Happy Halloween! What's your favorite spooky book?

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope that today brings you much yummy candy and a good scare :) As I reflect on this day of spookiness I am reminded of the books that made me leave the light on.

  1. Prince of Mist by Carlos Luis Zafron
  2. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
  3. Pet Cemetery by Stephen King
  4. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe
  5. The Devouring by Simon Holt
  6. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  7. Are you in the House Alone by Richard Peck
  8. Unwind by Neil Shusterman
  9. Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
  10. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
  11. Fade by Lisa McMann

Those are the books that I can remember off the top of my head. Some I have read in the recent years and others I read many years ago but I still remember them and that is why I have chosen them. If a book can still do that to me then it is will honor a place on my list. What is your spooky book list?

REVIEW: The Scorch Trials by James Dasher

THE SCORCH TRIALS by James Dashner
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (October 12, 2010)
Language: English
Rating: YY 1/2

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. No more variables. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life
they were going back to.

In the Maze, life was easy. They had food, and
shelter, and safety . . . until Teresa triggered the end. In the world outside the Maze, however, the end was triggered long ago.

Burned by sun flares and baked by a new, brutal climate, the earth is a wasteland. Government has disintegrated—and with it, order—and now Cranks, people covered in festering wounds and driven to murderous insanity by the infectious disease known as the
Flare, roam the crumbling cities hunting for their next victim . . . and meal.

The Gladers are far from finished with running. Instead of freedom, they find themselves faced with another trial. They must cross the Scorch, the most burned-out section of the world, and arrive at a safe haven in two weeks. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.

Thomas can only wonder—does he hold the secret of freedom
somewhere in his mind? Or will he forever be at the mercy of WICKED?


REVIEW
When I picked up THE SCORCH TRIALS I knew I was in for a "WICKED" ride of a read, especially considering how it's series predecessor, THE MAZE RUNNER ended and totally flipped my world. I braced myself for the unexpected, was totally armed and yet I was still left perplexed and with a mild headache (will explain later) by the turn of events that unfolded before my very eyes.

THE SCORCH TRIALS begins hours after Thomas and the rest of the Gladers have been rescued and they believe that they are rewarded for solving the maze by the soft beds they now lie on and the food in their bellies. Yet, when they awaken they soon realize that their new surroundings are not as miraculous as they would believe and that something has gone horribly wrong. It is not long before they receive an unnerving visitor that informs the Gladers of their next objective that makes solving the maze seem like child's play. What ensues is mind blogging and unbelievable.

I enjoyed reading THE MAZE RUNNER and I could not wait to read it's sequel so you could imagine how eagerly I dived into THE SCORCH TRIALS. Within the first few chapters I was left with my mouth open and my mind buzzing. Then as the story progressed I became a bit confused...alright I admit, alot confused. I tried to make sense of what I was reading, but the more I tried the more my head ached. I enjoy being challenged and surprised but i dislike reading a story that leaves me with more questions than answers and that is exactly how I felt as I read THE SCORCH TRIALS. From Thomas' dreams to those infected with the scorch and then the ultimate surprise betrayel that was NOT a surprise. ARRRGGG!! and do not get me started on the ending. At that point I just banged my head against the book hoping to gain a bit more through the power of osmosis but it did not happen. I have to give James Dashner props for the originality of certain concepts
but it wasn't enough for me this time.

Who is WICKED? What is their ultimate goal? When are Thomas and the Gladers going to find out about the truth and what it means for everyone? Now that is something I wished I knew more about by the end of THE SCORCH TRIALS but unfortunately I will still have these questions and more to carry over until the next and final book in the series. Yet, although I enjoyed the suspense and originality of this series I don't know if I have the energy to continue.

Sneak A Peek Saturday: THE LOCKET by Stacey Jay

Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that lets you "peek" into an upcoming book. Sometimes it is a chapter or two and maybe less.

This week I have selected a novel from one of my favorite YA authors, Stacey Jay. She has written several zombie novels and this upcoming novel, THE LOCKET, sounds amazing.

Just click on the book cover for an excerpt link.


THE LOCKET

February 2011, Razorbill Books

What if you got a second chance to fix your worst mistake?

What if you found out miracles could happen?

What if you found out that sometimes, miracles are curses in disguise...

One girl, two boys, and one very scary piece of jewelry.


Bay Area Spooktacular Event Today

Thursday, October 28, 7pm

Not Your Mother's Book Club Spooktacular Halloween Party

Books Inc. Palo Alto


Prepare to be scared, with Rachel Caine (NYT Bestselling Morganville Vampire saga), Stacey Jay (YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME) and Linda Joy Singleton (Seer series, Dead Girl Walking series). Readings, treats, and all kinds of special surprises are in store. Costumes encouraged, but not required!

REVIEW: Monster High by Lisi Harrison


MONSTER HIGH by Lisi Harrison
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Poppy; 1 edition (September 1, 2010)
Language: English
Website: Monster High
Rating: YYYY



The monster community has kept a low profile at the local high school, but when two new girls enroll, the town will never be the same. Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and prom.

