uh, COLE PWNS EVERETT. Every day of the week. Every second of the day. Every inch to the sky!! O_O So if you read this book and you take a liking to Other Guy, I'm afraid we cannot be friends anymore...(not even if you bake me cookies! And yes, I WILL be judging you XD)

On a more serious note, to me, The Survivors really isn't even paranormal. It's unlike any paranormal book I've read--very smart, very fresh, and very addictive, and very still in my mind. But a word to the wise, you won't be able to put this one down once you start (unless you are craaazyyy and not even a good crazy like me...). Read it now if you haven't! I do not know how long I can SURVIVE without the second book in my hand. Watch out, Amanda. *creepy laughter* xD!

And now, let the fangirling begin!

~~A Reviewer's Journey GIF Style~~

The Beginning: *got it out* Okay, let's read...*five seconds later* OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!! *Cole appears* ME:


The Middle: OHMYGOSH! WHAT IS HAPPENING? *is eaten up by Amanda Havard's world of epic proportions*



WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING SADIE? WHERE'S SWEET, SWEET COLE? Other Guy, you need to find a hole and jump in it and dieeeeee.





You all need to read it now!
1) I recently conducted a Twitter interview with Sadie herself along with The Book Pixie! To view it, just click this [edit: updated link here for FULL interview]! (BOWL FOREVER!)

2) Have you heard the GORGEOUS song that goes along with this book? It was just released and honestly, it has been on repeat the whole day yesterday. I'll embed it down below...

Less than three, folks. LESS THAN THREE!~

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kim Harrington Interview

WOOOO! Guess what comes out this week? Clarity by Kim Harrington! It has crazy awesome characters, perfect pacing, and above all, it was written by an amazing author.

I had the honor to interview the author a month ago and here is the interview below:
1.) In your mind, why do you think people do not believe in psychics?
I think it’s because certain people need proof before they believe in something fantastical. And…I’m one of those people! I’m not going to say true psychics don’t exist, though. Just that I haven’t met a real one yet. I have visited about six (a couple times in college for fun and then a few for book research) and none of them impressed me. But my mother visited one in Dublin when she was a teenager that she swears was the real deal. So who knows?
2.) What is the one power you would want if you were a psychic?
I wouldn’t want any of the Fern family’s powers. But if I could have any ability, I’d love to be able to manipulate time. Mostly because I’m impatient.

3.) Do you bare any similarities to any of your characters?
I can be sarcastic like Clare. I worry like Starla. Also, Clare’s aversion to seafood? Totally me.
4.) What was the hardest part in writing this novel?
The hardest part was making sure all the pieces of the mystery fit into place and finding the right balance between predictable and completely unforeseeable. I don’t want the villain to be someone from left field that the reader never could have figured out. But I don’t want the solution to be too obvious, either. Somewhere in between. And that’s tough to do.
5.) Best line ever from a book/show/movie? :D
Oh my…there are so many! I’m going to have to go with one from the movie Say Anything. And it’s not, “I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen,” though I do love that line. The one I like more is Lloyd’s response when Diane says, “Nobody thinks it will work, do they?” He says, “You just described every great success story.”
6.) If you could pick one song that represented Clarity, what would it be?
Maybe “Army of Me” by Bjork, which seems totally random, but the song has this swagger and confidence to it. I can imagine Clare walking down the street with her earbuds in, nodding her head to it.
7.) What is the weirdest dream you've ever had?
This is tough because I have weird dreams all the time. The scariest weird dream I had was that I was stuck on a cruise ship when one of those stomach viruses started going around. But then we realized it wasn’t just the stomach flu…it was the zombie virus. So everyone on the cruise ship started turning into zombies and I was running and hiding for what seemed like hours. Horrifying! I also had a funny, weird one where a sinkhole opened up on a Boston street and was swallowing buildings and I was running away from it with Neil Patrick Harris.

8.) How was your day? XD
Fantastic! While writing this interview (in January), I got the news that Publishers Weekly gave Clarity a starred review!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sweet Venom Cover Reveal

Release Date: October 4, 2011

Blurb: Three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in a world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

Exciting isn't it?! :D Just 8 more months. I love Tera Lynn Childs' books, and I cannot wait for this one. Medusa? Greek mythology? Yes, please!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Clarity Contest Winner!

First of all, sorry; I know I said I'd post the winner yesterday, but I was drowning in homework. It's like teachers choose to give a load of work to do right before finals, LIKE WE DON'T ALREADY HAVE STUDYING TO DO /endrant.

To pick the winner, I had my lovely friend, Virtual Hat, pick the winner. Yes, I found virtual hat drawings online. But they confused me so I had my friend, who chooses to go by Virtual Hat, pick. The lucky number was 25. After shuffling the entries 25 times and then picking number 25 (which was really 8) WE HAVE A WINNER! :D

I should be sending out Clarity as soon as I get your addy :)

Now...back to homework and studying for finals...