Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (14)

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
Pub. Date: January 5, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Restless souls and empty hearts

Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.

Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.


I devoured Schroeder's last novel so I'm really excited to get my hands on her latest. The synopsis looks a little creepy but interesting nonetheless. I love the cover as well. Can't wait to read this one!

The Waiting On Wednesday feature was created by Jill at Breaking The Spine

Friday, July 17, 2009

Interview with Eileen Cook

Today I have an interview with Eileen Cook, author of What Would Emma Do?.

Are experiences in your novel based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I tend to steal traits and quirks from different people and then mix them up to create someone new. What I find interesting is when someone who knows me reads a book and thinks they identify someone else and it wasn’t even someone I had in mind at the time. I think all writers tend to steal from their own life. For WWED I shared the background of growing up in a small town (although mine wasn't quite that small) and also the feeling about wanting to leave your hometown but not knowing what that means for the friendships you've made.

Which character in What Would Emma Do are you most like?

It is much easier being the writer than my characters- I get them into the most difficult situations. I would love to be Emma from What Emma Would Do because although she’s having a difficult time being in that transition from high school life to college life- she is also so willing to dream big. Plus she’s a great runner and I tend to be one of those people who runs for a block and then feels like throwing up.

What sets WWED apart from other YA novels?

Ooh hard question. The first answer I came up with was "well I wrote this one, but not the others" which I suspect was not the answer you were going for. I hope what sets it apart is the humor. I laughed out loud when I wrote it- so I hope people laugh when they read it.

How did you decide on the title of WWED?

I wanted to play on the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) theme.
What's the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome to get to where you are today as a published author?

The biggest challenge was to believe in myself. There are zillions of people who have no dreams of their own and spend their time trying to tell you why it is waste of time to pursue your own. Writing has a lot of rejection, but as long as you are willing to keep pushing yourself, keep learning and keep trying you can see your book on the shelf.

How long did it take you to write WWED?

It took me about a year. I work part time and write the other time so I have to find time to fit everything in.
Are you working on any new YA novels? If so, can you tell us a little about them?

I’m working on another YA, which is called Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood. It's a story of revenge, classic movies, friendship, and love. I’m having a lot of fun coming up with all sorts of evil plots for the revenge part. Turns out I have a very evil side. It should be out around January 2010.
If you had to create a soundtrack WWED, what would be on it?

I blame you for the past two hours spent on I-Tunes. I didn’t have a soundtrack in mind so I’ve been searching (and downloading) various songs trying to figure out the best fit. I think this would be a question I would like to have answered by readers. I’d be interested to hear what they have to say.

What are you currently reading?

I'm reading Fade by Lisa McMann. I really liked her book Wake so I've been looking forward to this one.

What is your favorite book of all time and why?

I love to read-period. I love fiction and non fiction. Mysteries, romance, comedy, classics and thrillers. If I have nothing to read I get all worked up and will start reading the side of the cereal box, or anything else that is handy. Picking one favorite is hard. So much of what I like depends on the mood I'm in. One day I might tell you a favorite is Harry Potter and the next day tell you it is A Prayer for Owen Meany.

So many good books to read- so little time!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I like to knit and love the feel and color of yarn. I’ve bought enough that there could be a world wide sheep shortage and I would have enough stockpiled to last me the rest of my life. I’m a lazy knitter- I don’t like to do complicated things- thus I make a lot of socks and scarves.

I have two dogs so running around on the beach with them is a lot of fun (although quite sandy). I love to read of course and always have a stack of books I'm planning to read. Lastly, I'm a movie junkie.
What advice to you have for aspiring novelists? The YA book blogging community?

1) Read- read a lot. You can learn so much about writing this way. Read books you like and books you hate. Break them down to see what works and what doesn’t. Underline or highlight passages/dialog you really like (assuming that this isn’t a library book). It isn’t about trying to write like someone else, it is about discovering the process of what makes a story work.

2) Keep Writing: A lot of people talk about writing, but don’t do it. With every thing you write you get a bit better, you learn a bit more. If you give up then you won’t be published. If you keep trying- then who knows?

3) Seize the day: You won’t have anything to write about if you never leave the house. Try new things, meet new people, travel, you never know what will lead you to the next story.

Thanks for the interview, Eileen!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (13)

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Pub. Date: January 5, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Love can be a dangerous thing....

Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

First of all, the cover on this one is beautiful. I love the shades of purple.
The premise also looks original and interesting. This looks like the kind of book that I enjoy most!

The Waiting On Wednesday feature was created by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black & Cecil Castellucci

Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside)and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr. With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!
While this collection of short stories did have some of my favorite authors, I was not all that impressed. In a hit and miss mentality, there were many that were undeniably misses. However, there were a few bullseyes.

I think they got the target audience all wrong. I'm sixteen and I had a really hard time understanding what in the world these people were even talking about. Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Hmm..that would've been a little scary for me to watch when I was eleven. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (a movie made in 1975 involving transvestites) was another subject that I couldn't follow. And unless you have an extensive knowledge of all things Star Trek, Star Wars, and internet role playing games you're going to have a heck of a time deciphering these short stories.