But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters stalking the halls, Frankie learns that high school can be rough for a chic freak like her. She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver-but can a "normie" be trusted with her big secret?


REVIEW


I grabbed MONSTER HIGH to read upon suggestion from another blogger and before the first chapter was finished I was laughing and totally hooked by this refreshing and new story by Lisi Harrison. VOLTAGE!!!


MONSTER HIGH focuses on two fantastic newcomers, Frankie Stein and Melody Carver; both girls have just enrolled at Merston High, both are cute, and both like a cute boy, but their similarities end there. Melody and her family (all Normie's) are recent transfers from L.A. having had to move due to Melody's health issues. Merston High will be a new beginning for shy Melody. a place where no one knows that she was once an ugly duckling but how can she break out of her shell when she cannot even talk to the cute boy next door? Frankie is a newborn girl of fifteen days, created by her father in his laboratory and ready to go out into the world. She cannot wait to start high school and "go green" as in show off her green skin with pride. Unfortunately for Frankie that can never happen because Monsters aka "the Steins" and other Monster brethren must live incognito among the Normie's that would sooner destroy them then co-mingle with them. What ensues between these two girls as each try to navigate their way through high school, friends and boys is wicked funny and scary fabulous.


I had such a good time reading MONSTER HIGH, because it was pure fun with it's mixture of spook and gossip girl moments. I also enjoyed the world that Lisa Harrison had created for it was unique and well written and the Monster cast of characters she had included were fantastic and diverse. I absolutely adored Frankie, she was by far my favorite character because she was fun and full of electricity..hahaha. I know it sounds corny, but that is just how she is, full of life and lovable with her desire for fun and equal rights. Who would have thought that high school could have been interesting and after it's jaw dropping ending I cannot wait to read the next book, THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR.


So, if you're in the mood for a spooktacularly fun read (that's not too scary) that will keep you in Frankenstein stitches while clutching your book until the very end then you have to read MONSTER HIGH.

BTW...have you seen the dolls for this series, they are soo darn cute. I am almost tempted to get them myself. Check them out HERE

Waiting on Wednesday: ROTTERS by Daniel Kraus


Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.


This week I have selected ROTTERS by Daniel Kraus. I was looking up some books for the upcoming year and I found a scary read that instantly go my attention. Once I read the synopsis I could not stop thinking about it, and the cover is pitch perfect creepy.

04/05/11
Rotters
by Daniel Kraus

Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.

Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.

Daniel Kraus's masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.

Teen Event at Kepler's with James Dashner

Teen Event: James Dashner
Monday, October 25, 7:00 p.m.
Kepler's
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025


The Scorch Trials

The sequel to the MAZE RUNNER

REVIEW: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Author Website: Gayle Forman
  • Pre-order: HERE
  • Rating: YYYY1/2



  • It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

    Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future and each other.

    Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay,
    Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.


    REVIEW

    IF I STAY by Gayle Forman is one of my top five favorite reads of all time and when I need cathartic tears to flow, it is my go-to book. In fact, it is a cherished book among many readers and I could go on and on with accolades for IF I STAY because it is so amazing, but that is not why I am here today. The much awaited companion novel to IF I STAY, entitled WHERE SHE WENT found it's way into my eager hands and I stopped everything I was doing so that I could read and savor my newest bounty. It was as if I was starved for literary ambrosia and I could not stop until the last word was consumed. I was in heaven.

    I am not sure how I can go about this review without revealing too much, but I will try my best. Initially I had no knowledge that a sequel/companion novel was in the making until last spring. I never thought that much about Mia's and Adam's story going any further. Then as the idea set in the seed of possible scenarios planted itself within my brain and I became obsessed. Yet, nothing could have prepared me for what I encountered within the pages of WHERE SHE WENT.

    This story takes place three years after Mia's horrific accident in which she lost her entire family, but now the story is being told through Adam's POV. And if you have read the synopsis you know that Mia and Adam are no longer together (I'm not spoiling anything here). His perspective on their lives apart is grittier, darker and more destructive but by no means as painful than it's predecessor. As you begin you cannot fathom why Mia and Adam are apart, it is even a mystery to Adam who is now a successful rock star living the American dream. As he trudges forward, lost and riddled with anxiety his mind goes back to those months after her accident, replaying and dissecting each moment until he is numb and empty. The night before he is to leave on a European tour abroad a moment of fate occurs and Adam and Mia are brought together again. Their encounter leads to an evening traveling throughout the city of New York, revealing their lives apart in moments filled with memories, hurtful truths and confessions. But what will the light of dawn bring for them? only time will tell.

    As I read WHERE SHE WENT I felt a weight settle in my chest. Adam's pain and loss was so palpable that certain passages left me without the ability to breath. I was so overcome with emotion that I was left bereft of tears. I understood Adam's anger, sympathized with Mia's decisions and was a willing captive to their journey. I truly enjoyed the music lyrics that introduced certain chapters it is one of my favorite bits that add to the magic of this book. Gayle Forman is an amazing talent and she has returned with a story that is filled with love, anger, heartbreak and hope. In the same beautiful lyrical style as before while returning us to a couple that we can never forget.

