Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Summer of Cotton Candy by Debbie Viguié

When Candace's dad tells her she has to get a summer job, the local amusement park seems like a good choice. People are constantly making "Cotton Candy" jokes about her name but, hey, it's better than flipping burgers all day. She develops a crush on a masked man, makes some great new friends, and grows apart from her old best friend. But that's not the end of her problems - someone at work is out to get her fired. In the end, though, she'll learn a lot about herself and what's important to her. This summer may be the most exciting one of her life!

This book was so fun to read. I would love to have a summer job at an amusement park like Candace! The writing and characters were both excellent. I was jealous of Candace's cool mom - I wish my mom had great fashion sense like her! The amusement park setting made for a lot of action and complications. This novel falls into the category of Christian Fiction (is there an abbreviation for that?) but it only mentioned anything faith-related a few times. I probably wouldn't have thought about it if it didn't say "alternative, God-honoring chick lit" on the back. It is definitely other faith friendly, though. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, light read!

4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Contest Winner

And the winner is...


Congratulations! I'll be emailing you soon. Hope you enjoy the book!
Thanks so much to everyone that entered!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

In My Mailbox 1/19-1/25

I got a crapload of books this week. Yay!

From Random House:

Boy Minus Girl by Richard Uhlig
Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson
The ABC's of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro
3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
What If...Your Past Came Back to Haunt You by Liz Ruckdeschel and Sara James

From The Shady Glade:

The Debs by Susan McBride

From Zondervan:

Books 1-4 in the Sweet Seasons series by Debbie Viguié
-The Summer of Cotton Candy
-The Fall of Candy Corn
-The Winter of Candy Canes
-The Spring of Candy Apples

Books 1-4 in the Carter House Girls series by Melody Carlson
-Mixed Bags
-Stealing Bradford
-Homecoming Queen
-Viva Vermont!

The In My Mailbox feature was created by The Story Siren. You can find out more about it here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's All About Us by Shelley Adina

Lissa Mansfield is used to being popular. But when she starts school at Spencer Academy she sees that she'll have to work harder than she thought to gain admission to the "in crowd" there. Lissa has to juggle dealing with her outspoken roommate, snagging her dream guy, and keeping up on her schoolwork on top of that. She finds out that keeping God at the top of her list of priorities is harder than it looks when you're preoccupied with your social life. Who knew finding a place at Spencer would be so complicated?

I didn't expect to like this book but I ended up loving it. It was very realistic and the writing was fantastic. Adina throws in the religious aspect without being pushy or overbearing. People that have different religious beliefs than the ones the characters in the book have would still be able to read this book without being offended or bored. I think of this book as a religious version of the A-List but with a great plot. The story is believable and interesting. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I recommend this book to teens of the Christian faith and people who like general chick lit.

4 out of 5 stars

I won all three books in this series from Books, Movies, and Chinese Food!

Monday, January 19, 2009

My First Contest!

I've been offered one ARC of The Ranger's Apprentice: The Siege of Macindaw by John Flanagan to give away! This is the 6th book in the series and it comes out August 11.

So here's how it works:

1. To enter: leave a comment on this post with your name and e-mail address OR e-mail me at bball11kt(at)sbcglobal(dot)net with the your name and "The Ranger's Apprentice Contest" as the subject.

2. After the winner is announced, they will have three days to e-mail me with their mailing address so I can forward it to the publisher.

3. The contest starts today 1/19. You'll have until midnight next Monday 1/26 to enter. I'll announce the winner Tuesday 1/27.

4. Contest is open to the U.S only.

**I am in no way responsible for the prize being offered. If, for some reason, the contributor (Penguin) doesn't follow through with their offer, I am in no way responsible. I doubt that this will happen, but I wanted to make sure everyone knows that I am not offering this book, Penguin is and it is their responsibility to honor their commitment to send the prize to the winner.**

In the meantime, you can read the first book in the series, The Ruins of Gorlan, for free in ebook form here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin

Parker Prescott is an ice queen. She'd rather be viewed as icy than just shy since shyness implies weakness but iciness is voluntary.
She has the typical teenage problems - her parents don't get her, her sister is their golden girl, her brother is a miracle child, and her best friend is so much cooler than she is. Not to mention her gorgeous ex-boyfriend she still has feelings for. Her family is having financial problems and may even be forced to move. Parker takes it upon herself to prevent them from uprooting her from her life. Can she solve all her problems by herself or will she just make everything worse?

I liked this book. The first half gives so much background information that you feel as if you've known these characters for years. Although, I thought the way the background stories were presented was a little confusing. I was really curious about what the role of handcuffs was going to be and I wasn't let down. This book sort of reminded me of Just Listen by Sarah Dessen because of the main character's trouble communicating with others and the messed up older sister. It touched on a lot of issues such as stalking, sex, and bullying. The writing was was very good and the ending was tied things up nicely. You might like this book if you liked Sarah Dessen's Just Listen. I recommend this book for readers above the age of 13.