Some of them had some no-so-good messages as well. Newsflash! - one night stands are frowned upon, it is NOT okay to meet up with people you met on the internet, and guns and alcohol do not mix! Really, the authors do know these are supposed to be stories for teenagers, right? If I was a parent, I would most certainly not be purchasing this kind of book for my child.

I quickly grew tired of the geek stereotyping. Since when is it geeky to be interested in astronomy or paleontology? Also, some of the things that went on in these stories were just plain unrealistic and way overdone.

However, it did have some redeeming qualities. "Quiz Bowl Antichrist" by David Levithan, "The Truth About Dino Girl" by Barry Lyga, and "The Stars at the Finish Line" by Wendy Mass were my favorites. They were interesting, original, and accessible to "nongeeks."

If you are already educated in the so-called way of the geeks, this collection might be something you would enjoy. If not, I'd pass on this one. I have a feeling that most of the teenage population falls under the latter category.

2 out of 5 stars

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Book Trailer: Candor by Pam Bachorz

I've read some reviews that make Candor look awesome. I can't wait to read it and find out for myself though. I haven't read any books dealing with mind control so this will be an interesting read for me. Even if I had, though, I think it would still be pining for this book.

Check out the trailer:

Friday, July 10, 2009

School's Out - Forever (Maximum Ride, Book 2) by James Patterson

Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride and the other members of the Flock--Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman and Angel--are just like ordinary kids--only they have wings and can fly. It seems like a dream come true--except that they're being hunted by half-human, half-wolf Erasers who can fly, too.

In Book 2 of the series, the Flock members are taken under the wing of an FBI agent and try to live normal lives by going to school, making friends--and continuing their relentless search for their parents. But the Erasers return, forcing the Flock to abandon their search and make their escape once again. The voice inside Max's head keeps telling her that it's up to her to save the world, but this is especially challenging to do when she is faced with her ultimate match: a newer and better version of herself, Maximum Ride II. Max's heart-stopping quest to investigate the mind-blowing mystery of her ultimate destiny continues in the scariest, strangest, and funniest James Patterson novel yet.


School's Out- Forever jumps right into the action where The Angel Experiment left off. I loved The Angel Experiment so I had pretty high expectations for this installment. I'd glad to report that I wasn't let down whatsoever.

SOF was just as action-packed and thrilling as its predecessor. Maybe even more so. Some mind-boggling new developments and tough situations will leave readers breathless and wanting more. I found it hard to put this book down. It's addicting, I tell ya!

The characters get more developed as the story moves along. Chapters from Ari's point of view helped clarify things. I liked being able to see his true motives, not just what Max and the others presume about him.

Patterson's gripping novel will appeal to males and females of all ages. His writing style will also appeal to reluctant readers. The chapters are very short (2-4 pages each) so there are plenty of good stopping points. Since they're so short, I felt like a lot had happened in a short amount of time. There was never a boring moment.

Overall, this was a great read. This series just keeps getting better and better. I highly recommend it!

5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (12)

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Pub. Date: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse

I liked him first, but it doesn't matter.
I still like him.
That doesn't matter either.
Or at least, it's not supposed to.

I've read awesome reviews of Elizabeth Scott's books in the past so I'm sure this one is no exception. I don't think there's any teenage girl who hasn't either been in the situation of liking your friend's boyfriend themselves or witnessed someone else in the same place. Anyone could relate to this one some level. Even if you haven't been there, it still sounds like an interesting story. I can't wait to see how the characters handle the situation and how everything plays out.

Sorry for posting this so early (it won't be released until 2010) but when I saw the cover, I couldn't resist!

The Waiting On Wednesday feature was created by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Email Address!

So, Yahoo won't let me sign in to my old account for some reason. I have no idea why because I've had the same address for years. I'm not a spammer or participating in any otherwise illegal activities using my Yahoo account. Or at all for that matter. If I get it fixed, I'll let you know. But until then I have new addresses you can reach me at.

Either one's fine. I'll be checking both on a daily basis.

Well, I'm off now to wallow in self-pity due to the fact that I lost a lot of important information. That'll teach me to back up my crap.

Authors/publishers: I no longer have any of your email unless you contact me I can't email you links to my reviews. Please check this blog for those kind of updates.

Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Boy Toy Contest

Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everyone knows what it is.
Five years ago, Josh’s life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town—seems like the world—thinks they understand. But they don’t—they can’t. And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there’s Rachel, the girl he thought he’d lost years ago. She’s back, and she’s determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won’t stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink. And then there’s Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh’s past. It’s time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.
If only he knew what the truth was . . .

Prize: a signed paperback of Boy Toy by Barry Lyga

To enter: Leave a comment with your email address.

Extra entry: Post about this contest somewhere and leave a link.
Please put this in a SEPARATE comment.

Open to: residents of the US only, unless you have a friend here who I can ship it to.

Deadline: July 31st