    I recommend WHERE SHE WENT to all of those that enjoyed IF I STAY for it was a story that needed to be told and was well done. I will be the first to admit that it did not grab me in the quite the same manner as IF I STAY had, but It is a story that I will always remember and cherish.

    BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316077054
  • Website: HERE
  • Video: HERE
  • Rating: YYYYY


  • Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met
    mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

    Sometimes life-ending.

    Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test
    their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.


    REVIEW


    It is oh so good to return to Gatlin, back to a place where magic, love and sacrifice transcend all time and meaning, back to where a boy loves a girl and that he would do anything to save her, back to where some loves are cursed...

    As I began my much awaiting journey into BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS I realized that the Castor world is even more firmly anchored into Gatlin than was first believed. I was swept away into this gothic love story that slowly swept over me and held me it's willing captive and that I will not soon forget. I was so entrenched within it's pages nothing could keep me away from the slow building suspense and magic. I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed returning to the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series. Ethan Wate is one of my favorite characters for he is intelligent and honest and his love for Lena knows no bounds. Yet, his love cannot save Lena as she begins to slip away from him until she is completely out of his reach. The pain and frustration that he exhibits is so palpable that my heart siezes up with the memory and I catch my breath. It is fortunate for Ethan that he never gives up on Lena and that his ever faithful and loyal crew of family and friends that will do anything to help him. Old favorites like Link, Ama, Marian and others that I cannot mention but ZOMG!! and some new characters that add to the amazing adventure that is BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS.

    Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is epic storytelling at it's very best. These two authors have the combined ability to create a world that is richly interwoven with many layers of southern charm, magical intervention and unforgettable characters that you will loathe to finish it. I know that I did not want to let go of this story especially after certain secrets were uncovered and I cannot wait to return to this world that is filled with sweet tea, secrets and pitch perfect magic.

    Review: VIXEN: The Flappers by Jillian Larkin

    VIXEN: The Flappers by Jullian Larkin
    Hardcover: 432 pages
    Reading level: Young Adult
    Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (December 14, 2010)
    Language: English
    Rating: YYY1/2

    Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous
    combination.

    Every girl wants what she can’t have.
    Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and
    music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

    Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden.
    . . .

    Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And
    someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .


    REVIEW

    When I had the opportunity to read VIXEN by Jillian Larkin, I jumped at the chance. How could I resist a story that had elements of The Great Gatsby and Gossip Girl combined? None, as you can see, and I was quickly swept into it's pages of intrigue, secrets and romance.

    It was the Roaring Twenties, a time of excessive luxury, prohibition and flapper girls. This sumptuous era served as the perfect backdrop for a story involving three very memorable teens; Gloria, Clara and Lorraine, whose lives intersect but veer off onto different paths. Each character has their own storyline that is filled with mysterious secrets and hidden truths. Gloria wants to embody the flapper lifestyle and follow her passion more than marrying her handsome and overbearing fiance. Lorraine is Gloria's best friend but she envies everything Gloria has and wishes to always eclipse her while Clara comes to help her cousin Gloria with her wedding plans while turning over a new leaf and trying to forget what happened when she ran away to New York. All scandalous and together they forge an unforgettable story that will have your complete attention as you travel through high society parties and lunches to the the smoke-filled jazzy speakeasy's and everything in between.

    With VIXEN, debut author Jillian Larkin, has done an noteworthy job of creating a story set during a time in history when the United States was breaking out of it's previously oppressive Victorian way of life and while I found it to be fun and fascinating I wish it had been a bit more detailed and descriptive. The noteable slang of it's heyday, while pertinent to the storyline, also proved to be vexing because I had to look up certain words to fully register their meaning. It is distracting but I can think it can be remedied by having a glossary in the back of the book to make the story flow better for the reader. I did appreciate the many social issues that were covered in VIXEN for it gave the story a gritter edge that complemented it's sumptuous surroundings.

    I did get pulled into the story fairly quickly and once I started I could not put it down. It was a pleasant way to spend my time filled with wicked fun and some very unforgettable moments and characters. INGENUE, the next book in the series that will come out next year.

    Waiting on Wednesday: BLOOD MAGIC by Tessa Gratton

    Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

    This week I have selected BLOOD MAGIC by Tessa Gratton. Spells, magic and cemeteries are part of this book and I am on board with all that great stuff. The cover is also a bit dark and creepy and I adore it. What is not to love about this novel.

    Now that you have seen my WOW for this week. Please, tell me what is your WOW?


    04/26/11
    Blood Magic

    by Tessa Gratton

    For Nicholas Pardee and Silla Kennicot, the cemetery is the center of everything.

    Nick is a sarcastic city boy, angry at being forced to move back to the nowhere town of Yaleylah, Missouri. Here, he can’t help remembering his mom and the blood magic she practiced – memories he’s tried for five years to escape. Silla, though, doesn’t want to forget; her parents’ apparent murder-suicide left her numb and needing real answers. When a book of magic spells in her dad’s handwriting appears on her doorstep, she sees her chance to unravel the mystery of their deaths.