4 out of 5 stars

I won this book from Free Book Friday Teens! Go there and enter their weekly contest NOW!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Betrayed by P.C. & Kristin Cast

Zoey has settled in at the House of Night. She feels more welcome there than she ever did in her own house. She takes over as the leader of the Dark Daughters and makes some pretty big changes to the group. She has doesn't have any trouble in the guy department either. Actually, she has to figure out how she feels about three guys. But then tragedy strikes when human teenagers are being brutally murdered and it looks like vampyres at the House of Night had something to do with it. When someone close to her dies, Zoey must figure out how to deal with grief, loss, and then even betrayal.

Oh. My. Gosh. I read this book in two days, which is really fast considering I've had semester exams all week. Well, maybe I did have a snow day..but I just could not put this book down. I loved the first book in the series, Marked, but this one was soo much more exciting and mysterious. There were more than one twist in the plot that I really didn't see coming. I definitely kept my attention. The writing and plot were great. I actually almost started crying at one point (in the middle of Spanish class!) The Casts make you feel Zoey's emotions yourself. I was really surprised at who it was that betrayed her - there was no hint at it at all in Marked. I loved Zoey's confidence and kick-butt attitude. I highly recommend this book!

5 out of 5 stars

I told one of my friends about this book and she said "Oh, those books are just copying off Twilight" and she got a piece of my mind about that. Just because a book has characters that are the same species in it does NOT mean that it's copying off any other book in any way. Twilight was definitely NOT the first book ever published to have vampires in it. I mean, I love Twilight but it makes me soo mad when people put other books down because of it. Without even giving them a chance. I know a lot of other bloggers have had similar posts and a lot of what I said is probably repetitive but I just needed to vent about that. Comment with your thoughts on the issue!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How To Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

In New Avalon, everyone has a personal fairy. Charlie's gets her the best parking spots. She's fourteen years old and can't drive so this kind of fairy is pretty much worthless to her. She is constantly being borrowed by family members and kidnapped by the school bully so her fairy can work its magic for them. In order to trade her parking fairy in for one that might actually do her some good, she comes up with a plan. She teams up with her enemy Fiorenze, who has an all-the-boys-like-you fairy. But when they actually switch fairies, Charlie finds out that having all the boys like you isn't as great as you would think. Fiorenze isn't enjoying her new fairy either. The girls must resort to extraordinary measures to set things right again.

I'm on the fence about this book. The story was funny and overall enjoyable but I was annoyed with the main character, Charlie. I thought she was basically just selfish. It annoyed me how she had no time for her family, friends, or schoolwork because she was trying to get rid of her fairy all the time. I mean, I wish I had a parking fairy! I really liked the setting, though. The way their city and schools worked was different, but in a good way. How To Ditch Your Fairy was a good read but nothing spectacular. I recommend it, but maybe not at the very top of your To Be Read pile.

3 out of 5 stars

Friday, January 2, 2009

Captivating Covers

The cover to Crash (September 8, 2009) is pretty striking if you ask me. This is the sequel to Skinned by Robin Wasserman.

I also like the design on the cover of Hunted (March 10, 2009), the fifth book in the House of Night series by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast.

Which one do you like best? Which one are you looking forward to reading the most? Or if you don't like them, why not?

Bass Ackwards and Belly Up by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain

Harper didn't get into her dream college, NYU. Or any collge for that matter. So when she deceives her friends into thinking she's putting off college in favor of her Dream - writing the next Great American Novel - they are inspired to follow their own Dreams. Sophie moves to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actress. Kate plans to backpack around Europe. Becca decides she can go to college and follow her Dream at the same time. Meanwhile, Harper is living in her parents basement. The girls get themselves into numerous sticky situations. They each have their own romantic ventures as well. They discover that the road to finding themselves isn't everything they thought it would be.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I wasn't quite sure if I was going to like this book because I had a hard time getting into it at first. By the end, though, I was hooked. It was slow to start but it got a lot better as it went on. I found myself sitting there with a huge grin on my face at some points and laughing out loud at others. It takes place over a span of three months, which when you think about sounds like a long time but really didn't seem like it. Each chapter was written from a different character's point of view.

Bass Ackwards and Belly Up and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series are alike in some ways. For example, they both have that group of girls discovering themselves thing going on. If you're a fan of the Traveling Pants then you'll definitely like this book. I am without a doubt on Team Bass Ackwards, though. The sequel, Footfree and Fancyloose, looks like it would be worth reading, too. I recommend this book if you're looking for a light, funny read.

4 out of 5 stars