    In the cemetery between their houses, Nick watches Silla use three drops of her blood and ancient words to bring an autumn leaf back to life. The magic is real, and it promises power that can transform stone into water, heal flesh, and even resurrect the dead. Nick is too familiar with the dangers, but Silla throws herself whole-heartedly into them.

    Now Josephine Darly, who has used the magic for her own selfish purposes for a hundred years, has come hunting the spell book. Josephine is a skilled body snatcher, able to use her blood to possess others. She wants the bones of Silla’s parents and the spellbook in order to make a spell that will let her live forever. If Silla and Nick want to stop Josephine, if they want a chance to be together and protect the ones they love, they’ll have to learn to let go of everything they believe about who they are, the nature of life and death, and the power of blood.

    FALLEN ANGEL(s) CONTEST



    It's contest time again. This time In honor of my love for Fallen Angels I am hosting a special contest in which ONE lucky contestant will win Three (3) SIGNED books:
    HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick
    FALLEN by Lauren Kate
    HALO by Alexandra Adornetto
    To enter just fill out THIS FORM.
    GOOD LUCK!

    In My Mailbox: September-October

    In My Mailbox lets you peek into the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. I am listing all the lovely books that I have aquired this week. If you would like to participate and have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information here on the Story Siren's blog, where it all began..(This post was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

    The last SIX weeks have been really wonderful and I have had some gems that I have read and acquired. I am sharing them with you. So, what is in your mailbox?


    The Haunting of Charles Dickens by Lewis Buzbee

    The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong ARC

    Crave by J.R. Ward (Thank you LINDA)

    Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde

    Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

    Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher by Wendelin Van Draanen

    Gemini Bites by Patrick Ryan ARC

    Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr ARC (on loan from Katie)

    Vixen: The Flappers by Jillian Larkin ARC (Hickelbee's book club)

    Trash by Andy Mulligan

    Banished by Sophie Littlefield

    Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Septeys

    The Emerald Atlas ARC by John Stephens

    Unearthly ARC by Cynthia Hand

    Elixir by Hilary Duff, Elise Allen (contributer)

    Where She Went ARC by Gayle Forman (Just finished it and it was so good)

    Wither ARC by Lauren DeStefano

    Crossing Over by Anna Kendall

    Across the Universe ARC by Beth Revis

    Not Pictured
    Entwined ARC by Heather Dixon

    Father of Lies ARC by Ann Turner

    Once in a Full Moon ARC by Ellen Schreiber

    Desires of the Dead ARC by Kimberly Derting

    Blood and Flowers ARC by Penny Blubaugh

    Plague by Michael Grant

    Tempestuous ARC by Lesley Livingston

    Cloaked ARC by Alex Finn

    Beautiful Darkness Contest Winner


    The Winner to the Beautiful Darkness and Swag contest is DEB from Debbie's World of Books. Congratulations! Deb and many thanks to all of the contestants. I will have another contest tomorrow 10/17/10 and I hope you will check it out.

    Sneak A Peek Saturday: WOLFSBANE by Andrea Cremer

    Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that lets you "peek" into an upcoming book. Sometimes it is a chapter or two and maybe less.
    This week I have selected WOLFSBANE by Andrea Cremer. It is the next book in the series following NIGHTSHADE (which will come out OCT. 19th). I have read NIGHTSHADE and really enjoyed it so this tasty bit of WOLFSBANE is wonderful.
    Just click on the book cover and enjoy!!



    Betrayal, loss, pain, fear. How many trials can love endure and still survive?


    CONTEST Reminder: Beautiful Darkness and Swag

    I just have this friendly reminder to let you know that today is the last day to enter my BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS contest. Just click on the book cover to enter. GOOD LUCK!

    MISGUIDED Tour with Melissa De La Cruz


    MISGUIDED TOUR:

    Come see Melissa at the cities below!


    Monday, October 25: Clinton, New Jersey

    7:00pm Reading & book signing at Clinton Bookshop
    12 E. Main Street, Clinton, NJ 08809
    Contact: 908-735-8811

    Tuesday, October 26: New York, New York

    6:00pm Reading & book signing at Books of Wonder
    18 West 18th Street, New York, NY

    Authors: Melissa de la Cruz, Anna Godbersen


    Thursday, October 28 and Friday, October 29: Columbus, Ohio

    World Fantasy Convention, Columbus, OH

    Panel and Signing Information, check my website. Also, this is a convention, so there will be admittance fees.



    Saturday, October 30: Memphis, Tennessee

    1:00pm Reading & book signing at Davis Kidd Booksellers
    387 Perkins Road Ext., Memphis, TN


    Monday, November 1: Atlanta, Georgia

    7:00pm Reading & book signing at Books a Million
    Discover Mills, 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
    (678) 847-5115


    Tuesday, November 2: Chicago, Illinois

    7:00pm Reading & book signing at Anderson’s Bookshop
    5112 Main St., Downers Grove, IL


    Wednesday, November 3: Lansing, Michigan

    6:00pm Reading & book signing at Schuler Books & Music
    2820 Towne Center Blvd., Lansing, MI 48912


    Thursday, November 4: Houston, Texas

    7:00pm Reading & book signing at Blue Willow
    14532 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX


    Friday, November 5: Pasadena, California

    6:00pm Meet with Young Adult Book Club
    Vroman’s Hastings Ranch, 3729 E. Foothill Blvd. Pasadena

    Waiting on Wednesday: MOMENTO NORA by Angie Smibert

    Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.
    This week I have selected MOMENTO NORA by Angie Smibert. I am delving into other genres that are out of my "comfort" zone of reading and this book looks like a great read.



    04/01/11
    Memento Nora
    by Angie Smibert

    Nora, the popular girl and happy consumer, witnesses a horrific bombing on a shopping trip with her mother. In Nora’s near-future world, terrorism is so commonplace that she can pop one little white pill to forget and go on like nothing ever happened.

    However, when Nora makes her first trip to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic, she learns what her mother, a frequent forgetter, has been frequently forgetting. Nora secretly spits out the pill and holds on to her memories. The memory of the bombing as well as her mother’s secret and her budding awareness of the world outside her little clique make it increasingly difficult for Nora to cope. She turns to two new friends, each with their own reasons to remember, and together they share their experiences with their classmates through an underground comic. They soon learn, though, they can’t get away with remembering.

    REVIEW: DEAD BEAUTIFUL by Yvonne Woon

    DEAD BEAUTIFUL by Yvonne Woon

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423119568
  • Rating: YY 1/2

  • After Renee Winters discovers her parents lying dead in California’s Redwood Forest in what appears to be a strange double murder, her grandfather sends her off to Gottfried Academy in Maine, a remote and mysterious high school dedicated to philosophy, “crude sciences,” and Latin: the Language of the Dead. It’s here she meets Dante, a dark and elusive student to whom she feels inexplicably drawn.
    As they get to know each other better, Dante can’t seem to control his attraction either, and their desires gradually deepen into a complex and dangerous romance. Dangerous because Dante is hiding a frightening secret. A secret so terrible, it has him fearing for Renee’s life.
    Dante’s not the only one with secrets, though. Turns out Gottfried Academy has a few of its own... Like, how come students keep disappearing? Why are the prefect-like Monitors creeping around campus during the night? And what exactly are the Headmistress and Professors really up to? Renee is determined to find out why.



    REVIEW

    When I selected DEAD BEAUTIFUL to read I had no idea what this story was about. I picked it up, skimmed the back cover and thought it was interesting enough to proceed. I was eager for an dark and edgier read and I could not wait to delve into the ominous mystery that surrounded this novel. Although DEAD BEAUTIFUL by Yvonne Woon is original and well detailed, I was vexed by it's lethargic pace and discontinuous plot line.

    As I began reading DEAD BEAUTIFUL my curiosity was soon piqued as strongly as Renee's incessant need to uncover the truth about her parents death. Yet, it was not long before the story began to push my limits on patience. One issue I had in particular was Renee's incomprehensible ignorance to the obvious issue she had surrounding her. This bothered me for she seemed a smart enough girl, fearless and outspoken; the perfect combination for the investigative adventure that was part of this dark mystery. And while on the subject of dark mystery there is no one more dark and mysterious than Dante Berlin. He and Renee are drawn to one another and when together he feels more alive while she seems to feel her energy drain. Hmmm...I wonder why?

    Although I found the pace too slow for my taste, I did appreciate the world building that was key to DEAD BEAUTIFUL. It was original, mysterious and inventive and I especially enjoyed the historical groundwork that peppered the storyline. But despite that fact I had problems with the overall flow of the the story, it seemed a bit jumpy and repetitive leaving me to re-read passages just to make sure I had not misread anything. I was also very irked by how certain characters storyline were down played and never fully explored like Eleanor and Nathaniel and don't even get me started on the ending. I detest ending a book with more questions than answers.

    As I originally stated. I did not go into reading DEAD BEAUTIFUL with any expecations but I feel that this story could have been so much better. It had great promise with a unique plot line that just did not fully deliver. Yet, I know that there will be some readers that will enjoy this story with it's heartbreaking romance, mystery and ominous tones.

    REVIEW: FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan

    FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan
    Reading level: Young Adult
    Hardcover: 336 pages
    Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (September 7, 2010)Language: English
    Author: Sophie Jordan
    Rating: YY 1/2

    With her rare ability to
    breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the
    draki—the descendants of dragons
    who can shift between human and dragon
    forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness
    leads her family to flee into the
    human world, she struggles to adapt, even as
    her draki spirit fades. The one
    thing that revives it is Will, whose family
    hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t
    resist getting closer to him, even though she
    knows she’s risking not only
    her life but the draki’s most closely guarded
    secret.

    REVIEW

    I adore all reads in the paranormal genre but certain themes have become overplayed i.e. Vampires, Werewolves, Faeries, and fallen Angels. They all seem to be commonplace these days. So, you can imagine how my interest was piqued to read FIRELIGHT--a story based on dragons with a forbidden romance.

    As I began reading FIRELIGHT I became intriqued with the new world that was being presented and found that it's foundation was unique and interesting. Yet, the Draki culture was not given enough substance or detail to fully appreciate or understand it. I know that Jacinda and her family had to leave, but why? As the story progresses you get an inkling to that answer but it somehow feels hollow and non-threatening. The Hunter culture for that matter suffers the same issue. Again, we get a glimpse into their world and understand that they are the "bad" guys but are left with just that. Why are they hunting the Draki? How long have they been hunting them? I want to know. As I would liked to know what an Enkros is especially since it is mentioned at some crucial points in the story, yet by the end of the book, I am still left guessing.

    Besides being focused on Dragons FIRELIGHT also hosts a romeo and juliet romance that is further complicated by the unrequited loves that hover at it's fringes. I adore romance in my reads but the one between Jacinda and Will is a bit much for me to take. As the story moves along you understand the undenial pull that is created between them but by that point I had already figured it out.

    Although I have issues with FIRELIGHT It was a quick and easy read and I found it entertaining nonetheless, if that makes any sense. I enjoyed the story concept. I mean...it has Dragons, now who would not be interested in that? I only wish that the world building had been better explored and the romance a bit more believable.






    Sneak A Peek Saturday: RIVAL by Sarah Bennet Weaver

    Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that lets you "peek" into an upcoming book. Sometimes it is a chapter or two and maybe less.

    This week I have slected RIVAL by Sarah Bennet Weaver. Once I saw the cover I was drawn to it and then the synopsis proved to be just as attention grabbing. To get a peek into this exciting debut novel, just click on the book cover below and enjoy.


    Meet Brooke: Popular, powerful and hating every minute of it, she’s the “It” girl at Douglas High in Lake Champion, Minnesota. Her real ambition? Using her operatic mezzo as a ticket back to NYC, where her family lived before her dad ran off with an up and coming male movie star.

    Now meet Kathryn: An overachieving soprano with an underachieving savings account, she’s been a leper ever since Brooke punched her at a party junior year. For Kath, music is the key to a much-needed college scholarship.

    The stage is set for a high-stakes duet between the two seniors as they prepare for the prestigious Blackmore competition. Brooke and Kathryn work toward the Blackmore with eyes not just on first prize but on one another, each still stinging from a past that started with friendship and ended in betrayal. With competition day nearing, Brooke dreams of escaping the in-crowd for life as a professional singer, but her scheming BFF Chloe has other plans. And when Kathryn gets an unlikely invitation to Homecoming, she suspects Brooke of trying to sabotage her with one last public humiliation.

    As pressures mount, Brooke starts to sense that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had. But Kathryn has a decision to make. Can she forgive? Or are some rivalries for life?

    Contest Winners!

    CONTEST WINNERS

    I am sorry for the last post, but I was in a car accident that left my "baby" in the shop for two weeks. Now that the drama has subsided I have happy to announce the Winners for the ELLEN HOPKINS and HUSH, HUSH contests.




    ELLEN HOPKINS (BANNED BOOKS WEEK)
    WINNER:
    TRICIA
    HUSH, HUSH WINNER(s):
    STEPHANIE at FANGSWANDANDFAIRYDUST blog
    and
    ERIN at BOOKISHINABOX blog
    CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS and THANK YOU! To all that had entered. Stay tuned there are more contests on the horizon.

    Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

    This week I have selected a book that has totally captured my interested and as of yet there isn't a cover available. This book I have selected is titled ANNA DRESS IN BLOOD...ohhh just the title alone caused chills to run down my spine. Then I read the synopsis and OH MY! I was a goner. I am always on the prowl for something unique with a darker edge. I want to devour this book and witness what will happen to Anna and Cas. Ekkk! I cannot wait.


    Anna Dressed In Blood
    Book one in Duology
    by Kendare Blake


    It's just your average, Boy meets Girl...Girl kills People story.

    Cas Lowood isn't like other boys. He moves around a lot. He keeps very late nights. He carries a knife. Because Cas knows what other people don't know: that dead doesn't necessarily mean gone. And that some of the dead would like to take you with them.

    Anna Korlov isn't like other girls. She's perceptive, and stubborn. She sews her own clothes. She was murdered in 1958. Since then, she's become a murderer herself, known to the locals as the spook story Anna Dressed in Blood. She's a killer, strong as a thunderstorm, able to decapitate hapless wanderers with a twist of her fingers.

    Cas has heard of her legend, and intends to do to her what he's done to countless other ghosts: use his knife, and send her back into the ground. But Anna isn't about to go quietly, and what starts as just a routine hunt instead turns his life upside down. Old secrets come back to bite. And the girl he came to town to kill, he finds himself wanting to save instead.


    "Anna Dressed in Blood, and a sequel, The Girl From Hell, are to be published by Tor starting in 2011. The teen horror series focuses on a young ghost hunter going up against the strongest spirit he's ever faced: Anna, Dressed in Blood. He's there to kill her, to stop her from adding to her collection of hapless wanderers and dismembered runaways. But as soon as he meets her, this girl twisted by curses and witchcraft, everything begins to change. She might help him understand his ghost-killing duty. She might allow him to finally walk in the light. That is if she doesn't rip his head off and use it as a volleyball first." --from Blake's website.


    Breathless Reads and Website

    Penguin Publishing has done an steller job with promoting their new up and coming "BREATHLESS" YA novels. A web site was created (click on image above or go to www.breathlessreads.com ) and on that site you can check out what the books featured are about and you can even download a sample chapter from each book. It's a good site to spend some time out so check it out. There is also a great video that just premiered on Friday and I had to share it. For those that have already seen it...well watch it again and if you haven't seen it then you really need to. ENJOY!!

    CONTEST: Beautiful Darkness and Swag


    Happy Sunday everyone! To honor the upcoming release of BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS, the sequel to BEAUTIFUL CREATURES. I have created the most awesome contest opportunity involving this amazing series. BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is an amazing read (review to soon follow) and I believe that a signed copy of the ARC is wicked cool, but I have also have book marks, rubber bracelets, buttons, posters and a cool keychain to add to the mix. INTERESTED??? I hope so.
    Just fill out this FORM and you will be on your way to a great opportunity.
    GOOD LUCK!!

    REVIEW: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

    MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins

    Reading level: Young Adult
    Hardcover: 400 pages
    Publisher: Scholastic Press (August 24, 2010)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0439023513
    ISBN-13: 978-0439023511
    Author Website: Suzanne Collins
    Rating: YYYY


    Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

    REVIEW
    It was a bittersweet moment to have the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy in my hands. I had spent a year waiting and vexing for MOCKINGJAY, pondering on how it would all end? Would I be happy? or sad? Would Katniss survive? Whom would she choose? What other horrors could the capitol inflict?...and would I be ultimately be satisfied when I finished the last page? As you can see I was obsessed, but quietly so because there were too many people that had invested their time with these books and everyone had a strong opinion. That is why I waited until I felt that I could review this book with only the weight of my conclusions. I did not want the overwhelming thoughts and passions of others and even my "love" for this series to cloud my mind.

    MOCKINGJAY picks up with Katniss wandering through the ruins of District 12. The evil and destruction of the Capitol's revenge surrounding her with blood and ashes. Although what she sees fills her with anger and fear she cannot stop thinking about Peeta and what horrors he must be suffering at the Capitol's hands. Katniss had been allowed to recover from her injuries in the underground city of District 13 surrounded by her mother and beloved sister, but she knows that the kindness that has been bestowed upon her is for their greater purpose. District 13, has become the headquarters of the resistance movement and Katniss Everdeen is the very symbol of the uprising. Her survival instincts cause her to play along but she does not trust those that push her into the spotlight for the cause. What she desires most is President Snow's demise at her hands, to make him pay for all the death and destruction, but at what price? and can she ever live with herself over what could happen on her mission to help bring down the capitol?

    MOCKINGJAY does not skip a beat as it delves into it's story. It is every bit as brutal and and frightening as it's predecessors. The plot is a bit more complex and the violence seems to have soared off the charts bordering on gratuitous, but war is hell and it is not candy coated in this story. It is more evident to me in MOCKINGJAY the toll that it has taken on it's characters, for everyone is held accountable for their actions. There is no hiding from the death and destruction that many have inflicted regardless of what side they hail from. Towards the end of MOCKINGJAY there is a passage that is written in regards to Katniss and the weight of all those that have died at her hands being pressed upon her and I was brought to tears. It is a testiment to Collins and her ability to create a story that will stay with you long after you have finished it.

    I do recommend this final book to all those that have read the series for you just have to witness what happens, how could you not? Yet, I admit to not being as smitten with this novel as much as the first two in the series because I felt that the ending was a too rushed and loaded with so much action and violence that I found myself having to re-read it just to comprehend it. Then of course the ultimate "OH NO!" moment left me oddly numb and heartsick. In the end I did find peace with this story.
    Thank you, Suzanne Collins for giving me a story that I will always remember.

    REVIEW: Immortal Beloved by Cate Teirnan

    IMMORTAL BELOVED by Cate Teirnan
    Reading level: Young Adult
    Hardcover: 416 pages
    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 7, 2010)
    Language: English
    Author Website: CATE TEIRNAN
    Rating: YYYY


    Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

    Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

    REVIEW

    IMMORTAL BELOVED is a great book for readers. adult and teen alike, who enjoy reading fantasies that are edged in darkness, mysterious, and romantic. The characters in this inventive story live forever, yet are not vampires but true immortals who struggle with something far greater than a simple person can conceive. IMMORTAL BELOVED is narrated by Natasya-- an immortal who has lived nearly 500 years who is barely surviving her very existence when she is pushed over the edge one evening and decides to flee everything and everyone she has known. She leaves London and relocates to a small town in Massachusetts, to live with other immortals that seek peace and meaning to their life. Thus begins Nastasya's true journey to self acceptance and worth


    I truly enjoyed IMMORTAL BELOVED because the lives of the immortals, especially Nastasya, are revealed slowly but carefully, leaving you wanting to know more about her past as well as her present. Tiernan does an excellent job of weaving Nastasyas two stories (past and present) through a series of flashbacks and present day that makes the reader understand not only who she is, but what she's fighting against. You become her champion as you witness her life unfold before your eyes and laugh out loud at her snarky comments that lend light laughter to this dark fantasy tale. The romantic element in this story is a welcome surprise that does not overwhelm the entire storyline but adds a bit tension that leaves you satisfied and very curious. I also enjoyed the fact that the story does not leave you with a big cliffhanger ending and yet you are left wanting to read more about Nastasya and what will happen next.

    I highly recommend IMMORTAL BELOVED to those that love the Highlander series and to those that love paranormal stories that don't have a fang, were or fae lurking in the shadows. Not that I don't enjoy them but it is a refreshing change from the norm in that genre.

    VIDEO

    Sneak A Peek Saturday: ELIXIR by Hilary Duff

    Sneak a Peek Saturday is a feature that lets you "peek" into an upcoming book. Sometimes it is a chapter or two and maybe less.

    This week I have selected ELIXIR by Hilary Duff. I am curious to read this debut effort by Hilary Duff. The cover design is definitely eye catching and PURPLE (my favorite color). Then I read the synopsis and was like, "Hello, another book for my wish list". Simon and Shuster has released the first chapter for everyone to enjoy and have their appetites driven mad. JUST CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER AND ENJOY

    ELIXIR by Hilary Duff
    Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. The daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington DC politician, she has grown to be a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a career that allows her to travel to the most exotic parts of the world.

    But after Clea's father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, Clea's photos begin to feature eerie, shadowy images of a strange and beautiful man—a man she has never seen before. When fate brings Clea and this man together, she is stunned by the immediate and powerful connection she feels with him. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father's disappearance, and they discover the centuries old truth behind their intense bond.
    Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fates, together they race against time to unravel their past in order to save their future—and their lives.

    “Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

    Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

    Tales of a Ravenous Reader

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    Hello, and thank you for stopping by. This is my little haven for talking about the YA books that I adore.

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    Contact Me

    I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

    2014 Reading Challenge

    2014 Reading Challenge
    nancy has read 0 books toward her goal of 125 books.
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    Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

    I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA and NA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is best to verify all events prior to attendance.

    2014

    OCTOBER

    LAUREN OLIVER
    A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland
    Wednesday, October 1 @ 7pm

    LAUREN OLIVER
    Book Passage in San Francisco
    Thursday, October 2 @ 12:30pm

    LAUREN OLIVER and JANDY NELSON
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Thursday, October 2 @ 7pm

    JANDY NELSON, NINA LaCOUR and STEPHANIE KUEHN
    Hicklebee's in San Jose
    Friday, October 3 @ 7pm

    SARA FARIZAN
    Books Inc. on Market St.
    Friday, October 10 @ 7pm

    JAMES FREY with John Hanke, VP of Google's Niantic Lab
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Saturday, October 11 @ 6pm


    BECCA FITZPATRICK, CHRISTINA LAUREN & KIERSTEN WHITE
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Sunday, October 12 @ 3pm


    LITQUAKE: Why YA is good for the Mind, Body and Soul with Lana Adlwan, Hannah Jayne, Tim J Myers, Jandy Nelson and Mitali Perkins
    Hotel Rex in San Francisco
    Sunday, October 12 @ 3:30


    FIERCE READS TOUR with GENNIFER ALBIN, NIKKI KELLY, JESSICA BRODY and MARISSA MEYER
    Linden Tree Books in Los Altos
    Monday, October 13 @ 6:30pm

    PAOLO BACIGALUPI and A.S. KING
    Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz
    Wednesday, October 15 @ 7pm

    RICK RIORDAN (ticketed event)
    Fox Theatre in Redwood City
    Wednesday, October 15 @ 7pm

    CORY DOCTOROW and JEN WANG

    Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
    Thursday, October 16 @ 7:30pm

    MARIE LU
    Face in a Book in El Dorado
    Thursday, October 16 @ 7pm

    A.S. KING and PAOLO BACIGALUPI
    Sports Basement on Bryant in SF
    Thursday, October 16 @ 6pm

    MICHELLE GAGNON with Cara Black, Juliet Blackwell and Susan C. Shea
    Borderlands Books in SF
    Saturday, October 18 @7:15-8:15pm

    SCOTT WESTERFELD
    This is a TICKETED event purchase tickets HERE
    Books Inc. Opera Plaza in SF
    Wednesday, October 22 @7pm

    GARTH NIX and MICHAEL GRANT
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Thursday, October 23 @ 7pm

    JANDY NELSON
    Book Passage in Corte Madera
    Friday, October 24 @ 6:30pm

    KENDARE BLAKE
    Linden Tree Books in Los Altos
    Saturday, October 25 @ 4-5:30pm
    (it is appreciated if you RSVP in advance so they can provide seats and plan for aromatherapy supplies!)

    SARA RAASCH, KASIE WEST AND CORRINE JACKSON
    Kepler's in Menlo Park
    Monday, October 27 @ 7pm

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